Da 11:1-45. This chapter is an enlargement of the
eighth: The Overthrow of Persia by Grecia: The
Four Divisions of Alexander's Kingdom: Conflicts between the Kings of
the South and of the North, the Ptolemies and Seleucidæ:
1. I—the angel (Da 10:18).
first year of Darius—Cyaxares II; the
year of the conquest of Babylon (Da 5:31). Cyrus, who wielded the real power,
though in name subordinate to Darius, in that year promulgated the
edict for the restoration of the Jews, which Daniel was at the time
praying for (Da 9:1, 2, 21, 23).
stood—implying promptness in helping
strengthen him—namely, Michael; even
as Michael (Da 10:21,
"strengtheneth himself with me") helped the angel, both joining
their powers in behalf of Israel [Rosenmuller]. Or, Darius, the angel
"confirming him" in his purpose of kindness to Israel.
2. three kings in Persia—Cambyses,
Pseudo-Smerdis, and Darius Hystaspes. (Ahasuerus, Artaxerxes, and
Darius, in Ezr 4:6, 7, 24). The Ahasuerus of Esther (see on
Da 9:1) is identified with Xerxes, both in Greek
history and in Scripture, appearing proud, self-willed, careless of
contravening Persian customs, amorous, facile, and changeable (Da 11:2).
fourth … riches … against …
Grecia—Xerxes, whose riches were proverbial. Persia reached
its climax and showed its greatest power in his invasion of Greece, 480
B.C. After his overthrow at Salamis,
Persia is viewed as politically dead, though it had an
existence. Therefore, Da 11:3,
without noticing Xerxes' successors, proceeds at once to Alexander,
under whom, first, the third world kingdom, Grecia, reached its
culmination, and assumed an importance as to the people of God.
stir up all—Four years were spent in
gathering his army out of all parts of his vast empire, amounting to
two millions six hundred and forty-one thousand men. [Prideaux, Connexion, 1.4. l. 410].
3. mighty king … do according to his
will—answering to the he-goat's "notable horn" (Da 8:6, 7, 21). Alexander invaded Persia 334
B.C., to avenge the wrongs of Greece on
Persia for Xerxes' past invasion (as Alexander said in a letter to
Darius Codomanus, Arrian,
4. kingdom … divided toward … four
winds—the fourfold division of Alexander's kingdom at his
8:8, 22), after the battle of
Ipsus, 301 B.C.
not to his posterity—(See on Da 8:8; Da 8:22).
nor according to his dominion—None of
his successors had so wide a dominion as Alexander himself.
others besides those—besides
Alexander's sons, Hercules by Barsine, Darius' daughter, and
Alexander by Roxana, who were both slain [Maurer]. Rather, besides the four successors
to the four chief divisions of the empire, there will be other lesser
chiefs who shall appropriate smaller fragments of the Macedonian empire
5. Here the prophet leaves Asia and Greece and
takes up Egypt and Syria, these being in continual conflict under
Alexander's successors, entailing misery on Judea, which lay between
the two. Holy Scripture handles external history only so far as it is
connected with God's people, Israel [Jerome]. Tregelles
puts a chasm between the fourth and fifth verses, making the transition
to the final Antichrist here, answering to the chasm (in his view) at
king of … south—literally, "of
midday": Egypt (Da 11:8, 42), Ptolemy Soter, son of Lagus. He took
the title "king," whereas Lagus was but "governor."
one of his princes—Seleucus, at first
a satrap of Ptolemy Lagus, but from 312 B.C. king of the largest empire after that of
Alexander (Syria, Babylon, Media, &c.), and called therefore
Nicator, that is, "conqueror." Connect the words thus, "And one
of his (Ptolemy's) princes, even he (Seleucus) shall be strong
above him" (above Ptolemy, his former master).
6. in … end of years—when the
predicted time shall be consummated (Da 11:13, Margin; Da 8:17;
king's daughter of the south—Berenice,
daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus of Egypt. The latter, in order to end
his war with Antiochus Theus, "king of the north" (literally,
"midnight": the prophetical phrase for the region whence came
affliction to Israel, Jer 1:13-15; Joe 2:20), that is, Syria, gave Berenice to
Antiochus, who thereupon divorced his former wife, Laodice, and
disinherited her son, Seleucus Callinicus. The designation, "king of
the north" and "of the south," is given in relation to Judea, as the
standpoint. Egypt is mentioned by name (Da 11:8, 42), though Syria is not; because the
former was in Daniel's time a flourishing kingdom, whereas Syria was
then a mere dependency of Assyria and Babylon: an undesigned
proof of the genuineness of the Book of Daniel.
agreement—literally, "rights," that
is, to put things to rights between the belligerents.
she shall not retain the power of the
arm—She shall not be able to effect the purpose of the
alliance, namely, that she should be the mainstay of peace.
Ptolemy having died, Antiochus took back Laodice, who then poisoned
him, and caused Berenice and her son to be put to death, and raised her
own son, Seleucus Nicator, to the throne.
neither shall he stand—The king of
Egypt shall not gain his point of setting his line on the throne of
his arm—that on which he relied.
Berenice and her offspring.
they that brought her—her attendants
he that begat her—rather as
Margin, "the child whom she brought forth" [Ewald]. If English Version (which Maurer approves) be retained, as Ptolemy died
a natural death, "given up" is not in his case, as in Berenice's, to be
understood of giving up to death, but in a general sense, of his
plan proving abortive.
he that strengthened her in these
times—Antiochus Theus, who is to attach himself to her
(having divorced Laodice) at the times predicted [Gejer].
7. a branch of her roots … in his
estate—Ptolemy Euergetes, brother of Berenice, succeeding
in the place (Margin) of Philadelphus, avenged her death
by overrunning Syria, even to the Euphrates.
deal against them—He shall deal with
the Syrians at his own pleasure. He slew Laodice.
8. carry … into Egypt their gods,
&c.—Ptolemy, on hearing of a sedition in Egypt, returned with
forty thousand talents of silver, precious vessels, and twenty-four
hundred images, including Egyptian idols, which Cambyses had carried
from Egypt into Persia. The idolatrous Egyptians were so gratified,
that they named him Euergetes, or "benefactor."
continue more years—Ptolemy survived
Seleucus four years, reigning in all forty-six years. Maurer translates, "Then he for several years shall
desist from (contending with) the king of the north" (compare
9. come into his kingdom—Egypt: not only
with impunity, but with great spoil.
10. his sons—the two sons of the king of
the north, Seleucus Callinicus, upon his death by a fall from his
horse, namely, Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus the Great.
one shall … come—Ceraunus having
died, Antiochus alone prosecuted the war with Ptolemy Philopater,
Euergetes' son, until he had recovered all the parts of Syria
subjugated by Euergetes.
pass through—like an "overflowing"
torrent (Da 11:22, 26, 40; Isa 8:8). Antiochus penetrated to Dura (near
Cæsarea), where he gave Ptolemy a four months' truce.
return—renew the war at the expiration
of the truce (so Da 11:13).
even to his fortress—Ptolemy's;
Raphia, a border-fortress of Egypt against incursions by way of Edom
and Arabia-Petræa, near Gaza; here Antiochus was vanquished.
11. the king of the south … moved with
choler—at so great losses, Syria having been wrested from
him, and his own kingdom imperilled, though otherwise an indolent man,
to which his disasters were owing, as also to the odium of his subjects
against him for having murdered his father, mother, and brother, whence
in irony they called him Philopater, "father-lover."
he shall set forth a great
multitude—Antiochus, king of Syria, whose force was seventy
thousand infantry and five thousand cavalry.
but … multitude … given into his
hand—into Ptolemy's hands; ten thousand of Antiochus' army
were slain, and four thousand made captives.
12. when he hath taken away—that is,
subdued "the multitude" of Antiochus.
heart … lifted up—instead of
following up his victory by making himself master of the whole of
Syria, as he might, he made peace with Antiochus, and gave himself up
to licentiousness [Polybius, 87; Justin, 30.4], and profaned the temple of
God by entering the holy place [Grotius].
not be strengthened by it—He shall
lose the power gained by his victory through his luxurious
13. return—renew the war.
after certain years—fourteen
years after his defeat at Raphia. Antiochus, after successful
campaigns against Persia and India, made war with Ptolemy Epiphanes,
son of Philopater, a mere child.
14. many stand up against the king of the
south—Philip, king of Macedon, and rebels in Egypt itself,
combined with Antiochus against Ptolemy.
robbers of thy people—that is,
factious men of the Jews shall exalt themselves, so as to revolt from
Ptolemy, and join themselves to Antiochus; the Jews helped Antiochus'
army with provisions, when on his return from Egypt he besieged the
Egyptian garrison left in Jerusalem [Josephus, Antiquities, 12:3.3].
to establish the vision—Those
turbulent Jews unconsciously shall help to fulfil the purpose of God,
as to the trials which await Judea, according to this vision.
but they shall fall—Though helping to
fulfil the vision, they shall fail in their aim, of making Judea
15. king of … north—Antiochus the
take … fenced cities—Scopas, the
Egyptian general, met Antiochus at Paneas, near the sources of the
Jordan, and was defeated, and fled to Sidon, a strongly "fenced city,"
where he was forced to surrender.
chosen people—Egypt's choicest army
was sent under Eropus, Menocles, and Damoxenus, to deliver Scopas, but
in vain [Jerome].
16. he that cometh against him—Antiochus
coming against Ptolemy Epiphanes.
glorious land—Judea (Da 11:41, 45; Da 8:9; Eze 20:6, 15).
by his hand shall be
consumed—literally, "perfected," that is, completely brought
under his sway. Josephus
[Antiquities, 12:3.3] shows that the meaning is not, that the
Jews should be utterly consumed: for Antiochus favored them for taking
his part against Ptolemy, but that their land should be
subjected to him [Lengkerke].
Grotius translates, "shall be perfected
by him," that is, shall flourish under him. English Version
gives a good sense; namely, that Judea was much "consumed" or
"desolated" by being the arena of conflict between the
combatants, Syria and Egypt. Tregelles
11:14), "robbers of thy
people," to the Gentiles, once oppressors, attempting to restore the
Jews to their land by mere human effort, whereas this is to be effected
only by divine interposition: their attempt is frustrated (Da 11:16) by the wilful king, who makes Judea the
scene of his military operations.
17. set his face—purpose
steadfastly. Antiochus purpose was, however, turned from open assault
to wile, by his war with the Romans in his endeavor to extend his
kingdom to the limits it had under Seleucus Nicator.
upright one—Jasher, or
Jeshurun (De 32:15; Isa 44:2); the epithet applied by the Hebrews to
their nation. It is here used not in praise; for in Da 11:14 (see on Da 11:14)
they are called "robbers," or "men of violence, factious": it is the
general designation of Israel, as having God for their God.
Probably it is used to rebuke those who ought to have been God's
"upright ones" for confederating with godless heathen in acts of
violence (the contrast to the term in Da 11:14 favors this).
thus shall he do—Instead of at once
invading Ptolemy's country with his "whole strength," he prepares his
way for doing so by the following plan: he gives to Ptolemy Epiphanes
his daughter Cleopatra in marriage, promising Cœlo-Syria and Judea
as a dowry, thus securing his neutrality in the war with Rome: he hoped
through his daughter to obtain Syria, Cilicia, and Lycia, and even
Egypt itself at last; but Cleopatra favored her husband rather than her
father, and so defeated his scheme [Jerome]. "She shall not stand on his side."
18. isles—He "took many" of the isles in
the Ægean in his war with the Romans, and crossed the
prince for his own behalf shall cause the
reproach … to cease—Lucius Scipio Asiaticus, the Roman
general, by routing Antiochus at Magnesia (190 B.C.), caused the reproach which he offered Rome by
inflicting injuries on Rome's allies, to cease. He did it for his
without his own reproach—with
19. Then he shall turn … toward … his
own land—Compelled by Rome to relinquish all his territory
west of the Taurus, and defray the expenses of the war, he garrisoned
the cities left to him.
stumble … not be
found—Attempting to plunder the temple of Jupiter at Elymais
by night, whether through avarice, or the want of money to pay the
tribute imposed by Rome (a thousand talents), he was slain with his
soldiers in an insurrection of the inhabitants [Justin, 32.2].
20. in his estate—in Antiochus' stead:
his successor, Seleucus Philopater, his son.
in the glory of the kingdom—that is,
inheriting it by hereditary right. Maurer translates, "one who shall cause the tax
gatherer (Heliodorus) to pass through the glory of the kingdom," that
is, Judea, "the glorious land" (Da 11:16, 41; Da 8:9). Simon, a Benjamite, in spite against
Onias III, the high priest, gave information of the treasures in the
Jewish temple; and Seleucus having reunited to Syria Cœlo-Syria
and Palestine, the dowry formerly given by Antiochus the Great to
Cleopatra, Ptolemy's wife, sent Heliodorus to Jerusalem to plunder the
temple. This is narrated in 2 Maccabees 3:4, &c. Contrast
Zec 9:8, "No oppressor shall pass through
… any more."
within few days …
destroyed—after a reign of twelve years, which were "few"
compared with the thirty-seven years of Antiochus' reign. Heliodorus,
the instrument of Seleucus' sacrilege, was made by God the instrument
of his punishment. Seeking the crown, in the absence at Rome of
Seleucus' only son and heir, Demetrius, he poisoned Seleucus. But
Antiochus Epiphanes, Seleucus' brother, by the help of Eumenes, king of
Pergamos, succeeded to the throne, 175 B.C.
neither in anger, nor in battle—not in
a popular outbreak, nor in open battle.
21. vile—Antiochus called Epiphanes,
that is, "the illustrious," for vindicating the claims of the royal
line against Heliodorus, was nicknamed, by a play of sounds, Epimanes,
that is, "the madman," for his mad freaks beneath the dignity of a
king. He would carouse with the lowest of the people, bathe with them
in the public baths, and foolishly jest and throw stones at passers-by
[Polybius, 26.10]. Hence, as also for
his crafty supplanting of Demetrius, the rightful heir, from the
throne, he is termed "vile."
they shall not give … kingdom: but …
by flatteries—The nation shall not, by a public act, confer
the kingdom on him, but he shall obtain it by artifice, "flattering"
Eumenes and Attalus of Pergamos to help him, and, as he had seen
candidates at Rome doing, canvassing the Syrian people high and low,
one by one, with embraces [Livy,
22. shall they be overflown … before
him—Antiochus Epiphanes shall invade Egypt with overwhelming
prince of the covenant—Ptolemy
Philometer, the son of Cleopatra, Antiochus' sister, who was joined in
covenant with him. Ptolemy's guardians, while he was a boy, sought to
recover from Epiphanes Cœlo-Syria and Palestine, which had been
promised by Antiochus the Great as Cleopatra's dowry in marrying
Ptolemy Epiphanes. Hence arose the war. Philometer's generals were
vanquished, and Pelusium, the key of Egypt, taken by Antiochus, 171
notes three divisions in the history of the "vile person," which is
continued to the end of the chapter: (1) His rise (Da 11:21, 22). (2) The time from his making the
covenant to the taking away of the daily sacrifice and setting up of
the abomination of desolation (Da 11:23-31). (3) His career of blasphemy, to his
destruction (Da 11:32-45); the latter two periods answering to
the "week" of years of his "covenant with many" (namely, in Israel)
9:27), and the last being the
closing half week of the ninth chapter. But the context so accurately
agrees with the relations of Antiochus to Ptolemy that the primary
reference seems to be to the "league" between them.
Antitypically, Antichrist's relations towards Israel are
probably delineated. Compare Da 8:11, 25, with Da 11:22 here, "prince of the covenant."
work deceitfully—Feigning friendship
to young Ptolemy, as if he wished to order his kingdom for him, he took
possession of Memphis and all Egypt ("the fattest places," Da 11:34) as far as Alexandria.
with a small people—At first, to throw
off suspicion, his forces were small.
24. peaceably—literally, "unexpectedly";
under the guise of friendship he seized Ptolemy Philometer.
he shall do that which his fathers have not
done—His predecessors, kings of Syria, had always coveted
Egypt, but in vain: he alone made himself master of it.
scatter among them … prey—among
his followers (1 Maccabees 1:19).
forecast his devices against …
strongholds—He shall form a studied scheme for making himself
master of the Egyptian fortresses. He gained them all except
Alexandria, which successfully resisted him. Retaining to himself
Pelusium, he retired to Judea, where, in revenge for the joy shown by
the Jews at the report of his death, which led them to a revolt, he
subdued Jerusalem by storm or stratagem.
for a time—His rage shall not be for
ever; it is but for a time limited by God. Calvin makes "for a time" in antithesis to
"unexpectedly," in the beginning of the verse. He suddenly
mastered the weaker cities: he had to "forecast his plans" more
gradually ("for a time") as to how to gain the stronger
25. A fuller detail of what was summarily
stated (Da 11:22-24). This is the first of Antiochus' three
11:29) open invasions of
against the king of the south—against
Ptolemy Philometer. Subsequently, Ptolemy Physcon (the Gross), or
Euergetes II, was made king by the Egyptians, as Ptolemy Philometer was
in Antiochus' hands.
great army—as distinguished from the
"small people" (Da 11:23)
with which he first came. This was his first open expedition; he
was emboldened by success to it. Antiochus "entered Egypt with an
overwhelming multitude, with chariots, elephants, and cavalry" (1
stirred up—by the necessity, though
not stand—Philometer was defeated.
they shall forecast, &c.—His
own nobles shall frame treacherous "devices" against him (see Da 11:26). Eulœus and Lenœus
maladministered his affairs. Antiochus, when checked at last at
Alexandria, left Ptolemy Philometer at Memphis as king, pretending that
his whole object was to support Philometer's claims against the usurper
26. they that feed of … his
meat—those from whom he might naturally have looked for help,
his intimates and dependents (Ps 41:9; Joh 13:18); his ministers and guardians.
his army shall overflow—Philometer's
army shall be dissipated as water. The phrase is used of overflowing
numbers, usually in a victorious sense, but here in the sense of
defeat, the very numbers which ordinarily ensure victory,
hastening the defeat through mismanagement.
many shall fall down slain—(1
Maccabees 1:18, "many fell wounded to death"). Antiochus, when he
might have slain all in the battle near Pelusium, rode around and
ordered the enemy to be taken alive, the fruit of which policy was, he
soon gained Pelusium and all Egypt [Diodorus
27. both … to do mischief—each to
speak lies at one table—They shall,
under the semblance of intimacy, at Memphis try to deceive one another
(see on Da 11:3; Da
it shall not prosper—Neither of them
shall carry his point at this time.
yet the end shall be—"the end" of the
contest between them is reserved for "the time appointed" (Da 11:29, 30).
28. (1 Maccabees 1:19, 20,
against the holy covenant—On his way
back to Syria, he attacked Jerusalem, the metropolis of Jehovah's
covenant-people, slew eighty thousand, took forty thousand prisoners,
and sold forty thousand as slaves (2 Maccabees 5:5-14).
he shall do exploits—He shall effect
his purpose. Guided by Menelaus, the high priest, he entered the
sanctuary with blasphemies, took away the gold and silver vessels,
sacrificed swine on the altar, and sprinkled broth of the flesh through
the temple (2 Maccabees 5:15-21).
29. At the time appointed—"the time"
spoken of in Da 11:27.
return—his second open invasion of
Egypt. Ptolemy Philometer, suspecting Antiochus' designs with Physcon,
hired mercenaries from Greece. Whereupon Antiochus advanced with a
fleet and an army, demanding the cession to him of Cyprus, Pelusium,
and the country adjoining the Pelusiac mouth of the Nile.
it shall not be as the former—not
successful as the former expedition. Popilius Lœnas, the Roman
ambassador, met him at Eleusis, four miles from Alexandria, and
presented him the decree of the senate; on Antiochus replying that he
would consider what he was to do, Popilius drew a line round him with a
rod and said, "I must have a reply to give to the senate before you
leave this circle." Antiochus submitted, and retired from Egypt; and
his fleets withdrew from Cyprus.
or as the latter—that mentioned in
11:42, 43 [Tregelles]. Or, making this the third
expedition, the sense is "not as the first or as the second"
expeditions [Piscator]. Rather "not as
the former, so shall be this latter" expedition [Grotius].
30. ships of Chittim—the Roman
ambassadors arriving in Macedonian Grecian vessels (see on Jer 2:10). Chittim, properly Cyprian,
so called from a Phœnician colony in Cyprus; then the islands and
coasts of the Mediterranean in general.
grieved—humbled and dispirited through
fear of Rome.
indignation against the holy
covenant—Indignant that meantime God's worship had been
restored at Jerusalem, he gives vent to his wrath at the check given
him by Rome, on the Jews.
intelligence with them that forsake the …
covenant—namely, with the apostates in the nation (1
Maccabees 1:11-15). Menelaus and other Jews instigated the king
against their religion and country, learning from Greek philosophy that
all religions are good enough to keep the masses in check. These had
cast off circumcision and the religion of Jehovah for Greek customs.
Antiochus, on his way home, sent Apollonius (167 B.C.) with twenty-two thousand to destroy Jerusalem,
two years after its capture by himself. Apollonius slew multitudes,
dismantled and pillaged the city. They then, from a fortress which they
built commanding the temple, fell on and slew the worshippers; so that
the temple service was discontinued. Also, Antiochus decreed that all,
on pain of death, should conform to the Greek religion, and the temple
was consecrated to Jupiter Olympius. Identifying himself with that god,
with fanatical haughtiness he wished to make his own worship universal
(1 Maccabees 1:41; 2 Maccabees 6:7). This was the gravest peril
which ever heretofore threatened revealed religion, the holy people,
and the theocracy on earth, for none of the previous world rulers had
interfered with the religious worship of the covenant-people, when
subject to them (Da 4:31-34; 6:27, 28;
Ezr 1:2, 4; 7:12; Ne 2:18).
Hence arose the need of such a forewarning of the covenant-people as to
him—so accurate, that Porphyry,
the adversary of revelation, saw it was hopeless to deny its
correspondence with history, but argued from its accuracy that it must
have been written subsequent to the event. But as Messianic
events are foretold in Daniel, the Jews, the adversaries of Jesus,
would never have forged the prophecies which confirm His claims. The
ninth chapter was to comfort the faithful Jews, in the midst of the
"abominations" against "the covenant," with the prospect of Messiah who
would "confirm the covenant." He would show by bringing salvation, and
yet abolishing sacrifices, that the temple service which they so
grieved after, was not absolutely necessary; thus the correspondence of
phraseology would suggest comfort (compare Da 9:27 with Da
31. arms—namely, of the human body; not
weapons; human forces.
they—Antiochus' hosts confederate with
the apostate Israelites; these latter attain the climax of guilt, when
they not only, as before, "forsake the covenant" (Da 11:30), but "do wickedly against" it
11:32), turning complete
heathens. Here Antiochus' actings are described in language which reach
beyond him the type to Antichrist the antitype [Jerome] (just as in Ps 72:1-20 many things are said of Solomon the
type, which are only applicable to Christ the Antitype); including
perhaps Rome, Mohammed, and the final personal Antichrist. Sir Isaac Newton refers the rest of the chapter from
this verse to the Romans, translating, "after him arms (that is,
the Romans) shall stand up"; at the very time that Antiochus left
Egypt, the Romans conquered Macedon, thus finishing the reign of
Daniel's third beast; so here the prophet naturally proceeds to the
fourth beast. Jerome's view is simpler;
for the narrative seems to continue the history of Antiochus, though
with features only in type applicable to him, fully to Antichrist.
sanctuary of strength—not only
naturally a place of strength, whence it held out to the last against
the besiegers, but chiefly the spiritual stronghold of the
covenant-people (Ps 48:1-3, 12-14). Apollonius "polluted" it with altars
to idols and sacrifices of swine's flesh, after having "taken away the
daily sacrifice" (see on Da 8:11).
place … abomination that maketh
desolate—that is, that pollutes the temple (Da 8:12, 13). Or rather, "the abomination
of the desolater," Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Maccabees 1:29,
37-49). Compare Da 9:27,
wherein the antitypical desolating abomination of Rome (the
eagle standard, the bird of Jupiter, sacrificed to by Titus' soldiers
within the sacred precincts, at the destruction of Jerusalem), of
Mohammed and of the final Antichrist, is foretold. 1 Maccabees
1:54, uses the very phrase, "the fifteenth day of the month Casleu,
in the hundred forty-fifth year, they set up the abomination of
desolation on the altar"; namely, an idol-altar and image of
Jupiter Olympius, erected upon Jehovah's altar of burnt offerings.
"Abomination" is the common name for an idol in the Old
Testament. The Roman emperor Adrian's erection of a temple to Jupiter
Capitolinus where the temple of God had stood, A.D. 132; also the erection of the Mohammedan mosque
of Omar in the same place (it is striking, Mohammedanism began to
prevail in A.D. 610, only about three
years of the time when Popery assumed the temporal power); and the
idolatry of the Church of Rome in the spiritual temple, and the final
blasphemy of the personal Antichrist in the literal temple (2Th 2:4) may all be antitypically referred
to here under Antiochus the type, and the Old Testament Antichrist.
32. (1 Maccabees 1:52).
corrupt—seduce to apostasy.
by flatteries—promises of favor.
people that … know their God—the
Maccabees and their followers (1 Maccabees 1:62, 63).
33. they that understand—who know and
keep the truth of God (Isa 11:2).
instruct many—in their duty to God and
the law, not to apostatize.
yet they shall fall—as Eleazar (2
Maccabees 6:18, &c.). They shall be sorely persecuted, even to
death (Heb 11:35, 36, 37; 2 Maccabees 6, 7). Their enemies
took advantage of the Sabbath to slay them on the day when they would
not fight. Tregelles thinks, from
comparison with Da 11:35, it
is the people who "fall," not those of understanding. But
11:35 makes the latter
"fall," not an unmeaning repetition; in Da 11:33 they fall (die) by persecution; in Da 11:35 they fall (spiritually) for a time
by their own weakness.
flame—in caves, whither they had
retired to keep the Sabbath. Antiochus caused some to be roasted alive
(2 Maccabees 7:3-5).
"certain days," as in Da 8:27.
Josephus [Antiquities, 12:7.6,7]
tells us the persecution lasted for three years (1 Maccabees 1:59;
4:54; 2 Maccabees 10:1-7).
34. a little help—The liberty obtained
by the Maccabean heroes for the Jews was of but short duration. They
soon fell under the Romans and Herodians, and ever since every attempt
to free them from Gentile rule has only aggravated their sad lot. The
period of the world times (Gentile rule) is the period of depression of
the theocracy, extending from the exile to the millennium [Roos]. The more immediate reference seems to be, the
forces of Mattathias and his five sons were originally few (1
many shall cleave to them—as was the
case under Judas Maccabeus, who was thus able successfully to resist
with flatteries—Those who had deserted
the Jewish cause in persecution, now, when success attended the Jewish
arms, joined the Maccabean standard, for example, Joseph, the son of
Zecharias, Azarias, &c. (1 Maccabees 5:55-57; 2 Maccabees 12:40;
13:21). Maurer explains it, of those
who through fear of the Maccabees' severity against apostates joined
them, though ready, if it suited their purpose, to desert them (1
Maccabees 2:44; 3:58).
35. to try them—the design of
affliction. Image from metals tried with fire.
to purge—Even in the elect there are
dregs which need to be purged out (1Pe 1:7). Hence they are allowed to fall for a
time; not finally (2Ch 32:31; Lu 22:31). Image from wheat cleared of its chaff
by the wind.
make … white—image from cloth
to … time of … end—God
will not suffer His people to be persecuted without limitation (1Co 10:13). The godly are to wait patiently
for "the end" of "the time" of trial; "for it is (to last) yet for a
time appointed" by God.
36. The wilful king here, though primarily
Antiochus, is antitypically and mainly Antichrist, the seventh head of
the seven-headed and ten-horned beast of Re 13:1-18, and the "beast" of Armageddon (Re
16:13, 16; 19:19). Some
identify him with the revived French emperorship, the eighth head of
the beast (Re 17:11),
who is to usurp the kingly, as the Pope has the priestly, dignity of
Christ—the false Messiah of the Jews, who will "plant his
tabernacle between the seas in the holy mountain," "exalting himself
above every god" (2Th 2:4; Re 13:5, 6). This last clause only in part holds
good of Antiochus; for though he assumed divine honors, identifying
himself with Jupiter Olympius, yet it was for that god he claimed them;
still it applies to him as the type.
speak marvellous things against … God of
gods—so Da 7:25, as
to the "little horn," which seemingly identifies the two (compare Da 8:25). Antiochus forbade the worship of
Jehovah by a decree "marvellous" for its wickedness: thus he was a type
of Antichrist. Compare Da 7:8, "a
mouth speaking great things."
indignation … accomplished—God's
visitation of wrath on the Jews for their sins (Da 8:19).
that … determined—(Da 9:26, 27;
37. Neither … regard … the desire of
women—(Compare Eze 24:16, 18). The wife, as the desire of
man's eyes, is the symbol of the tenderest relations (2Sa 1:26). Antiochus would set at naught even
their entreaties that he should cease from his attack on Jehovah's
worship [Polanus]. Maurer refers it to Antiochus' attack on the temple
of the Syrian Venus, worshipped by women (1 Maccabees 6:1,
&c.; 2 Maccabees 1:13). Newton
refers it to Rome's "forbidding to marry." Elliott rightly makes the antitypical reference be
to Messiah. Jewish women desired to be mothers with a view to
Him, the promised seed of the woman (Ge 30:23; Lu 1:25, 28).
nor regard any god—(2Th 2:4).
38. God of forces—probably Jupiter
Capitolinus, to whom Antiochus began to erect a temple at Antioch
[Livy, 41.20]. Translate, "He shall
honor the god of fortresses on his basis," that is, the base of
the statue. Newton translates, "And the
god 'Mahuzzim' (guardians, that is, saints adored as
'protectors' in the Greek and Roman churches) shall he
honour with gold, &c.—Compare
Re 17:4 as to Antiochus' antitype,
translates, "to be defenders of Mahuzzim (the monks and priests
who uphold saint worship), together with the strange god whom he shall
acknowledge, he shall multiply honor." English Version is
better: He shall do (exploits) in the most strongholds (that is, shall
succeed against them) with a strange god (under the auspices of a god
which he worshipped not before, namely, Jupiter Capitolinus, whose
worship he imported into his empire from Rome). Antiochus succeeded
against Jerusalem, Sidon, Pelusium, Memphis.
cause them—Antiochus "caused" his
followers and the apostates "to rule over many" Jews, having
"divided their land" (Judea), "for gain" (that is, as a reward
for their compliance).
40. The difficulty of reconciling this with
Antiochus' history is that no historian but Porphyry mentions an expedition of his into
Egypt towards the close of his reign. This Da 11:40, therefore, may be a recapitulation
summing up the facts of the first expedition to Egypt (171-170 B.C.), in Da 11:22, 25; and Da 11:41, the former invasion of Judea, in Da 11:28; Da 11:42, 43, the second and third invasions of Egypt
(169 and 168 B.C.) in Da 11:23, 24,
29, 30. Auberlen takes rather Porphyry's statement, that Antiochus, in the
eleventh year of his reign (166-165 B.C.), invaded Egypt again, and took Palestine on
his way. The "tidings" (Da 11:44) as
to the revolt of tributary nations then led him to the East. Porphyry's statement that Antiochus starting
from Egypt took Arad in Judah, and devastated all Phœnicia, agrees
11:45; then he turned to
check Artaxias, king of Armenia. He died in the Persian town Tabes, 164
B.C., as both Polybius and Porphyry
agree. Doubtless, antitypically, the final Antichrist, and its
predecessor Mohammed, are intended, to whom the language may be more
fully applicable than to Antiochus the type. The Saracen Arabs "of the
south" "pushed at" the Greek emperor Heraclius, and deprived him of
Egypt and Syria. But the Turks of "the north" not merely pushed
at, but destroyed the Greek empire; therefore more is said of them
than of the Saracens. Their "horsemen" are specified, being their chief
strength. Their standards still are horse tails. Their "ships,"
too, often gained the victory over Venice, the great naval power of
Europe in that day. They "overflowed" Western Asia, and then "passed
over" into Europe, fixing their seat of empire at Constantinople under
Mohammed II [Newton].
41. Antiochus, according to Porphyry, marching against Ptolemy, though he turned
from his course to wreak his wrath on the Jews, did not meddle with
Edom, Moab, and Ammon on the side of Judea. In 1 Maccabees 4:61;
5:3; &c., it is stated that he used their help in crushing the
Jews, of whom they were the ancient enemies. Compare Isa 11:14, as to Israel's future retribution, just
as the Maccabees made war on them as the friends of Antiochus (1
Maccabees 5:1-68). Antitypically, the Turks under Selim entered
Jerusalem on their way to Egypt, and retain "the glorious land" of
Palestine to this day. But they never could conquer the Arabs, who are
akin to Edom, Moab, and Ammon (Ge 16:12). So in the case of the final
42, 43. Egypt … Libyans …
Ethiopians—The latter two, being the allies of the first,
served under Antiochus when he conquered Egypt. Antitypically, Egypt,
though it held out long under the Mamelukes, in A.D. 1517 fell under the Turks. Algiers, Tunis, and
other parts of Africa, are still under them.
at his steps—following him (Ex 11:8, Margin; Jud 4:10).
44. tidings out of the east and out of the
north—Artaxias, king of Armenia, his vassal, had revolted in
the north, and Arsaces, leader of the Parthians, in the east (1
Maccabees 3:10, &c., 1 Maccabees 3:37; Tacitus, Histories, 5.8). In 147 B.C. Antiochus went on the expedition against them,
on the return from which he died.
great fury—at the Jews, on account of
their successes under Judas Maccabeus, whence he desired to replenish
his treasury with means to prosecute the war with them; also at
Artaxias and Arsaces, and their respective followers. De Burgh makes the "tidings" which rouse his fury,
to be concerning the Jews' restoration; such may be the antitypical
45. plant … between the seas—the
Dead Sea and the Mediterranean.
tabernacles of … palace—his
palace-like military tents, such as Oriental princes travel with. See
on Da 11:40, as to the time of Antiochus' attack
on Judea, and his subsequent "end" at Tabes, which was caused by
chagrin both at hearing that his forces under Lysias were overcome by
the Jews, and at the failure of his expedition against the temple of
Elymais (2 Maccabees 9:5).
holy mountain—Jerusalem and Mount
Zion. The desolation of the sanctuary by Antiochus, and also the
desecration of the consecrated ground round Jerusalem by the idolatrous
Roman ensigns, as also by the Mohammedan mosque, and, finally, by the
last Antichrist, are referred to. So the last Antichrist is to sit upon
"the mount of the congregation" (Isa 14:13), but "shall be brought down to hell"
(compare Note, see on Da 7:26; 2Th 2:8).