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but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the 33 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; 1 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,-óxupóôngav) 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 discernment, 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, i 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 i 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'Aoldalwv), mighty men out of Israel, every one that offered himself willingly (= 370mm, 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' (maskílím), 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.

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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.

35

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' ('Ioúdas...ólyootós), 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. I, 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

[graphic][graphic]

I.

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').

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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 ').

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.

35

34.

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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.

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' ('Ioúdas...ólyootós), 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. I, 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.

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

35.

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I.

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').

[graphic][graphic]

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 ').

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