DANIEL 11      Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  Daniel  -  BM Home  -  Full Page

CHAPTER XI. THE KING OF THE NORTH AND THE KING OF THE SOUTH.

  1. And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him.
  2. And now will I show you the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and when he is waxed strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the realm of Greece.
  3. And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great
  4. dominion, and do according to his will. And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; but not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside these.
  5. And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have
  6. dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion. And at the end of years they shall join themselves together; and the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the strength of her arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm; but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in those times.
  7. But out of a shoot from her roots shall one stand up in his place, which shall come to the army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against
  8. them, and shall prevail: and also their gods, with their molten images, and with their goodly vessels of silver and of gold, shall he carry captive into Egypt; and he shall
  9. refrain some years from the king of the north. And he shall come into the realm of the king of the south, but he shall
  10. return into his own land. And his sons shall war, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces, which shall come on, and overflow, and pass through: and they shall return
  11. and war, even to his fortress. And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude, and the multitude shall be given into
  12. his hand. And the multitude shall be lifted up, and his heart shall be exalted: and he shall cast down tens of thousands,
  13. but he shall not prevail. And the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former; and he shall come on at the end of the times, even
  14. of years, with a great army and with much substance. And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the children of the violent among your people shall lift themselves up to establish the vision; but they
  15. shall fall. So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take a well fenced city: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither
  16. shall there be any strength to withstand. But he that comes against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious
  17. land, and in his Rand shall be destruction. And he shall set his face to come with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; and he shall do his pleasure: and he shall give him the daughter of women, to corrupt her;
  18. but she shall not stand, neither be for him. After this shall he turn his face to the isles, and shall take many: but a prince shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; yea, moreover, he shall cause his reproach to turn upon him.
  19. Then he shall turn his face toward the fortresses of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and shall not be found.
  20. Then shall stand up in his place one that shall cause an exactor to pass through the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.
  21. And in his place shall stand up a contemptible person, to whom they had not given the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in time of security, and shall obtain the kingdom
  22. by flatteries. And with the arms of a flood shall they be swept away from before him, and shall be broken; yea,
  23. also the prince of the covenant. And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up,
  24. and shall become strong, with a small people. In time of security shall he come even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them prey, and spoil, and substance: yea, he shall devise his de-
  25. vices against the strong holds, even for a time. And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall war in battle with an exceeding great and mighty army: but he shall not stand, for they shall devise devices against him.
  26. Yea, they that eat of his meat shall destroy him, and his
  27. army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain. And as for both these kings, their hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table: but it shall not prosper;
  28. for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. Then shall he return into his land with great substance; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do
  29. his pleasure, and return to his own land. At the time appointed he shall return, and come into the south; but it
  30. shall not be in the latter time as it was in the former. For ships of Kittim shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and shall return, and have indignation against the holy covenant, and shall do his pleasure: he shall even return, and have regard to them that forsake the holy covenant.
  31. And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall profane the sanctuary, even the fortress, and shall take away the continual burnt offering, and they shall set up the abomination
  32. that makes desolate. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he pervert by flatteries: but the people that
  33. know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that be wise among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and
  34. by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help: but many shall join themselves
  35. to them with flatteries. And some of them that be wise shall fall, to refine them, and to purify, and to make them white, even to the time of the end : because it is yet for the
  36. time appointed. And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods: and he shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished; for that which is determined shall be done.
  37. Neither shall he regard the gods of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify
  38. himself above all. But in his place shall he honor the god of fortresses: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and
  39. pleasant things. And he shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a strange god; whoever acknowledges him he will increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for a price.
  40. And at the time of the end shall the king of the south contend with him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the
  41. countries, and shall overflow and pass through. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall be delivered out of his hand, Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
  42. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and
  43. the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the
  44. Ethiopians shall be at his steps. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: and he shall go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly to make away
  45. many. And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the sea and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

 

REFERENCES
Verses Numbers
1-4 P. P.
1 and following AR 20
1 to end AC 3708; AR 720; AE 31
2 AR 34; AE 50
4 AC 418
5 P.P.
6 P.P.
7-9 P.P.
8, 33 AE 811
10-12 P. P.
13-16 P. P.
13, 15, 20 AR 447
13, 25 AE 573
13, 25, 26 AC 3448
16, 41 AC 9815
16, 41, 45 AC 5222
17 P. P.
18-20 P. P.
21-23 P. P.
24-26. P. P.
24, 37. 38 AC 6075
27, 28 P. P.
27, 35, 45 Dict. P. 13
29-51 P.P.
31 AC 2838, 10042; AE 700, 1045
32-35 P. P.
35 D. Lord 4
36 AC 4402, 7268
36,37 P.P.
38,39 AE 717; P. P.
40 AC 6385; AR 437; AE 355, 514
40, 41 AC 2468, 3322; P. P.
41 P.P.
42, 43 AE 654; P. P.
43 AC 117, 1164, 1166, 1462; AR 503; AE 654
44, 45. P. P.
45. AC 405
Chapter cited AC 1664, 2015, 2547, 9642, 10455; HH 171; AR 500; AE 734

COMMENTARY: The King of the North And The King of the South.

the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth chapters of this book are closely connected in their spiritual sense. In fact, verses eighteen to twenty of chapter ten, seem properly to belong to the beginning of chapter eleven. The man-angel who appeared to Daniel continues to instruct him concerning the state of the Church, and to strengthen him.

Many attempts have been made by biblical scholars to explain this chapter. They have interpreted it as if it contained direct reference to the fierce struggle for supremacy between Syria and Egypt and their respective rulers, and the subsequent triumph of the Roman power over both. Antiochus Epiphanes is supposed to be meant by the fierce "King of the North," and the king of Egypt by the "King of the South." How utterly inadequate such a method of interpretation is when applied to other portions of this book, we have already endeavored to show.

If it seem to us that history and prophecy and even heavenly imagery are strangely blended in this book called Daniel, we must remember that the natural world and the spiritual world are closely related the former exists from the latter and corresponds to it. Natural persons and things are simply used in the Word to represent and signify spiritual ideas and principles and their operation in the human mind. The church on earth is connected with the spiritual world and derives its quality from the state of that world. There is, therefore, a double representation. The scenes and objects shown to Daniel in vision were actual representations in the spiritual world, while the names of the kings and kingdoms, although derived from earthly countries, are simply used to represent the dominion of true or false principles. How they acquired their representative meanings is not always clear, but we may be sure that such representation is definite, and forms the true basis of the spiritual meaning of many portions of the Word. Such a method of interpretation may seem fanciful to some, but in reality it is that method only by which the whole Word and especially its prophecies can be seen to be Divinely inspired and full of instruction in heavenly things. "The sum of Your Word is the truth and every one of Your righteous judgements endures forever." (Ps. 119:160.)

From verse one to four of this chapter the old dispensation, that is the Jewish Church which preceded the Christian, is again alluded to and its final destruction is predicted. We have already read of the end of the Jewish Dispensation, but prophecy is repeated in the Word. In the Word all the changing states of the churches are represented from beginning to end. The Jewish Church remained after the Christian Church began, that is, its dark shadow overhung like a cloud the spiritual horizon; just as at this clay, the influence of the old dogmas still lingers in the Christian world and prevents a rapid spread of the light of the New Church. The Lord said: "This generation shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled." The old Jewish spirit of mere obedience to the letter of the law and the idea of human authority in the Church, remains until the new generation begins, the generation of a new spirit and a new life.

The kings of Persia represent, as before, the dominion of false principles in the mind, while Grecia denotes those who are in Gentile states and have some remaining good in them. The fourth king is said to be richer than all which denotes an increase of false ideas which finally become united with evil, then a "mighty king shall stand up." But "his kingdom shall be broken" and "divided towards the four winds of heaven." (Verses 2-4.) As the influence of Christianity prevailed the old dominion passed away, and the Jewish Church ceased to be a ruling power in the world. Thus it may be seen that although the Jewish Church came to an end as a Divine institution when the Christian Church began and the Lord executed His judgement upon the former church, yet its influence in the world lasted for some time afterwards. Even now, at the Lord's Second Coming, the Jewish spirit still lingers in the human mind, although the Jewish Church itself, has long ago ceased to fulfill the purpose of its original institution.

Now, however, a new state of things is spoken of. "And the king of the south shall be strong and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion." (Verse 5.) By the "king of the south" is meant the rule or government of genuine faith in the Lord, springing from charity or love, which begins to prevail when a new church arises. As to the signification of the four quarters, north, south, east, and west, see "Heaven and Hell" 141-153, and "Divine Love and Wisdom" 119-128.

There are two principles of the Church that ought to be united, namely, faith and charity. All the divisions and troubles that have existed in the world, in Church or State, have had their origin in a separation of faith from charity, or by placing faith before charity. Faith separate from charity has already been treated of in this book under the figure of the he-goat. (Chap. viii.) Gradually the Christian Church departed from a true and living faith in the Lord which was united with charity, and degenerated into a church of creeds and forms. The "king of the north" represents the principle of faith when it begins to be regarded as the essential principle of the Church. For some time, however, there was no antagonism created between these two principles. Faith was still in some degree united with charity. It is written:

And at the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the strength of her arm; neither shall he stand nor his arm; but she shall be given up and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in those times. (Ver. 6.)

Here the "daughter of the king of the south" denotes the affection of truth remaining in the Church which seeks to be united with faith in the Lord. This affection, however, is now spoken of as degenerated; that is, it denotes the affection of truth which seeks to be joined to the idea that salvation is effected by a belief in the Lord without the works of charity. "At the end of years" refers to that state of the Christian Church when charity fell away or degenerated and the members of the Church fell into the idea of faith alone and embraced it in preference to the original doctrine taught by the Lord that charity is the essential principle. Although there were a few who still clung to this primitive doctrine of Christianity, yet they had little power and were obliged to give up or yield to the hard teaching that faith alone is saving.

From verse seven to twelve, we are instructed as to the uprising again of those who, in subsequent generations, still tried to resist and overcome the falsity of salvation by faith alone. Charity was never in fact finally extinguished; John tarried until the Lord came. All along in different parts of the Christian world, as history shows, there was a remaining love of good, which could not yield to the prevalent idea that man had no other duty than to profess a belief in Christ as an intercessor with the Father and to observe the external rites of the Church. But there were many forms of solifidianism which became so hard and strong as to resist all the gentle teachings of the Saviour of men. These two ideas could not exist together; they were antagonistic to each other and they not only produced a strife of tongues, but physical warfare and bloodshed. It was in vain that the faithful gathered their army, or that they brought the truths of the Word to overcome the false teachings of man. Reading again in the prophecy (verse 13) we learn that the "king of the north shall return and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and he shall come on at the end of the times even of years with a great army and with much substance." From this verse to the sixteenth we have a description of how the doctrine of faith alone as saving, prevails over its opposite and brings all into submission to it. In the seventeenth verse we read:

And he shall set his face to come with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; and he shall do his pleasure and he shall give him the daughter of women to corrupt her; but she shall not stand, neither be for him.

From this verse to the twenty-third inclusive, the prophecy treats of the changes which took place in the dogmatic theology of Protestant Christendom. The idea was introduced into the Church's teaching that charity was indeed an important principle, but that it was derived from faith it was not the first born. Thus the true order of spiritual development was reversed the form was put before the essence. Faith does not produce charity. It precedes it in point of time; but only when it is united with charity are there any good fruits thus we see how the "daughter of women" is corrupted, according to the prophecy of this book.

We are taught that those passages of the Word by which it may be confirmed that charity is the essential principle were wrongly explained, and thus the faith which is derived from charity was destroyed, and a deceitful appearance of a heavenly union took the place of the true marriage of faith and love. (Verses 24-28; see Summary Exposition.) These continual combats between true and false ideas in the mind are little thought of at this day, but ecclesiastical history confirms these explanations of the Word of prophecy. And we further see that this apparent union between charity and faith could not last; faith alone still prevailed; the "king of the north returned to the land with great substance," and every vestige of the primitive idea was destroyed. (Verses 2931.)

There were however a few, even after this false dogma triumphed, who still opposed the teaching of the existing church and would have revived the true doctrine, but they were overpowered by numbers and wealth. (Verses 3235.) These verses seem to refer particularly to those who still read the Word and understood its meaning, and who secretly maintained private worship and kept copies of the Word hidden from their oppressors. But at length "faith alone prevailed, a religion which destroys all fear of God and the whole Church." (Verses 36, 37.) It is very clear that this ruling dogma, which was so strongly contended for in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries of the Christian era, hardened men's hearts to such a degree that they began to regard their own power in maintaining and enforcing it as something greater than the doctrine itself, or than any doctrine; so they worshiped themselves and honored themselves instead of honoring and worshiping the Lord. This is the "strange god" that is spoken of in verses 38, 39.

Thus it was that genuine faith in the Lord derived from a love for heavenly things was wholly subjugated at the end of the Church. (Verses 40, 41.) But there were some who escaped this destructive influence. Those who were in simple good and had little care about doctrines or knowledge concerning them, but who observed the external forms of worship, are signified by "Edom and Moab and the chief of the children of Ammon." These escaped from the hand of the king of the north. (See AC 3322.) There was no part of the Church nor any degree of the human mind that was not affected by this blighting influence. Even those who would know the laws of natural science and investigate the mysteries of nature became mere reasoners and lost the power of rational thinking on spiritual subjects or natural phenomena. (Verses 42, 43.) This was a state of bondage to the Church which must be broken. The concluding verses are:

But tidings out of the East and out of the North shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the sea and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

In the last state of the Church its false devotees foresee the coming judgement and endeavor to establish their doctrines in the minds of those who can see nothing beyond the sensual appearances of truth in the natural world. The last judgement was executed in the world of spirits, and it was in that world that the Solifidians built up imaginary heavens in high places, which were a "holy mountain" to them, but on either side were the false imaginations and conceits derived from merely sensual thought. These are denoted by the seas in verse 45.

These habitations in the world of spirits of those who were in faith alone, were cast down and scattered at the last judgement, which is described by Swedenborg. (See the work entitled Continuation of the Last Judgement, sect. 14-31.) Thus the prophecy was fulfilled: "He shall come to his end, and none shall help him."

 

DANIEL 11    Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  Daniel  -  BM Home  -  Full Page