Daily Encouragement

December 3 – What Is Daniel 11 All About?

Daniel 11:2-35
1 John 3:7-24
Psalm 122:1-9
Proverbs 29:1

In today’s reading we’ll go from Daniel’s present day (fall of Babylon 539 BC) to the Maccabean Revolt in 164 BC. Matthew Henry, John Walvoord, and EnduringWord.com can tell you the “what” that’s going on, but the bigger question is “why” should we care about the “intertestamental time?”

First, we need to remember that Scripture was written for the immediate audience first. Daniel is writing to the Jewish people for their immediate edification. If we look at a Bible timeline of chronology, we notice that there was a surge in prophets around the fall of Jerusalem.

Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Joel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Obadiah all were writing around the fall of Jerusalem (586 BC). Haggai and Zechariah were writing around the return of Zerubbabel (536 BC); Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther and Malachi were active around 450 BC for the rebuilding of the walls. And then there was roughly 450 years of silence.

Today’s reading is a “play by play” of the dream in Daniel 2. Daniel 2 identified the four kingdoms (Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome), but Daniel 11 gives us the actions. It takes us from Daniel’s present day, through the political events of the last prophet Malachi, and to the return of a Jewish self-governing state. That state (Hasmonean Dynasty) would become the Herodian vassal state of the fourth kingdom (Rome), the kingdom that the Messiah would be born into. And not without controversy – from John Walvoord:

Probably no other portion of Scripture presents more minute prophecy than Daniel 11:1-35, and this has prompted the sharpest attack of critics seeking to discredit this prophetic portion.

Interestingly enough, it was the eleventh chapter of Daniel with its detailed prophecy of about two hundred years of history that prompted the heathen philosopher Porphyry (third century AD) to attack the book of Daniel as a forgery. In his study, Porphyry established the fact that history corresponded closely to the prophetic revelation of Daniel 11:1-35, and the correspondence was so precise that he was persuaded that no one could have prophesied these events in the future. Accordingly, he solved the problem by taking the position that the book of Daniel was written after the events occurred, that is, it was written in the second century B.C. This attack prompted Jerome to defend the book of Daniel and to issue his own commentary, which for over one thousand years thereafter was considered the standard commentary on the book of Daniel.


1 John 3:9 — Can a Christian sin? After reading 1 John 1:8 we know that we have sin. GotQuestions.org points out that this is not “sinless perfection” but “a decreasing pattern of sin.”

1 John 3:13 — There is a war between the world and Christ. John is reiterating the teaching Jesus made (John 15:18). What’s the difference?

  • Righteousness vs. sin (1 John 3:7-8)
  • Father God vs. Father Devil (1 John 3:10)
  • Love not vs. Love (1 John 3:10-11, 1 John 3:14)
  • Evil works vs. Righteous works (1 John 3:12)
  • Love vs. Hate (1 John 3:15-16)
  • Giver vs. Hoarder (1 John 3:17)

At the end of the day, the symptoms are not absolute, but believing on Jesus Christ is (1 John 3:23), as well as having the Spirit (1 John 3:24).

Psalm 122:1 — Do you look forward to spending time with God’s people?

Psalm 122:6 — Notice the blessing for those who love Jerusalem! What is the peace that will come to Jerusalem? Paul shared his burden in Romans 10:1.

Proverbs 29:1 — Rejecting correction brings destruction!

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