« السابقةمتابعة »
mannus, as to Xerxes. We suppose, therefore, the vision to commence in the reign of Darius Ochus, surnamed Nothus.
SECTION 1st, Sketches the succeeding history of Persia: "And now, I will shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet [besides Darius Nothus] three kings in Persia; [Artaxerxes Mnemon, B. C. 404, Artaxerxes Ochus, B. C. 358, and Darius Codomannus, B. C. 336.] and the fourth, [from Nothus] shall be far richer than they all; and by his strength, through his riches, he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. Dan. xi. 2.
SECTION 2nd, describes the conquest of Persia, by Alexander the Great, B. C. 331. "And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And, when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be, divided towards the four winds of heaven: [Greece to the west, Thrace to the north, Egypt to the south, and Syria to the east] and not to his psoterity, [for they all, viz. his two sons, Alexander Ægus, and Hercules, and his brother Philip Aridæus, came to untimely ends, within fifteen years after his death] nor according to his dominion which he ruled; [which was a universal one, but under his successors, was divided into four parts] for, his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others, beside those [for his four generals, Ptolemy, Seleucus, Lysimachus, and Cassander, B. C. 323.] Dan. xi. 3-4.
SECTION 3rd, recounts the exploits of the kings of Syria and Egypt, who are called the kings of the north and the south, from the local situation of their dominions, lying north and south of Judea, the country which forms the principal object of this part of the prophecy.
And the king of the south [Ptolemy Soter] shall be strong, [he seized upon Judea, and extended his conquests over Arabia, Lybia, and Æthiopia, B. C. 322] and one of his [Alexander's] princes [Seleucus Nicator] and he [Seleucus Nicator] shall be strong above him [Ptolemy Soter] and
have dominion; his dominion, shall be a great dominion, Seleucus conquered Syria, and Asia Minor from Antigonus, B. C. 301, and, afterwards obtained Thrace and Macedon, by the defeat and death of Lysimachus, B. C. 281." And, in the end of years, they shall join themselves together, for, the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement; [after many years of war between the kings of Egypt and Syria, a peace was concluded, and Ptolemy Philadelphus gave his daughter, Berenice, with a large dowry, in marriage to Antiochus Theos, upon condition of his divorcing his wife, Laodice, and disinheriting her two sons, B. C. 249.] But she [Berenice] shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he [Antiochus Theos] stand, nor his arm; but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, [her Egyptian attendants] and he that begat her [or, rather as in the margin of the Bible, he whom she brought forth, i. e. her son] and he that strengthened her in these times, ver. 6. This passage minutely describes the fate of Berenice, who, after the death of her father, was repudiated by Antiochus Theos, who replaced Laodice upon the throne; the latter, to prevent the possibility of a second degradation, murdered Berenice, her infant son, and the Egyptian attendants, who endeavoured to protect her from the fury of the queen; Antiochus himself was also poisoned by her, after which, she assumed the government in conjunction with her son Seleucus Callinicus, B. C. 246. But out of a branch of her [Berenice's] roots, shall one stand up in his estate which shall come with an army, shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail; and, shall also carry captive into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold. This verse describes the exploits of Ptolemy Evergetes, the brother of Berenice, who carrying an army into Syria, overran that country, killed Laodice, in revenge for the death
of his sister, and carried off immense spoil, together with the idols of the country, and the precious vessels of gold and silver dedicated to them, B. C. 246. So the king of the south, [Ptolemy Evergetes] shall come into his kingdomTM [being recalled by civil commotions at home] and shall return into his own land, ver. 7-9.
But his [Seleucus Callinicus] sons [Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus, afterwards surnamed the Great] shall be' stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces," and one [Antiochus the Great] shall certainly come and overflow, and pass through; then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress, [B. C. 222,] And, the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north; and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his [Ptolemy Philopater's] hand [at the battle of Raphia, B. C. 217]. And, when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands; but, he shall not be strengthened by it, ver. 11, 12. After this victory over Antiochus, Ptolemy Philopater, in his return to Egypt, visited the cities of Colo-Syria and Palestine, and at Jerusalem, inspected the temple, and offered sacrifices; but, not contented with viewing those parts which were open to the Gentiles, he insisted upon entering the holy of holies, which was opposed by the priests. Elated with his recent success, Ptolemy was ill-disposed to submit to any restrictions, and, therefore, forced his way into the inner court, where, being immediately seized with great terror, he fell speechless on the ground, and was carried out half dead. On his recovery, he departed from Jerusalem, highly incensed against the Jews, and threatening them with his vengeance, which he attempted to execute upon his return, by a violent persecution, in which he "cast down many ten thousands," for 40,000 of his Jewish subjects are said to have fallen at this time, B. C. 216. But he shall not be strength.
ened by it, [that is, by his victory over Antiochus] For, the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years, with a great army and with much riches. And, in those times, there shall many stand up against the king of the south, also the robbers of thy people [the factious Jews and governors of the provinces] shall exalt themselves [by revolting from Ptolemy] to establish the vision; but, they shall fall. [They were defeated by Scopas, Ptolemy's general.] So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities; and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people; neither shall there be any strength to withstand. But, he that cometh against him, shall do according to his will, and none shall stand before him; and he shall stand in the glorious land, which, by his hand, shall be consumed, ver. 13, 16, [or rather, Bishop Newton remarks, consummmated or perfected, for Antiochus the Great bestowed great favours upon the Jews, in reward of their ready reception of him. The foregoing verse is a detailed account of the expedition⚫ of Antiochus the Great against Egypt, by which, he recovered Judea, Colo-Syria, and Phoenicia, fourteen years after his defeat in the battle of Raphia, and B. C. 203.] He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones [the Jews in contradistinction from the idolatrous people] with him; thus shall he do; [B. C. 198] and he shall give him [Ptolemy Epiphanes] the daughter of women, [his daughter Cleopatra, the most beautiful woman of her day] corrupting her ; [Antiochus being about to engage in a war with the Romans, judged it expedient to postpone the final conquest of Egypt to a period of greater leisure, he therefore concluded a truce with Ptolemy, and gave him his daughter in marriage, with the provinces of Cœlo-Syria and Palestine, as her dowry, B. C. 197, expecting, that when he should be at liberty, to renew hostilities with Ptolemy, she would fur
ther his views, by siding with him against her husband. But she shall not be on his side, neither be for him, ver. 17, [for, she faithfully adhered to Ptolemy.] After this, he shall turn his face unto the Isles [of Greece] and shall take many; but a Prince, for his own behalf, shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease, without his own reproach shall he cause it to turn upon him, ver. 18. [This prince, or power, was Acilius, the Roman Consul in Greece, who defeated Antiochus at Thermopylæ, and drove him out of the country into Asia Minor, B. C. 191, where he was again totally defeated in the battle of Magnesia, by L. Scipio, and driven thence, B. C. 190.] Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found, ver. 19. In consequence of this defeat, Antiochus was obliged to sue for peace of the Romans, which was granted on ignominious terms, according to which, he was to pay a heavy tribute of 1000 talents for twelve years, and send his son a hostage to Rome. To raise the money for this tribute, he attempted to plunder the temple of Jupiter Belus, at Elymais, and was there killed by the inhabitants, B. C. 187.
Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes, in the glory of the kingdom. Seleucus Philopater, B. C. 187, who was little better than a Roman tax-gatherer; it was in order to raise money for the Roman tribute, that he sent Heliodorus to seize upon the treasure contained in the temple at Jerusalem (see 2 Maccab. iii.); but, within few days, he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle, ver. 20; he was treacherously murdered by his treasurer, Heliodorus, B. C. 175.
And, in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom, but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries; ver. 21. The character of Antiochus Epiphanes, in all respects answered the epithet here given him of " a vile person;" he was on his way home from Rome (the twelve years tribute