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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary

Antiochus

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There were several kings bearing this name who ruled over Syria,and though they are not mentioned by name in scripture, some of their actionsare specified. These are so clear and definite that sceptics have foolishly said that at least this part of the prophecy of Daniel must have been writtenafter the events! The Greek kingdom, the third of the four great empires, was, on the death of Alexander the Great, divided amonghis four generals, and this resulted principally in a series of kings who ruled in Egypt bearing the general name of PTOLEMY, and are called in scripture 'Kings of the South;' and another series, called 'Kings of the North,' who bore the general name of either SELEUCUS or ANTIOCHUS. Both the Ptolemies and the Seleucidae began eras of their own, and some of the kings of each era had to do with Palestine and the Jews. The following is a list of the kings, with the dates when they began to reign, noticing the principal events that were prophesied of them in Daniel 11 .

B.C.

320 Ptolemy I, Soter. He takes Jerusalem. Era of the Ptolemies begins.

312 SELEUCUS I, Nicator. He re-takes Palestine. Era of the Seleucidae begins.

283 Ptolemy II, Philadelphus. The O.T. translated into Greek.

280 ANTIOCHUSI, Soter.

261 ANTIOCHUS II, Theos. He was at war with Ptolemy, but peace was restored on

condition that Antiochus should put away his wife Laodice and marry Berenice the

daughter of Ptolemy. This was done, but on the death of Philadelphus he restored

Laodice; but she, fearing another divorce, poisoned her husband, and then caused the

death of Berenice and her son. See Daniel 11:6 .

247 Ptolemy III, Euergetes. He revenged his sister's death, being 'a branch of her roots;'

and carried off 40,000 talents of silver, etc. 'Shall enter into the fortress of the king of

the north,' and carry away their precious vessels of silver and gold. Daniel 11:7-9 .

246 SELEUCUS II, Callinicus.

226 SELEUCUS III, Ceraunus.

223 ANTIOCHUS III, the Great.

222 Ptolemy IV, Philopater. War between Ptolemy and Antiochus. Ptolemy recovers

Palestine. Daniel 11:10-12 .

205 Ptolemy V , Epiphanes (5 years old). Antiochus seized the opportunity of the minority of

the king to regain the country. Daniel 11:16 . He also joined with Philip of Macedonia to

capture other portions of the dominions of Ptolemy. But Rome was now growing in

power, and on being appealed to by Egypt for protection, Antiochus was told he must

let Egypt alone. In the meantime an army from Egypt had re-taken Palestine; but

Antiochus, on his return, again obtained the mastery there. Wishing to extend his

dominions in the west he proposed that Ptolemy should marry his daughter Cleopatra,

that she might serve her father's ends; but she was faithful to her husband. Daniel thus

speaks of it: "He shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her, but she shall not

stand on his side, neither be for him." Daniel 11:17 . Antiochus took many maritime

towns, but after many encounters he was compelled by Rome to quit all Asia on that

side of Mount Taurus, give up his elephants and ships of war and pay a heavy fine.

Antiochus had great difficulty in raising the money, and on attempting to rob a temple

at Elymais he was killed. Daniel 11:18,19 .

187 SELEUCUS IV, Philopator, succeeded. His principal work was the raising of money to

pay the war-tax to Rome. He ordered Heliodorus to plunder the temple; but

Heliodorus poisoned him. He was thus 'a raiser of taxes,' and was 'destroyed neither

in anger, nor in battle.' Daniel 11:20 . Heliodorus seized the crown but was destroyed

by Antiochus IV.

181 Ptolemy VI, Philometor. He was a minor, under his mother and tutors.

175 ANTIOCHUS IV, Epiphanes. He was not the rightful heir. He 'obtained the kingdom

by flatteries.' He called himself Epiphanes, which is 'illustrious;' but he was such 'a vile

person' that people called him Epimanes, 'madman.' Daniel 11:21-24 . He invaded

Egypt and was at first successful: cf. Daniel 11:25,26 . The two kings entered into

negotiations, though neither of them was sincere in what they agreed to: their hearts

were to do mischief, and they 'tell lies at one table.' Daniel 11:27 . Then Antiochus

returned to his land with great riches: his heart was 'against the holy covenant,' and he

entered Jerusalem and even into the sanctuary and took away the golden altar, the

candlestick, the table of showbread, the censers of gold, and the other holy vessels

and departed. 'At the appointed time he shall return and come toward the South,'

Daniel 11:29; but he was stopped by Rome; 'ships of Chittim,' ships from Macedonia,

came against him; and in great anger he returned and vented his wrath on Jerusalem.

He sent an army there with orders to slay all the men and sell the women and

children for slaves. This was to a certain extent carried out. The walls were also

thrown down and the city pillaged and then set on fire. He then decreed that the Jews

should forsake their religion, and all should worship the heathen gods. To ensure this

at Jerusalem with the few that still clung to the place, an image of Jupiter Olympius was

erected in the temple and on an altar sacrifices were offered to this god. This was in

B.C. 168 on the 25th of the month Chisleu. Daniel relates "They shall pollute the

sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the

abomination that maketh desolate." Daniel 11:31 : cf. also Daniel 8:9-12 where the 'little

horn' refers to Antiochus Epiphanes.

Bleek, Delitzsch, and others consider that in Daniel 8:14 , the 2,300 'evening,

morning,' margin , refer to the daily sacrifice, which is spoken of in Daniel 8:11,12,13;

and that by 2,300 is meant 1,150 days : cf. also Daniel 8:26 . The dedication of the

temple was on the 25th of Chisleu, B.C. 165, and the desecration began some time in

the year 168.

Daniel 11:32 b, 33-35 refer to the change that soon took place under Judas

Maccabeus and his brothers, commencing B.C. 166, and in 165 the temple was

re-dedicated. In B.C. 164 ANTIOCHUS V. Eupator succeeded to the throne; and

in 162 DEMETRIUS SOTER; but they were not powerful against Judaea, and in B.C.

161 an alliance was made by Judaea with Rome. The historical notices in Daniel end

at Daniel 11:35 .

It will be seen by the above that the records of history agree perfectly with the prophecy, as faith would expect them to do. It is only unbelief that has any difficulty in God foretelling future events. Without doubt some of the acts of Antiochus Epiphanes are types of the deeds of the future king of the North — referred to in other prophecies as 'the Assyrian' — in respect to the Jews and Jerusalem.

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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Antiochus'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/mbd/a/antiochus.html. 1897.

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