THE AMAZING BOOK OF DANIEL
The book of Daniel was written between the years 609 B.C. and 538 B.C. It is a historical account of the seventy year captivity of the Jewish people in Babylon. The book details the lives of the prophet Daniel and his friends, after the invasion of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. The book records that Daniel and his friends remained obedient to God, even while they lived among masses of people who practiced witchcraft and idolatry. Daniel and his friends faced many life and death situations while captive in Babylon, but God protected them, and rewarded their faithful conduct. The book of Daniel is one of the most amazing books ever written, through prophetic visions the book of Daniel foretold the existence of every significant world empire, from the time of Babylon until this day. These visions and their interpretations are found in (Daniel 2:1-45) and (Daniel 7:1-28), and although these prophecies are very important, there are other ancient prophecies recorded in the amazing book of Daniel. This article will focus on two other prophetic visions in the book of Daniel, and detail how the Bible accurately foretold thousands of years of world history, and even predicted the rise of historical figures like Cleopatra, and Alexander the Great.
DANIEL'S VISION OF THE RAM AND GOAT
In the year 547 B.C The prophet Daniel was given a vision by God of a ram and a goat, Daniel was given this vision while he was by the river of Ulai, at the Persian royal palace at Shushani. Daniel's account of the vision is recorded in (Daniel 8:1-27). This Bible prophecy and its interpretation, foretold the destruction of the mighty Persian empire, and it even detailed the rise of Alexander the Great and his ancient Greek empire. The Bible records this amazing vision and history proves its interpretation to be accurate. I have detailed Daniel's vision as recorded the scripture, and its interpretation below.
(Daniel 8:3-8) (3) Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. (4) I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great. (5) And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. (6) And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. (7) And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. (8) Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
AN ANGEL INTERPRETS THE VISION
Upon receiving this vision Daniel had no idea of its meaning, but God sent the angel Gabriel to make Daniel understand the vision, which is recorded in (Daniel 8:15-19). Gabriel explained the meaning of the vision to Daniel and interprets the symbolism. This interpretation is recorded in (Daniel 8:20-22).
(Daniel 8:20-22) (20) The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. (21) And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. (22) Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
It is important to remember that Daniel received this vision in 547 B.C while captive in Babylon, this fact is significant, because although Babylon was eventually conquered by Medo-Persia, it did not fall to the Medo-Persian army until the year 539 B.C. Keeping this in mind, let us now look at the significance of this prophecy, and its amazing historical fulfillment.
THE HISTORICAL FULFILLMENT OF DANIEL'S VISION
As Gabriel explained to Daniel, the ram symbolizes the Medo-Persian empire, and the two horns represented the kings of Media and Persia. The two horns (kings) are described in verse three, (3) The two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. The taller horn that came up last is describing the king of Persia, whereas the other shorter horn represents the king of the Medes. History records that the Medes were first seen as the more dominant empire, until Cyrus of Persia gained a military victory over the Median King, Astyages. Shortly after this victory, king Cyrus combined the two kingdoms, and from then on the two kingdoms had a dual nature. The Persian faction of the united Medo-Persian empire became the more dominant force, and King Cyrus was ultimately the empire’s highest authority. The book of Daniel’s symbolic description of the kings of Medo- Persia is both correct, and historically accurate.
The vision continues in verse four, (4) I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
The description of the ram charging westward, northward and southward, correctly correlates with the three principle directions of conquest by the Medo-Persian empire, and the territories that it seized. These territories were Asia Minor to the west, Babylon, Assyria to the North, and Egypt to the south. These three principle military victories gave Medo-Persia its regional dominance, and made it the most powerful empire of that time in history.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT
The vision continues in verse five, (5) And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
As explained before, the goat represents the Greek empire, which was west of the regions controlled by Medo-Persia. The notable horn on the goat is the king of Greece, and history records that this king was Alexander the Great. The next sequence of this vision recorded in verses six and seven, is a prophecy foretelling the defeat of the Medo-Persian by the armies of Alexander the Great. This Bible predicted this exact event, and this prophecy was fulfilled in the year 333 B.C.
(6) And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. (7) And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
The prophecy in verse eight continues to describe the Greek empire, and the unexpected death Alexander the Great, (8) Therefore the he goat waxed very great : and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
In conclusion, this vision given to Daniel correctly predicted the destruction of the Medo-Persian empire, at the hands of Alexander the Great and his Greek military empire. It also vividly describes the untimely death of Alexander the Great, and the kingdom of Greece being divided between four Greek generals. History records that after Alexander’s death, the Greek empire did fragment into four smaller empires, which were ruled by the four kings mentioned in verse eight.
THE FOUR KINGS OF GREECE
History tells us that these four kings were, Cassander who reigned in Greece, Lysimachus who reigned in Asian Minor, Ptolemy who became the king of Egypt, and Seleucus who became the king of Syria. This prophecy and its historical fulfillment, stands as proof that the Bible correctly predicted major historical events, hundreds of years before they ever took place. The Bible records that Daniel received this prophetic vision in the year 547 B.C, which is significant because Greece did not conquer Medo-Persia until the year 333 B.C. The next section of this article, will focus on another prophecy that is recorded in chapters ten and eleven of the book of Daniel. The prophet Daniel was given another vision by God, which detailed the future destruction of the Greek empire. This vision is detailed in the next chapter of this article, and was recorded by Daniel in the year 536 B.C. Amazingly this prophecy correctly foretold the actions of two of the four Greek kings that succeeded Alexander the Great, and these two kings were Ptolemy (King of the south) who reigned in Egypt, and Seleucus (King of the North) who reigned in Syria.
GOD SHOWS DANIEL THE FUTURE
Chapter ten of the book of Daniel, records yet another amazing prophetic vision given to Daniel by God. The Bible records that Daniel received this vision in the third year of Cyrus, making it the year 536 B.C. This chapter of the article will detailed this vision, and use the scripture to show you the interpretation thereof. Below is the Bible’s description of Daniel’s encounter with an the angel Gabriel, who was sent to interpret the vision for Daniel. This vision and its interpretation was recorded in the Bible to show God's people the future, and the fate of the world after the fall of Babylon, and Medo-Persian.
(Daniel 10:5-6) (5) Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: (6) His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
The Bible describes Daniel's initial encounter with the angel who was sent by God to show him the prophecy, the angel tells Daniel that he has come to reveal the future of God's people , and show Daniel the events of end times.
(Daniel 10:14) (14) Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
The Bible prophecy recorded in the next chapter of this article, accurately predicted major historical events that took place from the year 536 B.C, all the way to the year 193 B.C. The prophecy begins in Daniel chapter 11, and the next chapter will document each verse of this prophecy, and vividly describe the vision's historical fulfillment.
(Daniel 11:2) (2) And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.
The angel begins by telling Daniel that three kings would arise in Persia, after the reign of Darius the Mede and King Cyrus of Persia. History records that this did in fact occur, and these three kings were Cambyses II, the elder son of Cyrus; Bardiya (Smerdis) Cyrus’s younger son, and Darius the Persian. The fourth king was Xerxes I, who invaded Greece, just as the prophecy describes in verse two. The next verses describe the fall of the Persian empire, and the rise of Alexander the Great.
(Daniel 11:3-4) (3) And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. (4) And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.
The mighty king described in verse three is a prophecy foretelling the kingship of Alexander the Great, and the rise of the ancient Greek empire. Verse four is describing Alexander’s early death, and short lived reign as King of Greece. Verse four predicted that the kingdom of Greece would be divided into four smaller empires, and modern history has verified the fulfillment of this prophecy. History records that the King of Greece (Alexander the Great) died only four years after conquering the world, and history also records that after Alexander’s death, four kings did arise in his place. These four Greek kings that succeeding Alexander were named Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy and Seleucus, and these historical figures are the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The prophecy continues in verse five, and it foretells the reign of two of the four kings that arose after Alexander the Great.
KING OF THE NORTH VS KING OF THE SOUTH
(Daniel 11:5) (5) And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.
History records that the king of the south was Ptolemy of Egypt, and the great prince mentioned in verse five was Seleucus who became the king of Syria. It should also be noted that Seleucus once served under the command of Ptolemy, but after Alexander’s death Seleucus (King of the north) gained control over Syria, and he eventually became more powerful than Ptolemy (King of the south). After the two kings established their empires, there was serious hostility between the north and south kingdoms for many years.
(Daniel 11:6) (6) And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.
In verse six the angel tells Daniel that after many years of conflict, the two warring kingdoms would make a peace treaty involving marriage. History records that after the death of Ptolemy in 285 B.C. the two kingdoms made a peace treaty in the year 252 B.C. The treaty agreed upon was for the king of the north (Antiochus II) to marry Berenice the daughter of the king of the south (Ptolemy II). Verse six is accurately describing the political conditions of this time, and the peace treaty made between the two kingdoms.
(Daniel 11:7) (7) But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail:
THE LAODICEAN WAR
History records that the peace treaty was broken when Berenice (the king of the south’s daughter) was murdered in the northern kingdom. Verse seven is foretelling the military retaliation that followed (historically known as the Laodicean war). History records that Ptolemy II died soon after, but his son Ptolemy III (King of the south) sought revenge for he killing of Berenice, and subsequently captured the Syrian capital. This invasion was foretold in Bible prophecy, and details of it are recorded in verse seven.
(Daniel 11:8-9) (8) And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north. (9) So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.
Verses eight and nine describe the result of Ptolemy’s military invasion, history records that the armies of Ptolemy III (King of the south) recaptured treasures that were stolen from Egypt by the King of the north. After this conflict peace was made between Seleucus II (King of the north) and Ptolemy III (King of the south) in 240 B.C, this peace agreement held until the death of Ptolemy III in 221 B.C.
THE SONS OF SELEUCUS II
(Daniel 11:10-11) (10) But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress. (11) And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.
Verses ten and eleven are describing the sons of Seleucus II (Seleucus III and Antiochus III). History records that these sons launched an attack on the King of the south (Ptolemy IV) after the death of their father. This attack was successful, and resulted in the north's conquest of Judea. As a result Ptolemy IV ( the King of the south) launched a counter offensive, and eventually defeated the greater army of the King of the north (Antiochus III) at the battle of Raphia in 217 B.C.
(Daniel 11:12) (12) And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it.
After his victory, Ptolemy IV (King of the south) slaughtered tens of thousands of Jews in Egypt, It was because of this massacre that Ptolemy IV lost the support of his people, and his kingdom was significantly weakened. The Bible predicted these exact events, and this slaughter was foretold in verse twelve.
(Daniel 11:13-14) (13) For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches. (14) And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.
Fourteen years after his defeat, Antiochus III (King of the north) raised an army to fight against Ptolemy V (King of the south). However, because of the atrocities committed by Ptolemy IV, the Jews who lived in Egypt joined the King of the north (Antiochus III), and chose to fight against Ptolemy V (King of the south). This rebellion was eventually subdued by an Egyptian general named Scopus, and the King of the north (Antiochus III) was defeated. Verses thirteen and fourteen accurately foretold these historical events in astonishing detail.
(Daniel 11:15-16) (15) So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand. (16) But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.
After his defeat, Antiochus III (King of the north) launched an attack southward where he defeated Scopus, and captured the fortified city of Sidon in 198 B.C. It was this victory that allowed the King of the north (Antiochus III) to occupy Judea, which is referred to in verse sixteen as the glorious land.
(Daniel 11:17) (17) He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.
History tells us that after defeating Scopus, Antiochus III (King of the north) planned to gain control over Egypt, his plan was to give his daughter Cleopatra I in marriage to Ptolemy V (King of the south), which took place in 193 B.C. Antiochus III (The king of the north) believed that his daughter would conspire to murder the King of the south (Ptolemy V), but his plan failed when Cleopatra refused to betray Ptolemy V, and she remained loyal to the king of the south. To conclude this section of the article, I would like to note that (Daniel 11:2-17) accurately foretold major historical events from the year 536 B.C, to the year 193 B.C. In only sixteen verses the amazing book of Daniel recorded three hundred years of world history, long before any of these events ever took place.
THE END OF DANIEL'S PROPHECY
The end of Daniel’s prophecy which is recorded in chapters eleven and twelve are a dual prophecy, it is a continuation of the historical story of the failing Greek empire, and its kings, but this portion of the prophecy is also a warning about the future, and a prophecy of the second coming off Jesus Christ. A dual prophecy has both a past and future fulfillment, the Bible records dual prophecies so God's people can understand future prophecy, by being able to look back at the previous historical events associated with its first fulfillment. The next chapter of this article will detail the end of Daniel's prophecy, and the Bible's warning of the king of the North.
THE KING OF THE NORTH
(Daniel 11:21-23) And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
The end of Daniel's prophecy is a warning, it is a dual prophecy describing both the king of the north Antiochus IV, and the dreaded Antichrist 666. (Daniel 11:21-45) details the brutal reign of Antiochus Epiphanes (god manifest), and his military invasion of Jerusalem, which took place in 167 B.C. This prophecy details Antiochus IV and his occupation of the Holy land. The king of the north pillaged the city of Jerusalem, and murdered the majority of its inhabitants, Antiochus IV also took thousands of women and children captive, and removed them from Jerusalem. Antiochus IV not only ravaged the city of Jerusalem, but he also made it illegal for the Jewish people to worship the God of Israel, the king of the north killed God's people who would not submit to his authority, and continued to worship the God of Israel.
THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION
(Daniel 11:31) And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
During Antiochus' IV reign as king, he also stopped the daily sacrifice in Jerusalem and caused God's people raise altars in every city and village. Antiochus IV forced God’s people to offer swine’s blood upon these altars, and to worship idols contrary to God’s law. The king of the north Antiochus IV also desecrated the temple in Jerusalem, history has recorded this event as the Abomination of Desolation. The reign of Antiochus IV as described in (Daniel 11:21-45) is a foreshadowing of the events that will soon occur under the reign of the future king of the north, who the Bible describes as the dreaded Antichrist 666. The end of Daniel’s prophecy is a warning to all those who believes in the Bible, and those awaiting the return of Jesus Christ. The satanic exploits of Antiochus Epiphanes will one day be repeated by the Antichrist 666, and Just as Antiochus IV stopped the daily sacrifice in Jerusalem and set up the Abomination of Desolation, so will the Antichrist.
For more information about this subject please see our Articles: THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. and KING OF THE NORTH.