Daniel 11




                                                (vs. 1-45)


In answer to prayer, Daniel obtains the consolation that other persons

other orders of being — were actively engaged in the same cause as

himself.  (vs. 1-4)


1 “Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to

confirm and to strengthen him.” The versions show signs of great

disturbance having happened here. The rendering of the Septuagint is, “In the

first year of Cyrus the king, he told me to be strong and to play the man.”

Theodotion’s rendering is yet briefer, “And I, in the first year of Cyrus,

stood in strength and might.” The Peshitta rendering, “In the first year of

Darius the Mede (he) arose to confirm and strengthen me.” The Vulgate is

close to the Massoretic and the English versions, “I likewise, from the first

year of Darius the Mede, was standing that he might be confirmed and

strengthened.” The Revised Version does not differ seriously from the

Authorized, “And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood

up to confirm and strengthen him.” The Septuagint must have read rma

(amar), “he said,” instead of yna (anee), “I.” When we have the Septuagint

and Theodotion supporting each other against the Massoretic text, the

evidence against the received text is strong. In this case both these versions

have, as will be seen, not “Darius,” but “Cyrus.” The two names would

have in the old Egyptian Hebrew script, a striking resemblance to each

other; the fact that the last letter of both names is the same, and also the

second letter, made the likeness considerable in any script; but

<ARAMAIC> the first letter of “Darius” is certainly very like

<ARAMAIC> the first letter of” Cyrus.” The vav would possibly be

omitted, then the first two letters of either name would resemble closely

the first two letters of the other, and the final letters are the same. Mistake,

then, was easy. The first letter of ydm and dlm is the same, and the words

would be liable to be read in accordance with that given to the proper

name. Further, all the versions but the Vulgate make the speaker the

recipient of the aid. Theodotion may be taken as doubtful The difference is

slight, ydm[ becomes dk[, and wl becomes yli. The Septuagint seems to

have read yM"[" instead of dm[. The first two letters are thus the same, the

daleth may have been an intrusion. Bevan and Behrmann would omit the

date as spurious, and hold it to have been introduced because the previous

four chapters begin each with a date. This reason, to have weight, must

assume the division into chapters to be of ancient date, more ancient than

the Septuagint Version. The fact that all the versions have it compels us to

admit a date here, but, as we have said above, it is to be reckoned by the

year, not of Darius, but of Cyrus. (Also I) in the first year of Cyrus the

king. The first year of Cyrus was the year when he decided to set the Jews

free, and permit them to return to their own land; but the first year in this

case was reckoned from his assumption of the throne of Babylon. We saw

reason to doubt whether the reference in the beginning of ch. 10. was to

the Babylonian reign of Cyrus, or to his reign as King of the Persians. His

first year as King of the Persians might be when he first began to turn his

arms against Babylon. We do not know enough of the history of the first

years of Cyrus’s monarchy to know what critical events befell in that year.

Stood to confirm and strengthen him (me). According to the Massoretic

text, the angel Gabriel stood to confirm either the archangel Michael or

King Darius. Certainly, as Darius (Cyrus) is the nearer substantive, the

grammatical preference would be to take it, as do Havernick, Hitzig, and

Calvin. The majority of commentators who hold by the Massoretic text

take “him” to refer to Michael — and much can be said for this. Although

Darius (Cyrus) is the nearest substantive, yet he is not the subject of the

main sentence, but merely denotes a time, therefore a previous substantive

must be chosen. In the opening of Cyrus’s career, the intimate connection

his prosperity had with the prosperity of the people of Israel might well

make Michael interested. As Cyrus had been prophesied of (Isaiah 4:1-8),

he was under the rule of the angel of prophecy, hence Gabriel strengthened

and confirmed the efforts of Michael. Certainly “strengthening” and

“confirming” are strong terms to apply to the archangel Michael, yet we

know so little of angelic natures and their limitations that the phrase may

be quite natural. The meaning is not materially altered if we read, “He

stood to strengthen and confirm me.”


2 “And now will I show thee the truth. Behold, there shall

stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer

than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all

against the realm of Grecia.” The rendering of the Septuagint is, “And now I

came to show thee the truth. Behold, three kings have risen, and the fourth

shall be rich with great riches above all, and when he shall strengthen

himself in his riches, he shall stir himself up against every king of the

Greeks.” Theodotion is very like this, only the last words of the verse are,

“all the realms of the Greeks.” The Peshitta is very like Theodotion, having

“kingdoms” instead of “realm.” The Vulgate is in nearly exact agreement

with the Massoretic text. When we turn to the Massoretic text and

compare it with the versions, we find that the Septuagint must have read,

wOtq;z]j,b]W, as it has ἐν – en - in . Theodotion reads,  μετὰ - meta - amid;

the Peshitta, ma; the Vulgate, cum. This is the beginning of the revelation

referred to in ch. 10:21a. The doubtful authenticity of that clause throws a

shadow on this verse. It is to be noted that we are no longer in the region

of symbol, but of distinct narration. There may have been something in the

nature of a vision, and that here we have, enlarged, an interpretation of it.

The fourth king is certainly Xerxes. If we regard him as one of the three

successors to Cyrus, then Cambyses and Darius Hystaspis are the other

two. So Hitzig and Delitzsch. Keil would more naturally make the fourth

not the fourth King of Persia, but the fourth successor of Cyrus. (For the

Hebrew usage, see Exodus 22:30.) The most casual reader of Ezra could fail to

distinguish between the Artaxerxes who before Darius Hystaspis hindered the

work of the Jews, and the Artaxerxes after Darius who fostered it. We have

followed Herodotus in calling the brother of Cambysos, whose name the usurper

assumed, “Smerdis;” but Ctesias calls him “Tanyoxarces;” Xenophon,

“Tanaoxares;”and AEschylus, “Marries.” We know that Artaxerxes was probably

not a personal name, but rather a title, as was also Aehsverosh Xerxes.

As the writer here gives no names, it is certainly singular to assert that,

though, if we take his Hebrew as grammatical, he gives a correct enumeration

of the Persian kings, he has defied Hebrew usage, and been wrong in his

enumeration. He shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. All the versions

except the Vulgate imply a plural heretwOykul]m" instead of tWkl]m". This reading

is preferable to the Massoretic, which would arise easily from the next verse. If we

may take this as the true reading, then the diversities of the states in Greece is

indicated in the way most natural to an Oriental.


3 “And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with groat

dominion, and do according to his will.” None of the versions imply any

difference of reading. The Hebrew implies that the king was a mighty

warrior. All critics are agreed that here the reference is to Alexander the

Great. This does not mean that Alexander immediately followed Xerxes,

but that his expedition was the revenge for that of Xerxes. Alexander, in

his answer to Darius Codomannus, justified his invasion of Persia by

referring back to Xerxes’ invasion of Greece. The two expeditions, that

which Xerxes made into Greece, and that of Alexander into Persia, might

be regarded as causally connected.


4 “And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken,

and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his

posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his

kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.”  The Septuagint

rendering is, “And when he is risen up, his kingdom shall be broken, and

divided to the four winds of heaven; not according to his might, nor

according to his dominion which he ruled: because his kingdom shall be

taken away, and he shall teach these things to others.” It is difficult to see

what reading the translator had when he rendered, “his might,” for

no word meaning “might” is at all like ahareetho, “his posterity.” In the

last clause he must have read, not milbad, but melamayd. Theodotion

resembles the Massoretic more closely; he renders, “But when his kingdom

stood (shall stand), it shall be broken, and shall be scattered to the four

winds of heaven; and to his latter end (ἔσχαταeschata – latter end; from

where we get the word eschatology, the study of the end times – CY – 2014),

nor according to his rule which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be rooted out,

and (let) for others besides these.” The Peshitta agrees generally with this,

only that when in the English we have, “not to his posterity,” it has, “not to

his sword (siphoh)” The last clause is somewhat paraphrastic, “And his kingdom

shall be rooted, and shall not be to others save these.” The Vulgate agrees with

the Massoretic. The description here given of the empire of Alexander the

Great is strictly accurate; his empire did not go to his posterity, nor did any

of his successors possess a dominion as extensive as his. For others beside

those. This has been thought to refer to the successors of those who first

divided the empire among them. It seems more natural to regard “those” as

referring to the posterity of Alexander, as the nearest antecedent.


5 “And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his

princes: and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his

dominion shall be a great dominion.” The Septuagint rendering differs from

this,” And he shall strengthen the kingdom of Egypt; and one of the rulers

shall overcome him (κατισχύσει  - katischusei – overpower; prevail against)

and rule; and his power shall be a great power.” Theodotion agrees with the

Massoretic in sense. The Peshitta agrees verbally with the Massoretic, but,

as it omits the preposition min, the meaning the translator attached to the verse

is difficult to ascertain. The Vulgate agrees with the Massoretic. The verse

abruptly introduces the conflict between the Lagid and Seleucid princes. There

is no indication in the preceding verses that the four winds of heaven are to be

taken so rigidly as is implied by this verse. It is no answer to say that Egypt and

Syria alone came into intimate relations with the Jews; it is not a question

of fact, but a question of the necessities of composition. The appearance

presented is that of a fragment existing separately, and inserted here. The

intruded references to the truth which is to be shown have the look of

being awkward attempts to prepare for the subjoined narrative. Whatever

its origin, it is very difficult to explain to what it refers. The king of the

south is certainly one of the Ptolemies, most probably Ptolemy Lagi. And

one of his princes shall be strong above him. This is usually understood to

mean Seleucus Nicator, who, when driven from Babylon, his original

satrapy, by Antigonus, took refuge with Ptolemy Lagi, and became a

commander under him in his war against Antigonus. Ptolemy also gave him

the few troops with which, after the battle of Gaza, he recovered

possession of Babylonia. He certainly became by far the most powerful of

the successors of Alexander. Indeed, he may be said to have had all the

dominions of Alexander save Egypt and Syria on the south, and Macedonia

and Greece on the west; for he had overthrown Lysimachus, and absorbed

his dominion. His dominion shall be a great dominion states accurately the

extent of the dominions of Scleucus. It is impossible not to observe

the abrupt introduction of this prince.


6 “And in the end of years they shall join themselves together;

for the king’s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the

north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the

arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up,

and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that

strengthened her in these times. The Septuagint differs in a remarkable way

from this, “And at the end of years he shall lead them, and the King of

Egypt shall enter into the kingdom of the north to make covenants: but he

shall not prevail, because his arm shall not establish strength (οὐ στήσει ἰσχύν  -

ou staesei ischun – shall not retain the strength); and his arm shall become stiff,

and that of those accompanying him, and he shall remain for a season (εἰς ὥρας  -

eis horas – in these times).” It is certainly difficult to see the reading from which

this rendering came. It is noticeable that there is no reference to “the king’s

daughter of the south.” History confirms the statement in the Massoretic text,

but there is no expedition related in the history of Philadelphus undertaken

against the kingdom of Syria. It is true our records of the reign of Philadelphus

are somewhat scanty. Theodotion is nearer the Massoretic text, though not quite

in accordance with it, “And after his Jays they shall mingle with one another

(συμμειγήσονται  - sunmmigaesontai – join themselves together); and                      7

the daughter of the king of the south shall enter unto the king of the north

to make treaties with him: but she shall not retain the power of the arm;

and his seed shall not stand: and she shall be betrayed, and those that

brought her, both the damsel and he that did violence to her.” The last

words are separated from this verse and conjoined to the following verse.

The text behind this seems, in many ways, superior to the Massoretic. The

Peshitta agrees in the opening clauses with the Massoretic; at the end of

the verse the difference is considerable, “But power shall not be in her,

from the fear which she feared: and she shall be betrayed, and her youths,

and those accompanying her, and those supporting her in this time.” The

Vulgate agrees pretty closely with this. The reference here is generally

understood to be to the affinity made by the Lagids with the Seleucids,

when Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphns, married Antiochus

II. (Theos), who repudiated his first wife, Laodike, in order to do so. The

leap over a space of approximately sixty years is not so trying as Professor

Fuller imagines; but the uncertainty as to the text is great, and the meaning

of even the Massoretic is by no means fixed. Still, the agreement with the

course of events is so marked according to the common interpretation, that

one feels inclined to adopt it. After the death of her father Philadelphus,

Antiochus Theos took back Laodike, who, in order to escape the risk of

being again dismissed, unceremoniously poisoned her rival Berenice and

her son, and then her husband Antiochus. Yet this transaction seems

somewhat dubiously set forth in the Massoretic text. Theodotion is closer

to facts, though it is possible that the text has been altered to suit what

were known to be facts.


7 “But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his

estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the

fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall

prevail.”  The Septuagint is very different here also, “And a plant

shall arise out of his root against himself, and the king of the north shall

come against his power in his might, and shall cause disturbance, and

prevail.” The Hebrew text would bear the translation here given of the last

clause, save “cause disturbance.” The nominative may be the “king of the

north.” History confirms the ordinary interpretation. Theodotion, as usual,

is in closer agreement with the Massoretic. Yet even he differs

considerably: he connects the last words of the preceding verse, “In those

times, one shall arise out of the flower of her root of his preparation, and

shall enter into the strongholds of the king of the north, and shall do in

them (according to his will), and prevail.” The Peshitta is somewhat like

this, “And there spring from the stem of her seed against his place, and he

shall come in might, and he shall come in strength against the king of the

north, and he shall pass over against them, and prevail.” The Vulgate

rendering seems to have a relation to that just given, “And a plant shall

stand from the seed of his roots, and he shall come with an army, and shall

enter into the province of the king of the north, and shall abuse them, and

take possession.” There must have been very different manuscript readings

to explain these widely different renderings. The Massoretic text scarcely

quite bears out the rendering of the Authorized Version. Yet it is difficult

to make any other consistent sense. Certainly Euergetes, brother of the

murdered Berenice, advanced into Syria, and overran the whole country,

captured Seleucia, the port of Antioch, then mastered Antioch itself, and

advanced even beyond the Tigris, while Seleucus retired behind the Taurus

Mountains. The statements in the Septuagint suit better a later period in history,

when Physcon rebelled against his Septuagint brother Philometor. Epiphanes

invaded Egypt, nominally in the interest of Philometor, and laid siege to

Alexandria. This, however, does not suit with the next verse.


8 “And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with

their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and

he shall continue more years than the king of the north.” The Septuagint

is again very different from that of the Massoretic text, “And their gods, with

them that molded them, he shall subdue (καταστρέψει – katastrepsei – he

shall overthrow), and their multitudes with the vessels of their desirable things,

the silver and the gold, shall go into captivity in Egypt, and the year shall be to

the king of the north.” Theodotion. as so frequently is the case, takes a place

intermediate between the Massoretic and the version of the Septuagint. His

rendering is, “And their gods, with those that molded them, all their

desirable vessels of gold and silver, he shall carry with the captivity into

Egypt, and he shall prevail over the king of the north.” Both the Greek

versions take μh,kesin] (nesikhayhem) as derived from nasak, “to pour out,”

hence “to mold,” “to form a molten image,” reading the word noskeem.

The Syriac differs from both the Greek renderings and also from the

Massoretic, “And even he shall terrify them, and their desirable vessels of

silver and gold and the captives he shall carry down to Egypt, and twice

(literally, ‘one, two’) shall rise against the king of the north.” The Vulgate

differs in meaning from all the preceding, but the text it is drawn from does

not differ consonantly from that of the Massoretes, “And besides their

gods. and their graven images, precious vessels too of silver and gold, he

shall lead captive into Egypt, he shall prevail against the king of the north.”

The word nsikhayeem is rendered, in the Revised Version, ‘molten

images’ — a meaning given to the word by Furst, Gesenius, and Winer,

with reference to this verse. The meaning assigned to the word in the

Authorized is drawn from Rashi, and is in accordance with the usage of

Ezekiel (32:30). And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with

their princes. As we have said, Ptolemy Euergetes conquered all Syria and

Mesopotamia to beyond the Tigris. From this we learn he carried off

immense booty, and among the articles taken were images of their gods.

And not only the gods of Syria, but the images of the Egyptian gods, which

had been carried into Syria from Egypt by Cambyses, nearly three centuries

before. If this doubtful word, nasakeem, is taken to mean “images,” it is

difficult to see the reference of the prenominal suffix. Does it mean that the

gods themselves, and the images of these gods, were taken? That is to say,

does it mean that gods of the Syrians were taken, and also their images, as

if the images and the gods were different? From this, notwithstanding the

general consensus of interpreters, we feel ourselves necessitated to differ,

and to make the word mean “princes,” although there is no prominence, in

the few accounts we have of this expedition, to any captives of such rank

as to be called princes. And with their precious vessels of silver and of

gold. This rendering, although retained in the Revised, is scarcely

grammatically accurate, as the noun for “vessels” is already defined by the

prenominal suffix. On the other hand, this word cannot readily be in

apposition, as the article would be needed. Professor Bevan would make it

“in silver and gold.” We feel inclined to regard this as a somewhat irregular

construction, as if a ray had dropped out before psik,, “silver,” though

most of the versions regard these nouns as in the genitive after “vessels.”

And he shall continue more years than the king of the north.  It is a matter

of fact that Euergetes survived Seleueus Callinicus, his sister’s stepson,

about four years. Hitzig and Ewald would render,” He shall refrain for

some years from attacking the king of the north.” This rendering has the

advantage that it escapes from the purely unimportant personal statement

that Ptolemy should survive Callinicus. That the king of the north was

allotted to regain the greater part of the dominions which had been wrested

from him, without any counter effort on the part of Ptolemy, is more

important. Keil objects to this that the emphatic position of aWhw] is against

this, and would support the rendering of the Vulgate, Ipse prevalebit

adversus regem Aquilouis. Both versions are so far grammatically

defensible; yet both are a little strained: both are in accordance with



10 “So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and

shall return into his own land.” The Septuagint Version differs less than

usual from the Massoretic, “The King of Egypt shall enter into (his)

kingdom certain days and return to his land.” Theodotion renders, “And he

shall enter into the kingdom of the king of the south, and return into his

land.” The Peshitta differs more, “The king of the south shall enter in

strength, and turn to his own land.” The Vulgate does not differ from the

others. This verse, assuming the king of the south, Ptolemy Euergetes, to

be the subject of the verb, merely completes the statements of the previous

verse, and seems to describe the triumphant return of Euergetes into

Egypt. If we take — which, however, is not so natural — the king of the

north as the subject, then the reference may be to the unsuccessful attempts

made by Seleucus Callinicus to invade Egypt.


10 “But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a

multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow,

and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his

fortress.”  The  Septuagint differs from this, “And his son shall both be stirred

up, and shall assemble (συνάξει συναγωγὴν  - sunaxei sunagogaen) a great

multitude, and, ravaging with it (κατασύρων – katasuron - plundering), he

shall enter, and pass by and return.” The K’thib here supports this to the

extent at least that it has “his son,” not “his sons;” but the verbs are plural.

The last clause of this verse in the Massoretic text is transferred by the

Septuagint to the next; Theodotion, while, as usual, more closely in

agreement with the Massoretic text, is not quite identical with it, “And his

sons shall assemble a multitude moderately numerous (δυνάμεων πολλῶν

dunameon pollon), and he that cometh and overfloweth shall come and

shall pass by, and shall enter, and shall struggle hard (συμπροσπλακήσεται

sumprosplakaesetai – war; struggle hard), even to his fortress (ἰσχύος

ischuos - fortress).” The Peshitta and the Vulgate are in close agreement with

the Massoretic text. But his sons shall be stirred up. The natural inference is

that it is the sons of the king of the south who thus are stirred up, but,

historically, it can only refer to the sons of Seleucus Callinicus, who, one

after the other, succeeded him on the throne: Seleucus Ceraunus, who died

after a short reign of rather more than two years; and Antiochus III., Magnus.

Certainly Seleucus did little in this conflict, although he undertook a campaign

to Asia Minor, in the course of which he was assassinated. It may be that this

campaign was intended as a preparation for a great campaign against Egypt.

On the death of Ceraunus, he was succeeded by Antiochtus Magnus. This prince

Was very warlike. He began to assail Syria, which was in the possession of

Philopotor, but was interrupted by news of war in the far East. After a

successful campaign in Media and Persia, he wrested first Seleucia from

the hands of Ptolemy Philopator; and then proceeded on his invasion of

Coele-Syria and Palestine. And one shall certainly come, and overflow,

and pass through. This describes in a compendious way the campaigns of

Antiochus Magnus. And be stirred up, even to his .fortress. This is

supposed to refer to the recovery of Seleucia. Some think that this rather

states that he pierced nearly to Pelusium, the frontier fortress of Egypt.


11 “And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and

shall come forth, and fight with him, even with the king of the north:

and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be

given into his hand.” The Septuagint differs a little from the Massoretic, “And

the King of Egypt shall be much embittered and enraged, and shall come

forth and fight with the king of the north; and he shall (στήσει – staestei –

set forth) a great multitude, and the multitude shall be betrayed into his hands.”

Theodotion, like this, differs from the Massoretic by inserting, “the king of

the north,” without the pronoun, as do all the other versions. Ptolemy.

usually slothful and lethargic, was at length roused, and placed an army of

seventy-five thousand men in the field. Against this Antiochus opposed the

slightly superior army of seventy-eight thousand The two armies engaged

at Raphia, and Antiochus sustained a severe defeat, losing no less than ten

thousand men. The multitude commanded by Antiochus was given into the

hands of Ptolemy Philopator. This seems the only interpretation which is

consistent with facts.


12 “And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart

shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands; but he

shall not be strengthened by it.” The rendering of the Septuagint is, “And he

shall take the levy (συναγωγήνsunagogaen – multitude; assembly), and his heart

shall be lifted up, and he shall trouble many, and shall not be afraid.” There seems

to have been some difference of reading in the last clause, but it is not clear what.

Theodotion renders the first clause as does the Septuagint; but the latter

clause is more in accordance with the English version of the Massoretic

text. The Peshitta from the same text differs in its interpretation, “And he

shall destroy them mightily, and his heart shall be lifted up, and he shall

cast down many, and shall not be strengthened.” The Vulgate presents no

occasion of remark. And he shall cast down many ten thousands. This,

most probably, refers to the complete victory at Raphia, where Antiochus

was reported to have lost ten thousand men. There is thus a repetition here

of what has already been narrated. But he shall not be strengthened by it.

It is very noticeable that Ptolemy did not even attempt to strengthen his

position by vigorously following up his victory.


13 “For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a

multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after

certain years with a great army and with much riches.” The Septuagint does

not differ essentially from this, only πόλεως - poleos – greatert - comes in

unnecessarily by a blunder — the less to be understood, as there seems no word

which can have occasioned the misreading, unless it is simply a blunder of

hearing for πόλλήν - pollaen but against this is the fact that Paulus Tellensis has

medeenatha.  There is also the limitation of the period after which the king of the

north will return to “one year” (καιροῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ - kairou eniauton – times,

even of years), “a period of a year.” Theodotion is closer to the Massoretic .

The Peshitta is closer than either of the Greek versions, as neither of them

attempts to give, “coming he shall come,” which it does. The Vulgate is like

Theodotion. The reference here is to the second expedition against Egypt,

undertaken by Antiochus after the death of Philopator. After his victory at

Raphia, Ptolemy resumed his life of self-indulgence. Antiochus endeavored to

build up his empire by curbing the Parthians; then, after an interval of fourteen years,

he once more invaded the territories of the Egyptian monarch. This second invasion

resulted in Antiochus gaining possession of all Palestine.


14 “And in those times there shall many stand up against the

king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves

to establish the vision; but they shall fall.”  The versions here differ from

this, which represents the Massoretic with fair accuracy. The Septuagint

renders, “And in those times διάνοιαι dianoiai – thoughts - shall rise against

the King of Egypt, and he shall build again that which has fallen down of thy

people “ — reading hn;b;W (oobanah), “and he shall build,” instead of yneb]W

(oobenee), “and sons of;” he has read also peratzee, “breaches,” instead of

peritzee, “robbers,” — “and he shall raise himself up” — reading singular

instead of plural — “to fulfil the prophecy, and they shall stumble.” This

confusion indicates that the reading of the Septuagint is mistaken. Theodotion is

as much removed from the Massoretic as is the above, “And in those times

many shall rise against the king of the south, and the sons of the plagues

(λοιμῶν – loimon – pestilent fellows) of thy people shall be exalted to establish

the vision, and they shall become weak.” If there were any trace of uncertainty

in the reading at this point, we might be tempted to read ληστῶν – laeston –

robbers -  instead of λοιμῶν, written LHICTWN for LOIMWN. The Peshitta

renders, “And many shall rise against the king of the north, and the sons of the

perversity of thy people shall be raised up to fulfill the vision, and shall be cast

down.” The change from “king of the south” to “the king of the north” must

be noted, probably simply the result of blunder. The Vulgate renders yxrp

pre-varieatorum, And in those times there shall many stand up against the king

 of the south. Ptolemy Epiphanes was not only exposed to the assault of the

confederates Antiochus and Philip of Macedon; but there were intrigues and

conspiracies in the palace. Also the robbers of thy people shall exalt

themselves; literally, the sons of the oppressors. Commentators of all

varieties have assumed that these are Jews. Hitzig maintains that they were

the Jews that sided with Antiochus’s rule (‘Historical Exposition of

Daniel’); that they were the separatists, those who had gone down to

Egypt (Calvin; Behrmann, ‘Die Stiirmische Jugend’); Keil, “violent men

who break through Divine law.” So Kranichfeld and Wordsworth. Stuart,

“the violent of thy people;” Ewald, “young high-handed men.” Fuller thinks

the word prizzeem is used as “rulers.” Griitz would render, “to establish

the vision, to make the law to totter “ — an attempt to get, by addition to

the text, an explanation. The Hebrew text does not bear out this meaning.

Gratz here implies ˆwyzh (hazion), “vision,” to be equivalent to hrwt

(torah), “law;” but this is never the case. But the oppressors of the people

do not necessarily belong to it. To establish the vision (compare Acts 4:28).

It may be that here there is a portion of the original vision of Daniel,

which has been overlaid with what we have before us. It is a summary of

the whole history of the Jews under the Greek domination. But they shall

fall. A general statement true of all the oppressors of Israel.


15 “So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount,

and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not

withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any

strength to withstand.” The Septuagint has, “And the king of the

north shall attack and turn his spears, and shall take the fortified city, and

the arms of the King of Egypt shall stand with his rulers, and there shall not

be strength in them to resist them.” It is difficult to imagine what Hebrew

text was before the translator when he rendered, “turn his spears.”

Theodotion agrees with the Massoretic in the first portion, and with the

Septuagint in the latter. The Peshitta rendering is not unlike the Massoretic,

“And the king of the north shall come and shall lay ambuscades, and shall

conquer strong fastnesses; and the arms of the south shall not stand,

because there is not in them might to stand; and his chosen people shall not

stand, because there is not might in them to stand.” The Vulgate, as usual,

is closest to the Massoretic. The reference here is most probably to the

capture of Sidon, into which Scopas, the general of Ptolemy, had thrown

himself after his defeat at Paneas. Other strongholds and fortified cities

were of necessity taken at the same time. The arms of the south shall not

withstand, neither his chosen people. Ptolemy sent several successive

armies to relieve Sidon, but was unable to compel Antiochus to give up the

siege. Finally Scopas had to surrender. Neither shall there be any strength

to withstand. Egypt was to all appearance helpless; there was neither

wisdom in their counsels nor valor in their arms.


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.” The rendering of

the Septuagint is quite different, “And he who entereth in shall do to him

according to his will, and there shall be none to resist before him, and he

shall stand in the province in the place of his will, and all things shall be

fulfilled in his hands.” Some of the variations may be understood by a

slightly different vocalization, but others resist this explanation.

Theodotion renders in a way that suggests a text between that used by the

Septuagint translator and the Massoretic, “And he who entereth in shall do

to him according to his will, and there shall not be one that standeth before

him, and he shall stand in the land of Sabei, and it shall be perfected

(τελεσθήσεται – telesthaesetai – shall come forth) by his hand.” The Peshitta

has, “cometh against him,” as in the Massoretic, “the glorious land” is put

down directly as “the land of Israel.” The Vulgate renders exactly as our

Authorized Version does. But he that cometh against him shall do according

to his own will, and none shall stand before him.. This is a fair description

of the advance of Antiochus the Great through Coele-Syria and Palestine.

Fortress after fortress fell before his arms. And he shall stand in the glorious

land; “the land of delight.” Ewald would render, “land of the ornament.” It is

certainly the land of Judea. Which by his hand shall be consumed. This

certainly contradicts history as we have it elsewhere. The Revised is little

better, “And in his hand shall be destruction,” which is the rendering of

Behrmann, Keil, Hitzig, and Bevan. The rendering of von Lengcrke,

Ewald, Stuart, and Fuller seems better to take hl;k; (kalah) as meaning

“completely.” The answer to the historical objection that Antiochus did not

destroy Palestine, is that this distinction refers to Egypt; but as little did he

destroy Egypt.


17 “He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his

whole kingdom, and upright ones with him: thus shall he do: and he

shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall

not stand on his side, neither be for him.” The Septuagint renders, “And he

shall set (δώσει - dosei - give) his face to enter upon (ἐπελθεῖν – epelthein) his

work with violence, and he shall make covenants with him, and shall give him

a daughter of man to corrupt her, but she shall not obey, neither shall it be.”

The translator seems to have had before him wTkalm, “work,” instead of

wtwklm, “kingdom” — a reading not equal to the Massoretic, and

μyriv;yme instead of μyrivywi, in which case the Septuagint reading is preferable.

Theodotion is like the Massoretic, “And he shall set (τάξει taxei – set; order)

his face to enter with the strength of all his kingdom, and he shall make all things

straight with him, and shall give him a daughter of the women to corrupt

her, but she shall not continue on his side, neither be for him.” The Peshitta

renders, “And he shall set his face to enter with the force of all his

kingdom, and all his people shall pass over, and the daughter of men shall

be given to him to corrupt her, but she shall not stand, neither be for him.”

The Vulgate rendering is independent of the other versions, “And he shall

set his face that he may come to lay hold of his whole kingdom, and he

shall do right things with him, and he shall give to him the daughter of

women that he may overturn it, but she shall not stand, neither be for him.”

The events portrayed here are well known. Antiochus collected all his

forces with a view to the conquest of Egypt, then, alarmed by the progress

of Rome and the overthrow of Philip of Macedon, he changed his plan. He

now endeavored to get Ptolemy to be his ally, and gave him his daughter

Cleopatra to wife, with Coele-Syria as a dowry. His idea was that she

would remain always on his side, would be his spy in the court of her

husband, and would always lead the policy of Egypt in the lines he wished.

His hopes were frustrated. She was not corrupted so as to be false to her

husband. In proof of this, when her father’s armies were defeated by the

Romans, she joined with her husband in sending congratulations to the

Senate of Rome.


18 “After this he shall turn his face unto the isles, and shall

take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach

offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to

turn upon him.  The rendering of the Septuagint is nearly unintelligible, “And

he shall set (δώσει  - as in the previous verse) his face against the sea, and shall

take (πολλοὺς – pollous - many ), and shall turn the wrath of their reproach in an

oath against his reproach.” The translator had read μyl instead of μyyal. With all

it seems nearly impossible to explain the relation between the Massoretic text

and that used by the Septuagint. Theodotion is much briefer, “He shall turn his

face to the islands, and shall take many, and shall cause rulers to cease

from their reproach; but his reproach shall return upon him.” The Peshitta

renders, “And he shall turn his face to the islands of the sea, and shall

conquer many, and a ruler of reproach shall cause it to cease in regard to

him, and his reproach shall return to him.” The Vulgate is closely related to

the Peshitta. We would render the last clause, with“Yea, his

reproach will he repay to him.” The events referred to are clear and

obvious enough. Antiochus the Great took advantage of the disastrous

defeat inflicted on Philip of Macedon by the Romans, to seize many of the

islands of the archipelago. He not only took possession of all the Asiatic

dominions of Philip, but crossed into Europe and seized Thrace. The

Romans demanded that he should retire from all the former dominions of

Philip. He refused, and war ensued, in which, after being driven out of

Europe, he was totally defeated at Magnesia by Lucius Scipio, and

compeled to surrender all his dominions west of the Taurus.


19 “Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land;

but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.” The versions do not

present any occasion for remark. After his defeat, Antiochus was not only

compeled to submit to the loss of much of his empire, but was adjudged to

pay all the expenses of the war, estimated at eighteen thousand Euboeic

talents. Justin relates thus the death of Antiochus: “Meanwhile in Syria

King Antiochus, being loaded with heavy tribute after his defeat by the

Romans, whether urged by want of money or impelled by avarice,

flattering himself that, under the plea of necessity, he might with fair

excuse commit sacrilege, assaulted with an armed force by night the temple

of Jove (Bel) in Elymais.   But the attempt having been discovered, there was

a concourse of the inhabitants, and he was slain with all his forces.” The

resemblance here between the fate of Antiochus the Great and that of his

son Epiphanes is so striking as to throw suspicion on one or other of them.


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.” The Septuagint differs very

much from this, “Then shall a plant arise out of his root to the restoration

(ἀναστήσεται – anastaesetai – one shall rise up) of the kingdom, a man

striking the glory of a king.” It is impossible to find any connection between

the opening clause of this and the corresponding clause in the Massoretic.

Some of the other clauses contain echoes of the Massoretic, or vice versa.

The first clause of v 21 in the Septuagint really belongs to this verse, “In

the last days he shall be broken, not in wrath nor in war,” reading thus,

μyniroh"a} (‘aharoneem) instead of μydih;a} (‘ahadeem). Theodotion agrees

in the first clause with the Septuagint, but is equally unintelligible, “There

shall arise out of his root one removing a plant of the kingdom; on his

preparation (πράσσων – prasson - he shall act; act), the glory of the kingdom:

yet in those days he shall be broken, and not openly (ἐν προσώποις -  en

prosopois) nor in war shall he stand.” The Peshitta renders, “In his stead

shall one stand up who shall cause a ruler to pass through even the glory

of your kings; and in a few days he shall be destroyed, not in tumult, nor

in battle.” The Vulgate renders, “In his stead shall stand a vile person

(vilis-simus), and unworthy of royal dignity; and in a few days he shall

be broken, not in fury, nor in battle.” Difficult as is the interpretation

of the words, just as difficult is it to find out the reference.

Seleucus Philopator, who succeeded Antiochus, might be called a

“raiser of taxes,” as he had to meet as best he could the heavy demands of

The Roman treasury. The rendering of the Revised suits also, “causing the

exactor to pass through the glory of the kingdom.” The reference might be

to Heliodorus, were there any probability that he ever made an expedition

to rob the temple. Certainly the story in II Maccabees makes it doubtful. It

is not likely that Palestine would be exempt from taxation. To a Jew

resident in Palestine — the land the possession of which had been the

occasion of so many wars — it might well seem the glory of the Syrian

kingdom. But within few days he shall be destroyed. It is difficult to

understand how the writer could reckon the reign of Seleucus Philopator

as only a few days. His reign of twelve years was certainly much shorter

than that of his father Antiochus, but longer than that of Epiphanes his

brother, or of Seleucus III his uncle. The Greek versions do not give this

clause. If we do not resort to the somewhat desperate remedy of altering

the reading, we are compelled to measure the days from the taxing of

Judaea. A good deal might be said for the reading of the Septuagint.

He shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle. If we may assume as

correct the unsupported account of Appian, that Seleucus IV. was assassinated

by Heliodorus, we can see that he was destroyed “not in batlle.” It conveys an

idea of the facts of the case different from that given in Appian, when we

say he was “not destroyed in anger.” Moreover, the fact that Josephus

refers to the death of Seleucus Philopator in terms that imply that be knew

nothing of his violent death, makes his alleged assassination by Heliodorus

at least doubtful.



The Checkered Fortunes of Earthly Empire (vs. 5-20)


There is but one condition of permanence in any kingdom, viz. righteousness.

Success, founded on military power, collapses as quickly as it rose. As night

succeeds to day, so misfortune succeeds to fortune. If God be not recognized,

the one element of durability is lacking.



AGENCIES. If men express their astonishment at this, our reply is that it is

the best on the whole, and if He did not use imperfect instruments, He must

not employ men at all. This allowance of evil men to be monarchs:


Ø      brings to light the evil that is in men;

Ø      tends to impress the world with the unprofitableness of sin; and

Ø      prepares the way for the advent of THE REAL KING OF MEN!


It is best, on the whole, that men should live in communities

and nations; best, on the whole, that some should be rulers and some

should be subjects; best that God’s hand should not appear in the

selection of earthly rulers. “His way is in the sea.”  (Psalm 77:19)



HISTORY. Read what chapters in secular history we choose, we find the

uniform tale to be ambition, war, disaster, suffering. Man, when left alone

by God, becomes his own deadly enemy, and the enemy of the human race.

No greater proof can we have of the turpitude and malignancy of sin, than

that furnished by the course of human history. Whereever scope and

opportunity have been afforded for the exercise of human inclination, the

outcome has been strife and mutual destruction. To rule the world has been

the arrogant desire of many, and heedless have they been of the miseries of

the human race, so long as one vain man may ride upon the wave of

fortune. As a rule, kings have been the curse of our globe. If successful in

war, the appetite is whetted for further enterprise; if defeated, the spirit of

revenge leaps up, at the first opportunity, to regain its loss.



AFFECTIONS OF THE HUMAN SOUL. The noblest affection that has

survived man’s fall is the parental — the love of a father for his children.

Yet even this has been persistently trampled on — often trampled out —

by the diabolic lust of power. The King of Egypt gives his daughter in

marriage to his hereditary foe, not because there was any tie of mutual

affection, but solely to promote his ambitious policy. This was nothing less

than the sacrifice of his own child to an evil spirit to the baser lusts of

his own depraved nature. (Like it or not, the seven justices, the people

who brought Roe v. Wade to the courts, the millions of mothers who

have aborted their child, and “those who love to have it so” – Jeremiah

5:31, have basically concurred and fulfilled the above statement! – CY –

2014).  On the altar of vain-glory, kings are wont to sacrifice:


Ø      natural affection,

Ø      domestic peace,

Ø      the Divine institution of marriage (a la – recent court decisions

overturning the votes of states that have validated marriage as

between a man and a woman – CY – 2014),

Ø      connubial bliss,

Ø      the welfare of children, yea, the lives of their own flesh and blood.


No blacker biographies can be written than those of successful kings. One bad

man has been an active spring of mischief for centuries after his decease.

One unworthy king has been a fount of misery and wretchedness for a myriad

 families of men. If every private individual needs the restraining grace of God,

tenfold more does a king.



very unusual thing for God to make known to men what is about to

transpire in the world. As a rule, this course would be full of hazard. It

would tend to remove human responsibility. By such a plan, God might

defeat His own ends. But God designed to show special favor unto Daniel.

He generously conceded, in answer to prayer, what otherwise He would

have withheld. Daniel was concerned about Israel’s welfare. God was

concerned about it also. One mind prevailed with God and with His servant;

hence it was in accordance with God’s plan to make known, in such a case,

His will. The revelation which was vouchsafed respected Israel; for Israel’s

home lay midway between these kings of Egypt and Syria. Daniel was

moved, not by a spirit of curiosity to learn what should happen elsewhere,

but by a pure regard for his country’s weal. As a fact, well-certified in later

history, this prophecy, being shown to Alexander the Great at Jerusalem,

secured his favor and protection. In every age, Israelthe true Israel

is God’s especial care. He that “toucheth Israel, toucheth the apple of His

eye”  (Zechariah 2:8).  The arms of Jehovah encircle the righteous. Saith he,

“I will never leave thee; I will never forsake thee.”  (Hebrews 13:5)



EACH OTHER. All that is true in history, though written by the pen of

skeptical men, is from God. He is the sole Author of truth. Hence we may

not despise human learning, nor throw contempt upon honest researches

into past history. Whatever in the world is true will prove, in the end, a

confirmation of the ancient oracles. It is impossible that God can, in any

way, contradict Himself. If, for a moment, there should seem any

discrepancy, we may rest in the tranquil assurance that further light will

resolve all difficulty, and that apparent discord will only lead to richer

harmony. Every item of prophecy in this chapter has found exact fulfillment.

If, in some respects, the predictions of the angel seem obscure, they were

as clear as it was proper to make them. The measure of obscurity is an

additional proof of Divine wisdom; and, read in the light of later events,

every unprejudiced mind feels that such pre-announcements of national

events could proceed from none other than THE LIVING GOD!   If we are

forced to believe that a faithful record of history has proceeded from the

hands of an intelligent man, we are also compelled to conclude that accurate

predictions of distinct events can only result from supernatural agency — a

revelation made from heaven.


21 “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom

they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in

peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.”  As said above, the

opening clause of this verse, as it appears in the Septuagint, really belongs

to the previous verse, “And there shall stand up in his place a mean person

(εὐκαταφρόνητος – eukataphronaetos – contemptible; despicable), and

the glory of a king shall not be given to him, and he shall come suddenly,

and the king shall be strong in his inheritance.”  Evidently the translator,

has omitted the reduplication and has derived the word twOql"q]l"j}

(halaqlaqqoth) from hq;l]j, (helqah), “a portion,” “an

inheritance.” Theodotion’s rendering is not very intelligible, “On his

preparation he shall be set at naught, and they shall not give to him the

glory of the kingdom, he shall come in prosperously (ἐν εὐθηνίᾳ - en

euthaenia – a time of security), and shall overpower the kingdom by

flatteries.” It is, however, more in accordance with the Massoretic text.

The Peshitta is in practical agreement with the Massoretic, and the

Vulgate reads as if a rendering of the Peshitta.  It is assumed that this is

Antiochus Epiphanes, yet there are considerable difficulties. A vile person.

Certainly he was morally vile enough, though not nearly so vile as some of

the kings of Egypt, his contemporaries, or some of his own ancestors. The

meaning of hzbn is “rejected, despised” (see Isaiah 53:3). It may be that it

was derived from the idea that the Romans rejected Epiphanes as a hostage,

and demanded Demetrius the son of Seleucus instead, and so Epiphanes got

the opportunity of returning to Syria. This, however, is not the aspect which

the matter assumes in Appian. Seleucus appears as the party desiring the change

of hostage. To whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom. That certainly

is not the case; he had the kingdom as much as his brother had; he was

acknowledged as king. He certainly had not the power his father had

before his defeat at Magnesia, but he had as much as the semi-subject

conditions of Syria permitted. He shall come in peaceably. That also is

doubtful, for Eumenes of Pergamos supported his claims with an army.

Obtain the kingdom by flatteries. Even that is not a prominent feature of

the accession of Antiochus. The Septuagint, as will be seen, separates

between the vile person who should not have the glory of the kingdom

given to him, and the king who should be strong in his inheritance. If we

were sure that Appian had followed Polybius, we might see in the first part

of the verse Heliodorus, and in the second the coming of Epiphanes.



Successful Dissimulation* (v. 21)


*(Dissimulation is a form of deception in which one conceals the truth. It consists

of concealing the truth, or in the case of half-truths, concealing parts of the truth,

like inconvenient or secret information. Dissimulation differs from simulation,

in which one exhibits false information. Dissimulation commonly takes the form

of concealing one's ability in order to gain the element of surprise over an

opponent. – Wikipedia )  (This sounds much like the secular press with which

I am familiar and will no doubt be a tool of the “anti-christ!”  - CY – 2014)



VIOLENCE. The successful usurper is known to be a “vile person;” the

people do not willingly bestow upon him the honors of royalty, — he

grasps them for himself; yet he perpetrates no violence to obtain them. He

wins power by dissimulation.


Ø      But dissimulation is most common in an age of advanced civilization.

Violence belongs to simpler times. As life becomes more complex,

evil becomes more subtle.


Ø      It has most power at a time of moral corruption. When morality is

corrupted, the discerning faculty of conscience is blinded. Deceit

succeeds most with those who have lost the clear judgment which

results from the direct insight of purity.


Ø      It is most successful under circumstances of material prosperity. Then

we are off our guard, and are tempted to a false feeling of security

based on the mere enjoyment of present ease.




enemies to a state are its traitors. The worst foes to a religion are its

hypocritical adherents. The most dangerous enemies a man can have are his

flattering friends. In such cases


Ø      the evil is more slowly recognized;

Ø      it is less energetically hated; and

Ø      it is resisted with more difficulty.




the time appointed” (v. 27; ch.12:1-2).


Ø      By its own nature evil ultimately declares its true character. If it

always remained concealed, it would effect little. By dissimulation

power is won, which in being used casts off the mask.


Ø      When evil is declared, it is seen to be hateful and weak. Once fairly

known, it loses its attraction and becomes a despicable thing.


Ø      God will finally interfere to destroy all false appearances, and judge the

world in truth according to real character and conduct. Some forms of

deceit may linger till that great judgment-day; but none can outlive it.

Then all actions will appear in the white light of truth.


Ø      It is wise and prudent (as well as right) to seek truth and to live

truly, because the true only can live in the great future of eternity

(Revelation 21:27).


22 “And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from

before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.”

The rendering of the Septuagint is very wide of this, “And the broken arms he

shall break from before him.” Although this is much shorter than the

Massoretic text, yet the contradictory assertion that arms already broken

are broken before him is conclusive against accepting the evidence of the

Septuagint absolutely. Theodotion agrees with the Massoretic, not with the

English versions, “And the arms of the overflowing shall be overflowed

from before him, and be broken, even the leader of the covenant.” The

Peshitta is widely different, alike from the Massoretic text and that of the

Septuagint, “;And their mighty ones of the city he shall carry away, and

they shall be broken from before him, even the leader of the covenant.”

The Vulgate stands in a closer relation with the above than with the

Massoretic text or the Greek versions, “The arms (brachia) of one fighting

shall be driven out (expugnabuntur) from his face, and shall be broken

besides, and (insuper et) the leader of the covenant.” The reference here

seems to be to the campaign’ — if there was a campaign — by which

Epiphanes secured possession of the throne of Syria. The prince of the

covenant. Who this can be it is impossible to say. The idea supported by

Hitzig, Bevan, Behrmann, that Onias III. is referred to, is founded on the

utterly unhistorical narrative in II Maccabees 4. The view of Moses Stuart is

that it is some sovereign who had a league of amity with Epiphanes. The

reference thus might be to Eumenes or Attalus, who supported the claims

of Anthoclus. Negeed bereeth may be explanatory of the prenominal suffix

in milpanayo, “before him.” As Stuart acutely remarks, had the reference

in bereeth been to the Divine covenant with the Jews, we should have had



23 “And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully:

for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.”

The rendering of the Septuagint is, “And with the covenant and a

people set in array he shall fabricate a lie, even against a strong nation with

(ἐνen - with) a small people.” The rendering of Theodotion is somewhat

difficult to comprehend, “By reason of leagues against him, he shall make a

device, and shall ascend and master them with few people.” The Peshitta is

very like Theodotion, only the last clause of this verse is regarded as the first

of the next. The Vulgate is closer to the Massoretic than are any of the other

ancient versions, “And after friendships with him, he shall work fraud, and

shall go up and conquer with a small number.” The reference here is to the

obscure events which attended the contest — if there was a contest —

that resulted in Epiphanes securing the throne. The alliance may refer to his

league with Eumenes. Appian assigns as a reason for the help given to

Epiphanes by Eumenes, that it was to gain his friendship. Only Appian

mentions “Attalus and Eumenes,” as if they were separate sovereigns; but

Attalus was brother of Eumenes, and, at the time of the arrival of

Epiphanes, his brother’s envoy at Rome. There may be some foundation of

fact, and this would explain the statement in the text. The hopes of

Eumenes, if he wished to strengthen himself by an alliance with Epiphanes,

were probably soon frustrated, as Epiphanes involved himself in conflict

with Egypt.


24 “He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the

province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor

his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil,

and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong

holds, even for a time.” The rendering of the Septuagint is,” Suddenly he shall

desolate the city, and he shall do such things as his fathers have not done,

nor his father’s fathers, and he shall give captives (προνομὴν – pronomaen –

provide; care for, Deuteronomy 21.)and spoils and riches to them; and against

the strong city a device shall be forecast (διανοηθήσεται – dianomaethaesetai –

he shall devise), and his reasonings are in vain.” In the first

clause, μm"v;w] seems to have been read instead of yNemivim]W. Medeena is

taken in its Syriac meaning. It is difficult to see what reading could

produce both the Massoretic and the Septuagint renderings. Theodotion

differs alike from this and from the Massoretic, “And in plenty, and in the

fat places he shall corn and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor

his fathers’ fathers; and he shall disperse among them captives

((προνομὴν – pronomaen – provide; care for), and spoil and possessions,

and (ἐπ’ – ep’ - against ) Egypt he shall devise devices, even for a season.”

The Peshitta is like the Massoretic. It joins what is reckoned the last clause

of v. 23 to the present verse, and omits “peaceably;” the last words of this

verse are transferred to the next.  The Vulgate is more related to Theodotion than

to the Massoretic text,  “And he shall enter plenteous (abundantes) and rich cities.

The remaining part of the verse agrees with the Massoretic text The events here

Indicated are somewhat difficult to identify. The histories of this period are

scanty, and, with the exception of Polybius, whose work has come to us in a

fragmentary condition, not very trustworthy. Moreover, the readings are

uncertain in a portion of the verse. It is generally held to describe the first

entrance of Epiphanes into Palestine or Egypt — more generally the latter

— an opinion shared by Theodotion. The English versions do not bring out

the probable meaning, although their rendering agrees with the Massoretic

pointing, “That which his fathers have not done,” etc. The repeated

triumphant invasions of Egypt are probably referred to. Forecast devices

against the strong holds. This may refer to the siege of Alexandria, which

he was on the eve of commencing when he was compelled by the Roman

envoy, Popilius Lena, to desist; but this is evidently the subject of the later

verse. We can most easily understand this verse if we regard it as a

summary of the whole reign of Antiochus.


25 “And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the

king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be

stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall

not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.” The versions

present no point of remark, save that, instead of “king of the south,” the

Septuagint has, as usual, “the King of Egypt.” This is supposed to be a

compendious account of the second of the wars waged by Epipbanes

against Egypt; but it suits the first better. At this time the Romans had

declared war against Perseus, King of Macedon, and Antiochus, finding

that they did not conquer Macedon easily, regarded the opportunity a

suitable one for assailing Egypt and wresting from Ptolemy Philometor

Coele-Syria, which his father had given as dower with Cleopatra, his

daughter. The state of Egypt presented an aspect eminently hopeful to an

assailant. The court of Egypt was full of intrigue and treachery; the center

of intrigue was the brother of the king, Ptolemy, nicknamed Physcon. The

king, Ptolemy, was young; his generals, however, took up the challenge,

and set on the field a large army; but the army was defeated, and Antiochus

advanced as far as Memphis. Ptolemy was taken prisoner by his uncle, and

Physcon his brother ascended the throne. The defeat of Philometor was

supposed to be largely due to treachery.

26 “Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy

him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.”  The

Septuagint rendering here is different, “And his cares shall consume him

and turn him away, and he shall pass by (and shall hiss, κατασυριεῖ -

katasuriei – arrest judicially); and many shall fall down wounded.”

Paulus Tellensis renders  κατασυριεῖ by <ARAMAIC> (nigrooph),

“shall overflow,” as if he had read καταρεὐσεται, or perhaps κατασυριεῖ,

though it does not exactly represent the Hebrew. Theodotion is like the

Massoretic , “And they eat his provisions, and shall break him to pieces;

and he shall overflow powers, and many shall fall wounded.” The account

of the invasion of Egypt by Epiphanes occurs in I Maccabees 1:18. The

Septuagint translator, appears to have read, instead of wOgb;AtP" ylek]aOw]

(veochlay path-bago), wyt;g]ad; Wlk]a;w](veachloo dageothav). There would

seem also to have been some confusion between lyhi (heel), “strength,” and dlh

(halach), “to go.” The Peshitta rendering is, “They that eat his meat shall destroy

him, and his army shall be dispersed, and many shall fall wounded.” The Vulgate

is closely related to this. This refers to the treachery which was alleged to

have been at work and to have caused the overthrow of Philometor in his

contest with his uncle. The version of the Septuagint is more picturesque,

and more in accordance with facts. Cares might well devour Ptolemy

Philometor — treachery in his army and his brother occupying his throne.

Certainly he was defeated, turned aside, and was compelled to accompany

the victor as a prisoner, while Egypt was wasted (κατασυριεῖ).


27 “And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and

they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the

end shall be at the time appointed.” The Septuagint Version is, “And two

kings shall dine alone at the same time, and eat at one table, and they shall

speak lies, and they shall not prosper.” The translator has read μdbl

instead of μbbl. Theodotion is closer to the Massoretic, agreeing in this

with the Peshitta and Vulgate. The probable reference is to Ptolemy

Philometor, conveyed practically a prisoner with his uncle’s army, while

Epiphanes carried on his invasion of Egypt. They dined at one table, and

probably deceived each the other. The purpose of Ptolemy was to get his

usurping brother Physcon dethroned; the object of Antiochus was to

possess Egypt for himself. Rashi sees in this a reference to the quarrels and

reconciliations which diversified the conflict between John Hyrcanus II.

and his brother Aristobulns. Jephet-ibn-Alimakes the two kings mean

Arabia and Rome, since, according to him, these are respectively the kings

of the south and of the north. Yet the end shall be at the time appointed.

The progress of Antiochus was interrupted by the Romans.


28 “Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and

his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits,

and return to his own land.” The Greek versions and the Vulgate are in

close agreement with the Massoretic text. The Peshitta differs only by

omitting the last clause, which certainly seems a redundance. On his return

from his Egyptian campaign, Epiphanes, we learn from I Maccabees 1:20-23,

plundered the temple of all its treasures. On the somewhat suspicious

authority of II Maccabees 4 some have referred to the report spread that

Antiochus was dead, and that, taking advantage of this, Jason seized the

city and drove Menelaus into the citadel; and that, bearing of this uproar,

Antiochus, imagining that Judaea had revolted, retired from Egypt, and

wreaked vengeance on Jerusalem, taking it by assault. The slaughter

inflicted is confirmed by other authorities; but the resistance implied in the

assertion that he took the city by force of arms is contradicted by Josephus

and I Maccabees.



Evil Prosperity (v. 28)



MORAL GOODNESS. It is not found in experience that the old Jewish

ideal is realizable in which the righteous all prosper, and the wicked are all

in adversity (Job 36:11-12). Bad men often grow rich and flourish in

external success (Psalm 73:3).


Ø      This is no proof of the weakness of moral and spiritual forces in the

economy of life,


o       because physical prosperity is made to depend largely on

physical causes;

o       because energy of will and intellectual ability may exist apart

from moral worth, and may secure temporal success;

o       because adversity is not regarded by God as a supreme evil, nor

prosperity as a supreme good — both are subservient to higher


o       because justice and right have not scope in this world to effect

their ultimate triumph.


Ø      This should warn us from the erroneous conclusions:


o       that our prosperity is a proof of our goodness; and

o       that it is an evidence of Gods favor.






Ø      All the higher uses of prosperity will be neglected. These are to lift up

our hearts to God and His love; to give leisure from care for the service

of God; and to bestow talents for the good of mankind. If the higher

uses of prosperity are neglected, the prosperity can only degrade us.


Ø      We are likely to become unduly satisfied with ourselves. Dust glitters

like gold in the sunlight; and worthless people are tempted to think

themselves of great value when the sun of prosperity shines upon them.


o       groundless pride,

o       vanity and blindness,

o       poverty of soul,

o       guilt of sin, and

o       danger of ruin.


Ø      We are inclined to set our heart on temporal comforts. This danger

always follows prosperity. It may be mitigated by right spiritual

thoughts of the wants of the soul which no earthly possessions can

satisfy (a Divine design – CY – 2014), and by the infinitely more

precious heavenly treasures. Where such thoughts are not



Ø      We are inclined to over-estimate the capacities of earthly riches, to

suppose that they can secure the future from harm.


Ø      If we have begun to walk in evil ways we shall be hardened and

hastened in them by the absence of NEEDFUL CHECKS;

(thus the foolishness of those who loudly voice support of

“separation of church and state” to the neutering of all needful

 checks  on such evil behaviors! – CY – 2014) and under

the influence of foolish feelings of triumphant success.


29 “At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south;

but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.” The Septuagint

does not differ from this materially, save that it has Egypt, as usual, for

south, and asserts that the king of the north entered Egypt. Theodotion is

also in practical agreement with the Massoretie text. The Peshitta is much

shorter, and differs very much from the above, as well as from all the other

versions, “And he shall do in the former and in the latter.” There seems to

have been something omitted, The Vulgate gives a different rendering of

the last clause, “The last shall not be like the former.” The reference is to

the second expedition of Antiochus into Egypt. His two nephews, whose

quarrels and rivalries he had hoped to utilize for his own purposes, were

now to appearance reconciled; they agreed to a joint occupation of the

throne. It is supposed this second expedition was intended, if possible, to

break up this agreement.


30 “For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore

he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy

covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence

with them that forsake the holy covenant.” As the Septuagint do not obscure

the reference to Egypt, so they here call the ships of Chittim Ῥωμαῖοι – Romanoi –

Romans. The rendering is, “And the Romans shall come, and shall drive him out,

And shall make him wroth, and he shall return and be enraged against the

covenant of the holy, and shall do and return and plot against those on

account of whom they left the covenant of the holy.” Theodotion renders

in a slightly different way, “Those who come from Chittim shall assail, and

he shall be humiliated, and he shall return and be enraged against the

covenants of the holy. And he shall do and return, and have understanding

against those who have been left to the holy covenant.” The Peshitta

renders more in harmony with the Massoretic text, “Those who come

against them from the lines of Chittim, even they shall break him, and he

shall turn and be enraged against the holy covenant, and shall have

understanding with them that forsake the holy covenant.” The rendering of

the Vulgate is singular, “And there shall come against him trieres (τριηρεἰς

triaereis - ships of war) and Romans, and he shall be, beaten, and shall return,

and shall be enraged against the testament (testamentum, covenant) of the holy

place and shall do, he shall even return and shall devise against those who

have left the testament (testamebtum) of the holy place.” The ships of

Chittim are the Roman ships, bearing the envoys of the Senate with C.

Popilius Laenas at their head. He delivered to Antiochus the tablets on which

were inscribed the wishes of the Senate. Antiochus was then on the eve of

commencing the siege of Alexandria, and completing the conquest of

Egypt. Having read that the Senate of Rome desired him to refrain from

attacking the allies of the Republic, Antiochus said he would answer after

consulting with his friends. Laenas drew a circle round him with his staff

on the sand, and demanded that he should give his answer before he left the

circle. Antiochus had to submit. Shall have indignation against the holy

covenant. It is not certain whether Antiochus was present personally at the

plunder of Jerusalem or superintended the massacre of the Jews; but it is

practically certain that at this time began the systematic attempt to put

down Judaism. And have intelligence with them that forsake the holy

covenant. It is not improbable that Antiochus was encouraged to make the

attempt he did, by the fact that so many persons high in position were

Hellenizers (I Maccabees 1:11-15, in which there is reference to those that

forsook the holy covenant). The desire of Antiochus was probably to make

his empire more homogeneous. The Jews, he would see by the fact that

they had a national unity apart from his empire, might at times be thorns in

his side — might become allies of Rome if he were compelled to engage in

war with the Republic. It was their religion that was the bond which united

the nation; let that be broken, then there would be a chance of the Jews

blending harmoniously with the other races that made up the Syrian

Empire. Those that forsook the holy covenant made him think it an easy



31 “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute

the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and

they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” The Septuagint is

close to the above, “And arms shall stand by him, and shall

pollute the sanctuary of fear “ — probably the Septuagint read rwOgm;

(magor), “fear,” instead of zw[m (maoz), “fortress,” a change probably due to

The fact that [ sounded in Greek ears like W hard, Γάζa Gaza for hz;[; — and

they shall take away the sacrifice and place (δώσουσι  - dosouai – set up; place)

the  abomination of desolation.” Theodotion, from a mistaken vocalization,

renders, “And seeds “ — reading μy[ir;z] instead of μy[iroz] — “shall spring up

from him and shall pollute the sanctuary of power, and shall change the continual

(sacrifice), and shall place (δώσουσι) the abomination of things that have

disappeared (ἠφανισμένον – aephanismenon – which makes desolate).” The

Peshitta is quite different in the first clause, “And their strong ones shall arise

from them, and they pollute the sanctuary of strength, and they cause the

sacrifice (qorban) to pass away, and they shall hang up the abomination in

the temple.” The Vulgate rendering is in accordance generally with the

Massoretic, “And arms shall stand from him and shall pollute the sanctuary of

strength, and shall remove the continual (juge) sacrifice, and shall place the

abomination of desolation.” Arms shall stand on his part. This word “arms”

here is not to be understood as weapons — a misunderstanding possible in

English. “Arms” here stands as the symbol of physical power generally. “On

his part” is represented by the preposition ˆmi, which means “with” or “from;”

hence we find the Septuagint translating by παρ’ – par’ – with; from, and

Theodotion by ἐξ – ex – with; from.  Probably the most natural view is to take

the preposition as equivalent to “by,” that is, he shall set physical forces in

motion. And they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength. That the temple in

Jerusalem had all the characteristics that fitted it to become a fortress, was

proved in every one of the numerous sieges it has endured. It becomes still

more a fortress, of course, when the Tower Antonia was erected overlooking

the temple area.  There may, however, have been a reference to the fact that the

collectors of tribute sent by Antiochus fortified the city of David, and used it

as a basis of operations from which to assail the temple and defile its courts

with blood (I Maccabees 1:35-36). And take away the daily sacrifice. The

Hebrew word here used means “continual,” and the substantive “sacrifice”

is supplied. In v. 45 of the same chapter of I Maccabees  we are told that

Antiochus forbade “burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and drink offerings in

the temple.” And they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

One must note here the source of δώσουσι which we find in both Greek

versions, and dabit, which we find in the Vulgate. The Hebrew has Wnt]n;w]

(venathnoo), “and they shall give or set.” It seems to refer to an altar to

Jupiter, which was erected on the brazen altar (I Maccabees 1:59). This altar is

spoken of in v. 54 as the (βδέλυγμα ἐρημώσεωςbdelugma eraemoseos –

abomination of desolation).” The Hebrew phrase has been borrowed from



32 “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he

corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be

strong, and do exploits.’  The Septuagint translates, “And by sins of the

covenant shall they defile themselves with a hard people, and the people

knowing these things shall have the mastery and do (exploits).” The m, the

preformative of the participle hiphil, has been taken for the preposition ˆmi.

written defectively, and probably hveq; μaO l]Bi for tqol"j}B". Theodotion

does not require special notice, as his version here agrees closely with the

Massoretic. The Peshitta is somewhat shorter and having a different

significance, “And those who transgress against the covenant he shall

condemn them. And the people who know the fear shall be strong.” The

Vulgate rendering is, “And the impious against the covenant shall feign

falsely (simulabunt fraudu-lenter), but the people knowing their God shall

possess and do (exploits).” Men like Alcimus, the high priest after

Menelaus, were transgressors of the sacred covenant, and were corrupted

by the flatteries of Epiphanes. He used them to gain the people over to his

views. But the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do

exploits. Even when Epiphanes seemed most nearly successful, there was a

deep-seated opposition to this Hellenizing process. Especially prominent

were those who were zealous for the Law, the Hasidim, or, to give them

the name they have in the Book of Maccabees, the Assidaeans. These

religionists, headed by Mattathias and his sons, especially by the heroic

Judas Maccabaeus, certainly KNEW THEIR GOD, and as certainly




Strength in the Knowledge of God (v.32b)




Ø      Spiritual strength must be distinguished


o       from physical power, as in the case of Samson, who had

very little strength of soul;

o       from intellectual energy which can solve mysteries of thought,

and construct lofty arguments, but cannot resist temptation and

accomplish spiritual work; and

o       from strength of human will such as is manifested by a

Napoleon — which may exist apart from moral self-control

and capacity for the higher efforts of life.


Ø      Spiritual strength is strength of the inner and higher nature. It is

capacity of the character and will, raised to spiritual energy, to resist

evil and to do good. It implies


o       self-control (I Corinthians 9:27);

o       power to resist external influences of fashion and of tyranny,

of seduction and of terror (Nehemiah 6:9);

o       capacity and energy for doing spiritual work, i.e. for overcoming

the evil in the world and extending the good, as in reaching the

conscience of men, convincing of sin, and persuading them to be

reconciled to God (II Corinthians 5:20). It is seen in moral

courage, patience, zeal and persevering activity in God’s service.




Ø      It is derived from God. It is not innate, nor acquired by our own efforts,

nor attained by any worldly means. It is given to us in our natural

weakness (Isaiah 40:29), when we are most conscious of this and

distrustful of ourselves (II Corinthians 12:10), and in response to

prayer (Psalm 138:3).


Ø      The knowledge of God is a condition for the receiving of spiritual



o       This is necessary that we may have understanding and faith to

ask strength of God.

o       It is necessary as a means for attaining the strength; because

ideas of the greatness, goodness, and might of God are

bracing and invigorating.

o       It is necessary as a moral condition. If we seek to know God,

He will give us strength, but if we are neglectful of this duty,

it is not right that God should honor us with such favor.


Ø      Union with God in living sympathy is the direct means for receiving this

strength. The people referred to in the text know God as THEIR GOD!

This appropriation of God secures to us His strength.


  • THE USE OF SPIRITUAL STRENGTH. It is the Divine aid for the

needs of life. We often pray for relief of the burden and release from the

task. God leaves the burden and task undiminished, but gives strength by

which to do and bear. This method of help involves less disarrangement of

the order of the outside world, and is for us a nobler and more fruitful

blessing. Thus when we seek peace through relaxation and ease, God gives

it in inspiration and energy (II Corinthians 12:8-9).


Ø      It is needed for the resistance of temptation. Temptation is too strong

for our unaided powers. In God’s strength we are conquerors!

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: 

but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye

are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape,

that ye may be able to bear it!”  (I Corinthians 10:13)


Ø      It is useful for the endurance of trouble. The necessary trouble must be

gone through in any case. But spiritual strength is essential to patient,

calm, unmurmuring endurance.  “I can do all things through Christ

who strengtheneth me.”  (Philippians 4:13).


Ø      It is helpful for active service. We often fail in work for want of energy

of soul. Divine strength brings zeal, capacity, and successful activity

“Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak:  for your

work shall be rewarded.”  (II Chronicles 15:7).


Ø      It is needful for growth of the spiritual nature. As we are strong in soul

we can know more of Divine truth, and enlarge and elevate the life of

the INNER MAN.   This growth is the result of the working out of

indwelling spiritual energy (Luke 1:80).


33 “And they that understand among the people shall instruct

many: yet, they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity,

and by spoil, many days.”  The Septuagint rendering is, “The prudent of the

people shall understand (εἰς πολλούς – eis pollous - in multitudes), and they

shall push against them with the sword, and shall grow old with it

(παλαιωθήσονται ἐν αὐτῇ - palaiothaesontai en autae – shall grow old

with it).” We should feel inclined to read επαλαισαν – epalaisan -

had Paulus Tellensis not read as the text, “And by bondage

and by plunder of days they shall be disgraced.” The mysterious clause,

“shall grow old with it,” is due to the translation of ybiv](shevee),

“captivity,” as if it had been hb;yci (seebah),”old age.” Theodotion is

obscure also, “The understanding of the people shall understand in regard

to many things, and (ἀσθενήσουσιν – asthenaesousin – they shall suffer)

by the sword, and with fire, and by captivity, and in plunder of days.”

The Peshitta renders, “The dispersed of the people shall instruct many,

and they shall fall by the sword, and by fire, by captivity, and by spoil,

a thousand days.” The Vulgate does not supply any point worthy of remark.

And they that understand among the people shall instruct many. In

I Maccabees 2:27 we have an account of a multitude instructed in the Law

and determined to keep it, who, with their wives, children, and cattle, retired

into the desert.  Yet they shall fall by the sword, etc. After the multitude

pursued the army of King Antiochus, which was at Jerusalem, and overtook

them, the fugitives would not submit to sacrifice to idols. The army assailed

them on the sabbath day; from a superstitious reverence for the day of rest,

they did not even defend themselves, and therefore fell an easy prey to their

enemies (Ibid. v. 38), “They slew them with their wives, and children, and their

cattle to the number of a thousand people”). While we would not be held

as regarding as literally historical the sufferings of Eleazar and the seven

brethren and their mother, as related in II Maccabees  6. and 7, and more

fully in IV Maccabees, yet it can only have been an exaggeration of what

must have actually occurred.


34 “Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little

help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.” The Septuagint

rendering is, “And when they are crushed many shall be gathered to them

(ἐπὶ - epi - in ) the city, even many as in (κληροδοσίᾳ - klaerodosia –

distribution by lot).” This phrase is rendered by Paulus Tellensis <ARABIC>

(poolog pesa), “the division of the lots;” wrongly rendered by Bugati, in

hereditate. The reading here is due to dropping of the reduplication in

heltqluqoth. The Peshitta generally agrees with the Massoretic, only it

renders the last clause, “Many shall add themselves to them in division,

 <ARABIC> (palgootha),” which, however, Castelli renders in this one

case as simulatio. When success crowned the arms of Judas and his brethren,

many of the Sadducean party joined themselves to them, although formerly

they belonged to the Hellenizers. This association rendered the Assidaeans

dissatisfied, and resulted in disaster. Probably the reference is to nothing so

far down history. When Judas began to be successful, many would join

him, hoping, by a limited amount of treachery to Judas, to secure safety if

the king ultimately prevailed, while at the same time, their presence with

the Maccabees would save them from the vengeance of their own

countrymen if Judas were successful and the Syrian yoke thrown off.


35 “And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them,

and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end;

because it is yet for a time appointed.” The rendering of the Septuagint is,

“And some of those of understanding shall consider to purify themselves

both to be chosen and to be purified to the time of the end, for the season is

for hours.” The translator must have read Wlk]c]yi, instead of Wlv]K;yi. The

reading of the Massoretes is to be preferred. Theodotion’s, while closer to

the Massoretic text,’ is not identical with the sense as represented by the

Authorized and Revised Versions, “And some of those of understanding

shall be weak to try them, that they may be chosen out and revealed at the

end of time, for it yet is for a season.” Both Greek versions, as will be seen,

render barar, “choose” — a meaning it has in the pual — and both omit

one of the clauses. In this the Greek versions have the support of the

Peshitta, which renders, “And (some) of the wise shall be overthrown to

choose among them, and that they may understand to the end, because it is

again protracted for a season.” Here, too, the last of the clauses descriptive

of the effect of the fall of the wise is omitted. Although the Vulgate

supports the Massoretic in this, we feel it suspicious. And some of them of

understanding shall fall. Though marvelously successful, yet Judas and

his comrades suffered some reverses; the reference may be to those that fell

in battle. The rendering in Theodotion would seem to point to some

apostatizing. We have no record of any such cases, yet it is not impossible

that some would fall away. This would be a greater trial than defeat and the

death in battle of such heroes as Eleazar, surnamed Avaran, or even of

Judas Maccabaeus himself. To try them, and to purge, and to make them

white. The death of teachers and of military leaders would be a severe test

of the zeal and enthusiasm of the faithful. All the fearful and insincere

would fall off from the ranks of the faithful. Those zealous for the Law of

God would be at once tried and purified by these untoward events. This

has been the experience of the Christian Church in every age. Because

more a trial, therefore more purifying would be the failure of some to

maintain the faith under trial. Even to the time of the end: because it is yet

for a time appointed. It is in perfect accordance with the view that the

purpose of the death of teachers and leaders, even their failure, is the

purification of the saints, that the time of the trial should be fixed and

definite. This view is frequent in the Apocalypse (Revelation).



Purged by Trial (v. 35)



understanding” are to be purged and made white. These are clearly the

people who are “wise unto salvation” — the true Church.


Ø      The ends of the gospel are not attained until the Church is completely

purified. The first aim is to gather men into the Church by penitence

and faith. The second is to perfect them when they are in the Church.

The forgiving grace of God does not dispense with the necessity of

holiness. It passes over the sin of the past, that it may secure a better

life for the future.  The ends of Christ’s work are not satisfied in

releasing us from the penalties of our sins, and securing present

peace and future blessedness. They seek the complete renewal

and purification of our lives.


Ø      These ends are only attained by a lifelong process of purification. The

act of conversion does not satisfy them. Though the life may be turned

from sin to God, evil still lingers, old sins rise up again, and new

temptations often prove too strong. Hence the need of the Christian’s

daily prayer for forgiveness, and the need of a continual discipline

n holiness.



to try, and thus to purge. Trial purges:


Ø      by making us think humbly of ourselves, and suggesting the question

whether we have not brought it on ourselves by our sin;

Ø      by making us dissatisfied with this world, and therefore anxious to be

right in relation to the spiritual world;

Ø      by leading us to feel the need of God, and so to seek to be conformed

to His mind. These, however, are only secondary means, and need

right using. Trouble may harden in sin or result in complaints against

Providence. We need the Spirit of God to enable us to profit by the holy

influences of trial. This conception of the end of trial should lead us:


o       to accept it with patient submission, since it is sent, not as

vindictive punishment, but as purifying chastisement; and

o       to seek grace to use it profitably.





Ø      This will be complete. The battle with sin will not last for ever. The

dross will be all purged away, and the people of God will be free from

all taint of sin and all indwelling love and power of it. This is the final

issue of the discipline of this life which will be accomplished in the


Ø      Then trial will cease. The present life of probation, education, and

discipline is only temporary (II Corinthians 4:17). It will be followed

by a life of perfect peace (Revelation 21:4).


36 “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall

exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak

marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the

indignation be accomplished; for that that is determined shall be

done.”  The Septuagint does not differ greatly from this, “And the king shall do

according to his will, and shall be enraged, and be exalted above every god,

and against the God of gods shall he speak marvelous things (ἔξαλλα – exalla –

astonishing things) and shall prosper until the wrath be accomplished; for

(εἰς αὐτὸνeis auton - on him) there is an end.” The difference in the last clause

is considerable between the Septuagint and not easily explicable. Theodotion

differs somewhat more, “And he shall do according to his will; and the king shall

be exalted, and be magnified, and he shall speak marvelous things, and he shall

prosper until the wrath is ended; for it is to a determined end (συντέλειαν –

sunteleian – completion; bring to an end).” The Peshitta is closely related to the

Massoretic, even in the last clause, where a difference is manifested in the others.

The Vulgate affords no occasion of remark. The question that has to be settled

here is — Who is the king who shall do according to his pleasure? Aben Ezra

maintained the reference was to Constantine the Great. Rashi, followed by

Calvin, would make it the Roman Empire personified. He notices the Rabbins’

referring this to Titus and Vespasian. As above mentioned, his own view is

that the ‘Monarchia Romana’ is here intended. Jephet-ibn-Ali sees in this a

prophecy of Mohammed; others, Wordsworth and Rule, following Jerome

and Luther, think the reference here is to the antichrist of the New Testament.

For our own part, we see no necessity for supposing any other monarch than

Epiphanes is referred to.  (Remember that this was written two centuries

ago.  A lot has happened in things eschatological.  I recommend a

Dispensational Truth by Clarence Larkin.  CY – 2014)  While Livy

and Polybius remark on the piety of Epiphanes, it may seem strange to refer

what is said here to him; but his ruthless plundering of temples proved that his

piety was merely a political expedient. Speak marvelous things against the

God of gods. We have no record of any proclamations of Antiochus which

exactly suit this; but then we must bear in mind that we have only compendious

accounts of what he did proclaim. To the heathen, moreover, as to Polybius and

Livy, words of contempt against Jehovah would seem nothing worse than impolitic;

but to the Jew, blasphemous words would be so horrible that they would not be

recorded, as being a contamination: hence it is not extraordinary that we

hear nothing of blasphemy in the history of Antiochus. The forbidding of

sacrifices and of circumcision, while clearly enough dishonoring to God

and to the Jewish nation, do not contain enough to justify the statement.

Shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished. If by the indignation

(μ[z, zaam) is meant the sufferings endured by the Jewish people, then

the prosperity of Epiphanes — his life, indeed — did not last so long as the

sufferings inflicted on the Jews; for these continued for some time after his

death. There is probably here an indication that the writer’s horizon did not

reach to the death of Antiochus. Certain, by his faith in God, that

Antiochus would perish, he thinks that until that time he may prosper. For

that that is determined shall be do,to. There is considerable difficulty as to

the text here, but all the various forms convey the same meaning — a

definite limit to oppression.


37 “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the

desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself

above all.” The Septuagint rendering is, “And to the gods of his fathers he

will not have respect, and to the desire of women he will not have respect,

because in everything he shall be exalted, and by him strong nations shall

be subdued.” The last clause belongs really to the next verse, of the first

clause of which it is a variant reading. Theodotion is nearly identical in

sense with this, “And no god of his fathers will he regard (συνήσει – sunaesei)

and a desire of women.” “This clause stands thus incomplete, as if the translator

would have finished it with (αὐτῳ - auto - to him)  “he regards no god,

because over all he is exalted.” The Peshitta rendering is, “And to the god

of his fathers he shall not have regard; nor to the desire of women, nor any

god, will he have respect; but over all he shall exalt himself.” It is to be

noted that the Peshitta renders as does the English Version, and has the

singular, “the God of his fathers,” not as the Greek versions, “the gods of

his.” The Hebrew might be either. The Vulgate agrees here with the Syriac.

Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers. Antiochus is looked upon,

not as a man of Macedonian or Greek descent, but as a Syrian, and

certainly he had no reverence for the ancient gods of Syria. His opposition

to the theocracy and to the worship of Jehovah was but a portion of a wide

policy, the object of which was the abolition of all local cults. The desire of

women. It might mean that he was not lustful; but there is no evidence that,

like Charles XII., he was abstinent. On the other hand, he never neglected

war for luxury, as did some of the Hellenic kings. Moreover, it is almost

imperative that it be an object of worship that is here referred to. Taking

“the desire of women” as an object of worship, there is an interpretation

which has come down to us from Ephrem Syrus and Jerome, that Beltis or

Nanaea is here referred to; and the fact that in an attempt to plunder the

temple of this goddess, in Elymais, Antiochus lost his life, supports this

view. The worship is said to have been very lascivious. On the other hand,

it was a worship that would not naturally be prominent to a Palestinian

Jew. The suggestion of Ewald, that it was the worship of Adonis or

Tammuz which Antiochus despised, is more likely to be meant here. For he

shall magnify himself above all. Claiming the right of annulling worship,

and taking the sacred utensils from the temple treasures, he allowed himself

to be addressed by the Samaritans as a god. Antiochus was probably

utterly without faith in the Divine; worship was merely policy.


38 “But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a

god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver,

and with precious stores, and pleasant things.” As we have said above,

the last clause of the preceding verse according to the Septuagint really belongs

to this, “Strong nations shall be subject to him,” reading μyZi[] μyMial]

instead of μyzi[um; Hla’l,. There is h in the Massoretic, where y has been in

the reading followed by the Septuagint. After this clause the Septuagint

proceeds, “And to his place he shall move, and a god whom his fathers

knew not he shall honor with gold, and silver, and precious stones.” It is

possible that ddn (nadad),” to flee or move,” was read instead of dbk

(kabad),” to honor;” for though κινεῳ kineo – to move - is usually active and

transitive, there is no object here. Theodotion has, “And the God of Maozeim

he shall honor in his place, and a god whom his father knew not he shall honor

with gold, silver, and precious stones, and with offerings.” The Peshitta

rendering is freer, “The mighty god he shall honor in his possession, and a

god whom his fathers have not known shall he honor with gold and with

silver, with precious gems and desirable things.” The Vulgate adopts the

transliteration Maozim. In his estate shall he honor the god of forces.

There are a number of questions here. To whom does the prenominal suffix

refer? The English translators have arranged the words so that we cannot

escape the view that “the estate” is the king’s, but the natural meaning of

the Hebrew order is that it is “on the place” or “pedestal” of the god. The

word translated “estate” is used in Genesis 40:13 for “office.” It is used

of the “base” of the “laver.” It may mean “place.” The next point — What

Deity is meant by “the god of strong holds”? There is absolutely nothing to

guide us in the matter. Some have supposed that the reference is to Jupiter

Olympius, whose statue Antiochus is reported to have set np in the temple.

Others, that the reference is to Jupiter Capitolinus. Were there any

evidences that Antiochus worshipped the genius of Rome, something might

be urged for this; but we have no evidence of this. In the absence of

anything to fix a definite meaning on this word, we feel inclined to suggest

that Jehovah is meant by the slosh mauzzeem. Repeatedly in the Psalms is

God declared to be the Strength of the saint; e.g. Psalm 27:1; 43:2 Of

Jehovah it might be said that the ancestors of Antiochus — Greek and

Syrian — knew Him not. Honour with gold, etc. The repeated defeats of

the armies of Antiochus and the spoiling of their camps by the followers of

Jehovah, was giving honor to Jehovah, however unwittingly and

unwillingly it was done. God “gat Him honor upon Pharaoh” (Exodus

14:4), and so now He was honored upon Epiphanes.



Self (vs. 36-38)


The undue prominence of self is a leading characteristic of all sin, just as all

goodness implies self-denial. Where this is allowed, it is shown in every

sphere of life.


  • IN ACTION, SELF APPEARS AS SELF-WILL. “The king shall do

according to his will.” This implies the neglect of law and right, of the will

of others and of the will of God. It is seen in tyranny, in rebellion against

lawful authority, and in the denial of our duty as servants of God.



himself, and magnify himself above every god.” The shadow of self is

thrown over everything. All things are viewed in their relation to self, and

valued according as they please or inconvenience self. Self is the ideal

standard to which nothing is equal, and by comparison with which all merit

is measured.




CONVENIENCE.  The king rejects the God of his fathers, and blasphemes

the “God of gods” because the will of the great God is against his evil conduct.

He selects for worship a “god of forces” as more suited to his lawless violence.

Thus where self dominates, the truth of religion counts for nothing, no

reverence is felt for the awful holiness and majesty of God, but convenience

settles the creed, and that religion is adopted which involves the least self-

denial. Thus degraded, religion is no longer the master, it is the slave of man.

But surely religion should be accepted because it is true, whether it suits our

convenience or not, and must then be felt to guide and overawe our lives.




disregards the habits of his age, apparently out of contempt and pure

indifference. The bondage of custom is degrading. But indifference to the

habits of others is insulting and sometimes cruel. It is a proof of cold

selfishness. Where it is necessary to be independent, we should let our

conduct be conciliatory rather than irritating, if we would practice humility

and generosity.




the “god of forces.” Might takes the place of right. The will and welfare

of others are often crossed. How many wars have no better origin!




FAILURE. The king prospers, but only “till the indignation be

accomplished.” In the final issue self-seeking brings ruin. Selfishness

prospers for a time, and unselfishness means temporary loss, but ultimately

the suppression of self would lead to our lasting welfare.  “For whosoever

will save his life shall lose it:  and whosoever will lose his life for my sake

shall find it.”  (Matthew 16:25).


39 “Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange

god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory; and he shall

cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.” The

Septuagint is somewhat difficult to render intelligibly, “By desires

of cities he shall act, and to a strong fortress shall he come with a strange

god whom he will acknowledge; he will increase his glory, and shall master

him much, and shall divide his territory freely.” The first words of this

belong to the previous verse, and at the same time there has been some

confusion with the opening words of the present verse according to the

Massoretic division. Theodotion is not much closer to the received text,

“And he shall act in strongholds of refuge with a strange god, and shall

increase glory, and subject many to them, and shall divide the land in gifts.”

The sense of this last, as given in the Greek versions, is illustrated by

Psalm 16:4. The Peshitta renders, “He shall pass over to the strong

cities, on account of (‘al) the strange gods which he shall see, and he shall

rule over many, and the land he shall divide for gain” The Vulgate renders

more in accordance with Theodotion than with the Massoretic yet

independently, “And he shall do (faciet) that he may fortify Maozim with a

foreign god, whom he knew not, and shall multiply glory, and shall give to

them power in many (things), and shall divide the land gratuitously” This

verse as it stands is nearly unintelligible. The suggestion of Hitzig and yon

Lengerke, followed by Bevan, that we should read μ[" (‘am), “people,”

instead of μ[i (eem), “with,” is very plausible. The only objection is that

none of the versions have it. As, however, it seems to us the only way out

of the difficulty, we shall take this reading, and render, with Professor

Bevan, “He shall procure for the strong fortresses the people of a strange

god.” For this use of hc[ Professor Bevan refers to II Samuel 15:1,

“Absalom procured for himself chariot and horses;” I Kings 1:5, so of

Adonijah. Whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory. This we

should render, “who have acknowledged him,” making the antecedent to

the relative, not the king, but “the people of the strange god;” the reference

being to the mercenaries of the Syrian army, who were the people of a god

strange to the Israelites, and not impossibly made less difficulty in giving

up their national gods, and recognizing the gods of Greece as their gods.

The K’thib here is the preterite instead of the imperfect, which occurs in

the following clause, the reading which we accept here. He shall increase

with glory; or rather, he shall multiply in glory. These mercenaries of his

he would increase, and give ever more honor to them. And he shall cause

them to rule over many. These mercenaries placed in fenced cities were

formed into Hellenic communities, and received many of the natives as

subjects. The reference is not merely to garrisons being placed in

fortresses, but to a chain of Hellenic cities, which, in imitation of the

Romans, Antiochus placed in Palestine. And shall divide the land for gain.

As will be seen, the Greek versions and the Vulgate reverse the idea here,

and render — the Septuagint δωρεάν - gratuitously; for a price.  Theodotion,

ἐν δώροιςen dorois - in gifts; the Vulgate, gratuito, which is due to reading

ryjim] (meheer) instead of ryhim](meheer). The word may mean, as it is taken

by the English versions and the Peshitta to mean, “for a price;” as in II Samuel

24:24, David purchased the threshing-floor of Araunah bimeheer,

at a price;” but it also means “wages,” as in Micah 3:11, “Her priests

teach for hire wages (bimeheer).” The reference, then, is to the fact that in

the deplenished state of his treasury, Antiochus divided the land of

Palestine to his mercenaries, in lieu of the wages he could not pay.


40 “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push

at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a

whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships;

and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.”

The Septuagint Version is somewhat shorter, “And at the time of the end

the King of Egypt shall push at him: and the king of the north shall be

enraged at him, with chariots and many horses and many ships, and shall

enter into the land of Egypt.” Probably the Massoretic has been amplified.

Still it is a possible thing that, as Egypt was the natural objective of all the

military preparations of Syria, the shorter summary might be inserted

instead of the longer paraphrase of the Massoretic. Throughout in the

Septuagint Version, as may be noted, “Egypt” stands in place of “the

south.” Theodotion is much closer to the Massoretic, but omits “the

whirlwind,” and has. instead of “countries,”( γῆν – gaen - “the land).The

Peshitta differs in some respects more from the Massoretic than either of the

Greek texts, “And at the end of time the king of the south shall strive with him:

and the king of the north shall be moved against him, with chariots and

horsemen and with many ships; and he shall act impiously in the land.” The

Vulgate agrees with the Massoretic text. At the time of the end. This refers

to the same “time of the end” as that in v. 35; that is to say, not the end

of the world, but the end of this distress. It is possible that to the writer the

entrance of the new era — the Messianic time — would coincide with the

fall of Antiochus, and that this era might be regarded as the end of the

world. The king of the south shall push at him. This suggests war begun by

the King of Egypt against Syria. It is difficult to see how this could take

place after the fourth expedition of Antiochus into Egypt. The two

brothers, Philometor and Euergetes (Physcon), were at war with each other

shortly after this, and though Philometor gained the mastery, he was not in

a position to threaten Syria. Certainly, had Ptolemy Philometor been in a

position to take vengeance on his uncle, the successful rebellion of the

Jews afforded an opportunity. We have no record in Polybius, Livy, 1

Maccabees, or Josephus of any expedition of Egypt against Epiphanes,

either planned or attempted. Polybius is certainly fragmentary, and so to a

greater extent is Livy; yet what has come down bears on events so near

chronologically to this alleged expedition planned against Syria that it

would scarcely fail to be noticed. And the king of the north shall dome

against him like a whirlwind, with chariot, and with horsemen, and with

many ships. This purports to be an account of an expedition undertaken by

Epiphanes against Ptolemy, presumably Philometor. Of this there is not a

trace; Antiochus is in so great need of money that he must use one half his

army to collect money by robbing temples in Elymais, while the other,

under Lysias, is occupied in attempting to put down the rebellion of the

Jews. Again the historians of the period are silent, and what they tell us is

inconsistent with this fifth expedition. Jerome, in his commentary on

Daniel, quotes Porphyry, who gives an account of an expedition against

Egypt in the eleventh year of his reign. That, however, was the year of his

death — the year, therefore, of his expedition against Elymais. It is

impossible that in the beginning of that year he should undertake such an

expedition into Egypt as that described by Porphyry, and at the end have

time to march into Elymais. It cannot be the expedition of Lysias which is

referred to, for he is represented (I Maccabees 3:32) as having the oversight of

all the territory of the king from the river Euphrates, but there is no notice

of ships And he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass

over. This might refer to the expedition which Antiochus undertook to

Elymais, but in the following verse we learn the direction was toward

Egypt. No such expedition occurred after the fourth. What explanation is

to be given of this? The explanation favored by Keil of this whole chapter,

that the king of the north is antichrist, is applied here; but so much of the

earlier portion of this chapter can be interpreted as history, that we, for our

part, are loath to give an eschatological interpretation to this. The view

favored by most is that here the author narrated his expectations, but

these expectations were contrary to facts. This is Professor Bevan’s view.

If this view had been correct, the expectations of the author would be

falsified almost as soon as they were recorded; this would certainly seem to

render it impossible for the book to get the vogue it did. We, for our part,

favor a modification of the view maintained by Hitzig, that this section is

a repetition of what has been previously mentioned. Against this is the

chronological statement at the beginning. Regarding, as we do, this chapter

as an interpolation and the work of a later hand, our idea is that the section

before us is one attempt to interpolate, and the preceding section is

another, and that both have been incorporated in the narrative.


41 “He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many

countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand,

even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.” The

Septuagint rendering is slightly of the nature of a paraphrase, “And he shall

pass into my land, and many (feminine) shall be offended, and these shall

be saved from his hand, Edom, and Moab, and the head of the sons of

Ammon.” It is possible that the word tzebee was omitted, and the

pronominal suffix attached to ‘aretz. Theodotion renders, “And he shall

enter into the land of the Sabaeem, and many shall be made weak; but these

shall be delivered out of his hand, Edom, and Moab, and chief of the sons

of Ammon.” The transliteration here might suggest μyib"x] instead of ybix],

and a mistake of the former for μl;y[ is in the square letters not

impossible; but x and [ are, in the older scripts, very unlike. The Peshitta,

while agreeing with the Massoretic generally, renders, “the glorious land,”

“the land of Israel — an evident paraphrase. The Vulgate introduces solae

before Edom and Moab, otherwise agreeing with the received text. The

expedition of Antiochus reaches Palestine, on which the full force of the

tempest is represented as being directed. The countries adjacent escape.

Edom, Moab, and Ammon are mentioned, but Moab had by this time

disappeared as a national name. It may have been inserted  in consequence of

the frequent conjunction of the three names, “Moab, Ammon, and Mount Seir.”

It is, however, singular that these nations should be named as “escaping,” since

they were the allies of Antiochus, or more properly, as they would be regarded

by him as subjects, his instruments in the oppression of Israel. It may be that this

version of the vision of Daniel has been less modified from the original than

what has preceded. In the original document, Edom, Moab, and Ammon

might have some symbolic reference. The glorious land can scarcely be

other than Palestine. It is rendered by Ewald, “the land of the ornament” It

might be rendered, “the land of the gazelle.” Out of the thirty passages in

which this word occurs in Scripture, fourteen times it must have this

meaning, in some of the other cases it may have it. So far, then, as the

name goes, it might apply to any country fitted for the habitation of the

gazelle; but the mention of “Edom, Mesh, and Ammon” renders it nearly a

necessity that the reference here be to Palestine. Many countries shall be

overthrown. The verb used is kashal, which means, in the niphal, “to

totter,” “to fall,” “to be weak.” It is assumed by Hitzig and Fuller, as by the

English versions, that “countries” is to be understood. Ewald, however,

and many other commentators, following the older versions, would refer to

men, and translate, “myriads shall fall.” In the version from which Origen

has supplemented the Septuagint it is rendered, “Many women or countries

 (σκανδαλὶσθήσονται – skandalisthaesontai - shall be offended),” the feminine

rendering being due to the feminine termination -oth in rabboth, but the verb is



42 “He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries:

and the land of Egypt shall not escape.” The Septuagint rendering is,

“And he shall send forth his hand upon the countries, and in the land of

Egypt there shall not be a saviour in it.” The first part of this verse is

marked with an asterisk. Evidently the text before the translators had

hf;lep] hl; (lah pelaytah), “to her deliverance,” and “deliverance” in the

abstract became “deliverer” in the concrete. Theodotion renders in a

different sense, “And he shall stretch his hand upon the land, and the land

of Egypt shall not be for salvation.” The idea here is that for the land of

Palestine, Egypt shall not be a deliverer. This, probably, is the true reading.

The Peshitta agrees with the Massoretic pretty closely, “He shall stretch his

hand over the countries, and the land of Egypt shall escape from his

hands.” The Vulgate has nothing to justify remark. Probably this verse, in

the way it is rendered by Theodotion, is a portion of the lost vision of

Daniel. The vagueness of “countries” stands in contrast to the definiteness

of Edom, Moab, and Ammon, and is thus suspicious. Help was always

expected from Egypt in the time when Assyria and Babylonia successively

claimed the subjection of the Holy Land.


43 “But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of

silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and the Libyans and

the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.” The rendering of the Septuagint is

somewhat fuller, “He shall have power over the place of gold and the place

of silver, and over all the desire of Egypt, and Libyans and Ethiopians shall

be in his multitude.” The word translated “treasures” is a late one, but

evidently the Septuagint translator had μqm (maqom) instead of ynem"k]mi.

(michemanay). Theodotion renders, “And he shall have power over the

secret hoards of gold and silver, and over all the desirable things of Egypt,

and of Libyans, and of AEthiopians in their fortresses.” Theodotion has

read wyrwxm (metzorayo) instead of wyd;[;x]mi (mitzadoyo). The Peshitta

rendering is, “And he shall have power over the house of the treasures of

gold and silver, and of the pleasant things of Egypt, and the Libyans, and

the Cushites (Ethiopians) are his allies.” The Vulgate follows a slightly

different rendering, “And he shall rule the treasures of gold and silver, and

over all the precious things of Egypt; through Libya and AEthiopia, too,

shall he pass.” Having a different reading in the last clause from the

Massoretic, the natural Hebrew equivalent for transibit is rbo[]y" (yabor)

a word that could scarcely arise by mistake from that in the text. He

shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the

precious things of Egypt. Strictly speaking, this never was the case, as

Antiochus never wholly conquered Egypt, although in that expedition, in

which he had laid siege to Alexandria, he came very near completing his

conquest. And the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. This

certainly is not true in the sense in which Jerome takes it, “he shall pass

through Libya and Ethiopia.” Though Antiochus more than once invaded

Egypt, he never passed further into Africa. These nationalities are

associated with each other; e.g. in Jeremiah 46:8-9, we have, “The

Ethiopians and the Libyans that handle the shield.” So in Ezekiel 30:5

we have the countries spoken of together. It may merely mean that

individuals belonging to these nationalities had joined his armies. This is

altogether a more ornate and poetical passage than the rest of this chapter,

and gives the feeling of a different hand; therefore, probably, it belongs to a

time nearer that of Daniel, and contains more of the original prophecy.

Professor Fuller remarks on a reference being made to the help Ptolemy

received from Cyprus. Cyprus, or Chittim, is referred to in the earlier part

of this chapter, but not here. The Lubim and Cushim are contemporary

with Edom, Moab, and the sons of Ammon.


44 “But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall

trouble him; therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy,

and utterly to make away many.”  The version of the Septuagint is very

like this, “A rumor out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him,

and he shall come out in great rage to lay waste with the sword, and to slay

many.” The version of Theodotion is somewhat briefer, “Rumors and

disturbances out of the east and from the north shall trouble him, and he

shall come in much wrath to destroy many.” The Syriac is closer than any

other version to the Massoretic text. The Vulgate renders, “A rumor out

of the east and north shall trouble him, and he shall come with a great

multitude that he may beat down and slay many.” The word am;je (hayma)

may mean either “wrath” or “multitude.” It is difficult to identify the

rumors that recalled Antiochus from his conquests. The account given by

Porphyry (quoted by Jerome) of his receiving news that led him to ravage

the coasts of Phoenicia and march against Armenia are unsupported by

other historians. A phrase in Tacitus (‘Hist.,’ 5:8) seems to throw light on

this, “After the Macedonians held the supremacy, King Antiochus, when he

was endeavoring to change the superstition of this people, i.e. the Jews,

into the manners of the Greeks, was hindered by a Parthian war.” There is,

however, no record of such a Parthian war; but such a war may have

arisen, and not be recorded, as the histories for the period before us are

very incomplete. Should we regard these verses as giving another account

of the war between Epiphanes and Ptolemy, the tidings out of the north

might mean the arrival of the Roman envoys, headed by Popilius Laenas. If

there were also a threat of a Parthian invasion, we should then have,

“tidings out of the east and north.” Therefore he shall go forth with great

fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. Certainly Antiochus did

return furious from the expedition in which he was stayed by the Romans;

and certainly also he set himself thereafter to compel the Jews to become

Greeks in religion, punishing with death refusal to yield to his demands

(I Maccabees  1:24-28; Josephus, ‘Ant.,’ 12:5. 3).


45 “And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between

the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end,

and none shall help him.” The rendering of the Septuagint is, “Then shall he

set up his tent between the seas and the mountains of the choice of the

sanctuary, and the hour of his end shall come, and he shall have no helper.”

Theodotion’s rendering is, “He shall pitch his tent Epha-dano between the

seas at the holy mountain of Sabaein; he shall come to his lot, and there

will not be a deliverer to him.” It is to be observed that the word yond]p"a"

(appadno), “royal tent,” a late word in Hebrew, was not present in the text

before the translator of the Septuagint. Further, Theodotion did not know

the meaning of the word, although his recension was prepared under

Jewish supervision. The Peshitta renders, “And he shall place his tent on

the plain space between the sea and the mountain, and shall assail its

sanctuary, and he shall come to his end; there shall not be to him a helper.”

The Vulgate renders, “And he shall place his tabernacle, aphadno, between

the two seas upon the glorious and holy mountain; he shall come even to

its (his) highest point, and no one shall help him.” He shall plant the

tabernacle of his palace. The word here used (appadno) does not occur

elsewhere, and seems to denote the royal tent. The fact that it does not

appear in the Septuagint or Peshitta renders its right to be in the text

somewhat doubtful. Theodotion and Jerome transliterate it, as if it had not

got a place in Hebrew even in their day. It does occur in the Targum and

the Peshitta. At the same time, a purely technical word like this might really

be of ancient usage, yet the occasion for its use might not have previously

occurred; the literature of ancient Hebrew is exceedingly limited. Between

the seas in the glorious holy mountain. Havernick maintains that the

glorious and holy mountain here is the mountain on which the temple of

Nanaia was placed, and that the seas in question were the Caspian and the

Persian Gulf. It is difficult to imagine a Jew calling the mountain on which

a heathen temple was placed, “glorious holy,” even were we sure that the

temple in question was on a mountain, for which we have no evidence. The

Jews probably knew of the sea into which the Euphrates discharged its

waters; but it is not prominent in their writings, and the Caspian may be

looked upon as unknown. The distance between these two seas is so great

that no one would locate such a small thing as a city by saying that it was

between them. The natural interpretation is that the seas in question are the

Mediterranean — the great sea — and the Dead Sea — the Salt Sea. But

the Hebrew leads rather to the idea that the plural is one of excellence. ˆybe

(bayn), “between,” is not infrequently construed with l] (le), “to,” as here;

hence the translation would be between the seas, i.e. the great sea and the

holy mountain. There can be no doubt that “the glorious and holy

mountain” is Mount Zion. Yet he shall come to his end, and none shall

help him. The death of Antiochus, baffled in his attempt to rifle the temple

of Nanaia, humiliated not only by his own disaster, but by the news

received from Jerusalem, is full of disappointment and misery, even when

we get rid of the rhetoric with which the events are clothed in Polybius and

I and II Maccabees. One-half of his army under Lysias had been baffled and

defeated by Judas Maccabaeus; he himself had been repulsed in his attempt

to replenish his coffers; there is therefore for him no helper, so he dies of

disappointment at Tabes.




The Specious Success of a Bad Monarch (vs. 21-45)


There is mystery in the fact that, under the administration of a righteous

God, bad men should be elevated to highest rank. Yet, evil though it is, it

would probably be a greater evil to employ mere force to prevent it. It is

evident that God rules among men by moral agencies. This is one

circumstance among the “all things” that “work together for the good” of

God’s elect.  (Romans 8:28)



IMPERIAL THRONES. There is a sense in which it is true that “God

setteth up one, and putteth down another”  (Psalm 75:7). Yet it is not true

that God acts apart from men, nor is He responsible for any unrighteous act.

Without His permission it could not be; but if power should interfere to

prevent wrongdoing, this would be to make virtuous by compulsion — this

would be to destroy virtue’s essential nature. The people of Israel, in Samuel’s

day, clamored for a king. God did not approve; yet, in anger, He permitted

them to have a king. Nor would it have then availed for God to have

furnished Israel with a king ”after his own heart.” The people would not at

that time have tolerated such a prince. Very clear is it that God sets no

high value on the highest earthly distinctions. The wealth and dignities and

scepters of earth are not deemed worthy to be rewards for His friends.

Riches and sovereignties often fall to the lot of the vilest of mankind —

clear proof this how God values such possessions. “That which is highly

esteemed anong men is often an abomination in the sight of God.”

(Luke 16:15)  The wise men in God’s kingdom will not envy any of

fortune’s favorites.



PASSING SUCCESS. From the hour when Antiochus was liberated from

Rome, until the hour of his death, he was studying the shrewdest arts of

duplicity and treachery. If men wish to make a lie succeed, they must make

it big enough and utter it boldly, and it will travel far and wide. So too any

act of wickedness will best succeed if it is carried out with brazen

effrontery. No consideration of truth, or duty, or feeling, or self-consistency,

was allowed by Antiochus to stand in the way of vile success.

To be rightly or wrongly a monarch over a large area — this was his one

ambition, and to this evil deity everything was sacrificed. If lying, or

reserve, or deceit, or tergiversation, would serve his turn, all were resorted

to. No covenant, or treaty, or promise, issuing from him, was worth a

groat. He was more a demon than a man; for all manly qualities had been

parted with. To the eye of his courtiers and generals it would seem as if

this course of life secured success; yet it was a very doubtful success and

very ephemeral. Granted that it continued, more or less, through his

lifetime; this was merely a period of eleven years. To estimate justly the

success of a man’s life, we must measure it, not by years, but by centuries

— not by the fleeting hour’s of time, but by its continuance through

eternity. Posterity has long since reversed the judgment of this Syrian

king’s contemporaries. Scorn and detestation are his inheritance.



SIDE. The majority of men are more fitted to follow than to lead. If only a

bold and self-assertive leader appear, crowds of weaker men will attach

themselves to his person; and if only something can be gained, be it earthly

spoil or glory, the appetite of avarice will be sharply whetted. The public

and faithful testimony of a good man will strengthen the confidence of

feebler saints, and make the pulse of piety beat stronger. This has an effect

in drawing righteous spirits more closely together, and, as a consequence,

increasing their severance from the wicked. So it is also a fact that the

public success of a bad man (especially if he be an opponent and persecutor

of the Church) will serve to detach hypocrites and self-deceivers from the

cause of truth and righteousness. The successful violence and blatant

profanity of Antiochus separated the impious Jews from the pious. Then it

was discovered that many who observed the sacred rites of Judaism were

atheists at heart, and were more eager to share in the spoils of sacrilege

than to defend their temple and their God. In days of prosperity and peace,

multitudes are content with a superficial faith. But persecution is a sterling

test, and well brings out the genuine and the spurious in character.




of Antiochus drove good men nearer to God; it led them to examine the

foundations of their hope; it brought them to the fount of Divine strength;

it disposed them to inflame each other’s zeal. Though the pious in

Jerusalem were a little band, they resisted with heroic fortitude the profane

invader; and if they were not at once successful, their devotion to the

Jewish cause soon developed sufficient martial skill to defeat and drive out

the foe. Out of evil came good. Had it not been for the violence and

sacrilege of Antiochus, the Jews would have borne the yoke of the Syrian

monarchs. But now a Jewish hero — Judas Maccabaeus — is brought to

the front, who resolves on the bold enterprise of Jewish independence. If

vice can be bold and fearless, much more ought virtue to be.



instructive to observe how the mind of this usurping king vacillates on the

matter of religion. He who sought to dethrone the true God from his seat

in Jerusalem, and to overturn His altars, sought also to enthrone the

mythical idol Jupiter, and to erect an altar for this imaginary deity. Man

must worship somewhat. His religious faculty cries out for some exercise.

If the true God be rejected, some counterfeit god must be invented. Well

did the leaders of the French Revolution affirm, “If there be no God, we

must make one” But, in truth, Antiochus believed in nothing save himself.

The world existed for him. Armies existed for him. Men’s lives, or family

happiness, or national weal, or religion’s temples, were counted as nothing,

if seemingly opposed to his advantage. He was simply a monster of

egotistic selfishness. He might have said truly, “Syria? it is I! The world?

‘tis only for me!” If it seems to serve a passing caprice, a temple is erected

for some Roman deity. If money is wanted for war, he will strip every

temple of its treasures. The only deity his soul worshipped was force —

vulgar power.



TO A DIVINE RULE. Even good men are sometimes impatient to see the

progress and the success of villainy. In their anguish they often cry out,

“How long? O Lord, how long?” But God does not move, in His

administration of the world, with premature haste. “The time is appointed’’

when iniquity shall cease to be successful, and when complete retribution

shall overtake the unrighteous man. A royal tyrant may as well knock his

head against a granite wall — and better — than to work against God, or

to fling himself on the bosses of the Almighty’s shield. In the midst of

apparent success, such a man feels oft times that fate (as he calls it) is

against him. Strangely are his ends defeated, as were Napoleon’s by a

snowstorm. The mightiest warrior is working, with his blustering noise,

within a very tiny circle; and all imperial and martial events are embraced

within the supreme purpose and administration of God. Let appearances be

as they may, “God has prepared his throne in the heavens and His kingdom

ruleth over all”   (Psalm 103:19).  At last, reward and retribution shall be

distributed by ROYAL AND IMPARTIAL HANDS.   Every one shall

“receive the due reward of his deeds”  (I Corinthians 3:8).  God’s end may

be far off, humanly speaking, yet it shall “surely come.” Though it tarry,

childlike faith will wait for it!  (Habakkuk 2:3)


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