Daniel 11

1 I myself helped Michael in the first year that Darius ruled as king. I fought with Michael against his enemies.’

11:1Verse 1 continues from Daniel 10:20-21. Darius became king when the Medes and Persians won against the Babylonians. Darius was a descendant of the Medes. See Daniel 9:1.

The angel gives his message to Daniel

2 Then the angel said to Daniel, ‘Now I will tell you the truth about what will happen. There will be three more kings who rule Persia. After them, there will be a fourth king. He will be richer than all the other kings who ruled before him. He will become very powerful because of his riches. Then he will tell other nations that they must attack the kingdom of Greece.

3 Then a great king will appear. He will rule with great power. He will do whatever he wants to do. 4 While he rules powerfully like that, his kingdom will quickly break into four parts. Those parts will be in all directions. His descendants will not rule his kingdom. Instead, other people will rule as kings, but their kingdoms will not be as powerful.

11:3This great king was Alexander the Great.

5 Then the king who rules in the south will become strong. But one of his own army officers will become even stronger. That officer will rule a greater kingdom than the king of the south.

11:5The king of the south was the king of Egypt.

6 After some years, the king of the south and the king of the north will agree to be friends. The king of the south's daughter will go to marry the king of the north. That would make their agreement strong. But the plan will fail. She will lose her authority. Her husband will no longer rule as king. Someone will kill her, her husband, her child and the servants who helped her.

11:6The king of the north was the king of Syria.

7 Later, someone from her family will become king of the south. He will attack the army of the king of the north. He will go into that king's strong city. He will win the battle against the king of the north. 8 He will take the images of their gods back to Egypt with him. He will also take away valuable things that they had made from gold and silver. Then for several years, he will not attack the king of the north again.

9 After that, the king of the north will take his army into the land that the king of the south rules. But they will cause him to return to his own country. 10 Then his sons will prepare to fight a war. They will bring together a large army. Their soldiers will march forward like a powerful river. They will fight a battle all the way into the strong place of their enemy.

11:10Israel was in the middle, between Egypt and Syria. Perhaps Syria's army was moving south into Israel. But Egypt's army then marches north to attack them.

11 Then the king of the south will be very angry. He will march with his army to fight against the king of the north. The king from the north will also have a large army, but the king of the south will win the battle. 12 The king of the south will boast that he has destroyed this large army. He will be proud that he has killed thousands of people. But he will not continue to win battles. 13 The king of the north will again bring together a large army. It will be even bigger than the army that he had before. After a few years, he will march forward with his great army and all their many weapons.

14 At that time, many people will turn against the king of the south. Violent men from your own people in Israel will also be ready to attack him. This would make the vision become true. They will fight against him, but they will fail. 15 Then the king from the north will march south with his army. He will build up heaps of earth around the walls of a strong city. He will take the city for himself. The soldiers of the kingdom in the south will not be able to stop him. Even their best soldiers will not be strong enough to win the fight. 16 The king who attacked from the north will do whatever he wants to do. Nobody will be able to stop him. He will march into the Beautiful Land. He will have the power to destroy it.

11:15Soldiers built heaps of earth like this so that they could climb over the walls and attack the city.
11:16The Beautiful Land was Israel, the land that God had given to his people as their home.

17 The king from the north will decide to march south with all his kingdom's strong army. He will make an agreement with the king of the south. He will give one of his daughters to marry the king of the south. He will try to destroy that kingdom, but his plan will fail. His daughter will not be able to do anything to help him.

18 After this, he will decide to attack the countries near the sea. He will take many of their cities for himself. But an officer of a foreign army will stop him. He will cause the king of the north to stop boasting. He will no longer be proud but he will be ashamed. 19 So the king of the north will return to the strong cities in his own country. But he will lose his power and he will fall. Nobody will ever see him again.

20 Then another king will rule in the north. He will try to make his kingdom even greater. He will send out a cruel man to take taxes from people. But that king will soon die. This will not happen in a battle or because people are angry with him.

The evil king of the north

21 The king who rules after him will be an evil man. He will not belong to the royal family, so he should not be the king. He will deceive people to make himself the king. It will happen at a time when people think that they are safe. 22 He will quickly destroy any army that tries to attack him. He will even kill the leader of God's covenant. 23 He will agree to be friends with other leaders. But then he will deceive them. He will become more and more powerful, but he will rule only a few people.

11:22‘The leader of God's covenant’ may mean the leader of the priests at the temple in Jerusalem.

24 His army will suddenly attack a region that is very rich. The king will do things that none of his ancestors did. He will take valuable things from his enemies when he fights against them. He will share those things with the men who help him. He will make plans to attack strong cities. But he will only be able to do this for a short time.

25 The evil king of the north will bring together a large, strong army. He will feel brave enough to attack the king of the south. The king of the south will fight against him with an even larger and more powerful army. But the king of the south will not be able to win the battle. His own men will turn against him. 26 Even those who eat the king's food will try to kill him. Many of his soldiers will die in the battle. His army will run away.

27 These two kings will sit at the same table to make plans. But they will deceive each other with evil lies. Their plans will be useless. God has already decided when their time as kings will finish.

28 Then the king of the north will return to his own country. He will take many valuable things with him. As he returns, he will cause trouble for the people who obey God's covenant. He will do whatever he wants to do against them. Then he will continue his journey back to his own country.

11:28The King of Syria travelled though Israel on his way home from Egypt. He wanted to stop God's people from worshipping the Lord.

29 At the time that God chooses, the king will attack the south again. This time the result will be different from the first time. 30 People will come in ships from the west to attack him. He will be afraid and he will turn back. He will be angry as he travels home. So he will cause more trouble for the people who obey God's covenant. He will give honour to those people who turn away from the holy covenant. 31 He will send his soldiers to attack Jerusalem's strong place. They will go into the holy place of the temple and they will make it unclean. They will stop people from offering the sacrifices each day. They will put a disgusting thing that causes trouble in the holy place. 32 The king will deceive the people who are no longer faithful to God. He will make them help him. But the people who are still faithful to God will work hard to stop him.

33 Wise Israelite leaders will teach many other people. But these teachers will suffer for some time. People will kill them in battle, or with fire. People will rob them. People will put some of them in prison. 34 When God's people are in a time of trouble, they will receive a little help. Many people will join them who are not their true friends. 35 Some of the wise leaders will suffer. As a result, God will make them clean and pure. This will continue until the time for the end. God has decided when that time will come.

36 The king will do whatever he wants to do. He will say that he is greater than any god. He will even say proud things to insult the God who rules all other gods. He will be successful until the time when God's anger finishes. God will finish doing what he has decided to do. 37 This king will not respect the gods that his ancestors worshipped. He will not even respect the god that women love. He will not respect any god. He will think that he is greater than all the gods. 38 Instead, he will give honour to the god that makes cities strong and safe. His ancestors did not know that god. But he will give gold, silver, jewels and other valuable gifts as offerings to that god. 39 He will ask a foreign god to help him as he attacks the strongest cities of his enemies. He will give great honour to those people who accept him as their leader. He will give them authority to rule many people. He will give them land because they have helped him.

40 At the time of the end, the king of the south will attack him. The king of the north will fight against him very strongly. He will march out quickly with chariots and soldiers who ride on horses. He will also have many ships. His army will attack many countries. He will go through those countries like a strong flood of water. 41 He will march into the Beautiful Land. He will kill many thousands of the people there. But these people will escape from his power: the people of Edom and Moab, and the leaders of Ammon. 42 He will have power over many countries. The country of Egypt will not escape. 43 He will take away from Egypt the gold, silver and other valuable things. The people of Libya and Ethiopia will be under his power.

44 But he will become afraid when he hears news from the east and the north. It will cause him to be very angry. He will go with his army to destroy many people. 45 He will put up his royal tents between the seas, at the holy mountain. But he will die there and nobody will help him.’

11:45The holy mountain was the place where they built the temple in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was ‘between the seas’, the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea.