|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 25. - And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him. The versions present no point of remark, save that, instead of "king of the south," the Septuagint has, as usual, "the King of Egypt." This is supposed to be a compendious account of the second of the wars waged by Epipbanes against Egypt; but it suits the first better. At this time the Romans had declared war against Perseus, King of Macedon, and Antiochus, finding that they did not conquer Macedon easily, regarded the opportunity a suitable one for assailing Egypt and wresting from Ptolemy Philometor Coele-Syria, which his father had given as dower with Cleopatra, his daughter. The state of Egypt presented an aspect eminently hopeful to an assailant. The court of Egypt was full of intrigue and treachery; the centre of intrigue was the brother of the king, Ptolemy, nicknamed Physeon. The king, Ptolemy, was young; his generals, however, took up the challenge, and set on the field a large army; but the army was defeated, and Antiochus advanced as far as Memphis. Ptolemy was taken prisoner by his uncle, and Physeon his brother ascended the throne. The defeat of Philometor was supposed to be largely due to treachery.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army,.... That is, Antiochus shall arouse himself, and exert his courage, and gather a large and powerful army, and set out with them to fight with Ptolemy Philometor, king of Egypt; this is his second expedition into Egypt, as is observed in the Apocrypha:
"About the same time Antiochus prepared his second voyage into Egypt:'' (2 Maccabees 5:1)
before he went into Egypt more privately, with a few men, under a pretence of friendship; but now more openly as an enemy, with a large army; so it is said in the Apocrypha:
"17 Wherefore he entered into Egypt with a great multitude, with chariots, and elephants, and horsemen, and a great navy, 18 And made war against Ptolemee king of Egypt: but Ptolemee was afraid of him, and fled; and many were wounded to death.'' (1 Maccabees 1)
and he entered into Egypt with a great multitude, with chariots, and with elephants, and with horses, and with a great fleet; which account exactly agrees with this prophecy, and serves to illustrate it:
and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; this is Ptolemy Philometor, king of Egypt, who, hearing of the preparations of Antiochus, and of his design to enter his kingdom, gathered a large army together to give him battle:
but he shall not stand; the king of Egypt could not stand against Antiochus; the two armies met between Mount Casius and Pelusium, where they came, to a battle, and Antiochus got the victory: upon his second victory over the forces of Ptolemy, he took Pelusium, and led his army into the very heart of the kingdom, and had it in his power to have cut off all the Egyptians, to a man; he made himself master of Memphis, and all the rest of Egypt, except Alexandria, which held out against him (w):
for they shall forecast devices against him; Antiochus, and those that assisted him with their counsels, formed schemes against Ptolemy, which succeeded: the loss of the battle was not owing to want of the necessary preparations for it; or to an insufficient number of men; or to a defect of military skill and courage; but to the treachery of his own courtiers and commanders, particularly Eulaeus and Lennaeeus to whom the blame was laid, and to the desertion of Ptolemy Macron; which is more clearly expressed in the following verse.
(w) See the Universal History, vol. 9. p. 280, 281.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. A fuller detail of what was summarily stated (Da 11:22-24). This is the first of Antiochus' three (Da 11:29) open invasions of Egypt.
against the king of the south—against Ptolemy Philometer. Subsequently, Ptolemy Physcon (the Gross), or Euergetes II, was made king by the Egyptians, as Ptolemy Philometer was in Antiochus' hands.
great army—as distinguished from the "small people" (Da 11:23) with which he first came. This was his first open expedition; he was emboldened by success to it. Antiochus "entered Egypt with an overwhelming multitude, with chariots, elephants, and cavalry" (1 Maccabees 1:17).
stirred up—by the necessity, though naturally indolent.
not stand—Philometer was defeated.
they shall forecast, &c.—His own nobles shall frame treacherous "devices" against him (see Da 11:26). Eulous and Lenous maladministered his affairs. Antiochus, when checked at last at Alexandria, left Ptolemy Philometer at Memphis as king, pretending that his whole object was to support Philometer's claims against the usurper Physcon.
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