The Bible goes into specific detail about who attacks the Antichrist, and how he fights back. Daniel 11:40 says:
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. (Dan. 11:40 ESV)
The verse tells us that this happens “at the time of the end.” But who is the “him” that is attacked? In the verses before this, the text describes a king who will “exalt himself and magnify himself above every god.” This cross-references to 2 Thessalonians 2, where Paul talks about a very boastful man who is defeated at the return of Christ.
Daniel 11 gives all sorts of military prophecies about other kings, before talking about the Antichrist. These prophecies were fulfilled before the time of Christ. (1) These fulfilled prophecies can greatly help us understand what is meant by the terms used in the last part of Daniel 11, which discusses the Antichrist.
Throughout 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 during his counterattack, in the verses that follow.
Who is the king of the North? Throughout the chapter, the “king of the north” referred to the Seleucid Empire north of Israel. Here you can see a map of this Empire, which existed in Syria, Iraq, and parts of Turkey and Iran.
However, the Seleucid empire doesn’t exist today. Furthermore, Syria is a lot weaker than it was back then. In addition, Isaiah 17 makes clear that Damascus, Syria’s current capital city, will be totally destroyed. In later verses, the Antichrist is alarmed by “news from the east and the north.” Since Damascus is destroyed in the end times, this bad news from the north can’t be coming from Syria.
Then who is the king of the north? Many commentators believe it is Russia. (2, 3, 4) Ezekiel 38-39 make clear that Russia is a powerful force in the end times, allied with Turkey and Iran, among others. (5) This makes sense, because Russia is the most powerful country north of Israel today.
Nevertheless, even though the Syrian nation may not participate in this conflict, Russia could use Syria for a warm water naval port. (6) This is the case because the king of the north attacks the Antichrist with “many ships.” This makes sense, because Egypt would need help from Russia in their attack against Europe, which would require crossing the Mediterranean.
As we have seen, Antichrist does not throw the first punch in this battle. However, he uses their attack as an excuse to conquer everyone else. As it says, “And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through.” He quickly overtakes his northern foe, sweeping through many countries. Then he swings around the Mediterranean, goes through Israel, and takes over Egypt and other parts of north Africa.
In another article, we have seen how the Antichrist is the final leader of the Roman Empire, which will exist again in the end times. This map shows the historical Roman Empire at its greatest extent.
However, the Antichrist does not start off by controlling this whole area. As we have seen, he takes much of it by conquest. But where is the Antichrist’s home-base, before all of these conquests?
By process of elimination, the only place left is Western Europe. The Antichrist’s revived Roman Empire starts off in Western Europe, and expands via conquest to the surrounding areas mentioned in Daniel 11.
Ever since 2014, tensions between Russia and the European Union have escalated to the highest they have been since the Cold War. (7, 8) Furthermore, US President Trump has shown hesitation to guarantee military protection for his European allies. (9)
As a result, Europe is starting to build its own independent defense system to protect against Russia, called the “European Defense Union.” (10, 11)
This term wasn’t widely used until top Antichrist candidate, Javier Solana, proposed it back in early 2015. Solana and his team of experts stated that:
We firmly believe that the time has come for the creation of a European Defence Union that supports NATO in its task to provide territorial defence.” (11)
Around that same time, the President of the EU’s executive branch called for an EU army to protect against Russia. (12) Solana’s team expressed a similar concern in his report:
Russia’s infiltrations in Ukraine and provocations to member states’ territorial water and air defences have, however, delivered a blow to Europe’s post-Cold War security order and have revived awareness in the EU about the possibility of military attack and occupation in Europe. (11)
A power hungry leader of the European Defense Union could potentially use any attack against him as an excuse to invade everyone else. Furthermore, it’s easy to see how Russia would hate to have a united European military force sitting right next to them. In addition, Russia has shown aggressive behavior in Europe in the past few years. (13) Therefore, the prospect of Russia invading the EU is not far fetched.
During the Soviet Union, Russia and Egypt had a good relationship. However, starting in the 70’s, Egypt started to pivot towards the United States. (13) Yet recently, Russia and Egypt have been building a military relationship. (14) This fits with prophecy perfectly, since both Egypt and Russia attack Europe in the end times.
- Walvoord, John F., and Roy B. Zuck. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. CO Spring
- J. Paul Tanner, "Daniel's 'King of the North': Do We Owe Russia An Apology?" JETS 35:3 (Sept 1992): 315-28. http://paultanner.org/English%20Docs/Daniel/Introductory/App%20N%20-%20Daniel%2011%20Article.pdf
- 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.
- Rhodes, Ron. Northern Storm Rising: Russia, Iran, and the Emerging End-Times Military Coalition Against Israel. Harvest House Pub., 2008.
- “Russian Naval Facility in Tartus.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, September 28, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_naval_facility_in_Tartus.
- Cohen, Zachary. “US Intel Chief Says Risk of Global Conflict Highest since Cold War.” CNN. Cable News Network, February 13, 2018. https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/13/politics/worldwide-threat-assessment-hearing/index.html.
- Polyakova, Alina. “Are U.S. and Russia in a New Cold War?” Brookings. Brookings, January 23, 2019. https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/are-u-s-and-russia-in-a-new-cold-war/.
- Woody, Christopher. “Here's How Donald Trump Took Shots at NATO in 2018 - and It Spurred Jim Mattis to Quit in Protest.” Business Insider. Business Insider, December 21, 2018. https://www.businessinsider.com/heres-how-donald-trump-took-shots-at-nato-in-2018-2018-12.
- “Common Security and Defence Policy.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, December 28, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Security_and_Defence_Policy.
- Faleg, Giovanni, and Steven Blockmans. “More Union in European Defence.” CEPS, February 26, 2015. https://www.ceps.eu/ceps-publications/more-union-european-defence/.
- “Juncker Calls for EU Army, Says Would Deter Russia.” Reuters. Thomson Reuters, March 8, 2015. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-defence-juncker/juncker-calls-for-eu-army-says-would-deter-russia-idUSKBN0M40KL20150308.
- “Russian Military Intervention in Ukraine (2014–Present).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, December 30, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_military_intervention_in_Ukraine_(2014–present).
- “Egypt–Russia Relations.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, December 14, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egypt–Russia_relations.
- RFE/RL. “Putin, Egyptian Leader Sign 'Strategic' Partnership Treaty.” RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, October 17, 2018. https://www.rferl.org/a/putin-egytian-leader-el-sissi-discuss-increasing-arms-sales-direct-air-links-moscow-visit-sochi/29547819.html.
- Seleucid Empire: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seleucid_Empire#/media/File:Seleucid-Empire_200bc.jpg
- Maps made with Google maps
- Russian tank: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ac/A_Russia-backed_rebel_armored_fighting_vehicles_convoy_near_Donetsk%2C_Eastern_Ukraine%2C_May_30%2C_2015.jpg
- Putin - Sisi: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/Sisi_and_Putin_Visit_to_Moskava_7.jpg