I am happy to find your resourceful website and I hope you can help solve my puzzle.  Why did the book of Daniel get all the history wrong from verse 11:35 to the end? I tried to find answers in your power point but you list the historical facts just up to 11:35. This is puzzling to me because people claim the book of Daniel was not written in Daniel’s time but much later at around 165 B.C.E. because all the facts from 11:35 to the end of chapter 11 were wrong. I hope you can help me on this.


Daniel did not “get it all wrong” in Daniel 11:35-45, and that is putting it mildly.  I discuss this in great detail in my book, “Daniel, Prophet to the Nations” which is available at Daniel 11:35-45 is a prophecy of the end of the Greek kingdoms.  Specifically, it is about the end of the “King of the South” which is the Ptolemaic kingdom.  The last of the Greek dynasties was the Ptolemies, who ruled Egypt from 323 BC until the death of the last of the Ptolemies, which was Cleopatra in 31 BC.  She died in the aftermath of the Battle of Actium, when she and her ally Marc Antony were defeated by the Romans under Octavian, who later became Emperor Augustus.  Actium was principally a naval engagement, but it also included a land battle on the border between Rome and Egypt, which is what is prophesied by Daniel.

The details of Daniel 11:35-45 fit the Roman/Ptolemaic battle of Actium in great detail.  The King of the North of Daniel 11:40 is Rome who stormed against Marc Antony and the Egyptian troops–destroying his armies.  In the aftermath, Rome (the King of the North) retook part of Palestine, parts of Arabia, all of Egypt as well as other peoples and incorporated them into her empire. The way Daniel prophesied the events (Daniel 11:41-43), The King of the North (Rome) will take the lands of former Edom, Moab, Judea (The Beautiful Land), Ammon, Nubia, Libya and Egypt.  This is exactly what happened in 31 BC.   The King of the North, Rome, fits all the descriptions of Daniel.  Rome honored a god of fortresses (11:38).  Rome attacked Egypt with the help of client kings and their gods (11:39).  I could go on here, but instead I suggest you get a copy of my book on Daniel.

As you refer to, many skeptics of the Bible claim that Daniel was written AFTER the events prophesied in the book, which is the defeat of Antiochus Epiphanes by the Macabees in 164 BC.  The reason they do this is that the accuracy of the detailed prophecies in Daniel 8 and Daniel 11:1-34 are so spectacular that even the most hardened skeptic simply cannot deny the accuracy of the description.  Well, these people have two choices:  They can either accept the obvious and admit that Daniel was an inspired prophet, or they can try to get around the obvious by claiming that Daniel actually was written after the events prophesied. This would mean that the Book of Daniel was written by an imposter some time after 160 BC.   There are two huge problems for the second option.  First of all, there is the extremely strong evidence that Daniel existed before 160 BC (its existence among the Dead Sea Scrolls, its inclusion in the Septuagint Translation, the antiquity of its Hebrew and Aramaic and more).  The other absolutely devastating problem with this after 160 BC hypothesis is that much of what is prophesied in Daniel happened after 160 BC. This includes the prophecies concerning Rome in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7, the prophecies about Jesus in Daniel 9:20-26, and also the material you asked about.  The fact that Daniel 11:35-45 fits the events of 31AD so precisely, both in the big sweep of the events, with the destruction of the last of the Greek powers (Daniel 11:35), and in the details, as mentioned above, is startling evidence that Daniel was a prophet of the future.  No one I know is so bold as to claim that the Book of Daniel was written after 31 BC.

So, what are the skeptics left with?  They must simply deny the obvious fact that Daniel 11:35-45 agrees with the historical facts surrounding the defeat of Marc Antony and Cleopatra.  Otherwise they will have to give up their presupposition that the Bible is the work of man.

John Oakes

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