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Two Kings in Conflict

Two Kings in Conflict

Chapter Thirteen

Two Kings in Conflict

1, 2. Why should we be interested in the prophecy recorded in Daniel chapter 11?

TWO rival kings are locked in an all-out struggle for supremacy. As the years pass, first one, then the other, gains ascendancy. At times, one king rules supreme while the other becomes inactive, and there are periods of no conflict. But then another battle suddenly erupts, and the conflict continues. Among the participants in this drama have been Syrian King Seleucus I Nicator, Egyptian King Ptolemy Lagus, Syrian Princess and Egyptian Queen Cleopatra I, Roman Emperors Augustus and Tiberius, and Palmyrene Queen Zenobia. As the conflict nears its end, Nazi Germany, the Communist bloc of nations, the Anglo-American World Power, the League of Nations, and the United Nations have also been involved. The finale is an episode unforeseen by any of these political entities. Jehovah’s angel declared this exciting prophecy to the prophet Daniel some 2,500 years ago.—Daniel, chapter 11.

2 How thrilled Daniel must have been to hear the angel reveal to him in detail the rivalry between two forthcoming kings! The drama is of interest to us as well, for the power struggle between the two kings stretches into our day. Seeing how history has shown the first part of the prophecy to be true will strengthen our faith and confidence in the certainty of fulfillment of the last part of the prophetic account. Paying attention to this prophecy will give us a clear view of where we are in the stream of time. It will also fortify our resolve to remain neutral in the conflict as we patiently wait for God to act in our behalf. (Psalm 146:3, 5) With keen attention, then, let us listen as Jehovah’s angel speaks to Daniel.


3. Whom did the angel support “in the first year of Darius the Mede”?

3 “As for me,” said the angel, “in the first year of Darius the Mede [539/538 B.C.E.] I stood up as a strengthener and as a fortress to him.” (Daniel 11:1) Darius was no longer living, but the angel referred to his reign as the starting point of the prophetic message. It was this king who had ordered that Daniel be taken out of the lions’ pit. Darius had also decreed that all his subjects should fear Daniel’s God. (Daniel 6:21-27) However, the one for whom the angel stood up as a supporter was, not Darius the Mede, but the angel’s associate Michael​—the prince of Daniel’s people. (Compare Daniel 10:12-​14.) God’s angel provided this support while Michael contended with the demon prince of Medo-Persia.

4, 5. Who were the foretold four kings of Persia?

4 God’s angel continued: “Look! There will yet be three kings standing up for Persia, and the fourth one will amass greater riches than all others. And as soon as he has become strong in his riches, he will rouse up everything against the kingdom of Greece.” (Daniel 11:2) Just who were these Persian rulers?

5 The first three kings were Cyrus the Great, Cambyses II, and Darius I (Hystaspes). Since Bardiya (or perhaps a pretender named Gaumata) ruled for only seven months, the prophecy did not take his brief reign into consideration. In 490 B.C.E., the third king, Darius I, attempted to invade Greece for the second time. However, the Persians were routed at Marathon and retreated to Asia Minor. Though Darius made careful preparations for a further campaign against Greece, he could not carry it out before his death four years later. That was left up to his son and successor, the “fourth” king, Xerxes I. He was the King Ahasuerus who married Esther.—Esther 1:1; 2:15-17.

6, 7. (a) How did the fourth king “rouse up everything against the kingdom of Greece”? (b) What was the result of Xerxes’ campaign against Greece?

6 Xerxes I did indeed “rouse up everything against the kingdom of Greece,” that is, the independent Grecian states as a group. “Urged on by ambitious courtiers,” says the book The Medes and Persians—Conquerors and Diplomats, “Xerxes launched an assault by land and sea.” Greek historian Herodotus, of the fifth century B.C.E., writes that “no other expedition compared to this seems of any account.” His record states that the sea force “amounted in all to 517,610 men. The number of the foot soldiers was 1,700,000; that of the horsemen 80,000; to which must be added the Arabs who rode on camels, and the Libyans who fought in chariots, whom I reckon at 20,000. The whole number, therefore, of the land and sea forces added together amounts to 2,317,610 men.”

7 Planning on nothing less than a complete conquest, Xerxes I moved his huge force against Greece in 480 B.C.E. Overcoming a Greek delaying action at Thermopylae, the Persians ravaged Athens. At Salamis, though, they met with terrible defeat. Another Greek victory took place at Plataea, in 479 B.C.E. None of the seven kings who succeeded Xerxes on the throne of the Persian Empire during the next 143 years carried war into Greece. But then there arose a mighty king in Greece.


8. What “mighty king” stood up, and how did he come to “rule with extensive dominion”?

8 “A mighty king will certainly stand up and rule with extensive dominion and do according to his will,” said the angel. (Daniel 11:3) Twenty-year-old Alexander ‘stood up’ as king of Macedonia in 336 B.C.E. He did become “a mighty king”—Alexander the Great. Driven by a plan of his father, Philip II, he took the Persian provinces in the Middle East. Crossing the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, his 47,000 men scattered the 250,000 troops of Darius III at Gaugamela. Subsequently, Darius fled and was murdered, ending the Persian dynasty. Greece now became the world power, and Alexander ‘ruled with extensive dominion and did according to his will.’

9, 10. How did the prophecy prove true that Alexander’s kingdom would not go to his posterity?

9 Alexander’s rulership over the world was to be brief, for God’s angel added: “When he will have stood up, his kingdom will be broken and be divided toward the four winds of the heavens, but not to his posterity and not according to his dominion with which he had ruled; because his kingdom will be uprooted, even for others than these.” (Daniel 11:4) Alexander was not quite 33 years old when sudden illness took his life in Babylon in 323 B.C.E.

10 Alexander’s vast empire did not pass to “his posterity.” His brother Philip III Arrhidaeus reigned for less than seven years and was murdered at the instance of Olympias, Alexander’s mother, in 317 B.C.E. Alexander’s son Alexander IV ruled until 311 B.C.E. when he met death at the hands of Cassander, one of his father’s generals. Alexander’s illegitimate son Heracles sought to rule in his father’s name but was murdered in 309 B.C.E. Thus ended the line of Alexander, “his dominion” departing from his family.

11. How was Alexander’s kingdom “divided toward the four winds of the heavens”?

11 Following the death of Alexander, his kingdom was “divided toward the four winds.” His many generals quarreled among themselves as they grabbed for territory. One-eyed General Antigonus I tried to bring all of Alexander’s empire under his control. But he was killed in a battle at Ipsus in Phrygia. By the year 301 B.C.E., four of Alexander’s generals were in power over the vast territory that their commander had conquered. Cassander ruled Macedonia and Greece. Lysimachus gained control over Asia Minor and Thrace. Seleucus I Nicator secured Mesopotamia and Syria. And Ptolemy Lagus took Egypt and Palestine. True to the prophetic word, Alexander’s great empire was divided into four Hellenistic kingdoms.


12, 13. (a) How were four Hellenistic kingdoms reduced to two? (b) What dynasty did Seleucus establish in Syria?

12 A few years after coming to power, Cassander died, and in 285 B.C.E., Lysimachus took possession of the European part of the Greek Empire. In 281 B.C.E., Lysimachus fell in battle before Seleucus I Nicator, giving Seleucus control over the major portion of the Asiatic territories. Antigonus II Gonatas, grandson of one of Alexander’s generals, ascended to the throne of Macedonia in 276 B.C.E. In time, Macedonia became dependent upon Rome and ended up as a Roman province in 146 B.C.E.

13 Only two of the four Hellenistic kingdoms now remained prominent—one under Seleucus I Nicator and the other under Ptolemy Lagus. Seleucus established the Seleucid dynasty in Syria. Among the cities he founded were Antioch—the new Syrian capital—and the seaport of Seleucia. The apostle Paul later taught in Antioch, where the followers of Jesus first came to be called Christians. (Acts 11:25, 26; 13:1-4) Seleucus was assassinated in 281 B.C.E., but his dynasty ruled until 64 B.C.E. when Roman General Gnaeus Pompey made Syria a Roman province.

14. When was the Ptolemaic dynasty established in Egypt?

14 The Hellenistic kingdom that lasted the longest of the four was that of Ptolemy Lagus, or Ptolemy I, who assumed the title of king in 305 B.C.E. The Ptolemaic dynasty that he established continued to rule Egypt until it fell to Rome in 30 B.C.E.

15. What two strong kings emerged out of the four Hellenistic kingdoms, and what struggle did they begin?

15 Thus out of four Hellenistic kingdoms, there emerged two strong kings—Seleucus I Nicator over Syria and Ptolemy I over Egypt. With these two kings began the long struggle between “the king of the north” and “the king of the south,” described in Daniel chapter 11. Jehovah’s angel left the names of the kings unmentioned, for the identity and nationality of these two kings would change throughout the centuries. Omitting unnecessary details, the angel mentioned only rulers and events that have a bearing on the conflict.


16. (a) The two kings were to the north and to the south of whom? (b) What kings first assumed the roles of “the king of the north” and “the king of the south”?

16 Listen! Describing the start of this dramatic conflict, Jehovah’s angel says: “The king of the south will become strong, even one of his [Alexander’s] princes; and he [the king of the north] will prevail against him and will certainly rule with extensive dominion greater than that one’s ruling power.” (Daniel 11:5) The designations “the king of the north” and “the king of the south” refer to kings north and south of Daniel’s people, who were by then freed from Babylonian captivity and restored to the land of Judah. The initial “king of the south” was Ptolemy I of Egypt. One of Alexander’s generals who prevailed against Ptolemy I and ruled “with extensive dominion” was Syrian King Seleucus I Nicator. He assumed the role of “the king of the north.”

17. Under whose dominion was the land of Judah at the onset of the conflict between the king of the north and the king of the south?

17 At the onset of the conflict, the land of Judah was under the dominion of the king of the south. From about 320 B.C.E., Ptolemy I influenced Jews to come to Egypt as colonists. A Jewish colony flourished in Alexandria, where Ptolemy I founded a famous library. The Jews in Judah remained under the control of Ptolemaic Egypt, the king of the south, until 198 B.C.E.

18, 19. In the course of time, how did the two rival kings enter into “an equitable arrangement”?

18 Concerning the two kings, the angel prophesied: “At the end of some years they will ally themselves with each other, and the very daughter of the king of the south will come to the king of the north in order to make an equitable arrangement. But she will not retain the power of her arm; and he will not stand, neither his arm; and she will be given up, she herself, and those bringing her in, and he who caused her birth, and the one making her strong in those times.” (Daniel 11:6) How did this come to be?

19 The prophecy did not take note of Seleucus I Nicator’s son and successor, Antiochus I, because he did not wage a decisive war against the king of the south. But his successor, Antiochus II, fought a long war against Ptolemy II, the son of Ptolemy I. Antiochus II and Ptolemy II respectively constituted the king of the north and the king of the south. Antiochus II was married to Laodice, and they had a son named Seleucus II, whereas Ptolemy II had a daughter named Berenice. In 250 B.C.E., these two kings entered into “an equitable arrangement.” To pay the price of this alliance, Antiochus II divorced his wife Laodice and married Berenice, “the very daughter of the king of the south.” By Berenice, he had a son who became heir to the Syrian throne instead of the sons of Laodice.

20. (a) How did Berenice’s “arm” not stand? (b) How were Berenice, “those bringing her in,” and “the one making her strong” given up? (c) Who became the Syrian king after Antiochus II lost “his arm,” or power?

20 Berenice’s “arm,” or supporting power, was her father, Ptolemy II. When he died in 246 B.C.E., she did not “retain the power of her arm” with her husband. Antiochus II rejected her, remarried Laodice, and named their son to be his successor. As Laodice planned, Berenice and her son were murdered. Evidently, the attendants who had brought Berenice from Egypt to Syria—“those bringing her in”—suffered the same end. Laodice even poisoned Antiochus II, and thus “his arm,” or power, also did “not stand.” Hence, Berenice’s father—“he who caused her birth”—and her Syrian husband—who had temporarily made her “strong”—both died. This left Seleucus II, the son of Laodice, as Syrian king. How would the next Ptolemaic king react to all of this?


21. (a) Who was “one from the sprout” of Berenice’s “roots,” and how did he “stand up”? (b) How did Ptolemy III “come against the fortress of the king of the north” and prevail against him?

21 “One from the sprout of her roots will certainly stand up in his position,” said the angel, “and he will come to the military force and come against the fortress of the king of the north and will certainly act against them and prevail.” (Daniel 11:7) “One from the sprout” of Berenice’s parents, or “roots,” was her brother. At his father’s death, he ‘stood up’ as the king of the south, the Egyptian Pharaoh Ptolemy III. At once he set out to avenge his sister’s murder. Marching against Syrian King Seleucus II, who Laodice had used to murder Berenice and her son, he came against “the fortress of the king of the north.” Ptolemy III took the fortified part of Antioch and dealt a deathblow to Laodice. Moving eastward through the domain of the king of the north, he plundered Babylonia and marched on to India.

22. What did Ptolemy III bring back to Egypt, and why did he “for some years stand off from the king of the north”?

22 What happened next? God’s angel tells us: “And also with their gods, with their molten images, with their desirable articles of silver and of gold, and with the captives he will come to Egypt. And he himself will for some years stand off from the king of the north.” (Daniel 11:8) Over 200 years earlier, Persian King Cambyses II had conquered Egypt and carried home Egyptian gods, “their molten images.” Plundering Persia’s former royal capital Susa, Ptolemy III recovered these gods and took them ‘captive’ to Egypt. He also brought back as spoils of war a great many “desirable articles of silver and of gold.” Obliged to quell revolt at home, Ptolemy III ‘stood off from the king of the north,’ inflicting no further injuries upon him.


23. Why did the king of the north “go back to his own soil” after coming into the kingdom of the king of the south?

23 How did the king of the north react? Daniel was told: “He will actually come into the kingdom of the king of the south and go back to his own soil.” (Daniel 11:9) The king of the north—Syrian King Seleucus II—struck back. He entered “the kingdom,” or realm, of the Egyptian king of the south but met defeat. With only a small remnant of his army, Seleucus II ‘went back to his own soil,’ retreating to the Syrian capital Antioch in about 242 B.C.E. At his death, his son Seleucus III succeeded him.

24. (a) What happened to Seleucus III? (b) How did Syrian King Antiochus III “come and flood over and pass through” the domain of the king of the south?

24 What was foretold concerning the offspring of Syrian King Seleucus II? The angel told Daniel: “Now as for his sons, they will excite themselves and actually gather together a crowd of large military forces. And in coming he will certainly come and flood over and pass through. But he will go back, and he will excite himself all the way to his fortress.” (Daniel 11:10) Assassination ended the reign of Seleucus III in less than three years. His brother, Antiochus III, succeeded him on the Syrian throne. This son of Seleucus II assembled great forces for an assault on the king of the south, who was by then Ptolemy IV. The new Syrian king of the north successfully fought against Egypt and won back the seaport of Seleucia, the province of Coele-Syria, the cities of Tyre and Ptolemaïs, and nearby towns. He routed an army of King Ptolemy IV and took many cities of Judah. In the spring of 217 B.C.E., Antiochus III left Ptolemaïs and went north, “all the way to his fortress” in Syria. But a change was in sight.


25. Where did Ptolemy IV meet Antiochus III in battle, and what was “given into the hand” of the Egyptian king of the south?

25 Like Daniel, we expectantly listen as Jehovah’s angel next foretells: “The king of the south will embitter himself and will have to go forth and fight with him, that is, with the king of the north; and he will certainly have a large crowd stand up, and the crowd will actually be given into the hand of that one.” (Daniel 11:11) With 75,000 troops, the king of the south, Ptolemy IV, moved northward against the enemy. The Syrian king of the north, Antiochus III, had raised “a large crowd” of 68,000 to stand up against him. But “the crowd” was “given into the hand” of the king of the south in battle at the coastal city of Raphia, not far from Egypt’s border.

26. (a) What “crowd” was carried away by the king of the south at the battle at Raphia, and what were the terms of the peace treaty made there? (b) How did Ptolemy IV “not use his strong position”? (c) Who became the next king of the south?

26 The prophecy continues: “And the crowd will certainly be carried away. His heart will become exalted, and he will actually cause tens of thousands to fall; but he will not use his strong position.” (Daniel 11:12) Ptolemy IV, the king of the south, “carried away” 10,000 Syrian infantry and 300 cavalry into death and took 4,000 as prisoners. The kings then made a treaty whereby Antiochus III kept his Syrian seaport of Seleucia but lost Phoenicia and Coele-Syria. Over this victory, the heart of the Egyptian king of the south ‘became exalted,’ especially against Jehovah. Judah remained under the control of Ptolemy IV. However, he did not “use his strong position” to follow up his victory against the Syrian king of the north. Instead, Ptolemy IV turned to a life of debauchery, and his five-year-old son, Ptolemy V, became the next king of the south some years before the death of Antiochus III.


27. How did the king of the north return “at the end of the times” to recover territory from Egypt?

27 Because of all his exploits, Antiochus III came to be called Antiochus the Great. Of him, the angel said: “The king of the north must return and set up a crowd larger than the first; and at the end of the times, some years, he will come, doing so with a great military force and with a great deal of goods.” (Daniel 11:13) These “times” were 16 or more years after the Egyptians defeated the Syrians at Raphia. When young Ptolemy V became king of the south, Antiochus III set out with “a crowd larger than the first” to recover the territories he had lost to the Egyptian king of the south. To that end, he joined forces with Macedonian King Philip V.

28. What troubles did the young king of the south have?

28 The king of the south also had troubles within his kingdom. “In those times there will be many who will stand up against the king of the south,” said the angel. (Daniel 11:14a) Many did “stand up against the king of the south.” Besides facing the forces of Antiochus III and his Macedonian ally, the young king of the south faced problems at home in Egypt. Because his guardian Agathocles, who ruled in his name, dealt arrogantly with the Egyptians, many revolted. The angel added: “And the sons of the robbers belonging to your people will, for their part, be carried along to try making a vision come true; and they will have to stumble.” (Daniel 11:14b) Even some of Daniel’s people became ‘sons of robbers,’ or revolutionaries. But any “vision” such Jewish men had of ending Gentile domination of their homeland was false, and they would fail, or “stumble.”

29, 30. (a) How did “the arms of the south” succumb to the assault from the north? (b) How did the king of the north come to “stand in the land of the Decoration”?

29 Jehovah’s angel further foretold: “The king of the north will come and throw up a siege rampart and actually capture a city with fortifications. And as for the arms of the south, they will not stand, neither the people of his picked ones; and there will be no power to keep standing. And the one coming against him will do according to his will, and there will be no one standing before him. And he will stand in the land of the Decoration, and there will be extermination in his hand.”—Daniel 11:15, 16.

30 Military forces under Ptolemy V, or “arms of the south,” succumbed to assault from the north. At Paneas (Caesarea Philippi), Antiochus III drove Egypt’s General Scopas and 10,000 select men, or “picked ones,” into Sidon, “a city with fortifications.” There Antiochus III ‘threw up a siege rampart,’ taking that Phoenician seaport in 198 B.C.E. He acted “according to his will” because the forces of the Egyptian king of the south were unable to stand before him. Antiochus III then marched against Jerusalem, the capital of “the land of the Decoration,” Judah. In 198 B.C.E., Jerusalem and Judah passed from domination by the Egyptian king of the south to that of the Syrian king of the north. And Antiochus III, the king of the north, began to “stand in the land of the Decoration.” There was “extermination in his hand” for all opposing Jews and Egyptians. For how long would this king of the north be able to do as he pleased?


31, 32. Why did the king of the north end up making “equitable terms” of peace with the king of the south?

31 Jehovah’s angel gives us this answer: “He [the king of the north] will set his face to come with the forcefulness of his entire kingdom, and there will be equitable terms with him; and he will act effectively. And as regards the daughter of womankind, it will be granted to him to bring her to ruin. And she will not stand, and she will not continue to be his.”—Daniel 11:17.

32 The king of the north, Antiochus III, “set his face” to dominate Egypt “with the forcefulness of his entire kingdom.” But he ended up making “equitable terms” of peace with Ptolemy V, the king of the south. Rome’s demands had caused Antiochus III to change his plan. When he and King Philip V of Macedonia leagued against the Egyptian king of tender years to take over his territories, the guardians of Ptolemy V turned to Rome for protection. Taking advantage of the opportunity to expand its sphere of influence, Rome flexed its muscles.

33. (a) What were the terms of peace between Antiochus III and Ptolemy V? (b) What was the purpose of the marriage between Cleopatra I and Ptolemy V, and why did the scheme fail?

33 Under compulsion by Rome, Antiochus III brought terms of peace to the king of the south. Rather than surrendering conquered territories, as Rome had demanded, Antiochus III planned to make a nominal transfer of them by having his daughter Cleopatra I—“the daughter of womankind”—marry Ptolemy V. Provinces that included Judah, “the land of the Decoration,” would be given as her dowry. At the marriage in 193 B.C.E., however, the Syrian king did not let these provinces go to Ptolemy V. This was a political marriage, formed to make Egypt subject to Syria. But the scheme failed because Cleopatra I did “not continue to be his,” for she later sided with her husband. When war broke out between Antiochus III and the Romans, Egypt took the side of Rome.

34, 35. (a) To what “coastlands” did the king of the north turn his face? (b) How did Rome bring an end to “the reproach” from the king of the north? (c) How did Antiochus III die, and who came to be the next king of the north?

34 Referring to the reverses of the king of the north, the angel added: “And he [Antiochus III] will turn his face back to the coastlands and will actually capture many. And a commander [Rome] will have to make the reproach from him cease for himself [Rome], so that his reproach [that from Antiochus III] will not be. He [Rome] will make it turn back upon that one. And he [Antiochus III] will turn his face back to the fortresses of his own land, and he will certainly stumble and fall, and he will not be found.”—Daniel 11:18, 19.

35 The “coastlands” were those of Macedonia, Greece, and Asia Minor. A war broke out in Greece in 192 B.C.E., and Antiochus III was induced to come to Greece. Displeased because of the Syrian king’s efforts to capture additional territories there, Rome formally declared war on him. At Thermopylae he suffered a defeat at Roman hands. About a year after losing the battle of Magnesia in 190 B.C.E., he had to give up everything in Greece, Asia Minor, and in areas west of the Taurus Mountains. Rome exacted a heavy fine and established its domination over the Syrian king of the north. Driven from Greece and Asia Minor and having lost nearly all his fleet, Antiochus III ‘turned his face back to the fortresses of his own land,’ Syria. The Romans had ‘turned back upon him his reproach against them.’ Antiochus III died while trying to rob a temple at Elymaïs, Persia, in 187 B.C.E. He thus ‘fell’ in death and was succeeded by his son Seleucus IV, the next king of the north.


36. (a) How did the king of the south try to continue the struggle, but what became of him? (b) How did Seleucus IV fall, and who succeeded him?

36 As the king of the south, Ptolemy V tried to gain the provinces that should have come to him as Cleopatra’s dowry, but poison ended his efforts. He was succeeded by Ptolemy VI. What about Seleucus IV? In need of money to pay the heavy fine owed to Rome, he sent his treasurer Heliodorus to seize riches said to be stored in Jerusalem’s temple. Desiring the throne, Heliodorus murdered Seleucus IV. However, King Eumenes of Pergamum and his brother Attalus had the slain king’s brother Antiochus IV enthroned.

37. (a) How did Antiochus IV try to show himself mightier than Jehovah God? (b) To what did the desecration of the temple in Jerusalem by Antiochus IV lead?

37 The new king of the north, Antiochus IV, sought to show himself mightier than God by trying to eradicate Jehovah’s arrangement of worship. Defying Jehovah, he dedicated Jerusalem’s temple to Zeus, or Jupiter. In December 167 B.C.E., a pagan altar was erected on top of the great altar in the temple courtyard where a daily burnt offering had been made to Jehovah. Ten days later, a sacrifice to Zeus was offered on the pagan altar. This desecration led to a Jewish uprising under the Maccabees. Antiochus IV battled them for three years. In 164 B.C.E., on the anniversary of the desecration, Judas Maccabaeus rededicated the temple to Jehovah and the festival of dedication—Hanukkah—was instituted.—John 10:22.

38. How did Maccabean rule come to an end?

38 The Maccabees probably made a treaty with Rome in 161 B.C.E. and established a kingdom in 104 B.C.E. But the friction between them and the Syrian king of the north continued. Finally, Rome was called upon to intervene. The Roman General Gnaeus Pompey took Jerusalem in 63 B.C.E. after a three-month siege. In 39 B.C.E., the Roman Senate appointed Herod—an Edomite—to be king of Judea. Ending the Maccabean rule, he took Jerusalem in 37 B.C.E.

39. How have you benefited from considering Daniel 11:1-19?

39 How thrilling it is to see the first part of the prophecy of the two kings in conflict fulfilled in detail! Indeed, how exciting to peer into the history of some 500 years after the prophetic message was delivered to Daniel and identify the rulers occupying the positions of the king of the north and the king of the south! However, the political identities of these two kings change as the battle between them continues through the time when Jesus Christ walked the earth and down into our day. By matching historical developments with intriguing details revealed in this prophecy, we will be able to identify these two contending kings.


• What two lines of strong kings emerged out of Hellenistic kingdoms, and what struggle did the kings begin?

• As foretold at Daniel 11:6, how did the two kings enter into “an equitable arrangement”?

• How did the conflict continue between

Seleucus II and Ptolemy III (Daniel 11:7-9)?

Antiochus III and Ptolemy IV (Daniel 11:10-12)?

Antiochus III and Ptolemy V (Daniel 11:13-16)?

• What was the purpose of the marriage between Cleopatra I and Ptolemy V, and why did the scheme fail (Daniel 11:17-19)?

• How has paying attention to Daniel 11:1-19 benefited you?

[Study Questions]

[Chart/Pictures on page 228]


The King The King

of the North of the South

Daniel 11:5 Seleucus I Nicator Ptolemy I

Daniel 11:6 Antiochus II Ptolemy II

(wife Laodice) (daughter Berenice)

Daniel 11:7-9 Seleucus II Ptolemy III

Daniel 11:10-12 Antiochus III Ptolemy IV

Daniel 11:13-19 Antiochus III Ptolemy V

(daughter Cleopatra I) Successor:

Successors: Ptolemy VI

Seleucus IV and

Antiochus IV


Coin portraying Ptolemy II and his wife


Seleucus I Nicator


Antiochus III


Ptolemy VI


Ptolemy III and his successors built this temple of Horus at Idfu, Upper Egypt

[Map/Pictures on page 216, 217]

(For fully formatted text, see publication)

The designations “the king of the north” and “the king of the south” refer to kings north and south of the land of Daniel’s people












Ptolemy II


Antiochus the Great


A stone slab bearing official decrees issued by Antiochus the Great


Coin depicting Ptolemy V


Gate of Ptolemy III, at Karnak, Egypt

[Full-page picture on page 210]

[Picture on page 215]

Seleucus I Nicator

[Picture on page 218]

Ptolemy I