New Defender's Study Bible Notes
11:21 vile person. The “vile person” was Antiochus Epiphanes, the second son of Antiochus the Great, and he was indeed one of the most morally degraded of men. He usurped the Syrian throne from his brother’s son by trickery (his brother, Seleucus Philopater, had been assassinated while trying to “raise taxes”—note Daniel 11:20—to pay the tribute the Romans had imposed on his father).
11:29 come toward the south. Antiochus Epiphanes had carried out one successful invasion and plundering of Egypt (Daniel 11:25), and had also plundered Israel in the process. This second foray into Egypt, however, would be repelled by the Romans.
11:31 abomination that maketh desolate. Antiochus Epiphanes here becomes a type of the final Antichrist (compare Matthew 24:15, where Christ emphasized that the prototypical “abomination of desolation” was still to come). It is believed that Epiphanes, aided by traitorous Jews, sacrificed a sow on the altar and erected a statue of Zeus in the temple at Jerusalem. The motive behind this was his ambition to unify the great empire left him by his father (extending all the way to India) by compelling all the people to adopt the Graeco/Roman system of culture and pantheistic religion.
11:32 do know their God. These blasphemous acts of Antiochus Epiphanes stirred the faithful Jews to revolt. Led by an aged priest, Mattathias, and his sons—especially Judas—a successful war of independence was waged against Antiochus, ending in 165 B.C., a date still commemorated annually in the Jewish feast of Hanukkah. These men became known as the Maccabees (a word meaning “hammer”) and their descendants ruled Israel until it was conquered by the Romans in 65 B.C.
11:33 many days. Just as in the seventy weeks prophecy, in which a very long time gap was implied in the little phrase, “and unto the end” (Daniel 9:26), so here a similar gap is indicated by the phrase “many days.” In the first a long period of wars and desolations was predicted; here, a long period was foretold in which the Jews would “fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil.” The whole period of the church-age is passed over, because the subject of the prophecy is centered only upon God’s dealings with the nation of Israel in relation to the other nations.
11:35 time of the end. The prophecies of chapter 11 up to this point in the chapter have all been fulfilled, in much more specific detail than covered in these footnotes, constituting a most remarkable testimony to supernatural inspiration of the Scriptures. Now, however, the prophetic vision and message leap over the centuries to “the time of the end,” and the rest of Daniel focuses once again on the last days.
11:36 the king. This king, appearing at the time of the end, is clearly that “king of fierce countenance” (Daniel 8:23) of whom Daniel had learned in a vision several years earlier. He is also “the prince that shall come” of whom Gabriel had prophesied that same year (Daniel 9:1,26; 11:1).
11:36 against the God of gods. Claiming to be the greatest of all men, representing the highest attainment of the cosmic evolutionary process, and energized by Satan himself, this man, the final Antichrist, will briefly attain world dominion, but only until God’s “indignation be accomplished”—that is the “day of God’s wrath,” the great tribulation, the seventieth week of the prophetic calendar.
11:37 God of his fathers. This phrase, “the God of his fathers,” would indicate that the Antichrist would come from a national heritage that once was Christian. Daniel 8:9 indicated, also, that he would come from one of the four divisions of the Greek empire; and Daniel 9:26, that he would be from one of the nations that developed out of the Roman Empire. These nations are all part of “Christendom.”
11:38 God of forces. Worship of the “god of forces” can only refer to some form of evolutionary pantheism, and any such system must ultimately lead to Satanism. Satan will give this king his power (Revelation 13:2), enabling him to require that all men worship him as the great man-god of the world.