In 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. 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. For those who have been led into that view so that verses 21-35 are thought to portray an ancient king/situation, see Antiochus IV for 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 (i.e. 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 at that time had commonality with the end-time invasion.
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.
Regardless of how I interpret verses 21-31, I can tell you for certain that the Lord shared them for the purpose of allowing His final Church generation time enough to prepare -- at the proper time -- for the period of the skincode. These eleven verses are utterly 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 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, what would be God's purpose in connecting the end-time king of the north to the ancient Seleucid kings of the north? I suppose it's possible that the ruler of the neo-Seleucid kingdom will be of the same bloodline as those of the ancient empire.
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 great confidence that the king of the south is still Egypt. To grant end-timers those details is probably a major reason for the prophecy starting off with ancient events. Note that the current leader of Egypt has recently (Sept. 2003) appeared on the BBC Network to continue verbal support for the American invasion into Iraq, thus setting up the grounds for the fulfillment of verses 25-27...that will see Egypt attacked by the neo-Seleucid king.
[Update May 2012 -- We have yet to see what the new Egypt will look like after president Mubarak's fall. While the Muslim brotherhood and similar Israel-unfriendly types are slated to take the parliament, the next president of Egypt has yet to be chosen. After he's chosen, I'll be watching, and commenting on, whether he invites the wrath of anti-Israeli's so as to fulfill prophecy. End Update]
Note that the anti-Christ's neo-Seleucid kingdom is found in Revelation 13:2, because we see the empire of the "beast" 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/might is in the Iranians; Ezekiel 38 implies that Iran will be the anti-Christ's most-important ally. "Greek-like" may refer to his Westernization, democratization, and/or Aryanism as opposed to Arabic. Or, we might be surprised to find that he, as with the ancient Seleucids, comes from the Greeks proper, though I find this a difficulty to conceive at this time.
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. We are few who take this position now.
Of course, one should never trust all 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 study it...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 the normal human power of reasoning and learning.
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 Iraqi. This was no trivial realization, which at the time (1980) was not part of any major prophetic book (I hadn't seen an anti-Christ link to Iraq in any book nor heard of it by any other means). You can imagine my deep interest when the Persian-Gulf War of 1991 came and went...but much more interest now that Iraq has been broken militarily for a second time.
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.
[Update December 2004 -- As the terrorists were ousted last month from their prime hide-out in the city of Falluja, Mosul has become a major terrorist haven.]
[Update July 18 2007 -- Today, National Public Radio wrote: "Al-Mashhadani is the highest-ranking Iraqi leader in al-Qaida in Iraq. He was captured in Mosul on July 4 ." It is now the fifth year of the Iraqi war, and Mosul still appears to be a headquarters for the Insurgency. Story at:
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."]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda_in_Iraq End Update.
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. That latter northern stretch could prove to equate with his conquering of Calno and Carchemish (Turkish-Syrian border) as per Isaiah 10, unless he conquers them before coming to Mosul. Isaiah 10 hints that the Calno and Carchemish invasions of the king of "Assyria" are successful campaigns preparing his military path into Israel's northland (for new readers: I explained a few chapters earlier why Isaiah 10's Assyrian invader of Israel must be an end-time ruler).
[Update May 2012 -- As Turkey is on-side the Western-backed effort to remove and replace the Syrian president (Assad), it can make more sense at this time that Russia should furnish the anti-Christ rather than the West. Putin, who is now the new Russian president again, has signalled that he will not take the over-throw of Assad sitting down. One could imagine that the current civil war in Syria, or its aftermath, could provide Putin the excuse or passion to utilize heavily-involved means inside Syria. Northern Iraq -- ancient Assyria -- is right beside the Syrian border. End Update]
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 (of Saddam) that he will make his own army, but rather the anti-Saddam (i.e. West-supported) Iraqis.
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. I see Gog continuing forward with the same feigned concern for Iraqi citizens. Although the Russian government was/is opposed to Bush's war because Russian companies had business dealings with Saddam, it seems from verses 22 and 23 that Gog will benefit from the defeat of Saddam by providing an opportunity for a grasping of the nation's heart.
[Update May 2012 -- Yes, Saddam is long gone, but Saddam's Baathist loyalists are predicted to have organized groups, to this day, seeking Iraq back. Plus, the American military only left Iraq months ago, wherefore anytime-soon would be the time for a Russian Gog to grasp at Iraq's heart.
The difficulty that I see for an imminent fulfillment of the prophecy above is that the crisis in Iraq, which I predicted could give the anti-Christ an excuse to engage Iraqi affairs diplomatically, is largely passed. However, several months ago, Maliki's government technically fell apart when the leading Sunni member had to quit, escaping for his life. He's reportedly now in Turkey with the Turkish government offering him protection, and refusing to give him over to Maliki who wants to prosecute him on charges of terrorist acts. There's no telling what sort of crisis this situation could develop into, or how Putin might use the developments to enter Iraq. End Update]
As it appears correct for Gog to initially take hold of Iraq with "smooth talk" rather than with his military, the Iraqi army falling before Gog's face, in verse 22, falls to someone else's army i.e. not Gog's. That was a deduction made in 1980, before anything in Iraq had transpired, wherefore I was looking to some other army to invade Iraq. I am increasingly concerned and yet relieved all at once about verse 22 being fulfilled by the American-led army NOW in Iraq. 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 by 1997 -- in light of verse 22 -- that Americans would invade Iraq a second time to finish Saddam off. I have waited patiently for this second instance, and feel that waiting for a third would be stretching it.
[Update May 2012 -- Actually, Obama is a wily and unpredictable war president with seasoned military units in Afghanistan. And if Mitt Romney becomes the next U.S. president, he is predicted to be a war president too in relation to the "fight on terror." U.S. military equipment that left Iraq is stacked in Kuwait and elsewhere ready for any further military "need." We could see a third American invasion into Iraq. End Update]
It is no secret that various Russian leaders have been involved in secret talks with Saddam for 12 years and longer, most recently by 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. Primakov held talks with Saddam in the 1991 War and on other occasions since. In February 2003, just days before the war that ousted Saddam from power, 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, for which reason Saddam now finds himself as good as dead...badly in need of Russian support.
It is quite possible that some of the uprisings in Iraq since the end of Bush's major combat have been urged and supported by Gog himself (while Gog has remained invisible), and that Saddam is wondering how long it will be before his Russian friends come to free him from prison. I do not know if they will free him, but I do strongly think from verse 23 that Gog will make an alliance with the fallen Saddam/Osama loyalists, using them to invade (militarily) the richest places of Iraq.
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). It has occurred to me that Bush in Iraq may be by the will of God to delay the advance of Gog until the Appointed Time.
If you're wondering how the verse-22 military conflict has already been fulfilled by the American-led war while the latter portion of the previous verse -- concerning the smooth seizure of Iraq by Gog -- has not yet been fulfilled, the answer should be in verses 22-24. The problem is, I'm claiming that verse 22 has been fulfilled while verse 21 hasn't yet. 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:
Saddam's army is defeated and his nation falls
Gog joins the fallen Insurgents
Gog attempts to seize/share power in Iraq but is rejected by the New Iraq
Gog succeeds at seizing major portions of Iraq anyway/eventually
Gog uses the Insurgents, and they gladly join him, for military strikes against the New Iraq.
My current opinion, after coming to realize that Gog stems from Mosul, 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, and the ever-clamorous Liberals (the world over) who oppose the Iraqi invasion can at that point thank themselves for allowing Iraq to go over to the anti-Christ. Rather than admitting error and hanging their heads in shame for it, the Liberals, I predict, will permit themselves to join Gog, naively believing that he (and his False-Prophet partner) will manage to eke out of the world crisis an acceptable if not utopian resolution.
Here now 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 of the above translation (similar to the NIV) because it amounts to the defeat of the overflowing army. I would suggest that this incorrect translation is due to translators trying to fit the prophecy to the events of Antiochus IV. The correct translation, 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, I imagined (in 1980) a desperate situation of Gog-to-the-rescue of the fallen armies. That "rescue" seems so predictable now that I feel I have the prophecy correctly interpreted.
[Update May 2011 -- Well, sorry to say, nearly a decade has passed since Saddam fell, and we still don't see Gog to the rescue. Instead, we saw the Americans making an alliance with the fallen Saddam loyalists in the Mosul theater. It had me wondering whether Gog might be the Rothschilds and/or some Western Rus entity. In any case, I have no choice but to wait some more years before abandoning / re-stringing much of this chapter. Yet, there may be no need to, because the prophesied defeat of Iraq that allows a Gog-to-the-rescue scenario could ultimately be just another stage of what the Bush presidents started. End update]
One Hebrew word is used twice in verse 22. The word where "overflow" is used (in the above translation) 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...wherefore I lean heavily on the following translation:
"(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 will later join Gog. I read "they" as neither the gushing entity nor the king of the north. 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 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 seems that this portion of the prophecy has been fulfilled!
Before moving on to the next chapter (a continuation of this topic), I'll show 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."
Will Liberals Love Gog?
American Democrats and other Liberals
are playing into the hands
of the anti-Christ.
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