This king of fierce countenance features in the book of DANIEL from 10:23-25 and 11:36-45. The end-time Church teaches that this person is the Antichrist or Beast of REVELATION. I suggest the end-time Church definitely DOESN’T understand dark sentences like this king with a mean look on his face. And I apologize to those bored by history.
We left off the last post with the Maccabees, AKA Hasmonaean dynasty of Levitical priest-kings, ruling the Promised Land. Maccabee was just a nickname meaning ‘hammer’, for they wrested Jewish independence from Syria. The last Hasmonaean was Antigonus who was scourged and said to be crucified by the Romans under Herod’s orders. Nasty man.
Herod the Great, born 74 BC, king at the time of Yahshua’s birth and responsible for the killing infants in Bethlehem, gained the throne of Israel after Antigonus in 37 BC. Although Herod was a vassal of Rome, we are still in the Grecian era at verse 23, for the Grecian Empire was not brought to an end until 30 BC at the Battle of Actium. Therefore, the king of fierce countenance who stands up or arises in the latter time of the kingdom of Greece is none other than Herod the Great.
Herod (v.24) was given power by the behest of satanic Rome; it was not his own. He was unbelievably murderous, even to the point of killing his own wife–a Hasmonaean princess, Mariamne–two of his sons and many righteous Jews. He tried to slay Yahshua as a baby – the prince of princes (v.25), in Bethlehem. He died of a terrible disease in 4 BC aged 70 after refusing his physician’s advice–he shall be broken without hand or human agency.
To get Herod out of the way as far as DANIEL is concerned, we’ll jump over to chapter 11 wherein he is also featured. In no way is this chapter concerned with ANYTHING in our day or future. It is a matter of history. Check it out for yourself if you doubt me. Chapter 11 commences with Daniel’s angelic messenger saying that at the beginning of Darius’ reign five years previously, he had been sent specifically to protect the new Medo-Persian king. This is in order for YHWH’s purposes to be fulfilled. Then the angel launches into events to happen in the future. There follows is a complete account from the reign of Cyrus to Titus, with further illumination of previous visions.
In a nutshell, DANIEL 11 has the:
- outlines of Persian history;
- rise of Alexander the Great;
- division of his empire between his four generals;
- wars between the Seleucids and the Ptolemys;
- career of Antiochus Epiphanes, the vile person of verse 21;
- doings of the Hasmonaeans, called Maccabees;
- and culminates with Herod the Great.
There you have it: confusing–if you dare enter it–but pure history. Modern Russia is NOT the king of the north, and although Egypt IS the king of the south, it is Ptolemy’s Egypt, not modern Egypt, despite the fact they are calling the recently elected president there a new Pharoah. In order to show this we need only, from here on, to cover Herod alone.
The time of the end in verse 35 refers to the end of the Hasmonaeans at the rise of Herod who killed the high priest, Aristobulus.
VERSE 36 And the king… is Herod the Great. The Herodian line ruled as governors or kings until AD 70 when Yerushalem was destroyed–till the indignation be accomplished. Against the God of gods concerns Herod the Great’s attempt to kill the baby Yahshua. Herod Antipas beheaded John the Baptist and James the brother of Yahshua. Herod Agrippa imprisoned Peter and sent Paul to Rome in chains.
VERSE 37 Herod was descended from Esau of the Edomites. Edom was incorporated into Israel when the Maccabean, John Hyrcanus, conquered Idumaea in 140-130 BC. All the Idumaeans were required to become Jews, obey Jewish law and be circumcised, if male, or leave. Most converted. Herod fled to Rome where he was elected king of the Jews in 40 BC. He returned to Israel to win his kingdom; married Antigonus’ niece, Mariamne, after banishing his own wife and son; and three years later he captured Yerushalem. OBADYAH 3-4 and 10-16 in confirmation speaks of the Herodian dynasty at this time.
The desire of women, which Herod did not regard, was the Messiah Himself. Because Yahshua was expected to be born at that very time, according to the prophecies of Daniel (chapter 9), every virgin maid of Israel hoped to be the mother of the Saviour. Hence why Mary so meekly accepted Gabriel’s announcement to her.
VERSE 38-39 Instead of honouring the god of his father Esau, son of Isaac, Herod gives allegiance to Rome, and builds costly fortified cities. He refurbished the Yerushalem temple and glorified his strange god by erecting a statue of the Roman eagle over its main entrance. He decreed Caesar worship, burning alive a group of young disciples who smashed this eagle.
VERSE 40-43 In short this concerns the time of the end of the Egyptian Ptolemys, Cleopatra being the king of the south, and her defeat by Roman Syria, along with the conquering of many other countries including Yudaea. Herod therefore hurries to Rome to lick the boots of Caesar Augustus, so he wouldn’t lose his throne.
VERSE 44 Herod’s son, Antipater in Rome, jealously writes to tell Herod the his other two sons by Mariamne, Alexander and Aristobulus, are conspiring against him. Herod has them executed in 7 BC. The magi out of the east arrive with tidings of ANOTHER newborn King. And this is when the young men down the eagle statue.
In paroxysms of fury, Herod annihilates the babes in Bethlehem; the forty men who pulled down the eagle; the other jealous son, Antipater, toward whom his father has become suspicious; and orders the principal men of Yudaea to be executed upon his own death in order to have the nation mourn for him. Thankfully this last was not carried out.
VERSE 45 This verse talks about Herod’s two palaces in Yerushalem: one in the temple area and one in the upper city, therefore between the Mediterranean and Dead Seas and the glorious Holy Mountain or temple. At this point Herod comes to his end.
OBADYAH 15 …as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee; thy reward shall return upon thine own head. He was afflicted with intestinal parasites: eaten by worms! Remember, whatever we do to others comes back on us.