Dan 11:3 "Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will."
The “mighty king” was Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.), the prince who was a student of Aristotle. He certainly became mighty, and he did according to his own will. He accomplished what he set out to do, which was no small vision. This description is fitting for a man who is recognized as one of the greatest military generals in the history of warfare.
He launched his assault against the Persian Empire in 334 B.C., and he claimed complete victory in three years. Consequently, Daniel saw in the vision of chapter eight the rough he-goat from the west, the king of Greece, advancing against the Medo-Persian Empire with such rapidity that “his feet did not even touch the ground” (Daniel 8:5, 20-21).
At the height of his power, Alexander conquered and ruled an empire that stretched from southern Europe to north Africa to central Asia. But the Greek empire of Alexander was not destined to endure. He fell ill and died on June 10, 323 BCE in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon.
Dan 11:4 "And when he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken up and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not among his posterity nor according to his dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be uprooted, even for others besides these."
Alexander left a huge empire at his death. His family and his generals jostled for control of this kingdom. When the dust settled, his mother, his wife, his son, his illegitimate son, his sister, his half-sister, and his half-brother, were all dead. After much fighting and jockeying for position, Alexander's empire was divided into four major portions by 301 BCE:
1. Cassander ruled over Greece,
2. Lysimachus ruled in Asia Minor,
3. Seleucus I Nicator ruled in Babylon and Persia, and
4. Ptolemy I Soter ruled over the Holy Land and Egypt.
Twenty years later (281 BCE), when Seleucus I killed Lysimachus in battle, only two dynasties remained in Alexander's old empire – the
Seleucid kings in the north and the Ptolemaic kings in the south.
Dan 11:5 "Also the king of the South shall become strong, as well as one of his princes; and he shall gain power over him and have dominion. His dominion shall be a great dominion."
The “prince” of Ptolemy I Soter was Seleucus I Nicator (312-280 B.C.). He fled Babylon when another general, Antigonus, pursued his life (316 B.C.). Seleucus found protection under Ptolemy. When Antigonus was defeated at Gaza, Seleucus returned to Babylon, thus establishing the Seleucid dynasty in 312 B.C. Solidifying control, he ruled the largest division of Alexander’s empire. Thereby, “his dominion shall be a great dominion,” exceeding that of the king of the south.
Dan 11:6 "And at the end of some years they shall join forces, for the daughter of the king of the South shall go to the king of the North to make an agreement; but she shall not retain the power of her authority, and neither he nor his authority shall stand; but she shall be given up, with those who brought her, and with him who begot her, and with him who strengthened her in those times."
About 250 B.C. Berenice, daughter of the king of the south (Ptolemy II), was given to Antiochus II as a wife. According to the terms for peace, the son of that union should inherit the throne. Antiochus II was already married, however, and his scorned wife, Laodice, conspired to have her husband poisoned and Berenice and son-heir assassinated. About the same time, Berenice’s father died. Thus, both Ptolemy II and Antiochus II died about 246 B.C.