Daniel 11:5 Index
"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."
Research Material

"...the king of the south shall be strong..."

  • As the Grecian Empire declined, two dominant powers arose: Egypt to the south and one of Alexander's generals, Seleucus, to the north. Seleucus placed himself under the king of Egypt, Ptolemy. (KC 127)
  • From this point on through much of Daniel 11, the prophet focuses on the two kingdoms emerging from Alexander's empire with which God's people, the Jews, had most to do. These were Syria, ruled by the Seleucids, and Egypt, ruled by the Ptolemies. From the geographical standpoint of Palestine, the former was north, and the latter south.... At the point in history referred to in this verse, the king of Egypt was Ptolemy I Soter (also called son of Lagus, 306-283 B.C.), one of Alexander's best generals, who established the most enduring of all the Hellenistic monarchies. (4BC 866)
  • The king of the north and the king of the south are many times referred to in the rest of Daniel 11. Therefore it is essential to an understanding of the prophecy to identify these powers clearly. When Alexander's empire was divided, the portions lay toward the four winds of heaven - north, south, east, and west. These divisions may well be reckoned from Palestine, the central part of the empire. That division of the empire laying west of Palestine would thus constitute the kingdom of the west; that lying north, the kingdom of the north; that lying east, the kingdom of the east; and that lying south, the kingdom of the south. (US 235-236)
    • During the wars and revolutions which followed for ages, geographical boundaries were frequently changed or obliterated; old ones were wiped out, and new ones instituted. But whatever changes might occur, these first divisions of the empire must determine the names which these portions of territory should ever afterward bear, or we have no standard by which to test the application of the prophecy. In other words, whatever power at any time should occupy the territory which at first constituted the kingdom of the north, that power would be king of the north as long as it occupied that territory. Whatever power should occupy that which at first constituted the kingdom of the south, that power would so long be the king of the south. We speak of only these two, because they are the only ones afterward spoken of in the prophecy, and because, in fact, almost the whole of Alexander's empire finally resolved itself into these two divisions. (US 236)
    • The successors of Cassander were very soon conquered by Lysimachus, and his kingdom, Greece and Macedon, was annexed by Thrace. Lysimachus was in turn conquered by Seleucus, and Macedon and Thrace were annexed to Syria. (US 236)
    • These facts prepare the way for an application of the text before us. The king of the south, Egypt, shall be strong. Ptolemy Soter annexed Cyprus, Phoenicia , Caria, Cyrene, and many islands and cities to Egypt. (US 236)

"...and one of his princes..."

  • This evidently applies to Seleucus I Nicator (305-280 B.C.), another of Alexander's generals, who made himself ruler of most of the Asiatic part of the empire. That he should here be spoken of as "one of his [Ptolemy's] princes"... is probably to be understood in the light of his relations with Ptolemy. In 316 B.C., Seleucus was driven from Babylonia, which he had held since 321 B.C., by his rival Antigonus, son of Antigonus. Thereupon Seleucus placed himself under the command of Ptolemy, who he assisted in defeating Demetrius, son of Antigonus, at Gaza in 312 B.C. Shortly after this, Seleucus succeeded in regaining his territories in Mesopotamia. (4BC 866)
  • But another of Alexander's princes is introduced in the expression, "one of his princes." This must refer to Seleucus Nicator, who, as already stated, by annexing Macedon and Thrace to Syria became possessor of three parts out of four of Alexander's dominion, and established a more powerful kingdom than that of Egypt. (US 236)

"...he shall be strong above him..."

  • That is, Seleucus, who at one time could be considered one of Ptolemy's "princes," later became stronger than the Egyptian king. When Seleucus died in 280 B.C., his realm extended from the Hellespont to northern India. Arrian, the leading ancient historian for this period, states that Seleucus was the "greatest king of those who succeeded Alexander, and the most royal mind, and ruled over the greatest extent of territory, next to Alexander" (Anabasis of Alexander vii. 22) (4BC 866)

"...His dominion shall be a great dominion."

  • Later he succeeded and took over the territories in Mesopotamia and became stronger than Ptolemy. His kingdom extended from Hellespont to northern India. Therefore he became the king of the North. (KC 127)