Daniel 8:23-24

A Type of Antichrist

Even with no full knowledge of Christ we see a type of the Antichrist represented in Antiochus IV Epiphenes.  The prophecy here looks forward to what he did in his reign, but Jesus also referred to events from Antiochus’ life as being future (Matthew 13:14).  This shows at least a two part fulfilment of the abominations of Antiochus.  What he did in the past at least one more person will do in the future.  So what kind of person was Antiochus?  What did he do?

The Jewish on-line Encyclopedia says:

Antiochus combined in himself the worst faults of the Greeks and the Romans, and but very few of their good qualities. He was vainglorious and fond of display to the verge of eccentricity, liberal to extravagance; his sojourn in Rome had taught him how to captivate the common people with an appearance of geniality, but in his heart he had all a cruel tyrant’s contempt for his fellow men. …

He first entered Jerusalem amicably; then suddenly turning upon the defenseless city, he murdered, plundered, and burnt through its length and breadth. The men were butchered, women and children sold into slavery, and in order to give permanence to the work of desolation, the walls and numerous houses were torn down. The old City of David was fortified anew by the Syrians, and made into a very strong fortress completely dominating the city. Having thus made Jerusalem a Greek colony, the king’s attention was next turned to the destruction of the national religion. A royal decree proclaimed the abolition of the Jewish mode of worship; Sabbaths and festivals were not to be observed; circumcision was not to be performed; the sacred books were to be surrendered and the Jews were compelled to offer sacrifices to the idols that had been erected. The officers charged with carrying out these commands did so with great rigor; a veritable inquisition was established with monthly sessions for investigation. The possession of a sacred book or the performance of the rite of circumcision was punished with death. On Kislew (Nov.-Dec.) 25, 168, the “abomination of desolation” (, Dan. xi. 31, xii. 11) was set up on the altar of burnt offering in the Temple, and the Jews required to make obeisance to it. This was probably the Olympian Zeus, or Baal Shamem.

Similar acts will be carried out in the future by another like-minded madman.

Daniel 8:23-24

23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 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 those who are mighty, the holy people. 25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.

Questions

  1. How was Antiochus a man of intrigue?
  2. What was Antiochus’ most foul act?
  3. What would have to happen before this could be repeated in our times?
  4. How do we empower people who are masters of intrigue with our foreign policies?
  5. What should a Christian response to the Arab Spring be?  Is ‘Antiochus’ being deposed or empowered?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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