“Three Kings” and the “Fourth” of Daniel 11:2
Damien F. Mackey
So he said, ‘Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince)’.
This text, given in the context of “… the third year of Cyrus king of Persia” (10:1), may provide us with a crucial clue for identifying the kings of Daniel 11:2, usually translated along the lines of:
‘Now then, I tell you the truth: Three more kings will arise in Persia, and then a fourth, who will be far richer than all the others. When he has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece’.
The “prince of Persia”, whom the speaker is about to resume his “fight against”, can only be, here in “the third year of Cyrus king of Persia”, Cyrus himself.
Daniel 11, dated to “… the first year of Darius the Mede” (11:1), who is also Cyrus himself, informs us that it is the fourth king who ‘will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece’.
So, we must already be at the time of that fourth king in Daniel 10 and 11, meaning that the three other kings referred to have already passed. This is contrary to all translations, which present the four kings of Daniel 11:2 all in a future context, ‘will arise’, ‘will be far richer’, ‘will stir up’. Hebrew (עֹמְדִים) is not by any means restricted to “will arise”, however.
See: http://biblehub.com/hebrew/omedim_5975.htm e.g., “were standing”, “had served”.
The predecessors of Cyrus, presumably the kings of the Chaldean empire (Nabopolassar; Nebuchednezzar II; Belshazzar?), are here described as ruling (לְ) (not necessarily “in”) Persia. Persia is perhaps mentioned here because this prophecy has occurred within the Medo-Persian era.
The Medo-Persian empire was indeed considerably vaster, and hence “far richer than” the previous ones (“all the others”).
This has ramifications because it was Darius “the Great” Hystaspes who would ‘stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece’. The way that my revision of the Medo-Persian empire is developing, Darius the Mede, who was Cyrus, may also be Darius “the Great” Hystaspes:
Darius the Mede = Cyrus the Great = Darius the Great
But Darius would finally have to contend with “the prince of Greece [Javan]”, who was Alexander, also known as “the Great”. I Maccabees 1:1: “After Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian, who came from the land of Kittim, had defeated Darius, king of the Persians and the Medes, he succeeded him as king. (He had previously become king of Greece.)”.
We are much, much closer to the Greek era than the conventional historians have realised.