Islam from a Biblical Perspective IX
The King of the North
The vision of Daniel 11 actually begins in Daniel 10.
In verse 14, the angel reveals to Daniel the ultimate end-time context of the vision.
The ultimate meaning of the prophecy is what is going to happen to Israel in the "last days". "In the future" is a translation of the Hebrew Beaharit hayyamim, usually rendered "in the last days". Normally the phrase describes events that will occur just prior to and including the coming of the kingdom of God upon the earth...
The climax of the historical preview provided by the angel is the future kingdom of God. The angel next begins to explain the events concerning the immediate future of the Medo-Persian Empire and its fall to Alexander the Great.
Alexander's premature death would result in his empire being broken up among his four successors.
This remarkably detailed prophecy of the 150-year struggle between the various inheritors of Alexander's kingdom concentrates on Ptolemy I Soter (323-283 BC) and his successors in Egypt (the kings of the south) and Seleucus I Nicator (312-281 BC) and is his successors in Syria (the kings of the north). In verses 21-35, we are told of the career of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the "little horn" of Daniel 8, the eight rulers of the Northern Seleucid Empire.
The clash between the Seleucid Empire in the north and the Ptolemaic Empire in the south continues to be a major emphasis of the unfolding story.
The discussion concerning the clash between the Seleucids led by Antiochus and the Ptolemaic Empire in the south ends with verse 35. While some scholars disagree with this view, conservative futurists scholars generally accept that verses 35 and 36 mark the transition between Antiochus and his last days anti-type, the Antichrist. The prediction relates to Antiochus from verse 21 to verse 35, but that beginning with 36, Antichrist, by the designation of "the king who shall do according to his will", is the theme of the prophecy, to the close of chapter 11. Between verses 35 and 36, a shift from the type (Antiochus) to the anti-type (Antichrist) takes place.
Verse 40 tells us that the context of this final portion of the prophecy is the end-times. It seems clear from the description of the "king of the North", he is none other than the Antichrist. Daniel 11 reveals the Antichrist to hail from the region of Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. (The Seleucid Empire) The title 'King of the North' is used to describe the Antichrist. This title is used seven times in Daniel 11.
The first six times, it refers to the various kings of the Seleucid Empire. But in verse 40, the Antichrist, as the last-days Antiochus IV Epiphanes, is also referred to as the king of the North who will rule over a last-days version of the Seleucid Empire. After entering Israel, the Antichrist will conquer the three nations of Egypt, Libya, and Cush, which correlate with the modern Islamic Republic of North Sudan.
The three nations of Egypt, Libya, and Sudan here correspond to the three horns that would first be uprooted by the Antichrist.
One would assume that they refer to the movements of large armies, perhaps from Russia in the north and China in the east.
The Antichrist is portrayed as "pitching royal tents" in the land of Israel, where he is simply described as coming "to his end".
In the days and years ahead, we should expect to see the emergence of a northern leader from the general region of Turkey, Syria, or Iraq; that is, the Seleucid Empire. Another southern leader will emerge in Egypt. The southern leader will clash with the northern leader in what will lead to a large-scale military confrontation. Egypt will fall to the northern leader. Libya and Sudan (Cush) will then submit to the northern leader. After this, seven other nations from the region will willingly throw their support behind the northern leader/ Antichrist and his emerging empire. This revived empire is that which was prophesied in Daniel 2 as the feet of iron and clay, in Daniel 7 as the ten horns. This will be the final, Antichristic empire that will crush the people of God throughout the region and in much of the earth and ultimately being completely destroyed by Jesus the Messiah.