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and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: 37 for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women,
and against the God of gods (the God of Israel: cf. ii. 47) he shall speak marvellous things] i.e. extraordinary impieties: cf. (also of Antiochus) vii. 8 ‘a mouth speaking great things,' 25 ‘shall speak words against the Most High.'
until indignation be accomplished] or, be finished, exhausted, i.e. until God's wrath on Israel has worked itself out. The words are borrowed from Is. x. 25. For accomplished,' see also Ez. v. 13, vi. 12, vii. 8, xiii. 15, xx. 8, 21.
for that that is determined shall be done] the Divine decree must take effect. The expression, as in ix. 27 (where see the note), from Is. x. 23. 37. And the gods of his fathers he will not regard] The honours paid by him to foreign deities implied a depreciation of the gods of his own country. He was particularly devoted to the cult of Jupiter Capitolinus, or Zeus Olympios. Even before he became king, while halting at Athens on his way home from Rome, he contributed largely to the restoration of the Olympieion in that city; afterwards, he built in Daphne, the suburb of Antioch, a temple to Zeus Olympios, with a colossal statue of the god, modelled on the famous one of Pheidias at Olympia, and began, though he did not live to complete it, a yet more magnificent temple to him in Antioch itself (Livy xli. 20). His coins also exhibit constantly (on the obverse) the head of either Zeus Olympios or Apollo; and, as was just remarked, in those belonging to the latter part of his reign the king himself bears the title Ninpopos,an epithet belonging properly to Zeus.
and neither the desire of women, nor any god, will he regard] The 'desire of women' must, from the context, be the designation of some divinity-most probably (Ewald, Bevan) Tammuz, a celebrated
Syrian and Phoenician deity, known to the Greeks as Adonis, whose rites were popular among women.
Adonis in the legend was a beautiful youth, the dearly loved spouse of Aphroditè, snatched from her by a cruel fate, and bitterly bewailed by her. The festival of Adonis consisted largely in an imitation of the mourning of Aphroditè, and hence was specially observed by women; cf. Ez. viii. 14 (where the prophet sees in vision, in the precincts of the Temple, 'the women weeping for Tammuz'); Jerome on Ez. 1. c. 'plangitur a mulieribus quasi mortuus, et postea reviviscens canitur atque laudatur1'; Aristoph. Lysistr. 389 ff.; and Theocritus' Idyll 1 Cf. Milton, P. L. 1. 456 ff. :—
Tammuz came next behind,
nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: 38 and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with 39 a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory and he shall cause them to rule over many,
(xv.) entitled 'Adwviášovoai, or 'Women keeping festival to Adonis.' According to Hippolytus, Refut. Hær. v. 9, the 'Assyrians' (? Syrians) called him the 'thrice-desired (трɩπółηтоs) Adonis': cf. Bion, in his Επιτάφιος Αδώνιδος, ΙΙ. 24, 58.
nor any god] While there were some gods whom Antiochus honoured by erecting to them costly temples, he was ready enough, if in need of funds, to rob other temples of their treasures. Polybius (xxxi. 4. 10) expressly says that he plundered very many temples (ἱεροσυλήκει δὲ καὶ τὰ πλεῖστα τῶν ἱερῶν) in order to obtain money for his extravagances. He made an unsuccessful attempt to pillage a wealthy temple in Persia shortly before his death (ib. xxxi. 11; 1 Macc. vi. 1-4: see below).
38. But in his place he will honour the god of strongholds] it is not certain who is meant by the 'god of strongholds': possibly the reference is to some deity (? Mars) of whose worship by Antiochus we have no other notice; more probably, however, the name is simply an alternative designation of Jupiter Capitolinus.
and a god whom, &c.] No doubt, Zeus or Jupiter (cf. on v. 37). It is true, the first three Seleucidae, as their coins testify, recognized Zeus Olympios, not, as Behrmann (misunderstanding a sentence of G. Hoffmann, Einige Phön. Inschr., p. 29) states, Zeus Polieus,- —as their patron; but Zeus was not, of course, a native Syrian deity.
pleasant things] better, costly things: lit. things desired. Cf. on v. 8 ('precious' cannot be used here; as the word is needed for yěķārāh, in 'precious stones').
39. And he will do to the fortresses of strongholds with (the help of) a foreign god] i.e. will conquer them by his aid. But the Heb. is strange; and the sense obtained connects badly with what follows. Hitz., Meinh., and Bevan, changing a point, render, ‘And he shall procure for the fortresses of strongholds the people of a strange god,' supposing the reference to be to the heathen soldiers and colonists settled by Antiochus in the citadel in Jerusalem, and other parts of Judah (1 Macc. i. 33, iii. 36, 45). The rendering 'procure' for ey is, however, not very probable here, 2 Sam. xv. I, I Ki. i. 5, which are quoted in support of it, being hardly parallel. For foreign god (1), cf. Gen. xxxv. 4, Jer. v. 19 (778), Ps. lxxxi. 9 (2×). strange] i.e. (from Lat. 'extraneus') foreign, as regularly in A. V. he whom he recognizes, will increase glory] his favourites will be loaded by him with honours. Recognize' (7), as Ruth ii. 10
('take knowledge of'); Jer. xxiv. 5 ('regard').
shall cause them to rule over the many, and shall divide land for a
price] he will give them posts as governors, and grant them estates— seized, probably, from their rightful owners-for a bribe. An allusion to Antiochus' methods of government, and to the means by which he filled his empty treasuries; perhaps, also, in particular, to renegade Jews who had been thus rewarded for their apostasy. Jason, and after him Menelaus, both purchased the high-priesthood from Antiochus (2 Macc. iv. 8-10, 24); and Bacchides (ib. ix. 25) chose out the ungodly men, and made them lords over the country. No doubt other similar instances were known to the author.
40-45. The end of Antiochus. Antiochus, being attacked by the king of Egypt, will again conduct an expedition into Egypt, passing through Judah on the way; he will gain great successes, till interrupted by rumours from the East and North; and starting from Egypt on a fresh career of conquest and destruction will perish on the way between Jerusalem and the sea-coast. How far the events here described correspond to the reality is a very doubtful point. Our principal authorities mention no expedition into Egypt after the one of B.C. 168. What we know from other sources of the closing events of Antiochus' life is as follows. In 167 B.C. he instituted at Daphne (near Antioch), in rivalry with those just celebrated by Aem. Paullus in Macedonia, a magnificent series of games, lasting 30 days. Soon after this, the Roman Senate, entertaining suspicions of his loyalty, sent Tiberius Gracchus to ascertain whether their suspicions were wellfounded. Antiochus shewed himself quite master of the situation. He “ received Tiberius so dexterously and amicably (οὕτως ἐπιδεξίως καὶ piλoppóvws) that the latter not only suspected no designs on his part, and could detect no trace of hostility on the score of what had happened at Alexandria, but even condemned those who made such allegations, on account of the extreme courtesy of his reception. For, besides other things, he gave up his palace, and almost even his crown, to the ambassadors, at least in appearance; for in reality, he was anything but prepared to make concessions to the Romans, and was, in fact, as hostile to them as possible" (Polyb. xxxi. 5). Although, however, Tiberius was satisfied of Antiochus' sincerity, the suspicions of the Senate were not allayed: for reports reached it from other quarters that he was conspiring secretly with Eumenes of Pergamum against the Romans (Polyb. xxxi. 4-6, 9). In 166 he started on the expedition, in the course of which he met his death. Leaving Lysias to take charge of his provinces between Egypt and the Euphrates and to carry on the contest with Judas Maccabaeus, he crossed the Euphrates in this year for the East (1 Macc. iii. 31-37), according to vv. 28-31, because he was in need of funds, and intended to take the tributes of the countries, and to gather much money,' according to the condensed statement in Tac. Hist. v. 8 to war against the Parthians1. It was probably on this expedition that he subjugated Artaxias, king of Armenia, who had revolted (Diod. Sic. xxxi. 17 a, App. Syr. 45). While in Elymais (E. of Babylonia) he attempted unsuccessfully to pillage a temple; and soon afterwards died, after a short illness, at
1 'Rex Antiochus, demere superstitionem et mores Græcorum dare adnisus, quo minus teterrimam gentem in melius mutaret, Parthorum bello prohibitus est.'
Tabae in Persia (N. of Susa),-according to Polybius (xxxi. 11), becoming mad (daμovnoas), as some say,' in consequence of certain supernatural tokens of the anger of heaven on account of his attempted sacrilege, according to 1 Macc. vi. 5-16 through disappointment and grief at hearing of the successes of the Jews against Lysias (in 2 Macc. ix., the story of his death is told with legendary additions).
Porphyry, however, as reported by Jerome in his notes on these verses, does speak of a fourth Egyptian expedition of Antiochus. He says that Antiochus invaded Egypt in his 11th year, passing through Judaea on the way, but not molesting Edom, Moab, and the Ammonites, lest the delay should give Ptolemy time to strengthen his forces; that while fighting in Egypt he was recalled by reports of wars in the North and East; that he accordingly returned, captured Arvad (in Phoenicia), and ravaged Phoenicia, and afterwards proceeded to the East against Artaxias, that, having defeated him, he fixed his tent at a place called Apedno, between the Tigris and the Euphrates, and finally that, after his attempted sacrilege in Persia, he died of grief at Tabae (as stated above). It is true, our accounts of Antiochus' reign are incomplete, there being large gaps, especially in the parts of both Polybius and Livy which would naturally have contained particulars of his closing years. It is true also that, being, as Polybius tells us, unfriendly to the Romans, he might well have planned another campaign against their ally, Ptolemy1. But it is remarkable that no hint of any conquest (v. 43) of Egypt at this time has come down to us except through Jerome, the more so, since, as Prof. Bevan has remarked (p. 164), Egypt was now under Roman protection, so that an attack upon the country must at once have produced a war with Rome. The statement respecting the wealth of Antiochus in v. 43, also conflicts with what we know independently respecting his great financial difficulties at the time. And when the account given by Porphyry is examined more closely, it is seen (except in the particulars which we know already from other sources) to be strongly open to the suspicion of being derived from these verses of Daniel. Apart from the statements that it took place in his 11th year (which, as it must have been shortly before his death, was a date easy to fix), and that Arvad was captured by him, it contains nothing which could not have been inferred from the language of Daniel, and indeed is couched largely in the expressions used by Daniel. And the mention of Apedno as the place where he pitched his tent, is based obviously upon a misunderstanding of the Hebrew word found in v. 45. While, therefore, we are not in a position to deny categorically a fourth Egyptian campaign, the probabilities are certainly against it. Most likely the author draws here an imaginative picture of the end of the tyrant king, similar to the ideal one of the ruin of Sennacherib in Is. x. 28-32: he depicts him as successful where he had previously failed, viz. in Egypt; while reaping the spoils of his victories, he is called away by rumours from a distance; and then, just after he has set out on a further career of conquest and
1 In Daniel, however, it is to be noted, it is the Egyptian king with whom the attack begins.
40 and shall divide the land 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 with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow 41 and pass over. 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 42 chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt
plunder, as he is approaching with sinister purpose the Holy City, he meets his doom. 40. at the time of the end] The final close of Antiochus' reign. The expression denotes a period later than that of the persecutions described in v. 35, which are to last until the time of
the king of the south] would still be Ptolemy Philometor.
butt with him] or, more exactly, shew himself one that butts, i.e. open a combat with him: the figure, as viii. 4.
and the king of the north, &c.] Antiochus will come against him like a whirlwind (for the figure, cf. Hab. iii. 14), with a vast
and with many ships] Antiochus possessed a navy, which in his expeditions against Egypt of B.C. 170—168, he used with good effect (cf. p. 180).
enter into the countrieš] those viz. in his line of march.
41. the beauteous land] the land of Israel, as v. 16.
shall be overthrown] lit. shall stumble (vv. 14, 19, 33, 35), i.e. be ruined: cf., for the expression, Is. iii. 8 'Jerusalem hath stumbled' (A.V., R.V., is ruined). The word for many' is fem.: hence countries' must be understood from v. 40, though it is, of course, their inhabitants who are really meant. Bevan, Behrmann, Marti, Kamph., and Prince (with the change of a point) read tens of thousands shall be overthrown' (cf. v. 12).
Some countries will, however, escape; in particular, three of Israel's ancient foes, of whom at least Edom and the Ammonites shewed hostility against the Jews at this time (cf. 1 Macc. iv. 61, v. 1—8). Jason, the renegade high-priest, twice found an asylum with the Ammonites (2 Macc. iv. 26, v. 7).
escape] be delivered (R.V.). (Escape is needed for a different Heb. word in v. 42.)
the chief of, &c.] i.e. the principal part of them. Cf., for the word, Num. xxiv. 20; Jer. xlix. 35; Am. vi. 1.
stretch forth his hand] viz. to seize them: see Ex. xxii. 8 ('put forth his hand upon '), where the verb in the Heb. is the same.