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b. Detailed prophetic description of the Persian and Græcian world-kingdoms, and also of the kingdoms which should arise from the latter, together with their conflicts.
2And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in [to] Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by [according to] his strength through [by] his riches he shall stir up all [the whole] against [with] the realm of Græcia [kingdom of Javan].
3And a mighty king [a king, a hero] shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion [rule], and do according to his will. 4And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided [partitioned] toward the four winds of heaven [the heavens]; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion [rule] which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for [and given to] others besides those [these]
5 And the king of the south shall be strong, and [become] one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion [rule]; his dominion 6 [rule] shall be a great dominion [rule]. And in [to] the end of years they shall join [associate] themselves together; for [and] the king’s daughter [daughter of the king] of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement;1 but [and] she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor [and] his arm; but [and] she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these [the] times.
7 But [And] out of a branch [shoot] of her roots shall one stand up in his estate [basis, i.e., stead], which [and he] shall come with an army [to the force], and shall enter into [come in] the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against [do with] them, and shall prevail [strengthen himself]; 8and shall also carry captives [cause to go in the captivity] into Egypt their gods, with their princes [anointed ones], and with their precious [prized] vessels of silver and of 9 gold; and he2 shall continue [stand] more years than the king of the north. So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom [And he shall come into the kingdom of the king of the south], and shall return into his own land [ground].
10But his sons shall be stirred up [strengthen themselves], and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through; then [and] shall he return, and be stirred up [or, they shall 11 strengthen themselves], even to his [or, their] fortress. And the king of the south shall be moved with choler [become very bitter], and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth [cause to stand] a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand. 12 And when he hath taken away the multitude [or, the multitude shall be taken away], his heart shall be lifted up [or, raised up]; and he shall cast down [cause to fall] many ten thousands: but [and] he shall not be strengthened by it.
13 For [And] the king of the north shall return and shall set forth [cause to stand] a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain [at the end of the times the] years with a great army [force] and with much riches. 14And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also [and] the robbers [sons of tyrants] of thy people shall exalt themselves [be lifted up] to establish [cause to stand] the vision; but [and] they shall fall [be stumbled].
15 So [And] the king of the north shall come, and cast up [pour out] a mount [mound], and take [catch] the most fenced cities [city of defences]; and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither [and, i.e., or] his chosen people16 [the people of his choice], neither shall there be any strength to withstand. But [And] he that cometh against [to] him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him; and he shall stand in the glorious land [land of comeliness], which [and] by his hand [he] shall be consumed. 17He shall also [And he shall] set his face to enter [come with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones3 with him; thus [and] shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of [the] women, corrupting [to corrupt, or, destroy] her; but 18 [and] she shall not stand on his side, neither [nor] be for him. After this [And] shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take [ catch] many; but a prince [general] for his own behalf [his reproach] shall cause the reproach offered by him [for him] to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon 19 [to] him. Then [And] he shall turn his face toward the fort [fortresses] of his own land; but [and] he shall stumble [be stumbled] and fall, and not be found.
20 Then [And] shall stand up in his estate [on his basis, i.e., stead] a raiser of taxes in [one causing the exactor to pass through] the glory of the kingdom: but within few days [and in single days] he shall be destroyed [broken], neither [and not] in anger nor in battle.
21And in his estate [on his basis, i.e., stead] shall stand up a vile [despised] person, to whom [and on him] they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but [and] he shall come in peaceably [with tranquillity], and obtain [or, 22 strengthen] the kingdom by flatteries. And with the arms of a [the] flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea [and], also the prince of the covenant. 23And after the league made with [from the covenanting to] him he shall work deceitfully: for [and] he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people. 24He shall enter [come] peaceably [with tranquillity] even upon [and with] the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor [and] his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among [to] them the prey, and spoil, and riches; yea, and he shall forecast [devise] his devices against the strong holds, even [and that] for [till] a time.
25And he shall stir up his power and his courage [heart] against the king of the south with a great army [force]; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to [the] battle with a very great and mighty army [force]; but [and] he shall not 26 stand: for they shall forecast [devise] devices against him. Yea [And], they that feed [eat] of the portion of his meat [dainty food] shall destroy [break] him, and his army [force] shall overflow; and many shall fall down slain. 27And both these kings’ hearts [the kings, their heart] shall be to do mischief [wrong], and they shall speak lies [falsehood] at [over] one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at [to] the time appointed.
28 Then [And] 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 29 own land. At [To] the time appointed he shall return, and come toward [in] 30 the south: but [and] it shall not be as the former, or [and] as the latter. For [And] the ships of Chittim shall come against [in] him; therefore [and] he shall be grieved [dejected], and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant; so [and] shall he do; he shall even [and he shall] return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.
31And arms shall stand on his part [from him], and they shall pollute the sanctuary of trength [the stronghold], and shall take [cause to turn] away the daily [continual] sacrifice, and they shall place [give] the abomination that 32 maketh desolate. And such as do wickedly against [the wicked doers of] the covenant shall he corrupt [pollute] by flatteries: but [and] the people that do 33 know their [its] God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among [the prudent of] the people shall instruct [understand for the] many; yet [and] they shall fall [be stumbled] by the sword, and by flame, 34 by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now [And] when they shall fall [be stumbled], they shall be holpen [helped] with a little help: but [and] many 35 shall cleave [be joined] to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding [the prudent] shall fall [be stumbled], to try [lit., smelt in] them, and to purge [purify], and to make them white, even to [till] the time of the end: because it is yet for a [to the] time appointed. 36And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous [distinguished] things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished [fail]: for that that is determined shall be done.
37Neither shall he regard [And he will not have understanding upon] the God of his fathers, nor [and upon] the desire of women, nor regard [and he will not have understanding upon] any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. 38But in His estate [And on his base, i.e., stead] shall he honour [give glory to] the god of forces [strongholds]; and [to] a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour [give glory] with gold, and [with] silver, and with precious stones [stone], and pleasant 39 things. Thus [And] shall he do in the most [fortresses of] strongholds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase [increase to acknowledge] with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over [the] many, and shall divide the land for gain [distribute ground with a price].
40 And at [in] the time of the end shall the king of the south push at [wage war with] him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind [will storm upon him], with chariots [chariot], and with horsemen [horses], and with many ships [boats]; and he shall enter [come] into the countries [lands], and shall overflow and pass oDaniel Daniel 11:41 He shall enter also [And he will come] into the glorious land [land of comeliness], and many countries shall be overthrown [stumbled]: but [and] these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief [first] of the children of Ammon. 42He shall stretch forth his hand also [And he shall send his hand] upon [in] the countries [lands]; and the land 43 of Egypt shall not escape [be for an escaped one, i.e., exempt]. But [And] he shall have power [rule] over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious [pleasant] things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall 44 be at [in] his steps. But [And] tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore [and] he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away [devote to extermination] many. 45And he shall plant the tabernacles [tents] of his palace [pavilion] between the seas in [at] the glorious holy mountain [holy mountain of comeliness]; yet [and] he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
Daniel 11:2. Touching upon the last kings of Persia in a hasty and summary review. And now will I show thee the truth. אֱמֶת, see Daniel 10:21.—Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; i. e., doubtless, after the present king, hence after Cyrus (see Daniel 10:1), there shall be three more kings of Persia,—the Persian state shall have three more kings. The author therefore assigns altogether four kings to Persia, from which, however, it by no means follows that he “knew” only that number; nor can it be shown from Ezra 4:5; Ezra 4:7 that the writer of that book knew of four Persian kings (Hitzig, Ewald). The number four is rather to be regarded as a symbolic number, exactly like that of the wings and heads of the leopard in Daniel 7:6 (see on that passage), which indicates that the development of the kingdom in question is completed, and is, to that extent, parallel with the number of the world-monarchies and with other significant quadruples; cf. Eth.-fund principles, etc., on chap. 2 No. 3.5—And the fourth shall be far richer than they all; rather, “shall acquire greater riches,” etc. This fourth one does not denote the last of all the Persian kings, Darius Codomannus, but the fourth from the beginning (or, in other words, the third of the three just mentioned),6 and therefore Xerxes, as pseudo-Smerdis, is probably not included, and Cyrus, Cambyses, and Darius Hystaspis are considered the first three. The characteristic noticed in this place applies well to Xerxes, as he became especially famous because of his immense riches (Herodotus, III. 96; IV. 27–29), and as his expedition into Greece obscured those of his father by the excessive greatness of his armament. The significance of this fourth member of the old Persian dynasty (whose identity with Xerxes was naturally not yet apprehended by the prophet [?], especially as the angel did not see fit to state his name) is that he represents, on the one hand, the acme of the development in power of the kingdom in question, and, on the other, the beginning of its dissolution.—And by his strength through his riches, or, “when he has become strong through his riches. וּכְחֶזְקָתוֹ, an infinitive (cf. 2 Chronicles 12:1; also infra, Daniel 11:4, and Daniel 8:8; Daniel 8:23), is not co-ordinated with the following בְּעָשְׁרוֹ, but is placed above it.—He shall stir up all against the realm of Græcia, i.e., “stake all.” הַכֹּל, properly, “the all,” i.e., all that has been mentioned, all the immense treasures and forces referred to. יָעִיר, properly, “shall excite, stir up,” does not allude so much to inanimate treasures as to the subjects of this king as being the objects of his exciting activity; cf. Daniel 11:25; Job 12:2; Jeremiah 1:9.—אֵת מַלְכוּת יָוָן is not properly “against the realm of Javan,” but “to the realm,” etc.; אֵת serves to introduce the accusative denoting the direction of the movement.—It accords fully with the position of the seer prior to Xerxes, that Greece (with regard to Javan, cf. on Daniel 8:21) should be represented as a kingdom. A Maccabæan writer, who might aim to sketch the history of that king, and of his expedition against the Greeks, would assuredly have known, and indicated, that at that time Javan was not yet a מַלְכוּת.
Daniel 11:3-27.11.4. Alexander the Great and his immediate successors. And a mighty king shall stand up. מֶלֶך גִּבּוֹר, a herioc, warlike king; cf. אֵל גִּבּוֹר, Isaiah 9:5, and also the symbolic description of Alexander’s martial greatness in Daniel 8:5 et seq., 21. עָמַד, “he stands up,” i.e., comes up and presents a warlike and threatening appearance; cf. Daniel 11:4; Daniel 11:14, and also Daniel 11:1.—And do according to his will. Cf. Daniel 8:4 and infra, Daniel 11:16. The sovereign arbitrariness with which Alexander ruled all the persons of his time is likewise attested by Curtius, Daniel 10:5, Dan 35: “Fortunam solus omnium mortalium in potestate habuit.”
Daniel 11:4. And when he shall stand up (rather, “when he has stood up”), his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven. וּכְעָמְדוֹ is probably to be closely connected with the idea presented by עָמַד in the preceding verse: “and when,” or, “and as soon as he shall have stood up” (Von Lengerke, Füller, etc.); so that the brief duration of Alexander’s reign is here indicated. Others, e.g., Hävernick, Kranichfeld, Ewald, etc., render it, “and when he shall stand in his power, when his power has reached its highest point” (Luther); but this view is questionable, because of the entirely too pregnant meaning which is thus attributed to עמד. Hitzig’s assertion that עמד in this place is synonymous with the Syr. עכד, “to depart in death, to die,” and that the following תִּשָּׁבֵר (with which cf. Daniel 8:8) is not passive in its signification, and therefore does not denote “to be broken,” but “to break apart,” must certainly be rejected.—On the phrase, “be divided toward the four winds of heaven,” cf. the analogous symbolic description in Daniel 8:8.—And not to his posterity, namely, “shall it be divided;” they shall not be benefited by the division, but shall be entirely deprived of their patrimony, thus realizing a feature that was common in the early experience of the theocracy, 1 Samuel 15:28; 2 Samuel 3:10; 1Ki 11:11; 1 Kings 14:7-11.14.10; 1 Kings 15:29; 1 Kings 16:3 et seq.; 1 Kings 21:21. It is well known that this actually was the case with Alexander’s sons, Hercules (whose mother was Barsina, and who was murdered by Polysperchon) and Alexander (a filius posthumus. born of Roxana, and likewise murdered). Cf. Diodorus, 19:105; 20:28; Pausan., 9:7; Justin., 15:2; Appian, Syr., C. 51.—Nor according to his dominion which he ruled, “shall the divided kingdom be;” on the contrary, it shall present a painful picture of impotence; cf. וְלאׄ בְכחוֹ in the parallel, Daniel 8:22.—For his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others besides those, מִלְבַּד אֶלֶּא, to the exclusion of those, i.e., of the natural heirs and rightful successors of this ruler. Concerning the phrase, “to be torn out, uprooted,” cf. on Daniel 4:12; Daniel 4:12; also Job 14:7 et seq.; Isaiah 6:10, etc.
Daniel 11:5-27.11.6. The first Seleucidœ and Lagidœ. While the prophetic description, upon the whole, has hitherto confined itself to general outlines, and has not materially deviated from the ordinary methods of prophecy, it begins at this point to assume a suspiciously specific character, which arouses the thought that later hands may have improved on the prophecy by interpolating various features of detail. The fact that only the two states, emanating from the great Græcian world-empire, which bordered immediately on the “pleasant land,” are more carefully followed in their further development, is not, indeed, enough to arouse this suspicion, for the other kingdoms of the Diadochi might have been passed over as too unimportant in their relations with the theocracy. It was, moreover, to be expected that Israel should be alternately oppressed by a southern and a northern neighbor, in view of the similar parts taken in earlier prophecies by the Assyrio-Babylonian north on the one hand, and by Egypt in the south, on the other (cf., e.g., Isaiah 30:6; Isaiah 43:6; Jeremiah 3:12; Jeremiah 3:18; Jeremiah 6:22; Jeremiah 46:20; Jeremiah 46:24; Zephaniah 2:13; Zechariah 10:10-38.10.11). But the manner in which the transactions between the two kingdoms, whether peaceful or hostile in their character, are described with regard to their changeful course, is too exact, and covers too extended a succession of reigns and events, to find even a remote parallel in any other part of the prophetic literature of the Old-Test, canon. The unique character of the section in this respect was recognized at an early period, and has been made use of by the opponents of the authenticity and genuine prophetic dignity of the book (e.g., early by Porphyry), in order to attack its character, and has also been employed for apologetic purposes, in order to demonstrate the inspired character of the prophecy, and the astonishing exactness with which its predictions corresponded with the actual development of the dominion of the Seleucidæ and the Lagidæ. With this view it is employed by Luther in his preface to Daniel and in his exposition of chap. 12 (which begins, according to his opinion, with Daniel 11:36;—see vol. 41, pp. 252 et seq., 294 et seq.); by Venema, Commentarius ad Danielis cap. XI. 5–XII. 3 (Leovard., 1752); by Hengstenberg, Beitr., p. 173 et seq.; and, generally, by a majority of orthodox expositors in ancient and modern times. Cf. especially Ebrard, Die Offenb. Joh., p. 81 et seq., where a thorough illustration of the harmony between the contents of this section and the facts of history precedes the remark: “For that very reason—this is the internal design of the specializing prophecy, chap. 11—the coming of the Macedonian tyrant is connected with the age of Daniel by an unbroken chain of the most particular events, that it might be thoroughly apparent that no interval for the coming of the Messiah and his rejection should intervene between the time of Daniel and that tyrant.” But Ebrard himself does not seem to have remained permanently satisfied with this mode of justifying the remarkably specific character of the prophecy on the supposition of a higher plane of revelation; for, in his review of Füller’s commentary, he confesses that he “has not yet found any exposition of chap. 11. that was entirely satisfactory” (p. 207).—We shall attend specially to Kranichfeld’s view in the following exposition of the several passages. He likewise contends for the genuine character of the section throughout, but on the frequently forced assumption that the modern exegesis applies what was indefinite and merely ideal in the mind of the prophet to the facts of history in the corresponding period in far too pointed a manner.—And the king of the south shall be (or “become”) strong, i.e., the ruler to whom the south, or Egypt, has fallen; cf. Daniel 11:8, where the south is expressly designated as מִצְרַיִם; also the Sept. on this passage, and Zechariah 6:6.—And one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him; rather, “but one of his princes—he shall be strong above him.” With regard to the partitive מִן in וּמִן שָׂרָיו, cf. Genesis 28:11; Exodus 6:26; Nehemiah 13:28. The subject, “one of his princes,” occupies a detached position at the beginning (cf. Ezekiel 34:19); the copula, however, restores the connection: “(so far as he is concerned) he shall still be stronger.”—Others (Luther, etc., Bertholdt, Rosenm., Kranichfeld, Füller, etc.) regard the ו in שָׂרָיו וּמִן as the definite “and indeed, namely,” and refer the suffix to the subject of the preceding verse: “and the king of the south, namely one of his (Alexander’s) princes, shall become strong.” This, however, is opposed by the lack of a definite subject of וְיֶחֱזַק in that case, and by the unanimous authority of the ancient versions, which regard this second ויחזק as the predicate of ומן שריו, despite the Athnach. Consequently, the event to which the passage alludes is the founding of the dynasty of the Seleucidæ in the year B. C. 312. by Seleucus Nicator. the general of Ptolemy Lagus (Diodorus, 19:55, 58; Appian, Syr., C. 52),9 who extended his dominion from Phrygia to the Indus, and thus greatly exceeded his former lord in power, approaching to the position of power and greatness occupied by Alexander himself more nearly than any other of the Diadochi (Appian, Syr., 55; Arrian, Anab., VII. 22. 9).—And (shall) have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion. מִמְשָׁל רָכ is the predicate, followed by the subject in regular order. The whole clause, however, is logically subordinated to וּמָשָׁל; cf. Genesis 12:8.
Daniel 11:6. And in the end of years they shall join themselves together. וּלְקֵץ שָׁכִים, “and after the lapse of several years,” cf. 2 Chronicles 18:2; also infra, Daniel 11:8; Daniel 11:13. The subjects of the sentence are the kings of the northern and of the southern kingdoms, and the alliance referred to is the marriage of Antiochus II. Theos (the son and successor of Antiochus I. Soter, who had followed Seleucus Nicator upon the throne of the Seleucidæ as its second possessor, B. C. 281–261, but who is wholly unnoticed in this prophecy) with Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus (280–247), the second of the line of Ptolemies. Antiochus was obliged, on that occasion, to banish Loadice, his former wife and half-sister, and to disinherit the children she had borne to him (Appian, Syr., C. 55; cf. Jerome on this passage). It is impossible to doubt that this event is referred to in this place, in view of what follows, and Kranichfeld therefore wastes his labor when he observes, with reference to מֶלְך חַצָּפוֹן, and with an apologetic aim, that “it is an interpolation to assume that Daniel here intended precisely a king of Syria.”—To make an agreement; properly, “to make a straightening, to establish a just and peaceful condition.” Cf. יְשָׁרִים, Daniel 11:17, and the corresponding Sikata, 1Ma 7:12.—But she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm; i.e., probably, neither her arm nor his, which had strengthened themselves by that union, shall be able to retain the power thus acquired; their union shall again be dissolved, and the political alliance, with its strengthening influence upon both kingdoms, shall thus be set aside. It seems unnecessary, upon this view, to adopt Hitzig’s emendation, וְלאׄ יַעַמְדוּ זְרֹעָו (“his [i.e., the arm of Berenice] arms shall not stand,” which is held to be equivalent to “her father as well as her consort, who were hitherto her protectors, shall forsake her), and also Kranichfeld’s rendering of חַזְּרועַ in the sense of host, in support of which Daniel 11:15; Daniel 11:22; Daniel 11:31 may indeed be adduced, but this is decidedly opposed by the context, which treats solely of an intermarriage and its immediate consequences, and not at all of warlike events. It is likewise arbitrary to take זְרוֹעַ in the sense of “support, protector,” with Hävernick, Von Lengerke, etc., and accordingly to find the assistance to be derived by Berenice from Egypt referred to in the former half of the sentence, and in the latter half the aid rendered to her husband by Berenice herself. “Arm” is intended in each case to simply denote the physical or political power of the respective royal personages, and consequently, in the first instance, that of the Egyptian princess, and in the next that of her consort.—But she shall be given up and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times; or, “he that begat her and he that led her away in the times.” מְבִיאֶיהָ, “they that brought her,” denotes either the “begetter” who is mentioned immediately afterward, and the one that “led her home,” hence her father and her husband (Hävernick, Füller, etc.), or the company of her followers, her train when she left Egypt (Ewald), [or “who brought her into the marriage” (Keil)]. The word is hardly to be taken, with Hitzig, as a categorical plural, and thus to be limited to the husband. מַחֲזִקָהּ properly signifies “he that holds her, that obtains possession of her,” i.e., her consort (thus correctly Von Lengerke and Hävernick, while Hitzig, Kranichfeld, [Keil], etc., contend for the rendering of הֶחֱזִיק by “maintaining or supporting,” which is too artificial).—בַּעִתִּיּם, “in the times,” is an idiom signifying “at that time,” i.e., when his critical situation obliged him to marry her. תִּנָּתֵן, “she shall be given up, be given over to ruin, overthrown (in perniciem traditur),” is a very general expression that does not necessarily imply death by violence; cf. Isaiah 5:12; also infra, Daniel 11:11.—The historical commentary on the latter half of this verse is as follows: As soon as Ptolemy Philadelphus had died in B. C. 247, Antiochus Theos expelled Berenice, and recalled the formerly rejected Laodice. The latter, however, aimed at farther revenge, and to achieve it she poisoned the king, had her son by him, Seleucus II. Callinicus, declared his successor, and sent assassins against Berenice, who had fled to the sanctuary of Daphne. The latter queen was slain, together with her little son, and the hope of the Ptolemies to behold one of their lineage on the throne of the Seleucidæ was thus wholly destroyed. Cf. Polyæn., viii. 50; Justin., xxvii. 1; Appian, 1. c.—Kranichfeld vainly attempts to shake the evident correspondence of this series of facts with the language of the passage by regarding תִּכָּתֵן as denoting a violent death, and consequently as not harmonizing with the natural death of Ptolemy Philadelphus. He farther translates זְרוֹעַ in the sense of “host,” and attributes to מְבִיאֶיחָ the questionable meaning, “the promoters of her marriage” (the “furtherers of the whole Delilah-like match”), by all of which he obviously becomes liable to the charge of arbitrary “interpolation,” to a far greater degree than the opponents whom he accuses of that crime because they frankly recognize the reference to those events.
Daniel 11:7-27.11.9. Ptolemy Evergetes and Seleucus Callinicus. But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his place (marg.). The partitive מִן as in Daniel 11:5. כֵעֶר ש׳, “the sprouting of her roots” (cf. Isaiah 11:1) signifies the lineage, the immediate ancestry of Berenice; the person referred to was consequently the son of her parents and her own brother, viz.: Ptolemy III. Evergetes, the successor of Ptolemy Philadelphus, B. C. 247–221. כִּכּוֹ, an accusative of the direction (cf. Daniel 11:2, at the end); in Daniel 11:20-27.11.21, it is replaced by a definite עַל כַּכּוֹ.—Which (or “and he”) shall come with an (rather, “against the”) army, and shall enter into the fortress of the ting of the north אֶל־הַחַיִל וְיָבאֹ signifies neither, “he shall come to his host” (Hitzig), nor “he shall come to power” (Hävernick); the former rendering is as forced as the latter is contrary to the language (owing to the missing article). על is rather equivalent to against, and the “host” is that of the northern king. The “coming into his fortress” which follows, designates the result of the expedition as a whole, the taking of the northern king’s fortress by the king of the south. It must, however, remain undecided whether this “fortress” denotes specially the strongly fortified maritime city of Seleucia (as Hitzig thinks). It is more probable that מָעוֹז is used collectively (cf. Daniel 11:19), and that therefore בּוֹא בְ does not denote the entering into the fortresses, but only the arrival before them.—And shall deal (or “execute it”) against them and prevail. “Against them” refers to the subjects of the northern kingdom, not to the fortresses. With regard to עָשָׂה בְ, “to do to, or against one,” namely, according to pleasure, cf. Jeremiah 18:23; also the more definite &עָשָׂח כִרְצוֹכוֹ Daniel 11:3; Daniel 11:36; Daniel 8:4. Concerning the magnificent success achieved by Ptolemy Evergetes during his expedition against Syria (the conquest of almost the entire Syrian realm from Cilicia to beyond the Tigris, the taking of numerous fortresses, and the slaying of Laodice, the rival and murderess of his sister Berenice) cf. Appian, Syr., C. 65; Justin., XXVII. 1; Jerome on the passage.
Daniel 11:8. And shall also carry captive into Egypt their gods, with their princes (rather “molten images”), etc. The suffix in אֱלחֵֹיהֶם and also in נְסִכֵיהֶם refers to the inhabitants of Syria, the same to whom בָּהֶם in the preceding verse referred. כְסִכִים does not signify “princes” in this passage (as it does, e.g., in Joshua 13:21; Ezekiel 32:30), but “molten images, cast images, brazen statues;” and consequently כָסִיךְ is employed in the sense which is more generally denoted by נֶסֶךְ (Isaiah 41:29; Isaiah 48:5) or מַסֵּכָה (Exodus 32:4; Exodus 32:8; Exodus 34:17, etc.). The express mention of the molten images besides the gods arises from the fact that the existence of the latter is made wholly dependent on the former. The transportation of the idols in itself is the significant evidence of the total subjugation of an opposing kingdom (cf. Isaiah 46:1-23.46.2 : Jeremiah 48:7; Jeremiah 49:3; Hosea 10:5 et seq.); and likewise the removal of the “precious vessels of silver and gold” which is afterward noticed (כֶּסֶף וְזָהָכ, genit. materiæ, depending on the immediately preceding gen. qualitatis, כְּלֵי חֶמְדָּתָם, cf. Nahum 2:10; Jeremiah 27:18 et seq.; Ezekiel 7:19 et seq.; Zephaniah 1:18; Daniel 1:2.—The historical event which corresponds to this was the return of Ptolemy Evergetes to Egypt, occasioned by a revolt, when he carried away from Syria a booty of 4,000 talents of gold, numerous jewels, and 2,500 idol-statues, the latter including among their number those which Cambyses had formerly transported to Persia. It was the restoration of these that secured to this third Ptolemy the name of Εὐεργέτης. Cf. Jerome on the passage, and the Marmor Adulitanum, the monument erected by the victor in commemoration of his deeds, which boasts that he had united Mesopotamia, Babylonia, Persia, Susiana, Media, and all the countries as far as Bactria, under his sceptre. In view of this exact correspondence of our passage to the facts of history, which, it is alleged, occurred subsequently to the composition of the prophecy, the suspicion that the oracle was conformed to the history appears to be only too well founded, especially as Egypt (מִצְרַיִם) is expressly mentioned as the goal of the magnificent triumphal march.12 The predictions by other prophets relating to expeditions that secured great booty and that captured immense numbers of idol-images, e.g., those of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Nahum, Ezekiel, etc., in the passages cited above, are always associated with very different surroundings, and present fewer circumstances of detail to be particularly fulfilled.13 For this reason it cannot be admitted that the neglect to mention the death of Laodice forms a proof of the undimmed originality of the prophecy (against Kranichfeld).14—And he shall continue more years than the king of the north; rather, “and shall abstain from the king of the north (several) years,” i.e., shall refrain from waging war against him, shall leave him in peace. Thus Hävernick, Von Lengerke, Maurer, Hitzig, etc., correctly render the sense. On the other hand, Syr., Vulg., Luther, Kranichfeld, Füller, etc., render: “and for years he shall maintain himself before the king of the north,” i.e., preserve his superiority over him, prævalebit adversus regem Aquilonis (Vulg.). This interpretation is opposed by the usage of עָמַד מִן in the sense of “to cease, abstain from something,” which occurs elsewhere also; cf. Genesis 29:35; Genesis 30:9; 2 Kings 4:6; 2Ki 13:18.15
Daniel 11:9. So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom; rather, “and he shall (now) come into the kingdom of the king of the south.” The subject obviously is the northern king, who was mentioned at the close of the preceding verse, for מֶלֶן הַנֶּגֶב is clearly a genitive depending on מַלְכוּת (against Kranichfeld).—And shall return unto his own land, i.e., to the northern kingdom, to Syria. The reference to the expedition against Egypt by sea (with a fleet that was soon destroyed in a storm) and also by land, which Seleucus Callinicus undertook about B. C. 240, or two years after the departure of Ptolemy Evergetes from Syria, but which resulted in his total defeat and hasty flight, is sufficiently obvious; cf. Euseb., Chron., I. 346; Justin., xxvii. 2.
Daniel 11:10-27.11.12. Seleucus Cerauhus and Antiochus the Great against Ptolemy IV. Philopater. But his sons shall be stirred up (or “prepare for war”) and shall assemble a multitude of great forces. If the Keri וּבָכָיו is to be followed, it is unquestionable that the suffix of this plural refers back to the last named Syrian king Seleucus 2. Callinicus, and that his two sons, Seleucus III. Ceraunus (B. C. 227–224) and Antiochus III. the Great (224–187), are intended. It is reported concerning the latter, although only by the somewhat credulous and hasty Jerome (on the passage), that, in connection with his younger brother, Antiochus, he made war on Egypt; but it is hardly possible that he should have attempted a war against Ptolemy Evergetes, who lived and reigned until B. C. 221, three years beyond the reign of Ceraunus. But the writer does not probably intend to assert by יִתְגָּרוּ that the warlike expedition undertaken by the brothers was primarily and directly aimed against Egypt. The verb is rather used in a comprehensive sense, so as to cover the campaign of Seleucus Ceraunus (in which he met his death, B. C. 224) against Attalus of Pergamus, and also that commenced several years afterward by Antiochus Magnus, which was directed against the indolent Ptolemy IV. Philopater of Egypt; cf. Polyb., IV. 48; Appian, Syr., C. 06 (Hävernick, Von Lengerke, Maurer, Hitzig, Füller, etc., are substantially correct). This counteracts the attempt of venema, Bertholdt, and Kranichfeld to read וּבְכוֹ with the Kethib, and to understand Ptolemy Philopater, the son of Evergetes, by this “son,” by proving it to be superfluous, and, moreover, to be conflicting with the plural יִתְגִּרוּ וְאָסְפוּ.*—And (one) shall certainly come, overflow, and pass through (or “inundate”) וּבָא בוֹא, a strong description of the protracted but irresistible advance, followed by a portrayal of the overflowing masses of warriors that recalls the similar description in Isaiah 8:8. Beginning with this point, the subject is singular, denoting Antiochus the Great alone, who became king of Syria after the death of his brother Seleucus III., and after that of Ptolemy Evergetes became the terrible and victorious foe of Egypt, whose luxurious and cowardly king, Ptolemy philopater, quietly permitted him to take the fortress of Seleucia on the Orontes, to capture Tyre and Ptolemais through the treachery of Theodotus, and finally to besiege the fortress of Dora during a protracted period, while entering into a four months’ truce with him in connection with that siege (Polyb., V. 45–66).—Then shall he return, and be stirred up (or, “and they wage war”), even to his fortress. וְיָשֹׁב can in no case designate the return of Antiochus to Seleucia on the Orontes, after concluding the truce above referred to, in order to go into winter quarters at that place (Polyb., 11:66), but rather, as appears from the verb. bellicum וְיִתְגָּרוּ (as it must be read with the Kethib, instead of יִתְגָּרֶה, as the Keri prefers) which immediately follows, it denotes a renewal of his operations against the Egyptians in the spring of 218, in the course of which he surrounded the Egyptians in the strong city of Sidon, to which they had advanced, conquered all Phœnicia and Palestine, and finally established himself in Gaza (Polyb., 11:68–80). מָעֻזּחֹ (as it should be read, or even מָעֻזּוֹ, with the Keri, but not מָעֻזָּהּ, as Kranichfeld desires),” his fortress,” doubtless refers to the great and exceedingly strong city of Gaza, so that its suffix points back to the king of the north, the subject of יָשֹׁב. It is arbitrary, however, to assume a designed assimilation in sound between מעזה and עַזָּה, as do Venema and Hitzig.
Daniel 11:11. And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, etc. On וְיִתְמַרְמַר cf. Daniel 8:7. The king of the south who is “moved with choler” is Ptolemy Philopater, and his “coming forth,” as here described, denotes his moving to attack Antiochus the Great in the year 217, with 70,000 foot, 5,000 horse, and 73 elephants (Polyb., 11:79).—And he shall set forth a great multitude; but (rather, “and”) the multitude shall be given into his hand. The southern king is the subject here likewise, whose success, as based on the support of a great army, is described in this and the following verse (not the king of the north, as Kranichfeld supposes). הָמוֹן רָכ designates the great host before described, at whose head the aroused Egyptian king goes forth, and הֶחָמוֹן the host, of nearly equal strength (62,000 foot, 6,000 horse, and 102 elephants) with which the Syrian opposed him. Hitzig arbitrarily assumes that instead of וְכִתָּן we should read וְנָמַן; so that the sense would be, “and he (Ptolemy Philopater) gave the great multitude into his own hand.”
Daniel 11:12. And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; rather, “and the multitude shall rise up (or “lift itself up”), and his courage (or “heart”) increase.” The “multitude” denotes the powerful host of the Egyptians (=הָמוֹן רָב Daniel 11:11) which is now advancing;16 “his courage” (לְבָבוֹ) is the courage of the hitherto cowardly, dissipated, and lustful Ptolemy Philopater (cf. 2 Kings 14:10). The Kethib יָרוּם is probably to be retained, instead of replacing it by the Keri וְרָם, which is simply an easier reading. וְכִשָּׂא is spoken of a warlike “rising up” to battle, as in Isaiah 33:10.—And he shall cast down ten thousands (“myriads”). This occurred near Raphia (southwest of Gaza), where Ptolemy Philopater inflicted a heavy defeat on Antiochus the Great, in which the Syrians lost in killed 10,000 foot, 300 horse, and five elephants, and more than 4,000 prisoners (Polyb., 11:86).—But he shall not be strengthened by it; or, “but yet he shall not become strong,” i.e., inasmuch as he followed up his victory very negligently (see Justin., XXX. Daniel 1:0 : “Spoliasset regem Antiochum, si fortunam virtute juvisset;” cf. Polyb., V. 87), and immediately returned to Egypt after garrisoning the cities that had formerly been lost, in order to resume his former dissipated life. The Vulgate, “sed non prævalebit,” is incorrect.
Daniel 11:13-27.11.14. Farther description of the warlike deeds of Antiochus Magnus. For the king of the north shall return, and set forth (rather “shall again set forth”) a multitude, greater than the former. This new adventure falls fully thirteen years after the defeat of Antiochus near Raphia. Not until he had carried on fortunate wars during an extended period against the Parthians, the Bactrians, and even to the borders of India, and until he had likewise conquered Asia Minor and the Thracian Chersonnesus, did he turn his arms against Egypt in B. C. 203, where Ptolemy Philopater had recently died and left the throne to his son Epiphanes, a child of five years, who was placed under the guardianship of the voluptuous and cruel Agathocles. In league with Philip of Macedon, who concluded a formal treaty for the division of the Egyptian empire with him, he advanced toward Egypt at the head of the immense army which he had formed while engaged in his protracted eastern wars, and which he had especially strengthened by the addition of a great number of Indian elephants, and succeeded in depriving it again of Phoenicia and southern Syria; see Justin., XXX. 2; XXXI. 1; Polyb., XV. 20; Jerome, on this passage.—And shall certainly come after certain years; rather, “and toward the end of times he shall come (repeatedly) during a period of years.” The “times” at whose end his annually repeated coming shall begin (שָׁכִים, during several years, as in Daniel 11:8 b) are the thirteen years bet ween the battle near Raphia and the death of Ptolemy Philopater (B. C. 217–204).—With a great army and with much riches (rather, “equipment”). In connection with this equipment we are probably to conceive of the rich treasures secured in past wars, in addition to the Indian elephants.—And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south. Insurrections occurred in upper Egypt as early as the first year of the reign of Ptolemy Epiphanes, occasioned by the bad administration and the cruelty of his guardian Agathocles; and these were followed in subsequent years by renewed insurrections, the revolt of subjugated countries, etc. Before his eighth year had expired, the king was obliged to conquer Lycopolis, a stronghold of the rebels (see Corp. inscr., III. Dan 339: Inscr. of Rosetta, 20, 26, 28; Jerome, on the passage).—Also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves; rather, “and criminal sons of thy people shall revolt.” The literal reading is, “and sons of the ravenous ones, of the oppressors of thy people.” פָּרִיצִים denotes persons who overturn the law and justice (cf. Psalms 17:4; Ezekiel 7:22; Ezekiel 18:10; Isaiah 35:9), hence violent persons, robbers. With regard to the occurrence of two stat. constr. in immediate succession (בכי פריצי), which must not be strained so as to denote robbers’ sons, robbers by birth (Füller), cf. the examples collected by Ewald (Lehrb., § 289 c.). The oracle refers to the league against Egypt, into which a large number of Jews entered with Antiochus the Great, and to their participation in his warlike operations against that country, e.g., in his attacks on the garrison which the Egyptian general Scopas had left in the citadel of Jerusalem (Josephus, Ant., XII. 3, 3). The theocratic writer sternly condemns this partial revolt to the Syrians as a criminal course or as common robbery, because of the many benefits conferred on the Jewish nation by the earlier Ptolemies.—To establish the vision (rather, “visions”), namely, the visions respecting the afflictions of the Jews under Ant. Epiphanes already recorded in chap. 8 and 9, which could appropriately be regarded as a consequence or punishment of the revolt from the Egyptians as here described. חָזוֹן is used collectively in this passage, in the sense of “what there is of prophecy, such visions as exist.”—But they shall fall. נִכְשָׁלוּ does not probably denote stumbling or falling in a moral point of view (Hävernick, etc.), but to be unfortunate in war, to be oppressed politically and religiously, etc. The special event referred to, whether a punishment imposed by Scopas, in the shape of taking away various nobles as hostages (cf. Polyb., XVI. 39; Josephus, Ant., XII. 3, 4), or otherwise, must remain undetermined. It is not to be denied that at any rate this particular passage presents a somewhat considerable discrepancy between the prophetic text of the section and the corresponding historical events; cf. Kranichfeld on the passage, p. 368.
Daniel 11:15-27.11.19. Last wars and death of Antiochus Magnus. So (rather, “and”) the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities; rather, “a strongly fortified city.” The reference is probably to the siege and ultimate capture of Sidon, into which “city of fortifications” (עִיר מִכְצַרוֹם, cf. Ewald, § 177 c) the Egyptian leader Scopas had thrown himself after suffering a severe defeat at the hands of Antiochus at Paneas, near the sources of the Jordan, which reduced his army to 10,000 men (B. C. 198). While Antiochus was carrying on a war in Asia Minor against Attalus in the preceding year, Scopas had again brought Cœle-Syria under the dominion of Egypt; but in consequence of that terrible defeat he was deprived not only of that province, but also of the whole of Palestine as far as Gaza by the Syrian king. After enduring a protracted siege in Sidon, in the course of which an Egyptian army under Eropus, Menocles, and Damoxenus had vainly attempted to extricate him, he was compelled by hunger to surrender himself into the victor’s hands (Polyb., XXVIII. 1; Livy, XXXIII. 19; Josephus and Jerome, 1. c). The text, consequently, does not expressly notice the repeated advance of the Egyptians and the great battle near Paneas, but contents itself with referring to the final results of this new war, viz.: the capitulation of the remaining Egyptian troops in Sidon. The idea that עִיר מִבְעַ׳ is used collectively (Theodot., Syr., Vulg., Kranichfeld) must be rejected, because this event is so obviously referred to as appears especially from the second half of the verse.—And the arms of the south shall not withstand, etc.; an allusion to the unsuccessful nature of the attempt made by the three Egyptian leaders to come to the assistance of the besieged Scopas. זְרֹעוֹת is evidently used in the sense of military forces (arms=army), hence not as in Daniel 11:6; on the other hand, cf. Daniel 11:22; Daniel 11:31.
Daniel 11:16. But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will; i.e., Antiochus, the victor of Paneas and conqueror of Sidon, who now subjugated the whole of Palestine (the “pleasant land” or “land of beauty,”—cf. on Daniel 8:9)—Which by his hand shall be consumed; rather, “and destruction is in his hand.” כָּלָח בְיָדוֹ, as in Isaiah 10:32; cf. Isaiah 44:20; Job 11:14. If there were no other reason, these parallels would be sufficient to show that כָּלָה cannot here denote “to consummate” (Luther), nor yet “completeness or totality,” which would result in the meaning, “and it is wholly in his hand,” i.e., the glorious land (Hävern., Von Leng., van Ess, Füller, etc.; also Bertholdt and Dereser, who prefer, however, to read כֻּלָּהּ).
Daniel 11:17. He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom. “To set his face” is equivalent to “fixing his aim” upon something; cf. 2 Kings 12:18, and for the rest of the sentence, cf. Psalms 71:16; Isaiah 40:10. Livy, XXXIII. 19, plainly asserts that Antiochus was temporarily inclined to follow up his victories in Cœle-Syria and Phœnicia by a powerful attack on Egypt: “Omnibus regni viribus connixus, cum ingentes copias terrestres maritimeasque comparasset,” etc. The same author records also an attack on the cities on the coast of Cilicia and Caria belonging to Ptolemy, as being an introductory step toward the execution of that plan. The reference of the text to this fact is so unequivocal, that all explanations which do not accord with it must be rejected, e.g., that of Hävernick, Von Lengerke, etc.: “to come against the strength of his (the Egyptian monarch’s) whole kingdom;” and of Füller, “to come in the power of his (Antiochus’) whole kingdom,” which is interpreted to mean, that he should secure the complete possession of the royal power throughout Syria, and re-establish its former limits.—And upright ones with him; rather, “and an agreement shall he make with him.” This rendering of וִישָׁרִים עִמּוֹ וְעָשָׂה was adopted by the Sept. (καὶ συνήκας μετʼ αὐτοῦ ποιήσεται), Vulg., Luther, Berth., Dereser, Von Leng., and Hitzig, although the two last-named writers attempt emendations of the text (Von Leng., וּמֵישָׁרִים instead of וִישָׁרִים; Hitzig יַעֲשֶׂה instead of וְעָשָׂח) which are entirely uncalled for. It is certainly obvious that the words refer to the treaty concluded in the year 198 between Antiochus and the defeated Ptolemy Epiphanes, by which Cœle-Syria was left in the hands of the victor, and in connection with which the marriage of Cleopatra, the daughter of Antiochus, with Ptol. Epiphanes was agreed upon, although not consummated until five years afterward (Polyb., XXVIII. 17; Josephus, Ant., XII. 4, 1); see what follows. Such explanations as the following must therefore be rejected. “and upright ones shall be with him,”—i.e., the Jews (!)—“and he shall succeed in it” (Gesenius, Winer, etc.); “and strong ones come with him, and he conducts it successfully” (Füller); or, “and uprightness with him, and he shall accomplish it” (Hävernick, Kranichf.), etc.—And he shall give him the daughter of women, i.e., his daughter Cleopatra, who is here designated as “a daughter of the women” (i.e., of her mother, grandmother, etc., who were still employed with her education), probably on account of her youth; cf. Zechariah 9:9, where בֶּן־אֲתֹנוֹת in like manner denotes a young ass-colt.19 As Ptolemy himself was but seven years old when this treaty was made, the agreement primarily involves a betrothal only, the marriage being postponed during five years to B. C. 193.—Corrupting her; rather, “to destroy it,” i.e., his league with Egypt; his purpose was to ruin his former opponent and present ally. לְחַשְׁחִיתָהּ is probably to be taken in this sense, without substituting לְחַשְׁחִית for it with Hitzig, or, with others, referring the suffix to the daughter. If the latter interpretation (“to destroy her”) were adopted, the לְ would certainly lose its telic signification, and become consecutive: “so that he destroys her, so that he ruins her in this way” (Kranichf.), but the following clause does not accord with this view.—But she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him; rather, “but it shall not succeed, nor result to his advantage,” i.e., Antiochus shall not realize the expected benefits from the agreement. Others, less appropriately, conceive of Cleopatra as the subject, “she shall not stand on his side (?), neither be for him (?), but rather take sides with her husband, the king of Egypt” (cf. Jerome on the passage). The rendering preferred by us is supported by the exactly similar expressions in Isaiah 7:7; Isaiah 14:24.
Verse. 18. And he shall turn his face unto the isles (or coast-lands), and shall take many (of them). The Kethib וְיָשֵׁב is to be retained in opposition to the Keri וְיָשֵׁם, which is transferred to this place from Daniel 11:17 for the sake of analogy. אִיִּים, i.e., “the isles and coast-lands” probably denotes the coasts of Asia Minor, which Antiochus subjected to his power through the aid of his fleet and army in the summer of 197, and also Macedon and Hellas, which were attacked and conquered by him in the following year, after having spent the intervening winter at Ephesus and crossed the Hellespont in the spring (Livy, XXXIII. 19, 38, 40; Polyb., XVIII. 34).21—But a prince …. shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; or, “but a general (military leader) shall stifle his scorn,” i.e., his scornful and contemptuous declaration to the Roman ambassadors at a meeting in Lysimachia, that “Asia did not concern them, the Romans, and he was not subject to their orders” (Polyb. and Livy, 1. c.). The leader (קָעִין, as in Joshua 10:24; Judges 11:6; Judges 11:11) who stifled the scornfulness of the Syrian king (הִשְׁבִּית literally, “to cause to cease” [to teach it to cease, Luther]), was Lucius Scipio Asiaticus, whose brilliant victory near Magnesia on the Sipylus in Lydia, B. C. 190, enabled him to force Antiochus to conclude an immediate peace on very severe and humiliating terms (Polyb., XXI. 14; Livy, XXXVIII. 38; Appian, Syr., 38, 39, etc.).—Without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him; rather, “he shall assuredly give him back his reproach;” he shall retaliate by inflicting a more bitter reproach on his part. בִּלְתִּי in this place is synonymous with אַךְ or כִּי־אִם and does not signify “except that” (Hävernick).22—Kranichfeld attempts in vain to obviate and obscure the manifest reference of this representation to the defeat of Antiochus near Magnesia, as being an artful “fabrication of history” on the part of the “positivists in prophetic interpretation.”
Daniel 11:19. And he shall turn his face toward the fort (“forts”) of his own land. These words are probably ironical; instead of advancing against the fortresses of foreign lands, he is thenceforward to be employed only with those of his own realm, perhaps in the direction of placing them in good condition for defence. Füller’s remark, that here and in Daniel 11:24; Daniel 11:31; Daniel 11:39, מָעוּזִים denotes temples, which Antiochus was eventually obliged to plunder, because of the distracting state of his finances, is entirely too artificial and without adequate support from the customary usage of the term. History is acquainted with but a single instance in which Antiochus pillaged the temples, viz.: that of the temple of the Elymaic Zeus, or Bel, in connection with which he was slain, together with his warriors, in a rising of the people; and it is arbitrary to argue a number of similar acts from this single fact.23—But he shall stumble and fall, and not (or, “no more”) be found. Cf. what has just been remarked, and see Strabo, XVI. 1, 18; Justin., XXXII. 2; Diodorus, Fragm., 26, 39. 40.
Daniel 11:20. seleucus Philopater, the son and successor of Antiochus Magnus, B. C. 187–176. Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes (in) the glory of the kingdom; rather, “one that causeth an exacter of taxes to pass over” (marg.), or “one that sendeth out a driver,” to the ornament of the kingdom. The driver was obviously a collector of money, or of tribute, and the person intended was the treasurer Heliodorus, who was sent out by Seleueus Philopater (according to 2MMalachi 3:7 et seq.) to Jerusalem to confiscate the treasure in the Jewish temple. חֶדֶר מַלְכוּם, “the splendor or ornament of the kingdom,” doubtless designates Jerusalem (as does also the צְבִי of Judæa, Daniel 8:9); cf. the similar laudatory terms applied to that city in Psalms 48:3; Psalms 1:2; Lam 2:15.25 The accusative חֶרֶ מ׳ accordingly indicates the direction rather than the measure (“who causes to pass through the extent (?) of the land,” Füller et al.), and cannot in any case be regarded as a nominative in apposition with the subject מַעֲכִיר נוֹגֵשׁ, as Kranichfeld proposes, who consequently translates: “(one) who shall lead drivers thither, the ornament of dominion.”—But in few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle. Soon after Heliodorus was despatched to plunder the temple of Jehovah, B. C. 176 or 175, Seleueus Philopater was suddenly and mysteriously removed, possibly by poison which had been administered to him by the same Heliodorus (Appian, Syr., C. 45). The words “after some (or ‘a few’) days” doubtless refer to the brief interval between the departure of that officer and the king’s death, rather than to the brief duration of his reign of only twelve years, as they are generally applied.26 On the statement that he was to be destroyed “neither in anger, nor in battle,” the remarks of Appian respecting the mode of Philopater’s death (ἐξ ἐπιβουλῆς) should be compared.
Daniel 11:21-27.11.24. The rise of Antiochus Epiphanes; his first Egyptian campaign. And in his estate shall stand up a vile person. כִכְזֶה does not probably denote “a despised one, whose birth deprived him of every right to the throne” (Kranichfeld), but rather one who is deservedly despised, who is despicable, morally contemptible, thus corresponding to כִמְאָס Jeremiah 6:30, and contrasting with מֵיטָכ 1 Samuel 15:9 (cf. Hitzig on the passage). The symbolic description of the person here introduced, as a “little horn,” Daniel 7:8; Daniel 8:9, is in any case appropriate. A contrast with the cognomen ’Επιφανής was probably not intended, since the term appears to be one of the original constituents of the section, rather than an interpolation; for a Maccabæan interpolator would hardly have avoided the temptation to avail himself of the suggestion afforded by the familiar perversion of Ἐπιφανής into Ἐπιμανής to make use of a term like מְשֻׁגָּע for instance (cf. 1 Sam. 21:16; Jeremiah 29:26; Hosea 9:7).—To whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom; rather, “to whom was not given,” etc.—who has seized the royal dignity instead, in opposition to the will of his nation. Cf. the Eth.-fund, principles, etc., on chap. 7, No. 3; and with reference to the expression חוֹד מַלְכוּת cf. 1 Chronicles 29:25; Psalms 21:6.—He shall come in peaceably (or “unexpectedly”—בְּשַׁלְוָח as in Daniel 11:24 and Daniel 8:25) and obtain the kingdom by flatteries; rather, by “dissimulations.” חְַלַקְלַקּוֹת does not denote smooth speeches or flattering words merely, but dissimulating words and actions, a hypocritical and deceitful bearing in both word and deed. It occurs in the same sense in Daniel 11:34. The historical tradition, indeed, speaks only of the application of military force by Antiochus, when seeking to obtain the Syrian throne for himself, and of the assistance which Eumenes and Attalus rendered him to that end, by expelling the usurper Heliodorus. But this assuredly did not exclude the employment of all manner of canning arts and secret manœuverings, which probably were the only means by which he could secure the countenance of those kings of Pergamos. The difference between the language of the passage and the historical fact is at any rate inconsiderable; and it is not necessary to assume that to obviate that difficulty the Sept. substituted the more appropriate בַּחְַלָקוֹת or בְּחֶלְקָח for כחלקלקות, and translated it by κατισχύσει βασιλεὺς ἐν κληροδοσίᾳ αὐτοῦ on the ground that they “could find no historical equivalent for the former term” (against Kranichfeld).
Daniel 11:22. And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him; rather, “and the overflowing power of the host shall be swept away and broken before him;” literally, “and the arms of the overflowing—before his face they shall be swept away,” etc. On זְרֹעוֹת, cf. Daniel 11:15; Daniel 11:31; on שֶׁטֶף cf. Daniel 9:26. The tropical expression זרְעֹּוֹת חַשֶּׁטֶף, when taken as a whole, involves a metaphor that is not entirely unmixed, similar to שׁוףט שׁוֹטֵף, “the overflowing scourge,” in Isaiah 28:15. The “overflowing hosts” probably represent in part the troops of Heliodorus, whom Antiochus routed with the assistance of his Pergamenian allies, and in part the Egyptian forces which sought to deprive him of Cœle-Syria soon after his accession to the throne. “For after the death of Cleopatra (Daniel 11:17), Eulaus and Lenæus, the guardians of her son, Ptolemy Philometor, demanded the cession of Cœle-Syria, the dowry which had hitherto been refused (Polyb., 28:1; Diodor., Leg. 18, p. 624 Wess.; Livy, XLII. 49). Antiochus, on the other hand, would not acknowledge that his father had promised such a dowry (Polyb., XXVIII. 17), and therefore refused to grant it. Finding that the Egyptians were preparing for war, he took the initiative, and succeeded in defeating the generals of Ptolemy between the Casian mountains and Pelusium. On every calculation, that event transpired in B. C. 171” (Hitzig).—Yea, also the (rather, “a”) prince of the covenant; supply יִשָּׁבֵר “shall be broken.” The person referred to was probably the high priest Onias III., who was put to death by command of Antiochus Epiphanes in the year 172, and hence about the time of the war between that king and Ptol. Philometor. He was denominated a מָשִׁיחַ in Daniel 9:26 (see on that passage), and here bears the title of נְגִיד בְּרִית “prince of the covenant,” because he was the actual head of the theocracy at that time; cf. the repeated designation of the theocracy by the term בְּרִית in the following verses, e.g., Daniel 11:28; Daniel 11:32 (thus correctly Theodoret, Rosenm., Hitzig, Hofm., Füller). A majority of recent writers refer this expression to Ptol. Philometor; but this is opposed (1) by the fact that at the time which is here indicated, that prince was by no means in league with Antiochus; (2) that if it were really intended to represent him as having entered into such an alliance, it would have been necessary to employ the words נְגִיד־בְּרִיתוֹ or rather בַּעַל בְּרִיתוֹ (cf. Genesis 14:13); (3) that the Egyptian is always designated as מֶלֶך חַנֶּגֶב in this chapter, while, on the other hand, בְּרִית always refers to the theocracy.29
Daniel 11:23. And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully, i.e., as soon as he shall have established friendly relations, and allied himself with his defeated opponent, which his victory near Pelusium enabled him to accomplish. Even while the battle was raging, Antiochus displayed great kindness toward the Egyptians, everywhere interfering to check the slaughter by his soldiers, and thus won the hearts of his foes (see Diodorus, Exc. in Wess., p. 579). This conduct seems to have subsequently been of material value to him in the capture of Pelusium, Memphis, and generally of all lower and central Egypt (cf. Diodor., l. c.; Polyb., XXVIII. 16 et seq.; Jerome, on this passage).—And shall come up, and shall become strong (or “prevail”) with a small people, unexpectedly. Cf. Jerome: “Ascendit Memphin et ibi ex more Ægypti regnum accipiens puerique (i.e., Ptolemœi Philometoris) rebus se providere dicens, cum modico populo omnem Ægyptum subjugavit sibi, et abundantes atque uberrimas ingressus est civitates.” Several expositors propose to refer וְעָלָה to the king’s invasion of Cœle-Syria and Palestine only, instead of understanding his victorious march up the Nile as far as Memphis (e.g., Kranichfeld, Hofmann, Ewald, and especially Füller, who had already interpreted the preceding וּמִן־הִתְחַבְּרוּת as referring to the league of Antiochus with the Pergamenian kings Eumenes and Attalus); but this interrupts the regular progress of the narrative by transposing an event from the beginning of the war to the history of its close. בְּשַׁלְוָח, “unexpedly,” is probably to be included in this verse, as Von Lengerke, Hitzig, etc., propose. It states that the victor had penetrated into the heart of their country before the Egyptians were fully aware of the fact, or had made arrangements to resist his progress. Hitzig’s explanation, “with confidence (=בּוֹטֵחַ) as if he were not in an enemy’s country,” is unnecessary; and also that offered by others, “with a peaceful object” (“in the midst of peace,” Füller).
Daniel 11:24. Concerning בְּשַׁלְוָה, see what immediately precedes.—And he shall enter even upon the fattest places of the province. The extraordinary fertility of lower Egypt is well known; cf. Plin., H. N., XXI. Dan 15: “Ægyptus frugum fertilissima,” etc. With regard to the genitive combination מִשְׁמַנֵּי מְדִינָח, cf., e.g., אֶבְיוֹנֵי אדם, Isaiah 29:19. Concerning מְדִינָח, a “territorial jurisdiction or province,” see on Daniel 2:48; Daniel 3:2.—He shall scatter among them the prey (rather “prey”—without the article), and spoil, and riches. This defines “that which his fathers had not done, nor his fathers’ fathers.” It consisted of an immoderate squandering, by which he not only divided among his soldiers the money provided for carrying on the war, but also the spoil of Pelusium and all other booty that had been acquired. Even the Egyptians (to whom לָהֶם is perhaps to be specially referred) were not excluded from his liberality. Thus he bestowed on each Greek a piece of gold at that time, while at Naucratis, according to Polyb., XXVIII. 17. His unusual liberality during this campaign in Egypt is also attested by 1Ma 3:30.30—He shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time. מִבְצָרִים unquestionably denotes fortresses in the proper sense, or strong cities, rather than temples, as Füller supposes (cf. on Daniel 11:19).—It refers, e.g., to the taking of Pelusium, and to the siege of the fortified cities of Naucratis and Alexandria, etc. (Polyb., XXVIII. 17–19).—וְעַד־עֵת, “and that until a time,” i.e., until a time that has been determined by a higher power—for a time. Cf. שָׁנִים in Daniel 11:8, and the similar terms in Daniel 11:6; Daniel 11:13.
Daniel 11:25-27.11.27. The second Egyptian campaign of Antiochus Epiphanes. And he shall stir up his power and his courage. Concerning וְיָעֵר, cf. יָעִיר הַכֹּל in Daniel 11:2; also Psalms 78:38; 1Ma 2:24.—Against the king of the south. This was not probably Ptolemy Philometor, but his younger brother Ptolemy Physcon, who had thrown himself, together with his sister Cleopatra, into the strong city of Alexandria, at the time when Antiochus was conquering Egypt, and had there been declared king in the stead of his brother, who had fallen into the hands of the Syrians. After the departure of Antiochus (occasioned by a revolt of the Tarsians and the Mallotes in Cilicia), this usurper had probably brought the entire kingdom into his power, as seems to be implied in Livy, XLIV. Dan 19: “Antiochus, Syriœ rex—per honestam speciem majoris Ptolemœi reducendi in regnum, bellum cum minore fratre ejus, qui turn Alexandream tenebat, gerens,” etc.—But he shall not stand; for they shall forecast devices against him; i.e., despite the magnitude of his army, this Ptolemy shall offer no resistance to the Syrian king לֹא יַעֲמֹד, cf. Daniel 8:4; Daniel 8:7; 2 Kings 10:4), because treason in his own camp (cf. what immediately follows), of which his opponent is able to make skilful use, shall cause his defeat.
Daniel 11:26. Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him. With regard to פַּתְבָּג, cf. on Daniel 1:8. The אֹבְלֵי פַתְבָּגוֹ were of course members of the royal household and servants of the king, therefore serpents whom he had cherished in his own bosom, like the traitorous אֹכֵל לַחְמִי in Psalms 41:10 (John 13:18); cf. Daniel 11:27 and 2 Samuel 9:11 et seq.; 2 Samuel 19:29; 1Ki 2:7; 1 Kings 18:19, etc.—And his army shall overflow (or “flow away, dissolve”); and many shall fall down slain. Concerning the “flowing away,” which is here equivalent to “dissolving, turning away to flee,” cf. Daniel 11:22; also 1 Samuel 14:16, where יִמּוֹג expresses about the same idea. On the second member of the sentence, cf. Judges 9:40; 1 Chronicles 5:22; 1Ma 1:18.—The decisive victory of this second Egyptian war (the δευτέρα έφοδος, 2Ma 5:1), which Antiochus achieved over Physcon and Cleopatra, was not gained on land, so far as we know, but in a great and fortunate naval action near Pelusium; and וְחֵילוֹ יִשְׁטוֹף seems to be applicable only to a battle of the former kind, not to the scattering or destruction of a fleet. Nor is there any definite record of treason committed against Ptol. Physcon by the Egyptians.31 But, after making due allowance for this discrepancy [?], the whole description seems more appropriate when applied to the second Egyptian campaign of Epiphanes than when it is altogether referred to the events of the former war, as Ewald, Füller, etc., attempt to do.
Daniel 11:27. And both those kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief. This does not allude, probably, to their evil designs against their enemy Physcon, but to those entertained against each other; cf. Proverbs 27:19; and on the term לְמֵרַע (i.e., literally, “belonging to do evil”), cf. Isaiah 1:5; Judges 5:9. The two kings themselves are certainly not Physcon and his victorious opponent Epiphanes, nor yet the two brothers Philometor and Physcon, but Antiochus and Philometor, who were leagued against Physcon, and concerning whom Livy (XLV. 11) and Polyb. (29:8) expressly state, that at that time they had taken the field in company against the latter king.—And they shall speak lies at one table. Probably an allusion to a particular incident which is no longer known.32 Their “speaking of lies” was naturally a hypocritical profession of disinterestedness on the part of Antiochus, as if his only concern were to reconquer the kingdom for his nephew Philometor (cui regnum quœri suis viribus simulabat, Livy, l. c.), while the latter pretended reverence and gratitude toward his uncle, but in his heart was anxious to have him removed from his path.—But it shall not prosper, i.e., their joint endeavor to overthrow Physcon; the latter, on the contrary, retained possession of Alexandria and of his usurped crown.—For yet the end shall be at the time appointed; rather, “for yet the end is (reserved) to the appointed time.” “The end,” namely of the Syrio-Egyptian wars, and consequently of the sufferings of Judæa, which was intermediate between the contending kingdoms. The time indicated by לַמּוֹעֵד in Daniel 11:29 is not identical with this קֵץ, or “end of the appointed time,” but rather that denoted by וּבְעֵת קֵץ in Daniel 11:40, and by עִת קֵץ in Daniel 11:35.
Daniel 11:28-27.11.30. The third Egyptian campaign of Antiochus. Then shall he return into his land with great riches, i.e., with much booty, which he partly secured in Egypt, and partly on his homeward march through Judæa, which was now in a state of insurrection. Cf. 1Ma 1:19-20; 2Ma 5:11 with Livy, l. c.—His heart (shall be) against the holy covenant. Cf. the detailed descriptions of the rapine and other atrocities committed by Antiochus while marching through Judæa; 1Ma 1:20-29; 2Ma 5:11-17. בְּרִית קֹדֶשׁ denotes the theocracy with reference to its territory and its adherents.—And he shall do exploits; rather, “accomplish it,” i.e., his malicious intention, the design of his לֵבָב.
Daniel 11:29. At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south. לַמּוֹעֵד, “at the appointed time,” i.e., the time appointed by God. The reference is to the spring of the year B.C. 168, in which Antiochus began his third campaign against Egypt, this time against the two Ptolemies, Philometor and Physcon. The brothers had become reconciled to each other in the preceding year, through the influence of their sister Cleopatra, and had made common cause against the Syrian, whose conduct in leaving behind him a strong garrison in Pelusium had indicated his purpose to secure a permanent influence over Egypt. Incensed by the course of the Ptolemies, Antiochus led a large army through Cœle-Syria and Palestine to Egypt in the spring of 168 (primovere, Livy, XLV. 11), and would have inflicted heavy penalties on the brothers had not the Romans interfered (cf. Livy. l. c.; Polyb., XXIX. 8; Justin., XXXIV. 2).—But it shall not be as the former, or as the latter, i.e., a success similar to the triumphs of the first and second expeditions shall not be realized; cf. for instance, Daniel 11:12.—כְּ־וּכְ׳׳, “as—so also;” cf. Ezekiel 18:4; Joshua 14:11 (Ewald, Lehrb., p. 851). The two substantives are in the cas. adverbialis.
Daniel 11:30. For ships of Chittim (צִיִּים כִּתִּים) shall come against him. The expression is derived from Numbers 24:24, where Balaam predicted the humiliation of Assyria through the agency of ships of Chittim. In that place Græcian ships were probably intended, but the reference here is certainly to ships belonging to the Romans, namely, the fleet of C. Popilius Lænas, which sailed to Egypt after the victory over Perseus near Pydna (June 22d, B.C. 168), in order to prevent the Syrian king from subjugating that country, as he designed to do (Livy, XLV. 10; Polyb., XXIX. 1). It is not necessary to assume, with Bertholdt and Dereser, that the “ships of Chittim” denote the Macedonian fleet which fell into the hands of the Romans at the victory of Pydna, and was afterward employed by Lænas for his voyage to Egypt. Aside from the fact that Polybius and Livy do not mention this fact, to designate ships that had been taken by the Romans as Macedonian vessels would obviously be inappropriate; and, moreover, the customary usage throughout this book would lead us to expect יָוָנִים instead. The term כִּתִּים is very broad and indefinite in its application, as appears already from Genesis 10:4. It denotes all the islands and coast-lands along the northern shores of the Mediterranean sea, beginning with Cyprus (which is referred to under that name in Isaiah 23:1; Isaiah 23:12; Ezekiel 27:6), and extending as far as Spain, and therefore might appropriately be employed to designate Rome or Italy in particular (cf. Knobel, Völkertafel, p. 95 et seq.). The Sept. is correct (Ῥωμαὶοι), and also Jerome; but the latter overlooked the adjective nature of כִּתִּים (plur. of כִּתִּי), and therefore inserted a copula between the two nouns: “venient super eum trieres et Romani.”—Therefore shall he be grieved (rather, “discouraged”) and return. It is known that Popilius Lænas, on meeting with Antiochus four miles from Alexandria, did not grasp the hand extended by the latter in greeting, but at once presented the message entrusted by the senate to his care, and that when the king requested time to consider its contents, the Roman drew a circle about him, and did not permit him to pass beyond it before he had given the desired answer (Livy, XLV. 12; Polyb., XXIX. 11; Appian, Syr., 66; Justin., XXXIV. 3).—And have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; or, “and shall accomplish it.” Füller says well, “The rage which he was unable to vent on Egypt is now turned against the holy covenant; in his displeasure he turns against Israel, without being hindered” (וְעָשָׂה, as in Daniel 11:28). Several writers, among whom are Rosenm. and Kranichfeld (the latter being guided by his desire to render the prophecy as dissimilar to the history as possible), take the preceding וְשָׁב adverbially, and regard it as qualifying וְזָעַם: “and again he shall have indignation,” etc. שׁוּב, however, is not used as a mere auxiliary in any other part of this section; and the return of the northern king from Egypt could not be passed over without notice in this place, since not to have mentioned it would have made Egypt the scene of the subsequent warlike operations in Daniel 11:31 a, which would thus conflict with Daniel 11:31 b (cf. Hitzig on the passage).—He shall even return and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant; rather, “and he shall return, and fix his attention on them,” etc. The second “and he returns” denotes his journey to Antioch from Palestine, where he had halted by the way. His “fixing attention” (הבין על, as in Daniel 11:37; Job 31:1; Jeremiah 39:12) on the apostates from the covenant (&עֹזְבֵי בְרִית פָּרִיצִים, Daniel 11:14) is to be understood in the sense of affiliating with them, who became his favorites and protegés, and for whom he endeavored to erect a new and idolatrous system of worship; cf. 1Ma 2:18; 2Ma 6:1. Also infra, on Daniel 11:39.
Daniel 11:31-27.11.36. Attacks on the sacred institutions of the theocracy, and the persecution of its faithful adherents by Antiochus. And arms shall stand on his part; rather, “and armed hosts of his shall remain,” namely, in the holy land. Consequently זְרעִים יַעַמְדוּ is used substantially as in Daniel 11:15, to denote the standing still of an armed host (cf. the leaving of a Syrian garrison in the citadel of Zion, which is mentioned in 1Ma 1:34). The usual rendering is, “and armed bands shall arise from him”—which, however, seems more appropriate and conformable to the context than Kranichfeld’s strange interpretation, “and accomplices (i.e., traitorous Israelites) shall stand up through his influence” (!). מִמֶּנּוּ probably does not signify “at his bidding” (cf. 2 Samuel 3:37), but is a partitive, or rather expresses dependence on the possessor.—And pollute the sanctuary of strength; rather, “the sanctuary, the stronghold.” The sanctuary is probably termed the stronghold (הַמָּעוֹז, an apposition) in a spiritual sense, as being the refuge and support of Israel; cf. Psalms 18:3; Psalms 31:3-19.31.5; Isaiah 25:4, etc., where Jehovah himself is termed Israel’s strong tower (Von Leng., Kranichfeld, Füller). The reference of the expression to the fortifications with which the second temple was certainly provided (1Ma 6:7; 1Ma 5:60) is less probable. However, cf. 1Ma 1:37; 2Ma 6:4.—And shall take away the daily sacrifice. Cf. the parallels, Daniel 8:11-27.8.13; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 12:11; and with regard to the historical fulfilment, cf. 1Ma 1:45; 1Ma 1:54.
Daniel 11:32. And such as do wickedly against (or “by”) the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries; Hitzig: “the condemners of the covenant, its accusers.” The מַרְשִׁיעֵי בְרִית, however, are evidently the same as the עֹזְבֵי בְרִית in Daniel 11:30; בְּרִית is simply an accusative of specification; cf. Ewald, Lehrb., § 288, 2 et seq.—החניף, properly, “to desecrate,” here signifies “to cause to revolt,” utterly to sever their union with the theocracy, against which they had already sinned. Consequently, the expression does not involve a tautology, as if a successful effort to lead such as had already cast off their allegiance to apostatize were asserted. Kranichfeld interprets very harshly and arbitrarily, “and so far as the sinner against the covenant is concerned, he shall pollute it (the covenant) by his insinuating deportment.” בַּחֲלַקּוֹת, “with smoothnesses,” i.e., with smooth words and dissimulating arts (doubtless including deceitful promises, cf. 1MMalachi 2:17 et seq.) probably differs merely in form from בַּחֲלַקְלַקּוֹת in Daniel 11:21; cf. Daniel 11:34.—But people that do know their God shall be (or “prove themselves”) strong (i.e., to resist his seductive efforts), and do exploits; rather, “do it.” Cf. Daniel 11:17; Daniel 11:28; Daniel 11:30, and for the historical fulfilment, see 1Ma 1:62 et seq.; Daniel 2:3 et seq.
Daniel 11:33. And they that understand among the people shall instruct (the) many. מַשְׂכִּילֵי עַם does not denote “teachers of the people” (Dereser, Hitzig), and the analogy of לְחַשְׂכִּילְךָ in Daniel 9:22 is not sufficient to establish that rendering. מַשְׂכִּיל is rather to be taken as equivalent to intelligens (cf. Sept., Theodot.: οἱ συνετοὶ λαοῦ; Vulg., docti), in harmony with the usual intransitive sense חשׂכיל (see Daniel 1:4; Daniel 1:17; Daniel 9:13; Daniel 9:25). This rendering finds a special support in the contrasting of the מַשְׂכִּילִים and the רְשָׁעִים in Daniel 12:10. These understanding ones, i.e., these genuine theocrats, e.g., a Mattathias (1MMalachi 2:1 et seq.), an Eleazar (2Ma 6:18), etc., shall “impart understanding” (יָבִינוּ, cf. Job 6:24) to the many, i.e., the not inconsiderable number of the “people that do know their God,” Daniel 11:32, who were faithful to the covenant and capable of being saved, and of whom 1 Macc. 1:65 et seq. testifies that they were somewhat numerous.—Yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, etc. “They,” viz.: the many who hearken to the voice of the understanding ones, not the latter in person; see Daniel 11:35. For the narrative of the fulfilment, see 1Ma 1:57; 1Ma 2:38; 1Ma 3:41; 1Ma 5:13; 2Ma 6:11.
Daniel 11:34. Now when they fall they shall be holpen with a little help, or, “they shall obtain but little help” (עֵזֶר מְעָט), referring to the efforts of Judas Maccabæus (1MMalachi 3:11 et seq.; Daniel 4:14 et seq.), which were not sufficient to put an end to all the suffering and persecution at a single stroke; cf., e.g., 1Ma 5:60 et seq.—But many shall cleave to them with flatteries, or “hypocrisies;” i.e., in addition to the limited aid received by them, the party of faithful adherents shall absorb many impure elements, which associate themselves hypocritically (בחלקלקות, cf. on Daniel 11:32) with the “many.” It appears from passages like 1Ma 6:21 et seq.; Daniel 9:23, that this was actually the case in the Maccabæan age, principally as a consequence of the bloody severity with which Judas Maccabæus treated all apostates (1Ma 2:44; 1MMalachi 3:5; 1MMalachi 3:8).
Daniel 11:35. And some of them of understanding (see Daniel 11:33) shall fall, e.g., certain priests, 1Ma 5:67; Eleazar, 2Ma 6:18, etc., and Judas Maccabæus himself, etc. נכשל can have no other meaning in this place than that in which it occurs in Daniel 11:33-27.11.34.—To try (“smelt”) them, and to purge and to make them white (or, “cleanse them”), even to the time of the end; literally, “among them.” This is a statement of the Divine purpose in imposing the specified sufferings. “Among them” (בָּהֶם), i.e., not merely among the “understanding ones,” but also among their followers, among the theocratic party as a whole, which, according to Daniel 11:34, stood in some need of being sifted and purified. לְבָרֵר alludes to the separation or removal of the dross that was expelled by the צרוף, and לַלְבֵּן to the polishing and brightening of the metal that was thus freed from its impure elements. “The three-fold description is also probably designed to indicate that the purifying should be effected by various processes. Not only are the pretended adherents to Jehovah’s party to separate themselves from His sincere followers, but the latter themselves, incited thereto by the example of steadfastness and self-denial furnished by their martyrs, shall cast out from themselves everything that is impure; and they shall succeed in gaining over all those who share their convictions in their hearts, but have been hindered by fear and timidity from avowing an open connection with them. In like manner a Nicodemus and a Joseph of Arimathæa were induced by the very death of Christ on the cross to confess their allegiance to him.—Thus Antiochus attempts to annihilate the party among the Jews that is devoted to its God, but succeeds only in contributing to its purifying” (Füller).—The “time of the end” (עֵת־קֵץ) down to which the painful process of purifying is to be continued, denotes, in the sense of the prophecy, the end of the pre-Messianic period as a whole, as appears from Daniel 8:17; Daniel 9:27; but it coincides essentially with the end of Antiochus himself.—Because it is yet for a time appointed; i.e., the period of tribulation shall be protracted until then; cf. Daniel 11:27.
Daniel 11:36. And the king shall do according to his will. The מֶלֶךְ can be no other than the one hitherto represented, the antitheistic persecutor of Israel, the king of the north, Antiochus Epiphanes. It is therefore not Constantine the Great (Ibn-Ezra, Jacchiad., Abarbanel, etc.), or the Roman state as a whole (Rashi, Calvin, etc.), or the New-Test, antichrist (Jerome, Theodor., Luther, Œcolamp., Geier, Calov, Kliefoth)—all of which interpretations contradict the context, and arbitrarily interpose a hiatus of centuries between Daniel 11:35 and the closing verses of the chapter.33—And magnify himself above every god, i.e., subjectively, in his proud imagination; cf. 2Ma 9:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; also Daniel 8:25. Jerome, Luther, Füller, etc., render the words, “against every god;” but this interpretation עַל is antagonized by its use in Daniel 11:37 b, where it is likewise connected with יִתְגַּדֵּל, but notedly in the sense of “above.”—And shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods. Cf. Daniel 7:8; Daniel 7:25; and concerning אֵל אֵלִים, see Daniel 2:47.—And shall prosper, i.e., in his undertakings generally; cf. Daniel 8:12; Daniel 8:24 et seq.—Till the indignation be accomplished; namely, God’s anger against His people, in whose execution He employed Antiochus as a scourge or “saw” (Isaiah 10:15). Cf. Daniel 8:19; Daniel 9:27; and on the whole expression, see Isaiah 10:23; Isaiah 10:25.
Daniel 11:37-27.11.39. Description of the general godlessness of Antiochus Epiphanes, without confining it to its relations to the theocracy. Neither (or, “and not”) shall he regard the god (“gods”) of his fathers, hence, shall manifest his impiety even with reference to the requirements of the religious sense of the heathen. This will include his robbery of temples (Polyb., XXXI. 4), and his efforts to destroy national bounds by tearing down their several religious systems (Diodor., XXXI. 1; 1Ma 1:43).34—Nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; rather, “nor the desire of women nor any god shall he regard.” In view of the connection חֶמְדַּת נָשִׁים cannot possibly signify anything else than a god, and does not, therefore, denote chaste conjugal love (Luther, J. Gerhard, etc., who support their view by a reference to κωλύειν γαμεὶν, 1 Timothy 4:3), or a love for women, susceptibility to amorous emotions generally (Grotius), nor yet “the supplications of women” (Dathe, Stäudlin), or “the favorites of women,” i.e., children (cf. Hosea 9:16; Micah 1:16, etc.—thus Bertholdt). We are to conceive, rather, of the goddess of nature among the Asiatics, the Baaltis, Astarte, or Mylitta of the Babylonians, the Persian Artemis. and the Nanæa of the Syrians. This is the more certain, as it is expressly reported of Antiochus that he had inflicted a gross indignity on the worship of this goddess (who is identical with the “queen of heaven,” Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 44:17 et seq.), by attempting to plunder a temple of Artemis or Aphrodite in Elymais (Polyb., XXXI. 11; Appian, Syr., c. 66; 1Ma 6:1-4; 2Ma 9:2). For this reason modern expositors since J. D. Michaelis, Gesenius, Dereser, and Hävernick are, with few exceptions, agreed in applying the words to this divinity. Concerning the designation as “the desire of women,” cf. Isaiah 44:9, where the heathen gods in general are characterized as הֲמוּדִים, “favorites.”35—He shall magnify himself above all; above everything, whether Divine or human (the addition of אֱלוֹהַּ merely to כֹּל would be one-sided). Cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 : ἐπὶπάντα λεγόμενον θεὸν ἤ σέβασμα.
Daniel 11:38. But in his estate shall he honour the god of forces; rather, “but he shall honor the god of fortresses in his place.” אֱלֹהַּ מָעֻזִּים is not properly a nom. propr.: the god “Mauzzim” or “Mæusim” (Luther, following the Sept., Theodot., and the Vulg., which have Μαωξειμ, Maozim), but rather, as appears from the repeated mention in this chapter of מָעֻזּים (Daniel 11:7; Daniel 11:10; Daniel 11:19; Daniel 11:31) or מִבְצָרוֹת (Daniel 11:15) or מִבְצָרִים, it denotes a martial god to whom the Syrian king paid special reverence—a “god of fortresses or castles,” who must be regarded as being Jupiter Capitolinus, because he is subsequently described as formerly unknown to the Asiatics. There is no question respecting the character of this divinity, as being pre-eminently warlike, nor yet respecting the special reverence which Epiphanes entertained for him. “To him, the Capitoline Jupiter, were devoted the spolia opima; he was called Jupiter Stator, because he brought the Romans to a stand in answer to the prayer of Romulus, when they fled before the Sabines. But the surname Capitolinus accords fully with the god of fortresses; for the capitol was, so to speak, the seat of the Roman empire, the arx omnium nationum (Cicero, Verr., VII. 72), as being the citadel of Home, beside which stood its temple. There the generals sacrificed and paid their vows; and when they returned from their victories, they were taken thither in triumph.—It is readily conceivable that Antiochus should honor this foreign god; he had learned to know him and his worship while at Rome.” Antiochus did not, probably, regard the principal god of the Romans as distinct from the Olympic Zeus of the Greeks, whom he adored with a special zeal, according to Livy, xli. 20; Polyb. XXVI. 10; 2Ma 6:2, and for whom he caused a splendid temple to be erected at Athens; as a genuine Oriental syncretist he rather identified the two. Probably the magnificent temple which, according to Livy, XLI. 20, he began to build at his capital, Antiochia, but which did not arrive at its completion, was dedicated indifferently to both the Capitoline and the Olympic Zeus, the principal god of the Romans and the Greeks. The interpretations which deviate from this are accordingly to be rejected, e.g., that of several rabbins, Grotius, Bertholdt, Stäudlin, etc., who think of Mars (who was evidently not a god of fortresses, but rather a god of battles), and that of Hitzig, who proposes to read אֱלוֹהַּ מִעֹז יָם, not to render “god of the sea fortress,” and that it should be referred to Melcarth or the Tyrian Heracles, making only the latter sentence of the verse to apply to Jupiter Capitolinus. The correct view is advocated by Gesenius, Dereser, Von Lengerke, Hävernick, Maurer, Ewald, and, generally, by a majority of recent writers, among them Vaihinger, Art. Meussim in Herzog’s Real-Encyklop.36—עַל־כַּנּוֹ, “upon his basis,” probably indicates that Antiochus should honor the specified divinity “on its pedestal,” hence in the form of a statue or an idol-image (Bertholdt, Hävernick, Von Lengerke, Maurer, Hitzig, etc.). A less probable opinion is that the words refer to the temple of Jupiter at Rome, as being the headquarters or seat of that god, to which Antiochus forwarded gifts (Kamphausen); and finally, the rendering “in his stead,” which was formerly current (Luther, Gesenius, de Wette, and more recently Kranichfeld and Füller), conflicts with the general usage and with the context, because the preceding verse did not confine its statements to a single Oriental deity, in the stead of which this new god was to arise, while the sing, suffix in כַּנּוֹ can hardly be held to possess a “distributive and illustrative” force (cf. Daniel 11:20-27.11.21).37—And (the) god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold and silver, etc. This god with whom the ancestors of Antiochus were not acquainted was the god of fortresses just mentioned, not a different god (Hitzig), and still less qualiscunque Deus alius (Venema). Livy, XLII. 6, expressly mentions an embassy which Antiochus sent to Rome with a votive offering of golden vessels valued at 500 pounds (a portion of which would naturally be placed in the temple of the principal god).—הֲמֻדוֹת, “jewels, precious articles of small size,” is here equivalent to כְּלֵי חֲמֻדוֹת, 2 Chronicles 20:25–Daniel 11:39. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god; rather, “and he shall pursue the same course with the fortifications of the fortresses as with the strange god;” i.e., he shall recognize and honor them only, shall fix his attention on nothing else, the fortresses are his idols. The words are significant merely as an introduction to what is to follow; עִם in this place is merely a stronger form of כְּ, cf. Job 40:15; Job 9:26; Psalms 120:4; Psalms 143:7; Ecclesiastes 2:16. By approving of this explanation, which originated with Ewald, and which we are compelled to consider the only one that accords with the context, and that is adequately supported by the general usage of the language, we reject the numerous renderings which deviate from it, that have been imposed on the passage from of old, e.g., Vulg., “Et faciet, ut muniat Maozim cum Deo alieno, quem cognovit;” Luther, “And shall greatly honor those who aid him to strengthen Maeusim, with the strange god whom he has selected;” Bertholdt and Dereser, “And shall store them (the jewels) in the temples of the god of war; all who hold with the strange god,” etc.; Rosenmüller, Von Lengerke, Hävernick, “And in the manner which has been described he shall proceed with regard to the true feasts together with the strange gods,” etc.; Maurer, “Et sic ille versabitur in obtrudendo urbibus munitis Jove Capitolino, qui agnoverit illum” etc.; Kranichfeld (and similarly de Wette), “And he shall do it to the defensive fortresses with the aid of the strange god;” Füller, “And he is active for the fortifying of the strong holds with the strange god; whoso shall acknowledge,” etc.; Kliefoth, “And he shall act with the defensive fortress according to the mind of the strange god; whoso shall acknowledge,” etc.; Hitzig and Kamphausen, “And he shall provide for the defensive fortresses the people of a strange god, i.e., heathen colonists” (the two latter consequently transform עִם into עַם); [Keil, “With the help of this god, who was unknown to his fathers, he will so proceed against the strong fortresses that he will reward with honor, might, and wealth those who acknowledge him.”]—Whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory; rather, “To him who shall acknowledge (them), he shall make the honor great;” i.e., he shall confer great honor on those who, like himself, adore the god of fortresses, and consequently make an idol of fortifications and war in general. The persons in view are probably not the heathen subjects and military officers of the king, who naturally were already devoted to this martial god and the worship of fortresses, but primarily the Jews who apostatized to that religion, such as, e.g., a Jason, Menelaus, and others (2Ma 4:10; 2Ma 4:25; 2Ma 5:15).—And shall cause them to rule (or “be lords”) among (the) many; i.e., among the great mass of their nation. Füller, who identifies the הָרַבִּים with those noticed in Daniel 11:33, i.e., with the theocratic Jews, probably goes too far in this; but he is doubtless correct in distinguishing the phrase “set them to be lords among many” from “to make them lords over many.”—And shall divide the land for gain, or “in reward,” i.e., in recompense for their apostasy. Nothing definite is stated with reference to a division of lands among the apostates by Antiochus in the passages that report his briberies and promises, 1Ma 2:18; 1Ma 3:30 et seq.; but it can scarcely be doubted that he employed this means also, and that especially such property as had been confiscated from obstinate Jews was conferred on the apostates.
Daniel 11:40-27.11.45. Recapitulation of the warlike career of Antiochus Epiphanes, not distinguishing between his several campaigns against Egypt, as was the case in Daniel 11:22 et seq., but merely noticing the general character of his attacks on that country, and their unfortunate results upon Judæa. The rather general character of this paragraph, which is analogous in this respect to the descriptions of the future drawn by earlier prophets, raises the expectation that these verses will prove to be especially original and free from interpolating additions—an expectation that will be verified by the exegesis of the several verses. Influenced by the words וּבְעֵת קֵץ, “and at the time of the end,” which appeared to relate to the final stages of the reign of Epiphanes, although the prophet probably employed it in the same general sense as in Daniel 8:17 (with reference to the closing period of the pre-Messianic history in general); and led astray to a no less extent by the example of Porphyry, who, according to Jerome on this place, discovered the description of a fourth and last Egyptian campaign in this paragraph, which he supposed to belong to the year before that in which the reign of Antiochus closed (B.C. 165),38 a majority of modern expositors have also regarded these verses as a continuation of the historical narrative, whose special object was to describe the last warlike operations of Epiphanes against Egypt, Phoenicia, and Armenia. The Maccabæan books make no mention of these final wars of Antiochus, but report that he marched toward the east only, namely, to Babylonia, Elymais, and Persia, and that he died in the latter country (see 1Ma 3:37; 1Ma 6:1 et seq.); but this circumstance is explained, either by assuming that the writer of those books designedly ignored the wars in question, especially the fourth Egyptian and the Armenian campaigns (Hofmann, De bellis ab Antiocho gestis), or by declaring that his representations as a whole are not worthy of credit, and for that reason giving the preference to Porphyry’s statements as reported by Jerome (so especially Füller on this passage, p. 328 et seq.). The report of Porphyry, however, appears rather to have originated in a misapprehension of the paragraph under consideration; for the remaining historians of the time, and particularly Livy, Polybius, and Appian, are entirely ignorant of a fourth Egyptian campaign of Epiphanes, and the credibility of the Maecabæan books, especially of the first, cannot be assailed upon the ground of their statements respecting the final actions and the death of Epiphanes, nor in any other respect; see Wernsdorf, De fide Maccab., p. 58 ss, and Wieseler, Art. Antiochus Epiphanes in Herzog’s Real-Encyklop., I., 386 et seq. We therefore agree with Dereser, Von Lengerke, Maurer, Hitzig, Ewald, and Kamphausen, in regarding Daniel 11:40-27.11.45 as being in fact a kind of abbreviating and generalizing résumé of the contents of Daniel 11:22-27.11.39; but we explain this peculiar feature by regarding that detailed narrative of the military career of Epiphanes, as the product of the interpolating activity of a pious Jew in the Maccabæan period, while we consider Daniel 11:40-27.11.45 as being a portion of Daniel’s original prophecies uttered during the æra of the Captivity, which was left untouched upon the whole by the interpolator.39—And at the time of the end the king of the south shall push at him. On וּבְעֵת קֵץ see immediately above. יִתְנַגַּח, “shall push at,” accords fully with the genuine prophetic description of Daniel 8:4. The Egyptian king clearly appears as the beginner of this conflict, for he is mentioned before the northern king. Consequently, on the assumption that a fourth Egyptian war is here spoken of, it will be necessary to hold that Ptol. Physcon and Philometor, encouraged by their alliance with the Romans, had ventured to attack the Syrian. It is hardly to be credited that the Roman historians, and especially Livy, should have been uninformed with regard to such a war, waged by one ally against another.40—And he shall enter into the countries, i.e., into the countries adjoining to Egypt through which his march against the latter kingdom would lead him, hence, into Cœle-Syria, Phœnicia, and Palestine.—And shall overflow (or “flow along”) and pass (or “surge”) over. The phrase employed in Daniel 11:10, with reference to the war of Antiochus Epiphanes against Ptolemy Philopater, is entirely similar.
Daniel 11:41. He shall enter also—rather, “and he shall enter”—into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown; rather, “and many shall be caused to fall.” The description is scarcely as concrete as the parallel in Daniel 8:9-27.8.11, and may therefore be an original prophecy with equal probability. The case differs in Daniel 11:28; Daniel 11:31 et seq. The “many” who shall be caused to fall by the northern king are probably countries or nations, as appears clearly from b, and as the fem. רַבּוֹת likewise indicates (namely, אֲרָצוֹת). That plural is consequently not to be pointed רִבּוֹת, “ten thousands” (Psalms 91:7), nor to be translated, with Ewald, by “rabbins, teachers of high grade,” and that interpretation to be taken as an evidence of the later composition of the book.—But these shall escape out of his hand, (even) Edom and Moab and the chief (or “kernel”) of the children of Ammon. רֵאשִׁ־ת בְּנֵי עַמּרֹן, properly, the principal power, the “firstlings of the power” of the children of Ammon (cf. Numbers 24:20; Jeremiah 49:35; Amos 6:1), which probably relates to Rabbah, their chief city, and the principal seat of their power. The entire prophecy before us relative to the neighbors of Israel does not bear the look of a vatic. ex eventu; for although the Maccabæan book (1Ma 4:61; 1Ma 5:3-8) notices the assistance rendered to Epiphanes by the Edomites and Ammonites against the Jews, the mention of the Moabites in this place is so much the more remarkable, as that nation is never mentioned after the captivity as maintaining an independent existence (Ezra 9:1 and Nehemiah 13:1 afford no proof to contradict this statement, since the Moabites are not referred to in those passages from a historical point of view, but dogmatically, with reference to the passage in the law, Deuteronomy 23:3), and since the name of the Moabites had already been lost in the more comprehensive one of Arabians in the Maccabæan age. It is not strange, on the other hand, that a prophet of the time immediately subsequent to the Captivity should adduce the nations of Edom, Moab, and Ammon as leading representatives of tribal hostility to the theocracy,—not remarkable in the least; cf. the older prophetic parallels, Psalms 10:10; Isaiah 11:14; Isaiah 25:10, 15, 16; Zephaniah 2:8; Jeremiah 43:0; Jeremiah 49:1-24.49.6; Ezekiel 25:1-26.25.14; Ezekiel 21:20; Ezekiel 21:28, etc. Kranichfeld remarks correctly: “The Edomites, like the Moabites and Ammonites, showed themselves the most persistent allies of the oppressors of Israel among all its neighboring relatives; and when the Chaldæan catastrophe broke in upon Judah, they proved themselves her most bitter enemies. From that period, the complaint against this treacherous nation, so regardless of fraternal ties, is poured out more persistently, and the cry for revenge upon it is repeated more urgently, than against Babylon itself; cf. Obadiah; Jeremiah 49:7-24.49.22; Lamentations 4:21-25.4.22; Ezekiel 25:12-26.25.14; Ezekiel 35:0; Ezekiel 36:5; Psalms 137:7 et seq.; Malachi 1:1-39.1.8. Although Edom, Moab, and Ammon, of all others, were connected with Israel by ties of relationship, and therefore were bound to maintain cordial relations with it in the very nature of their connection, it is precisely these nations, the unnatural oppressors of Israel, that enter into the conception of every theocrat, and especially of the prophets, as the historical representatives of all hostility against the theocracy; and as their subjugation revives the Messianic hopes (Psalms 40:10; Isaiah 11:14; Isaiah 25:10), so the picture of the bloody humiliation of Edom is occasionally introduced to represent the Messianic universal triumph in Isaiah 43:1-23.43.6,” etc.
Daniel 11:42. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries, i.e., upon the aggregate of the southern countries generally; cf. Daniel 11:41 a, to which the words before us are related as a generalizing repetition. [?]—And the land of Egypt shall not escape.41 לֹא תִחְיֶה לִפְלֵיטָה, properly, “shall not be among the escaped ones;” cf. Joel 2:3; Jeremiah 50:29; 2 Chronicles 20:24; Ezra 9:14.
Daniel 11:43. And he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt. cf. supra, Daniel 11:28, where the great booty was mentioned which Antiochus carried away on his return from the second Egyptian campaign, while the statement here is very general in its character, and notices the confiscation of treasures in Egypt once for all.—And the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps, as enforced auxiliaries, who were compelled to follow the victorious king of the north, as was Egypt in former times (cf. Ezekiel 30:5; Jeremiah 46:9). The fact that this feature is recorded in no other authorities is an additional evidence for the genuine character of this prophecy (against Hitzig).42 Concerning בְּמִצְעָדָיו, “in his following or train,” cf. the analogous בְּרַגְלָיו, in Judges 4:10; Judges 5:15; also Exodus 11:8.
Daniel 11:44. But tidings (“rumors”) out of the east and out of the north shall trouble (or “alarm”) him; therefore he shall go forth with great fury, to destroy and utterly to make away many. The masculine plural יְבַהֲלוּהןּ is employed here, “in view of the omission from the general idea of the statement, of the subject which originates the rumors.” cf. the analogous case in Daniel 2:33. The “alarming rumors out of, the east and north” may, in fact, be referred to the expedition which Antiochus undertook shortly before he died (B.C. 166, or 147 ær. Sel.—see 1Ma 3:37), against the Parthians under Arsaces and against the Armenians under Artaxias, and which resulted in at least the subjugation and capture of the Armenian king (see Tacitus, Hist., Daniel 11:8; Appian, Syr. 45, 46). This thought is at any rate less forced than that which refers the words to the brutal treatment accorded to Jerusalem, which was mentioned in Daniel 11:30 et seq, and also to the alleged rebellion of the Aradians in Phœnicia, which is mentioned only by Porphyry in the passage cited by Jerome (see note above; against Hitzig). It is, however, by no means necessary to regard this passage as a vatic. ex eventu; on the contrary, it is exceedingly possible that the remarkable correspondence between its statements and the historical fact that Antiochus Epiphanes was recalled from his warlike operations in the south by those insurrections in the north and east, became the very occasion which led the Maccabæan interpolator to introduce into the preceding verses (22–39) allusions, still more specific in character, to the history of the wars of the antitheistic tyrant, with a view to represent his entire career as having been foretold by Daniel in all its successive stages.43
Daniel 11:45. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace44 between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; rather, “between seas and the mountain of the holy ornament.” צְבִי־קֹדֶשׁ הַר, the “mount of the holy ornament,” certainly denotes Mount Zion, the mount on which the temple at Jerusalem was erected (cf. צבי, Daniel 8:9, and ארץ הצבי, Daniel 11:16; Daniel 11:41, as designations of the holy land); and the plural יַמִּים must be regarded, with Hitzig, Kranichfeld, etc., and with equal certainty, either as a poetical designation of the Mediterranean Sea (cf. Job 6:3; Sir 1:2), or, with Venema, Füller, and others, as denoting the two seas between which mount Zion is situated—the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean. The latter view, on which the plural is employed for the dual, is the best recommended, on account of the absence of the article from יַמִּים. There is certainly no reference to any locality outside of the holy land, as Porphyry, l. c., held, referring the two “seas” to the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, and misunderstanding the choice poetical expression אָהְָלֵי אַפַּדְנוֹ, “tents of his palace” (cf. the corresponding Syr. word for אַפֶּדֶן, “palace,” and also Jeremiah 43:10, Targ.), to the extent of assuming a place between those rivers, and bearing the name of Apedno, as the resting-place of Antiochus while contending against the Armenians and Parthians; or, as Dereser and Hävernick have interpreted it in modern times, rendering אַפַּדְנוֹ correctly, but making the “mount of the holy ornament” to designate the “mount of the sanctuary of Nanæa,” which lies between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, and near which they believe Antiochus to have died,—a view which Hitzig justly characterizes as “a monstrosity,” and which is equally unfortunate in interpreting either הַר צְבִי־קֹדֶש or יַמִּים.—But he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. The death of Antiochus did not take place in Judæa itself, nor did it occur immediately after his final sojourn in that country, when his camp was in the vicinity of Jerusalem (having returned from the third Egyptian war in B.C. 168.—On the location of his camp, cf. 2Ma 5:24 with 1Ma 1:29 et seq.), but rather from two to three years later, in connection with the campaign against the Parthians and Armenians, and in the Persian town of Tabæ (Τάβαι). which Polyb., XXXI. 11, and. Porphyry, in Jerome on this passage, agree in representing as the place of his decease; cf. in addition 1Ma 6:4; 1Ma 6:8.45 So sudden a transition from the scene of the over-confident oppressor’s sojourn in the holy land to that of his irretrievable destruction, which did not take place until after a considerable interval, is a decided proof of the genuine prophetic character of this passage.46 A testimony of no less weight is found in the analogy of the peculiar expression קִצּוֹ וּבָא עַד to the former descriptions in Daniel 8:25; Daniel 9:26, and in the poetic coloring of the entire representation. As a characteristic feature in the latter regard, we notice the words וְאֵ־ן עֹזֵר לוֹ (cf. the shorter וְאֵין לוֹ, Daniel 9:26), which serve as a transition to Daniel 12:1-27.12.3, and form an expression that refers in very general terms to the irretrievable and irrevocable character of his destruction. It would be useless to look for an indication of insanity (Polyb., l. c.) or of painful disease (2Ma 9:5; 2Ma 9:9; 2Ma 9:28), as having preceded the death of Epiphanes, in these words.
ethico-fundamental principles related to the history of salvation, apologetical remarks, and homiletical suggestions.
1. Our exegetical examination has resulted in leading us to regard the opening and closing verses of the section as having originated with Daniel, or more particularly, those portions of the prophecy which relate to the development of the Persian empire and to the first beginnings of the Javanic world-power (Daniel 11:2-27.11.4), together with those that refer to the Old-Test, antichrist as the last representative of the Græcian world-kingdom (Daniel 11:40-27.11.45); while we saw cause to regard the portion intervening between the two just indicated (Daniel 11:5-27.11.39) as being composed of both genuine and interpolated elements. It is impossible to assert that the intermediate section is spurious throughout, because it affords many traces of original prophecy, which may be recognized by the comparative discrepancy of their statements with the corresponding facts in the history of the Seleucidæ and the Lagidæ (see, e.g., Daniel 11:14; Daniel 11:19; Daniel 11:26; Daniel 11:34; Daniel 11:39). By far the larger portion, however, seems to have been inserted by a later hand, since the parallels found in former descriptions of the future, viz.: Daniel 7:24; Daniel 8:9,—passages which likewise refer to the period intervening between Alexander the Great and Antiochus Epiphanes,—are exceeded by it to an almost incredible degree in regard to the specific character of its predicted details.47 It follows the succession of the Seleucid monarchs and their conflicts with the Ptolemies with such conscientious accuracy, that it may almost be considered an attempt to demonstrate the ideal tenfold number of the horns of the fourth beast in Daniel 7:24, in the particulars of history. This, however, becomes improbable from the circumstance that the number of the Syrian kings who are mentioned is by no means exactly ten, but that, on the contrary, their succession is followed in a decidedly imperfect manner, as appears from the overlooking of Antiochus Soter (see on Daniel 11:6), and from the confused interchange of the earliest kings in general (see on Daniel 11:5-27.11.9). We observed in a former paragraph (Eth. -fund, principles on chap. 7 No. 3, a) that it could not be proven that the writer of this book assigns exactly ten kings to the period from Alexander the Great to Antiochus Epiphanes, or that he was acquainted with precisely four kings of Persia, and no more (see on Daniel 11:2). The arrangement of the series of Seleucid kings according to a numerically symbolic plan, can in nowise be asserted, whether the chapter before us be regarded as the genuine production of Daniel throughout, or as enriched [?] by later additions of the Maccabæan age. On the other hand, there can be no question that it was the design of the originator of this exact description of the history of the Seleucidæ and the Lagidæ, whether Daniel himself or an inspired [?] reader of his book in the Maccabæan period were that writer, to demonstrate that the Maccabæan period, and it alone, formed the point in which the entire series of prophecies in the book are centred, and consequently that it constituted the immediate preparation for the Messianic period of salvation. It became necessary, “on the beginning of the predicted unexampled trial, to enable the Jewish nation to trace, step by step, that it was by the counsel of God that it should begin under precisely those circumstances, and in precisely that juncture of the progress of history” (Delitzsch). It was necessary “to connect the advent of the post Macedonian tyrant with the time of Daniel by so continuous a chain of the most particular events, that it would be evident that no hiatus could intervene between the time of Daniel and that tyrant, in which the Messiah might appear” (Ebrard; see supra on Daniel 11:5). cf. also Füller, pp. 362, et. seq., 368.
2. The fundamental ethical and Messianic principle of the section coincides substantially with its aim, as it was pointed out in the preceding paragraph, and as we are compelled to formulate it in common with nearly all the orthodox expositors of recent times, despite our doubts concerning its unimpaired genuineness. God will not desert his people in the changing fortunes of the world, or amid the tempestuous thronging of the nations and the tumults of the wars incited by the monarchs of the earth. Even though they be pressed during centuries between mighty contending empires as between two millstones, and be unable in their own power to prevent the raging of such foes, God will not permit them to be either ground or crushed. He does not permit the chosen people of His heritage to be overwhelmed, even though the oppressor’s power should reach its highest stage, and though to his violent attempts to suppress that people by force should be added the most flattering arts of dissimulation and the most dangerous spiritual trials (cf. Daniel 11:31 et seq.). Indeed, it is precisely when the need is highest, that He comes nighest with His aid and deliverance; precisely when to human wisdom every prospect of rescue has been lost, does the judgment of God break in on the oppressor and snatch him away to irretrievable ruin—“and there is none to help him” (Daniel 11:45). The particularizing description of the tedious conflicts between the kingdoms of the north and south is evidently designed to illustrate these truths, which are closely connected with the fundamental thought of chap. 8. These truths would still constitute the ethical kernel of this section, even if the portion that is probably interpolated, Daniel 11:5-27.11.39 (where the prophecy becomes transformed into actual history), were conceived of as being wholly expunged; but they form its leading thought in a more obvious sense, when it is remembered that that portion is at least largely composed of genuine prophecies relating to the time between Alexander and Antiochus Epiphanes. It must accordingly be admitted, even on the assumption of the partially interpolated character of the section which we have adopted, that the prophecy enters upon the course of history from the Persian æra to the Asmonæan period with an unusual fulness of detail, and does this because it accorded with the Divine purpose to afford the suffering confessors of the latter epoch a strong certainty that their afflictions constituted the woes, the immediate precursors of the Messianic æra of deliverance. To the extraordinary trials of the Maccabæan age, the wise providence of God designed to oppose a means of comfort and strength possessing extraordinary power, in this unusually specific portion of Daniel’s prophecies. “If that affliction was unique in its kind, is it wonderful that the people was armed against it, and strengthened to endure it, by means that are likewise unique in their kind? … The war which Antiochus waged against Israel was not like other wars. He aimed to destroy its religion; and therefore this war is represented as a contest against God and His service. In such a war Israel stood alone and without allies, in the resistance it opposed to the powerful king and his armies. In proportion as it was deprived of ordinary means of power and resistance, and was confined to the exercise of confidence in the aid of its God, in that proportion it was necessary to strengthen its trust; and this was accomplished by means of this unique detailed prophetic description of the tribulation and the history which should precede it” (Füller, p. 363; cf. Hofmann, Weissag. u. Erf., I:313).—We have assumed that a pious [!] theocratic investigator of the Scriptures in that period of trial, affected and surprised by the marvellously exact correspondence between the prophecy and the history of his time, sought to give a still more direct form to that correspondence, and to remove the last remains of apparent discrepancy between the prediction and the recent historical past, by inserting into the prophetic text a series of vaticinia ex eventu; but this can no more destroy the incomparable value and the inspired character of the prophecy before us, than, for instance, the interpolations perpetrated on the somewhat analogous predictions of the abbot Joachim of Floris († 1202) by later mystical observers of the history of the Middle Ages, for the purpose of adapting them as accurately as possible to the facts in which they were realized, can throw doubt upon the high prophetic endowment of that personage [?], or can bring into question the occurrence of really genuine prophecies in his writings (cf. Neander, Kirchengesch., vol. II, p. 451 et seq.; Gieseler, II. 2, p. 354, No. 8; 356, No. 9). The interpolating activity of his later admirers did not destroy the fame as a genuine prophet of that celebrated apocalyptist of the twelfth century, who, as is well known, foretold the rise of two new orders, a preaching order and a contemplative order, during the period immediately subsequent to his own, and by that very means gave occasion to the more strict (or spiritual) party among the Franciscans in the thirteenth century to construct as perfect a concordance as was possible between his predictions and the history of the origin of their own order and that of the Dominicans; nor was his contemporary, S. Hildegard († 1197), who predicted the Reformation and the order of the Jesuits (Epist., p. 160; cf. Neander, ibid., p. 448 et seq.) deprived of her fame as a richly endowed prophetess [?], by the interpolated additions which were doubtless; made to her prophecies at a later period.48 With equal, and still greater truthfulness, it may be asserted that the prophetic and inspired character of this book is not materially injured, in any way whatever, by the opinion that the present section has received certain adaptations and particularizing additions from a later hand, and that by this opinion, e.g., its accurate references to the expedition of Ptol. Evergetes for conquest (Daniel 11:7-27.11.8), to the warlike operations of Antiochus Magnus (Daniel 11:11-27.11.19), and to the three Egyptian campaigns of Epiphanes (Daniel 11:22-27.11.30) are most readily explained.49
3. This chapter apparently presents but few points, or none at all, for practical or homiletical treatment, as it is composed almost exclusively of prophetic descriptions of special historical events. Even the thought just presented, that the wonderful adaptation of the prediction to particular events, was conditioned upon the extraordinary severity of the Maccabæan sufferings and oppressions, seems to afford but little opportunity for practical and edifying application. Instead of emphasizing that idea in a one sided manner, it will be better to seize on the ethical centre of the entire prophetic historical picture, or, in other words, on the truth that God will not desert His people and His holy covenant in any of the storms and changing events of the history of the nations, but that He will send deliverance in the precise moment when their need has reached its highest point—and to make this the starting point and principal object of study. The practical fundamental thought of the section is consequently the same in substance as that contained in Psalms 46:2-19.46.6 : “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will we not fear though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Still the city of God shall be glad with its fountain [so Luther], where are the holy tabernacles of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God shall help her, and that right early.”—The fundamental thought, reduced to a briefer form, may also be expressed as follows: The Lord causes the mighty millstones (the northern and southern kingdoms) between which the people of his heritage is placed like an insignificant and impotent grain of corn, to crush each other rather than that object of their bitter oppression; or, Where the need is highest, there is God’s aid nighest; or, “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee” (Isaiah 54:7; cf. Lamentations 5:20; Psalms 37:25; Hebrews 13:5, etc.).
Homiletic suggestions on particular passages.
On Daniel 11:2, Melancthon, “Est hœc prœdictio testimonium illustre, quod a Deo traditam esse Prophetarum doctrinam ostendit. Et quia pollicetur liberationem, significat Deo curœ esse hunc populum, qui doctrinam propheticam amplectitur. Confirmantur ergo pii, ne a Deo deficiant, ne abjiciant hujus doctrinœ professionem. Pertinet autem postrema pars hujus longœ concionis etiam ad hanc ultimam mundi œtatem et ad Ecclesiœ œrumnas, quas tulit jam multis sœculis; dum alibi Mahometica rabies conatur prorsus delere nomen Filii Dei, alibi regnant Episcopi ethnico more et studia, ecclesiastica negligunt, sinunt extingui lucem Evangelii, proponunt idola et libidines, injuste occidunt homines innocentes propter verœ; doctrinœ professionem (therefore the supplanting of Christianity by the Pope and the Turks—a New Test, counterpart to the advance of the northern and southern kingdoms against Israel). Hœc mala pii considerent, ut primum a Deo petant, ut ipse Ecclesiam suam servet, regat, foveat et augeat; deinde si qui possunt aliquibus vulneribus mederi, annitantur prosua vocatione” etc.
On Daniel 11:33, Calvin: “Hœc circumstantia magnum pondus in se continet, quia videmus multos ad tempus satis virili esse et intrepido animo, postea languescere et tandem evanescere, ut fiant prorsus sui dissimiles. Angelus autem hic promittit fore insuperabilem constantiam eorum, qui sustinebuntur Dei spiritu, ita ut non uno tanturn die vel mense vel anno certent, sed subinde colligant animos et nova certamina, neque unquam deficiant.”—Cramer: “God supports his own even in the most violent persecutions, and preserves them from apostasy.”—Starke: “A real Christian must venture his body, life, and all that he has, for the glory of God.”
On Daniel 11:35, Calvin: “Sequitur, nullos pollere tanta sanctimonia et puritate, quin adhuc resideant in ipsis aliquœ sordes, quœ purgationem exigunt, ita ut ipsis necesse sit transire per fornacem, et mundari instar auri et argenti. Hoc ad omnes Dei martyres extenditur. Unde etiam videmus, quam insulse Papistœ imaginentur merita Sanctorum ad nos redumdare, quoniam plus quam necesse erat prœstiterint.”—Osiander: “God has set a limit to every persecution, beyond which it cannot pass.”—Starke: “The trial is succeeded by the time of refreshing, and the suffering by the time of rejoicing; Tob. 3:31.”
On Daniel 11:39 et seq.: “Upon the surface the worshippers of the beast seem to prosper, but they are eventually compelled to realize that their honors and possessions are not eternal in their duration, while the followers of the Lamb shall enjoy everlasting glory.… (On Daniel 11:44 et seq.): Although God permits many an evil purpose to be executed, His forbearance toward the godless is always merely for a time; Psalms 50:21.”
[מֵישָׁרִים, literally equities, hence a compact as to what is agreed upon as right between the parties. It here seems to refer especially to the terms or provisos of the alliance, the marriage being one of the main conditions or considerations.
The pronoun is emphatic.
יְשָׁרִים probably, like מֵישָׁרִים above, contains an allusion to the rights of a contract, and may therefore signify allies.]
[“Moreover, this assertion (that the O. T. only knows of four Persian kings) is not at all correct; for in Nehemiah 12:22, besides those four, there is mention made also of a Darius, and to the Jews, in the age of the Maccabbees there was well known, according to Malachi 1:1; Malachi 1:1, also the name of the last Persian king, Darius, who was put to death (defeated) by Alexander.”—Keil.]
[This interpretation is altogether vague and unnecessary. The meaning obviously is not that there should thereafter be only four more Persian kings in all, but merely that the next three should bring down the history as far as the prophetic vision extended in this regard, i.e., down to the breaking out of the conflict between Persia and Greece. Thus “the three kings who shall yet (עֹרד) arise are the three successors of Cyrus, viz. Cambyses, the pseudo-Smerdis, and Darius Hystaspis: the fourth is then Xerxes, with whom all that is said regarding the fourth perfectly agrees. Thus Hävernick, Ebrard, Delitzsch, Auberlen, and Kliefoth interpret.”—Keil.]
[This computation is manifestly inconsistent, for it confounds the “fourth” with the one just said to be the third.]
[“From the conflict of Persia with Greece, the angel (Daniel 11:3) passes immediately over to the founder of the Græcian (Macedonian) world-kingdom: for the prophecy proceeds not to the prediction of historical details, but mentions only the elements or factors which constitute the historical development. The expedition of Xerxes against Greece brings to the foreground the world-historical conflict between Persia and Greece, which led to the destruction of the Persian kingdom by Alexander the Great.”—Keil.]
[As we have already remarked, this peculiarity of detail does not argue a want of genuineness here. It is impossible to sever this portion from the preceding and following predictions, which present no such “suspicious” features, without making an irreparable hiatus in the prophecy as a whole. Indeed this very part constitutes the gist of the entire disclosure, for it is this alone that immediately and intimately concerns the theocracy. The unprecedented and unparalleled character of the Antiochian persecution, as a chapter in Jewish history, justifies the minuteness and earnestness of the portraiture. The rest of this prophecy is but introduction and sequel to this central delineation. The careful reader will note that Daniel does not give a syllabus of secular history, but only sketches the course of those collisions which should affect the religious status and relations of Israel. The character and conduct of the Antiochian antichrist could not be fully appreciated without a setting forth of these connections.]
[Keil lays great stress upon the objection that Seleucus was not one of Ptolemy’s generals, as the text requires; but his own account of the history makes him out to have been so at least for a time.]
[This substantially agrees with the rendering of Keil, who, however, is rather refined in his view of the construction: “The subject to לאׄ יְַעַמד is the מֶלֶךְ נֶכֶד; and his, i.e., this king’s, help is his own daughter, who should establish מֵישָׁרִים by her marriage with the king of the north. וּזְרֹעוֹ is a second subject subordinated or co-ordinated to the subject lying in the verb: he together with his help. We may not explain the passage: neither he nor his help, because in this case הוּא could not be wanting, particularly in comparison with the following היא.”]
[Keil somewhat extends this objection: “The prophecy differs from the historical facts, not merely in regard to the consequences of the events, but also in regard to the matter itself; for it speaks not only of the daughter but also of her father, being given up to death, while the natural death of her father is in no way connected with that marriage, and not till after his death did the consequences fatal to his daughter and her child develop themselves.” Such niceties of verification in a prophecy so concise and incidental we may safely leave to the candor of the reader.]
[Surely the exact agreement of prophecy with history ought not to be an objection with any except those who deny the possibility of prediction at all. At other times the lack of this agreement is made by the author the ground of the same objection.]
[This argument resolves itself simply into the conceded fact that the prophecy in question is unusually specific. But what of that? Was not the Spirit of revelation competent to impart particulars, if need be? The author’s reasoning is purely of a piece with the presumptions of rationalism.]
[The author’s remarks sufficiently meet the objection of Keil that “the announcement of the war of his (Callinicus) sons with many hosts overflowing the land is not confirmed by history;” but to make all clear we add the following from Stuart: “The sons of Seleucus Callinicus were Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus Magnus. The former of these two began the war against Egypt, in Asia Minor, where Egypt had tributary or allied provinces. He perished in the contest there. Antiochus Magnus then led on his army toward Egypt; and hence וּכָא בוֹא in the singular. The infin. being after the definite verb denotes the continued advance of the army under Antiochus.”]
[Keil likewise, though he admits that יַעֲמֹד מִן might well bear the sense of abstaining from, yet adduces plausible reasons from the context in favor of the sense to stand before. It is difficult, however, to see how this signification can be legitimately extracted from the words.]
[Keil. however, somewhat arbitrarily declares that “הֶחָמוֹן, with the article, can only be the host of the king of the north.” He contends that “the meaning is this: ‘As the multitude rises up, so his heart is lifted up.’ ”]
[It certainly may with justice “be denied that there is here such a discrepancy.” There is, indeed, some indistinctness, owing chiefly to our inability to determine the exact application of the term “fall” here. It is clear, however, that it indicates a failure of their expectations; and of this, in the case of the apostate Jews referred to, history affords sufficient confirmation. “The apostasy of one party among the Jews from the law of their fathers, and their adoption of heathen customs contributed to bring about that oppression with which the theocracy was visited by Antiochus Epiphanes” (Keil). On the author’s view, that these specifications were interpolated into the prophecy by a later hand, it is impossible to account for any such vagueness, much less “discrepancy;” for the forger would certainly have taken pains to conform his language to the well-known facts.]
[Keil again objects: “Here also the historical events fall far behind the contents of the prophecy, which points to the complete subjugation of the king of the south, whereas this war was carried on solely for the possession of the Asiatic provinces of the Egyptian kingdom. Also the rising up of many (רַבִּים, Daniel 11:14) against the king of the south is not historically verified; and even the relation spoken of by Josephus (Ant., XII. 3, 3) in which the Jews stood to Antiochus the Great was not of such a kind as to be capable of being regarded as a fulfilling of the ‘exalting themselves’ of the בְּחֵי פָרִיצִים, Daniel 11:14. Still less does the statement of Daniel 11:16, that the king of the north would stand in the glorious land, agree with the כָּלָה interpreted of the conduct of Antiochus the Great against the Jews; for, according to Josephus (Ant., l. c), he treated the Jews about Jerusalem favorably, because of their own accord they had submitted to him, and had supported his army; and he granted to them not only indulgence in regard to the observance of their religious ordinances, but also afforded them protection.” These minute points of apparent variation are sufficiently met by the explanations given above. We cannot refrain, however, from observing here how completely these seeming discrepancies with the facts of history disprove our author’s theory of an interpolation of this part of the prophecy by a later writer; for such a person would surely have been careful to conform his writing scrupulously to the known historical data.]
[“הָנָּשִׁים, of women, the plural of the class, as in Judges 14:5” ’ (Keil). The plur. gives a kind of superlative force, indicating her choiceness, beauty, etc.]
[Still the construction proposed is harsh, for the subject of the verb is naturally כַּת חַנָּשִׁים. Her destruction, “it is true, was not the object of the marriage, but only its consequence; but the consequence is set forth as had in view, so as forcibly to express the thought that the marriage could lead, according to a higher direction, only to the destruction of the daughter. The last clauses of the verse express the failure of the measure adopted. The verbs are fem., not neut.; thus the meaning is: … ‘she (the daughter) shall not stand.’ not be able to carry out the plan contemplated by her father. The words וְלאׄ־לוֹ תִחְיֶה do not stand for וְלאׄ תִהְוֶה לוֹ, ‘she shall not be to him,’ or ‘for him.’ In that case, לאׄ must be connected with the verb. According to the text, לאׄ־לוֹ forms one idea, as לאׄ כוֹחַ impotent, (cf. Ewald, § 270); ‘she shall be a not for him,’ i.e., he shall have nothing at all from her.”—Keil.]
[Yet Keil insists that “this prophecy of the undertaking of the king of the north against the islands has not its historical fulfilment in the expedition of Antiochus the Great against the coasts and islands of Asia Minor and the Hellespont.”]
[Keil objects to the signification moreover, assigned to בִּלְתִּי, that “in all places where it is so rendered a negative sentence goes before it, cf. Genesis 43:3; Genesis 47:18; Judges 7:14, or a sentence asking a question with a negative sense, as Amos 3:3-30.3.4. Hence בִּלְתִּי here has the idea of exception, and can only be rendered after an affirmative statement by however, for the passage introduced by it limits the statement going before.”]
[Nevertheless, the plur. here is not to be strained to exactness, and the temple referred to may very well be taken as a representative of the native fortifications, especially as it was so vigorously defended as to cause the death of the assailant.]
[Keil still insists that “what is said regarding his return to the fortresses of his own land and his own throne, does not so correspond with the historical issue of the reign of this king, that one would be able to recognize therein a prediction of it.” Yet such a prediction has actually been recognized by interpreters of all ages.]
[Keil, however, objects to “this interpretation of the words as too limited. נָגַשׁ denotes, no doubt (2 Kings 23:35), to collect gold and silver; but it does not thence follow that נוֹגֶשׁ, when silver and gold are not spoken of, means to collect tribute. The word in general designates the taskmaster who urges on the people to severe labor, afflicts and oppresses them as cattle. הֶדֶר מַלְכוּת is not synonymous with אֶרֶץ הַצְּבִי, Daniel 11:16, but stands much nearer to הוֹד מַלְכוּת, Daniel 11:21, and designates the glory of the kingdom. The glory of the kingdom was brought down by נוֹגֵשׁ and הֶעֱכִיר refers to the whole kingdom of the king spoken of, not merely to the Holy Land, which formed but a part of his kingdom. By these oppressions of his kingdom he prepared himself in a short time for destruction.”]
[Keil’s objection: “The reference of these words, ‘in days few,’ to the time after the pillage of the temple of Jerusalem by Heliodorus is not only an arbitrary proceeding, but is also contrary to the import of the words, since בְּ in בְּיָמִימ does not mean past,” has little force, even if we accept his interpretation of נוִגֵשׁ preceding; for that term evidently constitutes a fresh date or starting-point.]
[Keil once more urges that “of Seleucus Philopater, to whom Daniel 11:20 must refer, if the foregoing verses treat of Antiochus the Great, nothing further is communicated than that he, ‘quum paternis cladibus fractas admodum Syriœ opes accepisset, post otiosum nullisque admodum, rebus gestis nobilitatum annorum duodecim regnum, was put to death through the treachery of Heliodorus, unius ex puratis (Livy, LXI. Dan 19: cf. App., Syr., C. 45), and the mission of Heliodorus to Jerusalem to seize the treasures of the temple, which is fabulously described in Malachi 3:4; Malachi 3:4 ff. The יִשָּׁחֵר (shall be destroyed) of this king בְּיָמִים אְַחָדִים (within a few days) does not harmonize with the fact of his twelve years’ reign.”]
[The fact that he is not here styled מָשִׁיח serves to distinguish him from the personage so designated there.]
[Keil objects that the interpretation of this cutting off of the “prince of the covenant.” as referring to the murder of Onias III., “is not warranted by the facts of history. That murder does not at all relate to the matter before us, not only because the Jewish high-priest at Antioch did not sustain the relation of a ‘prince of the covenant,’ but also because the murder was perpetrated without the previous knowledge of Antiochus, and when the matter was reported to him, the murderer was put to death by his command (2Ma 4:36-38).” Still the fact remains that Onias was slain by his agents, however much he disavowed or even regretted the occurrence. To deny the propriety of the epithet “prince of the covenant” as a title of the high-priest is arbitrary, as also the interpretation: “We must, therefore, with Kranichfeld, understand נְגִיד בְּרִית, in undefined generality, of covenant princes in general,” There is little force in Stuart’s comment that the latter phrase is “not the high-priest Onias, the prince of the Jewish covenant, as Rosenmuller maintains, for then הַבְּרִית would of course be employed. בְּרִית is designed for a mere adjective of quality or condition here, and the article is omitted, as it is more generally in such cases.…. If Rosenmüller be in the right, the order of time would be inverted, and a ὕστερον πρότερον must consequently be admitted in the course of the narrative, which is improbable.” “The absence of the article in בְּרִית is no proof against the reference of the word to the holy covenant. The article is wanting where otherwise the determination is found from the connection, e. g., Daniel 8:13” (Keil).]
[“But to distribute money and spoil is nothing unheard of, and in no way does it agree with the ‘fattest provinces.’ The context decidedly refers to conduct which injured the fat provinces. This can only consist in squandering and dissipating the wealth of this province which he had plundered to its injury (לִהֶם [to them], dativ. incommodi). A historical confirmation is found in 1Ma 3:29-31. To bring the provinces wholly under his power he devised plans against the fortresses that he might subdue them.”—Keil]
[The expression, “those who eat of his choice food probably means Lennæus and Eulæus, the guardians and state ministers of the young Ptolemy,” the same persons alluded to in the preceding verse as the members of his own court corrupted by the bribes of the Syrians.—Stuart.]
[The phrase is sufficiently justified by the hypocritical alliance. “At one table designates the dissembled amity and intimacy of the parties, who said and did all they could to mislead each other” (Stuart). Keil, after interpreting: “The evil doing consists in this, that the one seeks to overthrow and destroy the other under the cloak of feigned friendship; for they eat as friends at one table, and ‘speak lies’—the one tells lies to the other, professing friendship. But their design shall not succeed;” yet captiously adds: “All interpretations of these words which are determined by historical facta are arbitrary. The history of Antiochus Epiphanes furnishes no illustrations for this.” The above league affords abundant presumption of these facts, even if strictly understood.]
[Keil contends for the last of the above views, in accordance with his adopted theory of the final Antichristian “little horn;” but his arguments have little weight, in the face of the admitted identity of the persecuting “king” throughout this passage. His chief point is this: “If the contents of Daniel 11:36-27.11.45 lie beyond the end of the enemy who has hitherto been spoken of, then ought his destruction to have been mentioned, especially since with the words, ‘to the time of the end, because yet for a time appointed,’ Daniel 11:35, the words of Daniel 11:27, ‘for yet the end of the time appointed, are resumed. All attempts to give to the former of these expressions, Daniel 11:35, a different meaning from that contained in the latter, Daniel 11:27 (Calovius, Geier, Kliefoth), amount to verbally impossible interpretations.” But surely this phrase might be understood to refer to different points of time, if the change in the connection required it. Even this, however, is not necessary. It is sufficient to apply it to the general issue of these troubles of the theocracy, and thus room is still left to introduce the sequel of Antiochus’s career, which in fact did not take place till the controversy about the Jewish worship was pretty well decided at Jerusalem by the first successes of the Maccabees.]
[Keil objects. “This does not agree with Antiochus. The ίσόθεα φρονεῖς ὺ̀περηφανῶς which is said of him, 2Ma 9:12, is not an exalting of himself above every god. ‘Antiochus was not an ἄθεος; he even wished to render the worship of Zeus universal; and that he once spoiled the temple does not imply his raising himself above every god’ (Kliefoth). Of Antiochus much rather, as is said by Livy (XIV. 20), ‘in duobus tamen honestisque rebus fere regius erat animus, in urbium donis et deorum cuitu,’ ” But this misses the main point of the portraiture of this persecuting tyrant throughout the entire series of these prophecies, which is not so much his utter godlessness and violence as the direction of these traits against the hitherto established usages of his own subjects; intolerance now first made religion a crime, and foreign deities were now for the first time forcibly imposed upon them. “The next verse shows that he had no regard for his country’s gods; and his whole course of life, his plundering the temple at Jerusalem, and finally in Elymais, shows the reckless and impious character of the tyrant. … The intimation here given, of disregarding the gods of his fathers, shows that the previous Græcian kings of Syria had adopted the gods of the Syrian nation; while Antiochus, who had lived some years at Rome, had learned to despise the Syrian gods, and to prefer the Jupiter Olympius and Xenias of the Greeks and Romans, The establishment of the worship of the former at Jerusalem, and of the latter at Samaria, shows that Antiochus was ambitious at times of imitating the Greeks and Romans” (Stuart). For this he was naturally applauded by Pagan historians, but the sacred seer penetrates the motives of policy that led to these occasional freaks of so-called piety, and paints his secret contempt for ail religion. That the person here described, however, was not wholly or externally irreligious is proved by Daniel 11:38-27.11.39, which bring out the precise point of his impiety, namely, its foreign character.]
[Keil’s defence of the abstract interpretation is signally weak: “A verbal proof that חֶמְדַּת נָשִׁים denotes Anaïtis or Adonis as the favorite deity of women has not been adduced. For these words, desiderium mulierum, denote not that which women desire, but that which women possess which is desirable; cf. under 1 Samuel 9:20. But it is impossible that this can be Anaïtis or Adonis, but it is a possession or precious treasure of women. This desirable possession of women is without doubt love; so that, as C. B. Michaelis has remarked, the expression is not materially different from אַחֲבַת נָשִׁים, the love of women, 2 Samuel 1:26.” On the contrary, all the associated terms compel us to understand a concrete object of regard. As Keil himself admits, “The connection requires us to think of a deity, because these words are placed between two expressions which refer to the gods.”]
[Keil still objects; (1) “But according to the following passage, this god (worshipped by the person in question) was not known to his fathers. That could not be said either of Mars, Jupiter, or Melkart.” Keil has overlooked the description of this deity, which is not his ancestral god (although even then it would doubtless mean, as in Daniel 11:37, the deity commonly worshipped in the country, i.e., Asiatic or Syrian), but “a strange god” (אֱלוהַּ נֵכָר, Daniel 11:39). (2) “Add to this, ‘that if the statement here refers to the honoring of Hercules, or Mars, or Zeus, or Jupiter, then therewith all would be denied that was previously said of the king’s being destitute of all religion’ (Kliefoth).” We cannot see that this last discrepancy would be at all improved by the identification with any other deity whatever. It simply shows that the latter passage must not be so strictly interpreted. (3) “The words thus in no respect (?) agree with Antiochus, and do not permit us to think of any definite heathen deity.” Strange then that the descriptive epithet מָעֻזִּים should have been added by the sacred writer if he had so indefinite a worship in view, and stranger still that he should go on to characterize that reverence by the particulars given in this and the following verse.]
[On this Keil’s criticism seems in the main to be just: “עַל כַּנּוֹ does not signify on his foundation, pedestal, because the remark that he honored the god on his pedestal would be quite inappropriate, unless it had also been said that he had erected a statue to him. עַל כַּנּוֹ has here the same meaning as in Daniel 11:20-27.11.21; Daniel 11:7, ‘in his place or stead.’ But the suffix is not, with Kliefoth, to be referred to עַל כֹּל ‘in the place of all that which he did not regard,’ but it refers to כּל אֱלֹוהַּ, ‘in the peace of every god;’ which is not overthrown by the objection that in that case the suffix should have been in the plur., because the suffix is connected with the sing. אלזה The ‘god of fortresses’ is the personification of war, and the thought is this: He will regard no other god, but only war; the taking of fortresses he will make his god; and he will worship this god above all as the means of his gaining the world-power. Of this war god as the object of deification, it might be said that his fathers knew nothing, because no other king had made war his religion, his god, to whom he offered up in sacrifice all, gold, silver, precious stones, jewels.” We must take exception, however, to the incongruous idea of this last sentence respecting the deification of an abstract passion; nor can we see that in any reasonable or conceivable sense this could be said to characterize the king in question—be as who he may—above all his forefathers.]
Jerome, T. V., p. 2, p. Dan 720: “Et hæc Porphyrius ad Antiochum refert, quod undecimo anno regni sui rursus contra sororis filium, Ptolemœum Philometorem dimicaverit. Qui audiens venire Antiochum congregaverit multa populorum millia: sed Antiochus quasi tempestas valida in curribus et in equitibus et in classe magna ingressus sit terras plurimas et transeundo uviversa vestaverit; veneritque ad terram inclytam, i.e., Judœam.… et arcem munierit de ruinis murorum civitatis et sic perrexerit in Ægyptum.”—Cf. farther the statements respecting the result of this expedition to Egypt, and respecting the connected expeditions toward the north and east, p. Dan 721:. “…Pugnans contra Ægyptios et Libyas Æthiopiasque pertransiens audiet sibi ab Aquilone et Oriente prœlia concitari, unde et regrediens capit Aradios resistentes et omnem in litore Phœnicis vastavit provinciam; confestimque pergit ad Artaxiam regem Armeniœ, qui de Orientis partibus movebitur; et interfectis plurimis de ejus exercitu, ponet tabernaculum suum in loco Apedno, qui inter duo latissima situs est flumina, Tigrim et Euphratem (Daniel 11:45).”
[The author’s views here have evidently been biassed by his favorite theory of an interpolation of part of this prophecy. But the whole prediction is consecutive and naturally connected, without any repetition or redundancy. Keil, admitting a primary reference of this passage to Antiochus, argues against this supposition of a recapitulation or summary here. “If thus, according to Daniel 11:35, the tribulation with which the people of God shall be visited by the hostile king for their purification shall last till the time of the end, then the time of the end to which the prophecies of Daniel 11:40-27.11.45 fall cannot designate the whole duration of the conduct of this enemy, but only the end of his reign and of his persecutions, in which he perished (Daniel 11:40). On the contrary, the reference to Daniel 8:17 avails nothing, because there also עֵת קֵץ has the same meaning as here, i.e., it denotes the termination of the epoch referred to, and is there only made a more general expression by means of לְעֵת than here, where by בְּעֵת and the connection with Daniel 11:35 the end is more sharply defined. To this is to be added that the contents of Daniel 11:40-27.11.45 are irreconcilable with the supposition that in them is repeated in a comprehensive form what has already been said of Antiochus, for here (something new is announced, something of which nothing has been said before. This even Maurer and Hitzig have not been able to deny, but have sought to conceal as much as possible,—Maurer by the remark: ‘Res a scriptore iterum ac sœpius pertractatas esse, extremam vero manum operi defuisse;’ and Hitzig by various turnings—‘as it seems,’ ‘but is not precisely acknowledged,’ ‘the fact is nowhere else communicated’—which are obviously mere makeshifts.” Stuart thus defends the belief in another and final campaign of Antiochus: “Lengerke asserts the entire improbability of another and fourth invasion of Egypt and Palestine, on the ground that Antiochus was too weak and too poor to collect forces enough to carry on such a war with success. But 1Ma 1:27 seq. shows us that after Antiochus had heard of the notable defeat by Judas of his general Seron, ‘he was enraged, and gathered together all the forces of his kingdom, παρεβολὴν ἰσχυρὸν σψόδρα, an exceedingly great encampment.’ These he paid profusely, while in an attitude of preparation for active service, and thus exhausted his treasury, 1Ma 1:28-29. To Lysias, his general, he left one-half of his troops (1Ma 1:34), which amounted to 47,000 (Daniel 11:39), with orders to subdue and partition out Palestine (Daniel 11:35-27.11.36). Weak, then, Antiochus was not, at that time. It is indeed true that neither Appian, nor Polybius, nor Justin, nor Livy, nor Josephus have given us any particulars about this latest war of Antiochus; but who that has read their Syrian histories does not know that mere summaries, scraps, and fragments are all that remain of these writers in respect to Antiochus? Josephus depends on 1 Macc.; and this is mainly confined to the exploits of Judas and his brethren, Rosenmüller very appositely remarks: “Caremus omnino integra aliqua et continua de rebus Antiochi narratione, quœ a suœ œtatis scriptore aliquo fide digno literis sit mandate.’ The argumentum a silentio, specially in respect to ancient history, is far from being cogent and satisfactory. On the other hand, the accuracy of the statements in the book of Daniel, respecting the domain of Alexander’s successors, is on all hands admitted in other cases. Here it has narrated the events of an expedition, in Daniel 11:40-27.11.43. with its usual minuteness, and apparently in good order. Why should this testimony be rejected? Nor does it stand alone. Jerome refers to Porphyry, who wrote against the book of Daniel, as saying with respect to Daniel 11:40-27.11.43, that they relate to the last war of Antiochus. near the close of his lift?. … Let it be remembered that Jerome does not say a word to contradict this statement, although it made for his favorite object to do so it he could, inasmuch as he might then refer the passage to his favorite Antichrist. I do not see why the testimony of the book before us, the full confirmation of it by Porphyry, and the apparent consenting attitude of Jerome, do not place the matter before us fairly out of the reach of destructive criticism.”]
[The inconclusiveness of this reasoning is evident, for as the Romans themselves were not directly involved in this last campaign, a Roman historian may well have been ignorant or indifferent respecting it.]
[No one can fail to see how inept and trivial this statement would be if a mere recapitulation of what had been before declared so much more fully and explicitly.]
[But a later interpolator would not have failed to seize upon so remarkable a point, and would surely have incorporated it into his part, and even enlarged upon it from the history at his command.]
[On the contrary, had these clauses been introduced by such an interpolator, he would surely have been more definite in his allusions.]
[“נָטַע of planting a tent, only here used instead of the usual נָטָה, to spread out, to set up, probably with reference to the great palace-like tent of the Oriental ruler, whose poles must be struck very deep into the earth. cf. the description of the tent of Alexander the Great, which was erected after the Oriental type, in Polyæn., Strateg., IV. 3, 24, and of the tent of Nadir-Shah, in Rosenmüller, A. u. N. Morgenl., IV. p. 364f. These tents were surrounded by a multitude of smaller tents for the guards and servants, a circumstance which explains the use of the plural.”—Keil.]
[Stuart thus explains this seeming discrepancy: “But why is the mention of Antiochus’s encampment between the Mediterranean and Jerusalem here brought again to view, after the speaker had already followed him to the East? For the purpose of impression, I should say, rather than from any necessity of the case. ‘Look at the contrast’ (the speaker would seem to say); ‘now Antiochus encamps in his lofty tent like a palace, meditating the overthrow of the holy city and temple: next we see him in disgrace, and even in the agonies of death, stricken by an invisible and irresistible hand.’ The interest with which a Hebrew would survey this picture may be imagined, but cannot well be described.”]
[This remark of the author is doubtless by way of contrast with the more definite and historically correct utterances of the presumed interpolation preceding; as if an inexact—not to say untrue—prediction were a sure mark of authenticity in a prophet!]
[We dismiss this theory of the author by once more calling attention to the fact that these so-called interpolations are so intimately blended as component parts with the rest of the prophecy in which they are imbedded, that our author does not attempt to eliminate them, or even distinctly designate them. To do so would result in enervating and dislocating the whole. The authenticity of the entire passage must stand or fall together.]
The Revelationes of S. Bridget (†1373) might also be adduced as an example in point: likewise the Quatrains of Nostradamus (1566), etc. [The Rationalistic tone of these comparisons of a book of Holy Writ with pseudo-apocryphal pretenders of modern times, is palpable.]
[This apology of the author for the wrecks of this passage after the expurgation from spurious additions—to an ill defined extent—is a vain plea. Once admit the fact of such interpolations, in any considerable degree at least, and the credit of the prophecy is irretrievably destroyed. Every one will be at liberty to expunge ad libilum what he fancies to be a vaticinium ex eventu.]
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Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Daniel 11". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany