"'Meanwhile, the king of the north will do whatever he pleases. He'll puff himself up and posture himself as greater than any god. He will even dare to brag and boast in defiance of the God of gods. And he'll get by with it for a while - until this time of wrathful judgment is completed, for what is decreed must be done.
He will have no respect for the gods of his ancestors, not even that popular favorite among women, Adonis. Contemptuous of every god and goddess, the king of the north will puff himself up greater than all of them.
He'll even stoop to despising the God of the holy ones, and in the place where God is worshiped he will put on exhibit, with a lavish show of silver and gold and jewels, a new god that no one has ever heard of.
Marching under the banner of a strange god, he will attack the key fortresses. He will promote everyone who falls into line behind this god, putting them in positions of power and paying them off with grants of land.
"'In the final wrap-up of this story, the king of the south will confront him. But the king of the north will come at him like a tornado. Unleashing chariots and horses and an armada of ships, he'll blow away anything in his path.
As he enters the beautiful land, people will fall before him like dominoes. Only Edom, Moab, and a few Ammonites will escape.
As he reaches out, grabbing country after country, not even Egypt will be exempt.
He will confiscate the treasuries of Egyptian gold and silver and other valuables. The Libyans and Ethiopians will fall in with him.
Then disturbing reports will come in from the north and east that will throw him into a panic. Towering in rage, he'll rush to stamp out the threat.
But he'll no sooner have pitched camp between the Mediterranean Sea and the Holy Mountain - all those royal tents! - than he'll meet his end. And not a soul around who can help!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)