Daniel 11:32
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.
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(32) Such as do wickedly.—In these verses are traced the effects of the apostasy upon the people of God. These persons have been already spoken of in Daniel 11:30. They had begun with indifference to true religion, they have now become intolerant of it.

Corrupt.—Literally, make profane. On the Hebrew notion of profanity, see Cheyne’s Isaiah, vol. 1, p. 3. These persons have now become as the heathen. (See 1 Maccabees 2:17-18.)

But the people. . . .—While the large mass of people becomes obedient to the persecutor, there is a party of true believers remaining, who are “strong,” or rather, confirm the covenant, and “do,” i.e., succeed in their attempt. That such a party existed in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes appears from 1 Maccabees 1:62, &c., 1 Maccabees 2:3, &c. Similarly in all times of persecution there will be a remnant, though it may be very small. which will remain firm to their covenant with God. (Comp. 1Kings 19:18.)

Daniel 11:32. Such as do wickedly shall he corrupt by flatteries — This is a declaration, that there would be many wicked persons who would be enticed to this idolatry by Antiochus’s persuasions. Jason and Menelaus, who were made high-priests by Antiochus for a sum of money, afterward became his instruments, and consented to the setting up of this idol: see 1Ma 1:52; 2Ma 4:13-15; and 2Ma 5:15; and 2Ma 6:21. But the people that do know their God — That are savingly acquainted with him, and adhere to his true worship and service, shall be strong and do exploits — When others yield to the tyrant’s demands, and surrender their consciences to his impositions, these shall bravely keep their ground, resist the temptation, and make the tyrant himself ashamed of his attempt upon them. Good old Eleazar, one of the principal scribes, was one of these, rather choosing to suffer torments and death than defile himself by eating any thing unclean: see 2Ma 6:19. The mother and her seven sons resolutely adhered to their religion, though they knew they must be put to death for so doing, 2 Maccabees 7. This might well be called doing exploits; for to choose to suffer rather than to sin is a great exploit. And it was by being strong in faith that they did those exploits; and bore to be tortured, not accepting deliverance, as the apostle speaks, Hebrews 11:25. “And many in Israel were fully resolved and confirmed in themselves not to eat any thing unclean, whereupon they chose rather to die, that they might not be defiled with meats, and that they might not profane the holy covenant,” 1Ma 1:62-63. Or, it may refer to the military courage and achievements of Judas Maccabeus and others, in opposition to Antiochus. Observe, reader, the right knowledge of God is and will be the strength of the soul, and through it gracious persons do exploits. They that know his name will put their trust in him, and by that trust will do great things.11:31-45 The remainder of this prophecy is very difficult, and commentators differ much respecting it. From Antiochus the account seems to pass to antichrist. Reference seems to be made to the Roman empire, the fourth monarchy, in its pagan, early Christian, and papal states. The end of the Lord's anger against his people approaches, as well as the end of his patience towards his enemies. If we would escape the ruin of the infidel, the idolater, the superstitious and cruel persecutor, as well as that of the profane, let us make the oracles of God our standard of truth and of duty, the foundation of our hope, and the light of our paths through this dark world, to the glorious inheritance above.And such as do wickedly against the covenant - That is, among the Jews. They who apostatized, and who became willing to receive the religion of foreigners. There "was" such a party in Jerusalem, and it was numerous. See Jahn, "Heb. Commonwealth," pp. 258, 259. Compare 1 Macc. 1:52: "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."

Shall he corrupt by flatteries - By flattering promises of his favor, of office, of national prosperity .... See the notes at Daniel 11:21. The margin is, "or, cause to dissemble." The meaning of the Hebrew word חנף chânêph is, rather, "to profane, to pollute, to defile;" and the idea here is, that he would cause them to become defiled; that is, that he would seduce them to impiety and apostasy.

But the people that do know their God - They who adhere to the service and worship of the true God, and who are incapable of being seduced to apostasy and sin. The reference here is, undoubtedly, to Judas Maccabeus and his followers - a full account of whose doings is to be found in the books of the Maccabees. See also Prideaux, "Con." iii. 245, following, and Jahn, "Heb. Commonwealth," pp. 268, following.

Shall be, strong - Shall evince great valor, and shall show great vigour in opposing him.

And do exploits - The word "exploits," as in Daniel 11:28, is supplied by the translators, but not improperly. The meaning is, that they would show great prowess, and perform illustrious deeds in battle. See Prideaux, "Con." iii. pp. 262, 263.

32. (1 Maccabees 1:52).

corrupt—seduce to apostasy.

by flatteries—promises of favor.

people that … know their God—the Maccabees and their followers (1 Maccabees 1:62, 63).

By gifts, preferments, and promises he drew away great multitudes of this wretched people of Judea, always bent to backsliding, to his idolatrous and heathenish practices and interest: but they that adhere to the true worship of God, and are zealous for it, shall scorn Antiochus’s gifts, and abhor his ways, and defy his force, not loving their lives to the death; as you have many instances, /APC 1Ma 1:62,63; /APC 2Mac 5 6 7 8; and also how Judas Maccabeus and his few followers did exploits against Nicanor and others. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall be corrupted by flatteries,.... That forsook the law of God, the book of the covenant, and did things contrary to it; and particularly violated the covenant of circumcision, drawing on the foreskin, and becoming uncircumcised; as well as rejected other ordinances of religious worship the Jews by covenant were obliged to observe: these apostates Antiochus corrupted by good words and fair speeches, by gifts and presents; and they became his tools, to do his pleasure, and were his instruments to seduce the Jews to renounce their religion, and give in to his idolatry; such as Jason, Menelaus, and others; in the Apocrypha:

"Now when the kingdom was established before Antiochus, he thought to reign over Egypt that he might have the dominion of two realms.'' (1 Maccabees 1:16)

"Now such was the height of Greek fashions, and increase of heathenish manners, through the exceeding profaneness of Jason, that ungodly wretch, and no high priest;'' (2 Maccabees 4:13)

"Yet was he not content with this, but presumed to go into the most holy temple of all the world; Menelaus, that traitor to the laws, and to his own country, being his guide:'' (2 Maccabees 5:15)

"But they that had the charge of that wicked feast, for the old acquaintance they had with the man, taking him aside, besought him to bring flesh of his own provision, such as was lawful for him to use, and make as if he did eat of the flesh taken from the sacrifice commanded by the king;'' (2 Maccabees 6:21)

but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits; such who knew the Lord God of Israel to be the true God, and owned and acknowledged him as such; and not only professed him, but served and worshipped him, having a spiritual knowledge of him, and communion with him; and therefore could not be drawn off from him and his worship by flatteries or frowns, by promises or menaces: these were strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might; they held fast their religion, and the profession of it, and were proof against all allurements or threatenings, and endured racks and tortures, all sorts of punishment, and death in every shape, with the greatest constancy and courage; such as Eleazar, the mother and her seven sons, and others; as well as others did many valiant actions in the defence of themselves and country, as Mattathias, Judas Maccabaeus, and his brethren; to which heroic actions the apostle refers in Hebrews 11:34, so Josephus (i) says,

"that many of the Jews indeed, some willingly, and others through fear of punishment, obeyed the king's commands; but the more approved, and those of generous minds, had a greater regard to the customs of their country than to the punishment threatened to the disobedient; and for this being continually harassed, and enduring grievous punishments, died; some were scourged, and their bodies mutilated, and being yet alive and breathing, were crucified; women and their children, whom they crucified, were by the king's orders strangled, and hanged about the necks of their parents that were crucified;''

In the Apocrypha:

"60 At which time according to the commandment they put to death certain women, that had caused their children to be circumcised. 61 And they hanged the infants about their necks, and rifled their houses, and slew them that had circumcised them. 62 Howbeit many in Israel were fully resolved and confirmed in themselves not to eat any unclean thing. 63 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. 64 And there was very great wrath upon Israel.'' (1 Maccabees 1)

(i) Antiqu. l. 12. c. 5. sect. 4.

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

(m) Meaning those who had the name of Jews, but indeed were not Jews at all, for they sold their souls, and betrayed their brethren for gain.

32. And such as do wickedly (Daniel 9:5, Daniel 12:10) against the covenant] the disloyal Jews.

shall he make profane (Jeremiah 23:11)] by abetting them in their designs, he will lead them from bad to worse. In Syr. the root here used acquired the special sense of gentile (e.g. Matthew 6:7; Matthew 18:17, Pesh.), apostate, and represents, for instance, Hellenic, Greek (2Ma 4:10; 2Ma 11:24, Pesh.); and possibly the word may have the definite sense of make apostates here (cf. R.V. pervert).

by flatteries] by specious representations, or promises, pointing out for example the advantages that would accrue to those who renounced their Judaism. Cf. the promises held out (1Ma 2:18) to Mattathias (‘thou and thy house shall be in the number of the king’s friends, and thou and thy sons shall be honoured with silver and gold and many gifts’). Mattathias turned a deaf ear to such inducements; but the prospect of Antiochus’ favour might easily influence men who were less staunch in their convictions.

but the people that do know their God shall shew strength] i.e. exhibit firmness, constancy (cf. Deuteronomy 12:23 ‘be strong, firm, not to eat the blood’; Joshua 1:7; 1 Chronicles 28:7), neither to yield to temptation nor to desert their religion for fear of the consequences. The decree of Antiochus led to numerous martyrdoms, many of the loyal Israelites submitting to death, even with torture, rather than renounce their faith. Cf. 1Ma 1:62 f. ‘And many in Israel were strong (i.e. firm: the Greek word used stands for חזק in 1 Samuel 30:6; Ezra 10:4, and elsewhere), and were fortified (like a strong city,—ὀχυρώθησαν) in themselves, not to eat unclean things (κοινά). And they chose to die, that they might not be defiled with the meats, nor profane the holy covenant; and they died.’

and do] they also will do, or act, in the pregnant sense of the word (cf. on Daniel 8:12), in their cause, not less than the ambitious heathen king (Daniel 8:12; Daniel 8:24, Daniel 11:28; Daniel 11:30) in his.Verse 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. The LXX. translates, "And by sins of the covenant shall they defile themselves with a hard people, and the people knowing these things shall have the mastery and do (exploits)." The מ, the preformative of the participle hiphil, has been taken for the preposition מִן. written defectively, and probably בִּלְ לֺאם קָשֵׁה for בַּחֲלַקֹת. Theodotion does not require special notice, as his version here agrees closely with the Massoretic. The Peshitta is somewhat shorter and having a different significance, "And those who transgress against the covenant he shall condemn them. And the people who know the fear shall be strong." The Vulgate rendering is, "And the impious against the covenant shall feign falsely (simulabunt fraudu-lenter), but the people knowing their God shall possess and do (exploits)." Men like Alcimus, the high priest after Menelaus, were transgressors of the sacred covenant, and were corrupted by the flatteries of Epiphanes. He used them to gain the people over to his views. But the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. Even when Epiphanes seemed most nearly successful, there was a deep-seated opposition to this Hellenizing process. Especially prominent were those who were zealous for the Law, the Hasidim, or, to give them the name they have in the Book of Maccabees, the Assidseans. These religionists, headed by Mattathias and his sons, especially by the heroic Judas Maccabaeus, certainly knew their God, and as certainly did exploits. But the king, who knew and highly valued (cf. v. 2[[1]) Daniel's fidelity to the duties of his office, was so sore displeased by the accusation, that he laboured till the going down of the sun to effect his deliverance. The verb באשׁ has an intransitive meaning: to be evil, to be displeased, and is not joined into one sentence with the subject מלכּא, which stands here absolute; and the subject to עלוהי באשׁ is undefined: it, namely, the matter displeased him; cf. Genesis 21:11. בּל שׂם corresponds to the Hebr. לב שׁית, Proverbs 22:17, to lay to heart. The word בּל, cor, mens, is unknown in the later Chaldee, but is preserved in the Syr. bālā̀ and the Arab. bâlun.

Daniel 6:16-17 (Daniel 6:15-16)

When the king could not till the going down of the sun resolve on passing sentence against Daniel, about this time his accusers gathered themselves together into his presence for the purpose of inducing him to carry out the threatened punishment, reminding him that, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, every prohibition and every command which the king decreed (יהקים), i.e., issued in a legal form, could not be changed, i.e., could not be recalled. There being no way of escape out of the difficulty for the king, he had to give the command that the punishment should be inflicted, and Daniel was cast into the den of lions, v. 17 (Daniel 6:16). On the Aphel היתיו, and the pass. from (Daniel 6:17) היתית, see at Daniel 3:13. The execution of the sentence was carried out, according to Oriental custom, on the evening of the day in which the accusation was made; this does not, however, imply that it was on the evening in which, at the ninth hour, he had prayed, as Hitzig affirms, in order that he may thereby make the whole matter improbable. In giving up Daniel to punishment, the king gave expression to the wish, "May thy God whom thou servest continually, deliver thee!" not "He will deliver thee;" for Darius could not have this confidence, but he may have had the feeble hope of the possibility of the deliverance which from his heart he wished, inasmuch as he may have heard of the miracles of the Almighty God whom Daniel served in the days of Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar.

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