Daniel 11:1-5
Daniel 11:1
Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
By the consent of Cyrus, Darius now had the rule of Babylon.  Here the angel which was speaking with Daniel now tells him that it was God’s will that the angel had strengthened Darius.  The Hebrew word behind “confirm” carries with it the meaning of “a fortification.”  The angel was literally the protector of Darius at this time.
Daniel 11:2
And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.
The angel now gives the understanding of the vision to Daniel which will take in the history of the Near East in Daniel’s time all the way to the latter times.  The three kings which were to rule in Persia were at present Darius the Mede and then Cyrus, after him came Cambyses who was the son of Cyrus and then Darius Hystaspes who was also called Darius the Great who ruled from 522-486 B.C.  His rule was at a time when the Medo-Persian Empire was at its zenith.  It included the areas of western Asia, that Caucasus, most of the Black Sea, Central Asia as far as the Indus Valley in the far east and parts of northern and northeastern Africa including Egypt.  One can now understand why he was richer than his predecessors.  He came against Greece with the invasion of Thrace around 492 B.C.  He had also conquered a number of cities of the northern Aegean.  Macedonia had submitted to his forces voluntarily making them a vassal kingdom.
Daniel 11:3
And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
As one kingdom goes, another is raised up.  Here is the prophecy of Alexander the Great who will be head of the Empire of Greece which will come after the Medes and Persians.  He will exercise his will, and his motivation will be to conquer as many nations as possible and he will do this with great success.
Daniel 11:4
And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.
After Alexander’s many conquests, he went to Babylon and after a night of feasting and drinking, he developed a fever and died eleven days later.  His son should have been the heir to his kingdom but as the Scripture states it would not be “his posterity.”  It was divided toward the four winds of Heaven.   Daniel 8:8 (KJV)   Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.  It was divided into four parts and four of his most trusted generals would rule.  The scripture states “nor according to his dominion which he ruled:” which means that each kingdom would not be as large as the one Alexander ruled, they would be much smaller having been divided.  Then there will also be much smaller areas which will be ruled by lesser ranking officers but these were very small areas.
Daniel 11:5
And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.
Now the scene shifts from Asia and Greece to Egypt and Syria.  The king of the south here is Ptolemy I Soter who ruled from 305-285 B.C.  He was a Macedonian Greek General under Alexander the Great.  He ruled Egypt.  He took the title of king although in reality he was only Governor of Egypt.  In this verse we read about “one of his princes” which will have greater power and a larger dominion than Ptolemy I, who is not a prince of Egypt but one of Alexander’s inheritors.  His name was Seleucus I Nicator who ruled 305-281 B.C.  He had ruled over Macedonia, Greece, Asia, Syria, Babylon and Media plus the eastern countries as far as India.