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and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I
noted originally (Delitzsch, Paradies, p. 320 f.) 'the mountainous region beginning N. and E. of Susa, and corresponding roughly to the modern Khusistan.' Persia proper was S. E. of it. It is mentioned frequently both in the O.T. (Gen. x. 22; Is. xi. 11; Jer. xlix. 34, &c.), and also in the Assyrian Inscriptions: Anshan, or Anzan, the home of Cyrus, was the district in the S.-W. of Elam, bordering on what is now the lower course of the Tigris, but what in ancient times was the upper part of the Persian Gulf (called by the Assyrians the Når Marratum, or Bitter (salt) River1). Shushan (Susa) was the capital of Elam. Asshurbanipal (B.C. 668-626) invaded Elam more than once, and has left a full and vivid account of the occasion on which he stormed and sacked Shushan (KB., ii. 203 ff.). Darius Hystaspis appears to have been the first Persian king who erected palaces at Shushan, or held his court there2; and from his time onwards, as the principal residence of the Persian kings (cf. Neh. i. 1; Est. i. 2, and passim), it held for nearly two centuries a commanding position in the ancient world. 'From Susa, during this period, the peoples of W. Asia and E. Europe awaited their destiny; in the Apadâna tributary princes, ambassadors, and satraps, including the noblest of the Greeks, as Antalkidas (387 and 372), Pelopidas and Ismenias (367), did homage at the feet of the Great King. In the palaces of the citadel were enacted bloody harem-tragedies, in which eunuchs and women were the actors (Esther, Amytis, Amestris, Parysatis, Statira). Here Xerxes fell under the daggers of Artabanus and Aspamithras, and here Bagoas poisoned two kings' (Billerbeck, Susa, p. 154). Susa was thus a suitable spot at which the seer should find himself in a vision that pourtrayed with some prominence both the rise and the fall of the Persian power (vv. 3-7). See further, on Susa, p. 125 f.
For other instances of visionary transference to a distant locality, see Ez. viii. 3-xi. 24, xl. 2 ff.
Shushan, the citadel] the standing title of Shushan in the O. T. (Neh. i. 1; Est. i. 2, 5, ii. 3, 5, 8, iii. 15, viii. 14, ix. 6, 11, 12). The word rendered 'citadel' (birah) is peculiar to the later Hebrew, being found otherwise only in 1 Chr. xxix. 1, 19; Ezra vi. 2; Neh. ii. 8 (see Ryle's note), vii. 2. It is probably the Ass. birtu, ‘castle' (Delitzsch, Ass. Handwörterbuch, p. 185), and denotes a castellated building or enclosure, a castle, citadel, or acropolis.
Elam, the province] Cf. Ezr. vi. 2, ‘Media, the province.' It is, however, extremely doubtful whether Elam, especially after the rise and successes of Cyrus, was a 'province' (iii. 2, 3) of the Babylonian empire: the word seems rather a reminiscence of the time when the district in which Susa lay was a principal 'province' of the Persian empire.
1 Maspero, Struggle of the Nations (with Map), p. 30 f.
3 saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai. lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the 4 higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became
the stream Ulai] The word rendered stream occurs only here and vv. 3, 6; but it appears to differ only phonetically from the one found in Jer. xvii. 8, and (in a slightly different form) in Is. xxx. 25, xliv. The Ulai is the Ass. U-la-a-a-the waters of which Asshurbanipal, on his first invasion of Elam, states that he 'coloured with blood like wool' (KB. ii. 183)—the Eulaeus of the classical writers, which Pliny (H. N. vi. 27) says flowed close by Susa. The difficulties which were formerly felt in identifying the Eulaeus have been cleared up by the surveys of Loftus and Dieulafoy. There are at present three rivers flowing near Susa, from the mountains on the north, into the Persian Gulf. On the S.-W. of Susa, some four or five miles from the site of the ancient acropolis, flows the Kerkha (the ancient Choaspes): on the east is the Abdizful (the Coprates), which runs into the Karun (the Pasitigris); and the Eulaeus was a large artificial canal some 900 feet broad, of which traces remain, though it is now dry, which left the Choaspes at Pai Pul, about 20 miles N.-W. of Susa, passed close by the town of Susa on the N. or N.-E., and afterwards joined the Coprates.
3. And I lifted up my eyes] in the vision: cf. x. 5; Gen. xxxi. 10; Zech. i. 18, ii. 1, v. 1, 9, vi. 1.
a ram standing before the stream, and it had two horns; and the two horns were high, &c.] The ram is an emblem of power and dominion: cf. Ez. xxxix. 18. The symbolism of the figure is explained in v. 20: the ram, as a whole, represents the combined power of the Medes and Persians; but the strength of the animal lying in its horns, these are taken as representing more particularly the two powers separately, that of Persia, as being the stronger, and arising after that of Media, being represented by the higher horn, which came up last. On the distinction between the two empires, see the notes or ii. 39 and v. 31.
4 pushing] i.e. butting: cf. Ex. xxi. 28 (gore'); and applied figuratively to peoples, Deut. xxxiii. 17; Ps. xliv. 5 ('push down,' properly 'butt').
stand before him] so v. 7. For the expression cf. 2 Ki. x. 4.
did according to his will] did exactly what he pleased; cf. xi. 3, 16, 36, Neh. ix. 24, Est. i. 8, ix. 5 (the Heb. in all being the same).
and became great] and did greatly, or (R.V.) magnified himself. The verb (in the conjug. here used) means to shew greatness, to do greatly, usually in a bad sense; e.g. Ps. lv. 12; Jer. xlviii. 26, 42;
great. And as I was considering, behold, a he goat came 5 from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between
Lam. i. 9. So vv. 8, 11, 25. The verse describes the irresistible advances of the Persian arms, especially in the direction of Palestine, Asia Minor, and Egypt, with particular allusion to the conquests of Cyrus and Cambyses.
5-7. A he-goat, with a conspicuous horn between its eyes, appearing from the west, attacked the ram, and beat it down to the ground. The empire of the Greeks; the horn (cf. v. 21) being Alexander the Great.
5. considering] paying attention, reflecting (D): not, as in vii. 8 (where the word is a different one), contemplating.
a he goat] For the he-goat (though the Heb. word is different), the leader of the flock, as a symbol of a prince or ruler, cf. Is. xiv. 9, xxxiv. 6; Ezek. xxxix. 18; Zech. x. 3.
on] over; its course carried it over the whole earth (the hyperbole, as in iv. I,-though it is true that Alexander penetrated further to the east than any Assyrian or Babylonian king of whom we know). Cf. I Macc. i. 3, where it is said of him that he went through to the ends of the earth' (διῆλθεν ἕως ἄκρων τῆς γῆς).
and touched not the ground] as though flying,-such was the incredible rapidity of its course. The Heb. is properly, and there was none touching the earth,'-a more graphic and forcible expression than simply, and it touched not the earth.' One is reminded involuntarily of Homer's description of the horses of Erichthonius (II. XX. 226—9), and of Vergil's of the huntress Camilla (Aen. VII. 807-811, 'Illa vel intactae segetis,' &c.).
a notable horn] a conspicuous horn; lit. a horn of sight. Explained in v. 21 to signify Alexander.
Alexander the Great crossed the Hellespont in the spring of B.C. 334. Having routed the Persian forces, which had assembled to oppose his advance, at the Granicus, he marched through Asia Minor, receiving the submission of many cities and peoples; and in Nov. B.C. 333, defeated Darius Codomannus, with great loss, at Issus, on the E. border of Cilicia. Having reduced Tyre (July 332), he marched through Palestine and conquered Egypt, founding in memory of the event the afterwards celebrated city of Alexandria. In 331 he crossed the Euphrates, and gave the final blow to the power of Persia at Arbēla, a little E. of Nineveh. Having made a triumphal entry into Babylon, he took possession of Persepolis and Susa, the two official capitals of the Persian kings. Darius meanwhile had fled into Bactria, where he was slain by conspirators; and Alexander, pursuing after him (330), secured only his corpse. Alexander then started for the further East. First, he invaded Hyrcania (on the S. of the Caspian Sea), then he passed on to Bactria and Sogdiana, after which, retracing his steps, he crossed (327) the Indus, and found himself in the country now called the Punjaub. Defeating Porus, a powerful Indian king, he
6 his eyes.
And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto 7 him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. 8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
subjugated the country; and then, with a large fleet, sailed down the Indus to its mouth. Thence (326) he returned through Gedrosia and Carmania (N. of the Persian Gulf) to Persepolis; and afterwards (325) to Susa. In 324 he was again in Babylon. There ambassadors from Greece and other parts were waiting to salute him, and greet him as the conqueror of Asia. He was planning further conquests,-in particular, an expedition into Arabia,-when he was seized with a fever, which after II days carried him off (June 28, B.C. 323), at the early age of 32. Alexander's attack upon Persia.
that had two horns] that had the two horns (v. 3). the river] the stream (v. 2).
ran unto him] at or (R.V.) upon him (Job xv. 26).
7. The collapse of the Persian power before Alexander, especially in the two great defeats of Issus and Arbela.
was moved with choler] an effective rendering: so xi. II. The Heb. is lit. embitter himself, or be embittered, i.e. be maddened, enraged: cf. in Syriac, Euseb. v. 1, 50 for nypiwon, and elsewhere for μaivóμevos (Payne Smith, col. 2200).
stamped] trampled (R.V.), viz. in contempt: so v. 10. Cf. Is. xxvi. 6, lxiii. 3. Not the word used in vii. 7, 19.
and there was none, &c.] The 'ram' was now as defenceless before the 'he-goat,' as others had once (v. 4) been before it.
8. Therefore, &c.] And the he goat did very greatly (v. 4) i.e. performed great exploits.
and when he was strong, the great horn-the 'conspicuous horn' of v. 5-was broken] Alexander was struck down by his fatal malady, just when he had risen to the summit of his power.
and instead of it came up four notable ones] lit. a sight of four, which is explained to mean ‘four conspicuous ones' (cf. v. 5, though the expression there is not quite the same). But the explanation is forced: and from v. 22, end, it would seem also that these four horns were by no means so 'conspicuous,' or 'notable,' as the original horn; so that very probably LXX and Theod. are right in reading, with a slight change ( for in), four other ones.
toward the four winds of heaven] cf. Jer. xlix. 36; Ez. xlii. 20; 1 Chr. ix. 24; and esp. (in the same connexion) ch. xi. 4. See also vii. 2.
And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which 9 waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, 10
Alexander left no legitimate heir (though his widow, Roxana, gave birth to a son shortly after his death); and hence his empire became the prey of rivalries and disputes between his generals. A division of provinces was agreed upon at a military council held the day after his death; but the only permanent elements in this were the allotment of Egypt to Ptolemy Lagi, and Thrace to Lysimachus. After the death of Perdikkas (who had acted as regent) in 321, a fresh distribution took place at a meeting of generals held at Triparadisus in Syria; and another one, after a four years' war, undertaken for the purpose of checking the ambitious designs of Alexander's veteran general Antigonus, in 311. The final settlement was brought about by the battle of Ipsus (in Phrygia), in 301, in which Antigonus was defeated and slain by Ptolemy, Seleucus, and Lysimachus, who had coalesced against him. The result of this victory was that Cassander obtained Macedonia and Greece, Lysimachus Thrace and Bithynia, Seleucus Syria, Babylonia, and other Eastern countries as far as the Indus, while Ptolemy remained in possession of Egypt. These are the four kingdoms (cf. v. 22) denoted here by the four 'horns.'
9-14. Antiochus Epiphanes (B.C. 175-164), and his assaults upon the religion of the Jews (cf. vv. 23—25).
9. out of one of them] The history of Seleucus himself and his immediate successors is passed over: and the prophecy proceeds at once to Antiochus Epiphanes (B.C. 175—164), whose reign was fraught with such momentous consequences for the Jews.
a little horn] cf. vii. 8. The general sense is, no doubt, given correctly; but the exact meaning of the Heb. (which is very peculiar) is far from clear. The explanation which is least forced is 'a horn (arising) out of (being) a small one.' It is quite possible, however, that the text is slightly in error: by omitting one letter, we should obtain the ordinary Hebrew for a little horn'; and by altering two letters, we should get ' another horn, a little one' (cf. vii. 8). Probably one of these is the true reading: LXX. Theod. support the former.
toward the south] i.e. Egypt, as in ch. xi. (v. 5, &c.). On the wars of Antiochus against Egypt, see more fully on ch. xi. 21 ff.
toward the east] Antiochus led an expedition into Elymais (on the E. of Babylonia) in the last year of his life (see on xi. 40).
and toward the beauteous (land)] lit. the beauty; but the full expression land of beauty,' or 'beauteous land,' occurs in xi. 16, 41. It is a title of honour for the land of Israel, based upon Jer. iii. 19, where Canaan is called 'the heritage of beauty (i.e. the most beauteous heritage) of the hosts of the nations,' and Ez. xx. 6, 9, 'the land flowing with milk and honey, which is the beauty of all lands' (or, as w might say, the crown of all lands).
10. The horn 'waxed great,' in the vision, not only over the surface of the earth (v. 9); it even towered up to heaven, struck and hurled