Is it possible that the vile ruler of Daniel 11:21 is Vespasian? As he seized the kingdom by intrigue, he wasn’t a Roman royal and he plundered and looted etc.


The vile ruler is Antiochus Epiphanes, who ruled the Seleucid territories from 175-164 BC.  I believe that if you look into it, you will find that all or nearly all commentators and historians will agree that the prophecy in Daniel 11 applies to the battles between the Kings of the North, which are the Seleucids and the Kings of the South, which are the Ptolemaic rulers.  Beginning in Daniel 11:21, and continuing to 11:35 the description matches the career and misdeeds of Antiochus Epiphanes perfectly.  He took the Seleucid throne by intrigue (v. 21).  He attached the Ptolemies twice (v. 25-30).  The second time, a Roman fleet intervened (v. 30).  Upon being defeated, he returned to Palestine, where he desecrated the Jewish temple, and abolished sacrifice there (v. 31). Many conspired with Antiochus, but Jacob, Simon and others of the Maccabees rebelled and overthrew him (v. 33-34).  You can read about all this in the book of 1st Maccabees, or in Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews. 

You may find some parallel with Vespasian, and this may not even be completely a coincidence because Vespasian attacked and surrounded Jerusalem.  However, he did not desecrate the temple or abolish sacrifice.  His son, Titus, completed the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. He did not exactly abolish sacrifice, but by destroying the temple, he did, in effect, end sacrifice.  If we look at the entire of Daniel 11:2-35 the scripture even tells us that it is about the last of the Persians and the Greeks, and all the details line up with the conflict between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies, so this is not a prophecy about Vespasian.  If you want more details, you should get a copy of my book Daniel, Prophet to the Nations at

John Oakes









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