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Antiochus Epiphanes and the End Times
Part 3: The Prophetic Fulfillment
Daniel 11:21-37 prophesied the most significant acts of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (r. 176 – ca. 164 B.C.), one of Daniel 11ʼs human Kings of the North, and also the acts of the Jews during his rule. “In the time of the end [of the age],” essentially the same deeds, in the same sequence, will be committed by Daniel 11:40-45ʼs King of the North, and also by Godʼs people:
1) Lawlessness and Apostasy: of the Jewish people and priests, beginning in the latter 170s B.C., and likewise of both Judaism and the Church in the Latter Days.
2) An invasion of Egypt, followed by a furious return to the Holy Land.
3) An Abomination of Desolation being set up.
4) Persecution of and flight/escape of Godʼs people to the wilderness.
1) The former time of apostasy, sin, and lawlessness committed by Godʼs priests and people began in the latter 170s B.C., when –
1 Macc. 1:11 In those days lawless men came forth from Israel and misled many… 13 …to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles. 14 So they…abandoned the holy covenant.
Dan. 8:12 Because of transgression [Heb. pesha: rebellion, sin; LXX: amartia/sin] an army was given [Antiochus] against the daily [Temple service], and he cast down truth to the ground; and he practiced, and prospered.
1 Macc. 2:15 …the kingʼs officers…were enforcing the apostasy [Gr. apostasia]…
The latter days will provide the same pattern of events:
Dan. 11:41 [The King of the North] shall enter the Glorious Land, and many shall stumble/be enfeebled/be overthrown…
2 Thess. 2:1 …the Day of Christ will not come… 3 …unless the apostasy [Gr. apostasia] comes first, and the man of sin [Gr. amartia] is revealed, the Son of Perdition…
Matt. 24:11 And many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And…lawlessness will abound…
2) After the initial corruption of faith, an invasion of Egypt follows:
1 Macc. 1:29 Two years later [in 168 B.C.]… 2 Macc. 5:1 …Antiochus made his second invasion of Egypt.
Dan. 11:29 At the appointed time he shall return and go into the South; but it shall not be like the former [time, when he plundered Egypt], or like the latter/last.
The Latter Day invasion, unlike the former, will be successful:
Dan. 11:42 He shall stretch out his hand against lands, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 And he shall have dominion over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt…
3) Following an angry return by the King of the North from Egypt to the land of Israel, he causes an Abomination of Desolation to be set up in Jerusalem:
Dan. 11:30 …and he shall return and be enraged against the holy covenant… 31 …they shall place the abomination of desolation.
1 Macc. 1:54 Now on the 15th day of Chislev in the 145th year [~Dec. 16, 168 B.C.], they erected a desolating sacrilege [likely an idol of Zeus] upon the altar of burnt offering.
A Latter Day abomination is likewise prophesied:
Dan. 11:44 …he shall go out [of the south] with great fury… 45 And he shall plant the tents of his pavilion between the seas at the glorious holy mountain… 12:11 …and an abomination of desolation [will be] set up…
Matt. 24:15 …you [shall] see the Abomination of Desolation, spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place…
2 Thes. 2:3 …the man of sin [shall] be revealed, the Son of Perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called a god or that is worshiped, so that he sits as a god in the naos/sanctuary/holy place of God, exhibiting himself that he is a god.
4) Immediately following this culminating act of apostasy, a great persecution of Godʼs people begins, and they flee into the wilderness:
1 Macc. 1:41 …the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, 42 and that each should give up his customs. … 53 …they drove [the faithful of] Israel into hiding in every place of refuge they had. … 2:15 Then the kingʼs officers who were enforcing the apostasy [Gr. apostasia] came to Modein to make them offer sacrifice. … 19 But Mattathias answered and said in a loud voice… 22 “We will not obey the kingʼs words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left. … 27 Let everyone who is zealous for the law and supports the covenant come out with me!” 28 And he and his sons fled to the hills and left all that they had in the city. 29 Then many who were seeking righteousness and justice went down to the wilderness to dwell there…
Dan. 11:32 Those who [did] wickedly against the covenant [Antiochus] corrupt[ed] with flattery; but the people knowing their God [were] strong, and acted so. 33 …yet for many days they [were] enfeeble[d] by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering.
A Latter Day persecution and flight is likewise prophesied:
Dan. 12:1 …And there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall escape/be delivered…
Matt. 24:9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you… 16 …then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. … 21 For then there will be [the] Great Tribulation, such has not been from the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor shall be.
Rev. 12:1 Then the Woman fled into the wilderness…
At this point, the significant acts of the King of the North against Godʼs people, both past and present, come to an end. Antiochus never returned to Judah, nor was directly involved there. He left to campaign in the east, and thereafter failed to capture the wealthy city of Elymais in Persia. Then,
1 Macc. 6:7 [Hearing] that [the Jews] had torn down the abomination which he had erected upon the altar in Jerusalem… 8 …he was astounded and badly shaken. He took to his bed and became sick from grief, because things had not turned out for him as he had planned. … 16 Thus Antiochus the king died there…
Of the Latter Day King of the North, Daniel prophesies that, after he sets himself up –
Dan. 11:45 …at the glorious holy mountain…he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.
2 Thes. 2:8 …the Lord will consume [him] with the spirit of His mouth, and bring [him] to nought with the brightness of His Coming.
For more information about this person, see my blog, The Son of Perdition Is a Patsy. The prophecy of Daniel 12:11-12 about the 1290- and 1335-day periods of this era will be discussed in the next blog.