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Lesson # Dan. 11:1-4
Study Material - Dan. 11:1-4
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1 'And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I arose to be an encouragement and a protection for him. 2 'And now I will tell you the truth. Behold, three more kings are going to arise in Persia. Then a fourth will gain far more riches than all of them; as soon as he becomes strong through his riches, he will arouse the whole empire against the realm of Greece. 3 'And a mighty king will arise, and he will rule with great authority and do as he pleases. 4 'But as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom will be broken up and parceled out toward the four points of the compass, though not to his own descendants, nor according to his authority which he wielded; for his sovereignty will be uprooted and given to others besides them.
Chapter eleven is not a detailed account of history of the gentiles per se, but a summary history with the highlights given for the next several hundred years until the worst of the Seleucid's comes to power, Antiochus Epiphanies through verses 35, then there is a skip in history to the 'end times' and the anti-christ of whom Antiochus is a pattern for ruthless rule and arrogance.
Also, in this history we have the presentation of the world powers that will ultimately effect the region of Israel, the king of the north and the king of the south. Rome in not mentioned. Under Rome Christ comes to the Cross, and then Rome is in effect the origin for the spreading our over the rest of the world of peoples and cultures, but is not the final power in the 'end' times. What? You say. What about the ten kings and the little eleventh king, and the three conquered nations, and that they all come out of Rome or the concept of Rome. And that is right. But this last portion of chapter eleven indicates that no nation subsequent to Greece, in history, will even dominate the world again with respect to the region we now call Israel. This, in the 'end times' will be under conflict between the king of the south who will temporarily take possession, and the king of the north, who will storm through and over flow Jerusalem and into the king of the south's territory, only to be hit from the side from the king of the west and then the kings (plural) of the east get into all of this mess. But that is getting ahead of it all.
The historic pattern will be set by the time history gets to Antiochus. The rest of history will be filed up with a pattern of stabilization of the world, the first advent of Christ, the beginnings of the establishment of the Royal Family, and the spread of the gospel throughout the world.. These last few items are skipped over in this chapter as they have already been mentioned in other parts of Daniel and the New Testament.
Now for the quick, very quick history of Persia and then Greece.
Three more kings will arise out of Persia and then a fourth who will be the greater of them all and who will attack Greece. The number of kings of Persia is not limited to four, but there will be four significant kings ruling Persia. Four who will increase its territory and status as an empire.
There will be fourteen kings ruling Persia from its outset, or from the conquest of Babylon. Excluding the kings who ruled when Daniel saw this vision, of the remainder there are four of significance. The rest ruled for very short periods of time - only for periods of a few months. And a couple who did virtually nothing with regard to increasing Persia's greatness. The significant kings are - Cambyses, Hystaspis, Xerxes, and finally Ochus who was finally defeated by Alexander the Great. Two more kings ruled after Ochus, but their combined rule lasted less than six months. Their attempt at regaining authority was futile and crushed swiftly by the Greek power.
Close the books of Persia.
Then Greece will rise to power and it is closed quickly as Alexander will die at a young age and his authority will be taken over by his four generals. Thus the kingdom of Greece will be divided up into four segments. This sets the stage for the pattern of the fours powers that will take shape and rule throughout the remainder of history (north, south, east, west). Today these significant powers are the Russian in the north, Islamic nations (not really unified yet) in the south, Europe or NATO, or the United States in the west, and China and Eastern Asia in the east. This is the pattern today. Of course there is Japan which is not really aligned with China, and Australia which is more western in nature, the various island nations in the Pacific who are sort of western in nature but with eastern or Asian roots of ancestry. But no matter. When the rapture occurs, all nations will align with one of these groups in some fashion.
The aggression against Greece, which was a hodge podge of divided states served to unite them under Philip and then Alexander his son. Alexander ruled only as long as it took to create the empire, then he died and his empire was split up into four portions by Ptolemy, Seleucus, Cassander, and Lysimachus. During the ensuing struggle to make this division of the empire, Alexander's family members were all killed. Alexander had no heir, no family relation to assume the throne.
Just a quick note here. Nations and mankind might have objective in mind when they spread out in the world as nations and empire do, but God drives the seas of history to His own purpose. The history we study only shows that the nations and peoples of this earth chase after their own lusts for power and material gain. It will ultimately end up in great acts of tyranny as this brief summary of history, in chapter eleven, will reveal. God again shows us that there is only one answer to mans problems and that answer is Jesus Christ for salvation and victory over sin and death and eternal life, and then Bible doctrine (Christ the written Word) for the fulfillment of life (completion of ones being).
Man is incapable of ruling himself without the guidance of God and His word. Each one of us are incapable of living our lives without God and Bible doctrine in our souls.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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