Practical Proverbial, from Daniel, 2 December 2021. Today’s topic: Middle East Wars

Then the king of the South will march out in a rage and fight against the king of the North, who will raise a large army, but it will be defeated. When the army is carried off, the king of the South will be filled with pride and will slaughter many thousands, yet he will not remain triumphant. For the king of the North will muster another army, larger than the first; and after several years, he will advance with a huge army fully equipped.  “In those times many will rise against the king of the South. Those who are violent among your own people will rebel in fulfillment of the vision, but without success. Daniel 11:11-14 (NIV).

More about the wars that the Ptolemies and Selucids would fight for control of what we know today as “the Middle East.”   If that seems unsurprising, it’s because it IS unsurprising.   People have been feuding for this storied piece of real estate since before the time of Jacob and Esau. Today’s particular verses talk about the wars between Ptolemy IV (Philopater) and Antiochus III (Magnus), as well as the troubled reign of the next southern king, Ptolemy V.   These wars would be fought in (what are) modern day Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and parts of Syria (see for a description of just Daniel 11:11, as well as for a discussion of the entire chapter).

Again, people have been fighting in and for lands of the Middle East for centuries.   The terrorism and war that occur there in our lifetimes are but the latest battles in wars of conquest and defense that have raged there for nearly 5000 years.  And, again (again!), what’s new about that?  Sure, our technology is new, advanced, and lethal in ways that ancient armies would find astounding.   But it serves the same purpose as the best weaponry of the Ptolemies or Syrians:   to kill people and hold land.  Strip a modern soldier of his micro-chipped firepower and he would do no better against the phalanxes of Egypt than the Selucids did.

Part of the reason for that was that the new, rising empire from the Tiber – Rome – came to the defense of the south.  Rome brought new capabilities.  We’ll learn more about that in the next verses.

What’s amazing about it is that this short but detailed (and confusing) chapter of Daniel carries us from his (Daniel’s) time to the time just before the life of Christ.   It accurately chronicles the major political powers from Babylon to Rome while also providing the blueprint that the final political powers will follow in the war for Armageddon at the end of time.

For further reading: Daniel 11:15

Lord God, You are magnificent in the revelations You shared with Daniel.   Forgive us our timeless wars and quarrels, and teach us more to focus only on You through Your Son, Jesus.

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Published by aspiringwriterdt

It's about's about the life He gives's about going day by's about you. It's not about me.

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