20. Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.
20. Et stabit super locum ejus transire faciens exactorem in honore regni, 1 et diebus paucis conteretur, idque non ira, neque in praelio.
Seleucus, it is well known, did not long survive his father, for he was put to death either by poison, or by his domestics. Suspicion fell upon his brother Antiochus, who was sent back to his country after his father's death was known. Demetrius alone was retained, who afterwards escaped by flight, for he left the city under the pretense of hunting, and followed the bank of the Tiber as far as Ostia, where he embarked on a small vessel, preferring to run all risks to remaining in perpetual banishment. Concerning Seleucus, the angel says, he shall stand in his place, meaning, he shall succeed by hereditary right to the office of Antiochus the Great. Thus he shall cause the exactor to pass over. Some translate, He shall take away the exactor; for the verb rbe gneber, in Hiphil, signifies to take away. The Hebrews use the verb of this clause in the sense of excluding. Some interpreters think this language implies the praise of Seleucus for lessening the tributes imposed by his father, but historians shew this view to be false, and condemn his avarice and rapacity. In some points he was superior to his brother Antiochus; although both lustful and cruel to those around him. Through indulgence in great expenses, he could not be moderate and lenient towards his subjects; for luxury and prodigality always draw with them cruelty in the exaction of tribute. For he who is thus profuse, must necessarily extract the very blood from his people. As Seleucus was thus devoted to self-indulgence, this sense is more appropriate -- he made the exactor to pass through, meaning, he laid new and fresh taxes on all his subjects. Nothing but this is said of him, since he was immediately put to death, as the second clause of the verse informs. us. If we prefer taking the words -- the glory of the kingdom -- by way of opposition, Seleucus will be praised as an honor and an ornament. But I think we must supply the letter l, l, and understand the passage thus, -- He who shall cause the exactor to pass through shall stand in his place, and shall be destroyed in a few days. By the word "destroyed," he signifies a bloody death. But not in anger, says he. I wonder why some translate it "in mutual conflict," because the Hebrews imply "anger" by this word; meaning, he should not perish in open warfare, or in the course of a battle, but by the hands of his domestics. Historians differ as to the kind of death which he died, some saying he was poisoned, and others, slain by the sword. But this difference is of no consequence. Antiochus Epiphanes next succeeds him.