21 “He will be succeeded by a contemptiblee person who has not been given the honor of royalty.f He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue. 22 Then an overwhelming army will be swept awayg before him; both it and a prince of the covenant will be destroyed.h 23 After coming to an agreement with him, he will act deceitfully,i and with only a few people he will rise to power. 24 When the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them and will achieve what neither his fathers nor his forefathers did. He will distribute plunder, loot and wealth among his followers.j He will plot the overthrow of fortresses—but only for a time.
25 “With a large army he will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South. The king of the South will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to stand because of the plots devised against him. 26 Those who eat from the king’s provisions will try to destroy him; his army will be swept away, and many will fall in battle. 27 The two kings, with their hearts bent on evil,k will sit at the same table and liel to each other, but to no avail, because an end will still come at the appointed time.m 28 The king of the North will return to his own country with great wealth, but his heart will be set against the holy covenant. He will take action against it and then return to his own country.
29 “At the appointed time he will invade the South again, but this time the outcome will be different from what it was before. 30 Ships of the western coastlandsn will oppose him, and he will lose heart.o Then he will turn back and vent his furyp against the holy covenant. He will return and show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant.
31 “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice.q Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.r 32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resists him.
33 “Those who are wise will instructt many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered.u 34 When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincerev will join them. 35 Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined,w purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.