Daniel 11: The Kings of the North and the South

In Daniel chapter 11 the Lord gives Daniel the vision of the king of the south and the king of the north. The king of the south is the power who is governing the kingdoms south of Jerusalem. The king of the north is the power who is governing the kingdoms north of Jerusalem. Chapter 11 seems to mirror the period in history concerning the breakup of the Macedonian empire and the following rule of the Seleucid, Ptolemaic and Antiochus dynasties.

Daniel 11:2 “And now I will tell you the truth: Behold, three more kings will arise in Persia, and the fourth shall be far richer than them all; by his strength, through his riches, he shall stir up all against the realm of Greece.”

Cyrus was the ruling king when these words were written, Cambyses was the next king and the son of Cyrus, Bardiya was the next king and was also a son of Cyrus, the third king was Darius I son of Hystaspes, the fourth king from Cyrus was Xerxes I son of Darius I. Xerxes led a campaign against Sparta and Greece although Xerxes’army eventually defeated the Spartans his campaign against Greece ultimately ended in failure.

Daniel 11:3-4 “Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken up and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not among his prosperity nor according to his dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be uprooted, even for others besides these.”

The mighty king is Alexander the Great and he died at a young age when his empire was strong. The Macedonian Empire was eventually settled into four regions; north, south, east and west. Lysimachus had Thrace (Asia Minor), Ptolemy had Egypt, Seleucus had Babylon/Syria and Cassander had Greece. But as predicted they did not prosper as well as Alexander’s Empire nor ruled with his authority or power.

Daniel 11:5 “Also the king of the south shall become strong, as well as one of his princes; and he shall gain power over him and have dominion. His dominion shall be a great dominion.”

The king of the south at this point was the Ptolemaic dynasty which did become strong under their reign. And one of Alexander’s princes’ became stronger than the others. Lysimachus defeated Cassander and took over Thrace (Asia Minor). Seleucus then defeated Lysimachus after which Thrace and Macedonia were annexed to Syria. Therefore the Seleucids became the king of the North and Ptolemaic dynasty the king of the South.

Daniel 11:6 “And at the end of the some years they shall join force, for the daughter of the king of the South shall go to the king of the North to make an agreement; but she shall not retain the power of her authority, and neither he nor his authority shall stand; but she shall be given up, with those who brought her, and with him who begot her, and with him who strengthened her in those times.”

Many historians see the fulfillment of this verse in agreement made between Antiochus of Syria and Ptolemy Philadelphus. Antiochus was to get rid of his former wife Laodice and marry Berenice the daughter of Ptolemy. So Berenice went to Antiochus and it wasn’t long before Antiochus had his former wife brought back. To cement her children with the future of the empire Laodice had her husband poisoned to prevent Berenice’s children from inheriting the throne.

Daniel 11:7-8 “But from a branch of her roots one shall arise in his place, who shall come with an army, enter the fortress of the king of the North, and deal with them and prevail. And he shall also carry their Gods captive to Egypt, with their princes and their precious articles of silver and gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the North.”

“This branch out of the same root with Berenice was her brother, Ptolemy Euergetes. He had no sooner succeeded his father, Ptolemy Philadelphus, in the kingdom of Egypt, than, burning to avenge the death of his sister, Berenice, he raised an immense army, and invaded the territory of the king of the north, that is, of Seleucus Callinicus, who, with his mother, Laodice, reigned in Syria. And he prevailed against them, even to the conquering of Syria, Cilicia, the upper parts beyond the Euphrates, and almost all Asia. But hearing that a sedition was raised in Egypt requiring his return home, he plundered the kingdom of Seleucus, took forty thousand talents of silver and precious vessels, and two thousand five hundred images of the gods. Among these were the images which Cambyses had formerly taken from Egypt and carried into Persia. The Egyptians, being wholly given to idolatry, bestowed upon Ptolemy the title of Euergetes, or the Benefactor, as a compliment for his having thus, after many years, restored their captive gods.”
{Daniel and the Revelation, chapter 11, A Literal Prophecy, by Uriah Smith, pages 252-53}

The history almost mirrors that entirely of the conflict and outcome between Ptolemy Euergetes and Seleucus Callinicus. It’s interesting to note that Uriah titles this chapter ‘A Literal Prophecy’ as if the others before this were not literal prophecies.

Daniel 11:9-10 “Also the king of the North shall come to the kingdom of the king of the South, but shall return to his own land. However his sons shall stir up strife, and assemble a multitude of great forces; and one shall certainly come and overwhelm and pass through; then he shall return to his fortress and stir up strife.”

The fulfillment of these verses seems to be the sons of Seleucus Callinicus who were Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus Magnus. Seleucus Caraunus raised a large army to try and take back what had been taken from his father, but he was a weak king and was poisoned by his own generals. Antiochus Magnus his brother then became king of the North; he retook Seleucia and Syria and then set his eyes on Egypt.

Daniel 11:11 “And the king of the South shall be moved with rage, and go out and fight with him, with the king of the North, who shall muster a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into the hand of his enemy.”

Ptolemy IV Philopater was the king of the South at this point and he was aware of Antiochus III and the threat of war so he went out with his army to confront him. In 217 BC at the battle of Gaza Antiochus III was defeated and his army was led captive back to Egypt.

Daniel 11:12 “When he has taken away the multitude his heart will be lifted up; and he will cast down tens of thousands, but he will not prevail. For the king of the North will return and muster a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come at the end of some years with a great army and much equipment.”

Ptolemy IV instead of pushing his advantage made peace with Antiochus III and went back to Alexandria. Then his own people rebelled against him in the southern part of Egypt. According to Jewish custom Ptolemy wanted to make a sacrifice at the temple in Jerusalem, but the priests would not allow him, thus Ptolemy murdered thousands of Jews in the city of Alexandria. Ptolemy IV died in 204 BC and was replaced by his son Ptolemy Epiphanes. Antiochus III had waited fourteen years since his first defeat and he saw this change in kingship as an opportunity so he raised a huge army greater than the last one and went to besiege the Ptolemaic forces. The forces of Antiochus III met the Ptolemaic forces near the headwaters of the Jordan River at Paneas it resulted in a crushing defeat for the Aetolian general Scopas who led the Egyptian forces.

Antiochus III used new ‘equipment’ for the first time in the battle of Panium. The cavalry of Antiochus used cataphracs, horses and riders where decked out from head to toe with heavy plate armor. This ‘equipment’ and the tactics used by Antiochus ended in a crushing defeat for the opposition who had no answer for this new weapon of warfare. This battle ended the Ptolemaic rule in Judea and is dated to 200 BC.

Daniel 11:14 “Now in those times many shall rise up against the king of the South. Also violent men of your people shall exalt themselves in fulfillment of the vision, but they shall fall.”

The term here written ‘violent men’ or ‘robbers’ of Daniel’s people is here identified by Uriah as the Romans, but the Hebrew word used here is ‘ben’ which on most occasions is transliterated as ‘son’ or the plural ‘children.’ So the verse should read, ‘the sons of your people shall exalt themselves in fulfillment of this vision.’ As how can any other kingdom attempt to fulfill a biblical prophecy if they don't know about the vision? In other words only the Jews would have known about this prophecy so these ‘violent’ men have to come from within the Jewish community itself.

“Yet was it not long afterward when Antiochus overcame Scopas, in a battle fought at the fountains of Jordan, and destroyed a great part of his army. But afterward, when Antiochus subdued those cities of Celesyria which Scopas had gotten into his possession, and Samaria with them, the Jews, of their own accord, went over to him, and received him into the city [Jerusalem], and gave plentiful provision to all his army, and to his elephants, and readily assisted him when he besieged the garrison which was in the citadel of Jerusalem. “
{Antiquties, Josephus, 12.3.3}

Daniel 11:15 “So the king of the North shall come and build a siege mound and take a fortified city; and the forces of the South shall not withstand him. Even his choice troops shall have no strength to resist.”

Scopas and his army were defeated at the battle of Panium and he fled to the city of Sidon. Antiochus besieged the city in the end Scopas had to admit defeat and surrendered due to famine, ‘even his choice troops shall have no strength to resist.’ Even though Scopas had been defeated he set his eyes on the Ptolemaic empire intending to take the whole kingdom, but Ptolemy heard of his intentions and sent his chief minister Aristomenes to arrest him. Scopas had no time to react was captured and then executed the next night in 196 BC.

Daniel 11:16 “But he who comes against him shall do according to his own will, and no one shall stand against him. He shall stand in the Glorious Land with destruction in his power.”

Antiochus III’s victory over Scopas marked the end of Ptolemaic rule in Judea. Uriah identifies the one who will do according to his own will as the Romans, in particular Julius Caesar, but this would wipe out 150 years of history. No one could stand up against Antiochus III and he did indeed enter the Glorious Land where he was received with adoration. His purpose was to utterly destroy Egypt and Jews helped him where ever possible giving him horses and elephants and even helped in defeating Scopas.

Daniel 11:17 “He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do. And he shall give him the daughter of women to destroy it; but she shall not stand with him, or be for him.”

Antiochus III intended to send his whole army against the Egyptians. He then offered his daughter Cleopatra I to marry Ptolemy V Epiphanes in 193 BC hoping that he would have an ally on the inside. However his plan backfired as Cleopatra was loyal to her new husband and the Egyptian people and she did not stand with her Father.

Daniel 11:18 “After this he shall turn his face to the coastlands, and shall take many. But a ruler shall bring the reproach against them to an end; and with the reproach removed, he shall turn back on him.”

Antiochus III then turned his attention to Asia Minor where he intended to take back the coast land cities. In 192 BC Antiochus had taken Thrace and was elected commander in chief of Aetolian League. This brought about the attention of the Romans and in 191 BC he was defeated in battle by Manius Acilius Glabrio. In 190 BC Scipio Asiaticus invaded Anatolia which ended in a decisive victory for Scipio and secured Asia Minor for Rome. The Treaty of Apamea was signed in 188 BC which gave Rome all the land north of the Taurus River.

Daniel 11:19 “Then he shall turn his face toward the fortress of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.”

Rome inflicted Antiochus with the cost of the war so he had no option but to plunder other cities for the money. He went to Luristan or Susa to plunder a pagan temple but he was murdered in 187 BC.

Daniel 11:20 “There shall arise in his place one who imposes taxes on the glorious kingdom; but within a few days he shall be destroyed, but not in anger or in battle.”

After the death of Antiochus III his son Seleucus IV Philopater took the throne. Rome had imposed heavy taxes on the Seleucid Empire and as a result Seleucus had to impose taxes on the people within his empire which included Judea. Seleucus sent his own tax collector to the temple in Jerusalem to extract the money. When Selucus took the throne Rome decided that there should be an exchange of hostages so Demetrius Seleucus’ son was exchanged for Antiochus IV who when released went to Athens. Seleucus only lasted a few more years before being poisoned by his minister Heliodorus in 175 BC.

Daniel 11:21 “And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably and seize the kingdom by intrigue.”

Following the death of Seleucus his son Demetrius was the rightful heir but he was a hostage in Rome. Antiochus IV had sailed to Perganum and there he gained the support of the powerful Eumenes II king of Perganum and his son Attulus. Antiochus then went home and became co-regent with Seleucus’ infant son. Soon after the son died and Antiochus IV was declared sole ruler in 170 BC.

Daniel 11:22 “With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant.”

Uriah and many others see the ‘prince of the covenant’ as being Christ, but the verse implies that force would be the cause against the ‘prince of the covenant.’ The ‘prince of the covenant’ in this case must apply to the high priest of Jerusalem. The Hebrew word here transliterated as ‘prince’ on most occasions means ‘ruler,’ and similarly the word covenant means ‘league’ or agreement. According to history Onias was high priest at this time, but Joshua his brother made an agreement with Antiochus IV to remove Onias and replace him as high priest. So Antiochus forced the high priest out and appointed Joshua/Jason as high priest in his stead in 174 BC. However, another priest named Menelaus was sent to Antiochus with Jason’s bribe, instead of giving Antiochus the money he added to it and bribed Antiochus to make him high priest in his place. Menelaus then returned to Jerusalem and deposed Jason. 

Daniel 11:23 “And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people.”

The king of the North Antiochus IV had made a league of sorts with his nephew Ptolemy IV and now ruler of the Kingdom of the South. Antiochus wanted Egypt for himself so he dispatched a small force to Egypt in the guise that he was going to protect his nephew. Uriah sees the league in this verse as the league between Rome and Judea which was made in 161 BC. So according to Uriah the prophecy switched from Roman Emperor Tiberius back 160 years to this league.

Daniel 11:24 “He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places; and he shall do what his fathers had not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time.”

Antiochus IV had his eyes set on Egypt and plundered some of the riches parts. While in Egypt Antiochus is said to have lavishly spread the wealth amongst the Egyptian people to secure their loyalty something that his forefathers had not done.

Daniel 11:25 “He shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the South with a great army. And the king of the South shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand, for they shall devise plans against him.”

Antiochus IV launched an attack against Egypt in 170 BC, the Egyptian army was great and met him at Pelusium. During the battle Antiochus is said to have rode into the midst of the battle declaring that the Egyptians be taken prisoner instead of being slain. This won Antiochus the respect of all the Egyptians. King Ptolemy was captured but Antiochus allowed him to continue as a puppet king so as not to antagonize Rome.

Daniel 11:26 “Yes, those who eat of the portion of his delicacies shall destroy him; his army shall be swept away, and many shall fall down slain.”

Ptolemy’s own administrators were responsible for his downfall. Some switched sides preferring the rule of Antiochus IV who won them over by intrigue, promises and gifts.

Daniel 11:27 “Both these kings’ hearts shall be bent on evil, and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper, for the end will still be at the appointed time.”

Antiochus’ plan was to set the two brothers Ptolemy VI and Ptolemy VII against each other. Antiochus had set his eyes on Alexandria where the majority, who were intrigued by Antiochus, had Ptolemy VI deposed and placed his brother Ptolemy VII on the throne.

Daniel 11:28 “While returning to his land with great riches, his heart shall be moved against the holy covenant; and so he shall do damage and return to his own land.”

News had reached Jerusalem that Antiochus had been killed. Jason the former high priest then raised a small army and attacked Jerusalem. Antiochus thought Judea was in revolt and he led his army to attack Jerusalem. Many people were killed and others were placed in bondage. Antiochus then ransacked the Jewish temple taking all the precious items.

“When these happenings were reported to the king, he thought that Judea was in revolt. Raging like a wild animal, he set out from Egypt and took Jerusalem by storm. He ordered his soldiers to cut down without mercy those whom they met and to slay those who took refuge in their houses. There was a massacre of young and old, a killing of women and children, a slaughter of virgins and infants. In the space of three days, eighty thousand were lost, forty thousand meeting a violent death, and the same number being sold into slavery.” 2 Maccabees 5:11-14

Daniel 11:29 “At the appointed time he shall return and go towards the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter.”

Antiochus then led another campaign into Egypt in 168 BC.

Daniel 11:30 “For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.”

The Septuagint translates the occurrence of "Kittim" in the Book of Daniel 11:30 as ῥωμαῖοι ("Romans").
{Kittim, Wikipedia, 2014}

Here he was met by Roman ambassador Gaius Popillius Laenas who gave Antiochus IV an ultimatum and where the famous drawing a line in the sand incident occurred. Antiochus had to leave Egypt or face the full force of war with Rome. Antiochus decided to withdraw and took out his frustrations on Jerusalem as he returned home.

“To consolidate his empire and strengthen his hold over the region, Antiochus decided to side with the Hellenized Jews by outlawing Jewish religious rites and traditions kept by observant Jews and by ordering the worship of Zeus as the supreme god (2 Maccabees 6:1–12). This was anathema to the Jews and when they refused, Antiochus sent an army to enforce his decree. Because of the resistance, the city was destroyed, many were slaughtered, and a military Greek citadel called the Acra was established.”
{Antiochus IV, Wikipedia, 2014}

Daniel 11:31 "And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation."

Antiochus attacked Jerusalem in 167 BC and restored Menelaus as high priest.

“Not long after this the king sent an Athenian senator to force the Jews to abandon the customs of their ancestors and live no longer by the laws of God; also to profane the temple in Jerusalem and dedicate it to Olympian Zeus, and that on Mount Gerizim to Zeus the Hospitable, as the inhabitants of the place requested...They also brought into the temple things that were forbidden, so that the altar was covered with abominable offerings prohibited by the laws. A man could not keep the sabbath or celebrate the traditional feasts, nor even admit that he was a Jew. At the suggestion of the citizens of Ptolemais, a decree was issued ordering the neighboring Greek cities to act in the same way against the Jews: oblige them to partake of the sacrifices, and put to death those who would not consent to adopt the customs of the Greeks. It was obvious, therefore, that disaster impended.”
{2 Maccabees 6:1-11}

Daniel 11:32 “Those who wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”

Antiochus IV had sided with the Hellenized Jews whom he corrupted with flattery and as mentioned before he instituted changes to the sacrificial system which fulfilled this verse. Antiochus’ desecration of the temple in 167 BC started what is known as the Maccabean Revolt.
Judas Maccabees became leader of the revolt and he had major victories and carried out great exploits.

Daniel 11:33 “And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering.”

The conflict in Jerusalem was centered around two different factions; the Hellenizes who had adopted Greek customs and the Traditionalists who kept the Hebrew/Aramaic traditions. Because of Antiochus’ decrees many of the Traditionalist Jews were killed.

Daniel 11:34 “Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join them by intrigue.”

Because of these atrocities against the Traditionalists a Jewish priest named Mattathias and his five sons began a guerilla warfare styled campaign against Antiochus. Mattathias died in 167 BC and his son Judas then led the revolt. Judas Maccabees led this small army which then defeated Antiochus’ army led by his commander Lysias. Because of this victory many joined the Maccabeans. Then the Syrian army attacked the Maccabeans and they were defeated as well. As a result Antiochus sent another army led by Lysias of 40,000 infantry and 7,000 cavalry against Judas’ army of 3000. The battle resulted in a humiliating defeat for the Seleucids despite the odds. In 165 BC Lysias again sent a mighty army against the much smaller Maccabeans which again resulted in defeat. This defeat saw the recapture of the temple in Jerusalem after which it was cleansed and rededicated, but this is not the ‘cleansing of the sanctuary’ in Daniel 8. (For the Daniel 8 prophecy see menu “2300 days”).

Daniel 11:35 “And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.”

Some of those of understanding did fall in the conflict with Antiochus. This verse indicates that these people did not die in vain and they will be resurrected at the time of the end. But this is not the time of the end for the Jews; for it is still for the appointed time after the Messiah has come, (Daniel 9). So ended the time of Antiochus IV he died suddenly of disease in 164 BC.

“Beginning with Mattathias' leadership of the rebellion against Antiochus IV, the rule of the Hasmoneans (named after Mattathias' grandfather, Asmoneus) lasted from 168 until 37 BCE. The words "until the time of the end" refer to the end of this second period of Jewish sovereignty. The "appointed time" refers to the 70 weeks of years that Gabriel had earlier told Daniel about (Dan. 9:24-27), which led to the appearance of the Messiah.”
{Daniel 11: Prophecy Fulfilled, www.herealittletherealittle.net}

Daniel 11:36 "Then the king shall do according to his own will; he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done."

The result of the Maccabean revolt left Judea in the hands of the Hasmoneans until the time of the Roman emperor Augustus Caesar. Who could more closely fill this role of a king who would do according to his own will? The term ‘do according to his own will’ is used elsewhere in the Bible; to describe Alexander the Great, and Antiochus the Great, (Daniel 8:4, Daniel 11:16), so this king must be at least as prominent as these two previous rulers.

Daniel 11:37-38 "He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things."

The clue to the identity of this king lies in the words ‘god of fortresses.’ The god of fortresses has traditionally been linked to the pagan god Baal. Many of the ancient pagan gods were thought to have come from Mars. One commentator has linked the god of fortresses to a human leader who is worshipped as a god. Most commentators on the subject however, tend to view this king as the future antichrist because the verses make reference to the time of the end. But this is the time of the end for Daniel’s people the Jews not for every living nation on earth. The time of the end came for Daniel’s people with the coming of the Messiah, Jesus.

Julius Caesar was worshipped as a god and was officially deified by the Roman senate.

Octavian Caesar only had one child and that was Julia the Elder to his second wife Scribonia. Octavian divorced his first wife saying that their marriage had never been consummated. This failed marriage and the fact that Octavian only had one child to his second wife may indicate that he had no desire for women. Octavian’s marriage to Scribonia was purely for a political alliance and Octavian is reported to have said that she nagged him too much. When Julia the Elder was born Octavian immediately divorced Scibonia on the very same day which indicates that his only interest in her was to bear him a male heir. Octavian then married Livia Drusilla and no children were conceived in this marriage either. Octavian therefore had no heirs and adopted his own grandsons and Tiberius the son of Livia from a previous marriage to secure their future as his successors.

Octavian was named pontifex maximus as was his adopted uncle Julius Caesar. However both Octavian Caesar and Mark Antony both promoted the cult of Divius Julius the worship of the divine Julius Caesar. In doing so Octavian worshiped a god that his fathers did not know. Octavian declared that he himself was ‘son of a god,’ in doing so he blasphemed against the God of gods.

“Augustus also tried to improve the religious and moral condition of the people. The old religion was falling into decay. With the restoration of the old temples, he hoped to bring the people back to the worship of the ancient gods. The worship of Juno, which had been neglected, was restored, and assigned to the care of his wife, Livia, as the representative of the matrons of Rome. Augustus tried to purify the Roman religion by discouraging the introduction of the foreign deities whose worship was corrupt. He believed that even a great Roman had better be worshiped than the degenerate gods and goddesses of Syria and Egypt; and so the Divine Julius was added to the number of the Roman gods.”
{Religious and Social Reforms, Outlines of Roman History, William C. Morey, www.forumromanum.org, 2014}

Daniel 11:39 “Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.”

I believe that the foreign god here represents the cult of Julius Caesar which Octavian promoted as his desire was to be named a god himself which actually happened during his life time. Although the verse says that the king will acknowledge a foreign god, I believe foreign in this case means a god they did not know.

“An important part of this strategy involved religion. The Emperor of Rome was already the most powerful man on earth, but this wasn’t enough. Augustus wanted a piece of heaven too: he was determined that his people would see him as their supreme spiritual leader.”

“Roman religion had many gods and spirits and Augustus was keen to join their number as a god himself. This was not unusual: turning political leaders into gods was an old tradition around the Mediterranean. There was also precedent in Roman history – Aeneas and Romulus, who had helped found Rome, were already worshipped as gods.”
{Augustus, The Roman Empire in the first century, www.pbs.org, 2014}

“For administrative purposes the city was divided into fourteen districts, or wards. By these arrangements, life and property became more secure, and the populace became more orderly and law-abiding.”
{The administration of Rome, Outlines of Roman History, William C. Morey, www.forumromanum.org, 2014}

Octavian did advance the glory of Julius Caesar even taking his name which became a tradition amongst most of the Caesar’s following him. Octavian Caesar also divided the land for the betterment of his people and the empire. Julius Caesar divided the land giving it to his retired veterans. After the battles at Phillipi in Macedonia 42 BC, Octavian divided the land for the retiring army veterans and many Roman villages were evicted to accommodate the soldiers.

“Augustus created the cult of "Mars the Avenger" to mark two occasions: his defeat of the assassins of Caesar at Philippi in 42 BC, and the negotiated return of the Roman battle standards that had been lost to the Parthians at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC.”
{Mars Mythology, Mars Ultor, Wikipedia, 2104}

Augustus also created the cult of Mars Ulto, a god of war (forces), around 2 BC. He built his famous Forum to house the god and to provide a meeting place for the senate. The senate had to meet in the forum to decide on matters concerning war and peace. Augustus’ ancestors definitely knew of the god of war Mars, but not the Augustine version of Mars Ulto. So in affect this was a new god which Augustus promoted with vigor.

Daniel 11:40 ""At the time of the end the king of the south shall attack him; and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them and pass through.""

Most commentators on the subject tend to view this verse as being a future event because it says again, ‘the time of the end.’ As mentioned previously this the time of the end for Daniel’s people the Jews. Some commentators say that the horses, chariots and ships should be seen as representing future war machines, but I believe they should be taken literally as written and places this king in a time when these implements of warfare were used.

There was a continual conflict between Mark Antony and Octavian Caesar in the years leading up to this event. Antony had joined Julius Caesar’s lover Cleopatra in Alexandria. Antony and Cleopatra both knew that war was inevitable and they started to amass a great naval fleet at Ephesus. Antony moved down the coast with his army on land and encamped at Actium the peninsula of the Ambracian gulf. After the winter had passed Octavian had victories with his cavalry which forced Antony to abandon the northern part and withdraw to the southern side of the strait. Cleopatra advised Antony to withdraw to Alexandria which he agreed to. Octavian heard of these intentions and ordered the attack to commence. The two fleets met outside the gulf of Actium. Antony had about 500 war ships of which about half were large war galleys. Octavian had a fleet of 250 war ships but his ships were smaller and far more maneuverable.

The battle ensued without much result until Antony was forced to leave the security of the land and face the enemy. Cleopatra could not stand the suspense and in an instance of panic she gave the order to retreat. A gap opened up in the middle of Octavian’s fleet which enabled Cleopatra’s fleet to pass through and head out to sea. Antony was unaware of Cleopatra’s exit from the battle when he did realize all was lost and he abandoned his fleet and went after Cleopatra in a smaller craft. Although defeated at sea Antony had a few minor battles on land with the forces of Octavian. Octavian eventually won when Antony assumed that Cleopatra had been taken prisoner, he had been wounded and was taken to Cleopatra dying in her arms after about a week she committed suicide. Octavian returned to Rome the victor and outright ruler of the Mediterranean. As a result of this victory Octavian was named Augustus (“the revered one”) and was given the title princeps, first citizen of Rome. Cleopatra’s death saw the end of Ptolemaic dynasty.

Daniel 11:41-43 ""He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels.""

“After the reign of the client king Herod the Great (73–4 BC), Judea was added to the province of Syria when Augustus deposed his successor Herod Archelaus. Like Egypt which had been conquered after the defeat of Antony in 30 BC, Syria was governed not by a proconsul or legate of Augustus, but a high prefect of the equestrian class.

“in 6 C.E. Augustus accepted the demands of two embassies from Judea, both urging abolition of the monarchy, as a result of which Archelaus was banished and Judea came under direct Roman rule.”
{Augustus, Jewish Virtual Library, 2014}

Augustus had a very friendly alliance with Herod the Great when he was ruler over Judea.

“Again, no military effort was needed in 25 BC when Galatia (modern Turkey) was converted to a Roman province shortly after Amyntas of Galatia was killed by an avenging widow of a slain prince from Homonada. ”
{Augustus, Wikipedia, 2014}

“Caesar Augustus, pontifex maximus, holding the tribunician power, proclaims: Since the nation of the Jews and Hyrcanus, their high priest, have been found grateful to the people of the Romans, not only in the present but also in the past, and particularly in the time of my father, Caesar, imperator, it seems good to me and to my advisory council, according to the oaths, by the will of the people of the Romans, that the Jews shall use their own customs in accordance with their ancestral law, just as they used to use them in the time of Hyrcanus, the high priest of their highest god; and that their sacred offerings shall be inviolable and shall be sent to Jerusalem and shall be paid to the financial officials of Jerusalem; and that they shall not give sureties for appearance in court on the Sabbath or on the day of preparation before it after the ninth hour. But if anyone is detected stealing their sacred books or their sacred monies, either from a synagogue or from a mens' apartment, he shall be considered sacrilegious and his property shall be brought into the public treasury of the Romans.”
{Edict of Augustus on Jewish Rights, 1 BC, Josephus, The Works of Flavius Josephus, 3 Vols., trans. William Whiston (New York: International Book Co., 1888),  Ant. Jud. 16.6.2:162-165, 19.5.3:287-291}

After the Battle of Actium and the defeat of Antony’s army Augustus had possession of all the precious things of Egypt. Tenney Frank estimates the Egyptian revenue before the ruin of war at 75 million sesterces. Augustus used the province of Egypt as his own private retreat, and he forbid any Roman senator from entering Egypt. In 25 BC Augustus tried to take Nubia and Ethiopia however this engagement was met with failure mainly due the prefect Aelius Gallus. Although in the following extract he makes himself out to be the victor.

“Gaius Cornelius Gallus, son Gnaeus, Roman eques, first (primus) prefect of Alexandria and Egypt after the defeat of the kings by Caesar, son of a god, put down the uprising of the Thebaid in 15 days, in which he defeated the army, having won two pitched battles and taken five cities by storm – Boresis, Coptus, Ceramice, Diospolis Magna and Ophieion; the leaders of these uprisings were captured and our army was lead beyond the (first) cataract of the Nile, wither neither the arms of the Roman people nor those of the kings of Egypt had previously advanced; the Thebaid, a source of fear for all kings alike, was subdued and envoys of the king of the Ethiopians were given audience at Philae and that king was received into protection, and a ruler of the Ethiopian Triakontaschoenus was established; he made this dedication to the ancestral gods and to the Nile, his helper.”
{Braund, Augustus to Nero, 425}

“By my order and auspices two armies were led at about the same time into Ethiopia and into that part of Arabia which is called Happy, and the troops of each nation of enemies were slaughtered in battle and many towns captured. They penetrated into Ethiopia all the way to the town Nabata, which is near to Meroe; and into Arabia all the way to the border of the Sabaei, advancing to the town Mariba.”
{The Deeds of the Divine Augustus, by Augustus 14 B.C.E., translated by Thomas Brushnell BSG, 26.}

Augustus put down ‘many towns’ in Ethiopia, but the prophecy also indicates that Libya would rise against him. Traditionally Lybia was associated with Cyrene or its classical name Cyrenaica. There is evidence in history which suggests that Augustus recovered Cyrene/Libya in The Deeds of the Divine Augustus.

“I recovered all the provinces which lie across the Adriatic to the east and Cyrene,”
{The Deeds of the Divine Augustus, by Augustus 14 B.C.E., translated by Thomas Brushnell BSG, 27.}

“I founded colonies of soldiers in Africa,”
{Ibid}

“The Latin name Cyrenaica dates to the 1st century BCE. Although some confusion exists as to the exact territory Rome inherited, by 78 BCE it was organized as one administrative province together with Crete. It became a senatorial province in 20 BC, like its far more prominent western neighbor Africa proconsularis, and unlike Egypt itself which became an imperial domain sui generis (under a special governor styled praefectus augustalis in 30 BC.”
{Cyrenaica, Wikipedia, 2014}

Augustus definitely had a presence in Libya he also made four famous edicts concerning the Greek and Roman citizens in Cyrene which addressed; a revision of the jury system, multiple citizenship, compulsory public service, and judicial procedures for Roman senators.

Daniel 11:44-45 ""But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.""

The border between Rome and Parthia had traditionally been the Euphrates River. To get to the Euphrates Augustus had to enter the holy land but he passed through as prophesied in verses 42-43. Crassus had previously led an army into Parthia but was defeated losing the Roman battle standards in the process. Augustus sent a huge army to Syria and threatened the Armenians. This show of force ultimately led to the return of the battle standards from the Parthians and a peace treaty between them and Rome.

“The return of Crassus' captured standards, which would symbolize Parthla' s submission, was effected In 20 B. C. but only after Augustus seriously threatened war and seized Armenia.”
{Lander, James (1975) Roman-parthlan relations in the time of Augustus with reference to Augustus’ foreign policy. Masters thesis, Durham University.}

History and Augustus himself confirms that there was trouble in the east and the news from the north was the ever increasing threat of the Germanic tribes. Caesar apparently built a bridge across the river Rubicon and attacked many tribes in Germany, then retreated back across the river dismantling the bridge as he went. The Germanic tribes got the message and stayed on their side of the river.

“By the wars of Augustus, the boundaries of the empire were extended to the Rhine and the Danube (including the Alpine region) on the north, to the Atlantic Ocean on the west, to the desert of Africa on the south, and nearly to the Euphrates on the east. The only two great frontier nations which threatened to disturb the peace of Rome were the Parthians on the east and the Germans on the north. The Parthians still retained the standards lost by Crassus; but Augustus by his skillful diplomacy was able to recover them without a battle. He abandoned, however, all design of conquering that Eastern people. But his eyes looked longingly to the country of the Germans. He invaded their territory; and after a temporary success his general, Varus, was slain and three Roman legions were utterly destroyed by the great German chieftain Arminius at the famous battle of the Teutoberg forest (9 A.D.).’
{The Frontiers of the Empire, Outlines of Roman History, William C. Morey, www.forumromanum.org, 2014}

The last part of verse 45 indicates that this king would hold all the land between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea all the way to the glorious holy mountain. In Augustus’ rise to power and fame he conquered and annexed the provinces of Hispania (modern day Spain and Portugal), Raetia and Noricum (modern day Switzerland, Bavaria, Austria, and Slovenia), Illyricum and Pannonia (modern day Albania, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia), Northern Africa east and south, Galatia (modern day Turkey), Judea was added to the province of Syria, Asia and Cappadocia as well.

“Augustus' reign laid the foundations of a regime that lasted for nearly fifteen hundred years through the ultimate decline of the Western Roman Empire and until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. Both his adoptive surname, Caesar, and his title Augustus became the permanent titles of the rulers of Roman Empire for fourteen centuries after his death, in use both at Old Rome and at New Rome. In many languages, Caesar became the word for emperor, as in the German Kaiser and in the Bulgarian and subsequently Russian Tsar. The cult of Divus Augustus continued until the state religion of the Empire was changed to Christianity in 391 by Theodosius I.”
{Augustus, Legacy, Wikipedia, 2014}

The last part of verse 45 tells us that the king would come to his end and no one would help him. This is the only part of the prophecy which doesn’t really fit well with Augustus. Augustus finally came to his end in 14 AD after being ill, he had led a good and long life. Augustus didn’t need any more help after the conflict ended with the Germanic tribes. His long reign was capped off by the Pax Romana and peace was established throughout the Empire.

The prophecy could also reflect the career and rise of Julius Caesar who did come to his end and no one would help him when he was murdered in the Roman Senate. His famous last words, are said to have been, “Not you to Brutus?” Brutus was Caesar’s friend and ally for many years. Caesar had no heir and Octavian/ Augustus was adopted as his son. There was a rumor going around at the time that Caesar and a young Octavian may have had relations of some sort which may indicate that Caesar had no desire for women either. Caesar in his rise to fame conquered Gaul in the north and led campaigns against Mithridates in the east. He won over the army and the population of Rome with expensive gifts and intrigue. He rose against the Host of heaven by declaring Himself a God.

On the next page there is a completely different view of these last few verses as prophecy often has two possible interpretations.