The Final King of the North

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The Final King of the North

#1 Post by Bobcat » 3 years ago

Note: See at the bottom of this post (and in many of the posts in this thread) for a link to an index of this thread.



One of the more intriguing of prophetic passages in the Bible pertains to the "King of the North" found at Daniel 11:36-45. This passage is actually part of a larger prophecy that was introduced to Daniel at Daniel 10:1. The actual prophetic part of the prophecy begins at Daniel 11:1 and continues to Daniel 12:12.

There have been various possible solutions offered as to the fulfillment of it. Some of these solutions have involved a coming Anti-Christ, Russia or the USSR, US presidents, a resurgent China, and a London based cabal. Some have wondered about the passage and decided it is best to take a wait-and-see view. And still others have written the passage off as foolish religious babbling that will never see any real fulfillment.

What this thread hopes to accomplish is to build on understanding already gained in related prophecies and apply it towards identifying this King of the North in Daniel 11:36-45, and in understanding the events described in connection with him. Of special interest in this thread is a clue that Jesus gave that may very well prove to be the key to identifying this king.

The Purpose of Daniel Chapters 10 to 12

In Daniel chapter 10, Daniel is informed by an angelic visitor that the "word" he is about to receive is about "a great conflict." (or possibly, "hard service") And he was assured that "the message was trustworthy" or "true." (Dan 10:1) A little further, at Daniel 10:14, he is told by the angel, "Now I have come to help you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to future days." (NET)

The rendering, "great conflict" in Dan 10:1 might indicate the involvement in the prophecy of military conflict. The rendering, "hard service," may indicate a coming time of very great difficulty for Daniel's people. (See footnote 3 at Daniel 10:1 in the NET translation.) Considering the focus given by Daniel 10:14, "hard service" may be the preferable rendering. But in either case, the prophecy does include both "hard service" for 'Daniel's people,' as well as "great [military] conflict."

At any rate, what Daniel 10:14 does do is to show that the prophecy is not just about the final king of the north and who he is. Its main focus is about what is going to happen to 'Daniel's people' when the time of that 'final' king arrives. We still want to know who that king is. But it is important to remember that, in the end, he is just a part of the scenery. (1Co 7:31) An important part, to be sure. And the struggle between the "King of the North" and the "King of the South" that runs through the prophecy has historical connections to other parts of Daniel. (For example, compare Dan 2, 7 & 8.) But in the end, the core interest of the prophecy is really about what will happen to God's people, which also has ties to other parts of Daniel. (For example, compare Dan 1, 3, 6 & 9.)

The Prophecy of Daniel Chapter 11:1-20

Chapter 11 is where the prophecy begins to give its prophetic details. The chronological starting point is "in the first year of Darius the Mede." (Dan 11:1) That is, the first year of his ruling over Babylon. It is quite possible that this is Cyrus the Persian himself. Compare the similar linguistic structure of Dan 6:28 with 1Ch 5:26. "Darius" is thought to be a title rather than a name. See also footnote 49 at Dan 6:28, here. Incidentally, this is also the starting point at which the metal of the image in Daniel chapter 2 begins to degrade. (Dan 2:37-39)

Daniel 11:2-4 travels through 4 more Persian kings and on into the rise and fall of Alexander the Great. With Alexander's death, the Grecian Empire is then broken into four parts. Starting with Dan 11:5 the prophecy moves thru the history of two parts of these four, referring to them as the "king of the south" and the "king of the north." The "south" and "north" relate to the fact that the king of the south is centered around Egypt, and the king of the north is centered around the land of Syria. These two areas are south and north of the land of Israel. The other two parts of Alexander's broken empire are never mentioned again in the prophecy. It is this struggle between the northern and southern kings that is an important feature of this prophecy. (Interestingly, the latter part of Dan 2 also features a kingdom that is "divided" - Dan 2:41. Another interesting historical connection is with Daniel chapter 7. This is regarding the 4th Persian king mentioned in Dan 11:2, Xerxes I [ca. 486-465 B.C.] His all-out assault is against, what is considered, the birthplace of Democracy - Compare with Dan 7:8, and see footnote 5 on Dan 11:2 here)

At this point (Dan 11:5) the prophecy begins to slow down in its movement through history. Daniel 11:5-20 gives a brief outline or survey of events that take place between the kings of the north and south. Enough information is given so that each king along the way can be historically identified. The emphasis, though, appears to be on the king of the north. The logic seems to be that he is the one who will have the greatest impact on 'Daniel's people' in "the latter days." But as you will see, we are being carefully guided to the rise of one particular king of the north. The last king of the north in this section of the prophecy (Dan 11:5-20) is Seleucus IV Philopator (Dan 11:20; c. 187-176 BCE). He is the king of the north just before the one that this section of the prophecy focuses on.

Before going on, there is something else worth noting about Dan 11:5-35: The kings involved, as discussed in this prophecy, they are all individuals. The prophecy in Dan 11:5-35 does not refer to an empire or nation as "the king of the north" or "south." Rather, each "king" is a particular person. Says footnote 9 at Dan 11:5 in the NET translation:
The king of the south [in Dan 11:5] is Ptolemy I Soter (ca. 323-285 B.C.). The following reference to one of his subordinates apparently has in view Seleucus I Nicator (ca. 311-280 B.C.). Throughout the remainder of chap. 11 the expressions “king of the south” and “king of the north” repeatedly occur. It is clear, however, that these terms are being used generically to describe the Ptolemaic king (i.e., “of the south”) or the Seleucid king (i.e., “of the north”) who happens to be in power at any particular time. The specific identity of these kings can be established more or less successfully by a comparison of this chapter with the available extra-biblical records that discuss the history of the intertestamental period. In the following notes the generally accepted identifications are briefly mentioned.
The historical kings of the north and south for Dan 11:5-35:


A "Final" King of the North

Starting at Daniel 11:21, and continuing to Daniel 11:35, the prophecy explodes with detail about the next king of the north who is described as, "a despicable person" (NET, NASB; "contemptible" NIV, ESV; Dan 11:21) This king is the infamous Antiochus IV Epiphanes (c. 175-164 BCE). The prophecy has been carefully moving us through history for the very purpose of describing this king and detailing what will happen to 'Daniel's people' during his reign.

In this passage (Dan 11:21-35) the main characters are: (1) The King of the North, who is portrayed as an enemy of "the holy covenant" (Dan 11:28, 30b), along with forces under his control. (2) The King of the South, along with forces under his control. Which, incidentally, both kings are portrayed as unrighteous. (Dan 11:27) And (3) Various ones having some connection with "the holy covenant." (Dan 11:28) These include: "a prince of the covenant" (Dan 11:22); "Those who have rejected the covenant" (Dan 11:32); And, "the people who are loyal to their God," who are also described as "wise" and who "teach the masses." They also appear to suffer the heaviest persecution. (Dan 11:32-33 NET)

In what sense would Antiochus IV Epiphanes be considered a "final" king of the north? He certainly was not the last of the Seleucid dynasty. (See here.) That dynasty lasted about another 100 years. But from the viewpoint of this part of the prophecy (from Dan 11:21-35), Antiochus IV represents the climax or the main 'act' that the prophecy was pointing to. After Antiochus IV no more attention is given to the rest of the Seleucid dynasty. Thus, based on this particular prophecy, Dan 11:21-35 represents, in a sense, the final king of the north, as it relates to the Seleucid dynasty.

The events described in Dan 11:21-35 are well documented history. For example, see here. (Or Google "Maccabean Revolt") And so, we are not going to spend any more time detailing those events here. What has been said above is what we need to know for where we are going next.

(A link to an extensive article on Antiochus IV Epiphanes can be found in post # 115 in this thread.)

A Difference Starting at Dan 11:36

Amazingly, the prophecy up to Dan 11:35 has proven to be so historically accurate that some cannot believe that it was written down centuries earlier by Daniel. In their view, the only possible explanation for the accuracy is that someone during or after Antiochus IV had to have recorded it. (The Septuagint (LXX) represents a time limit on this point of view, since it includes the book of Daniel. Those who believe the late writing idea cannot place it later than the Septuagint, 2nd century BCE.)

But for those with faith in God's ability to see the future, the account, so far, has been just as the angel promised in Dan 10:1, "trustworthy" or "true." For doubters who think it was written down after the fact, what position will they take if the following part of the prophecy has yet more fulfillment after Antiochus IV?

Which leads us to Dan 11:36. Something changes in this prophecy starting at Daniel 11:36. Notice what footnote 81 in the NET translation of Daniel 11:36 says:
The identity of this king is problematic. If Dan 11:36-45 continue the description of Antiochus Epiphanes, the account must be viewed as erroneous, since the details do not match what is known of Antiochus’ latter days. Most modern scholars take this view, concluding that this section was written just shortly before the death of Antiochus and that the writer erred on several key points as he tried to predict what would follow the events of his own day. Conservative scholars, however, usually understand the reference [starting at Dan 11:36] to shift at this point to an eschatological figure, viz., the Antichrist. The chronological gap that this would presuppose to be in the narrative is not necessarily a problem, since by all accounts there are many chronological gaps throughout the chapter, as the historical figures intended by such expressions as “king of the north” and “king of the south” repeatedly shift.

Similarly, the NAC-Daniel commentary (Stephen R. Miller, pp. 304-5) says concerning Dan 11:36-39:
Scholars are in agreement that the vision up to this point [i.e up to Dan 11:35] has been concerned with events between the time of Cyrus (in which Daniel lived) and the death of Antiochus IV, but with [Dan 11:36] this agreement ends. . .

Those who adhere to the Maccabean thesis maintain that [Dan 11:36-45] continues to speak of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. However, there are serious problems with this position, not the least of which is the fact that much of the historical data set forth in these verses (even in [Dan 11:36-39]) is impossible to harmonize with Antiochus's life. . .

Exegetical necessity requires that Dan 11:36-45 be applied to someone other than Antiochus IV.

And in a similar vein, Constable's Notes (at Dan 11:36, here) comments:
Mention of “the end time” (Dan 11:35) prepares for the revelation to follow, which concerns events not yet fulfilled in history. “The appointed time” (Dan 11:27, 29, 35; 12:7) reminds the reader that all these predicted events would be the outworking of divine control and purpose even though they would involve suffering for the Israelites.
“The amazingly detailed prophecies of the first thirty-five verses of this chapter, containing as they do approximately one hundred and thirty-five prophetic statements, all now fulfilled, constitute an impressive introduction to the events that are yet future, beginning in verse 36. . . . The fact is that there is no supported evidence which can contradict any statement made in these thirty-five verses [that is, Dan 11:1-35]. ... From the divine viewpoint, the accuracy of this prophetic word is supporting evidence that prophecy yet unfulfilled will have the same precise fulfillment in the future.”
We can understand why critics who deny the possibility of predictive prophecy believe these verses must have been written after they occurred.
[Parts of the quotations in brackets are Bobcat's for clarification. Some scripture citations have been reformatted in order to work with the RefTagger app.]

While very much respecting the sentiments expressed in these quotations, Part Two in this thread will attempt to show one fulfillment of Daniel 11:36-45 that even these commentaries did not expect.


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Re: The Final King of the North

#2 Post by John S » 3 years ago


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Re: The Final King of the North

#3 Post by Bobcat » 3 years ago

Thank you John. Part Two is in the works but my mind is sure tired. This first part was several days in the works. I worked on it in the DTT editor for several days.


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Re: The Final King of the North

#4 Post by Dajo1 » 3 years ago

This is an intriguing topic. I can’t find it officially written but there is a lot of chatter that WT has id’d Russia as King of the North.. was USSR.

I have been trying to figure out a few things - eg:
Is KoN the same as the “eight king” in Rev 17? Gets a lot of power for a little while.

Does it have a bearing on the totalitarian type rule described in Rev 13?

Will there be an “event” that cowers all other ruling kings to give over their authority for a while?

Is it in succession to the Anglo-American king of the south? I think perhaps yes, because if the king of the south is the seventh, then the eighth will be after/in place of that one.

Is it a reinforced UN?
So soo many questions. Thanks for starting the thread Bobcat.

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Re: The Final King of the North

#5 Post by Bobcat » 3 years ago

Thank you Dajo1, for your interest in the topic. I hope I can provide, at the least, something to think about.


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Re: The Final King of the North

#6 Post by Nightingale » 3 years ago

Good stuff! I am very interested about your thoughts about the rest of the chapter. Lately I have been wondering though if Daniel 12:1 is basically the same as the great tribulation of Matthew 24:21 - which I believe referred to 70AD only - and that would mean all the preceding verses would have been fulfilled ages ago. I guess this is called the preterist view. But looking forward to see what you suggest.
"Shortly, within our twentieth century, the "battle in the day of Jehovah" will begin against the modern antitype of Jerusalem, Christendom."

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Re: The Final King of the North

#7 Post by Bobcat » 3 years ago



If you found Part One of this thread interesting, then I hope you will find Part Two even more so. We are hoping to be able to identify another king of the north, the one described in Dan 11:36-45, and the prophetic events that are described in connection with him.

A Mystery King

The way that Daniel 11:36-45 is introduced, or rather, not introduced, is intriguing. The king starting in Dan 11:36 simply appears in the prophecy, almost out of nowhere, with no apparent historical linkage between the previous one (Antiochus IV) and this new one. But there are some clues that will help us to narrow down the possibilities. Also, considering how carefully worded was the angel's "trustworthy" message in Dan 11:1-35, we can reasonably assume that this 'intriguing' aspect of Dan 11:36-45 is intended to be just as "trustworthy." (Dan 10:1; 12:10)

Remember what the angel said to Daniel before even delivering the prophecy. He said that the prophecy would concern what would happen to 'Daniel's people' in the latter days. (Dan 10:14) And, as we saw in the fulfillment of Dan 11:21-35, the prophecy led us to one particularly evil ruler, and one particularly climactic time in the history of God's people.

If we were to mentally place ourselves back in time, to just after Antiochus IV's demise, so that Dan 11:21-35 has already been fulfilled, and then look forward in time, what would we see? What 'particularly climactic' times lay ahead for 'Daniel's people'? Two such times would appear on the distant horizon. The first of those two epic times would be in the first century. The second would lay still future, even future from our present time in the year 2018. (Compare Heb 9:26, 28)

Which of these two 'climactic times' could the prophecy be referring to? Or, is it possible that the passage is so skillfully worded, and that history, both past and future are so similar, that the prophecy could be describing both?

Sifting Through the Evidence

Another clue towards the fulfillment of Dan 11:36-45 that we can draw from the account in Dan 11:21-35 is the list of characters involved. You might remember from Part One that we listed these:
In this passage (Dan 11:21-35) the main characters are: (1) The King of the North, who is portrayed as an enemy of "the holy covenant" (Dan 11:28, 30b), along with forces under his control. (2) The King of the South, along with forces under his control. Which, incidentally, both kings are portrayed as unrighteous. (Dan 11:27) And (3) Various ones having some connection with "the holy covenant." (Dan 11:28) These include: "a prince of the covenant" (Dan 11:22); "Those who have rejected the covenant" (Dan 11:32); And, "the people who are loyal to their God" who are also described as "wise" and who "teach the masses." They also appear to suffer the heaviest persecution. (Dan 11:32-33 NET)

With this listing of characters in mind, what do we see in Dan 11:36-45? We see the character of the king of the north described in Dan 11:36-39. Then, starting in Dan 11:40 we see conflict involving both the king of the north and south. The "beautiful land" in Dan 11:41 is a cryptic reference to the land of God's people. For someone similar to "a prince of the covenant" (Dan 11:22) we would have to extend our research to Dan 12:1 and beyond, where we see, "Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people."

Dan 11:41 (NET) includes, what appears to be, another mystery. Mentioned alongside of, and in contrast to, the "beautiful land" is "Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites." (Dan 11:41 ESV) What makes these all the more mysterious is the fact that by the first century these nations had long since disappeared from history. But, considering the amazing fulfillment of Dan 11:1-35, we can be sure that the prophecy must have something in mind.

The process of elimination might help us here. In Dan 11:21-35 we identified five entities that played a role in the prophecy: (1) The king of the North, (2) The king of the South, (3) The Prince of the Covenant (Dan 11:22; 12:1), (4) "The people who are loyal to their God" (Dan 11:32-33), and (5) "Those who have rejected the covenant." (Dan 11:32) So far, in Dan 11:36-45, we have identified four of those five: The king of the North (Dan 11:36-39), The king of the South (Dan 11:40), "The people who are loyal to their God" = "The beautiful land" (Dan 11:41), and The "prince of the covenant" = "Michael" (Dan 12:1).

What do we have left? It is "those who have rejected the covenant." Might these be portrayed by "Edom, Moab, and the main part of the Ammonites? (Dan 11:41) These were nations closely related to God's people (and close geographically also). But they were also generally staunch enemies of God's loyal people. We'll keep this possibility in mind as we move forward.

Clues Arguing for a Dual Fulfillment

As mentioned above, two climactic times (future from Antiochus IV) would appear to be candidates for the fulfillment of this passage. Both of those times include a time of unequaled great tribulation. (Mt 24:21; Rev 16:18) Both would appear to have a correspondence with the unequaled tribulation described in Dan 12:1.

I also mentioned in Part One that personal research had led me to this topic. Compare, in this post, the similarities between events of the "great tribulation" in Mt 24 and the "great earthquake" of Rev 16. There are a few differences between them, but by and large, they are amazingly similar. This similarity opens up the very real possibility that we can expect a fulfillment in both the first century and also one sometime in the future.

We will get back to that future possibility in Part Three. But for now, in this part, we are going to concentrate our efforts on a first century fulfillment, with the hope that this will pave the way for understanding a future one.

A First Century Fulfillment

The first century was a heady time for 'Daniel's people.' The Messiah arrived, was killed, and glorified. This led to the replacement of one "holy covenant" with another one, a new covenant. Drawing on the wording of Dan 11:22, 32-33 (NET) we have the involvement of, "a prince of the covenant," "those who have rejected the covenant," and, "the people who are loyal to their God" who are also described as "wise" and who "teach the masses." We also have a "great tribulation" that would take place within "this generation." (Mt 24:21, 34)

That time period would cover the years 29 through 73 CE. But we have to narrow this down further. If the first part of the prophecy about the king of the north holds true also in this part, then, the time period we are looking for is much narrower. The particular 'part' I am referring to is the fact that every king of the north up to Dan 11:35 was an individual. If this also holds true starting in Dan 11:36, then, we are looking only for one particular king, a "despicable one." (Dan 11:21) One who would have a long time rival similar to the king of the south. (Dan 11:25) And one who would 'set himself against the holy covenant.' (Dan 11:28)

These parameters lead us to only one 'king' in the 29-73 CE time frame, one Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, better known as, Emperor Nero. (For convenience, many of the quotes below will be drawn from this article.)

Does Nero Fit the Description?

One of the problems in trying to compare Nero with the description in Dan 11:36-39 is that very little in the way of contemporary writings exist, if any. This, of course, can be both bad and good. One would normally prefer writings as close as possible to the history they are writing about. On the other hand, writers contemporary with Nero would have been under enormous pressure to show themselves loyal to Nero. Opponents of Nero were often eliminated, sometimes in gruesome ways. Says this page:
Nero’s obsession with conspiracies, both real and imagined, led to the condemnation of many suspects, most of whom were innocent, including Seneca himself.
As the link above shows, there were a number of writers from the times after Nero. "The bulk of what is known of Nero comes from Tacitus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio, who were all of the senatorial class." (See under "Historiography" in the link.) This is especially good, their being of "the senatorial class." It could mean that they had access to information that ordinary people would not have.

With that said, lets compare Daniel 11:36-39 with history for comparable information:

Dan 11:36 Then the king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every deity and he will utter presumptuous things against the God of gods. He will succeed until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been decreed must occur.

In connection with Nero 'doing as he pleases,' the link says, "Nero focused much of his attention on diplomacy, trade and the cultural life of the empire, ordering theatres built and promoting athletic games. He made public appearances as an actor, poet, musician and charioteer. In the eyes of traditionalists, this undermined the dignity and authority of his person, status, and office. . . Nero's rule is usually associated with tyranny and extravagance. . . Tacitus claims that the Roman people thought him compulsive and corrupt. . . Most Roman sources, such as Suetonius and Cassius Dio, offer overwhelmingly negative assessments of his personality and reign." (See also in the link under "Pursuits.")

Most of Nero's bad traits became all the more noticeable after he became independent of his mother, Agrippina, whom he killed. I couldn't find anything in particular about his worship habits, if any. But, from the previous link above, it says, "Nero was criticized as being obsessed with personal popularity." He also had authorized a huge 30 meter tall bust of himself (called the Colossus of Nero and slightly larger than Nebuchadnezzar's - Dan 3:1). This was to be part of the Domus Aurea, his extravagant new palace complex, built after the 64 CE fire in Rome. All these are indications that he "exalted and magnified himself above every deity."

[On Nero's view of religion, see post # 109 in this thread. This material came from a historical book I ordered from England about Nero. I did not have the book when this post was originally made. The views expressed in post # 109 make Dan 11:36-37 a good fit for Nero. - Bobcat]

I take it that his, 'uttering presumptuous things against the God of gods' is in connection with his savage persecution of Christians starting about 64 CE. But his 'presumptuousness against Jehovah, "the God of gods," may also be indicated in his treatment of natural Jews, as you will see. From Nero's viewpoint, the God of the Christians was the same God of the natural Jews.

Did "he . . . succeed until the time of wrath is completed"? Not counting, of course, his actual end, history says yes. His military campaigns were all successful. And until his divinely "decreed" end came upon him he was also successful against the many, even in the government, who plotted against him. (For the part that 'divine decree' had in how these things worked out, see also this post.)

Dan 11:37 He will not respect the gods of his fathers – not even the god loved by women. He will not respect any god; he will elevate himself above them all.

The first part of this verse can be seen in some respects in the discussion above on Dan 11:36. The phrase, "he will not respect . . . even the god of women" represents somewhat of an interpolation. The NET assumes (with good reason) that the phrase is referring to the "god" that women desire. But "god" is not in the phrase. The NWT says that he will have no regard for "the desire of women." In either case, Nero seems to fit the description. He had his mother and other women who were very close to him murdered. In that sense, he did not show, or have regard for, what other men would consider the natural desire for women close to them. Or, with respect to the NET rendering, Nero showed little regard for any 'gods' who might be considered protectors of women.

("In AD 60 or 61, . . . Boudica [wife of Prasutagus, the king of the Iceni] led the Iceni, the Trinovantes, and others in revolt [in the British Isles]. . . Dio says that at the outset Boudica employed a form of divination, releasing a hare from the folds of her dress and interpreting the direction in which it ran, and invoked Andraste, a British goddess of victory." I mention this because it is the only thing that came up in my research that might coincide with "the god desired by women." But I could not see any real relationship between this and Dan 11:37. - Bobcat)

See post #31 on page 4 of this thread for additional discussion of Dan 11:37.

Dan 11:38 What he will honor is a god of fortresses – a god his fathers did not acknowledge he will honor with gold, silver, valuable stones, and treasured commodities.

Who this "god of fortresses" is remains a subject of controversy among commentators. The anarthrous reading ("a god of . . .") may indicate it is not meaning to refer to any specific god. One explanation, that harmonizes also with Nero's lack of respect for any god in Dan 11:36-37, is from the Keil and Delitzsch OT Commentary:
The "god of fortresses" is the personification of war, and the thought is this: he will regard no other god, but only war; the taking of fortresses he will make his god; and he will worship this god above all as the means of his gaining the world-power. Of this god, war as the object of deification, it might be said that his fathers knew nothing, because no other king had made war his religion, his god to whom he offered up in sacrifice all, gold, silver, precious stones, jewels.
The problem with trying to apply this explanation to Nero is that Nero is not known for having lavished wealth on Rome's military. He did make some provisions for retired veterans. And he did use his military (against the Parthians, Britons and Jews). But among historians, Nero was more known for his comparative disinterest in the military.

What seems more possible, and definitely stands out in history, is that Dan 11:38 may be an oblique reference to Nero's Domus Aurea (or "Golden House," for which one can Google "Domus Aurea Wikipedia"). Such palaces and strongholds were also referred to as "fortresses" and fit well within the definition of the Hebrew word mā-‘uz-zî (Strong's # 4581). And this "fortress" was huge, extravagant to an extreme, and very costly, especially at a time when Rome could hardly afford it, which was after the great fire of Rome. Some even thought he caused the fire just for the purpose of clearing the land for it. Nero is also known to have devalued Rome's coinage so as to help provide funding for the project. This affected Rome's economy for many decades afterwards.

See post #39 on page 4 of this thread for additional discussion of Dan 11:38.

Dan 11:39 He will attack mighty fortresses, aided by a foreign deity. To those who recognize him he will grant considerable honor. He will place them in authority over many people, and he will parcel out land for a price.

Part of this may be in relation to the Roman-Parthian War of 58-63 CE. The one major demand of the Romans was that the Armenians and the Parthians recognize Rome's right to approve of the ruler on the Armenian throne. 'This demand was eventually respected by the Parthians:
"Nero had set up in 55AD Aristobulus of Chalcis as King of Armenia Minor and participated with his forces in the Roman-Parthian War of 58–63 AD, where he received a small portion of Armenia in exchange for making him king."
In connection with Nero apportioning out land, the Wikipedia article on Vologases I says :
Unhappy with the growing Parthian influence at their doorstep,[7] Emperor Nero sent his general, Corbulo, with a large army to the east in order to restore the Roman client-kings.[7][9] A Hasmonean named Aristobulus was given Lesser Armenia (Nicopolis and Satala) and Sohaemus of Emesa received Armenia Sophene. . .

Nero gave the crown to the last royal descendant of the Kings of Cappadocia, the grandson of Glaphyra (daughter of Archelaus of Cappadocia) and Alexander of Judea (the brother of Herod Archelaus and the son of Herod the Great),[12] who assumed the Armenian name Tigranes (his uncle was Tigranes V).[13] His son, named Gaius Julius Alexander, married Iotapa, the daughter of Antiochus IV of Commagene and was made King of Cilicia. Nero was hailed vigorously in public for this initial victory[14] and Corbulo was appointed governor of Syria as a reward.[15] A guard of 1000 legionary soldiers, three auxiliary cohorts and two wings of horses were allotted to Tigranes in order to defend the country.[10] Border districts were bestowed to Roman allies that assisted Corbulo including Polemon, Parasmanes, Aristobolus and Antiochus.[10]
(For more details on the Roman-Parthian War of 58-63, google "Roman-Parthian War 58-63")

The relatively brief reign of Nero means that many of these descriptions of him in Dan 11:36-39 also correspond or overlap with the action described in Dan 11:40-45. So we will begin looking at how Dan 11:40-45 was fulfilled in his time.

How the Events of Nero's Time Were Fulfilled

Dan 11:40 “At the time of the end the king of the south will attack him ("shall push" K&D). Then the king of the north will storm against him with chariots, horsemen, and a large armada of ships. He will invade lands, passing through them like an overflowing river.

The K&D OT Commentary says, "In the word ["shall attack" or "push"] there lies the idea that the king of the south commences the war, makes an aggression against the hostile king." So what happened?
The Roman–Parthian War of 58–63 or the War of the Armenian Succession was fought between the Roman Empire and the Parthian Empire over control of Armenia, a vital buffer state between the two realms. Armenia had been a Roman client state since the days of Emperor Augustus, but in 52/53, the Parthians succeeded in installing their own candidate, Tiridates, on the Armenian throne.

These events coincided with the accession of Nero to the imperial throne in Rome, and the young emperor decided to react vigorously
The Romans had rapid early success:
The war, which was the only major foreign campaign of his reign, began with rapid success for the Roman forces, led by the able general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo. They overcame the forlandces loyal to Tiridates, installed their own candidate, Tigranes VI, on the Armenian throne, and left the country. (Quotes from here.)
Rome's military campaign also included ships (Wikipedia article: "Roman-Parthian War of 58-63"):
The Parthians had originally intended to invade Syria, but [Roman general] Corbulo put on a convincing display of military might, building a strong flotilla of ships equipped with catapults and a bridge over the Euphrates, which allowed him to establish a foothold on the Parthian shore.

Dan 11:41 Then he will enter the beautiful land. Many will fall, but these will escape: Edom, Moab, and the Ammonite leadership.

The "he" is the king of the north," Nero. "Beautiful land" is a cryptic reference to the promised land. "Many" there "fall." But ln contrast, Edom, Moab, and (the main part of") the Ammonites escape. (NET takes "chief" to refer to the leadership. NWT takes it as "the main part of.") So what is this referring to?

With Nero as the "king," this must refer to his vicious persecution of Christians following the fire in Rome. "Beautiful land" is being cryptically used to describe the Christian realm. So who are 'Edom, Moab, and Ammon' referring to? The K&D commentary describes them thusly:
Edom, Moab, and Ammon, related with Israel by descent, are the old hereditary and chief enemies of this people, who have become by name representatives of all the hereditary and chief enemies of the people of God.
This would be the prophecy's way of describing the natural Jews. Before Nero's persecution starting in 64 CE the Jews were the chief persecutors of Christians. These would correspond with "those who have rejected the covenant" in Dan 11:32. In this case, "the covenant" would refer to the new covenant, which has, by this time, replaced the old one.

The natural Jews don't completely miss out on Nero's tyranny at this point in time (c. 64 CE). Nero appointed Gessius Florus as procurator of Judea in 64 CE. The Jews had already been feeling the burden of Roman rule. Now with Florus their burdens increased greatly. Here is how Florus is described (from here)
Gessius Florus was the Roman procurator of Judea from 64 until 66. . . Florus was appointed to replace Lucceius Albinus as procurator by the Emperor Nero . . . He was noted for his public greed and injustice to the Jewish population, and is credited by Josephus as being the primary cause of the Great Jewish Revolt.
At this point, the careful reader may also see in 'Edom, Moab, and Ammon' an subtle reference to the greatly factioned nature of Jewish society at that point in time.

Dan 11:42, 43 He will extend his power against other lands; the land of Egypt will not escape. He will have control over the hidden stores of gold and silver, as well as all the treasures of Egypt. Libyans and Ethiopians will submit to him.

The "land of Egypt" is also a reference to the realm of the "king of the south." There is a subtle irony here (when applied to Nero's time). Remember that Nero responded to the Parthian 'pushing' in Dan 11:40 with a 'vigorous' military response and huge successes. Unfortunately for the Romans, the war becomes somewhat of a standoff. Rome's demands were that they have rights of approval for whoever would sit on the Armenian throne. And the Parthians eventually concede. Technically, by this means, Rome has financial control.

Also, because of the great Rome fire and the financial calamity that it put the Roman Empire in, Nero now uses all sorts of pressure and bullying of nations within the realm for taxation purposes:
Nero increased taxes and even put to death six large landowners in Africa. Like Caligula, when he began to run out of money, Nero resorted to robberies and cruel blackmail. According to Dio Cassius, many were put to death, while many others purchased their lives from Tigellinus for a great price.
See page 6, post #53 of this thread for further discussion of this verse.

Dan 11:44 But reports will trouble him from the east and north, and he will set out in a tremendous rage to destroy and wipe out many.

This verse describes Nero's reaction after hearing about the military disaster that befell Cestius Gallus in November of 66 CE following his move against Jerusalem, as Jesus foretold in Mt 24:15 and Lu 21:20. Josephus reports:
When Nero was informed of the Romans' ill success in Judea [which is "east" of Rome and was in connection with the Jewish rebellion and the military disaster that befell Cestius Gallus - Bobcat], a concealed consternation and terror, as is usual in such cases, fell upon him; although he openly looked very big, and was very angry, and said that what had happened was rather owing to the negligence of the commander, than to any valor of the enemy: and as he thought it fit for him, who bare the burden of the whole empire, to despise such misfortunes, he now pretended so to do, and to have a soul superior to all such sad accidents whatsoever. Yet did the disturbance that was in his soul plainly appear by the solicitude he was in [how to recover his affairs again].(Wars of the Jews, Book 3, Chapter 1, paragraph 1)
Regarding possible reports "out of the north" (i.e. north of Judea):
The captain of the Temple committed the first act of rebellion in July of 66 ad, when he stopped the twice daily offering of a bull and two lambs on behalf of the emperor and the Roman people. That slap in the Roman face alarmed Jerusalem’s leading citizens, who requested troops from both Florus and Agrippa II, grandson of Herod the Great and king of the region north of Galilee known as Chalcis. Agrippa had no political authority in Jerusalem, but he maintained a palace there for himself and his sister Berenice. He was also in charge of the Temple. (See also this post.)
In response to this situation, Nero appoints battle-tested general Vespasian to destroy the Jews and hopefully quell rebellious ideas in other parts of the empire also. Unfortunately, for the Jews, the peace settlement in the Roman-Parthian War has freed up forces for the conduct of the Roman-Jewish War.

My research uncovered a "cry of peace and security" (a la 1Th 5:3) that took place in late May of 66 CE. Completely unexpected! See posts #19 & #21 on pages 2 & 3 of this thread for details.

Dan 11:45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas toward the beautiful holy mountain. But he will come to his end, with no one to help him.

Vespasian begins his campaign against the Jews in the spring of 67 CE. "Between the seas toward the beautiful holy mountain" places Nero's military forces within the Jewish nation, Galilee to be exact.

In 68 CE Nero comes to his end by his own hand (from here):
Things could only get worse. Phaon arrived with the news that the Senate had condemned him to death and he was now being hunted everywhere as a fugitive. Once the Senate no longer feared the Praetorian Guards, they voted for Galba [and] sentenced Nero to death. That was the final act. Nero made up his mind to escape a cruel execution by his own hand.
For a fuller quote on Nero's lonely end, see note #4 on page 6, post #53.


Dan 11:36-45 certainly appears to fit the time period of Nero quite nicely. In Part Three we will see if we can also fit the prophecy to a yet greater fulfillment.

I may add some auxiliary information and links for this part in other posts.


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Re: The Final King of the North

#8 Post by Bobcat » 3 years ago

Hi Nightingale,

Hope the above answers some of your questions.


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Re: The Final King of the North

#9 Post by Dajo1 » 3 years ago

So... Yes a literal geographically physical fulfilment in that case. Thanks for that it makes sense. Now the thing I find hard to figure in the future fulfilment is wether or not it remains like that or does it switch to spiritual?
The land of "Israel" today is not the realm of "God's people" but then again is it. We know the promise made to Abraham... If it directly involves the JW realm then I can see why the GB would say it was Russia. .But then when we look at the "Holy Land" and all that has happened with that situation (70 yrs now since 1948) It's extremely interesting!

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Re: The Final King of the North

#10 Post by Bobcat » 3 years ago

A few observations on my last post:

It was interesting that the events listed in Dan 11:40-45, at least their individual starting points, are in chronological order. And they basically cover the entire reign of Nero.

At the same time the wording is (IMO) vague/cryptic enough to properly describe another situation of a future time.

Describing Nero as a "king of the north" has much historical reality to it. (See here.) The Roman Empire had swallowed up part of the Selucid Empire, with the Parthian Empire taking another part. The Roman and Parthian Empires struggled with each other all the way into the dark ages. So they were a natural extension of the struggle between the kings of the north (Seleucid) and south (Ptolemaic). Although, the "north" and "south" had lost its geographical significance. Rome and Parthia were more West and East of each other. The prophecy simply kept its original geographical designations.

Another thing I learned along the way was that in the last few years of Nero's reign there were a number of serious separatist movements and plots to take the throne within the far reaches of the Roman Empire. The effect of Nero's reign was in the process of causing the breakup of the Roman Empire. His death seems to be the catalyst for plunging the whole empire into the cataclysmic civil war of 68-69 CE. Some of the details can be found on this page. All this reinforced my view that Rev 13:3 is describing this.

For additional thoughts on Nero's persecution of Christians starting in 64 CE and the ensuing Roman Civil War of 68-69 CE, see this post (on page 25 of that thread) and my following posts to the end of page 26. There is a possible relationship with the "time and times and half a time" of Dan 12:7.

For a proposed relationship between the 1290 & 1335 days of Dan 12:11-12 and the 2300 days of Dan 8:13-14 with the Jewish-Roman War of 66-73 CE see this page and the three bottom links.

If "Michael" of Dan 12:1 is the same as Jesus, a fulfillment in Nero's time adds weight to the idea that Jesus was indeed crowned prior to the Jewish-Roman War of 66-73 CE.

The start of Nero's persecution in 64 CE also adds weight to the idea that Satan was cast out of heaven prior to this. (Compare Rev 12:13 and here.)


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