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Lecture Fifty-Eighth

In our last Lecture we explained why the angel mentions the exasperation of King Ptolemy. Unless he had been dragged into the war, his disposition was so sluggish that he would have suffered many cities to be wrested from him, and he would never have been moved by either the disgrace or the loss. But at length he took up arms, on seeing with what a stern and bold enemy he had to deal, he afterwards adds, He shall go out to battle against the king of the North, meaning Antiochus king of Syria. And he shall set in array a large multitude. This may be referred to either of them, for Antiochus then brought into the field a large army; he had 5000 horse and 70,000 foot. Ptolemy was superior in his cavalry, which amounted to 6000 men. This clause will suit the case of Antiochus. He shall bring into the field a great multitude, and the multitude shall be given into his hand, meaning Ptolemy’s. The context seems thus to flow on more easily: yet if any one prefers considering it as applicable to Ptolemy himself, I will not contend the point. It is not of much consequence, because the angel simply pronounces the superiority of Ptolemy in this battle, in which he conquered Antiochus the Great. Besides, we must notice, that he was not the conqueror by his own industry, or valor, or counsel, or military skill; but because the Lord, who regulates the events of battles, wished at that time to subdue the pride of Antiochus the Great. It now follows, —

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