16. But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him; and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.
16. Et faciet veniens ad eum pro beneplacito suo, hoc est, pro suo libidine, et nullus stabit coram facie ejus, et stabit in terra desiderabili, et consumetur, alii nomen esse volunt, consumptio, in manu ejus.
The angel proceeds with the same discourse. He says, Antiochus the Great should accomplish his wishes, and should spread the terror of his arms in every direction, and thus no one would dare to oppose him. He shall do therefore according to his will, he says, and none shall stand before his face; and he shall stand in the desirable land; meaning, he shall bring his victorious army into Judea, and there shall be a great consumption under his hand, or Judea shall be consumed and ruined under his hand. We originally stated, that the angel's mission did not authorize him to great these events as military exploits are usually narrated by historians. Enough is revealed to lead the faithful to acknowledge God's continual regard for their safety. Experience also assures us of every occurrence being divinely foreseen, and thus they would acknowledge how everything tended to promote their welfare. God's predictions of future events were never in vain, and the angel now declares the future coming of Antiochus to the desirable land. We have previously given the reason for the use of this epithet as applied to Judea, -- not through any natural excellence over other lands, but because God had chosen it for himself as his seat and dwelling-place. The excellence of this land depended entirely on the gratuitous beneficence of God. It might seem inconsistent to grant such license to an impious tyrant and robber, and to allow him to overrun Judea, which God had marked out with peculiar honor, in adopting it as his dwelling-place, and calling it his residence. (Psalm 132:14.) But we know that the Church, while on its pilgrimage in this world, enjoys no freedom from many infliction's; for it is profitable for the sons of God to be humbled under the cross, lest they should grow restive in the world, and give themselves up to luxuries, and sleep upon the desires of the flesh. The angel, indeed, omits the reason why God suffered Antiochus thus cruelly to oppress the sacred land; but the faithful had been taught by the Law and the Prophets how the Church was subject to various tribulations. It is sufficient, then, to relate the event with simplicity: and the pleasant land shall be consumed under his hand, or there shall be a consumption. It matters but little which way we read it as far as the sense is concerned. The angel here encourages Daniel and all others to the exercise of patience, lest they should faint under this divine scourge; for he permitted Antiochus to wander about like a robber, and to exercise severe tyranny and cruelty against the Jews. I need not discuss these events at greater length, as they are found in the Books of the Maccabees. I will only touch on one point briefly; Antiochus did not of his own accord harass the Jews by leading his army into their country, but he was stirred up by impious priests. So great was their perfidy and barbarity that they willingly betrayed God's Temple, and exposed their nation to the most distressing calamities. That was a severe trial: hence God consulted the interests of his own worshippers by predicting events which might weaken their confidence and cause them to indulge in despair. It follows, --