Some writers on biblical prophecy (like Ewiak Ryszard and Hal Lindsey) have claimed that the King of the North in the 11th chapter of the Book of Daniel will be Russia in the end times. I, and others, however, contend that the King of the North must be related to some type of Greco-Roman empire that will emerge in Europe.
Those who claim the King of the North is Russia tend to rely on certain passages in the 38th and 39th chapter of the Book of Ezekiel for much of their proof (as well as the "time of the Gentiles, see also When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?). However, the reality is that it is only in the 11th chapter of the Book of Daniel that the term “King of the North” is actually used in scripture and that should be a major focus to understand who the final King of the North will be.
All biblically-respectful writers that I am aware of all believe that there were certain individuals who fulfilled many of the prophecies related to the King of the North in Daniel 11. Most also believe that there will also be a final King of the North who will fulfill the latter verses of that chapter (precisely starting when is a matter of debate). (Note: those who would like to watch a video on this can watch Is Russia the King of the North?)
Since there is a somewhat popular essay at ReligiousTolerance.org by Ewiak Ryszard that claims that Russia is the King of the North, I would like to quote and comment on parts of that article in order to provide an alternative viewpoint which I believe has greater biblical support.
First of all, I wish to say that I do agree with Ewiak Ryszard’s references that biblical Magog is now represented by Russia and its close allies. However, the term Magog is not mentioned in Daniel 11 and I wish to mainly focus on what Ewiak Ryszard wrote about that chapter.
Second of all, I agree with Ewiak Ryszard when he claims that various Greco-Roman emperors fulfilled certain verses of Daniel 11 (though necessarily the same leaders), and hence several individually fulfilled the role of the “King of the North”.
Furthermore, I agree with him that there is an end time fulfillment of verse 27 of Daniel 11.
However, starting with his analysis of verse 27, he goes off on what I consider to be an inaccurate tangent. Here is some of what he wrote:
"And both these kings, their hearts (will be) to do mischief, and at one table (they) will speak a lie. But it will not succeed, for yet (the) finish to (the) appointed time." (11:27, literal translation)
It certainly suggests that the verse does not concern to the ancient times. It describes the end of times right before the appointed time. (Compare Daniel 11:29a)
Russia and England (from second half of the XIX Century)...In 1907, an Anglo-Russian agreement divided Persia into English and Russian spheres of influence, a large Russian sphere in the north, covering the most valuable part of the country, a neutral sphere in the centre, and a smaller British sphere in the southeast.
His suggestion that a deal between Russia and England involving Egypt in 1907 fulfills the Daniel 11:27 prophecy involving a deal between the King of the North and the King of the South is in error. And while it is true that England had certain control of Egypt back then, I do not agree that England (which is far to the north of Jerusalem) could have been the biblical King of the South. Ewiak Ryszard’s assertion that England was the King of the South in 1907 is held by very few. (And while Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that England was the King of the South in the early 20th century, they use 1914; the Jehovah’s Witnesses also teach that Germany, not Russia, was the King of the North then.)
Since England is not a southern power, it is not logical that it was the King of South then or ever. Therefore since England was not the King of the South, there has not yet been the final deal between the end time kings of the North and South as Ewiak Ryszard’s essay claims. Furthermore, I do not agree that the appointed time of the end began over a century ago (especially since Jesus taught that one generation would see many of the end time events per Matthew 24:34). While we are getting close, it has not yet began.
For the next verse, Ewiak Ryszard wrote the following:
"And (he) ["the king of the north"] will go back (to) his land with great wealth; and his heart (will be) against the holy covenant; and will act effectively; and turned back to his own land." (literal translation)
History of Russia after World War II…
Daniel foretells here that "the king of the north" [Russia] will not only be successful in WW II, but also that he returns to his land with a great amount of goods...
The break-up of the Soviet Union and return to the country of Russian garrisons (the liquidation of Russian military bases).
I disagree with Ewiak Ryszard that this verse starts to tell the post-WWII history of Russia. Also, there is no evidence that Russia turned against the “holy covenant”—nor was any explanation of how that presumably was fulfilled was in his essay. It also did not return with great amounts of wealth at this time. Thus, there is no way that Russia fulfilled Daniel 11:28 or the certain other prophecies that Ewiak Ryszard contends.
And related to Daniel 11:29-30, Ewiak Ryszard makes the following claim:
Matthew 24:7 = Daniel 11:29,30 = WW III
And while this will lead to what could possibly be called WWIII, this is not. A naval conflict happen, but that is not WWIII.
Let's skip down to Daniel 11:40, which states:
40 At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.
Notice this is a battle essentially between the King of the North and the King of the South. Ewiak Ryszard calls Daniel 11:40, “World War IV.” He seems to be reading into the verse something that it does not teach.
Ewiak Ryszard wrote the following further in his essay:
Russia again will attack Israel.
Now, this is a biblical problem.
Because Daniel 11:44 teaches the following about the King of the North:
44 But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many (Daniel 11:44, NKJV).
Notice that the King of the North is troubled by news from the east and the north. Thus, it would appear that Russia cannot be the King of the North as there are no nations that are north of Russia. But as Russia is north of Europe, Europe geographically better fits Daniel 11:44.
Furthermore, as Israel is also not east nor north of Russia (it is south and slightly west), Ewiak Ryszard’s assertions about it and Daniel 11:44-45 are in error.
Here is another passage from Ewiak Ryszard’s essay:
Ezekiel wrote that after "Gog's" last attack he will fall and then be buried by the people. (Ez.39:4,11)
But that does not square with scripture for the King of the North. Notice that the Bible shows that the last time Gog attempts to attack is after the 1000 year millennium (which happens after there is no King of the North):
7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them (Revelation 20:7-9).
In another place, Ewiak Ryszard’s essay correctly shows the millennium coming after the King of the North’s attacks and after Armageddon.
Also notice what happens in Ezekiel 39:
39:1 "And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal; 2 and I will turn you around and lead you on, bringing you up from the far north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel. 3 Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand. 4 You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5 You shall fall on the open field; for I have spoken," says the Lord GOD. 6 And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the LORD (Ezekiel 39:1-6).
Thus asserting that Ezekiel 38 and 39 refers to the King of the North is in error. The tie to Revelation 20, after the 1000 year millennium, makes much more sense.
In Ewiak Ryszard’s essay he also claims:
Ezekiel Chapter 38 and 39 = Daniel 11:45 …
But Daniel 11:45 states this about the King of the North:
45 And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him (Daniel 11:45).
The description in Daniel 11:45 is not the same as what is in Ezekiel 38 and 39. In Ezekiel 38 and 39 Gog/Magog is helped by “many” (Ezekiel 38:6,15) “peoples” (Ezekiel 39:4), which is not the case of the King of the North in Daniel 11:45.Thus, Ewiak Ryszard’s assertion that “Ezekiel Chapter 38 and 39 = Daniel 11:45” makes little sense (for details on Russia in prophecy, including explanations of the timing of Russia's roles in Ezekiel 38 and 39, please see the article Russia: Its Origins and Prophesied Future.)
Although it is in the north, the Bible (when more specific) appears to refer to those in Russia as part of the “far north” (Ezekiel 38:3,6, 14-15). Russia is currently the most massive military power of the “far north.”
However, as Ewiak Ryszard and others have admitted, historically it has been Greek (and perhaps also Roman) emperors which have fulfilled past prophecies of the King of the North.
It would seem logical then, that the final King of the North would also be the ruler of some type of final Greco-Roman empire. And the seat of power for those empires was in Europe.
Daniel 9:26-27 describes the rise of a prince who came from the people who destroyed Jerusalem, the European Romans.
Matthew Henrys Commentary states the following concerning Daniel 9:
It is here foretold that the people of the prince that shall come shall be the instruments of this destruction, that is, the Roman armies, belonging to a monarchy yet to come…the sacrifice and oblation shall be made to cease...And when it is made desolate, it should seem, there is something more determined that is to be poured upon the desolate (v. 27).
These passages, according to many Bible writers, ties into the actions of the King of the North when his forces “shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation” (Daniel 11:31). Roman armies would be more closely tied to Europe than they would Russia. The Great Tribulation will also not start before there is an actual King of the South and an actual King of the North--and while the "prince" will apparently help make a deal with Israel, Daniel 11:27 requires two kings, which suggests that the "prince" will gain more and more importance after the deal in Daniel 9:27. Daniel 9:26-27 shows that this prince comes from the people of the old Roman Empire. This prince rules the final Beast power of Revelation 13:1, the beast of the sea.
The Bible is clear that the “Great Sea,” where the Beasts of Daniel 7 come from, is the Mediterranean Sea (e.g. Joshua 9:1, 23:4; Ezekiel 47:15). The Beast power is not a nation like Russia, which does not border the Mediterranean Sea, but Europe which does (there is also a YouTube video on this you can watch titled Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?).
Furthermore, the fact that Daniel 11:44 tells that the final King of the North will be troubled by news from the east and the north most certainly does allow for the final King of the North to be European. Russia, specifically, is both east and north of much of Europe.
Additionally, there are a couple of passages in the Book of Jeremiah that support my assertions on this:
50:41 "Behold, a people shall come from the north,
And a great nation and many kings
Shall be raised up from the ends of the earth.
42 They shall hold the bow and the lance;
They are cruel and shall not show mercy.
Their voice shall roar like the sea;
They shall ride on horses,
Set in array, like a man for the battle,
Against you, O daughter of Babylon.
43 "The king of Babylon has heard the report about them,
And his hands grow feeble;
Anguish has taken hold of him,
Pangs as of a woman in childbirth..."(Jeremiah 50:41-43).
Thus, the European empire (the "daughter of Babylon") is to be destroyed by a northern (apparently Russian led) force. This force from “the ends of the earth” will apparently be those from the far north and the far east. This is consistent with Daniel 11:44. And the “many kings” is consistent with the “kings of the sunrise” of Revelation 16:12 (literal translation).
Notice that the “king of Babylon” the “daughter of Babylon” heard reports about them. This is totally consistent with the King of the North being troubled by “news from the east and the north” (Daniel 11:44).
And who is the end time “King of Babylon”?
Various end time writers (including some who claim Russia is the King of the North) believe that the final “King of Babylon” (the end time Babylon in the Book of Revelation) is going to be a European power.
Yet, this is the same European power that is the King of the North in Daniel 11:27-45 and is the same one that is troubled by the news from the east and the north in Daniel 11:44.
While the final time of the Gentiles is coming (per the Bible, see also When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?), the final King of the North cannot be Russia. Only a European power meets the criteria listed in Daniel 11. And that is consistent with other prophecies in the Bible, such as Jeremiah 50:41-43.
For a more detailed explanation of Daniel 11 and the roles and expected actions of the final King of the North, please check out the article Who is the King of the North? For details on Russia in prophecy, including explanations of the timing of Russia's roles in Ezekiel 38 and 39, please see the article Russia: Its Origins and Prophesied Future. Those who would like to watch a video can watch Is Russia the King of the North?
Thiel Bob. Is Russia the King of the North? http://www.cogwriter.com/is-russia-the-king-of-the-north.htm (C) 2009/2012/2013 0329
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