You’re Not Gonna Believe Your Eyes… when you read Gabriel “strengthened” an unsaved king. But he did it (11:1) to help him conquer Babylon, because Babylon conquered Israel (Gen. 12:3 cf. Jer. 51:11). We’re not told how he strengthened him, but it was probably the same way God “strengthened” Gideon (Judges 7:10), by assuring him the battle was as good as won. God revealed to Gideon how scared the Midianites were of Israel, and he probably revealed to Darius how scared Belshazzar was of him after Daniel told him he’d die that night in Daniel 5.
But why is Gabriel telling Daniel he strengthened Darius? Because Daniel needed strengthening (cf. 10:8, 16, 17), and Gabriel will end this discussion with Daniel by telling him Israel’s battle was good as won (12:7). So after telling Daniel the truth about how he strengthened Darius, he told him, “And now will I shew thee the truth” (Dan. 11:2).
Daniel was seeing this vision of Gabriel “in the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia” (10:1), and here learns that Persia will have 3 more kings. History says they were Ahasuerus, Artexerxes, and another Darius. The “fourth” was Xerxes. He did what verse 2 says and got the Persians stirred up against Greece. So when they got a “mighty king” (v. 3) named Alexander, he conquered Persia, but was “broken” (v. 4) soon after he stood up, i.e., he died young
In Chapter 8, we saw that his 4 generals divided up his empire, as we see again here. Normally, a dead king’s kingdom goes to his son, but Alexander’s kingdom didn’t go to “his posterity” because those four kings murdered his son. And “his dominion” (his subjects) had no say in who took over either. Those four generals just “plucked” it up.
Everything in Daniel 11:1-4 is past, and everything from verse 5 on is future. That’s why some KJVs put a paragraph mark before v.5. This prophecy was interrupted by the mystery. The king of the south in Egypt in those days (Ptolemy) would have done the things in 11:5-45, but now another king will rise in Egypt to do them after the Rapture, just as John the Baptist would have been Elijah (Mal. 4:5, 6 cf. Mt. 17:10-13; Lu. 1:16, 17), but now another Elijah will have to come.
The details of Daniel 11:6 are inscrutable, but they’ll be clear when they happen (cf. Joel 2:28; Acts 2:4-17). Saints then will be as filled with the Spirit as Peter was and will “know all things” (I Jo. 2:20, 27). But we don’t have to understand this, for we’ll be raptured before it happens!
The daughter of the king of the south will raise up a son who will raise up an army to attack Syria to the north (Dan. 11:7). He’ll sack Syria and kill her king (v. 8, 9), angering his sons. “One” of the sons will mass an army to counterattack Syria (v. 10), but Syria hears about it. But her great multitude is given into the hands of the Egyptians (11). This causes the king of Egypt to get cocky and conquer thousands more (v. 12), but we know he won’t be “strengthened” by his victory because Syria starts to threaten them again (v. 13), and the other nations of the Mideast join her (v. 14). They’re called the robbers of Daniel’s people because they’ll sack Israel to finance their own war on Egypt. They’ll be trying to “establish” the “vision” of Ezekiel 20:19 that predicts the fall of Egypt by Babylon, who will be in league with the Assyrian Antichrist (cf. Rev. 17, 18). “Mounts” (Dan. 11:15) were dirt that was piled up outside city walls so armies could scale them (Isa. 29:3; Jer. 6:6). That means either modern weapons will be gone by then (cf. Ezek. 39:9) or modern weapons will have ancient names, like Tomahawk missiles. The king of Syria will conquer Egypt and stand in the “glorious land” of Israel (11:16), his real desire. His “whole kingdom” (v. 17) will now include those other nations of the Mideast who won’t be able to “stand” against him, but his lust to conquer will cause him to look to the “isles” (v. 18). With that kind of power, you’d think he’d be the Antichrist, but he comes along in Daniel 11:19-21.