A Suggested Interpretation of Daniel 11:1-21

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Bible, Daniel 11:1-21, Prophecies, Eschatology


The present paper critiques the preterist and historicist positions by examining Daniel 11:1-22 to determine whether the person in verse 21 is Antiochus (preterists) or a Roman (historicists). I have no a priori objection to seeing Antiochus IV Epiphanes in Daniel 11. However, what I have found from exegesis of this chapter is a line of Seleucid monarchs up through Antiochus III “the Great,” the father of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, whereupon the prophecy skips over all the remaining Seleucid kings, including Antiochus IV Epiphanes, and goes directly to Roman rulers. Therefore, the preterists are wrong in claiming that verses 21 and following deal with Antiochus IV.

My interpretation of Daniel 11:1-22 presents two interlinked contributions. First, whereas Seventh-day Adventist historicists have tended to avoid continuation of the Seleucid line up through Antiochus III, avoiding getting this close to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, I agree with scholars who see striking historical correspondence with the text all the way up to the death of Antiochus III in verse 19 (see below). Second, I have discovered a crucial parallel between the transition from Medo-Persia to Greece/Macedonia and the transition from Greece/Macedonia to Rome. When the transitions occur at the reigns of Persian Xerxes “the Great” and Greek Antiochus III “the Great,” who suffered catastrophic defeats with long term consequences at the hands of Greece and Rome, respectively, the prophecy skips the remaining rulers of the formerly prevailing dynasty (including Antiochus IV Epiphanes) and moves directly to the kings of the new prevailing power.


Adventist Theological Society


Spring Symposium 2007; Current Issues in Eschatology

First Department

Old Testament

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