“Now Will I Show Thee
MEMORY VERSE: “The people that do know
their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” Daniel 11:32, last
STUDY HELP: Conflict and Courage, 257.
Introduction: “Heavenly agencies have
to contend with hindrances before the purpose of God is fulfilled in its
time. The king of Persia was controlled by the highest of all evil
angels. He refused, as did Pharaoh, to obey the word of the Lord.
Gabriel declared, He withstood me twenty-one days by his representations against
the Jews. But Michael came to his help, and then he remained with the
kings of Persia, holding the powers in check, giving right counsel against evil
counsel.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,vol. 4,
prophecy of the eleventh chapter of Daniel has nearly reached its complete
fulfillment. Soon the scenes of trouble spoken of in the prophecies will
take place.” Testimonies,vol. 9, 14.
NOTE: Because of the nature of this lesson, many
notes are written by the compiler, though he is indebted to the work of a number
of commentators. The necessity of keeping the notes comparatively brief
has made it difficult to quote directly from writers whose views the compiler
respects. These notes express the views of the compiler and should not be
regarded as authoritative.
“A God in Heaven That Revealeth
How was Daniel shown the influence of heaven in the affairs of nations?
NOTE: “Daniel’s prayer had been offered ‘in the first
year of Darius’ (verse 1), the Median monarch whose general, Cyrus, had wrested
from Babylonia the sceptre of universal rule. The reign of Darius was
honored of God. To him was sent the angel Gabriel, ‘to confirm and to
strengthen him.’ Daniel 11:1. Upon his death, within about two years
of the fall of Babylon, Cyrus succeeded to the throne, and the beginning of his
reign marked the completion of the seventy years since the first company of
Hebrews had been taken by Nebuchadnezzar from their Judean home to
Babylon.” Prophets and Kings, 556, 557.
How was the history of the Medo-Persian Empire summarized for Daniel?
NOTE: This vision took place in the third year of
Cyrus. See Daniel 10:1. These four Persian kings were Cambyses,
Cyrus’ son, who reigned from 530–522 bc, and committed suicide in despair during
a revolt by an impostor called Smerdis who held power for seven months in
522. He was succeeded by Darius the Great, who reigned from 522–486
bc. The one who stirred up all against the realm of Greece was Xerxes
(called Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther.). According to the Greek
historian, Heroditus, the Persian army numbered five and a quarter million
“His Kingdom Shall be
How was the rise and break-up of Alexander the Great’s empire explained to
Daniel? Daniel 11:3, 4. Compare Daniel 7:6; Daniel 8:21,
NOTE: Alexander became king of Macedonia and ruler of
Greece at the age of twenty. With an army of 50,000 men he invaded the
Persian Empire and in five years had conquered it. He never lost a
battle. Having marched his troops as far as India, he found them unwilling
to follow him further. ‘”Sighing for new worlds to conquer,” he gave
himself up to debauchery. His end came in Babylon when, after a prolonged
drinking bout, he collapsed in a high fever and died eleven days later in his
thirty-second year. As prophecy had foretold, his infant sons did not
succeed him. Instead his generals fought among themselves dividing the
empire among themselves.
“Many falter and fall because of the indulgence of a
perverse temper. Alexander and [Julius] Caesar found it much easier to
subdue a kingdom than to rule their own spirits. After conquering nations,
the world’s so-called great men fell, one of them through the indulgence of
appetite, a victim of intemperance, the other through presumption and mad
ambition.” Testimonies,vol. 4, 348.
What was Daniel told about the struggles between the king of the north and the
king of the south? Daniel 11:5–15.
NOTE: Of the four divisions of Alexander’s empire,
only two directly affected the people of God; Ptolemy and his successors, whose
empire was based in Egypt, and Seleucus and his successors, whose empire was
based in Syria. Indeed, as the wars among Alexander’s generals developed,
Alexander’s empire gradually fell under
the control of these two powers. Ptolemy and his successors are known as
“the king of the south” and the Seleucids as “the king of the north,” which was
their relationship to Jewish people. In the wars between these
powers, God’s people suffered greatly, most notably at the hands of Antiochus
Epiphanes, one of the Seleucid kings, in whose reign Rome asserted its power
over “the king of the north.”
we see the fulfillment of prophecy, our faith in the final triumph of Christ’s
kingdom should strengthen; and we should go forth with renewed courage to do our
appointed work.” Christian Service, 111.
“The Robbers of Thy
What new power is then introduced into the account? Daniel 11:14,
NOTE: The phrase “the robbers of thy people”
literally means “the breakers of thy people” that is, the power that was to
destroy the Jews. This destruction had been described in Daniel 9:26,
last part and 27, last part. The “king of the south”,
Ptolemy Epiphanes, was five years old and “the king of the north,” Antiochus the
Great, formed an alliance with other powers to divide Ptolemy’s empire among
them. At this point, Rome intervened on Ptolemy’s behalf “to establish the
vision.” Rome was the most prominent power in each of Daniel’s
visions. But notice that Daniel is reassured that the power which was to
destroy his people would, in their turn, also fail. The phrase “the
glorious land” is the same as “the pleasant land” in Daniel
What was Daniel shown about the career of successive Roman emperors?
NOTE: The careers of Julius Caesar, Augustus, and
Tiberius are briefly referred to. Julius’ campaign in Palestine with
support from the Jews, “upright ones,” his relationship with Cleopatra who was
his mistress but not his wife, his subsequent conquests, and his assassination
on returning to his own land are recorded. His successor, Augustus, is
described as “a raiser of taxes”, which recalls Luke 2:1. He was not to
die in battle but suffered from chronic ill-health which rendered him
prematurely old, sickly and easily exhausted from the age of thirty-five.
He was succeeded by Tiberius who was described by Augustus his stepfather as
“too vile to wear the purple of Rome.” His name was a byword for appalling
debauchery throughout his life. He succeeded to the purple peaceably,
unlike his two predecessors who won power by conquest. His mock-humility
won the senate’s approval for his claim to power. His armies won important
victories on the northern frontier. But the most significant event of his
reign was the death of “the Prince of the covenant,” the crucifixion of
Jesus. Compare Daniel 8:25, last part.
What was Daniel shown about the methods of the Roman Empire? Daniel
Compare Daniel 8:24, 25.
NOTE: “At this time the Romans were only a small
people; but by their clever methods of leagues and alliances, by which they
always professed themselves ready to go to the assistance of the weak and
oppressed, they were rapidly becoming strong.” Price, The Greatest of
the Prophets, 294.
“If we regard this period,
‘for a time’ [verse 24], as a prophetic ‘time’ or 360 years, the years should
probably be reckoned from the event mentioned in the next verse, which is 31
bc. [The Battle of Actium] Counting 360 years from this would bring us to
about the year 330, when the seat of the empire was moved from Rome to
Constantinople.…This removal to Constantinople marked the end of the exclusive
rule of the seven-hilled city, though the empire continued.” Price, The
Greatest of the Prophets, 295. (n.b. There was no year zero between bc
and ad. Thus, for practical purposes, one subtracts a year in calculating
times periods crossing this boundary.)
“They Shall Fall by the
How was the transition from imperial Rome to papal Rome described? Daniel
NOTE: “The time appointed” may be the end of the
period mentioned in verse 24. The conflict which took place was to be of a
different nature from the previous two conflicts between Rome and Egypt.
The source of the conflict was theological, rather than military. Rome
intervened in a theological debate over the nature of the Trinity.
Constantine wished to impose a unified religion over the entire empire and
called a church council over which he presided. Constantine failed to
resolve the debate, despite the resolutions of the Council of
ships of Chittim” coming against Rome refers to the destruction of imperial Rome
by Genseric the Vandal, whose great fleet played a vital part in his
victory. But to reassert the power of Rome required both an alliance with
those who had forsaken the holy covenant, and the use of military might. A
marriage of pagan practices and Christianity took place and a union of church
and state. The first king to impose this new religion by force was Clovis,
king of the Franks who was named the first Catholic Majesty in 508 and France
“the first son of the Church.” Following the intervention of Justinian’s
armies, the last of the three barbarian powers was overthrown (see Daniel 7:8,
20, 24) and the pope installed as bishop-king of Rome.
What was Daniel shown about the years of perse-cution of God’s people?
Daniel 11:32–35. Compare Daniel 7:21, 25.
NOTE: One is reminded of the missionary exploits of
the Waldenses, who were nicknamed Sabbatati from their observance of the
Sabbath. Rome reserved its most appalling persecutions for these faithful
witnesses. As Daniel 7:25 foretold, these “many days” of persecution would
be appointed by heaven to be 1260 years. Their history shows how many
times their papal opponents deceived them by flattery and false promises, having
failed to overcome them with military might. The Waldenses were but one
group, perhaps the best known, of faithful believers during these Dark
Ages. Faithful Sabbath-keepers are recorded in many countries, including
India, France, Norway, Bohemia, Transylvania, Hungary, Lombardy, Scotland,
Ireland and Bulgaria. Even in places like Ghana, the Sabbath was regarded as the
“When Rome at one time determined to exterminate the
hated sect, a bull was issued by the pope, condemning them as heretics, and
delivering them to slaughter. They were not accused as idlers, or
dishonest, or disorderly; but it was declared that they had an appearance of
piety and sanctity that seduced ‘the sheep of the true fold.’ Therefore
the pope ordered ‘that malicious and abominable sect of malignants,’ if they
‘refuse to abjure, to be crushed like venomous snakes.’—Wylie, b. 16, ch.
1. Did this haughty potentate expect to meet those words again? Did
he know that they were registered in the books of heaven, to confront him at the
judgment? ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My
brethren,’ said Jesus, ‘ye have done it unto Me.’ Matthew 25:40.
This bull called upon all members of the church to join the crusade against the
heretics. As an incentive to engage in this cruel work, it ‘absolved from
all ecclesiastical pains and penalties, general and particular; it released all
who joined the crusade from any oaths they might have taken; it legitimatized
their title to any property they might have illegally acquired; and promised
remission of all their sins to such as should kill any heretic. It
annulled all contracts made in favor of Vaudois [Waldenses], ordered their
domestics to abandon them, forbade all persons to give them any aid whatever,
and empowered all persons to take possession of their property.’—Wylie, b. 16,
ch. 1. This document clearly reveals the master spirit behind the
scenes. It is the roar of the dragon, and not the voice of Christ, that is
heard therein.” Great Controversy, 77.
What was Daniel told about the papacy’s manner of proceeding? Daniel
11:36–39. Compare Daniel 7:75, first part; Revelation
NOTE: See Great Controversy, 77,
“At the Time of the
What blow was the papacy to suffer at the time of the end? Daniel 11:40,
NOTE: The literal king of the south was based in
Egypt. Revelation 11:8 speaks of a spiritual Egypt.
See Great Controversy, 269,
1798, France, “the first son of the church,” sent an army to Rome. The
soldiers entered the Sistine Chapel and commanded the cardinals, there assembled
for the anniversary of the pope’s accession to the throne, to perform a grand
mass and Te Deum to commemorate the termination of the pope’s authority.
Five days later he was taken from Rome and was taken from prison to prison to
France where he died a prisoner the following year.
How would the papacy respond to this attack? Daniel 11:40, last part,
NOTE: In dealing with unfulfilled prophecy, it is
wise to be most cautious. In this closing part of the prophecy, the
leading character is “the king of the north.” The literal “king of the
north” was the Seleucid portion of Alexander’s empire. This power has
played no part in the history of God’s people for over 2000 years. All
Daniel’s previous prophecies in their closing stages focused on papal
Rome. So do the prophecies of Revelation. It would be remarkable for
this prophecy to finish differently. The literal “glorious land” was
Palestine. The “glorious holy mountain” (verse 45) was Mount Zion, the
site of the temple. Spiritual Israel does not look to literal Palestine as
its home. Edom, Moab and Ammon (verse 41) were all nations closely related
to Israel, though often hostile to God’s people. See Genesis 19:37, 38;
Genesis 36:1. What would their spiritual equivalent be? The east
(see verse 44) is associated with Christ’s coming and events connected with
it. See Matthew 24:27; Revelation 7:2; Revelation 16:12.
“He Shall Come to His
13 What was Daniel
shown about the end of the papacy? Daniel 11:44, 45. Compare
Revelation 13:7, 8; Revelation 16:19; 18.
Who intervenes on behalf of His people? Daniel 12:1.
NOTE: “I want to be among that number who shall have
their names written in the book, who shall be delivered. I want the
overcomer’s reward. The masterly temptations of Satan will overpower many
who now profess to believe the truth. Their unworthy course of action,
their denial of Christ, will make it necessary for God to blot their names from
the Book of Life. But O, may it not be so with us!” Review and
Herald, March 26, 1889.
this we see the importance of having our names written in the Book of
Life. All whose names are registered there will be delivered from Satan’s
power, and Christ will command that their filthy garments be removed, and that
they be clothed with His righteousness. ‘And they shall be Mine, saith the
Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a
man spareth his own son that serveth him.’ In the time of trouble, Satan
stirs up the wicked, and they encircle the people of God to destroy them.
But he does not know that ‘pardon has been written opposite their names in the
books of heaven.” Review and Herald, November 19,