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3. Silver Tetradrachm. Head of Antiochus, as Zeus, with laurels.
Reverse : Zeus, wearing himation over shoulder, seated on throne: holds Nike (Victory), who crowns Inscription; and rests on sceptre. Inscription: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ ΘΕΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ NIKH OPOY (“Of King Antiochus, God Manifest, Victory-bearer').
4. Copper Pentechalcon. Head of Zeus-Serapis, wearing laurel. wreath, ending above in cap of Osiris.
Reverse : Eagle, with closed wings, standing on thunderbolt. Inscription: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ ΘΕΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ (Of King Antiochus, God Manifest'). This coin was struck in Egypt, and illustrates Antiochus' conquest of that country (cf. Babelon, p. c).
(From casts taken from coins in the British Museum. The descriptions from Gardner's Coins of the Seleucid Kings of Syria, XI. 2, X11. 13, XI. 9, XII. 11.)
And the king shall do according to his will; and he 36 shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, discipline : cf. Is. i. 25, “and smelt away as with lye thy dross'; Jer. vi. 29, 'in vain the smelter smelteth, for the evil are not separated'; ix. 6 'Behold, I will smelt them, and try them'; Zech. xiii. 9.
until the time of the ent] the fall of the maskilîm will continue till the final end of the present order of things (viii. 17), which the author pictures as coinciding with the close of Antiochus' reign (v. 40).
for (it is) yet for the time appointed] the end has not come yet; it has still to wait for the moment fixed in the counsels of God : cf. v. 27 end.
36-39. The presumptuousness and impiety of Antiochus. Many of the older expositors supposed that at this point there was a transition from Antiochus to the future Antichrist, and that vv. 36-45 related exclusively to the latter; but whatever typical significance might be legitimately considered to attach to the character and career of Antiochus as a whole, it is contrary to all sound principles of exegesis to suppose that, in a continuous description, with no indication whatever of a change of subject, part should refer to one person, and part to another, and that 'the king of v. 36, and 'the king of the south' of V. 45 should be a different king from the one whose doings are described in vv. 21–35. The fact that traits in the N.T. figure of Antichrist are suggested (apparently) by the description in vv. 36–39, does not authorize the inference that these verses themselves refer to Antichrist (cf. the Introd. p. xcvii). 36. according to his will] as viii. 4, xi. 3 (of Alexander); xi. 16 (of
3 Antiochus the Great).
magnify himself] Is. X. 15. So v. 37.
above every god] Antiochus acquired a reputation for piety among the Greeks by his splendid presents to temples (cf. on v. 24); but by the manner in which he patronized, and selected for honour, particular deities (as Zeus Olympios, or Jupiter Capitolinus), he might be said, especially from an Israelitish point of view, to set himself above them all.
Antiochus, moreover, assumed divine honours. This is particularly evident, as Babelon has pointed out?, on his coins. His best portraits appear to be those on the coins of his early years, which bear simply the inscription 'King Antiochus.' At a later period of his reign a star appears on his forehead, implying that he has assumed divine honours. Then in coins with the legend, 'King Antiochus, God' (or 'God Manifest'[Epiphanes]), the star disappears, but the portrait is idealized, the features approximating in type to those of Apollo. Other coins of the same type exhibit the head surrounded by a diadem with rays, another mark of divine rank?. Lastly, on coins with the legend 'King Antiochus, God Manifest, Victory-bearer,' the head approximates even to that of Zeus Olympios, whose distinctive epithet Nexnpópos (* Victorybearer') the king himself assumes. See the accompanying Plate.
1 In the instructive Introduction to Les Rois de Syrie (Catalogue of Coins in the National Library at Paris), 1891, p. xcii-iv.
3 Babelon states that Antiochus Epiphanes is the first Seleucid king who is represented constantly on his coins with a crown of rays.
covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own 29 land. At the time appointed he shall return, and come
toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as 30 the latter.
For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that
and he shall do) in the pregnant sense explained on viii. 12: R.V. 'do (his pleasure).'
and return to his own land] 1 Macc. i. 24; 2 Macc. V. 21.
but it shall not be in the latter time as in the former] this expedition will not be as successful as the previous one.
30—39. Antiochus retreat from Egypt, (v. 30a), and the measures adopted by him shortly afterwards against the Jews (vv. 306–39).
30. For Kitian ships shall come against him] The allusion is to C. Popillius Laenas and the other Roman legates, who, as described above (p. 181), obliged Antiochus, when within ght of Alexandria, to withdraw his forces unconditionally from Egypt. Kittim, properly the Kitians, or people of Kitti (in Phoen. Inscriptions 'na), a well-known town in Cyprus, the Greek Kition; hence in the O.T. the name of the inhabitants of Cyprus, Gen. x. 4; Is. xxiii. I, 12; somewhat more widely, in Jer. ii. 10; Ez. xxvii. 6, 'isles (or coast-lands) of the Kitians,' of the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. By the later Jews it was used still more generally for any western maritime people (cf. Jos. Ant. 1. i. 1); thus in i Macc. i. 1, viii. 5 it denotes the Macedonians, and here *Kitian ships' means Roman ships (so LXX. kai ñčovou 'Pwuaiol). The expression is suggested by the terms of Balaam's prophecy in Num. xxiv. 24 (where, however, it is not certain what exactly is denoted by it).
and he shall be cowed, and return] 'cowed' (a rare word: Ps. cix. 16, A.V., R. V., badly, 'broken in heart'), viz. by the summary manner in which Popillius treated him?. Cf. the terms used by Polyb. (xxix. II), “Antiochus accordingly withdrew his forces to Syria, βαρυνόμενος και στένων, είκων δε τους καιρούς κατά το παρόν' ; and Livy Obstupefactus tam violento imperio' (the demand of Popillius).
have indignation &c.] a stronger expression than was used in v. 28; he will this time be incensed against it.
and he shall do) viz. his pleasure, as v. 28.
and he shall return (viz. home to Antioch), ana have regard unto (v. 37 Heb.) them that &c.] After his return home he will fix his attention upon the apostate Jews, and use them as his agents, for the purpose of carrying out his designs. Shortly before the time of Antiochus there had arisen a party among the Jews, whose object was to Hellenize their
The word (2x)) might possibly, however, have here its Syriac sense of rebuked: cf. LXX. eußpeuncovrai aŭtô, a word which in Matth. ix. 30
is represented in the Pesh. by XX.
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 i 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. JI). 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 i 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 zapavouous), and they strengthened themselves therein.... And it became a place to lie in wait in against the sanctuary (ěvedpov tQ åriáouatı), and an evil adversary unto Israel continually. And they shed innocent blood round about the sanctuary, and defiled 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 unisy 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 (BSéluyua èp uwoews,—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 (Bwuby), which was upon the altar (of God) (Avolaothplov)': 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 shūmēm (viii. 13, xii. 11), or měshūmēm (ix. 27, xi. 31); and according to Nestle, the 'abomination that causeth appalment' is a contemptuous allusion to d'un sya Ba'al shāmayim (“Baal of heaven'), a title occurring often in Phænician, and (with shāmîn for shāmayim) Aramaic inscriptions, and in the Syriac version of 2 Macc. vi. 2 found actually for the Zeùs 'OXúp trios 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. 1)] 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 63973 DSX 7"Dyn), Euseb. (αρ. Sync. 542, 21 και τον ναόν βεβηλοι Διός Ολυμπίου βδέλυγμα αναστηλώσας èv 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. · Macc. iv. 38; and see also above, on viii. 13, and p. 151).