“The king of the north will march onward unopposed; none will be able to stop him. He will pause in the glorious land of Israel, intent on destroying it. He will make plans to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will form an alliance with the king of the south. He will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom from within, but his plan will fail. “After this, he will turn his attention to the coastland and conquer many cities. But a commander from another land will put an end to his insolence and cause him to retreat in shame. He will take refuge in his own fortresses but will stumble and fall and be seen no more.” Daniel 11:16-19
The Syrian king will march onward unopposed; none will be able to stop him. And he will also enter ‘The Glorious Land’ of Israel and pillage it. This will be his plot for conquering all Egypt: he, too, will form an alliance with the Egyptian king, giving him a daughter in marriage, so that she can work for him from within. But the plan will fail. After this he will turn his attention to the coastal cities and conquer many. But a general will stop him and cause him to retreat in shame. He will turn homeward again but will have trouble on the way and disappear.
Antiochus the Great, who could have gone down in history as one of the great conquerors of the ancient world if he had been content to leave Greece alone, instead fulfilled the prophecy of verse 19 in that he had to return to his own land, defeated and broken. He was killed trying to plunder a temple in Elam. From the standpoint of the history of Israel, this was important because Antiochus the Great was followed by Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175 B.C.), who in turn was succeeded by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.), the notorious persecutor of the Jews described in detail in Daniel 11:21-35. In these prophecies, properly interpreted, is an accurate prophetic picture of this period, which would be remarkable even if it was history. As prophecy, it bears the unmistakable imprint of divine inspiration.