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shall return into his own land. But his sons shall be stirred 10
that an easy task lay before him (Polyb. v. 42). First, acting on the advice of his friend, the physician Apollophanes, he recovered the important fortress of Seleukeia (Polyb. v. 58–60, see above, on v. 7); then Theodotus, Ptolemy's præfect in Coele-Syria (v. 40), invited him treacherously to take possession of that province, and enabled him further to secure Tyre, Ptolemais, and other neighbouring towns (v. 61). Meanwhile Ptolemy, roused from his lethargy by the loss of ColeSyria, had advanced his troops as far as Pelusium; and his ministers, wishing to gain time for further warlike preparations, succeeded in obtaining from Antiochus an armistice for four months. Antiochus accordingly retired for the winter to Seleukeia, leaving garrisons in Phoenicia and Coele-Syria, which (being ignorant of Ptolemy's real intentions) he hoped he had now finally secured (v. 62—66). However, in the following spring (218), a large Egyptian army, which had meantime been organized, marched under Nicolaus through Palestine as far as a spot between Lebanon and the sea, where it was met by Antiochus and completely defeated (v. 68—69). After this Antiochus advanced into Palestine, takes Philoteria, Scythopolis (Beth-shean) and Atabyrium, as also Abila, Gadara, and Rabbath-Ammon, on the E. of Jordan, leaves a governor, with 8000 soldiers, in Samaria, and retires into winter-quarters at Ptolemais (v. 70—71).
In the next spring (217) Antiochus and Ptolemy both take the field, with armies of 60,000 or 70,000 men each (v. 79). Ptolemy, starting from Alexandria, advances to within 50 stadia of Raphia (the borderfortress of Palestine, in the direction of Egypt); Antiochus first marches to Gaza, then by slow stages, passing Raphia, to within five stadia of the spot on which the army of Ptolemy was encamped (v. 80). In the battle which ensued (v. 82—85), Antiochus was defeated (with the loss of 10,000 infantry, 300 cavalry, besides 4,000 prisoners), and fell back upon Gaza, retiring afterwards to Antioch (v. 86). He then sent to Ptolemy to ask terms of peace, which Ptolemy, satisfied with his victory, and with its natural consequence, the recovery of Coele-Syria, granted for one year (v. 87).
The second part of v. 12 refers plainly to Ptolemy's victory at Raphia; but it is impossible to feel certain which of the events just described are referred to in v. 106-12 a. The sequence of events as described in these verses seems, in fact, not to agree with that of the narrative of Polybius.
10. his sons] Seleucus Ceraunos and Antiochus the Great, the two being grouped together, because (probably) the campaign of Seleucus in Asia Minor was the first stage in an organized plan of hostilities against Egypt.
shall stir themselves up] viz., as the word used implies, for war or combat (cf. &pellgw) : so. v. 25; Deut. ii. 5, 9, 19, 24 [R.V. contend]; 2 Ki. xiv. 10 (properly, Why shouldest thou stir thyself up againsti.e. advance against, challenge-calamity?').
· The events summarized in vv, 10—12 are narrated at length in Polyb. V. 5871, 79—87 (v. 62–68, 79-87, are translated in Mahaffy, l.c., pp. 250—263).
up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through:
then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress. 11 And the king of the south shall be moved with choler,
and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the
and he (or it) shall come on) i.e. either Antiochus, or his army (the "multitude' just spoken of). The attack upon Egypt, planned originally by the two brothers, was, after the death of Seleucus, carried out by Antiochus.
and flood up and flow over) viz. in the campaigns of 219 in CæleSyria, and of 218 in Palestine (as described above). The words are borrowed from Is. viii. 8: the advancing hosts of Antiochus (as in Is. those of the Assyrians) are compared to a flood of waters inundating a land. Cf. Jer. xlvii. 2.
and he (or it) shall return] Antiochus, after wintering in Ptolemais, returned to the attack upon Egypt in 217.
and they (his forces) shall stir themselves up (advancing) as far as his stronghold] Probably Gaza, which was the most important fortress of Palestine on the south, and a play upon the name of which (1774) is perhaps intended by the Heb. word here used (ntyn). The strength of Gaza may be estimated by the fact that it resisted Alexander the Great for two months.
11. the king of the south] Ptolemy Philopator.
shall be moved with choler (viii. 7), and shall come forth] to meet the advancing army of Antiochus (v. 106). In the narrative of Polybius, however, Ptolemy appears as the first in the field.
11 6–12a. Very ambiguous. The two alternative explanations
(1) And he (Ptolemy) will raise a great army, and it will be placed under his (Ptolemy's) command?,--the fact being mentioned on account of Ptolemy's unwarlike nature and usual indifference, -(12) and the multitude (the army of Ptolemy) shall lift itself up (viz. to attack: cf. Is. xxxiii. 10 A.V.), itsa (or his?, i.e. Ptolemy's) heart being exalted, i.e. elated with the prospect of success (von Lengerke, Hitzig, Ewald, Meinhold); (2) And he (Antiochus) will raise a great army, (cf. v. 13 a), but it will be given into his (Ptolemy's) hands, (12) and the multitude (the army of Antiochus) shall be carried away (R.V. marg. ; cf. for the rend. Is. viii. 4, xl. 24, xli. 16), and his (Ptolemy's) heart shall be exalted, i.e. elated with the victory (Bev., Behrm., Keil for v. 11b, Prince). There are objections to each of these interpretations, both on the score of Heb. usage, and relation to the context, and also on account (see above) of imperfect agreement with the history; but, on the whole, the second is preferable. To be exalted (or lifted up), of the heart, as ch. v. 20; Deut. viii. 14, xvii. 20.
1 'Give into the hand,' as Gen, xxxii. 17, xxxix. 4, 2 Sam. X. 10. 2 Heb. text (with no 'and'). 8 Heb. marg. (with 'and').
king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand. And when 12 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. 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 14 times there shall many stand up against the king of the
set forth) lit. cause to stand up, i.e. raise; so v. 13.
and he (Ptolemy) shall cause tens of thousands to fall] at the battle of Raphia.
but he shall not be strong] he will gain no permanent advantage in consequence. Ptolemy by his victory recovered Cæle-Syria ; but he did not pursue his success further; he again gave way to his natural indolence, and quickly resumed his dissolute life (Polyb. xiv. 12); so that when Antiochus sent to ask for terms of peace, he readily granted them. Justin (xxx. 1) writes of him, 'Spoliasset regno Antiochum, si fortunam virtute iuvisset.'
13. Twelve years after the battle of Raphia, in 205, Ptolemy Philopator died, leaving a son aged 4 years, who succeeded him on the throne as Ptolemy V. (Epiphanes). Antiochus had meanwhile been gaining the series of successes in Persia, Bactria, Asia Minor, and even in India, which earned him the epithet of the 'Great.' Returning from the East, in the same year in which Philopator died, he concluded an alliance with Philip, king of Macedon, for a joint attack upon the infant king of Egypt, and partition of his foreign possessions between them (Polyb. xv. 20; cf. Jer. ad loc.). Details of the war are not known, the part of Polybius' history which described it being lost. We only learn from Justin (xxxi. 1) that he invaded Phænicia and Syria ; and from Polybius (xvi. 18, 40) that he captured Gaza, after a stout resistance.
shall return, &c.] shall again raise a multitude, greater than the former, with allusion to the forces by which he achieved his successes 'in Persia and the East. Jerome (quoting probably from Porphyry) speaks of the immense army which he brought back with him from the East.
and he shall come on at the end of the times, (even of) years) after 12 years, at the end of his conquests in Persia, Bactria, &c.
with much substance) the allusion is to the baggage, implements of war, &c., belonging to a well-appointed army. The word used (137) denotes especially such possessions as stores, furniture, implements, &c.: see i Chr. xxvii. 31, 2 Chr. xx. 25 (ʻriches'-of an invading army), xxi. 14 (R.V.), 17; Ezr. i. 6 ('goods').
14. there shall many stand up, &c.] Alluding to Antiochus, to Philip of Macedon, his ally, and also (according to Jerome) to re, bellions which broke out in the provinces subject to Egypt, and
south : also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves 15 to establish the vision; but they shall fall. So the king
insurrections in Egypt itself, through dissatisfaction with the haughty and dissolute Agathocles, Ptolemy Philopator's chief minister and favourite (see Polyb. xv. 25—34 (Mahaffý, pp. 276—287], where a graphic account is given of the assassination of Agathocles in a popular tumult, immediately after the accession of the infant king, Ptolemy V.).
also the children of the violent among thy people shall lift them. selves up to establish (the) vision ; but they shall be overthrown] The allusion is apparently to a faction among the Jews, who, for the purpose of fulfilling certain prophecies, took the part of Antiochus against Ptolemy, but were unsuccessful.
Antiochus the Great, in the invasion referred to on 0. 13, had, it seems, obtained possession of Palestine: shortly afterwards, however, in 200, the guardian of the young Ptolemy Epiphanes sent Scopas, an Aetolian mercenary, to recover it: he was successful, “subdued the nation of the Jews' (Polyb. xvi. 39 ap. Jos. l. c.), and left a garrison in the citadel at Jerusalem. Within a year or two, as soon as his war with Attalus of Pergamum was over, Antiochus marched against Scopas, and defeated him with great loss at Paneion, by the sources of the Jordan (cf. Polyb. xvi. 18 f.), so that he was obliged to retreat, with 100,000 men, into Sidon, where Antiochus besieged him, and, though Ptolemy sent him assistance, compelled him to surrender (B.C. 198). After this Antiochus recovered Batanaea, Samaria, Abila and Gadara : he then entered Jerusalem, where the people received him gladly, provided his army with food, and assisted him to expel the garrison left in the citadel by Scopas; in return for this friendliness, Antiochus afterwards granted the Jews remission of many taxes, and contributed liberally to both the services and the repair of the Temple? Only Gaza remained loyal to Ptolemy; and withstood a siege from Antiochus rather than join the Syrian side (Polyb. xvi. 40). We do not know particulars : but the allusion in this part of v. 14 can hardly be to anything except to a party in Jerusalem which (perhaps before the expedition of Scopas : notice Polybius' phrase subdued,' as though there had been some rebellion) supported Antiochus, and in some way was broken up.
violent] properly, breakers down (or breakers through): the word denotes a robber, Jer. vii. 11 ('a den of robbers '); Ez. vii. 22, xviii. 10; and is used of a destructive wild-beast, Is. xxxv. 9. The author chooses a strong term for the purpose of expressing his disapprobation of a party who were instrumental in bringing Judah under the rule of the Seleucidae, Antiochus the Great being the father of the hated Antiochus Epiphanes. be overthrown] lit. stumble : see Prov. xxiv. 16.
And the king of the north shall come, and throw up earthworks, and take a city of fortifications] Sidon, in which Scopas was shut up, and which Antiochus took (see on v. 14).
· Jos. Ant. x11. iii. 3 (Mahaffy, p. 293 f.); Jerome on Dan. viii. 15; Ewald, Hist.
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 16 against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed. He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him ; thus shall he do:
cast up a mount] i.e. throw up (lit. pour out, viz. from the baskets used for collecting the earth) earth-works, the expression often used in the 0. T. of a besieging army (2 Sam. xx. 15; 2 Kin. xix. 32 ; Jer. vi. 6; Ez. iv. 2 al.). Mount is simply the old form of mound, the two words being really the same, though now differentiated in meaning. W. A. Wright (Bible Word-Book, s.v.) quotes from North's Plutarch (1595), Alexander, p. 748, all the army in their armour did cast up a mount of earth fashioned like a tombe.'
15 b-16. The final collapse of the Egyptian power in Syria.
15 b. and the arms of the south shall not stand] shall make no stand (v. 25; Am. ii. 15) against Antiochus. The arm (of the body) is often fig. for strength (Ps. lxxi. 18, lxxix. 11, lxxxiii. 8; Ezr. iv. 23; Judith ix. 7); here, the plur. is fig. for forces: cf. vv. 22, 31.
and as for his chosen people (i.e. his chosen warriors: cf. Ex. xv. 4; Jer. xlviii. 15), there shall be no strength (in them) to stand) so the Heb. accents. Scopas, and the three " duces inclyti” (Jerome) sent to assist him, could not resist the forces of Antiochus.
But he (Antiochus) that cometh against him (Ptolemy) shall do according to his own will] so greatly will he be superior to him : the phrase, as v. 3.
stand before him] viii. 4, 7.
shall stand in the beauteous land (the land of Israel : see on viii. 9), with destruction in his hand] aimed, viz., against Egypt; possessed of Palestine (v. 14), he will 'stand' in it, menacing Egypt with ruin. Or (with a change of points), with all of it (the land) in his hand (power) (Bertholdt, Kamph., Prince).
17. And he shall set his face—i.e. purpose, plan (2 Kin. xii. 17; Jer. xlii. 15, 17; xliv. 12)—to come with the strength, &c.] to advance with all his force against Egypt. Livy (xxxiii. 19) describes how, in the spring of 197, omnibus regni viribus connixus, quum ingentes copias terrestres maritimasque comparasset, Antiochus himself set out with a fleet for the purpose of attacking all the cities on the coast of Cilicia, Lycia, and Caria, which were subject to Ptolemy. He did not actually invade Egypt, nor does the present verse say that he would do so.
and upright ones with him ; thus shall he do] the words yield no sense : read, with very slight changes, but shall make an agreement (see v. 6) with him: so LXX. Theod. Vulg. (cf. R.V. marg.). He did not carry out his intention, but found it convenient to come to