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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Daniel 11

 

 

Verse 1

Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.

This chapter is an enlargement of the eighth.

Also I ... even I - the angel, who was "like the appearance of a man" (Daniel 10:18).

In the first year of Darius - Cyaxares II, the year of the conquest of Babylon (Daniel 5:31). Cyrus, who wielded the real power, though in name subordinate to Darius, in that year promulgated the edict for the restoration of the Jews, which Daniel was at the time praying for (Daniel 9:1-2; Daniel 9:21; Daniel 9:23).

Stood - implying promptness in helping, (Psalms 94:16, "Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?")

To confirm and to strengthen him - namely, Michael; even as Michael (Daniel 10:21, margin, 'strengtheneth himself with me') helped the angel, both joining their powers in behalf of Israel (Rosenmuller). Or, Darius, the angel 'confirming him' in his purpose of kindness to Israel.


Verse 2

And now will I shew 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.

There shall stand up yet three kings in Persia - Cambyses, Pseudo-Smerdis, and Darius Hystaspes. (Ahasuerus, Artaxerxes, and Darius, in Ezra 4:6-7; Ezra 4:24.) The Ahasuerus of Esther (see note, Daniel 9:1) is identified with Xerxes, both in Greek history and in Scripture, appearing proud, self-willed, careless of contravening Persian customs, amorous, facile, and changeable (Daniel 11:2). Ahasuerus was a name common to many of the kings of Medo-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 - Xerxes, whose riches was proverbial. Persia reached its climax and showed its greatest power in his invasion of Greece, 480 BC After his overthrow at Salamis, Persia is viewed as politically dead, though it had an existence. Therefore, the third verse, without noticing Xerxes' successors, proceeds at once to Alexander, under whom, first, the third world-kingdom, Grecia, reached its culmination, and assumed an importance as to the people of God.

Stir up all - four years were spent in gathering his army out of all parts of his vast empire, amounting to 2,600,041 men (Prideaux, 'Connexion,' 1: 4, 1: 410).


Verse 3

And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.

A mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will - answering to the he-goat's "notable horn" (Daniel 8:6-7; Daniel 8:21). Alexander invaded Persia 334 BC, to avenge the wrongs of Greece on Persia, for Xerxes' past invasion (as Alexander said in a letter to Darius Codomanus, Arrian, 'Alexander,' 2: 14, 7).


Verse 4

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.

And when he shall stand up, kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds - the four-fold division of Alexander's kingdom at his death (Daniel 8:8; Daniel 8:22), after the battle of Ipsus, 301 BC

And not to his posterity - (notes, Daniel 8:8; Daniel 8:22).

Nor according to his dominion which he ruled. None of his successors had so wide a dominion as Alexander himself.

For his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others besides those - besides Alexander's sons, Hercules by Barsine, Darius' daughter, and Alexander by Roxana, who were both slain (Maurer). Rather, others besides the four successors to the four chief divisions of the empire: there will be other lesser chiefs, who shall appropriate smaller fragments of the Macedonian empire (Jerome).


Verse 5

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.

And the king of the south shall be strong. Here the prophet leaves Asia and Greece, and takes up Egypt and Syria, these being in continual conflict under Alexander's successors, entailing misery on Judea, which lay between the two. Holy Scripture handles external history only so far as it is connected with God's people Israel (Jerome). Tregelles puts a chasm between Daniel 11:4-5, making the transition to the final Antichrist here, answering to the chasm (in his view) at Daniel 8:22-23.

King of the south - literally, the king of mid-day: "Egypt" (Daniel 11:8; Daniel 11:42): Ptolemy Soter, son of Lagus. He took the title "king," whereas Lagus was but 'governor.'

And one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him - Seleucus, at first a satrap of Ptolemy Lagus, but from312 BC king of the largest empire after that of Alexander (Syria, Babylon, Media, etc.), and called therefore Nicator - i:e., Conqueror. Connect the words thus: 'And one of his (Ptolemy's) princes, even he (Seleucus) shall be strong above him' (above Ptolemy, his former master).


Verse 6

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.

And in the end of years - when the predicted time shall be consummated Daniel 11:13, margin, 'at the end of times, even years;' (Daniel 8:17, "at the time of the end;" Daniel 12:13 "at the end of the days").

For the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north - Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus of Egypt. The latter, in order to end his war with Antiochus Theus, "king of the north" (literally, midnight: the prophetic phrase for the region whence came affliction to Israel, Jeremiah 1:13-15, "a seething pot, and the face thereof is toward the north;" Joel 2:20) - i:e., Syria gave Berenice to Antiochus, who thereupon divorced his former wife, Laodice, and disinherited her son, Seleucus Callinicus. The designation, "king of the north," and "of the south," is given in relation to Judea, as the stand-point. Egypt is mentioned by name (Daniel 11:8; Daniel 11:42), though Syria is not; because the former was in Daniel's time a flourishing kingdom, whereas Syria was then a mere dependency of Assyria and Babylon: an undesigned proof of the genuineness of the book of Daniel.

To make an agreement - literally, rights, i:e., to put things to rights between the belligerents.

But she shall not retain the power of the arm - she shall not be able to effect the purpose of the alliance, namely, that she should be the mainstay of peace. Ptolemy having died, Antiochus took back Laodice, who then poisoned him, and caused Berenice and her son to be put to death, and raised her own son, Seleucus Nicator, to the throne.

Neither shall he stand - the King of Egypt shall not gain his point of setting his line on the throne of Syria.

Nor his arm - that on which he relied, Berenice and her offspring.

But she shall be given up, and they that brought her - her attendants from Egypt. But she shall be given up, and they that brought her - her attendants from Egypt.

And he that begat her - rather, as margin, 'the child whom brought forth' (Ewald). If the English version (which Maurer approves) be retained, as Ptolemy died a natural death, "given up" is not in his case, as in Berenice's, to be understood of giving up to death, but in a general sense, of his plan proving abortive.

And he that strengthened her in these times - Antiochus Theus, who is to attach himself to her (having divorced Laodice) at the times predicted (Gejer).


Verse 7

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:

But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army. Ptolemy Euergetes, brother of Berenice, succeeding in the place (see margin) of Philadelphus, avenged her death by overrunning Syria, even to the Euphrates.

And shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them - he shall deal with the Syrians at his own pleasure. He killed Laodice.


Verse 8

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.

And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold. Ptolemy, on hearing of a sedition in Egypt, returned with 40,000 talents of silver, precious vessels, and 2,400 images, including Egyptian idols, which Cambyses had carried from Egypt into Persia. The idolatrous Egyptians were so gratified that they named him Euergetes, or Benefactor. Justin says that he would have occupied the whole kingdom of Seleucus, had he not been called back to Egypt by the sedition there.

And he shall continue more years than the king of the north. Ptolemy survived Seleucus four years, reigning in all 46 years. Maurer translates [ ya`


Verse 9

So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.

So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom - Egypt: not only with impunity, but with great spoil.


Verse 10

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.

But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces - the two sons of the king of the north, Seleucus Callinicus, upon his death by a fall from his horse-namely, Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus the Great.

And one shall certainly come. Ceraunus having died, Antiochus alone prosecuted the war with Ptolemy Philopator, Euergetes' son, until he had recovered all the parts of Syria subjugated by Euergetes.

And pass through - like an "overflowing" torrent (Daniel 11:22; Daniel 11:26; Daniel 11:40; Isaiah 8:8). Antiochus penetrated to Dura (near Caesarea) where he gave Ptolemy a four months' truce.

Then shall he return - renew the war at the expiration of the truce (so Daniel 11:13).

And be stirred up, even to his fortress - Ptolemy's; Raphia, a border-fortress of Egypt against incursions by way of Edom and Arabia Petrea, near Gaza: here Antiochus was vanquished.


Verse 11

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.

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 - "moved with choler" at so great losses, Syria having been wrested from him, and his own kingdom imperilled, though otherwise an indolent man, to which his disasters were owing, as also to the odium of his subjects against him for having murdered his father, mother, and brother, whence, in irony, they called him Philopater, 'Father-lover.'

And he shall set forth a great multitude - "he," namely, Antiochus king of Syria, whose force was 70,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry.

But the multitude shall be given into his hand - into Ptolemy's hands: 10,000 of Antiochus' army were slain, and 4,000 made captives.


Verse 12

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.

And when he hath taken away the multitude - i:e., subdued "the multitude" of Antiochus.

His heart shall be lifted up. Instead of following up his victory, by making himself master of the whole of Syria, as he might, he made peace with Antiochus, and gave himself up to licentiousness (Polybius, 87:; Justinius, 30:

1), and profaned the temple of God by entering the holy place (Grotius).

And he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it - he shall lose the power gained by his victory through his luxurious indolence.


Verse 13

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.

For the king of the north shall return - renew the war.

And shall certainly come after certain years - 14 years after his defeat at Raphia. Antiochus, after successful campaigns against Persia and India, made war with Ptolemy Epiphanes, son of Philopator, a mere child.


Verse 14

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.

And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south - Philip king of Macedon, and rebels in Egypt itself, combined with Antiochus against Ptolemy.

Also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves - i:e., factious men of the Jews shall exalt themselves, so as to revolt from Ptolemy, and join themselves to Antiochus: the Jews helped with provisions Antiochus' army, when on his return from Egypt he besieged the Egyptian garrison left in Jerusalem (Josephus, 'Antiquities' 12: 3, 3).

To establish the vision - those turbulent Jews unconsciously shall help to fulfill the purpose of God, as to the trials which await Judea, according to this vision.

But they shall fall - though helping to fulfill the vision, they shall fail in their aim, of making Judea independent.


Verse 15

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.

So the king of the north shall come - Antiochus the Great.

And take the most fenced cities. Scopas, the Egyptian general, met Antiochus at Paneas, near the sources of the Jordan, and was defeated, and fled to Sidon, a strongly "fenced city," where he was forced to surrender.

And the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people. Egypt's choicest army was sent under Eropus, Menocles, and Damoxenus, to deliver Scopas, but in vain (Jerome).


Verse 16

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.

But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will - Antiochus coming against Ptolemy Epiphanes. And he shall stand in the glorious land - Judea (Daniel 11:41; Daniel 11:45; Daniel 8:9, "the pleasant land; Ezekiel 20:6; Ezekiel 20:15, "a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands").

Which by his hand shall be consumed - literally, perfected; i:e., completely brought under his sway. Josephus ('Antiquities,' 12: 3, 3) shows that the meaning is not that the Jews should be utterly consumed; because Antiochus favoured them for taking his part against Ptolemy, but that their land should be subjected to him (Lengkerke). Grotius translates, 'shall be perfected by him' - i:e., shall flourish under him. The English version gives a good sense-namely, that Judea was much "consumed" or desolated by being the arena of conflict between the combatants Syria and Egypt. Tregelles refers (Daniel 11:14) "robbers of thy people" to the Gentiles, who formerly had been the robbers and oppressors of Israel, but who then shall attempt to restore the Jews to their land by mere human effort, whereas this is to be effected only by divine interposition: their attempt is frustrated (Daniel 11:16) by the willful king who makes Judea the scene of his military operations.


Verse 17

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.

He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom - "set his face," purpose steadfastly. Antiochus' purpose was, however, turned from open assault to wile, by his war with the Romans in his endeavour to extend his kingdom to the limits which it had under Seleucus Nicator.

And upright ones - Jasher or Jeshurun (Deuteronomy 32:15; Isaiah 44:2, "O Jacob ... and thou Jesurun whom I have chosen"), the epithet applied by the Hebrews to their nation. It is here used not in praise; because in Daniel 11:14 (see note) they are called "robbers," or men of violence, factious: it is the general designation of Israel, as having God for their God. Probably it is used to rebuke them who ought to have been God's "upright ones" for confederating with godless pagan in acts of violence (the contrast to their designation, "robbers of thy people," in Daniel 11:14, favours this). So "Jeshurun" is used in Deuteronomy 32:15 to mark their high calling in respect to privileges, in sad contrast to their practice: "Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked."

Thus shall he do. Instead of at once invading Ptolemy's country with his "whole strength," he prepares his way for doing so by the following plan:

And he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her; but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him - he gives to Ptolemy Epiphanes his daughter Cleopatra in marriage, promising Coelo-Syria and Judea as a dowry, thus securing his neutrality in the war with Rome: he hoped through his daughter to obtain Syria, Cilicia, and Lycia, and even Egypt itself at last: but Cleopatra favoured her husband rather than her father, and so defeated his scheme (Jerome.) "She shall not stand on his side."


Verse 18

After this shall he 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.

After this shall he turn his face unto the isles - he "took many" of the isles in the AEgean, in his war with the Romans, and crossed the Hellespont.

But a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease. Lucius Scipio Asiaticus, the Roman general, by routing Antiochus at Magnesia (190 BC), caused the reproach which he offered Rome, by inflicting injuries on Rome's allies, to cease. He did it for his own glory.

Without his own reproach - with untarnished reputation.


Verse 19

Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.

Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land. Compelled by Rome to relinquish all his territory west of the Taurus, and to defray the expenses of the war, he garrisoned the cities left to him.

But he shall stumble and fall, and not be found. Attempting to plunder the temple of Jupiter at Elymais by night, whether through avarice, or the want of money to pay the tribute imposed by Rome (a thousand talents), he was slain with his soldiers in an insurrection of the inhabitants (Justinius, 32: 2).


Verse 20

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.

Then shall stand up in his estate - in Antiochus' stead: his successor, Seleucus Philopator, his son.

A raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom - i:e., inheriting it by hereditary right. Maurer translates, 'one who shall cause the tax-gatherer (Heliodorus) to pass through the glory of the kingdom' - i:e., through Judea, "the glorious land" (Daniel 11:16; Daniel 11:41; Daniel 8:9). Simon, a Benjamite, in spite against Onias III, the high priest, gave information of the treasures in the Jewish temple; and Seleucus having re-united to Syria Coelo-Syria and Palestine, the dowry formerly given by Antiochus the Great to Cleopatra, Ptolemy's wife, sent Heliodorus to Jerusalem to plunder the temple. This is narrated, 2 Maccabees 3:4, etc. In contrast to this, it is foretold in Zechariah 9:8, "No oppressor shall pass through them anymore."

But within few days he shall be destroyed - after a reign of twelve years, which were "few" compared with the 37 years of Antiochus' reign. Heliodorus, the instrument of Seleucus' sacrilege, was made by God the instrument of his punishment. Seeking the crown, in the absence at Rome of Seleucus' only son and heir, Demetrius, he poisoned Seleucus. But Antiochus Epiphanes, Seleucus' brother, by the help of Eumenes king of Pergamus, succeeded to the throne, 175 BC

Neither in anger, nor in battle - not in a popular outbreak, nor in open battle.


Verse 21

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.

And in his estate shall stand up a vile person. Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, i:e., the illustrious, for vindicating the claims of the royal line against Heliodorus, was nicknamed, by a play of sounds, Epimanes, i:e., the madman, for his mad freaks beneath the dignity of a king. He would carouse with the lowest of the people, bathe with them in the public baths, and foolishly jest and throw stones at passers-by (Polybius, 26: 10). Hence, as also for his crafty supplanting of Demetrius, the rightful heir, from the throne, he is termed "vile."

To whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries - the nation shall not, by a public act, confer the kingdom on him; but he shall obtain it by artifice, 'flattering' Eumenes and Attalus of Pergamus to help him, and, as he had seen candidates at Rome doing, canvassing the Syrian people high and low, one by one, with embraces (Livy, 41: 20).


Verse 22

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.

And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him - Antiochus Epiphanes shall invade Egypt with overwhelming forces.

Yea, also the prince of the covenant - Ptolemy Philometor, the son of Cleopatra, Antiochus' sister, who was Yea, also the prince of the covenant - Ptolemy Philometor, the son of Cleopatra, Antiochus' sister, who was joined in covenant with him. Ptolemy's guardians, while he was a boy, sought to recover from Epiphanes Coelo-Syria and Palestine, which had been promised by Antiochus the Great as Cleopatra's dowry in marrying Ptolemy Epiphanes. Hence arose the war. Philometor's generals were vanquished, and Pelusium, the key of Egypt, taken by Antiochus, 171 BC


Verse 23

And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.

And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully. Tregelles notes three divisions in the history of the "vile person," which is continued to the end of the chapter:

(1) His rise (Daniel 11:21-22);

(2) The time from his making the covenant to the taking away of the daily sacrifice and setting up of the abomination of desolation (Daniel 11:23-31);

(3) His career of blasphemy, to his destruction (Daniel 11:32-45); the latter two periods answering to the "one week" of years of his "covenant confirmed with many" (namely, in Israel) (Daniel 9:27), and the last being the closing half week of Daniel 9:1-27.

But the context so accurately agrees with the relations of Antiochus to Ptolemy that the primary reference at least seems to be to the "league" between them. Antitypically, Antichrist's relations toward Israel are probably delineated. Compare Daniel 8:11; Daniel 8:25 with Daniel 11:22 here, "the prince of the covenant;" (Ptolemy Philometor in covenant with Antiochus, but afterward assailed by Antiochus, being herein a type of Messiah, the Prince and Messenger of the covenant and Lord of Israel, into covenant with whom Antichrist shall first enter, and then shall set himself up against both Israel and Israel's God).

Work deceitfully - feigning friendship to young Ptolemy, as if he wished to order his kingdom for him, he took possession of Memphis, and all Egypt ("the fattest places," Daniel 11:24) as far as Alexandria.

For he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people - at first, to throw off suspicion, his forces were small.


Verse 24

He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his 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.

He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province. "Peaceably" [ b


Verse 25

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.

And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south. A fuller detail of what was summarily stated (Daniel 11:22-24). This is the first of Antiochus' three (Daniel 11:29) open invasions of Egypt.

Against the king of the south - against Ptolemy Philometor. Subsequently, Ptolemy Physcon (the Gross), or Euergetes II, was made king by the Egyptians, as Ptolemy Philometor was in Antiochus' hands.

With a great army - as distinguished from the "small people" (Daniel 11:23) with which he first came. This was his first open expedition; he was emboldened by success to it. Antiochus 'entered Egypt with an overwhelming multitude, with chariots, elephants, and cavalry' (1 Maccabees 1:17).

And the king of the south shall be stirred up - by the necessity, though naturally indolent.

But he shall not stand - Philometor was defeated.

For they shall forecast devices against him - his own nobles shall frame treacherous "devices" against him (see For they shall forecast devices against him - his own nobles shall frame treacherous "devices" against him (see Daniel 11:26). Euloeus and Lenoeus mal-administered his affairs. Antiochus, when checked at last at Alexandria, left Ptolemy Philometor at Memphis as king, pretending that his whole object was to support Philometor's claims against the usurper Physcon.


Verse 26

Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.

Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him - those from whom he might naturally have looked for help-his intimates and dependents (Psalms 41:9; John 13:18): his ministers and guardians turned against him. Herein Ptolemy Philometer was a figure of Messiah, the King of Israel, against whom Judas, who did eat at His table, "the son of perdition" (John 17:12) turned traitor; just as Antichrist, the only other person in Scripture called "the son of perdition" (2 Thessalonians 2:3; Revelation 17:10-11), shall, after entering into covenant with Israel, turn against Israel and Israel's God and King.

And his army shall overflow - Philometor's army shall be dissipated as water. The phrase is used of overflowing numbers, usually in a victorious sense, but here in the sense of defeat, the very numbers which ordinarily ensure victory hastening the defeat through mismanagement.

And many shall fall down slain - (1 Maccabees 1:18, 'Many fell wounded to death'). Antiochus, when he might have slain all in the battle near Pelusium, rode round and ordered the enemy to be taken alive, the fruit of which policy was, he soon gained Pelusium and all Egypt (Diodorus Siculus, 26: 77).


Verse 27

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.

And both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief - each to the other.

And they shall speak lies at one table - they shall, under the semblance of intimacy at Memphis, try to deceive one another (notes, Daniel 11:3; Daniel 11:25).

But it shall not prosper - neither of them shall carry his point at this time.

For yet the end shall be at the time appointed - "the end" of the contest between them is reserved for "the time appointed" (Daniel 11:29-30).


Verse 28

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.

Then shall he return into his land with great riches. For the fulfillment of the prophecy, compare 1 Maccabees 1:19-20, etc.: 'Thus he got the strong cities of Egypt, and he took the spoils thereof. And after that Antiochus had smitten Egypt he returned again in the 143rd year, and went up against Israel and Jerusalem with a great multitude; and entered proudly into the sanctuary, and took away the golden altar, and the candlestick of light, and all the vessels, etc.; and when he had taken all away he went into his own land, having made a great massacre and spoken very proudly.'

And his heart shall be against the holy covenant. On his way back to Syria he attacked Jerusalem, the metropolis of Yahweh's covenant-people, slew 80,000, and sold 40,000 as slaves (2 Maccabees 5:5-14).

And he shall do exploits - he shall effect his purpose. Guided by Menelaus the high priest, he entered the sanctuary with blasphemies, took away the gold and silver vessels, sacrificed swine on the altar, and sprinkled broth of the flesh through the temple. He carried home 1,800 talents out of the temple (2 Maccabees 5:15-21).


Verse 29

At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.

At the time appointed - "the time" spoken of in Daniel 11:27.

He shall return - his second open invasion of Egypt. Ptolemy Philometor, suspecting Antiochus' designs with Physcon, hired mercenaries from Greece. Whereupon Antiochus advanced with a fleet and an army, demanding the cession to him of Cyprus, Pelusium, and the country adjoining the Pelusiac mouth of the Nile.

But it shall not be as the fomer - not successful as the former expedition. Popilius Loenas, the Roman ambassador, met him at Eleusis, four miles from Alexandria, and presented him the decree of the senate: on Antiochus replying that he would consider what he was to do, Popilius drew a line round him with a rod, and said, I must have a reply to give to the senate before you leave this circle. Antiochus submitted, and retired from Egypt; and his fleets withdrew from Cyprus.

Or as the latter - that mentioned in Daniel 11:42-43 (Tregelles). Or, making this the third expedition, the sense is Or as the latter - that mentioned in Daniel 11:42-43 (Tregelles). Or, making this the third expedition, the sense is 'not as the first or as the second' expeditions (Piscator). Rather, 'not as the former, so shall be this latter' expedition (Grotius).


Verse 30

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.

For the ships of Chittim shall come against him - the Roman ambassadors arriving in Macedonian-Grecian vessels (see note, Jeremiah 2:10). Chittim means properly Cyprians, so called from a Phoenician colony in Cyprus: then the term came to be applied to the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean in general.

Therefore he shall be grieved - he shall be humbled and dispirited through fear of Rome.

And return, and have indignation against the holy covenant - indignant that meantime God's worship has been restored at Jerusalem, he gives vent to his wrath at the check given him by Rome on the Jews.

He shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant - namely, with the apostates in the nation (1 Maccabees 1:11-15). Menelaus and other Jews instigated the king against their religion and country. Having taken up the false idea from Greek philosophy, that the main object of religion is to maintain political and social order, and that all religions are good enough to keep the masses in check, these had cast off circumcision and the religion of Yahweh for Greek customs. Antiochus, on his way home sent Apollonius (167 BC) with 22,000 to destroy Jerusalem, two years after its capture by himself. Apollonius slew multitudes, and dismantled and pillaged the city. They then, from a fortress which they built, commanding the temple, fell on and killed the worshippers; so that the temple service was discontinued.

Also, Antiochus decreed that all, on pain of death, should conform to the Greek religion, and the temple was consecrated to Jupiter Olympius. Identifying himself with that god, with fanatical haughtiness, he wished to make his own worship universal (1 Maccabees 1:41, 'King Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, and every one should leave his laws: so all the pagan agreed ... Yea, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols, and profaned the Sabbath;' 2 Maccabees 6:7, 'In the day of the king's birth, every month, they were brought by bitter constraint to eat of the sacrifices; and when the feast of Bacchus was kept, the Jews were compelled to go in procession to Bacchus, carrying ivy'). This was the gravest peril which ever heretofore threatened revealed religion, the holy people, and the theocracy on earth. For none of the previous world-rulers had interfered with the religious worship of the covenant-people when subject to them (Daniel 4:31-34; Daniel 6:27-28; Ezra 1:2; Ezra 1:4; Ezra 7:12; Nehemiah 2:18). Hence, arose the need of such a forewarning of the covenant-people as to him-so accurate, that Porphyry, the adversary of revelat ion, saw it was hopeless to deny its correspondence with history, but argued from its accuracy that it must have been written subsequent to the event. But as Messianic events are foretold in Daniel, the Jews, the adversaries of Jesus, would never have forged the prophecies which confirm His claims. The ninth chapter was to comfort the faithful Jews, in the midst of the 'abominations' against "the covenant," with the prospect of Messiah, who would confirm the covenant. He would show, by bringing salvation, and yet abolishing sacrifices, that the temple service, which they so grieved after, was not absolutely necessary: thus the correspondence of phraseology would suggest comfort (cf. Daniel 9:27 with Daniel 11:30-31).


Verse 31

And arms shall stand on his 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.

And arms - namely, of the human body: not weapons. meaning human forces.

And they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength. "And they," i:e., Antiochus' hosts, confederate with the apostate Israelites; these latter attain the climax of guilt when they not only, as before, "forsake the covenant" (Daniel 11:30), but "do wickedly against' it (Daniel 11:32), turning complete pagans. Here Antiochus' actings are described in language which reach beyond him, the type, to Antichrist, the antitype (Jerome), (just as in Psalms 72:1-20 many things are said of Solomon, the type, which in their fullest sense are only applicable to Christ, the antitype); including perhaps Rome, Mohammed, and the final personal Antichrist. Sir Isaac Newton refers the rest of the chapter from this verse to the Romans, and translates 'after him (instead of, on his, part) arms (i:e., the Romans) shall stand up.' [ mimenuw (Hebrew #4480), after him: so the preposition min (Hebrew #4480) is used in Daniel 11:23.] At the very time that Antiochus left Egypt the Romans conquered Macedon, thus finishing the reign of Daniel's third beast; so here the prophet natu rally proceeds to the fourth beast. Jerome's view is simpler; for the narrative seems to continue the history of Antiochus, though with features only in type applicable to him, fully to Antichrist.

And they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength - not only naturally a place of strength, whence it held out to the last against the besiegers, but chiefly the spiritual strong hold of the covenant-people (Psalms 48:1-3; Psalms 48:12-14, "Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks ... For this God is our God forever and ever").

And shall take away the daily sacrifice. Apollonius, sent by Antiochus, "polluted" it with altars to idols and sacrifices of swine's flesh, after having taken "away the daily sacrifice" (see note, Daniel 8:11).

And they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate - i:e., that pollutes the temple, (Daniel 8:12-13, "the transgression of desolation"). Or, rather, 'the abomination of the desolater,' Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Maccabees 1:29; 1 Maccabees 1:37-49). Compare Daniel 9:27, wherein the antitypical desolating abomination of Rome primarily (the eagle standard, the bird of Jupiter, sacrificed to by Titus' soldiers within the sacred precincts, at the destruction of Jerusalem), then of Mohammed, and lastly, of the final Antichrist, is foretold. Here, the typical "abomination that maketh desolate" - i:e., the idol abomination set up in the temple by Antiochus is foretold. 1 Maccabees 1:54 uses the very phrase: 'The fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the 145th year, they set up the abomination of desolation on the altar'-namely, an idolaltar and image of Jupiter Olympius, erected upon Yahweh's altar of burnt offerings. "Abomination" is the common name for an idol in the Old Testament. The Roman emperor Adrian's erection of a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus where the temple of God had stood, 132 AD also the erection of the Mohammedan mosque of Omar in the same place (it is striking, Mohammedanism began to prevail in 610 AD, only about three years from the time when Popery assumed the temporal power); and the idolatry of the Church of Rome in the spiritual temple; and the final blasphemy of the personal Antichrist in the literal temple (2 Thessalonians 2:1-17) may all be antitypically referred to here under Antiochus, who was the type, and the Old Testament Antichrist.


Verse 32

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.

And such as do wickedly against the covenant - (1 Maccabees 1:52, 'Then many of the people were gathered unto them-to wit, everyone that forsook the law').

Shall he corrupt - seduce to apostasy.

By flatteries - promises of favour.

But the people that do know their God shall be strong - the Maccabees and their followers (1 Maccabees 1:62-63 'Howbeit many in Israel were fully resolved and confirmed in themselves not to eat any unclean thing. Wherefore they chose rather to die, that they might not be defiled with meats, and that they might not profane the holy covenants: so then they died'). Judas, son of the Jewish patriot Mattathias, took, as the motto of his standard, the initial letters of the Hebrew sentence, Exodus 15:11, `Miy (Hebrew #4310) kaamokaah (Hebrew #3644) baa'eeliym (Hebrew #410) Yahweh (Hebrew #3068),' "Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods?"


Verse 33

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.

And they that understand - who know and keep the truth of God (Isaiah 11:3," Of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord").

Shall instruct many - in their duty to God and the law, not to apostatize.

Yet they shall fall by the sword - as Eleazar fell, who, when 'constrained to eat swine's flesh, spit it forth, choosing rather to die gloriously,' and would not even save his life by 'bringing flesh of his own provision which it was lawful for him to use,' lest by dissembling he should lead the young to think that now, in his fourscore and tenth year, he was recanting the faith. Two women, who circumcised their infant boys, were cast down with their babes headlong from the wall: seven brethren and their mother submitted to a cruel death amidst torments, rather than deny their faith: the third said, in dying, to the king, 'Thou takest us out of this present life, but the King of the world shall raise us up, who have died for His laws, unto everlasting life,' (2 Maccabees 6:18, etc.) They shall be sorely persecuted, even to death, (Hebrews 11:35-37; 2 Maccabees 6:1-31; 2 Maccabees 7:1-42.) Their enemies took advantage of the Sabbath to slay them on the day when they would not fight. Tregelles thinks, from comparison with Daniel 11:35, it is the people who "fall," not those of understanding. But Daniel 11:35 makes it to be the latter who "fall." Nor is this an unmeaning repetition: in Daniel 11:33 they fall (die) by persecution; in Daniel 11:35 they fall (spiritually) for a time by their own weakness.

And by flame - in caves, where they had retired to keep the Sabbath. Antiochus caused some to be roasted alive (2 Maccabees 7:3-5, 'The first of the seven brothers, after his tongue and extremities had been cut off, was fried to death in a heated pan').

Many days - rather, "certain days," as in Daniel 8:27. Josephus ('Antiquities,' 12: 7, 6: 7) tells us the persecution lasted for three years (1 Maccabees 1:59; 1 Maccabees 4:54; 2 Maccabees 10:1-7, 'Maccabeus and his company made another altar, and striking stones, took fire cut of them, and offered a sacrifice after two years, and set forth incense ... Upon the same day that strangers profaned the temple, upon the very same day was it cleansed again, even the 25th day of the same month, which is Casleu. And they kept eight days with gladness, remembering that not long afore ... they wandered in the mountains and dens like beasts').


Verse 34

Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.

Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help. The liberty obtained by the Maccabean heroes for the Jews was but of short duration. They soon fell under the Romans and Herodians, and ever since every attempt to free them from Gentile rule has only aggravated their sad lot. The period of the world-times (Gentile rule) is the period of depression of the theocracy, extending from the exile to the millennium. (Roos.) The more immediate reference seems to be, the forces of Mattathias and his five sons were originally few, (1 Maccabees 2:1-70.)

But many shall cleave to them - as was the case under Judas Maccabeus, who was thus able successfully to resist Antiochus.

With flatteries. Those who had deserted the Jewish cause in persecution, now, when success attended the Jewish arms, joined: the Maccabean standard-e.g., Joseph son of Zacharias, Azarias:, etc. (1 Maccabees 5:55-57, 'Also those men in Judas' company upon whose bodies, when slain, were found things consecrated to the idols of the Jamnites;' 2 Maccabees 12:40, 'Also Rhodocus, in the Jews' host, who betrayed their secrets to the enemies;' 2 Maccabees 13:21). Maurer explains it of those who, through fear of the Maccabees' severity against apostates, joined them, though ready, if it suited their purpose, to desert them (1 Maccabees 2:44; 1 Maccabees 3:58).


Verse 35

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.

And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them - the design of affliction. Image from metals tried with fire. So Hezekiah: "In the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart."

And to purge. Even in the elect there are dregs which need to be purged out (1 Peter 1:7). Hence, they are allowed to fall for a time, not finally (2 Chronicles 32:31; Luke 22:31). Image from wheat purged or cleared of its chaff by the wind.

And to make them white - image from cloth. (Revelation 7:9, "clothed with white robes ... made white in the blood of the Lamb").

To the time of the end. God will not suffer His people to be persecuted without limitation, (1 Corinthians 10:13, "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able," etc.) The godly are to wait patiently for "the end" of "the time" of trial; "for it is (to last) for a time yet appointed" by God.


Verse 36

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.

And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself. The willful king here, though primarily Antiochus, is anti-typically and mainly Antichrist, the seventh head of the seven-headed and ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-18, and the "beast" of Armageddon, who gathers together there the kings of the earth against the Lamb (Revelation 16:13; Revelation 16:16; Revelation 19:19). Some identify him with the revived French emperorship, the eighth head of the beast (Revelation 17:11, "The beast that was and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition"), who is to usurp the kingly, as the Pope has the priestly, dignity of Christ - "the beast" (whose co-adjutors are "the dragon" and, "the false prophet," who answers to the second "beast like a lamb, coming up out of the earth," Revelation 13:11-12) - the false Messiah of the Jews, who will "plant his tabernacle between the seas in the holy mountain," "exalting himself above every god" (2 Thessalonians 2:4; "Having a mouth speaking great things ... and blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven," Revelation 13:5-6). This last clause only in part holds good of Antiochus; for though he assumed divine honours, identifying himself with Jupiter Olympius, yet it was for that god he claimed them; still it applies to him as the type.

And magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods - so Daniel 7:8; Daniel 7:25 ("A month speaking great things ... And he shall speak great things against the Most High"), as to the "little horn," which seemingly identifies the two (cf. Daniel 8:25, "He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes"). Antiochus forbade the worship of Yahweh by a decree "marvelous" for its wickedness: thus he was a type of Antichrist.

And shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished - God's visitation of wrath on the Jews for their sins (Daniel 8:19).

For that that is determined - (Daniel 9:26-27, "Desolations are determined;" Daniel 10:21, "That which is noted in the scripture of truth").


Verse 37

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.

Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women - (cf. Ezekiel 24:16; Ezekiel 24:18, "the desire of thine eyes" - i:e., Ezekiel's wife). The wife, as the desire of man's eyes, is the symbol of the tenderest relations (2 Samuel 1:26). Antiochus would set at nought even their entreaties that he should cease from his attack on Yahweh's worship (Polanus). Maurer refers it to Antiochus' attack on the temple of the Syrian Venus, worshipped by women (1 Maccabees 6:1, etc.; 2 Maccabees 1:13). Newton refers it to Rome's 'forbidding to marry.' Elliott rightly makes the anti-typical reference be to Messiah. Jewish women desired to be mothers with a view to Him, the promised seed of the woman, (Genesis 30:23; Luke 1:23; Luke 1:28, "Hail! thou that art highly favoured (the virgin Mary), the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women!")

Nor regard any god - (2 Thessalonians 2:4).


Verse 38

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 stones, and pleasant things.

But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces - probably Jupiter Capitolinus, to whom Antiochus began to erect a temple at Antioch (Livy, 41: 20). Translate, 'He shall honour the god of fortresses on his basis' - i:e., the base of the statue. Newton translates, 'And the god Mahuzzim [ maa`uziym (Hebrew #4581)] (guardians - i:e., saints adored as 'protectors' in the Greek and Roman churches) shall be honour.'

And a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold ... - cf. Revelation 17:4 as to the gold and precious stones of the whore (the apostate church) who rideth on the beast (Antichrist, the antitype of Antiochus), of which wealth she is afterward stripped by the beast, Antichrist (Revelation 17:16), who arrays himself and the image of the beast in her meretricious finery (Revelation 13:12-18).


Verse 39

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.

Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory. Newton translates, 'Thus shall he do: to the defenders of Mahuzzim [ l


Verse 40

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.

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. The difficulty of reconciling this with Antiochus' history is, no historian but Porphyry mentions an expedition of his into Egypt toward the close of his reign. This Daniel 11:40, therefore, may be a recapitulation, summing up the facts of the first expedition to Egypt (171, 170 BC), as already described in Daniel 11:22; Daniel 11:25; Daniel 11:41.

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. The Saracen Arabs "of the south" "pushed at" the Greek emperor Heraclius, and deprived him of Egypt and Syria. But the Turks of "the north" not merely pushed at, but destroyed the Greek empire; therefore more is said of them than of the Saracens. Their "horsemen" are specified, being their chief strength. Their standards still are horse tails. Their "ships," too, often gained the victory over Venice, the great naval power of Europe in that day.

And he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. They "over-flowed" west Asia, and then "passed over" into Europe, fixing their seat of empire at Constantinople, under Mohammed II (Newton).


Verse 41

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.

He shall enter also into the glorious land - the former invasion of Judea, as described in Daniel 11:28.

He shall enter also into the glorious land ... but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. Antiochus according to Porphyry, marching against Ptolemy, though he turned from his course to wreak his wrath on the Jews, did not meddle with Edom, Moab, and Ammon, on the side of Judea. In 1 Maccabees 4:61; 1 Maccabees 5:3, etc., it is stated that he used their help in crushing the Jews, of whom they were the ancient enemies: on account of which Judas Maccabeus punished them with 'a great overthrow.' Compare Isaiah 11:14 as to Israel's future retribution, just as, in the primary fulfillment of the prophecy, the Maccabees made war on them as the friends of Antiochus, (1 Maccabees 5:1-68.) Antitypically, the Turks under Selim entered Jerusalem on their way to Egypt, and retain "the glorious land" of Palestine to this day. But they never could conquer the Arabs, who are akin to Edom, Moab, and Ammon (Genesis 16:12). So in the case of the final Antichrist.


Verse 42-43

He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.

He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries; and ... Egypt shall not escape ... and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. The second and third invasions of Egypt (169 AD), as described in Daniel 11:23-24; Daniel 11:29-30. Auberlen takes rather Porphyry's statement, that Antiochus, in the 11th year of his reign (166, 165 BC), invaded Egypt again, and took Palestine on his way. The "tidings" (Daniel 11:44) as to the revolt of tributary nations then led him to the East.

Egypt shall not escape ... the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. The latter two, being the allies of the first served under Antiochus when he conquered Egypt. Antitypically, Egypt, though it held out longer under the Mamelukes, in 1517 AD fell under the Turks. Algiers, Tunis, and other parts of Africa, are still under them.

Verse 43. At his steps - following him (margin, Exodus 11:8, "the people that follow thee" - that is, at thy steps; Judges 4:10, "ten thousand men at his (Barak's) feet").


Verse 44

But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.

But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him. Porphyry's statement that Antiochus, starting from Egypt, took Arad in Judah, and devastated all Phoenicia, agrees with Daniel 11:45.

But tidings out of the east and out of the north. Artaxias king of Armenia, his vassal, had revolted in the north, and Arsaces, leader of the Parthians, in the east (Tacitus, 'Histories,' 5: 8). In 147 BC Antiochus went on the expedition against them, on the return from which he died (1 Maccabees 3:10-37 says that his expedition into Persia was with a view to replenish his exhausted treasury, in order to renew the war with Judas Maccabeus, who had overcome Apollonius and Serom).

Therefore he shall go forth with great fury - at the Jews, on account of their successes under Judas Maccabeus, on account of which he desired to replenish his treasury with means to prosecute the war with them; also at Artaxias and Arsaces, and their respective followers. De Burgh makes the 'tidings' which rouse his fury to be concerning the Jews' restoration: such may be the antitypical reference.


Verse 45

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.

And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain. Then he turned to check Artaxias, king of Armenia. He died in the Persian town Tabes, 164 BC, as both Polybius and Porphyry agree. Doubtless antitypically, the final Antichrist, and his predecessor Mohammed, are intended, to whom the language may be more fully applicable than to Antiochus the type.

He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas - between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean.

Tabernacles of ... palace - his palace-like military tents, such as Oriental princes travel with. See note, Daniel 11:40, as to the time of Antiochus' attack on Judea, and his subsequent "end" at Tabes, which was caused by the visitation of God during his chagrin both at hearing that his forces under Lysias were overcome by the Jews, and at the failure of his expedition against the temple of Elymais (2 Maccabees 9:5, 'The Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, smote him with an incurable and invisible plague; for as soon as he had spoken thee words (that he would make Jerusalem a common burying place of the Jews), a pain of the bowels, that was remediless, came upon him, and sore torments in the inner parts: and that most justly, because he had tormented other men's bowels with many and strange torments'). In the glorious holy mountain - Jerusalem and mount Sion. The desolation of the sanctuary by Antiochus, and also the desecration of the consecrated ground round Jerusalem by the idolatrous Roman ensigns, as also by the Mohammedan mosque, and, finally, by the last Antichrist, is referred to. So the last Antichrist is to sit upon "the mount of the congregation" (Isaiah 14:13), but "shall be brought down to hell" (cf. note, Daniel 7:26; 2 Thessalonians 2:8).

Remarks:

(1) This chapter foretells, in most minute detail, the successive histories of Xerxes of Persia; Alexander the Great, king of Macedon and conqueror of Persia; the four-fold division of Alexander's kingdom at his death, and the consequent conflicts between the kings of the north and the kings of the south, the Seleucidae and the Ptolemies; and, lastly, the proud violence of Antiochus Epiphanes against the covenant-people of God, and his final doom. The details are given with such minuteness beforehand, in order to strengthen and support the faithful ones among God's ancient people, in the fiery ordeal through which they were about to pass, during the long period when they were to be without any living prophets. If the world-powers were about to permitted to trample under foot the people of the covenant, the latter would take comfort in knowing that their God had told them of it "in the Scripture of truth" (Daniel 10:21) long before: and had also engaged that, though the trial under Antiochus, the Old Testament Antichrist, was be most severe, yet it was to be of short duration, and he was to come to his end, and none should help him (Daniel 11:45).

(2) Never was the transitoriness of earthly greatness more strikingly shown than in the case of Xerxes king of Persia, who was "far richer than all" his royal predecessors, and who "by his strength through his riches stirred up all against the realm of Grecia" (Daniel 11:2). After having gathered land and sea forces to the number of 2,600,041 men out of his vast empire, he invaded Greece. But how differently he returned, humbled and defeated, only eight months after he had left Asia full of pride and confident of victory! Worldly pomp, power, and riches soon pass away, and do not even give solid satisfaction to their possessor while he has them. Lot us seek the true riches, which are imperishable and all-satisfying, and we shall never be disappointed.

(3) Alexander the Great, by conquest, obtained the vast dominion once held by the Persian king, and for his brief span of life "did according to his will" (Daniel 11:3). Unlikely as it would have seemed to mere human foresight that such a completely-established dominion should fall to pieces, God so ordered it, and the Scriptures of truth foretold it: therefore so it was, at his death his empire no longer continued one united whole, but, as Daniel foretold ages before, it was "divided toward the four winds of heaven, and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled" (Daniel 11:4). Thus God in His providence puts down one and sets up another, according to His sovereign pleasure. The kingdom is the Lord's; and while we give honour to them to whom honour is due, let us never forget there is One above who is infinitely higher than they, and to whom our highest allegiance is due.

(4) The tangled web of earthly politics is full of intrigues, ambition, selfishness, violence, and treachery (Daniel 11:15-29). How little are the objects to be coveted which are attained only by such means! History tells of many instances of kings whose hearts were set on doing mischief to one another, under the mask of cordiality, speaking lies at one table. But lies are sure in the end not to prosper (Daniel 11:2). Yet God all the while overrules the schemes and workings of those men who "exalt themselves, to establish" His own purpose, in spite of themselves (Daniel 11:14). The conflicts and plots between the kings of Syria in the north and the kings of Egypt in the south are singled out for special description, because holy Scripture handles secular history only in so far as it bears upon the interests of Israel, the covenant-people, and His Church. Judea, as lying between Syria and Egypt, necessarily was affected seriously by the struggle between the kings of those two countries. Let us similarly view the politics of nations, chiefly as they affect the interests of the kingdom of God and the people of God; because these latter alone are abiding: all things else are of secondary importance, inasmuch as they are rapidly passing away. (5) The career of Antiochus Epiphanes, in his persecution of the people of God and blasphemous enmity against Yahweh and His sanctuary, is described in language which evidently is not exhausted by the incidents of his history, but is designed in the fullest sense to describe the last Antichrist, of whom Antiochus was the Old Testament forerunner. The adoption of the so-called refinements and usages of the ungodly world, and a growing indifference to the exclusive and paramount claims of the only true God, on the part of those Jews who "forsook the holy covenant" (Daniel 11:30), were the first insidious steps toward preparing the way for the open blasphemies of Antiochus. So it shall be in the last days. A false liberalism, which reduces all religion to a mere matter of individual opinion, as though no one creed were revealed by God as the absolute truth to be believed and obeyed exclusively, combined with a growing laxity of practice and an exaggerated exaltation of art and human science and invention, as if man were now almost independent of God and constituted the judge of revelation, are symptoms, already being manifested, that we are verging toward those coming last days of anti-Christian apostasy.

(6) No world-ruler before Antiochus had ever of set purpose and continuously interfered with the religion of the people of God. This was a new peril that then first threatened the very existence of the worship of God on earth. Hence, arose the need of such a detailed prophecy of it before the event. So accurate and full is the correspondence between the prophecy and the events, that Porphyry, the opponent of revelation, feeling it impossible to deny the correspondence, was driven to the expedient of maintaining, from the accuracy, that the prophecy must have been written subsequently to the event. But the Jews, as being the enemies of Christianity, are unanswerable witnesses for the reality of the book as a prophecy before the event: for, if they could, they would gladly deny the genuineness and authenticity of Daniel, who, in the ninth chapter, plainly supports the Christian view as to Messiah's death: but they do not deny, but maintain the book to be what it professes to be, a genuine prophecy of events which Daniel foretold by the Spirit of God.

Therefore Porphyry's view in which man modern rationalists share, is utterly untenable. What a comfort to the faithful few among the Jews in the days of Antiochus it must have been to know that, though many of the Jews forsook and did wickedly against the covenant (Daniel 11:30; Daniel 11:32), Messiah would ere long come to "confirm the covenant" (Daniel 9:27): and though Antiochus polluted the sanctuary and took away the daily sacrifice (Daniel 11:31), Messiah would "cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease," and the sanctuary subsequently to be destroyed (Daniel 9:27); and yet that He would "make an evil of sins, and bring in everlasting righteousness" (Daniel 11:24); so that they would perceive that after all a material temple and legal sacrifices were not so absolutely necessary to salvation as they had thought them heretofore! God can provide his people with spiritual comforts in the worst of times; therefore let us never cast away our hope and confidence in Him.

(7) "The abomination of desolation, or idol to be set up by the desolater in the sanctuary of God, was, in accordance with the prophecy, first set up by Antiochus in the temple of Yahweh; next by the Romans under Titus; next by the apostate Church of Rome in the spiritual temple; then by the Mohammedans, who have had their Mosque of Omar on the site of the temple for ages: and the last crowning fulfillment shall be when the personal Antichrist shall set up his image (Revelation 13:1-18) for worship in the restored temple at Jerusalem.

Thus from age to age Scripture is ever receiving successive fulfillments of its pregnant and wide-reaching predictions, and of its everlasting principles of truth. Persecution is permitted for the probation of men's character. Those of spiritual understanding, when they are afflicted, shall have their dross purged away thereby (Daniel 11:33; Daniel 11:35), and shall be the instruments in God's hands of instructing and confirming many in all ages. Though even they should fall for a time, they shall not be utterly cast down: and when raised by the grace of God again, they are taught the lesson of humility and distrust of themselves, meekness toward others who fall, and love to Him who has so lovingly restored them. God will not allow His people to be tried beyond a fixed limit; and the duty of the godly is to wait patiently for "the time of the end" which God has "appointed" (Daniel 11:35). The Antichrist who is coming will not regard Messiah, "the desire of all nations" (Haggai 2:7), and the desire of Jewish mothers (Daniel 11:37) in all ages.

As the Jews would not receive the true Messiah; who came in His Father's name, they shall be given over to a judicial delusion, so as to receive the false Messiah who shall come in his own name (John 5:43); so shall the indignation of God against the Jews, for their wicked blindness, be accomplished (Daniel 11:36). But after Antichrist has reached the summit of his blasphemous ambition, and "planted the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain" (Daniel 11:45), and when the covenant-people shall be at their lowest point of depression, then shall the Lord Himself manifestly interpose in their behalf (Zechariah 12:1-14; Zechariah 14:1-21), and Antichrist "shall come to his end, and none shall help him." Let us be warned by the case of the Jews not to be high-minded, but to fear. Our only safety in the coming times of apostasy, as indeed in the present times, when its Antichristian elements are already working, is prayerfully and watchfully to keep fast hold of "the Scripture of truth" (Daniel 10:21), and ever to look to the Spirit of Truth to guide us into all truth, both of doctrine and of practice.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Daniel 11:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/daniel-11.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, July 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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