The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleDaniel 11:2
And now will I show thee the truth…
And nothing but the
truth; what will most certainly come to pass, and may be depended on,
even what is written in the book of God's decrees, "the Scripture of
truth", and which would appear in Providence in later times; and this he
proposed to deliver to him, not in figurative, dark, and obscure
expressions, but clearly and plainly, in language easy to be
behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia;
Cyrus, who reigned alone after the death of Darius the Mede, his uncle;
Cambyses, the son of Cyrus; and Darius Hystaspes. There was another
between Cambyses and Darius, called Smerdis the magician, who reigned
but seven months, and being an impostor is left out, as he is in
Ptolemy's canon; not that these were all the kings of Persia after
Darius the Mede; for, according to the above canon, there reigned six
more after them; but because these kings had a connection with the
Jews, and under them their affairs had different turns and changes,
respecting their restoration and settlement, and the building of their
city and temple; as also because these kings "stood", and the monarchy
under them was strong and flourishing, whereas afterwards it began to
decline; and chiefly it is for the sake of the fourth king that these
are observed, who laid the foundation of the destruction of the Persian
monarchy by the Grecians.
And the fourth shall be far richer than they all:
this is Xerxes, who
exceeded his predecessors in wealth and riches; enjoying what they by
their conquests, or otherwise, had amassed together, to which he greatly
added; Cyrus had collected a vast deal of riches from various nations,
especially from Babylon: God gave him "the treasures of darkness, and
hidden riches of secret places", (Isaiah 14:3) , Cambyses increased the store
by his victories, and the plunder of temples wherever he came; out of
the flames of which were saved three hundred talents of gold, and 2300
talents of silver, which he carried away, together with the famous
circle of gold that encompassed the tomb of King Ozymandias F4: and
Darius, the father of Xerxes, laid heavy taxes upon the people, and
hoarded up his money; hence he was called by the Persians (kaphlov) F5,
the huckster or hoarder: and Xerxes came into it all, and so became
richer than them all; of whom Justin says F6
``si regem species; divitias, non ducem laudes: quarum tanta
copia in regno ejus fuit, ut cum flumina multitudine
consumerentur, opes tamen regiae superessent.''
And by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the
realm of Grecia;
through his vast riches, which are the sinews of war,
he collected a prodigious army out of all provinces, which he raised to
make war against the Grecians; being moved to it by Mardonius, a
relation of his, who was very ambitious of being at the head of a large
army F7; three years were spent in preparing for this expedition, and
forces were gathered out of all parts of the then known habitable world;
out of all the west, under Hamilcar, general of the Carthaginians, with
whom he made a league; and out of all the east, under his own command:
his army, according to Justin F8, consisted of 700,000 of his own, and
300,000 auxiliaries; Diodorus Siculus F9 makes it much less, to be
about 300,000 men; but Dr. Prideaux F11, from Herodotus and others,
computes, that putting all his forces together by sea and land, by the
time he came to the straits of Thermopylae the number of them were
2,641,610 men; and Grotius, from the same writer reckons them 5,283,000,
to which others add two hundred and twenty F12 with these he marched
into Greece, where, after having done much mischief, he was shamefully
defeated and obliged to retire, and was murdered by Artabanus the
captain of his guards. The words may be rendered F13, "he shall stir up
all, even the realm of Grecia"; by the preparation he made, and the vast
army he brought into the field, he raised all the cities and states of
Greece to combine together to withstand him; and this step of his is
what irritated the Grecians, and put them upon later attempts to avenge
themselves on the Persians for this attack upon them; and which they
never desisted from, till they had ruined the Persian empire, which they
did under Alexander; and so he, in his letter to Darius, says F14,
``your ancestors entered into Macedonia, and the other parts of
Greece, and did us damage, when they had received no affront
from us as the cause of it; and now I, created general of the
Grecians, provoked by you, and desirous of avenging the
injury done by the Persians, have passed over into Asia.''
And it is for the sake of this, the destruction of the Persian empire
by Alexander, that this expedition of Xerxes is here hinted at; and to
pave the way for the account of Alexander and his successors, in the
following part of this prophecy.
F4 See the Universal History, vol. 5. p. 194.
F5 Herodot. l. 3. sive Thalia, c. 89.
F6 E Trogo, l. 2. c. 10.
F7 Diodor. Sicul. Bibliothec. l. 11. par. 2. p. 3. Ed. Rhodoman.
F8 E Trogo, l. 2. c. 10.
F9 Ut supra, ( Diodor. Sicul. Bibliothec. l. 11.) par. 2. p. 2.
F11 Connexion… part 1. B. 4. p. 233, 234.
F12 See the Universal History, vol. 5. p. 233.
F13 (Nwy twklm ta lkh ryey) "excitabit universos, nempe regnum"
F14 Apud Arrian. Exped. Alexand. l. 2.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Daniel 11:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=da&chapter=011&verse=002>. 1999.