This chapter is an enlargement of the eighth: THE
CONFLICTS BETWEEN THE
KINGS OF THE
SOUTH AND OF THE
1. I--the angel
first year of Darius--Cyaxares II; the year of the conquest of
Cyrus, who wielded the real power, though in name subordinate to
Darius, in that year promulgated the edict for the restoration of the
Jews, which Daniel was at the time praying for
(Da 9:1, 2, 21, 23).
stood--implying promptness in helping
strengthen him--namely, Michael; even as Michael
"strengtheneth himself with me") helped the angel, both joining
their powers in behalf of Israel
[ROSENMULLER]. Or, Darius, the
angel "confirming him" in his purpose of kindness to Israel.
2. three kings in Persia--Cambyses, Pseudo-Smerdis, and Darius
Hystaspes. (Ahasuerus, Artaxerxes, and Darius, in
Ezr 4:6, 7, 24).
The Ahasuerus of Esther (see on
is identified with Xerxes, both in Greek history and in Scripture,
appearing proud, self-willed, careless of contravening Persian customs,
amorous, facile, and changeable
fourth . . . riches . . . against
. . . Grecia--Xerxes, whose riches were proverbial.
Persia reached its climax and showed its greatest power in his invasion
of Greece, 480 B.C. After his overthrow at
Salamis, Persia is viewed as politically dead, though it had an
without noticing Xerxes' successors, proceeds at once to Alexander,
under whom, first, the third world kingdom, Grecia, reached its
culmination, and assumed an importance as to the people of God.
stir up all--Four years were spent in gathering his army out of all
parts of his vast empire, amounting to two millions six hundred and
forty-one thousand men.
[PRIDEAUX, Connexion, 1.4. l. 410].
3. mighty king . . . do according to his
will--answering to the he-goat's "notable horn"
(Da 8:6, 7, 21).
Alexander invaded Persia 334 B.C., to avenge the
wrongs of Greece on Persia for Xerxes' past invasion (as Alexander said
in a letter to Darius Codomanus, ARRIAN,
4. kingdom . . . divided toward . . . four
winds--the fourfold division of Alexander's kingdom at his death
(Da 8:8, 22),
after the battle of Ipsus, 301 B.C.
not to his posterity--(See on
nor according to his dominion--None of his successors had so wide a
dominion as Alexander himself.
others besides those--besides Alexander's sons, Hercules by
Barsine, Darius' daughter, and Alexander by Roxana, who were both slain
[MAURER]. Rather, besides the four successors to the four chief
divisions of the empire, there will be other lesser chiefs who shall
appropriate smaller fragments of the Macedonian empire
5. Here the prophet leaves Asia and Greece and takes up Egypt and
Syria, these being in continual conflict under Alexander's successors,
entailing misery on Judea, which lay between the two. Holy Scripture
handles external history only so far as it is connected with God's
people, Israel [JEROME].
TREGELLES puts a chasm between the fourth and
fifth verses, making the transition to the final Antichrist here,
answering to the chasm (in his view) at
Da 8:22, 23.
king of . . . south--literally, "of midday": Egypt
(Da 11:8, 42),
Ptolemy Soter, son of Lagus. He took the title "king," whereas Lagus
was but "governor."
one of his princes--Seleucus, at first a satrap of Ptolemy
Lagus, but from 312 B.C. king of the largest
empire after that of Alexander (Syria, Babylon, Media, &c.), and called
therefore Nicator, that is, "conqueror." Connect the words thus,
"And one of his (Ptolemy's) princes, even he (Seleucus) shall be
strong above him" (above Ptolemy, his former master).
6. in . . . end of years--when the predicted time
shall be consummated
Da 8:17; 12:13).
king's daughter of the south--Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy
Philadelphus of Egypt. The latter, in order to end his war with
Antiochus Theus, "king of the north" (literally, "midnight": the
prophetical phrase for the region whence came affliction to Israel,
that is, Syria, gave Berenice to Antiochus, who thereupon divorced his
former wife, Laodice, and disinherited her son, Seleucus Callinicus.
The designation, "king of the north" and "of the south," is given in
relation to Judea, as the standpoint. Egypt is mentioned by name
(Da 11:8, 42),
though Syria is not; because the former was in Daniel's time a
flourishing kingdom, whereas Syria was then a mere dependency of
Assyria and Babylon: an undesigned proof of the genuineness of the Book
agreement--literally, "rights," that is, to put things to rights
between the belligerents.
she shall not retain the power of the arm--She shall not be able to
effect the purpose of the alliance, namely, that she should be the
mainstay of peace. Ptolemy having died, Antiochus took back Laodice,
who then poisoned him, and caused Berenice and her son to be put to
death, and raised her own son, Seleucus Nicator, to the throne.
neither shall he stand--The king of Egypt shall not gain his point
of setting his line on the throne of Syria.
his arm--that on which he relied. Berenice and her offspring.
they that brought her--her attendants from Egypt.
he that begat her--rather as Margin, "the child
whom she brought forth"
[EWALD]. If English Version (which
approves) be retained, as Ptolemy died a natural death, "given up" is
not in his case, as in Berenice's, to be understood of giving up
to death, but in a general sense, of his plan proving abortive.
he that strengthened her in these times--Antiochus Theus, who is to
attach himself to her (having divorced Laodice) at the times
7. a branch of her roots . . . in his estate--Ptolemy Euergetes,
brother of Berenice, succeeding in the place (Margin) of
Philadelphus, avenged her death by overrunning Syria, even to the
deal against them--He shall deal with the Syrians at his own pleasure.
He slew Laodice.
8. carry . . . into Egypt their gods, &c.--Ptolemy, on hearing of a
sedition in Egypt, returned with forty thousand talents of silver,
precious vessels, and twenty-four hundred images, including Egyptian
idols, which Cambyses had carried from Egypt into Persia. The idolatrous
Egyptians were so gratified, that they named him Euergetes, or
continue more years--Ptolemy survived Seleucus four years, reigning
in all forty-six years. MAURER
translates, "Then he for several years
shall desist from (contending with) the king of the north"
9. come into his kingdom--Egypt: not only with impunity, but with great
10. his sons--the two sons of the king of the north, Seleucus
Callinicus, upon his death by a fall from his horse, namely, Seleucus
Ceraunus and Antiochus the Great.
one shall . . . come--Ceraunus having died, Antiochus alone prosecuted
the war with Ptolemy Philopater, Euergetes' son, until he had recovered
all the parts of Syria subjugated by Euergetes.
pass through--like an "overflowing" torrent
(Da 11:22, 26, 40;
Antiochus penetrated to Dura (near Cæsarea), where he gave
Ptolemy a four months' truce.
return--renew the war at the expiration of the truce (so
even to his fortress--Ptolemy's; Raphia, a border-fortress of Egypt
against incursions by way of Edom and Arabia-Petræa, near Gaza; here
Antiochus was vanquished.
11. the king of the south . . . moved with choler--at so great losses,
Syria having been wrested from him, and his own kingdom imperilled,
though otherwise an indolent man, to which his disasters were owing, as
also to the odium of his subjects against him for having murdered his
father, mother, and brother, whence in irony they called him
he shall set forth a great multitude--Antiochus, king of Syria, whose
force was seventy thousand infantry and five thousand cavalry.
but . . . multitude . . . given into his
hand--into Ptolemy's hands; ten thousand of Antiochus' army were
slain, and four thousand made captives.
12. when he hath taken away--that is, subdued "the multitude" of
heart . . . lifted up--instead of following up his victory by making
himself master of the whole of Syria, as he might, he made peace with
Antiochus, and gave himself up to licentiousness
JUSTIN, 30.4], and profaned the temple of God by entering the holy
not be strengthened by it--He shall lose the power gained by his
victory through his luxurious indolence.
13. return--renew the war.
after certain years--fourteen years after his defeat at Raphia.
Antiochus, after successful campaigns against Persia and India, made war
with Ptolemy Epiphanes, son of Philopater, a mere child.
14. many stand up against the king of the south--Philip, king of
Macedon, and rebels in Egypt itself, combined with Antiochus against
robbers of thy people--that is, factious men of the Jews shall exalt
themselves, so as to revolt from Ptolemy, and join themselves to
Antiochus; the Jews helped Antiochus' army with provisions, when on his
return from Egypt he besieged the Egyptian garrison left in Jerusalem
[JOSEPHUS, Antiquities, 12:3.3].
to establish the vision--Those turbulent Jews unconsciously shall
help to fulfil the purpose of God, as to the trials which await Judea,
according to this vision.
but they shall fall--Though helping to fulfil the vision, they shall
fail in their aim, of making Judea independent.
15. king of . . . north--Antiochus the Great.
take . . . fenced cities--Scopas, the Egyptian general, met Antiochus
at Paneas, near the sources of the Jordan, and was defeated, and fled to
Sidon, a strongly "fenced city," where he was forced to surrender.
chosen people--Egypt's choicest army was sent under Eropus, Menocles,
and Damoxenus, to deliver Scopas, but in vain
16. he that cometh against him--Antiochus coming against Ptolemy
(Da 11:41, 45;
Eze 20:6, 15).
by his hand shall be consumed--literally, "perfected," that is,
completely brought under his sway.
JOSEPHUS [Antiquities, 12:3.3]
shows that the meaning is not, that the Jews should be utterly consumed:
for Antiochus favored them for taking his part against Ptolemy, but that
their land should be subjected to him
translates, "shall be perfected by him," that is, shall flourish under
him. English Version gives a good sense; namely, that Judea was much
"consumed" or "desolated" by being the arena of conflict between
the combatants, Syria and Egypt.
"robbers of thy people," to the Gentiles, once oppressors, attempting
to restore the Jews to their land by mere human effort, whereas this is
to be effected only by divine interposition: their attempt is
by the wilful king, who makes Judea the scene of his military
17. set his face--purpose steadfastly. Antiochus purpose was,
however, turned from open assault to wile, by his war with the Romans in
his endeavor to extend his kingdom to the limits it had under Seleucus
upright one--Jasher, or Jeshurun
the epithet applied by the Hebrews to their nation. It is here used not
in praise; for in
they are called "robbers," or "men of violence, factious": it is the
general designation of Israel, as having God for their God.
Probably it is used to rebuke those who ought to have been God's
"upright ones" for confederating with godless heathen in acts of
violence (the contrast to the term in
thus shall he do--Instead of at once invading Ptolemy's country
with his "whole strength," he prepares his way for doing so by the
following plan: he gives to Ptolemy Epiphanes his daughter Cleopatra in
marriage, promising Cœlo-Syria and Judea as a dowry, thus
securing his neutrality in the war with Rome: he hoped through his
daughter to obtain Syria, Cilicia, and Lycia, and even Egypt itself at
last; but Cleopatra favored her husband rather than her father, and so
defeated his scheme [JEROME]. "She shall not
stand on his side."
18. isles--He "took many" of the isles in the Ægean in his war with
the Romans, and crossed the Hellespont.
prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach . . .
to cease--Lucius Scipio Asiaticus, the Roman general, by routing
Antiochus at Magnesia (190 B.C.), caused the
reproach which he offered Rome by inflicting injuries on Rome's allies,
to cease. He did it for his own glory.
without his own reproach--with untarnished reputation.
19. Then he shall turn . . . toward . . . his own land--Compelled by
Rome to relinquish all his territory west of the Taurus, and defray the
expenses of the war, he garrisoned the cities left to him.
stumble . . . not be found--Attempting to plunder the temple of Jupiter
at Elymais by night, whet