The Meaning of Daniel 11:38 Explained

Daniel 11:38

KJV: But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

YLT: And to the god of strongholds, on his station, he giveth honour; yea, to a god whom his fathers knew not he giveth honour, with gold, and with silver, and with precious stone, and with desirable things.

Darby: And in his place will he honour the +god of fortresses; and a +god whom his fathers knew not will he honour with gold and silver, and with precious stones and pleasant things.

ASV: But in his place shall he honor the god of fortresses; and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

What does Daniel 11:38 Mean?

Verse Meaning

What this king will really trust in is a "god" who he believes can give him military success. Evidently this is not a god in the religious sense. He will probably idolize power. His forefathers typically acknowledged some supreme being or some pagan god or gods. He will honor his "god" by spending money to build his military arsenal. In other words, he will be a materialist. Feinberg and Ironside believed the god in view is the Roman beast (the political leader), whom they distinguished from the Antichrist. [1] They identified the Antichrist with the religious leader in Jerusalem. This is a minority view among premillennialists.

Context Summary

Daniel 11:30-45 - Arrogance Overthrown
The career of Antiochus Epiphanes, in persecuting the people of God and plotting against Jehovah and His sanctuary, is so described as to suggest that it also includes further fulfillments, and especially that last Antichrist, of whom Antiochus was the pre-figurement. So accurate is the correspondence between this prophecy and its historical fulfillment that Porphyry, the opponent of Christianity, maintained that this description was written after the event. The abomination of Daniel 11:31 refers to the idolatrous image or emblem, which in succession has been erected on Mount Zion under the auspices of Antiochus, of the Romans, the Moslems, and shall be set up yet once more by Antichrist. The last clause of Daniel 11:32 was marvelously realized in Judas Maccabaeus and his brethren; but it represents the perennial source of strength for all who suffer or serve. The anguish of those who fail under trial has often tended to their greater purification, Daniel 11:35, and the white robe is the mark of final victory, Revelation 7:9. God will not allow His people to suffer beyond the determined time, Daniel 11:36; Matthew 24:22. [source]

Chapter Summary: Daniel 11

1  The overthrow of Persia by the king of Grecia
5  Leagues and conflicts between the kings of the south and of the north
30  The invasion and tyranny of the Romans

What do the individual words in Daniel 11:38 mean?

But a god of fortresses in their place he shall honor and a god which not did know his fathers he shall honor with gold and silver and with stones precious and pleasant things
וְלֶאֱלֹ֙הַּ֙ מָֽעֻזִּ֔ים עַל־ כַּנּ֖וֹ יְכַבֵּ֑ד וְלֶאֱל֜וֹהַּ אֲשֶׁ֧ר לֹא־ יְדָעֻ֣הוּ אֲבֹתָ֗יו יְכַבֵּ֛ד בְּזָהָ֥ב וּבְכֶ֛סֶף וּבְאֶ֥בֶן יְקָרָ֖ה וּבַחֲמֻדֽוֹת

וְלֶאֱלֹ֙הַּ֙  But  a  god 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: אֱלֹוהַּ  
Sense: God.
מָֽעֻזִּ֔ים  of  fortresses 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: מָעֹוז 
Sense: place or means of safety, protection, refuge, stronghold.
כַּנּ֖וֹ  their  place 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: כֵּן 
Sense: base, stand, pedestal, office, foot, place, estate.
יְכַבֵּ֑ד  he  shall  honor 
Parse: Verb, Piel, Imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: כָּבֵד  
Sense: to be heavy, be weighty, be grievous, be hard, be rich, be honourable, be glorious, be burdensome, be honoured.
וְלֶאֱל֜וֹהַּ  and  a  god 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l, Noun, masculine singular
Root: אֱלֹוהַּ  
Sense: God.
יְדָעֻ֣הוּ  did  know 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person common plural, third person masculine singular
Root: דָּעָה 
Sense: to know.
אֲבֹתָ֗יו  his  fathers 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct, third person masculine singular
Root: אָב  
Sense: father of an individual.
יְכַבֵּ֛ד  he  shall  honor 
Parse: Verb, Piel, Imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: כָּבֵד  
Sense: to be heavy, be weighty, be grievous, be hard, be rich, be honourable, be glorious, be burdensome, be honoured.
בְּזָהָ֥ב  with  gold 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, masculine singular
Root: זָהָב  
Sense: gold.
וּבְכֶ֛סֶף  and  silver 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Preposition-b, Noun, masculine singular
Root: כֶּסֶף  
Sense: silver, money.
וּבְאֶ֥בֶן  and  with  stones 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Preposition-b, Noun, feminine singular
Root: אֶבֶן  
Sense: stone (large or small).
יְקָרָ֖ה  precious 
Parse: Adjective, feminine singular
Root: יְקִפָּאֹון 
Sense: valuable, prized, weighty, precious, rare, splendid.
וּבַחֲמֻדֽוֹת  and  pleasant  things 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Preposition-b, Article, Noun, feminine plural
Root: חָמַד 
Sense: to desire, covet, take pleasure in, delight in.