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A prediction of the setting up of the Grecian monarchy, ver. 1 - 4.
Of the affairs of Egypt and Syria, ver. 5 - 20.
The rise and success of Antiochus Epiphanes, ver. 21 - 29.
The mischief he would do to the Jews, ver. 30 - 43.
His fall, ver. 44, 45.
2: He - Xerxes was more potent than all the other three, because
his father Darius had gathered an incredible mass for him, which he
himself increased for six years together, before he made his expedition
against Greece. There were more kings of Persia besides those four,
but they had no concern with the people of God.
3: A mighty king - Alexander the great.
4: When he shall stand up - When he is come to his highest point.
Nor according to his dominion - They did not reign as kings at first, but
only as captains; and as to the extent of their dominion, it was far less
than Alexander's, yea, all four fell short of his.
Even for others - Some lesser commanders shared several parts of the
5: The king of the south - This king was Ptolemy, the first
king of Egypt after Alexander who is brought in, because he took
Jerusalem by treachery; for the angel minds only those persons
and things which related to the Jews.
One of his princes - Seleucus Nicanor, who overcame Demetrius,
and added Asia to his empire.
6: They - The successors of those first kings of Egypt and
Syria. Make an agreement - Bernice shall come from Egypt and
marry with Antiochus Theus, who was the son of Antiochus Soter, and
nephew to Seleucus Nicanor; for her father brought her to Pelusium
with an infinite sum of gold and silver for her dowry.
She shall not retain - She continued not in favour and authority.
Nor his arm - His power.
7: Shall one stand up - Of Bernice shall come Ptolemaeus
Euergetes, who shall revenge the wrong done to his sister.
Shall enter into the fortress - For he invaded Syria, and took
many strong - holds.
8: He shall continue more years - He continued forty - six years.
9: Return - So he did with a booty of forty thousand talents of
10: But his sons - He means the sons of the king of the north,
shall be incensed with the deeds of Ptolemaeus Euergetes, and his
son Ptolemaeus Philopator. One shall come - Antiochus the great,
shall pass through Syria and recover what the king of Egypt took
from his father. Even to his fortress - To Raphia, which was a
strong fortress at the entrance of Egypt.
11: His hand - Into the hand of Ptolemy.
12: His heart shall be lifted up - He might have recovered all, but
he grew proud of his victory, and returned again to his luxury.
16: But he - Antiochus, that comes against Ptolemy.
The glorious land - Judea. Antiochus held all Judea, and
with the provision and product of it, maintained his army.
17: He shall also set his face - He shall use all the force he can
to master Egypt, and engross it to himself. Upright ones - Many of the
religious Jews joined with him: the rest of his army was a profane
rabble of rude Heathens. He shall give - Antiochus shall give
Cleopatra his daughter to young Ptolemy, called the daughter of
women, for her beauty. Corrupting her - Persuading her to betray her
husband: but she stuck to her husband's interest, and not her father's.
18: The isles - The isles and sea - coasts of the Mediterranean
and Aegean sea. But a prince - The Roman ambassador Scipio
beat Antiochus at his own weapons of power and policy, and
turned the reproach upon his own head.
19: Then - Then he turned his face home - ward, yet was he not in
safety, but was quickly after killed.
20: A raiser of taxes - Seleucus Philopator, who peeled his
subjects, and spared not to rob the temple. Within few days - For
he lived not out the third part of his father's reign.
Not in battle - Not by open force, but by poison.
21: A vile person - Antiochus, called Epiphanes by his
flatterers, but the people of God accounted him infamous, base,
and treacherous. They - Neither peers nor people, nor was he the
heir, but his nephew; but he crept in by flatteries.
22: Overflown - The Egyptian force near Pelusium, where they
fell by the power of Antiochus, with a great slaughter, near the
river Nile. The prince - The high - priest with his place and honour,
for he put out Onias, and set up in his stead, Jason his brother.
23: After the league - For he made a league with Egypt, and came
with a few, (but chosen men) and took the passes, and put all in
subjection to him.
24: He shall enter peaceably - He shall come in upon the Egyptians
under pretence of peace, in a plentiful and delicious country, and
among a mass of treasures which the kings successively had heaped up;
the greatest part of which Antiochus distributed among his confidants,
whereby he obliged them the faster to him. He did herein what his
fathers had not done; the kings of Syria before him, could never
attain to this success over Egypt. Against the strong - holds - Having
succeeded thus far, he shall proceed to the places of greatest strength
in that kingdom. For a time - That is 'till God put a stop to his
career, for the Egyptians found means to deliver themselves from
25: But he shall not stand - He might have prospered, if he had not
been betrayed by Eulaius, Benaeus, and the rest of his nobles, corrupted
26: Yea - His most familiar friends and confidants; for he shall
be overthrown with a great slaughter, as when the Nile overflows the
27: At one table - They shall meet under pretence of peace.
But it shall not prosper - For neither shall Antiochus gain Egypt
by all his artifice, nor Ptolemy, Syria. At the time appointed - By
the Lord, whose purpose and counsel shall stand.
28: Then shall he return - Antiochus shall depart with his booty
gotten in Egypt. Against the holy covenant - Against the law of God,
with the people that worshipped God according to his will.
29: Toward the south - Egypt, to fight against Ptolemy.
But - This shall not be so prosperous as the two former expeditions,
but shall fail both of his victory and booty.
30: The ships of Chittim - The Romans out of Italy, and the
Archipelago. This made his heart boil with rancor, which he
spit out against the Jews; especially being solicited to it by
Jason first, and Menelaus after, who were apostates, and betrayers
of their brethren.
31: And arms - Not only of his own army, but many Jews.
The sanctuary - Even the holy of holies.
The abomination - The statue of Jupiter placed in the temple.
36: The king - Antiochus was an eminent type of antichrist; to
whom many things that follow may be applied by way of accommodation:
altho' they principally refer to Antiochus, and had their primary
accomplishment in him. For that that is determined - That which God
hath decreed to be done by him shall be done; and that which God
hath purposed to be done upon him.
38: But in his estate - In the room of his father's god.
The God of forces - This seems to be Jupiter Olympius, never
introduced among the Syrians, 'till Antiochus did it.
39: With a strange god - Using all art and authority to propagate
41: The children of Ammon - He will not hurt them; because they
helped him against the Jews.
43: At his steps - He had them at his foot, at his beck.
45: None shall help him - God shall cut him off in the midst of his
days. And when he destroys, who can help?