|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 43. - But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. The rendering of the LXX. is somewhat fuller, "He shall have power over the place of gold and the place of silver, and over all the desire of Egypt, and Libyans and Ethiopians shall be in his multitude." The word translated "treasures" is a late one, but evidently the Septuagint translator had מקם (maqom) instead of מִכְמַנֵי. (michemanay). Theodotion renders, "And he shall have power over the secret hoards of gold and silver, and over all the desirable things of Egypt, and of Libyans, and of AEthiopians in their fortresses." Theodotion has read מצוריו (metzorayo) instead of מִצְעָדָיו (mitz'adoyo). The Peshitta rendering is, "And he shall have power over the house of the treasures of gold and silver, and of the pleasant things of Egypt, and the Libyans, and the Cushites (Ethiopians) are his allies." The Vulgate follows a slightly different rendering, "And he shall rule the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; through Libya and AEthiopia, too, shall he pass." Having a different reading in the last clause from the Massoretic, the natural Hebrew equivalent for transibit is יַעְבֹר (ya'bor) - a word that could scarcelv arise by mistake from that in the text. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silcer, and over all the precious things of Egypt. Strictly speaking, this never was the case, as Antiochus never wholly conquered Egypt, although in that expedition, in which he had laid siege to Alexandria, he came very near completing his conquest. And the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall beat his steps. This certainly is not true in the sense in which Jerome takes it, "he shall pass through Libya and Ethiopia." Though Antiochus more than once invaded Egypt, he never passed further into Africa. These nationalities are associated with each other; e.g. in Jeremiah 46:8, 9, we have, "The Ethiopians and the Libyans that handle the shield." So in Ezekiel 30:5 we have the countries spoken of together. It may merely mean that individuals belonging to these nationalities had joined his armies. This is altogether a more ornate and poetical passage than the rest of this chapter, and gives the feeling of a different hand; therefore, probably, it belongs to a time nearer that of Daniel, and contains more of the original prophecy. Professor Fuller remarks on a reference being made to the help Ptolemy received from Cyprus. Cyprus, or Chittim, is referred to in the earlier part of this chapter, but not here. The Lubim and Cushim are contemporary with Edom, Moab, and the sons of Ammon.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt,.... The land of Egypt, as it is a very large, so a very rich country, abounding with gold, silver, and precious things; all which came into the hands of the Turk along with it; for when Selim, the ninth emperor of the Turks, conquered the Mamalucs he caused five hundred of the chiefest Egyptian families to be transported to Constantinople; as likewise a great number of Mamalucs' wives and children, besides the sultan's treasure, and other immense riches (b).
And the Lybians and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps; at his command and pleasure; shall follow him, being taken captive, or go where he orders them; that is, in all things shall be obedient to him. So we find that these very people will be in the army of Gog or the Turk, when he shall march against the land of Judea, to recover it from the Jews, when possessed of it, Ezekiel 38:5. These people, the Africans and Ethiopians, are near to Egypt, and therefore mentioned with it, and never were under the power of Antiochus, as Jerome observes; but are now subject to the Ottoman empire, and make a part of it; which is a very strong evidence of the Turk being the king of the north here spoken of.
(b) See Dr. Newton's Dissertations on the Prophecies, p. 393.
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