All Scripture in this appendix comes from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.
The Bible has much to say regarding the individual known as “Antichrist.” An entire book could be devoted to this topic alone. According to Koinonia House Institute, Antichrist has thirty-three titles in the Old Testament, and thirteen in the New Testament. Needless to say, the study of Antichrist is not a simple matter. Merely tracing these titles through Scripture is itself an impressive feat.
Some of these titles for Antichrist are national identifiers:
- The Assyrian (Isa. 10:5, and 12; Isa. 30:31)
- The Babylonian (Isa. 14:4)
- The Greek (specifically, the Seleucian) (Dan. 8:8–9)
- The Roman (Dan. 9:26)
How is it that the Antichrist can be an Assyrian, a Babylonian, a Seleucid Greek, and also a Roman? It appears as though Scripture has presented an unbelievable picture of the Antichrist. Nevertheless, Scripture does not contradict itself. There is an answer to this seeming paradox.
To begin with, it is significant that each of these nationalities belong to the seven-headed dragon of Revelation 12:3, which according to verse 9, is Satan. According to Revelation 17:9–10, each of the dragon’s heads represents a world kingdom under the authority of Satan:
- The final world empire
In Revelation 17:11–13, we learn that “the beast,” whom we commonly call “Antichrist,” belongs to these seven kingdoms. This is reinforced by the description of Antichrist and his kingdom in Revelation 13:1, “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” Antichrist’s kingdom is defined by the inclusion of each of these seven kingdoms. Furthermore, the imagery of this passage directly links Antichrist with the Devil and his world kingdoms in Revelation 17:9–10. In fact, in Revelation 13:4, we are told that Antichrist will derive his authority from Satan, “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?”
In Revelation 17, we learn that the Antichrist is unique among the kings of the world empires in that he does not establish a new empire. Rather, the text says that he belongs to the seven empires which existed before him. In this sense, it is not surprising that Scripture would refer to him as the Assyrian, the Babylonian, the Seleucid Greek, and the Roman. These are four of the seven world kingdoms that were governed by Satan and that will comprise the Antichrist’s kingdom. Thus, they will all be one in essence during the time of the Antichrist’s reign. However, there is a further relationship between these titles.
Each of the first six world kingdoms represented by the seven-headed dragon/Antichrist were incorporated into the next kingdom. The majority of the territory controlled by Egypt was incorporated into Assyria. Likewise the majority of the territory controlled by Assyria was incorporated into Babylon, which was incorporated into Media-Persia, which was incorporated into Greece, which was incorporated into Rome. Following this pattern, the seventh world kingdom will include the territory controlled by Rome. The identity of the seventh kingdom is highly debated. Some speculate that it may have been the Ottoman Turk Empire. The fact that the Antichrist is an eighth king who does not establish his own kingdom necessitates that there be a seventh world kingdom which followed the Romans. Given the pattern of the first six kingdoms, we can be reasonably certain that this seventh kingdom also incorporated the majority of the territory controlled by the Romans.
Technically, someone who controls the territory of the seven kingdoms and is governed and empowered by the same spirit could be considered an Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Median-Persian, Greek, and Roman. However, a more precise fulfillment of these national titles would be if he originated from the geographic area that was controlled by each of these kingdoms. According to this theory, Antichrist would come from an area which was controlled by all seven world kingdoms. When we overlay the maps for each kingdom, we quickly discover that this comprises a very restricted geographic region that is comprised of the modern-day countries of Syria and south-eastern Turkey.
Even more impressive is Scripture’s detailed account of Antichrist’s future reign in Daniel 11:21–45. However, we must first lay the foundation for this incredible prophecy by examining the first part of Daniel chapter 11. Because a comprehensive consideration of this most incredible prophecy of political power struggles would prove to be highly technical, the author will merely touch upon the highlights. To do so, he will rely heavily upon The Bible Knowledge Commentary, by John Walvoord and Roy Zuck:
- Daniel 11:1–2 – “Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. And 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.”
Daniel was told that after Darius the Mede, would come four Persian kings. Among these kings, the most powerful would be the fourth, who proved to be King Xerxes, also known as Ahasuerus from the book of Ruth. As we might expect, this was fulfilled precisely as it was prophesied. History records the identity of these kings:
- Cambyses (530 – 521 B.C.)
- Pseudo-Smerdis (522 – 520 B.C.)
- Darius I Hystaspes (521 – 486 B.C.)
- Xerxes (485 – 465 B.C.)
- Daniel 11:3-4 – “And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And 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.”
Alexander the Great was a mighty Greek who conquered the territory of modern-day Turkey, Syria, and Egypt, and the Median-Persian empire within five years (334 – 330 B.C.) At the age of thirty-two, he died of Malaria, and his empire was divided between his four generals, none of whom were his sons:
- Seleucus ruled Syria and Mesopotamia
- Ptolemy ruled Egypt
- Lysimacus ruled Thrace and part of Asia Minor
- Cassander ruled Macedonia and Greece
- Daniel 11:5–6 – “And 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. And 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.”
When Antigonus attacked Babylon, Seleucus I Nicator (king of the north) secured the aid of Ptolemy I Soter (king of the south), the king of Egypt. After defeating Antigonus in 312 B.C., Seleucus I ruled over Babylonia, Media, and Syria. Thus, he controlled far more territory than Ptolemy I.
Seleucus’ grandson, Antiochus II Theos, and Ptolemy’s son—Ptolemy II Philadelphus—warred with each other until reaching a peace agreement through the marriage of Ptolemy II’s daughter, Bernice, to Antiochus II. To facilitate such an arrangement, Antiochus II divorced his wife, Laodice who later had Bernice killed and poisoned her former husband, Antiochus II.
- Daniel 11:7–10 – “But 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: And 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. So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land. But 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.”
Ptolemy II Philadelphus was succeeded by Bernice’s brother—Ptolemy III Euergetes. At this point, Laodice—Bernice’s murderer—had set her son, Seleucus II Callinicus as king. As retribution for his sister’s death, Ptolemy III (king of the south) attacked Seleucus II (king of the north). He defeated the Syrian army, killed Laodice, and carried many captives and goods back to Egypt.
In retaliation, Seleucus II unsuccessfully attempted to invade Egypt. As was prophesied, Ptolemy III remained in power as he watched not only Seleucus II die, but also his successor, Seleucus II Soter who was assassinated while on a military campaign against Asia Minor. However, his successor—Antiochus III the Great—successfully pushed Egypt—at this time Ptolemy IV Philopator—back to the southern borders of Israel in a conflict which lasted from 219 to 217 B.C.
- Daniel 11:11–13 – “And 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. 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. For 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.”
Ptolemy IV Philopator (king of the south) responded to Antiochus III the Great’s successful military campaign by bringing a large army to resist the invasion of Antiochus III (king of the north) at Israel’s southern borders. At first, Ptolemy was victorious, having severely reduced Antiochus III’s forces. However, Antiochus III soon returned with a far greater army and turned back Ptolemy IV’s forces.
- Daniel 11:14–17 – “And 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. So 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. But 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. He 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.”
Philip V of Macedonia allied with Antiochus III the Great against Egypt. Even some of the Jews joined Antiochus III. Most likely, they fought believing that they would receive freedom if they helped the king of the north push the king of the south out of Israel. However, this did not happen. Instead, Antiochus III firmly established himself in Israel. Having done so, he tried to create peace between Egypt and Syria by offering his daughter in marriage to Ptolemy V Epiphanes. However, this proved to be unsuccessful.
- Daniel 11:18–19 – “After 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. Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.”
Not content, Antiochus III the Great expanded his military endeavors to include a campaign against Asia Minor in 197 B.C. and another against Greece in 192 B.C. These were unsuccessful because Rome sent the commander, Cornelius Scipio to turn back Antiochus III. He was successful, and Antiochus III the Great returned home only to die a year later in 187 B.C.
- Daniel 11:20 – “Then 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.”
Antiochus III the Great was succeeded by his son, Seleucus IV Philopator. He levied heavy taxes upon the people in order to pay Rome, but his treasurer—Heliodorus—poisoned him.
- Daniel 11:21–35 – “And 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. And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people. He 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. And 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. Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain. And 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. Then 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. At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. For 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. And 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. And 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. And 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. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And 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.”
This portion of the prophecy has a dual fulfillment. It appears to refer to both the historical figure known as Antiochus IV Epiphanes as well as the coming Antichrist. Recognizing this, we understand Antiochus IV Epiphanes to be a type of Antichrist. In other words, he is a pre-figuring—or a foreshadow—of the Antichrist. This is not unusual as Scripture is filled with types: Adam, Melchizedek, Joseph, etc.
Antiochus IV called himself Epiphanes which means “the Illustrious One.” Nevertheless, he was so untrustworthy that that his followers called him Epimanes which means “the Madman.”
Antiochus IV was not the rightful successor of Seleucus IV Philopator. That right belonged to Demetrius Soter, but Antiochus IV declared himself to be king. He succeeded because he managed to deter an invading army.
Antiochus IV rose in power with the help of a small number of people. He tried to bring peace by redistributing wealth from the rich to his followers. Once he had secured his kingdom, Antiochus IV invaded Egypt and vanquished a large army in 170 B.C. Professing friendship with Egypt, the two sat at a table together and exchanged lies. Ultimately, peace failed because of their deception. While returning home with much wealth, Antiochus IV vented his frustration over a failed mission on the Jews. He desecrated their temple and then returned to his homeland.
Antiochus IV Epiphanes came against Egypt a second time two years later. However, the Romans opposed him. Popillius Laenas delivered a letter from the Roman senate which prohibited Antiochus IV from waging war with the Egyptians. Furious, he again vented his fury against the Jews, desecrating the temple and removing the daily sacrifices. He sent his general, Apollonius, into Jerusalem on a “peace mission” with twenty-two thousand soldiers who attacked the Jews on the Sabbath.
In an attempt to eliminate Judaism, Antiochus IV Epiphanes prohibited the Jews from performing their religious practices and ordered all copies of the Law to be burned. Moreover, on December 16, 167 B.C., he set up an altar to Zeus atop the altar of burnt offering outside the temple and sacrificed a pig. He then demanded that the Jews offer their own pig on December 25th each year in honor of his birthday. He even persuaded many to worship Zeus by offering them a great reward. Those who refused were persecuted and martyred. However, their suffering purified them and ultimately led to the rise of the Maccabean revolt. Ultimately, Antiochus IV Epiphanes died in Persia in 163 B.C., having lost his mind.
- Daniel 11:36–45 – “And 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. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. But 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. Thus 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. And 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. He 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. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But 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. But 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. And 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.”
Beginning in verse 36, the description of this final king deviates from the histories of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. It does not appear as though we have completely changed kings—simply that we are moving beyond the parallels between Antiochus IV Epiphanes and the Antichrist. Therefore, it would appear as though Antichrist will initially parallel the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, but ultimately, he will rise to even greater levels of blasphemy and force.
From Daniel 11, we learn that Antichrist will come to power through political intrigue and diplomacy (v.21). He will not receive his authority through political succession. Interestingly enough, the political authority of today’s world community—the United Nations—is similarly established. The nations of the world elect the Secretary General of the United Nations according to political ramifications, and not according to bloodline. (This is not to say that the United Nations will be the kingdom of the Antichrist, but merely that the scenario of Daniel 11:21 remains very believable today.)
History reveals that Antiochus IV Epiphanes secured support for his claim to the throne by turning away an invading army. Likewise, some believe that Daniel 11:22 teaches that Antichrist will come to power at a time of great threat to the world and will secure power by eliminating or concluding the threat.
Daniel 11:23–24 could teach that Antichrist will be a socialist or a communist. He will use his growing strength to redistribute wealth. Certainly today’s international community has long advocated wealth-redistribution. Even the Republic of the United States of America finds itself slowly embracing the tenets of Marxism as the extreme political left exerts more influence. Communism with its foundational principle of wealth-redistribution is very much alive and well in the world today and has always been a means of attracting the masses. However, the administration of United States President Barack Obama provides an illustration for us, revealing that political authorities may be more interested in redistributing wealth among their supporters to solicit their help than they are in giving to those truly in need. The massive amounts of money taken from the American tax payers and bestowed upon political supporters, international banks, and environmentally friendly businesses during President Barak Obama’s administration is astonishing. Daniel 11:23–24 could prophesy that Antichrist will make his political supporters very wealthy. In any case, Antichrist will employ some form of wealth-redistribution.
Similar to his predecessors in Daniel chapter 11, Antichrist will wage war with the king of the south. In Daniel 11, this king consistently represents Egypt. This does not necessitate that Antichrist’s military endeavors will be focused upon Egypt, but it is the most likely interpretation.
Whoever the king of the south may be, Antichrist’s military campaign against him will be unsuccessful. It will result in a failed peace treaty or cease fire agreement. Consequently, Antichrist will again move against the king of the south. However, this time he will be opposed by ships from the western coastlands. Some interpret this to mean America. Others make the case that Chittim is a reference to England. However, Chittim is most likely a reference to Cyprus, which is located in the Mediterranean Sea. Therefore, this could refer to a naval force from a Mediterranean Union of nations. It could also be that NATO ships prevent Antichrist by moving a fleet into the Mediterranean Sea. In any case, Antichrist will encounter a deterrent which will cause him to turn back (Dan. 11:29–30).
Somehow the conflict with the king of the south, or the events surrounding it, will be connected to Israel and the covenant that Antichrist had previously confirmed. We just considered the political shift occurring within Egypt today. Islamic extremists are gaining influence within Egypt. One of these extremist organizations—the Muslim Brotherhood—even managed to get one of their members elected into the Egyptian presidency for a time. There has even been a return to terrorist actions against Israel by some within Egyptian borders. Therefore, it is entirely conceivable that a conflict with Egypt could be directly linked to Israel in some way. (Keep in mind that today’s political situation could be a far cry from the reality which will exist at the time of the end. Nevertheless, by considering modern politics, we can learn that the prophecies in Daniel are realistic. They foretell events which would not be surprising future headlines.)
It is important to note that until this point, we have been observing events that will occur within the first three and a half years of Antichrist’s reign. Antichrist will rise to power in the name of peace, but he will not be a peaceful man. Instead, he will go to war multiple times within the first three and a half years of his authority. In many ways, by observing the actions of President Barack Obama, we can envision how a political leader can be viewed as a man of peace while simultaneously acting as a man of war. President Obama campaigned on a platform of peace, promising to withdraw American troops from the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of war. He even received the Nobel Peace Prize. However, during his first three years of office, President Obama increased the number of troops in both the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters. Additionally, he sent American forces into Egypt and Libya. In an effort to console the American people, President Obama said that these were not wars, but rather “kinetic military action.” He has commissioned the use of aerial drones to kill an estimated minimum of 2,537 Pakistanis within the first five years of his presidency, and he has seriously considered waging war with Iran and Syria. All-the-while, he has alienated U.S. allies and has engaged Japan and China in economic warfare.
Likewise, the United Nations serves as a modern example of how military conflict can be viewed by the public as an act of peace. The United Nations has engaged itself in wars and conflicts since its inception. However, it calls these actions “peace keeping” or “peace enforcement” operations. With such prominent examples of warring acts of “peace,” it is not difficult to imagine how the Antichrist may lead people to war under the banner of peace keeping or peace enforcement.
Antichrist will conspire with those who are opposed to the covenant that he confirmed with Israel (Dan. 11:30). Before long, he will use an army to conquer the city of Jerusalem. It is at this time that Antichrist will order the removal of the daily sacrifices and the erecting of the abomination of desolation. Moreover, this will result in great persecution and martyrdom of the saints (Dan. 11:32–35). Many believe that at this time, Antichrist will be possessed by the Devil himself. In any event, we know that he will derive his power from Satan and will exalt himself as god above all gods (Dan. 11:36–39).
In the final days of Antichrist’s reign, he will quickly begin to lose power. The king of the south will push against him, and the king of the north will come upon him like a whirlwind. Antichrist will invade and conquer many countries and will even enter into Israel. However, the modern day country of Jordan will escape. Antichrist will conquer Egypt, but the Libyans and the Ethiopians will be at his steps. Then, tidings will come from the north which will cause him to mobilize his army. Ultimately, he will be defeated when he wages war against God Himself during the battle of Armageddon (Dan. 11:40–45).
Certainly Scripture provides us with a detailed understanding of the Antichrist’s kingdom, motivation, authority, and actions. Although he has thirty-three titles in Scripture, there can be little doubt as to why his most common title today is “Antichrist.” At every turn, he will seek to resist and supplant Jesus Christ. Truly this individual will be the embodiment of the spirit of antichrist.
- “Topical Bible Study: The AntiChrist.” ↵
- Walvoord, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, 1366–1372. ↵
- “Profile: Egypt’s Mohammed Morsi.” ↵
- Schell, “Libya: it’s not a war if Americans can’t get hurt.” ↵
- Wikipedia. “Drone Attacks in Pakistan.” ↵
- Scott, “Obama considers military options in Syria (+video).” ↵
- Weisbrot, “Can war with Iran be prevented?” ↵