|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 3. - And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with groat dominion, and do according to his will. None of the versions imply any difference of reading. The Hebrew implies that the king was a mighty warrior. All critics are agreed that here the reference is to Alexander the Great. This does not mean that Alexander immediately followed Xerxes, but that his expedition was the revenge for that of Xerxes. Alexander, in his answer to Darius Codomannus, justified his invasion of Persia by referring back to Xerxes' invasion of Greece. The two expeditions, that which Xerxes made into Greece, and that of Alexander into Persia, might be regarded as causally connected.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And a mighty king shall stand up,.... Not in Persia, but in Greece; Alexander the great, who rose up a hundred years after the above expedition of Xerxes, and "stood" and flourished, and conquered all he attacked, none being able to resist him; and is rightly called a "mighty king", a very powerful one: this is the notable horn in the he goat, which being exasperated by the ram, the Persians, and their invasion of Greece, pushed at them, and destroyed them, Daniel 8:5, that shall rule with great dominion; not in Greece only but in the whole world, at least as he thought, and really did over a very great part of it; for, as Jerome says, having conquered the Illyrians, Thracians, Greece, and Thebes, he passed into Asia; and, having put to flight the generals of Darius, he took the city of Sardis, and afterwards India.
And do according to his will; not only in his own army, sacrificing his best friends at his pleasure; but with his enemies, conquering whom he would, none being able to withstand him; all things succeeded to his wish; whatever he attempted he performed. His historian (o) says of him,
"that it must be owned he owed much to virtue, but more to fortune, which alone of all mortals he had in his power;''
since, by the benefit of it, he seemed to do with nations whatever he pleased; he was sovereign in all things, and set himself to be worshipped as a deity.
(o) Curtius, l. 10. c. 5.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. mighty king … do according to his will—answering to the he-goat's "notable horn" (Da 8:6, 7, 21). Alexander invaded Persia 334 B.C., to avenge the wrongs of Greece on Persia for Xerxes' past invasion (as Alexander said in a letter to Darius Codomanus, Arrian, Alexander. 2.14.7).
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