“During the first year that Darius the Mede*
was king, I stood up to support Michael†
in his fight against the prince of Persia.
2 “Now then, Daniel, I tell you the truth: Three more kings will rule in Persia. Then a fourth king will come who will be much richer than all the other kings of Persia before him. He will use his riches to get power and turn everyone against the kingdom of Greece. 3 Then a very strong and powerful king will come who will rule with much power. He will do anything he wants. 4 Just as he comes to power, his kingdom will be broken up and scattered in all directions. It will not be divided among his descendants. And it will not be ruled in the same way because that kingdom will be pulled up and given to other people.
5 “The southern king will become strong, but then one of his commanders will defeat him. The commander will begin to rule, and he will be very powerful.
6 “Then after a few years, the southern king and that commander will make an agreement. The daughter of the southern king will marry the northern king. She will do this to bring peace, but she and the southern king will not be strong enough. People will turn against her and against the one who brought her to that country. And they will turn against her child and against the one who helped her.
7 “But someone from her family will come to take the southern king’s place. He will attack the armies of the northern king. He will go into that king’s strong fort. He will fight and win. 8 He will take their gods and their metal idols and their expensive things made from silver and gold. He will take those things away to Egypt. Then he will not bother the northern king for a few years. 9 The northern king will attack the southern kingdom. But he will lose, and then he will go back to his own country.
10 “The northern king’s sons will prepare for war. They will get a large army together. It will move through the land very quickly, like a powerful flood. That army will fight all the way to the strong fort of the southern king. 11 Then the southern king will become very angry and march out to fight against the northern king. The northern king will have a large army, but he will lose the war. 12 The northern army will be defeated, and those soldiers will be carried away. The southern king will be very proud, and he will kill thousands of soldiers from the northern army. But he will not continue to be successful. 13 The northern king will get another army that will be larger than the first one. After several years he will attack. His army will be ready for war. It will be very large and it will have many weapons.
14 “In those times many people will be against the southern king. Some of your own people who love to fight will rebel against the southern king. They will not win, but they will make the vision come true. 15 Then the northern king will come. He will build ramps against the walls and will capture a strong city. The southern army will not have the power to fight back. Even the best soldiers from the southern army will not be strong enough to stop the northern army.
16 “The northern king will do whatever he wants. No one will be able to stop him. He will gain power and control in the Beautiful Land, and he will have the power to destroy it. 17 The northern king will decide to use all his power to fight against the southern king, and he will make an agreement with the southern king. The king of the north will let one of his daughters marry the southern king so that he can defeat the southern king. But those plans will not succeed. His plans will not help him.
18 “Then the northern king will turn his attention to the countries along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. He will defeat many of those cities, but then a commander will put an end to the pride and rebellion of that northern king. The commander will make the northern king ashamed.
19 “After that happens, the northern king will go back to the strong forts of his own country. But he will be weak and will fall. He will be finished.
20 “After the northern king, there will be a new ruler who sends out tax collectors so that he can live like a king. But after a few years, he will be destroyed, although he will not die in battle.
“That ruler will be followed by a very cruel and hated man, who will not have the honor of being from a king’s family.‡
He will become a ruler by being tricky. He will attack the kingdom when the people feel safe. 22
He will defeat large and powerful armies. He will even defeat the leader with the agreement. 23
Many nations will make agreements with that cruel and hated ruler, but he will lie and trick them. He will gain much power, but only a few people will support him.
24 “When the richest countries feel safe, that cruel and hated ruler will attack them. He will attack at just the right time and will be successful where his ancestors were not successful. He will take things from the countries he defeated, and he will give them to his followers. He will plan to defeat and destroy strong cities. He will be successful—but only for a short time.
25 “That very cruel and hated ruler will have a very large army. He will use that army to show his strength and courage and attack the southern king. The southern king will get a very large and powerful army and go to war. But the people who are against him will make secret plans, and the southern king will be defeated. 26 People who were supposed to be good friends of the southern king will try to destroy him. His army will be defeated. Many of his soldiers will be killed in battle. 27 Those two kings will want to make trouble. They will sit around the table planning their lies, but it will not do either one of them any good because God has set a time for their end to come.
“The northern king will go back to his own country with much wealth. Then he will decide to do bad things against the holy agreement.§
He will do the things he planned, and then he will go back to his own country.
29 “At the right time, the northern king will attack the southern king again. But this time he will not be successful as he was before. 30 Ships from Cyprus will come and fight against the northern king. He will see those ships coming and be afraid. Then he will turn back and take out his anger on the holy agreement. He will turn back and help those who stopped following the holy agreement. 31 The northern king will send his army to do terrible things to the Temple in Jerusalem. They will stop the people from offering the daily sacrifice. Then they will do something really terrible. They will set up that terrible thing that causes destruction.
32 “The northern king will use lies and smooth talking to trick those who quit following the holy agreement, so they will sin even worse. But those who know God and obey him will be strong. They will fight back.
33 “Those wise teachers will help the other people understand what is happening. But even they will have to suffer persecution. Some of them will be killed with swords. Some of them will be burned or taken prisoner. Some of them will have their homes and things taken away. 34 When those wise people are punished, they will receive some help, but many people who join them will be hypocrites. 35 Some of the wise people will stumble and make mistakes. But the persecution must come so that they can be made stronger and purer until the time of the end. Then, at the right time, that time of the end will come.
The King Who Praises Himself
36 “The northern king will do whatever he wants. He will brag about himself. He will praise himself and think that he is even better than a god. He will say things that no one has ever heard. He will say those things against the God of gods. He will be successful until all the evil things have happened. Then what God has planned to happen will happen.
37 “That northern king will not care about the gods his ancestors worshiped. He will not care about the gods women worship. He will not care about any god. Instead, he will praise himself and make himself more important than any god. 38 The northern king will not worship any god, but he will worship power. Power and strength will be his god. His ancestors didn’t love power as he does. He will honor the god of power with gold and silver, expensive jewels, and gifts.
39 “That northern king will attack strong fortresses with the help of this foreign god. He will give much honor to the foreign rulers who join him. He will put many people under their rule. He will make the rulers pay him for the land they rule over.
“At the time of the end, the southern king will fight a battle against the northern king. The northern king will attack him with chariots and soldiers on horses and many large ships. The northern king will rush through the land like a flood. 41
The northern king will attack the Beautiful Land. He will defeat many countries. But Edom, Moab, and the leaders of Ammon will be saved from him. 42
The northern king will show his power in many countries. Egypt will also learn how powerful he is. 43
He will get treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt. The Libyans and Ethiopians will obey him. 44
But that northern king will hear news from the east and the north that will make him afraid and angry. He will go to completely destroy many nations. 45
He will set up his king’s tents between the sea and the beautiful holy mountain.*
But finally, that bad king will die. There will be no one to help him when his end comes.