|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:31-45 The remainder of this prophecy is very difficult, and commentators differ much respecting it. From Antiochus the account seems to pass to antichrist. Reference seems to be made to the Roman empire, the fourth monarchy, in its pagan, early Christian, and papal states. The end of the Lord's anger against his people approaches, as well as the end of his patience towards his enemies. If we would escape the ruin of the infidel, the idolater, the superstitious and cruel persecutor, as well as that of the profane, let us make the oracles of God our standard of truth and of duty, the foundation of our hope, and the light of our paths through this dark world, to the glorious inheritance above.
Verse 37. - Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. The Septuagint rendering is, "And to the gods of his fathers he will not have respect, and to the desire of women he will not have respect, because in everything he shall be exalted, and by him strong nations shall be subdued." The last clause belongs really to the next verse, of the first clause of which it is a variant reading. Theodotion is nearly identical in sense with this, "And no god of his fathers will he regard (συνήσει) and a desire of women." "This clause stands thus incomplete, as if the translator would have finished it with (αὐτῷ) "to him" - "he regards no god, because over all he is exalted." The Peshitta rendering is, "And to the god of his fathers he shall not have regard; nor to the desire of women, nor any god, will he have respect; but over all he shall exalt himself." It is to be noted that the Peshitta renders as does the English Version, and has the singular, "the God of his fathers," not as the Greek versions, "the gods of his." The Hebrew might be either. The Vulgate agrees here with the Syriac. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers. Antiochus is looked upon, not as a man of Macedonian or Greek descent, but as a Syrian, and certainly he had no reverence for the ancient gods of Syria. His opposition to the theocracy and to the worship of Jehovah was but a portion of a wide policy, the object of which was the abolition of all local cults. The desire of women. It might mean that he was not lustful; but there is no evidence that, like Charles XII., he was abstinent. On the ether hand, he never neglected war for luxury, as did some of the Hellenic kings. Moreover, it is almost imperative that it be an object of worship that is here referred to. Taking "the desire of women" as an object of worship, there is an interpretation which has come down to us from Ephrem Syrus and Jerome, that Beltis or Nanaea is here referred to; and the fact that in an attempt to plunder the temple of this goddess, in Elymais, Antiochus lost his life, supports this view. The worship is said to have been very lascivious. On the other hand, it was a worship that would not naturally be prominent to a Palestinian Jew. The suggestion of Ewald, that it was the worship of Adonis or Tammuz which Antiochus despised, is more likely to be meant here. For he shall magnify himself above all. Claiming the right of annulling worship, and taking the sacred utensils from the temple treasures, he allowed himself to be addressed by the Samaritans as a god. Antiochus was probably utterly without faith in the Divine; worship was merely policy.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers,.... Of the apostles of Christ, from whom he pretends to descend, and whose successor he would be thought to be: now their God was the Lord Jesus Christ, whom they worshipped and adored, believed in, embraced, professed, and preached; but whom antichrist disregards, though he would be thought to be his vicar on earth; yet slights him, yea, opposes and acts contrary to him, in his offices of Prophet, Priest, and King, and therefore is rightly called antichrist:
nor the desire of women; or "wives" (p); not desirous of having wives, or enjoying women in lawful marriage; but forbidding his priests to marry, as is notoriously a tenet of antichrist, and foretold by the apostle, in agreement to this prophecy, 1 Timothy 4:3, otherwise, none more lustful or desirous of women in an unlawful way than the Romish priests:
nor regard any god; either the true God, and his laws, or any god in a metaphorical sense, any king or potentate on earth; showing no respect to any authority, or to any laws, divine or human:
for he shall magnify himself above all; above all gods, real or nominal, as in 2 Thessalonians 2:4.
(p) "conjuges", Gejerus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
37. Neither … regard … the desire of women—(Compare Eze 24:16, 18). The wife, as the desire of man's eyes, is the symbol of the tenderest relations (2Sa 1:26). Antiochus would set at naught even their entreaties that he should cease from his attack on Jehovah's worship [Polanus]. Maurer refers it to Antiochus' attack on the temple of the Syrian Venus, worshipped by women (1 Maccabees 6:1, &c.; 2 Maccabees 1:13). Newton refers it to Rome's "forbidding to marry." Elliott rightly makes the antitypical reference be to Messiah. Jewish women desired to be mothers with a view to Him, the promised seed of the woman (Ge 30:23; Lu 1:25, 28).
nor regard any god—(2Th 2:4).
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