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CHAPTER V

AN ENIGMATIC PROPHECY PASSING INTO DETAILS OF THE REIGN OF ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES

"Pone hæc dici de Antiocho, quid nocet religioni nostræ?"—Hieron. ed. Vallars, v. 722.

If this chapter were indeed the utterance of a prophet in the Babylonian Exile, nearly four hundred years before the events—events of which many are of small comparative importance in the world's history—which are here so enigmatically and yet so minutely depicted, the revelation would be the most unique and perplexing in the whole Scriptures. It would represent a sudden and total departure from every method of God's providence and of God's manifestation of His will to the minds of the prophets. It would stand absolutely and abnormally alone as an abandonment of the limitations of all else which has ever been foretold. And it would then be still more surprising that such a reversal of the entire economy of prophecy should not only be so widely separated in tone from the high moral and spiritual lessons which it was the special glory of prophecy to inculcate, but should come to us entirely devoid of those decisive credentials which could alone suffice to command our conviction of its genuineness and authenticity. "We find in this chapter," says Mr. Bevan, "a complete survey of the history from the beginning of the Persian period down to the time of300 the author. Here, even more than in the earlier vision, we are able to perceive how the account gradually becomes more definite as it approaches the latter part of the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, and how it then passes suddenly from the domain of historical facts to that of ideal expectations."662662   Daniel, p. 162. In recent days, when the force of truth has compelled so many earnest and honest thinkers to the acceptance of historic and literary criticism, the few scholars who are still able to maintain the traditional views about the Book of Daniel find themselves driven, like Zöckler and others, to admit that even if the Book of Daniel as a whole can be regarded as the production of the exiled seer five and a half centuries before Christ, yet in this chapter at any rate there must be large interpolations.663663   On this chapter see Smend, Zeitschr. für Alttest. Wissenschaft, v. 241.

There is here an unfortunate division of the chapters. The first verse of chap. xi. clearly belongs to the last verses of chap. x. It seems to furnish the reason why Gabriel could rely on the help of Michael, and therefore may delay for a few moments his return to the scene of conflict with the Prince of Persia and the coming King of Javan. Michael will for that brief period undertake the sole responsibility of maintaining the struggle, because Gabriel has put him under a direct obligation by special assistance which he rendered to him only a little while previously in the first year of the Median Darius.664664   Ewald, Prophets, v. 293 (E. Tr.). Now, therefore, Gabriel, though in haste, will announce to Daniel the truth.

The announcement occupies five sections.

First Section (xi. 2-9).—Events from the rise of301 Alexander the Great (b.c. 336) to the death of Seleucus Nicator (b.c. 280). There are to be three kings of Persia after Cyrus (who is then reigning), of whom the third is to be the richest;665665   Doubtless the three mentioned in Ezra iv. 5-7: Ahasuerus (Xerxes), Artaxerxes, and Darius. and "when he is waxed strong through his riches, he shall stir up the all666666   Heb., Hakkôl—lit. "the all." There were probably Jews in his army (Jos. c. Ap., I. 22: comp. Herod., vii. 89). against the realm of Javan."

There were of course many more than four kings of Persia667667   Zöckler met the difficulty by calling the number four "symbolic," a method as easy as it is profoundly unsatisfactory.: viz.—

  b.c.
Cyrus 536
Cambyses 529
Pseudo-Smerdis 522
Darius Hystaspis 521
Xerxes I. 485
Artaxerxes I. (Longimanus) 464
Xerxes II. 425
Sogdianus 425
Darius Nothus 424
Artaxerxes II. (Mnemon) 405
Artaxerxes III. 359
Darius Codomannus 336

But probably the writer had no historic sources to which to refer, and only four Persian kings are prominent in Scripture—Cyrus, Darius, Xerxes, and Artaxerxes. Darius Codomannus is indeed mentioned in Neh. xii. 22, but might have easily been overlooked, and even confounded with another Darius in uncritical and unhistorical times. The rich fourth king who "stirs up the all against the realm of Grecia"302 might be meant for Artaxerxes I., but more probably refers to Xerxes (Achashverosh, or Ahasuerus), and his immense and ostentatious invasion of Greece (b.c. 480). His enormous wealth is dwelt upon by Herodotus.668668   Herod., iii. 96, iv. 27-29.

Ver. 3 (b.c. 336-323).—Then shall rise a mighty king (Alexander the Great), and shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. "Fortunam solus omnium mortalium in potestate habuit," says his historian, Quintus Curtius.669669   Q. Curt., X. v. 35.

Ver. 4 (b.c. 323).—But when he is at the apparent zenith of his strength his kingdom shall be broken, and shall not descend to any of his posterity,670670   See Grote, xii. 133. Alexander had a natural son, Herakles, and a posthumous son, Alexander, by Roxana. Both were murdered—the former by Polysperchon. See Diod. Sic., xix. 105, xx. 28; Pausan., ix. 7; Justin, xv. 2; Appian, Syr., c. 51. but (b.c. 323-301) shall be for others, and shall ultimately (after the Battle of Ipsus, b.c. 301) be divided towards the four winds of heaven, into the kingdoms of Cassander (Greece and Macedonia), Ptolemy (Egypt, Cœle-Syria, and Palestine), Lysimachus (Asia Minor), and Seleucus (Upper Asia).

Ver. 5.—Of these four kingdoms and their kings the vision is only concerned with two—the kings of the South671671   The King of the Negeb (comp. Isa. xxx. 6, 7). LXX., Egypt. Ptolemy assumed the crown about b.c. 304. (i.e., the Lagidæ, or Egyptian Ptolemies, who sprang from Ptolemy Lagos), and the kings of the North (i.e., the Antiochian Seleucidæ). They alone are singled out because the Holy Land became a sphere of contentions between these rival dynasties.672672   See Stade, Gesch., ii. 276. Seleucus Nicator was deemed so important as to give his name to the Seleucid æra (1 Macc. i. 10, ἔτη βασιλείας Ἑλλήνων).

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b.c. 306.—The King of the South (Ptolemy Soter, son of Lagos) shall be strong, and shall ultimately assume the title of Ptolemy I., King of Egypt.

But one of his princes or generals (Seleucus Nicator) shall be stronger,673673   Diod. Sic., xix. 55-58; Appian, Syr., c. 52. He ruled from Phrygia to the Indus, and was the most powerful of the Diadochi. The word one is not expressed in the Hebrew: "but as for one of his captains." There may be some corruption of the text. Seleucus can scarcely be regarded as a vassal of Ptolemy, but of Alexander. and, asserting his independence, shall establish a great dominion over Northern Syria and Babylonia.

Ver. 6 (b.c. 250).—The vision then passes over the reign of Antiochus II. (Soter), and proceeds to say that "at the end of years" (i.e., some half-century later, b.c. 250) the kings of the North and South should form a matrimonial alliance. The daughter of the King of the South—the Egyptian Princess Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy II. (Philadelphus), should come to the King of the North (Antiochus Theos) to make an agreement. This agreement (marg., "equitable conditions") was that Antiochus Theos should divorce his wife and half-sister Laodice, and disinherit her children, and bequeath the throne to any future child of Berenice, who would thus unite the empires of the Ptolemies and the Seleucidæ.674674   Appian, Syr., c. 55; Polyænus, viii. 50; Justin, xxvii. 1. See Herzberg, Gesch. v. Hellas u. Rom., i. 576. Dates are not certain. Berenice took with her so vast a dowry that she was called "the dowry-bringer" (φερνόφορος).675675   Jer., ad loc. (Dan. xi. 6). Antiochus himself accompanied her as far as Pelusium (b.c. 247). But the compact ended in nothing but calamity. For, two years after, Ptolemy II. died, leaving an infant child by Berenice. But Berenice304 did "not retain the strength of her arm,"676676   The rendering is much disputed, and some versions, punctuating differently, have, "his seed [i.e., his daughter] shall not stand." Every clause of the passage has received varying interpretations. since the military force which accompanied her proved powerless for her protection; nor did Ptolemy II. abide, nor any support which he could render. On the contrary, there was overwhelming disaster. Berenice's escort, her father, her husband, all perished, and she herself and her infant child were murdered by her rival, Laodice (b.c. 246), in the sanctuary of Daphne, whither she had fled for refuge.

Ver. 7 (b.c. 285-247).—But the murder of Berenice shall be well avenged. For "out of a shoot from her roots" stood up one in his office, even her brother Ptolemy III. (Euergetes), who, unlike the effeminate Ptolemy II., did not entrust his wars to his generals, but came himself to his army. He shall completely conquer the King of the North (Seleucus II., Kallinikos, son of Antiochus Theos and Laodice), shall seize his fortress (Seleucia, the port of Antioch).677677   Polyb., v. 58.

Ver. 8 (b.c. 247).—In this campaign Ptolemy Euergetes, who earned the title of "Benefactor" by this vigorous invasion, shall not only win immense booty—four thousand talents of gold and many jewels, and forty thousand talents of silver—but shall also carry back with him to Egypt the two thousand five hundred molten images,678678   Heb., nasîkîm; LXX., τὰ χωνευτά; Vulg., sculptilia. and idolatrous vessels, which, two hundred and eighty years before (b.c. 527), Cambyses had carried away from Egypt.679679   Herodotus (iii. 47) says that he ordered the images to be burnt. On the Marmor Adulitanum, Ptolemy Euergetes boasted that he had united Mesopotamia, Babylonia, Persia, Susiana, Media, and all countries as far as Bactria under his rule. The inscription was seen at Adules by Cosmas Indicopleustes, and recorded by him (Wolf u. Buttmann, Museum, ii. 162).

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After this success he will, for some years, refrain from attacking the Seleucid kings.680680   R.V. marg., "He shall continue more years than the King of the North." Ptolemy Euergetes died b.c. 247; Seleucus Kallinikos, b.c. 225. It must be borne in mind that in almost every clause the readings, renderings, and interpolations vary. I give what seem to be the best attested and the most probable.

Ver. 9 (b.c. 240).—Seleucus Kallinikos makes an attempt to avenge the shame and loss of the invasion of Syria by invading Egypt, but he returns to his own land totally foiled and defeated, for his fleet was destroyed by a storm.681681   Justin, xxvii. 2.

Second Section (vv. 10-19).—Events from the death of Ptolemy Euergetes (b.c. 247) to the death of Antiochus III. (the Great, b.c. 175). In the following verses, as Behrmann observes, there is a sort of dance of shadows, only fully intelligible to the initiated.

Ver. 10.—The sons of Seleucus Kallinikos were Seleucus III. (Keraunos, b.c. 227-224) and Antiochus the Great (b.c. 224-187). Keraunos only reigned two years, and in b.c. 224 his brother Antiochus III. succeeded him. Both kings assembled immense forces to avenge the insult of the Egyptian invasion, the defeat of their father, and the retention of their port and fortress of Seleucia. It was only sixteen miles from Antioch, and being still garrisoned by Egyptians, constituted a standing danger and insult to their capital city.

Ver. 11.—After twenty-seven years the port of Seleucia is wrested from the Egyptians by Antiochus the Great, and he so completely reverses the former306 successes of the King of the South as to conquer Syria as far as Gaza.

Ver. 12 (b.c. 217).—But at last the young Egyptian King, Ptolemy IV. (Philopator), is roused from his dissipation and effeminacy, advances to Raphia (southwest of Gaza) with a great army of twenty thousand foot, five thousand horse, and seventy-three elephants, and there, to his own immense self-exaltation, he inflicts a severe defeat on Antiochus, and "casts down tens of thousands."682682   See 3 Macc. i. 2-8; Jos., B. J., IV. xi. 5. The Seleucid army lost ten thousand foot, three hundred horse, five elephants, and more than four thousand prisoners (Polyb., v. 86). Yet the victory is illusive, although it enables Ptolemy to annex Palestine to Egypt. For Ptolemy "shall not show himself strong," but shall, by his supineness, and by making a speedy peace, throw away all the fruits of his victory, while he returns to his past dissipation (b.c. 217-204).683683   Justin says (xxx. i): "Spoliasset regem Antiochum si fortunam virtute juvisset."

Ver. 13.—Twelve years later (b.c. 205) Ptolemy Philopator died, leaving an infant son, Ptolemy Epiphanes. Antiochus, smarting from his defeat at Raphia, again assembled an army which was still greater than before (b.c. 203), and much war-material. In the intervening years he had won great victories in the East as far as India.

Ver. 14.—Antiochus shall be aided by the fact that many—including his ally Philip, King of Macedon, and various rebel-subjects of Ptolemy Epiphanes—stood up against the King of Egypt and wrested Phœnicia and Southern Syria from him. The Syrians were further strengthened by the assistance of the "children of the violent" among the Jews, "who shall lift themselves307 up to fulfil the vision of the oracle;684684   Chāzôn, "the vision." Grätz renders it, "to cause the Law to totter"; but this cannot be right. but they shall fall." We read in Josephus that many of the Jews helped Antiochus;685685   E.g., Joseph, and his son Hyrcanus. but the allusion to "the vision" is entirely obscure. Ewald supposes a reference to some prophecy no longer extant. Dr. Joël thinks that the Hellenising Jews may have referred to Isa. xix. in favour of the plans of Antiochus against Egypt.

Vv. 15, 16.—But however much any of the Jews may have helped Antiochus under the hope of ultimately regaining their independence, their hopes were frustrated. The Syrian King came, besieged, and took a well-fenced city—perhaps an allusion to the fact that he wrested Sidon from the Egyptians. After his great victory over the Egyptian general Scopas at Mount Panium (b.c. 198), the routed Egyptian forces, to the number of ten thousand, flung themselves into that city.686686   Polyb., xxviii. 1; Liv., xxxiii. 19; Jos., Antt., XII. iii. 4. See St. Jerome, ad loc. This campaign ruined the interests of Egypt in Palestine, "the glorious land."687687   Vulg., terra inclyta; but in viii. 9, fortitudo. Palestine now passed to Antiochus, who took possession "with destruction in his hand."

Ver. 17 (b.c. 198-195).—After this there shall again be an attempt at "equitable negotiations"; by which, however, Antiochus hoped to get final possession of Egypt and destroy it. He arranged a marriage between "a daughter of women"—his daughter Cleopatra—and Ptolemy Epiphanes. But this attempt also entirely failed.

Ver. 18 (b.c. 190).—Antiochus therefore "sets his face308 in another direction," and tries to conquer the islands and coasts of Asia Minor. But a captain—the Roman general, Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus—puts an end to the insolent scorn with which he had spoken of the Romans, and pays him back with equal scorn,688688   In the choice of the Hebrew words qatsîn cher'patho lo, Dr. Joël suspects a sort of anagram of Cornelius Scipio, like the ἀπὸ μέλιτος for Ptolemy, and the ἵον Ἥρας for Arsione in Lycophron; but the real meaning and rendering of the verse are highly uncertain. utterly defeating him in the great Battle of Magnesia (b.c. 190), and forcing him to ignominious terms.

Ver. 19 (b.c. 175).—Antiochus next turns his attention ("sets his face") to strengthen the fortresses of his own land in the east and west; but making an attempt to recruit his dissipated wealth by the plunder of the Temple of Belus in Elymais, "stumbles and falls, and is not found."

Third Section (vv. 20-27).—Events under Seleucus Philopator down to the first attempts of Antiochus Epiphanes against Egypt (b.c. 170).

Ver. 20.—Seleucus Philopator (b.c. 187-176) had a character the reverse of his father's. He was no restless seeker for glory, but desired wealth and quietness.689689   Liv., xii. 19: "Otiosum, nullisque admodum rebus gestis nobilitatum." Among the Jews, however, he had a very evil reputation, for he sent an exactor—a mere tax-collector, Heliodorus—"to pass through the glory of the kingdom."690690   2 Macc. iii. 7 ff. The reading and rendering are very uncertain. He only reigned twelve years, and then was "broken"—i.e., murdered by Heliodorus, neither in anger nor in battle, but by poison administered by this "tax-collector." The versions all vary, but I feel little doubt that Dr. Joël is right when he sees in the curious phrase nogesh heder malkooth, "one that shall cause a raiser309 of taxes to pass over the kingdom"—of which neither Theodotion nor the Vulgate can make anything—a cryptographic allusion to the name Heliodorus;691691   Joël, Notizen, p. 16. and possibly the predicted fate may (by a change of subject) also refer to the fact that Heliodorus was checked, not by force, but by the vision in the Temple (2 Macc. v. 18, iii. 24-29). We find from 2 Macc. iv. 1 that Simeon, the governor of the Temple, charged Onias with a trick to terrify Heliodorus. This is a very probable view of what occurred.692692   See Jost, i. 110.

Ver. 21.—Seleucus Philopator died b.c. 175 without an heir. This made room for a contemptible person, a reprobate, who had no real claim to royal dignity,693693   Vulg., vilissimus et indignus decore regio; R.V., "to whom they had not given the honour of a kingdom"; Ewald, "upon him shall not be set the splendour of a kingdom." Dr. Joël sees in nibzeh a contemptuous paronomasia on "Epiphanes" (Notizen, p. 17). being only a younger son of Antiochus the Great. He came by surprise, "in time of security," and obtained the kingdom by flatteries.694694   Dan. viii. 22; 2 Macc. v. 25.

Ver. 22.—Yet "the overflowing wings of Egypt" (or "the arms of a flood") "were swept away before him and broken; yea, and even a covenanted or allied prince." Some explain this of his nephew Ptolemy Philometor, others of Onias III., "the prince of the covenant"—i.e., the princely high priest, whom Antiochus displaced in favour of his brother, the apostate Joshua, who Græcised his name into Jason, as his brother Onias did in calling himself Menelaus.695695   Jos., Antt., XII. v. 1.

Ver. 23.—This mean king should prosper by deceit310 which he practised on all connected with him;696696   Jerome, amicitias simulans. and though at first he had but few adherents, he should creep into power.

Ver. 24.—"In time of security shall he come, even upon the fattest places of the province." By this may be meant his invasions of Galilee and Lower Egypt. Acting unlike any of his royal predecessors, he shall lavishly scatter his gains and his booty among needy followers,697697   See 1 Macc. iii. 30; 1 Macc. i. 19; Polyb., xxvii. 17; Diod. Sic., xxx. 22. What his unkingly stratagems were we do not know. and shall plot to seize Pelusium, Naucratis, Alexandria, and other strongholds of Egypt for a time.

Ver. 25.—After this (b.c. 171) he shall, with a "great army," seriously undertake his first invasion of Egypt, and shall be met by his nephew Ptolemy Philometor with another immense army. In spite of this, the young Egyptian King shall fail through the treachery of his own courtiers. He shall be outwitted and treacherously undermined by his uncle Antiochus. Yes! even while his army is fighting, and many are being slain, the very men who "eat of his dainties," even his favourite and trusted courtiers Eulæus and Lenæus, will be devising his ruin, and his army shall be swept away.

Vv. 26, 27 (b.c. 174).—The Syrians and the Egyptian King, nephew and uncle, shall in nominal amity sit at one banquet, eating from one table;698698   Liv., xliv. 19: "Antiochus per honestam speciem majoris Ptolemæi reducendi in regnum," etc. but all the while they will be distrustfully plotting against each other and "speaking lies" to each other. Antiochus will pretend to ally himself with the young Philometor against his brother Ptolemy Euergetes II.—generally311 known by his derisive nickname as Ptolemy Physkon699699   Or "Paunch." He was so called from his corpulence. Comp. the name Mirabeau, Tonneau.—whom after eleven months the Alexandrians had proclaimed king. But all these plots and counter-plots should be of none effect, for the end was not yet.

Fourth Section (vv. 28-35).—Events between the first attack of Antiochus on Jerusalem (b.c. 170) and his plunder of the Temple to the first revolt of the Maccabees (b.c. 167).

Ver. 28 (b.c. 168).—Returning from Egypt with great plunder, Antiochus shall set himself against the Holy Covenant. He put down the usurping high priest Jason, who, with much slaughter, had driven out his rival usurper and brother, Menelaus. He massacred many Jews, and returned to Antioch enriched with golden vessels seized from the Temple.700700   2 Macc. v. 5-21; 1 Macc. i. 20-24.

Ver. 29.—In b.c. 168 Antiochus again invaded Egypt, but with none of the former splendid results. For Ptolemy Philometor and Physkon had joined in sending an embassy to Rome to ask for help and protection. In consequence of this, "ships from Kittim"701701   The LXX. render this ἥξουσι Ῥωμαῖοι. Comp. Numb. xxiv. 24; Jerome, Trieres et Romani. On "Chittim" (Gen. x. 4) see Jos., Antt., I. vi. 1.—namely, the Roman fleet—came against him, bringing the Roman commissioner, Gaius Popilius Lænas. When Popilius met Antiochus, the king put out his hand to embrace him; but the Roman merely held out his tablets, and bade Antiochus read the Roman demand that he and his army should at once evacuate Egypt. "I will consult my friends on the subject," said Antiochus. Popilius, with infinite haughtiness and312 audacity, simply drew a circle in the sand with his vine-stick round the spot on which the king stood, and said, "You must decide before you step out of that circle." Antiochus stood amazed and humiliated; but seeing that there was no help for it, promised in despair to do all that the Romans demanded.702702   Polyb., xxix. 11; Appian, Syr., 66; Liv., xlv. 12; Vell. Paterc., i. 10. According to Polybius (xxxi. 5), Epiphanes, by his crafty dissimulation, afterwards completely hoodwinked the ambassador Tiberius Gracchus.

Ver. 30.—Returning from Egypt in an indignant frame of mind, he turned his exasperation against the Jews and the Holy Covenant, especially extending his approval to those who apostatised from it.

Ver. 31.—Then (b.c. 168) shall come the climax of horror. Antiochus shall send troops to the Holy Land, who shall desecrate the sanctuary and fortress of the Temple, and abolish the daily sacrifice (Kisleu 15), and set up the abomination that maketh desolate.703703   2 Macc. vi. 2. Our best available historical comments on this chapter are to be found in the two books of Maccabees.

Ver. 32.—To carry out these ends the better, and with the express purpose of putting an end to the Jewish religion, he shall pervert or "make profane" by flatteries the renegades who are ready to apostatise from the faith of their fathers. But there shall be a faithful remnant who will bravely resist him to the uttermost. "The people who know their God will be valiant, and do great deeds."

Ver. 33.—To keep alive the national faith "wise teachers of the people shall instruct many," and will draw upon their own heads the fury of persecution, so that many shall fall by sword, and by flame, and by captivity, and by spoliation for many days.

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Ver. 34.—But in the midst of this fierce onslaught of cruelty they shall be "holpen with a little help." There shall arise the sect of the Chasidîm, or "the Pious," bound together by Tugendbund to maintain the Laws which Israel received from Moses of old.704704   1 Macc. ii. 42, iii. 11, iv. 14, vii. 13; 2 Macc. xiv. 6. These good and faithful champions of a righteous cause will indeed be weakened by the false adherence of waverers and flatterers.

Ver. 35.—To purge the party from such spies and Laodiceans, the teachers, like the aged priest Mattathias at Modin, and the aged scribe Eleazar, will have to brave even martyrdom itself till the time of the end.

Fifth Section (vv. 36-45, b.c. 147-164).—Events from the beginning of the Maccabean rising to the death of Antiochus Epiphanes.

Ver. 36.—Antiochus will grow more arbitrary, more insolent, more blasphemous, from day to day, calling himself "God" (Theos) on his coins, and requiring all his subjects to be of his religion,705705   Diod. Sic, xxxi. 1; 1 Macc. i. 43. Polybius (xxxi. 4) says "he committed sacrilege in most of the temples" (τὰ πλεῖστα τῶν ἱερῶν). and so even more kindling against himself the wrath of the God of gods by his monstrous utterances, until the final doom has fallen.

Ver. 37.—He will, in fact, make himself his own god, paying no regard (by comparison) to his national or local god, the Olympian Zeus, nor to the Syrian deity, Tammuz-Adonis, "the desire of women."706706   Jahn (Heb. Com., § xcii.) sees in the words "neither shall he regard the desire of women" an allusion to his exclusion of women from the festival at Daphne. Some explain the passage by his robbery of the Temple of Artemis or Aphrodite in Elymais (Polyb., xxxi. 11; Appian, Syr., 66; 1 Macc. vi. 1-4; 2 Macc. ix. 2). All is vague and uncertain.

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"Tammuz came next behind,

Whose yearly wound in Lebanon allured

The Syrian damsels to lament his fate

In amorous ditties all a summer day.

While smooth Adonis from his native rock

Ran purple to the sea—supposed with blood

Of Tammuz yearly wounded. The love tale

Infected Zion's daughters with like heat."

Ver. 38.—The only God to whom he shall pay marked respect shall be the Roman Jupiter, the god of the Capitol. To this god, to Jupiter Capitolinus, not to his own Zeus Olympios, the god of his Greek fathers, he shall erect a temple in his capital city of Antioch, and adorn it with gold and silver and precious stones.707707   Polyb., xxvi. 10; 2 Macc. vi. 2; Liv., xii. 20. The Hebrew Eloah Mauzzîm is understood by the LXX., Theodotion, the Vulgate, and Luther to be a god called Mauzzim (Μαωζείμ). See Herzog, Real-Encycl., s.v. "Meussin." Cicero (c. Verr., vii. 72) calls the Capitol arx omnium nationum. The reader must judge for himself as to the validity of the remark of Pusey (p. 92), that "all this is alien from the character of Antiochus."

Ver. 39.—"And he shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a strange god"708708   R.V. The translation is difficult and uncertain.—namely, the Capitoline Jupiter (Zeus Polieus)—and shall crowd the strongholds of Judæa with heathen colonists who worship the Tyrian Hercules (Melkart) and other idols; and to these heathen he shall give wealth and power.

Ver. 40.—But his evil career shall be cut short. Egypt, under the now-allied brothers Philometor and Physkon, shall unite to thrust at him. Antiochus will advance against them like a whirlwind, with many chariots and horsemen, and with the aid of a fleet.

Vv. 41-45.—In the course of his march he shall pass315 through Palestine, "the glorious land,"709709   The LXX. here render this expression (which puzzled them, and which they omit in vv. 16, 41) by θέλησις. Theodot., τὴν γῆν τοῦ Σαβαείμ. with disastrous injury; but Edom, Moab, and the bloom of the kingdom of Ammon shall escape his hand. Egypt, however, shall not escape. By the aid of the Libyans and Ethiopians who are in his train he shall plunder Egypt of its treasures.710710   Ewald takes these for metaphoric designations of the Hellenising Jews. Some (e.g., Zöckler) understand these verses as a recapitulation of the exploits of Antiochus. The whole clause is surrounded by historic uncertainties.

How far these events correspond to historic realities is uncertain. Jerome says that Antiochus invaded Egypt a third time in b.c. 165, the eleventh year of his reign; but there are no historic traces of such an invasion, and most certainly Antiochus towards the close of his reign, instead of being enriched with vast Egyptian spoils, was struggling with chronic lack of means. Some therefore suppose that the writer composed and published his enigmatic sketch of these events before the close of the reign of Antiochus, and that he is here passing from contemporary fact into a region of ideal anticipations which were never actually fulfilled.

Ver. 43 (b.c. 165).—In the midst of this devastating invasion of Egypt, Antiochus shall be troubled with disquieting rumours of troubles in Palestine and other realms of his kingdom. He will set out with utter fury to subjugate and to destroy, determining above all to suppress the heroic Maccabean revolt which had inflicted such humiliating disasters upon his generals, Seron, Apollonius, and Lysias.711711   The origin of the name Maccabee still remains uncertain. Some make it stand for the initials of the Hebrew words, "Who among the gods is like Jehovah?" in Exod. xv. 11; or of Mattathias Kohen (priest), Ben-Johanan (Biesenthal). Others make it mean "the Hammerer" (comp. Charles Martel). See Jost, i. 116; Prideaux, ii. 199 (so Grotius, and Buxtorf, De Abbreviaturis).

316

Ver. 45 (b.c. 164).—He shall indeed advance so far as to pitch his palatial tent712712   Vulg., Aphadno. The LXX. omit it. Theodot., Apadano; Symm., "his stable." "between the sea and the mountain of the High Glory"; but he will come to a disastrous and an unassisted end.713713   Porphyry says that "he pitched his tent in a place called Apedno, between the Tigris and Euphrates"; but even if these rivers should be called seas, they have nothing to do with the Holy Mountain. Apedno seems to be a mere guess from the word אפדן, "palace" or "tent," in this verse. See Jer. xliii. 10 (Targum). Roland, however, quotes Procopius (De ædif. Justiniani, ii. 4) as authority for a place called Apadnas, near Amida, on the Tigris. See Pusey, p. 39.

These latter events either do not correspond with the actual history, or cannot be verified. So far as we know Antiochus did not invade Egypt at all after b.c. 168. Still less did he advance from Egypt, or pitch his tent anywhere near Mount Zion. Nor did he die in Palestine, but in Persia (b.c. 165). The writer, indeed, strong in faith, anticipated, and rightly, that Antiochus would come to an ignominious and a sudden end—God shooting at him with a swift arrow, so that he should be wounded. But all accurate details seem suddenly to stop short with the doings in the fourth section, which may refer to the strange conduct of Antiochus in his great festival in honour of Jupiter at Daphne. Had the writer published his book after this date, he could not surely have failed to speak with triumphant gratitude and exultation of the heroic stand made by Judas Maccabæus and the splendid victories317 which restored hope and glory to the Holy Land. I therefore regard these verses as a description rather of ideal expectation than of historic facts.

We find notices of Antiochus in the Books of Maccabees, in Josephus, in St. Jerome's Commentary on Daniel, and in Appian's Syriaca. We should know more of him and be better able to explain some of the allusions in this chapter if the writings of the secular historians had not come down to us in so fragmentary a condition. The relevant portions of Callinicus Sutoricus, Diodorus Siculus, Polybius, Posidonius, Claudius, Theon, Andronicus, Alypius, and others are all lost—except a few fragments which we have at second or third hand. Porphyry introduced quotations from these authors into the twelfth book of his Arguments against the Christians; but we only know his book from Jerome's ex-parte quotations. Other Christian treatises, written in answer to Porphyry by Apollinaris, Eusebius, and Methodius, are only preserved in a few sentences by Nicetas and John of Damascus. The loss of Porphyry and Apollinarius is especially to be regretted. Jerome says that it was the extraordinarily minute correspondence of this chapter of Daniel with the history of Antiochus Epiphanes that led Porphyry to the conviction that it only contained vaticinia ex eventu.714714   Jahn, § xcv.

Antiochus died at Tabæ in Paratacæne on the frontiers of Persia and Babylonia about b.c. 163. The Jewish account of his remorseful deathbed may be read in 1 Macc. vi. 1-16: "He laid him down upon his bed, and fell sick for grief; and there he continued many days, for his grief was ever more and more; and he made account that he should die." He left a son,318 Antiochus Eupator, aged nine, under the charge of his flatterer and foster-brother Philip.715715   2 Macc. ix.; Jos., Antt., XII. ix. 1, 2; Milman, Hist. of the Jews, ii. 9. Appian describes his lingering and wasting illness by the word φθίνων (Syriaca, 66). Recalling the wrongs he had inflicted on Judæa and Jerusalem, he said: "I perceive, therefore, that for this cause these troubles are come upon me; and, behold, I perish through great grief in a strange land."


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