صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

price] he will give them posts as governors, and grant them estatesseized, 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 (daμovýσas), 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, Ptolemy'. 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

[ocr errors]

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 end.'

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

armament.

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 countries] those viz. in his line of march.
overflow, and pass through] like a flood (as v. 10).

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.

42. 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.

shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures 43 of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. 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. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas

44

45

shall not escape] i.e. shall have none to escape; lit. shall not become an escaping body (Gen. xxxii. 8 [9 Heb.]).

43. have power] lit. rule. He will secure great treasure from Egypt: cf. (in 170 or 169) 1 Macc. i. 19.

and the Libyans and the Ethiopians (shall be) at his steps] i.e. will follow in his train. The Libyans, on the W. of Egypt, and the Kushites (or Ethiopians) on the South, are both mentioned either as helping the Egyptians, or as serving in their army, in Nah. iii. 9, the Ethiopians also in Jer. xlvi. 9 (cf. Ez. xxx. 4, 5). Here they are represented as joining the army of the conqueror.

44. But tidings] or rumours, as the same word is rendered in 2 Ki. xix. 7 (= Is. xxxvii. 7), of the tidings which caused Sennacherib to withdraw. So Jer. li. 46; Ez. vii. 26. Lit. something heard. Here, probably, rumours of insurrections, or wars, in the E. and N. of his dominions.

trouble] alarm. See on iv. 5.

and he shall go forth] viz. out of Egypt.

to destroy and utterly to make away many] lit. and to ban (or devote) many.' The word, which means properly to set apart, seclude, is used primarily of the ban laid upon persons or objects hostile to Israel's religion (Ex. xxii. 20; Deut. ii. 34, vii. 2, 25, 26; Josh. vi. 17-19, &c.) as this involved generally their destruction, it is often rendered in A.V. utterly destroy (so also in R.V., when applied to persons), though, of course, this rendering expresses only a secondary idea. In the present late passage, however, as in 2 Ch. xx. 23, it is simply a synonym for destroy.

45. plant] viz. as a tree fig. for fix. A late usage: cf. Eccl. xii. 11; and see Levy, NHWB. iii. 380.

the tents of his palace] the large and sumptuous tent, or collection of tents, which would form naturally the headquarters of an oriental king2. The word for 'palace' (appéden) occurs only here in the O.T.: it is a Persian word, denoting properly a large hall or throne-room (see on viii. 1). From Persian it passed into Aramaic,-it is used in the Targ. of Jer. xliii. 10 of the ‘royal pavilion' which Nebuchadnezzar was to erect in Egypt, and occurs frequently in Syriac in the sense of 'palace. The present passage shews that it passed similarly into late Hebrew.

between the seas and the beauteous holy mountain] between the

1 See further the writer's Commentary on 1 Sam. xv. 33, or Deut. vii. 2.

2 Polyaenus (Strateg. IV. iii. 24) describes the spacious and gorgeously decorated tent in which Alexander administered justice whilst in India.

in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

12

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall 2 be found written in the book. And many of them that

Mediterranean Sea (for the poet. plur., see Jud. v. 17, Deut. xxxiii. 19) and the hill of Zion; 'holy mountain,' as Ps. ii. 6, and frequently; 'beauteous' as vv. 16, 41.

and he shall come to his end] Antiochus died actually at Tabae in Persia. It is certainly not said here in so many words that he should meet his end at the spot on which his royal tent was to be pitched; but the connexion between the two parts of the verse naturally implies it : Antiochus is to meet his death in Palestine, the country in which he had committed his greatest crimes, and which he was even now threatening to invade and ravage again. Other prophets also represent the powers hostile to Israel as defeated in proximity to Jerusalem: cf. Ez. xxxix. 4, Joel iii. 2, 12 f., Zech. xiv. 2.

XII. 1-3. There should be no break here: xii. 1-4 forms the concluding part of the angel's revelation to Daniel; and what is described in vv. 1-3 forms the immediate sequel of the fall of Antiochus. The overthrow of the world-power is pictured by the author as accompanied by a season of trial-perhaps political convulsions-out of which, however, the faithful among God's people are delivered; a resurrection of Israelites follows; and the age of bliss then begins for the righteous.

1. Michael...the great prince] i.e. the patron-angel of Israel (x. 13, 21).

stand up] as champion and defender (xi. I; cf. x. 13). Hitherto the power of the prince' of Greece has been unchecked: now Michael interposes, for his people's final deliverance.

standeth for] i.e. protects (Est. viii. 11, ix. 16).

a time of trouble] The expression seems borrowed from Jer. xxx. 7 (where also Israel is spoken of as 'saved from it').

such as never was since, &c.] cf. Ex. ix. 18, 24, Joel ii. 2, Mark xiii. 19 ( Matth. xxiv. 21).

shall be delivered] The period of deliverance here spoken of is the same as the period of redemption described in vii. 18, 26, 27, ix. 24.

written in the book] viz. of life, the register of the living: in Ps. lxix. 28 (cf. lxxxvii. 6, Ex. xxxii. 32) applied to the register of living members of the Theocratic community, which God is represented as keeping. Here, however, the expression is used, not of those living in the present life, but of those destined to share in the glorious life of the end; it is the register of the citizens of the Messianic kingdom' (Hitz.), including both those who enter it while yet living,

« السابقةمتابعة »