|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 29. - At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. The LXX. does not differ from this materially, save that it has Egypt, as usual, for south, and asserts that the king of the north entered Egypt. Theodotion is also in practical agreement with the Massoretie text. The Peshitta is much shorter, and differs very much from the above, as well as from all the other versions, "And he shall do in the former and in the latter." There seems to have been something omitted, The Vulgate gives a different rendering of the last clause, "The last shall not be like the former." The reference is to the second expedition of Antiochus into Egypt. His two nephews, whose quarrels and rivalries he had hoped to utilize for his own purposes, were now to appearance reconciled; they agreed to a joint occupation of the throne. It is supposed this second expedition was intended, if possible, to break up this agreement.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south,.... At the time appointed of God, he should return from Syria again to Egypt; which was his third expedition thither, and was occasioned by the Alexandrians setting up the brother of Ptolemy Philometor for king; wherefore he hastened to Egypt with a large army, under a pretence of restoring the deposed king; but in reality to seize the kingdom for himself (y):
but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter; this expedition should not succeed so well as the two former, as it did not; he could not carry his point, neither subdue Egypt, nor get any of the two brothers into his hands, as he had done before; the reason of which follows:
(y) See the Universal History, vol. 9. p. 282, 409.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
29. At the time appointed—"the time" spoken of in Da 11:27.
return—his second open invasion of Egypt. Ptolemy Philometer, suspecting Antiochus' designs with Physcon, hired mercenaries from Greece. Whereupon Antiochus advanced with a fleet and an army, demanding the cession to him of Cyprus, Pelusium, and the country adjoining the Pelusiac mouth of the Nile.
it shall not be as the former—not successful as the former expedition. Popilius Lonas, the Roman ambassador, met him at Eleusis, four miles from Alexandria, and presented him the decree of the senate; on Antiochus replying that he would consider what he was to do, Popilius drew a line round him with a rod and said, "I must have a reply to give to the senate before you leave this circle." Antiochus submitted, and retired from Egypt; and his fleets withdrew from Cyprus.
or as the latter—that mentioned in Da 11:42, 43 [Tregelles]. Or, making this the third expedition, the sense is "not as the first or as the second" expeditions [Piscator]. Rather "not as the former, so shall be this latter" expedition [Grotius].
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