The Mighty Angels of Daniel 11: The Embodiment
By Nathan Jones
The Embodiment of the Antichrist
Vic Batista: Antiochus Epiphanes is a type of another leader who is still to come — the Antichrist.
Nathan Jones: Yes, the Antichrist, as the Bible calls him, will rise to power much in the same way Antiochus Epiphanes did. Theologians call Antiochus Epiphanes a type, a symbol, a predecessor, and the very embodiment of the coming one-world leader. Antiochus and the Antichrist are identical in personality — wretchedly evil. Some people even try to pass off Antiochus Epiphanes as the fulfillment of the Antichrist role, but that’s clearly not true. Antiochus’ scope of power extended nowhere nearly as far as the global government the Antichrist will control.
Antiochus commits another heinous act, something that the Antichrist will also commit one day when he sets up his own False Prophet. Once Antiochus Epiphanes had defeated the Egyptians, he traveled back to Jerusalem and started selling the position of High Priest. Instead of the legal position being wielded by a descendant of Aaron, Antiochus sold the job off to the highest bidder. It ended up going to a man named Jason.
Antiochus also turned Jerusalem from being the capital of the Jewish people to a “polis,” meaning a Greek city. He forcibly executed the process of Hellenizing the Jews, which means forcing the Jewish people to adopt the pagan Greek lifestyle. He built gymnasiums, which today we think of the gym as the place where we go to work out, but the Greek gymnasium also was a place of fornication, open sex, and the glorification of the body. Such lewdness shocked the Orthodox Jews.
Next what happens is a candidate named Menelaus outbids Jason and he ends up taking the job as High Priest. Jason still wants the job as High Priest, so he and Menelaus duke it out for the position. Jason gets so drawn into the heat of battle that he began slaughtering his own people, so they exiled him. Antiochus had created a great problem for the Jews by putting the High Priest job up for auction.
While Antiochus was busy in Egypt, he heard about the rivalry going on back in Jerusalem, and so turned around and headed back to Jerusalem. He sided with Menelaus to establish him in charge, but in doing so, Antiochus sacked the Temple.
The stunned Jewish people became desperate, so they turned, believe it or not, to the Romans for help. Israel asked the Romans to come and restore order, ironically enough. The Romans did come to the rescue. They told Antiochus that he was to leave Egypt and Israel, which is exactly what he ended up doing. Antiochus knew when to leave. Daniel 11:28-30 foretold the Roman intervention.
“The king of the North will return to his own country with great wealth, but his heart will be set against the holy covenant. He will take action against it and then return to his own country. At the appointed time he will invade the South again, but this time the outcome will be different from what it was before. Ships of the western coastlands will oppose him, and he will lose heart. Then he will turn back and vent his fury against the holy covenant. He will return and show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant.”
Antiochus may have left, but sends down his General Apollonius in 167 BC into Jerusalem in order to punish the Jews for their obstinacy and his disgrace. The general slaughtered many Jews, all on the Sabbath day, because he knew they’d be at rest. The Sabbath kept the Jews from resisting. He went on to tear down the Jewish defenses. He prohibited circumcision. He set up pagan altars. He forced the Jewish priests to eat pork or die, which was about as equal to the Jewish mind.
Even though the Romans told Antiochus to get out of Israel, Antiochus returned anyway to revel. In 167 BC, after his General Apollonius had forced the Jewish people to become more paganized, Antiochus walked right into the Holy of Holies in the Temple, desecrating it with his very Gentile presence. The Madman set up a statue of Zeus, the head of the gods in the Greek belief system, and he sacrificed a pig on the very altar of Yahweh God. Every evil act that Antiochus committed was a declaration to the Jewish people that Yahweh was no more, and that Zeus was the ultimate god.
Antiochus’ defilement of the Temple forced the Jewish people to flee out into the wilderness. The Jewish people called this desecration the “abomination that causes desolation.” Daniel 11:31-32 foretold this very event would happen.
“His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.”
Vic Batista: Jesus in Matthew 24 mentioned this “abomination that causes desolation,” but in the context of what the Antichrist is going to do one day. History will repeat itself. The most abominable act made against a Jewish person was what Antiochus did by slaughtering an unclean animal in the Temple and forcing the Jews to eat the swine, an act the Antichrist will one day replicate. To commit such a heinous act, and in the very temple of God, was a terrible sacrilege.
Nathan Jones: Antiochus in his hubris,by desecrating God’s holy Temple, committed the worst insult that could have ever been devised. He contemptuously dismissed the Mosaic Law and its command not to eat pork. The Jews were forbidden to eat of any unclean animal, mainly because God was protecting them from getting a lot of blood diseases. Much of the Mosaic Law existed to help the Jewish people — former slaves — survive out in the wilderness. God gave His people all these health laws that have greatly benefited them even to this day.
Despite the Jews finding the eating of a pig a most detestable act, the most unclean thing possible, Antiochus entered in anyway and desecrated the Temple. This abomination caused many of the Jewish people to flee out of Jerusalem and run away into the wilderness.
That the Antichrist will commit this very same abomination makes me wonder if the Antichrist will one day read Daniel 11 and believe Antiochus to be the good guy in the story. One day the Antichrist, at the mid-point of the seven-year Tribulation, will march into the newly built third Jewish Temple, which has yet to be built, but will be built one day, and just like Antiochus, the Antichrist will desecrate the Third Temple. He will most likely sacrifice a pig on the altar, just as Antiochus did. But, instead of setting Zeus up to be worshiped, he will set up an image of himself to be worshiped. That takes a tremendous amount of gall!
Vic Batista: History repeats itself. It’s sad that the Jewish people today don’t understand that their biblical history is about to relived all over again. How sad that in the end of days they will once again be the ones caught in the middle of this spiritual crossfire and millions of Jews are going to lose their lives for it.
Nathan Jones: Sadly, very true. This abomination will happen again to Israel. Matthew 24 and other passages foretell this to be the case. The one-world ruler, the Antichrist, will act just like Antiochus Epiphanes. He will rise to power through flattery and intrigue. The whole world will be mesmerized by his charisma and charm. But, he will be totally contemptible, just like Antiochus Epiphanes. Revelation 13 even reveals the Antichrist will be possessed by Satan himself. Satan will obsess over the Jewish people and attempt to destroying them all. He will make a seven year peace covenant with the Jews, as we read about in Daniel 9, but he will break it mid-way by walking in to the Temple where no Gentile is allowed to enter. The Antichrist will sacrifice on the altar, likely a pig, then set up his own image up to be worshiped by the world. When the Bible says this man is contemptible, this is as contemptible as one can get!
In the fifty-ninth segment of this series on the mighty angels of Daniel, we’ll marvel at how fulfilled Bible prophecy means Christians today can trust the Word of God.