Segment 8 – Daniel 11:36 – 12:13
The King of the North
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“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects you people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people – everyone whose names is found written in the book [of life] – will be delivered.”

- Daniel 12:1, insertion mine



Remember, I have divided the vision of Daniel 10: 1-12:13 into two segments for clarity. Even though Daniel 10-12 is one vision, there is a natural divide at Daniel 11:35, because the vision makes a transition from the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 to the destruction of the world during the Great Tribulation. This transition parallels Daniel 8. You may recall how the ram and the goat were part of ancient history, but the horn power will appear during the time of the end. In the previous segment, we saw how the first portion of this vision benefited early Christians. In this segment, you should discover why the last segment of this vision will benefit Christians who live during the Great Tribulation.


Conflicts between the kings of the north and south continued long after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70. In fact, as the Christian church increased in popularity, theological battles between the Church of Rome (on the north side of the Mediterranean) and the Church of Alexandria (on the south side of the Mediterranean) began to occur. The Church of Rome strongly opposed the doctrine, “Christ was created by the Father,” which the Church of Alexandria supported. In this controversy, one could say “Rome, the religious king of the north” eventually uprooted “Arius, the religious king of the south.” You may recall from Daniel 7 that three nations were plucked up by their roots by the little horn power (Roman Catholic Church). These tribal nations have been identified as the Ostrogoths, Heruli and Vandals.


In Daniel 11:36, Gabriel made a transition from ancient times to end times, but continues to use the same language throughout the vision, that is, the king of the north versus the king of the south. The chronological sequence also continues without interruption. Gabriel uses the same language so that the final generation can see parallels from centuries past and better understand the course of coming events.


This is a key point: The forthcoming actions of Lucifer, represented as the “king of the north” in the last segment of this vision, have no historical equal. The behavior of the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation will be off the scale of human expectations. This is why parallel language from the past is so helpful. If you have a basic understanding of Daniel 8 and Revelation 9, 13 and 17, this transition is not hard to follow or understand. Unfortunately, most people do not have this understanding, so Daniel 11:36 and onward is difficult for many people to decipher.



The Antichrist


The king of the north mentioned in verses Daniel 11:36-45 is the same King from the North (also known as the stern-faced king or the horn power) that was introduced in Daniel 8. Notice how this point is demonstrated. Verse 35 points to the appointed time of the end, and verse 36 describes a king who will be successful until the time of wrath is completed. “Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time. The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.” (Daniel 11:35,36)


  1. Who is the “king” in verse 36? Part of the answer is found in the timing of this verse. The king to whom this verse applies is the king who “is successful until the time of wrath is completed…” When the time of wrath occur? We learned from Daniel 8 that the horn power from the north (the stern-faced king) will appear during the appointed time of the end, which is a time of wrath. He [Gabriel] said: ‘I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end.’” (Daniel 8:19, italics mine) Revelation indicates the Great Tribulation will be a time of wrath for everyone. People who obey God’s Word will suffer persecution from Babylon. (Revelation 13:5) People who obey Babylon’s laws and the Antichrist will suffer God’s wrath. (Revelation 14:9,10) Therefore, the appointed time of the end is a time of wrath for everyone. The Great Tribulation consists of two segments of time. The seven trumpets will last 1,260 days. The seven-trumpet judgments of Revelation will be a time of invitation and mercy for those who have not heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. The seven bowls will follow the seven trumpets. They will last for seventy-five days and will contain no mercy. During the seven bowls, God’s wrath will be poured out upon all who receive the mark of the beast. When the seven last plagues are completed, God’s wrath will end. “I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues – last because with them God’s wrath is completed.” (Revelation 15:1) When these facts are aligned, we are left with one conclusion. The king mentioned in Daniel 11:36 must be the horn power of Daniel 8 (the Antichrist), because he will be successful until the time of wrath is completed. The time of wrath occurs during the appointed time of the end, which is also called the Great Tribulation. (Daniel 12:1)


  1. The king of the north will be successful even though he demands obedience to religious beliefs that are contrary to every religion on Earth! Remember, God empowers the stern-faced king, allowing him to have a moment of glorious deception. (Daniel 8:24; Revelation 13:14) Daniel 11:36 say, “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods…” Compare Daniel’s words with those of the apostle Paul: “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4, italics mine) The Antichrist is called “the man of lawlessness” or “the man of sin” (KJV) because the Bible says, “The king will do as he pleases.” He will be accountable to no one! He will be capricious, temperamental and arbitrary. No one can stop him or prevent him from saying and doing the evil he wants. The devil will stand in opposition to all religions of the world. Daniel says, “He will exalt himself and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods.” Paul says, “He will oppose and exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” (Italics mine) Remember the comments about the stern-faced king in Daniel 8:24. “He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people.” The coming Antichrist has no equal in past history. He will appear during the time of wrath, the Great Tribulation. This modern king of Babylon will successfully oppose the religions of the world because God will empower him (just as He empowered the ancient king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar) to establish a one-world government. This coming king can be none other than the Antichrist, the devil masquerading as God.


  1. If there is any doubt remaining on the identity of this king, notice this verse: At the time of the end the king of the south will engage him in battle, and the king of the north will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.” (Daniel 11:40, italics mine) The king of the north will gain control over all of his adversaries at the time of the end. We know the horn power in Daniel 8 will come from the north, will appear during the appointed time of the end, will destroy many people, will exalt and magnify himself above every god, and will blaspheme the God of Heaven. Only one being can meet these specifications. That being is Lucifer, the Antichrist.


A New Series of Wars


We know this vision covers a series of great wars. The last segment of this vision focuses on the wars that will occur during the time of wrath (the Great Tribulation). The Bible predicts the king of the north will wage war against the saints and will conquer them. (Revelation 13:7) The devil will be invincible for a period of time. He will destroy those who oppose him (the kingdom of the south). God grants this authority to Lucifer for two reasons. First, God rises up a destroyer to destroy those who pass the point of no return. Second, God empowers Lucifer for a season because He wants a watching universe to see what dominion under a sinful being like Lucifer would be like. God wants the universe to see how sin affects authority. Because Lucifer is the embodiment of sin, his actions will demonstrate what any sinner would do if given enough time and power.

The contrast will be profound. If God were not a God of love, His reign over the universe would resemble Lucifer’s horrible reign on earth. If we ponder this thought for just a moment, every Christian should rejoice to know that God is nothing like Lucifer. God is love! With these things said, my commentary begins with verse 36:


Daniel 11:36-39 (KJV) – Part I


“And the king [of the north] shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that which is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase in glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.” (Insertion mine)


Interlaced Commentary on Part I


“Gabriel said, ‘Daniel, I must tell you more about the stern-faced king from the north; the horn power you saw in the earlier vision of Daniel 8. When the devil physically appears on Earth personating Christ, he will claim to be God. Masquerading as God, he will receive honor from the religions of the world. They will believe that he is God. [Note: Lucifer is called the king of the north in this section of the vision for two reasons. First, as a point on the compass, north symbolizes God’s dwelling place – on the sides of the north. (Isaiah 14:13, KJV) North also represents the direction from which divine destruction comes. Like Nebuchadnezzar, the ancient king of Babylon, Lucifer, the modern king of Babylon, will inflict destruction on those people who have rejected God’s truth. Second, in the first portion of this prophecy, Israel was caught between two great rivals – the kings from the north and south. In the last days, God’s people who believe the devil is God (followers of the king of the north) and people who refuse to submit to the demands of Lucifer (followers of the king of the south).] The opposition of men will not slow Lucifer for long. The devil will do as he pleases, for no one can stop him. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god known to man and will say unheard-of things against the Most High God. He will succeed mightily until the seven bowls are completed, for what has been predetermined by the Most High God will occur.


Daniel, because of apostasy, Israel rebelled against the God of their forefathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Similarly, when Lucifer appears, the religious wicked will do the same. They will abandon the gods of their fathers and worship this new “living” god. The devil will have no regard for Christ, the Holy One of Israel, which every virgin in Israel hopes to bear. The devil will exalt himself above them all. Be warned. The king of the north will appear as a glorious god-man – subject to no law or authority created by man. He is called the man of lawlessness because he will not be subject to any law and will demand that people obey his commandments. Instead of respecting the gods of the religions that people know and trust, he will demand the establishment of a new one-world religion. He will exalt himself as lord of lords and king of kings. He will use force when and where necessary to consolidate the world under his authority. He will demand that all people obey his laws or be killed. A one-world religion has not existed since Adam and Eve sinned, but it will come. Everyone who refuses to submit to the demands of the devil will be targets of persecution. Be prepared.  At the appointed time (fifth trumpet), the devil will appear on Earth and consolidate the world’s seven religious systems into one colossal organization. He will exalt and honor himself by receiving gold and silver, precious stones, and costly gifts.


When Lucifer has gained a great following, he will fiercely attack the brave people who have remained faithful to the Most High. The 144,000 and their disciples will resist the devil’s schemes. Great numbers of people will be deceived and join the devil in rebellion against the clearest evidence of God’s truth. The world has not seen anything like this since the time of Noah’s flood. The devil will bestow great honor on the leaders of Earth who acknowledge him to be God. The devil and his angels will slaughter a third of mankind during the sixth trumpet war. When the devil dissolves the political and religious boundaries of the world, he will set up ten puppet kings over the people of Earth. Lucifer will honor people who participate in his evil ways by distributing the land to the highest bidder.’”

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