The most important passage concerning the wars of the end occurs in the book of Daniel. In chapter 11 and continuing in chapter 12, Daniel discusses in detail the major prophetic events as they will occur during the reigns of the last three world powers: Persia, Greece, and Rome. The development of these prophecies within the text generally follows a chronological path. Chapter 11 begins by tracing the future through the empires of Persia and Greece, and then concentrates on two of the four kingdoms which came after Alexander’s death. These two Greek powers are looked at in fine detail, because their predicted affects were significant on the Jewish people still living in the land of Israel.
Why is it so important to understand these historical prophecies when studying the conflicts and wars of the end? Because the terminology that Daniel uses to describe these last two powers is the same as he uses to describe the two future nations involved in the start of the final battles. The powers in question are Egypt (controlled in Daniel’s day by the Ptolemies) and Syria (controlled at that time by the Seleucids).
In the wording used throughout Daniel’s prophecy, Egypt is described as the “king of the south” and Syria as the “king of the north”. These phrases are used repeatedly as Daniel refers to each kingdom and predicts important milestones that would occur in the future. For the first 35 verses of chapter 11, the king of the north and the king of the south are seen vying for power in the battlefield of the Middle East. At each major turning point, Daniel is careful to inform his readers that the events, although serious for the people in and around Israel, nevertheless are not those associated with the end of the age. He didn’t want to confuse his people by having them think that these prophecies only concerned events that would occur in the last days. In truth, many of the prophecies he wrote about would happen long before, and in most cases, thousands of years before the end…[read full article]