The King of the North changes one more time. In verses 31-35, we reiterated the activities of the Antichrist, Satan, the ruler of this world, whose actions were described in Revelation 12. Now the King of the North is the Beast in Revelation 13, the Power of Satan that works through the Pope.
|The King of the North|
|vs. 1 to 3||The Persian Kings|
|vs. 4 to 30a||The Seleucid Kings|
|vs. 30b to 35||The Antichrist|
|vs. 36 to 39||The Beast|
|vs. 40 to 45||Gog, of the land of Magog|
36 The king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods; and he shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished; for that which is determined shall be done.
speak blasphemies – see Rev 13:5. Here, we meet the beast introduced in Rev 13:2. The Bishop of Rome spoke blasphemies by changing the law of God, and the identity of God, and by calling himself the “Holy Father” and “God on earth.”
shall prosper til the wrath of has been accomplished, for what has been determined will be done – see Dan 9:27. The Beast will prosper until God’s wrath against him, prophesied in Daniel and Revelation, is finished.
37 Neither shall he regard the gods of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above all.
he shall regard neither the God of his fathers – the Bishop will ignore the truth, not just the truth of the “Church Fathers,” but most significantly, he shall not regard the God of the Apostles. The Beast will embrace the Trinity.
nor the desire of women – this is one peculiar aspect of the Catholic church, and the Bishop of Rome, which is a “vow of celibacy.” The Hebrew grammar here is a bit complex, and there are some who translate this as “the god desired by women,” but most, including the Jewish Bible (JPS), Greek Septuagint, King James Version, and New American Standard, translate this phrase as “nor the desire of women.”
nor any god, he shall exalt himself above them all – Paul said emphatically “he sits in the temple of God showing himself that he is God.” 2 Thess 2:4
38 But in his place shall he honor the god of fortresses; and a god whom his fathers didn’t know shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
honour a god of fortresses– fortresses may refer to “spiritual strongholds,” or the fortresses, used by the Trinity god to fight Islam. But the words “gold and silver” point to a simpler meaning of great embellished cathedrals. The “god” of these buildings was the Trinity god. The true “fortress” is the “temple of the Holy Spirit,” as described in verse 31, God is our “sanctuary of strength.” A mighty fortress is our God.
a god his fathers did not know – not with the God his fathers, the Apostles, knew, but another god. This can only refer to the Trinity.
he shall honour with gold and silver with precious stones – as we see also in Rev 17:4, the Great Harlot was adorned with gold and precious stones.
39 He shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a foreign god: whoever acknowledges [him] he will increase with glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for a price.
he shall act against the strongest of fortresses – the war of the Beast in the Crusades, was against the strongest fortresses of the world. The forces of the Beast were ultimately defeated.
These fortresses are described at “crusader-castles.com.”
the armies of the First Crusade on their way to Jerusalem between 1096 and 1099 encountered the most advanced fortifications of the time: Constantinople (now Istanbul), Nicaea (now Iznik), Kaisariyya (now Kayseri), Mar‘ash (now Kahraman Maraş), Tarsus, ‘Ayn Zarbā (now Anavarza), Rāwandān (now Ravanda Kalesi), Tall Bāshir (now Tilbaşar Kalesi), Edessa (now Şanlı Urfa), Antioch, Ma‘arrat al-Nu‘mān, Ṭarṭūs, ‘Arqā, Tripoli, Tyre, Acre, and finally Jerusalem. All of them were surrounded by double, if not triple walls, protected by ample moats. Their gates were commonly entered through indirect access ways.
he shall act with a foreign god – as described, in Revelation 13:15, the false prophet caused the image of the beast to speak, and those who did not worship the image were even killed.
he will give honor to those who acknowledge him and cause them to rule of the many – here we can refer the rule that was given to the Kings in Rev 17:12, who “received authority as kings with the beast.”
and divide the land for gain – the Catholic Church would become the biggest landowner in the world, and “the merchants of the earth became rich by her indulgence (Rev 18:3).”