|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 13. - 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. The LXX. does not differ essentially from this, only πόλεως comes in unnecessarily by a blunder - the less to be understood, as there seems no word which can have occasioned the misreading, unless it is simply a blunder of hearing for πολλήν; but against this is the fact that Paulus Tellensis has medeenatha. There is also the limitation of the period after which the king of the north will return to "one year" (καιροῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ), "a period of a year." Theodotion is closer to the Massoretic . The Peshitta is closer than either of the Greek versions, as neither of them attempts to give, "coming he shall come," which it does. The Vulgate is like Theodotion. The reference here is to the second expedition against Egypt, undertaken by Antiochus after the death of Philopator. After his victory at Raphia, Ptolemy resumed his life of self-indulgence. Antiochus endeavoured to build up his empire by curbing the Parthians; then, after an interval of fourteen years, he once more invaded the territories of the Egyptian monarch. This second invasion resulted in Antiochus gaining possession of all Palestine.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the king of the north shall return,.... As Antiochus king of Syria did, upon the death of Ptolemy Philopator, who was succeeded by his son Ptolemy Epiphanes, a minor of five years of age: Antiochus took the advantage of this minority, and entered into a league with Philip king of Macedon, to divide the kingdom of Egypt between them; and marched an army into Coelesyria and Palestine, and made himself master of those countries:
and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former; bring a larger army into the field than he had done before, which Jerom says he brought out of the upper parts of Babylon; some say it consisted of three hundred thousand footmen, besides horsemen and elephants:
and shall certainly come (after certain years) with a great army, and with much riches; with all manner of provisions to supply his numerous army, and all proper accommodations for it; money to pay his soldiers, and beasts of burden to carry their baggage from place to place: this was about fourteen years after the former battle, as Dr. Prideaux (p) observes; and, according to Bishop Usher's annals, thirteen years.
(p) Connexion, par. 2. B. 2. p. 140.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. return—renew the war.
after certain years—fourteen years after his defeat at Raphia. Antiochus, after successful campaigns against Persia and India, made war with Ptolemy Epiphanes, son of Philopater, a mere child.
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