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forsake the holy covenant. And arms shall stand on his 31 part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place
nation, and obliterate its distinctive characteristics (1 Macc. i. 11-15,in v. 15 "and they made themselves uncircumcised, and forsook the holy covenant, and joined themselves to the Gentiles, and sold themselves to do evil'). Jason, the renegade high-priest (see on ix. 26), was one of the leaders of the movement; and he and others obtained Antiochus' sanction and authority to construct in Jerusalem a 'gymnasium,' or exercise-ground, after the Greek model, and introduce other Greek customs. The result was that Greek fashions became popular; even the priests, we read, neglected the services of the Temple for the purpose of amusing themselves in the palaestra. See 1 Macc. i. 11-15, 2 Macc. iv. 4–17.
31. And arms—i.e. forces (vv. 15, 22)--(coming) from him shall stand up) or (following the interpunction expressed by the Heb. accents), shall stand up at his instance (Is. xxx. 1, Heb.); stand up,' i.e. be set on foot, organized (cf. in the causative conj. v. II). The 'arms' are the armed force sent by Antiochus to take possession of Jerusalem (see the next note).
and they shall pollute the sanctuary (even) the stronghold] The Temple at this time was fortified with high walls, which were broken down by the soldiers of Antiochus, but afterwards rebuilt (1 Macc. iv. 60, vi. 7): hence it is called a 'stronghold. For the facts, see 1 Macc. i. 29 ff. Apollonius (2 Macc. v. 24), coming with an armed force, but lulling with friendly words the suspicions of the people, fell upon the city suddenly on a sabbath-day; and having obtained possession of it, took women and children prisoners, demolished many of the houses and fortifications, and strengthening the citadel (which overlooked the Temple), established in it a Syrian garrison. Cf. 1 Macc. i. 34, 36, 37,
And they put there [in the citadel] a sinful nation (the Syrian garrison), transgressors of the law (ävdpas tapavbuous), and they strengthened themselves therein.... And it became a place to lie in wait in against the sanctuary (ěvedpov tý åriáo uati), and an evil adversary unto Israel continually. And they shed innocent blood round about the sanctuary, and defilcd the sanctuary' (comp. ii. 12).
and shall take away the continual (burnt-offering)] cf. viii. 11, where the expression is similar, and the reference is the same. Apollonius had not been long in possession of Jerusalem when Antiochus, wishing to unify his empire, and to assimilate as far as possible its different parts, determined to bring it all under the influence of Hellenic culture; and accordingly issued in Judah instructions to obliterate every trace of the ancient religion. All the Jewish sacrifices were to be abolished in the Temple; sabbaths and other festivals were to be disregarded ; ceremonial observances (such as the prohibition to eat unclean food) were to be discontinued; the rite of circumcision was prohibited, under pain of death ; books of the law were to be destroyed, and anyone found with them in his possession was to be punished with death.
the abomination that maketh desolate. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries : Special commissioners (TLO KOTOL) were appointed for the purpose of carrying out these directions. Not only, however, were Jewish institutions to be thrown aside, heathen ones were to take their place; the Temple was to be transformed into a sanctuary of Zeus Olympios (2 Macc. vi. 2), heathen altars and shrines were to be set up, swine's Hesh and unclean beasts were to be sacrificed; and officers were appointed to see that all these injunctions were duly carried out (1 Macc. i. 41–53). The suspension of the Temple services (to which the words of the present verse allude) began in December, B.C. 168, and continued for rather more than three years (see p. 119).
and they shall set up the abomination that causeth appalment] i.e. the heathen altar erected on the altar of burnt-offering. See 1 Macc. i. 54, 'And on the 15th day of Chisleu (December) they builded an abomination of desolation (BSê Duyua épmucoews,-the same expression which is used in the LXX. here) upon the altar,' and (v. 59) 'on the 25th day of the month they sacrificed upon the (idol-) altar (ßwubr), which was upon the altar (of God) (Оvolaotýplov)': cf. also vi. 7. A statue of Zeus Olympios was most probably associated with the altar?. On 'causeth appalment,'see on viii. 13; and cf. the parallel passages ix. 27, xii. II.
In explanation of the somewhat peculiar expression used, an ingenious and probable suggestion has been made by Nestle (ZAT W. 1884, p. 248; cf. Bevan, p. 293). The Heb. for 'that causeth appalment' is shõmēm (viii. 13, xii. 11), or měshõmēm (ix. 27, xi. 3!); and according to Nestle, the 'abomination that causeth appalment' is a contemptuous allusion to d'ou Sya Ba'al shấmayim (“Baal of heaven”), a title occurring often in Phænician, and (with shāmín for shāmayim) Aramaic inscriptions, and in the Syriac version of 2 Macc. vi. 2 found actually for the Zeùs ’OXúuTlos of the Greek; the altar (with probably the accompanying statue of Zeus) erected by Antiochus upon the altar of burntoffering being termed derisively by the Jews the abomination that causeth appalment,' the 'abomination’ being the altar (and image?) of Zeus (Baal), and shõmēm being a punning variation of shāmayim.
32. And such as do wickedly (ix. 5, xii. 10) against the covenant] the disloyal Jews.
shall he make profane (Jer. xxiii. 11)] by abetting them in their designs, he will lead them from bad to worse. In Syr. the root here used acquired the special sense of gentile (e.g. Matth. vi. 7, xviii. 17, Pesh.), apostate, and represents, for instance, Hellenic, Greek (2 Macc.
1 Cf. the tradition in the Mishna (Taanith iv. 6 59973 dbx gpyr), Euseb. (αρ. Sync. 542, 21 και τον ναόν βεβηλοι Διός Ολυμπίου βδέλυγμα αναστηλώσας év avto), and Jerome (on Dan. xi. 31, Jovis Olympii simulacrum'), referred to by Grätz, Gesch. 11. 2, p. 314 f.
2. Abomination of desolation' (Greek versions of Dan., 1 Macc. i. 54) is not a possible rendering of the Heb. 'Abomination that maketh desolate' is possible; and, if correct, must imply that the heathen emblem standing in the court of the Temple was regarded as bringing with it the desertion and desolation of the sanctuary (cf. 1 Macc. iv. 38; and see also above, on viii. 13, and p. 151).
but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the
iv. 10, xi. 24, Pesh.); and possibly the word may have the definite sense of make apostates here (cf. R.V. pervert).
by flatteries] by specious representations, or promises, pointing out for example the advantages that would accrue to those who renounced their Judaism. Cf. the promises held out (1 Macc. ii. 18) to Mattathias ('thou and thy house shall be in the number of the king's friends, and thou and thy sons shall be honoured with silver and gold and many gifts '). Mattathias turned a deaf ear to such inducements; but the prospect of Antiochus' favour might easily influence men who were less staunch in their convictions.
but the people that do know their God shall shew strength] i.e. exhibit firmness, constancy (cf. Deut. xii. 23 .be strong, firm, not to eat the blood’; Josh. i. 7; i Ch. xxviii. 7), neither to yield to temptation nor to desert their religion for fear of the consequences. The decree of Antiochus led to numerous martyrdoms, many of the loyal Israelites submitting to death, even with torture, rather than renounce their faith. Cf. 1 Macc. i. 62 f. 'And many in Israel were strong (i.e. firm: the Greek word used stands for pin in 1 Sam. xxx. 6; Ezr. X. 4, and elsewhere), and were fortified (like a strong city,- Óxupwonoav) in themselves, not to eat unclean things (kouvá). And they chose to die, that they might not be defiled with the meats, nor profane the holy covenant; and they died.'
and do] they also will do, or act, in the pregnant sense of the word (cf. on viii. 12), in their cause, not less than the ambitious heathen king (viii. 12, 24, xi. 28, 30) in his.
33. And they that be wise) as the same word is rendered in A.V. of xii. 3, 10. The verb means properly to shew understanding and discern. ment, such as may lead a man to act judiciously and bring him success; hence it is sometimes rendered prosper, or have good success, &c. See examples of the word in Josh. i. 7, 8, 1 Sam. xviii. 5, Ps. ii. 10, Prov. X. 5, 19 he that refraineth his lips sheweth understanding,' i.e. 'acts judiciously,' Is. lii. 13. Here it is used, as a term of approbation, to denote those who, in a time of severe trial, shewed wisdom, by choosing the right course, and strenuously refusing to give up their faith. The name given to the loyal party in the Maccabees is the Hasidaeans, i.e. hasîdîm, or 'godly’: see 1 Macc. ii. 42, ‘Then were gathered together unto them (i.e. unto Mattathias and his friends, who appear to have been the first to assume the aggressive against Antiochus' decree) a company of Hasidaeans (ouvaywyn Aoidalwv), mighty men out of Israel, every one that offered himself willingly (= 372no, Jud. v. 2; 2 Ch. xvii. 16; Neh. xi. 2) for the law. And all they that fled from the evils were added to them, and became a stay unto them'; 1 Macc. vii. 13; 2 Macc. xiv. 6.
shall cause the many to understand] The wise' (maskîlím), the leaders of the patriotic party, will, by their influence and example, teach the masses, especially such as were halting between two opinions, to understand their duty.
sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many 34 days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with
a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. 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.
yet they shall fall, &c.] alluding to the persecutions and martyrdoms in which many of the loyal Jews perished; see 1 Macc. i. 60, 63, ii. 31—38; 2 Macc. vi. 10, 11, 18—31 (the aged scribe Eleazar), vii. (the mother and her seven sons). 'Fall,' here and vv. 34, 35, is properly stumble (v. 14).
many days) viz. till an effectual stand was made by the Maccabees.
34. In the midst of their trials a little help' will arise, to assist them. The allusion is to the rising of the Maccabees. First of all, Mattathias, either alone or assisted only by his sons, resisted openly Antiochus' demands, and slew one of the officers sent to enforce them (1 Macc. ii. 15—28): then others gradually joined themselves to him; and carried the resistance further (ib. vv. 39–48): finally, after Mattathias' death, his son Judas Maccabaeus carried on the struggle. His first victory was gained over Apollonius, who invaded Judah with a considerable army; and shortly afterwards, Seron, commander of the host of Syria, coming to avenge Apollonius' defeat, was routed with the loss of 800 men, by Judas at the head of a small company' ('Loúdas....yootós), i Macc. iii. 10—24. After this, further successes were gained by Judas over Antiochus' generals Lysias and Gorgias (ib. iii. 38–iv. 35), the result of which was that, by the end of B.C. 165, the Jews recovered possession of Mount Zion, and the Temple was re-dedicated (ib. iv. 36—61). The occasion was celebrated by a festival, lasting eight days (v. 59), which was observed annually afterwards, and is referred to in John X. 22 (τα εγκαίνια).
but many shall join themselves (Is. xiv. 1, lvi. 3) unto them with flatteries] or smooth sayings, i.e. plausible, but insincere, protestations of loyalty. In consequence of the severity shewn by Judas, and the leaders of the patriotic party, many joined them from mere terror, and were ready, if a favourable opportunity offered itself, to turn traitors. On the severity of Judas and the patriots towards the Hellenizing Jews, comp. allusions in 1 Macc. ii. 44, iii. 52, 8, vi. 21–27, vii. 5—7, 24 (where Judas, it is said, “took vengeance on the men that had deserted from him '), ix. 23.
35. And some of them that be wise (v. 33) shall fall, to refine among them (among the people at large), and to cleanse, and to make white) The martyrdom of some of the godly leaders in the struggle would have the effect of testing the faith of the people at large, and of confirming and perfecting the character of those who were loyal. Cf. xii. 10.
to refine) the word means properly to smelt gold or silver ore (or alloy), so as to free the noble metal from impurities; it is then often used figuratively, sometimes of testing, sometimes of purifying, by severe
Silver Tetradrachm. Head of Antiochus, with diadem (in other coins of this type a star is seen distinctly on the forehead: Babelon, Les Rois de Syrie, xii. 3, 4).
Reverse: Apollo, seated on omphalos, holding arrow and bow. Inscription: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ (“Of King Antiochus').
2. Silver Drachm. Head of Antiochus, radiate.
Reverse : Eagle, with closed wings, standing on thunderbolt. Inscription : ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ ΘΕΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ (Of King Antiochus, God Manifest ').