An Interpretation of Daniel 11:36-45 -- By: George M. Harton

Journal: Grace Theological Journal
Volume: GTJ 04:2 (Fall 1983)
Article: An Interpretation of Daniel 11:36-45
Author: George M. Harton


An Interpretation of Daniel 11:36-45

George M. Harton

Dan 11:36–45 reveals the path to power of the Antichrist at the mid-point of the Tribulation period, when he initiates a new policy of aggression (11:36–39 ). Once he defeats the Arab and Soviet armies which attempt to stop him (11:40–45 ), he will inaugurate the eschatological climax of persecution against Israel which has been Israels lot throughout the times of the Gentiles (12:1 ).

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Recent events in the Middle East are attracting great interest. Christians especially are challenged to correlate these events with their understanding of biblical prophecy and to seize upon opportunities to witness for Christ while conversing about the Middle East.

One significant passage predicting events “at the end time” in “the Beautiful Land” and at “the beautiful Holy Mountain”1 is Dan 11:36–45. Who is this “King of the North” (11:40)? Who is this king who “will do as he pleases” (11:36)? A Christian’s witness for Christ concerning prophetic matters could backfire if his positions are based on anything but careful exegesis of the pertinent passages. Daniel 11 must be examined with special care in light of its difficulty.2

This study will first examine the context of this passage, then will address four crucial questions which determine the interpretive framework, and finally will provide a condensed commentary relating the particulars of the passage to the framework established.

Context of Dan 11:36-45

Context of the book

Daniel had been carried away captive with other Hebrews into pagan Babylon. Was Nebuchadnezzar more powerful than YHWH?

Could YHWH provide for their needs outside of the land of promise? God’s purpose in giving this revelation through Daniel appears to have been to reassure all that he was totally in control of the affairs of his chosen people Israel and of the affairs of the whole world as well.

Dan 11:36–45 traces the efforts of several Gentile kings to establish themselves as world rulers. Israel appears to be caug...

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