As discussed in the blog entry "There is no "anti" Messiah (Christ), part 1: Daniel 8," the concept of an "anti" messiah is totally foreign to the Jewish bible (T'anch).
Some Christians fervently believe in the antichrist -- and some think he is not human, but perhaps their mythical devil (who does not exist). . .
Although the concept is foreign to the T'nach some missionaries will refer back to Daniel 8 and Daniel 11 as "proof" of this concept.
The last blog entry dispelled the error that Daniel 8 is about this mythical evildoer. . . who is actually an arrogant king that defied G-d and defiled the Temple, stopping Temple sacrifices until such time as the messiah arrives, the new Temple is rebuilt, the Jews all return from exile and sacrifices resume.
This did not happen in the time of Jesus, but it will happen in the real messianic age.
What of Daniel 11?
Daniel 11 is a very quick tour of Jewish (and to some extent world) history from the Persians through Alexander the Great and the Greeks to the Romans, eventually Christianity all the way to the time of the messiah (and potentially a final war that might precede the messiah).
Notice I said a final war that MIGHT precede the messiah.
All negative visions are warnings -- heed the warning and the evil will not happen.
Just as Daniel 8 spoke of various kingdoms where Jews would be exiled, so to does Daniel 11. Start with Daniel 11:2:
“three more kings will arise in Persia, and the fourth one will become wealthy with great wealth, and when be becomes strong with his wealth, he will arouse all against the kingdom of Greece.”
Seder Olam assumes this Greek king to be Alexander the Great. The chapter goes on to discuss a southern kingdom whose daughter will marry a ruler in the north. The daughter's husband dies and she is taken captive. One of her family members will recapture the northern kingdom -- and on and on it goes. . . The north conquers the south then the king of the north goes south unopposed -- just more and more strife. . .
Eventually the kings of the north and the south ally, but the alliance fails -- and a pretender to the throne becomes rich and plots against the Jews.
This was the emperor of Rome ( Daniel 11:28) who went home full of the spoils of Judah with no intention of keeping his covenant he had made with the Jewish leaders. "And companies will come upon him from the Kittites (Romans, Kittim is another name for Rome), and he will be crushed" Daniel 11:30.
"And arms from him will stand, and they will profane the Sanctuary, the stronghold, and they will remove the daily sacrifice, and place a silent abomination." Daniel 11:31. This happened in the time of Hadrian, who set up an idol on the site of the second Temple.
"And the king will do as he wishes, and he will exalt himself and magnify himself over every powerful one, and about the G-d of the mighty he will speak wondrous things, and he will succeed until the fury is spent, when it will be finished and executed." Daniel 11:36 Rashi says this king is a Roman Emperor -- possibly Constantine, the Roman Emperor who introduced Christianity to the Romans (and made it the national religion).
The next line seems to speak of the pope and the Christians. "And he will not contemplate the gods of his fathers, and the most desirable of women and any god he will not contemplate, for he will magnify himself over all." Priests are supposed to be celibate -- so the line about not desiring women (not contemplating them) fits this "king" -- the pope.
The next few lines also seem to speak about Christianity "But the god of the strongholds on its base he will honor, and the god that his ancestors did not know he will honor with gold and with silver and with precious stones and with desirable things. And he will construct for the fortresses of the strongholds with a foreign god; whomever he will recognize, he will honor increasingly, and he will give them dominion over multitudes, and he will apportion land for a price." Daniel 11:38 - 39. The church built glorious churches with gold and silver -- it held great power over the people of many lands (including the kings of those lands), and it even levied taxes.
Christianity will be with us until the true messiah comes.
Daniel 11 continues looking into the future (from Daniel's perspective in the first Persian empire). Line 40 takes us to a possible war which could happen just prior to the messianic age -- a war between Muslim and Christian.
This is a prophecy about Jewish exile and redemption -- and the troubles caused by the other nations to the Jewish people. There is no devil, no antichrist -- no demigods either.
It is worth reading what Maimonides, the Rambam, has to say about Jesus and Daniel 11:
"If a king will arise from the House of David who diligently contemplates the Torah and observes its mitzvot as prescribed by the Written Law and the Oral Law as David, his ancestor, will compel all of Israel to walk in (the way of the Torah) and rectify the breaches in its observance, and fight the wars of God, we may, with assurance, consider him messiah.
If he succeeds in the above, builds the Temple in its place, and gathers the dispersed of Israel, he is definitely the messiah.
He will then improve the entire world, motivating all the nations to serve God together, as Tzephaniah 3:9 states: 'I will transform the peoples to a purer language that they all will call upon the name of God and serve Him with one purpose.'
If he did not succeed to this degree or was killed, he surely is not the redeemer promised by the Torah. Rather, he should be considered as all the other proper and complete kings of the Davidic dynasty who died. God caused him to arise only to test the many, as Daniel 11:35 states: 'And some of the wise men will stumble, to try them, to refine, and to clarify until the appointed time, because the set time is in the future.'
Jesus of Nazareth who aspired to be the messiah and was executed by the court was also alluded to in Daniel's prophecies, [Daniel 11:14] which states: 'The vulgar among your people shall exalt themselves in an attempt to fulfill the vision, but they shall stumble.'
Can there be a greater stumbling block than Christianity?
All the prophets spoke of messiah as the redeemer of Israel and their savior who would gather their dispersed and strengthen their observance of the mitzvot. In contrast, Christianity caused the Jews to be slain by the sword, their remnants to be scattered and humbled, the Torah to be altered, and the majority of the world to err and serve a god other than the L-rd.
Nevertheless, the intent of the Creator of the world is not within the power of man to comprehend, for His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts, our thoughts. Ultimately, all the deeds of Jesus of Nazareth and that Ishmaelite who arose after him will only serve to prepare the way for messiah's coming and the improvement of the entire world, motivating the nations to serve G-d together as Tzephaniah 3:9 states: 'I will transform the peoples to a purer language that they all will call upon the name of God and serve Him with one purpose.'
How will this come about? The entire world has already become filled with the mention of messiah, Torah, and mitzvot. These matters have been spread to the furthermost islands to many stubborn hearted nations. They discuss these matters and the mitzvot of the Torah, saying: 'These mitzvot were true, but were already negated in the present age and are not applicable for all time.'" M'lachim uMilchamot - Chapter 11.
Sophiee Saguy has been countering false missionary claims about Judaism and the T'nach (Jewish bible) for nearly twenty years. You may find her on FaceBook and at the Messiah Truth forum.