Another view on Daniel 11:37

The main interpretation for Daniel 11:37 is that this character (alleged Antichrist) is a homosexual. That seems to be the normal reading of it and it fits the “paradigm” of a Muslim/Islamic Antichrist. But I think that’s what they want. I had come across this article a few years ago and want to share it again. It is a very good interpretation of this particular verse in my opinion. In context of the verse as a whole, this makes the most sense more than anything I have read. Read through it and put your presuppositions away for a second.

Antichrist’s ‘desire of women’ in Daniel 11:37 et al.

Question #1:  Given Daniel 11:37, which says that Antichrist will “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all”, will Antichrist be androgynous (cf. also 1Tim)

Response#1:  Let me start by giving you my interpretation of the central passage here, Dan.11:37. The key phrase in that passage is hemdath nashiym, which KJV translates “the desire of women”. This is not a bad translation, but almost any translation here would risk being misleading. Here we have two nouns in a “construct”, wherein the latter noun modifies the former one (an idiom common in Hebrew and unique to it). The possibilities for the relationship which the ruling noun (i.e., the second one = “women”) bears to its modifier (the first one = “desire”) may run the gamut of everything the word “of” can mean in English or the genitive case can mean in Greek (including in both examples the phenomena of objective and subjective genitives, one of which we surely have here given the verbal nature of the word “desire”). 

In the context of Dan.11:37 we have four sequential elements: 1) antichrist being unconcerned with the God of his fathers (i.e., the Lord); 2) antichrist being unconcerned with the hemdath nashiym; 3) antichrist being unconcerned with any god/gods at all; 4) antichrist as a result exalting himself over all gods.
Given that the other three elements all tend in the same direction (i.e., antichrist’s mental estimation of other gods vs. himself), it is virtually certain that we should take the phrase hemdath nashiym in a similar way. This is why many interpreters and versions have attempted to identify the hemdath nashiym as a particular pagan god (Tammuz or Adonis being the most common). In my view it is not necessary to go to that extreme. In the history of Israel’s other kings, it was more often than not their (often foreign) wives that led them astray into the worship of other gods. That was notably true of all of Solomon’s wives and of Jezebel in the case of Ahab (cf. also the idolatrous behavior of the women of Jerusalem generally outlined in Jer.44). 

Therefore I am inclined to understand the phrase hemdath nashiym as the natural balance to the phrase “God of his fathers” and as contrasting that phrase so that I would translate as follows:

He (i.e., antichrist) will have no regard for the God of his fathers (i.e., the Lord), nor those favored by their wives, nor will he have regard for any god [at all], for he will exalt himself above them all. – Daniel 11:37



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