The King of the South and the King of the North strive for supremacy.
This section of prophecy has history written so accurately that one would think that it was written after the events!
General Ptolemy took Egypt becoming the “king of the south” and General Seleucus took the northern and eastern parts of Alexander’s empire becoming the “king of the north.”
Daniel 11:5 And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.
A south Arabian inscription refers to a war between Persia and Egypt and calls the respective kings, “the Lord of the North and the Lord of the South.” Seleucus I Nicator (305-281 BC) was seeking to take the Eastern portion of Alexander’s kingdom but was having trouble, so he asked Ptolemy for help. As the fighting continued Seleucus became stronger than Ptolemy. Seleucus was “the greatest king of those who succeeded Alexander.” Seleucus united the Eastern portion of Alexander’s Empire and most of the northern territories in 281 BC.
Daniel 11:6 And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king’s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.
After Seleucus’ death, Anticichus II Theos (261-246) grandson to Seleucus I married Berenice, a daughter of the Egyptian king Ptolemy II. King of the North is speaking of the “Seleucids” whose territory was North of Palestine. “Not retain his power” refers to a son was born to Berenice and caused Antichious to reconcile with Laodice. “Neither shall he stand,” means Antichious II dies suddenly. “She shall be given up” refers to Berenice and her infant being killed by Laodice. After all the killings, Seleucus II, son of Antiochus II and Laodice, became the next king of the north from 246 – 226 BC
Daniel 11:7 But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail.
Ptolemy III Euergetes, son of Ptolemy II and brother of Bernice, succeeded his father in 246 BC. Ptolemy III invaded Syria in revenge for Bernice’s murder and was victorious.
Daniel 11:8 And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north.
This confirms whom the “king of the south” is that is spoken of in V5. It also proves it is the king of the south attacking the king of the north and prevailing in V7. Ptolemy III brought the Persian “sacred images” back into their Egyptian temple as booty. “He shall continue” refers to Ptolemy III dying in 222 BC, two years after Seleucus III.
Daniel 11:9 So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.
Ptolemy III returns to Egypt causing Seleucus to march on Egypt to regain power. Seleucus was defeated and returned to Syria empty-handed. One can also see that “returning to his own land” was necessary to defend it. History fills in the details when we let God tell us plainly what is coming!