Verse 36 “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.”
“Napoleon was not a king, but the term king is a general one to indicate a powerful ruler. He did, perhaps, as nearly “according to his will” as any man that ever lived; he was noted for his willfulness and determination, which conquered almost insurmountable difficulties. To get the proper meaning of the above verse, it must be remembered that the word “god” signifies a mighty one; and that it is frequently used in Scripture in referring to kings and rulers, as in this verse: “god of gods.” Here the word “gods” refers to rulers, kings and princes, and the expression, “god of gods,” or ruler of rulers, refers to the pope.
Most men have acknowledged some religious superior, but Napoleon acknowledged none. He had a will of his own, and a plan of his own, which was to exalt himself above every other ruler. Even the “god of gods” (i.e., the ruler of rulers–the pope) he addressed in a marvelous way; commanding his obedience as his servant, in a manner which shocked the superstitions of the world at that day, and the dignity of the papal hierarchy as well. And, as here declared, he prospered until he had accomplished his mission of scourging Papacy (“till the wrath has been accomplished”), and breaking its influence over the minds of the people.” (C 40, 41)
“We have been led by the hand in Scripture from the birth of the baby, the man-child, in (A.D. 314, See the Twelfth Chapter of Revelation, Part 9). The baby grew up so that in 539 it was the man of sin. In 800 under Charlemagne, the man of sin (Papacy) had the supremacy over civil power. In 1517 the Protestant Reformation occurred in Germany. Meanwhile, the Reformation was taking place in England under Tyndale. Then the year 1799 marked the defeat of Papacy by Napoleon (temporal dominion was taken away) and the beginning of the Time of the End.”
In describing Papacy, 2 Thess 2:4 says, “Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God [a god] sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God [a god].” This text helps to show that the term “God of gods” in Daniel 11:36 refers to Papacy.
Roman Catholics are very happy today with the explanation of Antiochus Epiphanes as the abomination of desolation in the BC era. On the other hand, Evangelicals look for a future literal man of sin. Thus neither group properly identifies the man of sin.”
Verse 37 “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.”
A number of verses are devoted to both Napoleon and Marcus Aurelius in order to nail down a secure point on the pages of history. Here we continue with Napoleon. “Neither shall he [Napoleon] regard the God [Papacy] of his father’s [past emperors].” “Nor [did he] regard any god [except himself]: for he shall magnify himself above all.”
“Neither shall he regard… the desire of women.” Although Napoleon had a child, he was not influenced by that child. Spiritually speaking, the “women” would be Protestantism. Thus he had no regard for either Roman Catholicism (the mother) or Protestantism (the daughters).
Verses 38 and 39 “But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his father’s knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.”
“But in his place [instead of any of these gods] he shall honor the God of [military] forces.” The army, of which he was the intellectual leader, was his “god.” Napoleon was instrumental in both wounding and restoring Papacy. The wound was so deep that eventually, in 1870, Papacy lost all temporal power. In 1798 he struck a death blow against the pope, undercutting the authority and reverence for Papacy. On one occasion, instead of swearing by the God of heaven, by Papacy, or by France, he said, “I swear by myself.” Thus Napoleon recognized the god of forces, his army, under his control; that is, he recognized himself. Napoleon was a genius and a brilliant tactician—in fact, he was very learned on many, many subjects. Incidentally, Napoleon was the one who first made the statement “An army travels on its stomach.”
“A god whom his father’s knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.” Napoleon’s strategy was to reward his generals with benefices. (Similarly the pope used to give out domains as simony.) Napoleon set his generals over various provinces. In their positions of power, they absorbed or appropriated the revenues that were available under their charge or jurisdiction. The quantity of Napoleon’s own captured loot was tremendous. He distributed the provinces in lieu of a fixed salary. Thus did he “divide the land for gain” (Verse 39). The Book of Daniel, Page 145
“Having thus furnished grounds for establishing the identity of this character (Napoleon), whose deeds mark the beginning of the “Time of the End,” the prophecy proceeds to show which particular event of that time is to be understood as definitely marking the exact date of the beginning of the “Time of the End.”
This event is shown to be Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt, which covered a period of a year and nearly five months. He sailed May, 1798 and, returning, landed in France Oct. 9, 1799. This campaign is graphically described in a few words in Verses 40-44.” (C 44)
Verse 40 “And at the [fixed or appointed] time of the end shall the king of the south [Egypt] push at him: and the king of the north [England] shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen [the Egyptian Mamelukes, etc.], and with many ships [the English forces consisted of a navy under Admiral Nelson]; and he [Napoleon] shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over [victoriously].”
“The “king of the south” was Egypt. The “king of the north” can be interpreted two ways: as either England under Lord Nelson with his ships or as Napoleon himself, who also had many ships. In other words, when Napoleon went to Egypt, he took his army with him and that required a great armada. While he was busy fighting Egypt, his ships were in the harbor unprotected.” (The Book of Daniel, Page 146)
“History informs us that the Egyptian army under Murat Bey “after a most determined struggle was repulsed; the success of the French struck terror far into Asia and Africa; and the surrounding tribes submitted to the conqueror… But fortune was preparing for him a terrible reverse. His fleet, consisting of thirteen ships of the line [war vessels], besides frigates, was found in Aboukir Bay by Nelson, the English admiral, who had long been in pursuit, and was attacked on the evening of Aug. 1, 1798, with a degree of vigor and activity [“like a whirlwind“] which was never surpassed in naval warfare.” (C 45)
“As a result, Napoleon found himself and his troops landlocked and in a dilemma. After he won the Battle of the Pyramids and got booty, he left a capable general in charge (General Kleber) and then proceeded along the coast, but inland a little, to Gaza and on up to Mount Tabor in northern Israel.” (The Book of Daniel, Page 146)
Thus once again Daniels people find themselves caught between the warring kings of the North and the South.
Now let us recall what the Pastor previously said about Verses 29 and 30:
“We regard Verses 29 and 30 as a parenthesis, thrown in to conceal the meaning for a time by breaking the order of the narrative, and believe it to apply to a then far future collision between the representatives of the Roman Empire and Egypt. No further conflict between these would occur except one, and it would be just at “the time appointed”—the time of the end, 1799.” (C 35)
“The Pastor connected Verses 29 and 30 with the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt.
Verse 29 “At the (prefixed) time appointed he (the King of the North) shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.”
“Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt did not result either like that in the days of Cleopatra, or like that in the days of her descendant, Queen Zenobia. Napoleon, though successful as a general in Egypt, achieved no such victories as his predecessors; and the reason is described in the next verse.” (C 47)
Verse 30 “For the ships of Chittim [“of the Romans” Douay Version] shall come against him (The English navy harassed Napoleon and hindered his conquest. Since England as well as France had been a part of the old Roman Empire, and since France was at war with the remainder of that empire, endeavoring to conquer it, we see the propriety of these being called Roman ships): therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.”
These two verses, referring to Napoleon in Egypt, were a roadblock to the understanding of Daniel 11. The ships of Chittim refer to Lord Nelson’s going down to Egypt with his armada and destroying all of Napoleon’s vessels. “Chittim” (Hebrew Kittim Strong’s # 3794 a general term for all islanders of the Mediterranean Sea; See marginal reading; western lands especially Cyprus) Chittim refers to England, which was a part of the old Roman Empire at that time.
The purpose of this whole chapter is to fix the point of the beginning of the time period known as the Time of the End. In Marcus Aurelius’s day, the Time of the End was aborted. Hence verses 29 and 30 were inserted as an afterthought, for Marcus Aurelius also went to Egypt and returned. The Pastor reasoned that Verses 29 and 30 were a parenthetical thought, like a side remark, that the king of the north (Napoleon) would be back again.” (The Book of Daniel, Page 146)
Verses 41- 43: “He shall enter also into the glorious land [Palestine], and many shall fall: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom and Moab, and the principality of the children of Ammon. [Napoleon kept to the coast, and did not enter but passed by these lands.] He shall stretch forth his hand upon the countries, and Egypt shall not escape. And he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and the Libyans and the Ethiopians will follow at his steps.”
Verses 44 and 45: “And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace [his palatial tents] between the [two] seas [the Mediterranean and the Sea of Galilee], in the glorious holy mountain [Mount Tabor].” This statement might refer to either of two mountains–Mt. Tabor or Mt. Sinai–both of which might be called glorious and holy. On Mt. Tabor, glorious and holy as the place of our Lord’s transfiguration, and called by Peter “the holy mount,” Napoleon’s tents were pitched, one of his most important battles being fought there. Mt. Sinai, holy and glorious as being the place where the Law Covenant between God and Israel was ratified, was visited by Napoleon and his “scientific corps” and select guard.
“But tidings [or rumors] out of the East and out of the North [France] shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many [nations]. Yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”
While in Egypt tidings of fresh alliance against France reached Napoleon, and he at once set out for France. With reference to this history says, “Intelligence from Europe now induced him to abandon Egypt; and, leaving his army under Kleber, he returned to France with secrecy and dispatch. …A reverse of fortune had taken place in French affairs; a second coalition had formed against France, composed of England, Russia, Naples, the Ottoman Porte and Austria.” Compare these words of history with those of prophecy: “But tidings out of the East and out of the North shall trouble him; therefore shall he go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many [nations].” Napoleon’s great fury, and his attempted destruction of all the nations of Europe, are too well known to require repetition here. He almost succeeded in his ambitious designs; yet, as predicted by the Prophet, in a few years this most notable man of his day died an exile, forsaken by all.”(C 45, 46)
“Eventually he conducted a campaign to Russia, conquering all others as he went along. However, with the severity of the winter in Russia, he lost almost his entire army and barely escaped back to France with his life…The account about Napoleon is not always sequential. It tells of various things he did and even repeats. Enough information however is presented to pin down Napoleon as the character being described… After losing the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon died in exile on an island in the Mediterranean. It is felt that he was poisoned.
Concluded with next post.