|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:1-30 The angel shows Daniel the succession of the Persian and Grecian empires. The kings of Egypt and Syria are noticed: Judea was between their dominions, and affected by their contests. From ver. 5-30, is generally considered to relate to the events which came to pass during the continuance of these governments; and from ver. 21, to relate to Antiochus Epiphanes, who was a cruel and violent persecutor of the Jews. See what decaying, perishing things worldly pomp and possessions are, and the power by which they are gotten. God, in his providence, sets up one, and pulls down another, as he pleases. This world is full of wars and fightings, which come from men's lusts. All changes and revolutions of states and kingdoms, and every event, are plainly and perfectly foreseen by God. No word of God shall fall to the ground; but what he has designed, what he has declared, shall infallibly come to pass. While the potsherds of the earth strive with each other, they prevail and are prevailed against, deceive and are deceived; but those who know God will trust in him, and he will enable them to stand their ground, bear their cross, and maintain their conflict.
Verse 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 LXX. differs a little from the Massoretic, "And the King of Egypt shall be much embittered and enraged, and shall come forth and fight with the king of the north; and he shall set forth (στήσει) a great multitude, and the multitude shall be betrayed into his hands." Theodotion, like this, differs from the Massoretic by inserting, "the king of the north," without the pronoun, as do all the other versions. Ptolemy. usually slothful and lethargic, was at length roused, and placed an army of seventy-five thousand men in the field. Against this Antiochus opposed the slightly superior army of seventy-eight thousand The two armies engaged at Raphia, and Antiochus sustained a severe defeat, losing no less than ten thousand men. The multitude commanded by Antiochus was given into the hands of Ptolemy Pifilopator. This seems the only interpretation which is consistent with facts.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the king of the south shall be moved with choler,.... This is Ptolemy Philopator, who succeeded Ptolemy Euergetes in the kingdom of Egypt; so called ironically, because of his murder of his father and mother, as Justin (k) relates; the same, though naturally sluggish and slothful, was provoked and exasperated at the proceedings of Antiochus, retaking Coelesyria, invading Palestine, and coming up to the borders of his kingdom:
and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: he assembled an army, and marched with them, from the interior part of his kingdom, to the border of it, to Raphia, a city between Rhinocorura and Gaza; where he met with Antiochus, and a battle was fought, as before observed:
and he shall set forth a great multitude; this is true of both kings, their armies were very large; that of Ptolemy king of Egypt consisted, according to Polybius (l), of seventy thousand foot, five thousand horse, and seventy three elephants and that of Antiochus king of Syria consisted of sixty two (some say seventy two) thousand foot, six thousand horse, and a hundred and two elephants: the former army, that of the king of Egypt, seems rather designed, if the preceding clause is consulted; though the latter, that of Antiochus, best agrees with what follows:
but the multitude shall be given into his hand: that is, the multitude of the army of Antiochus should be delivered into the hands of Ptolemy Philopator, and so it was; for Antiochus lost ten thousand footmen, and three hundred horsemen; four thousand footmen were taken, three elephants slain, and two wounded, which afterwards died, and most of the rest were taken (m): this victory is ascribed to Arsinoe, the sister and wife of Ptolemy, who ran about the army with her hair dishevelled, and by entreaties and promises greatly encouraged the soldiers to fight; of which see third Maccabees chapter one and with which Polybius (n) agrees.
(k) E Trogo, l. 29. c. 1.((l) L. 5. p. 266. (m) Polybius, l. 5. p. 269. (n) Ibid. p. 268.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. the king of the south … moved with choler—at so great losses, Syria having been wrested from him, and his own kingdom imperilled, though otherwise an indolent man, to which his disasters were owing, as also to the odium of his subjects against him for having murdered his father, mother, and brother, whence in irony they called him Philopater, "father-lover."
he shall set forth a great multitude—Antiochus, king of Syria, whose force was seventy thousand infantry and five thousand cavalry.
but … multitude … given into his hand—into Ptolemy's hands; ten thousand of Antiochus' army were slain, and four thousand made captives.
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