11 “And I, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood as a support and as a protection for him.
2 And now I will reveal the truth to you. Look! Still three kings will arise in Persia, and the fourth will get abundance and great wealth, even more than all of them, and when he becomes strong through his wealth, then he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Javan.3 And a mighty king will arise, and he will rule with great dominion, and he will do as he pleases .4 But as he rises in power , his kingdom will be divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not to his posterity, and not according to his dominion by which he ruled, for his kingdom will be uprooted and be given to others besides them .
5 “Then the king of the south will grow strong and also one of his officials , and he will grow stronger than him and he will rule a dominion greater than his dominion .6 And at the end of some years they will make an alliance, and the daughter of the king of the south will come to the king of the north to make a peace treaty, but she will not retain her position of power , and his offspring will not endure, and she will be given up, she and her attendants and her child supporting her, in those times.7 And a branch from her roots will rise up in his place, and he will come against the army and he will enter the stronghold of the king of the north and he will take action against them and he will prevail. 8 And also their gods with their idols and with the precious vessels , silver and gold he will take to Egypt into captivity, and for years he will leave the king of the north alone .9 And then he will come into the kingdom of the king of the south, but he will return to his land.
10 “But his sons will wage war and they will gather a multitude of great forces and he will advance with great force , and he will overflow like a flood and he will pass through and he will return, and they will wage war up to his fortress. 11 And the king of the south will become furious, and he will go and he will battle against him, against the king of the north; and he will muster a great multitude, and the multitude will be given into his hand. 12 When the multitude is carried off, his heart will be exalted and he will overthrow tens of thousands , but he will not prevail. 13 And the king of the north will again raise a multitude, greater than the former, and at the end of some years he will surely come with a great army and with great supplies.
14 “And in these times many will rise up against the king of the south, and the violent ones of your people will lift themselves to fulfill the vision, but they will fall. 15 And the king of the north will come, and he will throw up siege ramps and capture a city of fortifications and the military forces of the south and his choice troops will not stand, for there is no strength left to resist. 16 And the one coming to him will act according to his pleasure, and there is no one who will stand before him , and he will stand in the beautiful land and complete destruction will be in his power. 17 And he will set his face to come with the authority of his whole kingdom and will form an agreement; and he will act , and the daughter of women he will give to him to destroy it, but the ploy will not succeed and she will not support him .18 And he will turn his face to the coastlands, and he will capture many, but a commander will end his insults to him so that instead his insults will turn back upon him .19 And he will turn back his face toward the strongholds of his land, but he will stumble and he will fall and will not be found.
20 “Then in his place will arise one sending an official throughoutthe glory of his kingdom, and in a few days he will be broken, but not in anger and not in battle. 21 And in his place a despicable person will arise on whom they have not conferred the majesty of the kingdom, and he will come in without warning and he will seize the kingdom by deceit. 22 And before him mighty military forces will be utterly swept away, and they will be broken, and also the leader of the covenant. 23 And after an alliance is made with him, he will act deceitfully, and he will rise and he will become powerful with few people backing him. 24 In a time of ease and in the rich parts of the province, he will come and he will do what his predecessors did not do; he will distribute plunder and spoil and possessions to them, and he will devise his plans against fortifications, but only for a time .25 And he will stir up his power and his heart against the king of the south and with a much greater and stronger army ; but he will not succeed, for they will devise plans against him. 26 And those who eat of his royal rations will break him and his army will be overwhelmed, and many will fall, slain. 27 And two of the kings will bend their hearts to evil. And at the same table they will speak lies, but what is discussed will not succeed, for still an end is coming at the appointed time. 28 Then he will return to his land with many possessions, but his heart will be set against the holy covenant , and he will take action and he will return to his land.
29 “At the appointed time he will return and he will come into the south, but it will not be as it was before .30 And the ships of Kittim will come against him, and he will lose heart, and he will turn back, and he will be enraged against the holy covenant , and he will take action, and he will turn back, and he will pay attention to those who forsake the holy covenant .31 And military forces from him will occupy and will profane the sanctuary stronghold , and they will abolish the regular burnt offering, and they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.
32 “And those who violate the covenant he will seduce with flattery, but the persons who know their God will stand firm and will take action. 33 And those who have insight will instruct the many, but they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder for some time .34 And when they fall they will receive little help, and many will join with them in hypocrisy. 35 And even some of those who have insight will fallin order for them to be refined by it, and to be purified and cleansed until the time of the end, for the appointed time is still to come.
36 “Then the king will do as he pleases , and he will exalt himself and will consider himself above any god, and he will speak horrendous things against the God of gods, yet he will succeed until the period of anger is finished, for what is determined will be done. 37 He will not pay respect to the gods of his ancestors, or to the darling of women, and not to any god will he pay respect, for he will consider himself great over all gods. 38 But instead he will honor the god of fortresses, a god whom his ancestors did not know. He will honor him with gold, and with silver, and with precious stones and with costly gifts. 39 And he will deal with the fortified strongholds with the help of a foreign god ; and he will increase wealth for whoever will acknowledge him, and he will cause them to rule over the many, and he will distribute land for a price.
40 “And at the time of the end the king of the south will attack him, and the king of the north will storm against him with chariots and with horsemen and with many ships, and he will advance against the countries and he will sweep through like a flood .41 And he will come into the beautiful land and many will fall victim, but these will escape from his power: Edom and Moab and the best part of the Ammonites .42 And he will stretch out his hand against countries and the land of Egypt will not escape .43 And he will rule over the treasures of gold and the silver and over all the precious things of Egypt; and the Libyans and the Cushites will follow in his footsteps. 44 But reports will terrify him from the east and from the north, and he will go out with great fury to destroy and to exterminate many. 45 And then he will pitch the tents of his palace between the sea and the beautiful holy mountain , and he will come to his end, and there is no one helping him.”
12 “Now at that time, Michael, the great prince, will arise, the protector over the sons of your people, and it will be a time of distress that has not been since your people have been a nation until that time. And at that time your people will escape, everyone who is found written in the scroll.2 And many from those sleeping in the dusty ground will awake, some to everlasting life and some to disgrace and everlasting contempt .3 But the ones having insight will shine like the brightness of the expanse, and the ones providing justice for the manywill be like the stars forever and ever .4 But you, Daniel, keep the words secret and seal the scroll until the time of the end; many will run back and forth and knowledge will increase.”
5 Then I looked, I myself, Daniel, and look, there were two others standing: one on this bank of the stream and one on the other .6 Then he said to the man who was clothed in linen who was above the water of the stream, “ How long until the end of the wonders?” 7 And I heard the man who was clothed in linen who was above the water of the stream, and he raised his right hand and his left hand to heaven and he swore by the one who lives forever that an appointed time, appointed times, and half an appointed timewould pass when the shattering of the power of the holy people would be completed ;then all these things will be accomplished.
8 Now I myself heard, but I did not understand, and I ...
3 Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may progress and be honored, just as also it was with you, 2 and that we may be delivered from evil and wicked people, for not all have the faith . 3 But the Lord is faithful, who will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are both doing and you will do the things that we are commanding. 5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts toward the love of God and toward the patient endurance of Christ.
6 But we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who lives irresponsibly and not according to the tradition that they received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how it is necessary to imitate us, that we did not behave irresponsibly among you, 8 nor did we eat bread from anyone without paying, but with toil and labor, we were working night and day in order not to be a burden to any of you, 9 not that we do not have the right, but so that we may give ourselves as an example to you, so that you may imitate us. 10 For even when we were with you, we used to command this to you: that if anyone does not want to work, neither should he eat. 11 For we hear that some among you are living irresponsibly, working at nothing, but being busybodies. 12 Now we command and we exhort such people in the Lord Jesus Christ that, working with quietness, they eat their own bread. 13 But as for you, brothers, do not be discouraged while doing what is right. 14 But if anyone does not obey our message through this letter, take note not to associate with him, in order that he may be put to shame. 15 And do not consider him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
16 Now may the Lord of peace himself grant you peace through everything in every way. May the Lord be with all of you. 17 The greeting is by my hand, Paul’s, which is a sign of genuineness in every letter: this is how I write . 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.
10 Then Yahweh returned Job’s fortune when he prayed to him on behalf of his friends. Thus Yahweh increased all that Job had twice as much as before .11 So all his brothers and all his sisters and all those who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house and showed sympathy to him and comforted him for all the disaster that Yahweh had brought upon him. Then each one gave to him one piece of money, and each one gave to him one ornamental ring of gold.
12 So Yahweh blessed Job’s latter days more than his beginning. Thus he had fourteen thousand sheep and goats and six thousand camels and a thousand pair of oxen and a thousand female donkeys. 13 And he had seven sons and three daughters. 14 And he called the name of the first Jemimah and the name of the second Keziah and the name of the third Qeren-Happuk. 15 And beautiful women were not found in all the land like Job’s daughters, and their father gave to them an inheritance in the midst of their brothers.
“And now I will reveal the truth to you” (Dan 11:2). How much better would our world be if more of us were willing to take this kind of stand—to make these kinds of statements?
The truth Daniel refers to are the prophecies foretelling what will happen in the Persian Empire. Great power and wealth are coming, and with them comes the fear of how that power and wealth may be used. If we read between the lines of the prophet’s statements in Dan 11, we can feel the trepidation. He is concerned that wickedness will once again sweep over the land.
Such was the case for Paul: “Pray for us, that the word of the Lord may progress and be honored … and that we may be delivered from evil and wicked people, for not all have the faith” (2 Thess 3:1–2). Paul was aware that unbelievers would seek his life. He wasn’t sure what the future would look like. We can imagine the fear that he must have felt, wondering, “What is next? What is coming? Who is my friend? Who is my enemy?”
If you have ever been in a situation where it seems you have more enemies than friends, you know that speaking the truth becomes increasingly difficult over time. The prophecies in Dan 11 suggest a time like this, and Paul’s words tell us that life for the early Christians was uncertain. Many Christians today lead relatively safe and easy lives. For Christians in some parts of the world, though, Paul’s situation is far too familiar. But no matter our present situation, we must boldly speak the truth.
What is God asking you to say?
Author: John D. Barry & Rebecca Van Noord
Publisher: Lexham Press
Publication Date: 2012
This 365-day devotional walks you through the Bible in a year, following a custom reading plan that delves into the stories of the Bible from five unique perspectives.