Daniel 11 contains a detailed prophecy of future events (now history) so accurate that liberal scholars insist that Daniel must have been written after the fact because there is no way such events could have been predicted so precisely.
Daniel received this revelation while Cyrus was leading the Medo-Persian Empire. He tells us that there will be 3 more successors before Xerxes (of Esther, also known for his great riches) Xerxes will invade Greece and lose disastrously which will usher in the domination of Alexander the Great and the Greeks. Alexander’s dominion is short lived though because he dies at age 33 and his sons are murdered so his kingdom is divided among his four generals (“the four winds”).
Daniel focuses on two of these kingdoms because of their relation to Israel, the Syrian and the Egyptian Empires. The Syrian Empire under the Seleucids is the “king of the north” and the Egyptian Empire under the Ptolemies is “the king of the south,” These empires exist during the 400 years of silence between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Daniel spells out with incredible accuracy the intrigue of political marriages, the looting of idols and great spoil, and the many epic battles and gross loss of life.
One such political marriage is when the Syrian king, Antiochus the Great, gives his daughter, Cleopatra, to the Egyptian Epiphanes, but it goes terribly wrong when instead of staying loyal to her father, Cleopatra sides with her husband against her father!
Scripture focuses on one “king of the north,” Antiochus Epiphanes, because of his vile treatment of the Jews. He is portrayed as a type of antichrist who, besides leading the Jews into idolatry, even desecrated the temple by offering a sow on the altar of God! This horrific act led to the revolt of Maccabaeus where many Jews fought to their death against this tyrant and which is even today commemorated every year with the celebration of Hanukkah.
Knowing how Daniel’s earlier prophecies were fulfilled so accurately, we can rest assured that his yet-unfulfilled prophecies will happen as predicted and we can prepare as they may soon be come to pass.