1 on whom I rely to give me support and to reinforce me.
2 And now I shall tell you the truth about these things. 'Three more kings are going to rise in Persia; a fourth will come and be richer than all the others, and when, thanks to his wealth, he has grown powerful, he will make war on all the kingdoms of Greece.
3 A mighty king will rise and govern a vast empire and do whatever he pleases.
4 But once he has come to power, his empire will be broken up and parcelled out to the four winds of heaven, though not to his descendants: it will not be ruled as he ruled it, for his sovereignty will be uprooted and will pass to others than his own descendants.
5 'The king of the south will grow powerful, but one of his princes will grow more powerful still, with an empire greater than his own.
6 Some years later, these will conclude a treaty and, to ratify the agreement, the daughter of the king of the south will go to the king of the north. Her arm will not, however, retain its strength, nor his posterity endure: she will be handed over, she, her escorts and her child, and he who has had authority over her. In due time
7 a sprig from her roots will rise in his place, will march on the defences, force the stronghold of the king of the north, and succeed in overcoming them.
8 He will even carry off all their gods, their statues, their precious gold and silver vessels as booty to Egypt. For some years he will leave the king of the north in peace,
9 but the latter will invade the kingdom of the king of the south, then retire to his own country.
10 His sons will next be on the march, mustering a host of powerful forces; and he will advance, deploy, break through and march on the southern stronghold once again.
11 The king of the south will fly into a rage and set out to give battle to the king of the north, who will have an immense army on his side, but this army will be defeated by him.
12 The army will be annihilated; he will be triumphant; he will overthrow tens of thousands; yet he will have no enduring strength.
13 The king of the north will come back, having recruited an even larger army than before, and finally, after some years, he will advance a second time with a great army and plentiful supplies.
14 At that time, many will take up arms against the king of the south, and the more violent of your own people will rebel in the hope of realising the vision; but they will fail.
15 The king of the north will then come and throw up siege-works to capture a strongly fortified city. The forces of the south will not stand their ground; the pick of the people will not be strong enough to resist.
16 The invader will do as he pleases, no one will be able to resist him: he will take his stand in the Land of Splendour, destruction in his hands.
17 He will set about conquering his entire kingdom, but will then make a treaty with him and, to overthrow the kingdom, give him a woman's hand; but this will not last or be to his advantage.
18 He will next turn to the coasts and islands and conquer many of them, but a magistrate will put a stop to his outrages in such a way that he will be unable to repay outrage for outrage.
19 'He will then turn on the strongholds of his own country, but will stumble, fall, and never be seen again.
20 In his place there will rise a man who will send an extortioner to despoil the royal splendour; in a few days he will be shattered, though neither publicly nor in battle.
21 'In his place will rise a wretch: royal honours will not be given to him, but rather he will insinuate himself into them at his pleasure and will gain possession of the kingdom by intrigue.
22 Armies will be utterly routed and crushed by him, the Prince of the covenant too.
23 Through his alliances he will act treacherously and, despite the smallness of his following, grow ever stronger.
24 At his pleasure, he will invade rich provinces, acting as his fathers or his fathers' fathers never acted, distributing among them plunder, spoil and wealth, plotting his stratagems against the fortresses -- for a time.
25 'He will summon up his might and courage against the king of the south with a great army. The king of the south will march to war with a huge and powerful army but will not succeed, since he will be outwitted by trickery.
26 Those who shared his food will ruin him; his army will be swept away, many will fall in the slaughter.
27 'The two kings, seated at one table, hearts bent on evil, will tell their lies; but they will not have their way, for the appointed time is still to come.
28 Then the wretch will return greatly enriched to his own country, his heart set against the holy covenant; he will take action and then return to his own country.
29 In due time, he will make his way southwards again, but this time the outcome will not be as before.
30 The ships of the Kittim will oppose him, and he will be worsted. He will retire and take furious action against the holy covenant and, as before, will favour those who forsake that holy covenant.
31 'Forces of his will come and profane the Citadel-Sanctuary; they will abolish the perpetual sacrifice and install the appalling abomination there.
32 Those who break the covenant he will seduce by his blandishments, but the people who know their God will stand firm and take action.
33 Those of the people who are wise leaders will instruct many; for some days, however, they will stumble from sword and flame, captivity and pillage.
34 And thus stumbling, little help will they receive, though many will be scheming in their support.
35 Of the wise leaders some will stumble, and so a number of them will be purged, purified and made clean -- until the time of the End, for the appointed time is still to come.
36 'The king will do as he pleases, growing more and more arrogant, considering himself greater than all the gods; he will utter incredible blasphemies against the God of gods, and he will thrive until the wrath reaches bursting point; for what has been decreed will certainly be fulfilled.
37 Heedless of his fathers' gods, heedless of the god whom women love, heedless of any god whatever, he will consider himself greatest of all.
38 Instead of them, he will honour the god of fortresses, will honour a god unknown to his ancestors with gold and silver, precious stones and valuable presents.
39 He will use the people of an alien god to defend the fortresses; he will confer great honours on those whom he acknowledges, by giving them wide authority and by parcelling the country out for rent.
40 'When the time comes for the End, the king of the south will try conclusions with him; but the king of the north will come storming down on him with chariots, cavalry, and a large fleet. He will invade countries, overrun them and drive on.
41 He will invade the Land of Splendour, and many will fall; but Edom, Moab, and what remains of the sons of Ammon will escape him.
42 'He will reach out to attack countries: Egypt will not escape him.
43 The gold and silver treasures and all the valuables of Egypt will lie in his power. Libyans and Cushites will be at his feet:
44 but reports coming from the East and the north will worry him, and in great fury he will set out to bring ruin and complete destruction to many.
45 He will pitch the tents of his royal headquarters between the sea and the mountains of the Holy Splendour. Yet he will come to his end -- there will be no help for him.'