“Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done.” —Daniel 11:36
Antiochus Epiphanes Profanes the Temple, December 16, 156 BC
number of important historical events occurred in the period between the Old Testament and the New Testament (c. 420 B.C.—1 A.D.), called by Protestants the “intertestamental” period and by Roman Catholics the “deuterocanonical” era. During those four centuries, one of the greatest warrior kings of history arose—Alexander the Great, and his Not-So-Great successors, the Diadoche—four of Alexander’s generals who divided up his empire for themselves, after his death in 323 BC. One of the most aggressive and successful leaders, Seleucus I Nicator, ruled over a province that would eventually contain the area of the modern nations of Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, central Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan, which collectively became known as the Seleucid Empire, which lasted to 63 BC. The Seleucids (pronounced Sel-oo-sids) brought Hellenistic (ie. Greek) culture to the Middle East, maintaining and expanding the cultural continuity of Alexander’s conquests. One of the most brutal of the post-Alexandrian rulers acquired the name of Antiochus Epiphanes, and in his reign fulfilled a prophecy made centuries earlier in the Book of Daniel of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Antiochus Epiphanes (c. 215 BC -164 BC), Hellenistic king of the Seleucid Empire