Daniel 11:16
But he that comes against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) But he that cometh.—We now hear of further proceedings of the northern king. He follows up the vision mentioned in the last verse, enters the glorious land (i.e., Palestine), and commits great ravages in it. The king is described in language which reminds us of Daniel 11:3. He acts just as he pleases after his entrance to the southern kingdom. This has been applied to the conduct of Antiochus the Great, but history does not speak of any acts of destruction committed by him in Palestine. On the contrary, it is recorded of him that he treated the Jews with kindness. (On the “glorious land,” see Daniel 8:9.)

Which by his hand . . .—Literally, destruction being in his hand.

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.But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will - That is, Antiochus, who "came against" Scopas, the Egyptian general, sent out by Ptolemy. The idea is, that Antiochus would be entirely successful in the countries of Coelo-Syria and Palestine. As a matter of fact, as stated above, he drove Scopas out of those regions, and compelled him to take refuge in Sidon, and then besieged him, and compelled him to surrender.

And none shall stand before him - That is, neither the forces that Scopas had under his command, nor the choice and select armies sent out from Egypt for his rescue, under Eropus, Menocles, and Damoxenus.

And he shall stand in the glorious land - Margin, "the land of ornament," or, "goodly land." The Hebrew word צבי tsebı̂y means, properly, "splendor, beauty," and was given to the holy land, or Palestine, on account of its beauty, as being a land of beauty or fertility. Compare Ezekiel 20:6, Ezekiel 20:15; Ezekiel 26:12; Jeremiah 3:19, and Daniel 11:45. The meaning here is, that he would obtain possession of the land of Israel, and that no one would be able to stand against him. By the defeat of Scopas, and of the forces sent to aid him when entrenched in Sidon, this was accomplished.

Which by his hand shall be consumed - As would be natural when his invading army should pass through it. The angel does not seem to refer to any "wanton." destruction of the land, but only to what would necessarily occur in its invasion, and in securing provision for the wants of an army. As a matter of fact, Antiochus did many things to conciliate the favor of the Jews, and granted to them many privileges. See Josephus, "Ant." b. xii. ch. iii. Section 3. But, according to Josephus, these favors were granted subsequently to the wars with Scopas, and as a compensation for the injuries which their country had suffered in the wars which had been waged between him and Scopas within their borders. The following language of Josephus respecting the effect of these wars will justify and explain what is here said by the angel: "Now it happened that, in the reign of Antiochus the Great, who ruled over all Asia, the Jews, as well as the inhabitants of Coelo-Syria, suffered greatly, and their land was sorely harassed, for while he was at war with Ptolemy Philopater, and with his son who was called "Epiphanes," it fell out that these nations were equally sufferers, both when he was beaten, and when he beat the others; so that they were like to a ship in a storm, which is tossed by the waves on both sides; and just thus were they in their situation in the middle between Antiochus' prosperity and its change to adversity." - "Ant." b. xii. ch. iii. Section 3.

When Antiochus was successful against Scopas, however, the Jews "went over to him," says Josephus, "of their own accord," and received him into Jerusalem; and as a consequence of the aid which they rendered him, he granted them the favors and privileges mentioned by Josephus. The immediate consequence of the wars, however, was extended desolation; and it is this to which the passage before us refers. Lengerke, however, supposes that the meaning of the passage is, that the whole land would be subdued under him. The Hebrew word rendered "shall be consumed" - כלה kâlâh - means, properly, "to be completed, finished, closed;" then to be "consumed, wasted, spent, destroyed;" Genesis 21:15; 1 Kings 17:16; Jeremiah 16:4; Ezekiel 5:13. The destruction caused by invading and conflicting armies in a land would answer to all that is properly implied in the use of the word.

16. he that cometh against him—Antiochus coming against Ptolemy Epiphanes.

glorious land—Judea (Da 11:41, 45; Da 8:9; Eze 20:6, 15).

by his hand shall be consumed—literally, "perfected," that is, completely brought under his sway. Josephus [Antiquities, 12:3.3] shows that the meaning is not, that the Jews should be utterly consumed: for Antiochus favored them for taking his part against Ptolemy, but that their land should be subjected to him [Lengkerke]. Grotius translates, "shall be perfected by him," that is, shall flourish under him. English Version gives a good sense; namely, that Judea was much "consumed" or "desolated" by being the arena of conflict between the combatants, Syria and Egypt. Tregelles refers (Da 11:14), "robbers of thy people," to the Gentiles, once oppressors, attempting to restore the Jews to their land by mere human effort, whereas this is to be effected only by divine interposition: their attempt is frustrated (Da 11:16) by the wilful king, who makes Judea the scene of his military operations.

He that cometh against him, i.e. Antiochus,

shall do after his own will, as he listeth, without control.

In the glorious land, i.e. Judea; the word may be rendered pleasant,

desirable, noble, Daniel 8:9. Antiochus held all Judea, the Jews not opposing, and with the provision and product of it maintained his army. — Josephus. And to win them to his side from the Egyptians, he gave them liberties, as to their religion, encouraging their sacrifices, and easing their taxes. For so Josephus translates hlk by teleioun, to consummate and make perfect, and not to consume, as some render it; and thus the LXX. likewise. But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him,.... Antiochus the great, who came against Ptolemy king of Egypt, would do in those parts where he came as he pleased; take cities, and dispose of them at his pleasure; the army of the king of Egypt not being able to oppose him, and stop his conquests in Coelesyria and Phoenicia; nor should they hinder his entrance into Judea:

and he shall stand in the glorious land; Judea, so called, not only because of its fertility, but chiefly because of the worship of God in it; here Antiochus stood as a victorious conqueror; the Jews readily submitting to him, and received him into their city, and assisted him in reducing the castle where Scopas had placed a garrison of soldiers:

which by his hand shall be consumed; by his numerous army, and the foraging of his soldiers, eating up and destroying the fruits of the earth wherever they came; otherwise the land of Judea, and the inhabitants of it, were not consumed and destroyed by him at this time; but rather brought into more flourishing circumstances, having many favours and privileges bestowed on them by him, on account of the respect they showed him; for, on his coming to Jerusalem, the priests and elders went out to meet him, and gladly received him and his army, and furnished him with horses and elephants, and helped him in reducing the garrison Scopas had left (y), as before observed: hence some render the words, "which by his hand was perfected" (z); restored to perfect peace and prosperity, which had been for some years harassed and distressed by the Egyptians and Syrians, in their turns being masters of it; the elders, priests, and Levites, he freed from tribute, gave them leave to live according to their own laws, granted them cattle and other things for sacrifice, and wood for the repairing and perfecting of their temple. The letters he wrote on this account are to be seen in Josephus (a).

(y) Josephus, ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 12. c. 3. sect. 3.) (z) "et perficietur per eum", Grotius. (a) Josephus, ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 12. c. 3. sect. 3.)

But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the {f} glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.

(f) He shows that he will not only afflict the Egyptians, but also the Jews, and will enter into their country, of which he admonished them before, that they may know that all these things came by God's providence.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. But he (Antiochus) that cometh against him (Ptolemy) shall do according to his own will] so greatly will he be superior to him: the phrase, as Daniel 11:3.

stand before him] Daniel 8:4; Daniel 8:7.

shall stand in the beauteous land (the land of Israel: see on Daniel 8:9), with destruction in his hand] aimed, viz., against Egypt; possessed of Palestine (Daniel 11:14), he will ‘stand’ in it, menacing Egypt with ruin. Or (with a change of points), with all of it (the land) in his hand (power) (Bertholdt, Kamph., Prince).Verse 16. - But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed. The rendering of the Septuagint is quite different, "And he who entereth in shall do to him according to his will, and there shall be none to resist before him, and he shall stand in the province in the place of his will, and all things shall be fulfilled in his hands." Some of the variations may be understood by a slightly different vocalization, but others resist this explanation. Theodotion renders in a way that suggests a text between that used by the Septuagint translator and the Massoretic, "And he who entereth in shall do to him according to his will, and there shall not be one that standeth before him, and he shall stand in the land of Sabei, and it shall be perfected (τελεσθήσεται) by his hand." The Peshitta has, "cometh against him," as in the Massoretic, "the glorious land" is put down directly as "the laud of Israel." The Vulgate renders exactly as our Authorized Version does. But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him.. This is a fair description of the advance of Antiochus the Great through Coele-Syria and Palestine. Fortress after fortress fell before his arms. And he shall stand in the glorious land; "the land of delight." Ewald would render, "land of the ornament." It is certainly the land of Judea. Which by his hand shall be consumed. This certainly contradicts history as we have it elsewhere. The Revised is little better, "And in his hand shall be destruction," which is the rendering of Behrmann, Keil, Hitzig, and Bevan. The rendering of von Lengcrke, Ewald, Stuart, and Fuller seems better to take כָלָה (kalah) as meaning "completely." The answer to the historical objection that Antiochus did not destroy Palestine, is that this distinction refers to Egypt; but as little did he destroy Egypt. Daniel rewarded, and the beginning of the fulfilment of the writing.

Belshazzar fulfilled the promise he had made to Daniel by rewarding him for reading and interpreting the writing. והלבּשׁוּ is not to be translated: (commanded) that they should clothe, - this meaning must be conveyed by the imperfect (cf. Daniel 2:49), - but: and they clothed him. The command was then carried out: Daniel was not only adorned with purple and with a golden chain, but was also proclaimed as the third ruler of the kingdom. The objection that this last-mentioned dignity was not possible, since, according to Daniel 5:30, Belshazzar was slain that very night, is based on the supposition that the proclamation was publicly made in the streets of the city. But the words do not necessitate such a supposition. The proclamation might be made only before the assembled magnates of the kingdom in the palace, and then Belshazzar may have been slain on that very night. Perhaps, as Kliefoth thinks, the conspirators against Belshazzar availed themselves of the confusion connected with this proclamation, and all that accompanied it, for the execution of their purpose. We may not, however, add that therewith the dignity to which Daniel was advanced was again lost by him. It depended much rather on this: whether Belshazzar's successor recognised the promotion granted to Daniel in the last hours of his reign. But the successor would be inclined toward its recognition by the reflection, that by Daniel's interpretation of the mysterious writing from God the putting of Belshazzar to death appeared to have a higher sanction, presenting itself as if it were something determined in the councils of the gods, whereby the successor might claim before the people that his usurpation of the throne was rendered legitimate. Such a reflection might move him to confirm Daniel's elevation to the office to which Belshazzar had raised him. This supposition appears to be supported by Daniel 6:2 (1).

Bleek and other critics have based another objection against the historical veracity of this narrative on the improbability that Belshazzar, although the interpretation predicted evil against him, and he could not at all know whether it was a correct interpretation, should have rewarded Daniel instead of putting him to death (Hitzig). But the force of this objection lies in the supposition that Belshazzar was as unbelieving with regard to a revelation from God, and with regard to the providence of the living God among the affairs of men, as are the critics of our day; the objection is altogether feeble when one appreciates the force of the belief, even among the heathen, in the gods and in revelations from God, and takes into consideration that Belshazzar perhaps scarcely believed the threatened judgment from God to be so near as it actually was, since the interpretation by Daniel decided nothing as regards the time, and perhaps also that he hoped to be able, by conferring honour upon Daniel, to appease the wrath of God.

(Note: "Non mirum, si Baltasar audiens tristia, solverit praemium quod pollicitus est. Aut enim longo post tempore credidit ventura quae dixerat, aut dum Dei prophetam honorat, sperat se veniam consecuturum." - Jerome.)

The circumstance, also, that Daniel received the honour promised to him notwithstanding his declining it (Daniel 5:17), can afford no ground of objection against the truth of the narrative, since that refusal was only an expression of the entire absence of all self-interest, which was now so fully established by the matter of the interpretation that there was no longer any ground for his declining the honours which were conferred upon him unsought, while they comprehended in themselves in reality a recognition of the God whom he served.

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