History fills in the details when we understand what God tells us. We see this clearly shown in the following verses of Daniel 11:10 – 14. We need to understand this as a progression of, and unfolding, of prophecy.
Daniel 11:10 Sons of Seleucus II, king of the north, were Seleucus III also called Ceraunus Soter who reigned 226 – 223 BC and Antiochus III the Great who reigned 223 – 187 BC. They are stirred up to reclaim the rich booty that was taken by Ptolemy III.
In 219 BC, Antiochus III retook Seleucia and then Palestine from his rival Ptolemy IV Philopator. He was also able to “penetrate Transjordan” at this time. Antiochus III returns home having failed in reclaiming all that he wished in regards to territory and booty. Being “stirred up” he seeks revenge.
Daniel 11:11 The king of the south, Ptolemy IV Philopator, moved with anger. It means Ptolemy IV will defeat king of the north just as easily as Alexander defeated his foes.
The king of the north, Antiochus III the Great, had a great multitude some 62,000 infantry, 6000 cavalry, and 102 elephants.
But.. shall be given into his hand. The word “but” here denotes even though the odds appeared against the king of the south, Ptolemy IV still defeated the larger army of Antiochus III at the Battle of Raphia in 217 BC. Antiochus III lost 10,000 infantry, 300 Calvary and 4000 were taken prisoner.
Daniel 11:13The king of the north shall return. Antiochus III the Great, took advantage of Ptolemy V Epiphanes ‘s young age, the king of the south and he invaded and advanced on to Egypt.
After certain years, refers to the second campaign where Antiochus III came back after losing in the first campaign. Only this time with many more troops and riches to take Palestine.
Daniel 11:14 “robbers of thy people” This is the link to the Roman empire and they eventually “rob” the Jews of their independence in 63 BC and then later in 70 AD destroy their temple. They are called “robbers of the people” because of how Rome robbed people of their promised rewards in politics.
“…Shall exalt themselves to establish the vision” means from 176 – 164 BC Antiochus IV set out to exterminate the religion and culture of the Jews. They killed many, plundered Jerusalem, burned the Scriptures, and offered swine’s flesh on the temple’s altar.
“…But they shall fall” means the king of the north at this time will eventually fall. Rome was gaining power and eventually won a victory over Antiochus IV in 190 BC and gained the territory as far east as the Taurus mountains in southern. Then they gained more territory from Alexander’s western region in 168 BC. Rome also entered an alliance with the Jews in 161 BC to protect them from Grecian powers. Rome warned Antiochus IV not to cause problems in Egypt and he obeyed till 63 BC.
To be continued…