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Daniel 11: Who is the King of the South?

Method used: Selective word study from the Old Testament.

Bible used: New King James Version, 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.

 

In the Hebrew text the king of the South is the King of Negeb pronounced Negev in English.

Negeb is not Egypt and is not part of Egypt. Having said this, the Negeb came under Egyptian rule during the reign of the Ptolemaic kingdom after 300 B.C. until the Romans took over in 30 B.C. The Negeb is situated in the south of Judah in Palestine and was part of the inheritance given to the tribes of Simeon/Judah as Joshua entered the land of Canaan. Jos 15:1.

The Negeb is a desert waste land which lies south from Beersheba, south west from the Dead sea, east from the Mediterranean sea and north from the Sinai peninsula.

“Negeb is dry land comprised of an inverted triangle: one side along Wadi el-Arabah, one side near the Sinai Peninsula from the Gulf of Aqabah to the vicinity of Gaza, and its base from the coast to the Dead Sea north of Beersheba. The region has less rain than others in Palestine. In Biblical times it was never a desert but vegetation grew due to irrigation. Nelson Glueck in 1952 found hundreds of sites indicating the region was well populated. A large number of these settlements were found along the main highways of the region from Egypt to the north of Palestine. When Abraham journeyed in the Negeb to and from Egypt Gen12:9-13:1, he was able to find numerous cities and places for pasturage for his large flock of sheep. This settlement disappeared at the end of the period[1].”

Gen 12:9.10. “So Abraham journeyed, going on still toward the South (Negeb). Now there was a famine in the land, and Abraham went down to Egypt – – -.”

The Negeb in Judah and the country of Egypt are situated at two different locations and do not refer to the same area in this text.

Gen 20:1 “And Abraham journeyed from there to the South (Negeb), and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and stayed I Gerar.”

These towns lay on the outskirts of the Negeb in Judah and nowhere near Egypt.

Gen 24:62. “Now Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he dwelt in the South (Negeb).”

Negeb is situated in Judah here in this text.

Exodus 17:8-16.”Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim.”

Rephidim was about 100 miles south of the Negeb. The Amalekites lived in the Negeb which later became part of Judah. They travelled that long distance by foot to attack the Israelites south of the Sinai Peninsula. Amalek was the son of Esau´s son Eliphaz and his concubine Timna . Gen 36:12. Now Timna was the concubine of Eliphaz, Esaus`s son, and she bore Amalek to Eliphaz.

Exodus 17:13.14 “So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under the sun.”

Num 13:22 “And they went up through the South (Negeb which later became part of Judah) and came to Hebron; Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, were there.”

This refers to the 12 spies who were chosen to spy out the land of Canaan. They travelled through the Negeb to get to the promised land.

Num 13:17 “Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, “Go up this mountain way into the South (Negeb which later became part of Judah), and go up to the mountains.

When these spies came back, they gave their report.

Num 13:28.29 “nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are well fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there.”

The Amalekites dwelt in the land of the South (Negeb which later became part of Judah); the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwelt in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwelt by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.

Numbers 14:45 “Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelt in that mountain came down and attacked them, and drove them back as far as Hormah.”

This happened at Kadesh-barnea north of the Negeb (which later became part of Judah) when the Israelites at first refused to enter Canaan then changed their minds. They proceeded without Gods help.

Jos 15:1 “So this was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families: The border of Edom at the Wilderness of Zin southward (Negeb) was the extreme southern boundary.”

Jos 15:2-4 “Their southern border began at the shore of the Salt Sea, from the bay that faces southward. Then it went out to the southern side of the ascent of Akrabbim, passed along to Zin, ascended on the south side of Kadesh Barnea, passed along to Hezron, went up to Adar, and went around to Karkaa. From there it passed toward Azmon and went to the brook of Egypt; and the border ended at the sea. This shall be your southern border.”

The Negeb lies south of Beersheba, south west from the Salt Sea, east from the Mediterranean Sea, and north from the Wilderness of Zin and Sinai desert[2].

Jos 15:20.21. “This was the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Judah, towards the border of Edom in the South (Negeb), were Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur.”

Negeb became part of Judah.

Judges 1:9 “And afterward the children of Judah went to fight against the Canaanites who dwelt in the mountains, in the South (Negeb) and in the lowland.”

This Negeb later became part of Judah.

According to this study, the Negeb does not refer to Egypt or the King of Egypt. So who does the King of the south represent in Dan 11?

The King of the South (Negeb) is related to the king of the wicked, who in the following texts refer to the king of the Canaanites, the king of the Amalekites and the wicked.

Numbers 21: 1 “The King of Arad, the Canaanite, who dwelt in the South (Negeb), heard that Israel was coming on the road to Atharim. Then he fought against Israel and took some of them prisoner.”

Exodus 17:8-16.”Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim,” which was about 100 miles south of the Negeb. The Amalekites lived in the Negeb which later became part of Judah. They travelled that long distance by foot to attack the Israelites south of the Sinai Peninsula. Amalek was the son of Esau´s son Eliphaz and Eliphaz concubine Timna . Gen 36:12. Now Timna was the concubine of Eliphaz, Esaus`s son, and she bore Amalek to Eliphaz.

Judges 3:12.13 “Eglon King of Moab gathered the people of Ammon and Amalek, went and defeated Israel, and took possession of the city of Palms.”

Judges 6:3 “So it was, whenever Israel had sown, Midianites would come up; also the Amalekites and the people of the east would come up against them. They would destroy their produce.”

1 Sam 15:2.3. “Thus says the Lord of hosts: I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” In verse 8, Saul also took King of the Amalekites alive. He did not obey Gods command fully and therefore his kingship was taken from him.

1 Sam 15:32.33. Samuel the prophet kills the king of the Amalekites with a sword.

King David fought the Amalekites repeatedly in 1 Sam 27:8; 30:1.17.18. The Amalekites are last heard of in 1 Chron 4:42 were the Simeonites annihilate them totally.

Ezekiel 20:45-48 “Furthermore the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of man, set your face against the south; preach against the south and prophesy against the forest land (wild wood), the south (Negeb), and say to the forest (wildwood) of the South (Negeb), Hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree and every dry tree in you; the blazing flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be scorched by it.”

The fire which shall never be quenched refers to the fire upon the wicked. Rev 20:7-10.

Conclusion:

From this study the king of the South (Negeb) does not refer to Egypt in the Old Testament or the king of Egypt. It is a term used for the enemies of Israel, especially the wicked nations who attacked Israel. Therefore the King of the South would be more suited to the king of the wicked in Dan 11: and that is firstly Satan and secondly the kings and nations who persecute God´s people.

 

[1] George Arthur Butterick, Ed., The Interpreter´s Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 3 (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1962), 531.532.

[2] Siegfried H. Horn, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary, Vol. 8 (Washington D.C.: Review & Herald, 1979), Map VIII.

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