Kings North and South 3
Daniel 11:20-28 ESV
Galatians 6:7 ESV
When I read about the dating of the book of Daniel I was somewhat confused, so after reading about it I “landed on” a general timeline that scholars believe was around 165 years before Christ came to earth.
Part of the reason I was confused is because Hebrew scholars have done a remarkable job of protecting and holding onto the text.
According to an article published by Christian Publishing House entitled, How Well Has the Old Testament Text Been Preserved? We are told, “Great care was taken of the text itself, and the slightest variant readings of manuscripts were noted.”
In Seminary we studied how the text was preserved and I was pleasantly surprised by the numerous specialty areas of expertise that exist in relation to studying and preserving the text.
Until then I had absolutely no idea how the Bible has been preserved.
I heard the term Textual Criticism which is “the study of ancient manuscripts and how we get our printed Bibles from them” (https://faculty.wts.edu/posts/textual-criticism-what-it-is-and-why-you-need-it/).
There are also “many approaches or methods to the practice of textual criticism, notably eclecticism, stemmatics, and copy-text editing” (https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Textual_criticism#:~:text=There%20are%20three%20fundamental%20approaches,%2C%20and%20copy%2Dtext%20editing.)
It goes without saying that today’s experts in textual criticism engage in “the study of ancient extra-biblical manuscripts or inscriptions that inform our textual research of the Bible. These cognate studies (e.g., Hebrew orthography and lexicography or paratextual elements of Greek manuscripts) may indirectly answer questions about the transmission history of the text (https://www.textualcriticism.org/about).
While highly educated experts study the manuscripts, the bottom line is still that God is the driver. God has and will help us preserve the text because God wants to communicate with us. We do not (I do not) need to feel like I am stuck in the quagmire.
Why is that important to our study today in the 11th chapter of Daniel? Really, as it relates to any study the examination of the ancient texts as it relates to transcription, analysis, and reconstruction of the text is God-breathed. From Daniel’s vision from the Lord to the historical facts from the events that occurred at a later date, God was alive and active IN the events that occurred.
While I have a preference of various translations, I normally gravitate to the English Standard Version because it is readable, reliable, and academically precise. I studied under several Seminary Professors who supported the accuracy of the ESV.
So, from the ESV we read about the next leader of the kingdom in Daniel 11:20-28, “Then shall arise in his place one who shall send an exactor of tribute for the glory of the kingdom. But within a few days he shall be broken, neither in anger nor in battle. In his place shall arise a contemptible person to whom royal majesty has not been given. He shall come in without warning and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. Armies shall be utterly swept away before him and broken, even the prince of the covenant. And from the time that an alliance is made with him he shall act deceitfully, and he shall become strong with a small people. Without warning he shall come into the richest parts of the province, and he shall do what neither his fathers nor his fathers' fathers have done, scattering among them plunder, spoil, and goods. He shall devise plans against strongholds, but only for a time. And he shall stir up his power and his heart against the king of the south with a great army. And the king of the south shall wage war with an exceedingly great and mighty army, but he shall not stand, for plots shall be devised against him. Even those who eat his food shall break him. His army shall be swept away, and many shall fall down slain. And as for the two kings, their hearts shall be bent on doing evil. They shall speak lies at the same table, but to no avail, for the end is yet to be at the time appointed. And he shall return to his land with great wealth, but his heart shall be set against the holy covenant. And he shall work his will and return to his own land.”
In Daniel 11:20 we are told an ‘Exactor of Tribute’ or a tax collector will be broken but not in anger or in battle. The prophecy was fulfilled when Seleucus III was struck down, possibly by a member of his own family.
Daniel 11:21-28 foretold he would be replaced by a vile person who is:
Will come without warning
Will have Royal stamp of approval
Armies will be swept away before him
Even the Prince of the covenant (the agreement)
An alliance will be made and he will act deceitfully
He will be strong with a small band of people
He will not do what others have done before (his fathers) and scattering plunder
He will revise plans against a stronghold for a time
He will stir up power against the King of the South with a great army
The king of the South will amass a great army to wage war but he will fall because of secret plots against him
Even his trusted (who eat his food) will break him
His great army will fall
The two kings will do evil
They will speak lies but it won’t do any good
“for the end is yet to be at the time appointed”
He will return to the land wealthy
His heart will be against the holy covenant
He will return to his land to work HIS will
The fulfillment of this prophecy was that the vile one, Antiochus Epiphanes couldn’t stand up against Egypt because they made a deal for a Rome to give assistance. In the end, the vile one was under Roman rule.
I don’t know about you, but today we might be willing to say he got what was coming to him.
Ultimately, what can we learn from it? The Apostle Paul (who was a highly educated Jewish Pharisee prior to his conversion) wrote in Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.“
Spiritual Practice: Sowing and Reaping
Think of a time when God did a wonderful thing for you because you did indeed reap what you had sown.
In God, Deborah