From the very beginning of my prophetic studies, the claim that the anti-Christ begins in verse 36 of the Daniel-11 text seemed so unwarranted that I started to wonder about the reliability of some prophecy educators. It must be clear to any unbiased reader that verse 36 does not introduce a new personality, but that the king within it is the same king of previous verses going back to verse 21. Starting the anti-Christ in verse 36 serves pre-tribulationism, as it guards against a post-tribulation rapture scenario, since there is no chance of interpreting the saints in verses 32-35 as Christians in the great tribulation if the "abomination of desolation" in verse 31 is placed om ancient times rather than end times.

If verse 31 is placed in ancient times, then the same must be done to verses 21-30, wherefore the events from 21-31 are erroneously perceived as pertaining to Antiochus IV, a king of the ancient Seleucid empire ruling from 175 to 163 BC. But as Antiochus IV is of virtually zero importance to the totality of prophecy, while the end-time anti-Christ repeatedly holds centrality -- especially in Daniel -- we have good reason to view the "abomination that desolates" in verse 31 as the end-time anti-Christ, especially in light of Jesus alluding to this very Daniel text and phrase in speaking of the anti-Christ...that hadn't yet appeared in His day! The wording of Jesus in Matthew 24:15 is this: "the abomination of desolation." As you can see, it's quite identical to Daniel's wording in verse 31.

Therefore, I'm taking the position of Jesus by viewing verse 31 to His future, and meanwhile I am claiming that anyone (= almost everyone online who writes on the subject) interpreting verse 31 as an event of Antiochus IV is in error. We certainly know of an end-time Abomination mentioned in other Daniel scriptures; the instance in 12:11 clearly relates to Armageddon, and there is every reason to equate this with the Abomination back in verse 31 (of chapter 11). I'd say that if scholars are going to wipe the end-time Abomination out of verse 31, they had better have a very good reason for doing so...well beyond that of promoting a pre-tribulation rapture.

Anyone who wishes to look into the history of Antiochus IV will see that he did not fulfill verses 21-23. These verses tell us that the "king of the north" will enter the Seleucid kingdom as an outsider, and grasp it against the better will of its citizens. Yet Antiochus became king as a rightful heir to the Seleucid throne when his brother (Seleucus IV) died. He did not lack royal prestige or suffer public rejection so that he needed to worm into the kingdom, as an outsider, with intrigue, as does the subject of the Daniel text. To the contrary, from the day that Antiochus stepped foot on Seleucid soil, he was "able to rally to his side the citizenry and...the military" (The Kings Depart. Alyn Brodsky: Harper and Row Publishers; page 50).

On top of these significant points, and contrary to verse 22, there was no Seleucid army swept away from before Antiochus in order to allow his entrance into the kingdom. He inherited the entire Seleucid army on the first day he became king, and moreover did not through his devices raise a large army from a small one, as does the final King of the North in verse 23. No online article is known to me which reveals how Antiochus fulfilled verses 21-24.

There are two main sources for our knowledge of Antiochus' attacks againsty the Jews: one from the books of Maccabees, and one from Josephus. However, Josephus apparently used Maccabees as his source, in which case we are to trust that the Maccabees text has correctly stated the historical events. Since the writer(s) of Maccabees lived after Daniel, the two invasions of Israel by Antiochus, as stated in Maccabees, may have been two, not because there were in fact two invasions, but because the writer(s) was borrowing from Daniel 11, for it is in Daniel 11 that we find two invasions of Egypt (verses 25-29). In other words, the writer of Maccabees wrongly interpreted verses 21-31 as pertaining to Antiochus IV, and therefore that writer entered two invasions of Jerusalem merely to align with Daniel's prophecy.

If that is the truth, then we don't know how much more the Maccabees writer entered as pure fantasy meant to align with the Daniel prophecy. Perhaps the intent of the Maccabees writer was to have his readers believe that the chapter 12 portion of the Daniel prophecy (i.e. the eternal restoration of Israel) would come to pass as a result of Maccabean reign over Israel.