The Bible tells us that the Roman Empire is defeated by God at the Second Coming of Christ. It is the last of four kingdoms that come up out of “the great sea.”
Throughout the Bible, this is a term for the Mediterranean Sea. (1) For example, when describing Israel’s borders, God tells Joshua:
Behold, I have allotted to you as an inheritance for your tribes those nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have already cut off, from the Jordan to the Great Sea in the west. (Joshua 23:6)
In the book of Numbers, God tells Moses the borders of the future land of Israel. When describing the western border, he says:
For the western border, you shall have the Great Sea and its coast. This shall be your western border. (Numbers 34:6)
Therefore, the end-times Roman Empire is situated around the Mediterranean Sea.
This map shows where the historical Roman Empire was located.
However, the Antichrist's empire does not start off this large. His allies voluntarily give him their power. He then conquers the rest of the Mediterranean area by force.
The Antichrist is the victim of a two-front attack, one by the “King of the South,” and the other by the “King of the North.”
At the time of the end, the King of the South shall attack him, but the King of the North shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through. (Daniel 11:40a)
Israel is the reference point for “south” and “north” in this verse. (1) Early in Daniel 11, references to the “King of the South” refer to Egypt. This makes sense, since Egypt is “south” of Israel. This is further supported by the fact that the Antichrist takes over Egypt, and other parts of north Africa, during his counterattack. (Daniel 11:42-43)
Who is the attacker from the north? Geographically and historically, it could refer to Syria. (3,5) However, Isaiah 17 makes clear that Damascus, Syria’s current capital city, will be destroyed in the end-times. Later, in the passage about his battles, the Antichrist is alarmed by “news from the east and the north" (Daniel 11:44).
Since Damascus is destroyed in the end-times, this bad news from the north can’t be coming from Syria. It must be coming from a northern foe who hasn’t been obliterated already (like Damascus), and is strong enough to fight the Antichrist.
Then who is the King of the North? Many commentators believe it is Russia. (4,5,6) This makes sense, because Russia is the most powerful country north of Israel today. Furthermore, the King of the North launches a naval attack on the Antichrist. However, the Caspian Sea is not a warm water port. Russia could use a naval base in abandoned Syria to launch an attack on the Antichrist.
This also makes sense when considering another famous end-time battle in the Old Testament. Ezekiel 38-39 describes a surprise attack on Israel by a group of nations, led by someone north of Israel.
However, God suddenly wipes out the invaders. Most commentators believe that the leader is Russia, allied with Turkey and Iran, among others. (7,8,9)
Though we don’t know if Turkey and Iran join Russia in their attack on the Antichrist, it does help us narrow things down. Turkey and Iran are allied with the Antichrist’s enemy. Therefore, the Antichrist is not from Turkey or Iran either.
The Antichrist's counterattack is overwhelming and forceful.
And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through. He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites. (Daniel 11:40b - 41)
He is apparently victorious over his northern attacker. At this point, the northern attacker may also be neutralized because of their defeat during the Gog-Magog invasion in Ezekiel 38-39. He also goes on to attack many other countries. During this counterattack, he invades Israel as well. However, Jordan is safe from his invasion.
The Antichrist goes on to invade Egypt, and other parts of north Africa. As it says further down:
He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall become ruler of the treasures of gold and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Cushites shall follow in his train. (Daniel 11:42-43)
The Antichrist's preoccupation with the African front gives the King of the North a chance to regroup.
But news from the east and the north shall alarm him, and he shall go out with great fury to destroy and devote many to destruction. (Daniel 11:44)
After a devastating defeat at the Gog-Magog war, Russia will finally regroups its forces. Furthermore, Asian armies will become a threat to the Antichrist. (Revelation 16:12)
As a result, he returns to Israel to engage them in battle.
And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him. (Daniel 11:45)
However, he comes to his "end" because he is defeated by Jesus at the battle of Armageddon. (Armageddon is "between the sea and the glorious holy mountain.")
A lot more can be said about these battles. However, for now it stands to reason that the Antichrist is not from any of the places he goes to war with.
We know that the Antichrist comes from the end-times Roman Empire. However, if the Antichrist goes to war with all these other places, then from where is he attacking? Which part of the map of the old Roman Empire is the home-base of his military operations? Through process of elimination, the only place left on our map of the Roman Empire is Western Europe.
- Walvoord, John F., and Roy B. Zuck. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. CO Springs, CO: Victor, an Imprint of Cook Communications Ministries, 2004. Old Testament Edition
- Tataryn. "Roman Empire Trajan 117AD." Digital image. Wikimedia Commons. May 28, 2012. Accessed October 16, 2018. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Roman_Empire_Trajan_117AD.png. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
- Showers, Renald. "What Does the Bible Tell Us about the Character of the Anti-Christ?" John Ankerberg Show. October 26, 2013. Accessed October 16, 2018. https://www.jashow.org/articles/what-does-the-bible-tell-us-about-the-character-of-the-antichrist/#What_does_the_Bible_tell_us_about_the_character_of_the_Anti-Christ.3F#What_does_the_Bible_tell_us_about_the_character_of_the_Anti-Christ.3F. Two pronged attack, implicates Syria as “King of the North”
- Hitchcock, Mark. Middle East Burning:. Eugene, Or.: Harvest House Publishers, 2012. He quotes Dr. Charles Ryrie, who implicates Russia as the "King of the North."
- Walvoord, John F. "The King Of The North." Bible.org. Accessed October 16, 2018. https://bible.org/seriespage/10-king-north.
- Walvoord, John F., and Roy B. Zuck. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. CO Spring
- Rhodes, Ron. Northern Storm Rising: Russia, Iran, and the Emerging End-Times Military Coalition Against Israel. Harvest House Pub., 2008.
- Joelcrosenberg. "With Russian & Iranian Forces Now Engaged in Combat in Syria, People Are Asking, "What Is the War of Gog & Magog?" Here's the Answer, Part One." Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog. October 08, 2015. Accessed October 16, 2018. https://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/with-russian-iranian-forces-now-engagedin-combat-in-syria-people-are-asking-what-is-the-war-of-gog-magog-heres-the-answer-partone/.
- Weldon, John G. "The Ezekiel 38 and Psalm 83 Prophecies/Part 4." John Ankerberg Show. May 07, 2016. Accessed October 16, 2018. https://www.jashow.org/articles/the-ezekiel-38-andpsalm-83-propheciespart-4/.
- Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
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