Kings of the North and South 4
Daniel 11:3-4 (Alexander the Great)
Daniel 11:31 (Burdt Offering)
I Kings 6:11-23 ESV
Proverbs 22:8 ESV
Proverbs 11:18 ESV
Daniel was taken into captivity by the Babylonians when he was in his mid-teens and that was in 618 B.C.E. He finished the book of Daniel in 536 B.C.E. so he would have been in or near his last years on earth.
The Biblical account of the long and detailed vision he had when he was older began with the Prologue in Daniel Chapter 10. The account of the actual vision is found in Daniel Chapter 11.
And so we continue with what Daniel saw and wrote down.
We pick up in Daniel 11:29 and Daniel saw in his vision the King would turn toward the South but this time something will be different.
It’s written in Daniel 11:29-35, “At the time appointed he shall return and come into the south, but it shall not be this time as it was before. For ships of Kittim shall come against him, and he shall be afraid and withdraw, and shall turn back and be enraged and take action against the holy covenant. He shall turn back and pay attention to those who forsake the holy covenant. Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate. He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery, and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time.”
In the prophecy Daniel saw the King (in the fulfillment of the prophecy we know it was Antiochus) come against mighty ships and he was afraid. Later we know his adversaries proved to be too much for the King because he was caught between Roman and Egyptian forces.
The King was angry and he ran.
Because he was angry he turned against what Daniel saw in his vision as the Holy Covenant.
In the fulfillment King Antiochus turned to Jerusalem and he attacked the temple, the people, and the land of Israel.
Daniel saw in the vision the abomination which turned out to be an image of Zeus in the Temple.
We have to remember here that Daniel saw another King earlier (Daniel 11:3-4) and he foretold of a mighty King (Alexander the Great) who would honor the Temple in Jerusalem and not defile it.
Daniel saw King Antiochus, a vile King who had such disrespect for the Temple that he desecrated the Holy place with an image of a fake god…a Greek fake god no less.
Daniel saw that he would “profane the temple and fortress” and “take away the regular burnt offering” (Daniel 11:31).
Picture with me if you will, the Holy Temple in Jerusalem that Solomon build in 987 B.C.. Everything in the Temple had a prescribed place as God intended. When King Solomon built the Temple every detail was carefully planned and executed. We know from I Kings 6:11-13, “Now the word of the Lord came to Solomon, “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel.”
The Temple was a Holy place.
That Temple was destroyed in 586 B.C. by King Nebuchadnezzar (remember him?), the King of Babylon when he conquered Jerusalem.
Now, Daniel sees a Temple. He SEES a Temple. He sees a vile King who had such disrespect for the Temple that he had his men find (or create) a statue of the Greek god (little g god) Zeus and place it in the Temple.
I have to tell you Daniel’s vision was and is remarkable. Not only was it long and extremely detailed and clear, he saw a Temple…
And do you know what happened?
The Second Temple was built by the Jews who returned from exile in Babylon
I repeat…the Second a temple was built by the Jews who returned from exile in Babylon.
That fact slapped me in the face.
I’m not sure we can begin to imagine how Daniel felt when he saw his vision.
Even though most Biblical scholars do not believe that Daniel returned home to Jerusalem when the Jews were told they could return home, Daniel knew in his heart that his place, the place of his heart and his childhood home would be rebuilt.
Jerusalem would rise again and she would be filled with the glory of God.
Well folks, that brings us back to King Antiochus.
Wise King Solomon said it first in Proverbs 22:8, “Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail.”
And in Proverbs 11:18 he wrote, “The wicked earns deceptive wages, but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.”
King Antiochus was unjust. He was a wicked vile king.
In the meantime, Daniel was watching and listening to God.
Spiritual Practice: Watch and Listen
Set aside time to sit with God. Listen for the still small voice.
In God, Deborah