Daniel 18 contains one of the most specifically fulfilled prophecies of the Bible, predicting history over some 375 years, and to the end, with amazing accuracy. The chapter is so specific, that many critics deny supernatural revelation and have insisted that it is history, written after the fact, fraudulently claiming to be prophecy. But the Bible is God’s Word and Daniel correctly prophecies the events of history through it. The angel told Daniel that there would be three more kings in Persia until a fourth arose. The fourth king would be strong, rich, and oppose Greece. This strong, rich fourth king was fulfilled in the Persian King Xerxes.
These visions and insights regarding the future of the Persian and Greek Empires were relevant because each empire attempted to wipe out the people of God at some time. Daniel foretells what happens in Greece when Alexander is gone. “As soon as he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not to his posterity, nor according to the authority with which he ruled, for his kingdom shall be plucked up and go to others besides these”. After the death of all Alexander’s possible heirs, four generals controlled the Greek Empire, but none of them according to his (Alexander’s) dominion.
Daniel prophecies a marriage between enemy kings. “After some years they shall make an alliance, and the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement. But she shall not retain the strength of her arm, and he and his arm shall not endure”. Joined by a marriage, the kings of the North and South would be allies for a while, but the arrangement would not last. The chapter documents the back and forth battles between the kings of the north and south as the victories ebbed and flowed back and forth.
Daniel ends with the description of the Antichrist. “And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished”. There is a shift from what was going to happen in the years before Christ, to what will be fulfilled in the Antichrist, the final world dictator. Antichrist will do much damage, but he is on a short chain and will only work into God’s plan. God’s purpose will be accomplished. In the end there is no hope for the Antichrist or for any of his followers.
Credit to David Guzik’s commentary