|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 19. Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found. The versions do not present any occasion for remark. After his defeat, Antiochus was not only compelled to submit to the loss of much of his empire, but was adjudged to pay all the expenses of the war, estimated at eighteen thousand Euboeic talents. Justin relates thus the death of Antiochus: "Meanwhile in Syria King Antiochus, being loaded with heavy tribute after his defeat by the Romans, whether urged by want of money or impelled by avarice, flattering himself that, under the plea of necessity, he might with fair excuse commit sacrilege, assaulted with an armed force by night the temple of Jove (Bel) in Elymais But the attempt having been discovered, there was a concourse of the inhabitants, and he was slain with all his forces." The resemblance here between the fate of Antiochus the Great and that of his son Epiphanes is so striking as to throw suspicion on one or other of them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then he shall turn his face towards the fort of his own land,.... After his defeat he fled with a few to Sardis, and from thence to Apamea, so Livy; and to Susa, and to the further parts of his dominions, as Jerom; or rather he betook himself to Antioch his capital city, called here "the fort of his own land", where he was obliged to continue:
but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found; the expenses of the war which Antiochus agreed to pay being reckoned at fifteen thousand Euboean talents, five hundred talents were to be paid down; two thousand five hundred at the ratification of the treaty by the senate of Rome; and the other twelve thousand to be paid yearly, at a thousand talents each year: now, being either in want of money, or through covetousness, he attempted to rob the temple of Jupiter Elymaeus, and went by night thither with his army for that purpose; but the thing being betrayed, the inhabitants got together, and slew him, with all his soldiers, as Justin (l) relates. Strabo (m) says, that Antiochus the great endeavouring to rob the temple of Bel, the barbarians near to (Elymais) rose of themselves, and slew him; and so never returned to Syria any more, but died in the province of Elymais, being slain by the Persians there, as related, and was never found more, or was buried; and this was the end of this great man, of whom so many things are said in this prophecy, and others follow concerning his successors. He died in the thirty seventh year of his reign, and the fifty second of his age (n).
(l) E Trogo, l. 32. c. 2.((m) Geograph. l. 16. p. 512. (n) See the Universal History, vol. 9. p. 270.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. Then he shall turn … toward … his own land—Compelled by Rome to relinquish all his territory west of the Taurus, and defray the expenses of the war, he garrisoned the cities left to him.
stumble … not be found—Attempting to plunder the temple of Jupiter at Elymais by night, whether through avarice, or the want of money to pay the tribute imposed by Rome (a thousand talents), he was slain with his soldiers in an insurrection of the inhabitants [Justin, 32.2].
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