Daniel 11:21-45

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.