Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
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.
These were, Cambyses, son of Cyrus; Smerdis the Magian imposter; and Darius Hystaspes.
Herodotus says the army of Xerxes consisted of 5,283,220 men, besides the Carthaginians, consisting of 300,000 men, and 200 ships.
And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
Alexander the Great, whose kingdom after his death, as we have seen, was divided into four parts.
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.
he shall stand
and shall be
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.
Ptolemy Lagus, king of Egypt, Cyrene, etc.
Seleucus Nicator, who had Syria, etc., to which he added Macedonia and Thrace.
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.
Heb. associate themselves. for the king's. After many wars between Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, and Antiochus Theos, king of Syria, they agreed to make peace, on condition that the latter should put away his wife Laodice, and her sons, and marry Berenice, Ptolemy's daughter.
Heb. rights. retain.
she shall be
Antiochus recalled Laodice, who, fearing another change, caused him to be poisoned, and Berenice and her son to be murdered, and set her son Callinicus on the throne.
he that begat her
or, whom she brought forth. he that strengthened. Her father Ptolemy, who died a few years before.
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:
Ptolemy Euergetes, who, to avenge his sister's death, marched with a great army against Callinicus, took all Asia from mount Taurus to India, and returned to Egypt with an immense booty.
in his estate
or, in his place, or office.
and shall prevail
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.
their precious vessels
Heb. vessels of their desire.
he shall continue
Callinicus died an exile, and Euergetes survived him four or five years.
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.
Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus the Great, sons of Callinicus. But the former being poisoned, the latter was proclaimed king, retook Seleucia and Syria, and then, after a truce, returned and overcame the Egyptian forces.
be stirred up
or, war. overflow.
then shall he return, and be stirred up
or, then shall he be stirred up again. to his.
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
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.
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.
after certain years
Heb. at the end of times, even years.
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.
robbers of thy people
Heb. children of robbers. exalt.
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.
most fenced cities
Heb. city of munitions. After fourteen years, Ptolemy Philopater having been succeeded by Ptolemy Epiphanes, then a minor, Antiochus raised a greater army than before, and having defeated his best troops under Scopas, recovered possession of Caelo-Syria and Palestine, with all their fortified cities.
his chosen people
Heb. the people of his choices.
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.
or, goodly land.
land of ornament.
Jeremiah 3:19 *marg:
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.
He shall also
Being assisted by the Jews, he purposed to subdue Egypt; but, entering into treaty with Ptolemy, he gave him his daughter Cleopatra in marriage, thinking to engage her to betray the interests of her husband; but in which he was deceived
or, much uprightness, or, equal conditions. corrupting. Heb. to corrupt. neither.
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.
He subdued most of the maritime places and isles of the Mediterranean; but, being driven from Europe by the Roman consuls, he took refuge in Antioch; and, in order to raise the tribute they impressed upon him, he attempted to rob the temple of ElymaÔs, and was there slain.
for his own behalf
Heb. for him. the reproach. Heb. his reproach. he shall cause.
Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.
From the preceding verses in this chapter let us learn, 1. That God, in his providence, sets up one and pulls down another, as he pleases. 2. That this world is full of wars and fightings, which result from the indulgence of the lusts of men. 3. That all the changes and revolutions of states were plainly and perfectly foreseen by the God of heaven. 4. That no word of God can fall to the ground, but what he has declared shall infallibly come to pass. For the elucidation of the historical parts of Scripture, it is advantageous to notice the writings of heathen authors: light is thus thrown on many passages of Holy Writ, by shewing the accomplishment of the prophecies therein contained, or customs elucidated, which, in the course of years, or in our more northern latitude, would be to us inexplicable. We have therefore reason to bless God for human learning, by which many have done great service to the readers of His blessed word.
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.
a raiser of taxes in the
Heb. one that causeth an exactor to pass over the, etc. Seleucus Philopater, who levied on his subjects the tribute imposed on his father, and was poisoned by his treasurer Heliodorus.
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.
a vile person
Antiochus Epiphanes, called also Epimanes, or madman, for his despicable conduct.
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.
And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
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.
peaceably even upon the fattest
or, into the peaceable and fat, etc. he shall scatter.
forecast his devices
Heb. think his thoughts.
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.
the south with
Antiochus defeated the army of Ptolemy Philometor, and in the next campaign made himself master of all Egypt, except Alexandria. While they had frequent conferences at the same table, they spoke lies to each other; and the former returned to Syria laden with riches.
Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.
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.
Heb. their hearts. shall be to.
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.
The Jews having rejoiced at a report of his death, he took Jerusalem, and slew 40,000 of the inhabitants, and polluted the temple.
At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.
as the former
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.
He was compelled to retire from Egypt by Roman ambassadors.
and have indignation
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.
they shall pollute
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.
or, cause to dissemble.
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.
Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
they shall be
Matthew 7:15 Acts 20:29,30 Romans 16:18 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 Galatians 2:4 1 Timothy 4:1,2 2 Timothy 3:1-7 4:3 Titus 1:11 2 Peter 2:1-3,18,19 1 John 2:18,19 4:1,5 2 John 1:7 Jude 1:4 Revelation 2:20 13:11-14
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.
or, by them. even.
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.
The preceding verses (from ver. 31) relate to the Romans, who not only destroyed the city and temple of Jerusalem, and crucified the Messiah, but during almost 300 years sought by every means to extirpate Christianity. The conversion of Constantine, though it stopped the rage of persecution, gave but little help to true religion. The power first exercised by the emperors, in calling and influencing ecclesiastical councils, gradually passed into the hands of the clergy; and the bishop and church of Rome at last carried it to an enormous length, magnifying themselves above every god.
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.
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.
But in his estate
or, But in his stead. Heb. But as for the almighty God, in his seat shall be honour, yea, he shall honour a god whom, etc.
or, munitions. Heb. Mauzzim, or, gods protectors. Saints and angels, who were invoked as intercessors and protectors, had miracles ascribed to them, their relics worshipped, and their shrines and images adorned with costly offerings.
Heb. things desired.
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.
most strong holds
Heb. fortresses of munitions. gain. Heb. a price.
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 king of the south
the king of the north
The Turks. like.
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.
or, goodly land.
land of delight, or, ornament. even.
He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
Heb. send forth. and.
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.
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.
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.
glorious holy mountain
or, goodly. Heb. mountain of delight of holiness. he shall come.