Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by
International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.
© Copyright 2010 All rights reserved.
Daniel 11: 7-8
(7) One from her family line will arise to take her place. He will attack the
forces of the king of the North and enter his fortress; he will fight against
them and be victorious.
(8) He will also seize their gods, their metal images and their valuable
articles of silver and gold and carry them off to Egypt. For some years he
will leave the king of the North alone.
This is very distinctive of the Fatimid Caliphate. They built the Egyptian city
of Cairo and made it their capital in 969. They also derive their name from
Muhammad’s daughter and the verse clearly indicates that the leader’s ancestry was
traced to a female, which is unusual. As I said, Fatimid died a few months after
resisting Abu Bakr’s take-over, following her father’s death. Later, her husband and
both sons were murdered. It is fitting that someone from her family line arise to take
The Fatimid Caliphate was founded by Abdullah of Tunisia who legitimized his
claim as Iman by tracing his ancestry to one of Husayn’s sons and therefore to
Fatimah. Recall that the men at Karbala were beheaded but not the women and
children. The Fatimids were Ismaili Shiites, which is the second largest sect behind
the Twelver Shiites. The two groups split because they disagreed on the rightful sixth
Iman, Ismail or his younger brother. Regardless, the Fatimids attacked the north and
took control of the southern half of the empire. They entered his fortress because a
rebel general converted to Shiite and declared Fatimid rule in Baghdad for over a
year. It is likely that the valuable articles were seized and taken to Egypt during that
time. Their advancements stopped at that point but the Fatimids ruled the southern
empire from Cairo for more than two centuries, from 909-1171.
They reached their peak around 1040 when they controlled Egypt, North Africa,
Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Sicily (left). As the empire declined, Turkish invaders
took Syria and Christian Crusaders took Palestine. Eventually, Fatimid territory was
reduced to Egypt alone but in 1171, another dynasty took command and restored the
In 1171, the sultan, Saladin, of Kurdish origin, took control of Cairo and founded
the Ayyubid Caliphate. Saladin was a skilled warrior and spent the next decade
restoring the southern empire into Syria and Palestine (left). Yet, he never attempted
to conquer the Abbasids in Baghdad, which explains the last sentence of verse 8,
which says, “for years, he will leave the king of the north alone”. Saladin remained
in Damascus to defend against the Turks while his brother, Adil, ruled Egypt.
Following Saladin’s death in 1193, the kingdom weakened and fell.
It is interesting that the leaders of the north and south both changed within a
decade of each other. Cairo was lost to the Mamluks in 1250 who became “king of the
south”. The Mongols defeated the Abbasids in 1258 and took Syria in 1260, securing
their position as “king of the north” (next verse).
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Daniel 11: 9-10
Page 5 on Daniel 11
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Daniel 11 Explained
Condensed “one page” Commentary