The Mighty Angels of Daniel 11: 4 Prophetic Kingdoms
By Nathan Jones
900 Years of Rebellion
Nathan Jones: God’s mighty Messenger Angel proclaims to the Prophet Daniel, “Also in the first year of Darius the Mede, I, even I, stood up to confirm and strengthen him.” This statement finishes the angel’s thoughts from Daniel 10:20-21. “Then he said, ‘Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come. But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince…’”
This unnamed angel could be Gabriel, because Gabriel tends to be God’s main messenger, but then this angel also fights as a warrior, so he may not be Gabriel. We are not told in the text one way or another.
The angel fought the demonic Prince of Persia for three whole weeks on order to bring Daniel God’s message. We read earlier in Daniel that his magnificence caused Daniel to need a power boost from the Angel in order to stand and hear the message. Likewise, the angel reveals he had also strengthened a man called Darius the Mede.
To provide a little background to the Jewish predicament, let’s go way back to Deuteronomy 4:25-31. Moses told the Jewish people that if they didn’t obey God and instead worshiped idols, and they refused to repent when God called them repeatedly back to Him, that God would exile them out of their country. The Jewish people would become exiles dwelling in foreign lands where they would instead worship the false gods of their foreign tyrants. The Jewish exiles would lose their homes, their culture, and their religious traditions. Still, God would preserve a remnant who would remain loyal to the Lord, like Daniel. Temporary exile served as the punishment for the Jewish people’s hardhearteness towards their Heavenly Father. Though the Jews were a special, chosen people, if they ceased being a light to the world, their ethnicity would not save them. The Jews would be exiled as promised, and that is exactly what had happened to them by Daniel’s time.
For over 900 hundred years the Jewish people rebelled against God. God would send them one righteous king or prophet after another reminding them of His righteous Law, but the people would only return to God for a short period of time before falling back into idolatry. So, by this point in Israel’s history — the Sixth Century BC — the Jewish people had finally been exiled to the land of Babylon, Jerusalem had been destroyed, Israel was now under Babylonian control, and the pagan Nebuchadnezzar ruled supreme as their king.
Over Daniel’s lifetime, Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian Empire eventually was defeated by the Medo-Persian Empire. In Daniel’s old age, he witnessed the rise of the Medo-Persian Empire, which by this point in the narrative, now ruled over Daniel and his people.
4 Prophetic Kingdoms
Nathan Jones: The transfer of power from the Babylonian to the Medo-Persian Empire directly ties to Daniel 2. Back in Daniel 2, King Nebuchadnezzar was given a dream of a giant statute, which only young Daniel could interpret its meaning. Daniel revealed:
“You O King, there before you stood a large statue, an enormous dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, his legs of iron, his feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay.
Now when you were watching the rock that was cut out but not by human hands it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, and the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time it became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The winds swept them away without leaving a trace, but the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.”
Now, what does that dream mean? Daniel, fortunately, interprets the dream. He describes four empires that would rule successively over Israel during what is called the Time of the Gentiles. In other words, when Israel is not ruling over itself, the Gentile nations instead would be ruling over Israel.
Daniel revealed to Nebuchadnezzar that he and his Babylonian Empire were the head of gold. The chest and arms of silver would be the next conquering empire — the Medo-Persian Empire. This empire in the king’s dream was represented by two arms made out of silver. And, there were two parts to the Medo-Persian Empire, as the Medes and Persians united in power. The passing of the Medo-Persian Empire to the following empire is where Daniel 10-12 picks up.
The angel in Daniel 11 prepares himself to explain what the next empire that will be that will soon defeat the Medo-Persian Empire, which in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream is represented by the bronze belly and thighs of the statue. That’s going to be the Greek Empire. The Greek Empire would later be overtaken by the legs of iron, which becomes the two-sided Roman Empire.
According to the dream, by the Time of the Gentiles ends, all these human-controlled empires would be destroyed by the rock not cut out by human hands. Which is? Jesus Christ! When Jesus returns and sets up His Kingdom, that will be the final end of human government. And, that will also be the end of Israel being ruled by Gentile kingdoms. Israel might be living in the Promised Land and control some portions of it, but even to this day they are constantly being battered back and forth by the UN, the Palestinians and other Muslims, and various religious groups. But, a time is coming when Jesus will rule and reign over the whole world from Jerusalem. Amen!
Before the Messiah sets up His Kingdom, we return to Daniel 11 and the time period which Israel still has to contend with concerning these ruling empires. Daniel 11 will explain Israel’s next future ruler in the prophetic timeline — the Greek Empire.
Vic Batista: Revelation 17:9-10 comes to mind when talking about these successive kingdoms. In this passage the Apostle John receives a revelation from another angel. The passage reads, “Here is the mind which has wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings, five are fallen, one is, and another has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time.” This prophetic imagery from Revelation lines up with Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2.
Nathan Jones: Yes, again the Bible provides yet another end time description of the Gentile kingdoms that affect Israel during the Time of the Gentiles. Notice that the two legs of iron that represent the Roman Empire extend all the way down to the brittle toes made out of a mix of iron and clay. The ten toes we’re told are ten kings who mix just as well as clay and iron does. Not so well! In other words, the influence of the Roman Empire continues over Israel even to this day, so there is no other empire past the Roman Empire that has an influence over Israel. This is important to understand because when we read in Revelation about these ten kings, they rule over an earth divided into ten regions. One king will rise up out of the ten to rule over them all, and the Bible calls him the Antichrist. His despotic dominion rises out of a revived Roman Empire and stands supreme as the one-world ruler.
I believe that we today have reached the bottom of the legs. We reside down by the ankles of human history. We are about to see the world divided into ten regions led by ten kings. But, that is getting ahead of ourselves. Right now we are just covering Daniel 11 and the Greek Empire.
400 Years of Silence
Nathan Jones: I like to understand God’s overall prophetic plan, because if we don’t anchor events to a date on the timeline, prophecy can become very hard to understand. Therefore, in the book of Daniel, remember that the Jewish people were burdened under the rulership of the Babylonians from 605 to 538 BC. The Babylonian Empire rules over Israel and is represented by the head of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. Then, by Daniel 10-12, Daniel is living under the Medo-Persian Empire, which ruled from 538 to 331 BC.
By Daniel 11’s prophecies, the reader approaches the Greek Empire. The Greek Empire rules over the land of Israel from 331 to 146 BC. Finally, the Romans come to conquer. And so, Daniel 11 covers prophecies from 331 to 146 BC. This era sits within the 400 year Intertestamental “silent years” time period between the Prophet Malachi and the Gospels. Like we said earlier, the prophecies of Daniel 11 cannot be understood without understanding the history of the Intertestamental time period.
Vic Batista: What exciting times that we are living in! People need to understand what point in history we are located. That way, we will be able to understand all the prophetic events that are happening in this day and age. Seeing God’s overall plan, and the fact that Christ’s Kingdom is fast upon us, should cause the Church and Christians to be passionate about reaching the lost, for Jesus could return at any moment.
Nathan Jones: That He could! We are living in the season of the Lord’s soon return. Now is the time for Christians to get really excited about, one, living a holy and pure life in anticipation of the Lord’s return, and two, leading as many people to Jesus as possible before He returns.
In the forty-seventh segment of this series on the mighty angels of Daniel, we’ll marvel at all the detailed prophecies concerning the Greek Empire that came true!