Herod the Great (King Herod)

___The Prophecy of King Herod the Great___

DANIEL 11:36 “And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods.  He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done.”

In this verse, the king being spoken of changes.  Starting in Daniel 11:21, Antiochus IV Epiphanes was the referenced king.  However, the context from verse 36 shows that the remaining verses in this chapter cannot apply to Antiochus IV.

Was there a king who ruled Israel after the end of the Hasmonean era?

What appears to have caused many scholars to stray away from the correct understanding at this point of the prophecy is that they were unable to find a successor to Antiochus IV who matched the description of “the king.”  But two points must be kept in mind in order to properly understand this prophecy.  The subject is the Seleucid or Ptolemaic dynasties ONLY as these kingdoms affected Daniel’s people.  Therefore, the expression “the king,” without any other description, could certainly mean one who was king over Israel.  Secondly, the immediately preceding verses (Dan. 11:32-35) refer to the Jews and their situation during and after the Maccabean revolt.  Based on the history of this period, we should look for the fulfillment of this verse by a “king” other than Antiochus IV or the Hasmonean rulers.

Both secular history and the New Testament record the acts of a king who appeared on the scene in Israel at the end of the Hasmonean period.  As we show in eschatology “Study Series 9 Lesson 2 The Book of Daniel Chpt 10-12, this king fulfilled every prophetic description given in verses 36 through 39.  That king was Herod the Great.  In verse 36, the one spoken of is not identified as either the king of the North or the king of the South, but simply as “the king.”  Herod was seated as king on the throne of Israel when Messiah Yeshua was born.  He is called “the king” in the Gospels (Matt. 2:1, 3, 9; Luke 1:5) (Herod the Great was notorious for killing family members, having killed his older sons Aristobulus and Antipater in 7 BC and 4 BC). 


For a more in-depth study see the related full “Study Series”:

Study Series 9 Lesson 2 The Book of Daniel Chpt 10-12