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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Daniel 11

 

 

Verse 1

This verse is parenthetical, to tell us what the angelic speaker had done two years previously (426 B.C.)

Darius the Mede is the same king as in Daniel 9:1, i.e. Cyrus.

stood = was at my station.

him: i.e. Michael.


Verse 2

now. Calling attention to the then present time (424 B.C.) as being distinct from Daniel 11:1, which refers to what took place two years before.

yet: i.e. in the then immediate future.

three kings in Persia. Cambyses, the pseudo-Smerdis, and Darius Hystaspes. See App-57. But ancient histories "contain much that is admittedly fabulous" (Encycl. Brit, 11th ed., vol. 21, p. 210), and the commentaries based on them differing among themselves are therefore not to be relied on. We know from this verse that there were three, after Cyrus, and a fourth. Whoever he was, he was succeeded by the "mighty king" of Daniel 11:4 (Alexander the Great).

by his strength through his riches. Some codices, and five early printed editions, read "by strengthening himself in his riches he will stir up".


Verse 3

a mighty king. The he-goat"s "little horn" (Daniel 8:9).

do according to his will. See Daniel 8:4. Compare verses: Daniel 11:16, Daniel 11:36.


Verse 4

broken. See Daniel 8:8.

divided. See Daniel 8:22.

winds. Hebrew. ruach. App-9.

not to his posterity. But to his generals. Compare "not in his power" (Daniel 8:22).

others beside those: i.e. beside those four. See note on Daniel 8:22. That there is a break between the past and the future is manifest from Daniel 10:14, of which this chapter is the continuation. Those who take verses: Daniel 11:5-20 as belonging to the past do not agree as to the interpretation from history. We give the commonly held view, making the break between Daniel 11:20 and Daniel 11:21.


Verse 5

the king of the south. Ptolemy Soter, son of Lagus, king of Egypt (see Daniel 11:8). He took the title "king"; whereas his father "Lagus" had been only governor.

south. With reference to Judea.

one of his princes. Seleucus I (Nicator = conqueror).

him: i.e. Ptolemy.

a great dominion. It added Syria to Babylon and Media.


Verse 6

in the end of years. In Daniel 11:13 this is rendered "after certain years", said to be sixty-three. Compare 2 Chronicles 18:2, and Daniel 11:8 below.

join: i.e. in league.

the king"s daughter. Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy II (Philadelphus) of Egypt.

the king of the north. Antiochus.

north. With reference to Judea.

make an agreement = do upright things: i.e. to come to terms upon what is equitable between the parties. Here it included her marriage with Antiochus, who divorced his wife (Laodice) and disinherited her son (Seleucus Callinious).

given = delivered.

times: or, vicissitudes.


Verse 7

a branch of her roots. Her brother Ptolemy III (Euergetes), "roots" referring to their father Ptolemy II (Philadelphus).

in his estate = in his stead. Hebrew. kanno. See note on Daniel 9:27 ("for the overspreading"): i.e. in the stead of Philadelphus, who avenged the murder of Berenice and her son by Laodice. Euergetes had been restored. This is the second king of the south.


Verse 8

their precious vessels = vessels of desire, said to have been valued at 40,000 talents of silver; and 2,400 images, including Egyptian idols, which Cambyses had taken from Egypt. Hence he was named by the grateful Egyptians "Euergetes" (= Benefactor).

continue = stand.

more years: i.e. four years, reigning forty-six years in all.


Verse 9

land = soil.


Verse 10

his. Seleucus II (Callinicus).

sons. Hebrew text is "son" (singular) But the Hebrew margin, with some codices and one early printed edition, read "sons" (plural), as here: i.e. Seleucus II (Callinicus) and his brother Antiochus III. See Encycl. Brit., 11th (Cambridge) ed., vol. 24, p. 604.

shall = he shall: i.e. Antiochus III, the second king of the north, his brother having died by a fall from his horse.

come. Some codices, with one early printed edition, and Syriac, read "come against him".

be stirred up = will wage war. Defeating Antiochus III.


Verse 11

the king of the south. The second, Ptolemy III.

choler. See note on Daniel 8:7.

he: i.e. the king of the north, Antiochus III.

given = delivered.

his hand: i.e. Ptolemy"s hand.


Verse 12

taken away = subdued.

cast down, &c. = will cause tens of thousands to fall. This occurred at Raphia, south-west of Gaza.

he shall not be strengthened by it. Giving himself up to licentiousness.


Verse 13

the king of the north. The second king, Antiochus III.

return = renew the war.

come. Some codices, with three early printed editions, read "will come against him". Figure of speech Polyptoton = coming he will come. App-6.

after certain years. Hebrew at the end of years, as in Daniel 11:6. This was fourteen years after his defeat at Raphia.


Verse 14

the king of the south. This would be the third king, Ptolemy V (Epiphanes), a mere child.

the robbers = sons of the oppressors: i.e. apostate Jews, or turbulent men who defied laws and justice.

to establish the vision: i.e. to help to fulfil prophecy, by taking the side of Syria, so as to make Judea independent.

but they shall fall. For they indirectly helped to establish Antiochus. See verses: Daniel 11:16-19.


Verse 15

the king of the north. This is Antiochus III (the Great); and verses: Daniel 11:16-19 describe his doings, which were a typical foreshadowing of his antitype, "the little horn", the yet future antichrist, described in Daniel 11:21, Daniel 12:1; which show how the latter portion can be fulfilled by an individual.

neither his chosen people. Dr. Ginsburg suggests "but his people will flee".


Verse 16

him. Ptolemy V.

do according to his own will. Thus foreshadowing but not exhausting what is said of "the vile person" in verses: Daniel 11:21, Daniel 11:36.

which by his hand shall be consumed = much wasted in his hand.

consumed = perfected: i.e. completely desolated.


Verse 17

set his face. The idiom for expressing a fixed purpose. Compare 2 Kings 12:17.

and upright ones . . . shall he do = he will make equitable terms with him (i.e. Ptolemy V). The words which follow tell us what the terms were. With this agree the Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate.

the daughter of women: i.e. Cleopatra, his own daughter, then only eleven years of age. The term denotes beauty, &c.

women: i.e. her mother and grandmother, probably still caring for her education, &c.

not stand, &c. She sided with her husband, and defeated her father"s plans.


Verse 18

isles = coast-lands, or maritime countries.

a prince = a captain or general. Hebrew. kazin. Occurs only here in this book. He was the Roman general, Scipio (Lucius Scipio).

for his own behalf: i.e. for his own interest.

him. Antioohus III.

without his own reproach: i.e. with untarnished reputation.


Verse 19

fort = fortresses.

stumble = stagger. Antiochus III, after his defeat by Scipio at Magnesia (near Smyrna), withdrew to Syria.


Verse 20

a raiser of taxes . . . kingdom. = one [Seleucus] causing the exactor [Heliodorus] to pass through [Judea], the glorious land (compare verses: Daniel 16:41; Daniel 8:9). Seleucus sent Heliodorus to Jerusalem to plunder the Temple, &c.

neither in anger. Ginsburg suggests "and not with hands", because it was by poison. Here ends the historical portion, which has been fulfilled now, but which was then future, verse Daniel 21:12, Daniel 21:3 passes on to the time which is still (1912/2009) future to us. Here begins the portion of this prophecy which is still future to us (1912/2009), "the latter days" of Daniel 10:14.


Verse 21

a vile person. One of the twelve titles given to the antichrist. See note on Daniel 7:8. The prophecy concerning him is continuous to the end of the chapter. It is parallel with Daniel 7:8, &c.; Daniel 8:9, &c.; and Daniel 9:26, Daniel 9:27. He is not another successional king of the north, but a totally different and unique personage, still future. He comes in by "flatteries", and in Daniel 11:40 he is attacked by both a "king of the south" and a "king of the north". Note the parallel exhibited in App-89.

vile = despicable. Compare Psalms 15:4.

they shall not give = to whom was not given.

honour = dignity.

peaceably = unexpectedly: i.e. in a time of careless security (Compare Daniel 8:25). Compare Ezekiel 16:49 ("abundance of idleness").


Verse 22

be overflown from = sweep all.

broken = broken in pieces.

yea, also, &c.: i.e. a prince with whom he had made a covenant or league (Daniel 11:23), and who had hitherto aided him.


Verse 23

the league: i.e. the covenant just mentioned (Daniel 11:22).

with a small people. Hence he is called "the little horn".


Verse 24

forecast his devices = devise plots.


Verse 25

he: i.e. the king of the south.

shall not stand = will make no stand.


Verse 26

they that feed, &c. There will be treachery within, as well as fighting without.


Verse 27

And both these kings hearts, &c. = Now, as to the two kings, their hearts [will be set] to do, &c.

mischief = evil. Hebrew. ra"a".

yet the end, &c. Intimating that these things belong to the closing scenes. Compare Daniel 11:35 and Daniel 11:40.


Verse 28

his heart, &c Showing when the purpose of breaking the covenant was plotted.

do exploits = act effectively, or accomplish [the purpose of his heart].


Verse 29

the former. In verses: Daniel 11:25, Daniel 11:26. the latter. In verses: Daniel 11:42, Daniel 11:43.


Verse 30

Chittim = Cyprus, or some European power. See note on Numbers 24:24. Reference to Pentateuch (Numbers 24:24). App-92.

against the holy covenant. Made with the Jews at the beginning of the last seven years, already mentioned in Daniel 9:27. in Daniel 11:28, he had already plotted the breaking of it.

do = do [so], or accomplish [it]: i.e. he will break it.

holy. See note on Exodus 3:5.

have intelligence = fix his attention on (with a view to co-operation).


Verse 31

pollute the sanctuary. By putting up the "abomination" (the Asherah, App-42), which brings on the judgment of "desolation". The end is marked by the "cleansing of the sanctuary" (Daniel 8:14; Daniel 9:24). App-89.

take away the daily sacrifice. This marks the middle of the "week", or the last seven years. See Daniel 8:11, Daniel 8:12; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 12:11; and App-89. From this point he is energized by Satan.

place the abomination, &c. This accompanies the taking away of the daily sacrifice (Daniel 8:13; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 12:11; and App-89). Our Lord refers to this verse in Matthew 24:15.


Verse 32

such as do wickedly against = them that are ready to deal lawlessly with.

wickedly. Hebrew. rasha". App-44.

corrupt = make impious or profane.

know their God. Denotes those who have an experimental rather than an intellectual knowledge. Hebrew. yada".

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

be strong = prove themselves strong. Hebrew. hazak = strong for endurance (i.e. for resisting all temptation to apostatize).

do exploits = work effectually.


Verse 33

understand = are wise. See Daniel 11:35 with Daniel 12:3, Daniel 12:10, where it would be well to use the Hebrew Maskilim, as a proper name.

shall fall by the sword: i.e. in the great tribulation which is here described, in part.

many. Some codices, with six early printed editions, read this word "many" in the text.


Verse 34

shall be holpen, &c. = shall obtain but little help.


Verse 35

try = refine. Expulsion of dross.

purge = purify. Separation from dross.

the time of the end. Now near at hand.


Verse 36

do according to his will. Compare Daniel 8:4; Daniel 11:3.

he shall exalt himself, &c. This is quoted in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 2 Thessalonians 2:4; and referred to in Daniel 7:25; Daniel 8:11, Daniel 8:25. Revelation 13:5, Revelation 13:6.

GOD. Hebrew El. App-4.

against, &c. Compare Daniel 8:11, Daniel 8:24, Daniel 8:25.

gods. Hebrew "elim.

the indignation, &c. Jehovah"s indignation. Compare Daniel 8:19; Daniel 9:16; and Isaiah 10:23, Isaiah 10:25.

determined = decreed.


Verse 37

the desire of women. In view of the context this must refer to any gods desired by women: such as Baaltis, Astarte, or Mylitta of the Babylonians; the Persian Artemis, or the Nanoea of the Syrians; or the "queen of heaven" of Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 44:17, &c.

GOD. Hebrew Eloah. App-4.


Verse 38

in his estate = in its place: i.e. the God of forces on its pedestal.

God of forces. Hebrew. Ma"uzzim = God of fortresses.

shall he honour, &c. Thus, in secret he is superstitious, though in public he exalts himself above all gods.


Verse 39

do = deal.

the most strong holds = the strongest fortresses.

whom he shall acknowledge = whosoever acknowledged him.

and increase = he will increase.

gain = a price.


Verse 40

at the time of the end: i.e. near the close of the last seven years.

he: i.e. this "wilful king".

the countries = the countries [adjoining].


Verse 41

the glorious land. Compare verses: Daniel 11:11, Daniel 11:16, Daniel 11:45; and Daniel 8:9.

children = sons.


Verse 44

make away many = devote many [to extermination]. Revelation 13:7.


Verse 45

plant = spread out.

tabernacles, &c. = palatial tent.

come to his end. This could not be said of Antiochus, for he died at Tabae, in Persia. "The wilful king" comes to his end in Judea, between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean Sea.

and none shall help him. For he is smitten by God Himself. See Isaiah 11:4. Zech 12 and Zech 14; 2 Thessalonians 2:8. Revelation 19:20. The grave does not receive him (for Isaiah 14:19 is only a comparison "like"), and he is not joined with them in burial. He is cast into the lake of fire.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Daniel 11:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/daniel-11.html. 1909-1922.

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