Daniel 11:11
And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) And the king.—The ambiguity of this verse is very great. “He” may refer to either king; so that while some commentators see in the words an account of the successes of Ptolemy against Antiochus in the battle of Raphia (B.C. 217)—the “multitude” being the army of Antiochus, which was severely defeated at that place—others infer that the northern king is represented as defeating his rival. Evidently the words “with the king of the north” are added, as in Exodus 2:6, for the sake of clearness. This makes it most probable that the first of the two interpretations just given is correct, and that “he” refers to the northern king, “his hand” to the hand of the southern king. This is supported by Daniel 11:12, where we read of the conduct of the southern king after his victory.

Daniel 11:11. And the king of the south shall be moved with choler — The LXX. render it αγριανθησεται, shall be made wild, or frantic; namely, at the successes of Antiochus, and the revolt of his friends. This is spoken of Ptolemy Philopater, who was king of Egypt at that time, being advanced to the crown upon the death of his father Euergetes, not long after Antiochus the Great succeeded his brother on the throne of Syria. This Ptolemy was a most luxurious and vicious prince, but was nevertheless thus roused at length by the near approach of danger. And shall come forth and fight with him — He marched out of Egypt with a numerous army to oppose the enemy, and encamped not far from Raphia, which is the nearest town to Egypt from Rhinocorura. Thither likewise came Antiochus with his army, and a memorable battle was fought there between the two kings. And he — Namely, Antiochus; set forth a great multitude — Polybius hath recited the various nations of which his army was composed, and altogether it amounted to sixty-two thousand foot, six thousand horse, and a hundred and two elephants. But yet this multitude was given into his hand — That is, into the hand of Ptolemy, who obtained a complete victory. His forces, however, were still greater than those of Antiochus, namely, seventy thousand foot, five thousand horse, and seventy-three elephants. Of Antiochus’s army there were slain not much fewer than ten thousand foot, more than three hundred horse, and above four thousand men were taken prisoners; whereas of Ptolemy’s there were killed only one thousand five hundred foot and seven hundred horse. The author of the third book of the Maccabees ascribes this victory to the passionate importunity of Arsinoe, Ptolemy’s sister, who ran about the army with her hair about her shoulders, and, by promises and entreaties, engaged the soldiers to fight with more than ordinary resolution. Upon this defeat, Raphia and the neighbouring towns contended who should be the most forward to submit to the conqueror; and Antiochus was forced to retreat with his shattered army to Antioch, and from thence sent ambassadors to solicit a peace.

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.And the king of the south shall be moved with choler - With anger. That is, that his provinces were invaded, and his strongholds taken - referring particularly to the invasion of Syria and Palestine as mentioned in the previous verse, and the attempt to wrest them out of the hands of the king of Egypt. Nothing would be more natural than that this should occur.

And shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north - There were frequent and almost constant wars between these two kingdoms. Yet the reference here is to Ptolemy Philopator, who succeeded Ptolemy Euergetes in Egypt, and who was exasperated at the conduct of Antiochus in invading Syria and Palestine. He assembled an army, and marched with it to Raphia, where he met Antiochus, and a battle was fought.

And he shall set forth a great multitude - This army of Ptolemy, according to Polybius, chapter 86, was led through Arabia Petraea, and consisted of seventy thousand infantry, and five thousand cavalry, and seventy-three elephants. The army of Antiochus consisted of sixty-two thousand foot, six thousand horse, and a hundred and two elephants. - Prideaux, Con. iii.151.

But the multitude shall be given into his hand - That is, the multitude of the army of Antiochus. In the battle that was fought at Raphia, Ptolemy gained the victory. Ten thousand of the army of Antiochus were slain, four thousand taken prisoners, and with the remainder of his forces Antiochus retreated to Antioch. - Prideaux, iii. 152, 153. Perhaps also the expression "the multitude shall be given into his hand" may refer not only to the army, and his victory over it, but to the fact that the inhabitants of Coelo-Syria and Palestine would hasten to submit themselves to him. After this great battle at Raphia, and the retreat of Antiochus, we are told that the cities of Coelo-Syria and Palestine vied with each other in submitting themselves to Ptolemy. They had been long under the government of Egypt, and preferred that to the government of Antiochus. They had submitted to Antiochus only by force, and that force now being removed, they returned readily to the authority of their old masters. Had Ptolemy possessed energy and capacity for government, it would have been easy to have retained the control over these countries.

11. the king of the south … moved with choler—at so great losses, Syria having been wrested from him, and his own kingdom imperilled, though otherwise an indolent man, to which his disasters were owing, as also to the odium of his subjects against him for having murdered his father, mother, and brother, whence in irony they called him Philopater, "father-lover."

he shall set forth a great multitude—Antiochus, king of Syria, whose force was seventy thousand infantry and five thousand cavalry.

but … multitude … given into his hand—into Ptolemy's hands; ten thousand of Antiochus' army were slain, and four thousand made captives.

Enraged by his losses, and the affronts put upon him, he fought with Antiochus, and slew ten thousand of his army, and took four thousand prisoners. So historians relate of it, Polybius and Strabo.

And the king of the south shall be moved with choler,.... This is Ptolemy Philopator, who succeeded Ptolemy Euergetes in the kingdom of Egypt; so called ironically, because of his murder of his father and mother, as Justin (k) relates; the same, though naturally sluggish and slothful, was provoked and exasperated at the proceedings of Antiochus, retaking Coelesyria, invading Palestine, and coming up to the borders of his kingdom:

and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: he assembled an army, and marched with them, from the interior part of his kingdom, to the border of it, to Raphia, a city between Rhinocorura and Gaza; where he met with Antiochus, and a battle was fought, as before observed:

and he shall set forth a great multitude; this is true of both kings, their armies were very large; that of Ptolemy king of Egypt consisted, according to Polybius (l), of seventy thousand foot, five thousand horse, and seventy three elephants and that of Antiochus king of Syria consisted of sixty two (some say seventy two) thousand foot, six thousand horse, and a hundred and two elephants: the former army, that of the king of Egypt, seems rather designed, if the preceding clause is consulted; though the latter, that of Antiochus, best agrees with what follows:

but the multitude shall be given into his hand: that is, the multitude of the army of Antiochus should be delivered into the hands of Ptolemy Philopator, and so it was; for Antiochus lost ten thousand footmen, and three hundred horsemen; four thousand footmen were taken, three elephants slain, and two wounded, which afterwards died, and most of the rest were taken (m): this victory is ascribed to Arsinoe, the sister and wife of Ptolemy, who ran about the army with her hair dishevelled, and by entreaties and promises greatly encouraged the soldiers to fight; of which see third Maccabees chapter one and with which Polybius (n) agrees.

(k) E Trogo, l. 29. c. 1.((l) L. 5. p. 266. (m) Polybius, l. 5. p. 269. (n) Ibid. p. 268.

And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great {a} multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.

(a) For Antioch had 6,000 horsemen, and 60,000 footmen.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. the king of the south] Ptolemy Philopator.

shall be moved with choler (Daniel 8:7), and shall come forth] to meet the advancing army of Antiochus (Daniel 11:10 b). In the narrative of Polybius, however, Ptolemy appears as the first in the field.

11 b12 a. Very ambiguous. The two alternative explanations are:—

(1) And he (Ptolemy) will raise a great army, and it will be placed under his (Ptolemy’s) command[361],—the fact being mentioned on account of Ptolemy’s unwarlike nature and usual indifference,—(12) and the multitude (the army of Ptolemy) shall lift itself up (viz. to attack: cf. Isaiah 33:10 A.V.), its[362] (or his[363], i.e. Ptolemy’s) heart being exalted, i.e. elated with the prospect of success (von Lengerke, Hitzig, Ewald, Meinhold); (2) And he (Antiochus) will raise a. great army (cf. Daniel 11:13 a), but it will be given into his (Ptolemy’s) hands, (12) and the multitude (the army of Antiochus) shall be carried away (R.V. marg.; cf. for the rend. Isaiah 8:4; Isaiah 40:24; Isaiah 41:16), and[364] his (Ptolemy’s) heart shall be exalted, i.e. elated with the victory (Bev., Behrm., Keil for Daniel 11:11 b, Prince). There are objections to each of these interpretations, both on the score of Heb. usage, and relation to the context, and also on account (see above) of imperfect agreement with the history; but, on the whole, the second is preferable. To be exalted (or lifted up), of the heart, as ch. Daniel 5:20; Deuteronomy 8:14; Deuteronomy 17:20.

[361] ‘Give into the hand,’ as Genesis 32:17; Genesis 39:4, 2 Samuel 10:10.

[362] Heb. text (with no ‘and’).

[363] Heb. text (with no ‘and’).

[364] Heb. marg. (with ‘and’).

set forth] lit. cause to stand up, i.e. raise; so Daniel 11:13.

and he (Ptolemy) shall cause tens of thousands to fall] at the battle of Raphia.

but he shall not be strong] he will gain no permanent advantage in consequence. Ptolemy by his victory recovered Cœle-Syria; but he did not pursue his success further; he again gave way to his natural indolence, and quickly resumed his dissolute life (Polyb. xiv. 12); so that when Antiochus sent to ask for terms of peace, he readily granted them. Justin (xxx. 1) writes of him, ‘Spoliasset regno Antiochum, si fortunam virtute iuvisset.’

Verse 11. - And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth, and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand. The LXX. differs a little from the Massoretic, "And the King of Egypt shall be much embittered and enraged, and shall come forth and fight with the king of the north; and he shall set forth (στήσει) a great multitude, and the multitude shall be betrayed into his hands." Theodotion, like this, differs from the Massoretic by inserting, "the king of the north," without the pronoun, as do all the other versions. Ptolemy. usually slothful and lethargic, was at length roused, and placed an army of seventy-five thousand men in the field. Against this Antiochus opposed the slightly superior army of seventy-eight thousand The two armies engaged at Raphia, and Antiochus sustained a severe defeat, losing no less than ten thousand men. The multitude commanded by Antiochus was given into the hands of Ptolemy Pifilopator. This seems the only interpretation which is consistent with facts. Daniel 11:11The decisive wars - Daniel 11:10-12

Here the suffix in בּנו refers to the king of the north, who in Daniel 11:9 was the person acting. Thus all interpreters with the exception of Kranichfeld, who understand בנו of the son of the Egyptian prince, according to which this verse ought to speak of the hostilities sought, in the wantonness of his own mind, of the king of the south against the king of the north. But this interpretation of Kranichfeld is shattered, not to speak of other verbal reasons which oppose it, against the contents of Daniel 11:11. The rage of the king of the south, and his going to war against the king of the north, supposes that the latter had given rise to this rage by an assault. Besides, the description given in Daniel 11:10 is much too grand to be capable of being referred to hostility exercised in mere wantonness. For such conflicts we do not assemble a multitude of powerful armies, and, when these powerful hosts penetrate into the fortresses of the enemy's country, then find that for the victorious invaders there is wanting the occasion of becoming exasperated for new warfare. The Kethiv בנו is rightly interpreted by the Masoretes as plur., which the following verbs demand, while the singulars ועבר ושׁטף וּבא (shall come, and overflow, and pass through) are explained from the circumstance that the hosts are viewed unitedly in המון (multitude). בּוא בּא expresses the unrestrained coming or pressing forward, while the verbs ועבר שׁטף, reminding us of Isaiah 8:8, describe pictorially the overflowing of the land by the masses of the hostile army. וישׁב (jussive, denoting the divine guidance), and shall return, expresses the repetition of the deluge of the land by the hosts marching back out of it after the עבּר, the march through the land, - not the new arming for war (Hv.), but renewed entrance into the region of the enemy, whereby they carry on the war מעזּה עד, to the fortress of the king of the south, corresponding with the הצּפון מלך בּמעוז in Daniel 11:7 (to the fortress of the king of the north). יתגּרוּ signifies properly to stir up to war, i.e., to arm, then to engage in war. In the first member of the verse it has the former, and in the last the latter meaning. The violent pressing forward of the adversary will greatly embitter the king of the south, fill him with the greatest anger, so that he will go out to make war with him. The adversary marshals a great multitude of combatants; but these shall be given into his hand, into the hand of the king of the south. רב המון העמיד (he raised up a great multitude) the context requires us to refer to the king of the north. בּידו נתּן, v. Leng., Maurer, and Hitzig understand of the acceptance of the command over the army - contrary to the usage of the words, which mean, to give into the hand equals to deliver up, cf. 1 Kings 20:28; Daniel 1:2; Daniel 8:12-13, and is contrary also to the context. The marshalling of the host supposes certainly the power to direct it, so that it needs not then for the first time to be given into the power of him who marshalled it. The expression also, "to give into his hand," as meaning "to place under his command," is not found in Scripture. To this is to be added, that the article in ההמון refers back to רב המון. But if ההמון is the host assembled by the king of the north, then it can only be given up into the hand of the enemy, i.e., the king of the south, and thus the suffix in בּידו can only refer to him. The statements in Daniel 11:12 are in harmony with this, so far as they confessedly speak of the king of the south.

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