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THE KINGS OF THE NORTH AND THE KINGS OF THE SOUTH.
Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. The versions show signs of great disturbance having happened here. The rendering of the LXX. is, "In the first year of Cyrus the king, he told me to be strong and to play the man." Theodotion's rendering is yet briefer, "And I, in the first year of Cyrus, stood in strength and might." The Peshitta rendering, "In the first year of Darius the Mede (he) arose to confirm and strengthen me." The Vulgate is close to the Massoretic and the English versions, "I likewise, from the first year of Darius the Mede, was standing that he might be confirmed and strengthened." The Revised Version does not differ seriously from the Authorized, "And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him." The Septuagint must have read אמר (amar), "he said," instead of אני (anee), "I." When we have the Septuagint and Theodotion supporting each other against the Massoretic text, the evidence against the received text is strong. In this case both these versions have, as will be seen, not "Darius," but "Cyrus." The two names would have in the old Egyptian Hebrew script, a striking resemblance to each other; the fact that the last letter of both names is the same, and also the second letter, made the likeness considerable in any script; but (see Egyptian Hebrew character) the first letter of "Darius" is certainly very like (see Egyptian Hebrew character) the first letter of" Cyrus." The vav would possibly be omitted, then the first two letters of either name would resemble closely the first two letters of the other, and the final letters are the same. Mistake, then, was easy. The first letter of מדי and מלד is the same, and the words would be liable to be read in accordance with that given to the proper name. Further, all the versions but the Vulgate make the speaker the recipient of the aid. Theodotion may be taken as doubtful The difference is slight, עמדי becomes עכד, and לו becomes לִי. The Septuagint seems to have read עַמַּי instead of עמד. The first two letters are thus the same, the daleth may have been an intrusion. Bevan and Behrmann would omit the date as spurious, and hold it to have been introduced because the previous four chapters begin each with a date. This reason, to have weight, must assume the division into chapters to be of ancient date, more ancient than the Septuagint Version. The fact that all the versions have it compels us to admit a date here, but, as we have said above, it is to be reckoned by the year, not of Darius, but of Cyrus. (Also I) in the first year of Cyrus the king. The first year of Cyrus was the year when he decided to set the Jews free, and permit them to return to their own land; but the first year in this case was reckoned from his assumption of the throne of Babylon. We saw reason to doubt whether the reference in the beginning of Daniel 10:1-21. was to the Babylonian reign of Cyrus, or to his reign as King of the Persians. His first year as King of the Persians might be when he first began to turn his arms against Babylon. We do not know enough of the history of the first years of Cyrus's monarchy to know what critical events befell in that rear. Stood to confirm and strengthen him (me). According to the Massoretic text, the angel Gabriel stood to confirm either the archangel Michael or King Darius. Certainly, as Darius (Cyrus) is the nearer substantive, the grammatical preference would be to take it, as do Havernick, Hitzig, and Calvin. The majority of commentators who hold by the Massoretic text take "him" to refer to Michael—and much can be said for this. Although Darius (Cyrus) is the nearest substantive, yet he is not the subject of the main sentence, but merely denotes a time, therefore a previous substantive must be chosen. In the opening of Cyrus's career, the intimate connection his prosperity had with the prosperity of the people of Israel might well make Michael interested. As Cyrus had been prophesied of, he was under the rule of the angel of prophecy, hence Gabriel strengthened and confirmed the efforts of Michael. Certainly "strengthening" and "confirming" are strong terms to apply to the archangel Michael, yet we know so little of angelic natures and their limitations that the phrase may be quite natural. The meaning is not materially altered if we read, "He stood to strengthen and confirm me."
And now will I show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. The rendering of the LXX. is, "And now I came to show thee the truth. Behold, three kings have risen, and the fourth shall be rich with great riches above all, and when he shall strengthen himself in his riches, he shall stir himself up against every king of the Greeks." Theodotion is very like this, only the last words of the verse are, "all the realms of the Greeks." The Peshitta is very like Theodotion, having "kingdoms" instead of "realm." The Vulgate is in nearly exact agreement with the Massoretic text. When we turn to the Massoretic text and compare it with the versions, we find that the LXX. must have read, וּבְחֶזְקָתוֹ, as it has ἐν. Theodotion reads, μετὰ; the Peshitta, ma; the Vulgate, cum. This is the beginning of the revelation referred to in Daniel 10:21a. The doubtful authenticity of that clause throws a shadow on this verse. It is to be noted that we are no longer in the region of symbol, but of distinct narration. There may have been something in the nature of a vision, and that here we have, enlarged, an interpretation of it. The fourth king is certainly Xerxes. If we regard him as one of the three successors to Cyrus, then Cambyses and Darius Hystaspis are the other two. So Hitzig and Delitzsch. Keil would more naturally make the fourth not the fourth King of Persia, but the fourth successor of Cyrus. (For the Hebrew usage, see Exodus 22:30.) Professor Bevan, assuming in his superior way the ignorance of the writer before us, here determines that he drew "most of his information" from the Bible, and, as there are only four names of Persian kings given in Ezra and Nehemiah, that he, this careful student of Scripture, came to the conclusion that there were only four kings. In the first place, if this portion was written, as it not impossibly was, in the Maceabean period, the writer must have got his information of the invasion of Greece by Xerxes from classical sources; he could not fail to know of Cambyses and the pseudo-Smerdis. Further, scarcely even the most casual reader of Ezra could fail to distinguish between the Artaxerxes who before Darius Hystaspis hindered the work of the Jews, and the Artaxerxes after Darius who fostered it. We have followed Herodotus in calling the brother of Cambysos, whose name the usurper assumed, "Smerdis;" but Ctesias calls him "Tanyoxarces;" Xenophon, "Tanaoxares;" and AEschylus, "Marries." We know that Artaxerxes was probably not a personal name, but rather a title, as was also Aehsverosh Xerxes. Some, as Behramnn, assume the fourth monarch here to be Darius Codomannus, but there seems no reason for this assump tion, save that critics are superior persons; and the writer, albeit many of them admit him to be inspired, would be more likely to be wrong in his facts than that their theories should be defective. As the writer here gives no names, it is certainly singular to assert that, though, if we take his Hebrew as grammatical, he gives a correct enumera tion of the Persian kings, he has defied Hebrew usage, and been wrong in his enumeration. He shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. All the versions except the Vulgate imply a plural here- מַלְכֻיוֹת instead of מַלְכוּת. This reading is preferable to the Massoretic, which would arise easily from the next verse. If we may take this as the true reading, then the diversities of the states in Greece is indicated in the way most natural to an Oriental.
And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with groat dominion, and do according to his will. None of the versions imply any difference of reading. The Hebrew implies that the king was a mighty warrior. All critics are agreed that here the reference is to Alexander the Great. This does not mean that Alexander immediately followed Xerxes, but that his expedition was the revenge for that of Xerxes. Alexander, in his answer to Darius Codomannus, justified his invasion of Persia by referring back to Xerxes' invasion of Greece. The two expeditions, that which Xerxes made into Greece, and that of Alexander into Persia, might be regarded as causally connected.
And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those. The LXX. rendering is, "And when he is risen up, his kingdom shall be broken, and divided to the four winds of heaven; not according to his might, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: because his kingdom shall be taken away, and he shall teach these things to others." It is difficult to see what reading the LXX. translator had when he rendered, "his might," for no word meaning "might" is at all like aḥareetho, "his posterity." In the last clause he must have read, not milbad, but melamayd. Theodotion resembles the Massoretic more closely; he renders, "But when his kingdom stood (shall stand), it shall be broken, and shall be scattered to the four winds of heaven; and to his latter end (ἔσχατα), nor according to his rule which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be rooted out, and (let) for others besides these." The Peshitta agrees generally with this, only that when in the English we have, "not to his posterity," it has, "not to his sword (siphoh)" The last clause is somewhat paraphrastic, "And his kingdom shall be rooted, and shall not be to others save these." The Vulgate agrees with the Massoretic. The description here given of the empire of Alexander the Great is strictly accurate; his empire did not go to his posterity, nor did any of his successors possess a dominion as extensive as his. For others beside those. This has been thought to refer to the successors of those who first divided the empire among them. It seems more natural to regard "those" as referring to the posterity of Alexander, as the nearest antecedent.
And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes: and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion. The LXX. rendering differs from this," And he shall strengthen the kingdom of Egypt; and one of the rulers shall overcome him (κατισχύσει) and rule; and his power shall be a great power." Theodotion agrees with the Massoretic in sense. The Peshitta agrees verbally with the Massoretic, but, as it omits the preposition rain, the meaning the translator attached to the verse is difficult to ascertain. The Vulgate agrees with the Massoretic. The verse abruptly introduces the conflict between the Lagid and Seleucid princes. There is no indication in the preceding verses that the four winds of heaven are to be taken so rigidly as is implied by this verse. It is no answer to say that Egypt and Syria alone came into intimate relations with the Jews; it is not a question of fact, but a question of the necessities of composition. The appearance presented is that of a fragment existing separately, and inserted here. The intruded references to the truth which is to be shown have the took of being awkward attempts to prepare for the subjoined narrative. Whatever its origin, it is very difficult to explain to what it refers. The king of the south is certainly one of the Ptolemies, most probably Ptolemy Lagi. And one of his princes shall be strong above him. This is usually understood to mean Seleucus Nicator, who, when driven from Babylon, his original satrapy, by Anti-genus, took refuge with Ptolemy Lagi, and became a commander under him in his war against Antigonus. Ptolemy also gave him the few troops with which, after the battle of Gaza, he recovered possession of Babylonia. He certainly became by far the most powerful of the successors of Alexander. Indeed, he may be said to have had all the dominions of Alexander save Egypt and Syria on the south, and Macedonia and Greece on the west; for he had overthrown Lysimachus, and absorbed his dominion. His dominion shall be a great dominion states accurately the extent of the dominions of Scleucus. Rosenmiiller would refer the prenominal suffix ,ו "his," to Alexander, and understand Ptolemy as the prince in question; but this is improbable. It is impossible not to observe the abrupt introduction of this prince. Gratz would suggest that a clause has dropped out here, which declared that one of his (Alexander's) princes stood up in the north. Had this any manuscript authority, it would be plausible. More, however, would seem to be wanting.
And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times. The LXX. differs in a remarkable way from this, "And at the end of years he shall lead them, and the King of Egypt shall enter into the kingdom of the north to make covenants: but he shall not prevail, because his arm shall not establish strength (οὐ στή σει ἰσχύν); and his arm shall become stiff, and that of those accompanying him, and he shall remain for a season (εἰς ὥρας)." It is certainly difficult to see the reading from which this rendering came. It is noticeable that there is no reference to "the king's daughter of the south." History confirms the statement in the Massoretic text, but there is no expedition related in the history of Philadelphus undertaken against the kingdom of Syria. It is trite our records of the reign of Philadelphus are somewhat scanty. Theodotion is nearer the Massoretic text, though not quite in accordance with it, "And after his Jays they shall mingle with one another (συμμιγήσονται); and the daughter of the king of the south shall enter unto the king of the north to make treaties with him: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; and his seed shall not stand: and she shall be betrayed, and those that brought her, both the damsel and he that did violence to her." The last words are separated from this verse and conjoined to the following verse. The text behind this seems, in many ways, superior to the Massoretic. The Peshitta agrees in the opening clauses with the Massoretic; at the end of the verse the difference is considerable, "But power shall not be in her, from the fear which she feared: and she shall be betrayed, and her youths, and those accompanying her, and those supporting her in this time." The Vulgate agrees pretty closely with this. The reference here is generally understood to be to the affinity made by the Lagids with the Seleucids, when Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphns, married Antiochus II. (Theos), who repudiated his first wife, Laodike, in order to do so. The leap over a space of approximately sixty years is not so trying as Professor Fuller imagines; but the uncertainty as to the text is great, and the meaning of even the Massoretic is by no means fixed. Still, the agreement with the course of events is so marked according to the common interpretation, that one feels inclined to adopt it. After the death of her father Philadelphus, Antiochus Theos took back Laodike, who, in order to escape the risk of being again dismissed, unceremoniously poisoned her rival Berenice and her son, and then her husband Antiochus. Yet this transaction seems somewhat dubiously set forth in the Massoretic text. Theodotion is closer to facts, though it is possible that the text has been altered to suit what were known to be facts.
But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail. The version of the LXX. is very different here also, "And a plant shall arise out of his root against himself, and the king of the north shall come against his power in his might, and shall cause disturbance, and[ prevail." The Hebrew text would bear the translation here given of the last clause, save "cause disturbance." The nominative may be the "king of the north." History confirms the ordinary interpretation. Theodotion, as usual, is in closer agreement with the Massoretic. Yet even he differs considerably: he connects the last words of the preceding verse, "In those times, one shall arise out of the flower of her root of his preparation, and shall enter into the strongholds of the king of the north, and shall do in them (according to his will), and prevail." The Peshitta is somewhat like this, "And there spring from the stem of her seed against his place, and he shall come in might, and he shall come in strength against the king of the north, and he shall pass over against them, and prevail." The Vulgate rendering seems to have a relation to that just given, "And a plant shall stand from the seed of his roots, and he shall come with an army, and shall enter into the province of the king of the north, and shall abuse them, and take possession." There must have been very different manuscript readings to explain these widely different renderings. The Massoretic text scarcely quite bears out the rendering of the Authorized Version. Yet it is difficult to make any other consistent sense. Certainly Euergetes, brother of the murdered Berenice, advanced into Syria, and overran the whole country, captured Seleucia, the port of Antioch, then mastered Antioch itself, and advanced even beyond the Tigris, while Seleucus retired behind the Taurus Mountains. The statements in the LXX. suit better a later period in history, when Physcon rebelled against his brother Philometor. Epiphanes invaded Egypt, nominally in the interest of Philometor, and laid siege to Alexandria. This, however, does not suit with the next verse.
And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north. The version of the LXX. is again very different from that of the Massoretic text, "And their gods, with them that moulded them, he shall subdue (καταστρέψει), and their multitudes with the vessels of their desirable things, the silver and the gold, shall go into captivity in Egypt, and the year shall be to the king of the north." Theodotion. as so frequently is the case, takes a place intermediate between the Massoretic and the version of the LXX. His rendering is, "And their gods, with those that moulded them, all their desirable vessels of gold and silver, he shall carry with the captivity into Egypt, and he shall prevail over the king of the north." Both the Greek versions take נְסִכֵהֶם (nesikhayhem) as derived from nasak, "to pour out," hence "to mould," "to form a molten image," reading the word noskeem. The Syriac differs from both the Greek renderings and also from the Massoretic, "And even he shall terrify them, and their desirable vessels of silver and gold and the captives he shall carry down to Egypt, and twice (literally, 'one, two') shall rise against the king of the north." The Vulgate differs in meaning from all the preceding, but the text it is drawn from does not differ consonantly from that of the Massoretes, "And besides their gods. and their graven images, precious vessels too of silver and gold, he shall lead captive into Egypt, he shall prevail against the king of the north." The word nesikhayeem is rendered, in the Revised Version, 'molten images'—a meaning given to the word by Furst, Gesenius, and Winer, with reference to this verse. The meaning assigned to the word in the Authorized is drawn from Rashi, and is in accordance with the usage of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 32:30). And shall also carry caprices into Egypt their gods, with their princes. As we have said, Ptolemy Euergetes conquered all Syria and Mesopotamia to beyond the Tigris. From this we learn he carried off immense booty, and among the articles taken were images of their gods. And not only the gods of Syria, but the images of the Egyptian gods, which had been carried into Syria from Egypt by Cambyses, nearly three centuries before. If this doubtful word, nasakeem, is taken to mean "images," it is difficult to see the reference of the prenominal suffix. Does it mean that the gods themselves, and the images of these gods, were taken? That is to say, does it mean that gods of the Syrians were taken, and also their images, as if the images and the gods were different? From this, notwithstanding the general consensus of interpreters, we feel ourselves necessitated to differ, and to make the word mean "princes," although there is no prominence, in the few accounts we have of this expedition, to any captives of such rank as to be called princes. And with their precious vessels of silver and of gold. This rendering, although retained in the Revised, is scarcely grammatically accurate, as the noun for "vessels" is already defined by the prenominal suffix. On the other hand, this word cannot readily be in apposition, as the article would be needed. Professor Bevan would make it "in silver and gold." We feel inclined to regard this as a somewhat irregular construction, as if a ray had dropped out before כֶסִף, "silver," though most of the versions regard these nouns as in the genitive after "vessels." And he shall continue more years than the king of the north It is a matter of fact that Euergetes survived Seleueus Callinicus, his sister's stepson, about four years. Hitzig and Ewald would render," He shall refrain for some years from attacking the king of the north." This rendering has the advantage that it escapes from the purely unimportant personal statement that Ptolemy should survive Callinicus. That the king of the north was allotted to regain the greater part of the dominions which had been wrested from him, without any counter effort on the part of Ptolemy, is more important. Keil objects to this that the emphatic position of וְהוּא is against this, and would support the rendering of the Vulgate, Ipse prevalebit adversus regem Aquilouis. Both versions are so far grammatically defensible; yet both are a little strained: both are in accordance with history.
So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land. The Septuagint Version differs less than usual from the Massoretic, "The King of Egypt shall enter into (his) kingdom certain days and return to his land." Theodotion renders, "And he shall enter into the kingdom of the king of the south, and return into his land." The Peshitta differs more, "The king of the south shall enter in strength, and turn to his own land." The Vulgate does not differ from the others. This verse, assuming the king of the south, Ptolemy Euergetes, to be the subject of the verb, merely completes the statements of the previous verse, and seems to describe the triumphant return of Euergetes into Egypt. If we take—which, however, is not so natural—the king of the north as the subject, then the reference may be to the unsuccessful attempts made by Seleucus Callinicus to invade Egypt.
But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress. The version of the Septuagint differs from this, "And his son shall both be stirred up, and shall assemble (συνάξει συναγωγὴν) a great multitude, and, ravaging with it (κατασύρων), he shall enter, and pass by and return." The K'thib here supports this to the extent at least that it has "his son," not "his sons;" but the verbs are plural. The last clause of this verse in the Massoretic text is transferred by the Septuagint to the next; Theodotion, while, as usual, more closely in agreement with the Massoretic text, is not quite identical with it, "And his sons shall assemble a multitude moderately numerous (ἀνὰ μέσον πολλῶν), and he that cometh and overfloweth shall come and shall pass by, and shall enter, and shall struggle hard (συμπροσπλακήσεται), even to his fortress (ἱσχύος)." The Peshitta and the Vulgate are in close agreement with the Massoretic text. But his sons shall be stirred up. The natural inference is that it is the sons of the king of the south who thus are stirred up, but, historically, it can only refer to the sons of Seleucus Callinicus, who, one after the other, succeeded him on the throne: Seleucus Ceraunus, who died after a short reign of rather more than two years; and Antiochus III; Magnus. Certainly Seleucus did little in this conflict, although he undertook a campaign to Asia Minor, in the course of which he was assassinated. It may be that this campaign was intended as a preparation for a great campaign against Egypt. On the death of Ceraunus, he was succeeded by Aatiochtus Magnus. This prince was very warlike. He began to assail Syria, which was in the possession of Philopotor, but was interrupted by news of war in the far East. After a successful campaign in Media and Persia, he wrested first Seleucia from the hands of Ptolemy Philopator; and then proceeded on his invasion of Coele-Syria and Palestine. And one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through. This describes in a compendious way the campaigns of Antiochus Magnus. And be stirred up, even to his .fortress. This is supposed to refer to the recovery of Seleucia. Some think that this rather states that he pierced nearly to Pelusium, the frontier fortress of Egypt.
And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth, and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand. The LXX. differs a little from the Massoretic, "And the King of Egypt shall be much embittered and enraged, and shall come forth and fight with the king of the north; and he shall set forth (στήσει) a great multitude, and the multitude shall be betrayed into his hands." Theodotion, like this, differs from the Massoretic by inserting, "the king of the north," without the pronoun, as do all the other versions. Ptolemy. usually slothful and lethargic, was at length roused, and placed an army of seventy-five thousand men in the field. Against this Antiochus opposed the slightly superior army of seventy-eight thousand The two armies engaged at Raphia, and Antiochus sustained a severe defeat, losing no less than ten thousand men. The multitude commanded by Antiochus was given into the hands of Ptolemy Pifilopator. This seems the only interpretation which is consistent with facts.
And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands; but he shall not be strengthened by it. The rendering of the LXX. is, "And he shall take the levy (συναγωγήν), and his heart shall be lifted up, and he shall trouble many, and shall not be afraid." There seems to have been some difference of reading in the last clause, but it is not clear what. Theodotion renders the first clause as does the Septuagint; but the latter clause is more in accordance with the English version of the Massoretic text. The Peshitta from the same text differs in its interpretation, "And he shall destroy them mightily, and his heart shall be lifted up, and he shall cast down many, and shall not be strengthened." The Vulgate presents no occasion of remark. And he shall cast down many ten thousands. This, most probably, refers to the complete victory at Raphia, where Antiochus was reported to have lost ten thousand men. There is thus a repetition here of what has already been narrated. But he shall not be strengthened by it. It is very noticeable that Ptolemy did not even attempt to strengthen his position by vigorously following up his victory.
For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches. The LXX. does not differ essentially from this, only πόλεως comes in unnecessarily by a blunder—the less to be understood, as there seems no word which can have occasioned the misreading, unless it is simply a blunder of hearing for πολλήν; but against this is the fact that Paulus Tellensis has medeenatha. There is also the limitation of the period after which the king of the north will return to "one year" (καιροῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ), "a period of a year." Theodotion is closer to the Massoretic . The Peshitta is closer than either of the Greek versions, as neither of them attempts to give, "coming he shall come," which it does. The Vulgate is like Theodotion. The reference here is to the second expedition against Egypt, undertaken by Antiochus after the death of Philopator. After his victory at Raphia, Ptolemy resumed his life of self-indulgence. Antiochus endeavoured to build up his empire by curbing the Parthians; then, after an interval of fourteen years, he once more invaded the territories of the Egyptian monarch. This second invasion resulted in Antiochus gaining possession of all Palestine.
And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall. The versions here differ from this, which represents the Massoretic with fair accuracy. The LXX. renders, "And in those times thoughts (διάνοιαι) shall rise against the King of Egypt, and he shall build again that which has fallen down of thy people "—reading וּבָנָה (oobanah), "and he shall build," instead of וּבְנֵי (oobenee), "and sons of;" he has read also peratzee, "breaches," instead of peritzee, "robbers,"—"and he shall raise himself up"—reading singular instead of plural—"to fulfil the prophecy, and they shall stumble." This confusion indicates that the reading of the LXX. is mistaken. Theodotion is as much removed from the Massoretic as is the above, "And in those times many shall rise against the king of the south, and the sons of the plagues (λοιμῶν) of thy people shall be exalted to establish the vision, and they shall become weak." If there were any trace of uncertainty in the reading at this point, we might be tempted to read λῃστῶν instead of λοιμῶν, written ΛΗΙΧΤΩΝ for ΛΟΙΜΩΝ. The reading of Nestle (λοιπῶν) is no improvement. The Peshitta renders, "And many shall rise against the king of the north, and the sons of the perversity of thy people shall be raised up to fulfil the vision, and shall be cast down." The change from "king of the south" to "the king of the north" must be noted, probably simply the result of blunder. The Vulgate renders פרצי prevarieatorum, And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south. Ptolemy Epiphanes was not only exposed to the assault of the confederates Antiochus and Philip of Macedon; but there were intrigues and conspiracies in the palace. Also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves; literally, the sons of the oppressors. Commentators of all varieties have assumed that these are Jews. Hitzig maintains that they were the Jews that sided with Antiochus's rule ('Historical Exposition of Daniel'); that they were the separatists, those who had gone down to Egypt (Calvin; Behrmann, 'Die Stiirmische Jugend'); Keil, "violent men who break through Divine law." So Kranichfeld and Wordsworth. Stuart, "the violent of thy people;" Ewald, "young high-handed men." Fuller thinks the word prizzeem is used as "rulers." Griitz would render, "to establish the vision, to make the law to totter "—an attempt to get, by addition to the text, an explanation. The Hebrew text does not bear out this meaning. Gratz here implies הזיון (hazion), "vision," to be equivalent to תורה (torah), "law;" but this is never the case. But the oppressors of the people do not necessarily belong to it. To establish the vision (comp. Acts 4:28). It may be that here there is a portion of the original vision of Daniel, which has been overlaid with what we have before us. It is a summary of the whole history of the Jews under the Greek domination. But they shall fall. A general statement true of all the oppressors of Israel.
So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand. The version of the LXX. is, "And the king of the north shall attack and turn his spears, and shall take the fortified city, and the arms of the King of Egypt shall stand with his rulers, and there shall not be strength in them to resist them." It is difficult to imagine what Hebrew text was before the translator when he rendered, "turn his spears." Theodotion agrees with the Massoretic in the first portion, and with the LXX. in the latter. The Peshitta rendering is not unlike the Massoretic, "And the king of the north shall come and shall lay ambuscades, and shall conquer strong fastnesses; and the arms of the south shall not stand, because there is not in them might to stand; and his chosen people shall not stand, because there is not might in them to stand." The Vulgate, as usual, is closest to the Massoretic. The reference here is most probably to the capture of Sidon, into which Scopas, the general of Ptolemy, had thrown himself after his defeat at Paneas. Other strongholds and fortified cities were of necessity taken at the same time. The arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people. Ptolemy sent several successive armies to relieve Sidon, but was unable to compel Antiochus to give up the siege. Finally Scopas had to surrender. Neither shall there be any strength to withstand. Egypt was to all appearance helpless; there was neither wisdom in their counsels nor valour in their arms.
But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed. The rendering of the Septuagint is quite different, "And he who entereth in shall do to him according to his will, and there shall be none to resist before him, and he shall stand in the province in the place of his will, and all things shall be fulfilled in his hands." Some of the variations may be understood by a slightly different vocalization, but others resist this explanation. Theodotion renders in a way that suggests a text between that used by the Septuagint translator and the Massoretic, "And he who entereth in shall do to him according to his will, and there shall not be one that standeth before him, and he shall stand in the land of Sabei, and it shall be perfected (τελεσθήσεται) by his hand." The Peshitta has, "cometh against him," as in the Massoretic, "the glorious land" is put down directly as "the laud of Israel." The Vulgate renders exactly as our Authorized Version does. But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him.. This is a fair description of the advance of Antiochus the Great through Coele-Syria and Palestine. Fortress after fortress fell before his arms. And he shall stand in the glorious land; "the land of delight." Ewald would render, "land of the ornament." It is certainly the land of Judea. Which by his hand shall be consumed. This certainly contradicts history as we have it elsewhere. The Revised is little better, "And in his hand shall be destruction," which is the rendering of Behrmann, Keil, Hitzig, and Bevan. The rendering of von Lengcrke, Ewald, Stuart, and Fuller seems better to take כָלָה (kalah) as meaning "completely." The answer to the historical objection that Antiochus did not destroy Palestine, is that this distinction refers to Egypt; but as little did he destroy Egypt.
He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him: thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him. The LXX. renders, "And he shall set (give, δώσει) his face to enter upon (ἐπελθεῖν) his work with violence, and he shall make covenants with him, and shall give him a daughter of man to corrupt her, but she shall not obey, neither shall it be." The translator seems to have had before him מלאכתּו, "work," instead of מלכותו, "kingdom"—a reading not equal to the Massoretic, and מֵישָׁרִים instead of וִישׁרִים, in which case the LXX. reading is preferable. Theodotion is like the Massoretic, "And he shall set (τάξει) his face to enter with the strength of all his kingdom, and he shall make all things straight with him, and shall give him a daughter of the women to corrupt her, but she shall not continue on his side, neither be for him." The Peshitta renders, "And he shall set his face to enter with the force of all his kingdom, and all his people shall pass over, and the daughter of men shall be given to him to corrupt her, but she shall not stand, neither be for him." The Vulgate rendering is independent of the other versions, "And he shall set his face that he may come to lay hold of his whole kingdom, and he shall do right things with him, and he shall give to him the daughter of women that he may overturn it, but she shall not stand, neither be for him." The events portrayed here are well known. Antiochus collected all his forces with a view to the conquest of Egypt, then, alarmed by the progress of Rome and the overthrow of Philip of Macedon, he changed his plan. He now endeavoured to get Ptolemy to be his ally, and gave him his daughter Cleopatra to wife, with Coele-Syria as a dowry. His idea was that she would remain always on his side, would be his spy in the court of her husband, and would always lead the policy of Egypt in the lines he wished. His hopes were frustrated. She was not corrupted so as to be false to her husband. In proof of this, when her father's armies were defeated by the Romans, she joined with her husband in sending congratulations to the Senate of Rome.
After this he shall turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him. The rendering of the LXX. is nearly unintelligible, "And he shall set (δώσει) his face against the sea, and shall take many (πολλοῦς), and shall turn the wrath of their reproach in an oath against his reproach." The translator had read לים instead of לאיים. Professor Bevan would ingeniously supply some words to the Greek. With all it seems nearly impossible to explain the relation between the Massoretic text and that used by the Septuagint. Theodotion is much briefer, "He shall turn his face to the islands, and shall take many, and shall cause rulers to cease from their reproach; but his reproach shall return upon him." The Peshitta renders, "And he shall turn his face to the islands of the sea, and shall conquer many, and a ruler of reproach shall cause it to cease in regard to him, and his reproach shall return to him." The Vulgate is closely related to the Peshitta. We would render the last clause, with Behrmann, "Yea, his reproach will he repay to him." The events referred to are clear and obvious enough. Antiochus the Great took advantage of the disastrous defeat inflicted on Philip of Macedon by the Romans, to seize many of the islands of the archipelago. He not only took possession of all the Asiatic dominions of Philip, but crossed into Europe and seized Thrace. The Romans demanded that he should retire from all the former dominions of Philip. He refused, and war ensued, in which, after being driven out of Europe, he was totally defeated at Magnesia by Lucius Scipio, and compelled to surrender all his dominions west of the Taurus.
Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found. The versions do not present any occasion for remark. After his defeat, Antiochus was not only compelled to submit to the loss of much of his empire, but was adjudged to pay all the expenses of the war, estimated at eighteen thousand Euboeic talents. Justin relates thus the death of Antiochus: "Meanwhile in Syria King Antiochus, being loaded with heavy tribute after his defeat by the Romans, whether urged by want of money or impelled by avarice, flattering himself that, under the plea of necessity, he might with fair excuse commit sacrilege, assaulted with an armed force by night the temple of Jove (Bel) in Elymais But the attempt having been discovered, there was a concourse of the inhabitants, and he was slain with all his forces." The resemblance here between the fate of Antiochus the Great and that of his son Epiphanes is so striking as to throw suspicion on one or other of them.
Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom; but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle. The rendering of the LXX. differs very much from this, "Then shall a plant arise out of his root to the restoration (ἀνάστασις) of the kingdom, a man striking the glory of a king." It is impossible to find any connection between the opening clause of this and the corresponding clause in the Massoretic. Some of tile other clauses contain echoes of the Massoretic, or vice versa. The first clause of Daniel 11:21 in the LXX. really belongs to this verse, "In the last days he shall be broken, not in wrath nor in war," reading thus, אֲהַרֹנִים ('aharoneem) instead of אֲהָדִים ('ahadeem). Theodotion agrees in the first clause with the Septuagint, but is equally unintelligible, "There shall arise out of his root one removing a plant of the kingdom; on his preparation he shall act (πράσσων), the glory of the kingdom: yet in those days he shall be broken, and not openly (ἐνπροσώποις) nor in war shall he stand." The Peshitta renders, "In his stead shall one stand up who shall cause a ruler to pass through even the glory of your kings; and in a few days he shall be destroyed, not in tumult, nor in battle." The Vulgate renders, "In his stead shall stand a vile person (vilissimus), and unworthy of royal dignity; and in a few days he shall be broken, not in fury, nor in battle." Difficult as is the interpretation of the words, just as difficult is it to find out the reference. Seleucus Philopator, who succeeded Antiochus, might be called a "raiser of taxes," as he had to meet as best he could the heavy demands of the Roman treasury. The rendering of the Revised suits also, "causing the exactor to pass through the glory of the kingdom." The reference might be to Heliodorus, were there any probability that he ever made an expedition to rob the temple. Certainly the story in 2 Maccabees makes it doubtful. It is not likely that Palestine would be exempt from taxation. To a Jew resident in Palestine—the land the possession of which had been the occasion or' so many wars—it might well seem the glory of the Syrian kingdom. But within few days he shall be destroyed. It is difficult to understand how the writer could reckon the reign of Seleucus Philopator as only a few days. His reign of twelve years was certainly much shorter than that of his father Antiochus, but longer than that of Epiphanes his brother, or of Seleucus III his uncle. The Greek versions do not give this clause. If we do not resort to the somewhat desperate remedy of altering the reading, we are compelled to measure the days from the taxing of Judaea. A good deal might be said for the reading of the LXX. He shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle. If we may assume as correct the unsupported account of Appian, that Seleucus IV. was assassinated by Heliodorus, we can see that he was destroyed "not in batlle." It conveys an idea of the facts of the case different from that given in Appian, when we say he was "not destroyed in anger." Moreover, the fact that Josephus refers to the death of Seleucus Philopator in terms that imply that be knew nothing of his violent death, makes his alleged assassination by Helio-dorus at least doubtful.
And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. As said above, the opening clause of this verse, as it appears in the Septuagint, really belongs to the previous verse, "And there shall stand up in his place a mean person (εὐκαταφρόνητος), and the glory of a king shall not be given to him, and he shall come suddenly, and the king shall be strong in his inheritance." Evidently the translator, has omitted the reduplication and has derived the word חֲלַקְלַקוֹת (ḥalaqlaqqoth) from חֶלְקָה (hel'qah), "a portion," "an inheritance." Theodotion's rendering is not very intelligible, "On his preparation he shall be set at naught, and they shall not give to him the glory of the kingdom, he shall come in prosperously (ἐν εὐθηνίᾳ), and shall overpower the king dom by flatteries." It is, however, more in accordance with the Massoretic text. The Peshitta is in practical agreement with the Massoretic, and the Vulgate reads as if a rendering of the Peshitta. It is assumed that this is Antiochus Epiphanes, yet there are considerable difficulties. A vile person. Certainly he was morally vile enough, though not nearly so vile as some of the kings of Egypt, his contemporaries, or some of his own ancestors. The meaning of נבזה is "rejected, despised" (see Isaiah 53:3). It may be that it was derived from the idea that the Romans rejected Epiphanes as a hostage, and demanded Demetrius the son of Seleucus instead, and so Epiphanes got the opportunity of returning to Syria. This, however, is not the aspect which the matter assumes in Appian. Seleucus appears as the party desiring the change of hostage. To whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom. That certainly is not the case; he had the kingdom as much as his brother had; he was acknowledged as king. He certainly had not the power his father had before his defeat at Magnesia, but he had as much as the semi-subject conditions of Syria permitted. He shall come in peaceably. That also is doubtful, for Eumenes of Pergamos supported his claims with an army. Obtain the kingdom by flatteries. Even that is not a prominent feature of the accession of Antiochus. The Septuagint, as will be seen, separates between the vile person who should not have the glory of the kingdom given to him, and the king who should be strong in his inheritance. If we were sure that Appian had followed Polybius, we might see in the first part of the verse Heliodorus, and in the second the coming of Epiphanes.
And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. The rendering of the LXX. is very wide of this, "And the broken arms he shall break from before him." Although this is much shorter than the Massoretic text, yet the contradictory assertion that arms already broken are broken before him is conclusive against accepting the evidence of the Septuagint absolutely. Theodotion agrees with the Massoretic, not with the English versinns, "And the arms of the overflowing shall be overflowed from before him, and be broken, even the leader of the covenant." The Peshitta is widely different, alike from the Massoretic text and that of the Septuagint, "And their mighty ones of the city he shall carry away, and they shall be broken from before him, even the leader of the covenant." The Vulgate stands in a closer relation with the above than with the Massoretic text or the Greek versions, "The arms (brachia) of one fighting shall be driven out (expugnabuntur) from his face, and shall be broken besides, and (insuper et) the leader of the covenant." The reference here seems to be to the campaign'—if there was a campaign—by which Epiphanes secured possession of the throne of Syria. The prince of the covenant. Who this can be it is impossible to say. The idea supported by Hitzig, Bevan, Behrmann, that Onias III. is referred to, is founded on the utterly unhistorical narrative in 2 Macc. 4. The view of Moses Stuart is that it is some sovereign who had a league of amity with Epiphanes. The reference thus might be to Eumenes or Attalus, who supported the claims of Anthochs. Negeed bereeth may be explanatory of the prenominal suffix in milpanayo, "before him." As Stuart acutely remarks, had the reference in bereeth been to the Divine covenant with the Jews, we should have had habbeereth.
And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people. The rendering of the LXX. is, "And with the covenant and a people set in array he shall fabricate a lie, even against a strong nation with (ἐν) a small people." The rendering of Theodotion is somewhat difficult to comprehend, "By reason of leagues against him, he shall make a device, and shall ascend and master them with few people." The Peshitta is very like Theodotion, only the last clause of this verse is regarded as the first of the next. The Vulgate is closer to the Massoretic than are any of the other ancient versions, "And after friendships with him, he shall work fraud, and shall go up and conquer with a small number." The reference here is to the obscure events which attended the contest—if there was a con-test—that resulted in Epiphanes securing the throne. The alliance may refer to his league with Eumenes. Appian assigns as a reason for the help given to Epiphanes by Eumenes, that it was to gain his friendship. Only Appian mentions "Attains and Eumenes," as if they were separate sovereigns; but Attains was brother of Eumenes, and, at the time of the arrival of Epiphanes, his brother's envoy at Rome. There may be some foundation of fact, and this would explain the statement in the text. The hopes of Eumenes, if he wished to strengthen himself by an alliance with Epiphanes, were probably soon frustrated, as Epiphanes involved himself in conflict with Egypt.
He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time. The rendering of the LXX. is," Suddenly he shall desolate the city, and he shall do such things as his fathers have not done, nor his father's fathers, and he shall give captives (προνομή, Deuteronomy 21:1-23.)and spoils and riches to them; and against the strong city a device shall be forecast (διανοηθήσεται), and his reasonings are in vain." In the first clause, וְשָׁמַם seems to have been read instead of וּמְשִׁמִנֵּי. Medeena is taken in its Syriac meaning. It is difficult to see what reading could produce both the Massoretic and the Septuagint renderings. Theodotion differs alike from this and from the Massoretic, "And in plenty, and in the fat places he shall corn and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; and he shall disperse among them captives (προνομήν), and spoil and possessions, and against (ἐπ ̓) Egypt he shall devise devices, even for a season." The Peshitta is like the Massoretic. It joins what is reckoned the last clause of Daniel 11:23 to the present verse, and omits "peaceably;" the last words of this verse are transferred to the next. The Vulgate is more related to Theodotion than to the Massoretic text, "And he shall enter plenteous (abundantes) and rich cities." The remaining part of the verse agrees with the Massoretic text The events here indicated are somewhat difficult to identify. The histories of this period are scanty, and, with the exception of Polybius, whose work has come to us in a fragmentary condition, not very trustworthy. Moreover, the readings are uncertain in a portion of the verse. It is generally held to describe the first entrance of Epiphanes into Palestine or Egypt—more generally the latter—an opinion shared by Theodotion. The English versions do not bring out the probable meaning, although their rendering agrees with the Massoretic pointing, "That which his fathers have not done," etc. The repeated triumphant invasions of Egypt are probably referred to. Forecast devices against the strong holds. This may refer to the siege of Alexandria, which he was on the eve of commencing when he was compelled by the Roman envoy, Popilius Lena, to desist; but this is evidently the subject of the later verse. We can most easily understand this verse if we regard it as a summary of the whole reign of Antiochus.
And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him. The versions present no point of remark, save that, instead of "king of the south," the Septuagint has, as usual, "the King of Egypt." This is supposed to be a compendious account of the second of the wars waged by Epipbanes against Egypt; but it suits the first better. At this time the Romans had declared war against Perseus, King of Macedon, and Antiochus, finding that they did not conquer Macedon easily, regarded the opportunity a suitable one for assailing Egypt and wresting from Ptolemy Philometor Coele-Syria, which his father had given as dower with Cleopatra, his daughter. The state of Egypt presented an aspect eminently hopeful to an assailant. The court of Egypt was full of intrigue and treachery; the centre of intrigue was the brother of the king, Ptolemy, nicknamed Physeon. The king, Ptolemy, was young; his generals, however, took up the challenge, and set on the field a large army; but the army was defeated, and Antiochus advanced as far as Memphis. Ptolemy was taken prisoner by his uncle, and Physeon his brother ascended the throne. The defeat of Philometor was supposed to be largely due to treachery.
Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain. The Septuagint rendering here is different, "And his cares shall consume him and turn him away, and he shall pass by (and shall hiss, κατασυριεῖ); and many shall fall down wounded." Paulus Tellensis renders κατασυριεῖ by, see script, (nigrooph), "shall overflow," as if he had read καταρεύσεται, or perhaps κατασυρεῖ, though it does not exactly represent the Hebrew. Theodotion is liker the Massoretic , "And they eat his provisions, and shall break him to pieces; and he shall overflow powers, and many shall fall wounded." The account of the invasion of Egypt by Epiphanes occurs in 1 Macc. 1:18. The Septuagint translator, appears to have read, instead of וְאֹכְלֵי פַּת־בָגוֹ (veochlay path-bago), וְאָכְלוּ דָאגְתָיו (veachloo dageothav). There would seem also to have been some confusion between הִיל (heel), "strength," and הלד (halach), "to go." The Peshitta rendering is, "They that eat his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall be dispersed, and many shall fall wounded." The Vulgate is closely related to this. This refers to the treachery which was alleged to have been at work and to have caused the overthrow of Philometor in his contest with his uncle. The version of the Septuagint is more picturesque, and more in accordance with facts. Cares might well devour Ptolemy Philometor—treachery in his army and his brother occupying his throne. Certainly he was defeated, turned asae, and was compelled to accompany the victor as a prisoner, while Egypt was wasted (κατασυρεῖ)
And both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. The Septuagint Version is, "And two kings shall dine alone at the same time, and eat at one table, and they shall speak lies, and they shall not prosper." The translator has read לבדם instead of לבבם. Theodotion is closer to the Massoretic, agreeing in this with the Peshitta and Vulgate. The probable reference is to Ptolemy Philometor, conveyed practically a prisoner with his uncle's army, while Epiphanes carried on his invasion of Egypt. They dined at one table, and probably deceived each the other. The purpose of Ptolemy was to get his usurping brother Physcon dethroned; the object of Antiochus was to possess Egypt for himself. Rashi sees in this a reference to the quarrels and reconciliations which diversified the conflict between John Hyrcanus II. and his brother Aristobulns. Jephet-ibn-Alimakes the two kings mean Arabia and Rome, since, according to him, these are respectively the kings of the south and of the north. Yet the end shall be at the time appointed. The progress of Antiochus was interrupted by the Romans.
Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land. The Greek versions and the Vulgate are in close agreement with the Massoretic text. The Peshitta differs only by omitting the last clause, which certainly seems a redundance. On his return from his Egyptian campaign, Epiphanes, we learn from 1 Macc. 1:20-23, plundered the temple of all its treasures. On the somewhat suspicious authority of 2 Macc. 4. some have referred to the report spread that Antiochus was dead, and that, taking advantage of this, Jason seized the city and drove Menelaus into the citadel; and that, bearing of this uproar, Antiochus, imagining that Judaea had revolted, retired from Egypt, and wreaked vengeance on Jerusalem, taking it by assault. The slaughter inflicted is confirmed by other authorities; but the resistance implied in the assertion that he took the city by force of arms (δορυάλωτον) is contradicted by Josephus and 1 Maccabees.
At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. The LXX. does not differ from this materially, save that it has Egypt, as usual, for south, and asserts that the king of the north entered Egypt. Theodotion is also in practical agreement with the Massoretic text. The Peshitta is much shorter, and differs very much from the above, as well as from all the other versions, "And he shall do in the former and in the latter." There seems to have been something omitted, The Vulgate gives a different rendering of the last clause, "The last shall not be like the former." The reference is to the second expedition of Antiochus into Egypt. His two nephews, whose quarrels and rivalries he had hoped to utilize for his own purposes, were now to appearance reconciled; they agreed to a joint occupation of the throne. It is supposed this second expedition was intended, if possible, to break up this agreement.
For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. As the LXX. do not obscure the reference to Egypt, so they here call the ships of Chittim Ρ̓ομαῖοι. The rendering is, "And the Romans shall come, and shall drive him out, and shall make him wroth, and he shall return and be enraged against the covenant of the holy, and shall do and return and plot against those on account of whom they left the covenant of the holy." Theodotion renders in a slightly different way, "Those who come from Chittim shall assail, and he shall be humiliated, and he shall return and be enraged against the covenants of the holy. And he shall do and return, and have understanding against those who have been left to the holy covenant." The Peshitta renders more in harmony with the Massoretic text, "Those who come against them from the lines of Chittim, even they shall break him, and he shall turn and be enraged against the holy covenant, and shall have understanding with them that forsake the holy covenant." The rendering of the Vulgate is singular, "And there shall come against him trieres (ships of war, τριηρεῖς) and Romans, and he shall be, beaten, and shall return, and shall be enraged against the testament (testamentum, covenant) of the holy place and shall do, he shall even return and shall devise against those who have left the testament (testamebtum) of the holy place." The ships of Chittim are the Roman ships, bearing the envoys of the Senate with C. Popilius Laenas at their head. He delivered to Anti,bus the tablets on which were inscribed the wishes of the Senate. Antiochus was then on the eve of commencing the siege of Alexandria, and completing the conquest of Egypt. Having read that the Senate of Rome desired him to refrain from attacking the allies of the Republic, Antiochus said he would answer after con-suiting with his friends. Lsenas drew a circle round him with his staff on the sand, and demanded that he should give his answer before he left the circle. Antiochus had to submit. Shall have indignation against the holy covenant. It is not certain whether Antiochus was present personally at the plunder of Jerusalem or superintended the massacre of the Jews; but it is practically certain that at this time began the systematic attempt to put down Judaism. And have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. It is not improbable that Antiochus was encouraged to make the attempt he did, by the fact that so many persons high in position were Hellenizers (1 Macc. 1:11-15, in which there is reference to those that forsook the holy covenant). The desire of Antiochus was probably to make his empire more homogeneous. The Jews, he would see by the fact that they had a national unity apart from his empire, might at times be thorns in his side—might become allies of Rome if he were compelled to engage in war with the Republic. It was their religion that was the bond which united the nation; let that be broken, then there would be a chance of the Jews blending harmoniously with the other races that made up the Syrian Empire. Those that forsook the holy covenant made him think it an easy task.
And arms shall stand on hie part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. The render* ing of the LXX. is close to the above, "And arms shall stand by him, and shall pollute the sanctuary of fear "—probably the LXX. read מָגוֹר (magor), "fear," instead of מעוז (ma‛oz), "fortress," a change probably due to the fact that עsounded in Greek ears like וּ hard, Γάζα for עָזָה—and they shall take away the sacrifice and place (δώσουσι give) the abomination of desolation." Theodotion, from a mistaken vocalization, renders, "And seeds "—reading זְרָעִים instead of זְרֹעִים—"shall spring up from him and shall pollute the sanctuary of power, and shall change the continual (sacrifice), and shall place (δώσουσι) the abomination of things that have disappeared (ἠφανισμένων)." The Peshitta is quite different in the firs; clause, "And their strong ones shall arise from them, and they pollute the sanctuary of strength, and they cause the sacrifice (qorban) to pass away, and they shall hang up the abomination in the temple." The Vulgate rendering is in accordance generally with the Massoretic, "And arms shall stand from him. and shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall remove the continual (juge) sacrifice, and shall place the abomination of desolation." Arms shall stand on his part. This word "arms" here is not to be understood as weapons—a misunderstanding possible in English. "Arms" here stands as the symbol of physical power generally. "On his part" is represented by the preposition מִן, which means "with" or "from;" hence we find the Septuagint translating by παρά, and Theodotion by ἐξ. Probably the most natural view is to take the preposition as equivalent to "by," that is, he shall set physical forces in motion. And they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength. That the temple in Jerusalem had all the characteristics that fitted it to become a fortress, was proved in every one of the numerous sieges it has endured. It becomes still more a fortress, of course, when the Tower Antonia was erected overlooking the temple area. There may, however, have been a reference to the fact that the collectors of tribute sent by Antiochus fortified the city of David, and used it as a basis of operations from which to assail the temple and defile its courts with blood (1 Macc. 1:35-36). And take away the daily sacrifice. The Hebrew word here used means "continual," and the substantive "sacrifice" is supplied. In Daniel 11:45 of the same chapter of 1 Macc. we are told that Antiochus forbade "burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and drink offerings in the temple." And they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. One must note here the source of δώσουσι which we find in both Greek versions, and dabit, which we find in the Vulgate. The Hebrew has וְנָתְנוּ (venath'noo), "and they shall give or set." It seems to refer to an altar to Jupiter, which was erected on the brazen altar (1 Macc. 1:59). This altar is spoken of in verse 54 as the "abomination of desolation (βδέλυγμα ἐρημώσεως)." The Hebrew phrase has been borrowed from Daniel 9:27; hence the suggestion of Professor Bevan, to read here "בעלשׁיי, is not necessary
And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. The LXX. translates, "And by sins of the covenant shall they defile themselves with a hard people, and the people knowing these things shall have the mastery and do (exploits)." The , the preformative of the participle hiphil, has been taken for the preposition מִן. written defectively, and probably בִּלְ אֹם קָשֵׁה for בַּחֲלַקֹת. Theodotion does not require special notice, as his version here agrees closely with the Massoretic. The Peshitta is somewhat shorter and having a different significance, "And those who transgress against the covenant he shall condemn them. And the people who know the fear shall be strong." The Vulgate rendering is, "And the impious against the covenant shall feign falsely (simulabunt fraudulenter), but the people knowing their God shall possess and do (exploits)." Men like Alcimus, the high priest after Menelaus, were transgressors of the sacred covenant, and were corrupted by the flatteries of Epiphanes. He used them to gain the people over to his views. But the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. Even when Epiphanes seemed most nearly successful, there was a deep-seated opposition to this Hellenizing process. Especially prominent were those who were zealous for the Law, the Hasidim, or, to give them the name they have in the Book of Maccabees, the Assidseans. These religionists, headed by Mattathias and his sons, especially by the heroic Judas Maccabaeus, certainly knew their God, and as certainly did exploits.
And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet, they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. The LXX. rendering is, "The prudent of the people shall understand in multitudes (εἰς πολλούς), and they shall push against them with the sword, and shall grow old with it (παλαιωθήσονται ἐν αὐτῇ)." We should feel inclined to read ἐπάλαισαν, had Paulus Tellensis not read as the text, "And by bondage and by plunder of days they shall be disgraced." The mysterious clause, "shall grow old with it," is due to the translation of שְׁבִי (shevee), "captivity," as if it had been שִׂיבָה (seebah), "old age." Theodotion is obscure also, "The understanding of the people shall understand in regard to many things, and they shall suffer (ἀσθενήσουσιν) by the sword, and with fire, and by captivity, and in plunder of days." The Peshitta renders, "The dispersed of the people shall instruct many, and they shall fall by the sword, and by fire, by captivity, and by spoil, a thousand days." The Vulgate does not supply any point worthy of remark. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many. In 1 Macc. 2:27 we have an account of a multitude instructed in the Law and determined to keep it, who, with their wives, children, and cattle, retired into the desert. Yet they shall fall by the sword, etc. After the multitude pursued the army of King Antiochus, which was at Jerusalem, and overtook them, the fugitives would not submit to sacrifice to idols. The army assailed them on the sabbath day; from a superstitious reverence for the clay of rest, they did not even defend themselves, and therefore fell an easy prey to their enemies (1 Macc. 2:38, "They slew them with their wives, and children, and their cattle to the number of a thousand people"). While we would not be held as regarding as literally historical the sufferings of Eleazar and the seven brethren and their mother, as related in 2 Marc. 6. and 7; and more fully in 4 Maccabees, yet it can only have been an exaggeration of what must have actually occurred.
Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. The Septuagint rendering is, "And when they are crushed many shall be gathered to them in (ἐπί) the city, even many as in distribution by lot (κληροδοσία)." This phrase is rendered by Paulus Tellensis, see Arabic word, (poolog pesa), "the division of the lots;" wrongly rendered by Bugati, in hereditate. The reading here is due to dropping of the reduplication in heltqluqoth. The Peshitta generally agrees with the Massoretic, only it renders the last clause, "Many shall add themselves to them in division, see Arabic word, (palgootha)," which, however, Castelli renders in this one case as simulatio. When success crowned the arms of Judas and his brethren, many of the Sadducean party joined themselves to them, although formerly they belonged to the Hellenizers. This association rendered the Assidaeans dissatisfied, and resulted in disaster. Probably the reference is to nothing so far down history. When Judas began to be successful, many would join him, hoping, by a limited amount of treachery to Judas, to secure safety if the king ultimately prevailed, while at the same time, their presence with the Maccabees would save them from the vengeance of their own countrymen if Judas were successful and the Syrian yoke thrown off.
And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end; because it is yet for a time appointed. The rendering of the LXX. is, "And some of those of understanding shall consider to purify themselves beth to be chosen and to be purified to the time of the end, for the season is for hours." The translator must have read יִשְׂכְלוּ, instead of יִכָּשְׁלוּ. The reading of the Massoretes is to be preferred. Theodotion's, while closer to the Massoretic text,' is not identical with the sense as represented by the Authorized and Revised Versions, "And some of those of understanding shall be weak to try them, that they may be chosen out and revealed at the end of time, for it yet is for a season." Both Greek versions, as will be seen, render barar, "choose"—a meaning it has in the pual—and both omit one of the clauses. In this the Greek versions have the support of the Peshitta, which renders, "And (some) of the wise shall be overthrown to choose among them, and that they may understand to the end, because it is again protracted for a season." Here, too, the last of the clauses descriptive of the effect of the fall of the wise is omitted. Although the Vulgate supports the Massoretic in this, we feel it suspicious. And some of them of understanding shall fall. Though marvellously successful, yet Judas and his comrades suffered some reverses; the reference may be to those that fell in battle. The rendering in Theodotion would seem to point to some apostatizing. We have no record of any such cases, yet it is not impossible that some would fall away. This would be a greater trial than defeat and the death in battle of such heroes as Eleazar, surnamed Avaran, or even of Judas Maccabaeus himself. To try them, and to purge, and to make them white. The death of teachers and of military leaders would be a severe test of the zeal and enthusiasm of the faithful. All the fearful and insincere would fall off from the ranks of the faithful. Those zealous for the Law of God would be at once tried and purified by these untoward events. This has been the experience of the Christian Church in every age. Because more a trial, therefore more purifying would be the failure of some to maintain the faith under trial. Even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. It is in perfect accordance with the view that the purpose of the death of teachers and leaders, even their failure, is the purification of the saints, that the time of the trial should be fixed and definite. This view is frequent in the Apocalypse.
And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished; for that that is determined shall be done. The LXX. does not differ greatly from this, "And the king shall do according to his will, and shall be enraged, and be exalted above every god, and against the God of gods shall he speak marvellous things (ἔξαλλα) and shall prosper until the wrath be accomplished; for on him (εἰς αὐτόν) there is an end." The difference in the last clause is considerable between the LXX, and not easily explicable. Theodotion differs somewhat more, "And he shall do according to his will; and the king shall be exalted, and be magnified, and he shall speak marvellous things, and he shall prosper until the wrath is ended; for it is to a determined end (συντέλειαν)." The Peshitta is closely related to the Massoretic, even in the last clause, where a difference is manifested in the others. The Vulgate affords no occasion of remark. The question that has to be settled here is—Who is the king who shall do according to his pleasure? Aben Ezra maintained the reference was to Constantine the Great. Rashi, followed by Calvin, would make it the Roman Empire personified. He notices the Rabbins' referring this to Titus and Vespasian. As above mentioned, his own view is that the 'Monarchia Romana' is here intended. Jephet-ibn-Ali sees in this a prophecy of Mohammed; others, Wordsworth and Rule, following Jerome and Luther, think the reference here is to the antichrist of the New Testament. For our own part, we see no necessity for supposing any other monarch than Epiphanes is referred to. While Livy and Polybius remark on the piety of Epiphanes, it may seem strange to refer what is said here to him; but his ruthless plundering of temples proved that his piety was merely a political expedient. Speak marvellous things against the God of gods. We have no record of any proclamations of Antiochus which exactly suit this; but then we must bear in mind that we have only compendious accounts of what he did proclaim. To the heathen, moreover, as to Polybius and Livy, words of contempt against Jehovah would seem nothing worse than impolitic; but to the Jew, blasphemous words would be so horrible that they would not be recorded, as being a contamination: hence it is not extraordinary that we hear nothing of blasphemy in the history of Antiochus. The forbidding of sacrifices and of circumcision, while clearly enough dishonouring to God and to the Jewish nation, do not contain enough to justify the statement. Shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished. If by the indignation (זעם, za‛am) is meant the sufferings endured by the Jewish people, then the prosperity of Epiphanes—his life, indeed—did not last so long as the sufferings inflicted on the Jews; for these continued for some time after his death. There is probably here an indication that the writer's horizon did not reach to the death of Antiochus. Certain, by his faith in God, that Antiochus would perish, he thinks that until that time he may prosper. For that that is determined shall be done. There is considerable difficulty as to the text here, but all the various forms convey the same meaning—a definite limit to oppression.
Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. The Septuagint rendering is, "And to the gods of his fathers he will not have respect, and to the desire of women he will not have respect, because in everything he shall be exalted, and by him strong nations shall be subdued." The last clause belongs really to the next verse, of the first clause of which it is a variant reading. Theodotion is nearly identical in sense with this, "And no god of his fathers will he regard (συνήσει) and a desire of women."£ "This clause stands thus incomplete, as if the translator would have finished it with (αὐτῷ) "to him"—"he regards no god, because over all he is exalted." The Peshitta rendering is, "And to the god of his fathers he shall not have regard; nor to the desire of women, nor any god, will he have respect; but over all he shall exalt himself." It is to be noted that the Peshitta renders as does the English Version, and has the singular, "the God of his fathers," not as the Greek versions, "the gods of his." The Hebrew might be either. The Vulgate agrees here with the Syriac. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers. Antiochus is looked upon, not as a man of Macedonian or Greek descent, but as a Syrian, and certainly he had no reverence for the ancient gods of Syria. His opposition to the theocracy and to the worship of Jehovah was but a portion of a wide policy, the object of which was the abolition of all local cults. The desire of women. It might mean that he was not lustful; but there is no evidence that, like Charles XII; he was abstinent. On the ether hand, he never neglected war for luxury, as did some of the Hellenic kings. Moreover, it is almost imperative that it be an object of worship that is here referred to. Taking "the desire of women" as an object of worship, there is an interpretation which has come down to us from Ephrem Syrus and Jerome, that Beltis or Nanaea is here referred to; and the fact that in an attempt to plunder the temple of this goddess, in Elymais, Antiochus lost his life, supports this view. The worship is said to have been very lascivious. On the other hand, it was a worship that would not naturally be prominent to a Palestinian Jew. The suggestion of Ewald, that it was the worship of Adonis or Tammuz which Antiochus despised, is more likely to be meant here. For he shall magnify himself above all. Claiming the right of annulling worship, and taking the sacred utensils from the temple treasures, he allowed himself to be addressed by the Samaritans as a god. Antiochus was probably utterly without faith in the Divine; worship was merely policy.
But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stores, and pleasant things. As we have said above, the last clause of the preceding verse according to the LXX. really belongs to this, "Strong nations shall be subject to him," reading לְאמִּים עְזִּים instead of לֶאֱלהּ מָעֻזִים. There is הin the Massoretic, where יhas been in the reading followed by the Septuagint. After this clause the Septuagint proceeds, "And to his place he shall move, and a god whom his fathers knew not he shall honour with gold, and silver, and precious stones." It is possible that נדד (nadad)," to flee or move," was read instead of כבד (kabad)," to honour;" for though κινέω is usually active and transitive, there is no object here. Theodotion has, "And the God of Maozeim he shall honour in his place, and a god whom his father knew not he shall honour with gold, silver, and precious stones, and with offerings." The Peshitta rendering is freer, "The mighty god he shall honour in his possession, and a god whom his fathers have not known shall he honour with gold and with silver, with precious gems and desirable things." The Vulgate adopts the transliteration Maozim. In his estate shall he honour the god of forces. There are a number of questions here. To whom does the prenominal suffix refer? The English translators have arranged the words so that we cannot escape the view that "the estate" is the king's, but the natural meaning of the Hebrew order is that it is "on the place" or "pedestal" of the god. The word translated "estate" is used in Genesis 40:13 for "office." It is used of the "base" of the "laver." It may mean "place." The next point—What Deity is meant by "the god of strong holds"? There is absolutely nothing to guide us in the matter. Some have supposed that the reference is to Jupiter Olympius, whose statue Antiochus is reported to have set np in the temple. Others, that the reference is to Jupiter Capitolinus. Were there any evidences that Antiochus worshipped the genius of Rome, something might be urged for this; but we have no evidence of this. In the absence of anything to fix a definite meaning on this word, we feel inclined to suggest that Jehovah is meant by the slosh mauzzeem. Repeatedly in the Psalms is God declared to be the Strength of the saint; e.g. Psalms 27:1; Psalms 43:2 Of Jehovah it might be said that the ancestors of Antiochus—Greek and Syrian—knew him not. Honour with gold, etc. The repeated defeats of the armies of Antiochus and the spoiling of their camps by the followers of Jehovah, was giving honour to Jehovah, however unwittingly and unwillingly it was done. God "gat him honour upon Pharaoh," and so now he was honoured upon Epiphanes.
Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain. The version of the LXX. is somewhat difficult to render intelligibly, "By desires of cities he shall act, and to a strong fortress shall he come with a strange god whom he will acknowledge; he will increase his glory, and shall master him much, and shall divide his territory freely." The first words of this belong to the previous verse, and at the same time there has been some confusion with the opening words of the present verse according to the Massoretic division. Theodotion is not much closer to the received text, "And he shall act in strongholds of refuge with a strange god, and shall increase glory, and subject many to them, and shall divide the land in gifts." The sense of this last, as given in the Greek versions, is illustrated by Psalms 16:4. The Peshitta renders, "He shall pass over£ to the strong cities, on account of (‛al) the strange gods which he shall see, and he shall rule over many, and the land he shall divide for gain" The Vulgate renders more in accordance with Theodotion than with the Massoretic yet independently, "And he shall do (faciet) that he may fortify Maozim with a foreign god, whom he knew not, and shall multiply glory, and shall give to them power in many (things), and shall divide the land gratuitously" This verse as it stands is nearly unintelligible. The suggestion of Hitzig and yon Lengerke, followed by Bevan, that we should read עַם (‛am), "people," instead of עִם (‛eem), "with," is very plausible. The only objection is that none of the versions have it. As, however, it seems to us the only way out of the difficulty, we shall take this reading, and render, with Professor Bevan, "He shall procure for the strong fortresses the people of a strange god." For this use of עשׂה Professor Bevan refers to 2 Samuel 15:1, "Absalom procured for himself chariot and horses;" 1 Kings 1:5, so of Adonijah. Whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory. This we should render, "who have acknowledged him," making the antecedent to the relative, not the king, but "the people of the strange god;" the reference being to the mercenaries of the Syrian army, who were the people of a god strange to the Israelites, and not impossibly made less difficulty in giving up their national gods, and recognizing the gods of Greece as their gods. The K'thib here is the preterite instead of the imperfect, which occurs in the following clause, the reading which we accept here. He shall increase with glory; or rather, he shall multiply in glory. These mercenaries of his he would increase, and give ever more honour to them. And he shall cause them to rule over many. These mercenaries placed in fenced cities were formed into Hellenic communities, and received many of the natives as subjects. The reference is not merely to garrisons being placed in fortresses, but to a chain of Hellenic cities, which, in imitation of the Romans, Antiochus placed in Palestine. And shall divide the land for gain. As will be seen, the Greek versions and the Vulgate reverse the idea here, and render—the LXX; δωρεάν, "gratuitously;" Theodotion, ἐν δώροις, "in gifts;" the Vulgate, gratuito, which is due to reading מְחִיר (meḥeer) instead of מְהִיר (meheer). The word may mean, as it is taken by the English versions and the Peshitta to mean, "for a price;" as in 2 Samuel 24:24, David purchased the threshing-floor of Araunah bimeheer, "at a price;" but it also means "wages," as in Micah 3:11, "Her priests teach for hire wages (bimeheer)." The reference, then, is to the fact that in the deplenished state of his treasury, Antiochus divided the land of Palestine to his mercenaries, in lieu of the wages he could not pay.
And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. The Septuagint Version is somewhat shorter, "And at the time of the end the King of Egypt shall push at him: and the king of the north shall be enraged at him, with chariots and many horses and many ships, and shall enter into the land of Egypt." Probably the Massoretic has been amplified. Still it is a possible thing that, as Egypt was the natural objective of all the military preparations of Syria, the shorter summary might be inserted instead of the longer paraphrase of the Massoretic. Throughout in the Septuagint Version, as may be noted, "Egypt" stands in place of "the south." Theodotion is much closer to the Massoretic, but omits "the whirlwind," and has. instead of "countries," γῆν, "the land." The Peshitta differs in some respects more from the Massoretic than either of the Greek texts, "And at the end of time the king of the south shall strive with him: and the king of the north shall be moved against him, with chariots and horsemen and with many ships; and he shall act impiously in the land." The Vulgate agrees with the Massoretic text. At the time of the end. This refers to the same "time of the end" as that in Daniel 11:35; that is to say, not the end of the world, but the end of this distress. It is possible that to the writer the entrance of the new era—the Messianic time—would coincide with the fall of Antiochus, and that this era might be regarded as the end of the world. The king of the south shall push at him. This suggests war begun by the King of Egypt against Syria. It is difficult to see how this could take place after the fourth expedition of Antiochus into Egypt. The two brothers, Philometor and Euergetes (Physcon), were at war with each ether shortly after this, and though Philometor gained the mastery, he was not in a position to threaten Syria. Certainly, had Ptolemy Philometor been in a position to take vengeance on his uncle, the successful rebellion of the Jews afforded an opportunity. We have no record in Polybius, Livy, 1 Maccabees, or Josephus of any expedition of Egypt against Epiphanes, either planned or attempted. Polybius is certainly fragmentary, and so to a greater extent is Livy; yet what has come down bears on events so near chronologically to this alleged expedition planned against Syria that it would scarcely fail to be noticed. And the king of the north shall dome against him like a whirlwind, with chariot, and with horsemen, and with many ships. This purports to be an account of an expedition undertaken by Epiphanes against Ptolemy, presumably Philometor. Of this there is not a trace; Antiochus is in so great need of money that he must use one half his army to collect money by robbing temples in Elymais, while the other, under Lysias, is occupied in attempting to put down the rebellion of the Jews. Again the historians of the period are silent, and what they tell us is inconsistent with this fifth expedition. Jerome, in his commentary on Daniel, quotes Porphyry, who gives an account of an expedition against Egypt in the eleventh year of his reign. That, however, was the year of his death—the year, therefore, of his expedition against Elymais. It is impossible that in the beginning of that year he should undertake such an expedition into Egypt as that described by Porphyry, and at the end have time to march into Elymais. It cannot be the expedition of Lysias which is referred to, for he is represented (1 Macc. 3:32) as having the oversight of all the territory of the king from the river Euphrates, but there is no notice of ships And he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. This might refer to the expedition which Antiochus undertook to Elymais, but in the following verse we learn the direction was toward Egypt. No such expedition occurred after the fourth. What explanation is to be given of this? The explanation favoured by Keil of this whole chapter, that the king of the north is antichrist, is applied here; but so much of the earlier portion of this chapter can be interpreted as history, that we, for our part, are loth to give an eschatological interpretation to this. The view favoured by most is that here the author narrated his expectations, but these expectations were contrary to facts. This is Professor Bevan's view. If this view had been correct, the expectations of the author would be falsified almost as soon as they were recorded; this would certainly seem to render it impossible for the book to get the vogue it did. We, for our part, favour a modification of the view maintained by Hitzig, that this section is a repetition of what has been previously mentioned. Against this is the chronological statement at the beginning. Regarding, as we do, this chapter as an interpolation and the work of a later hand, our idea is that the section before us is one attempt to interpolate, and the preceding section is another, and that both have been incorporated in the narrative.
He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. The Septuagint rendering is slightly of the nature of a paraphrase, "And he shall pass into my land,£ and many (feminine) shall be offended, and these shall be saved from his hand, Edom, and Moab, and the head of the sons of Ammon." It is possible that the word tzebee was omitted, and the pronominal suffix attached to 'aretz. Theodotion renders, "And he shall enter into the land of the Sabaeem, and many shall be made weak; but these shall be delivered out of his hand, Edom, and Moab, and chief of the sons of Ammon." The transliteration here might suggest צְבַיִם instead of צְבִי, and a mistake of the former for עילָם is in the square letters not impossible; but צand עare, in the older scripts, very unlike. The Peshitta, while agreeing with the Massoretic generally, renders, "the glorious land," "the land of Israel"—an evident paraphrase. The Vulgate introduces solae before Edom and Moab, otherwise agreeing with the received text. The expedition of Antiochus reaches Palestine, on which the full force of the tempest is represented as being directed. The countries adjacent escape. Edom, Moab, and Ammon are mentioned, but Moab had by this time disappeared as a national name. It may have been inserted—as suggested by Professor Bevan—in consequence of the frequent conjunction of the three names, "Moab, Ammon, and Mount Seir." It is, however, singular that these nations should be named as "escaping," since they were the allies of Antiochus, or more properly, as they would be regarded by him as subjects, his instruments in the oppression of Israel. It may be that this version of the vision of Daniel has been less modified from the original than what has preceded. In the original document, Edom, Moab, and Ammon might have some symbolic reference. The glorious land can scarcely be other than Palestine. It is rendered by Ewald, "the land of the ornament" It might be rendered, "the land of the gazelle." Out of the thirty passages in which this word occurs in Scripture, fourteen times it must have this meaning, in some of the other cases it may have it. So far, then, as the name goes, it might apply to any country fitted for the habitation of the gazelle; but the mention of "Edom, Mesh, and Ammon" renders it nearly a necessity that the reference here be to Palestine. Many countries shall be overthrown. The verb used is kashal, which means, in the niphal, "to totter," "to fall," "to be weak." It is assumed by Hitzig and Fuller, as by the English versions, that "countries" is to be understood. Ewald, however, and many other commentators, following the older versions, would refer to men, and translate, "myriads shall fall." In the version from which Origen has supplemented the Septuagint it is rendered, "Many women or countries shall be offended (σκανδαλισθήσονται)," the feminine rendering being due to the feminine termination -oth in rabboth, but the verb is masculine.
He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. The Septuagint rendering is, "And he shall send forth his hand upon the countries, and in the land of Egypt there shall not be a saviour in it." The first part of this verse is marked with an asterisk. Evidently the text before the translators had לָה פְלֵטָה (lah pelaytah), "to her deliverance," and "deliverance" in the abstract became "deliverer" in the concrete. Theodotion renders in a different sense, "And he shall stretch his hand upon the land, and the land of Egypt shall not be for salvation." The idea here is that for the land of Palestine, Egypt shall not be a deliverer. This, probably, is the true reading. The Peshitta agrees with the Massoretic pretty closely, "He shall stretch his hand over the countries, and the land of Egypt shall escape from his hands." The Vulgate has nothing to justify remark. Probably this verse, in the way it is rendered by Theodotion, is a portion of the lost vision of Daniel. The vagueness of "countries" stands in contrast to the definiteness of Edom, Moab, and Ammon, and is thus suspicious. Help was always expected from Egypt in the time when Assyria and Babylonia successively claimed the subjection of the Holy Land.
But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. The rendering of the LXX. is somewhat fuller, "He shall have power over the place of gold and the place of silver, and over all the desire of Egypt, and Libyans and Ethiopians shall be in his multitude." The word translated "treasures" is a late one, but evidently the Septuagint translator had מקם (maqom) instead of מִכְמַנֵי. (michemanay). Theodotion renders, "And he shall have power over the secret hoards of gold and silver, and over all the desirable things of Egypt, and of Libyans, and of AEthiopians in their fortresses." Theodotion has read מצוריו (metzorayo) instead of מִצְעָדָיו (mitz'adoyo). The Peshitta rendering is, "And he shall have power over the house of the treasures of gold and silver, and of the pleasant things of Egypt, and the Libyans, and the Cushites (Ethiopians) are his allies." The Vulgate follows a slightly different rendering, "And he shall rule the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; through Libya and AEthiopia, too, shall he pass." Having a different reading in the last clause from the Massoretic, the natural Hebrew equivalent for transibit is יַעְבֹר (ya‛bor)—a word that could scarcelv arise by mistake from that in the text. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silcer, and over all the precious things of Egypt. Strictly speaking, this never was the case, as Antiochus never wholly conquered Egypt, although in that expedition, in which he had laid siege to Alexandria, he came very near completing his conquest. And the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall beat his steps. This certainly is not true in the sense in which Jerome takes it, "he shall pass through Libya and Ethiopia." Though Antiochus more than once invaded Egypt, he never passed further into Africa. These nationalities are associated with each other; e.g. in Jeremiah 46:8, Jeremiah 46:9, we have, "The Ethiopians and the Libyans that handle the shield." So in Ezekiel 30:5 we have the countries spoken of together. It may merely mean that individuals belonging to these nationalities had joined his armies. This is altogether a more ornate and poetical passage than the rest of this chapter, and gives the feeling of a different hand; therefore, probably, it belongs to a time nearer that of Daniel, and contains more of the original prophecy. Professor Fuller remarks on a reference being made to the help Ptolemy received from Cyprus. Cyprus, or Chittim, is referred to in the earlier part of this chapter, hut not here. The Lubim and Cushim are contemporary with Edom, Moab, and the sons of Ammon.
But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him; there. fore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. The version of the Septuagint is very like this, "A rumour out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him, and he shall come out in great rage to lay waste with the sword, and to slay many." The version of Theodotion is somewhat briefer, "Rumours and disturbances out of the east and from the north shall trouble him, and he shall come in much wrath to destroy many." The Syriac is closer than any other version to the Massoretic text. The Vulgate renders, "A rumour out of the east and north shall trouble him, and he shall come with a great multitude that he may beat down and slay many." The word חֵמָא (ḥayma) may mean either "wrath" or "multitude." It is difficult to identify the rumours that recalled Antiochus from his conquests. The account given by Porphyry (quoted by Jerome) of his receiving news that led him to ravage the coasts of Phoenicia and march against Armenia are unsupported by other historians. A phrase in Tacitus ('Hist.,' Daniel 5:8) seems to throw light on this, "After the Macedonians held the supremacy, King Antiochus, when he was endeavouring to change the superstition of this people, i.e. the Jews, into the manners of the Greeks, was hindered by a Parthian war." There is, however, no record of such a Parthian war; but such a war may have arisen, and not be recorded, as the histories for the period before us are very incomplete. Should we regard these verses as giving another account of the war between Epiphanes and Ptolemy, the tidings out of the north might mean the arrival of the Roman envoys, headed by Popilius Lsenas. If there were also a threat of a Parthian invasion, we should then have, "tidings put of the east and north." Therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. Certainly Antiochus did return furious from the expedition in which he was stayed by the Romans; and certainly also he set himself thereafter to compel the Jews to become Greeks in religion, punishing with death refusal to yield to his demands (1 Macc. 1:24-28; Josephus, 'Ant.,' 12.5. 3).
And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. The rendering of the LXX. is, "Then shall he set up his tent between the seas and the mountains of the choice of the sanctuary, and the hour of his end shall come, and he shall have no helper." Theodotion's rendering is, "He shall pitch his tent Epha-dane between the seas at the holy mountain of Sabacin; he shall come to his lot, and there will not be a deliverer to him." It is to be observed that the word אַפַדְניֹ (appadno), "royal tent," a late word in Hebrew, was not present in the text before the translator of the Septuagint. Further, Theodotion did not know the meaning of the word, although his recension was prepared under Jewish supervision. The Peshitta renders, "And he shall place his tout on the plain space between the sea and the mountain, and shall assail its sanctuary, and he shall come to his end; there shall not be to him a helper." The Vulgate renders, "And he shall place his tabernacle, aphadno, between the two seas upon the glorious and holy mountain; he shall come even to its (his) highest point, and no one shall help him." He shall plant the tabernacle of his palace. The word here used (appadno) does not occur elsewhere, and seems to denote the royal tent. The fact that it does not appear in the Septuagint or Peshitta renders its right to be in the text somewhat doubtful. Theodotion and Jerome transliterate it, as if it had not got a place in Hebrew even in their day. It does occur in the Targum and the Peshitta. At the same time, a purely technical word like this might really be of ancient usage, yet the occasion for its use might not have previously occurred; the literature of ancient Hebrew is exceedingly limited. Between the seas in the glorious holy mountain. Havernick maintains that the glorious and holy mountain here is the mountain on which the temple of Nanaia was placed, and that the seas in question were the Caspian and the Persian Gulf. It is difficult to imagine a Jew calling the mountain on which a heathen temple was placed, "glorious holy," even were we sure that the temple in question was on a mountain, for which we have no evidence. The Jews probably knew of the sea into which the Euphrates discharged its waters; but it is not prominent in their writings, and the Caspian may be looked upon as unknown. The distance between these two seas is so great that no one would locate such a small thing as a city by saying that it was between them. The natural interpretation is that the seas in question are the Mediterranean—the great sea—and the Dead Sea—the Salt Sea. But the Hebrew leads rather to the idea that the plural is one of excellence. בֵין (bayn), "between," is not infrequently construed with לְ (le), "to," as here; hence the translation would be between the seas, i.e. the great sea and the holy mountain. There can be no doubt that "the glorious and holy mountain" is Mount Zion. Yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. The death of Antiochus, baffled in his attempt to rifle the temple of Nanaia, humiliated not only by his own disaster, but by the news received from Jerusalem, is full of disappointment and misery, even when we get rid of the rhetoric with which the events are clothed in Polybius and 1 and 2 Maccabees. One-half of his army under Lysias had been baffled and defeated by Judas Maccabaeus; he himself had been repulsed in his attempt to replenish his coffers; the, re is therefore for him no helper, so he dies of disappointment at Tabes.
I. DISSIMULATION IS OFTEN MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN VIOLENCE. The successful usurper is known to be a "vile person;" the people do not willingly bestow upon him the honours of royalty,—he grasps them for himself; yet he perpetrates no violence to obtain them. He wins power by dissimulation.
1. But dissimulation is most common in an age of advanced civilization. Violence belongs to simpler times. As life becomes more complex, evil becomes more subtle.
2. It has most power at a time of moral corruption. When morality is corrupted, the discerning faculty of conscience is blinded. Deceit succeeds most with those who have lost the clear judgment which results from the direct insight of purity.
3. It is most successful under circumstances of material prosperity. Then we are off our guard, and are tempted to a false feeling of security based on the mere enjoyment of present ease.
II. THE SUCCESS OF DISSIMULATION IS MORE INJURIOUS TO THE WORLD THAN THE SUCCESS OF VIOLENCE. The greatest enemies to a state are its traitors. The worst foes to a religion are its hypocritical adherents. The most dangerous enemies a man can have are his flattering friends. In such cases
(1) the evil is more slowly recognized;
(2) it is less energetically hated; and
(3) it is resisted with more difficulty.
III. THOUGH DISSIMULATION MAY SUCCEED FOR A TIME, TRUTH WILL ULTIMATELY TRIUMPH. There is "an end" at "the time appointed" (Daniel 11:27; Daniel 12:1, Daniel 12:2).
1. By its own nature evil ultimately declares its true character. If it always remained concealed, it would effect little. By dissimulation power is won, which in being used casts off the mask.
2. When evil is declared, it is seen to be hateful and weak. Once fairly known, it loses its attraction and becomes a despicable thing.
3. God will finally interfere to destroy all false appearances, and judge the world in truth according to real character and conduct. Some forms of deceit may linger till that great judgment-day; but none can outlive it. Then all actions will appear in the white light of truth.
4. It is wise and prudent (as well as right) to seek truth and to live truly, because the true only can live in the great future of eternity (Revelation 21:27).
I. TEMPORAL PROSPERITY MAY BE ATTAINED APART FROM MORAL GOODNESS. It is not found in experience that the old Jewish ideal is realizable in which the righteous all prosper, and the wicked are all in adversity (Job 36:11, Job 36:12). Bad men often grow rich and flourish in external success (Psalms 73:3).
1. This is no proof of the weakness of moral and spiritual forces in the economy of life,
(1) because physical prosperity is made to depend largely on physical causes;
(2) because energy of will and intellectual ability may exist apart from moral worth, and may secure temporal success;
(3) because adversity is not regarded by God as a supreme evil, nor prosperity as a supreme good—both are subservient to higher aims;
(4) because justice and right have not scope in this world to effect their ultimate triumph.
2. This should warn us from the erroneous conclusions
(1) that our prosperity is a proof of our goodness; and
(2) that it is an evidence of God's favour.
II. WHEN TEMPORAL PROSPERITY IS ENJOYED WITHOUT MORAL GOODNESS, IT IS LIKELY TO BE A CURSE TO THE OWNER OF IT.
1. All the higher uses of prosperity will be neglected. These are to lift up our hearts to God and his love; to give leisure from care for the service of God; and to bestow talents for the good of mankind. If the higher uses of prosperity are neglected, the prosperity can only degrade us.
2. We are likely to become unduly satisfied with ourselves. Dust glitters like gold in the sunlight; and worthless people are tempted to think themselves of great value when the sun of prosperity shines upon them. Hence groundless pride, vanity and blindness, poverty of soul, guilt of sin, and danger of ruin.
3. We are inclined to set our heart on temporal comforts. This danger always follows prosperity. It may be mitigated by right spiritual thoughts of the wants of the soul which no earthly possessions can satisfy, and by the infinitely more precious heavenly treasures. Where such thoughts are not cherished the danger is great.
4. We are inclined to over-estimate the capacities of earthly riches, to suppose that they can secure the future from harm.
5. If we have begun to walk in evil ways we shall be hardened and hastened in them by the absence of needful checks, and under the influence of foolish feelings of triumphant success.
Daniel 11:32 (last clause)
Strength in the knowledge of God.
I. SPIRITUAL STRENGTH.
1. Spiritual strength must be distinguished
(1) from physical power, as in the case of Samson, who had very little strength of soul;
(2) from intellectual energy which can solve mysteries of thought, and construct lofty arguments, but cannot resist temptation and accomplish spiritual work; and
(3) from strength of human will—such as is manifested by a Napoleon—which may exist apart from moral self-control and capacity for the higher efforts of life.
2. Spiritual strength is strength of the inner and higher nature. It is capacity of the character and will, raised to spiritual energy, to resist evil and to do good. It implies
(1) self-control (1 Corinthians 9:27);
(2) power to resist external influences of fashion and of tyranny, of seduction and of terror (Nehemiah 6:9);
(3) capacity and energy for doing spiritual work, i.e. for overcoming the evil in the world and extending the good, as in reaching the conscience of men, convincing of sin, and persuading them to be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20). It is seen in moral courage, patience, zeal and persevering activity in God's service.
II. THE SOURCE OF SPIRITUAL STRENGTH.
1. It is derived from God. It is not innate, nor acquired by our own efforts, nor attained by any worldly means. It is given to us in our natural weakness (Isaiah 40:29), when we are most conscious of this and distrustful of ourselves (2 Corinthians 12:10), and in response to prayer (Psalms 138:3).
2. The knowledge of God is a condition for the receiving of spiritual strength.
(1) This is necessary that we may have understanding and faith to ask strength of God.
(2) It is necessary as a means for attaining the strength; because ideas of the greatness, goodness, and might of God are bracing and invigorating.
(3) It is necessary as a moral condition. If we seek to know God, he will give us strength, but if we are neglectful of this duty, it is not right that God should honour us with such favour.
3. Union with God in living sympathy is the direct means for receiving this strength. The people referred to in the text know God as their God. This appropriation of God secures to us his strength.
III. THE USE OF SPIRITUAL STRENGTH. It is the Divine aid for the needs of life. We often pray for relief of the burden and release from the task. God leaves the burden and task undiminished, but gives strength by which to do and bear. This method of help involves less disarrangement of the order of the outside world, and is for us a nobler and more fruitful blessing. Thus when we seek peace through relaxation and ease, God gives it in inspiration and energy (2 Corinthians 12:8, 2 Corinthians 12:9).
1. It is needed for the resistance of temptation. Temptation is too strong for our unaided powers. In God's strength we are conquerors (1 Corinthians 10:13).
2. It is useful for the endurance of trouble. The necessary trouble must be gone through in any case. But spiritual strength is essential to patient, calm, unmurmuring endurance (Philippians 4:13).
3. It is helpful for active service. We often fail in work for want of energy of soul. Divine strength brings zeal, capacity, and successful activity (2 Chronicles 15:7).
4. It is needful for growth of the spiritual nature. As we are strong in soul we can know more of Divine truth, and enlarge and elevate the life of the inner man. This growth is the result of the working out of indwelling spiritual energy (Luke 1:80).
Purged by trial.
I. THE CHURCH NEEDS PURIFICATION. The people "of understanding" are to be purged and made white. These are clearly the people who are "wise unto salvation"—the true Church.
1. The ends of the gospel are not attained until the Church is completely purified. The first aim is to gather men into the Church by penitence and faith. The second is to perfect them when they are in the Church. The forgiving grace of God does not dispense with the necessity of holiness. It passes over the sin of the past, that it may secure a better life for the future. The ends of Christ's work are not satisfied in releasing us from the penalties of our sins, and securing present peace and future blessedness. They seek the complete renewal and purification of our lives.
2. These ends are only attained by a lifelong process of purification. The act of conversion does not satisfy them. Though the life may be turned from sin to God, evil still lingers, old sins rise up again, and new temptations often prove too strong. Hence the need of the Christian's daily prayer for forgiveness, and the need of a continual discipline in holiness.
II. THE CHURCH IS PURIFIED BY HER TRIALS. Some of them fall to try, and thus to purge. Trial purges:
(1) by making us think humbly of ourselves, and suggesting the question whether we have not brought it on ourselves by our sin;
(2) by making us dissatisfied with this world, and therefore anxious to be right in relation to the spiritual world;
(3) by leading us to feel the need of God, and so to seek to be conformed to his mind. These, however, are only secondary means, and need right using. Trouble may harden in sin or result in complaints against Providence. We need the Spirit of God to enable us to profit by the holy influences of trial. This conception of the end of trial should lead us
(1) to accept it with patient submission, since it is sent, not as vindictive punishment, but as purifying chastisement; and
(2) to seek grace to use it profitably.
III. WHEN THE PURIFICATION OF THE CHURCH IS ACCOMPLISHED, HER TRIALS WILL CEASE.
1. This will be complete. The battle with sin will not last for ever. The dross will be all purged away, and the people of God will be free from all taint of sin and all indwelling love and power of it. This is the final issue of the discipline of this life which will be accomplished in the next.
2. Then trial will cease. The present life of probation, education, and discipline is only temporary (2 Corinthians 4:17). It will be followed by a life of perfect peace (Revelation 21:4).
The undue prominence of self is a leading characteristic of all sin, just as all goodness implies self-denial. Where this is allowed, it is shown in every sphere of life.
I. IN ACTION, SELF APPEARS AS SELF-WILL. "The king shall do according to his will." This implies the neglect of law and right, of the will of others and of the will of God. It is seen in tyranny, in rebellion against lawful authority, and in the denial of our duty as servants of God.
II. IN THOUGHT, SELF IS SEEN AS SELF-WORSHIP. "He shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god." The shadow of self is thrown over everything. All things are viewed in their relation to self, and valued according as they please or inconvenience self. Self is the ideal standard to which nothing is equal, and by comparison with which all merit is measured.
III. IN RELIGIOUS MATTERS, SELF IS MANIFESTED BY THE CHOICE OF WORSHIP ACCORDING TO PRIVATE CONVENIENCE. The king rejects the God of his fathers, and blasphemes the u God of gods" because the will of the great God is against his evil conduct. He selects for worship a "god of forces" as more suited to his lawless violence. Thus where self dominates, the truth of religion counts for nothing, no reverence is felt for the awful holiness and majesty of God, but convenience settles the creed, and that religion is adopted which involves the least self-denial. Thus degraded, religion is no longer the master, it is the slave of man. But surely religion should be accepted because it is true, whether it suits our convenience or not, and must then be felt to guide and overawe our lives.
IV. IN SOCIAL RELATIONS, SELF APPEARS AS SELF-ASSERTION AND NEEDLESS BREACH OF CUSTOM. The king disregards the habits of his age, apparently out of contempt and pure indifference. The bondage of custom is degrading. But indifference to the habits of others is insulting and sometimes cruel. It is a proof of cold selfishness. Where it is necessary to be independent, we should let our conduct be conciliatory rather than irritating, if we would practise humility and generosity.
V. IN PRACTICAL RESULTS, THE PROMINENCE OF SELF IS EVIDENCED BY DESTRUCTIVE VIOLENCE. The god chosen is the "god of forces." Might takes the place of right. The will and welfare of others are often crossed. How many wars have no better origin!
Finally note: THOUGH THE UNDUE ASSERTION OF SELF MAY SUCCEED FOR A SEASON, IT IS DOOMED TO ULTIMATE FAILURE. The king prospers, but only "till the indignation be accomplished." In the final issue self-seeking brings ruin. Selfishness prospers for a time, and unselfishness means temporary loss, but ultimately the suppression of self would lead to our lasting welfare (Matthew 16:25).
HOMILIES BY H.T. ROBJOHNS
Verse 1-Daniel 12:1
The roll of the universal Church.
"Thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book" (Daniel 12:1). Two remarks here seem necessary on the part of the writer of this set of homilies.
1. That, deeply interesting as may be the eleventh chapter considered as prophecy, and so demanding minute historical exposition, there does not seem to be much admitting of strictly homiletical treatment. The impression of others may be different; but that is our view; and we act upon it by advancing to the twelfth chapter.
2. That the homilies immediately following are founded upon the view expressed by Keil, that the closing verses of the eleventh chapter refer to "the end of the present world-period," not to Antiochus Epiphanes, but to the final enemy of the people of God, the antichrist; and further, that the first three verses of the twelfth chapter treat of "the final deliverance of Israel from the last tribulation." In other words, that the prophecies of Daniel close by projecting themselves on into the closing scenes of the history of our world. The first verse declares that the close, of earth's history shall be a time of unparalleled trouble; that the activity of Michael, the guardian angel of Israel, shall then be prominent; that there shall be deliverance for all the true Israel of God, viz. of those whose names are written in "the book." Of that book we treat; but seeking light upon it from the later revelations of God. By "the book" we understand the register of the redeemed of the Lord—the heavenly Church book—the roll of the one universal Church.
I. THE BOOK. The language is symbolic. There is in heaven something which may well be represented by a book. Books play no mean part in Scripture symbolism. To understand the passages we must remember that ancient books were, for the most part, written on parchment, rolled on cylinders, and usually the writing was on one side only. In Revelation 5:1 the book is the crowded roll of the providential counsels. A book sealed is one whose contents are secret. To eat a book is spiritually to assimilate its contents (Revelation 10:9, Revelation 10:10; Jeremiah 15:16). A book "folded up" stands for law repealed, or teaching of no further use. To "receive" a book is to enter on new dignity (Revelation 5:7). Christ enters on the functions of mediatorial providential King.
II. THE TITLE. "The book of life" (Revelation 21:27).
1. What it is not. Not what is called "the volume of the Divine decrees." Revelation 3:5 settles that.
2. What it is. One of the two to be produced at the last judgment (see Revelation 20:11-13). Look at them separately.
(1) The books of the deeds of men. The judgment of the great day will be "according to the deeds," etc. (2 Corinthians 5:10). But how does this comport with the evangelical doctrine that believers are saved and unbelievers lost (John 3:14-19)?
(a) As to the unbeliever. His deeds are the evidence of unbelief.
(b) The believer.
(α) Deeds, again, are evidence of faith.
(β) Deeds determine place in glory.
(2) The book of life. A book of names only, of the living—spiritually; i.e. of the saved. Alford says, "Those books and the book of life bear independent witness to the fact of men being or not being among the saved; the one by inference from the works recorded, the other by inscription or non-inscription in the list."
3. The origin of the figure. Whence? Various answers, but all suggestive. The carefully kept list of priests? of citizens? of wrestlers in the great Greek agony? the monster roll of soldiers in the Roman army? Believers ought to be all there—priests, etc. Think, then: In the book every believer's name, not in the world's order, but in the order of coming into the Church universal. It is the family register of our Father in heaven. What if we could read it? The names clearly written! No mistake! What disclosures l Names there; names not there! No impeachment of the record. No doubtful name. Are our names there?
III. THE OWNER. "The Lamb's book of life." Why?
1. The book is the register of his property. His "own." Blood-bought. His ransomed, servants, subjects, soldiers, friends, younger brethren.
2. He enters the names. How do we know? None beside has the ability or qualification. The writer must be everywhere, see all, know all. What wise discrimination needed too! tender sympathy! instant delicate recognition of the trust of a soul going out to him!
3. As Guardian, he keeps the book. The book, ever open, lies in the shadow of the protection of Christ's throne (John 10:28).
IV. THE NAMES.
1. The names ever there. Of those "who go out no more for ever."
2. The blotted names. (Revelation 22:19; Revelation 3:5.) Surely no idle threats these (Hebrews 10:29)!
V. Tile BLANK SPACES. There are places for coming names. Millions of names have been filled in; and "yet there is room." The blank space for your name waits your decision. ,Some names never will be there. (John 5:40.) What then? Revelation 20:15 : figurative language? Yes. But figure must be less ever than the reality.—R.
HOMILIES BY J.D. DAVIES
Revolutions in earthly empires.
In answer to prayer, Daniel obtains the consolation that other persons—other orders of being—were actively engaged in the same cause as himself.
I. UNSEEN AND UNOSTENTATIOUS SERVICE IS OFTEN THE MOST EFFECTIVE. It is not probable that Gabriel appeared in visible form in the Persian court. His presence was unknown; his influence on men unobserved. He was content to exert his power over the feelings, dispositions, motives, of men; in this way he could best direct the affairs of nations, and serve the cause of righteousness. We may be content to retire into obscurity; be unseen and unknown, so long as we use talent and influence on the side of God and truth. The forces of life are unseen; they are made; visible only in their effects.
II. WHEN THE SEASON IS OPPORTUNE, THE TRUTH SHALL BE REVEALED. "Now" (said Gabriel to Daniel) "will I show thee the truth." It is evident that the unsinning angels are not in possession o[all knowledge. They are ever learning. They "learn from the Church the manifold wisdom of God." Into many things" the angels desire to look." In the ratio of their knowledge is the service they render. Now Gabriel is at the Babylonian court, strengthening the purpose of Darius, and now he is at the river Hiddekel, revealing to Daniel the events of the future. For a season it is better for us to remain in ignorance. There are other possessions to be gained beside knowledge. When we have reduced to practice all we know, then we may expect further revelation. A spirit of generous benevolence towards men fills the angels. They delight to relieve our anxieties and to increase our knowledge. We may conclude that they would gladly proclaim the tidings of the gospel to the nations, if God had seen it to be good.
III. MATERIAL RICHES ARE NOT ESSENTIALLY BLESSINGS. The Mugs of Persia, seized with an ambition to subdue the world, extorted from their subjects the largest measure of taxation, and hoarded their revenues year by year, only to carry sword and fire into the continent of Europe. To expend riches in invading other kingdoms, in devastating lands and cities, is a criminal waste of God's treasure. Not for such purposes did God create gold and silver, brass and iron. Fallen man perverts and degrades many of God's possessions. Mental and material gifts are but talents entrusted to our keeping, and a day of reckoning comes on apace, when, as stewards, we must render an account to our Lord. A sad and woeful day will that be to kings and statesmen who have squandered a nation's wealth in war and bloodshed. In the case of Xerxes, great riches were a snare—a trap which involved him and his empire in ruin. Had he been a poor monarch, or only moderately rich, he and his people might have dwelt in safety; Iris name might have escaped reproach. His wealth fed the appetite of ambition. His ponderous army was a source of weakness. His ostentatious display invited the invasion of the Greeks. Riches are not real strength.
IV. EMPIRE, BUILT ON DESPOTIC POWER, IS EPHEMERAL. A king, however mighty, becomes utter weakness in the presence of disease, age, or death. Either of these forces is mightier than he. God permits, for hidden reasons, unscrupulous men to rise to the very summit of imperial power; but he does not guarantee their continuance; and if he does not uphold their power, it soon wanes and disappears. Nor can man secure that his authority and rank shall descend to his posterity, through the channels of ordinary law and custom. God is above all law, and often disappoints our fondest expectations. Despotic power is not a human virtue. It is a quality of doubtful character, and usually becomes dangerous to the public weal. Rapid as is the rise of some men to fame and power, their fall is usually more rapid still. At the moment of their greatest glory they are on the brink of ruin. When richest ripeness is on the fruit, rottenness is not far distant. Alexander's victorious march was unprecedented; he speedily reached the highest pinnacle of empire; yet the king of terrors struck him down at a blow, and sudden collapse of his vast empire followed. As he had not honoured God, neither did God honour him. Had Alexander been pious and devout, how great a blessing might his power have been to the world! How efficient and useful he might have been in advancing the principles of truth and godliness! But his vast kingdom, not being founded in righteousness, was soon plucked up by the roots.—D.
The chequered fortunes of earthly empire.
There is but one condition of permanence in any kingdom, viz. righteousness. Success, founded on military power, collapses as quickly as it rose. As night succeeds to day, so misfortune succeeds to fortune. If God be not recognized, the one element of durability is a-wanting.
I. GOD GOVERNS OUR WORLD BY IMPERFECT HUMAN AGENCIES. If men express their astonishment at this, our reply is that it is the best on the whole, and if he did not use imperfect instruments, he must not employ men at all. This allowance of evil men to be monarchs brings to light the evil that is in men; tends to impress the world with the unprofitableness of sin; and prepares the way for the advent of the real King of men. It is best, on the whole, that men should live in communities and nations; best, on the whole, that some should be rulers and some should be subjects; best that God's hand should not appear in the selection of earthly rulers. "His way is in the sea."
II. WAR IS THE MOST PROMINENT FEATURE OF SECULAR HISTORY. Read what chapters in secular history we choose, we find the uniform tale to be ambition, war, disaster, suffering. Man, when left alone by God, becomes his own deadly enemy, and the enemy of the human race. No greater proof can we have of the turpitude and malignancy of sin, than that furnished by the course of human history. Where-ever scope and opportunity have been afforded for the exercise of human inclination, the outcome has been strife and mutual destruction. To rule the world has been the arrogant desire of many, and heedless have they been of the miseries of the human race, so long as one vain man may ride upon the wave of fortune. As a rule, kings have been the curse of our globe. If successful in war, the appetite is whetted for further enterprise; if defeated, the spirit of revenge leaps up, at the first opportunity, to regain its loss.
III. IMPERIAL AMBITION CRUSHES OUT THE BEST AFFECTIONS OF THE HUMAN SOUL. The noblest affection that has survived man's fall is the parental—the love of a father for his children. Yet even this has been persistently trampled on—often trampled out—by the diabolic lust of power. The King of Egypt gives his daughter in marriage to his hereditary foe, not because there was any tie of mutual affection, but solely to promote his ambitious policy. This was nothing less than the sacrifice of his own child to an evil spirit—to the baser lusts of his own depraved nature. On the altar of vain-glory, kings are wont to sacrifice natural affection, domestic peace, the Divine institution of marriage, connubial bliss, the welfare of children, yea, the lives of their own flesh and blood. No blacker biographies can be written than those of successful kings. One bad man has been an active spring of mischief for centuries after his decease. One unworthy king has been a fount of misery and wretchedness for a myriad families of men. If every private individual needs the restraining grace of God, tenfold more does a king.
IV. ISRAEL IS THE CENTRAL OBJECT OF GOD'S REGARD. It is a very unusual thing for God to make known to men what is about to transpire in the world. As a rule, this course would be full of hazard. It would tend to remove human responsibility. By such a plan, God might defeat his own ends. But God designed to show special favour unto Daniel. He generously conceded, in answer to prayer, what otherwise he would have withheld. Daniel was concerned about Israel's welfare. God was concerned about it also. One mind prevailed with God and with his servant; hence it was in accordance with God's plan to make known, in such a case, his will. The revelation which was vouchsafed respected Israel; for Israel's home lay midway between these kings of Egypt and Syria. Daniel was moved, not by a spirit of curiosity to learn what should happen elsewhere, but by a pure regard for his country's weal. As a fact, well-certified in later history, this prophecy, being shown to Alexander the Great at Jerusalem, secured his favour and protection. In every age, Israel—the true Israel—is God's especial care. He that "toucheth Israel, toucheth the apple of his eye." The arms of Jehovah encircle the righteous. Saith he, "i will never leave thee; I will never forsake thee."
V. SACRED PROPHECY AND SECULAR HISTORY CONFIRM EACH OTHER. All that is true in history, though written by the pen of sceptical men, is from God. He is the sole Author of truth. Hence we may not despise human learning, nor throw contempt upon honest researches into past history. Whatever in the world is true will prove, in the end, a confirmation of the ancient oracles. It is impossible that God can, in any way, contradict himself. If, for a moment, there should seem any discrepancy, we may rest in the tranquil assurance that further light will resolve all difficulty, and that apparent discord will only lead to richer harmony. Every item of prophecy in this chapter has found exact fulfilment. If, in some respects, the predictions of the angel seem obscure, they were as clear as it was proper to make them. The measure of obscurity is an additional proof of Divine wisdom; and, read in the light of later events, every unprejudiced mind feels that such pre-announcements of national events could proceed from none other than the living God. If we are forced to believe that a faithful record of history has proceeded from the hands of an intelligent man, we are also compelled to conclude that accurate predictions of distinct events can only result from supernatural agency—a revelation made from heaven.—D.
The specious success of a bad monarch.
There is mystery in the fact that, under the administration of a righteous God, bad men should be elevated to highest rank. Yet, evil though it is, it would probably be a greater evil to employ mere force to prevent it. It is evident that God rules among men by moral agencies. This is one circumstance among the "all things" that "work together for the good" of God's elect.
I. BAD MEN ARE PERMITTED BY GOD TO CLIMB INTO IMPERIAL THRONES. There is a sense in which it is true that "God setteth up one, and putteth down another" Yet it is not true that God acts apart from men, nor is he responsible for any unrighteous act. Without his permission it could not be; but if power should interfere to prevent wrong-doing, this would be to make virtuous by compulsion—this would be to destroy virtue's essential nature. The people of Israel, in Samuel's day, clamoured for a king. God did not approve; yet, in anger, he permitted them to have a king. Nor would it have then availed for God to have furnished Israel with a king" after his own heart." The people would not at that time have tolerated such a prince. Very clear is it that God sets no high value on the highest earthly distinctions. The wealth and dignities and sceptres of earth are not deemed worthy to be rewards for his friends. Riches and sovereignties often fall to the lot of the vilest of mankind—clear proof this how God values such possessions. "That which is highly esteemed anong men is often an abomination in the sight of God." The wise men in God's kingdom will not envy any of fortune's favourites.
II. THE BOLD ARTS OF FRAUD AND DECEIT OFTEN FIND A PASSING SUCCESS. From the hour when Antiochus was liberated from Rome, until the hour of his death, he was studying the shrewdest arts of duplicity and treachery. If men wish to make a lie succeed, they must make it big enough and utter it boldly, and it will travel far and wide. So too any act of wickedness will best succeed if it is carried out with brazen effrontery. No consideration of truth, or duty, or feeling, or self-consistency, was allowed by Antiochus to stand in the way of vile success. To be rightly or wrongly a monarch over a large area—this was his one ambition, and to this evil deity everything was sacrificed. If lying, or reserve, or deceit, or tergiversation, would serve his turn, all were resorted to. No covenant, or treaty, or promise, issuing from him, was worth a groat. He was more a demon than a man; for all manly qualities had been parted with. To the eye of his courtiers and generals it would seem as if this course of life secured success; yet it was a very doubtful success and very ephemeral. Granted that it continued, more or less, through his lifetime; this was merely a period of eleven years. To estimate justly the success of a man's life, we must measure it, not by years, but by centuries—not by the fleeting hour's of time, but by its continuance through eternity. Posterity has long since reversed the judgment of this Syrian king's contemporaries. Scorn and detestation are his inheritance.
III. SUCCESSFUL WICKEDNESS ATTRACTS BAD MEN TO ITS SIDE. The majority of men are more fitted to follow than to lead. If only a bold and self-assertive leader appear, crowds of weaker men will attach themselves to his person; and if only something can be gained, be it earthly spoil or glory, the appetite of avarice will be sharply whetted. The public and faithful testimony of a good man will strengthen the confidence of feebler saints, and make the pulse of piety beat stronger. This has an effect in drawing righteous spirits more closely together, and, as a consequence, increasing their severance from the wicked. So it is also a fact that the public success of a bad man (especially if he be an opponent and persecutor of the Church) will serve to detach hypocrites and self-deceivers from the cause of truth and righteousness. The successful violence and blatant profanity of Antiochus separated the impious Jews from the pious. Then it was discovered that many who observed the sacred rites of Judaism were atheists at heart, and were more eager to share in the spoils of sacrilege than to defend their temple and their God. In days of prosperity and peace, multitudes are content with a superficial faith. But persecution is a sterling test, and well brings out the genuine and the spurious in character.
IV. SUCCESSFUL WICKEDNESS SERVES TO FORTIFY THE COURAGE AND FAITH OF THE RIGHTEOUS. The tyrannic violence of Antiochus drove good men nearer to God; it led them to examine the foundations of their hope; it brought them to the fount of Divine strength; it disposed them to inflame each other's zeal. Though the pious in Jerusalem were a little band, they resisted with heroic fortitude the profane invader; and if they were not at once successful, their devotion to the Jewish cause soon developed sufficient martial skill to defeat and drive out the foe. Out of evil came good. Had it not beer for the violence and sacrilege of Antiochus, the Jews would have borne the yoke of the Syrian monarchs. But now a Jewish hero—Judas Maccabaeus—is brought to the front, who resolves on the bold enterprise of Jewish independence. If vice can he bold and fearless, much more ought virtue to be.
V. ATHEISM AND SUPERSTITION GO HAND-IN-HAND. It is instructive to observe how the mind of this usurping king vacillates on the matter of religion. He who sought to dethrone the true God from his seat in Jerusalem, and to overturn his altars, sought also to enthrone the mythical idol Jupiter, and to erect an altar for this imaginary deity. Man must worship somewhat. His religious faculty cries out for some exercise. If the true God be rejected, some counterfeit god must be invented. Well did the leaders of the French Revolution affirm, "If there be no God, we must make one" But, in truth, Antiochus believed in nothing save himself. The world existed for him. Armies existed for him. Men's lives, or family happiness, or national weal, or religion's temples, were counted as nothing, if seemingly opposed to his advantage. He was simply a monster of egotistic selfishness. He might have said truly, "Syria? it is I! The world? 'tis only for me!" If it seems to serve a passing caprice, a temple is erected for some Roman deity. If money is wanted for war, he will strip every temple of its treasures. The only deity his soul worshipped was force—vulgar power.
VI. WICKEDNESS AND TYRANNY HAVE AT LENGTH TO YIELD TO A DIVINE RULE. Even good men are sometimes impatient to see the progress and the success of villainy. In their anguish they often cry out, "How long? O Lord, how long?" But God does not move, in his administration of the world, with premature haste. "The time is appointed' when iniquity shall cease to be successful, and when complete retribution shall overtake the unrighteous man. A royal tyrant may as well knock his head against a granite wall—and better—than to work against God, or to fling himself on the bosses of the Almighty's shield. In the midst of apparent success, such a man feels ofttimes that fate (as he calls it) is against him. Strangely are his ends defeated, as were Napoleon's by a snowstorm. The mightiest warrior is working, with his blustering noise, within a very tiny circle; and all imperial and martial events are embraced within the supreme purpose and administration of God. Let appearances be as they may, "God has prepared his throne in the heavens;" "His kingdom ruleth over all." At last, reward and retribution shall be distributed by royal and impartial hands. Every one shall "receive the due reward of his deeds." God's end may be far off, humanly speaking, yet it shall "surely come." Though it tarry, childlike faith will wait for it.—D.
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Exell, Joseph S; Spence-Jones, Henry Donald Maurice. "Commentary on Daniel 11". The Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent