DANIEL 10-12 (3D)

(Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

Part 3 – Gabriel’s “Telescope” Zooms out into the Distant Future

3-A: “Vile Person” Arrives on the Scene (11:21-23)
3-B: Rise to Power of a Modern “King of the North” (11:24-25)
3-C: Who Are the Kings of the North and South?
3-D: Setback to America (11:26-27)
3-E: Setback to “King of the North” and Turning Point (11:28-30)
3-F: The Great Tribulation (11:31-35)
3-G: Nature of the anti-Christ “King of the North” (11:36-37)
3-H: The “God of Forces” (11:38-39)
3-I: Among the Nations, Earth’s Final War (11:40-45)

3-D: Setback to America (11:26-27)

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.”
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.”


Those who eat of the portion of his delicacies shall destroy him (11:26)

Within the very heart of the king of the south’s government, there will be treacherous persons (“those who eat of the portion of his delicacies”) who shall undermine the war campaign in some way. They will succeed in subverting the efforts of this nation, America, which has the reputation of being the bastion of Christianity. As a result of this treachery, her armies and proxy armies will suffer a major defeat on the battlefield.

During World War 2 wealthy power-brokers in America were meddling in government decsion-making, trying to profit from the War: by manufacturing weapons, supplying oil to both sides, extending loans for wartime expenses and later gaining interest that governments could pay by taxing their citizens, buying cheap real estate in bombed-out cities. These were some of the lucrative activities that unscrupulous and powerful individuals were engaged in. As a result, in the opinions of military men like Generals Clark and Patton, the War dragged on longer than necessary.

It shouldn’t surprise us that the situation is like this in America. As Revelation 18:23 reveals, the Harlot empire functions under the control of the mega-rich power-brokers: “your merchants were the great men of the earth.”

His army shall be swept away (11:26)

What exactly will happen to undermine America’s progress in this future war, we don’t know, of course. But we do know that, similar to what happened in World War 2, influential persons within the nation’s power structure can deliberately bring about major defeat in wartime. And as a result the king of the south’s “army shall be swept away, and many shall fall down slain.”

But the main factor to keep in mind here is that, as far as God is concerned, He cannot continue to protect or allow America to prevail in this war. As happened with ancient Israel when she forgot the God that had made her great and became corrupt and a bad example to the world, God will likewise have to allow America’s enemies to prevail against her.

Both these kings’ hearts shall be bent on evil, and they shall speak lies at the same table (11:27)

Although the “covenant” has already been confirmed (so it would appear from verses 22-23), it seems it was designed mainly for the protection of Israel and of religious freedom; it didn’t necessarily prevent other conflicts from developing in the Middle East – in particular, the major confrontation, described in the previous verse 25, between the “great and mighty armies” (of the kings of north and south).

In today’s world too much head-on confrontation (especially if it’s between superpowers) can lead to the perilous possibility of unleashing nuclear war. Such a dire need to defuse tensions quickly may at this time be a major consideration in the minds of world leaders for ending hostilities and sitting down at the peace table.

Now it is commonly interpreted in many a study Bible and commentary, that these “peace talks”, mentioned here in verse 27, should be relegated back into some obscure ancient history: Antiochus Epiphanes discussing with the Egyptian king Ptolemy Philometer how they could both rule over Egypt against Ptolemy’s brother Physkon. At best, this could be seen as a shadowy, intermediate fulfillment. But as we’ve learned, Gabriel’s message has already switched tracks into the future of the End Time; the 7-year “covenant” has already started. For further clarification on why this verse should not be relegated to past events, a good (although rather technical) explanation from Keil and Delitzsch can be found in the Appendix 1.

Briefly, their commentary explains that, not only do ancient historical facts fail to fit properly with the prophetic message, but we have again a key phrase in this verse, “the end will still be at the appointed time”. Similar phrases appear also in verse 35 about the cleansing benefits of persecution and in three more verses (11:40 12:4, 9), where the setting is obviously the Time of the End. Thus, to remain consistent with those references, this verse 27 should also have as its setting the End Time period of history.

But it shall not prosper (11:27)

That the peace talks “shall not prosper” makes sense. For if their hearts are “bent on evil” and they are speaking “lies” to one another, then of course, the talks won’t succeed, and it is inevitable that more war is going to follow.

But in between wars there has to be some kind of truce or peace agreement. And, as often happens in peace conferences between warring nations, there is much deception and lying going on as each side tries to make a strong case for its own version of how things should be settled. And this only sets the stage for further war.

Failed or misguided peace treaties tend to have this effect. For example, the unfair terms of the Treaty of Versailles after World War I sowed the seeds for the next World War. The British and French delegations were “bent on evil”, wanting to squash their big rival for economic dominance and the monopoly that was theirs prior to the unification and rise of Germany before World War I. This harsh treatment led to much resentment in Germany, a desire for revenge, and eventually, the rise of the Hitler maelstrom. Then at the end of World War II came the Potsdam and Yalta conferences. These conferences  were basically a surrender to Soviet Communism, and because of their vague and ineffectual terms, their main accomplishment was to set the stage for the Cold War of the last century.

In more recent times treaties have been made with Russia. In 1990, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact defensive alliance, America and NATO assured Russia that they would not advance into former Soviet republics. These promises were not honored, and Russia has felt a deep sense of betrayal over the West’s persistent efforts to encroach on her borderlands. In 2014-2015 the Minsk Agreements were made, seeking an end to the turmoil in the eastern, Russian-speaking area of Ukraine. This also came to nought because, as later admitted, NATO only intended to use the treaty to buy some time for Ukraine to get better prepared to engage in warfare with Russia.

Not all peace agreements are like this. Fair treaties can be brokered. For example, General MacArthur negotiated with the Japanese at the end of World War II and hammered out what appears to have been a fair and reasonable treaty; as a result a long era of peace and good relations has existed since then between the U.S. and Japan.

The end will still be at the appointed time (11:27)

A good question to ask might be, who is making this appointment of “time” spoken of here? Knowing that the angel Gabriel is speaking directly to the prophet Daniel, we probably should conclude that the angel has in mind an “appointed time” of some celestial decree that has been, or will be, decided in the Courts of Heaven.

In line with the other “at the appointed time” phrases, this likely refers to the time appointed for the working out of God’s Plan to bring about the Time of the very End. For what is about to come will set in motion events that will culminate in the breaking of the covenant, followed by the Great Tribulation, and finally the Return of Christ.

These pivotal points in history, foretold as they were from so long ago, hardly fall into the category of mere happenstance but will come to pass, ultimately, according to God’s direction. The kings of the north and south may think that they are operating by their own designs, but the fact is, they cannot operate outside of or beyond the plan of God.

In this passage the ancient Hebrew word owd (for “still”) conveys the idea of repetition. (See Appendix 2 for details.) Throughout history warring factions, with mischief in their hearts, have repeatedly sat together and lied to one another, planning all the while to renew hostilities. Meanwhile, the victims of war wonder if there will ever be an end in sight to their misery, while the warmongers raise false hopes of permanent peace. (World War 1, for example, was supposed to be “the war to end all wars”.) Only the Return of Christ at the End of the Age will bring true, lasting, and universal peace.

For generations peace treaties have come and gone in different forms. And this may be why interpreters have thought that this passage was already fulfilled. Although the passage implies that there have been many “ends” to conflicts throughout history, it also makes clear that the real and final “end will still be at the appointed time”. The Hebrew word used here for“end”- qets – has the sense of “extremity”, meaning it points to the “extreme end of something”. So it is a fitting term to signal that the passage has in mind the final End of the present Age. 

The ancient “king of the north” did not succeed in conquering the territory (Egypt) of the “king of the south”. That conquest has yet to happen, as foretold further ahead in this chapter: “At the time of the end… the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind… and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power… over all the precious things of Egypt.” (11:40,42,43) (More information in Appendix 3.)

Throughout history, premature proclamations have been made in almost every generation that the End was about to come. So this passage could be seen as a check against that temptation to “jump the gun”.

We do, of course, look forward eagerly to the Second Coming of Christ. However, we still need patience to wait until that “appointed time” actually does arrive. And when the anti-Christ “king of the North” conquers Egypt, that will be one sure sign, at least, by which we will know that Christ’s coming is just around the corner.

“And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved,” Jesus said long ago. (Matthew 24:22) As international tensions escalate and come to a boil, and before we wind up destroying ourselves and the Earth, the Lord will step in so that the human race may continue on into the new Age.

Finally, after all this turmoil, or in the middle of it, we can look forward to the Return of Christ. Human peace treaties “shall not prosper”, but Christ’s Return will bring the ultimate peace treaty. His conquest over all the forces of evil, in both earthly and spiritual domains, will bring real peace in the Earth.

Continue to Part 3E: Setback to “King of the North” and Turning Point

Appendix 1: Keil and Delitzsch’s Commentary on Daniel 11:27

Verse 27. Here then is described how the two kings seek through feigned friendship to destroy one another. The two kings are of course the two kings of the north and the south previously named. Of a third, namely, of two kings of Egypt, Philometor and Physkon, Daniel knows nothing. The third, Physkon, is introduced from history; and hence Hitzig, v. Lengerke, and others understand by the “two kings,” the two kings Antiochus and Philometor confederated against the king of the south, but Kliefoth, on the contrary, thinks of Antiochus and Physkon, the latter of whom he regards as the king of the south, v. 25. All this is arbitrary. Jerome has already rejected the historical evidence for this…

[In other words, the ancient history does not give a clear picture that could match easily with the prophetic passage in verse 27. In particular, the identity of the ancient king of the south is uncertain.]

… All interpretations of these words which are determined by historical facta are arbitrary. The history of Antiochus Epiphanes furnishes no illustrations for this. In the sense of the prophecy [the Hebrew words for “it shall not prosper”] has only this meaning: the design of the king of the north to destroy the king of the south, and to make himself master both of the north and the south, shall not succeed, and the king of the south will not fulfill what he promises to his deceitful adversary…

[from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament, 1866]


Appendix 2: History repeats itself

It seems that the primary sense of the ancient Hebrew word owd (translated as “still” or “yet”) conveys the idea of repetition. A well-respected Hebrew scholar had this to say about it:

[Owd]… properly infinitive absolute of the verb [ood] going over again, repeating. Always an adverb.

(1) again, yet again…
again and again… so that an action hardly intermitted, is repeatedly begun anew…
more, further, besides…
as yet, yet, still…

[from Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament (English translation from German), 1846, pg. 610]

With this in mind, the phrase, “the end will still be at the appointed time” seems to get across the idea that the warring parties in this specific case will try to hammer out a peace treaty. But it is a recurring phenomenon; no sooner is one peace treaty made than another war starts again. History repeats itself from generation to generation. Like all previous treaties, this one will not create lasting peace in the world. The “end” of the many wars outlined in Daniel 11 will only come to pass “at the appointed time” (at the Return of Christ).

Further ahead is another similar passage: “until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.” (11:35) The idea is the same. The passage is about persecution and its cleansing effects, which will continue in various forms throughout history and will not come to a halt until the End of the Age when Christ returns to establish His rule in the Earth.


Appendix 3: “For the end will still be at the appointed time”

For yet the end shall be at the time appointed. These words state the reason why the [mischief-making] shall not succeed …  [The Hebrew preposition used for “at“] denotes here, as generally, the direction toward the end, as v. 35, and Dan 8:17,19.

[“Until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time” (11:35); “to the time of the end… in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be.” (8:17,19)]

The end goes yet on to the time appointed by God. That this [Hebrew word meaning “appointment of time”] does not lie in the present, but in the future, is denoted by [the Hebrew word for “still” or “yet”]. [This word] stands before [the Hebrew word for “the end”] because on it the emphasis lies. [The Hebrew word for “the end”] is, however, not the end of the war between Antiochus and Egypt (v. Leng., Maur., Hitzig), but cannot be otherwise taken than [the Hebrew words for “the time of the end” as found in] vv. 35, 40, and Dan 12:4. But in the latter passage [“the time of the end”] is the time of the resurrection of the dead, thus the end of the present course of the world, with which all the oppression of the people of God ceases. Accordingly [the Hebrew word for “the end”] in the verse before us, as in vv. 35 and 40, is the time in which the conduct of the kings previously described, in their rising up and in their hostility against the people of God, reaches its end (v. 45) [“He (the Antichrist) shall come to his end” (11:45)]; and with the overthrow of these enemies the period of oppression also comes to an end.

This end comes only [“at the time appointed”], at the time which God has determined for the purifying of His people (v. 35). So long may the kings of the north and the south prosecute their aims; so long shall they strive for the possession of the kingdom without succeeding in their plans. [The Hebrew word for “at THE time appointed”] has here and in v. 35 the definite article, because in both verses the language refers not to any definite time, but to the time determined by God for the consummation of His kingdom…

[from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament, 1866]


Continue to Part 3E: Setback to “King of the North” and Turning Point

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