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Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament Zerr's N.T. Commentary
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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Daniel 11". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ znt/ daniel-11.html. 1952.
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Daniel 11". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://studylight.org/
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Verse 1Dan 11:1. The pronoun I means the person described in Dan 10:18 and other verses in that chapter. The reader should "keep his hearings” as to the chronological place we have reached in this most wonderful prophecy. In chapter 10: 20 it was shown that Persia was to be contacted by the king of Grecia. But that was a long jump into the future and other events were to happen first. This angel is still in the presence of Daniel, and even before returning to fight with the king of Persia, he is going to reveal to the prophet the things that are to happen to Persia and Greece and the Jews who will be Involved in the whole affair. Remember, this conversation or visit of the angel with Daniel is taking place in the third year of Cyrus (chapter 10: 1). but in this meeting the angel inserts the present verse to tell the prophet of his work in the first year of that reign, that it consisted in confirming and strengthening the kingdom of the Medes and Persians. That confirmation was done because the change from the Babylonian Empire to the MedoPersian was according to God’s decree. And now after two or three years have gone by, this angel is in the presence of Daniel and ready to reveal to him the events referred to in the forepart of this paragraph.
Verse 2Dan 11:2. We now come to the grand drama of the nations that was referred to by the angel after he had made the necessary preliminary' explanations to Daniel, and while he was stiil in the presence of the prophet on the bank of the Tigris River. The truth refers to that mentioned as "scripture of truth” in the last verse Of the preceding chapter. No other scripture goes into as many details as does the present chapter, but the prophecy as a whole was seen by inspired eyes, and made known by the prophets in various places and under diverse figures. Stand up yet three kings in Persia. At the time this speech by the angel was made, Cyrus and Darius were the joint rulers of the empire. The three to follow were unimportant and are passed over with the brief numerical statement italicized, to bring the prophecy down to the fourth king in this enumeration, who was to be a very important king. The pronoun fftee refers to Daniel Lo whom the angel was delivering this prophecy. The prediction is that this fourth king was to be rich and strong and finally would cause such a stir among the nations of the world that he would bring the powerful kingdom of Greece (destined to be the third world power) into a hostile attitude because of the encroachments of Persia upon that realm. In this chapter there are no less than 20 characters referred to, either directly or otherwise, and it will be helpful if not necessay for the understanding of the great passage to have the history that confirms the predictions. Hence I shall make numerous quotations from time to lime from authentic sources for the information of the reader. The fourth king Of this verse was XERXES I. and history has this to say of him: “For eight years alt Asia was astir with the work of preparation [for the expedition against Greece]. Levies were made upon all the provinces that acknowledged the authority of the Great King [Xerxes I], from India to Macedonia, from the regions of the Oxus to those of the Upper Nile, From alt the maritime states upon the Mediterranean were demanded vast contingents of war galleys, transport ships, and naval stores. While these land and sea forces were being gathered and equipped, gigantic works were in progress on the Thracian coast and on the Hellespont to insure the safety and facilitate the march of the coming hosts.’’-MYERS’ Ancient History, page 191. "Xerxes thus levied his army searching out every region of the continent. For from the reduction of Egypt, he was employed four whole years in as sembing his forces, and providing things necessary for the expedition. In the course of the fifth year be began his march with a vast multitude of men. For of the expeditions with which we are acquainted, this was by far the greatest, so that that of Darius against the Scythians appears nothing in comparison with this,” - HERODOTUS, Book 7, Sections 19. 20, "Xerxes, in the four years which followed on the reduction of Egypt, continued incessantly to make the most gigantic preparations for his intended attack upon Greece, and among them included all the precautions which a wise foresight could devise in order to ward off every conceivable peril). A general order was issued to all satraps throughout the Empire, calling on them to levy the utmost force of their province tor the new war; while, as the equipment of Oriental troops depends greatly on the purchase and distribution of arms by their commander, a rich reward was promised to the satrap whose contingent should appear at tbe appointed place in the most gallant array. , . . His army Is said to have accompanied him; but more probably it joined him in the spring, flocking in, contingent after contingent, from the various provinces of his vast Empire. Fortynine nations, according to Herodotus, served under his standard.”- Rawlinson, Five Great Monarchies, Volume 3, Chapter 7, pages 448, 452, "All these expeditions, and any others, if there have been any besides them, are not to be compared with this one. For what nation did not Xerxes lead out of Asia against Greece? What stream, being drunk, did not fail him, except that of great rivers. Some supplied ships; others were ordered to furnish men for the infantry, from others cavalry were required, from others transports for horses, together with men to serve in the army; others to furnish long shipB for the bridges, and others provisions and vessels.”- Herodotus, Book 7, Section 21. "The Decline and Fall of the Persian Empire.-The power and supremacy of the Persian monarchy passed away with the reign of Xerxes. The last one hundred and forty years of the existence of the empire was a time of weakness and anarchy, and presents nothing that needs claim our attention in this place. In the year 334 B.C., Alexander the Great, king of Macedonia, led a small army of Greeks and Macedonians across the Hellespont intent upon the conquest of Asia. His succeeding movements and the estab ishment of the shortlived Macedonian monarchy upon the ruins of the Persian Empire are matters that properly belong to Grecian history, and will be related at a later stage of our story." -MYERS' Ancient History, page 94. “From Xerxes we have to date at once the decline of the Empire in respect to territorial greatness and military strength, and likewise its deterioration in regard to administrative vigor and national spirit."-Rawlinson, Five Great Monarchies, Volume 3, Chapter 7, Page 471. There were some other rulers in Persia, but they were Inferior to the one just seen in these quotations and will not claim our attention at this time.
Verse 3Dan 11:3. This mighty king was Alexander the Great of Macedonia, the same who was referred to in chapter 8: 5. The angel passes immediately from Xerxes to Alexander, thus Ignoring all the intervening history. This was evidently because of its unimportance; also because Alexander's work was the next important event for prophecy after Xerxes. I shall quote some more history in confirmation of the predictions of this verse: "Alexander was now free to carry out his father's scheme in regard to the Asiatic expedition. In the spring of 334 B.C., with all his plans matured, he set out at the head of an army numbering about 35,000 men for the conquest of the Persian Empire. Crossing the Hellespont, Alexander first proceeded to the plain of ancient Troy, in order to place a garland upon the supposed tomb at that place of his mythical ancestor Achilles. Proceeding on his march, Alexander met a Persian army on the banks of the Granieus. over which he gained a decisive victory. Three hundred suits of armor, selected from the spoils of the field, were sent as a votive offering to the temple of Athena at Athens. The victory at the Granieus laid all Asia Minor open to the invader, and soon practically all of its cities and tribes were brought to acknowledge the authority of the Macedonian."- Myers, Ancient History, pages 274, 275.
Verse 4Dan 11:4. When he shall stand up means that just as Alexander reaches the height of his glory lie will come to his end, and his conquests will be divided into four parts. See the comments and quotation from history at chapter 8: 8. Not to his posterity refers. to the fact that Alexander died without any descendants to receive his kingdom, as may be seen in the historical quotation referred to. Nor according to his dominion means that no man lived in Greece who was strong enough to handle the dominion left by Alexander, since no one was as strong as he. I shall quote again from history as follows: "And when he [Alexander] shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided towards the four winds of heaven and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others namely, besides the four greater princes. We have already seen the vast empire of Alexander parcelled out into four great Kingdoms; without including those foreign princes who founded other kingdoms in Cappadocia, Armenia, Bithynta, Heraclea. and on the Bosphorus. AH this was present to Daniel.”-Boltin, Ancient History, Volume 3, Page 597. From the various citations to history that have been offered the reader, he may understand that the pronoun those with which the verse closes, refers to the four winds or the four divisions into which Alexander’s conquests fell at his death. Others besides means the forces in the world that finally swallowed up the realms of the four princes of Alexander, since they were not strong enough to retain them. As the statement has already been made by the historian elsewhere, “No one was strong enough to handle the sword that fell from the hand of Alexander.”
Verse 5Dan 11:5. We have seen that when Alexander died his dominions were divided into four parts and taken over by his generals. Two of these divisions were shortlived and were absorbed by the other forces about them. The two that remained were ruled by Seleueus Nicator, and Ptolemy. The dominions of the former are referred to in this chapter as king of the north, the latter as king of the south. They may occasionally be referred to simply by a pronoun, in which case an explanation will be given. These two divisions of Alexander's conquests were ruled at first by the two men named, but their realms were ruled successively by different persons as long as they existed as governments, until all was finally absorbed by the Roman Empire. This northern, and southern kingdom were constantly hostile toward each other, in spite of a few occasions of pretended friendliness, and the entire chapter from here on is a series of predictions of their dealings with their respective conditions. I shall now take up the comments on the verses in their order. The king of the south was Ptolemy Soter who ruled over Egypt. One of his (Alexander’s) princes was Seleueus Nicator who ruled over Syria. Stronjr above him means the king of the north was stronger or had more extensive dominions than those possessed by the king of the south. The history and geography of the times will verify this prediction. Syria embraced "Syria and the countries eastward to the Indus,” while "Ptolemy held sway over Egypt,” according to the history of Myers, it can thus be seen why the prediction is that the king of the north was to be strong above him (the king of the south).
Verse 6Dan 11:6. The rulers of these two dominions were succeeded by others as the years went by, but the scripture does not make mention of the new kings by name. The two governments are merely referred to as the north and the south, and if a change in kings iti either has taken place, we will have to learn It and find the name of the king by history. For this reason it will be necessary to make quotations from the historical sources. In order that the reader may the more readily detect the particular word or words concerned in the prediction, I shall add my own emphasis to them. It will be the rule to make the quotation first, then interpret the verse or verses in the light oi the history, hence it is very important lliat the reader give carefui attention lo the quotations. The history to be used for the present verse is as follows: “The commotions and revolts which happened in the east, making Antiochus (Theos) weary of his war with King Ptolemy (Phil adelpints), peace was made between them on the terms, that Antiochus, divorcing Laodice, his former wife, should marry Bernice, daughter of Ptolemy, and make her bis queen instead of the other, and entail his crown upon the male issue of that marriage. And this agreement being ratified by ooth sides, for the full performance of it, Antiochus put away Laodice, though she were his sister by the same father, and he had two sons born to him by her; and Ptolemy carrying his daughter to Pelusium, there put her on board his fleet, and sailed with her to Selucia, a seaport town near the mouth of the River Orontes in Syria; where having met Antiochus, he delivered his daughter to him, and the marriage was celebrated with great solemnity, And thus ‘the king's daughter of the south came, and was married to the king of the north’; and, by virtue of that marriage, 'an agreement was made between those two kings,' according to the prophecy of the prophet Dan 11:5-6. For in that place, by the king of the south, is meant the king of Egypt, and by the king of the north, the king of Syria; and both are there so called in respect of Judea, which lying between these two countries, hath Egypt on the south, and Syria on the north. For the fuller understanding of this prophecy, It is to be observed, that the holy prophet, after having spoken of Alexander the Great (verse 3) and of the four kings among whom hia empire was divided (verse 4) confines the rest of his prophecy in that chapter to two of them only, that is to the king of Egypt, and the king of Syria, and first be begins with that king of Egypt who first reigned in that country after Alexander, that is, Ptolemy Soter, whom he calls the king of the south, and saith of him that he should be strong. And that he was so, all that write of him do sufficiently testify: for he had under him Egypt, Libya Cyrene, Arabia, Palestine, Coele Syria, most of the maritime provinces of Lesser Asia, the island of Cyprus, several of the isles of the Aegean Sea, now called the Archipelago, and some cities also in Greece, as Sicyon, Corinth. and others. And then the Prophet proceedeth to speak of the four successors (or princes, as he calls them) of Alexander, and he was Seleucus Nicator king of the north; of whom he sail.h 'should be strong above the king of the, south, and have great dominion'; that is, greater than the king of the south. And that he had so. appears from the large territories be was possessed of; for he had under him all the countries of the east, from Mount Taurus to the river Indus, and several of the provinces of Lesser Asia, also from Mount Taurus to the Aegean Sea; and he had moreover added to them, before his death, Thrace and Macedon, And then, in the next place (verse 6) he tells us ‘the coming of the king's daughter of the south, after (he end of several years, to the king of the north, and the agreement, or treaty of peace, which should thereon be made between these two kings.' Which plainly points out unto us this marriage of Bernice, daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus king of Egypt, with Antiochus Theos king of Syria, and the peace which was thereon made between them; for ail this was exactly transacted according to what was predicted by the holy prophet in his prophecy. After this the holy prophet proceeds, through the rest of the chapter, to foreshadow ail the other most remarkable events that were brought to pass In the transactions of the succeeding times of those two races of kings, till the death of Antiochus Epiphanes, the great persecutor of the Jewish nation; all which I shall take notice of in the following series of this history, and apply them to the prophecy for the explication of it, as they come in my way.-PRIDEAUX’S CONNEXION, year 249. "Details of this reign. [That of Antiochus Theos]-Marriage of Antiochus with Laodice, daughter of Aehae us. Her influence, and that of his sister Apame, wife of Matas, engaged him in war with Ptolemy Philadelphue, B.C. 260, which is terminated, B.C. 252, by marriage between Antiochus and Berenice, Ptolemy’s daughter. Soon after the close of this war, B.C. 255, Partliia and Bactria revolt and establish their independence. On the death of Phlladeiphus, B.C. 247, Antiochus repudiates Berenice and takes back his former wife Laodice, who however, doubtful of his constancy, murders him to secure the throne for her son, Seleucus, B.C. 246." - Rawlinson, Ancient History, page 25L "As soon as Antiochus Theos had received intelligence of the death of Ptolemy Phlladeiphus, his fatherinlaw, he divorced Berenice, and recalled Laodice and her children. This lady, who knew the variable disposition and inconstancy of Antiochus, and was apprehensive that the same levity of mind would induce him to supplant her, by receiving Berenice again, resolved to improve the present opportunity to secure the crown for her son. Her own children were disinherited by the treaty made with Ptolemy; by which it was also stipulated that the issue Berenice might have by Antiochus should succeed to tire throne, and she then had a son, Laodice, therefore, caused Antiochus to be poisoned.. . . Laodice, not believing herself safe as long as Berenice and her son lived, concerted measures with Seleucus to destroy them also; hut that princess, being informed of their design, escaped the danger for some time by retiring, with her son, to Daphne, where she shut herself up in the asylum built by Seleucus Nicator; but being at last betrayed by the perfidy [treachery] of those who besieged her there, by the order of Laodice. first her son, and then herself, with all the Egyptians who had accompanied her to that retreat were murdered in the basest and most inhuman manner."-Rollin, Ancient History, Volume 3, Book 16, Chapter 3, Section 1. In view of the foregoing information from history we may be able to comment, briefly, on the leading terms of this verse. The first pronoun they means the kingdoms of the north and the south. King’s daughter is Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus, whom her father gave In marriage to the king of the north in hopes of bringing about a peace. But the plan did not have the effect that was expected, which is the meaning of the words not retain the power of the arm. Shall he given up, etc. All who were involved in this "love triangle" were brought to disappointment
Verse 7Dan 11:7. The preceding paragraph informs us that the ones involved in the affair of Berenice were disappointed and that she was slain. But her death did not end the matter, for at the time she was being held there were certain forces at work to avenge her misfortune. I shall quote from history again as follows: "While Berenice [daughter of Philadelphus and former wife of Antiochus Theos] continued shut up and besieged in Daphne, the cities of Lesser Asia [or Asia Minor], hearing of her distress, commiserated [sympathized] her case, and immediately, by a joint association, sent an army toward Antioch for her relief; and Ptolemy Euergetes, her brother, hastened thither with a greater force out of Egypt for the same purpose. But both Berenice and her son were cut off before either of them could arrive for their help; whereupon both armies turning their desire of saving the queen and her son into a rage for the revenging of their death, the Asian forces joined the Egyptians for the effecting of it, and Ptolemy, at the head of both, carried all before him; for he not only slew Laodice, but also made himself master of oil Syria and Cilicia, and then passing the Euphrates, brought all under him as far as Babylon, and the River Tigris, and would have subjugated to him all the other provinces of the Syrian Empire, but that a sedition arising in Egypt during his absence called him back to suppress it.”-Prideaux's Connexion, year 246.
Verse 8Dan 11:8. The very things predicted in this verse took place, therefore the best and only comments necessary will be offered in another historical quotation which is as follows: "Ptolemy III, Euergetes, ("wellwisher”), B.C. 247-222; alluded to in Dan 11:7-9; invaded Syria in 246 BC, to avenge the repudiation and murder of his sister, Berenice (See Antiochus II, page 95), and had conquered it as far north as Antioch, and was moving eastward towards Babylon, when he was recalled by troubles at. home. His policy towards the Jews in Egypt was generous; while, in token of his victories, he sacrificed in the temple at Jerusalem ‘after the custom of the law’ (Josephus: C. Ap., 11: 5). He brought hack to Memphis the gods taken from Egypt by Cambyses. It was for this he received the epithet, ‘welldoer.’ ’’- SchaffHerzog, Article, Ptolemy III. "And therefore, having appointed Antiochus and Xantippus, two of his generals, the former of them to command the provinces he had taken on the west side of Mount Taurus, and the other to command the provinces he had taken on the east side of it, he marched back into Egypt, carrying with him vast treasures, which he had gotten together, in the plunder of the conquered provinces; for he brought from thence with him forty thousand talents of silver, a vast number of precious vessels of silver and gold, and images also to the number of two thousand five hundred, among which were many of the Egyptian idols. which Cambyses, on his conquering Egypt, had carried thence into Persia. These Ptolemy (son of Philadelphus and brother of Berenice) having restored to their former temples, on his return from this expedition, he thereby much endeared himself to his people,"-Prideaux’s Connexion, year 246.
Verse 9Dan 11:9. King of the south was Ptolemy Euergetes of whom we read in the preceding verse and historical comments, The reader should see that paragraph for the explanation of this verse. We note that in verse 8 the statement is made that the king of the south was to continue more years than the king of the north.
Verse 10Dan 11:10. This is one of the verses where we have only the pronouns for the kings, and their names must be learned from history. Since the events of the preceding verse another king has arisen over the north by the name of Seleucus Callinicus, and the pronoun his, second word of this verse, refers to him. But he was to be opposed by another man in his kingdom referred to in the words one shall certainly come; that "one" was Antiochus the Great, sometimes titled Antiochus HI. He not only opposed Callinicus, but carried his operations even to the border of Egypt. The last his refers to the Egyptian king Ptolemy Philo pator who had succeeded Ptolemy Philadelphus. That is what is meant by the words he stirred up even to his (Philopator’s) fortress. In confirmation of the predictions of this verse I shall quote some more history: "The weakness of Philopator, and the mismanagement of the State by Sosibius, who was at once incapable and wicked, laid the empire open to attack; and it was not long before the young king of Syria, Antiochus HI, took advantage of the condition of affairs to advance his own pretensions to the possessions of the longdisputed traet between Syria Proper and Egypt. . . . Details of the war. Antiochus commenced B.C. 219. by besieging Seleuceta, the port of Antioch, which had remained in the hands of the Egyptian governor of CoeleSyria. He invaded that country, took Tyre and Ptolemais (Acre), and advanced to the frontiers of Egypt.” - Rawlinson, Ancient History, Page 275.
Verse 11Dan 11:11. It may be a surprise and yet a help to the reader to know that, beginning with the second verse of this chapter and Including the rest of the chapter, a space of over 300 years is covered. It is natural to think that since the rulers and other outstanding characters in the chapter, about 20 in all, belonged to the two governments, there would be both long and short reigns among them. In some instances the ruler in one of the kingdoms would reign as long as two or more kings in the other. Hence we may pass from one verse to another without a change of kings in one or the other. Before making further comments on this verse 1 shall quote from history: "Ptolemy Philopator, was an indolent, effeminate prince. It was necessary to excite and drag him, in a manner, out of his lethargy, in order to prevail with him to take up arms, and repulse the enemy, who were preparing to march into his country. At last he put himself at the head of Ills troops; by the valor and good conduct of his generals, obtained a signal victory over Antiochus (the Great) at Raphia,'*- Rollin’s Ancient History, Volume 4, Page 143. “It might have been expected that, under the circumstances, he (Antiochus the Great) would have been successful. But the Egyptian forces, relaxed though their discipline had been by Sosibius, were still superior to the Syrians; the battle of Raphia (B.C. 217) was a repetition of the lessons taught at Pelusium and Gaza. The Invader was once more deEeated upon the borders, and by the peace which followed, the losses of the two preceding years were, with one exception, recovered (by Phiiopator). ... In the third year of the war. B.C. 217, Phiiopator marched out from Alexandria in person, with 70,000 foot, 5,000 horse and 73 elephants. Antiochus advanced to give him battle, and the two armies met at Raphia, on the eastern edge of the desert. After a vain attempt on the part of Theodotus to assassinate Phiiopator in his camp, an engagement took place, and AntiochUB was completely defeated. He then made peace, relinquishing all hla conquests but Seleu ceia.”-Rawlinson, Ancient History, Page 275. The king of the south Is Ptolemy Philopator who was a weakling in character, but others insisted and agitated him until he finally bestirred himself. He gathered a large army and came with choler (bitterness) against him, king of the north who is the Antiochus the Great of verse 10. Multitude shall be given into his (Philopator’s) hand.
Verse 12Dan 11:12. He is Ptolemy Philopator, king of Egypt. His success against Antiochus the Great filled him with pride and his heart shall be lifted up. Shall not be strengthened by it means that his kingdom did not profit by the success against Antiochus, although he personally had the arrogant satisfaction of looking upon his victory. We shall learn in the next verse that defeat finally came to his kingdom from the very man whom he had beaten. But for the present verse, let the reader keep the foregoing comments in mind as he reads the following quotations from history: “Antiochus III lost upwards of ten thousand foot and three hundred horse, and four thousand of his men were taken prisoners. Phiiopator, having marched, after his victory, to Jerusalem, was so audacious as to attempt to enter the sanctuary, ("his heart shall be lifted up”); and being returned to his kingdom, he behaved with the utmost pride toward the Jews, and treated them very cruelly. He might have dispossessed Antiochus of his dominions had he taken a proper advantage of his glorious victory; but he contented himself with recovering CoeleSyria and Phoenicia, and again plunged into his former excesses; ‘but he shall not be strengthened by it.'"- Rollin's Ancient History, Volume 4, Page 143. "Ptolemy (Philopator) having thus regained these provinces, made a progress through them; and, among other cities which he visited in his perambulation, Jerusalem was one that had this favor from him. On his arrival thither, he took a view of the temple and there offered up many sacrifices to the God of Israel, and made many oblations to the temple, and gave several valuable donatives to it. But, not being content to view it only from the outer court, beyond w'hich it was not lawful for any gentile to pass, he would have pressed into the sanctuary itself, and into the holy of holies in the temple, where none but the high priest only, once a year, on the great day of expiation, was to enter. This made a great uproar all over the city. The higbpriest. informed him of the sacredness of the place, and the law of God which forbade his entrance thither. And the priests and Levites gathered together to hinder it, and all the people to deprecate it; and great lamentation was made everywhere among them on the apprehension of the great profanation which would hereby be offered to their holy temple, and all hands were lifted up unto God in prayer to avert it. But the king, the more he was opposed, growing the more intent to have his will in this matter, pressed into the inner court; but, as he was passing farther to go into the temple itself, he was smitten from God with such a terror and confusion of mind, that he was carried out of the place in a manner half dead, On this he departed from Jerusalem, filled with great wrath against the whole nation of the Jews, for that which happened to him in that place, and venting many threatenings against them for it.”-Prideaux, year 217. "Ptolemy IV, Philopator (“father loving”), B.C. 222-205; alluded to in Dan 11:10-12, defeated Antiochus the Great at Raphia. near Gaza (B.C. 217); sacrificed ia the temple, and attempted to enter the sacred precincts, when a shock of paralysis stopped him. He was indolent, effeminate, and licentious, but capable, on occasion, of splendid and vigorous deeds."-Schaff Herzog, Arlicle, Ptolemy IV.
Verse 13Dan 11:13. This verse begins with the word for which indicates a continuation of some of the thoughts in the preceding verse. Those thoughts were regarding the success of Ptolemy Philopator against Antiochus the Great. It Is stated as verse 12 concludes, that (hose thousands of nun would not strengthen the kingdom of Phiiopator, and the present verse proceeds to tell us why It would not. And since that subject consists in the further activities and success of Antiochus (he great, my comments on the verse further will be some historical quotations: "Antiochus, after he had ended the war beyond the Euphrates, raised a great, army in those provinces. Finding, fourteen years after the conclusion of the first war, that Ptolemy Epiph anes. who was then but five or six years of age, had succeeded Philopator his father, he united with Philip of Macedon, in order to deprive the infant king of his throne. Having defeated Scopas [a general conducting the war on behalf of the infant king] at Pallium, near the source of the river Jordan, he subjected the whole country which Philopator had conquered, by the victory he gained at Raphia.” -Robin's Ancient History, Volume 4, page 144. "He (Antiochus III) then turned towards the eastern frontiers of his realm, against Parthia and Eaetria; penetrated into Northern India and organized a formidable army, including a hundred and fifty Indian elephants. In 204 Philopator died; and the Egyptian crown devolved on his son, Ptolemy V, (Epiphanes) a boy of five years. This circumstance Antiochus meant to utilize. He conquered CoeleSyria, Phoenicia, and Palestine, and gained a decisive victory in 198 at Paneas in CoeleSyria. Peace was then concluded." - SchaffHerzog. Article, Antioehus III. "Antiochus, king of Syria, and Philip, king of Macedon. thinking to serve themselves of the advantage they bad by the death of Philopator, and the succession of an infant king after him, entered into a league to divide his dominion between them, agreeing that Philip should have Carla, Libya, Oyrene. and Egypt, and Antiochus all the rest. And accordingly Antiochus forthwith marched into CoeleSyria and Palestine, and partly this year, and partly in the next, made himself master of these provinces, and all the several districts and cities in them.”- Prideaux’s Connexion, year 203. "Return of Antiochus from the East, B.C. 205 and resumption of his Egyptian projects, A treaty is made with Philip of Macedon for the partition of the kingdom of Ptolemies between the two powers. War in CoeleSyria, Phoenicia, and Palestine with varied success, terminated by a great victory over Scopas near Panias, B.C. 198. Marriage of Cleopatra, daughter of Antiochus, with Ptolemy V. CoeleSyria and Palestine promised as a dowery, but not delivered.”-Rawlinson, Ancient History, page 254.
Verse 14Dan 11:14. The first half of this verse is virtually a repetition of the prediction in the foregoing, but I shall Insert a brief quotation again from history as an explanation: "Antiochus, king of Syria, and Philip, king of Macedon, thinking to serve themselves of the advantage they had by the death of Philopator, and the succession of an infant king alter him, metrerf into a league to divide his dominions between them." Prideaux's Connexion, year 203. The second half of this verse introduces a new item into the prediction. They is a pronoun referring to Daniel, against whose people the robbers were to emit themselves. But the prediction is that they were to fail which the history shows did happen. I have departed somewhat from the rule suggested a short while ago to quote the history for each verse first and then make my own comments upon It. Whichever may seem to be the better plan in given cases will he followed. I now shall insert the history that confirms the prediction favorable to the Jews In the last of this verse. "At this time [reign of Ptolemy Epiphanes] Antiochus having passed into Lesser Asia, and there engaged himself in a war with Attalus, king of Pergamus, the minister Of Alexandria took advantage hereof to send Scopas with an army into Palestine and Coele Syria, for the recovery of those provinces; where he managed the war with such success that he took several cities, and reduced all Judea by force, and put a garrison into the castle at Jerusalem; and. on the approach of winter, returned to Alexandria with full honor for the victories he had obtained, and with as great riches, which he had gathered from the plunder of the country. . , , The Jews were at this time very much alienated in their affections from the Egyptian king: whether it were by reason of the former ill treatment of their nation by bis lather, or for some fresher ill treatment they had received, is not said. It is most likely it was because of the ravages and robberies of Scopas, in his taking Jerusalem the former year; for he was a very Covetous and rapacious man. laying his hands everywhere on all that he could get; and therefore, on Antiochus’ marching that way, they willingly rendered all places unto him., and on his coining to Jerusalem, the priests and elders went out in a solemn procession to meet him. and received him with gladness, and entertained him and all his army in their city, provided for his horses and elephants, and assisted him with their arms for the reduc'ntj of the castle where Scopas had left a garrison.”- Prideaux's Connexion, year 193. "Now it happened that in the reign of Antiochus the Great, who ruled over ail Asia, that the Jews, as well as the inhabitants of CoeleSyria. suffered greatly, and their land was sorely harassed; for while he was at war with Ptolemy Philopator, and with liis son, who was called Epiphanes, it fell out that these nations were equally sufferers, both when he was beaten and when he beat the others; so that they were very like a ship in a storm, which is tossed by the waves on both sides; and just thus were they in their situation in the middle between Antiochus’ prosperity and its change to adversity. But at length, when Antiochus had beaten Ptolemy, he seized upon Judea; and when Philopator was dead, his son sent out a great army under Scopas the general of his forces, against the inhabitants of CoeleSyria, who took many of their cities and In particular our nation; which, when he fell upon them, went over to him. Yet was it not long afterward when Antiochus overcame Scopas, In a battle fought at the fountains of Jordan, and destroyed a great part of his army." -Josephus, 12-3-3,
Verse 15Dan 11:15-17. The persons and facts of this series of verses are so interwoven that I think it will the better be explained by grouping them into one paragraph. I shall quote some lines from history, then explain the events in their relation to the persons involved in the light of the history. Let the reader give close attention to the following: "Antiochus, besieged and took, first Sidon, then Gaza, and afterwards all the cities of those provinces, notwithstanding the opposition made by the chosen troops which the king of Egypt had sent against him. ‘He did according to his own will,' in CoeleSyria and Palestine, and nothing was able to make the least resistance against him. Pursuing his conquests in Palestine, he entered Judea, ‘the glorious,' or, according to the Hebrew, ‘that desirable land,’ He there established his authority and strengthened it, by repulsing from the eastle of Jerusalem, the garrison which Scopas had thrown into it. This garrison being so well defended that Antiochus was obliged to send for all the troops in order to force it, and the siege continuing a long time, the country was ruined and consumed by the stay the army was obliged to make in it. . . , Antiochus, seeing that the Romans undertook the defence of young Ptolemy Epiphanes, thought it would best suit his interest to lull the king asleep, by giving him his daughter in marriage, in order to 'corrupt her,' and excite her to betray her husband; but he was not successful in his design; for as soon as she was married to Ptolemy, she renounced her father’s interests, and embraced those of her husband. It was on this account that we see her join with him in the embassy which was sent from Egypt to Rome, to Congratulate the Romans on the victory which Acilius had gained over her father at Thermopylae.”-Rollin's Ancient History, Volume 4, pages 144, 145. It should be remembered that a reference to the north always means Syria in this chapter, and the king who is ruling there at the time, and the south means Egypt. Cast up a mount means that Antiochus III would prepare to attack the cities of the south, which would not be able to withstand the attack. He that cometh against him means that Antiochus was to come against Ptolemy Epiphanes and the latter would not succeed. To make bis gains further sure, the king of the north was to give his daughter (whose name was Cleopatra as supplied by history) in marriage to the king of the south, thinking that she would place her love for her father above that for her husband, and thus really act as a spy for her father in the household of her husband. But she was true to her husband; not stand on his (her father’s) side, neither be for him.
Verse 18Dan 11:18. Antiochus III was a noted man and accomplished many exploits among the nations. However, we have just seen that he had some reverses, and we shall see some more of the same in the present verse. Before making further comments on it, I shall make some historical Quotations: "Antiochus, having put an end to the war of CoeleSyria and Palestine, sent his two sons, at the end of the land army, to Sardis, while he embarked on board the fleet, and sailed to the Aegean Sea, where he took several islands, and extended his empire exceedingly on that side. However, the prince of the people, whom he had insulted by making this Invasion, that is I>. Scipio, the Roman consul, caused the reproach to turn upon him, by defeating him at Mount Sipilus, and repuls ing him from every part of Asia Minor.”-Rollin, Volume 4, page 145. "He (Antiochus III) then invaded Asia Minor, and in 195 he crossed the Hellespont, and advanced into Europe. Here he encountered the Romans; but in 190 he was totally defeated at Magnesia by Scipio Asiaticus, and he obtained peace from Rome only on very severe conditions."-SchaffHerzog. Article, Antiochus III, "The conquests of Antiochus in Asia Minor and Europe, B.C, 197 to 196, bring him into contact with the Romans, who require him to evacuate the Chersonese and restore the Greek cities in Asia Minor to freedom. He indignantly rejects their demands, and prepares for war. Flight of Hannibal to his court. B.C. 195. Antiochus makes alliance with the Aetoliana. and in B.C. 192 crosses into Greece, lands at Demetrius, takes Chalcis. Great battle at Thermopylae between the Romans, under Acilius Glabrio, and the allied forces of Antiochus and the Aetolians. Antiochus, completely defeated, quits Europe and returns to Asia B.C. 191. His fleet lias orders to protect the shores and prevent the Romans from Sanding. But the battle of Corycus ruins these hopes. The Romans obtain the mastery of the sea; and their army, having crossed the Hellespont without opposition, gains under the two Scipios the great victory of Magnesia, which places Antiochus at their mercy, B.C. 190. He purchases peace by ceding all Asia Minor except Cilicia, and by consenting to pay a contribution of 12,000 talents. The ceded provinces are added by the Romans to the kingdom of Pergamus, which is thus raised Into a rival to Syria.”-Rawlin son. Ancient History, page 254, With the tacts of history before us, we can understand the present verse and properly assign the pronouns. Isles means inhabited spots, and that is the meaning of the places where he (Antiochus III) turned his face. That called the Romans into action and they sent their military leader, Scipio, into the field. When Antiochus invaded the territories in which the Romans were interested it was considered a reproach upon them. But Scipio was successful in repulsing Antiochus, so that he caused it to rebound upon him (Antiochus) without having any reproach of his (Scipio's) own.
Verse 19Dan 11:19. Antiochus, completely defeated, turned his steps towards his own country. Stumble, and fall refers to his failure in another matter of his obligations, and tbe explanation of the predictions is best shown in the his torlal quotations which will be quoted before making further comments. "Antiochus, after his defeat, returned to Antioch, the capital of his kingdom, and the strongest fortress in it. He went soon after into the provinces of the east, in order to levy money to pay the Romans; but having plundered the temple of Elymais, he there lost his life in a miserable manner."-Rollin’s Ancient History, Volume 4, page 146. “The defeat of Magnesia is followed by the revolt of Armenia, B.C. 189, which henceforth becomes independent, It leads also to the death of Antiochus. who, in order to pay the war contribution imposed upon him by the Romans, is driven to the plunder of the Oriental temples. Hence a tumult In Elymais, wherein the king Is killed, B.C. 187.”-Rawlinson, Ancient History, page 254. "Retiring to his eastern provinces in order to raise money for the tribute he [Antiochus III) owed Rome, he was slain in 187. while plundering the temples of Belus in Elymais.”-Schaff Herzog, Article, Antiochus III.
Verse 20Dan 11:20. His estate means In the place of Antiochus III whose death was predicted in the preceding verse. The prediction raiser of taxes means he will be an extortioner and will lay heavy tax burdens on the people. He was to be destroyed, neither in anger nor in battle denotes he would not die in open warfare nor by voluntary bodily contest with another, hut will die unresistingly by the hand of another. I shall give the reader the history which confirms the predictions of this verse. "These few words (Dan 11:20) denote, evidently, the short and obscure reign of Seleucus, and the kind of death he was to die. The Hebrew text points him out still more clearly. ‘There shall arise up in his place, (of Antiochus) a man who, aB an extortioner, a collector of taxes, shall cause to pass away, and shall destroy, the glory of the kingdom,’ And. indeed, this was the sole employment of his reign. He was obliged to furnish the Romans, by the articles of peace concluded between them, a thousand talents annually; and the twelve years of this tribute exactly ended with his life. He reigned but eleven years.”- RolIIn's Ancient History, Volume 4, page 203. “Antiochus was succeeded by his son, Seleucus IV, who took the name of Philopator, and reigned eleven years, B.C. 187 to 176, This period was wholly uneventful. The fear of Rome, and the weakness produced by exhaustion, forced SeleucuB to remain quiet, even when Eumenes of Pergamus seemed about to absorb Pontus. . . . Seleucus was murdered by Heiiodorus, his treasurer (B.C. 176), who hoped to succeed to his dominions."-Rawlinson, Ancient History, page 255. “After the death of Antiochus the Great, Seleucus Philopator, his eldest son, whom he left at Antioch on bis departure thence into the east, succeeded him in the kingdom, but made a very poor figure of it, by reason of the low estate which the Romans had reduced the Syrian Empire to. and the heavy tribute of one thousand talents a year, which, through the whole time of his reign he was obliged to pay them; by the treaty of peace lately granted by them to his father. The whole of this king’s reign is expressed by Dan 11:20. For in that text it Is foretold, that after Antiochus the Great, who is spoken of in the foregoing verses, 'there should stand up In his estate a raiser of taxes.' And Seleucus was no more than such all the time, for the whole business of his reign was to raise the thousand talents every year, which, by the treaty of peace that bis father had made with the Romans, he was obliged for twelve years together, annually to pay that people; and the last of these years was the last of his life. For, as the text saith, ‘within a few years after be should be destroyed, and that neither in anger, nor in battle’; so accordingly R happened. For he reigned only eleven years, and his death was neither in battle nor in anger; that is, neither in war abroad, nor In sedition or rebellion at home, but by the secret treachery of one of his own friends. His successor was Antiochus Epiph anes his brother, of whom we shall treat in the next book.”-Prldeaux’s Connexion, years 186, 176.
Verse 21Dan 11:21. The pronoun his refers to Seleucus IV, also called Philopator, and is referred to in the preceding verse as a “raiser of taxes.” Shall stand up means he shall get the place occupied by the preceding king. The man who was to take this place is named Antiochus Epiphanes, brother of the murdered Philopator. The predictions Indicate that he was to obtain the throne in an irregular manner, not in an honorable way. The details of that event, are described in the following historical Quotation: “On the death of Seleucus Philopa tor, Heliodorus, who had been the treacherous author of his death, endeavored to seize the crown of Syria. Antiochus, the brother of Seleucus, was then on his return from Rome. While at Athens in his journey, he there heard of the death of his brother, and the attempt of Heliodorus to usurp the throne; and finding that the usurper had a great party with him to support him in his pretensions, and that there was another party also forming for Ptolemy, (who made some claim to the succession in right of his mother, she being sister to the deceased king) and that both of them were agreed ‘not to give unto him (though the next heir in the absence of Demetrius) the honor of the kingdom,’ as the holy prophet Daniel foretold, he applied himself to Eumenes, king of Perbannis, and Attains hia brother, and (by flattering speeches and great promisee of friendship) prevailed with them to help him against Heliodorus, And by their means that usurper being suppressed, he was quietly placed on the throne, and all submitted to him, and permitted him. without any further opposition, peaceably to obtain the kingdom, as had been predicted of him in the same prophecy. Eumenes and Attalus, at this time having some suspicions of the Romans, were desirous of having the king of Syria on their side, in ease a war should break out between them, and Antiochus’ promises to stick by them, whenever such a war should happen, were the inducements that prevailed with them to do him this kindness.” - Prideaux’s Connexion, year 175. See also, Rawlinson, Ancient History, page 255. This Antiochus Epiphanes is described here as a vile person, which refers to his character as a man as well as to his conduct in public affairs. In view of his prominence in the prophecies and history of things pertaining to God’s people, I believe it will be helpful to quote at length from the historical sources. As this quotation may be referred to again, the reader is urged to give it carefull attention, particularly the parts .licit 1 shall emphasize. “On his being thus settled on the throne, he took the name of Epiphanes, that is, The Illustrious; but nothing could be more alien fo his true character than this title. The prophet Daniel foretold of him that he would be ‘a vile person,’ so our English version has it; but the word NIBZEH In the original rather signified despicable than vile. He was truly both in all that both these words can express, which will fully appear from the character given him by Polybius, II, Philarchus, 12, Livy, 13, and Diodorus, 14, who were all heathen writers, and the two first of them his contemporaries. For they tell us, that he would get often out. of the palace and ramble about the streets of Antioeh, with two or three servants only accompanying him; that he would be often conversing with those that graved in silver, and cast vessels of gold, and be frequently found with them in their shops, talking and nicely arguing with th em about the mysteries of their trades, that he would very commonly debase himself to the meanest company, and on his going abroad would join in with such as he happened to find them met together, although of the lowest of the people, and enter into discourse with any of them whom he should first light on; that he would, in his rambles, frequently drink with strangers and foreigners, and even with the meanest and vilest of them; that, when he heard of any young company met together to feast, drink, or any otherwise to make merry together, he would, without giving any notice of his own coming, Intrude himself among them, and revel away the time with them in their cups and songs, and other frolics, without any regard to common decency, or his own royal character, so that several, being surprised with the strangeness of the thing, would, on his coming, get up and run away out of the company. And he would sometimes, as the freak took him, lay aside his royal habit, and putting on a Roman gown, go round the city, as he had seen done 1n the election of the magistrates of Rome, and ask the votes of the citizens, in the same manner as used to be there practiced, now taking one man by the hand, and, then embracing another, and would thus set himself up. sometimes for the office of aedile, and sometimes for that of tribune; and, having thus voted into office he sued for, he would take the chair, and sitting down in it, hear petty causes of contracts, bargains, and sales, made in the market, and give judgment in them with that serious attention and earnestness, as if they had been matters of the highest concern and importance. It is said also of him, that lie was much given to drunkenness! and that he spent a great part of his revenues in revelling and drunken carousals; and would often go out into the streets while in these frolics, and there scatter his money by handfuls among the rabble, crying out, ‘Let him Lake to whom fortune give it.' Sometimes he would go abroad with a crown of roses upon his head, and wearing a Roman gown, would walk the streets alone, and carrying stones under his arms, would throw them at those who followed after him. And he would often wash himself in the public baths among the common people, and there expose himself by many absurd and ridiculous actions. Which odd and extravagant sort of conduct made many doubt how the matter stood with him; some thinking him a fool, and some a madman; the latter of these, most thought to be his truest character; and therefore, instead of Epiphanes, or the Illustrious. they called him Epimanes. the Madman. Jerome tells us also of him that he was exceedingly given to laciv ousness, and often by the vilest acts of it debased the honor of his royal dignity; that he was frequently found in the company of mimics [clowns], pathics [boys kept for unnatural purposes], and common prostitutes, and that with the latter he would commit acts of lasciviousness, and gratify his lust on them publicly in sight of the people. And it is further related of him, that having for his catamites [same as pathics] two vile persons, called Timarchus and Heraclides, who were brothers, he made the first of them governor of Babylonia, and the other his treasurer in that province, and gave himself up to be governed and conducted by them in most that he did. And having, on a very whimsical occasion, exhibited games and shows at Daphne, near Antioch, with vast expense, and called thither a great multitude of people of foreign parts, as well as from his own dominion, to be present at the solemnity; he there behaved himself to that degree of folly and absurdity, as to become the ridicule and scorn of all that were present; which actions of his are sufficiently abundant to demonstrate him both despicable and vile, though he had not added to them that most unreasonably and wicked persecution of God’s people in Judea and Jerusalem which will be hereafter related."- Prideaux, year 175.
Verse 22Dan 11:22. This is still making predictions about Epiphanes; in fact, this wicked character will figure in most of the affairs throughout the rest of this chapter. Arms of a flood refers to the military forces that Epiphanes brought against the Egyptian king. The pronoun him, refers to Epiphanes, and the prince is Heliodorus who had seized the throne. The fulfillment of this verse will be seen in the following history. "Heliodorus, the murderer of Se leueus, and his adherents, as also those of the Egyptian king, who had formed designs against Syria, were defeated by the forces of Attains and Eumenes, dispersed by the arrival of Epiphanes, whose presence disconcerted all their projects. By (he ‘prince of the covenant,' we may suppose to be meant, either Heliodorus, the chief of the conspirators, who had killed Seleucus; or rather Ptolemy Epiphanes king of Egypt, who lost his life by a conspiracy of his own subjects, when he was mediating a war against Syria. Thus Providence removed this powerful adversary, to make way for Antiochus Epiphanes, and raised him to the throne.” - Roilin’s Ancient History, Volume 4, page 236. “On the death of Seleucus, the throne was seized by Heliodorus; but it was not long before Antiochus Epiphanes, the brother of the late king, with the help of Pergamene monarch, Eumenes, recovered it. This prince, who is known in history as Antiochus IV, or (more commonly) as Antiochus Epiphanes, was a man of courage and energy.” - Rawlinson's Ancient History, page 255.
Verse 23Dan 11:23. Another king is in power in Egypt by the name of Ptolemy Philometor, and the pronoun him stands for this man. The pronoun he is Epiphanes who is to come against this new king in Egypt. He will have a small people which means he will have a smaller army than usual, but yet by certain tactics he will win the contest. The fulfillment of the verse may be seen in the following history. "Antiochus Epiphanes, though he was already determined on the war, ‘yet shall he assume a specious [deceptive] appearance of friendship for the king ot Egypt’ He even sent Apollonius to Memphis, to be present at the banquet given on occasion of that prince’s coronation, as a proof that it was agreeable to him. But soon after, on pretence of defending his nephew, he marched into Egypt, with a smalt army, in comparison of those which he levied afterwards. The battle was fought near Pelusium. Antiochus was strongest, that is, victorious, and afterwards returned to Tyre. Such was the end of bis first expedition,"-Rollin, Volume 4, pages 236, 237. "Antiochus, having, ever since the return of Apollonius from the Egyptian court, been preparing for the war which he found he must necessarily have with Ptolemy about the provinces of CoeleSyria and Palestine, and being now ready for it, resolved to defer it no longer - and then forthwith marched his army toward the frontiers of Egypt, where, being met by the forces of Ptolemy (Philometor) between Mount Caslus and Pelusium, it there came to battle between them, in which Antioehus having gotten the victory . . . without attempting anything further this year, returned to Tyre; and there, and in the neighboring cities, put his army into winter quarters.”-Prideaux, year 171.
Verse 24Dan 11:24-26. We have another series of verses that can better he considered as a group. The predictions are still about Epiphanes and his dealings with the king of the south which means Egypt. Epiphanes is still pictured as an insincere person, making plausible offers of friendship that he did not mean. Another expedition is here predicted and the history showing his fulfillment will now be quoted: "In these three verses (Dan 11:24-26) appear the principal characters of the second expedition of Antiochus into Egypt. His mighty armies, his rapid conquests, the rich spoils he carried from 1,hence, and the dissimulation [hypocrisy] and treachery he began to practice with regard to Ptolemy. Antioehus, after employing the whole winter in making preparations for a second expedition into Egypt, invaded it both by sea and land, as soon as the season would permit. ‘Wherefore, he entered into Egypt with a great multitude, with chariots, and elephants, and horsemen, and a great navy. And made war against Ptolemy king of Egypt; but Ptolemy was afraid of him, and fled; and many were wounded to death. Thus they got the strong cities in the land of Egypt, and he took the spoils thereof. I Maccabees, 1; 17, 18, 19,’ Diodorus relates, that Antioehus. after this victory, conquered all Egypt, or at least the greatest part of it; for all the cities, Alexandria excepted, opened their gates to the conqueror. He subdued Egypt with an astonishing rapidity, and did that ‘which his forefathers had not1 done, nor his father’s fathers.’ Ptolemy either surrendered himself, or fell into the hands of Anti ochus, who at first treated him with kindness; bad but one table with him; seemed to be greatly concerned for his welfare, and left him the peaceable possession of his kingdom, reserving fo himself Pelusium, which was the key to it. For Antioehus assumed this appearance of friendship, with no other view than to have the better opportunity of ruining him, ‘They that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy,' Antioehus did not make a long stay in Egypt at that time, the news which was brought of the general revolt of the Jews obliging him to march against them. In the mean time, the inhabitants of Alexandria, offended at Philometor for having concluded an alliance with Antioehus, raised Euergetes, his youngest brother, to the throne in his stead. Antioehus, who had advice of what had passed in Alexandria, took the opportunity to return into Egypt, upon pretext of restoring the dethroned monarch, but in reality to make himself absolute master of the kingdom/’-Roilin, Volume 4, pages 237, 238. "Antiochus, having been making preparations during all the winter for a second expedition into Egypt, as soon as the season of the year would permit, again invaded that country both by sea nnd land. . . . While Anti oebus carried on his vast invasion, Philometor came into his hands; whether he were taken prisoner by him, or else voluntarily came in unto him, is not said; the latter seems most likely. For Antioehus took not from him his library, but they did eat at the same table, and conversed together as friends; and for some time Antioch us pretended to take care of the interest, of this young king his nephew, and to manage the affairs of the kingdom as tutor and guardian to him. But when he had, under this pretence, made himself master of the country, he seized all to himself; and, having miserably pillaged all parts where he came, vastly enriched himself and his army with the spoils of them,”-Pri deaux’s Connexion, year 171.
Verse 27Dan 11:27. The first sentence of verse 28 should be included in this paragraph, for the historical quotation that will be made includes it. Both these kings means Philometor and Epiphanes. They both put on a show of friendliness, even eating at the same table which was one of the strongest indications of friendship in ancient times. But all the time they were chatting In a goodnatured manner at the table, Epiphanes was plotting the ruin of Phiiometor, The latter actually suspected the treachery of Epiphanes, but pretended not to see anything wrong; thus they did speak lies at one table. Nothing decisive was accomplished and Epiphanes returned to his own land, having only the consolation of obtaining some great possessions of personal property, 1 shall give the reader some history, showing the fulfillment of this prophecy. “The third expedition of Antiochus could scarcely be pointed out more clearly (in Dan 11:27-28). That prince, hearing that the Alexandrians had raised Euergetes to the throne, returned to Egypt upon the specious Pretence of restoring Phiiometor, After having overcome the Alexandrians in a sea fight at Pelusium, he laid siege to Alexandria, But. finding the inhabitants made a strong opposition, he was contented with making himself master of Egypt again, in the name of his nephew, in whose defence he pretended to have drawn the sword. They were then at Memphis, ate at the same table, and behaved towards one another with all the outward marks of a sincere friendship. The uncle seemed to have the nephew’s interest at heart, and the nephew to repose the highest confidence in his uncle; but all this was mere show, both dissembling (acting hypocritically] their real sentiments. The uncle endeavored to crush his nephew, and the nephew, who saw through his design, strove immediately to be reconciled to his brother. Thus neither succeeded in deceiving the other; nothing was yet determined, and Antiochus returned into Syria."- Rollin, Volume 4, page 239. "Antiochus, on hearing of this [the raising of Euergetes to the throne of Egypt] laid hold of the occasion for his making a third expedition into Egypt, under pretence of restoring the deposed king, but in reality to subject the whole kingdom to himself. Ptolemy Euergetes and Cleopatra his sister, who were then shut up in the town, being hereby much distressed, Bent ambassadors to the Romans to represent their case, and pray relief. And, a little after there came ambassadors from the Rhodians, to endeavor to make peace between the two kings. But while they were proceeding in long harangues on these topics, Antiochus interrupted them, and in a few words told them that there was no need of long orations as to this matter; that the kingdom belonged to Phiiometor the elder brother, with whom he had some time since made peace, and was now in perfect friendship vnth Mm; that, if they would recall him from banishmeut, and again restore him to his crown, the war would be at an end. This said he, not that he intended any such thing, but only out of craft farther to embroil the kingdom, for the better obtaining of his own ends upon It, .. , And, with this view having withdrawn from Alexandria, he marched to Memphis, and there seemingly again restored the whole kingdom to Phiiometor, excepting only Pelusium, which he retained in his hands, that, having the key of Egypt still in his keeping, he might thereby again enter Egypt, when matters should there, according to the scheme which he had laid, be ripe for it, and so seise the whole kingdom; and, having thus disposed matters, he returned again to Antioch."-Frideaux, 169.
Verse 28Dan 11:28. The latter part of this verse predicts the wicked conduct of Epiphanes toward the Lord’s institutions in Jerusalem. That subject comes up again in this chapter, and I shall defer any further comments together with historical quotations till later.
Verse 29Dan 11:29. This paragraph must include half of verse 39 to get the predictions. It is a prophecy of the fourth expedition of Epiphanes into Egypt. Vot be as the former or as the latter. Some indeflniteness is seen in the historians as to which expeditions are meant since he had made three of them before. But it is clear that the fourth one would not be as successful as the others had been. The reason for it is given in the statement about the ships of Chittim that were to come against him. I shall quote the history for this paragraph: "Fourth expedition of Antiochus into Egypt-Advice being brought to Antiochus, that the two brothers were reconciled, he threw off the mask, and declared publicly that he intended to conquer Egypt for himself. And, to support his pretensions, 'he returned toward the south,’ that is, into Egypt, but. was not so successful in this expedition as before. As he was advancing to besiege Alexandria, Popilius and the other Roman ambassadors, who were on board a fleet composed of Macedonian or Greek ships, for this the Hebrew word Chittim signifies, which they found at Delos, obliged him to lay down his arms, and leave Egypt. He obeyed, but ‘with the utmost reluctance, and made the city and temple of Jerusalem feel the dire effects of his indignation,' as will be presently seen."-Roliin’s Ancient History, Volume 4, pages 239, 240
Verse 30Dan 11:30. The conduct of Epiphanes as It pertained to the Jews was so vicious. and it occupies so much of the prophecy and in so many places, that 1 think it will be proper to copy at length from history before making any more of my own comments on that subject. After doing this shall resume my interpretation of the various statements in the verses, relying on the history quoted for the basis of my comments, and adding other historical quotations from time to time as the subject matter may require. I again insist that the reader give the most possible attention to these quotations as they will be needed in the understanding of the predictions. "At the same time that Antioehus, who is called Epiphanes, bad a quarrel with the sixth Ptolemy about his righL to the whole country of Syria, a great sedition fell among the men of power in Judea, and they had a contention about obtaining the government; while each of those that were of dignity could not endure to be subject to their equals. However, Onias, one of the highpriests, got the better, and cast the sons of Tobias out of the city; 'who fled to Antioehus, and besought him to make an expedition into Judea. The king being thereto disposed beforehand, complied with them, and came upon the Jews with a great army, and took their city by force, and slew a great multitude of those that favored Ptolemy, and sent out his soldiers to plunder them, without mercy. He also spoiled the temple, an4 put a stop to the constant practice of offering a flail)/ sacrifice of expiation for three years and six months. . . . Now Anti ochus was not satisfied either with his unexpected taking the city, or with its pillage, or with the great slaughter he had made there; but being overcome with his violent passions, and remembering what he had suffered during the siege, he compelled the Jews to dissolve the laws of their country, and to keep their infants uncircumcised. and to sacrifice swines flesh upon, the altar; against which they all opposed themselves, and the most approved among them were put to death,”- Josephus, Wars, Book 1, Chapter 1, Sections I, 2. "And when the king [Epiphanes] had built an idol altar upon God’s altar, he slew swine upon it, and so offered a sacrifice neither according to the law, nor the Jewish religious worship in that country. He also, compelled them to forsake the worship which they paid their own God, and to adore those whom he took to be gods; and made them build temples, and raise idol altars in every city and village, and offer swine upon them every day. He also commanded them not to circumcise their sons, and threatened to punish any that should he found to have transgressed his injunction. He also appointed overseers, who should compel them to do what he commanded. And indeed many Jews there were who complied with the king’s commands, either voluntarily. or out of fear of the penalty that was denounced; but the best men, and those of the noblest souls, did not regard him, but did pay a greater respect to the customs of their country than concern as to the punishment which he threatened to Lhe disobedient; on which account they every day underwent great miseries and bitter torments; for they were whipped with rods and their bodies were torn to pieces, and they were crucified while they were still alive and breathed; they also strangled those women and their sons whom they had circumcised, as the king had appointed, hanging their sons about their necks as they were upon the crosses. And if there were any sacred book of the law found, it was destroyed; and those with whom they were found, miserably perished also," Josephus, Antiquities, Book 12, Chapter 5, Section 4. "After this, having spoiled the city of all its riches, they [forces of Epiphanes] set it on fire in several places, demolished the houses, and pulled down the walls round about it; and then, with the ruins of the demolished city, built a strong fortress on the top of an eminence in the city of David, which was over against the temple; and overlooked and commanded the same, and there placed a strong garrison; and making it a place of arms against the whole nation of the Jews, stored it with ail manner Of prolusions of war, and there also they laid up the spoils which they had taken in the sacking of the city. And this fortress, by the advantage of its situation, being thus higher than the mountain of the temple, and commanding the same, from thence the garrison soldiers fell on all those that went up thither to worship, and shed blood on every side of the sanctuary, and defiled it with all manner of pollutions; so that from this time the temple became deserted, and the daily sacrifices omitted; and none of the true servants of God durst any more go up thither to worship, till Judas, after three years and a half, having recovered it out of the hands of the heathens, purged the place of its pollutions, and, by a new dedication, restored it again to its pristine use."-Prideaux's Connexion, year 168. Before leaving this verse I shall make a few comments. This indignation was caused by the trouble the Jews gave Epiphanes by not all submitting to him. But some of them did submit and furnished him with "inside” information concerning the confidential interests of the holy service. We notice this information or intelligence was furnished by them that forsake the holy covenant. It is true that the worst enemies the work of the Lord has are those In the ranks of His professed servants who turn spies.
Verse 31Dan 11:31. The arms were seen in the historical quotation, which Epiphanes used to further his opposition to the Jews. Abomination that maketh desolate is a descriptive phrase that might be used at different limes. In general it meanB any condition where some abominable character or group of characters threaten the decency and dignity of the service of God. That is why Jesus applies the saying to the presence of the Roman army near the holy city of Jerusalem (Mat 24:15). In the present ease it means the corrupt condition created by Epiphanes about the temple and altar of sacrifice.
Verse 32Dan 11:32. Shall he corrupt by flatteries refers to the persons who gave Epiphanes “intelligence” in verse 30, who were the real enemies of the Jewish nation although they professed to love it. The people that do Know their God shall be strong, and do exploits refers to a family known in history as the Maccabees. This family performed the service of rescuing the altar from the corrupt servants of Epiphanes and restoring it to its lawful use. I shall quote some history on this subject. “Mattathias and Judas Maccabeus supported the distressed nation, and the almost universally abandoned religion, with so small a number of forces, that we can consider the success which the Almighty gave their arms no otherwise than a miracle. The troops grew more numerous by degrees, and afterwards formed a very considerable body." - Rollln's Ancient History, Volume 4, page 242. “At this time Judas Maccabeus, with some others that accompanied him, fled into the wilderness, and there lived in great hardship, subsisting themselves upon herbs, and what else the mountains and woods could afford them, till they gained an opportunity of taking up arms for themselves and their country, in a manner as will be hereafter related." - Prideaux's Connexion, year 168. “These measures [of Epiphanes] induced an open revolt, whose leader was the priest and patriot Mattathias of Modin, His bold deed of the public murder of a royal official was the sign for the beginning of the revolt. Fleeing to the mountains, he, with the cooperation of five heroic sons, organized war on a small scale. He died in 166 B.C.”-ScbafEHersog. Article, Maccabees.
Verse 33Dan 11:33. "Judas, one of the younger sons, who had taken the moat prominent part in the plans of his father, was appointed his successor. For six years he led the party with almost superhuman effort and varrying success. Decisive battles he had to avoid. But in innumerable skirmishes he defeated the hated foreigners: and his enthusiastic followers called him 'Mae cabi,' or the 'Hammerer,' from which his family has received the appellation ‘Maccabees.’ It is apparent that this conflict had more of a religious than of a national character.”-SchaffHer zog, Article, Maccabees. This verse predicts the hardships endured by the Maccabees in their struggles against the vicious Epiphanes. They had an army finally that fought, under them, and Its men suffered the hard treatment here named, including the sword, Are and prison.
Verse 34Dan 11:34. The chief item predicted in this verse is the fact that the forces with which the conflict for the altar was waged were a tittle help, which means that the number was small, as we have seen in the history quoted.
Verse 35Dan 11:35. There is not much new in this verse as it 1b still speaking of the hardships that the Maccabees endured in their struggles for the restoration of the worship In Jerusalem. Make them white refers to the purification that results to the righteous when they are "persecuted for righteousness’ sake.”
Verse 36Dan 11:36. This king is still Epiphanes whose wicked doings we have been observing through many of the verses. Bo according to Ms will. This king was selfish and headstrong and acted according as his own will dictated, regardless of others' rights and whether the thing he wished to do was right or wrong. The predictions of the verse are general but the main thought is the same as that in verse 31. Till the indignation he accomplished. This means the indignation of God against his own people because of their sins at this time. Epiphanes was suffered to oppress the Jews in order to punish them, and as soon as the wrath of the Lord was satisfied, the wicked king was to be brought to his own punishment. This prediction is the same as that made in Dan 8:12. There is an extended comment with a quotation from history at that place and the reader is asked to see it again.
Verse 37Dan 11:37. Nor the desire of women. Epiphanes was a very immoral man, and most of his immoral actions were unnatural. The prediction does not mean he never was intimate with women for he was. but that was not the chief object of his carnal desires. Another lengthy paragraph is devoted to the vile character of this king at verse 21 which the reader should see. The rest of the items of this verse have been explained.
Verse 38Dan 11:38-39. Epiphanes had no regard for the true God, neither for the rights of good men. The only god he served was that of military and financial forces. Such Is the gist of this paragraph, and the many historical quotations that have been given clearly prove the predictions to be true.
Verse 40Dan 11:40-43. No advantage would be gained by separating these verses into paragraphs for each, for all of them are on the same subject and have been virtually explained previously. The paragraph is a summing up of the activities of Epiphanes in his mad hostilities against Egypt and other peoples.
Verse 44Dan 11:44-45. The historical quotation that belongs with this paragraph is quoted at Dan 8:24-25. Briefly summing up, Epiphanes was madly pursuing liis attacks in the south when he learned of the disturbances going on in another part of his dominions. In his fury he started thither, determined to wreak severe vengeance upon the Jews whom he blamed for most of the disturbances. But he was not suffered to carry out his wicked designs. In the midst of his mad performances he was smitten by the Lord and finally died in a most shameful and loathsome manner. In this way he fulfilled the prediction, yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.