By Walid Shoebat
The discovery of the Acra last week is “a dream come true” for archaeologists, who have been speculating on the citadel’s location for 100 years, the IAA said. The discovery of Acra comes at a delicate time, for it reveals the story of the Maccabees, Antiochus and the coming Antichrist. All this is understood once we connect the dots and see the parallels between the Grecian Empire at the time of the Maccabees harassing God’s people and the Antichrist who is also from the same empire (Asia Minor) harassing God’s people today.
The coins found within the Acra’s unearthed wall tells it all. The citadel remained intact from the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes until the reign of Antiochus VII (139-129 B.C.). Antichrist’s palace in Daniel 11 will have a similar story as it was for the first believers in Yahweh, when the mercenaries and the Hellenized Jews who resided in the Acra were defeated in 141 B.C., after a prolonged siege, which left the Greek garrison without access to food. Simon Maccabeus, one of the brothers in the Hasmonean family who led the Maccabean revolt against the Greeks, spearheaded this celebrated siege.
The last week’s discovery of Acra shows it was built specifically to control access to the Jewish Temple, the holiest site for Israel. Likewise, Antichrist will also control the Temple Mount through his fortress palace.
The coming battle also resembles what will occur: a war in the old city of Jerusalem (Zechariah 12-14) where the Antichrist is then defeated. Relics from ancient battles surrounded the unearthed ruins shows lead slingshots, bronze arrowheads and ballista stones — all stamped with a trident, the symbol of Antiochus Epiphanes’ reign — were dug up next to the massive wall proving that a massive battle existed between the sons of God and the sons of the devil. These small artifacts tell the story of the animosity between ancient Jerusalem’s Jewish residents and the Greek-controlled citadel.
To unravel Daniel 11 becomes simpler once we realize the text is speaking of the same peoples of ancient Syria (which encompasses parts of Asia Minor/Turkey) coming back again to harass the Jews. Christ refers to the desecration of Jerusalem in His reference “the abomination that causes desolation” which the context fits both Antiochus Epiphanes and the Antichrist. This is why these verses are interwoven together as to say that this history repeats itself.
So from construction to geography including the persecution of God’s people, nothing will change but the quality of weapons. Today in Jerusalem’s Temple Mount one can see that the construction is a mixture from ancient Israel and Ottoman. In Jerusalem much of the construction in the old city has been built by Sulaiman The Magnificent (Al-Qanuni) of the Ottoman from Asia Minor. The Ottomans heritage is also mixed with the Islamized Greeks.
Likewise is the discovery of Akra. Archeology reveals that the Hellenists later reinforced the tower built by Zerubbabel (Ezra 3:8). The Hasmonean Jews could not have been the builders because they used squared stones (1). And just like it is today in Israel even the construction in Jerusalem on ancient sites is an addition to what was built before by the Muslim Ottomans from Asia Minor. The comparatively rounded stones used in the construction of the wall, with its two towers, also prove that it was Hellenistic construction:
The discovery of huge amounts of these Hellenistic stamped Rhodian jar handles in the City of David excavations emphasizes the Seleucid presence in that part of Jerusalem during the Hellenistic period (331-37 BCE). No less that 450 stamped handles were found dating between those dates, 267 of them dating to the time of Antiochus III and his son, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. This multitude of coins and stamped Rhodian handles of the Hellenistic period found in areas D through G, beneath the eastern ridge of the City of David, testify to the presence of the Seleucids in the City of David.
The discovery proved that even the greatest of historians like Josephus could be wrong and the Bible is always right. Modern scholars have attempted to locate the ancient Seleucid Akra in Jerusalem against the southern wall of the original Temple Mount or in some other similar location because of Josephus who was relying on tradition, erroneously conjectured that the Akra “was attached to and rose above the Temple in Jerusalem.” That, of course, is impossible for no political building was ever attached to the Temple. And because of Josephus some have thought that what Josephus meant that the Akra was attached to the southern retaining wall, but that too is impossible.
Antiochus loved strongholds, fortresses and palaces and so will the Antichrist. The actual location of the Akra is in the City of David was given almost two hundred years before Josephus in the Book of I Maccabees I. 33:
“Then builded they (the Seleucids) the City of David with a great and strong wall, and with mighty towers, and made it a stronghold (Gk. akpau Akra) for them.”
The Maccabean, Simon, later captured the fortification of the Akra from the soldiers of Antiochus as recorded in: I Maccabees XIV. 36, 37:
For in his (Simon’s) time things prospered in his hands, so that the heathen were taken out of their country, and they also that were in the city of David in Jerusalem, who had made themselves a tower (Gk. akpav Akra), out of which they issued and polluted all about the sanctuary, and did much hurt in the holy place.
And like Antiochus, the Antichrist will love palaces and strongholds. This is why he will “plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain” in which from there, as it was in the time of the Maccabees he will “pollute the sanctuary”.
It is from all this that some of the Jewish scribes were sent to Egypt to translate the Hebrew Scriptures into the Greek language around 250 BCE in what was called the Septuagint and it was these scribes who first called the fort, Akra, when they translated II Samuel 5: 9. Yet the archeologists are puzzled at the use of the name:
The use of this Greek word Akra to describe a strong hold, fort or “tower” is very unusual. The usual Greek word for tower is purgos which is used in the synoptic gospels and throughout the book of Maccabees … That the City of David is the location of the Seleucid Akra is proved by another passage in I Maccabees where the wicked prince Nicanor is sent to Jerusalem by the Seleucid king Demetrius to destroy the followers of Judas Maccabeus. Judas, however, killed about five thousand of Nicanor’s men, and then the story continues in: I Maccabees VII. 32
The Jews cut off Nicanor’s head and proud right hand and hanged them up beside Jerusalem. And just as we see today, many liberal Jews who would not mind making a peace treaty with Turkey’s Islam and say that we “all worship the same God” the Hellenized Jews who resided in the Acra were defeated in 141 B.C for giving allegiance to that Antichrist of that time Antiochus Epiphanes.
Now we understand how many Jews and false Christians will follow the Antichrist.
But what these archeologists do not understand is that the word Akra stems from ancient usage in the Semitic languages which even today in the Arabic Akra means the same as it was in ancient years: stronghold. For example, ISIS’s main Nasheed (Jihadi song) called Qariban Qariban uses the same word Akra:
Arabic: “fee Akra diyarik nakhudu al-ma’arik”
English: “in the stronghold (Akra/Uqri) of your lands we will carry out battles”.
The Arabic Akra (عُقْر) means “Abode/Stronghold” is fitting since the story of the Maccabees is the story of Antichrist coming to defeat Jerusalem and Islamize it just as Antiochus came to hellenize Judea. ISIS and all Muslim Jihadis say this slogan, that they will “come to the Akra (stronghold) of your homeland” and is a major reason for concern that ISIS is not only intended to operate only in Syria and Iraq.
In Antiquities of the Jews, Book XII Ch. III:
“Now it happened that in the reign of Antiochus the Great…the Jews, of their own accord, went over to him, and received him into the city and … readily assisted him when he besieged the garrison which was in the citadel of Jerusalem.”
It was during this period that the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Old Testament was written. The same Old Testament translated to Greek that was used by Jesus and His disciples. The Antiquities of the Jews states that King Ptolemy II Philadelphus ordered the High Priest in Jerusalem to send him six elders from each of the twelve tribes of Israel to make the translation. Eleazar, the High Priest, thereupon sent seventy-two scholars who were totally familiar with Jerusalem in general and they hated Akra in particular in the same way many of the faithful hate to see Ottoman construction sitting upon Jewish holy places.
This was done during Antiochus the Great. He is not the king of the Hanukkah story who was resisted by the Maccabees; rather, that was his son, Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
And just like what happened prior to all the hate by Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan where previous Turkish government was friendly to the Jews, likewise Josephus portrays Antiochus the Great (prior to the Antichrist of that time) as friendly towards the Jews of Jerusalem and cognizant of their loyalty to him (see Antiquities, chapter 3, sections 3-4), in stark contrast to the attitude of his son. In fact, Antiochus III the Great lowered taxes, granted subventions to the Temple, and let the Jews live, as Josephus puts it, “according to the law of their forefathers.”
It was Antiochus Epiphanes (the Mad) (c. 215 bc—164) whom the Antichrist will mimmic since he fits Antiochus’s attempts to suppress God’s children as Antiochus did to Judaism which brought on the Wars of the Maccabees.
And just as we see now in Asia Minor (Turkey) Erdogan is setting his eyes against Egypt, Antiochus also forestalled an Egyptian expedition to Palestine by invading Egypt. Even the wars with Europe (The Romans) is paralleled as the Ottomans lost against the Balkan League (Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro). Likewise Perseus of Macedonia was defeated by the Romans and his Macedonians at Pydna. The Roman ambassador, Gaius Popillius Laenas then made Antiochus evacuate Egypt and Cyprus after the Roman Navy defeated the navy of Antiochus Epiphanes.
Daniel, through divine inspiration, sees and records events yet-to-be. The mere fact that God reveals the future proves his power and sovereignty (cf. Is. 44:24—45:13). These predicted events were exactly fulfilled, demonstrating yet again — the Most High God rules, even as evil men work unwittingly against God’s providential desires.
Skeptics have alleged that such events were certainly recorded after the fact since the thought of predictive prophecy is more than the humanistic mind can bear, so they accuse the book of Daniel to being the work of a second century unknown mystery writer. However, after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Biblical Archeologists debunked all this when they concluded “an earlier date for Daniel than the second century is unavoidable”.
If the book of Daniel is the product of Daniel the prophet, then the point is proven undeniable: God rules. Daniel’s prediction of Greece as a succeeding world power to the Persian empire, the rise of Alexander’s Empire were two hundred years in the future at the time of Daniel’s vision is quite amazing.
Then we have the Antichrist of end times clearly mimics Antiochus Epiphanes which we as students of the Bible deciphered two decades ago concluded with much detail the outcome of Asia Minor (Turkey) when Turkey was considered still friendly to Israel and the West. Any scholar would like to challenge our published works and dare say we “wrote all this after the fact” let them step forward. Here we are, from making bombs to writing bombshells.
The Antichrist from verse 36 onward gives us the unique description of the Antichrist who by his denial of the Trinity (1 John 2:22) and the Crucifixion “shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath [tribulation] has been accomplished”. This last days Antiochus Epiphanes of whom Jesus specifically said will cause the abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15). The Apostle Paul paraphrased Daniel 11:36 in reference to the coming Antichrist “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first,” which is exactly what we witness from Second Vatican II to a massive falling away in the signs and wonders movement and then “the man of sin is revealed,” “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
No one would have believed years ago that in Asia Minor today you have Recep Tayyip Erdogan who clearly accepts worship as God. So few who considered that Sufi Islam in Turkey has the goal where the Muslim becomes divine via Fana (eliminating the self to become God). What is even more amazing is that so few are paying close attention. Antiochus Epiphanes is important and is why so much space is given to describing the career of one evil man – because he prefigures the ultimate evil man. Antiochus Epiphanes is the “trailer” released well before the Antichrist, who is like the “feature.”
And while Antiochus Epiphanes demanded worship, he also put a statue of Zeus in the temple and not of himself. Likewise the Antichrist, who sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God (2 Thessalonians 2:4) will also put an abomination that resembles his god.
Even the very name of the god of the Antichrist is literally spelled out in Daniel 11: “But he shall worship the god Maozim [fortresses/forces] in his place: and a god whom his fathers knew not, he shall worship with gold, and silver, and precious stones, and things of great price” (Daniel 11:38, The Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible).
Maozim is not just a meaning, although the meaning is also amazingly prophetic, but it is a literal name and any doubting Thomas can plug in any search engine “Allah Al-Mu’izz” can examine, not just that this is one of the names of Allah, but is also the same meaning which exactly matches the hebrew Maozim. Indeed, he is Maozim (Al-Mu’izz), for the Antichrist “honors a God of fortresses,” who is a God of war and the sword while his name, literally in Hebrew, Moazim, a semitic name, is also in the Arabic Al-Mu’izz (Allah Al-Mu’izz الله المعز) is one of the ninety nine official names of Allah in Islam and Maozim also has the exact meaning in the Arabic: “to be mighty, potent, strong, powerful …”
Even of we look at the meaning of Maozim as “fortresses” it also fits. Erdogan of Turkey is a man who became known for his love of massive palaces. Just yesterday, Erdogan took over the Yildiz palace for himself which was also the same palace used by Sultan Vahdettin who was the last sultan/Caliph of the Ottoman Empire from 1918 to 1922.
This is significant and it shows that it all comes together. This is especially true as we see Erdogan is literally taking his seat as the Caliph of the Muslim World from Asia Minor. His new fortress, the old Yıldız Palace was also used by Sultan Abdülhamid II as a residence and as the center of the Ottoman Empire’s administration and was the center of administration for Ottoman sultans in the last decades of the empire. Now it will be restored and used by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as his work office in İstanbul to proclaim himself as the reincarnation of these Caliphs.
A man who loves palaces will not mind to “plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain” near or even on Akra just as they did in history. This man indeed “honors a god of fortresses” and intends to “act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god [Allah/Maozim], which he shall acknowledge, and advance its [Maozim’s] glory [through warfare]; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain [create a Palestinian state]”. Antichrist is a man who worships a god while not minding being worshiped as god.
Such an assessment is not only our private interpretation. And just as there were great Protestant writers who wrote prior to Israel’s recreation as a state predicted it in the eighteen hundreds that Israel will soon revive, Nathaniel West in his Daniel’s Great Prophecy, one hundred and seventeen years ago (1898) gets it when he wrote:
“Allah Maozim’ the god of fortresses or strongholds, placing here his confidence, whether in the strongholds of the Orontes, Nile, Euphrates, Tigris, or Bosphorus, — in Syria, Egypt, Macedonia, or Asia Minor, — (the parted empire of Alexander) — honoring “Allah” with “gold, silver, precious stones, and costly things, — a god unknown to his ancestors and whose religion he would propagate by the sword, procuring for his strongholds garrisons of people who acknowledged his strange god, increasing them with glory while putting to the sword all others, causing them to rule over the many, and because needing money for war, dividing the land he conquers, for the sake of gain.” This the meaning of this difficult verse. Such the three great characters of “the King”: The first was not seen in Antiochus to the extent here predicted. The second was seen, in his butchery of infants in Jerusalem, his treatment of the Maccabean mother and her sons, and his inhuman conduct everywhere. The third was seen in the confidence he placed in fortresses, and in the propagation of his religion by the sword. But yet, the full reality of all awaits the future and the final Antichrist.” (Nathaniel West, Daniel’s Great Prophecy, page 176, (1898)
And just like Antiochus did, Erdogan is doing the same. Antiochus cunningly appealed to Egyptians traitors who disapproved of their king and they aided him in gaining the victory over Ptolemy just like Erdogan who is currently appealing to Egyptian traitors, the notorious Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, who are aiding him for a future victory over perhaps Al-Sisi if he still remains in power.
From him “the land of Egypt shall not escape” also “the Libyans and Cush [Sudan] shall follow at his heels”. A couple of decades ago this scenario would have been inconceivable.
Soon Turkey will be poised to go against Russia “the north shall trouble him … yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.” He will lose against Russia and he is ended. In order for this to happen, Russia has to turn to God which it already has which was predicted by children in fulfillment of Joel 2:28 that “Your sons and daughters [children] will prophesy …” Who ever dreamt two decades ago that communist Russia (north of Turkey) will be on the side of God, yet to many they see it as “Gog”. The Bible as it turns out is a blessing and is also a curse. It is a blessing to who reads just what it says and it is a curse to who reads into it of his own prejudices.
Few pay attention, but the narrow gate fits only the “few”.
In the meanwhile, lets not forget the coming persecution.
We must be as candles that burn and melt in order to be a light to the world. In life always remember, Christians who are persecuted resemble Christ’s body “For I was hungry and you gave Me food …” So please consider the serious issue on Christian persecution, which will increase as we see the falling away unfolds before our very eyes. We are (Rescue Christians) who simply do what the label says “rescue Christians”. To see an example out of the thousands we rescue, click here, and listen to the amazing testimonies first hand on how you can help and make a difference, now in this life and for eternity.
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(1) *Note the Antiquities of the Jews by Josephus: Book XIII,Chapter II I (King Demetrius) also give you leave to repair and rebuild your temple, and that all be done at my expense. I also allow you to build the walls of your city, and to erect high towers, and that they be erected at my charge.…thus did Jonathan make his abode at Jerusalem…he gave orders that the walls of the city should be rebuilt with square stones, that it might be more secure from their enemies.
Also note: I Maccabees X. 10*