Bible Subjects

Daniel 11:15-20 How can a “daughter” be so corrupt?

Dan 11:15a. and he shall come king of the north and he shall pour out siege works and he seizes city of fortresses and armed forces of the Negev not they shall stand and people of chosen ones of him and there is no vigour/strength to to stand of. (Hebrew literal translation)

Dan 11:15b. So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither (shall there be any) strength to withstand. (Hebrew/English translation)

The king of the north was the emperor Justinian AD 527-565, after the three tribes Visigoths, Vandals and Ostrogoths were plucked up,

(Walker 141[1]).The great Justinian (AD 527-565), more fully than any other of the eastern emperors, succeeded in making himself master of the church. His conspicuous military successes restored to the empire for a time, control of Italy and North Africa. The church was now practically a department of the state. Heathenism was suppressed and persecuted as never before.

(Lyons 240[2]). Later emperors also gained a reputation for church building. Most famous of all was Justinian (AD 527-65), whose extensive construction program included hundreds of church buildings throughout the empire.  Justinian the king of the north poured out siege works by building churches all over his empire. He furthermore seized the armed forces of the Negev and that is heathenism in this case. Heathenism was suppressed and persecuted and could not stand up to him.

Dan 11:16a. and he shall do the one coming to him as approval of him (he shall do according to his will) and there is no one standing to faces of him and he shall stand in land of the glory and it will be finish in hand of him.

Dan 11:16b. And he shall do according to his own will anyone who comes against him. None shall stand before him. He shall stand in the Land of Glory and by his hand it shall be consumed.

A similar verse to this one is in Dan 11:36a. And he does as approval of him the king and he shall exalt himself. Dan 11:36b. And the king shall do according to his will and he shall exalt himself.

This power and king who does according to his will in both verses is the Little Horn or the papacy.

“He” in verse 16 is the beginning of a series of pronouns which carry on to Dan 11:45 and refers to the Little Horn power only.

When this verse states that no one can stand or go against him, it is referring to the Little Horn´s power which includes absolute religious power and political support. The Land of Glory is a symbol of the Christian community in the church on earth. That is the Roman Catholic Church consumes all Christian believers and they come under her power and authority, hence nullifying the Bible: God´s word and God´s authority.

Dan 11:17a. and he shall place faces of him to to come of in might of all of kingdom of him and equitable settlements (agreements) with him and he makes and daughter of the women he shall give to him to corrupt of her and not she shall stand and not to him she shall be.

 Dan 11:17b. He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and equitable settlements with him, thus shall he do. And he shall give him the daughter of women to corrupt her and she shall not stand nor be with him.

“He” refers to the Little Horn power that enters his kingdom with strength and he uses equitable settlements of persuasion with all the kings and powers in his kingdom. And the Little Horn shall give “him” his kingdom the daughter of women to corrupt “her” that is the true believers in the church, but “she” the true believers will not stand and accept the Little Horn´s power of false teachings.

OK! There are a few words that need to be cleared up in the verse and get the correct meaning.

First, there are the words “equitable settlements.”

These words are translated from the Hebrew “isharim” and can be translated with two different meanings.

  1. Prov 8:9. “Isharim” in this verse refers to right knowledge and understanding.
  2. Prov 29:10 “Isharim” in this verse refers to upright ones or right believers in God.

In Dan 11:17 “Isharim” would refer to right knowledge and understanding because it is related to the corruption by false teachings from the Little Horn´s influence and teachings.

What does the citation “daughter of women” mean in this verse?

The Old Testament prophets used this term to denote cities, towns and countries[3].

2 Kings 19:21 “The virgin, the daughter of Zion, has despised you. Laughed you to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head behind your back!” (Refers to the inhabitants of Jerusalem).

Isa 1:8 “So the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard- – -. As a besieged city.” This city is referring to Jerusalem in Judah. Isa 1:1. (This is referring to Sennacherib´s threat to overtake Jerusalem and Hezekiah´s prayer to God for help).

Daughter of women can also refer to cities inhabited by unbelievers such as Babylon e.g. Isa 47:1 Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon. Hence which city are we talking about? The city of true believers or the city of unbelievers. If one is referring to corrupting the church then it is referring to daughter of women of unbelievers: with false teachings and false worship.

How do we interpret Dan 11:17?

He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and right knowledge and understanding is with him in persuading the royal subjects in his kingdom, thus shall he do. And he shall give him (the kingdom) the daughter of women to corrupt her (the church of true believers) and she shall not stand nor be with him (the true believers do not agree with the Little Horn).

When did this occur in the history of the Roman Catholic Church? It was after the reign of emperor Justinian in Dan 11:15. No one has corrupted the church more than Pope Gregory the Great in AD 590-604.

(Lyons 220). Of the approximately 180 bishops of Rome between Constantine and the Reformation, none was more influential than Gregory the Great. Gregory marked his period as pope by his claim to “universal jurisdiction over Christendom.” Gregory´s writings resulted in the production of a basic textbook for training the medieval clergy and increased popularity of allegorical interpretations of the Bible and interest in saints’ lives. He stressed the cult of saints and relics – demonology and ascetic virtues. He confirmed the hierarchy of the papacy and the church.

Dan 11:18a. and he shall turn back and he shall place faces of him to coastlands and he seizes many ones and he takes captive. But a captain reproach of him for him so as not reproach of him and he shall turn back to him.

 Dan 11:18b. After this he shall turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own approach he shall cause (it) to turn upon him.

After this he shall turn back and turn his face to the isles/coastlands. Which coastlands? The coastlands refer to England and Scandinavia. Under Pope Gregory the Great the mission to England and the conversion of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes was of prime importance.

(Lyon 220.221). In AD 596, he assembled a team of monks under Augustine, – – -. With Frankish priest´s as interpreters, the team arrived in England just before Easter AD 597, Ethelbert was married to a Catholic Frankish princess Bertha. Ethelbert accepted Catholicism. By late 597 the pope appointed Augustine archbishop of the church in England. In addition archbishop Adaldag (AD 937-988) under his influence King Harold Bluetooth of Denmark accepted Christianity and the Danish bishoprics were established.

(Lyons 215). Christianity in Norway was not permanently established until the time of Olaf I (AD 995-100) who brought in English preachers. The work was now extended to the Orkneys, Shetlands, Hebrides, Faroe, Island and Greenland. In Sweden – – – Christianity was effectively established by King Olaf Sköllkonung (AD 994-1024).

Dan 11:18. But a captain reproach of him for him so as not reproach of him and he shall turn back to him. “But a commander from another land will put an end to his insolence and will cause him to retreat in shame.”

Who is this commander? It is the emperor Charlemagne (771-814 A.D.)?

(Lyons 229). The concluding act in the papal attempt to free themselves from Constantinople came on Christmas day AD 800, when Pope Leo III revived the empire in the west by crowning Charlemagne as emperor. However Charlemagne did not relish the thought of owing his crown to the pope. In the last fourteen years of his reign he made the papacy subordinate in his empire. (Lyons 187). Charlemagne´s connection with Rome was much more effective over lordship than that of his father, and he thenceforth treated the pope as the chief prelate of his realm, rather than an independent power.


(Lyons 222). Charlemagne, perhaps more than any other sovereign in history, was head over all things to his age. When he died, his sway ruled all of modern France, Belgium, Holland, and nearly half of modern Germany and Austria-Hungary, more than half of Italy, and a bit of northern Spain.

Dan 11:19a. and he shall turn back faces of him to strongholds of land of him and he stumbles and he falls and not he shall be found.

 Dan 11:19b. Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.

Then he shall retreat/turn back his face toward the fort of his own land.

The word fort in Hebrew is “mauze” and means a stronghold, fort, place of worship, sanctuary. (See Dan 11:38 for an explanation).

(Lyons 229). From the palace school at the royal court a generation of Alcuin´s students went out to head monastic and cathedral schools throughout the empire which Charlemagne created.

(Lyons 230). This Carolingian Renaissance turned to classical antiquity and also to early Christianity for its models. It revived the empire and stimulated new theological activity, (within the church.) The works of both pagan and Christian classical authors were copied (otherwise the original text would not have survived.)

(Lyon 231). Alcuin, an Anglo-Saxon scholar became head tutor at the court of Charlemagne at Aachen. He is best known for revision of the text of the Bible – Biblical commentaries – completion of the Gregorian Sacramental version of the Roman liturgy. He standardized spelling and the style of writing, and he reformed missionary practice and church regulation.

Dan 11:19. He stumbles and he falls and not he shall be found.

This must be a period in the Roman Catholic Church history after Charlemagne, where the papacy stumbled, fell and was lost sight of for a time. When was this?

(Lyons 232). After Charlemagne, the Carolingian empire was torn by civil wars. The political chaos as well as the prevailing system of church control threatened the independence of the bishops. Increasingly the lay patrons felt free to choose the clergymen to serve in these churches – – – there arose the abuse of simony: the sale of church posts, often with no regard to the clerical qualifications of the purchaser. This was the age of feudalism.

(Lyons 233). From the late 9th century until the mid-11th century, internal and external problems steadily weakened western Christendom. The Carolingian empire fragmented; no major military power existed in the west. A contemporary chronicler lamented: “Once we had a king, now we have kinglets.”

(Lyons 234). For the papacy this was an era of despair; the pope no longer had Carolingian “protectors” to come to his assistance – – -. Popes became the captive partisans of political factions or of another (nobility) and the result was spiritual and moral decline. There was an almost total collapse of civil order and culture in Europe during the 10th century. Everywhere church property was either devastated and ransacked by foreign invaders, or fell into the hands of the catholic nobility. For the papacy the 10th century was indeed a dark age. Without imperial protection, the popes now became the helpless plaything of the Roman nobility, who fought to gain control by appointing relatives or political favourites.

(Lyons 235). A strong independent German monarchy emerged. – – – German involvement in papal affairs meant emperors decided who should be popes. In AD 963, Otto returned to Rome and made the Romans promise not to elect a pope thereafter without his or his son´s consent. Then he convened a synod and tried Pope John, and found him guilty of a list of sordid crimes, and finally deposed him. In his place they chose a layman – – – who became Pope Leo VIII.

(Walker 195). The papacy which showed such power under Nicholas I should within twenty five years of his death have fallen into its lowest degradation.

(Walker 196). Popes now followed one another in rapid succession, as the various factions controlled Rome.

Dan 11:20a. and he stands on post/place of him one causing to pass one exacting honour of kingdom and in days several ones he shall be broken and not in angers and not in battle.

 Dan 11:20b. Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes (in) the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.

The words “on the post of him” in Hebrew is “kanow” and means base, pedestal, office, place, successor and in his place[4]. It is interesting to note that the word in Hebrew refers to the base of the laver in the sanctuary, eight times. This word is mentioned four times in Dan 11: The laver was made out of bronze and was used for water in the sanctuary and was situated between the altar of burnt offering and the tabernacle entrance. The word implies getting back to basics in strategy, organisation, beliefs, and traditions through reforms.

(Walker 198.199). Benedict AD 750-821, was a soldier nobleman of Southern France in Charlemagne´s reign. He became the emperor´s chief monastic advisor, and by imperial order in AD 816-817. He raised monasticism to greater activity in worship, contemplation and self-denial. By the early years of the 10th century a real ascetic revival was beginning that was to grow in strength for more than two centuries. Its first conspicuous illustration was the foundation in AD 910 by Duke William the Pious of Aquitaine, the monastery of Cluny, not far from Macon in Eastern France. Cluny was to be free from all Episcopal or worldly jurisdiction, self-governing, but under the protection of the pope.

Cluny Monasteries

Under the fifth abbot, Odilo (AD 994-1048) however, Cluny became the head of a “congregation” since he brought all monasteries founded or reformed by Cluny into dependence on the mother house, their heads being appointed by and responsible to the abbot of Cluny himself. This was new in monasticism – – -. It now came to have a force comparable with that of the Dominicans or Jesuits of later times.

From the Cluny reform movement in the church, that is the “base” of the movement came Pope Nicholas II AD 1059, who prepared the way for Hildebrand (Pope Gregory VII).

(Lyon 252). Growing out of the reform movement of the monastery at Cluny, a great renewal came to the 11th century Christianity, which helped the church to control over medieval Europe. The Cluniac order was founded in AD 910, in France, reinvigorated monasticism. A new method of organization developed to promote the reform movement; each new monastery that was founded was tied to the mother house. They were exempt from any local control, and responsible only to the pope. Eventually the Cluniac order came to include 300 priories.

The words “exacting honour of the kingdom” mean in Hebrew: driver, taskmaster, ruler, oppressor, exacter of tribute, Lord, exacting honour of the kingdom. The Cluniac movement was dedicated to the honour of the papal kingdom.

Pope Nicholas II, AD 1059, prepared the way for Hildebrand to be pope before the people, and the nobility could choose, by forming a reformed party within the hierarchy of the church.

(Walker 206). The most significant event of the papacy of Nicholas II was the decree of this Roman synod of AD 1059, regulating choice to the papacy, the oldest written constitution now in force, in spite of considerable modification, it governs the selection of popes to this day – – -.

The problem was to free the papacy from the control of the Roman nobles without coming under the over lordship of the emperor.  The author of the reformed party was Cardinal Humbert. The reformed party decided at the death of the pope, the cardinal bishops shall first consider his successor and then advise with other cardinals. They also decided that the pope might come from anywhere in the church and election could be held elsewhere than in Rome. The pope chosen should possess the powers of his office (absolute supremacy) on election. In addition, this policy would release the election of a pope from political control of the nobility. This was indeed, a revolution in the method of choice of the pope, and would give to the office an independence of political control. Scarcely had these new political and constitutional results been achieved, than they were imperiled by the death of Nicholas II in AD 1061, and also Cardinal Humbert died in the same year. All these reformers died natural deaths but not in battle as Dan 11:20 states. Hildebrand became the ruling force in the reform party. (Paving the way for Hildebrand to be Pope Gregory VII.)


[1] Williston Walker, A History of the Christian Church (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1963)

[2] Tim Dowley, Ed., A Lion Handbook: The History of Christianity (Herts: Lion Pub., 1977)

[3] Siegfried H. Horn, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary, Vol. 8 (Washington D.C.: Review & Herald Pub., 1979), 272.

[4] Francis Brown, S.R. Driver and C.A. Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), 487.

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