“However, the sons of the king of the north will assemble a mighty army that will advance like a flood and carry the battle as far as the enemy’s fortress. “Then, in a rage, the king of the south will rally against the vast forces assembled by the king of the north and will defeat them. After the enemy army is swept away, the king of the south will be filled with pride and will execute many thousands of his enemies. But his success will be short lived. “A few years later the king of the north will return with a fully equipped army far greater than before. At that time there will be a general uprising against the king of the south. Violent men among your own people will join them in fulfillment of this vision, but they will not succeed. Then the king of the north will come and lay siege to a fortified city and capture it. The best troops of the south will not be able to stand in the face of the onslaught.” Daniel 11:10-15
Seleucus Callinicus was unsuccessful in his attack on Egypt, his successors described as “his sons” proved to be more successful. Seleucus III (226-223 B.C.) came to an untimely end, having perished in battle in Asia Minor, but the task was carried on by Antiochus III the Great (223-187 B.C.). Because of the passing of Seleucus, the plural of the first part of verse 10 is changed to the singular. Antiochus the Great was able to mount several campaigns against Egypt; and largely because of the indolence of the Egyptian ruler, Ptolemy Philopator (221-203 B.C.), he restored to Syria the territory as far south as Gaza.
Chapter 11 of Daniel is one of the most detailed prophecies in the Bible. The angel gave this to Daniel. This is not a vision of Daniel, but an angel telling Daniel what will happen in the future. God has it all in His wonderful plan and He lets us see some of His plans. Reading and rereading Daniel 11 makes us long for another impending intervention of our God in earth’s history. It also makes us hungry and thirsty for Jesus’ abiding presence here among us and also for His coming, which will bring about His final saving act in behalf of all of us who long for His return. This chapter gives us courage so that we will not fear, regardless of what may come in life. It calls us to fix our eyes on the Lord, who is still in control of our own destinies.