The Antichrist’s Activity Among the Gentile Nations (Dan. 11:36-12:3)


The Antichrist is a worldwide leader (Dan. 11:36-45) who was prophetically foreshadowed by Antiochus Epiphanes (Antiochus IV; 175-164 BC). It is clear that Dan. 11:21-35 was partially fulfilled by Antiochus IV. Some view Antiochus Epiphanes as the main person in this passage. However, the historical facts of Dan. 11:36-45 do not at all fit Antiochus’s life and military career. For example, Antiochus did not exalt himself above every god (Dan. 11:36-37), nor did he reject “the gods of his fathers,” or worship “a god unknown to his fathers” (Dan. 11:38). Rather he worshiped the Greek pantheon that his fathers did and built an altar to Zeus in the Jerusalem temple. Antiochus IV did not die or “come to his end” in Israel (Dan. 11:45). He died at Tabae in Persia. In other words, Dan. 11:36-45 was not remotely fulfilled by Antiochus IV.

The most popular view among the Church fathers (Chrysostom, Jerome, Theodoret, etc.) is that this king was the Antichrist. Jerome wrote, “all these things are spoken prophetically of the Antichrist who is to arise in the end time”. Some scholars see this king as referring to the Roman Emperor (Calvin). To interpret this passage this ways requires one overlook many key details.

The context makes clear this king will live in the End-Times just before the Second Coming (Dan. 11:40; 12:1; 10:14). In Dan. 10-12, Daniel gave a report of the details of one vision in which the End-Times is the primary theme. This “king” will reign in the time just before believers are resurrected and immediately after Israel is delivered from this king (Dan. 12:2).

40 At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him… (Dan. 11:40)

1 At that time (the time of the king of Dan. 11:36-45) Michael shall stand up, the great prince (archangel) who stands watch over the sons of your people (Israel); and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. and at that time your people (Israel) shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book. 2 Many of those who sleep (are dead) in the dust of the earth shall awake (resurrection)… (Dan. 12:1-2)

In Matt 24:21, Jesus quotes from Dan. 12:1, confirming these points to the End-Times.

21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Mt. 24:21)

This king was described by Daniel earlier, thus, he does not give a special introduction to him at this point. He referred to him as the “little horn” (Dan 7:8) and the “prince to come” (Dan 9:26).

7 Behold, a fourth beast (Antichrist’s empire), dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong…it had ten horns. 8 I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them…24 The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. and another shall rise after them; he (Antichrist) shall be different from the first ones… (Dan. 7:7-8, 24)

26 The people (Roman Empire) of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (Temple). (Dan 9:26)

OVERVIEW OF DAN. 11:36-12:3

A. The Antichrist’s religious activity in the End-Times (Dan. 11:36-39)

B. The Antichrist’s military activities in the End-Times (Dan. 11:40-45)

C. The victory of God’s people over the Antichrist in the End-Times (Dan. 12:1-3)


36 Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. 37 He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. (Dan. 11:36-37)

The Antichrist is filled with arrogance, yet shall prosper a short½years)time.The(3 Antichrist’s arrogance is seen as he does his own will (v. 36a) without fear of consequences from God or man. This is a counterfeit to what only the God of Israel can do. The Lord is the only one who can act as He pleases without being eventually judged and destroyed (Dan. 4:35). The ram of Persia (Dan. 8:4), Alexander the Great (Dan. 11:3) and Antiochus III (Dan. 11:16) are also described as having this same pride of arrogance.

35 He (God) does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” (Dan. 4:35)

B. He shall exalt and magnify himself above every god (v. 36b). He shall not regard any god because he shall exalt himself above them all (v. 37c). The Antichrist’s unique political, military, economic, religious power and intelligence will fill him with pride as he claims deity.

3 The man of sin…the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2 Thes. 2:3-4)

He shall not regard the God of his fathers (v. 37a). The Antichrist shall especially despise the religious heritage in which he grew up in. The phrase the “God of his fathers,” can be singular or plural. Some translate it as the “gods of his fathers.” If it is meant to be translated in the singular then “the God of your fathers” is specifically a Biblical phrase for those of a devout Jewish heritage. Manasseh humbled himself before the God of his fathers (2 Chr. 33:12). Ananias told Paul that the God of our fathers had chosen him in a special way (Acts 22:14). This is the verse that causes some to conclude that that Antichrist grew up in a Jewish home. There is no evidence that Antiochus resisted all religion. The Antichrist will have a total anti-God policy because he will require all to worship him at the cost of their lives (Rev 13:15).

15 To cause as many as would not worship the…beast to be killed. (Rev 13:15)

He shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods (v. 36c). Some translate the word blasphemies as “unheard of things” or “extraordinary things.” In other words, he will say and claim things about himself that are stunning and shocking. He will speak in a terrible boldness against God (Dan. 7:8, 11, 20, 25; 2 Thes 2:4; Rev 13:5-6).

8 In this horn (Antichrist) was…a mouth speaking pompous words…11 The pompous words which the horn was speaking…20 that horn had…a mouth which spoke pompous words…25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High… (Dan. 7:8, 11, 20, 25)

5 He was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies …6 he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. (Rev 13:5-6)

He shall prosper until God’s wrath stops him (v. 36d). The Antichrist will be the tool of God’s judgment on apostate Israel and on the wickedness of the Gentile nations (Rev. 13). The

Antichrist will prosper½yearsforeven3 in an e nvironment in which God’s judgment are being poured out on his empire (Rev. 6-9). Antiochus IV who was a prophetic type of the Antichrist also prospered (Dan. 8:12).

The Antichrist will appear to deliver the world from its global political, economic, spiritual and military crisis. He will be seen as the man who ended the time of international conflict when the nations of the world rose up against each other in military conflicts (Mt. 24:7-8).

25 Through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. (Dan. 8:25)

21 A vile person…shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue. (Dan. 11:21)

9 The coming of the lawless one (Antichrist) is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders… (2 Thes. 2:9)

God’s wrath will be accomplished according to what He has determined (v. 36e). When God is finished judging the nations through the Antichrist, then God will fully pour out His wrath on the Antichrist (Rev. 15-19).

1 I saw…seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete…7 one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God… (Rev. 15:1-7)

11 I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. (Dan. 7:11)

26 The court shall be seated, and they shall take away his (Antichrist’s) dominion, to consume and destroy it forever. (Dan. 7:26)

He shall not regard the desire of women (v. 37b). Some translate this as the “desire for women” meaning that he will hate women in every way.


38 But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. 39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. (Dan. 11:38-39)

In the place of regarding the God of his fathers, all other gods and women, he shall honor a god of fortresses (which was unknown by his fathers) with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things (v. 38a)

In the place of worshiping the gods (or “God”) of his fathers, he will honor a god of fortresses or the god of military power. The “god of fortresses” speaks of the demon powers that operate in the spirit realm to war. His god will be war or military conquest. His military activity is described in Dan. 11:40-45; 7:8, 24; Rev 13:4; 16:13-16.

The Antichrist will honor the god of military strength by spending unprecedented amounts of money on developing his military (with gold and silver, precious stones, etc). He will only trust in war to solve the world problems and to accomplish his goals. He will exalt and love war as a form of worship in his approach to attaining his destiny.

The Antichrist will trust Satan to help him overcome even the strongest fortresses or military alliances on earth (v. 39a). He shall act against military fortresses by trusting and acknowledging a foreign god, which is Satan and his demonic hosts.

2 The dragon (Satan) gave him (Antichrist) his power, his throne, and great authority….3 all the world….followed the beast. 4 They worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? (Rev. 13:2-4)

He will “acknowledge” and “advance the glory” of Satan and the demonic realm (v. 39b) by only promoting leaders with zeal for Satan and thus, are demon possessed (v. 39c). He will divide the land for gain (v. 39d). He will use bribes to gain cooperation of the nations. He will promote leaders to great positions over many and will give them land and properties. The combination of military and demonic power will be “foreign” or unknown to his family heritage (v. 38b). In other words, his family did not have a military back ground, nor a history in Satanic worship.


40 At the time of the end the king of the South (Egypt) shall attack him (Antichrist); and the king of the North (Syria) shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. (Daniel 11:40)

The king of the South (Egypt) shall attack him (Antichrist) (v. 40b). The three king view is the Antichrist, the king of the North, and the king of the South. The two king view has the king of the South attacking the Antichrist (king of the North) then the Antichrist retaliates against him (king of the South).

The north and south in Scripture is determined by Israel. Throughout Dan. 11, the king of the South always spoke of the king of Egypt and the king of the North spoke of the Syrian king. They may have a coalition of nations working together because without others, Syria and Egypt (not being world powers) could not threaten the Antichrist’s empire. Egypt is probably the leading country in the Southern Confederacy called the “king of the South” (v.40, 42) which is possibly an Arab bloc led by Egypt and south of Israel.

The king of the North (Syria) shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships (v. 40c). Syria is probably the leading country in the Syrian or Northern Confederacy called the “king of the North” (v.40) which is most likely an Arab bloc.

In Ezek. 38-39, the Antichrist called Gog (with Magog) is described as being in the far north in contrast to Syria as in the immediate north. The king of the North (led by Syria) and the king of the South (Egypt and Arab Federation) will attack the Antichrist’s far northern coalition (Ezek. 38-39). The king of the South and the king of the North will probably be allies attacking the Antichrist from both directions

“He” refers to the Antichrist every time here (Dan. 11:41-45). There are 16 masculine 3rd person singular pronouns (he, him, his) in Dan. 11:40-45. He is used 7 times (v.40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45), him is used 4 times (v.40 twice, 44, 45) and His is used 5 times (v.41, 42, 43, 45 twice). In the three king view, all 16 pronouns refer to Antichrist (not the king of the North). In the two king view, 15 refer to Antichrist (king of North) and only one refers to the king of South (v40).

The Antichrist shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through (v. 40d). In other words, the Antichrist will enter or invade the countries of the Southern Confederacy and Northern confederacy. He will pass through and overwhelm them.


41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. 44 But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. 45 And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him. (Dan. 11:41-45)

He shall enter the Glorious Land of Israel (v. 40a). The Antichrist will invade and occupy Israel (Dan. 8:9; 11:16). Many countries shall be overthrown (v. 40b).

Edom, Moab, and the prominent people (leaders) of Ammon shall escape from his hand (v. 40c). These three nations refer to an area now in present day Jordan. They will be spared possibly because they help him. They escape trouble until Jesus marches through Bozrah and Teman (this same area; Isa. 63:1-6; Hab. 3:3).

The Antichrist shall stretch out his hand against the countries (possibly an Arab bloc led by Egypt) and Egypt especially shall not escape (v. 42). Egypt is probably the leading country in the Southern Confederacy called the “king of the South” (Dan. 11:40). Verse 44 tells us that Egypt will not be alone in the attack.

The Antichrist shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt (v. 43a). The riches of Egypt maybe the oil wells of the Middle East. This would be precious in the midst of the outpouring of God’s wrath (Rev. 6-9). Hitler invaded the Caucasus and Ukraine for oil reserves.

The Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at the Antichrist’s heels (v. 43a). The country of Libya is in North Africa. The Ethiopians (Nubians “kusim” in Hebrew) points to Ethiopia and Sudan. The NIV translates “at his heels” as “in submission” thus, conquered by him. Many view this as nations as being “in step” or in cooperation with the Antichrist. This is the accurate view.

Will the Antichrist overthrow Libya, Ethiopia, and Sudan during the v. 40-41 military campaigns or will he plunder them later? They eventually become allies with him (Ezek 38:5).

The Antichrist will hear troubling news from the east or Asia (v. 44a). The Antichrist will hear troubling news from the north (v. 44b). News from the far north or from his home front (not the king of the North) will trouble him as will news from the kings of the East (Rev. 16:12).

When hearing this news, the Antichrist shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many (v. 44c). This news will stir up the Antichrist’s anger. Stalin and Hitler both had great anxiety from treason. Probably it’s news of treason and division in his ranks (Dan. 2:41-43) and of news of massive crises related to the seals, trumpets, bowls destroying his resources. He will act in great anger and fury to completely annihilate the men or nations who participated.

The Antichrist will use the covenant of Dan. 9:27 to gain a stronghold in the land of Israel. He will plant part of his headquarters in Israel. The “glorious holy mountain” is in Jerusalem (site of the Temple). The “Seas” on the two sides of Jerusalem and the temple are the Mediterranean Sea (west) and the Dead Sea (east).

45 And he (Antichrist) shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas (Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea) and the glorious holy mountain (Jerusalem)… (Dan. 11:45)

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