Thursday, August 19, 2010

The book of Daniel chapter 11 - The kings of the north and South

Hang in there COZ we are almost at the end of the book of Daniel and I hope you are learning something.

Daniel 10 introduces the revelation and chapter 11 records the actual revelation.

Note that Daniel received these revelations as prophecy and to us, some of them,are now history. As revealed in the Book of Daniel, Foretelling and fulfilling prophecy is Gods speciality. 27% of the Bible is prophecy and 20% of the books of the bible are prophetic. From what we have seen from prophecy foretold to its fulfilment, Gods word has been proved true and believable. Yes we walk by faith but we also have fact to stand on. We believe because God has proved himself believable.

In Daniel 11 the Angelic messenger was revealing Israels future. Only God is able to reveal the future so clearly. Through these revelations, we are able to see that God not only focuses on the affairs of nations but also on the intricate details of peoples lives and his plans are unshakable.

The angel begins chapter 11 with the Persian period and in which Daniel was living.The chapter is loaded with detail and I'll try to explain parts of it to show how accurate Gods word is.

In verse 2, the angel tells Daniel that 3 more kings would appear in Persia and then a 4th who would exceed the others in wealth. The 3 more kings refer to those after Cyrus who was currently reigning. Xerxes (486-465 BC) is clearly the 4th king by description of his great wealth and expedition against Greece. He is also known as Ahasuerus in the book of Esther. He attacked Greece with a massive army and captured Athens in 480 BC. History records that the 3 kings who ruled between Cyrus and Xerxes I were:

- Cambyses (530 -522 BC),
- Smerdis (522BC)
- Darius I Hystaspes (522-486BC)

Kings after Xerxes I are not mentioned.

The king mentioned in Daniel 11:3 is Alexander the Great. After his death we already know from chapter 8 that his kingdom was parcelled out to Cassender, Lysimicus,Ptolemy, Seleucus.

Daniel 11: 5-9, and the verses that follow i.e vs 10 - 20, comprise a history of the ongoing conflicts between 2 divisions of the Greek Empire namely the

- Ptolemaic (Egyptian) and
- Seleucid (Syrian)

after the death of Alexander in 323BC until the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175 -163BC). This part of the prophecy was fulfilled more than a century before the reign of Antiochus.

In 252 BC, Ptolemy II of Egypt ( the south) gave his daughter Berenice in marriage to Antiochus II of Syria (the North)to finalize a peace treaty between their 2 lands. But Berenice was murdered in Antoch by Antiochus II's former wife, Laodice. Berenices brother Ptolemy III ascended the Egyptian throne and declared war against the Seleucids to avenge his sisters murder. He killed Laodice and took back to Egypt their metal images and their precious vessels of silver and gold. Later Seleucus II tried to retaliate, but failed. He entered the realm of the king of the south but returned to his own land. Just as the prophecy said. Wow, imagine that every single detail of this was given to Daniel.

For more historical background on this prophecy refer to the notes in the booklet sent to you.

What we learn from all this is that God knows all the details of our lives before they have even occurred. Study of these prophecies show us that God is good for his word and all events in our lives are like history to him. Our God knows what has been and what will be and we should trust him with our lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment