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Daniel 11 New English Translation (NET Bible)

11 And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I[a] stood to strengthen him and to provide protection for him.) Now I will tell you the truth.

The Angel Gives a Message to Daniel

“Three[b] more kings will arise for Persia. Then a fourth[c] king will be unusually rich,[d] more so than all who preceded him. When he has amassed power through his riches, he will stir up everyone against[e] the kingdom of Greece. Then a powerful king[f] will arise, exercising great authority and doing as he pleases. Shortly after his rise to power,[g] his kingdom will be broken up and distributed toward the four winds of the sky[h]—but not to his posterity or with the authority he exercised, for his kingdom will be uprooted and distributed to others besides these.

“Then the king of the south[i] and one of his subordinates[j] will grow strong. His subordinate[k] will resist[l] him and will rule a kingdom greater than his.[m] After some years have passed, they[n] will form an alliance. Then the daughter[o] of the king of the south will come to the king of the north to make an agreement, but she will not retain her power,[p] nor will he continue[q] in his strength.[r] She, together with the one who brought her, her child,[s] and her benefactor will all be delivered over at that time.[t]

“There will arise in his[u] place one from her family line[v] who will come against their army and will enter the stronghold of the king of the north and will move against them successfully.[w] He will also take their gods into captivity to Egypt, along with their cast images and prized utensils of silver and gold. Then he will withdraw for some years from[x] the king of the north. Then the king of the north[y] will advance against the empire of the king of the south, but will withdraw to his own land. 10 His sons[z] will wage war, mustering a large army that will advance like an overflowing river and carrying the battle all the way to the enemy’s[aa] fortress.[ab]

11 “Then the king of the south[ac] will be enraged and will march out to fight against the king of the north, who will also muster a large army, but that army will be delivered into his hand. 12 When the army is taken away, the king of the south will become arrogant.[ad] He will be responsible for the death[ae] of thousands and thousands of people,[af] but he will not continue to prevail. 13 For the king of the north will again muster an army, one larger than before. At the end of some years he will advance with a huge army and enormous supplies.

14 “In those times many will oppose[ag] the king of the south.[ah] Those who are violent[ai] among your own people will rise up in confirmation of[aj] the vision, but they will falter. 15 Then the king of the north will advance and will build siege mounds and capture a well-fortified city.[ak] The forces of the south will not prevail, not even his finest contingents.[al] They will have no strength to prevail. 16 The one advancing against him will do as he pleases, and no one will be able to stand before him. He will prevail in the beautiful land, and its annihilation will be within his power.[am] 17 His intention[an] will be to come with the strength of his entire kingdom, and he will form alliances.[ao] He will give the king of the south[ap] a daughter[aq] in marriage in order to destroy the kingdom, but it will not turn out to his advantage. 18 Then he will turn his attention[ar] to the coastal regions and will capture many of them. But a commander[as] will bring his shameful conduct to a halt; in addition,[at] he will make him pay for his shameful conduct.[au] 19 He will then turn his attention to the fortresses of his own land, but he will stumble and fall, not to be found again. 20 There will arise after him[av] one[aw] who will send out an exactor[ax] of tribute to enhance the splendor of the kingdom, but after a few days he will be destroyed,[ay] though not in anger or battle.

21 “Then there will arise in his place a despicable person[az] to whom the royal honor has not been rightfully conferred. He will come on the scene in a time of prosperity and will seize the kingdom through deceit. 22 Armies[ba] will be suddenly[bb] swept away in defeat[bc] before him; both they and a covenant leader[bd] will be destroyed.[be] 23 After[bf] entering into an alliance with him, he will behave treacherously; he will ascend to power with only a small force.[bg] 24 In a time of prosperity for the most productive areas of the province he will come and accomplish what neither his fathers nor their fathers accomplished. He will distribute loot, spoils, and property to his followers, and he will devise plans against fortified cities, but not for long.[bh] 25 He will rouse his strength and enthusiasm[bi] against the king of the south[bj] with a large army. The king of the south will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to prevail because of the plans devised against him. 26 Those who share the king’s fine food will attempt to destroy him, and his army will be swept away;[bk] many will be killed in battle. 27 These two kings, their minds[bl] filled with evil intentions, will trade[bm] lies with one another at the same table. But it will not succeed, for there is still an end at the appointed time. 28 Then the king of the north[bn] will return to his own land with much property. His mind will be set against the holy covenant. He will take action, and then return to his own land. 29 At an appointed time he will again invade the south, but this latter visit will not turn out the way the former one did. 30 The ships of Kittim[bo] will come against him, leaving him disheartened.[bp] He will turn back and direct his indignation against the holy covenant. He will return and honor[bq] those who forsake the holy covenant. 31 His forces[br] will rise up and profane the fortified sanctuary,[bs] stopping the daily sacrifice. In its place they will set up[bt] the abomination that causes desolation. 32 Then with smooth words he will defile[bu] those who have rejected[bv] the covenant. But the people who are loyal to[bw] their God will act valiantly.[bx] 33 These who are wise among the people will teach the masses.[by] However, they will fall[bz] by the sword and by the flame,[ca] and they will be imprisoned and plundered for some time.[cb] 34 When they stumble, they will be granted some help. But many will unite with them deceitfully. 35 Even some of the wise will stumble, resulting in their refinement, purification, and cleansing until the time of the end, for it is still for the appointed time.

36 “Then the king[cc] will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every deity and he will utter presumptuous things against the God of gods. He will succeed until the time of[cd] wrath is completed, for what has been decreed must occur.[ce] 37 He will not respect[cf] the gods of his fathers—not even the god loved by women.[cg] He will not respect any god; he will elevate himself above them all. 38 What he will honor is a god of fortresses—a god his fathers did not acknowledge he will honor with gold, silver, valuable stones, and treasured commodities. 39 He will attack[ch] mighty fortresses, aided by[ci] a foreign deity. To those who recognize him he will grant considerable honor. He will place them in authority over many people, and he will parcel out land for a price.[cj]

40 “At the time of the end the king of the south will attack[ck] him. Then the king of the north will storm against him[cl] with chariots, horsemen, and a large armada of ships.[cm] He[cn] will invade lands, passing through them like an overflowing river.[co] 41 Then he will enter the beautiful land.[cp] Many[cq] will fall, but these will escape:[cr] Edom, Moab, and the Ammonite leadership. 42 He will extend his power[cs] against other lands; the land of Egypt will not escape. 43 He will have control over the hidden stores of gold and silver, as well as all the treasures of Egypt. Libyans and Ethiopians[ct] will submit to him.[cu] 44 But reports will trouble him from the east and north, and he will set out in a tremendous rage to destroy and wipe out many. 45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas[cv] toward the beautiful holy mountain. But he will come to his end, with no one to help him.


  1. Daniel 11:1 sn The antecedent of the pronoun “I” is the angel, not Daniel. The traditional chapter division at this point, and the presence of a chronological note in the verse similar to ones used elsewhere in the book to position Daniel’s activities in relation to imperial affairs, sometimes lead to confusion on this matter.
  2. Daniel 11:2 sn Perhaps these three more kings are Cambyses (ca. 530-522 b.c.), Pseudo-Smerdis (ca. 522 b.c.), and Darius I Hystaspes (ca. 522-486 b.c.).
  3. Daniel 11:2 sn This fourth king is Xerxes I (ca. 486-465 b.c.).
  4. Daniel 11:2 tn Heb “rich with great riches.”
  5. Daniel 11:2 tn Or “All [of it] will arouse the kingdom of Greece.” The text is difficult. The text is traditionally taken to have the fourth king as the subject of the verb, making the relationship between הַכֹּל (hakkol, “all, the whole, everyone, everything”) and the kingdom of Greece difficult. Presumably “everyone” is the direct object, but the “kingdom” has the direct object marker אֶת (ʾet). This is very unlikely to be the preposition אֶת (ʾet, “with”) because the verb עוּר (ʿur, “to arouse”) uses the preposition עַל (ʿal) to mean “stir up against.” Nevertheless the meaning “against” is typically supplied or assumed from context. An alternative is to take הַכֹּל as the subject, meaning “all of it,” that is the power and wealth, will arouse [the interest] of the kingdom of Greece. This makes sense of the articular use of הַכֹּל, the parsing of the verb, and the direct object indicator, and also fits the context where in the next verse the Greek king rises up.
  6. Daniel 11:3 sn The powerful king mentioned here is Alexander the Great (ca. 336-323 b.c.).
  7. Daniel 11:4 tn Heb “and when he stands.”
  8. Daniel 11:4 tn Or “the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.
  9. Daniel 11:5 sn The king of the south is Ptolemy I Soter (ca. 323-285 b.c.). The following reference to one of his subordinates apparently has in view Seleucus I Nicator (ca. 311-280 b.c.). Throughout the remainder of chap. 11 the expressions “king of the south” and “king of the north” repeatedly occur. It is clear, however, that these terms are being used generically to describe the Ptolemaic king (i.e., “of the south”) or the Seleucid king (i.e., “of the north”) who happens to be in power at any particular time. The specific identity of these kings can be established more or less successfully by a comparison of this chapter with the available extra-biblical records that discuss the history of the intertestamental period. In the following notes the generally accepted identifications are briefly mentioned.
  10. Daniel 11:5 tn Heb “princes.”
  11. Daniel 11:5 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (the subordinate prince mentioned in the previous clause) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  12. Daniel 11:5 tn Heb “be strong against.”
  13. Daniel 11:5 tn Heb “greater than his kingdom.”
  14. Daniel 11:6 sn Here they refers to Ptolemy II Philadelphus (ca. 285-246 b.c.) and Antiochus II Theos (ca. 262-246 b.c.).
  15. Daniel 11:6 sn The daughter refers to Berenice, who was given in marriage to Antiochus II Theos.
  16. Daniel 11:6 tn Heb “the strength of the arm.”
  17. Daniel 11:6 tn Heb “stand,” as also in vv. 7, 8, 11, 13.
  18. Daniel 11:6 tn Heb “and his arm.” Some understand this to refer to the descendants of the king of the north.
  19. Daniel 11:6 tc The present translation reads יַלְדָּה (yaldah, “her child”) rather than the MT יֹלְדָהּ (yoledah, “the one who begot her”). Cf. Theodotion, the Syriac, and the Vulgate.
  20. Daniel 11:6 sn Antiochus II eventually divorced Berenice and remarried his former wife Laodice, who then poisoned her husband, had Berenice put to death, and installed her own son, Seleucus II Callinicus (ca. 246-227 b.c.), as the Seleucid king.
  21. Daniel 11:7 sn The reference is to the king of Egypt.
  22. Daniel 11:7 tn Heb “the stock of her roots.”sn The reference to one from her family line is probably to Berenice’s brother, Ptolemy III Euergetes (ca. 246-221 b.c.).
  23. Daniel 11:7 tn Heb “will deal with them and prevail.”
  24. Daniel 11:8 tn The Hebrew preposition מִן (min) is used here with the verb עָמַד (ʿamad, “to stand”). It probably has a sense of separation (“stand away from”), although it may also be understood in an adversative sense (“stand against”).
  25. Daniel 11:9 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the king of the north) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  26. Daniel 11:10 sn The sons of Seleucus II Callinicus were Seleucus III Ceraunus (ca. 227-223 b.c.) and Antiochus III the Great (ca. 223-187 b.c.).
  27. Daniel 11:10 tn Heb “his”; the referent (the enemy of the king of the north) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  28. Daniel 11:10 tn Heb “and he will certainly come and overflow and cross over and return and be aroused unto a fortress.” The translation has attempted to simplify the syntax of this difficult sequence.
  29. Daniel 11:11 sn This king of the south refers to Ptolemy IV Philopator (ca. 221-204 b.c.).
  30. Daniel 11:12 tn Heb “his heart will be lifted up.” The referent (the king of the south) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  31. Daniel 11:12 tn Heb “cause to fall.”
  32. Daniel 11:12 tn Heb “of myriads.”
  33. Daniel 11:14 tn Heb “stand against.”
  34. Daniel 11:14 sn This was Ptolemy V Epiphanes (ca. 203-181 b.c.).
  35. Daniel 11:14 tn Heb “sons of violence.” “Son(s)” is sometimes used idiomatically in Hebrew to indicate that someone is characterized by a certain quality. So the expression “sons of violence” means that these individuals will be characterized by violent deeds.
  36. Daniel 11:14 tn Heb “to cause to stand.”
  37. Daniel 11:15 sn This well-fortified city is apparently Sidon. Its capture from the Ptolemies by Antiochus the Great was a strategic victory for the Seleucid kingdom.
  38. Daniel 11:15 tn Or “choice troops” (BDB 104 s.v. מִבְחָר), or “elite troops” (HALOT 542 s.v. מִבְחָר).
  39. Daniel 11:16 tn Heb “hand.”
  40. Daniel 11:17 tn Heb “and he will set his face” (cf. vv. 18, 19).
  41. Daniel 11:17 tc The present translation reads מֵישָׁרִים (mesharim, “alliances”) for the MT וִישָׁרִים (viysharim, “uprightness”).
  42. Daniel 11:17 tn Heb “him”; the referent (the king of the south) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  43. Daniel 11:17 tn Heb “the daughter of the women.”sn The daughter refers to Cleopatra, the daughter of Antiochus, who was given in marriage to Ptolemy V.
  44. Daniel 11:18 tn Heb “his face,” as also in v. 19.
  45. Daniel 11:18 sn The commander is probably the Roman commander, Lucius Cornelius Scipio.
  46. Daniel 11:18 tn The Hebrew here is difficult in that the negative בִּלְתִּי (bilti, “not”) is used in an unusual way. The sense is not entirely clear.
  47. Daniel 11:18 tn Heb “his shameful conduct he will return to him.”
  48. Daniel 11:20 tn Heb “on his place.”
  49. Daniel 11:20 sn The one who will send out an exactor of tribute was Seleucus IV Philopator (ca. 187-176 b.c.).
  50. Daniel 11:20 sn Perhaps this exactor of tribute was Heliodorus (cf. 2 Macc 3).
  51. Daniel 11:20 tn Heb “broken” or “shattered.”
  52. Daniel 11:21 sn This despicable person to whom the royal honor has not been rightfully conferred is Antiochus IV Epiphanes (ca. 175-164 b.c.).
  53. Daniel 11:22 tn Heb “arms.”
  54. Daniel 11:22 tc The present translation reads הִשָּׁטֹף (hishatof), Niphal infinitive absolute of שָׁטַף (shataf, “to overflow”), for the MT הַשֶּׁטֶף (hashetef, “flood”).
  55. Daniel 11:22 tn The words “in defeat” are added in the translation for clarification.
  56. Daniel 11:22 tn Heb “a prince of the covenant.”
  57. Daniel 11:22 tn Heb “broken” or “shattered.”
  58. Daniel 11:23 tn The preposition מִן (min) is probably temporal here (so BDB 583 s.v. 7.c; cf. KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV), although it could also be understood here as indicating means (so J. Goldingay, Daniel [WBC], 279, n. 23a; cf. TEV, NLT).
  59. Daniel 11:23 tn Heb “nation.”
  60. Daniel 11:24 tn Heb “and unto a time.”
  61. Daniel 11:25 tn Heb “heart.”
  62. Daniel 11:25 sn This king of the south was Ptolemy Philometer (ca. 181-145 b.c.).
  63. Daniel 11:26 tc The present translation reads יִשָׁטֵף (yishatef, passive) rather than the MT יִשְׁטוֹף (yishtof, active).
  64. Daniel 11:27 tn Heb “heart,” as also in v. 28.
  65. Daniel 11:27 tn Heb “speak.”
  66. Daniel 11:28 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the king of the north) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  67. Daniel 11:30 sn The name Kittim has various designations in extra-biblical literature. It can refer to a location on the island of Cyprus, or more generally to the island itself, or it can be an inclusive term to refer to parts of the Mediterranean world that lay west of the Middle East (e.g., Rome). For ships of Kittim the Greek OT (LXX) has “Romans,” an interpretation followed by a few English versions (e.g., TEV). A number of times in the Dead Sea Scrolls the word is used in reference to the Romans. Other English versions are more generic: “[ships] of the western coastlands” (NIV, NLT); “from the west” (NCV, CEV).
  68. Daniel 11:30 sn This is apparently a reference to the Roman forces, led by Gaius Popilius Laenas, which confronted Antiochus when he came to Egypt and demanded that he withdraw or face the wrath of Rome. Antiochus wisely withdrew from Egypt, albeit in a state of bitter frustration.
  69. Daniel 11:30 tn Heb “show regard for.”
  70. Daniel 11:31 tn Heb “arms.”
  71. Daniel 11:31 tn Heb “the sanctuary, the fortress.”
  72. Daniel 11:31 tn Heb “will give.”
  73. Daniel 11:32 tn Or “corrupt.”
  74. Daniel 11:32 tn Heb “acted wickedly toward.”
  75. Daniel 11:32 tn Heb “know.” The term “know” sometimes means “to recognize.” In relational contexts it can have the connotation “recognize the authority of, be loyal to,” as it does here.
  76. Daniel 11:32 sn This is an allusion to the Maccabean revolt, which struggled to bring about Jewish independence in the second century b.c.
  77. Daniel 11:33 tn Heb “the many.”
  78. Daniel 11:33 tn Heb “stumble.”
  79. Daniel 11:33 tn Or “by burning.”
  80. Daniel 11:33 tn Heb “days.”
  81. Daniel 11:36 sn The identity of this king is problematic. If vv. 36-45 continue the description of Antiochus Epiphanes, the account must be viewed as erroneous, since the details do not match what is known of Antiochus’ latter days. Most modern scholars take this view, concluding that this section was written just shortly before the death of Antiochus and that the writer erred on several key points as he tried to predict what would follow the events of his own day. Conservative scholars, however, usually understand the reference to shift at this point to an eschatological figure, viz., the Antichrist. The chronological gap that this would presuppose to be in the narrative is not necessarily a problem, since by all accounts there are many chronological gaps throughout the chapter, as the historical figures intended by such expressions as “king of the north” and “king of the south” repeatedly shift.
  82. Daniel 11:36 tn The words “the time of” are added in the translation for clarification.
  83. Daniel 11:36 tn Heb “has been done.” The Hebrew verb used here is the perfect of certitude, emphasizing the certainty of fulfillment.
  84. Daniel 11:37 tn Heb “consider.”
  85. Daniel 11:37 tn Heb “[the one] desired by women.” The referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  86. Daniel 11:39 tn Heb “act against.”
  87. Daniel 11:39 tn Heb “with.”
  88. Daniel 11:39 tn Or perhaps “for a reward.”
  89. Daniel 11:40 tn Heb “engage in thrusting.”
  90. Daniel 11:40 tn The referent of the pronoun is most likely the king of the south, in which case the text describes the king of the north countering the attack of the king of the south.
  91. Daniel 11:40 tn Heb “many ships.”
  92. Daniel 11:40 tn This most likely refers to the king of the north who, in response to the aggression of the king of the south, launches an invasion of the southern regions.
  93. Daniel 11:40 tn Heb “and will overflow and pass over.”
  94. Daniel 11:41 sn The beautiful land is a cryptic reference to the land of Israel.
  95. Daniel 11:41 tn This can be understood as “many people” (cf. NRSV) or “many countries” (cf. NASB, NIV, NLT).
  96. Daniel 11:41 tn Heb “be delivered from his hand.”
  97. Daniel 11:42 tn Heb “hand.”
  98. Daniel 11:43 tn Or “Nubians” (NIV, NCV); Heb “Cushites.”
  99. Daniel 11:43 tn Heb “Libyans and Cushites [will be] at his footsteps.”
  100. Daniel 11:45 sn Presumably seas refers to the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea.
New English Translation (NET)

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