Syria is now on the map of countries in the region with an uprising
– Louai al-Hussein Analyst and writer
A BBC news story on the spread of the wave of democratic revolution sweeping across north Africa and the Middle east which has now reached Syria.
The nation of Syria will play a prominent role in the events that climax in the Saviour’s return. As a neighbouring antagonist of Israel, it is almost inevitable that it will be part of the end-time attempts to destroy God’s ancient people and extinguish their claim to the land God gave the Patriarchs.
The modern country of Syria is part of the old Seleucid Empire which was the northern division of the Greek Empire when it was divided into four parts following the death of Alexander the Great.
As the map here shows, the Seleucid Empire included the modern hotspots of Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc. It is not coincidental that there is so much upheaval in this part of the world! God is at work to bring about the environment for the emergence of the Antichrist himself.
Daniel makes clear in his prophecy, particularly in chapter 11, that this northern part of the Grecian territory will play a key role in the emergence of the man of sin.
Antichrist will rise out of this territory.
See Daniel 8:8-9, 22-23, Daniel 11:21. The four divisions of the Grecian Empire were obviously incorporated into the Roman Empire and will again be seen as part of the ten kingdom stage of that fourth and final Empire. The timeline of the visonary image in Daniel Chapter 2 indicates that the original territory of Babylon is successively divided and transmitted through various phases until it reaches this ten kingdom confederacy stage at the end. The visions that present the kingdom of Antichrist under the imagery of ten toes and the ten horns of the 4th and final kingdom emphasize that this Grecian territory, which was historically divided into four parts, is incorporated into the final phase of the Roman Empire.
A usurper of power.
Antichrist will be a usurper who obtains power in the northern kingdom by flattery, not by right of succession, Daniel 11:21 which closely parallels Daniel 7:8, Daniel 8:9. Antichrist is presented here as an additional horn who becomes the fourth King of the North referred to in this chapter. The dynasty of kings can be traced: #1, Daniel 11:6; #2, Daniel 11:11; #3, Daniel 11:20. It is clear from Daniel 11:40 that a legitimate King of the north, i.e. of this Syrian kingdom, rises at a later time to oppose the man of sin.
The details given in Daniel 11:5-20 will describe the circumstances which lead up to the appearance of the man of sin on the political scene. His character is summed up in Daniel 11:21 a vile person—even before his career really develops! Vile > ‘to despise, trample underfoot.’ Cp Daniel 8:23. Under the guise of peace and using flattery he pursues war breaking a covenant with a prince who may be the legitimate heir to the Northern kingdom, Daniel 11:21-22.
As the King of the North he becomes active against the southern Kingdom, i.e. the Egyptian or Ptolemaic portion of the Grecian Empire – another of the ten toes/horns/kingdoms. The first battle is referred to in Daniel 11:25. This campaign is successful for he defeats a much bigger Egyptian army. The battle is followed by ‘peace’ talks at which both parties act deceitfully. On his way north back to his own kingdom he passes through the territory of Israel and Daniel 11:28 suggests that something arouses his anger against Israel.
A second unsuccessful campaign against the south follows at the time appointed. In this battle outsiders get involved which again arouses his anger and he takes it out on Israel, Daniel 11:30.
In due course a third battle occurs, Daniel 11:40 in which the king of the South and the legitimate king of the North come against Antichrist. Again Israel is caught in the crossfire! At this point he makes Jerusalem his base and the final three and a half years of the age begin. The abomination of desolation is set up and the tribulation period for Israel begins. See Daniel 11:41-45.
For more on this chapter see A detailed portrait of the Antichrist.