|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 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 strengthened by it. The rendering of the LXX. is, "And he shall take the levy (συναγωγήν), and his heart shall be lifted up, and he shall trouble many, and shall not be afraid." There seems to have been some difference of reading in the last clause, but it is not clear what. Theodotion renders the first clause as does the Septuagint; but the latter clause is more in accordance with the English version of the Massoretic text. The Peshitta from the same text differs in its interpretation, "And he shall destroy them mightily, and his heart shall be lifted up, and he shall cast down many, and shall not be strengthened." The Vulgate presents no occasion of remark. And he shall cast down many ten thousands. This, most probably, refers to the complete victory at Raphia, where Antiochus was reported to have lost ten thousand men. There is thus a repetition here of what has already been narrated. But he shall not be strengthened by it. It is very noticeable that Ptolemy did not even attempt to strengthen his position by vigorously following up his victory.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That is, when Ptolemy king of Egypt had defeated the large army of Antiochus, killed great numbers of them, and taken many:
his heart shall be lifted up; with pride, through the victory he obtained; and so he gave himself up to sensuality and luxury, judging himself now safe and secure in the possession of his kingdom: or, this may refer to his insolence, when he entered into Judea, went to Jerusalem, and forced his way into the holiest of all to offer sacrifice upon his victory; of which see third Maccabees chapter one:
and he shall cast down many ten thousands; or "many thousands", as the Vulgate Latin version; or rather "ten thousand" (m), either of the Jews, when he went into their country; or of the army of Antiochus the king of the north, as Jacchiades: and it may be rendered, "though he shall cast down many thousands" (n); that is, cast them down to the earth, slay them, as he did, even ten thousand of them, the number here mentioned:
yet he shall not be strengthened by it; for Antiochus escaped out of his hands, nor did he pursue his victory, and take all the advantages of it, as he might have done; for, as the historian (o) says, had he added valour to his fortune, he might have spoiled Antiochus of his kingdom; but, content with the recovery of the cities he lost, made peace, and greedily took the advantage of ease, and rolled himself in luxury, uncleanness, and intemperance.
(m) "decem millia", Pagninus, Montanus, so Ben Melech. (n) "etiamsi dejiciet", Gejerus; "quamvis prostraverit", Michaelis. (o) Justin, l. 30. c. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. when he hath taken away—that is, subdued "the multitude" of Antiochus.
heart … lifted up—instead of following up his victory by making himself master of the whole of Syria, as he might, he made peace with Antiochus, and gave himself up to licentiousness [Polybius, 87; Justin, 30.4], and profaned the temple of God by entering the holy place [Grotius].
not be strengthened by it—He shall lose the power gained by his victory through his luxurious indolence.
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