Daniel 11:21-45 is an overview of the Antichrist’s military career. Taken together with a few other passages in the Bible, it gives us a pretty complete picture of what the Antichrist is going to do in the end times. How do we know Daniel 11:21-45 is about the Antichrist?
Well, in Daniel 11:40, we find out one of the Antichrist’s titles is the King of the North. To understand what this title means, a short history lesson is in order. It all began with Alexander the Great going on a rampage. The Greek Empire was born, but Alexander’s stay at the top didn’t last long. He died suddenly, and four guys took over different parts of the Greek Empire. For the record, the Bible predicted all of this long before it happened in Daniel 8:1-22 and Daniel 11:3-4.
In any case, these four kingdoms were run by the four successors of Alexander. Only two of these kingdoms had a significant impact on the Jewish people: the Seleucid Kingdom and the Ptolemaic Kingdom. Seleucus ruled from Syria and Iraq, and his successors were known by the title King of the North, as we see from Daniel 11 verses 3-6, 7-8, 11, 13, 15 and so on. Ptolemy, on the other hand, ruled from Egypt, and his successors were known by the title King of the South, which we observe in Daniel 11:3-5, 9, 11, 14.
All told, this means the Antichrist will be the King of the North. Here’s the breakdown. Daniel 11:21 introduces a new King of the North that rises to power in the area of the Seleucid Kingdom, Syria specifically. In Daniel 8 verse 9 as well as verses 19-25, the Antichrist is depicted as a little horn rising out of the Seleucid Empire, growing in power to the south, to the east and toward Israel. He must come to power in the western portion of Syria, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, if he’s going to conquer to the south, to the east and toward Israel.
Well, Daniel 11:22-23 talks about a covenant being made with this ruler and many nations, including Israel. This is a clear allusion to the seven-year covenant prophesied in Daniel 9:27 which begins Daniel’s 70th Week. Halfway through this seven-year period, the Antichrist will break the deal. This is described in Daniel 11:31, which says this leader will desecrate the Temple, abolish daily sacrifice and his forces will set up the abomination that causes desolation. This is the same abomination of desolation that Jesus warned about in Matthew 24:15. There’ll be more on that a bit later.
Finally, the ruler that was introduced in Daniel 11:21 is the same guy being discussed all the way through to the end of the passage in verse 45. Clearly, Daniel 11:21-45 is talking about the Antichrist.