Will the Prophetic King of the South Emerge from the Arab World? (Resources & Notes)

[Note:  Egypt was divided to Ptolemy who founded the Ptolemaic dynasty and under whom the new city of Alexandria became the intellectual and religious center of the Hellenistic world.]

[Note:  It is difficult to determine the divisions of Alexander’s empire based on the territorial gains and losses experienced by the Diadochi.  There were five leading Successors to Alexander’s empire.  If one wants to account for four specific divisions of the empire—Greece, Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt—then an example can be found in the work by William R. Shepherd: Historical Atlas, 8th ed., pub. by The Colonial Offset Co. Inc., 1956, pp. 18-20.  One can also see additional information in William Unger’s: Unger’s Concise Bible Dictionary, Baker Book House, 1987.]

[Note:  “Agricultural abundance, defended at paltry cost, may seem an unachievable formula for a frontier province; yet Egypt offered it.  Nevertheless, when Augustus annexed Cleopatra’s kingdom, he saw the Nile as a larder so rich that he must set three legions to guard against its seizure by potential rivals” (Derek Williams, The Reach of Rome, A History of the Roman Imperial Frontier 1st-5th Centuries AD, St. Martins Press, 1996, p. 115).]

[Note:  In ancient times it was not uncommon to find rulers that had several titles, which sometimes included ruler-ship over the North, South, East and West.  Examples are found among the Pharaoh’s of Egypt who were regarded as kings of the north and south of their own realm, and the same was true of some Nubian kings.  See, Sir E. A. Wallis Budge, A History of Ethiopia, Nubia and Abyssinia, Methuen and Co. LTD., Vol. 1, pp. 52-56.]

[Note:  The Roman emperors became the unifiers of the former Greek north and south kingdoms when they were subjected to the status of provinces of the Roman Empire, and later to some extent the Byzantine Empire.  They came under one government, and consequently the emperors became the rulers of the former north and south Greek kingdoms.  The completion of this occurred during the rule of Caesar Augustus.]

[Note:  It was only after the fall of the Greco-Roman Empire that we find a different world left behind in the Middle East.]

[Note:  The Eastern Roman Empire remained predominantly Greek, but all called themselves “Romans,” just as the European Russians consider themselves to be “Romans” today.  The Russians are considered by some to be the inheritors of the former Eastern Roman Empire, representing the “Third Rome.”]

[Note: The Ptolemies had joint-rules surrounding the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, plus a Pharaoh of Egypt.]

[Note:  The European Union is not a “revival” of the Roman Empire.  It is an attempt to bind the greater European divisions by a common economic denominator, which will never be strong enough to ever overcome the well-established national, political and military divisions that exist in Western Europe.]

[Note:  The concept of “revivals” of the Classical Roman Empire is a revisionist approach to Roman history in that it fails to recognize the official transferal of the Western Roman government to the east by the conqueror Odoacer.  Odoacer was a Germanic military leader who became the ruler of Italy, and not the Roman Empire.  It was he who deposed the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire in AD 476, the young Romulus Augustulus.]

[Note:  Rome was sacked by the Visigoths, led by King Alaric, in the year AD 410, but by that time the capital of the Western Roman Empire had already been moved to Milan by Diocletian.  Later it was again moved to Ravenna.]

[Note:  The belief in “revivals” of the Classical Roman Empire is not something that is found in Scripture.  It is an historical supposition derived from an interpretation of Daniel’s prophecy regarding the four “great beasts,” but this interpretation of the “ten horns” is subject to challenge in that it has no basis in Scripture.  The concept of “successive” empires is not stated in Daniel’s prophecy and we do not find in history successive “regenerations” of the Classical Roman Empire.]

[Note:  The Ethiopians are an ancient peoples who in some ways escaped the destructive iron grip of both the Greek and Roman Empires, which had in effect removed and displaced some of the ancient African and Middle Eastern peoples, such as the Egyptians and the Jews.]

[Note:  The Greek kingdoms all disappeared, as later did the Roman Empire, and later the Byzantine Empire.  When these usurping empires declined, other peoples, including the Arabs, made house-keeping in the territories once ruled by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, and the Romans.]

[Note:  The Arabs and other peoples of the Middle East at different times became subject to European dictates, which made them into nation-states, with defined borders, which now form nations both to the north, south, east and west (i.e. Africa) of Jerusalem.]

[Note: Mithradates VI called the Great (Megas) and also Eupator Dionysius, was king of Pontus and Armenia Minor in northern Anatolia (now Turkey).   He claimed descent from Cyrus the Great, the family of Darius the Great, the Regent Antipater and the generals of Alexander the Great.  His father was Mithridates V and his mother was Laodice VI, a Seleucid princess and daughter of the Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes.]

[Note:  We must consider that the regional empires of Alexander’s successors no longer exist, and so we are brought to question the timeliness of these events as recorded in the prophecies given to Daniel, because it is quite evident that all that remains today—respective to Daniel’s prophecies—are the representative nation-states of Greece and Iran (Persia).]

[Note:  Alexander the Great formed a Eurasian empire—much of which was carved from the previous Persian Empire.]

[Note:  What has long been the accepted interpretation regarding the kings of the north and the kings of the south as stated in Daniel chapter eleven is that the geopolitical conflicts mentioned began to be fulfilled in the reign of Ptolemy II, who was not a member of the Diadochi, which gives us reason to pause and to consider why the commentators began their interpretation with Ptolemy II and not with Ptolemy I (Soter).]

[Note:  In Daniel 1:6 we read that:  “at the end of the years they shall join together, and the king of the south’s daughter shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement.  But she shall not keep the power of the arm.  And he will not stand, nor his arm.  But she and those who brought her shall be given up, also her begetter and her supporter in these times” (Dan. 11:6).

Commentators customarily apply this verse to Ptolemy II (Philadelphus) and his daughter Berenice, who was sent to marry the Seleucid ruler, Antiochus Theus, resulting in his divorce of Laodice and the disinheritance of her son Seleucus Callinicus.]

[Note:  Marrying daughters to rulers of other kingdoms was a practice used by Ptolemy I (Soter) as well, who married his daughters off to the rulers and sons of the rulers of the northern kingdoms—Arsinoe, who married Lysimachus and became queen of Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia; and Lysandra, who married the son of Cassander, King of Macedonia.  Later, Lysandra married a son of Lysimachus, but was forced to flee to Asia after the murder of her husband by Lysimachus where she sought refuge with Seleucus I Nicator.   This caused Seleucus to march against Lysimachus who died in the battle of Corupedium.]

[Note:  The Ptolemaic kingdom was north of Jerusalem and predominantly east of the Seleucid kingdom, and the Seleucid kingdom was not the only northern kingdom in the time of the Diadochi.  Also, Alexander’s empire was divided according to the “four winds” and not according to geographic location of the city of Jerusalem.]

[Note:  Alexander’s empire was divided among several successors and independent satrapies, some of which remained independent until they were conquered by the Romans, with one of the last of the northern kingdoms being the Pontic kingdom, whose last king died in what became the independent Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus, located in eastern Crimea and the Taman Peninsula.]

[Note:  Ptolemy I battles for Gaza in 312 BCE and garrisoned Syria about 10 years after the Battle at Ipsus in 301 BCE.]   (Will the Prophetic King of the South Emerge from the Arab World?)

Books & Blogs

World Reference Atlas, pub. by Dorling Kindersley, 1994, 1995, 1996.

History of the World, Earliest Times to the Renaissance, General Editor John Hall, Editor John Kirk, pub. by Gallery Books, 1988, pp. 80-107.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952 ed., subject “Greece.”

The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, edited by Judith Levey and Agnes Greenhall, Avon Books, 1983, “Egypt,” p. 255.

–Uriah Smith, The Prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, Vol. 1, Review and Herald Publishing, Revised 1944.

–David M. Goldenberg, The Curse of Ham, Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Princeton University Press, 2003, and Edwyn Bevan.

A History of Egypt Under the Ptolemaic Dynasty, Methuen and Co. LTD, 1927.

A History of the Ptolemaic Empire, by Günther Hölbl, Routledge Press, 2001.

–William L. Langer, An Encyclopedia of World History, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1952.

–Jeff Champion, Antigonus the One-Eyed, Greatest of the Successors, Pen & Sword Military, 2014.

–Robin Waterfield, Dividing the Spoils, the War for Alexander the Great’s Empire, Oxford University Press, 2011.