Rider on the White Horse
Goes Forth Conquering, and to Conquer
Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.”
And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. (Revelation 6:1, 2)
When the Lamb opens, breaks, the first of the seven seals of the scroll that He had previously taken from His Father’s right hand — the scroll containing the Father’s terms for the redemption of the inheritance (a province in God’s kingdom, presently ruled by Satan and his angels, but to be ruled by Christ and His co-heirs) — a thunderous voice is heard, saying, “Come and see.”
And a rider then comes forth on a white horse. The rider is crowned (Gk., stephanos, not diadema [differences explained later in the chapter]), carries a bow (though there is no mention of arrows), and is seen riding forth in a conquering manner.
This is the opening scene when the only One who had previously been found worthy in heaven, on the earth, and under the earth (encompassing the totality of territory, all mankind [both the living and the dead, those both “on” and “under” the earth], along with all angels) begins to break the seals of the scroll and redeem the inheritance (Revelation 5:3-10; 6:1, 2).
That which is revealed in this verse can only mark a point in time and a beginning sequence of events that Satan, since time immemorial, could only have never wanted to reach, much less see these events begin to unfold — i.e., see God’s prophetic clock once again marking off time in Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy, beginning a sequence of events that would bring about the redemption of the forfeited inheritance (forfeited by the first man, the first Adam, to be redeemed by the second Man, the last Adam).
As well, the redemption of the inheritance will result not only in territorial rights being reclaimed but in two other inseparably related events occurring:
1) The marriage of Christ and His bride (the one whom the Spirit will have previously searched for and procured, the one who will have been revealed at the judgment seat).
2) The remarriage of God and Israel (a restored nation, following their repentance and national conversion).
(For additional information on the seven-sealed scroll of Revelation 5 and the complete scope of that which is involved in the breaking of the seals of this scroll, refer to the author’s book, The Time of the End, Chapters 8, 9.)
Thus, the importance of properly understanding the things which are seen in Revelation chapter five concerning this seven-sealed scroll cannot be overemphasized. The breaking of the seals on this scroll will have far-reaching ramifications, affecting the complete redemptive, restorative program of God as revealed in Scripture.
Prophesied events simply cannot begin, continue, and be brought to pass apart from these seals being broken, which is the reason John, evidently realizing that which was involved, “wept much” until One was found worthy “to loose its seven seals” (Revelation 5:1-5).
Judgments brought to pass by and through the breaking of the seals on the scroll, as previously seen (ref. Chapter 4 in this book), are redemptive in nature. It will be the Lamb of God who breaks the seals, not the Lion of the tribe of Judah. And a central part of this redemptive action will involve bringing Israel to the place of repentance.
Part and parcel with bringing Israel to the place of repentance by and through these judgments will be a seven-year covenant made with Israel by “the prince who is to come,” “the prince of the covenant ” (Daniel 9:26, 27; 11:22). And the ratifying of this covenant will mark the point when time in Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy resumes, which can only be the time seen in Revelation 6:1, 2 — a rider coming forth on a white horse when the first seal of the scroll is broken.
(This covenant, in Daniel 9:27, is referred to in connection with and is inseparably associated with the time left in Daniel’s prophecy — “one week [lit., ‘one seven,’ i.e., seven years].”
In this respect, it is unlikely that this covenant will be made with Israel for seven years per se. The thought would undoubtedly be that only seven years remain in the prophecy, associating the covenant with this remaining time.
[For additional information on Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, again refer to the author’s book, The Time of the End, Chapter 12].)
The Appearance of the Rider on the White Horse
The rider on the white horse, subsequently appearing on a red horse, then a black horse, and then a pale horse — with different things stated about the man’s activities each of the four times that he is seen appearing in this manner — can be none other than the final ruler, under Satan, of the kingdom of this world. This is the man introduced in Genesis 3:15 as “the seed of the serpent,” dealt with time after time throughout Scripture, and last seen cast into the lake of fire preceding the Millennium in Revelation 19:20 (and still there at the end of the Millennium in Revelation 20:10).
More is revealed about this man in Scripture than any other one man, aside from, of course, the One whom Scripture is about in its entirety. But those in the world today, including the vast majority of Christians, know far less about this man than they do about many popular individuals on the west coast. And man’s lack of knowledge concerning this individual — an individual who will first appear after one fashion (depicted by a rider on a white horse), but later after completely different fashions (as a rider on a red horse, then a black horse, and then a pale horse) — can only aid in his widespread deception of and acceptance by the masses when he does make his appearance.
This is the man who, in his day, will rule over a kingdom that will embody all inherent in the past kingdom of Babylon ruled by his numerous predecessors at different times throughout the Times of the Gentiles, dating back over 2,600 years, as seen in the book of Daniel. And there are two places in this book outlining, in a very succinct manner, the complete Times of the Gentiles — the four-part great image in Daniel 2:31-45 and the four great beasts in Daniel 7:1-14.
Everything depicted by this great image and these great beasts will be embodied in this man’s kingdom. Though this man is dealt with in connection with the fourth and final part of the great image and the fourth and final great beast, the destruction of his kingdom will involve the destruction of the complete image (all four parts) and all four beasts (Daniel 2:34, 35, 44, 45; 7:11-17).
The entire Gentile world power, throughout 2,600 years of time, will be seen in a composite respect in this man’s kingdom after this fashion.
Understanding the preceding is a must in order to properly understand this man’s appearance and his rise to power, for, as will be shown, this man will arise from a kingdom still viewed as in existence, though the world, in actuality, hasn’t seen this kingdom since preceding the time Christ was on earth the first time.
In this respect, one must possess an overall understanding of that which is stated in Daniel’s prophecy pertaining to the kingdom of this world under Satan as it is set forth particularly in Daniel chapters two, seven, and eight.
Thus, a large part of this section of the chapter, preceding dealing with this man’s rise to power and actions, as depicted in Revelation 6:1, 2, will be given over to presenting an overall scope of the complete Kingdom of Babylon throughout the Times of the Gentiles, as seen particularly in these three chapters in the book of Daniel.
1) Overall Scope of the Kingdom of This World in History
The most widely held position among students of the Word concerning Daniel’s “great image” in Daniel chapter two (or the “four great beasts” in Daniel chapter seven) views the four parts of the image (or the “four great beasts”) as representing:
1. The Babylonian Kingdom.
2. The Medo-Persian Kingdom.
3. The Grecian Kingdom.
4. The Roman Kingdom.
This would be the position set forth in the Scofield Reference Bible footnotes for example, a position followed by most conservative commentators.
a) Daniel Chapters Two and Seven
The only part of the prophecy really in question would be the fourth part of the “great image” (chapter 2), or the fourth “great beast” (chapter 7). Daniel identifies the first three beasts (and, correspondingly, the first three parts of the image) as particular Gentile nations forming world kingdoms whose governmental rule had been established in Babylon (the first by conquering the Assyrian Empire [the beginning of the Babylonian kingdom under Nebopolassar, then several years later under his son, Nebuchadnezzar], and the succeeding two [Media-Persia and Greece] by conquering Babylon itself). And this part of the prophecy has been fulfilled and is a matter of history.
But should the fourth part of the image (or the fourth beast) be identified as Rome? There are two main reasons why individuals interpret the prophecy after this fashion:
1. Rome was the next world power following Greece.
2. The words, “the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary,” in Daniel 9:26, are usually associated with a Roman destruction in history (by Titus in 70 A.D.) and a Roman prince in prophecy (the Beast of Revelation 13:1ff, Antichrist).
In this respect, both the historical and prophetic aspects, as they are said to relate to Rome, are seen connected with the fourth part of the image (or the fourth beast).
Greece was the third kingdom (represented by the belly and thighs of brass on the image); and the fourth kingdom (represented by the legs of iron, and in its final form by the feet part of iron and part of clay) would, from history, seem to be Rome — the next world power following Greece — with the final form of the image looked upon as a revived Roman Empire. And this interpretation would appear to be substantiated by Daniel 9:26.
In this verse, as previously shown, “the prince who is to come,” would be Antichrist; and “the people of the prince [understood as ‘his people’],”who would one day destroy the city of Jerusalem, are looked upon as a reference to the Romans destroying Jerusalem in 70 A.D. under Titus. Thus, Antichrist is said to be a latter-day Roman prince who will rule a revived Roman Empire.
In this respect, all four parts of Daniel’s “great image” except the feet would have a historical fulfillment. The legs would represent the Roman Empire in history, and the feet would represent the revived Roman Empire during the Tribulation.
And the same would hold true for the corresponding description set forth by the “four great beasts” in Daniel chapter seven. The first three beasts would have a historical fulfillment, and the fourth would have a fulfillment in both history and prophecy. The fourth beast would represent the Roman Empire in both history and prophecy, corresponding to the legs and feet of the image.
But, is the preceding the way Scripture sets forth the fourth and final part of this Babylonian kingdom? Or, is this an attempt to interpret biblical prophecy by using events in secular history rather than interpreting prophecy by comparing Scripture with Scripture?
The answer is easy to ascertain if one remains solely within that which Daniel (and related Scripture) reveals about the entire matter.
Note first of all that Daniel’s image is seen standing in Babylon (2:31). This image has to do with a Babylonian kingdom from beginning to end. The “head . . . of gold” has to do with the kingdom of Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar and any immediate successors prior to the conquest of the kingdom by Gentile power(s) represented by the chest and arms of silver (2:32, 37, 38). The “chest and arms of silver” have to do with the Medes and the Persians coming in and conquering the preceding kingdom (2:39; 5:28, 31). And the “belly and thighs of bronze (brass, KJV)” have to do with the Grecians coming in and conquering the kingdom ruled by the Medes and the Persians (2:32, 39; 8:6, 7, 20, 21; 10:20).
The mechanics of the preceding, of course, form the interpretation held in common by almost anyone reading Daniel. This is simply what the record in Daniel states, along with secular history.
But note something often overlooked about the preceding: This kingdom is Babylonian throughout. The powers represented by the head of gold, the chest and arms of silver, and the belly and thighs of bronze all reigned from Babylon.
When the Medes and the Persians came in and took the kingdom in 538 B.C., they conquered the kingdom at Babylon, reigned from Babylon, and were still there when Alexander the Great came over in 330 B.C., two hundred and eight years later. Then, when Alexander the Great took the kingdom, he also conquered the kingdom at and reigned from Babylon.
In other words, the image is not seen lying down, with the head of gold in Babylon, the chest and arms of silver in Media and Persia, and the belly and thighs of bronze in Greece. That’s not the picture at all.
The image is seen standing in Babylon. It is Babylonian in its entirety.
(Note that “Babylon” in history was a city-state, which, from biblical prophecy, will evidently exist once again when the final form of Daniel’s image appears [i.e., Babylon existing as a city-state yet future as well]. In this respect, Babylon is used in Scripture referring to both the city and the state, which included [and evidently will include] a number of Middle Eastern cities or countries; cf. Jeremiah 51:29-32, 42, 43].)
The fact that the image in Daniel chapter two is Babylonian in its entirety is one place where those who view a Roman Empire next in the prophecy go astray. Rome had nothing to do with a reign from Babylon in history. The capital of the Roman Empire was Rome, not Babylon.
And Rome is not Babylon, regardless of the attempts by some individuals to see certain things moved from Babylon to Rome in time past, seeking to align and identify Rome with Babylon in this respect.
Those viewing Rome as representing the fourth part of the image try to press secular history into biblical prophecy at a point where it seems to possibly fit, but really doesn’t. Then they further complicate the matter by a misinterpretation of Daniel 9:26.
But the most interesting thing about the entire matter — the central thing that voids all thought of Rome having a part in the prophecy — is the fact that Daniel identifies all four parts of the image, and he identifies the fourth part as being other than the Roman Empire. Daniel, in his identity, has Antichrist coming into power following a four-way division of the kingdom after Alexander the Great’s death. The kingdom under Antichrist follows the Greco-Babylonian kingdom and is represented by the legs of iron, and in its final form by the feet part of iron and part of clay.
(No break in time is seen in the book of Daniel between powers represented by the third and fourth parts of the image, similar to no break in time subsequently being seen in the book between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks in Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy [9:24-27]. However, it is evident from both biblical and secular history that a break in time exists at these respective points in both prophecies, though no break in time precedes these in either prophecy.
This break in time though between the third and fourth parts of the image doesn’t lead to or end with Rome. Rather, it leads to and ends with a kingdom in the Middle East [in Babylon], the kingdom of Antichrist.
Also, as with Daniel’s subsequent prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, events seen occurring within the prophecy itself cannot occur during the break in time not seen in the prophecy. Events seen in the prophecy must occur within time covered by the prophecy.
For example, the destruction of Jerusalem in Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks [9:26] must occur within time covered by the prophecy itself, not outside of this time [as the destruction under Titus in 70 A.D. would be]. If this prophesied destruction didn’t occur during time covered by the first sixty-nine weeks [which it didn’t], then it must occur during time covered by the seventieth week. And events foreshadowed by the things stated about the great image and the great beasts [chapters 2, 7] must be understood the same way.
In the preceding respect, it is just as impossible to fit Rome into the prophecy regarding the great image and the great beasts [chapters 2, 7] as it is to fit Titus’ destruction of Jerusalem into the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks [chapter 9].)
The first part of the image is identified in Daniel 2:37, 38. Then, following this, the remaining three parts of the image are presented, though not identified at this point in the book. Then, note the prominence given to the fourth part — two verses cover the first part (vv. 37, 38), one verse covers the next two parts (v. 39), but six verses are devoted to the final part, along with its destruction (vv. 40-45). And such prominence relative to the fourth part is true elsewhere in Daniel as well (see chapters 7, 8, 11).
Why would such prominence be given to Rome and not to nations associated with the first three parts of the image? It’s not! Rather, it’s the kingdom of Babylon under its last king (Antichrist) which occupies the forefront in the book of Daniel.
The identities of the other three parts of the image, beginning with the breast and arms of silver, are given in the interpretation of the vision of the “four great beasts,” and this interpretation is provided in chapters seven and eight. The “four great beasts” are said to represent four kingdoms (four sequential kingdoms forming the one Babylonian kingdom [7:17; cf. v. 23]); and beginning with the second beast, the last three are identified in chapter eight:
For the identity of the second, compare verses three and four with verse twenty (cf. Daniel 5:28, 31).
For the identity of the third, compare verses five through eight with verses twenty-one and twenty-two.
For the identity of the fourth, compare verses nine through fourteen with verses twenty-three through twenty-six.
Note that the identity of the second is Media and Persia (a dual kingdom, corresponding to the chest and arms of silver on the image), the identity of the third is Greece (corresponding to the belly and thighs of bronze), and the identity of the fourth is the kingdom under Antichrist (corresponding to the legs of iron and the feet part of iron and part of clay).
Where is Rome? Rome is not in the prophecy!
Following Alexander the Great’s death, the kingdom was divided among his four generals (8:8, 22), and the vision then goes immediately into the days of Antichrist yet future (the “little horn” in v. 9 is not Antiochus Epiphanes, as many expositors contend, but Antichrist [see parallel verses, vv. 23-26]).
Though the prophecy in Daniel chapter eight covers this division of the kingdom following Alexander the Great’s death (8:8b), it does not cover events during the reign of these four generals following this division. Rather, following this division of the kingdom, Daniel’s prophecy in chapter eight goes immediately into the power represented by the fourth part of the image (or the power represented by the fourth beast), i.e., into the days of Antichrist (vv. 9ff).
(As previously seen, there is a break in time of over two millennia at this point in the prophecy [unseen in the prophecy], between the four-way division of the kingdom and the rise of the “little horn” [Antichrist], as there is a break in time of two millennia between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks of Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy [unseen in the prophecy as well].)
About two hundred and eighty years following Alexander the Great’s death (about 40 B.C.), Rome appeared on the scene as the succeeding world power, but not as a world power fulfilling any part of Daniel’s prophecy surrounding the kingdom of Babylon.
According to the way that the book of Daniel is structured, this prophecy cannot again continue to be fulfilled until Antichrist appears at the beginning of Daniel’s Seventieth Week. Then, and only then, will the fourth part of the image from Daniel chapter two and the fourth beast in Daniel chapter seven come into existence.
b) Daniel Chapter Nine
Now, what about the “people of the prince who is to come” in Daniel 9:26? Does that not refer to a destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and to the Romans being Antichrist’s people in history?
Not at all!
First note the expression, the “people of the prince who is to come,” and compare this with a similar expression in Daniel 7:27 — “the people, the saints of the most High [lit. ‘the high places’ (also plural in the Hebrew text in vv. 18, 22, 25b)],” who will one day take the kingdom (v. 18).
Note in verse eighteen that the ones who will one day take the kingdom are said to be “the saints of the most High [‘the high places’],” and in verse twenty-seven they are said to be “the people, the saints of the most High [‘the high places’].” The expression, “the people, the saints of the most High [‘the high places’]” in verse twenty-seven, is, contextually, a reference to the saints themselves from verse eighteen.
And this same type expression in Daniel 9:26 should be understood the same way that interpretation has already been established in the previous chapter of the book. The “people of the prince” in Daniel 9:26, contextually, has to be understood as a reference to the prince himself (and possibly also including those ruling with him). Failure to recognize the book’s own built in interpretation for Daniel 9:26 has resulted in confusion.
The destruction of Jerusalem in Daniel 9:26 (a destruction occurring outside the scope of Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy), as previously seen, cannot be a reference to the destruction that occurred in 70 A.D. Rather, since this destruction did not occur during the first sixty-nine weeks of the prophecy, it can only be a reference to a future destruction under Antichrist during the Tribulation.
This is the same destruction referred to in Luke 21:20-24 (cf. Revelation 11:2). Also note that Matthew 24:15ff and Luke 21:20ff parallel one another, depicting events in and around Jerusalem beginning in the middle of the Tribulation. The gospel of Matthew centers on one aspect of the matter (the rebuilt Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem), and the gospel of Luke centers on another aspect of the matter (the city of Jerusalem itself).
Again, the destruction in Daniel 9:26 must occur within the framework of time covered by the Seventy Weeks. This destruction has to do with events occurring in connection with Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks and can only occur during time covered by this prophecy, and contextually it occurs in connection with Antichrist breaking his covenant with Israel in verse twenty-seven (cf. Daniel 11:22-32; 12:11; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4; Revelation 6:3, 4).
And where this man’s actions will then lead is outlined in detail in both the books of Daniel and Revelation, along with a number of other books and numerous sections of Scripture. This is the man whom God, in the final analysis, will use to bring His plans and purposes surrounding Israel to pass. Despite this man’s goals, aims, ambitions, and aspirations — as he exercises power and great authority from Satan’s throne itself (Revelation 13:2) — God, in His sovereign control of all things, will use this man to bring both Israel to the place of repentance and Gentile world power to the place of destruction.
This will then be followed by God’s judgment falling upon this man, on the basis of the unchangeable principles set forth in Genesis 12:3.
2) The Final Ruler of the Kingdom of this World
Daniel chapter eleven is a continuation from chapter ten. The same angel seen dispatched from heaven in chapter ten to show Daniel from “the Scripture of truth” that which would “befall your people [the Jewish people] in the latter days” (cf. 10:14, 21; 11:2) is about to draw from all that has preceded in the book of Daniel, along with related Scripture, and continue with the matter.
Now, in chapter eleven, he is about to center on numerous things pertaining to that which is seen by John over two millennia later when Christ begins to break the seals of the seven-sealed scroll.
Apart from the first ten chapters of Daniel and related Scripture seen in both Testaments, the things in chapter eleven could only remain hidden to man’s understanding. But with these preceding parts of Daniel and related Scripture, the entire matter can be brought together, with the things in this chapter of Daniel opened up and understood.
Thus, certain things that heretofore could not be properly understood can now be opened up and revealed (cf. Daniel 12:4-9), which is what the next section of this chapter is about.
The Rise, Array, and Activities of the Rider on the White Horse
As previously stated, Daniel chapter eleven — drawing from information provided in the opening ten chapters of the book, along with related Scripture elsewhere — provides a complete history of the man seen when Christ begins breaking the seals of the seven-sealed scroll, from his appearance on the scene at the beginning of the Tribulation to his fall following Christ’s return at the end of the Tribulation, slightly over seven years later. And apart from understanding this chapter aright, in the light of related Scripture, it would be next to impossible to understand certain things about this man, revealed as the beast with seven heads and ten horns in Revelation chapters twelve, thirteen, and seventeen.
Thus, there is a wealth of information which can be derived about this man when Daniel chapter eleven is viewed and studied within its proper contextual setting, allowing other related Scripture to be opened to one’s understanding.
1) As Seen in Daniel Chapter Eleven
Previous prophetic scenes in Daniel are briefly repeated in the opening verses of Daniel chapter eleven (vv. 2-4), connecting this chapter with previous revelation pertaining to the Medo-Persian Empire and the succeeding Grecian Empire (that represented by the second and third parts of the great image and the second and third great beasts in chapters 2, 7). The history of that which is depicted in these parts of the great image and great beasts in these verses is carried into the four-way division of the kingdom following Alexander the Great’s death (terminal events having to do with the third part of the great image and the third great beast).
And, ending these verses, leading into verse five, there is an evident allusion to both historical and prophetic aspects of this third part of the Babylonian Empire:
. . . for his kingdom [Alexander the Great’s kingdom following the four-way division] shall be uprooted, even for others [the Beast and his ten-kingdom federation] beside these [a reference back to the four-way division of Alexander the Great’s kingdom].
Then, verse five continues with information pertaining to that referenced by “others” in verse four (the beast and his ten-kingdom federation), though this is where commentators can be seen divided into two groups.
One group (the largest by far) sees the next thirty-one verses in this chapter (vv. 5-35) as referencing battles and other events occurring during the intertestamental period (the 400 or so years lying between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament), culminating with the actions of Antiochus Epiphanes during the second century B.C.
The other group though would see that which is occurring in this section, beginning with verse five, as continuing in a contextual respect from verse four — in line with that which is revealed in the preceding ten chapters — referencing battles and other events yet future, during the days of the beast, the Antichrist.
So, how does one handle a division in thought among Bible students of this nature? The answer to that question is quite simple (actually, it has already been provided in the previous paragraph).
And the matter must always be handled the same way. It must always be handled the way Scripture handles the matter — i.e., compare Scripture with Scripture, allowing Scripture to interpret the text for you.
And the manner in which Scripture handles the matter at hand is quite simple and easy to ascertain. This is handled in the book of Daniel the same way it is handled any other place in Scripture — events occurring during the intertestamental period are simply not dealt with elsewhere in Daniel. There is nothing in the first ten chapters about events during this intertestamental period.
Thus, with chapter eleven continuing from and dependent upon material in the first ten, why should events during this intertestamental period be found here? The question is self-answering.
Note a comparison of information on the four-way division of the kingdom and succeeding events both in chapter eleven and in preceding Scripture dealing with this subject. In preceding Scripture, revealed events of the nature seen in chapter eleven always go immediately from the four-way division of the kingdom following Alexander the Great’s death to the days of Antichrist (e.g., 8:8-14, 21-25). And the matter is dealt with the same way relative to verses pertaining to the four-part great image or four great beasts (chapters 2, 7), or anyplace else in the book.
(Some Bible students do the same thing with parts of Daniel chapter eight [vv. 9-14] as they do with parts of Daniel chapter eleven [vv. 5-35] — attempt to see events during an intertestamental period rather than seeing them as events yet future during the days of the beast.
Some of this confusion is fostered by attempts to see a Roman Empire in history fulfilling part of the prophecy of the great image and the great beasts [e.g., refer to the footnotes for Daniel 8:9ff in the Scofield Reference Bible, either 1917 or 1967 edition]. Seeing a Roman Empire in history after this fashion would necessitate that the beast arise from what is referred to as a revived Roman Empire rather than, as Scripture presents the matter, from the four-way division of Alexander the Great’s kingdom [something subsequently dealt with in this chapter].
In one respect, trying to deal with events during an intertestamental period [which would include events surrounding Antiochus Epiphanes] in Daniel is somewhat like trying to deal with a Roman Empire and a revived Roman Empire in Daniel. It is little more than attempting to make secular history fit biblical prophecy rather than allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture. And, as is so often the case, one error can easily lead into other errors.)
Thus, if one is going to deal with Daniel 11:5-35 in a completely Scriptural respect, he will have to deal with these verses as having to do with events yet future, not with events that have already occurred in the past. As evident by comparing Scripture with Scripture, these verses provide commentary on previous verses in Daniel having to do with Antichrist’s rise to power during the first half of the Tribulation — subduing, conquering, three kings (7:7, 8, 24; 8:8-10; 11:4), then three others (11:5-20), with Antichrist arising as the seventh (11:21ff), exactly as is seen in Revelation 12:3; 13:1; 17:8-11 — along with his reign of terror beginning in the middle of the Tribulation, leading into his eventual destruction shortly after Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation (vv. 36-45).
The conquering of the first three kings in Daniel chapter eleven (v. 4) has to do with Alexander the Great’s kingdom following his death (the kingdom was divided among his four generals at this time).
Then, carrying matters into the latter days, as the text does, the beast, the Antichrist (the “little horn” of Daniel 8:9), coming out of the northern division of this kingdom, is seen subduing “three kings” (cf. Daniel 7:7, 8, 24; 8:9, 10). That is, from the standpoint of the way that the matter is set forth in Daniel, he will be seen controlling this northern division of the kingdom and conquer the three kings controlling the other three parts of the kingdom (a kingdom seen in Scripture as still possessing life, seen as still existing, in the end times [cf. Daniel 2:35; 7:12]).
And, conquering these three other kings will give the “little horn,” Antichrist, control of the entire kingdom — something necessary if he is to control the governmental power depicted by the complete image or the four beasts, allowing him to fulfill that stated about the final part of this image or the fourth beast.
Thus, Antichrist’s kingdom (a yet future kingdom, existing during the Tribulation) will emanate out of Alexander the Great’s kingdom (depicted by the third part of the “great image” [chapter 2] or the third “great beast” [chapter 7]), not out of that which is depicted by the fourth part of the “great image” or the fourth “great beast” (something necessary within the ideology of a Roman Empire in history and a revived Roman Empire in prophecy fulfilling that which is seen in the fourth part of the great image and the fourth great beast). The existence of either (the fourth part of the great image or the fourth great beast) is yet future in its entirety; and knowledge of this fact alone, clearly stated in Daniel, will show that Rome can have no part in the entire matter.
Through the progression of events seen in the book of Daniel, necessitating that they be the same in the book of Revelation, the kingdom of the beast becomes the fourth kingdom, a kingdom that will not exist in any visible form before this man appears on the scene. And this kingdom, of necessity, will be a Middle Eastern kingdom (cf. Psalm 83:1ff; Daniel 11:1ff), not a Roman kingdom centered in Europe as is so often taught.
Thus, drawing from preceding parts of the book, this is what Daniel 11:4b has to do with, introducing that which is seen in the remainder of the chapter.
With this in mind, it is a simple matter to see that, beginning with verse five, additional information is provided concerning the beast’s kingdom. And, continuing from verse five throughout the remainder of the chapter, the events depicted are those having to do with the beast’s rise to power, his reign, and his eventual fall and destruction — events occurring at the beginning of, during, and immediately following the last seven years in Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy.
2) Carries a Bow, Wears a Crown, Goes Forth Conquering
Introducing the previously discussed part of Daniel chapter eleven, three kings are subdued (v. 4), which could only occur as introductory to the Tribulation. This could only be viewed as part and parcel with the breaking of the first seal of the seven-sealed scroll in Revelation 6:1. Then verses five through twenty present three more kings — the king of the south, the king of the north, and a raiser of taxes, covering events occurring throughout the first half of the Tribulation.
Near the middle of the Tribulation, when these additional three have all been put down, a seventh arises (v. 21). And the remainder of the chapter is given over to information about this man, who will rise to power in a progressive manner during the first half of the Tribulation and then rule the earth during the last half of the Tribulation.
This is the “little horn” of Daniel 8:9; and Daniel 11:5-20 provides information concerning things that will transpire in the kingdom during the first half of the Tribulation, allowing this man, near the middle of the Tribulation, to eventually assume the power that he will have aspired to attain throughout this time. This is the man who will be the seventh head of the beast with “seven heads and ten horns [the ‘horns’ referencing his ten-kingdom federation]” (Revelation 12:3; 13:1). This is also the man who will receive the deadly “wound by the sword,” yet live, becoming “the eighth,” but still of “the seven” (Revelation 17:8-12).
This man will evidently be slain shortly after he comes into power as the seventh head, for he is seen in the place of the dead (the abyss) after receiving the deadly “wound by the sword” (Revelation 13:3-5, 14). And it is from this place that he will arise when his deadly wound is healed, i.e., when he is raised from the dead (Revelation 17:8ff).
And, in the light of what is presently happening and will happen in that part of the world (cf. Revelation 20:4), it would seemingly be very much in line with where things are probably headed and the way Scripture describes matters in that day to think that this man may very likely be beheaded, making the healing of his deadly wound even more remarkable and miraculous in the eyes of the world, as seemingly seen in Revelation 13:3b, 4:
…and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.
So they worshipped the dragon [Satan] who gave authority to the beast [cf. v. 2]; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
These verses describe the way matters will exist on earth when this man comes into power, is slain, and is then miraculously raised from the dead.
But, let’s drop back and look at some of the things revealed about the man in Daniel 11:21ff and see his actions at the beginning of and during the first half of the Tribulation, seeing how he rises to the position of the seventh head, a position which he will occupy at the time he receives the deadly wound by the sword.
Daniel 11:21ff actually provides a great deal of information in this realm, not necessarily seen after this same fashion elsewhere in Scripture. And, if these verses (vv. 21-35) are relegated to history, as so many attempt to do, all of the things revealed in this section about this man are then lost.
Comparing Daniel 11:21ff with Revelation 6:1, 2, it becomes a rather simple matter to understand a number of things about this man and his actions, which allow him to rise into a position of world power as the last and final king of Babylon.
In Daniel 11:21, this man, introduced by the Spirit through Daniel, as “a vile person,” will “come in peacefully, and seize the kingdom by intrigue [‘by intrigues,’ i.e., through conniving, scheming, trickery, double-dealing, subterfuge, underhandedness, etc. (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)].”
In Revelation 6:2, this man is seen going forth with a “bow,” but there is no mention of arrows — describing exactly the same scene depicted in Daniel, though after another fashion.
And the next verse in Daniel’s prophecy (v. 22) calls attention to the fact that, through this man’s conniving and scheming, with his oratorical skills (Daniel 8:23; 11:36, 37), powers that might oppose him will be swept away apart from the use of arrows with his bow (i.e., victory will be achieved through oratorical intrigues rather than through the use of arms and force).
In short, this man’s oratorical skills will evidently far exceed that of any political or military leader that has ever appeared on the scene in all of man’s 6,000-year history. And his manipulative, double-dealing, underhanded ways, in connection with his oratorical skills, will undoubtedly make the actions of anyone over the years, seeking advancement through similar means, seem like child’s play. This man will be the master of oratorical deceptive means to achieve advancement; and he will make it all work.
Then in Revelation 6:2 he is seen wearing a “crown” (Gk., stephanos, not diadema) as he goes forth in the manner seen in Daniel, described in Revelation as “conquering and to conquer.”
The fact that he is seen wearing a crown described by the Greek word stephanos rather than diadema goes hand-in-hand with his described ambitions in both the books of Daniel and Revelation. Then, when his ambition is realized, matters change in this respect; he is then seen wearing a crown described by the Greek word diadema (Revelation 12:3).
(There are two words in the Greek text for “crown” — stephanos, and diadema. Comparing Scripture with Scripture, with regality in view, one major distinction stands out concerning how these two words are used. Diadema refers to the type of crown worn by a monarch, one presently exercising regal power. Stephanos, on the other hand, is used in an opposite sense. It is used to show someone crowned but not presently exercising regal power.
For example, the crown seen on Christ’s head in Revelation 14:14, preceding His reign, is referred to by the word stephanos in the Greek text. A crown on Christ’s head at this time could only anticipate His impending reign. But note Revelation 19:12 when He comes forth to reign [v. 16]. He is then seen wearing crowns referred to by the word diadema.
And the thought could only be the same in Revelation 6:2 in the light of Revelation 12:3; 13:1 [where both words are used — one before Antichrist appears as the seventh head, the other after he appears as the seventh head].)
In Revelation 6:2, the man on the white horse rides forth wearing a crown depicted by the word stephanos, showing regal aspirations which have yet to be attained. Then, in Revelation 12:3 he is seen occupying that position (worldwide dominion), wearing a crown depicted by the word diadema (he, as the seventh head, is seen in this verse as occupying the position that he had sought to attain through intrigues over the past three and one-half years).
Then there is one other matter which needs to be mentioned before ending this chapter, though it will be dealt with extensively in the next chapter, in connection with this same man riding forth on a red horse in Revelation 6:3, 4 when the second seal of the scroll is broken.
That which needs to be briefly dealt with in this chapter and then left for the next chapter is something mentioned extensively in Daniel’s prophecy, particularly in the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks in chapter nine and different parts of chapter eleven in connection with this man’s activities in relation to the Jewish people.
That which is in view is the seven-year covenant that this man will make with “many” in Israel at the beginning of the Tribulation. And the ratifying of this covenant is associated, more so than any other one thing, with the time when the Tribulation begins, the time when God once again begins marking off time in Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy.
That is to say, the ratifying of this covenant with “many” in Israel evidently marks the point in time when the Tribulation begins, when Daniel’s Seventieth Week begins.
With Israel’s independent ways today, how will the Jewish nation be pulled into something of this nature? Believing this man’s oratorical intrigues could furnish one answer, though, because of Jewish experience dealing with the Gentiles in modern times, they are invariably quite cautious and not easily fooled or misled.
Or what conditions could possibly come about in the world that would even make a covenant between Gentile powers and Israel possible or necessary?
And to further complicate matters, Israel is going to go to this man for help rather than this man coming to Israel offering such help, as will be seen in this covenant.
Note Hosea 5:13 (KJV) in this respect:
When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound [both ‘Ephraim’ and ‘Judah’ used referring to Israel, existing in the state described in Isaiah 1:4-6], then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb [both ‘the Assyrian’ and ‘king Jareb’ used referring to the one making the covenant with Israel]: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.
As previously stated, the matter is dealt with in the next chapter of this book, when Christ breaks the second seal of the seven-sealed scroll. And this same man, having previously appeared on a white horse, will then come forth on a red horse, showing not only Israel but the whole world his true colors — no longer white, but now red.