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11. Kings of South and North

Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. 2And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. 3And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. 4And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.

5And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion. 6And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king’s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times. 7But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail: 8And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north. 9So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land. 10But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress. 11And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand. 12 And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it. 13For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches. 14And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall. 15So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand. 16But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed. 17He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him. 18After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him. 19Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found. 20Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle. 21And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. 22And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. 23And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people. 24He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time. 25And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him. 26Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain. 27And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. 28Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land. 29At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.

30For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. 31And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. 32And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. 33And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. 34Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. 35And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. 36And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. 37Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. 38But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. 39Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain. 40And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. 41He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. 42He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. 44But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. 45And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

I do not wonder at those who explain this prophecy of Antiochus, experiencing some trouble with these words; for they cannot satisfy themselves, because this prediction of the angel’s was never accomplished by Antiochus, who did neither neglect all deities nor the god of his fathers. Then, with regard to the love of women, this will not suit this person. But it is easy to prove by other reasons already mentioned, the absence of all allusion here to Antiochus. Some refer this prophecy to the Pope and to Mohammed, and the phrase, the love of women, seems to give probability to this view. For Mohammed allowed to men the brutal liberty of chastising their wives, and thus he corrupted that conjugal love and fidelity which binds the husband to the wife. Unless every man is content with a single wife, there can be no love, because there can be no conjugal happiness whenever rivalry exists between the inferior wives. As, therefore, Mohammed allowed full scope to various lusts, by permitting a man to have a number of wives, this seems like an explanation of his being inattentive to the love of women. Those who think the Pope to be intended here remind us of their enforcing celibacy, by means of which the honor of marriage is trodden under foot. We know with what foulness the Roman Pontiffs bark when marriage is hinted to them, as we may see in the decrees of Pope Siricius, in the seventh chapter of the first volume of the Councils. 188188     The French edition altogether omits this reference to the ConciliaEd. They quote the passage, Those who are in the flesh cannot please God; and thus compare marriage with fornication, thereby disgracefully and reproachfully throwing scorn upon an ordinance sanctioned by God. We observe, then, some slight correspondence, but the remaining points will not suit this idea. Some assert that as Mohammed invented a new form of religion, so did the Pope; true indeed, but neither of them are intended here, and the reason is, because God wished to sustain the spirits of his people until the first coming of Christ. Hence he predicts by his angel the sufferings to be endured by the Church until Christ was manifest in the flesh. We must now come to the Romans, of whom we began to explain the passage.

The angel says, The king shall pay no regard to the gods of his fathers. The application of this clause is at first sight obscure; but if we come to reflect upon the outrageous pride and barbarity of the Romans, we shall no longer doubt the meaning of the Prophets words. The angel states two circumstances; this king should be a despiser of all deities, and yet he should worship one god, while the singular and magnificent pomp displayed should exceed all common practices. These two points, so apparently opposite, were found united in the Romans. Our explanation will appear clearer by adding the following verses,


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