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Updated: Aug 20, 2022

The "King of the North"  and the "King of the South" feature prominently in Daniel chapter 11. Some in their interpretation of Daniel 11 have taken a completely literal view of the chapter and have failed to see the significance of the foundation laid in Daniel chapter 2 when interpreting prophecy i.e. the transition from local literal events / empires to a global spiritual application. For a more detailed study see the King of the North menu.

Before commencing, we must establish some basic principles of prophetic interpretation of the symbolic language used in prophecy.


  • We must make the Bible its own expositor.

  • We must allow the Bible to explain the symbols.

  • We must compare Scripture with Scripture

  • 2 Pet 1:20 " prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.”

  • 1 Cor 2:13 “...comparing spiritual things with spiritual”

  • Isa 28:9, 10 “Line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”

  • Isa 8:20 “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them”

The following are symbols used in prophecy to describe kingdoms or nations.

  1. “King” used interchangeably with "Kingdom" - Dan 2:37-38

  2. “Mountain” symbolic of a "kingdom' - Dan 2:35, Rev 17:9

  3. “Beasts” used interchangeably with “Kings”- Dan 7:17

  4. “Beasts” also said to be "Kingdoms" - Dan 7:23

  5. “Horns” represent Kings / Kingdoms - Dan 8:20-22

  6. “Heads” symbolic of kingdoms - Dan 7:6, Dan 2:38

  7. “Waters” symbolic of kingdoms - Rev 17:15

  8. “Great City” used interchangeably with "kingdom" - Rev 14:8, 16:19

  9. “Ribs” in Bear's mouth represent kingdoms the Ram conquered - Dan 7:7, Dan 8:4


Literal & local kingdoms in the old testament typify the global & spiritual in our day. The names remain the same but that which they refer to takes on a symbolic meaning when the Kingdom of Rome transitions to Papal Rome. The three angels messages of Revelation 14 and that of Revelation 18 include the cry that Babylon is fallen and to "come out of her my people". The Babylon of Revelation does not refer to the literal Babylon of King Nebuchadnezzar's day but to spiritual Babylon - see later.

  • LITERAL LOCAL Babylon => Spiritual Babylon (false religion world-wide).

  • LITERAL LOCAL Israel => Spiritual Israel (the Christian church)

  • LITERAL LOCAL sanctuary => Heavenly Sanctuary - for all mankind.

  • LITERAL LOCAL Jezebel => Spiritual Jezebel of Revelation.

  • LITERAL LOCAL River Euphrates => Spiritual Euphrates of Revelation.

  • LITERAL LOCAL 7 Churches => Spiritual 7 churches of Revelation.


  • Daniel follows the repeat & enlarge principle in the prophecies.

  • The last earthly power in Daniel 2, 7, 8 is Rome.

  • The last earthly power described in Daniel 11 must, therefore, be Rome.

“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, 1877.


  • Daniel 11 focuses on the kings of the North & South.

  • There is no Biblical rule for a chapter to be all symbolic or all literal.

  • Chapter breaks were not given by God.

  • God did not define where the chapter ends. These were added by man.

  • When comparing Scripture with Scripture points to the last part of the chapter being symbolic, this over-rides all human rules of interpretation.

  • Interpretations requiring the end of the chapter to be known are private interpretations.


  • The Daniel 2 image commences with literal Babylon, the head of Gold.

  • Daniel 2 ends with spiritual Babylon at the feet of iron & clay

  • Daniel chapters 5 & 8 fill in the rest of the image's kingdoms.

  • Babylon => Medo-Persia => Grecia => Rome => Papal Rome.

  • Daniel 2 has the image of a man

  • Daniel 7 has the eyes of a man and the mouth of a man

  • Daniel 11 has the MEN ruling in those kingdoms commencing with Persia.

  • Daniel 11 is a further detailed explanation of Daniel 8.

  • Daniel 8 ends with the little horn - Papal Rome.

  • Hence Daniel 11 must end with the last MAN of the Image - Papal Rome

  • Papal Rome is therefore the King of the North of Daniel 11.

  • There is no Turkey in all this [no pun intended].


The Book of Daniel begins in chapter 1:1 with the literal King of the North (BABYLON) 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 Medo-Persia, then to Grecia, 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.

King Nebuchadnezzar is the King of Babylon. Note where Babylon is from:

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 Ezekiel 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.”

Hence, Nebuchadnezzar being the KING of BABYLON and KING & KINGDOM are used interchangeably in prophecy, BABYLON therefore is the KING OF THE NORTH here at the beginning of Daniel chapter 2

In Daniel chapter 2, the Image of the King's dream is interpreted as follows:


King Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon is the Head of Gold and the King of the North of the Daniel 2 image.


Daniel 2:39 "And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth."

After Babylon, the mighty power of the Medes & Persians, the second kingdom, comes to power overthrowing Babylon. The narrative is told in Daniel chapter 5.


Daniel 2:39 "And after thee shall arise ...... another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth."

Grecia crushes the Medes & Persians in Daniel chapter 8 as we see these powers at war in the symbolism of the Ram (Medo-Persia) & the He-Goat (Grecia)


Daniel 2:40 "And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise." Rome enters the prophecy in Daniel 8 as the Little Horn. It arises in the latter time of the four divisions of the Grecian kingdom after Alexander the Great's empire was carved up by his four generals - Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolomey and Seleucus. The characteristics of this horn unmistakably point to Rome both Imperial and Papal. Note the transition from Pagan Rome to Papal Rome as the iron legs give way to the feet of Iron (ROME) and Clay (?)



The IRON represents ROME. The feet must, therefore, be ROME. But what sort of Rome? A Rome which has CLAY as part of the feet. What does the clay represent in scripture?

Isaiah 64:8 "But now, O LORD, thou [art] our father; we [are] the clay, and thou our potter; and we all [are] the work of thy hand."

Jeremiah18:4-6 "And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make [it]. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay [is] in the potter's hand, so [are] ye in mine hand, O house of Israel."

The Clay represents religion, God's professed people, in this case, Christianity uniting with the state or IRON monarchy of Rome. Here we have the union of church and state in the form of the Roman Papacy. The feet, therefore, represents Papal Rome, an apostate Christian system in union with the paganism of the Roman Empire of the Caesars - "the mingling of church craft and state craft is represented by the Iron and the clay."

But this apostate Christian church is called by another name(s) in Revelation 17.5

Daniel's image is thus complete. The professed Christian church (Papal Rome and Protestantism) is Babylon. It has many symbolic names in prophecy including:

  • the feet of iron & clay,

  • the little horn of Daniel 7,

  • the Little Horn of Daniel 8,

  • the King of the North of Daniel 2

  • the King of there North of Daniel 11,

  • the wounded beast of Revelation 13:1-10,

  • the Mother of Harlots of Revelation 17:5

  • "Mystery" of Revelation 17:5

  • "Babylon the Great" of Revelation 17:5

  • "the Man of sin" of 2 Thessalonians 2:3

  • "the Son of perdition" of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 .

Papal Rome by virtue of its spiritual title, Babylon, thus inherits literal Babylon's title, and is the spiritual King of the North here in Daniel 2 and of necessity, the King of the North of Daniel 11 after Imperial Rome transitions to Papal Rome in Daniel 11:30-31.

  • Daniel 11 is consistent with the foundation prophecy of the Daniel 2 image.

  • Pagan Rome conquers the King of the North in Daniel 11:16

  • Thus Pagan Rome inherits the title "King of the North".

  • Pagan Rome transitions to Papal Rome in Daniel 11:30-31

  • And with this, the title, "King of the North", passes to Papal Rome.

The Daniel 2 image commences with literal Babylon, the head of Gold and the literal King of the North and ends with spiritual Babylon, the spiritual King of the North (Papal Rome) in the feet of Iron & Clay.

According to scripture, BABYLON is the literal King of the North. It is so because when Babylon attacked Jerusalem it came by way of the North. The King of the North (KOTN) is, therefore, another name for Babylon. In Daniel chapter 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 at 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, Mystery Babylon, then consistency in interpretation demands that Papal Rome is the King of the North here in the feet of iron & clay of the Daniel 2 image.

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 established here in Daniel 2 is 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 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 the Daniel 2 prophecy 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 or Daniel 7,8 or 11.

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 as the King of the North after Papal Rome, the feet of Iron & Clay. There are no more parts to the Daniel 2 image to fit in Turkey or Islam.

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 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.


Scripture uses "King" and "Kingdom" interchangeably.

Daniel 7:17  "These great beasts, which are four, [are] four kings, [which] shall arise out of the earth."

Daniel 7:23    Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.  

Beasts = Kings. Beasts = Kingdoms. Hence Kings and Kingdoms used interchangeably. King Nebuchadnezzar was the King of Babylon. He represented Babylon. Babylon was the King of the North.


Gold - Literal Babylon

Silver - Literal Medo-Persia

Brass - Literal Grecia

Iron - Literal Rome of the Caesars. 

Iron & Clay - Papal Rome - spiritual & global empire

The transition from literal Rome, the legs of Iron, to the Iron & Clay of the feet necessitates a change in the interpretation from literal to spiritual as Rome now becomes mixed with religion which is what clay represents. See Isaiah 64:8 & Jeremiah 18:4-6.  

Literal Rome, the legs of iron, does not exist in its former state but is now represented by a Spiritual and Global empire, Papal Rome - the feet of IRON & CLAY. The literal Rome of the Caesars has transitioned to the spiritual Rome of the Popes. But as we shall see this Rome is also known as Babylon in the Book of Revelation - Rev 17:5.


Legs of Iron = the Rome of the Caesars. The feet of IRON mixed with CLAY is a representation of religion united with the state and is a fitting symbol of Papal Rome - a union of church and state. "whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay."  The legs of iron represented the pagan Rome of the Caesars, therefore the feet which is partly iron represents Rome but a different type of Rome following the addition of CLAY. Clay as noted is a representation of a people in relationship to God but not just any people but those professing Bible religion. In other words it is professed Christianity (clay) but still Roman (iron) - the church of Papal Rome.



Daniel 11:44 But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.Amos 8:11,12 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.


Jeremiah 1:13-16 And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north. Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah. And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.


Isaiah 14:12.13 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

SATAN HAS SET UP THE PERFECT SYSTEM ON EARTH - See The Beast study He wanted to be God. He wanted to be worshipped as God. He set up a perfect system on earth for this to happen. 

Revelation 13:2 "And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority."

Revelation 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

The Dragon = the Devil or Satan Rev 12:9


Papal Rome  of the feet of iron & clay of the Daniel 2 image is also described in Revelation 17 as Mystery Babylon.

Revelation 17:1    And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:  

 17:2    With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.  

 17:3    So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.  

 17:4    And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:  

 17:5    And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.  



Satan is the counterfeit King of the North. He has always wanted to be like God. He attempted to usurp God's position in heaven but failed and has set up the perfect system on earth in order to be worshipped as God.  See Revelation 13 study on the Beast.

Isaiah 14:12.13 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Revelation 12:7-9    And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 

Babylon was the literal King of the North of Daniel chapters 1 & 2. The interpretation of the Daniel 2 image and its various kingdoms remains literal and local until we get to the fourth kingdom which transitions from the literal local Roman Empire of the Caesars to the more spiritual global empire of Papal Rome with more than a billion adherents of that system.  Hence Babylon, the head of Gold, the literal King of the North transitions to a new Babylon, a more spiritual and global empire, that of Papal Rome with the latter, therefore, inheriting the title, KING of the NORTH.


Daniel chapter 11 must, therefore, remain consistent with the foundation prophecy of Daniel chapter 2 which sees (Papal) Rome as the last earthly kingdom to be crushed by the stone. The head of Gold of Daniel 2 was literal Babylon. The feet of Iron & Clay is Spiritual Babylon, the former was the literal king of the North, the latter, the Spiritual King of the North. Both kingdoms are Babylon according to scripture. Both are, therefore, the Kings of the North. Hence the power that comes to its end in Daniel 11:45 is none other than Papal Rome and not Turkey or Islam as some would like to think.

Similarly the power that comes to its end in the Book of  Revelation is Babylon, the spiritual King of the North, hence the call of the second angel of Revelation 14 and the angel of Revelation 18 that "...Babylon is fallen, is fallen..." "...come out of her my people..." 

Papal Rome is the King of the North of Daniel.

May God bless you as you study into these things for the time is at hand.


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