ANTICHRIST - KING OF BABYLON
The prince of Tyre (Tyrus in King James Bible) offers some interesting points to consider although it may or may not offer substantial information concerning the Antichrist. The prince of Tyre does offer a closer look at an evil angel who could be Satan and thus widen our understanding of how he worked in the past and how he may affect us in the future with the Antichrist.
PRINCE OF TYRE (EZEKIEL 26,27, & 28)
The city of Tyre is along the Lebanon coast. The city complex consisted of a section along the main coast which was also called Palatyrus to an island a half mile from shore that was considered impregnable with high walls and the sea on all sides. Since the days of Solomon, Tyre was a major trading center in the known world. Its trade went north, south, east, and west to all parts of the known world. Tyre was part of the Phoenician Empire, which were known for their great seamanship. Tyre was also a very rich and prosperous city. Ezekiel 27:33 says that Tyre enriched the kings of the earth. Chapter 26:16 says that the princes of the sea trade will morn at her loss. No doubt that Tyre was a very important city to the known world for its trade and sea travel.
In Ezekiel 26:2, the Lord condemns Tyre for its rejoicing over the fall of Jerusalem. Tyre seems to be happy that Israel has been taken captive by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. Tyre is now free of any tolls it may have had to pay in the past to Jerusalem or Israel when conducting business on the Middle East trade routes. Fortunes and money is all that seems to guide Tyre. The misfortunes of others make no difference to them as long as their economy is great. Unfortunately for Tyre, God does not like rejoicing over the misfortune of others, especially over his covenant people. God said that Nebuchadnezzar would come and destroy the city. In fact Nebuchadnezzar came and took 13 years in seizing Tyre beginning in 586 BC.
There are several things that God said that will happen to Tyre.
1. Many nations will come against Tyre, Ezekiel 26:3
2. The debris of Tyre will be swept away and only her foundation (rock) will remain, Ez 26:4.
3. Tyre will become a place for the spreading of nets, Ez 26:5
4. Daughters (coastal cities) on the mainland will be slain by the sword, Ez 26:6
5. God said that Tyre will be covered by great waters, Ez 26:19.
6. Tyre will become a desolate city and uninhabited, Ez 26:19
7. Tyre will never be found again, Ez 26:21.
In determining the results of judgement here, it can get confusing. Let’s look at the different judgements. It is true that many nations came against Tyre over the next several hundred years. The three main ones were Babylon in 586 BC, Alexander in 332 BC and the Saracens (Moslems) in 1291AD. These three groups caused great destruction to Tyre. When Nebuchadnezzar came, he destroyed Tyre’s coastal city Palatyrus. On his way he destroyed the daughters (coastal cities) of Tyre. It is interesting that the Babylonian king did not conquer the island of Tyre. After 13 years of trying he came to terms with the island city and left. After Nebuchadnezzar left, Palatyrus was never rebuilt and laid in ruins fulfilling prophecy.
In 332 BC Alexander the Great arrived and destroyed the island of Tyre after several months of siege. Alexander built a causeway to the island from the mainland to gain access to Tyre by using all of the debris of fallen Palatyrus and thus swept clean the rock of the city fulfilling prophecy. Today fishermen use the foundation of Palatyrus for the spreading of their nets, again fulfilling prophecy. During the Middle Ages the Moslem Saracens again destroyed the island of Tyre in 1291 AD. For some reason Tyre just keeps springing up again and again. Today, it is the city of Sur in Lebanon. So it appears that the majority of God’s judgement against Tyre was against the coastal city of Palatyrus. The island of Tyre was never completely destroyed. Perhaps there is a future judgement coming yet against the island. Neither the island of Tyre or its coastal city have been covered by the sea in a physical sense as stated in Ezekiel 26:19. Tyre’s leadership in international marketing however did come to an end after Alexander’s destruction of the island city.
Prince of Tyre the man:
Let’s now look at Ezekiel 28. Here is the lamentation over the prince of Tyre. First God says that he is against the prince because he said that he sits in the seat of God in the middle of the seas. God reminds him that he is a man and not God. The term ‘midst’ can mean middle or center. This is probably reference to the island of Tyre, however, ‘in the midst of the seas’ could also mean in the middle of humanity. The word ‘sea’ quite often in the Bible is a reference to humankind. Let’s continue. In verse three, this prince of Tyre is called wiser than Daniel, and no secret can be hid from him. His wisdom and understanding has gotten him riches and treasures, 28:4. The prince of Tyre at the time of Ezekiel’s lamentation was Ittobaal 11. Little is known about him so it is hard to say whether or not he was as wise as the scriptures say. Certainly, to be as wise as Daniel is saying a lot. Perhaps God is making light of Ittobaal’s pride in assuming to be wise as Daniel. Or perhaps there is yet another prince of Tyre who is yet to come who will sit in the middle of humanity and proclaim himself God.
Prince of Tyre the angel:
Now things begin to get real interesting about this prince. In Ezekiel 28:12 we see a twisting taking place much like Isaiah 14 where God speaks of a man (King of Babylon) and then turning to another individual known as Lucifer who could be a spiritual being such as Satan. In Ezekiel 28:12 we see this twist to another individual who also could be Satan. Verse 12 tells us that the prince of Tyre is full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. The Lord says that this prince was in Eden, the garden of God. Obviously, this is not a reference to Ittobaal or to any man. The only humans in the garden were Adam and Eve. More than likely, this prince is Satan himself or it is possible that is could be a reference to another fallen angel. Remember that there are many evil princes that control cities and countries. These princes are probably angels. The prince of Persia that withheld the angel Gabriel from getting to Daniel was probably a very powerful angel. In verse 13 of chapter 28 we see something very interesting. This prince was covered by nine precious stones. These stones are part of the precious stones mentioned in the foundation of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21. More important though is that these stones are part of the same kind of stones mentioned in the breastplate of the High Priest. This prince has for a covering (garnishing) nine of the twelve stones mentioned in the breastplate. This is where it gets real interesting and exciting. The three stones that are not given to the evil prince are the ligure, the agate, and the amethyst. While there is some debate on the identity of these precious stones that the Bible talks about, we do know is that each of these stones represent a tribe of Israel. The three stones not given to this evil prince are from the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin. These stones make up the third row in the High Priest breastplate. This I believe is not a coincidence but a hidden jewel of God’s grace in his word. Why, you may say? The tribe of Ephraim and Manasseh came from Joseph who was a shadow and type of Yeshua. Ephraim and Manasseh are sons of Joseph and an Egyptian mother. They are types of the church of Jew and Gentile. Benjamin was the other son of Rachel. (Joseph was Rachel’s first son). Rachel was the beloved wife of Jacob and she died giving birth to Benjamin. She called his name Benoni that means ‘son of my sorrow’. Jacob renamed Benoni to Benjamin, which means ‘son of my right hand’. Yeshua was known as the son of the right hand of God and he was also known as a ‘man of sorrows’. Benjamin was the only son of Jacob named by the father. Yeshua was named by the father and was given a name above all names. Benjamin was also born in Bethlehem, as was Yeshua. So we see that Benjamin is also a type of the Messiah. The three stones not given to this prince of Tyre has something to do with Yeshua the Messiah. Could it be that the nine stones of this prince represent the current authority of Satan that he has over the tribes of not only Israel but also the whole world? And the three missing stones represent those under Yeshua in whom Satan has no authority.
In Ezekiel 28 beginning with verse 14 we see that this prince is called the anointed cherub. This cherub lived on the mountain of God and walked in the midst of the stones of fire. This cherub dwelt around the throne of God. In verse 15 this prince was called perfect until iniquity was found in him. Verse 16 says that this prince’s merchandise filled himself with violence. The term merchandise means ‘trade’, ‘traffick’ and ‘to go about with dubious intent’ (giving rise to doubt). It appears that this prince promoted himself and created doubt about God and perhaps his word to the angels and thus causing a rebellion in the ranks. No wonder God hates rebellion. This prince and his slanderous gossip caused great trouble in heaven. So it appears more and more that this prince is Satan and he was a cherub. By the way, where did we ever get the idea that a cherub was a cute, little harmless angel? Not true. If Satan is a cherub then there is nothing little or cute about it. God will cast this prince out of the mountain of God and destroy him, verse 16. In verse 17 we see the reason for this prince’s fall. "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. In verse 18, God will bring a fire that will destroy this prince. We know that in the book of Revelation, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire for his final destruction.
The city of Tyre represented a Satan inspired world system. A prince who rules it was apparently controlled by a spiritual ruler, perhaps Satan himself. Because Tyre controlled the trade in the world at that time, it could be a shadow of the last-day’s empire to come on the earth. The attributes of Tyre and its prince may just be an example of how the last day scenario may occur. If Tyre is an example for us, then watch for a city or nation that controls and trades with the whole earth and considers itself rich. Sound familiar? This is exactly what is said about the city and nation of the last days Babylon mentioned in the book of Revelation. Nonetheless, keep an eye out for anyone with great wisdom and power that may come from Tyre...
We are now deep into of our study of the Antichrist. In this section we will discuss the Antichrist in the Book of Daniel. Obviously, because of the size of the book of Daniel, I will cover bits and pieces here and there to give an idea of the areas that deal with the Antichrist. This is an important book as it offers a lot of clues about this coming ruler. It would help to read chapters 7-12 as it would be easier to understand the points I’m trying to make, since it is a difficult area and would require an entire commentary to deal with all of the points.
THE COMING PRINCE OF THE FEIRCE COUNTENANCE
(DANIEL CHAPTER 8)
When studying these chapters in Daniel one must keep in mind that most of the scriptures here speak of one called Antiochus Epiphanes. This Greek/Syrian king ruled Israel in the 2nd century BC. He was a madman and his name Epiphanes is a title that means "God Manifest". In other words he considered himself as God or at least a human representation of God, a false messiah. It is interesting that in previous studies we see that Antiochus is like the King of Babylon and the Prince of Tyre who also considered themselves as God. But God reminds them that they are men. One must be careful when thinking that Daniel chapters 8 and 11 are talking exclusively about the Antichrist. The events that took place in these two chapters have already occurred through Antiochus. This king did everything these chapters said would happen to the detail. Some scholars refuse to believe that this part of Daniel was written before Antiochus came, because it is too accurate and must have been written after the fact. I for one believe that it was written before hand because Jesus refers to the book of Daniel and I don’t think Jesus would refer to a book in which the authorship was in question.
Now having said that most of the chapters 8 and 11 refer to Antiochus, let me say this. I feel that Antiochus was a shadow of the Antichrist and what this man did while on earth might very well be repeated by the Antichrist. The things that Antiochus did, appear to fit the Antichrist very well. Someone like him will appear again very soon. I will also say this, (I know this is weird), that Antiochus may be coming back as a resurrected being. I will explain later. Meanwhile, lets look at some of the things that this man did that may be repeated by the Antichrist.
Daniel chapter eight:
Daniel was receiving visions and one of these visions dealt with the future kings and rulers coming upon the world. Daniel saw visions of the Babylonian Empire, and the Persian/Mede Empire. The next empire would be of Alexander the Great as represented in Daniel’s dream by the goat with a single great horn (chapter 8:5). In verse eight, this great horn is broken at its greatest power, which refers to Alexander’s death. Alexander the Great died as soon as he conquered the known world. The great horn now was divided into four great horns. Alexander’s empire was divided into four sections amongst his four generals. Verse 9 says that a little horn shall appear from one of the four horns. This little horn is Antiochus Epiphanes. Keep in mind that another horn will rise up in the last days amongst seven other horns as stated in Revelation chapter 17. It is possible that there is a connection between the little horn in Daniel and the eighth horn in the book of Revelation.
Verse 10 says that Antiochus will become great even to the host of heaven. He will cast down some of the host and stars to the ground and stamp on them. Some Bible scholars say that this refers to Antiochus’s overthrow of the righteous leaders and priests in Jerusalem. In Isaiah 14:13 we learned that Lucifer exalted his throne above the stars of God and in Revelation 12:4 we see the great red dragon (Satan) cast a third part of the stars (angels) to the earth. There is a similarity here between Antiochus and Lucifer and the great red dragon. Verse 11 says that Antiochus will magnify himself even to the prince of the host. He will take away the daily sacrifice and cast down the sanctuary of the prince of the host. Again some scholars say that this was done when Antiochus threw down the high priest and appointed another. In Revelation 19:19 we see the beast raise himself above the true Prince of Hosts who is Jesus and attempt to make war with him. Which brings up an interesting point. Why would any mere mortal try to make war with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and his army as they approach earth? It appears that this beast is not just a mere mortal.
Antiochus stopped the daily sacrifice. This is also mentioned in Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11. There are not any clues in other scriptures about the Antichrist stopping sacrifices. There is of course the repeat of the Abomination of Desolation that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 24:15 concerning the last days. What is the Abomination of Desolation? In Daniel 8:13, 11:31, and 12:11 we see statements about this Abomination of Desolation. Antiochus had entered the temple in Jerusalem and erected a statue of Zeus and he sacrificed a pig (unclean animal) on the altar. These items are the Abomination of Desolation. Since Jesus warned us that in the last days this will happen again, it can be said that temple sacrifices will be coming back again and the Antichrist will stop the sacrifices and issue his own sacrifice. We do know that an image of the beast in the book of Revelation will be erected to be worshipped by the whole world just as Antiochus ordered every one in Israel to change their religion and worship the Greek gods such as Zeus. Perhaps this image of the beast will also be placed in the rebuilt temple. Again we see the similarity between what the Antichrist will do and what Antiochus has done. Verse 18: Jumping to this verse we see the angel Gabriel telling Daniel that this vision is "for at the time of the end". Which part of the vision is Gabriel talking about? He must be talking about the little horn vision since Daniel was already living during the time of the Persian Empire. Verse 19 also tells us that this vision is for the time appointed for the end. "Behold I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be". In verse 23, we see that this will occur in the latter time of the four kingdoms that came from Alexander the Great "when the transgressors are come to the full". Again some scholars say that soon after Antiochus, the Roman Empire began to take over the known world and so this fulfills this part of Daniel’s words. However, the phrase "when the transgressors are come to the full", as far as I know, has never been fulfilled. I don’t know of a time in history where it can be said that the transgressors have come to the full other than perhaps when God destroyed the world with a flood saving only Noah and his family. In the book of 2nd Thessalonians 2:3 we see that the day of Christ will not come until there is a falling away first. This falling away is a deception from truth or an apostasy. It is possible that there will be another time in our history where the transgressors are come to the full and it may be just before the day of the Lord when the falling away occurs. Remember Jesus said that in the last days, it would be as in the days of Noah. The sins of man were full during Noah’s day and it probably will occur again. It is not difficult to look around and see where the world is headed. Certainly our transgressions are reaching a full level again.
In Daniel 8:23 we also see that when the transgressors are full then this little horn will rise up. He is referred to as a king of fierce countenance, and one who understands dark sentences. He will understand questions that no one has been able to before. He will understand proverbs, puzzles, and mysteries. Antiochus never fulfilled this part of Daniel.
In verse 24 we see that this little horn does not have his own power but from another source. We do not know what source this is but if it is a reference to the Antichrist we know he gets his power from Satan (Revelation 13:4). Chances are that even Antiochus received his power from Satan. The scripture says that he will destroy wonderfully. That is, he will destroy marvelously with miracles, and by wondrous works. We know that the Antichrist (Revelation beast) will do these things. Satan will give miraculous power to the Beast of Revelation. Miracles and false deception will occur. The beast of Revelation will have a partner who appears as a religious man and cause the world to worship the beast. This partner or second beast will also perform miracles such as calling fire down from heaven (Revelation 13:13). Antiochus also had a religious partner. Antiochus appointed a new high priest in Jerusalem who convinced as many as he could to follow Antiochus and to worship the Greek gods. Again we see the tie between Antiochus and the beast.
Verse 24 in Daniel 8 also says that he will destroy the holy people. Antiochus no doubt did a good job of this. He ordered all the Jews to worship the Greek gods. He ordered that all of the scriptures be destroyed and if anyone was caught with them they would be killed. There was to be no honoring of the Sabbath or of the Feasts of God. There was to be no circumcision. If anyone was caught doing these things they were put to death. Antiochus loved to crucify men and also to impale them. He hung the women. Greek games were brought in and the Jewish men were encouraged to participate. Of course these games were conducted in the nude so many young Jewish men went through painful surgeries to uncircumcise themselves.
In the book of Revelation we see that the beast also causes an idolatrous worship and orders all to worship him. He will also make war against the saints of God (Revelation 13:7). Again we see the similitude between Antiochus and the Antichrist.
In verse 25 of Daniel 8 there are many more similarities between Antiochus and the Antichrist. This verse tells us that by his intelligence (policy) he will cause his craft (deceit or fraud) to prosper. This statement implies that this man is very intelligent and very deceiving. Antiochus may have had some of these characteristics but certainly nothing to boast about. However, the Antichrist will be incredibly good at it. The scripture says that this man will by peace destroy many. Antiochus wanted everyone to believe the same and become as one people. And so, he killed those who objected to his so-called peace plan. Is this what is going on in the world today? In the name of peace, nations are fighting other nations. In the name of peace, hate crime bills are being passed to legitimize sin. In the name of peace, abortions are happening. In the name of peace, a one-world government with one religion is being formed just as Antiochus would have liked. No doubt this is also the goal of the Antichrist. Today the spirit of Antiochus and the Antichrist is moving across the world. And like Antiochus, there is a movement to destroy the word of God. There are persecutions of believers in Jesus as well as against the Jewish people. But believing in a religion that accepts all religions is OK. Antiochus pushed the Greek religion and its multi-god belief system. You see the same thing today. A belief in any god is OK, but not the God of the Bible.
In the last part of verse 25 of Daniel chapter eight, Antiochus will stand up against the Prince of princes. Some scholars say this was Judas Maccabbee who lead the revolt against Antiochus and defeated his army. In the book of Revelation, the beast will also rise up against the Lamb of God who is the true Prince of princes. The scripture ends with the statement that this man will be "broken without hand". Antiochus died of a fever so it can be said he was "broken without hand".
The Good News is that the beast of Revelation will be captured by the Lamb of God, and then thrown into the Lake of fire. The breath of the Lamb of God will destroy the army of the beast. It could be said that the Lake of Fire would destroy the beast, thus without hand.
We pray you have enjoyed this study.
Your Brother In Messiah,