These words complete Daniel 11, a long chapter with a great deal of detail about events future to Daniel’s time. An angel “came to make you understand what is happen to your people in the latter days” (Daniel 10:14) and as a result, writes Daniel, “I turned my face toward the ground and was mute … no breath is left in me” (Daniel 10:15,17).

The predictions of Daniel 11 proved to be so accurate in the centuries that followed that sceptics became convinced that the words must have been written after the events. Many verses are understood as foretelling events surrounding Antiochus Epiphanies and other warriors and leaders (circa BC 250-150).

When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the late 1940s, some of these sceptics were nonplussed that in three different caves no less than eight scrolls of Daniel were found. These confirmed the authenticity of the Bible book. Before then sceptics had reasoned that the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament into Greek must have been done shortly before the time of Christ, but some Hebrew scholars dated the translation as early as BC200.

The prophecy ends by reaching forward into Daniel 12, to the time when “many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life …” (Daniel 12:2). This follows “the time of the end” (Daniel 11:40) and the description of a great battle in the Holy Land between armies from the north and south. This is seen to be the same as the Armageddon described in Revelation 16:16. The king of the north wins, but only briefly, “he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain” (Daniel 11:45) but the verse and the chapter end dramatically with the words, “Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him”.

Daniel 12 opens by telling us that the archangel Michael arises, “who has charge of your people”.

Daniel’s people are of course, the Jews. “And there shall be a time of trouble such as has never been …”. Today’s world knows storm clouds lie ahead and the spirit today is as in Noah’s day. Jesus put it this way, “they were eating and drinking … and they were unaware until the flood came” (Matthew 24:38,39). Many will come to their end with none to help. As we sense the world is heading towards a climax, do not be blindfolded to the Creator of all things and the word that He has given.