Daniel 11:36-45


11:36 - The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.


  • Those who think this continues to talk about Antiochus Epiphanes would say these verses discuss Antiochus IV’s attitude toward religion and focuses not on his attack on men but on God.
  • They say the subject has not changed from verses 21-35
  • “acts as he pleases” would then describe AE IV’s unchallenged authority.
  • “exalt and magnify himself” refers to AE IV’s use of “Theos” and divine symbols on his coins and the plundering of temples and suppression of religions.
  • AE IV came against YHWH in particular.


-          AE IV worshipped Zeus in the Jerusalem temple precincts. Zeus was from the Greek pantheon

-          AE IV died in Tabae Persia and did not die in Jerusalem and did not successfully invade Egypt as is described below

-          The person being described here is a different king than AE IV. This constant switching from one king to the next king is typical of chapter 11.

-          These events take place “at the time of the end” according to 11:40. This is called a “time of distress” in 12:1 and “distress” (or, tribulation” by Jesus in Matt. 24:21. This time occurs immediately before the second coming of Jesus (matt. 24:29-31 and Rev. 7:14)

-          The resurrection of the saints occurs immediately after the people are delivered from this king’s power.

-          Notice: 11:36-39 seem to be introducing the king for the first time. If this was AE VI then we already know about him from verses 11:21-33

-          These are more details concerning the “little horn” of Daniel 7 and “the ruler who will come” from Daniel 9:26. 2 Thess. 2:3-12 also describes this man as does Revelation chapter 11-20.

-          Men such as Chrysostom and Jerome agreed that this was the AC. The traditional understanding of the church is that this is the AC

-          The AC character is described in 11:36-39

-          The AC wars are described in 11:40-45


“do as he pleases” has been used to refer to:

  1. God – 4:35
  2. Persia – 8:4
  3. Alexander the Great - 11:3
  4. Antiochus III – 11:16


AC will believe he can not be defeated because of his charisma, intellect, trickery and political power.


Other verses describing AC’s religion – 2 Thes.2:4; Rev. 13:6

AC will use religion to gain power – Rev. 17


“Unheard of things” = extraordinary, astonishing, shocking, uknbelievabel things

AC speaks blasphemous words against Jesus – Dan. 7:8, 11, 20, 25 and 2 Thes. 2:4,; Rev. 13:5-6


“Time of wrath” is one Hebrew word “za’am” and speaks of God’s wrath in Isaiah 10:25; 26:20; 30:27 and Mal. 1:4



11:37- He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.


  • “no regard for the gods of his fathers” – AE IV replaced Apollo with Zeus in the Seleucid dynasty.
  • “the one women love” is the god of Egypt, either Adonis or Dionysus, when AE IV invaded Egypt.


-          AC will reject whatever his ancestors’ religion was: If it was Christian he might be Muslim. If it was Judaism he might be atheist.

-          If he comes from ancient Roman territory he would most likely be rejecting Christianity (Byzantine Empire)

-          “the one desired by women” is literally

o       “the desire of women or

o       “that desired by women or

o       “the desire for women.”

-          the one desired by women could be a reference to the Messiah

-          The emphasis is he rejects all gods but himself. He rejects the god of his people and even the Messiah himself.


11:38 - Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his fathers he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts.


  • “a god of fortress” – Zeus wold be more of a war God than Apollo.


-          “god of fortress” – or military might and power. He will only honor war and believes war and military are the way to bring his views or “religion” to the world.

-          His ancestors were not people of war, but he will be.

-          All his wealth and offerings will be devoted to weapons and military spending

11:39 - He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.


  • The “mightiest fortress” would be the Acra south of the temple


-          “foreign god” again means a new god that was not known to his ancestors, nor was it known in Daniel’s day.

-          Rev. 13:4 “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?

-          Rewards to those who submit to him


11:40 - At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.


  • “King of the South” would be Ptolemy and “him” AE IV. (Other options for “him” would be anti-christ, Antiochus V or the coming Pompey
  • “At the time of the end” would be the end of AE IV’s life which actually occurred in the east
  • Commentators that support the view that this is AD IV say the rest of the verses do not correlate with actual events like the rest of this chapter.


-          These verses describe the final battles of history as we know it. The AC will die in Israel and the saints will be resurrected after

-          The AC is now said to be the King of the North which would be Syria, Turkey, Lebanon today. The King of the South would be Egypt or forces from Africa such as Libya who are not AC’s allies but his conquered foes.

-          The AC will retaliate against this invasion and invade many countries including Israel and Egypt

-          This may be the battle of Armageddon in Rev. 16:16


11:41 - He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand.


-          Jordan will be delivered from the AC for some reason. Possibly they are an ally, they are neutral or they are not in his path of war through Israel into Egypt.



11:42 - He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape.



11:43 - He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Nubians in submission.

  • AE IV is portrayed here as actually taking the land of Egypt after the time of the Macabbean revolt or at some other time. Of course, this never happened historically. These commentators believe these verses were written by someone during the Macabbean period and their false (pseudo) prophecies go astray here.


- Modern Libya, Ethiopia and Sudan will be subdued by AC.


11:44 - But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many.


-          Sheep nations from the North and East will come to fight AC, thus setting up Zech. 14 “all nations”

-          AC will respond by going back to Jerusalem in a rage just like AE IV did.

-          Rev. 9:13-19 is an angelic invasion

-          Rev. 16:12 and the dried up Euphrates may fit here


11:45 - He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.


-          The AC will meet his end in Jerusalem.

-          Daniel 7:11, 26-27 the little horn is judged when Jesus returns.

-          2 Thes. 2:8

-          Rev. 19:20