|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 45. - And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. The rendering of the LXX. is, "Then shall he set up his tent between the seas and the mountains of the choice of the sanctuary, and the hour of his end shall come, and he shall have no helper." Theodotion's rendering is, "He shall pitch his tent Epha-dane between the seas at the holy mountain of Sabacin; he shall come to his lot, and there will not be a deliverer to him." It is to be observed that the word אַפַדְניֹ (appadno), "royal tent," a late word in Hebrew, was not present in the text before the translator of the Septuagint. Further, Theodotion did not know the meaning of the word, although his recension was prepared under Jewish supervision. The Peshitta renders, "And he shall place his tout on the plain space between the sea and the mountain, and shall assail its sanctuary, and he shall come to his end; there shall not be to him a helper." The Vulgate renders, "And he shall place his tabernacle, aphadno, between the two seas upon the glorious and holy mountain; he shall come even to its (his) highest point, and no one shall help him." He shall plant the tabernacle of his palace. The word here used (appadno) does not occur elsewhere, and seems to denote the royal tent. The fact that it does not appear in the Septuagint or Peshitta renders its right to be in the text somewhat doubtful. Theodotion and Jerome transliterate it, as if it had not got a place in Hebrew even in their day. It does occur in the Targum and the Peshitta. At the same time, a purely technical word like this might really be of ancient usage, yet the occasion for its use might not have previously occurred; the literature of ancient Hebrew is exceedingly limited. Between the seas in the glorious holy mountain. Havernick maintains that the glorious and holy mountain here is the mountain on which the temple of Nanaia was placed, and that the seas in question were the Caspian and the Persian Gulf. It is difficult to imagine a Jew calling the mountain on which a heathen temple was placed, "glorious holy," even were we sure that the temple in question was on a mountain, for which we have no evidence. The Jews probably knew of the sea into which the Euphrates discharged its waters; but it is not prominent in their writings, and the Caspian may be looked upon as unknown. The distance between these two seas is so great that no one would locate such a small thing as a city by saying that it was between them. The natural interpretation is that the seas in question are the Mediterranean - the great sea - and the Dead Sea - the Salt Sea. But the Hebrew leads rather to the idea that the plural is one of excellence. בֵין (bayn), "between," is not infrequently construed with לְ (le), "to," as here; hence the translation would be between the seas, i.e. the great sea and the holy mountain. There can be no doubt that "the glorious and holy mountain" is Mount Zion. Yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. The death of Antiochus, baffled in his attempt to rifle the temple of Nanaia, humiliated not only by his own disaster, but by the news received from Jerusalem, is full of disappointment and misery, even when we get rid of the rhetoric with which the events are clothed in Polybius and 1 and 2 Maccabees. One-half of his army under Lysias had been baffled and defeated by Judas Maccabaeus; he himself had been repulsed in his attempt to replenish his coffers; the, re is therefore for him no helper, so he dies of disappointment at Tabes.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace,.... Or "pavilion" (c); the tents for his princes and generals that come with him; which shall be placed about his own, and where he will think himself safe and secure, and sure of victory. Symmachus renders the words, "the tents of his cavalry" (d); or the stables of his horses; which agrees well enough with the Turks, whole cavalry is usually very large, their armies chiefly consisting of horsemen; such he shall bring into the land of Judea, and place them as after mentioned, as if he had got the day, and had obtained a settlement. The word used has the signification of covering and clothing; hence some translate it, "the tents of his curtain" (e); tents covered with curtains or veils, such as the tents of kings, generals, and principal officers, were covered with, distinguished from others by the splendour and magnificence of them. It seems to be derived from the same root as the ephod, a curious garment wore by the high priest among the Jews; hence Saadiah interprets it here a covering figured and wrought very artificially; and it is by some rendered "the tents or tabernacles of his tunic or clothing" (f). And it is an ingenious conjecture of a learned man of our own country (g), that it may refer to an ancient custom of the Roman emperors, who used before a battle to have a scarlet coat spread over their tents, or hung up upon a spear, to give notice of it, as appears from Plutarch, Isidore, and others; and so this furious enemy of the church of God is here represented as setting up his bloody flag or ensign, and preparing for battle, threatening with utter desolation and destruction. And this will be
between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain; in the mountain or mountains of the land of Israel, upon which it is certain Gog or the Turk shall come, and there he shall fall, Ezekiel 39:2, particularly the mountains about Jerusalem, and more especially Mount Zion, or Moriah, as Jacchiades; on which the temple was built formerly, and was glorious and holy on that account, and for which reason the epithets may be retained; though it will now be glorious and holy, through a glorious and holy people, the Jews, become Christian, residing and worshipping in Jerusalem; whose situation is between two seas, the Mediterranean sea to the west, and the sea of Sodom, or the Syrian or Persian sea, to the east, called the hinder and the former seas in Zechariah 14:8. Some take the word "Apadno", translated "palace", for the proper name of a place, Theodoret takes it to be a place near Jerusalem; and Jerom says it was near Nicopolis, which was formerly called Emmaus; where the mountainous parts of Judea begin to rise, and lay between the Dead sea on the east, and the great sea on the west, where he supposes antichrist will pitch his tent: and Porphyry, as he relates, who interprets the whole of Antiochus, places it between the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates; he says that Antiochus went on an expedition against Artaxis, king of Armenia, and, having slain many of his army, pitched his tent in the place Apadno, which is situated between two large rivers, Tigris and Euphrates; and that he afterwards went to the top of a mountain, in the province of Elymais, the further part of Persia to the east, with a design to rob the temple of Diana; but being discovered by the people was obliged to flee, and that he died with grief in Tabes, a town in Persia: and Father Calmet is of opinion that a place between those two rivers before mentioned is meant, and translates the words thus,
"he shall pitch his tents in Apadno of the two seas;''
or in Padan of two rivers, Mesopotamia, situated between the Euphrates and the Tigris, two large rivers, and justly compared with the sea, particularly for their inundations. Dr. Goodwin (h) expresses his fears that our British isles are here invaded, which so eminently stand between the seas, and which God has made the eminent seat of the church in these latter days; and his fears would seem to be too well grounded, were the Romish or western antichrist here designed; but the Turk, or the eastern antichrist, is manifestly spoken of, as appears by the context: and the reason why he is so much observed, and so many things said of him, is, because the Jews have, and will have, the greatest concern with him, their country being in his hands; and it is for their sakes chiefly that the whole of this prophecy is delivered out; however, both antichrists, the one and the other, shall come to utter destruction, as follows: "yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him"; he shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, he and his princes, his generals, and captains, and mighty men; the whole Ottoman empire shall be destroyed, signified by the drying up of the river Euphrates, which is in his dominions, Revelation 16:12, and of the vast multitudes that shall come with him, Persia, Ethiopia, Lybia, Gomer, and Togarmah, Ezekiel 38:5 and the numerous provinces he is master of; none shall be able to help him, or save him from ruin: of the destruction of the Turk, under the name of Gog, see Ezekiel 39:1.
(c) "praetorii sui", Vatablus. So Aquila in Drusius. (d) , Symm.; "papiliones equitatus sui", interpr. Hieronymo; "vel potius tentoria equilis sui, seu stabuli equorum suorum", Fuller. (e) "Tentoria aulaei sui", Schindler, Colossians 108. (f) "Tentoria tunicae suae", Fuller; "tentoria hujus amietus", Cocceius, Lex. Colossians 57. (g) Fuller. Miscell. Sacr. l. 5. c. 18. So Lydius, De Re Miliari, l. 4. c. 2. p. 155, 156. (h) Exposition of the Revelation, part 2. p. 166.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
45. plant … between the seas—the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean.
tabernacles of … palace—his palace-like military tents, such as Oriental princes travel with. See on Da 11:40, as to the time of Antiochus' attack on Judea, and his subsequent "end" at Tabes, which was caused by chagrin both at hearing that his forces under Lysias were overcome by the Jews, and at the failure of his expedition against the temple of Elymais (2 Maccabees 9:5).
holy mountain—Jerusalem and Mount Zion. The desolation of the sanctuary by Antiochus, and also the desecration of the consecrated ground round Jerusalem by the idolatrous Roman ensigns, as also by the Mohammedan mosque, and, finally, by the last Antichrist, are referred to. So the last Antichrist is to sit upon "the mount of the congregation" (Isa 14:13), but "shall be brought down to hell" (compare Note, see on Da 7:26; 2Th 2:8).
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