(Daniel 11:30a, 45b) “Ships from the western coastlands (Kittim) will oppose him, and he will lose heart. Then he will turn back and vent his fury against the holy covenant…Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.”
History has a way of repeating itself. We can see this pattern in the Word of God where historical events and characters in those events in past history are harbingers or types of future events to come. For example, all the past Ancient kings of Assyria and Babylon in the Bible were all foreshadows or major types of the Antichrist to come in the future. Nimrod, who founded Ancient Assyria and Babylon, is a major type of the future Antichrist. We are told in the New Testament that the Antichrist is coming but also that many antichrists have come and will come before the final one arrives. All of these antichrists in some way teach us about the final one to come. Historically we can see this fact revealed in the pagan Emperors and religious Popes of Rome and in those false prophets and teachers that infiltrate the Church (1 John 2:18-19).
In Daniel Chapter 11:1-35 we have a historical account of the wars between the King of the North (Syria) and the King of the South (Egypt). This war was kick started between two of Alexander’s Generals who vied for power after Alexander had died. Ptolemy ruled in Egypt (the Ptolemies) while Seleucus ruled in Syria (the Seleucids) There were a series of six wars between the Seleucid Empire and the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, successor states to Alexander the Great’s empire, during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC over the region then called Coele-Syria, one of the few avenues into Egypt.
While we have a panoramic view of these wars in Daniel Chapter 11:1-35 the camera zooms in on the Seleucid Greek General Antiochus Epiphanes, a major type of the final Antichrist in the Book of Daniel. The military campaign of Antiochus closely mirrors the final military campaign of the Antichrist, who, like Antiochus, will come out of Syria and invade Egypt and the Holy land Israel. We see the military campaign of the Antichrist in the second half of Daniel Chapter 11:36-45.
Now in Daniel Chapter 11:21-35 Antiochus’ character is described. He is depicted as a contemptible person who by means of flattery the king of Pergamus (Pergamum) located in modern day Turkey, and the Syrians gave into him. He was a master of cunning and treachery, so that his contemporaries nicknamed him “Epimanes” or “madman.” Antiochus assumed for himself the title “Epiphanes” meaning “Illustrious” (Vs 21).
While we are not specifically told his name there was a prince or ruler who was in a covenant with Antiochus whom Antiochus through treachery killed and decimated the Prince’s army. After this Antiochus’ power grew (Vs. 22-23). Then we are told that without warning that Antiochus attacked Egypt and in His first battle against Egypt was successful and on his return to Syria had in mind to conquer Israel (Vss.24-28). However, the second time he invaded Egypt he was not successful as the Romans helped Egypt by threatening Antiochus (Vs. 30a).
These were the ships of the western coastlands or Kittim which today is Cyprus which at that time was part of the Eastern leg of the Roman Empire. This naval presence by Rome, which would have most likely been in the Mediterranean Sea at that time, caused Antiochus to lose heart and so leaving Egypt on his journey home to Syria in a fit of rage, he invaded the Holy land, Israel (Vss. 29-30). He and his military forces were finally driven out of Israel by the Maccabees and the Temple re- consecrated because of the detestable desecration perpetrated by Antiochus who had slaughtered a pig on the altar of sacrifice and erected an image to Zeus in the Temple. This whole event and the ultimate victory over Antiochus is remembered in the Jewish celebration of Hanukah.
The Antichrist will come out of Syria as did Antiochus when he invaded Israel. The Antichrist will be the last King of the North with a vast army that will attack the mightiest of fortresses with the help of a foreign god who is the god of fortresses (Daniel 11:38-40). His god will be the god of the sword. Today on Islamic banners you have depicted an emblem of crossed swords pointing upwards which symbolise the ideology of Islam and the Mesopotamian Arabic moon-god of war. The crossed swords pointing upwards denote conquest by the sword which describes the nature and character of Islam today.
It was the Turkish Ottoman Empire which finally toppled Rome and after the demise of the last vestige of the Roman Byzantine Empire the Ottoman Turks ruled throughout the Middle-east, down into North Africa and into parts of Europe for 600 years. Today we see the final King of the North arising in Turkey, “a little horn” that is growing in power, skilled in intrigue, contemptible in character and ‘hell-bent’ on conquest by the sword (Daniel 7:8; 8:9-12). The Antichrist will be one who has the same character traits as Nimrod of whom we are told was “A mighty hunter in the face of God.” He was a rebel against God (Genesis 10:9).
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey has a plan in place to resurrect the Turkish Ottoman Empire if he can. Turkey will ultimately be opposed by the EU as Antiochus was opposed by Rome. In France Macron, if he stays in power politically, is seeking to unite the leaders of Europe into a Federation of nations that will become a formidable bulwark of military power to stand against foreign powers that might prove a threat to Europe, especially from Islam. Of course Islam is well entrenched within Europe at every level of society which may well prove to be “an Achilles heel” for Europe. If this European Federation of nations happens it will not be a revived Roman Empire as such, but a European force that in the end will have to have “a face off” with Turkey and Islam.
In past history European armies fought Islamic armies seeking to conquer Europe for Islam. At the Battle of Tours near Poitiers, France, in 732AD, Frankish leader Charles Martel, a Christian Commander, defeated a large army of Spanish Moors, halting the Muslim advance into Western Europe. Now when Antiochus was seeking to expand his empire Rome resisted him. It was a European Army with many auxiliaries from different nations in its ranks. The prophets Daniel, Micah and Ezekiel also tell us that these Islamic armies of the Antichrist will be opposed by other powerful nations (Daniel 11:40) (Micah 5:5-6) (Ezekiel 28:6-10).
The Antichrist will not have global control but his empire will be vast and one of global proportions which other nations will be hard pressed to resist (Revelation 13:4). It will supersede the Ottoman empire of Suleiman the Magnificent which flourished when the Turkish Ottoman Empire was at the Zenith of its power. Under Suleiman’s administration, the Ottoman caliphate ruled over at least 25 million people. Suleiman began his reign with campaigns against the Christian powers in central Europe and the Mediterranean. Belgrade fell to him in 1521 and the island of Rhodes in 1522–23. At Mohács, in August 1526, Suleiman broke the military strength of Hungary. Suleiman became a prominent monarch of 16th-century Europe, presiding over the apex of the Ottoman Empire’s economic, military and political power. Suleiman personally led the Ottoman armies but his conquests were checked at the siege of Vienna in 1529. He annexed much of the Middle East in his conflict with the Safavids and large areas of North Africa as far west as Algeria. Under his rule, the Ottoman fleet dominated the seas from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and through the Persian Gulf.
In August last year tensions flared between Turkey and EU members Greece and Cyprus over energy resources and jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean when both Turkish and Greek navy frigates escorted exploration vessels. Turkey not only wants to acquire the natural gas reserves under the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, which would really boost Turkey economically and financially, but also have the supreme naval power in the region like that of his Ottoman forebear in past history Hayreddin Barbarossa, possibly the greatest of the Turkish Ottoman Naval Commanders. The ultimate agenda of the Turkish leader it would seem is to have all of Cyprus and unchallenged access to the natural gas reserves under the Eastern Mediterranean. Greece of course cannot allow this to happen. Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean are in disputed territory from Turkey’s perspective. The European Union may well continue opposing such a move by Turkey.
In relation to Israel, Turkish military forces are in Syria and are now poised to invade Israel over the Golan Heights. While Assad of Syria is in power the Turkish leader is hampered by Assad’s regime but once Assad is gone Turkey will be able to take control of Syria and in sharing Syria with Iran together they would make their move against Israel. Turkey, backed by Iran would also receive military support from Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, the Sudan and the Turkic speaking southern states of the former Soviet Union. Added to this he would also get support from Hamas in Gaza because he has championed the so called ‘Palestinian’ cause.
The man from Turkey has made it abundantly clear that he wants Jerusalem and the Temple Mount for Islam. There would be no problem raising a 200 million strong Islamic military force, especially if they had a Commander in Chief (the Mahdi of Islam) to lead them on a Jihad of global proportions unparalleled in past history. Right now Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on the United States to meet “conditions” including financial, logistical and diplomatic support, so that Turkey can run and guard Kabul airport after other foreign troops withdraw from Afghanistan. This would be another step for the man from Turkey gaining more power and increasing Turkey’s military power and prowess in the Middle-Eastern region. If the Turkish leader could get the Taliban operating in Afghanistan on side they would swell the ranks of his envisioned revived Turkish Ottoman Empire which would once again challenge the European powers.
Just as Antiochus was opposed by Rome so the Islamic Antichrist and his armies that will come up out of Syria will also be opposed by a European Federation of nations as we have seen in past historical conflicts between the Ottoman Turks with Europe. Possibly America will be drawn into the conflict. Also we are told that reports from the east and the north will alarm the Antichrist. You have China to the east of Turkey and Russia to the North of Turkey (Daniel 11:44). Finally, in frustration, the Antichrist will set out in a great rage to annihilate many and invade Israel and make his headquarters at Jerusalem where he will meet his end with no one to help him, and that, not by any human agency, but by the Messiah our Lord Jesus. (Daniel 11:44b-45) (Daniel 2:44-45). The nations whose armies have supported the Antichrist will all go down into the pit are specifically named and they are all Islamic countries and geographical regions today (Ezekiel 32:18-32).
In the coming global conflagration Israel will be at the epicentre of the final war to end all wars ultimately culminating in the Second Coming of the Messiah our Lord Jesus, to judge the world, rescue Israel, rapture and resurrect the saints of all the ages, and to completely destroy the Antichrist and his armies laying siege to Jerusalem. (Zechariah 14:1-5) After this our Lord Jesus the Messiah will establish His Messianic kingdom on earth and His redeemed saints in their resurrected glorified immortal bodies, will co-reign with Him over the nations that have survived His Second Coming. (Revelation 2:26-27) This will be the ultimate victory for the Messiah and His faithful bond-slaves in the war they have waged with Satan!