A Commentary on Daniel Chapter 11

God of Jewish Destiny


Remember that in chapter ten, God revealed to Daniel what would befall his people in the latter end. In this chapter he downloads the whole story. First, the fourth king of Persia (Xerxes) will stir up the king of Greece (Alexander the great). Just at the peak of his triumphancy, Alexander will be broken and his kingdom divided towards the four winds of heaven. A novice at history will immediately realize that Alexander’s kingdom went to his four generals. The remaining part of the chapter tells the story of the king of the North (Syria) and the king of the south (Egypt). The king of the North (Antiochus) divorces Laodice in order to marry Bernice, the daughter of the king of the South. Their son would rule the North kingdom (Syria). The angel tells Daniel that this pre-nuptial marriage agreement will not stand. The exposition will tell about the divorce, disinheriting, poisoning, murder, and with them the historical fulfillment of prophecy.

A branch was to come up out of the root of Laodice and enter the kingdom of the north (Syria). This too was fulfilled under Ptolemy Euergetes. The marriage of Cleopatra (daughter of Antiochus, king of (Syria) to Ptolemy king of Egypt was arranged in order to exploit the kingdom of Egypt. The rise of Antiochus Epiphanies, one of the worst men in history, is discussed in the exposition. This chapter represents the climax of Daniel’s prophecy. A great blessing awaits those who learn how specific and detailed God’s revelation is.



323 B.C. SELEUCUS NICATOR – Reigned 33 years.

279 B.C. ANTIOCHUS SOTER – Reigned 19 years.

260 B.C. ANTIOCHUS THEUS – Reigned 15 years.

245 B.C. SELEUCUS CALLINICUS – Reigned 20 years.

225 B.C. SELEUCUS CREANUS – Reigned 3 years.

222 B.C. ANTIOCHUS THE GREAT – Reigned 36 years.

187 B.C. SELEUCUS PHILOPATOR – Reigned 11 years.

175 B.C. ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES – Reigned 11 years.




B.C. 304 PTOLEMY SOTER – Reigned 20 years.

B.C. 284 PTOLEMY PHILODELPHUS. – Reigned 38 years.

B.C. 246 PTOLEMY EURGETES – Reigned 25 years.

B.C. 221 PTOLEMY PHILOPATOR – Reigned 17 years.

B.C. 204 PTOLEMY EPIPHANES – Reigned 24 years.

B.C. 180 PTOLEMY PHILOMETER – Reigned 35 years.

I thought it necessary to provide a guided tour through chapter eleven because it contains extensive historical quotes and may be difficult to follow. Machabees is the key to understanding the eleventh chapter of Daniel.

Daniel begins by telling us that he will show us the truth. We should be eager to hear and understand the truth. We are told that the forth king of Persia (Xerxes) will pick a fight with Alexander the Great and that Alexander will gain control of the world, however he will lose his life and his kingdom will be divided. His wife, Roxana and his son Alexander Aegus, will not inherit the kingdom but it will pass to his four generals. Only two of the four kingdoms survive for long. So, this chapter will be about these two kingdoms, namely the kingdom of the North (Syria) and the kingdom of the South (Egypt).

Later Bernice, who is the daughter of the Egyptian king (Ptolemy Soter), marries the Northern king (Antiochus Theos), but he must first divorce his wife Laodice. An agreement is made that the heir of Bernice will inherit the Northern Kingdom (Syria). When his father-in-law dies, the Northern king (Syria) decides to divorce Bernice and remarry Laodice, his former wife, and thus forfeit the agreement

However, she doesn’t trust him, so she poisons her husband (Antiochus Theus) and then proceeds to have her husbands second wife Bernice and her son murdered so that her children will inherit the throne. She and her son seek political asylum, but are found and killed along with the Egyptians that acconpanied her.

Her brother, Seluccus Callinicus, (who is out of her roots,) becomes the king of Syria, and decides to declare war on Egypt, but fails and returns home. Then his sons gather a large army and attack Egypt again, but Egypt won. The Syrian king will be back yet again with a larger army. Some Jews will ally themselves with this Syrian king, Antiochus the Great and help him gain victory but this will only prove their undoing.

It looks as though this Syrian king is unbeatable. Antiochus the Great will capture Sidon, attack Jerusalem, set up a garrison in Jerusalem,and control all of Palestine. Antiochus the Great will give his daughter Cleopatra to the Egyptian king, but this proves to be another Syrian blunder; for she was loyal to her husband and the arrangement backfired. Antiochus the Great will attack the coasts of Asia Minor and the Roman general, Scipio will defeat him, taking most of his territory at the Battle of Thermopylae and Magnesium.

The Syrians become bridled with heavy taxes imposed on them by the Romans. The new Syrian king, Seleucus Philopater, will “raise their taxes” and lose his life robbing temples in order to pay war reparations. The new heir to the throne will be set aside by Antiochus Epiphanies―a man who uses flattery and hypocrisy to gain control of Syria. This contemptible ruler will be successful in war, will be shrewd, and cunning. He will do worse than anyone before him when he sets up an idol of his god Jupiter Olympus in the Temple and sacrifices swine on God’s altar, additionally, he destroys many Jews.

Antiochus Epiphanes will be successful in war over great armies like that of the Egyptian king, Ptolemy Philopator. He will depose Onias, who is the Prince of the covenant. He will wage war against the Machabees (Jews) and persecute Israel. Again he (Epiphanes) will attack Egypt but this time he will lose because the Roman ships of Chittum will come to Egypt’s aid of Egypt and take much territory away from Antiochus Epiphanies.

Finally,God sends a plague upon Antiochus. This homosexual apostate, Jew hating, vile, and treacherous man begins to rot piece by piece. In his final stages of the disease he thinks he can bargain with God for clemency. He starts by promising to get circumcised, thus become a Jew. He continues by promising to replace all that he plundered and go through this world heralding the praises of God. Additional information will be found on this liar and deceiver in the exposition.


1 Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.

At this time Cyrus and Darius are joint rulers. After the demise of the Babylonian Empire the rulers of the Persian Empire needed confirmation and strengthening. Read carefully the last verse of chapter ten and you will see that the angel Gabriel is the person who is giving this strength to Persia.

2 And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.

If you have been waiting for the drama to unfold then you are in for a historical treat unlike anything you have ever dreamed. After the Angel assures Daniel that he is going to show the truth. He begins by showing him that there will be three kings in Persia, followed by a fourth, very strong king. History records their names as Cambyses, Smerdis, and Darius Hystaspia; and the fourth as Xerxes. The angel in tells Daniel about the future events passing briefly over the first three kings and hastens to the fourth one. He says that the fourth king would have riches and would stir up the realm of Grecia. This fourth king would be so hostile that he would stir up trouble and finally anger the king of Grecia by his hostile encroachments that would break out.

Xerxes plundered temples, pillaged, and burnt until he was the richest monarch of the east. God had told the prophet Isaiah one hundred and seventy years before the event, that the two leaved gates would be left open, and that the treasures, hidden in secret places, would be opened for Cyrus. While this passage in Isaiah refers to Cyrus we must remember that Xerxes inherits his riches from his predecessors, as well as the plunder and taxes he imposed on the empire himself.

And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. Isa. 45:3

The fulfillment of this prophecy is substantiated by several historians:

The first expedition (493 B.C.) against Greece was sent out under Mardonius, the son-in-law of Darius. The land troops were defeated in Thrace, and the fleet was shattered while rounding Mount Athos. Mardonius returned without having set foot into the region he went to conquer. The second expedition―Darius, full of fury, began at once raising a new army. Meanwhile heralds were dispatched to demand the surrender of the Grecian cities. Many sent back earth and water, the oriental symbols of submission; Sparta and Athens refused, Sparta throwing the envoys into a deep well, and bidding them find there the earth and water they demanded. [50]

For eight years all Asia was in preparation (for the expedition against Greece). Levies were made upon all the provinces from India to Macedonia. Vast contingents of war galleys, transport ships. War with Greece was felt in every quarter of Asia.

Xerxes thus levied his army searching out every region of the continent. For from the reduction of Egypt, he was employed four whole years in assembling his forces, and providing things necessary for the expedition.[51]

Xerxes, in four years which followed on the reduction of Egypt, continued incessantly to make the most gigantic preparations for his intended attack upon Greece…Forty-nine nations, according to Herodotus, served under his standard.[52]

Now we know what is meant in the prophecy when the angel says, “he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.”

All these expeditions, and many others if there have been any besides them, are not to be compared with this one. For what nation did not Xerxes lead out of Asia against Greece? [53]

As Xerxes readied Persia, a new king is installed in Grecia.

In a congress of all the states except Sparta, he (Philip) was appointed to lead their united forces against Persia. But while preparing to start he was assassinated (336 B.C.) at his daughter’s marriage feast. Alexander, his son, succeeded to Philip’s throne and ambitious projects. Though only twenty years old, he was more than his father’s equal in statesmanship and military skill. Thebes having revolted, he sold its inhabitants as slaves, and razed the city, sparing only the temples and the house of Pindar the poet. This terrible example quieted all opposition. He was at once made captain-general of the Grecian forces to invade Persia, and, soon after, he set out upon that perilous expedition from which he never returned. In 334 B.C. Alexander crossed the Hellespont with thirty thousand infantry and four thousand five hundred cavalry. He was the first to leap on the Asiatic shore. Pressing eastward, he defeated the Persians in two great battles, —one at the river Granicus, and other at Issus.[54]

3 And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.

This mighty king was Alexander the great. This quotation from the history books will confirm what the Angel said to Daniel:

The peculiar feature of this body was that the men were armed with huge lances twenty-one feet long. The lines were placed so that the front rank, composed of the strongest and most experienced soldiers, was protected by a bristling mass of five rows of lance-points, their own extending fifteen feet before them, and the rest twelve, nine, six, and three feet respectively. Formed in a solid mass, usually sixteen ranks deep, shield touching shield, and marching with the precision of a machine, the phalanx charge was irresistible. The Spartans, carrying spears only about half as long, could not reach the Macedonians. [55]

4 And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.

The Prophet said that when he was strong that a mighty King would stand up, and that the dominion would be great (World Wide) and that he would do as he pleased and that the Kingdom would be broken. Alexander would be broken and that four notable ones would rise up from the four winds. At the age of 33 He drank the Herculean cup and laid in a drunken coma for 10 days before he expired. The kingdom did not go to his sons, but was divided among his four generals. They ruled the empire which was divided into North, South, East and West (the four winds). Syria and the East was under the head of General Seleucus. Blthynia and Thrace was under General Lysimachus. Egypt was under General Ptolemy Sotor and Macedonia was under General Cassander. Finally Daniel says that the kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those. I will show in this chapter that although it passed to the four generals it will eventually go to someone else.

5 And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.

After the death of Alexander the kingdom wrangled and fought for about 20 years and then it was divided into four kingdoms. Two of these kingdoms were short lived. Now the prophecy only speaks of two. The two that remained were Syria, ruled by Seleucus Nicator (North), and Egypt, ruled by Ptolemy Soter (South). These two kingdoms were hostile toward each other. At times they pretended friendliness but it was short lived. The King of the South was Ptolemy Soter who ruled over Egypt and the King of the North was Seleucus Nicator one of Alexander’s princes, and ruled over Syria and the countrys East of Syria. The king of the North (Seleucus Nicator) had much more territory and was indeed strong above him (Ptolemy, the king of the South.) The scripture is correct in that Egypt the South is strong, but this other prince (Syria) will be even stronger. We know this stronger prince as (Seleucus Nicator).

6 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: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.

The remaining portion of this chapter has direct bearing upon the king of the North and the king of the South. The use of the words “end of years” meaning of course after some years. Here is how it all happened. Antiochus Theos attains the Northern throne, and was tired of the war between him and Ptolemy Soter of the South. So peace was made on the terms that Antiochus would divorce his wife Laodice and marry Bernice who was the daughter of Ptolemy Soter, king of the South. The agreement was ratified by both sides and it was further agreed that the son from this marriage would inherit the throne. So, after having two sons with Laodice (his half-sister) Antiochus divorced her and married Bernice. Watch carefully what is going to happen. Daniel says that she shall not retain the power of the arm, that is, she shall be given up.

Following the death of Ptolemy Sotor, Antiochus Theos decides to divorce Bernice and take back his ex-wife, Laodice. Laodice, not trusting Antiochus Theos, decides to murder him. So, she has his food poisoned. She did this to secure the kingdom for her son. In the meantime, she decides to have Bernice and her sons killed. This like many love triangles met with nothing but disappointment. Bernice and her son escape for a time, only to be found and murdered along with her helpers―just as prophesied. These comments are just an echo of history:

As soon as Antiochus Theos had received intelligence of the death of Ptolemy Philadelphus, his father-in-law, he divorced Bernice, and recalled Laodice and her children. This lady who knew the variable disposition and inconstancy of Antiochus, and was apprehensive that the same levity of mind would induce him to supplant her, by receiving Bernice again, resolved to improve the present opportunity to secure the crown for her son. Her own children were disinherited by the treaty made with Ptolemy; by which it was also stipulated that the issue Bernice might have by Antiochus should succeed to the throne, and she then had a son. Laodice, therefore, caused Antiochus to be poisoned…Laodice, not believing herself safe as long as Bernice and her son lived, concerted measures with Seleucus to destroy them also; but that princess, being informed of their design, escaped the danger for some time by retiring, with her son, to Daphne, where she shut herself up in the asylum built by Seleucus Nicator; but being at last betrayed by the perfidy (treachery) of those who besieged her there, by the order of Laodice, first her son, and then herself, with all the Egyptians who had accompanied her to that retreat were murdered in the basest and most inhuman manner. [56]

Antiochus Theus, as soon as he heard of the death of King Ptolemy Philadelphus, his father-in-law, removed Berenice from his bed, and again recalled unto him Laodice and her children. But she knowing the unsteady and fickle humour of Antiochus, and therefore fearing that he might, upon as light change of mind, again recall Bernice, as he had her, resolved to make use of the present opportunity to secure the succession of her son. For, by the late treaty with Ptolemy, her children were to be disinherited, and the crown to be settled on the children which Bernice should bear unto him and she already had one son by him. For the affecting of this design, she procured Antiochus to be poisoned by the servants, and then, on his death, did put one Artemon, that was very much like him, into his bed, to personate him as sick, till she should have brought her matters to bear; who acting his part well, the death of the king was not known, till by orders forged in his name, her eldest son by him, Seleueus Callinicus, was secured of the succession; and then the death of the king being publicly declared, Seleucus ascended the throne without any opposition, and sat in it twenty years. But Laodice not thinking him safe in the possession which he had thus take of it, as long as Berenice and her son lived, designs were laid to cut them both off, which Bernice being informed of, she fled with her son to Daphne, and here shut herself up in the asylum which was built in that place by Seleucus Nicator. But she being circumvented by the fraud of those who, by the appointment of Laodice, did there besiege her, first her son, and afterward she herself, were villainously slain, with all the Egyptian attendants that came with him. And hereby was exactly fulfilled what was foretold by the prophet Daniel concerning this marriage (Dan. 11:6.) that is, that “neither he (that is, Antiochus king of the north) nor she (that is, Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy king of the south) should continue in their power; but that he (that is, King Antiochus) should fall, and that she (that is, Berenice,) being deprived of him that strengthened her( that is, of her father who died a little before,) should be given up with those that brought her (that is, that came with her out of Egypt, and her son, whom she brought forth to be cut off and destroyed. [57]

I do not believe that any prophecy could have been fulfilled in so clear, so perfect and irrefutable manner as this.

7 But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail:

There should one arise out of a branch of her roots in his estate, that is, Ptolemy Euergetes, who springing from the same root with her, as being her brother, did stand up in the estate of Ptolemy Philadelphus his father, whom he succeeded in his kingdom; and that “he should come with an army, and enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and prevail against him, and should carry captive into Egypt the gods of the Syrians, with their princes and with their precious vessels of silver and gold; and so should come, and return again into his own kingdom. [58]

Bernice is dead but this did not end the matter, for out of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army.Here is the story: Bernice the daughter of Ptolemy Soter, who is now divorced by the King of the North (Antiochus) is hiding in exile, where she thinks everything is safe. However, she is killed with her son. Her brother takes revenge upon Laodice and has her killed. The following extracts from a history book tells the whole story.

While Bernice (daugnter of Ptolemy Philadelphus and former wife of Antiochus Theos) continued shut up and besieged in Daphne, the cities of Lesser Asia (or Asia Minor), hearing of her distress, commiserated (sympathized) her case, and immediately, by a joint association, sent an army toward Antioch for her relief; and Ptolemy Euergetes, (Also known as Ptolemy III), her brother, hastened thither with a greater force out of Egypt for the same purpose. But both Bernice and her son were cut off before either of them could arrive for their help; whereupon both armies turning their desire of saving the queen and her son into a rage for the revenging of their death, the Asian forces joined the Egyptians for the effecting of it, and Ptolemy, at the head of both carried all before him; for he not only slew Laodice, but also made himself master of all Syria and Cilicia, and then passing the Euphrates, brought all under him as far as Babylon, and the River Tigris, and would have subjugated to him all the other provinces of the Syrian Empire, but that a sedition arising in Egypt during his absence called him back to suppress it.[59]

8 And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north.

As we unfold the events of history in the year of 246 B.C. We will find that Ptolemy III, (Euergetes) Invaded Syria to avenge the death of his sister Bernice. He conquered Syria as far North as Antioch and was pressing towards Babylon when he was informed that trouble was brewing at home, so he headed back to Egypt. He brought back with him idols (gods) and a vast treasures. The following quotation from ancient history will give us the facts surrounding Ptolemy III.

And therefore, having appointed Antiochus and Xantippus, two of his generals, the former of them to command the provinces he had taken on the west side of Mount Taurus, and the other to command the provinces he had taken on the east side of it, he marched back into Egypt, carrying with him vast treasures, which he had gotten together, in the plunder of the conquered provinces; for he brought from them with him forty thousand talents of silver, a vast number of precious vessels of silver and gold, and images also to the number of two thousand five hundred, among which were many of the Egyptian idols, which Cambyses, on his conquering Egypt, had carried thence into Persia. These Ptolemy (son of Philadelphus and brother of Bernice) having restored to their former temples, on his return from this expedition, he thereby much endeared himself to his people[60]

Ptolemy plundered and carried back into Egypt 40,000 talents of silver, a vast number of gold and silver vessels and 2,500 images (gods). Let me remind you that in verse two the angel tells Daniel “I will shew thee the truth” Now you have the truth in black and white. It is also noteworthy at this time to point out that his kingdom stood longer than the kingdom of the North.

9 So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.

So the King of the south, who was Ptolemy Euergetes , having heard of unrest in his homeland returns to Egypt.

10 But his sons shall be stirred 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.

As I quote a page from the history book you will readily see that this prediction was fulfilled .

“The weakness of Philopator, and the mismanagement of the State by Sosibius, who was at once incapable and wicked, laid the empire open to attack; and it was not long before the young king of Syria, Antiochus III, took advantage of the condition of affairs to advance his own pretensions to the possessions of the long-disputed tract between Syria Proper and Egypt.” [61]

Here are some details of the war. Antiochus the Great commenced B.C. 219, by besieging Seleuceia, the port of Antioch, which had remained in the hands of the Egyptian governor of Coele-Syria. He invaded that country, took Tyre, and Ptolemais (Acre), and advance to the frontiers of Egypt. . The two sons Seleucus II and Antiochus II are stirred up and the latter one certainly came and overflowed, or passed through Egypt like a flood, even to the fortress.

11 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 hand.

The king of the south is furious and comes out fighting like a caged animal. He has a vast army and advances against the forces of the North (Syria). Syria falls into the hands of the Egyptian king. Take another look at the history of that period.

“Ptolemy Philopator, was an indolent, effeminate prince. (King of the South…Egypt) It was necessary to excite and drag him, in a manner, out of his lethargy, in order to prevail with him to take up arms, and repulse the enemy, who were preparing to march into his country. At last he put himself at the head of his troops; by the valor and good conduct of his generals, obtained a signal victory over Antiochus (the Great) at Raphia.” [62]

It might have been expected that, under the circumstances, he (Antiochus the Great) would have been successful. But the Egyptian forces, relaxed though their discipline had been by Sosibius, were still superior to the Syrians; the battle of Raphia B.C. 217 was a repetition of the lessons taught at Pelesium and Gaza. The invader was once more defeated upon the borders, and by the peace which followed, the losses of the two preceding years were, with one exception, recovered (by Philopator) [63]

In the third year of the war, B.C. 217, Philopator marched out from Alexandria in person, with 70,000 foot soldiers, 5,000 mounted calvary and 73 elephants. Antiochus advanced to give him battle, and the two armies met at Raphia, on the eastern edge of the desert. After a vain attempt on the part of Theodotus to assassinate Philopator in his camp an engagement took place, and Antiochus the great was completely defeated. He then made peace, relinquishing all his conquests but Seleuceia. In sumary, the king of Egypt is Ptolemy, and the king of Syria is Antiochus. The Egyptian king, who doesn’t want to fight is forced to defend his territory, however he comes on the scene of battle like a stirred up hornets nest. He wins the battle at Raphia and recovers what had been taken from him two years before.

12 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.

His success goes to his head, his heart is lifted up, this victor is elated. He wins big time but he will not follow up on his successes. This arrogant ruler will let victory go to his head. This verse becomes clear when we read the following history.

Antiochus III lost upwards of ten thousand foot and three hundred horses and four thousand of his men were taken prisoners. Philopator, having marched, after his victory, to Jerusalem was so audacious as to attempt to enter the sanctuary, (“his heart shall be lifted up”); and being returned to his kingdom, he behaved with the utmost pride toward the Jews, and treated them very cruelly. He might have dispossessed Antiochus of his dominions had he taken proper advantage of his glorious victory; but he contented himself with recovering Coele-Syria and Phoenicia, and again plunged into his former excesses. [64]

Ptolemy (Philopator) having thus regained these provinces, made a progress through them; and, among other cities which he visited in his perambulation, Jerusalem was one that had this favor from him. He took a view of the temple, and there offered up many sacrifices to the God of Israel, and made many oblations to the temple, and gave several valuable donatives to it. But, not being content to view it only from the outer court, beyond which it was not lawful for any gentile to pass, he would have pressed into the sanctuary itself, and into the holy of holies in the temple, where none but the high priest only, once a year, on the great day of expiation, was to enter. This made a great uproar all over the city. The high-priest informed him of the sacredness of the place, and the law of God which forbade his entrance thither. And the priests and Levites gathered together to hinder it, and all the people to deprecate it; and great lamentation was made everywhere among them on the apprehension of the great profanation which would hereby be offered to their holy temple, and all hands were lifted up unto God in prayer to avert it. But the king, the more he was opposed, growing the more intent to have his will in this matter, pressed into the inner court; but, as he was passing farther to go into the temple itself, he was smitten from God with such a terror and confusion of mind, that he was carried out of the place in a manner half dead, On this he departed from Jerusalem, filled with great wrath against the whole nation of the Jews, for that which happened to him in that place, and venting many threatenings against them for it.” [65]

13 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.

As we delve further into the king of the north (Antiochus the great) and of Ptolemy Philopator king of the south we will see that the Syrian king built up his forces and will once again seek to capture territories belonging to Egypt. Here is the history on this important verse.

Antiochus, after he had ended the war beyond the Euphrates, raised a great army in those provinces. Finding, fourteen years after the conclusion of the first war, that Ptolemy Epiphanes, who was then but five or six years of age, had succeeded Philopator his father, he united with Philip of Macedon, in order to deprive the infant king of his throne. Having defeated Scopas (a general conducting the war on behalf of the infant king) at Panium, near the source of the river Jordan, he subjected the whole country which Philopator had conquered, by the victory he gained at Raphia. [66]

He (Antiochus III) then turned towards the eastern frontiers of the realm, against Parthia and Bactria; penetrated into Northern India and organized a formidable army, including a hundred and fifty Indian elephants. In 204 Philopator died; and the Egyptian crown devolved on his son, Ptolemy V, (Epiphanes) a boy of five years. This circumstance Antiochus meant to utilize. He conquered Coele-Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine, and gained a decisive victory in 198 at Paneas in Colele-Syria. Peace was then concluded. [67].

Antiochus, king of Syria, and Philip, king of Macedon, thinking to serve themselves of the advantage they had by the death of Philopator, and the succession of an infant king after him, entered into a league to divide his dominion between them, agreeing that Philip should have Caria, Libya, Cyrene, and Egypt, and Antiochus all the rest. And accordingly Antiochus forthwith marched into Coele-Syria and Palestine, and partly this year, and partly in the next, made himself master of these provinces, and all the several districts and cities in them. [68]

Return of Antiochus from the East, B.C. 205 and resumption of his Egyptian projects. A treaty is made with Philip of Macedon for the partition of the kingdom of Ptolemies between the two powers. War in Coele-Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine with varied success, terminated by a great victory over Scopas near Panias, B. C. 198. Marriage of Cleopatra, daughter of Antiochus, with Ptolemy V. Coele-Syria and Palestine promised as a dowery, but not delivered. [69]

14 And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.

The prophet declares that many will stand up against the king of the south, and history records the events which transpired against the southern kingdom. Here is another quote to reinforce the above comment.

Antiochus, king of Syria, and Philip, king of Macedon, thinking to serve themselves of the advantage they had by the death of Philopator, and the succession of an infant king after him, entered into a league to divide his dominions between them,” [70]

Lets look at history and see if the “robbers of thy people” shall fall.

At that time (reign of Ptolemy Epiphanes) Antiochus having passed into Lesser Asia, and there engaged himself in a war with Attalus, king of Pergamus, the minister of Alexandria took advantage hereof to send Scopas with an army into Palestine and Coele-Syria, for the recovery of those provinces; where he managed the war with such success that he took several cities, and reduced all Judea by force, and put a garrison into the castle at Jerusalem; and, on the approach of winter, returned to Alexandria with full honor for the victories he had obtained, and with asgreat riches, which he had gathered from the plunder of the country…The Jews were at this time very much alienated in their affections from the Egyptian king; whether it were by reason of the former ill treatment of their nation by his father, or for some fresher ill treatment they had received, is not said. It is most likely it was because of the ravages and robberies of Scopas, in his taking Jerusalem the former year; for he was a very covetous and rapacious man, laying his hands everywhere on all that he could get; and therefore, on Antiochus’ marching that way, they willingly rendered all places unto him, and on his coming to Jerusalem, the priests and elders went out in a solemn procession to meet him, and received him with gladness, and entertained him and all his army in their city, provided for his horses and elephants, and assisted him with their arms for the reducing of the castle where Scopas had left a garrison. [71]

Now it happened that the reign of Antiochus the Great, who ruled over all Asia that the Jews, as well as the inhabitants of Coele-Syria, suffered greatly, and their land was sorely harassed; for while he was at war with Ptolemy Philopater, and with his son, who was called Epiphanes, it fell out that these nations were equally sufferers, both when he was beaten, and when he beat the others: so that they were very like to a ship in a storm, which is tossed by the waves on both sides; and just thus were they in their situation in the middle between Antiochus’s prosperity and its change to adversity. But at length, when Antiochus had beaten Ptolemy, he seized upon Judea; and when Philopater was dead, his son sent out a great army under Scopas, the general of his forces, against the inhabitants of Coele-Syria, who took many of their cities, and in particular our nation; which when he fell upon them, went over to him. Yet was it not long afterward when Antiochus overcame Scopas, in a battle fought at the fountains of Jordan, and destroyed a great part of his army. But afterward, when Antiochus subdued those cities of Coele-Syria which Scopas had gotten into his possession, and Samaria with them, the Jews, of their own accord, went over to him, and received him into the city [Jerusalem], and gave plentiful provision to all his army, and to his elephants, and readily assisted him when he besieged the garrison which was in the citadel of Jerusalem. Wherefore Antiochus thought it but just to requite the Jews’ diligence and zeal in his service. So he wrote to the generals of his armies, and to his friends, and gave testimony to the good behavior of the Jews towards him, and informed them what rewards he had resolved to bestow on them for that their behavior. [72]

15 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.

16 But he that cometh 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.

For, on his subduing Palestine, he (Antiochus Epiphanes) entered into Judea, “the glorious land;” which was a part of Palestine, and there established his authority, and made it there firmly “to stand,” after he had expelled out of the castle of Jerusalem the garrison which Scopas had left there. [73]

17 He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.

By grouping these three verses ( 15,16,17.) together you will get the entire story from history and my comment. First lets look at the historical account as recorded in Rollin’s Ancient History.

Antiochus, besieged and took, first Sidon, then Gaza, and afterwards all the cities of those provinces, notwithstanding the opposition made by the chosen troops which the king of Egypt had sent against him. ‘He did according to his own will,’ in Coele-Syria and Palestine, and nothing was able to make the least resistance against him. Pursuing his conquests in Palestine, he entered Judea, ‘the glorious,’ or, according to the Hebrew, ‘that desirable land.’ He there established his authority and strengthened it, by repulsing from the castle of Jerusalem, the garrison which Scopas had thrown into it. This garrison being so well defended that Antiochus was obliged to send for all the troops in order to force it, and the siege continuing a long time, the country was ruined and consumed by the stay the army was obliged to make in it…Antiochus, seeing that the Romans undertook the defense of young Ptolemy Epiphanes, thought it would best suit his interest to lull the king asleep, by giving him his daughter in marriage, in order to ‘corrupt her,’ and excite her to betray her husband; but he was not successful in his design; for as soon as she was married to Ptolemy, she renounced her father’s interests, and embraced those of her husband. It was on this account that we see her join with him in the embassy which was sent from Egypt to Rome, to congratulate the Romans on the victory which Acilius had gained over her father at Thermopylae.[74]

Remember that Daniel was to be shown “the truth of all this.” So Antiochus (King of the North) was to come against Ptolemy Epiphanes (King of the South) and in order to make his gains sure he gives in marriage to the king of Egypt (Ptolemy), his daughter, whose name is Cleopatra. His scheme was to corrupt her and that she would act as a spy for her fathers interests. However, she was true to her husband: As the word of God says she would “not stand on his (her father’s) side, neither be for him. Wow! If the Prophet Daniel was not guided by divine inspiration then how did he know this hundreds of years in advance.

18 After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him.

Antiochus, having put an end to the war of Coele-Syria and Palestine, sent his two sons, at the end of the land army, to Sardis, while he embarked on board the fleet, and sailed to the Aegean Sea, where he took several islands and extended his empire exceedingly on that side. However, the prince of the people, whom he had insulted by making this invasion, that is Scipio, the Roman Consul, caused the reproach to turn upon him, by defeating him at Mount Sipilus, and repulsing him from every part of Asia Minor. [75].

He (Antiochus III) then invaded Asia Minor, and in 195 he crossed the Hellespont, and advanced into Europe. Here he encountered the Romans; but in 190 he was totally defeated at Magnesia by Scipio Asiaticus, and he obtained peace from Rome only on very severe conditions [76]

As we look at the history of Antiochus and his wars it is apparent that he fulfills the record that the prophet Daniel left us in this verse. Antiochus in his conquests of Islands comes into contact with the Romans and they overpower him and cause him to evacuate the cities of Asia Minor. In the great battles that ensued, Antiochus’ loses to the Roman general Scipios and he had to pay dearly for peace. He purchases peace by returning all of Asia Minor except Celicia, and by consenting to pay a contribution of 12,000 talents.

19 Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.

The defeat of Magnesia is followed by the revolt of Armenia, B.C. 189, which henceforth becomes independent. It leads also to the death of Antiochus, who, in order to pay the war contribution imposed upon him by the Romans, is driven to the plunder of the Oriental temples. Hence a tumult in Elymais, wherein the king is killed, B.C. 187. [77]

Antiochus, after his defeat, returned to Antioch, the capital of his kingdom, and the strongest fortress in it. He went soon after into the provinces of the east, in order to levy money to pay the Romans; but having plundered the temple of Elymais, he there lost his life in a miserable manner. [78]

To sum it up: Antiochus, who was defeated by the Roman General Scipio, agreed to pay 12,000 talents and gave up claim to all of Asia Minor except Celicia. He then decides to sack the temples in order to pay the war debt. However, in doing so there is a tumult and he is killed in the riot. The prophet Daniel’s prophecy is fulfilled in every detail. Is the Word of God amazing!

20 Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.

After the death of Antiochus III a new politician will stand up and he advocated raising taxes. Watch who is it and what happens to him. See if Daniel gets it right.

He was obliged to furnish the Romans, by the articles of the peace concluded between them, a thousand talents annually; and the twelve years of this tribute exactly end with his life. He reigned but eleven years.” [79]

After the death of Antiochus the Great, Seleucus Philopator, his eldest son, whom he left at Antioch on his departure then into the east, succeeded him in the kingdom, but made a very poor figure of it, by reason of the low estate which the Romans had reduced the Syrian Empire to, and the heavy tribute of one thousand talents a year, which, through the whole time of his reign was obliged to pay them; by the treaty of peace lately granted by them to his father. [80]

The whole of this kings reign is expressed by Daniel 11:20. For in that text it is foretold, that after Antiochus the Great, who is spoken of in the foregoing verses, “there should stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes.” And Seleucus was no more than such all the time, for the whole business of his reign was to raise the thousand talents every year, which, by the treaty of peace that his father had made with the Romans, he was obliged for twelve years together, annually to pay that people; and the last of these years was the last of his life. For, as the text saith, “within a few years after he should be destroyed, and that neither in anger, nor in battle’; so accordingly it happened. For he reigned only eleven years, and his death was neither in battle nor in anger; that is, neither in war abroad, nor in sedition or rebellion at home, but by the secret treachery of one of his own friends. His successor was Antiochus Epiphanes his brother. [81]

21 And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.

Seleucus had a brother whose name was Antiochus Epiphanes. He was, as Daniel tells us, “and in his estate”, that is he was from the same family roots. The world has never seen a more vile person than Antiochus Epiphanes. A full description of this person will be given in the following comments and quotes from history books.

The conduct of Antiochus shall show how vile he was. It is said, “that to him they shall not give the honours of the kingdom” He did not obtain the crown, either by right of birth, as his brother Seleucus had left behind him a son who was his lawful heir, or by the free choice of the people; Eumenes and Attalus having set it on his head. Being returned from the west “peaceably, or rather secretly,” to surprise his rival, he won the hearts of the people by his artifices, and a specious appearance of clemency. [82]

This prince, who is known in history as Antiochus IV., or (more commonly) as Antiochus Epiphanes, was a man of courage and energy. He engaged in important wars with Armenia and Egypt; and would beyond a doubt have conquered the latter country, had it not been for the interposition of the Romans. Still, the energy of Epiphanes was of little benefit to his country. He gained no permanent advantage from his Egyptian campaigns, since the Romans deprived him even of Cyprus…The Jews, favored by former kings of Syria, were driven to desperation by the mad project of this self-willed monarch, who, not content with plundering the Temple to satisfy his necessities, profaned it by setting up in the Holy of Holies the image of Jupiter Olymphius. His luxury and extravagance also tended to ruin his empire, and made him seek to enrich himself with plunder of other temples besides that at Jerusalem. [83]

22 And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.

Arms of a flood simply means a flood of arms or military forces that this vile person will bring against the Egyptian king. The prince of the covenant certainly refers to Heliodorus who had seized the throne upon the murder of Seleucus. Again lets look at the history of this period.

Heliodorus, the murderer of Seleucus, and his adherents, as also those of the Egyptian king, who had formed designs against Syria, were defeated by the forces of Attalus and Eumenes, dispersed by the arrival of Epiphanes, whose presence disconcerted all their projects. By the ‘prince of the covenant,’ we may suppose to be meant, either Heliodorus, the chief of the conspirators, who had killed Seleucus; or rather Ptolemy Epiphanes king of Egypt, who lost his life by a conspiracy of his own subjects, when he was mediating a war against Syria. Thus Providence removed this powerful adversary, to make way for Antiochus Epiphanes, and raised him to the throne. [84]

23 And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.

Ptolemy Philometor, is the new king of Egypt and Epiphanes will come against this new king and pretend friendship, he will have a smaller army but will use deceit to get the upper hand. The following quote will give us some of the details.

Antiochus Epiphanes, though he was already determined on the war, ‘yet shall he assume a specious (deceptive) appearance of friendship for the king of Egypt.’ He even sent Apollonius to Memphis, to be present at the banquet given on occasion of that prince’s coronation, as a proof that it was agreeable to him. But soon after, on pretence of defending his nephew, he marched into Egypt, with a small army, in comparison of those which he levied afterwards. The battle was fought near Pelusium. Antiochus was strongest, that is, victorious, and afterwards returned to Tyre. Such was the end of his first expedition. [85]

24 He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.

25 And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.

26 Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.

After grouping these three verses together I will give you my comments and some quotes from the historians. It is prophesied that Epiphanes will come without warning and stealthily invade the best spots of the province that he will plunder and spoil and distribute amongst the people, that he would devise plans against fortresses, that he would use cleverness against the King of the south, that there would be a great battle. That the king of the South would raise a great army but would not prevail. Now lets look at the record: In these three verses (Daniel 11:24-26) appear the principal characters of the second expedition of Antiochus into Egypt. His mighty armies, his rapid conquests, the rich spoils he carried from thence, and the dissimulation (hypocrisy) and treachery he began to practice with regard to Ptolemy.

Antiochus, after employing the whole winter in making preparations for a second expedition into Egypt, invaded it both by sea and land, as soon as the season would permit. Wherefore, he entered into Egypt with a great multitude, with chariots, and elephants, and horsemen, and a great navy. And made war against Ptolemy king of Egypt; but Ptolemy was afraid of him, and fled; and many were wounded to death. Thus they got the strong cities in the land of Egypt, and he took the spoils thereof. [86]

Diodorus related, that Antiochus, after this victory, conquered all Egypt, or at least the greatest part of it; for all the cities, Alexandria excepted, opened their gates to the conqueror. He subdued Egypt with an astonishing rapidity, and did that ‘which his forefathers had not done, nor his father’s fathers.’ Ptolemy either surrendered himself, or fell into the hands of Antiochus, who at first treated him with kindness; had but one table with him; seemed to be greatly concerned for his welfare, and left him the peaceable possession of his kingdom, reserving to himself Pelusium, which was the key to it. For Antiochus assumed this appearance of friendship, with no other view than to have the better opportunity of ruining him. ‘They that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy.’ Antiochus did not made a long stay in Egypt at that time, the revolt of the Jews obliging him to march against them. In the mean time the inhabitants of Alexandria, offended at Philometor for having concluded an alliance with Antiochus, raised Euergetes, his youngest brother, to the throne in his stead. Antiochus, who had advice of what had passed in Alexandria, took the opportunity to return into Egypt, upon pretext of restoring the dethroned monarch, but in reality to make himself absolute master of the kingdom. [87]

Antiochus, having been making preparations during all the winter for a second expedition into Egypt, as soon as the season of the year would permit, again invaded that country both by sea and land…while Antiochus carried on his vast invasion, Philometor came into his hands; whether he were taken prisoner by him, or else voluntarily came in unto him, is not said; the latter seems most likely. For Antiochus took not from him his library, but they did eat at the same table, and conversed together as friends: and for some time Antiochus pretended to take care of the interest of this young king his nephew, and to manage the affairs of the kingdom as tutor and guardian to him. But when he had, under this pretence, make himself master of the country, he seized all to himself; and, having miserably pillaged all parts where he came, vastly enriched himself and his army with the spoils of them. [88]

27 And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.

What a story! Two kings (Philometor and Epiphanes) seated at the same table, each with a heart bent on evil, exchanging lies. However, the plans they are laying will not be achieved for the appointed time is yet to come. What lays ahead for each kingdom will be unfolding as we quote the history of this period. Picture, if you will, these two kings sitting across from each other, laughing and pretending friendship, while Epiphanes was plotting the ruin of Philometor and Philometor suspecting the treachery of Epiphanes but pretended not to see anything wrong. All of the above is confirmed and corroborated in the history books.

The third expedition of Antiochus could scarcely be pointed out more clearly (in Daniel 11:27,28). That prince, hearing that the Alexandrians had raised Euergetes to the throne, returned to Egypt upon the specious pretence of restoring Philometor. After having overcome the Alexandrians in a sea fight at Pelusium, he laid siege to Alexandria. But, finding the inhabitants made a strong opposition, he was contented with making himself master of Egypt again, in the name of his nephew, in whose defense he pretended to have drawn the sword. They were then at Memphis, ate at the same table, and behaved towards one another with all the outward marks of a sincere friendship. The uncle seemed to have the nephew’s interest at heart, and the nephew to repose the highest confidence in his uncle; but all this was mere show, both dissembling (acting hypocritically) their real sentiments. The uncle endeavored to crush his nephew, and the nephew, who saw through his design, strove immediately to be reconciled to his brother. Thus neither succeeded in deceiving the other; nothing was yet determined, and Antiochus returned into Syria. [89]

28 Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.

Antiochus returns to Syria with riches that he had gained in his exploits but he hated the Jews and his heart was set upon doing all the damage possible to Jerusalem. He hated the word of God and will try and destroy its manuscripts and adherents.

29 At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.

Antiochus now determines to conquer Egypt. This will be his fourth expedition into Egypt. However, he will run into trouble as the ships of Chittim will arrive in defense of Egypt.

Fourth expedition of Antichus into Egypt—Advice being brought to Antiochus, that the two brothers were reconciled, (Euergetes and Philometor) he threw off the mask, and declared publicly that he intended to conquer Egypt for himself. And, to support his pretensions, ‘he returned toward the south,’ that is, into Egypt, but was not so successful in this expedition as before, As he was advancing to besiege Alexandria, Popilius and the other Roman ambassadors, who were on board a fleet composed of Macedonian or Greek ships, for this the Hebrew word Chittim signifies, which they found at Delos, obliged him to lay down his arms, and leave Egypt. He obeyed, but ‘with the utmost reluctance, and made the city and temple of Jerusalem feel the dire effects of his indignation. [90]

30 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 forsake the holy covenant.

Epiphanes is not only a liar but he is vicious and in his indignation will attack Jerusalem. This prophecy affirms that he will conspire with them that forsake the holy covenant. I will produce the evidence from history to confirm the truth of Daniel’s prophecy.

Advice being brought to Antiochus, that the two brothers were reconciled, he threw off the mask, and declared publicly that he intended to conquer Egypt for himself. And, to support his pretensions, “he returned toward the South,” that is, into Egypt, but was not so successful in this expedition as before. As he was advancing to besiege Alexandria, Popilius and the other Roman ambassadors, who were on board a fleet composed of Macedonian or Greek ships, for this the Hebrew word Chittim signifies, which they found at Delos, obliged him to lay down his arms, and leave Egypt. [91]

At the same time that Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, had a quarrel with the sixth Ptolemy about his right to the whole country of Syria, a great sedition fell among the men of power in Judea, and they had a contention about obtaining the government; while each of those that were of dignity could not endure to be subject to their equals. However, Onias, one of the high priests, got the better, and cast the sons of Tobias out of the city; who fled to Antiochus, and besought him to make use of them for his leaders, and to make an expedition into Judea. The king being thereto disposed beforehand, complied with them, and came upon the Jews with a great army, and took their city by force, and slew a great multitude of those that favored Ptolemy, and sent out his soldiers to plunder them without mercy. He also spoiled the temple, and put a stop to the constant practice of offering a daily sacrifice of expiation for three years and six months. But Onias, the high priest, fled to Ptolemy, and received a place from him in the Nomus of Heliopolis, where he built a city resembling Jerusalem, and a temple that was like its templeconcerning which we shall speak more in its proper place hereafter. Now Antiochus was not satisfied either with his unexpected taking the city, or with its pillage, or with the great slaughter he had made there; but being overcome with his violent passions, and remembering what he had suffered during the siege, he compelled the Jews to dissolve the laws of their country, and to keep their infants uncircumcised, and to sacrifice swine’s flesh upon the altar; against which they all opposed themselves, and the most approved among them were put to death. Bacchides also, who was sent to keep the fortresses, having these wicked commands, joined to his own natural barbarity, indulged all sorts of the extremest wickedness, and tormented the worthiest of the inhabitants, man by man, and threatened their city every day with open destruction, till at length he provoked the poor sufferers by the extremity of his wicked doings to avenge themselves. [92]

The king (Antiochus) came up to Jerusalem, and, pretending peace, he got possession of the city by treachery: at which time he spared not so much as those that admitted him into it, on account of the riches that lay in the temple; but, led by his covetous inclination (for he saw there was in it a great deal of gold, and many ornaments that had been dedicated to it of very great value), and in order to plunder its wealth, he ventured to break the league he had made. So he left the temple bare, and took away the golden candlesticks, and the golden altar (of incense), and table (of shewbread), and the altar (of burnt offering); and did not abstain from even the veils, which were made of fine linen and scarlet. He also emptied it of its secret treasures, and left nothing at all remaining; and by this means cast the Jews into great lamentation, for he forbade them to offer those daily sacrifices which they used to offer to God, according to the law. And when he had pillaged the whole city, some of the inhabitants he slew, and some he carried captive, together with their wives and children, so that the multitude of those captives that were taken alive amounted to about ten thousand. He also burnt down the finest building; and when he had overthrown the city walls, he built a citadel in the lower part of the city, for the place was high, and overlooked the temple, on which account he fortified it with high walls and towers and put into it a garrison of Macedonians. However, in that citadel dwelt the impious and wicked part of the (Jewish) multitude, from whom it proved that the citizens suffered many and sore calamities. And when the king had built an idol altar upon God’s Altar, he slew swine upon it, and so offered a sacrifice neither according to the law, nor the Jewish religious worship in that country. He also compelled them to forsake the worship which they paid their God, and to adore those whom he took to be gods; and made them build temples, and offer swine upon them every day. He also commanded them not to circumcise their sons, and threatened to punish any that should be found to have transgressed his injunction. He also appointed overseers, who should compel them to do what he commanded. And indeed many Jews there were who complied with the king’s commands, either voluntarily, or out of fear of the penalty that was denounced; but the best men, and those of the noblest souls, did not regard him, but did pay a greater respect to the customs of their country than concern as to the punishment which he threatened to the disobedient; on which account they every day underwent great miseries and bitter torments; for they were whipped with rods and their bodies were torn to pieces, and were crucified while they were still alive and breathed; they also strangled those women and their sons whom they had circumcised, as the king had appointed, hanging their sons about their necks as they were upon the crosses. And if there were any sacred book of the law found, it was destroyed; and those with whom they were found miserably perished also. [93]

31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

Antiochus sent his armed forces to desecrated the Temple and profaned the sanctuary, he took away the daily sacrifice and set up Idols and sacrificed hogs on the altar.

Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Juda.[94]

For it was a place to lie in wait against the sanctuary, and an evil adversary to Israel. Thus they shed innocent blood on every side of the sanctuary, and defiled it: Insomuch that the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled because of them: whereupon the city was made an habitation of strangers, and became strange to those that were born in her; and her own children left her. Her sanctuary was laid waste like a wilderness, her feasts were turned into mourning, her sabbaths into reproach her honour into contempt. As had been her glory, so was her dishonour increased, and her excellency was turned into mourning[95]

Also that they had pulled down the abomination, which he had set up upon the altar in Jerusalem, and that they had compassed about the sanctuary with high walls, as before, and his city Bethsura. [96]

32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

There were a number of wicked Jews who did not keep the covenant and they had actually sent for Antiochus and he corrupted them by his flatteries. There were a large number of people who keep the covenant with God and had backbone enough to do what was right.

And there came out of them a wicked root Antiochus surnamed Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king, who had been an hostage at Rome, and he reigned in the hundred and thirty and seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks. In those days went there out of Israel wicked men, who persuaded many, saying, Let us go and make a covenant with the heathen that are round about us: for since we departed from them we have had much sorrow. So this device pleased them well. Then certain of the people were so forward herein, that they went to the king, who gave them licence to do after the ordinances of the heathen: Whereupon they built a place of exercise at Jerusalem according to the customs of the heathen: And made themselves uncircumcised, and forsook the holy covenant, and joined themselves to the heathen, and were sold to do mischief. Now when the kingdom was established before Antiochus, he thought to reign over Egypt that he might have the dominion of two realms. Wherefore he entered into Egypt with a great multitude, with chariots, and elephants, and horsemen, and a great navy, And made war against Ptolemee king of Egypt: but Ptolemee was afraid of him, and fled; and many were wounded to death. Thus they got the strong cities in the land of Egypt and he took the spoils thereof. Moreover king Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people, And every one should leave his laws: so all the heathen agreed according to the commandment of the king. Yea, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols, and profaned the sabbath. For the king had sent letters by messengers unto Jerusalem and the cities of Juda that they should follow the strange laws of the land, And forbid burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and drink offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the sabbaths and festival days: And pollute the sanctuary and holy people: Set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine’s flesh, and unclean beasts:[97]

Then many of the people were gathered unto them, to wit every one that forsook the law; and so they committed evils in the land; [98]

33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.

In this world we will suffer tribulation, persecution and martyrdom. Every Apostle was martyred except John and he was exiled with a life sentence on Patmos. Daniel tells us that those with spiritual understanding will have a wide ministry of teaching to the masses but they will be subjected to sword and flame, prison and plunder and exile.

At which time according to the commandment they (Antiochus Epiphanes etal) put to death certain women, that had caused their children to be circumcised. And they hanged the infants about their necks, and rifled their houses, and slew them that had circumcised them. Howbeit many in Israel were fully resolved and confirmed in themselves not to eat any unclean thing. Wherefore the rather to die, that they might not be defiled with meats, and that they might not profane the holy covenant: so then they died. And there was very great wrath upon Israel [99]

It came to pass also, that seven brethren with their mother were taken, and compelled by the king against the law to taste swine’s flesh, and were tormented with scourges and whips. But one of them that spake first said thus, What wouldest thou ask or learn of us? we are ready to die, rather than to transgress the laws of our fathers. Then the king, being in a rage, commanded pans and caldrons to be made hot: Which forthwith being heated, he commanded to cut out the tongue of him that spake first, and to cut off the utmost parts of his body, the rest of his brethren and his mother looking on. Now when he was thus maimed in all his members, he commanded him being yet alive to be brought to the fire, and to be fried in the pan: and as the vapour of the pan was for a good space dispersed, they exhorted one another with the mother to die manfully, saying thus, The Lord God looketh upon us, and in truth hath comfort in us, as Moses in his song, which witnessed to their faces, declared, saying, And he shall be comforted in his servants. So when the first was dead after this number, they brought the second to make him a mocking stock: and when they had pulled off the skin of his head with the hair, they asked him, Wilt thou eat, before thou be punished throughout every member of thy body? But he answered in his own language, and said, No. Wherefore he also received the next torment in order, as the former did. And when he was at the last gasp, he said, Thou like a fury takest us out of this present life, but the King of the world shall raise us up, who have died for his laws, unto everlasting life. [100]

He sent also that detestable ringleader Apollonius with an army of two and twenty thousand, commanding him to slay all those that were of perfect age, and to sell the women and the younger sort. [101]

34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.

The followers of Judas Machabees fought but were finally overcome even though they received a little help. Many of the Jewish population without conviction attached themselves to Antiochus.

35 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.

In God’s providence he allows some of his people to fall, to be tried, sifted as wheat, all the while a purging process is going on, and they are made whiter than snow. God will allow all this to go on till the final end of all that he has appointed to be fulfilled takes place. Have you wondered why God would allow James to be killed by Herod and Peter to be locked up in prison by the same King?

36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.

By now you are probably asking yourself why God is allowing Antiochus to do as he pleases, exalt himself, magnify himself above every god and utter incredible blasphemies against the Eternal God of Heaven. Why would God allow this arrogant, blasphemer, homosexual, pedophiliac villain to continue on such a killing spree? Will God finally bring him to an end ?

And the man, that thought a little afore he could reach to the stars of heaven, no man could endure to carry for his intolerable stink. [102]

37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.

The prophet continues to tell us of the character to this man. This homosexual pedophiliac has no regard for the religion of his ancestors. He is anti-religious, ungodly, irreverent and wicked, he is anti-god, a graceless, unhallowed, freethinking, an unholy materialistic heathen. When God gets finished with him he will send him to Hell.

Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: Isa. 14:9

38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

Instead of honoring the true and only God he honors only the God of forces and in addition to that he concocts a god that neither his fathers knew. Here is the historical account of such a worship:

To the end they might forget the law, and change all the ordinances. And whosoever would not do according to the commandment of the king, he said, he should die. In the selfsame manner wrote he to his whole kingdom, and appointed overseers over all the people, commanding the cities of Juda to sacrifice, city by city. Then many of the people were gathered unto them, to wit every one that forsook the law; and so they committed evils in the land; And drove the Israelites into secret places, even wheresoever they could flee for succour. Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Juda on every side; [103]

39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.

It is clear from the text and history that he worshipped a god, but it was not the god of his fathers but a strange god whom he had invented. He conferred honors on those who submitted to him and even divided land for gain.

40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.

The end is drawing near for this evil ruler, Egypt and its armies, Rome and her chariots and horsemen, and ships are gathering to do battle against him, it is like a whirlwind and a storm with a destroying flood.

41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.

On his way down he still wants to vent his venom on the Jews. He will cause havoc everywhere, however Edom and Moab and the children of Ammon will escape his grip.

42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.

About that time came Antiochus with dishonour out of the country of Persia for he had entered the city called Persepolis, and went about to rob the temple, and to hold the city; whereupon the multitude running to defend themselves with their weapons put them to flight; and so it happened, that Antiochus being put to flight of the inhabitants returned with shame. Now when he came to Ecbatane, news was brought him what had happened unto Nicanor and Timotheus. Then swelling with anger. he thought to avenge upon the Jews the disgrace done unto him by those that made him flee. Therefore commanded he his chariotman to drive without ceasing, and to dispatch the journey, the judgment of GOD now following him. For he had spoken proudly in this sort, That he would come to Jerusalem and make it a common burying place of the Jews. But the Lord Almighty, the God of Isreal, smote him with an incurable and invisible plague: or as soon as he had spoken these words, a pain of the bowels that was remediless came upon him, and sore torments of the inner parts; and that most justly: for he had tormented other men’s bowels with many and strange torments. Howbeit he nothing at all ceased from his bragging, but still was filled with pride, breathing out fire in his rage against the Jews, and commanding to haste the journey: but it came to pass that he fell down from his chariot, carried violently; so that having a sore fall, all the members of his body were much pained. And thus he that a little afore thought he might command the waves of the sea, (so proud was he beyond the condition of man) and weigh the high mountains in a balance, was now cast on the ground, and carried in an horselitter, shewing forth unto all the manifest power of God. So that the worms rose up out of the body of this wicked man, and whiles he lived in sorrow and pain, his flesh fell away, and the filthiness of his smell was noisome to all his army. And the man, that thought a little afore he could reach to the stars of heaven, no man could endure to carry for his intolerable stink. He therefore, being plagued, he began to leave off his great pride, and to come to the knowledge of himself by the scourge of God, his pain increasing every moment. And when he himself could not abide his own smell, he said these words, It is meet to be subject unto God, and that a man that is mortal should not proudly think of himself if he were God. [104]

43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.

Epiphanes has stole, robbed and pillaged the treasures of Egypt. Libya and Ethiopia were at his door steps. That is, they were next on his list of places to conquer.

44 But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.

Bad news came and he decides to vent his anger and frustration on the Jews.

During the siege of Alexandria, a report had prevailed that Antiochus was dead, and the Jews had been accused of expressing great joy at it. He there- upon marched to their city, stormed it, and exercised all the barbarity that his fury could suggest, About forty thousand men were killed, and the same number sold as slaves, in three days. Antiochus went into the temple, polluted it, and carried off all the vessels, treasures, and rich ornaments.” [105]

“Before he (Antiochus Epiphanes) set out for the provinces on the other side of the Euphrates, he gave Lysias, whom he appointed regent of the kingdom in his absence, half his army; commanding him to extirpate all the Jews, and to settle other nations in their country. [106]

45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

The prophet therefore declares that Antiochus shall pitch his camp near mount Zabi, doubtless the same with Taba where, according to Polybius, he died, and there he shall come to his end,” being abandoned by God, and having none” to help him.” We have seen how he expired, in the most cruel agonies, and struck with an unavailing repentance, which only increased his torments. [107]

Thus the murderer and blasphemer having suffered most grievously, as he entreated other men, so died he a miserable death in a strange country in the mountains. [108]

So that the worms rose up out of the body of this wicked man, and whiles he lived in sorrow and pain, his flesh fell away, and the filthiness of his smell was noisome to all his army.[109]

But the Lord Almighty, the God of Isreal, smote him with an incurable and invisible plague: or as soon as he had spoken these words, a pain of the bowels that was remediless came upon him, and sore torments of the inner parts; And that most justly: for he had tormented other men’s bowels with many and strange torments. Howbeit he nothing at all ceased from his bragging, but still was filled with pride, breathing out fire in his rage against the Jews, and commanding to haste the journey: but it came to pass, And thus he that a little afore thought he might command the waves of the sea, (so proud was he beyond the condition of man) and weigh the high mountains in a balance, was now cast on the ground, and carried in an horselitter, shewing forth unto all the manifest power of God. So that the worms rose up out of the body of this wicked man, and whiles he lived in sorrow and pain, his flesh fell away, and the filthiness of his smell was noisome to all his army. And the man, that thought a little afore he could reach to the stars of heaven, no man could endure to carry for his intolerable stink. He therefore, being plagued, he began to leave off his great pride, and to come to the knowledge of himself by the scourge of God, his pain increasing every moment. And when he himself could not abide his own smell, he said these words, It is meet to be subject unto God, and that a man that is mortal should not proudly think of himself as if he were God. This wicked person vowed also unto the Lord, who now no more would have mercy upon him, saying thus, That the holy city (to the which he was going in haste to lay it even with the ground, and to make it a common burying place,) he would set at liberty: And as touching the Jews, whom he had judged not worthy so much as to be buried, but to be cast out with their children to be devoured of the fowls and wild beasts, he would make them all equals to the citizens of Athens: And the holy temple, which before he had spoiled, he would garnish with goodly gifts, and restore all the holy vessels with many more, and out of his own revenue defray the charges belonging to the sacrifices: Yea, and that also he would become a Jew himself, and go through all the world that was inhabited, and declare the power of God. [110]