Dan. 11 records an incredible picture of what will occur during the 70th Week. Jesus used this chapter as a basis for the Olivet Discourse. Read on to discover the links between Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and the Tribulation.
These events during the 70th Week comprise a pattern: The Pattern of Seven Events, as detailed in the book Revelation Deciphered. (BUY IT HERE). These events are:
- Deception by False Messiahs
- War, Bloodshed and Chaos,
- Famine and Economic Distress,
- Abomination and Death,
- Martyrdom and Apostasy,
- Celestial Signs,
- Rapture and Wrath
This pattern is repeated in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Revelation and is best exemplified by the Seven Seals in Rev. 6-8. Daniel 11-12 is the first mention of the pattern in scripture (Although, the sixth event in the pattern: Celestial Signs is not mentioned.)
Daniel 11, however, even mentions events that precede the 70th Week.
Some may doubt that Dan. 11:21-35 refers to the end times. Revelation Deciphered contains extensive proof that it does. I recommend you consult Chapter Ten of that book for the evidence.
The following verses detail the career of the Antichrist up until the signing of the Covenant with the Many.
In his place a despicable person (Antichrist) will arise, on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred, but he will come in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue. Then an overwhelming army will be swept away before him (Antichrist); both it (the army) and a prince of the covenant will be destroyed. After coming to an agreement with him (the prince of the covenant), he (Antichrist) will act deceitfully, and with only a few people he will rise to power. (Dan. 11:22-23 NIV; clarification and emphasis mine)
This passage offers us astonishing insight. After coming to power in the new kingdom, the Antichrist will defeat an overwhelming army led by an Israeli general (a prince of the covenant.) This is mind blowing. It appears that after this military victory, the Antichrist signs an agreement with the Israeli leader which I believe is the famous Covenant with Death (also called the “Agreement with Sheol” and the “Covenant with the Many” found in Dan. 9:27), which marks the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week. Is this agreement preceded and prompted by an Antichrist military victory? Does this victory and agreement then lead to the Antichrist’s rise to power?
In Isa. 28:16, God tells Israel in advance that the only true foundation of hope is Jesus, the stone laid in Zion, the precious cornerstone. Unfortunately, Israel will trust the Antichrist and learn the hard way. They will only come to faith in Jesus after suffering through the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord, God’s wrath on earth (at the end of the 70th Week of Daniel), when Jesus physically returns and “They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn” (Zech. 12:10 NIV).
EVENT ONE: DECEPTION BY FALSE MESSIAHS
The Antichrist’s negotiation of a treaty with Israel will probably be an enormous event world-wide and especially in the Islamic realm. It is likely he will utilize this event to promote himself, ride a “white horse,” and present himself as a possible messiah.
The Olivet Discourse doesn’t directly mention the Covenant with the Many. It simply states that we are not to be deceived by the False Messiahs (Matt. 24:4-5). An integral part of that deception will be the Covenant.
EVENT TWO (WAR, BLOODSHED, AND CHAOS)
In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus continues to expound on the signs before his PAROUSIA or coming. The second event is warfare.
You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matt. 24:6-7)
In Dan. 11, we learn more about this war.
In a time of tranquility he will enter the richest parts of the realm, and he will accomplish what his fathers never did, nor his ancestors; he will distribute plunder, booty and possessions among them, and he will devise his schemes against strongholds, but only for a time. He will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South with a large army; so the king of the South will mobilize an extremely large and mighty army for war; but he will not stand, for schemes will be devised against him. (Dan. 11:24-25)
We learn from this passage in Dan. 11 that initially the Antichrist won’t be successful in his bid to become a world leader. If he was successful initially, he wouldn’t need to invade the richest parts of the kingdom or attack the King of the South (Egypt) in the Second Event of the 70th Week. These other countries would surrender peacefully if they considered him their rightful ruler. The fact that they don’t surrender shows us that the Antichrist will still be the ruler of a single nation or a small group of nations at this point in his career.Because the Islamic world does not immediately accept his rule, the Antichrist attempts to gain this position by force.
The passage of time occurs for the richest provinces to feel secure. It is then that he strikes and takes “peace from the earth.” This demonstrates that this is the Second Event of the 70th Week when the Second Seal breaks. Also notice that the term used for the areas he invades is “provinces” not nations or kingdoms. This implies to me that they are other regions close to the Antichrist’s nation. Daniel 8 supports the idea of an invasion close to the Antichrist’s home base:
Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land (Israel). (Dan. 8:9 NIV, clarification and emphasis mine)
The identity of these nations is not clear. South and east of Assyria are Iraq, Iran, the Arabian Peninsula, and Afghanistan and Pakistan. Certainly, Iraq and Saudi Arabia are rich with oil. These may be the nations involved. If the Arabian Peninsula is conquered, this would surely take “peace” (peace of mind) from the world. A Muslim leader conquering 2/3 of the Middle East and taking complete control of most of the oil fields would certainly upset the industrialized west, and with good reason!
Also we notice that the Antichrist attempts to “devise his schemes against strongholds” during the Second Event of the 70th Week. Are these the western nations? Is this the “chaos” and “disturbances” that Jesus refers to in Luke 21:9 ? At this time, he is unsuccessful. We also see he attacks the King of South (Egypt.) Jesus referenced the war by quoting Isaiah 19, “kingdom against kingdom.”
EVENT THREE (FAMINE AND ECONOMIC COLLAPSE)
References to the Third Event of the 70th Week are more subtle:
The king of the South will mobilize an extremely large and mighty army for war; but he will not stand, for schemes will be devised against him. Those who eat his choice food will destroy him, and his army will overflow, but many will fall down slain. As for both kings, their hearts will be intent on evil, and they will speak lies to each other at the same table; but it will not succeed, for the end is still to come at the appointed time. Then he (the Antichrist) will return to his land with much plunder; but his heart will be set against the holy covenant, and he will take action and then return to his own land. (Dan. 11:26 – 28 NASB, clarification and emphasis mine)
Although it may be stretching details, I find it extremely interesting that food is mentioned in this passage about the Third Year. The term used is “choice food.” The same term as used in Dan. 1:8 to describe the food served to Daniel and his friends by Nebuchadnezzar. This is a marker to me that the forces of the King of the South are eating under the Mark of the Beast (Rev. 13:16-17). Is that an aspect of why they plot against their own king? It is possible that the Muslim military leaders of Egypt actually hold allegiance to the Antichrist and view him as Mahdi despite their position in the Egyptian military? It could be, but this is supposition.
We also see reference to an “action” being taken against Israel (Dan. 11:28). In Revelation Deciphered you will learn that a siege against Jerusalem will begin in the Third Year of the 70th Week. Is this the “action” being referred to in Dan. 11? It most likely is.
Before we look at the fourth event, let’s list the Antichrist’s early exploits from the first three years that we have learned in detail from Daniel 11:
1) Antichrist negotiates and signs the Covenant with the Many
2) He invades the richest parts of the “Kingdom” and distributes the wealth among his followers
3) He plots the destruction of powerful nations
4) He attacks the King of the South (Egypt) but withdraws
5) He takes action against Israel but withdraws
This passage matches the Pattern of Events that we are building about the 70th Week of Daniel.
After this successful expansion of his realm in the Second Year of the 70th Week, the Antichrist attempts to destroy fortresses (the USA and Europe?), attempts to invade Egypt, and undertakes some sort of action against Israel. It appears none of these actions are completely successful at that time. At the very beginning of the Fourth Year, the Antichrist attempts to invade Egypt again:
At the appointed time he will return and come into the South, but this last time it will not turn out the way it did before. For ships of Kittim (thought to be “Cyprus”) will come against him; therefore he will be disheartened. (Dan. 11:29 – 30 NASB, clarification and emphasis mine.)
First, all of these passages represent an extreme amount of warfare in just a short one or two year period. The assumption that the Antichrist will be a man of peace is very misguided. Initially, he appears a man of peace by signing the Covenant with the Many, but starting in Year Two of the 70th Week of Daniel until the end, there will be constant war.
I also want to mention the reference to “ships from Kittim” (this is thought to be Cyprus). The phrase “ships from Kittim” is a reference to a very ancient prophecy by Balaam, who we discussed in Chapter Seven: “Horse of a Different Color (Revelation 6):”
But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim and they shall afflict Ashur and will afflict Eber; so they also will come to destruction. (Num. 24:24 NASB, emphasis mine)
Ashur is father of the Assyrian people who are the people of the Antichrist. By this, Daniel is again signaling that the Antichrist will be Islamic. Eber is one of the great-great grandsons of Noah. Tradition says that Eber (Gk: HEBER) rebelled against Nimrod and refused to assist in building the Tower of Babel. As a reward, God did not confuse his language (Hebrew). Ancient sources claim the descendants of Eber were those who crossed the Euphrates (Abraham and Lot). Are the “ships from Kittim” western warships? Most commentators think they are.
EVENT FOUR (ABOMINATION AND DEATH)
Dan. 11: 31 ushers in the beginning of the last half (last 3 ½ years) of the 70th week of Daniel:
At the appointed time he will return and come into the South, but this last time it will not turn out the way it did before. For ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore he will be disheartened and will return and become enraged at the holy covenant and take action; so he will come back and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress (the Temple), and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation. (Dan. 11:29-31 NASB, clarification and emphasis mine)
This is the same event that Jesus references in Matt. 24:15-16:
Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. (Matt. 24: 15-16)
One factor from Dan. 11 that adds to our understanding is that the Antichrist is thwarted in his attack on Egypt by “western” warships. It is only then that he turns on Israel once again with his full fury. Notice how the western warships prevent him from conquering Egypt, but freely allow him to attack Israel!! This clearly demonstrates that the West most likely will have completely turned their backs on Israel by this time. It is a very sad commentary.
In the last section, we noted that the Antichrist will lose heart when the western warships oppose him, but then he “turns” and is finally able to defeat Israel. What changes, and what causes him to suddenly be successful? It is at this very moment that Michael stands up, Satan is cast out of heaven, and the Beast enters and possesses the Antichrist. It is from this moment on that he is directly assisted in his evil endeavors by satanic forces. In just a few more verses we see that he is assisted by a “foreign god” (Dan. 11:39). This is the Muslim’s god, Allah (Satan), who assists him, and it explains why in the first half of Daniel’s 70th week he is somewhat unsuccessful, and why in the second half he is much more successful, due to this satanic assistance.
A common theme in this website has been the Islamic nature of the Antichrist and his empire. Muslims are fully expecting demonic assistance in their assault on the world. They call these fallen angels “jinn” or “djinn” from which we get the word genie.
Those who think the USA and western powers will be able to resist the Antichrist with their traditional armies forget this fact: that the Antichrist forces will be demonically assisted. It will not be a fair fight. However, of course, the Lord Jesus will physically return at the end of the 70th Week of Daniel and punish all the evil doers, jinn and human. Praise God!
In our next article we will examine the final Three Events in the Pattern of Seven Events in both Daniel and Matthew.