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ALSO I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
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.
3 And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
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;
[of Persia for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.
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.
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 agree ment: 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.
7 But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which
EXPOSITION-Chap. X. Continued.
Judea met with, in attempting to rebuild the house of their God, and the city of their fathers; and having understood, by divine revelation, that these troubles were to be of long continuance, he applies himself to prayer and fasting for three full weeks;" not fasting, absolutely, for being now upwards of 90 years of age, such an attempt would be a species of suicide; but he ate "no pleasaut bread;" indulged in none of the delicacies to which his age and rank entitled him, but spent the time in humiliation before God, and in earnest prayer for himself and his country. And here we have a glance into the world of spirits, from which the vail of flesh separates us, and into which, by faith only, can we obtain a view, until this vail is rent in twain, and buried in the earth. Ah! little do we know of the scenes passing" above, beneath, around us." While Daniel is on his knees on earth, there is war in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the devil and his angels, till the latter shall be cast down and confined in hell for ever. The first contention we read of between the two worlds of spirits since the fall regarded" the body of Moses :" (Jude 9.) but the nature of their dispute, we cannot dare even to conjecture. In going through the Old Testament, we have had several glimp
ses of this spiritual warfare. Job was long a sufferer by it. Satan has his prophets and angels, as well as the Almighty, and we find them often clashing and disputing in the history of the prophets. See 2 Kings xxii. 15-23; also here (in Daniel), and in Zech. i. iii. and vi.
To us it appears to be the doctrine of the Bible, and we shall therefore not shrink from it, that God employs evil men and demons, as well as saints and angels, in the government of the moral world; and that under the same control as he employs storms and hurricanes, as well as genial showers and sunshine, in the government of the world natural. It seems very unnatural (as Mr. Wintle suggests) to understand by the prince of Persia, either Cyrus, or Cambyses, as opposing the building of the temple, who had so freely given leave for its erection, nor are there facts to support such an idea. The most sober and judicious commentators, as Grotius, Newcome and Lowth, as well as Wintle and Boothroyd, incline therefore to understand by this "prince of Persia," a being of celestial rank, but of malignant intentions; for (as Dr. Watts remarks) he could not be a good angel, who would withstand either the angel Gabriel, or any of the holy angels.
CHAP. XI. Ver. 1. To confirm and to strengthen him-that is, Darins. See chap. ix. I.
Ver. 4. His kingdom shall be plucked-Wintle, "Torn up." This was remarkably fulfilled in the destruction of his family and the distribution of his empire among strangers.
Ver. 6. Shall join themselves together-Heb. "Associate themselves." See Exposition.To make an agreement-Heb. "To set things to rights."
Nor his arm--Wintle, " Nor the offspring." There is an intimate relation between the Hebrew words for arm and offspring, arising from the Patriarchal idea that a man's strength arises from his fanils. See Ps. cxxvii. 5. He that begat her-Mart. "Wit she brought forth;" Wintle," Her son." See Expo
Ver. 7. In his estate-Marg. "Place;" Wile, "There shall stand up a shoot from her roots, her brother,Fortress-Wintle, "Fortifications'
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 :
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. 9 So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.
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.
II 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.
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 strength-ned by it.
13 For the king of the north shall turn, and shall set forth a multitude eater than the former, and shall cernly come after certain years with a at army and with much riches.
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.
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.
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.
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.
19 Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found. (P)
flicts between the kings of the north and south. Ver. 1-19. The overthrow of Per-Among the kings yet to stana up, Cyrus the king of Greece; and various con- could not be included, because he was then
- Their precious vessels-Heb. " Vessels of Their gods,- See Isa. xlvi. 1, 2.
. One shall certainly come and overflow.— Dinted and remarkable; Seleucus Ceraunus 1 a multitude of forces, but for want of e sinews of war) could not proceed, but ed by two of his generals; but his brother did come and overflow, and pass through, en shall he return, &c.-Marg. “Then stirred up again," and proceed even "to " or fortified towns.
Many ten thousands. "Many is an supplement. Wintle reads, “Though prostrate (or cast down) ten thousands, prevail."
ter certain years-Heb. "At the end -ars;" i. e. at the appointed time. - Wintle, robbers, &c. — children) of thy people." e most fenced cities—Heb, “The cities
Ver. 16. He that cometh-that is, Antiochus.The glorious land-Wintle, "The land of glory."Margin, "Goodly land." See Deut. iii. 25 Shail be consumed-Wintle, more literally, "finished;" i. e. completely subdued "under his power." So Boothroyd.
Ver. 17. Upright ones with him-Wintle, "Proposals of alliance with him;" but the Heb. is "Uprightnesses," which we should render "fair proposals;" i. e. of alliance. See Expos.
Ver. 18. To the isles-Wintle, "Maritime towns,' viz, of Greece. But a prince-Boothroyd, “A commander shall cause the reproach offered to him to cease, and bring disgrace upon himself;" i. . he was completely defeated by the Romans, and fled back. to his own land; where, laying heavy exactions. upon it to pay the impositions of the Romans, he was slain by his own people at Elymais.
Ver. 19. Toward the fort Wintle, "The for-tresses; i. e. the fortified parts of his own land.
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.
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.
[between shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.
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.
24 He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers
22 And with the arms of a flood have not done, nor his fathers' fathers;
EXPOSITION-Chap. XI. Continued.
the reigning prince. Bp. Newton (who is followed by Mr. Wintle and most others) reckons them thus: Cambyses (or Ahasuerus) son of Cyrus; Smerdis, the Artaxerxes of Ezra, (ch. iv. 6, 7,) and Darius Hystaspes, who married the daughter of Cyrus. The second of these being a Magian usurper and impostor, reigned only eight months. Of the fourth it was said he should be far richer than the others, which was notoriously the case with Xerxes, whose immense riches fell into the hands of Alexander the Great, "the mighty king" here mentioned. It is admitted that there were several other kings of Persia, who are not here enumerated, as not being connected with the sacred history.
It was mentioned above, (ch. viii. 22,) that from Alexander's empire, four kingdoms should arise, but not in his own family, for they were all miserably slain (as we are informed) by one another. After this, four of Alexauder's chief commanders divided the empire among themselves, of whom the two chief form the subject of the predictions now before us; namely, the kings of Egypt and Syria, or the north and south, being so situated with respect of Judea, which lay between them. In a course of time, and after many coutentions, these two kings formed an alliance, and Ptolemy Philadelphus (as here predicted) brought his daughter Berenice to Antiochus Theus, who was the grandson of Seleucus Nicanor; and gave with her an immense dowry, on condition of Ptolemy putting away his former wife. He did so, but this "preserved not the power of the arm;" that is, she did not maintain her interest with him; for soon after he recalled his former wife Leodice, who caused him to be poisoned, lest he should again change
his mind, and placed her eldest son upon the throne. After this she procural the murder of her rival Berenice, het attendants, and her son. In a few years more, however, the brother of Berenice, Ptolemy Euergetes, succeeding to the throne of Egypt, invaded Syria, slew the infamous Leodice, took Seleucia, overran the country, carried off great spoil, and survived Seleucus his antagonist several years. The sons of Seleucus (king of the north) meditated a re-action, and raised a great army; but Ceraunus, the elder, was poisoned within two or three years, and did nothing. His brother, however, Antiochus the Great, invaded Egypt with all his force; but being defeated by Ptolemy Philopater in a most sanguinary battle, made peace and retreated.
The king of Egypt being a most abandoned character, now gave himself up every species of licentiousness, and wreaked his vengeance on all the Jews within his power, killing many thousands, until at length he died in consequence of his own debaucheries, and was succeeded by Ptolemy Epiphanes, then a child.
Antiochus, after recovering strength, and preparing a great military force, had also recourse to artifice. He returned to Egypt, gave to the young prince his daughter Cleopatra, with a royal dowry, and in the hope to induce her to betray her husband into his hands. But in this he was disappointed; and then turning his army toward Greece, was completely defeated by the Romans; and upon his returning home in disgrace, was slain by his own subjects.
Thus doth the Almighty strike together "the potsherds of the earth,' making them mutually the instruments of his just judgments upon each other.
NOTES-Chap. XI. Con.
Ver. 20. A raiser of taxes - Heb. "One that causeth an exactor to pass over," &c. This refers to the agents employed by Seleucus Philopater to collect the annual tribute; for they were like a blight, or a cloud of locusts, passing "over the glory of the kingdom."-Neither in auger nor in battlethat is, neither in duel nor in war.
Ver. 22. With the arms of a flood-Wintle, The arms of the overdowing land," (i. e. Egypt) ** shall be overflown," or conquered by him. Also the covenanted prince-i. e. Philometer, with whom the young Antiochus had formed a league.
Ver. 24. He shall scatter among them the preAntiochus was remarkable for the rewards and
The kings of the north]
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.
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.
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.
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.
30 For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall e grieved, and return, and have inignation against the holy covenant : shall he do; he shall even return, d have intelligence with them that sake the holy covenant.
[and of the south.
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.
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.
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.
34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
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.
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.
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,
s which be profusely scattered, whenever he ed to gain a point.- -He shall forecast his de-Heb. "Think his thoughts," i. e. form his 's. So next verse.
25. The king of the south is here Philometer, ppears to have been betrayed into the bands ochus by some of his servants, "those who is food." Boothroyd.
26. His army shall overflow. -Wintle and yd, "Be overwhelmed." So Valg. & Syr. 7. To do mischief — that is, to circumvent
9. Not as the former, &c.—that is, not sucany of his former expeditions.
The ships of Chittim—that is, of the Roe Note on Núm. xxiv. 24. This refers to n ambassadors, who came by sea to forhid from proceeding.- -Shall have (Boothaintain”) intelligence with them, &c.— ith the apostate Jews.
Arms-Boothroyd, "Armies." So Gese15, 22, and here. The sanctuary of -See Ps. xcvi. 6.
· Against the covenant-that is, God's holy ver. 30.
Ver. 34. Holpen with a little help.-In our Expos sition we have followed Bp. Newton, in referring this to the conversion of Constantine; but perhaps it refers only to the short intervals of rest between the different persecutions.
Ver. 35 And some of them-Wintle, " Of those that have understanding (the more learned and intelligent) shali (some) fall," &c. Yet for a time appointed-Mede, Wintle, Boothroyd, and others, join this to the next verse, as follows: "For still (or yet) for an appointed time, a (certain) king shall do," &c.
Ver. 33. And the king (i. e. a certain king) shall do according to his will.-From this expression he has indeed been denominated, by some commentators, "the wilful king," a title equally applicable to Antiochus, to the Romans, to the Antichrist, and many others.
37. The desire of women has been usually explained of the desire of men for them; but we think unjustly. Woman is the desire of man, (Ezek. xxiv. 16.) bút children are the desire of women, at least this was remarkably the case among the ancients, Gen. xxx. 1. This monster had no regard to the desire of women. Ver. 38. The God of forces-or fortresses, is the
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.
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.
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
41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape
ont of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
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.
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.
45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palaces between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. (Q)
EXPOSITION-Chap. XI. Continued.
(Q) Ver. 20-45. Prophecies relative to the Greeks and Romans.-This chapter contains a series of prophecies, in which are blended many minute and intricate circumstances, that were fulfilled with a degree of exactness, to which we scarcely recollect any parallel; and its comparison with ancient history, down to the middle ages, must greatly contribute to establish the faith of candid, but wavering minds. (Bp. Newton has done this at considerable length. (Diss. xvi. xvii.) Ours is an abstract.)
We have already (though in a very cursory way) brought down the comparison to the death of Antiochus the Great, as he has beeu commonly called, in comparison with his successors. We have mentioned his shameful defeat by the Romans, to whom he became tributary, and was obliged to send hostages for its payment. This not only rendered him hateful to his subjects,
and was probably the cause of his death; but also deeply involved his son and successor, Seleucus Philopater, who was little more than "a raiser of taxes" (as he is here called) all his days, in order to pay a thousand talents annually to the Romans. To accomplish this, he was tempted to commit sacrilege by plundering the temple at Jerusalem, and after a short and inglorious reign of about eleven years, was treacherously slain by one of his own servants.
His successor, Antiochus Epiphanes (or the illustrious), is here justly called "a vile person," for he obtained the kingdom, as it is here predicted, by flatteries and deceit. Among others, he flattered the Romans, by sending with his annual tribute some valuable presents; and they flattered him in return, with the foolish title above mentioned. Thus he contrived to gain the advantage of his competitors for the crown, and though certainly not the legitimate heir,
favourite idol of kings and heroes; but the Hebrew reads, Mauzzim, (or Mahuzzim), which is supposed to signify patron gods, or "protecting powers;" which some apply to the idolatry of Pagan, and others to Christian, Roine. Mr. Wintle renders the verse before us, "Yet near to God in his seat will be honour Mahuzzim, even near the God whom his fathers knew not, will he do honour," &c.
Ver. 39. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds, &c.-Wintle," And he shall provide for fortresses of Mahuzzim together with God, whom he will certainly acknowledge." These fortresses Mr. Wintle explains of the shrines, or ter ples of the Roman saints.
Ver. 40. At the time of the end the king of the
south, &c.-In the time of Antiochus, the south meant Egypt; but in the latter days, of which this passage speaks, the south is supposed to refer to the Saracens, and the north to the Turks. Compare Ezek. ch. xxxviii. xxxix.
Ver. 41. Glorious land-see ver. 16.→→→Childres of Ammon-inhabitants of Arabia Petræ.
Ver. 42. He-that is, the Turk.
Ver. 43. At his steps-that is, ready to follow his commands. Mede.
Ver. 45. Between the seas- that is, between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean. In the glerians holy mountain-Marg," Mount of delight of ho ness." Wintle.The tabernacles of his palacesthat is, the tents of his princes and generals.