The DEEP

Blaming God

The universal religion.

Daniel 11:29–39

“At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter. For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage.

“So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.

“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. He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.”

Antiochus loses a series of naval battles (ships from Cyprus shall come against him) and has to retreat. This trips his wire and he takes it out on everyone else, especially the temple. He shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage.

The rest of the passage details the abominations he commits. These things would be worthy of major punishments (like 70 years of exile) if done outside the temple. Inside the temple, they’re off the charts.

This is sin on steroids. It’s amazing how people who don’t believe in God manage to blame Him whenever things go wrong. Antiochus Epiphanes is Greek and has no respect for the God of the Hebrews.

But let him suffer a humiliating defeat and guess who he’s angry with.


But it gets worse. Antiochus’s actions are beyond mere human evil. We’ve seen the relationship between spiritual battles and earthly battles throughout Daniel, and this one is the worst case yet. Antiochus Epiphanes is a foreshadow of pure evil. This prophesy is about to shift gears.

The rest of Daniel is different. It hasn’t been fulfilled (yet).

It’s about the end times.


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

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The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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