Daniel is to be trusted according to the words of Jesus. So long as Jesus is Who he said he is, Daniel was a true prophet. When the fulfillment Daniel 11:21-31 is recognized in the world, it allows one to know that the anti-Christ is but five or six years, at most, from his mission of setting up the Abomination of Desolation. When we see the "abomination," it will be time for Christians to gear up for a new thing, and time for Israelites to flee from the Jerusalem area. But Daniel 11 tells us where the abomination will be before he arrives to Israel.
The problem which I address to you in earnest is that many Christians are unaware of the anti-Christ's introduction at verse 21, the oversight being due to the widespread claim that the anti-Christ enters the prophecy well further, in verse 36. Those who have been led into that view, so that verses 21-35 are thought to portray an ancient king/situation, need to be open to their error. See Antiochus IV for a few reasons to the contrary.
If you believe along with Zondervan publishers, for example, that verses 21-35 refer to an ancient king/situation, you might consider me a clever author bent on making an ancient prophecy fit the shoe of current events. Not so. Two hundred years after that ancient king, Jesus referred to the Abomination of verse 31 as an event to his future (see Matthew 24:15). Therefore, the soldiers of the "king of the north," who in verse 31 procure the Abomination, must be the soldiers of the end-time anti-Christ, no matter how well Antiochus IV (175 BC) may fit some of the prophecy.
Watch what you read in footnotes and commentaries. Throw your paraphrase Bible out and get one that sticks closely to the early Greek and Hebrew texts. All Bible quotes in this book, unless noted otherwise, are word-for-word translations from Hebrew or Greek interlinears, albeit I personally arrange those words into proper English structure where necessary (one doesn't need to be a language expert to do this correctly).
Some believers today insist that the book of Revelation was written prior to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, allowing them to make the further claim that the Revelation plagues, including chapter eleven's 42-month trampling of Jerusalem, occurred in relation to 70 AD. They furthermore make the mistake of placing the Abomination (and the "great tribulation" of Matthew 24:21 and Luke 21:23) in relation to 70 AD. That position falls wrong because the Abomination of Matthew 24 occurs, according to verses 15-31, in relation to Jesus' return at Armageddon. Therefore, unless Jesus returned in the first century, we shouldn't locate the Abomination and Tribulation in the first century no matter how much the Roman invasion of Jerusalem might have had commonality with the end-time invasion.
In 1980, before Iraq was significant in world news, I interpreted verse 21 as the political seizure of Iraq by the anti-Christ. I was still 14 years from settling on the idea that he would be Ezekiel's Gog. It's mid-2014 as I go over this and related chapters. I'm adding the message that things did not work out as I thought they would shortly after 2003. While Vladimir Putin has been a confident one in Georgia (2008), the Crimea (2014), and even Syria (2013), yet there is no reason to expect anything Russian to enter Iraqi politics anytime soon such that he will take Iraq's destiny in his hands. There seems to be plenty of time, if I am interpreting things correctly.
Verse 21 of Daniel 11 indicates that he will not initially seize that country militarily, but rather a political seizure will precede a military one. The same verse indicates that Gog will be rejected by the Iraqi people as he takes the ruling position over the country. Such an idea, especially by current circumstances wherein the UN stands as a global watch dog, seems to require a major crisis in Iraq, but such a thing has come and gone in the last decade. That's why I'm going over this and related chapters asking whether the past decade has anything to do with Daniel's fulfillment, or whether we should expect something else in Iraq even decades from now.
In 1980, I interpreted verse 22 as the fall of Iraq's military prior to the anti-Christ's seizure of Iraq. I interpreted that fall as occurring at the hands of a large but unidentified army (i.e. God does not, in the prophecy, identify which nation would conquer Iraq). Years later, that fall was believed by myself to be the Iraqi invasion under the command of George Bush. The very sort of crisis in Iraq that I had envisioned from 1980 was taking place in 2003, and lasting for a few years afterward, and yet the anti-Christ, personally, did not come to rule Iraq. It's like having a lottery ticket when all the numbers are correct, except the last one.
Along with the fall of Iraq, the prophecy (still in verse 22) tells that there will be, at the hands of the same unidentified army, the fall of a "ruler of a covenant." This ruler I interpreted as the leader of a multitude of parties sworn to destroy Israel. Until 2004 I did not know whom he could be, but since then I felt confident to interpret him as Osama bin Laden...a perfect fit for the phrase, "Ruler of a Covenant."
However, while it is a fact that Osama's military was broken just prior to the fall of the Iraqi army in 2003, we must apparently look to someone else as the ruler of the covenant. In that case, it's possible that the prophecy has not yet been fulfilled where he is broken by an unidentified army invading Iraq. I have no piece of knowledge at this time that can help to decide whether that's true, or whether we should view the past weakening of al-Qaeda insurgents as the fulfillment. Is the latter scenario even possible? Can the prophecy drag out that long, from the invasion of Afghanistan (2002) to beyond 2014? It's high time to take another look at this and related chapters, isn't it? It's time to allow the possibility of another invasion into Iraq.
In the aftermath of the Bush invasion, I predicted, from my interpretation of verse 23, that the fallen Iraqi military and its partners, including Osama's Sunni factions, would join Gog in a pact i.e. Gog will join the said "covenant". The aftermath seemed perfect for such an event, and yet Russia remained on its best behavior throughout Bush's years...until it invaded Georgia in his final year. It looked like the sky would begin to fall at that time...but it held on.
The Iraqi citizens (mainly Shi'ites) whom had already given themselves over (and those who are yet to commit themselves) to the New Iraq were predicted to reject Gog...especially as the Iraqi people tended to reject the Sunny Insurgents. But Gog never came. There wasn't even any hint that he could be forming pacts with the fallen Sunni.
Verse 23 (and subsequent verses) suggested that Gog and the Insurgents, though few in numbers, would succeed. The verse reads like so: "He will come and be strong with a few people." I could see it happening with the determined and ambitious Insurgents, if only they had a Gog powerhouse as their helper. But no Gog stood up because the Americans were still in Iraq, ruling the country to a large degree.
From verse 24 I predicted that Gog would use his Insurgent supporters to seize the country militarily, especially the "rich places of the province," which I think must include Baghdad and surrounding region. I predicted from the Old-Testament book of Nahum (chapter one) that the anti-Christ would enter / show presence at Mosul (northern Iraq), by which I mean to say that modern Mosul (ancient Nineveh) will be the location of his initial base of Iraqi operations. Mosul and other areas of northern Iraq are bastions for Sunni. It made perfect sense that Gog would make headquarters there.
I predicted further that, according to verse 25, Gog and his supporters, after seizing Iraq, will invade Egypt. They will be successful as per verse 28, the same verse that tells of his military stab against Israel in conjunction with his invasion of Egypt. The Egyptian leadership has traditionally been opposed to the Insurgents, and it remains that way today after a brief table-turning under president Morsi.
Verse 29 gives yet more information: a second attempt against Egypt that will fail due to stern pressure on Gog from Western powers upon the Mediterranean. The result is that Gog becomes furious and sets his heart against Israel, which leads to the Abomination that causes Israel's desolation, defined in verse 31 as a military invasion of Jerusalem by Gog's forces, including the related profaning of the Temple Site. The latter event can be expected from the many rabid Muslims under Gog's umbrella, and some have suggested that Gog himself will be an Arab / Muslim rather than a Russian.
In the earlier parts of the Daniel-11 prophecy, we see the Greek empire -- immediately after Alexander's death (v 6) -- leading into a succession of "kings of the north" until the prophecy extends to the end-time anti-Christ as the final king of the north. There ought to be a good reason for the Choosing (by God) of this picture wherein the end-timer has some relationship to ancient kings of the north. As of mid-2014, military Sunni units are spread from middle Iraq deeply into Syria, the whole of which was the ancient domain of the kings of the north.
Do you know of any prophecies pertaining to the seven-year "week"? You won't find much. The Bible indicates that the Church will fall asleep in the first half of the Week, and it seems clear to me that erroneous prophetic commentaries will be responsible for much of it. Yet for those with a will to watch and to hang on, I share in this chapter, and the next two, some very important matters in relation to the following points:
1) If the personality in Daniel's verse 31 is the end-time anti-Christ, so also is the personality in the verses previous to 31, going back to verse 21.
2) Bible footnotes and commentaries telling otherwise rob Bible readers of critical signs that are golden to those who wish to safely plan their tribulation security in time for the coming skincode.
Surely, the multiple signs of which I speak have been sitting patiently, more than 2500 years, for no better purpose than to benefit the end-time generation. And so be aroused! Jesus wants us to know that this section of the Daniel-11 prophecy represents the anti-Christ's activities prior to the successful (and future) invasion of Jerusalem, so that we have no less than eleven verses describing events BEFORE the midway point of the final seven years!! This is the kindness of God, then, in allowing us to discern the identity of the anti-Christ with some certainty well before the skincode is enforced.
These eleven verses are crucial because there is not one section of prophecy in all the Bible that comes close to describing so many events pertaining to the FIRST half of the Week.
We cannot fully understand 21-31 unless we solve the previous verses...which expose the ancient kings of the north as belonging to the Greek faction known to historians as the Seleucid empire, originally centered in what is now downtown modern Iraq but including Syria to the one side and some of Persia (Iran) to the other; see Seleucid Empire (in yellow). One possibility is that the anti-Christ will build a neo-Seleucid empire covering the same geographical regions as did the ancient empire.
Otherwise, if not for geographical similarities, what would be God's purpose in connecting the end-time king of the north to the ancient Seleucids? I suppose it's possible for the anti-Christ to be of the same bloodline or ethnicity as those of the ancient empire, but tracking this down is not something the average person can do. But if God is trying to convey geographical similarities, it's an easy clue for anyone as per where to look for the rise of the anti-Christ.
The Seleucid kings occupied northern Israel at a time when Egypt occupied the southern half of Israel, for which reason Egypt is represented in the prophecy as the "king of the south." When the end times are suddenly and without notice in view -- as of verse 21 -- we can presume with confidence that the king of the south is still Egypt. To inform end-timers (the entire world that cares to listen) of these details seems to be the integral reason for the prophecy's inclusion of an ancient situation.
Note that the anti-Christ's neo-Seleucid kingdom is found in Revelation 13:2, because we see the empire of the "beast" (same as the "king of the north") depicted there with features combining those of a leopard (Greece), a bear (Persia/Iran), and a lion (Iraq). For the identification of these animals as the nations in brackets, see Daniel 7 in conjunction with Daniel 8:20-21. In Revelation 13:2, the Beast's kingdom is said to have "a mouth like a lion," which in my opinion means that he will command from Iraq. "Feet like a bear" could mean that his military base and might is in the Iranians; Ezekiel 38 implies that Iran will be Gog's most-important ally. "Greek-like" may refer to his Westernization, democratization, and/or Aryanism as opposed to Arabic.
If you don't already know from previous chapters, I equate the anti-Christ with Gog of Ezekiel 38, whom I believe will be a Russian. But if I am wrong concerning his Russian blood, then look for any prominent ruler to enter Iraq as per the description of this prophecy. Readers incapable of viewing the anti-Christ as Gog could be tolerant or open to this position just in case I and others are correct.
Of course, one should never trust my words as though the words of God. We've learned the lesson many times that prophecy speakers can be blushing wrong. You who don't study prophecy could end up being more correct than we who do...just because there is a God who determines thoughts, but also because God opposes prophecy writers who think they have a special gift of prophecy when in fact all they have is normal human powers of reasoning. I've never considered myself a prophet.
I reason like so: as the anti-Christ is called the "king of Babylon" in Isaiah 14, where the "Babylon" of that text (13:9) is the ancient country on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, I conclude that modern Iraq will be the military headquarters of the future neo-Seleucid empire, or that Iraq will become the anti-Christ's Military State. This seems a logical approach because the country of Babylon held the capital (Seleucia) of the ancient Seleucid empire...several years before the Syrian co-capital city (Antioch) was determined.
Therefore, as the anti-Christ has been revealed in Daniel 11:23 as a supporter of a militarily-defeated kingdom that will become his kingdom, I concluded that it will be a defeated Iraqi. This concept, in 1980, was not part of any prophetic book I had known. You can imagine my deep interest when the Persian-Gulf War of 1991 came and went...but much more interest after Iraq had its back broken in the invasion of Bush Jr.
The book of Nahum concerns the end times; 1:5-8 tips us off with clear mountain-melting (= Armageddon) terminology. The anti-Christ is evident in verse 11 because verse 12 speaks on his destruction while leading into Israel's eternal restoration i.e. the Millennium. In verse 11, the anti-Christ, described as "one who devises evil against YHWH," is said to "come forth from" what appears certainly to be Nineveh. What can we make of this phrase, "come forth from," except that, early in his mission, the anti-Christ will have headquarters at Nineveh?
Nineveh was the capital city of the ancient Assyrian empire, but behold, the palaces of the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, though he is known to have ruled from Nineveh, were excavated across the Tigris river from Nineveh, in what is now the Iraqi city of Mosul (see map of the Middle East or of modern Iraq). That is, what is now Mosul was once a part of Nineveh. Therefore, or so is my understanding, the anti-Christ, prior to seizing Iraq, will set up headquarters in Mosul (pop. 1.5 million).
Saddam's two sons were killed while hiding out in Mosul, by the way, and many other Saddam supporters have been found in and around that city. Saddam once said that whoever ruled Mosul would rule all of Iraq. It appears that the anti-Christ will agree, if he hasn't already done so.
As the terrorists were ousted from their prime hide-out in the city of Falluja in November of 2004, Mosul became a major terrorist haven. Wikipedia writes: "Over a three-month period in 2005, al-Zarqawi's affiliates were reportedly responsible for more than 1,700 attacks on Coalition and Iraqi forces in the city of Mosul alone." Later: "Al-Mashhadani is the highest-ranking Iraqi leader in al-Qaida in Iraq. He was captured in Mosul on July 4 ."
When it says in Daniel 8:9 that the anti-Christ will start small, and then, en route to becoming a large kingdom spread "toward the south, toward the east, and toward the bountiful land," we might envision him spreading forth from Mosul, south into the rich province encompassing Baghdad, east toward the Iran border, but also north along the banks of the Euphrates river where the desert is checked.
In the following Daniel-11 text, the key word "enter" serves as evidence for the anti-Christ's foreign status among the Iraqis over which he comes to rule. That is, he will not be an Iraqi. Here is verse 21 in a word-for-word translation:
"And a rejected one shall stand up in his place, and they shall not give to him the honor of the kingdom; but he will enter while at ease and seize the kingdom with smooth talk" (v 21).
Who would "they" be, who reject Gog when he "stands up" to run the kingdom (in the footsteps of a previous king of the north)? Not the defeated Iraqi military that he will make his own army, but rather some other Iraqis. A great way to interpret this situation is that Gog will come to support the fallen Baathists of Saddam Hussein, who, like al-Qaeda, are Sunnis. At this time, in 2014, the Shi'ite Iraqis rule. If you don't know, much of the violence in Iraq since the Bush invasion has been Sunni-versus-Shi'ite sectarianism. It continues murderously to this day, and, at times, it's Iraqi officials and police units that get hit.
The Hebrew word, "smooth," is translated by some Bible versions as "intrigues" (from "smooth/slippery talk"). If this is indeed a correct translation, it clarifies this one thing: Gog will initially attempt to seize the power structures of Iraq, not with a military effort, but with political intrigues i.e. diplomacy, political wrangling. With this in mind, note the phrase "diplomatic solution," and the word "seize," in the following clip from a People's Daily article (dated Jan. 13, 2003, less than two months prior to the Iraq war):
Russia Seeks 'Diplomatic Solution' to Iraqi Crisis
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov said on Thursday in Baghdad that Russia is committed to finding a "diplomatic solution" to the Iraqi crisis, the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported..."to ensure Iraq's national unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty...
Upon arrival at Baghdad's Saddam International Airport, Saltanov told reporters the delegation members "are here to seize any chance to achieve and find a diplomatic and peaceful solution to the Iraq issue and to avoid military scenarios."
While there may seem to be nothing subversive on the surface of those words, it can be shown that Russia was attempting to seize Saddam's very power structures immediately prior to the war...which may explain why the Americans got there first. For the future, I see Russia continuing forward with the same feigned concern for Iraqi citizens. The only way I can see Russians becoming involved in Iraq, post-2014, is where the war in Syria, led by al-Qaeda-like operatives, spills into Iraq to the point of forming a national crisis.
In 1980, before anything in Iraq had transpired, I envisioned some other army invading Iraq besides that of the anti-Christ. The prophecy seems to have the anti-Christ on the sidelines while an invasion by others occurs like a flood. I became increasingly concerned and yet relieved all at once about verse 22 being fulfilled by the American-led army. When I had published this book in 1997, I did not claim to readers that the 1991 Gulf War was definitely the fulfillment of verse 22, but suggested that a second American invasion of Iraq would be a more viable fulfillment because the other parts of the prophecy had not come to pass as of 1997.
As the Americans left unfinished business in 1991, it seemed more likely -- in light of verse 22 -- that Americans would invade Iraq a second time to finish Saddam off. But who would have believed, before it happened, that the Americans would go back to Iraq? After the second invasion, I felt that waiting for a third would be stretching it, and so I was expecting -- SHORTLY after 2003 -- for Gog to appear. What happened?
Putin, for one, stepped down as president during the Bush years, only to take the position again (Obama term) as a quasi-dictator due to high popularity. In the Syrian crisis, Putin continuously appealed to diplomatic solutions even while threatening to enter militarily if NATO pushed his buttons in that direction.
However, the absence of visible Russian involvement in Iraq caused me to re-think on whether Gog will be a Russian. On the other hand, it's no secret that various Russian leaders had been involved in secret talks with Saddam for 12 years and longer. Yevgeny Primakov, who was not only a former Russian Prime Minister, but a former Russian Foreign Minister, a former chief of the Foreign Intelligence Service, and a former Chairman of the KGB, held talks with Saddam in the 1991 War and on other occasions since. In February 2003, just days before the war that ousted Saddam, Primakov on behalf of Russian president Putin offered the Iraqi leader a save-face game plan that included Saddam's stepping aside from power and the setting up of a "new interim authority" (from Russia) to rule on his behalf. Primakov has since admitted to making this offer. Atul Aneja of India's national newspaper, The Hindu, put the Primakov offer like this:
"Without seeking his voluntary exile, it is likely that Mr. Primakov proposed to Mr. Hussein that he could continue as Iraq's figurehead President for another year.
"But during this time-frame, he should consider appointing a new interim authority where all Iraqis, including some of those who were at present in exile, were represented." (For the full story, see Primakov)
One could easily get the impression that Putin and Primakov were attempting to beat George Bush to the Iraqi interim-government gun in an effort to install a pro-Russia authority in Baghdad. According to reports, Saddam rejected the Primakov offer.
George Bush may have invaded Iraq primarily to keep Gog from profiting there, for it is reported online that, before he invaded Iraq, Bush told French president Chirac that the two of them should stop the advance of "Gog and Magog" (i.e. it is reported that Bush actually used that phrase with Chirac). Apparently, Chirac betrayed Bush and sided with Russia (and probably snitched to the Russian rulers about Bush's intentions).
I claiming that verse 22 had been fulfilled while verse 21 hadn't. My solution is in verses 22-24, which amount to an expounded version of the latter portion of verse 21, so that, not easily discerned by the reader, verse 22 actually occurs in history before the verse-21 seizure of Iraq. Let me try to explain it this way: it appears that the end of 21 is repeated in 23 with slightly different terms. For example, the "smooth talk" of verse 21 becomes "deceit" in verse 23. And the "enter" of verse 21 becomes "he will come and be strong with a few people" in verse 23. In fact, note the comparison below:
VERSE 21: "he will enter while at ease and seize the kingdom smoothly."
VERSE 24: "With ease, even into the rich places of the province, he will enter."
Therefore, it appears that the end of verse 21 doesn't occur until the events of verses 22 and 23 have occurred. Or, put yet another way, beginning at verse 22, the text brings the reader back in time, before the events of 21, in order to reveal events that lead-up to verse 21 (explaining why events of 21 are repeated in 24). The sequence of events is like so:
The Iraqi president is defeated and his military falls
the king of the north joins the fallen army (to bring it back to power?)
the king of the north attempts to seize/share power in Iraq but is rejected by Iraqis
the king of the north succeeds at seizing major portions of Iraq anyway/eventually
My current opinion is that both the "kingdom" in verse 21 and the "richest places of the province" in verse 24 refer to Baghdad, the dominant seat of Iraqi power. The predicted military success of Baathist Insurgents against Baghdad would suggest that the American military is no longer in Iraq at that point. I waited for the Americans to leave so that Gog could move in, but only half of that picture took place as of mid-2014.
Here are verses 22-23 in a translation that isn't quite right:
(22)"And the army of the overflow will be swept from before his face, and they will be broken, and also the ruler of a covenant. (23)And after they join him, he will practice deceit. For he will come and be strong with a few people."
You need to give this problem the consideration it merits if your Bible has a similar translation. I have a serious problem with the first sentence (similar to the NIV translation) because it amounts to the defeat of the overflowing army by the anti-Christ. The defeated army then joins the anti-Christ. The correct translation, shown below, is extremely important; it suggests the contrary, that the invading army is victorious. It is victorious over two armies, the first identified as, "they will be broken," and the other identified as belonging to a "ruler of a covenant." As the prophecy says that the broken ones will join him, it's the picture of a desperate situation and Gog-to-the-rescue of the fallen armies.
One Hebrew word is used twice in verse 22. The word where "overflow" is used is "shataph" (#7857 in Strong's dictionary), while the Hebrew word for "swept away" is "sheteph" (#7858). Both words can mean "flood," although the first word can also be the verb, "to gush," according to Strong's Concordance. But that's the kicker: "to gush" is an action, wherefore while the first word is a verb, the second is a noun. The erroneous translation above, and perhaps the one in your Bible version, has the noun first and the verb second, an error having the potential to alter the meaning of the sentence. Certainly, "swept away" in a military context can mean "defeat." I lean heavily on the following translation where the sweeping away is not evident:
"(22)And the army will gush a flood before his face, and they will be broken, and also the ruler of a covenant. (23)And after they join him, he will practice deceit. For he will come and be strong with a few people."
Now, rather than the army being swept away from before Gog's face, the army is gushing a flood while Gog watches on, implying a victorious force defeating a "they" whom join Gog as a result. I read "they" as neither the gushing entity nor the king of the north. I read "they" as the defeated ones. In the previous verse (21) "they" refers to the end-time Seleucid domain, wherefore I view the phrase, "they will be broken," as the military defeat of the Iraqis. Within the phrase, "they join him," one can (and probably should) include the armies of the Ruler of a Covenant. That is, both entities join Gog and look to him as their survival strategy and ultimate-success story.
As the same overflowing army defeats both groups, while the Americans defeated both Osama bin Laden and Saddam in the same anti-terrorist effort, it seemed that this portion of the prophecy had been fulfilled, especially as the Bush invasion went in like a flood.
Before moving on to the next chapter (a continuation of this topic), see all all four verses together:
"A rejected one shall stand up in his place, and they shall not give him the honor of the kingdom; but he will enter while at ease and seize the kingdom with smoothness. And the arms will gush a flood before his face, and they will be broken, and also the ruler of a covenant. And after they join themselves to him, he will practice deceit. For he will come and be strong with a few people. With ease, even into the rich places of the province, he will enter. And he will do what his fathers nor his father's fathers have not done. He shall plunder and spoil, and scatter goods among them."
Russia's Middle-Eastern Move of 2015 is relevant to the topic of this chapter.
Will Liberals Love Gog?
American Democrats and other Liberals
are playing into the hands
of the anti-Christ.
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