Question:

Are there any prophecies about Julius Caesar and Cleopatra in the Bible?

Answer:

People claim to see Julius Caesar and Cleopatra in Daniel 11:17-19, "He will set his face to come with the power of his whole kingdom, bringing with him a proposal of peace which he will put into effect; he will also give him the daughter of women to ruin it. But she will not take a stand for him or be on his side. Then he will turn his face to the coastlands and capture many. But a commander will put a stop to his scorn against him; moreover, he will repay him for his scorn.  So he will turn his face toward the fortresses of his own land, but he will stumble and fall and be found no more."

Throughout Daniel 11 there are frequent references to the King of the North and the King of the South. But to understand who these kings are we need to look at the context.

"In the first year of Darius the Mede, I arose to be an encouragement and a protection for him. And now I will tell you the truth. Behold, three more kings are going to arise in Persia. Then a fourth will gain far more riches than all of them; as soon as he becomes strong through his riches, he will arouse the whole empire against the realm of Greece" (Daniel 11:1-2).

We start with the Persian Empire. At the time of Daniel, Cyrus was king. He was followed by three more kings: Cambyses, Smerdis, and Darius I. The fourth king, Xerxes launched an attack against Greece, but he was unable to conquer it.

"And a mighty king will arise, and he will rule with great authority and do as he pleases. But as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom will be broken up and parceled out toward the four points of the compass, though not to his own descendants, nor according to his authority which he wielded, for his sovereignty will be uprooted and given to others besides them" (Daniel 11:3-4).

Alexander, the Great, rose from Greece and destroyed the Persian Empire. But at the height of his success, he died at the age of 32 in Babylon. He had an infant son, but the child was killed. His empire was divided between his four generals and they fought among themselves over the territories. The remainder of the prophecy focuses two: Seleucus took control of Syria, which is north of Israel, and Ptolemy took control of Egypt, which is south of Israel. The territory of Israel became a battleground between these two kingdoms.

"Then the king of the South will grow strong, along with one of his princes who will gain ascendancy over him and obtain dominion; his domain will be a great dominion indeed.  After some years they will form an alliance, and the daughter of the king of the South will come to the king of the North to carry out a peaceful arrangement. But she will not retain her position of power, nor will he remain with his power, but she will be given up, along with those who brought her in and the one who sired her as well as he who supported her in those times" (Daniel 11:5-6).

Seleucus' grandson, Antiochus II, "made an agreement with Ptolemy Philadelphus, which was sealed by his marriage to Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy. In order to marry Berenice, Antiochus had to divorce his wife Laodice. The new marriage did not work out. Berenice did not 'retain the strength of her arm.' When Berenice's father died, Antiochus divorced her and took back Laodice. But Laodice, fearing that she could not depend on Antiochus, had him poisoned, and encouraged her son to kill Berenice and her infant and anyone else that had any part in arranging her marriage to Antiochus." [Bob Waldron, A Remnant Shall Return, p. 230].

The rest of chapter 11 gives an account of the dealings between these two kingdoms.

By the time we get to Daniel 11:10, we are talking about Antiochus the Great, the second son. His older brother Seleucus Ceraunus died in battle. In Daniel 11:13, Antiochus the Great leads a large army and attacks Egypt. Many of Daniel's people, the Israelites (Daniel 11:14), sided with Antiochus the Great, thinking they would gain more independence -- it didn't work. Antiochus did win and made Israel (the Beautiful Land) a part of his territory (Daniel 11:15-16). He made a deal with Egypt that their ruler, Ptolemy, who was only less than 10 at the time, would marry Antiochus' daughter, Cleopatra (not the Cleopatra that got involved with Julius Caesar) who was seven at the time. Antiochus thought he would control Egypt through his daughter, but it didn't work because when she grew up she sided with her husband against her father (Daniel 11:17).

Having subdued Egypt (or so he thought), Antiochus then turned his attentions to the west: Asia Minor and Greece (Daniel 11:18). What he didn't count on is that Rome was rising to power. In 190 B.C. his army was defeated by the Romans. The Romans forced Antiochus the Great to disband his army, abandon the territories he conquered in Asia Minor, and pay a huge tribute to the Romans. He tried to rob a temple to get enough money to make the payment and was killed (Daniel 11:19).

Daniel 11:36-45 appears to describe the Romans coming into the area defeating both the King of the North and the King of the South and occupy the land of Israel. It was Pompey who defeat Syria (the King of the North) in 63 BC. Julius Caesar defeated Egypt (the King of the South) in 45 B.C. (Daniel 11:42). His successor, Augustus set up Herod the Great as king in Israel in 40 B.C.

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