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Updated: Dec 10, 2022

The King of the North of Daniel 11 has been a contentious subject among SDAs ever since Uriah Smith spoke and published on it in the 1800’s. Prior to Smith, Papal Rome was the King of the North (KON) and was “evidently the majority view in those earlier years”. “The pioneers of this movement (the SDA Church) were for the first twenty-five or thirty years of our history unanimous in stating that Papal Rome is the power referred to by the prophet Daniel in these verses. No other conclusion could be reached after a careful study of the literature  of the church during this period.” Ministry Magazine, March, 1954, p. 22.

But the evidence is lacking on this point and so we must go the Scriptures to settle this matter. Since Smith et al, (Jones, Haskell, Waggoner, Loughborough etc) the Turkey view, with Islam piggy-backing on it in modern times, took a hold and has been see-sawing with the Papal Rome view among the brethren ever since. 

It is strange that the pioneers knew the Ottoman empire / Turkey had prophetically come to its end in the 1840s yet Smith had a massive disconnect in not using Miller’s rules of interpretation and promoted the view that Turkey was the King of the North and in the future was to plant its tabernacles (Dan 11:45) in Jerusalem and then come to its end, …. a second time???

There are three interpretations according to the literal Turkey view of the phrase, “plant the tabernacles of his palace":

  1. Turkey moving its capital to Jerusalem

  2. Islam making Jerusalem its capital

  3. The planting of the Dome of the Rock & the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. 

The pendulum swung back to the Papal view with the position that this was the original pioneer view and a “landmark” belief which had been almost lost sight of? 

There has been a resurgence of the Turkey / Islam position as a result of global terrorism. This view is based on a literal rendition of Daniel 11 without due consideration of the fact that every prophecy in the Book of Daniel [chapters 2,7 & 8] commences with literal local kingdoms and end with the transition of Imperial Rome to Papal Rome, a spiritual global power.

Furthermore, the advocate of the literal Turkey view, prefers Islam as the King of the North which is a contradictory position because Islam is not a literal place, literally north of literal Jerusalem but a global religion / ideology much like Papal Rome.

Two other points are often overlooked.

Firstly, the King of the North figures in Daniel chapter 2 and with the transition in that chapter from Pagan Rome (legs of iron) to Papal Rome (feet of Iron & Clay), one can clearly identify Papal Rome as the King of the North in Daniel 2 - see later.

Secondly, Daniel chapter 8 is the last prophecy containing symbols (Ram, He-Goat, Little Horn, “2300 days”). Daniel chapters 9,10, 11 & part of 12 are explanations of the VISION of Daniel 8. The angel Gabriel’s explanation in Daniel 11 can be seen to remain strictly within the confines and sequence of the Daniel 8 vision. There is a consistency in the prophecies of Daniel chapters 2,7 and 8 and Gabriel’s explanation in Daniel 11 of the contents of the VISION of Daniel 8 commencing with the worldly kingdoms of Medo-Persia, Grecia, Imperial Rome, Papal Rome and then the Judgment in Daniel 12:1.  See the comparison between Daniel 8 & 11 below. There is no Turkey, leave alone Islam after Papal Rome, only the judgment. 


Daniel 11 traces the history of nations through to the final conflict when the world, united under apostate Christianity, goes forth to persecute God’s commandment-keeping people. The collapse of the atheistic powers and the ascendency of Papal Rome are here foretold. This prophecy is being fulfilled before our eyes...

In Daniel chapter 2, a metal MAN represented the four great earthly kingdoms to have especially affected God’s people. The little horn power of Daniel 7 (Papal Rome) which persecutes God's people has the "eyes" of a man and the "mouth" of a man. This same power is brought to light in the Beast of Rev 13 where his number is said to be the number of a man and the number is related to the name of the man. 

Daniel chapter 11 covers the same outline of history as Daniel chapters 2, 7 and 8 and describes the MEN who reigned in those kingdoms. The vision begins in the days of Medo-Persia as Babylon had passed away by the time the vision of Daniel 8 was given. There is a transition in the prophecies from a local and literal fulfilment to a more spiritual and global application.  This chapter focuses on the battles between the Kings of the North and South and the final battle and victory of the King of the North in verse 40 and his subsequent demise in verse 45. 

Note the transition in Daniel chapter 2 from Imperial ROME (legs of IRON) to a more spiritual / religious power, PAPAL ROME, the Rome of the Popes (feet of IRON & CLAY of the Daniel 2 image). See the DREAM

Similarly in Daniel 7, the fourth beast is the fourth kingdom of Daniel 2 - ROME. This transitions to the more spiritual Little Horn power growing out of the head of the same Roman beast and representing the religio-political system of Papal Rome.

In Daniel chapter 8, the Little horn symbolises both Imperial ROME and Papal ROME. The last earthly power in Daniel 2, 7, 8 is Rome. It is not surprising that with this pattern of repetition that the last power in Daniel 11 is also Rome - Papal Rome, symbolised by the King of the North. See at the end as to why Turkey / Islam is not the King of the North of Bible Prophecy.

Furthermore, Revelation chapter 11 adds more detail on the rise of the modern day King of the South (Atheism - spiritually Egypt) and its attack on the the scriptures which in reality was an attack on the King of the North (Papal Rome) delivering Rome its deadly wound as prophesied in Daniel 11:40.

While students of Bible prophecy often take the position that there are four great lines of prophecy in the Book of Daniel in chapters 2, 7, 8 and 11, in reality there are only three symbolic chapters in Daniel, chapters 2, 7 and 8 with Daniel 11 being a detailed explanation of the vision of chapter 8.

In Daniel 2, King Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon is identified as the Head of Gold. None of the other kingdoms of the great image are identified in chapter 2.  We are told in verse 39 that another kingdom would arise after Babylon. This we find in Daniel chapter 5 with the fall of Babylon to the Medes & Persians – verses 24 to 31. Furthermore, Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar there was to be a third and a fourth kingdom which were not identified in chapter 2.

Daniel 7 presents the same prophetic outline as Daniel 2 but in the form of four beasts with the focus mainly on the little horn power, the judgment and the judgment given in favor of the saints. This sequence is found three times in Daniel 7 – the little horn rises, the judgment is sat and the judgment is given in favor of God’s people, the saints. Daniel 7 connects to Daniel 2 through verse 23 where it is said that “the fourth beast is the fourth kingdom on earth.”  Therefore, if one can identify the kingdoms of Daniel 2, then the identity of the beasts of Daniel 7 will naturally unravel.  What power is the fourth kingdom of the great image of Daniel 2? Daniel chapter 8 comes to our aid. Daniel 8 commences with the Medes & Persians (the Ram with two horns) which is conquered by the Grecian He-Goat. Here we have kingdoms two and three, Medo-Persia and Grecia, of the Daniel 2 image. The third kingdom, Grecia, divides into four kingdoms at the death of its mighty king, Alexander the Great. Following this we see the fourth kingdom, the little horn, arise and is said to be “exceeding great”, much greater than Alexander’s Grecia which was said to be “very great” and Medo-Persia which was described only as “great” – Daniel 8.

The characteristics of the little horn of Daniel 8 which followed the Grecian kingdom points to Rome in its two phases, pagan and papal as the fourth kingdom of Daniel 2. Verses 9-13 of Daniel 8 as a result of some interesting linguistics takes in both these powers. Note in Daniel 2 that the symbol of iron of the legs (fourth kingdom) extends to the feet. Therefore, the legs and the feet symbolize one and the same kingdom but with an interesting twist in that CLAY is added to the iron in the feet – i.e. the same power as in the legs mixed with clay. In other words, [pagan] Rome mixed with clay. The little horn power of Daniel 8 is said to have “waxed exceeding great…toward the pleasant land” – verse 9. The pleasant land is here symbolic of Palestine. Pagan Rome conquered Palestine.  The little horn of Daniel 8, therefore, firstly represents pagan Rome, the fourth kingdom after Grecia. The legs of iron represent Rome, therefore, the feet of iron must also represent Rome. But what sort of Rome? It is Rome mixed with clay. Clay is representative of religion, a symbol of people (clay – Isaiah 64:8, Jer 16:8) in connection with their God (the potter), a symbol of not just any religion but the religion of a people professing the Bible, a religion mixed with the paganism of Imperial Rome, an apostate christian religion. There is only one religion which is said to be of Rome or Roman (Legs and feet of iron) and professing christianity, the religion of the Bible (clay) – the religion headed by Papal Rome. Hence the feet of Iron and Clay represents the fourth kingdom, Rome, in its Papal phase. The fourth kingdom, Rome, presently exists in that gigantic system of Roman Catholicism with the Pope, Pontifex Maximus, like Caesar, at its head.

In Daniel 2 we see the transition from literal Pagan Rome to Papal Rome, a spiritual Rome, no more confined to a literal location but a global and spiritual entity. This is also seen in Daniel 7 in the symbol of the fourth beast (Pagan Rome) transitioning to the little horn (Papal Rome). This is again observed in Daniel 8 where the one symbol of the little horn is used to represent that power which rose after the Grecian empire, Pagan Rome which overtook the pleasant land, transitioning to Papal Rome in the same symbol as was the case of the Iron in Daniel 2 representing both pagan Rome (the legs of the image) and Papal Rome [with the clay added to the feet of iron]. 

All the symbolic prophecies demonstrate a local literal fulfilment up to the Pagan Rome Empire of the Caesars which then transition to the global spiritual kingdom of Papal Rome. This is the point missed by those who adopt a literal interpretation of Daniel 11.

In Daniel 8 we have the Ram, the He-Goat, the Little Horn, the 2300 days prophecy representing, Medo-Persia, Grecia, Pagan Rome, Papal Rome (vs 13) and then the Judgment. This is the Vision of Daniel 8:1-14. This sequence is what is explained by the angel Gabriel in Daniel 9, 10, 11 through to 12:1. There is no Turkey or Islam prior to the judgment in Daniel 8. Hence one can expect the same in Gabriel’s explanation in Daniel 9 through to 12:1. Turkey and Islam is a false prophecy which will detract from the true close of probation and the deliverance of God’s people.

Those who believe Turkey / Islam is the King of the North will be looking for its literal destruction (Dan 11:45) immediately prior to the close of probation of Daniel 12:1 They will take this as a sign of the close of probation and therefore risk going past the true close of probation (COP) either by not realizing it is a false prophecy or by rejecting the true interpretation, lead many folk astray. There is a consistency in the prophecies of Daniel 2,7,& 8 which cannot be broken.



PAPAL ROME is the KING of verse 36 and NOT Napoleon or France.

Daniel 11:36-45

The last 10 verses of Daniel 11 are the contentious verses, Daniel 11:36 to 45, with verse 36 being the critical verse and verses 37 to 39 providing greater detail of the King of verse 36. The literal view of Daniel 11 falls apart right here as will be shown. 


“And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.”  

After quoting verse 36 of Daniel 11, William Miller wrote:

“The king here spoken of is the same as Daniel’s little horn, which came up among the ten horns. It is the same that blasphemed the God of heaven. It is mystical Babylon (Isa 14:2-15; Rev 13:5-6). The same Paul described in his epistle, 2Thess 2:19,” William Miller, Evidence from Scripture & Prophecy, p97-98.

After describing verse 38 Miller stated:

“In this passage we have a plain description of the Papacy...must convince every one that the description given must apply to the church of Rome, or the Pope, who claims to exercise this great authority by his crazy title to St. Peters chair…” William Miller, Evidence from Scripture & Prophecy, p 98]


“Gage shared the view of James White on the Papacy as the power of the latter part of Daniel 11.

Here is his editorial in the Review of 1867. {1954 LEF, PFF4 1130.1}

"More than two thousand years ago, an inspired prophet of the Lord uttered against a power which should 'magnify himself above every god,' the following prediction: 'Yet he shall come to his end and none shall help him.' Dan. xi, 45. As the seal was removed from the book of Daniel, and knowledge on the prophecies increased, it became evident that the power here referred to could be no other than the Papacy, and the careful student of prophecy has been watching with eager interest the events which mark the fulfillment of this prediction. {1954 LEF, PFF4 1130.2} Gage closes his discussion with the end of the Papacy, which he states is to immediately follow "the entire desertation of the Papal power by the governments of earth." This he states will occur at the time of "the deliverance of God's people when Michael shall stand up." {1954 LEF, PFF4 1130.4}


 In a General Conference session sermon James White said: {1954 LEF, PFF4 1067.4} 

"There is a line of historic prophecy in chapter eleven, where the symbols are thrown off, beginning with the kings of Persia, and reaching down past Grecia and Rome, to the time when that power 'shall come to his end, and none shall help him.' If the feet and ten toes of the metallic image are Roman, if the beast with ten horns that was given to the burning flames of the great day be the Roman beast, if the little horn which stood up against the Prince of princes be Rome, and if the same field and distance are covered by these four prophetic chains, then the last power of the eleventh chapter, which is to 'come to his end and none shall help him,' is Rome. But if this be Turkey, as some then the toes of the image of the second chapter are Turkish, the beast with ten horns of the seventh chapter represents Turkey, and it was Turkey that stood up against the Prince of princes of the eighth chapter of Daniel. True, Turkey is bad enough off; but its waning power and its end is the subject of the prophecy of John and not of Daniel." 22 {1954 LEF, PFF4 1067.5}

“Does the eleventh chapter of the prophecy of Daniel cover the ground measured by chapters two, seven, and eight? If so, then the last power in that chapter is Rome." James White, Signs of the Times, July 22, 1880; Also R&H, Nov. 29,



Some History: “A Word to the Little Flock”

 After quoting Daniel 12:1, “This last power that treads down the saints is brought to view in Rev. 13:11-18. His number is 666.”  A  Word to the Little Flock, pg 9. 

“A Word to the Little Flock” was co-authored by James White, Ellen White & Joseph Bates. Ellen White would have been well aware of her husbands views on the King of the North. She stated the following:

Note what is said above: “Much of the history that has taken place in fulfillment of this prophecy will be repeated”.  Verses 30-36 is then quoted. Therefore, events connected with verses 30-36 have taken place in the past. The events connected with Daniel 11:30-36 deal with the kingdom of Rome, its transition to papal Rome in verse 31 and the persecution of God’s people in verses 32 to 35 by the King of verse 36. Much of this history will be repeated. 

Verse 36 has nothing to do with Napoleon or France and everything to do with Rome. Note the following: 

ELLEN WHITE and Daniel 11:36

Daniel 11:36 “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.”  

“This compromise between paganism and Christianity resulted in the development of "the man of sin" foretold in prophecy as opposing and exalting himself above God. That gigantic system of false religion is a masterpiece of Satan's power--a monument of his efforts to seat himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will.”  {Great Controversy 50.1}

The connection between Daniel 11:36 and the above quote from Great Controversy and Manuscript Releases, p394 is obvious. 

ELLEN WHITE and Daniel 11:36

Furthermore, the power which changes God’s seventh day Sabbath is the power identified in prophecy as exalting or magnifying itself above God. This power is identified by Paul in 2Thessalonians and by Daniel in 11:36. That power is Papal Rome and not France or Napoleon.

“The prophet Daniel declared that the Roman Church, symbolized by the little horn, was to think to change times and laws, [Daniel 7:25.] while Paul styled it the man of sin, [2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4.] who was to exalt himself above God. Only by changing God's law could the papacy exalt itself above God; whoever should understandingly keep the law as thus changed would be giving supreme honor to that power by which the change was made. Such an act of obedience to papal laws would be a mark of allegiance to the pope in the place of God.” {4SP 279.1}

Needless to say neither France or Napoleon changed God’s Sabbath, Papal Rome did. Papal Rome is the King of verse 36. 

The proponents for the king of verse 36 being Napoleon have no inspiration; Scripture or the Testimonies to back their case.

Furthermore, Ellen White spoke of this gigantic system of false religion (Papal Rome) which would rule the earth “according to his will”. There is no argument that Daniel 11:36 is referring to Papal Rome. Only willful blindness will not allow of it.

“Paganism, while appearing to be vanquished, became the conqueror. Her spirit controlled the church. Her doctrines, ceremonies, and superstitions were incorporated into the faith and worship of the professed followers of Christ.  {GC88 49.2}  This compromise between paganism and Christianity resulted in the development of the “man of sin” foretold in prophecy as opposing and exalting himself above God. That gigantic system of false religion is a masterpiece of Satan's power,—a monument of his efforts to seat himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will.”  {GC88 50.1}

Reason will then logically conclude that verses 37 to 39 and even to the first "him" of verse 40 are speaking about the king of verse 36, Papal Rome, and not some other entity – see later for the explanation of these verses.

11:36    And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.  

 11:37    Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.  

 11:38    But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.  

 11:39    Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge [and] increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.   

Note the connection between the verses:

11:36    And the king shall do according to his will…

11:37    Neither shall he regard…

11:38    But in his estate shall he…

11:39    Thus shall he do….

11.40    And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him:

Furthermore Ellen White's commentary on Daniel 11:41 is consistent with the Papal Rome view of the King of the North and NOT the Turkey view.

She stated: “September 23, the Lord showed me that He had stretched out His hand the second time to recover the remnant of His people, and that efforts must be doubled in this gathering time.” EW 74.

How do Edom, Maob and the chief of the children of Ammon escape out of the hand of the King of the North, in this case the Papacy?  Daniel is referring back to Isaiah and Edom, Moab and Ammon is used figuratively to represent those who escape out of the hand of Papal Rome by accepting the good tidings of the gospel, the three angels messages... and "come out of her my people".


The Book of Daniel begins in chapter 1:1 with the literal King of the North attacking literal Jerusalem and ends with the spiritual King of the North attacking spiritual Jerusalem (God’s church) and coming to its end in chapter 11:45. Babylon was the literal King of the North which attacked literal Jerusalem, the place of God’s people. Babylon figures prominently in the book of Revelation where Babylon is here understood to be taken in a figurative sense and not literally.

Daniel 1:1 – “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.”

Because God’s people had been disobedient, constantly breaking His commandments, the Lord permitted literal Babylon to conquer them (606-605BC). God passed sentence on the last king of Judah, “Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown...I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come [Christ] whose right it is; and I will give it him.” Ezekiel 21:26-27.

The book of Daniel traces how the dominions were “overturned” successively - Babylon to Persia, then to Greece, then to Rome. Each empire would demonstrate its principles and each would prove itself unworthy of dominion. Christ came to our world 2000 years ago but the diadem was not restored at that coming. Finally, the judgment occurs and Christ alone is seen to be worthy to rule, then He “whose right it is” takes the throne. Throughout all, God is seen behind the scenes guarding the destiny of His people and working out His own will so that sin will never rise again. Jeremiah the prophet foretold that God’s people would serve the king of Babylon 70 years (2 Kings 20:17-18; Jer 25:3,9-11). In three raids, the last being in 586BC, Jerusalem and its sanctuary were destroyed.


Jeremiah 1:14 “Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.”

Jeremiah 6:22 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth.  They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion.

In Eze 26:7 the Lord identifies Nebuchadnezzar here known as Nebuchadrezzar as the literal king of the North. “For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people.”

According to scripture Babylon is the King of the North. It is so because when Babylon attacked Jerusalem it came by way of the North. The King of the North (KON) is, therefore, another name for Babylon. In Daniel 2, Babylon, the King of the North is overtaken by Medo-Persia, then Grecia and Imperial Rome. Imperial Rome then transitions to Papal Rome in the feet of Iron & Clay.

But Papal Rome is also known by another name in Revelation 17 – “Babylon the Great”: Rev 17:5 “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Therefore, in Daniel 2, literal Babylon the head of Gold and the literal King of the North gives way to spiritual Babylon, the feet of Iron & Clay. The feet of Iron & Clay representing the mingling of Church craft and State craft – the union of Church & State as seen in the global system of Papal Rome. With the transition from literal local Pagan Rome in the legs of iron to a more global spiritual Papal Rome, then consistency in interpretation demands that Papal Rome is also the King of the North. Babylon or the King of the North is no longer confined to a literal geographic location as was Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom but is now a global system. This pattern in the prophecy is set here in Daniel 2 and continued in Daniel chapters 7 & 8, a change from a literal and local power to a global and spiritual one.  This is also the case in Daniel 11.


The point is, here in Daniel 2, we have a clear transition from literal Babylon (head of Gold), the literal King of the North to spiritual “Babylon the Great” (feet of Iron and Clay), a global entity, no more confined to the literal geography of the Middle East. Hence from our present day perspective, Papal Rome in Daniel 2, being Spiritual Babylon, takes on the title of the spiritual King of the North, long before the angel Gabriel comes to explain the vision of Daniel 8 in Daniel 11.

The Book of Daniel, therefore, commences with literal Babylon and ends with Spiritual Babylon. It commences with the literal King of the North in Daniel 1:1 and ends with the Spiritual King of the North in Daniel 11:45. It is in the framework of Daniel 2 that all interpretations must fit. The stone strikes the feet of iron and clay in Daniel 2. There is no other earthly power beyond Papal Rome in Daniel 2. It is in this context and in the context of the VISION of Daniel 8 as explained by the Angel Gabriel in Daniel 9,10 & 11 that we see no place for Turkey or Islam, after Papal Rome.

There is nothing beyond Papal Rome. The literal Turkey view tries to introduce a new power after Papal Rome in verses 36 to 39 (Napoleon / France) in order to formulate a triangular war in verse 40. Opponents of the Papal view agree that verse 36 is Rome but somehow disconnect this verse from verses 37 to 39 and interpret verses 37 to 39 as Napoleon with no scriptural or Spirit of prophecy basis for it. Verses 37 to 39 and even 40 hang off verse 36 describing in greater detail the King of verse 36, Papal Rome.  This is the Achilles heel of the literal Turkey / Islam view and like Achilles only death awaits this interpretation.

“The prophecy in the eleventh of Daniel has nearly reached its complete fulfillment. Much of the history that has taken place in fulfillment of this prophecy will be repeated. In the thirtieth verse A POWER is spoken of that “shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.” [Verses 31-36, quoted.]” E.G. White, 13 Manuscript Releases, p394.



The vision of Daniel 8 is critical when interpreting chapters 2 & 7 and especially when considering chapters 9, 10 & 11. These latter chapters are a continued explanation of that vision.  Chapter 8 is the last symbolic prophecy in the Book of Daniel.

The vision of Daniel 8:1-14 contain the following symbols:

  1. Ram

  2. He-Goat

  3. Little Horn

  4. 2300 days

It is important to note that the angel Gabriel stays strictly within the confines of the vision of Daniel 8 when explaining the meaning of the vision in chapter 11.  The point is, there is nothing in the Vision of Daniel 8 which would suggest one introduce a power such as Turkey or Islam in the Daniel 11 explanation.

The Vision of Daniel 8

Gabriel is told to make Daniel understand the vision. Gabriel commences the explanation in Daniel 8:16,17 and continues this through to Daniel 11: “And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.”

The vision was partly explained in Dan 8:20-26. Daniel was, however, unwell and the explanation had to be interrupted - Daniel 8:27

Gabriel then returns and continues the explanation of the Vision in chapter 9:21-23 with the following admonition: “Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

Gabriel tells Daniel to "consider the vision. What vision? The vision of Daniel 8 and Gabriel commences with the time portion of the vision - Dan 9:24-27.

Gabriel then returns in chapter 10:14 and says: “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.” Notice Gabriel says, “what shall befall thy people in the latter days”. Daniel 11 was not given to explain what would befall Turkey or Islam but “thy people in the latter days”.

Finally Gabriel returns in Daniel 11:2 and commences the full explanation of the Vision commencing as he did in chapter 8 with the Medo-Persian Empire - “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.”, Gabriel gives a detailed explanation of the vision going over the same ground covered in Daniel 8:1-14 with the sequence of Medo-Persia, Grecia, Pagan Rome, Papal Rome and then the judgment, (Dan 12:1) exactly as outlined in the VISION of Daniel 8, hence for that reason Daniel 8 and 11 have the same starting points - see table below.

The point is, nowhere in the VISION of Daniel 8:1-14 is there a power such as Turkey or Islam COMING AFTER Papal Rome. Hence, whatever one’s apprehension is concerning the Papal view, one will have to contend with Gabriel’s explanation of the VISION in its sequence and resolve any misinterpretation / mis-understanding one might have concerning verses 36 to 45 because there is no Turkey after Rome in Daniel 8. Gabriel’s explanation stuck to the sequence revealed to Daniel in the vision of Daniel 8:1-14.

Comparison of Daniel 8 and 11 sees the latter as an explanation of Daniel 8.


Daniel 11:1-4 Four Persian Kings & a Mighty Grecian King

Medo-Persia - Xerxes

11:1  Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, [even] I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. 

11:2  And now will I show 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.

11:3  And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. 

11:4  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.  

For 21 days (the exact same period of Daniel's fast, Dan 10:2) the Prince of Persia had withstood the angel Gabriel. The Prince of Persia is Cyrus, who was to do his part in helping God's people rebuild the temple at Jerusalem.  Israel’s seventy years of captivity in Babylon ended in 536BC when Cyrus passed a decree allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their sanctuary. (Ezra 1:1-4; 6:3-5).  The Samaritans then spread false reports that almost persuaded the Persian king to stop the rebuilding. (See Ezra 4:5; Dan 9:25). Daniel, distressed at these events began his prayer and fasting which lasted the exact same period Gabriel and Michael were contending with the Prince of Persia – Daniel 10:1-3 and here in Daniel 11, Gabriel “now” appears to him to help him understand. Gabriel told Daniel how he and Michael (See on Dan 12:1) had fought with the supernatural powers of evil in the Persian palace. Having done that, Gabriel says, “And now will I show thee the truth.”....There shall stand up yet three kings in Persia…the fourth shall be far richer than they all:  

The explanation of the vision was again given in the reign of the Persian king Cyrus (Dan 10:1).  Daniel 8 commenced with a Ram having two horns. The Ram is explained to be the Kings of Media and Persia Dan 8:20. Gabriel again commences with Medo-Persia in Daniel 11.

The Persian kings which followed Cyrus were:

1. Cambyses II 530-522BC

2. False Smerdis alias Gaumata. Reigned part of 522BC, and hindered the work of rebuilding the sanctuary in Jerusalem. 

3. Darius I 522-486BC.

4. Xerxes I, the Great, (486-475BC. This is the Ahasuerus of Est 1:1-7). He was “richer than all” and with his wealth he raised a huge army intending to conquer Greece. His defeat was a turning point in world power. Attention moved to Greece...

And the fourth shall be far richer than they all: the fourth king, Xerxes I, the Great, alias Ahasuerus of Est 1:1-7

And by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia: Pythius, a Lydian, offered to help fund Xerxes’ invasion of Grecia. Upon asking who this man was, Xerxes received this reply: “...he is, next to yourself, the richest man of whom we have any knowledge.” Heredotus, book 7, sec 27, Loeb Classical Library, p343. cf. Est 1:4-7.

In 480 B.C. Xerxes assembled a mighty army to push Persian dominion into Europe: “Xerxes dealt with mustering of his army, searching out every part of the continent...For what nation did not Xerxes lead...against Hellas? [Greece]”  Heredotus, book 7, sec. 19, 21, trans. by A.D. Godley, Loeb Classical Library, p333-5. But incredibly the Greeks defeated the Persians and though other Persian kings followed, Persia from Xerxes’ time began to decline in power. “The wreck of Xerxes expedition is

the turning point in the history of the Persian empire...The centre of gravity in the world’s history had shifted from Susa and

Babylon [the main cities of the Persian Empire] to the Aegean Sea [Greece].” Encyclopaedia Britannica, (11th ed. 1911), Vol. 21, p211, art. Persia.

Scripture recognizes this shift in power and skips the intervening Persian kings moving directly to the rise of the next empire Greece, and it first king Alexander the Great, 336-323BC. An alternative translation reads, “He shall rouse all the realm of Greece.” This would indicate that the failed invasion from Persia brought the victorious Greek states a sense of unity previously unknown. If this is the best translation it forms a natural transition to the next verse.

Verses 3-4

"And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.

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.



In the Daniel 8 vision, the mighty He-Goat crushes the Ram, stamps upon him and breaks its horns so that there was no power left in the Ram. Daniel 11 naturally follows with the mighty Grecian King, Alexander the Great. The prince of Grecia follows the prince of Persia in prophecy - Daniel 10:20.

A mighty king: Alexander the Great, king of Greece.

Shall stand up: Come to power.

According to his will: Have the dominion.

Broken: Alexander the great was the mighty king who ruled with great dominion but died at the height of his power.  See Daniel 8:8, Great horn broken - Alexander's death.

Divided toward the 4 winds: After Alexander’s death the kingdom of Grecia was divided, north, south, east and west, not among his children [not to his posterity,] but among four of his generals (Parallels the four horns on the Grecian He-Goat - Dan 8:8, 22). Alexander’s young son was murdered and Alexander’s generals took upon themselves the titles and styles of kings. See Diadorus, Book 19, sec 105, Loeb Classical Library, p119

1. Cassander in Macedonia       

2. Lysimachus in Thrace      

3. Ptolemy in Egypt

4. Seleucus in Syria and Asia minor

The four kingdoms finally resolved itself into two territories governed by the Seleucids in the north and the Ptolomies in the South, known as the King of the North and the King of the South respectively. For 150 years these powers fought each other in the Syrian-Egyptian wars - verses 5-15.  About 35 years after the death of Seleucus 1 a notable marriage alliance took place (vs 6) which failed to bring peace.

History records the accurate fulfilment of the continuing conflicts between the Seleucids and the Ptolomies. 

Nor according to his dominion which he ruled: Each division was weaker than the whole kingdom. The Grecian kingdom finally resolved itself into two major kingdoms – the Seleucids toward the North based in Syria and the Ptolemies in Egypt, South of Jerusalem. The Seleucids by far occupied a greater territory than the Ptolemies. These two kings are known respectively as the King of the North and the King of the South.



Verse 5

And the king of the south [Ptolemy 1 Soter 305-283BC, of Egypt.

The directions; North, South etc. are reckoned from Jerusalem for God said “...this [is] Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries [that are] around her.” Eze 5:5. The capital cities of the northern & southern kingdoms were not literally North & South of Jerusalem. The reason they were called north & south is because it was from these directions that they invaded Israel. See map] shall be strong, and one of his [one of Ptolemy’s] princes [Seleucus Nicator, 305-281BC, who was one of Ptolemy’s general for some time. See Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., Vol. 10, p618, art. Seleucus I]; and he [Seleucus] shall be strong above him [above Ptolemy], and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion [the Seleucid empire eventually overan all the territories becoming the kingdom of the NORTH and forming by far the greatest of the divisions. “Seleucus ruled from the Mediterranean to the Indus...having a territory 5 to 6 times as large as that of Ptolemy. His dominion was emphatically a great dominion.” Egypt and Babylon, p207].

Verse 6

And in the end of years they [the Kingdoms of the North & South] shall join themselves  together [to solidify peace]; for the king's daughter of the south [Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy II Philadelphus] shall come to the king of the north [Antiochus II Theos, 261-246BC] to make an agreement [to marry to solidify peace. In order to marry Berenice, Antiochus divorced his wife Laodice and debarred her children from succession to the throne]: but she [Berenice] shall not retain the power of the arm [Antiochus later divorced Berenice and took back Laodice]; neither shall he [Antiochus] stand [Antiochus died suddenly, probably poisoned by Laodice to ensure that her children would take the throne], nor his arm [some read, “his seed” referring to his children by Berenice]: but she [Berenice] shall be given up [divorced], and they that brought her [Berenice’s maids], and he that begat her [a vowel change would make this read, “her child” as in the R.S.V, who was murdered], and he that strengthened her in these times [probably Antiochus. See Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., Vol. 10, p618, art. Seleucus II.

“Halfway through this century (249 BC.) the desultory warefare between Egypt and the Seleucid power came to a temporary end (Daniel 11:6). Ptolemy II, Philadelphus, gave his daughter Berenice with a great dowry to Antiochus II, Theos. When Ptolemy died (247 BC.) Antiochus’ divorced wife Laodice was restored to favor, and Antiochus died suddenly [poisoned by Laodice] in order that she might regain her power. Berenice and her son were likewise removed from the path of her son Seleucus...the new king of Egypt, Ptolemy III, Euergetes I,  invaded the Seleucid territory, ‘entered the fortress of the  king of the north’ (Dan 11:7 sqq.), and returned - laden with the spoils, images captured from Egypt by Cambyses, and  captives (Jerome on Daniel loc. cit.) - to put down a domestic rebellion.” Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Ed., art. Palestine].


11:7  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: 

11:8  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. 

11:9  So the king of the south shall come into [his] kingdom, and shall return into his own land.  

Verse 7

But out of a branch of her roots [from Berenice’s family]  shall one [her brother, Ptolemy III Euregetes] stand up in his estate [in the place of his father, Ptolemy Philadelphus], which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the  fortress of the king of the north [Ptolemy III attacked Laodice’s son, Seleucus II Callinicus, 246-226], and shall deal against them, and shall prevail [Ptolemy III was victorious over Seleucus II]:

Verse 8

And shall also carry captives into Egypt [the fact that the king of the south carried the spoils of war  to Egypt confirms that Egypt was the kingdom / King of the south] their gods, with their princes,  and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold [The Decree of Canopus (239/238B.C.) states in  praise of Ptolemy III: “‘And the sacred images carried off from the land of the Persians, the king  having made a foreign campaign, recovered into Egypt, and restored to the temples from which  each of them had been carried away.’” translation in J.P. Hahaffy, A History of Egypt Under the

Ptolemaic Dynasty [New York: Charles Scribner’s & Sons, 1889], p113]; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north [Literally, “he shall refrain from attacking the king of the north.” RSV. The KJV translation is possible but the fact that Ptolemy III outlived Seleucus II by 2 years  seems a very minor point to be noted in the prophecy].

Verse 9

So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land [Thus  verses 8-9 together show that the kingdom of the South is Egypt].


Verse 10

But his [Seleucus II, the king of the North] sons [Seleucus III Ceranus Soter, who was murdered after a short reign, & Antiochus III Magnus (the Great)] shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one [Antiochus III Great] shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through [In 219BC he retook much from his rival Ptolemy]: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress.


Verse 11

And the king of the south [Ptolemy IV Philopater] shall be moved with choler [anger], and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north [Antiochus III]: and he [Antiochus III, king of the north] shall set forth a great multitude [62,000 infantry, 6000 cavalry, 102 elephants (Polybius, Histories, v. 79)]; but the multitude shall be given into his [Ptolemy IV’s] hand [Ptolemy IV was victorious at the battle of Raphia, 217 B.C. AntiochusIII is reputed to have lost 10,000 infantry and 300 cavalry, plus 4000 prisoners. The verse demonstrates Hebrew inverted parallelism which arranges the subjects in an ABBA pattern].

Verse 12

And when he [Ptolemy IV] hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up [When in Jerusalem he attempted to enter the most holy place but the Jews withstood him. This upset Ptolemy]; and he shall cast down many ten thousands [He slaughtered 40-60,000 Jews in Alexandria]: but he shall not be strengthened by it [Ptolemy IV Philopater did not capitalize on his victory over the north. He died 205 B.C.? and his four-five year old son, Ptolemy V Epiphanes who ruled 204?-180 B.C., took the throne].

Verse 13

For the king of the north [Antiochus III] shall return [Antiochus III saw a child on the Egyptian throne as a good opportunity to attack the South], and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years [literally, “at the end of times, years.” The period is probably the 16 years which passed after the Battle of Raphia before Antiochus’ second campaign against the south] with a great army and with much riches.


The power of Imperial Rome is introduced in the prophecy to establish the vision.

11:14     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.

11:14 And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south [POINT OF DIFFERENCE: At this verse interpretations differ. One group consider that verses 14-45 continue to follow the history of the Seleucid & Ptolemaic kings. Others see that with verse 14, Rome, the next great world empire, enters the prophecy with verses, 31-45 describing the transition from Pagan to Papal Rome. This second view is in harmony with the repeat and enlarge principle seen in Daniel 2, 7 and 8 in which Rome is the last earthly power described. Rome is introduced here in verse 14 to “ESTABLISH THE VISION”  and confirms the accuracy of the vision. 

Philip of Macedon united with Antiochus in planning to attack the south, willing to share the spoils]: also the robbers [Heb. “periyts” - literally BREAKERS or destroyers. Same word used in Ps 17:4. Compare Daniel 7:23 “Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse