Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
This chapter is an enlargement of the eighth: THE
CONFLICTS BETWEEN THE
KINGS OF THE
SOUTH AND OF THE
1. I--the angel
first year of Darius--Cyaxares II; the year of the conquest of
Cyrus, who wielded the real power, though in name subordinate to
Darius, in that year promulgated the edict for the restoration of the
Jews, which Daniel was at the time praying for
(Da 9:1, 2, 21, 23).
stood--implying promptness in helping
strengthen him--namely, Michael; even as Michael
"strengtheneth himself with me") helped the angel, both joining
their powers in behalf of Israel
[ROSENMULLER]. Or, Darius, the
angel "confirming him" in his purpose of kindness to Israel.
2. three kings in Persia--Cambyses, Pseudo-Smerdis, and Darius
Hystaspes. (Ahasuerus, Artaxerxes, and Darius, in
Ezr 4:6, 7, 24).
The Ahasuerus of Esther (see on
is identified with Xerxes, both in Greek history and in Scripture,
appearing proud, self-willed, careless of contravening Persian customs,
amorous, facile, and changeable
fourth . . . riches . . . against
. . . Grecia--Xerxes, whose riches were proverbial.
Persia reached its climax and showed its greatest power in his invasion
of Greece, 480 B.C. After his overthrow at
Salamis, Persia is viewed as politically dead, though it had an
without noticing Xerxes' successors, proceeds at once to Alexander,
under whom, first, the third world kingdom, Grecia, reached its
culmination, and assumed an importance as to the people of God.
stir up all--Four years were spent in gathering his army out of all
parts of his vast empire, amounting to two millions six hundred and
forty-one thousand men.
[PRIDEAUX, Connexion, 1.4. l. 410].
3. mighty king . . . do according to his
will--answering to the he-goat's "notable horn"
(Da 8:6, 7, 21).
Alexander invaded Persia 334 B.C., to avenge the
wrongs of Greece on Persia for Xerxes' past invasion (as Alexander said
in a letter to Darius Codomanus, ARRIAN,
4. kingdom . . . divided toward . . . four
winds--the fourfold division of Alexander's kingdom at his death
(Da 8:8, 22),
after the battle of Ipsus, 301 B.C.
not to his posterity--(See on
nor according to his dominion--None of his successors had so wide a
dominion as Alexander himself.
others besides those--besides Alexander's sons, Hercules by
Barsine, Darius' daughter, and Alexander by Roxana, who were both slain
[MAURER]. Rather, besides the four successors to the four chief
divisions of the empire, there will be other lesser chiefs who shall
appropriate smaller fragments of the Macedonian empire
5. Here the prophet leaves Asia and Greece and takes up Egypt and
Syria, these being in continual conflict under Alexander's successors,
entailing misery on Judea, which lay between the two. Holy Scripture
handles external history only so far as it is connected with God's
people, Israel [JEROME].
TREGELLES puts a chasm between the fourth and
fifth verses, making the transition to the final Antichrist here,
answering to the chasm (in his view) at
Da 8:22, 23.
king of . . . south--literally, "of midday": Egypt
(Da 11:8, 42),
Ptolemy Soter, son of Lagus. He took the title "king," whereas Lagus
was but "governor."
one of his princes--Seleucus, at first a satrap of Ptolemy
Lagus, but from 312 B.C. king of the largest
empire after that of Alexander (Syria, Babylon, Media, &c.), and called
therefore Nicator, that is, "conqueror." Connect the words thus,
"And one of his (Ptolemy's) princes, even he (Seleucus) shall be
strong above him" (above Ptolemy, his former master).
6. in . . . end of years--when the predicted time
shall be consummated
Da 8:17; 12:13).
king's daughter of the south--Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy
Philadelphus of Egypt. The latter, in order to end his war with
Antiochus Theus, "king of the north" (literally, "midnight": the
prophetical phrase for the region whence came affliction to Israel,
that is, Syria, gave Berenice to Antiochus, who thereupon divorced his
former wife, Laodice, and disinherited her son, Seleucus Callinicus.
The designation, "king of the north" and "of the south," is given in
relation to Judea, as the standpoint. Egypt is mentioned by name
(Da 11:8, 42),
though Syria is not; because the former was in Daniel's time a
flourishing kingdom, whereas Syria was then a mere dependency of
Assyria and Babylon: an undesigned proof of the genuineness of the Book
agreement--literally, "rights," that is, to put things to rights
between the belligerents.
she shall not retain the power of the arm--She shall not be able to
effect the purpose of the alliance, namely, that she should be the
mainstay of peace. Ptolemy having died, Antiochus took back Laodice,
who then poisoned him, and caused Berenice and her son to be put to
death, and raised her own son, Seleucus Nicator, to the throne.
neither shall he stand--The king of Egypt shall not gain his point
of setting his line on the throne of Syria.
his arm--that on which he relied. Berenice and her offspring.
they that brought her--her attendants from Egypt.
he that begat her--rather as Margin, "the child
whom she brought forth"
[EWALD]. If English Version (which
approves) be retained, as Ptolemy died a natural death, "given up" is
not in his case, as in Berenice's, to be understood of giving up
to death, but in a general sense, of his plan proving abortive.
he that strengthened her in these times--Antiochus Theus, who is to
attach himself to her (having divorced Laodice) at the times
7. a branch of her roots . . . in his estate--Ptolemy Euergetes,
brother of Berenice, succeeding in the place (Margin) of
Philadelphus, avenged her death by overrunning Syria, even to the
deal against them--He shall deal with the Syrians at his own pleasure.
He slew Laodice.
8. carry . . . into Egypt their gods, &c.--Ptolemy, on hearing of a
sedition in Egypt, returned with forty thousand talents of silver,
precious vessels, and twenty-four hundred images, including Egyptian
idols, which Cambyses had carried from Egypt into Persia. The idolatrous
Egyptians were so gratified, that they named him Euergetes, or
continue more years--Ptolemy survived Seleucus four years, reigning
in all forty-six years. MAURER
translates, "Then he for several years
shall desist from (contending with) the king of the north"
9. come into his kingdom--Egypt: not only with impunity, but with great
10. his sons--the two sons of the king of the north, Seleucus
Callinicus, upon his death by a fall from his horse, namely, Seleucus
Ceraunus and Antiochus the Great.
one shall . . . come--Ceraunus having died, Antiochus alone prosecuted
the war with Ptolemy Philopater, Euergetes' son, until he had recovered
all the parts of Syria subjugated by Euergetes.
pass through--like an "overflowing" torrent
(Da 11:22, 26, 40;
Antiochus penetrated to Dura (near Cæsarea), where he gave
Ptolemy a four months' truce.
return--renew the war at the expiration of the truce (so
even to his fortress--Ptolemy's; Raphia, a border-fortress of Egypt
against incursions by way of Edom and Arabia-Petræa, near Gaza; here
Antiochus was vanquished.
11. the king of the south . . . moved with choler--at so great losses,
Syria having been wrested from him, and his own kingdom imperilled,
though otherwise an indolent man, to which his disasters were owing, as
also to the odium of his subjects against him for having murdered his
father, mother, and brother, whence in irony they called him
he shall set forth a great multitude--Antiochus, king of Syria, whose
force was seventy thousand infantry and five thousand cavalry.
but . . . multitude . . . given into his
hand--into Ptolemy's hands; ten thousand of Antiochus' army were
slain, and four thousand made captives.
12. when he hath taken away--that is, subdued "the multitude" of
heart . . . lifted up--instead of following up his victory by making
himself master of the whole of Syria, as he might, he made peace with
Antiochus, and gave himself up to licentiousness
JUSTIN, 30.4], and profaned the temple of God by entering the holy
not be strengthened by it--He shall lose the power gained by his
victory through his luxurious indolence.
13. return--renew the war.
after certain years--fourteen years after his defeat at Raphia.
Antiochus, after successful campaigns against Persia and India, made war
with Ptolemy Epiphanes, son of Philopater, a mere child.
14. many stand up against the king of the south--Philip, king of
Macedon, and rebels in Egypt itself, combined with Antiochus against
robbers of thy people--that is, factious men of the Jews shall exalt
themselves, so as to revolt from Ptolemy, and join themselves to
Antiochus; the Jews helped Antiochus' army with provisions, when on his
return from Egypt he besieged the Egyptian garrison left in Jerusalem
[JOSEPHUS, Antiquities, 12:3.3].
to establish the vision--Those turbulent Jews unconsciously shall
help to fulfil the purpose of God, as to the trials which await Judea,
according to this vision.
but they shall fall--Though helping to fulfil the vision, they shall
fail in their aim, of making Judea independent.
15. king of . . . north--Antiochus the Great.
take . . . fenced cities--Scopas, the Egyptian general, met Antiochus
at Paneas, near the sources of the Jordan, and was defeated, and fled to
Sidon, a strongly "fenced city," where he was forced to surrender.
chosen people--Egypt's choicest army was sent under Eropus, Menocles,
and Damoxenus, to deliver Scopas, but in vain
16. he that cometh against him--Antiochus coming against Ptolemy
(Da 11:41, 45;
Eze 20:6, 15).
by his hand shall be consumed--literally, "perfected," that is,
completely brought under his sway.
JOSEPHUS [Antiquities, 12:3.3]
shows that the meaning is not, that the Jews should be utterly consumed:
for Antiochus favored them for taking his part against Ptolemy, but that
their land should be subjected to him
translates, "shall be perfected by him," that is, shall flourish under
him. English Version gives a good sense; namely, that Judea was much
"consumed" or "desolated" by being the arena of conflict between
the combatants, Syria and Egypt.
"robbers of thy people," to the Gentiles, once oppressors, attempting
to restore the Jews to their land by mere human effort, whereas this is
to be effected only by divine interposition: their attempt is
by the wilful king, who makes Judea the scene of his military
17. set his face--purpose steadfastly. Antiochus purpose was,
however, turned from open assault to wile, by his war with the Romans in
his endeavor to extend his kingdom to the limits it had under Seleucus
upright one--Jasher, or Jeshurun
the epithet applied by the Hebrews to their nation. It is here used not
in praise; for in
they are called "robbers," or "men of violence, factious": it is the
general designation of Israel, as having God for their God.
Probably it is used to rebuke those who ought to have been God's
"upright ones" for confederating with godless heathen in acts of
violence (the contrast to the term in
thus shall he do--Instead of at once invading Ptolemy's country
with his "whole strength," he prepares his way for doing so by the
following plan: he gives to Ptolemy Epiphanes his daughter Cleopatra in
marriage, promising Cœlo-Syria and Judea as a dowry, thus
securing his neutrality in the war with Rome: he hoped through his
daughter to obtain Syria, Cilicia, and Lycia, and even Egypt itself at
last; but Cleopatra favored her husband rather than her father, and so
defeated his scheme [JEROME]. "She shall not
stand on his side."
18. isles--He "took many" of the isles in the Ægean in his war with
the Romans, and crossed the Hellespont.
prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach . . .
to cease--Lucius Scipio Asiaticus, the Roman general, by routing
Antiochus at Magnesia (190 B.C.), caused the
reproach which he offered Rome by inflicting injuries on Rome's allies,
to cease. He did it for his own glory.
without his own reproach--with untarnished reputation.
19. Then he shall turn . . . toward . . . his own land--Compelled by
Rome to relinquish all his territory west of the Taurus, and defray the
expenses of the war, he garrisoned the cities left to him.
stumble . . . not be found--Attempting to plunder the temple of Jupiter
at Elymais by night, whether through avarice, or the want of money to
pay the tribute imposed by Rome (a thousand talents), he was slain with
his soldiers in an insurrection of the inhabitants
20. in his estate--in Antiochus' stead: his successor, Seleucus
Philopater, his son.
in the glory of the kingdom--that is, inheriting it by hereditary
translates, "one who shall cause the tax gatherer
(Heliodorus) to pass through the glory of the kingdom," that is,
Judea, "the glorious land"
(Da 11:16, 41;
Simon, a Benjamite, in spite against Onias III, the high priest, gave
information of the treasures in the Jewish temple; and Seleucus having
reunited to Syria Cœlo-Syria and Palestine, the dowry formerly
given by Antiochus the Great to Cleopatra, Ptolemy's wife, sent
Heliodorus to Jerusalem to plunder the temple. This is narrated in 2
Maccabees 3:4, &c. Contrast
"No oppressor shall pass through . . . any more."
within few days . . . destroyed--after a reign of twelve years, which
were "few" compared with the thirty-seven years of Antiochus' reign.
Heliodorus, the instrument of Seleucus' sacrilege, was made by God the
instrument of his punishment. Seeking the crown, in the absence at Rome
of Seleucus' only son and heir, Demetrius, he poisoned Seleucus. But
Antiochus Epiphanes, Seleucus' brother, by the help of Eumenes, king of
Pergamos, succeeded to the throne, 175 B.C.
neither in anger, nor in battle--not in a popular outbreak, nor in
21. vile--Antiochus called Epiphanes, that is, "the illustrious,"
for vindicating the claims of the royal line against Heliodorus, was
nicknamed, by a play of sounds, Epimanes, that is, "the madman," for his
mad freaks beneath the dignity of a king. He would carouse with the
lowest of the people, bathe with them in the public baths, and foolishly
jest and throw stones at passers-by
[POLYBIUS, 26.10]. Hence, as also
for his crafty supplanting of Demetrius, the rightful heir, from the
throne, he is termed "vile."
they shall not give . . . kingdom: but . . . by flatteries--The nation
shall not, by a public act, confer the kingdom on him, but he shall
obtain it by artifice, "flattering" Eumenes and Attalus of Pergamos to
help him, and, as he had seen candidates at Rome doing, canvassing the
Syrian people high and low, one by one, with embraces
22. shall they be overflown . . . before him--Antiochus Epiphanes
shall invade Egypt with overwhelming forces.
prince of the covenant--Ptolemy Philometer, the son of
Cleopatra, Antiochus' sister, who was joined in covenant with him.
Ptolemy's guardians, while he was a boy, sought to recover from
Epiphanes Cœlo-Syria and Palestine, which had been promised by
Antiochus the Great as Cleopatra's dowry in marrying Ptolemy Epiphanes.
Hence arose the war. Philometer's generals were vanquished, and
Pelusium, the key of Egypt, taken by Antiochus, 171 B.C.
notes three divisions in the history of the "vile
person," which is continued to the end of the chapter: (1) His rise
(Da 11:21, 22).
(2) The time from his making the covenant to the taking away of the
daily sacrifice and setting up of the abomination of desolation
(3) His career of blasphemy, to his destruction
the latter two periods answering to the "week" of years of his
"covenant with many" (namely, in Israel)
and the last being the closing half week of the ninth chapter. But the
context so accurately agrees with the relations of Antiochus to Ptolemy
that the primary reference seems to be to the "league" between them.
Antitypically, Antichrist's relations towards Israel are
probably delineated. Compare
Da 8:11, 25,
with Da 11:22
here, "prince of the covenant."
work deceitfully--Feigning friendship to young Ptolemy, as if he
wished to order his kingdom for him, he took possession of Memphis and
all Egypt ("the fattest places,"
as far as Alexandria.
with a small people--At first, to throw off suspicion, his forces
24. peaceably--literally, "unexpectedly"; under the guise of friendship
he seized Ptolemy Philometer.
he shall do that which his fathers have not done--His predecessors,
kings of Syria, had always coveted Egypt, but in vain: he alone made
himself master of it.
scatter among them . . . prey--among his followers (1 Maccabees 1:19).
forecast his devices against . . . strongholds--He shall form a studied
scheme for making himself master of the Egyptian fortresses. He gained
them all except Alexandria, which successfully resisted him. Retaining
to himself Pelusium, he retired to Judea, where, in revenge for the joy
shown by the Jews at the report of his death, which led them to a
revolt, he subdued Jerusalem by storm or stratagem.
for a time--His rage shall not be for ever; it is but for a time
limited by God. CALVIN
makes "for a time" in antithesis to
"unexpectedly," in the beginning of the verse. He suddenly
mastered the weaker cities: he had to "forecast his plans" more
gradually ("for a time") as to how to gain the stronger
25. A fuller detail of what was summarily stated
This is the first of Antiochus' three
open invasions of Egypt.
against the king of the south--against Ptolemy Philometer.
Subsequently, Ptolemy Physcon (the Gross), or Euergetes II, was made
king by the Egyptians, as Ptolemy Philometer was in Antiochus' hands.
great army--as distinguished from the "small people"
with which he first came. This was his first open expedition; he
was emboldened by success to it. Antiochus "entered Egypt with an
overwhelming multitude, with chariots, elephants, and cavalry" (1
stirred up--by the necessity, though naturally indolent.
not stand--Philometer was defeated.
they shall forecast, &c.--His own nobles shall frame
treacherous "devices" against him (see
Eulœus and Lenœus maladministered his affairs. Antiochus, when
checked at last at Alexandria, left Ptolemy Philometer at Memphis as
king, pretending that his whole object was to support Philometer's
claims against the usurper Physcon.
26. they that feed of . . . his meat--those from whom he might
naturally have looked for help, his intimates and dependents
his ministers and guardians.
his army shall overflow--Philometer's army shall be dissipated as
water. The phrase is used of overflowing numbers, usually in a
victorious sense, but here in the sense of defeat, the very numbers
which ordinarily ensure victory, hastening the defeat through
many shall fall down slain--(1 Maccabees 1:18, "many fell wounded to
death"). Antiochus, when he might have slain all in the battle near
Pelusium, rode around and ordered the enemy to be taken alive, the fruit
of which policy was, he soon gained Pelusium and all Egypt
27. both . . . to do mischief--each to the other.
speak lies at one table--They shall, under the semblance of intimacy,
at Memphis try to deceive one another
it shall not prosper--Neither of them shall carry his point at this
yet the end shall be--"the end" of the contest between them is
reserved for "the time appointed"
(Da 11:29, 30).
28. (1 Maccabees 1:19, 20, &c.).
against the holy covenant--On his way back to Syria, he attacked
Jerusalem, the metropolis of Jehovah's covenant-people, slew eighty
thousand, took forty thousand prisoners, and sold forty thousand as
slaves (2 Maccabees 5:5-14).
he shall do exploits--He shall effect his purpose. Guided by
Menelaus, the high priest, he entered the sanctuary with blasphemies,
took away the gold and silver vessels, sacrificed swine on the altar,
and sprinkled broth of the flesh through the temple (2 Maccabees
29. At the time appointed--"the time" spoken of in
return--his second open invasion of Egypt. Ptolemy Philometer,
suspecting Antiochus' designs with Physcon, hired mercenaries from
Greece. Whereupon Antiochus advanced with a fleet and an army, demanding
the cession to him of Cyprus, Pelusium, and the country adjoining the
Pelusiac mouth of the Nile.
it shall not be as the former--not successful as the former
expedition. Popilius Lœnas, the Roman ambassador, met him at Eleusis,
four miles from Alexandria, and presented him the decree of the senate;
on Antiochus replying that he would consider what he was to do,
Popilius drew a line round him with a rod and said, "I must have a
reply to give to the senate before you leave this circle." Antiochus
submitted, and retired from Egypt; and his fleets withdrew from Cyprus.
or as the latter--that mentioned in
Da 11:42, 43
[TREGELLES]. Or, making this the third
expedition, the sense is "not as the first or as the second"
expeditions [PISCATOR]. Rather "not as the former,
so shall be this latter" expedition
30. ships of Chittim--the Roman ambassadors arriving in
Macedonian Grecian vessels
Chittim, properly Cyprian, so called from a
Phœnician colony in Cyprus; then the islands and coasts of the
Mediterranean in general.
grieved--humbled and dispirited through fear of Rome.
indignation against the holy covenant--Indignant that meantime God's
worship had been restored at Jerusalem, he gives vent to his wrath at
the check given him by Rome, on the Jews.
intelligence with them that forsake the . . .
covenant--namely, with the apostates in the nation (1 Maccabees
1:11-15). Menelaus and other Jews instigated the king against their
religion and country, learning from Greek philosophy that all religions
are good enough to keep the masses in check. These had cast off
circumcision and the religion of Jehovah for Greek customs. Antiochus,
on his way home, sent Apollonius (167 B.C.) with
twenty-two thousand to destroy Jerusalem, two years after its capture
by himself. Apollonius slew multitudes, dismantled and pillaged the
city. They then, from a fortress which they built commanding the
temple, fell on and slew the worshippers; so that the temple service
was discontinued. Also, Antiochus decreed that all, on pain of death,
should conform to the Greek religion, and the temple was consecrated to
Jupiter Olympius. Identifying himself with that god, with fanatical
haughtiness he wished to make his own worship universal
(1 Maccabees 1:41; 2 Maccabees 6:7).
This was the gravest peril which ever heretofore threatened revealed
religion, the holy people, and the theocracy on earth, for none of the
previous world rulers had interfered with the religious worship of the
covenant-people, when subject to them
(Da 4:31-34; 6:27, 28;
Ezr 1:2, 4; 7:12;
Hence arose the need of such a forewarning of the covenant-people as to
him--so accurate, that PORPHYRY, the adversary of
revelation, saw it was hopeless to deny its correspondence with
history, but argued from its accuracy that it must have been written
subsequent to the event. But as Messianic events are foretold
in Daniel, the Jews, the adversaries of Jesus, would never have forged
the prophecies which confirm His claims. The ninth chapter was to
comfort the faithful Jews, in the midst of the "abominations" against
"the covenant," with the prospect of Messiah who would "confirm the
covenant." He would show by bringing salvation, and yet abolishing
sacrifices, that the temple service which they so grieved after, was
not absolutely necessary; thus the correspondence of phraseology would
suggest comfort (compare
with Da 11:30, 31).
31. arms--namely, of the human body; not weapons; human forces.
they--Antiochus' hosts confederate with the apostate Israelites; these
latter attain the climax of guilt, when they not only, as before,
"forsake the covenant"
but "do wickedly against" it
turning complete heathens. Here Antiochus' actings are described in
language which reach beyond him the type to Antichrist the antitype
[JEROME] (just as in
many things are said of Solomon the type, which are only applicable to
Christ the Antitype); including perhaps Rome, Mohammed, and the final
personal Antichrist. SIR ISAAC NEWTON refers the rest of the
chapter from this verse to the Romans, translating, "after him
arms (that is, the Romans) shall stand up"; at the very time that
Antiochus left Egypt, the Romans conquered Macedon, thus finishing the
reign of Daniel's third beast; so here the prophet naturally proceeds
to the fourth beast. JEROME'S view is simpler;
for the narrative seems to continue the history of Antiochus, though
with features only in type applicable to him, fully to Antichrist.
sanctuary of strength--not only naturally a place of strength, whence
it held out to the last against the besiegers, but chiefly the
spiritual stronghold of the covenant-people
(Ps 48:1-3, 12-14).
Apollonius "polluted" it with altars to idols and sacrifices of swine's
flesh, after having "taken away the daily sacrifice" (see on
place . . . abomination that maketh desolate--that is,
that pollutes the temple
(Da 8:12, 13).
Or rather, "the abomination of the desolater," Antiochus
Epiphanes (1 Maccabees 1:29, 37-49). Compare
wherein the antitypical desolating abomination of Rome (the
eagle standard, the bird of Jupiter, sacrificed to by Titus' soldiers
within the sacred precincts, at the destruction of Jerusalem), of
Mohammed and of the final Antichrist, is foretold. 1 Maccabees
1:54, uses the very phrase, "the fifteenth day of the month Casleu,
in the hundred forty-fifth year, they set up the abomination of
desolation on the altar"; namely, an idol-altar and image of
Jupiter Olympius, erected upon Jehovah's altar of burnt offerings.
"Abomination" is the common name for an idol in the Old
Testament. The Roman emperor Adrian's erection of a temple to Jupiter
Capitolinus where the temple of God had stood, A.D. 132; also the erection of the Mohammedan mosque of
Omar in the same place (it is striking, Mohammedanism began to prevail
in A.D. 610, only about three years of the time
when Popery assumed the temporal power); and the idolatry of the Church
of Rome in the spiritual temple, and the final blasphemy of the
personal Antichrist in the literal temple
may all be antitypically referred to here under Antiochus the type, and
the Old Testament Antichrist.
32. (1 Maccabees 1:52).
corrupt--seduce to apostasy.
by flatteries--promises of favor.
people that . . . know their God--the Maccabees and their followers
(1 Maccabees 1:62, 63).
33. they that understand--who know and keep the truth of God
instruct many--in their duty to God and the law, not to apostatize.
yet they shall fall--as Eleazar (2 Maccabees 6:18, &c.). They shall
be sorely persecuted, even to death
(Heb 11:35, 36, 37;
2 Maccabees 6, 7). Their enemies took advantage of the Sabbath
to slay them on the day when they would not fight. TREGELLES thinks, from comparison with
it is the people who "fall," not those of understanding.
makes the latter "fall," not an unmeaning repetition; in
they fall (die) by persecution; in
they fall (spiritually) for a time by their own weakness.
flame--in caves, whither they had retired to keep the Sabbath.
Antiochus caused some to be roasted alive (2 Maccabees 7:3-5).
many days--rather, "certain days," as in
JOSEPHUS [Antiquities, 12:7.6,7] tells us
the persecution lasted for three years (1 Maccabees 1:59; 4:54; 2
34. a little help--The liberty obtained by the Maccabean heroes for
the Jews was of but short duration. They soon fell under the Romans and
Herodians, and ever since every attempt to free them from Gentile rule
has only aggravated their sad lot. The period of the world times
(Gentile rule) is the period of depression of the theocracy, extending
from the exile to the millennium
[ROOS]. The more immediate reference
seems to be, the forces of Mattathias and his five sons were originally
few (1 Maccabees 2:1-5).
many shall cleave to them--as was the case under Judas Maccabeus,
who was thus able successfully to resist Antiochus.
with flatteries--Those who had deserted the Jewish cause in
persecution, now, when success attended the Jewish arms, joined the
Maccabean standard, for example, Joseph, the son of Zecharias, Azarias,
(1 Maccabees 5:55-57; 2 Maccabees 12:40; 13:21).
MAURER explains it, of those who through fear of
the Maccabees' severity against apostates joined them, though ready, if
it suited their purpose, to desert them (1 Maccabees 2:44;
35. to try them--the design of affliction. Image from
metals tried with fire.
to purge--Even in the elect there are dregs which need to be purged
Hence they are allowed to fall for a time; not finally
Image from wheat cleared of its chaff by the wind.
make . . . white--image from cloth
to . . . time of . . . end--God will not suffer His people to be
persecuted without limitation
The godly are to wait patiently for "the end" of "the time" of trial;
"for it is (to last) yet for a time appointed" by God.
36. The wilful king here, though primarily Antiochus, is antitypically
and mainly Antichrist, the seventh head of the seven-headed and
ten-horned beast of
and the "beast" of Armageddon
(Re 16:13, 16; 19:19).
Some identify him with the revived French emperorship, the eighth head
of the beast
who is to usurp the kingly, as the Pope has the priestly, dignity of
Christ--the false Messiah of the Jews, who will "plant his tabernacle
between the seas in the holy mountain," "exalting himself above every
Re 13:5, 6).
This last clause only in part holds good of Antiochus; for though he
assumed divine honors, identifying himself with Jupiter Olympius, yet
it was for that god he claimed them; still it applies to him as the
speak marvellous things against . . . God of gods--so
as to the "little horn," which seemingly identifies the two (compare
Antiochus forbade the worship of Jehovah by a decree "marvellous" for
its wickedness: thus he was a type of Antichrist. Compare
"a mouth speaking great things."
indignation . . . accomplished--God's visitation of
wrath on the Jews for their sins
that . . . determined--
(Da 9:26, 27; 10:21).
37. Neither . . . regard . . . the desire of women--(Compare
Eze 24:16, 18).
The wife, as the desire of man's eyes, is the symbol of the
Antiochus would set at naught even their entreaties that he should
cease from his attack on Jehovah's worship [POLANUS]. MAURER refers it to
Antiochus' attack on the temple of the Syrian Venus, worshipped by
(1 Maccabees 6:1, &c.; 2 Maccabees 1:13).
NEWTON refers it to Rome's "forbidding to marry."
ELLIOTT rightly makes the antitypical reference be
to Messiah. Jewish women desired to be mothers with a view to
Him, the promised seed of the woman
Lu 1:25, 28).
nor regard any god--
38. God of forces--probably Jupiter Capitolinus, to whom Antiochus
began to erect a temple at Antioch
[LIVY, 41.20]. Translate, "He shall
honor the god of fortresses on his basis," that is, the base of the
statue. NEWTON translates, "And the god 'Mahuzzim' (guardians, that
is, saints adored as 'protectors' in the Greek and Roman churches)
shall he honor."
honour with gold, &c.--Compare
as to Antiochus' antitype, Antichrist.
39. NEWTON translates, "to be defenders of Mahuzzim (the monks
and priests who uphold saint worship), together with the strange god
whom he shall acknowledge, he shall multiply honor." English Version is better: He shall do
(exploits) in the most strongholds
(that is, shall succeed against them) with a strange god
(under the auspices of a god which he worshipped not before, namely,
Jupiter Capitolinus, whose worship he imported into his empire from
Rome). Antiochus succeeded against Jerusalem, Sidon, Pelusium, Memphis.
cause them--Antiochus "caused" his followers and the apostates "to rule over many" Jews, having "divided their land" (Judea), "for
gain" (that is, as a reward for their compliance).
40. The difficulty of reconciling this with Antiochus' history
is that no historian but PORPHYRY mentions an
expedition of his into Egypt towards the close of his reign.
therefore, may be a recapitulation summing up the facts of the first
expedition to Egypt (171-170 B.C.), in
Da 11:22, 25;
the former invasion of Judea, in
Da 11:42, 43,
the second and third invasions of Egypt (169 and 168 B.C.) in
Da 11:23, 24, 29, 30.
AUBERLEN takes rather PORPHYRY'S statement, that Antiochus, in the eleventh
year of his reign (166-165 B.C.), invaded Egypt
again, and took Palestine on his way. The "tidings"
as to the revolt of tributary nations then led him to the East. PORPHYRY'S statement that Antiochus starting from Egypt
took Arad in Judah, and devastated all Phœnicia, agrees with
then he turned to check Artaxias, king of Armenia. He died in the
Persian town Tabes, 164 B.C., as both POLYBIUS and PORPHYRY agree.
Doubtless, antitypically, the final Antichrist, and its predecessor
Mohammed, are intended, to whom the language may be more fully
applicable than to Antiochus the type. The Saracen Arabs "of the south"
"pushed at" the Greek emperor Heraclius, and deprived him of Egypt and
Syria. But the Turks of "the north" not merely pushed at, but
destroyed the Greek empire; therefore more is said of them than of the
Saracens. Their "horsemen" are specified, being their chief strength.
Their standards still are horse tails. Their "ships," too, often
gained the victory over Venice, the great naval power of Europe in that
day. They "overflowed" Western Asia, and then "passed over" into
Europe, fixing their seat of empire at Constantinople under Mohammed II
41. Antiochus, according to PORPHYRY,
marching against Ptolemy, though he turned from his course to wreak his
wrath on the Jews, did not meddle with Edom, Moab, and Ammon on the
side of Judea. In 1 Maccabees 4:61; 5:3; &c., it is stated that
he used their help in crushing the Jews, of whom they were the ancient
as to Israel's future retribution, just as the Maccabees made war on
them as the friends of Antiochus (1 Maccabees 5:1-68).
Antitypically, the Turks under Selim entered Jerusalem on their way to
Egypt, and retain "the glorious land" of Palestine to this day. But
they never could conquer the Arabs, who are akin to Edom, Moab, and
So in the case of the final Antichrist.
42, 43. Egypt . . . Libyans . . .
Ethiopians--The latter two, being the allies of the first, served
under Antiochus when he conquered Egypt. Antitypically, Egypt, though
it held out long under the Mamelukes, in A.D. 1517
fell under the Turks. Algiers, Tunis, and other parts of Africa, are
still under them.
at his steps--following him
44. tidings out of the east and out of the north--Artaxias, king
of Armenia, his vassal, had revolted in the north, and Arsaces, leader
of the Parthians, in the east (1 Maccabees 3:10, &c., 1 Maccabees
3:37; TACITUS, Histories, 5.8). In 147
B.C. Antiochus went on the expedition against
them, on the return from which he died.
great fury--at the Jews, on account of their successes under Judas
Maccabeus, whence he desired to replenish his treasury with means to
prosecute the war with them; also at Artaxias and Arsaces, and their
respective followers. DE
BURGH makes the "tidings" which rouse his fury,
to be concerning the Jews' restoration; such may be the antitypical
45. plant . . . between the seas--the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean.
tabernacles of . . . palace--his palace-like military tents, such as
Oriental princes travel with.
as to the time of Antiochus' attack on Judea, and his subsequent "end"
at Tabes, which was caused by chagrin both at hearing that his forces
under Lysias were overcome by the Jews, and at the failure of his
expedition against the temple of Elymais (2 Maccabees 9:5).
holy mountain--Jerusalem and Mount Zion. The desolation of the
sanctuary by Antiochus, and also the desecration of the consecrated
ground round Jerusalem by the idolatrous Roman ensigns, as also by the
Mohammedan mosque, and, finally, by the last Antichrist, are referred
to. So the last Antichrist is to sit upon "the mount of the
but "shall be brought down to hell" (compare Note, see on