Questions Regarding the Antichrist in Daniel 11

I’m “squeezing” the Videos on Daniel due to the study of Daniel here with the group of men in my church. I have been blessed tremendously by them and able to show some of the things that I have learned.

Next week we are going to enter Daniel 11, and I have the impression that the study is going to turn to introduce the antichrist in v 36. I have to be able to show them that antichrist is introduced in v 21. What are the things that Antiochus IV doesn’t fulfill in v22-35 ? Do you have any scholars names, book recommendations or sources that amplified this point?

Your question concerning how to show that the Antichrist is introduced in Dan 11:21 rather than verse 36 is a very good one. Give me just a little time to put together a short bibliography of commentators who agree with our position and differ from the consensus report that the shift from antiquity to the future comes at Dan 11:36.

Thankfully, there are a few substantial scholars, well informed of the issues, who take our view. I’m hoping that soon I’ll have opportunity to do a much more thorough work on this disputed section, since it is bound to be a question for many who have seen the conflicting views of the commentaries.

There is definitely a partial and parallel fulfillment by Antiochus Epiphanes IV. However, there are some few details that do not well fit with well documented history, and a high view of inspiration cannot be content with partial fulfillment. Even in the passages before verse 36 some of the commentators who apply verses 21-35 to Antiochus and wars that ended with the triumph of the Maccabees are divided over some of the details. Even there, one can find gaps of a questionable nature between the details of scripture and the details (or lack of details) in the historical record.

In their zeal to show the miracle of prophecy and the integrity of Daniel’s prophecy, conservative scholars have tended to gloss over some of the discrepancies between the text and the historical documentation. Beyond verse 35 there is consensus among conservative interpreters that the eschatological Antichrist is in view. In contrast, there are a few scholars that find too much in the text that does not so well match the doings of Antiochus, but see his partial and imperfect fulfillment as pointing beyond to a more exhaustive and complete fulfillment in the Antichrist of the final and unequaled tribulation. We see Antiochus as a divinely ordained type, but not the final fulfillment. What he fulfilled partially, in parallel and in type, the “coming prince” will fulfill in exhaustive detail to the last jot and tittle.

This does not mean that the Antichrist takes up where Antiochus left off. The historical does not merely vaguely ‘fade into’ the eschatological. There will be a plenary and exhaustive fulfillment in the future of every jot and tittle of the prophecy. We do not believe that Antiochus is the “vile person” of Dan 11:21. He was only an instructive prototype of the character and doings of the Antichrist who is the “vile person” who places the abomination that starts unequaled trouble (Dan 11:31; 12:11; Mt 24:15).

Scholars who want to understand Antiochus as the vile person in Dan 11 tend also to interpret the “little horn” of Dan 8:9 to refer, not to the Antichrist but to Antiochus. They are content to understand that the ‘little horn’ of Dan 8:9 is an entirely different individual from the ‘little horn’ of Dan 7:8. In defense of their view that Antiochus fulfills Dan 8, many interpreters make the same name to apply to two different individuals. The ‘little horn’ in Dan 7 is affirmed by most to be the Antichrist and Man of Sin of Dan 11:36 and 2Thes 2:4, but hold that the ‘little horn’ of Dan 8:9 is Antiochus, same titles in same book but totally different individuals. It is better to see all these titles to be consistently speaking of the same self exalting prince, since in every instance, he is the one who removes the sacrifice that begins the unequaled trouble (Dan 8:11; 9:27; 11:31; 12:11).

Even for one who does not have access to the historical sources that scholars use, it is enough to observe that the Lord’s own words in Mt 24:15 clearly puts the abomination of Dan 11:31 and Dan 12:11 in the future. This is decisive. He did not say an event “like” the one spoken of by Daniel, but the event itself. How can a believing view of scripture suppose that Antiochus fulfilled the abomination of desolation in Dan 11:31, when within the same prophecy, revealed at the same time by the same heavenly messenger, the same precise words are used in Dan 12:11 of the event (not a similar event) that marks the last 3 1/2 years ending in the deliverance of Daniel’s people and the resurrection of the righteous dead? (Dan 11:31; 12:1-2, 11).

To separate and identify Dan 11:31 and Dan 12:11 as two different events happening millennia apart would certainly never have occurred to Daniel, and Jesus well knew the history of the Maccabbean times. No, Antiochus is only the type; he is not the fulfillment of Dan 11:31. And Dan 11:31 is certainly the act of the ‘vile person’ of Dan 11:21. There is no break or shift in the narrative to suggest otherwise. The willful king of verse 36 is the same king that has been in view since verse 21, only now, for the moment, he is having irresistible success in his designs against the covenant.

There are many other reasons that I hope to mention when I can find more time, but it is clear that Mt 24:15 is word for word the precise same language we find in BOTH Dan 11:31 and Dan 12:11. It is clearly the same event. It is a real stretch to suggest that Dan 11:31 is a different event from Dan 12:11 when both belong to the same continuous narrative delivered by the same heavenly messenger at the same time (see Dan 10 thru 12).

It is contrary to the plain language of the text to hold that the abomination and removal of the sacrifice in Dan 11:31 is a completely different time and event than described in Dan 12:11. Manifestly, the two are the same. In both, it is the self exalting prince that enters the temple of God and takes away the regular sacrifice (compare Dan 8:11; 11:31, 36-37; 12:11 with 2Thes 2:4). This follows after a deadly “league” has been made with the “vile person” of Dan 11:21 (Isa 28:15, 18; Dan 9:27 with Dan 11:23).

Furthermore, if we carefully observe the obvious parallel language between Dan 11:35 with Dan 12:9-10, noting that Dan 11:35 belongs to the sequence of events that begin in verse 31, it becomes absurd to suppose that “the end” means the 2nd century B.C. in Dan 11:27, 35 while the same term means the final and eschatological “end” in Dan 11:40; 12:4, 6, 8-9, 13. Inconceivable!

Hence, in order to introduce the Antichrist into the narrative of Dan 11 at verse 36, we must suppose that precisely equivalent terms, within the same narrative, should be understood to relate to an entirely different end and group of events. In such case, we must be prepared to say that “the end” of Dan 11:27, 35 is a quite different “end” than the end in view in Dan 11:40; 12:4, 6, 8-9, 13. Not only this, but the ‘maskilim’ (Heb. for the wise who understand and have insight) in Dan 11:35 is interpreted as the Maccabee warriors of the 2nd century B.C. while the ‘wise’ of Dan 12:3, 10 that are “purified and made white,” as in Dan 11:35 are the martyrs of the tribulation. Inconceivable!

Are we to suppose that the precise same language within the same prophetic narrative is being applied to completely different times and events separated by over two 21 centuries? This is a delicate matter, because Jesus sends us to Daniel to find this event in particular and to read with understanding in full knowing of what is at stake and the deception and confusion that would swirl over these issues when the end would come.

Except for its exact parallel in Dan 12:10, the abomination is nowhere else mentioned in the book of Daniel with so much the precise wording that Jesus uses in Mt 24:15. For me, that is very significant, since if the ‘vile person’ and the ‘willful king’ are the same, then the first half of the seven years begins when “the league is made with him” in Dan 11:23. That means that the second half begins with Dan 11:31. This opens to the believer’s expectation a perfectly ordered sequence of events that will be the countdown to the tribulation that begins in Dan 11:31. It means that from Dan 11:23 to Dan 11:30, we have the first half of the week. It is my conviction that this knowledge will prove to be simply priceless for the church’s strategic advantage in the days to come, which will also be for Israel’s sake.

This is another one of those areas where there is a need to bring a defense where the truth is significantly under siege. I believe I know why. Satan knows that a church that is wakeful of the time is a church that will be in special travail and intercessory union with God at the set time of his expulsion by Michael, as ‘the downfall of the Devil is in the details of Daniel.’

Appreciatively, yours in the Beloved, Reggie

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