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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary
New American Standard Version
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Nave's Topical Bible - Israel, Prophecies Concerning; Pride; The Topic Concordance - Empires/world Powers; Torrey's Topical Textbook - Syria;
Verse Daniel 11:45. He shalt plant the tabernacles — He shall make a last stand in Judea, and there shall his power be smitten.
He shall come to his end, and none shall help him — All his confederate and tributary kingdoms, states, and provinces shall desert him, and leave that government to come to a shameful end.
IN the interpretation of this chapter I have generally followed Bp. Newton, in his most excellent Dissertations on the Prophecies, consulting other eminent authors occasionally.
From the beginning of the chapter Daniel 11:1 to the end of Daniel 11:30 all is very clear and plain, relative to the Grecian, Syrian, and Egyptian histories; from the thirty-first verse to the end, Daniel 11:31-45 the mode of interpretation is not so satisfactory, in its application to the times since Christ. Yet possibly these alone may be intended; though the whole might be, with considerable ease, applied to the remaining part of the Syrian and Egyptian history. It is a wonderful piece of prophecy, and of great utility to the cause of Divine revelation.
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Daniel 11:45". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/daniel-11.html. 1832.
Antiochus attacks the Jews (11:29-45)
Before he had a chance to launch his anti-Jewish campaign, Antiochus heard there was unrest in Egypt, so he returned south to put down the rebellion. But Egypt called in the help of a foreign navy and Antiochus was forced to flee back to Palestine. On his arrival in Jerusalem, he found that fighting had broken out between rival Jewish groups. One of these groups consisted of people who were loyal to their ancient religion, the other of people who were prepared to change their beliefs and practices to gain political benefits from their foreign overlords. Already angry because of his defeat in Egypt, Antiochus eagerly took the opportunity to attack the Jews (29-30).
The enraged Antiochus slaughtered Jews in thousands, made others slaves, and prohibited all from keeping their religious laws. Worse than this, he set up a Greek idol and a Greek altar in the Jewish temple, then sacrificed animals that the Jews considered unclean. To loyal Jews this was ‘the abomination that makes desolate’ (RSV), ‘the awful horror’ (GNB). Though some Jews joined Antiochus in order to save their lives, others stood firm no matter what it cost them (31-33).
Jewish resistance to Antiochus was led by a courageous priest and his five sons, known as the Maccabees. They persuaded many to join them in their fight for religious freedom. Amid all the persecution some Jews failed, but others stood firm and were martyred for their faith. The effect of the persecution among the people at large was one of spiritual cleansing. Purified faith enabled the faithful to stand firm, with the result that in 165 BC, after more than three years of fighting, they regained their religious independence and rededicated their temple (34-35).
In addition to blaspheming the God of the Jews, Antiochus dishonoured the Syrian and Greek gods. Considering himself to be above every god, he replaced the existing gods with others brought from elsewhere. He rewarded those who flattered him, by giving them gifts of land and promoting them to positions of power (36-39).
Towards the end of his reign Antiochus was attacked by Egypt. He began his successful counter-attack by overrunning Palestine and once again slaughtering the unfortunate Jews, though he did not invade neighbouring states that were hostile to the Jews. He then moved down to take over Egypt along with those African states that were under Egypt’s control (40-43).
When he was later attacked from the north-east by the Parthians, Antiochus left his temporary headquarters on the plains of Palestine and went out with his usual fury and confidence to meet the attack. But when returning from the battle he suddenly and unexpectedly died (44-45).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Daniel 11:45". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/daniel-11.html. 2005.
And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace - The loyal tents; the military tents of himself and his court. Oriental princes, when they went forth even in war, marched in great state, with a large retinue of the officers of their court, and often with their wives and concubines, and with all the appliances of luxury. Compare the account of the invasion of Greece by Xerxes, or of the camp of Darius, as taken by Alexander the Great. The military stations of Antiochus, therefore, in this march, would be, for a time, the residence of the court, and would be distinguished for as great a degree of royal luxury as the circumstances would allow. At the same time, they would consist of tabernacles or tents, as those stations were not designed to be permanent. The meaning is, that the royal temporary residence in this expedition, and previous to the close - the end of the whole matter, that is, the death of Antiochus - would be in the mountain here referred to.
Between the seas - That is, between some seas in the “east,” or “north” - for it was by tidings from the east and north that he would be disturbed and summoned forth, Daniel 11:44. We are, therefore, most naturally to look for this place in one of those quarters. The fact was, that he had two objects in view - the one was to put down the revolt in Armenia, and the other to replenish his exhausted treasury from Persia. The former would be naturally what he would first endeavor to accomplish, for if he suffered the revolt to proceed, it might increase to such an extent that it would be impossible to subdue it. Besides, he would not be likely to go to Persia when there was a formidable insurrection in his rear, by which he might be harassed either in Persia, or on his return. It is most probable, therefore, that he would first quell the rebellion in Armenia on his way to Persia, and that the place here referred to where he would pitch his royal tent, and where he would end his days, would be some mountain where he would encamp before he reached the confines of Persia. There have been various conjectures as to the place here denoted by the phrase “between the seas,” and much speculation has been employed to determine the precise location.
Jerome renders it, “And he shall pitch his tent in Apadno between the seas” - regarding the word which our translators have rendered “his palaces” (אפדנו 'apadenô) as a proper name denoting a place. So the Greek, ἐφαδανῷ ephadanō. The Syriac renders it, “in a plain, between the sea and the mountain.” Theodoret takes it for a place near Jerusalem; Jerome says it was near Nicopolis, which was formerly called Emmaus, where the mountainous parts of Judea began to rise, and that it lay between the Dead Sea on the east, and the Mediterranean on the west, where he supposes that Anti-christ will pitch his tent; Porphyry and Calmer place it between the two rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates - the latter supposing it means “Padan of two rivers,” that is, some place in Mesopotamia; and Dr. Goodwin supposes that the British Isles are intended, “which so eminently stand ‘between the seas.’” Prof. Stuart understands this of the Mediterranean Sea, and that the idea is, that the encampment of Antiochus was in some situation between this sea and Jerusalem, mentioned here as “the holy and beautiful mountain.”
So far as the phrase used here - “between the seas” - is concerned, there can be no difficulty. It might be applied to any place lying between two sheets of water, as the country between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean, or the Dead Sea, and Persian Gulf; or the Caspian and Euxine Seas; or the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf, for there is nothing in the language to determine the exact locality. There is no reason for taking the word אפדנו 'apadenô as a proper name - the literal meaning of it being tent or tabernacle; and the simple idea in the passage is, that the transaction here referred to - the event which would close this series, and which would constitute the “end” of these affairs - would occur in some mountainous region situated between two seas or bodies of water. Any such place, so far as the meaning of the word is concerned, would correspond with this prophecy.
In the glorious holy mountain - That is, this would occur
(a) in a mountain, or in a mountainous region; and
(b) it would be a mountain to which the appellation used here - “glorious holy” - would be properly given.
The most obvious application of this phrase, it cannot be doubted, would be Jerusalem, as being the “holy mountain,” or “the mountain of holiness,” and as the place which the word “glorious” (צבי tsı̂by) would most naturally suggest. Compare Daniel 11:16, Daniel 11:41. Bertholdt and Dereser propose a change in the text here, and understand it as signifying that “he would pitch his tent between a sea and a mountain, and would seize upon a temple (קדשׁ qôdesh) there.” But there is no authority for so changing the text. Rosenmuller, whom Lengerke follows, renders it, “between some sea and the glorious holy mountain;” Lengerke supposes that the meaning is, that Antiochus, on his return from Egypt, and before he went to Persia, “pitched his tents in that region, somewhere along the coasts of the Mediterranean, for the purpose of chastising the Jews,” and that this is the reference here. But this, as well as the proposed reading of Dereser and Bertholdt, is a forced interpretation. Gesenius (Lexicon) supposes that the phrase means, “mount of holy beauty,” i. e., Mount Sion. There are some things which are clear, and which the honest principles of interpretation demand in this passage, such as the following:
(a) What is here stated was to occur after the rumour from the east and the north Daniel 11:44 should call forth the person here referred to on this expedition.
(b) It would not be long before his “end,” - before the close of the series, and would be connected with that; or would be the place where that would occur.
(c) It would be on some mountainous region, to which the appellation “glorious holy” might with propriety be applied.
The only question of difficulty is, whether it is necessary to interpret this of Jerusalem, or whether it may be applied to some other mountainous region where it may be supposed Antiochus “pitched his tents” on his last expedition to the East; and near the close of his life. Jerome renders this, Supermontem inclytum, et sanctum; the Greek, “on the holy mountain Sabaein” - σαβαεὶν sabaein. The Syriac, “in a plain, between a sea and a mountain, and shall preserve his sanctuary.” The literal meaning of the passage may be thus expressed, “on a mountain of beauty that is holy or sacred.” The essential things are,
(a) that it would be on a mountain, or in a mountainous region;
(b) that this mountain would be celebrated or distinguished for “beauty” - צבי tsebı̂y - that is, for the beauty of its situation, or the beauty of its scenery, or the beauty of its structures - or that it should be regarded as beautiful;
(c) that it would be held as sacred or holy - קדשׁ qôdesh - that is, as sacred to religion, or regarded as a holy place, or a place of worship.
Now it is true that this language might be applied to Mount Sion, for that was a mountain; it was distinguished for beauty, or was so regarded by those who dwelt there (compare Psalms 48:2); and it was holy, as being the place where the worship of God was celebrated. But it is also true, that, so far as the language is concerned, it might be applied to any other mountain or mountainous region that was distinguished for beauty, and that was regarded as sacred, or in any way consecrated to religion. I see no objection, therefore, to the supposition, that this may be understood of some mountain or elevated spot which was held as sacred to religion, or where a temple was reared for worship, and hence, it may have referred to some mountain, in the vicinity of some temple dedicated to idol worship, where Antiochus would pitch his tent for the purpose of rapine and plunder.
Yet he shall come to his end - Evidently in the expedition referred to, and in the vicinity referred to. Though he had gone full of wrath; and though he was preparing to wreak his vengeance on the people of God; and though he had every prospect of success in the enterprise, yet he would come to an end there, or would die. This would be the end of his career, and would be at the same time the end of that series of calamities that the angel predicted. The assurance is more than once given Daniel 11:27, Daniel 11:35; that there was an “appointed” time during which these troubles would continue, or that there would be an “end” of them at the appointed time, and the design was, that when these inflictions came upon the Jews they should be permitted to comfort themselves with the assurance that they would have a termination - that is, that the institutions of religion in their land would not be utterly overthrown.
And none shall help him - None shall save his life; none shall rescue him out of his danger. That is, he would certainly die, and his plans of evil would thus be brought to a close.
The question now is, whether this can be applied to the closing scenes in the life of Antiochus Epiphanes. The materials for writing the life of Antiochus are indeed scanty, but there is little doubt as to the place and manner of his death. According to all the accounts, he received intelligence of the success of the Jewish arms under Judas Maccabeus, and the overthrow of the Syrians, at Elymais or Persepolis (2 Macc. 9:2), in Persia; and as he was detained there by an insurrection of the people, occasioned by his robbing the celebrated Temple of Diana (Jos. Ant. b. xii. ch. 9: Section 1), in which his father, Antiochus the Great, lost his life; his vexation was almost beyond endurance. He set out on his return with a determination to make every possible effort to exterminate the Jews; but during his journey he was attacked by a disease, in which he suffered excessive pain, and was tormented by the bitterest anguish of conscience, on account of his sacrilege and other crimes. He finally died at Tabae in Paratacene, on the frontiers of Persia and Babylon, in the year 163 B. C, after a reign of eleven years. See the account of his wretched death in 2 Macc. 9; Jos. Antiq. b. xii. ch. ix.; Section 1; Prideaux, Con. iii. pp. 272, 273; Polybius in Excerpta Valesii de Virtutibus et Vitiis, xxxi., and Appian, Syriac. xlvi. 80. Now this account agrees substantially with the prediction in the passage before us in the following respects:
(a) The circumstances which called him forth. It was on account of “tidings” or rumours out of the east and north that he went on this last expedition.
(b) The place specified where the last scenes would occur, “between the seas.” Any one has only to look on a map of the Eastern hemisphere to see that the ancient Persepolis, the capital of Persia, where the rumour of the success of the Jews reached him which induced him to return, is “between the seas” - the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf - lying not far from midway between the two.
(c) The “glorious holy mountain,” or, as the interpretation above proposed would render it, “the mountain of beauty,” sacred to religion or to worship.
(1) The whole region was mountainous.
(2) It is not unlikely that a temple would be raised on a mountain or elevated place, for this was the almost universal custom among the ancients, and it may be assumed as not improbable, that the temple of Diana, at Elymais, or Persepolis, which Antiochus robbed, and where he “pitched his tent,” was on such a place. Such a place would be regarded as “holy,” and would be spoken of as “an ornament,” or as beautiful, for this was the language which the Hebrews were accustomed to apply to a place of worship.
I suppose, therefore, that the reference is here to the closing scene in the life of Antiochus, and that the account in the prophecy agrees in the most striking manner with the facts of history, and consequently that it is not necessary to look to any other events for a fulfillment, or to suppose that it has any secondary and ultimate reference to what would occur in far-distant years.
In view of this exposition, we may see the force of the opinion maintained by Porphyry, that this portion of the book of Daniel must have been written after the events occurred. He could not but see, as anyone can now, the surprising accuracy of the statements of the chapter, and their applicability to the events of history as they had actually occurred; and seeing this, there was but one of two courses to be taken - either to admit the inspiration of the book, or to maintain that it was written after the events. He chose the latter alternative; and, so far as can be judged from the few fragments which we have of his work in the commentary of Jerome on this book, he did it solely on the ground of the accuracy of the description. He referred to no external evidence; he adduced no historical proofs that the book was written subsequent to the events; but he maintained simply that an account so minute and exact could not have been written before the events, and that the very accuracy of the alleged predictions, and their entire agreement with history, was full demonstration that they were written after. The testimony of Porphyry, therefore, may be allowed to be a sufficient proof of the correspondence of this portion of the book of Daniel with the facts of history; and if the book was written before the age of Antiochus Epiphanes, the evidence is clear of its inspiration, for no man will seriously maintain that these historic events could be drawn out, with so much particularity of detail, by any natural skill, three hundred and seventy years before they occurred, as must have been the case if written by Daniel. Human sagacity does not extend its vision thus far into the future with the power of foretelling the fates of kingdoms, and giving in detail the lives and fortunes of individual men. Either the infidel must dispose of the testimony that Daniel lived and wrote at the time alleged, or, as an honest man, he should admit that he was inspired.
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Daniel 11:45". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/daniel-11.html. 1870.
The angel at length concludes with the settled sway of the Romans in Asia Minor and the regions of the coast, as well as in Syria, Judea, and Persia. We have already shewn how everything here predicted is related by profane historians, and each event is well known to all who are moderately versed in the knowledge of those times. We must now notice the phrase, The Roman king should fix the tents of his palace This expression signifies not only the carrying on of the war by the Romans in the east, but their being lords of the whole of that region. When he had said they should fix their tents according to the usual practice of warfare, he might have been content with the usual method of speech, but he contrasts the word “palace” with frequent migrations, and signifies their not measuring their camp according to the usage of warfare, but their occupying a fixed station for a permanence. Why then does he speak of tents? Because Asia was not the seat of their empire; for they were careful in not attributing more dignity to any place than was expedient for themselves. For this reason the proconsuls took with them numerous attendants, to avoid the necessity of any fixed palace they had their own tents, and often remained in such temporary dwellings as they found on their road. This language of the angel — they shall fix the tents of their palace — will suit the Romans exceedingly well, because they reigned there in tranquillity after the east was subdued; and yet they had no fixed habitation, because they did not wish any place to become strong enough to rebel against them. When he says, between the seas, some think the Dead Sea intended, and the Lake of Asphalt, as opposed to the Mediterranean Sea. I do not hesitate to think the Persian Sea is intended by the angel. He does not say the Romans should become masters of all the lands lying between the two seas, but he only says they should fix the tents of their palace between the seas; and we know this to have been done when they held the dominion between the Euxine and the Persian Gulf. The extent of the sway of Mithridates is well known, for historians record twenty-two nations as subject to his power. Afterwards, on one side stood Asia Minor, which consisted of many nations, according to our statement elsewhere, and Armenia became theirs after Tigranes was conquered, while Cilicia, though only a part of a province, was a very extensive and wealthy region. It had many deserts and many stony and uncultivated mountains, while there were in Cilicia many rich cities, though it did not form a single province, like Syria and Judea, so that it is not surprising when the angel says the Romans should fix their tents between the seas, for their habitation was beyond the Mediterranean Sea. They first passed over into Sicily and then into Spain; thirdly, they began to extend their power into Greece and Asia Minor against Antiochus, and then they seized upon the whole east. On the one shore was Asia Minor and many other nations; and on the other side was the Syrian Sea, including Judea as far as the Egyptian Sea. We observe, then, the tranquillity of the Roman Empire between the seas, and yet it had no permanent seat there, because the proconsuls spent their time as foreigners in the midst of a strange country.
At length he adds, They should come to the mountain of the desire of holiness I have already expressed the reason why this prophecy was uttered; it was to prevent the novelty of these events from disturbing the minds of the pious, when they saw so barbarous and distant a nation trampling upon them, and ruling with pride, insolence, and cruelty. When, therefore, so sorrowful a spectacle was set before the eyes of the pious, they required no ordinary supports lest they should yield to the pressure of despair. The angel therefore predicts future events, to produce the acknowledgment of nothing really happening by chance; and next, to shew how all these turbulent motions throughout the world are governed by a divine power. The consolation follows, they shall come at length to their end, and no one shall bring them help This was not fulfilled immediately, for after Crassus had despoiled the temple, and had suffered in an adverse engagement against the Parthians, the Romans did not fail all at once, but their monarchy flourished even more and more under Augustus. The city was then razed to the ground by Titus, and the very name and existence of the Jewish nation all but; annihilated. Then, after this, the Romans suffered disgraceful defeats; they were east out of nearly the whole east, and compelled to treat with the Parthians, the Persians, and other nations, till their empire was entirely ruined. If we study the history of the next hundred years no nation will be found to have suffered such severe punishments as the Romans, and no monarchy was ever overthrown with greater disgrace. God then poured such fury upon that nation as to render them the gazing-stock of the world. Tim angel’s words are not in vain, their own end should soon come; after they had devastated and depopulated all lands, and penetrated and pervaded everywhere, and all the world had given themselves up to their power, then the Romans became utterly ruined and swept away. They should have gone to help them Without doubt this prophecy may be here extended to rite promulgation of the gospel; for although Christ was born about one age before the preaching of the gospel, yet he truly shone forth to the world by means of that promulgation. The angel therefore brought up his prophecy to that point of time. He now subjoins, —
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Daniel 11:45". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/daniel-11.html. 1840-57.
Now He begins to reveal unto Daniel these things are going to transpire, as far as the future is concerned. And here Daniel gets into such interesting details that many of the Bible critics have a difficult time with the eleventh chapter of the book of Daniel. And they say that it was actually written in the year 166 B.C., after all of these events took place, because it was impossible that he could have written of these events until they had happened. However, that's of course quite a miracle in itself, because the Septuagint version was made in about 220 or so B.C., and in the Septuagint the book of Daniel is included. They accepted it as written by Daniel and as authentic. At least sixty years before these critics say the book of Daniel was written. So it's interesting that they could have had the copies sixty years before it was written and translated it into Greek. They say that figures don't lie but liars can sure figure.
Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. And now I will show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia ( Daniel 11:1-2 );
Darius was the king at this time. The three kings that would follow would be Ahasuerus, Artaxerxes, and another Darius. These are in secular history known as Cambyses, pseudo-Smerdis, and Darius or Darius Hystaspes. So there will be three kings that will rise up.
and the fourth will be richer [this is Xerxes] than they all: and by his strength and through his riches he will stir up all against the realm of Grecia ( Daniel 11:2 ).
Xerxes was very wealthy, very powerful. And he made an expedition against Greece and was able to defeat, but yet, not conquer Greece. And so that particular part was fulfilled; there were the three kings, Ahasuerus, Artaxerxes, Darius, and then Xerxes the fourth richer than the others made the expedition against Greece.
But then Greece will arise.
And a mighty king [Alexander the Great] shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he shall stand up, his kingdom will be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; but not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those ( Daniel 11:3-4 ).
So Alexander the Great will rise up, but when he falls the kingdom will not go to his family, to his posterity, nor will they receive the full extent of his dominion.
For the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above, and have dominion; and his dominion shall be a great dominion ( Daniel 11:5 ).
The king of the south, and was, of course, the General Ptolemy, who took over in Egypt. General Seleucus took over in Syria. And there also was another general who took over in Greece, and another one who took over in Thracia. So Greece was divided into the four dominions. But he speaks now and he doesn't bring up the Grecian or the Thracian kingdom, but only the Syrian and Egyptian, because they are the ones that relate to Israel. For in their wars, Israel was the middle ground between Syria and Egypt, and so in their fighting each other they had to pass through the land of Israel.
Now he begins to give some interesting details that were all fulfilled in history. "The king of the south will be strong, have a dominion. His dominion shall be a great dominion."
And in the end of the years they shall join themselves together; for the king's daughter ( Daniel 11:6 )
The king of the north and the king of the south were fighting, but in the end they'll 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 ( Daniel 11:6 ).
Now, what happened is that the king of Egypt gave his daughter, Berenice, to the king of the north, who divorced his wife in order to marry Berenice. But when Ptolemy died, then he got rid of Berenice and took his wife back again, who in turn poisoned him. And she killed also Berenice and her son. Now when Berenice had a son, the former queen, her sons were X'ed out according to the agreement. But when she poisoned her husband and killed Berenice and her sons, then of course her sons were in line again for the throne. And here Daniel tells all of this intrigue and everything else is going to take place. And then the brother of Berenice gathered together an army in Egypt and came up and destroyed this wife, who had poisoned her husband and had killed his sister. So, "and he that is begotten of her," actually is referring to a family member which was her brother. And he strengthened her in these times.
And a branch of her roots [that is, her brother] shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and prevail ( Daniel 11:7 ):
Who was Ptolemy Euergetes, the brother of Berenice, who invaded Syria just as it's described here.
He shall also carry away captives into Egypt with their gods, and their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north. So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return to his own land. 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 ( Daniel 11:8-10 ):
That is, his sons, the king of the north, who was defeated by Euergetes. And he will assemble... they will assemble a multitude of great forces. One shall certainly come and overflow and pass through.
then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress. 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 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 ( Daniel 11:10-12 ).
This is Philopater, who is the Ptolemy Philopater who was the king of the south at this time. He gathered together a great army. Came against the king of the north, however, though he defeated him and took a lot of loot, the guy did not take full advantage and subjugate the people. He was too interested in the licentious life that he was living in Egypt. And so where it says here, "He will cast down many ten thousands," he did destroy a lot of the army, "but he will not be strengthened by it." He didn't take advantage of it. He just went back and lived a life of luxury and licentiousness in Egypt.
For the king of the north then 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. And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south ( Daniel 11:13-14 ):
So the king of the north came back again, which was Antiochus Megas, known as Antiochus the Great. "But many shall stand up." Philip of Macedon joined with him against Egypt at this point, plus some rebels in Egypt, plus some of the Jews who were called
the robbers of thy people will exalt themselves to establish the vision; and they shall fall. So the king of the north [Antiochus the Great] shall come, and cast up a mount, and take most of the fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand. But he that comes 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. He shall also set his face to enter with 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 ( Daniel 11:14-17 ).
Now, Euergetes is the king of the south in Egypt. When he took over he was just seven years old. So, he was just at that point a figurehead. But Antiochus the Great took his daughter Cleopatra, and she... he made a deal that she should marry Euergetes. Figuring that when she got there in the kingdom of Egypt she would be for her old man. But when the marriage some years later was made and Cleopatra became the wife of Euergetes, rather than siding with her father, Antiochus the Great, she sided with her own husband against her father. So his little plan backfired. Now Daniel tells about the plan and how it will backfire. If he had only read the Bible, he would have known better than to send his daughter down there. "He shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her, but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him." She won't be for him and if he had only read that he would have known better than to send her down.
Now after this shall he turn his face unto the isles ( Daniel 11:18 ),
So not being able to conquer into Egypt, he then turned and began... he gathered a navy of 300 ships and he began to travel in the Mediterranean, beginning to fight actually against Rome, which at this point was beginning to be a power in the ancient world. So he turned his face unto the isles,
and shall take away 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. And then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found. Then ( Daniel 11:18-20 )
Now what happened, of course, is he was defeated by the Romans and they determined then that they would charge him for all of these wars. And so he was given a sum that he was to pay every year. Well, he and his men went into a temple to take away the treasures and the people of the city were so incensed they killed him. And so he fell; he stumbled and fell, was not, you know, he was lost in the place of history.
And there shall stand up in his place [his son, Seleucus Philopater], who would be a raiser of taxes ( Daniel 11:20 )
He tried to raise the taxes to pay this Roman tribute.
in the glory of the kingdom: but within a few days he will be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle ( Daniel 11:20 ).
He was poisoned and killed. And after just a very short reign, because the people didn't like the taxes he was trying to exact from them.
And in his estate shall stand up a vile person [Antiochus Epiphanes], to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: and he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries ( Daniel 11:21 ).
Now this, Antiochus Epiphanes was a real treacherous person.
And with the arms with a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. 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 he shall enter peaceably even on 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 the spoil, and the riches ( Daniel 11:22-24 ):
He began to conquer and he did what his fathers did not do, in that they amassed the wealth for themselves, but he began to give away all of the money to all of his generals and those that were with him. So his practice of distributing the loot among the men is here predicted by Daniel. "He shall scatter among them the prey and the spoil and the riches."
yes, and he shall forecast his devices against the strongholds, even for a time. 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 ( Daniel 11:24-25 ).
So he came against Egypt with a tremendous army and Egypt met him, but he began to defeat the Egyptians.
Yea, they the feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain. And both these kings' heart shall be to do mischief ( Daniel 11:26-27 ),
Now, they were stopped by the Roman government and yet both of them sought to do mischief. And, of course, you read the history and it's interesting--the king of Egypt, his brother was in Alexandria and both of them were doing a lot of lying and cunning and all, and so the kings' heart shall be in them to do mischief.
and they shall speak lies at one table; and shall not prosper ( Daniel 11:27 ):
They were just lying to each other making treaties and everything else, which neither of them intended to honor.
for yet at the end shall be the time appointed. Then shall he return unto his land with great riches; his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land. And at the time appointed he shall return, and come towards the south ( Daniel 11:27-29 );
So he sought again to invade. Antiochus Epiphanes sought again to invade Egypt.
but it shall not be as the former, or the latter. For the ships of Chittim ( Daniel 11:29-30 )
Actually, when he came this time to Alexandria, the Roman ships were there in the port. And so the Roman general, Popillius Laenas, came to him, and he said, "The Roman senate has ordered you to go home with your troops." And he said, "I will consult with my men and we will send an answer to Rome." And Popillius, the Roman general took his cane and he drew a circle in the sand around him and he said, "Make your decision before you leave that circle." And he was intimidated by the Roman general, and so he said, "I've decided to go home, tell the Roman senate." And so here, this is all predicted here. The Roman navy met him. They were waiting in port at Alexandria when he came. All predicted in advance. Amazing that God would speak in such detail of these things that had not yet transpired.
Now he was angry because he was rebuffed by Rome. And so he was determined to take it out upon the nation of Israel. And on his way back to Syria, he came to Jerusalem and really sought to desecrate the place.
he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. 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 ( Daniel 11:30-31 ).
He came back to Jerusalem and polluted the temple. He built an altar, a pagan altar above the altar of God and he offered a pig upon this altar to an idol that they had set up there in the temple of God.
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 ( Daniel 11:32 ).
His desecration of the temple so incensed the people that Judas Maccabaeus gathered together a group of zealots and they began to attack the Syrians in guerrilla type warfare, and they defeated every Syrian contingency that was sent against them. And they finally retook the temple and purified the temple, which period we've just gone through the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah in the Jewish calendar to celebrate Judas Maccabaeus retaking and rededicating the temple unto God.
So the people that do know their God, Judas Maccabaeus and those Maccabean brothers will be strong and do exploits.
And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and the flame, and by captivity, and by spoil, many days ( Daniel 11:33 ).
Both Judas and his brothers were all slain by the sword.
Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them shall understand and shall fall, and try to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed ( Daniel 11:34-35 ).
Now at this point Daniel's prophecy goes out to the end and he sees now the man who is commonly called the antichrist. But in scripture is called the son of perdition or is called the man of sin or is called the beast.
And the king shall do according to his will; [the antichrist] he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god; and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper until the indignation ( Daniel 11:36 )
Which is the Old Testament word for the Great Tribulation
shall be accomplished ( Daniel 11:36 ):
He will prosper until the Tribulation be accomplished.
for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers ( Daniel 11:36-37 ),
And so he will obviously be a Jew.
nor the desire of women ( Daniel 11:37 ),
Now this "not regarding the desire of women" can have one of two meanings. It was the desire of every Jewish girl to be privileged to bear the Messiah. And Christ was called the desire of nations. But the desire, really, of every young girl--to be chosen to be the mother of the Messiah. Mary was the one that God chose. But the desire of women. That is why so many of the Jewish mothers name their child Joshua. Hoping that God would use him for the salvation of Israel.
Now it is interesting today, there is an off-branch of the Moslems known as the Druze. It's a very secretive kind of a religion. In fact, the people do not know what it's about. Only the priests know what they believe. They don't teach the people. It's a secret religion. And the priests are the ones that do all of the worship and they're the ones that know the secrets and no one else knows but them. And, of course, they're sworn not to reveal the secrets to anybody. Now you go into the Druze' villages and you see the priest and they have a special little headband by which you know that they are priests, but not only that, they have these baggy pants with a big sack, sort of a contraption here in the front. And the reason why they have this big sack contraption in the front is that among the Druze' religion they believe that the Messiah will be born of a man. And thus, they have this big sack in the front in case they get pregnant. It's true. I've got pictures of them and you can go to the Druze' villages today and it's very amusing and interesting to see these men walking with these big sacks hanging down the front of their pants there in the front and all of them in hopes that they'll be chosen to bear the Messiah and to become pregnant with the Messiah.
So, "the desire of women" would in that sense be a reference to Jesus Christ. So he does not regard the God of his fathers nor Jesus Christ. He is a man who speaks blasphemously,
not regarding any god: for he'll magnify himself above all ( Daniel 11:37 ).
So that is, no doubt, the correct interpretation. There are some that says he'll be a homosexual, not regarding the desire of women. But more apt looking at the context of the Hebrew people, rather than referring to a homosexual, it is probably referring to the fact that he does not regard Jesus Christ.
But his god is the god of forces: a god whom his father knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and precious stones, and pleasant things ( Daniel 11:38 ).
Look how today men are honoring the god of forces with gold and silver. Do you realize that one trillion dollars was spent this year for weapons? One trillion dollars was spent this year in order to build tanks and guns and equip the military and all. One trillion dollars, what a tragic misuse of the resources of the world. But it's all preparing for this man who honors the god of force.
Thus shall he do in the most strongholds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause him to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain ( Daniel 11:39 ).
So the land of Israel, he will divide it for gain.
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 horsemen, many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and overflow and pass over. And he shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these will escape out of his hand, Edom, and Moab, [which is Jordan] and the chief of the children of Ammon ( Daniel 11:40-41 ).
So Jordan will not be taken by the antichrist, though Israel will. Interesting, because the Jews will actually flee for protection to Jordan at this point, to the rock city of Petra, where they will be preserved by God for three and half years, during the time of the great indignation or the wrath of God which is to be poured out upon the earth.
So Edom or Jordan escapes. However, he moves towards Egypt.
He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape ( Daniel 11:42 ).
He will take the land of Egypt.
And he shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be [at his doorsteps or] at his steps. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with his great fury to destroy, and utterly make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; he shall come to his end, and none shall help him ( Daniel 11:43-45 ).
Now this is a reference to the antichrist who will be the leader of the united nations of Europe. He shall be moving towards Africa in the conquest of Africa. Taking Egypt, passing through Israel, taking Egypt moving towards Libya and Ethiopia, at which time he will hear of the troops from China and Russia coming against him. So he will turn from his proposed conquest of Africa and come back and they will meet in the Valley of Megiddo there in Israel. The tremendous force of the Chinese for whom the river Euphrates will be dried up in order that they might cross, according to the book of Revelation. Those forces that are remaining in Russia, gathering against the combined forces of Europe, and the United States will no doubt be in league with those forces of Europe at this point. And this final great world war, the major scene of battle, will be the Valley of Megiddo there in Israel. This is what is commonly called the Battle of Armageddon of which you have read and heard so much about. And this, of course, is what will perpetrate this battle, as he is moving against Africa, getting news that Chinese and the Russians have confederated together to come against him. He turns in great anger and the place of the their meeting is the Valley of Megiddo. And it is at that time where the blood will flow to the horses' bridle throughout the whole Valley of Megiddo as the slain of the earth. Millions destroyed in that great carnage and bloodshed.
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Daniel 11:45". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/daniel-11.html. 2014.
The attack against the ruler 11:40-45
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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Daniel 11:45". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/daniel-11.html. 2012.
Rumors of enemy armies from the East (cf. Revelation 9:13-21; Revelation 16:12) and from the North (cf. Daniel 11:40) will irritate him, resulting in his killing "many" more people (cf. Zechariah 13:8). Compare the invasion sequence by Sennacherib (Isaiah 37:7-8). He will also return to Palestine. His headquarters there will evidently be in Jerusalem. This city stands between the Mediterranean and Dead Seas. The NIV translation "at the beautiful holy mountain" confirms this location, since Jerusalem stands on Mt. Moriah. It is evidently there that he will meet his match and suffer defeat. Later revelation says that Jesus Christ will return from heaven and destroy him (Revelation 19:19-20; cf. Zechariah 14:1-4).
One writer summarized the revelation about Antichrist in Daniel 11:36-45 as follows. He will act in self-will (Daniel 11:36), will exalt himself (Daniel 11:36), and will magnify himself above every god (Daniel 11:36). He will blaspheme the true God (Daniel 11:36), will succeed for a limited period of time (Daniel 11:36), and will be an irreligious person (Daniel 11:37). He will also place confidence in military might (Daniel 11:38-39), his military might will be challenged (Daniel 11:40), and he will be initially victorious in battle (Daniel 11:40-43). However, he will face renewed conflict (Daniel 11:44), will establish his headquarters in Jerusalem (Daniel 11:45), and will finally come to an end (Daniel 11:45). [Note: Campbell, pp. 132-34.]
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Daniel 11:45". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/daniel-11.html. 2012.
And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace,.... Or "pavilion" c; the tents for his princes and generals that come with him; which shall be placed about his own, and where he will think himself safe and secure, and sure of victory. Symmachus renders the words, "the tents of his cavalry" d; or the stables of his horses; which agrees well enough with the Turks, whole cavalry is usually very large, their armies chiefly consisting of horsemen; such he shall bring into the land of Judea, and place them as after mentioned, as if he had got the day, and had obtained a settlement. The word used has the signification of covering and clothing; hence some translate it, "the tents of his curtain" e; tents covered with curtains or veils, such as the tents of kings, generals, and principal officers, were covered with, distinguished from others by the splendour and magnificence of them. It seems to be derived from the same root as the ephod, a curious garment wore by the high priest among the Jews; hence Saadiah interprets it here a covering figured and wrought very artificially; and it is by some rendered "the tents or tabernacles of his tunic or clothing" f. And it is an ingenious conjecture of a learned man of our own country g, that it may refer to an ancient custom of the Roman emperors, who used before a battle to have a scarlet coat spread over their tents, or hung up upon a spear, to give notice of it, as appears from Plutarch, Isidore, and others; and so this furious enemy of the church of God is here represented as setting up his bloody flag or ensign, and preparing for battle, threatening with utter desolation and destruction. And this will be
between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain; in the mountain or mountains of the land of Israel, upon which it is certain Gog or the Turk shall come, and there he shall fall, Ezekiel 39:2, particularly the mountains about Jerusalem, and more especially Mount Zion, or Moriah, as Jacchiades; on which the temple was built formerly, and was glorious and holy on that account, and for which reason the epithets may be retained; though it will now be glorious and holy, through a glorious and holy people, the Jews, become Christian, residing and worshipping in Jerusalem; whose situation is between two seas, the Mediterranean sea to the west, and the sea of Sodom, or the Syrian or Persian sea, to the east, called the hinder and the former seas in Zechariah 14:8. Some take the word אפדנו, "Apadno", translated "palace", for the proper name of a place, Theodoret takes it to be a place near Jerusalem; and Jerom says it was near Nicopolis, which was formerly called Emmaus; where the mountainous parts of Judea begin to rise, and lay between the Dead sea on the east, and the great sea on the west, where he supposes antichrist will pitch his tent: and Porphyry, as he relates, who interprets the whole of Antiochus, places it between the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates; he says that Antiochus went on an expedition against Artaxis, king of Armenia, and, having slain many of his army, pitched his tent in the place Apadno, which is situated between two large rivers, Tigris and Euphrates; and that he afterwards went to the top of a mountain, in the province of Elymais, the further part of Persia to the east, with a design to rob the temple of Diana; but being discovered by the people was obliged to flee, and that he died with grief in Tabes, a town in Persia: and Father Calmet is of opinion that a place between those two rivers before mentioned is meant, and translates the words thus,
"he shall pitch his tents in Apadno of the two seas;''
or in Padan of two rivers, Mesopotamia, situated between the Euphrates and the Tigris, two large rivers, and justly compared with the sea, particularly for their inundations. Dr. Goodwin h expresses his fears that our British isles are here invaded, which so eminently stand between the seas, and which God has made the eminent seat of the church in these latter days; and his fears would seem to be too well grounded, were the Romish or western antichrist here designed; but the Turk, or the eastern antichrist, is manifestly spoken of, as appears by the context: and the reason why he is so much observed, and so many things said of him, is, because the Jews have, and will have, the greatest concern with him, their country being in his hands; and it is for their sakes chiefly that the whole of this prophecy is delivered out; however, both antichrists, the one and the other, shall come to utter destruction, as follows: "yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him"; he shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, he and his princes, his generals, and captains, and mighty men; the whole Ottoman empire shall be destroyed, signified by the drying up of the river Euphrates, which is in his dominions, Revelation 16:12, and of the vast multitudes that shall come with him, Persia, Ethiopia, Lybia, Gomer, and Togarmah, Ezekiel 38:5 and the numerous provinces he is master of; none shall be able to help him, or save him from ruin: of the destruction of the Turk, under the name of Gog, see Ezekiel 39:1.
c אפדנו "praetorii sui", Vatablus. So Aquila in Drusius. d τας σκηνας του ιπποστασιου αυτου, Symm.; "papiliones equitatus sui", interpr. Hieronymo; "[vel potius] tentoria equilis sui, [seu] stabuli equorum suorum", Fuller. e "Tentoria aulaei sui", Schindler, col. 108. f "Tentoria tunicae suae", Fuller; "tentoria hujus amietus", Cocceius, Lex. col. 57. g Fuller. Miscell. Sacr. l. 5. c. 18. So Lydius, De Re Miliari, l. 4. c. 2. p. 155, 156. h Exposition of the Revelation, part 2. p. 166.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Daniel 11:45". "Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/daniel-11.html. 1999.
|The Reign of Antiochus Epiphanes; Cruelty and Impiety of Antiochus; The Death of Antiochus.||B. C. 534.|
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. 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. 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. 24 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 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. 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. 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.
All this is a prophecy of the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, the little horn spoken of before (Daniel 8:9; Daniel 8:9) a sworn enemy to the Jewish religion, and a bitter persecutor of those that adhered to it. What troubles the Jews met with in the reigns of the Persian kings were not so particularly foretold to Daniel as these, because then they had living prophets with them, Haggai and Zechariah, to encourage them; but these troubles in the days of Antiochus were foretold, because, before that time, prophecy would cease, and they would find it necessary to have recourse to the written word. Some things in this prediction concerning Antiochus are alluded to in the New-Testament predictions of the antichrist, especially Daniel 11:36; Daniel 11:37. And as it is usual with the prophets, when they foretel the prosperity of the Jewish church, to make use of such expressions as were applicable to the kingdom of Christ, and insensibly to slide into a prophecy of that, so, when they foretel the troubles of the church, they make use of such expressions as have a further reference to the kingdom of the antichrist, the rise and ruin of that. Now concerning Antiochus, the angel foretels here,
I. His character: He shall be a vile person. He called himself Epiphanes--the illustrious, but his character was the reverse of his surname. The heathen writers describe him to be an odd-humoured man, rude and boisterous, base and sordid. He would sometimes steal out of the court into the city, and herd with any infamous company incognito--in disguise he made himself a companion of the common sort, and of the basest strangers that came to town. He had the most unaccountable whims, so that some took him to be silly, others to be mad. Hence he was called Epimanes--the madman. He is called a vile person, for he had been a long time a hostage at Rome for the fidelity of his father when the Romans had subdued him; and it was agreed that, when the other hostages were exchanged, he should continue a prisoner at large.
II. His accession to the crown. By a trick he got his elder brother's son, Demetrius, to be sent a hostage to Rome, in exchange for him, contrary to the cartel; and, his elder brother being made away with by Heliodorus (Daniel 11:20; Daniel 11:20), he took the kingdom. The states of Syria did not give it to him (Daniel 11:21; Daniel 11:21), because they knew it belonged to his elder brother's son, nor did he get it by the sword, but came in peaceably, pretending to reign for his brother's son, Demetrius, then a hostage at Rome. But with the help of Eumenes and Attalus, neighbouring princes, he gained an interest in the people, and by flatteries obtained the kingdom, established himself in it, and crushed Heliodorus, who made head against him with the arms of a flood; those that opposed him were overflown and broken before him, even the prince of the covenant, his nephew, the rightful heir, whom he pretended to covenant with that he would resign to him whenever he should return, Daniel 11:22; Daniel 11:22. But (Daniel 11:23; Daniel 11:23) after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully, as one whose avowed maxim it is that princes ought not to be bound by their word any longer than it is for their interest. And with a small people, that at first cleave to him, he shall become strong, and (Daniel 11:24; Daniel 11:24) he shall enter peaceably upon the fattest places of the kingdom of Syria, and, very unlike his predecessors, shall scatter among the people the prey, and the spoil, and riches, to insinuate himself into their affections; but, at the same time, he shall forecast his devices against the strong-holds, to make himself master of them, so that his generosity shall last but for a time; when he has got the garrisons into his hands he will scatter his spoil no more, but rule by force, as those commonly do that come in by fraud. He that comes in like a fox reigns like a lion. Some understand Daniel 11:21-35 of his first expedition into Egypt, when he came not as an enemy, but as a friend and guardian to the young king Ptolemæus Philometer, and therefore brought with him but few followers, yet those stout men, and faithful to his interest, whom he placed in divers of the strong-holds in Egypt, thereby making himself master of them.
III. His war with Egypt, which was his second expedition thither. This is described, Daniel 11:25; Daniel 11:27. Antiochus shall stir up his power and courage against Ptolemæus Philometer king of Egypt. Ptolemy, thereupon, shall be stirred up to battle against him, shall come against him with a very great and mighty army; but Ptolemy, though he has such a vast army, shall not be able to stand before him; for Antiochus's army shall overthrow his, and overpower it, and great multitudes of the Egyptian army shall fall down slain. And no marvel, for the king of Egypt shall be betrayed by his own counsellors; those that feed of the portion of his meat, that eat of his bread and live upon him, being bribed by Antiochus, shall forecast devices against him, and even they shall destroy him; and what fence is there against such treachery? After the battle, a treaty of peace shall be set on foot, and these two kings shall meet at one council-board, to adjust the articles of peace between them; but they shall neither of them be sincere in it, for they shall, in their pretences and promises of amity and friendship, lie to one another, for their hearts shall be at the same time to do one another all the mischief they can. And then no marvel that it shall not prosper. The peace shall not last; but the end of it shall be at the time appointed in the divine Providence, and then the war shall break out again, as a sore that is only skinned over.
IV. Another expedition against Egypt. From the former he returned with great riches (Daniel 11:28; Daniel 11:28), and therefore took the first occasion to invade Egypt again, at the time appointed by the divine Providence, two years after, in the eighth year of his reign, Daniel 11:29; Daniel 11:29. He shall come towards the south. But this attempt shall not succeed, as the two former did, nor shall he gain his point, as he had done before once and again; for (Daniel 11:30; Daniel 11:30) the ships of Chittim shall come against him, that is, the navy of the Romans, or only ambassadors from the Roman senate, who came in ships. Ptolemæus Philometer, king of Egypt, being now in a strict alliance with the Romans, craved their aid against Antiochus, who had besieged him and his mother Cleopatra in the city of Alexandria. The Roman senate thereupon sent an embassy to Antiochus, to command him to raise the siege, and, when he desired some time to consider of it and consult with his friends about it, Popilius, one of the ambassadors, with his staff drew a circle about him, and told him, as one having authority, he should give a positive answer before he came out of that circle; whereupon, fearing the Roman power, he was forced immediately to give orders for the raising of the siege and the retreat of his army out of Egypt. So Livy and others relate the story which this prophecy refers to. He shall be grieved, and return; for it was a great vexation to him to be forced to yield thus.
V. His rage and cruel practices against the Jews. This is that part of his government, or mis-government rather, which is most enlarged upon in this prediction. In his return from his expedition into Egypt (which is prophesied of, Daniel 11:28; Daniel 11:28) he did exploits against the Jews, in the sixth year of his reign; then he spoiled the city and temple. But the most terrible storm was in his return from Egypt, two years after, prophesied of Daniel 11:30; Daniel 11:30. Then he took Judea in his way home; and, because he could not gain his point in Egypt by reason of the Romans interposing, he wreaked his revenge upon the poor Jews, who gave him no provocation, but had greatly provoked God to permit him to do it, Daniel 8:23.
1. He had a rooted antipathy to the Jews' religion: His heart was against the holy covenant,Daniel 11:28; Daniel 11:28. And (Daniel 11:30; Daniel 11:30) he had indignation against the holy covenant, that covenant of peculiarity by which the Jews were incorporated a people distinct from all other nations, and dignified above them. He hated the law of Moses and the worship of the true God, and was vexed at the privileges of the Jewish nation and the promises made to them. Note, That which is the hope and joy of the people of God is the envy of their neighbours, and that is the holy covenant. Esau hated Jacob because he had got the blessing. Those that are strangers to the covenant are often enemies to it.
2. He carried on his malicious designs against the Jews by the assistance of some perfidious apostate Jews. He kept up intelligence with those that forsook the holy covenant (Daniel 11:30; Daniel 11:30), some of the Jews that were false to their religion, and introduced the customs of the heathen, with whom they made a covenant. See the fulfilling of this, 1 Mac. i. 11-15, where it is expressly said, concerning those renegado Jews, that they made themselves uncircumcised and forsook the holy covenant. We read (2 Mac. iv. 9) of Jason, the brother of Onias the high priest, who by the appointment of Antiochus set up a school at Jerusalem, for the training up of youth in the fashions of the heathen; and (2 Mac. iv. 23, c.) of Menelaus, who fell in with the interests of Antiochus, and was the man that helped him into Jerusalem, now in his last return from Egypt. We read much in the book of the Maccabees of the mischief done to the Jews by these treacherous men of their own nation, Jason and Menelaus, and their party. These upon all occasions he made use of. "Such as do wickedly against the covenant, such as throw up their religion, and comply with the heathen, he shall corrupt with flatteries, to harden them in their apostasy, and to make use of them as decoys to draw in others," Daniel 11:32; Daniel 11:32. Note, It is not strange if those who do not live up to their religion, but in their conversations do wickedly against the covenant, are easily corrupted by flatteries to quit their religion. Those that make shipwreck of a good conscience will soon make shipwreck of the faith.
3. He profaned the temple. Arms stand on his part (Daniel 11:31; Daniel 11:31), not only his own army which he now brought from Egypt, but a great party of deserters from the Jewish religion that joined with them; and they polluted the sanctuary of strength, not only the holy city, but the temple. The story of this we have, 1 Mac. i. 21, c. He entered proudly into the sanctuary, took away the golden altar, and the candlestick, &c. And therefore (Daniel 11:25; Daniel 11:25) there was a great mourning in Israel; the princes and elders mourned, c. And (2 Mac. v. 15, &c.) Antiochus went into the most holy temple, Menelaus, that traitor to the laws and to his own country, being his guide. Antiochus, having resolved to bring all about him to be of his religion, took away the daily sacrifice,Daniel 11:31; Daniel 11:31. Some observe that the word Tammidh, which signifies no more than daily, is only here, and in the parallel place, used for the daily sacrifice, as if there were a designed liberty left to supply it either with sacrifice, which was suppressed by Antiochus, or with gospel-worship, which was suppressed by the Antichrist. Then he set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar (1 Mac. i. 54), even an idol altar (v. 59), and called the temple the temple of Jupiter Olympius, 2 Mac. vi. 2.
4. He persecuted those who retained their integrity. Though there are many who forsake the covenant and do wickedly against it, yet there is a people who do know their God and retain the knowledge of him, and they shall be strong and do exploits,Daniel 11:32; Daniel 11:32. When others yield to the tyrant's demands, and surrender their consciences to his impositions, they bravely keep their ground, resist the temptation, and make the tyrant himself ashamed of his attempt upon them. Good old Eleazar, one of the principal scribes, when he had swine's flesh thrust into his mouth, did bravely spit it out again, though he knew he must be tormented to death for so doing, and was so, 2 Mac. vi. 19. The mother and her seven sons were put to death for adhering to their religion, 2 Mac. vii. This might well be called doing exploits; for to choose suffering rather than sin is a great exploit. And it was by faith, by being strong in faith, that they did those exploits, that they were tortured, not accepting deliverance, as the apostle speaks, probably with reference to that story, Hebrews 11:35. Or it may refer to the military courage and achievements of Judas Maccabæus and others in opposition to Antiochus. Note, The right knowledge of God is, and will be, the strength of the soul, and, in the strength of that, gracious souls do exploits. Those that know his name will put their trust in him, and by that trust will do great things. Now, concerning this people that knew their God, we are here told, (1.) That they shall instruct many,Daniel 11:33; Daniel 11:33. They shall make it their business to show others what they have learned themselves of the difference between truth and falsehood, good and evil. Note, Those that have the knowledge of God themselves should communicate their knowledge to those about them, and this spiritual charity must be extensive: they must instruct many. Some understand this of a society newly erected for the propagating of divine knowledge, called Assideans, godly men, pietists (so the name signifies), that were both knowing and zealous in the law; these instructed many. Note, In times of persecution and apostasy, which are trying times, those that have knowledge ought to make use of it for the strengthening and establishing of others. Those that understand aright themselves ought to do what they can to bring others to understand; for knowledge is a talent that must be traded with. Or, They shall instruct many by their perseverance in their duty and their patient suffering for it. Good examples instruct many, and with many are the most powerful instructions. (2.) They shall fall by the cruelty of Antiochus, shall be put to the torture, and put to death, by his rage. Though they are so excellent and intelligent themselves, and so useful and serviceable to others, yet Antiochus shall show them no mercy, but they shall fall for some days; so it may be read, Revelation 2:10, Thou shalt have tribulation ten days. We read much, in the books of the Maccabees, of Antiochus's barbarous usage of the pious Jews, how many he slew in wars and how many he murdered in cold blood. Women were put to death for having their children circumcised, and their infants were hanged about their necks, 1 Mac. i. 60, 61. But why did God suffer this? How can this be reconciled with the justice and goodness of God? I answer, Very well, if we consider what it was that God aimed at in this (Daniel 11:35; Daniel 11:35): Some of those of understanding shall fall, but it shall be for the good of the church and for their own spiritual benefit. It shall be to try them, and to purge, and to make them white. They needed these afflictions themselves. The best have their spots, which must be washed off, their dross, which must be purged out; and their troubles, particularly their share in the public troubles, help to do this; being sanctified to them by the grace of God, they are means of mortifying their corruptions, weaning them from the world, and awakening them to greater seriousness and diligence in religion. They try them, as silver in the furnace is refined from its dross; they purge them, as wheat in the barn is winnowed from the chaff; and they make them white, as cloth by the fuller is cleared from its spots. See 1 Peter 1:7. Their sufferings for righteousness' sake would try and purge the nation of the Jews, would convince them of the truth, excellency, and power of that holy religion which these understanding men died for their adherence to. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church; it is precious blood, and not a drop of it should be shed but upon such a valuable consideration. (3.) The cause of religion, though it be thus run upon, shall not be run down. When they shall fall they shall not be utterly cast down, but they shall be holpen with a little help,Daniel 11:34; Daniel 11:34. Judas Maccabæus, and his brethren, and a few with them, shall make head against the tyrant, and assert the injured cause of their religion; they pulled down the idolatrous altars, circumcised the children that they found uncircumcised, recovered the law out of the hand of the Gentiles, and the work prospered in their hands, 1 Mac. ii. 45, c. Note, Those that stand by the cause of religion when it is threatened and struck at, though they may not immediately be delivered and made victorious, shall yet have present help. And a little help must not be despised but, when times are very bad, we must be thankful for some reviving. It is likewise foretold that many shall cleave to them with flatteries; when they see the Maccabees prosper some Jews shall join with them that are no true friends to religion, but will only pretend friendship either with design to betray them or in hope to rise with them; but the fiery trial (Daniel 11:35; Daniel 11:35) will separate between the precious and the vile, and by it those that are perfect will be made manifest and those that are not. (4.) Though these troubles may continue long, yet they will have an end. They are for a time appointed, a limited time, fixed in the divine counsels. This warfare shall be accomplished. Hitherto the power of the enemy shall come, and no further; here shall its proud waves be stayed.
5. He grew very proud, insolent, and profane, and, being puffed up with his conquests, bade defiance to Heaven, and trampled upon every thing that was sacred, Daniel 11:36; Daniel 11:36, c. And here some think begins a prophecy of the antichrist, the papal kingdom. It is plain that St. Paul, in his prophecy of the rise and reign of the man of sin, alludes to this (2 Thessalonians 2:4), which shows that Antiochus was a type and figure of that enemy, as Babylon also was but, this being joined in a continued discourse with the foregoing prophecies concerning Antiochus, to me it seems probably that it principally refers to him, and in him had its primary accomplishment, and has reference to the other only by way of accommodation. (1.) He shall impiously dishonour the God of Israel, the only living and true God, called here the God of gods. He shall, in defiance of him and his authority, do according to his will against his people and his holy religion; he shall exalt himself above him, as Sennacherib did, and shall speak marvellous things against him and against his laws and institutions. This was fulfilled when Antiochus forbade sacrifices to be offered in God's temple, and ordered the sabbaths to be profaned, the sanctuary and the holy people to be polluted, c., to the end that they might forget the law and change all the ordinances, and this upon pain of death, 1 Mac. i. 45. (2.) He shall proudly put contempt upon all other gods, shall magnify himself above every god, even the gods of the nations. Antiochus wrote to his own kingdom that every one should leave the gods he had worshipped, and worship such as he ordered, contrary to the practice of all the conquerors that went before him, 1 Mac. i. 41, 42. And all the heathen agreed according to the commandment of the king fond as they were of their gods, they did not think them worth suffering for, but, their gods being idols, it was all alike to them what gods they worshipped. Antiochus did not regard any god, but magnified himself above all,Daniel 11:37; Daniel 11:37. He was so proud that he thought himself above the condition of a mortal man, that he could command the waves of the sea, and reach to the stars of heaven, as his insolence and haughtiness are expressed, 2 Mac. ix. 8, 10. Thus he carried all before him, till the indignation was accomplished (Daniel 11:36; Daniel 11:36), till he had run his length, and filled up the measure of his iniquity; for that which is determined shall be done, and nothing more, nothing short. (3.) He shall, contrary to the way of the heathen, disregard the god of his fathers, Daniel 11:37; Daniel 11:37. Though an affection to the religion of their ancestors was, among the heathen, almost as natural to them as the desire of women (for, if you search through the isles of Chittim, you will not find an instance of a nation that has changed its gods,Jeremiah 2:10; Jeremiah 2:11), yet Antiochus shall not regard the god of his fathers; he made laws to abolish the religion of his country, and to bring in the idols of the Greeks. And though his predecessors had honoured the God of Israel, and given great gifts to the temple at Jerusalem (2 Mac. iii. 2, 3), he offered the greatest indignities to God and his temple. His not regarding the desire of women may denote his barbarous cruelty (he shall spare no age or sex, no, not the tender ones) or his unnatural lusts, or, in general, his contempt of every thing which men of honour have a concern for, or it might be accomplished in something we meet not with in history. Its being joined to his not regarding the god of his fathers intimates that the idolatries of his country had in them more of the gratifications of the flesh than those of other countries (Lucian has written of the Syrian goddesses), and yet that would not prevail to keep him to them. (4.) He shall set up an unknown god, a new god, Daniel 11:38; Daniel 11:38. In his estate, in the room of the god of his fathers (Apollo and Diana, deities of pleasure), he shall honour the god of forces, a supposed deity of power, a god whom his fathers knew not, nor worshipped; because he will be thought in wisdom and strength to excel his fathers, he shall honour this god with gold, and silver, and precious stones, thinking nothing too good for the god he has taken a fancy to. This seems to be Jupiter Olympius, known among the Phœnicians by the name of Baal-Semen, the lord of heaven, but never introduced among the Syrians till Antiochus introduced it. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds, in the temple of Jerusalem, which is called the sanctuary of strength (Daniel 11:31; Daniel 11:31), and here the fortresses of munitions; there he shall set up the image of this strange god. Some read it, He shall commit the munitions of strength, or of the most strong God (that is, the city Jerusalem), to a strange god; he put it under the protection and government of Jupiter Olympius. This god he shall not only acknowledge, but shall increase with glory, by setting his image even upon God's altar. And he shall cause those that minister to this idol to rule over many, shall put them into places of power and trust, and they shall divide the land for gain, shall be maintained richly out of the profits of the country. Some by the Mahuzzim, or god of forces, that Antiochus shall worship, understand money, which is said to answer all things, and which is the great idol of worldly people.
Now here is very much that is applicable to the man of sin; he exalts himself above all that is called god or that is worshipped; magnifies himself above all; his flatterers call him our lord god the pope. By forbidding marriage, and magnifying the single life, he pretends not to regard the desire of women; and honours the god of forces, the god Mahuzzim, or strong holds, saints and angels, whom his followers take for their protectors, as the heathen did of old their demons; these they make presidents of several countries, c. These they honour with vast treasures dedicated to them, and therein the learned Mr. Mede thinks that this prophecy was fulfilled, and that it is referred to 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Timothy 4:2.
VI. Here seems to be another expedition into Egypt, or, at least, a struggle with Egypt. The Romans had tied him up from invading Ptolemy, but now that king of the south pushes at him (Daniel 11:40; Daniel 11:40), makes an attempt upon some of his territories, where upon Antiochus, the king of the north, comes against him like a whirlwind, with incredible swiftness and fury, with chariots, and horses, and many ships, a great force. He shall come trough countries, and shall overflow and pass over. In this flying march many countries shall be overthrown by him; and he shall enter into the glorious land, the land of Israel; it is the same word that is translated the pleasant land,Daniel 8:9; Daniel 8:9. He shall make dreadful work among the nations thereabout; yet some shall escape his fury, particularly Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon,Daniel 11:41; Daniel 11:41. He did not put these countries under contribution, because they had joined with him against the Jews. But especially the land of Egypt shall not escape, but he will quite beggar that, so bare will he strip it. This some reckon his fourth and last expedition against Egypt, in the tenth or eleventh year of his reign, under pretence of assisting the younger brother of Ptolemæus Philometer against him. We read not of any great slaughter made in this expedition, but great plunder; for, it should seem, that was what he came for: He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and all the precious things of Egypt,Daniel 11:43; Daniel 11:43. Polybius, in Athenæus, relates that Antiochus, having got together abundance of wealth, by spoiling young Philometer, and breaking league with him, and by the contributions of his friends, bestowed a vast deal upon a triumph, in imitation of Paulus Æmilius, and describes the extravagance of it; here we are told how he got that money which he spent so profusely. Notice is here taken likewise of the use he made of the Lybians and Ethiopians, who bordered upon Egypt; they were at his steps; he had them at his foot, had them at his beck, and they made inroads upon Egypt to serve him.
VII. Here is a prediction of the fall and ruin of Antiochus, as before (Daniel 8:25; Daniel 8:25), when he is in the height of his honour, flushed with victory, and laden with spoils, tidings out of the east and out of the north (out of the north-east) shall trouble him, Daniel 11:44; Daniel 11:44. Or, He shall have intelligence, both from the eastern and northern parts, that the king of Parthia is invading his kingdom. This obliged him to drop the enterprises he had in hand, and to go against the Persians and Parthians that were revolting from him; and this vexed him, for now he thought utterly to ruin and extirpate the Jewish nation, when that expedition called him off, in which he perished. This is explained by a passage in Tacitus (though an impious one) where he commends Antiochus for his attempt to take away the superstition of the Jews, and bring in the manners of the Greeks, among them (ut teterrimam gentem in melius mutaret--to meliorate an odious nation), and laments that he was hindered from accomplishing it by the Parthian war. Now here is, 1. The last effort of his rage against the Jews. When he finds himself perplexed and embarrassed in his affairs he shall go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly to make away many,Daniel 11:44; Daniel 11:44. The story of this we have 1 Mac. iii. 27, c., what a rage Antiochus was in when he heard of the successes of Judas Maccabæus, and the orders he gave to Lysias to destroy Jerusalem. Then he planted the tabernacles of his palace, or tents of his court, between the seas, between the Great Sea and the Dead Sea. He set up his royal pavilion at Emmaus near Jerusalem, in token that, though he could not be present himself, yet he gave full power to his captains to prosecute the war against the Jews with the utmost rigour. He placed his tent there, as if he had taken possession of the glorious holy mountain and called it his own. Note, When impiety grows very impudent we may see its ruin near. 2. His exit: He shall come to his end and none shall help him God shall cut him off in the midst of his days and none shall be able to prevent his fall. This is the same with that which was foretold Daniel 8:35; Daniel 8:35 (He shall be broken without hand), where we took a view of his miserable end. Note, When God's time shall come to bring proud oppressors to their end none shall be able to help them, nor perhaps inclined to help them; for those that covet to be feared by all when they are in their grandeur, when they come to be in distress will find themselves loved by none; none will lend them so much as a hand or a prayer to help them; and, if the Lord do not help, who shall?
Of the kings that came after Antiochus nothing is here prophesied, for that was the most malicious mischievous enemy to the church, that was a type of the son of perdition, whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of his mouth and destroy with the brightness of his coming, and none shall help him.
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Daniel 11:45". "Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/daniel-11.html. 1706.
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26