He shall deal with them and shall prevail

“Then the king of the south shall be strong, but one of his princes shall be stronger than he and shall rule, and his authority shall be a great authority. After some years they shall make an alliance, and the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement. But she shall not retain the strength of her arm, and he and his arm shall not endure, but she shall be given up, and her attendants, he who fathered her, and he who supported her in those times. “And from a branch from her roots one shall arise in his place. He shall come against the army and enter the fortress of the king of the north, and he shall deal with them and shall prevail. He shall also carry off to Egypt their gods with their metal images and their precious vessels of silver and gold, and for some years he shall refrain from attacking the king of the north. Then the latter shall come into the realm of the king of the south but shall return to his own land. Daniel 11:5-9

After the death of Alexander the Great the empire he built through his conquests was divided into four parts. Each of his surviving four generals took control of a portion of the Greek Empire. Of particular interest to today’s verses are two of these kingdoms, the “kings of the north”  being the Seleucid kings of Syria and the “kings of the south” being the Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt.  These two kingdoms battled off and on for years. At times they tried to peacefully settle their differences and even tried to uses marriage between the two kingdoms to seal a truce. Eventually the king of the south prevailed over the north.

Once again what was written down by Daniel follows the actual events hundreds of years later. In fact both Josephus and Jewish histories recount the events around Alexander and Jerusalem and why Alexander did not conquer Jerusalem. These accounts write about the high priest Jeduah showing Alexander the Book of Daniel and how Daniel wrote about Alexander. Now you might want to chalk this up as legend but the fact is that Alexander did not conquer Jerusalem. Then you need to answer why a general as great as Alexander would leave a walled city in his rear when he went on the conquer Tyre, the rich city state seaport to the west of Jerusalem. This was something he had not done before or after so why Jerusalem?

Of course we can always believe that generations of Jews were wrong about the Book of Daniel. We can believe that even though Josephus is considered reliable he was none the less mistaken when it comes to the events around Alexander the Great and Jerusalem. To do this we have to accept that people living thousands of years after the event none the less know more about what happened then the people living at the time.

Finally from a Christian perspective we must deal with the problem of Jesus quoting Daniel. Jesus must also be wrong or at the least mistaken to believe Daniel was accurate. Who do we believe the people who for generations faithfully copied scripture and lived during the times the events happened or those who lived over two thousand years later who start from a naturalist worldview? For them any miracle is impossible so prophesy is by definition not possible.

Have a blessed day,

David

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About dwwork

The name of this blog is taken from 1 Peter 3:13 - “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience. This verse became special to me over ten years ago when I was asked to teach an adult Sunday school class on Christian apologetics. This interest grew over the years to the point that I took some graduate level classes in apologetics. I think the best way to be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks is to know scripture. It is my hope that through these short devotionals the reader will become more familiar with each verse. I have tried when possible to make them personal hoping in some small way to show that God’s word written over two thousand years ago is still relevant today. In the writing of these short devotionals I have been able to better understand how God’s word impacts my life. It is my hope that you too will come closer to our Lord Jesus and develop a closer relationship with Him. Finally, if the reader finds anything in conflict with scripture please let me know. God’s word is the final authority always overrules anything I might write. David
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