THE FINAL CAMPAIGN
20. How does the angel describe the final campaign of the king of the north?
20 The rivalry between the king of the north and the king of the south—whether by military, economic, or other means—is nearing its end. Revealing the details of a conflict yet to come, Jehovah’s angel said: “There will be reports that will disturb him [the king of the north], out of the sunrising and out of the north, and he will certainly go forth in a great rage in order to annihilate and to devote many to destruction.
21. What is there yet to learn about the king of the north?
21 With the disbanding of the Soviet Union in December 1991, the king of the north suffered a serious setback. Who will be this king when Daniel 11:44, 45 is fulfilled? Will he be identified with one of the countries that were part of the former Soviet Union? Or will he change identity completely, as he has done a number of times before? Will the development of nuclear weapons by additional nations result in a new arms race and have a bearing on the identity of that king? Only time will provide answers to these questions. We are wise not to speculate. When the king of the north embarks on his final campaign, the fulfillment of prophecy will be clearly discerned by all who have Bible-based insight.—See “Kings in Daniel Chapter 11,” on page 284.
22. What questions arise about the final attack by the king of the north?
22 However, we do know what action the king of the north will soon take. Moved by the reports “out of the sunrising and out of the north,” he will conduct a campaign ‘in order to annihilate many.’ Against whom is this campaign directed? And what “reports” trigger such an attack?
ALARMED BY DISTURBING REPORTS
23. (a) What outstanding event must take place before Armageddon? (b) Who are “the kings from the rising of the sun”?
23 Consider what the book of Revelation has to say about the end of Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion. Before “the war of the great day of God the Almighty,” Armageddon, this great enemy of true worship “will be completely burned with fire.” (Revelation 16:14, 16; 18:2-8) Her destruction is foreshadowed by the pouring out of the sixth bowl of God’s wrath on the symbolic river Euphrates. The river is dried up so that “the way might be prepared for the kings from the rising of the sun.” (Revelation 16:12) Who are these kings? None other than Jehovah God and Jesus Christ!—Compare Isaiah 41:2; 46:10, 11.
24. What act of Jehovah may disturb the king of the north?
24 The destruction of Babylon the Great is graphically described in the book of Revelation, which states: “The ten horns that you saw [the kings ruling in the time of the end], and the wild beast [the United Nations], these will hate the harlot and will make her devastated and naked, and will eat up her fleshy parts and will completely burn her with fire.” (Revelation 17:16) Why will the rulers destroy Babylon the Great? Because ‘God puts it into their hearts to carry out his thought.’ (Revelation 17:17) Included among these rulers is the king of the north. What he hears “out of the sunrising” may well refer to this act of Jehovah, when he puts it into the hearts of human leaders to annihilate the great religious harlot.
26. As indicated by Ezekiel’s prophecy, what may be the origin of the news “out of the north”?
26 Ezekiel, a contemporary of Daniel, also prophesied an attack on God’s people “in the final part of the days.” He said that the hostilities would be initiated by Gog of Magog, that is, by Satan the Devil. (Ezekiel 38:14, 16) Symbolically, from which direction does Gog come? “From the remotest parts of the north,” says Jehovah, through Ezekiel. (Ezekiel 38:15) However vicious this assault, it will not destroy Jehovah’s people. This dramatic encounter will result from a strategic move on Jehovah’s part to annihilate Gog’s forces. Thus, Jehovah says to Satan: “I shall certainly . . . put hooks in your jaws and bring you forth.” “I will . . . cause you to come up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you in upon the mountains of Israel.” (Ezekiel 38:4; 39:2) The news “out of the north” that enrages the king of the north, therefore, must originate with Jehovah. But just what the reports “out of the sunrising and out of the north” will finally contain, only God will determine and time will tell.
27. (a) Why will Gog incite the nations, including the king of the north, to attack Jehovah’s people? (b) How will Gog’s attack turn out?
27 As for Gog, he organizes his all-out assault because of the prosperity of “the Israel of God,” who, along with the “great crowd” of “other sheep,” are no longer part of his world. (Galatians 6:16; Revelation 7:9; John 10:16; 17:15, 16; 1 John 5:19) Gog looks askance upon “a people gathered together out of the nations, one that is accumulating [spiritual] wealth and property.” (Ezekiel 38:12) Viewing the Christian spiritual estate as “open rural country” ripe for the taking, Gog makes a supreme effort to wipe out this obstacle to his total control of mankind. But he fails. (Ezekiel 38:11, 18; 39:4) When the kings of the earth, including the king of the north, attack Jehovah’s people, they will ‘come all the way to their end.’
‘THE KING WILL COME TO HIS END’
28. What do we know about the future of the king of the north and the king of the south?
28 The final campaign of the king of the north is not directed against the king of the south. Therefore, the king of the north does not come to his end at the hands of his great rival. Similarly, the king of the south is not destroyed by the king of the north. The king of the south is destroyed, “without [human] hand,” by God’s Kingdom.* (Daniel 8:25) In fact, at the battle of Armageddon, all earthly kings are to be removed by God’s Kingdom, and this evidently is what happens to the king of the north. (Daniel 2:44) Daniel 11:44, 45 describes events leading up to that final battle. No wonder “there will be no helper” when the king of the north meets his end!