Who is the king of the South?
Many believe, based on prophecies contained in the 11th chapter of the book of Daniel, that immediately before the return of Jesus Christ, a powerful Arab leader or “king of the South” will still arise in the Middle East. Daniel 11:40-41 says: “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack [or: push at] him [the king of the North]; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown…”
Historically, and following the entire Biblical prophecy in the 11th chapter of the book of Daniel, we can determine that at the time described in verse 40, the king of the North constituted the ninth resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire, or the sixth resurrection of the “Holy” Roman Empire, led by Mussolini and Hitler, and that the king of the South was at that time Ethiopia, formerly Abyssinia. And in fact, Mussolini came against Ethiopia like a whirlwind, using airplanes, and conquered it.
But, what about today or the immediate future? Will there occur another conflict between the king of the North — the final LEADER of the 10th resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire, or the 7th resurrection of the “Holy” Roman Empire — and a king of the South, a final LEADER in the Middle East? Perhaps — but not necessarily so.
Herbert W. Armstrong wrote the following in a personal of the Plain Truth, dated June 1967. We are adding emphasis by pointing out startling statements by Mr. Armstrong which have been — overall — overlooked or forgotten by God’s people today. In quoting from Daniel 11:40, Mr. Armstrong explained:
“‘And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him …’ — that is, at the king of the north. The modern remnant of the ‘king of the south’ of this prophecy is Ethiopia. Anciently, Egypt was the country of the king of the south. But few Egyptians remain in Egypt today. Arabs, of a different original stock, have generally replaced the real Egyptians. The people descended from those who were of ancient Egypt, in its southern portions, are the Ethiopians. And the Italians were the remnant and successors, of the people of the king of the north. This prophecy WAS FULFILLED February-March, 1896, when King Menelik II of Ethiopia ‘pushed at’ the Italians, defeating Italy at Aduwa. Italians thirsted for revenge. Finally, their opportunity came, in 1935, under the military machine developed by Mussolini. Continue the prophecy, verse 40: ‘… and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind [in the air], with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships: and he shall enter into the countries and shall overflow and pass over.’ Notice, a whirlwind comes IN THE AIR. So DID Mussolini’s air forces. He sent down many ships, much cavalry, and tanks [modern ‘chariots’]. And his forces, in planes, ‘passed OVER.’… Continue: VERSE 41: ‘He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown …’
“There is a TIME-LAPSE between verse 40 and verse 41. After Mussolini captured Ethiopia he added it to Libya, Eritrea, and Italian Somaliland. Mussolini had signed a concordat with the Vatican, and publicly announced the rebirth of the ROMAN EMPIRE, with King Victor Emmanuel Emperor, and himself the Duce or Premier. But Mussolini’s bubble of a Roman Empire was short-lived. Most people never actually noticed he had proclaimed its resurrected existence. It is described in another prophecy — Revelation 17 — as the insignificant sixth ‘head’ of the mysterious symbolic ‘beast,’ [of the “Holy” Roman Empire] that was, and is not, and yet is. But the final seventh head [of the “Holy” Roman Empire, or the tenth resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire] is soon to rise. It is in the preliminary stages of coming into existence now, in the six-nation Common Market. Soon there will be ten European nations in a political-military union, that will shock and dumbfound the world. Verse 41 refers to THAT succession of the Roman power which became the ‘king of the north’ in the prophecy of Daniel 11. So notice what this COMING ‘United States of Europe’ WILL DO: VERSE 44: ‘But tidings out of the east and out of the north [Russia] shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious, holy mountain [Palestine]; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.’ So this now-forming European… power will invade Palestine, and move its headquarters there! But verse 41 adds [omitted above]: ‘… but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.’ The Turkish people today are ‘Edom,’ and the people of Jordan are the present-day descendants of Moab and Ammon — descended from Lot, Abraham’s nephew. They will still be in that land…
“This European power, resurrecting for a VERY short while the Roman Empire, will take over the city of Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2.) They will take the Temple, and plant the palace of their headquarters there. With this coming military leader, pictured in Revelation 17 as the symbolic ‘beast,’ will be a supreme religious leader, called ‘the False Prophet,’ [Rev. 16:13; 19:20; 20:10] and the ‘man of sin.’ So will you turn next to II Thessalonians 2:3-4: ‘Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day’ — the Day of the Lord, verse 2 — ‘shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and THAT MAN OF SIN be revealed, the SON OF PERDITION; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.’ So there will have to be the Temple there!”
Did you catch that? As Mr. Armstrong explained, the prophecy in Daniel 11:40 has ALREADY BEEN FULFILLED. And verse 40 is the LAST TIME where the king of the South is mentioned! Beginning with the second half of verse 40, we read exclusively about the king of the North and his activities, and, in verse 44, about rumors from the east and the west. This means, then, that there DOES NOT HAVE TO BE ANOTHER end-time king of the South. If there were to rise one, following the historical and Biblical records, as set forth in the 11th chapter of the book of Daniel, it would have to be — mainly — modern Ethiopia. But, as we said, ALL WHICH STILL NEEDS TO BE FULFILLED (and which the previous king of the North — under Mussolini — did NOT fulfill), is the invasion of the Glorious Land by the future and final king of the North (verse 41), including Jerusalem (verse 45), as well as the overthrow of “many countries” (verse 41), including Egypt, and the “Libyans and Ethiopians” following at his heels (verse 43).
It is entirely possible that the prophecy in verse 40 is a type of future events to be repeated — but it DOES NOT HAVE TO BE this way. It is NOT necessary, based on Biblical prophecy, that there will still arise an end-time “king of the South,” attacking or pushing at the end-time king of the North. Christ could return without such an event having to occur first.