Daniel 11:17
He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(17) He shall also.—He has further plans for subduing the dominions of the southern king. He brings together all the forces he can amass, and then attempts by means of a political marriage to establish peace; but this also proves a failure.

Upright ones.—Literally, all that is right; hence the words have been explained, “straightforward pleas”. If “persons” are intended, it is not impossible that there may be a hint at the Jews taking the part of the northern king in the contest.

Daughter of womeni.e., a woman. (Comp. the phrase “son of man,” Ezekiel 2:1.) The rest of the verse is obscure. It seems to mean that the consequence of this marriage was the destruction of the woman mentioned. Or it is possible that “her” refers to the southern kingdom. St. Jerome explains it, “ut evertat Ptolemœum sive regnum ejus.” This has been supposed to point to the marriage of Ptolemy Epiphanes with Cleopatra, the daughter of Antiochus the Great. However, the language is very general. (Comp. Daniel 11:6.)

But she shall not stand.—These words form an explanatory clause, meaning that the plan will not answer.

Daniel 11:17. He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom — Or rather, He shall also set his face to enter, by force, the whole kingdom: and upright ones with him; thus shall he do — If this translation be right, the upright ones here intended are the Jews who marched under his banners, and are so denominated to distinguish them from the other idolatrous soldiers. But the LXX. read, και ευθεια παντα μεταυτου ποιησει, he shall make all things right, or straight, or make agreement with him, that is, with Ptolemy. So also the Vulgate. Antiochus would have seized upon the kingdom of Egypt by force; but fearing, according to Appian, if he did so, he should bring the Romans upon him, he judged it better to proceed by stratagem, and to carry on his designs by treaty rather than by arms. He therefore proposed a marriage between his own daughter Cleopatra and King Ptolemy, now sixteen years old, to be consummated when they should come of age; which offer, made by Eucles of Rhodes, was accepted, and a contract fully agreed between them. Thus the text, And he shall give him the daughter of women — His daughter, so called, as being one of the most eminent and beautiful of women. He himself afterward conducted her to Raphia, where they were married; and gave in dowry with her the provinces of Cœlosyria and Palestine, upon condition of the revenues being equally divided between the two kings. All this he transacted with a fraudulent intention, corrupting, or to corrupt, her, and induce her to betray her husband’s interests to her father. But his designs did not take effect: for it is here said, she shall not stand on his part, neither be for him — Ptolemy and his generals were aware of Antiochus’s artifices, and therefore stood upon their guard; and Cleopatra herself affected more the cause of her husband than of her father, insomuch that, as Livy relates, (lib. xxxvii, cap. 3,) she joined with her husband in an embassy to the Romans, to congratulate them upon their victories over her father, and to exhort them, after they had expelled him out of Greece, to prosecute the war in Asia, assuring them, at the same time, that the king and queen of Egypt would readily obey the commands of the senate.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.He shall also set his face - Antiochus. That is, he shall resolve or determine. To set one's face in any direction is to determine to go there. The meaning here is, that Antiochus, flushed with success, and resolved to push his conquests to the utmost, would make use of all the forces at his disposal to overcome the Egyptians, and to bring them into subjection to his sway. He had driven Scopas from Coelo-Syria, and from Sidon; had subjected the land of Palestine to his control; and now nothing seemed to prevent his extending his conquests to the utmost limits of his ambition. The reference here is to a "purpose" of Antiochus to wage war with Egypt, and to invade it. From that purpose, however, he was turned, as we shall see, by his wars in Asia Minor; and he endeavored, as stated in the subsequent part of the verse, if not to subdue Egypt and to bring it under his control, at least to neutralize it so that it would not interfere with his wars with the Romans. If his attention had not been diverted, however, by more promising or more brilliant prospects in another direction, he would undoubtedly have made an immediate descent on Egypt itself.

With the strength of his whole kingdom - Summoning all the forces of his empire. This would seem to be necessary in invading Egypt, and in the purpose to dethrone and humble his great rival. The armies which he had employed had been sufficient to drive Scopas out of Palestine, and to subdue that country; but obviously stronger forces would be necessary in carrying the war into Egypt, and attempting a foreign conquest.

And upright ones with him - Margin, "or, much uprightness, or, equal conditions." The Hebrew word used here (ישׁר yâshâr) means, properly, "straight, right;" then what is straight or upright - applied to persons, denoting their righteousness or integrity, Job 1:1, Job 1:8; Psalm 11:7. By way of eminence it is applied to the Jewish people, as being a righteous or upright people - the people of God - and is language which a Hebrew would naturally apply to his own nation. In this sense it is undoubtedly used here, to denote not the "pious" portion, but the nation as such; and the meaning is, that, in addition to those whom he could muster from his own kingdom, Antiochus would expect to be accompanied with large numbers of the Hebrews - the "upright" people - in his invasion of Egypt. This he might anticipate from two causes,

(a) the fact that they had already rendered him so much aid, and showed themselves so friendly, as stated by Josephus in the passage referred to above; and

(b) from the benefits which he had granted to them, which furnished a reasonable presumption that they would not withhold their aid in his further attempts to subdue Egypt.

The Jews might hope at least that if Egypt were subjected to the Syrian scepter, their own country, lying between the two, would be at peace, and that they would no more be harassed by its being made the seat of wars - the battlefield of two great contending powers. It was not without reason, therefore, that Antiochus anticipated that in his invasion of Egypt he would be accompanied and assisted by not a few of the Hebrew people. As this is the natural and obvious meaning of the passage, and accords entirely with the sense of the Hebrew word, it is unnecessary to attempt to prove that the marginal reading is not correct. "Thus shall he do." That is, in the manner which is immediately specified. He shall adopt the policy there stated - by giving his daughter in marriage with an Egyptian prince - to accomplish the ends which he has in view. The reference here is to another stroke of policy, made necessary by his new wars with the Romans, and by the diversion of his forces, in consequence, in a new direction. The "natural" step after the defeat of the Egyptian armies in Palestine, would have been to carly his conquests at once into Egypt, and this he appears to have contemplated. But, in the meantime, he became engaged in wars in another quarter - with the Romans; and, as Ptolemy in such circumstances would be likely to unite with the Romans against Antiochus, in order to bind the Egyptians to himself, and to neutralize them in these wars, this alliance was proposed and formed by which he connected his own family with the royal family in Egypt by marriage.

And he shall give him - Give to Ptolemy. Antiochus would seek to form a matrimonial alliance that would, for the time at least, secure the neutrality or the friendship of the Egyptians.

The daughter of women - The reference here is undoubtedly to his own daughter, Cleopatra. The historical facts in the case, as stated by Lengerke (in loc.), are these: After Antiochus had subdued Coelo-Syria and Palestine, he became involved in wars with the Romans in Asia Minor, in order to extend the kingdom of Syria to the limits which it had in the time of Seleucus Nicator. In order to carry on his designs in that quarter, however, it became necessary to secure the neutrality or the cooperation of Egypt, for Ptolemy would naturally, in such circumstances, favor the Romans in their wars with Antiochus. Antiochus, therefore, negotiated a marriage between his daughter Cleopatra and Ptolemy Epiphanes, the son of Ptolemy Philopater, then thirteen years of age. The valuable consideration in the view of Ptolemy in this marriage was, that, as a dowry, Coelo-Syria, Samaria, Judea, and Phoenicia were given to her. - Josephus, "Ant." b. xii. ch. 4, Section 1. This agreement or contract of marriage was entered into immediately after the defeat of Scopas, 197 b.c. The contract was, that the marriage should take place as soon as the parties were of suitable age, and that Coelo-Syria and Palestine should be given as a dowry. The marriage took place 193 b.c., when Antiochus was making preparation for his wars with the Romans. - Jahn, "Heb. Commonwealth," ch. ix. Section 89, p. 246. In this way the neutrality of the king of Egypt was secured, while Antiochus prosecuted his work against the Romans. The appellation here bestowed on Cleopatra - "daughter of women" - seems to have been given to her by way of eminence, as an heiress to the crown, or a princess, or as the principal one among the women of the land. There can be no doubt of its reference to her.

Corrupting her - Margin, as in Hebrew, "to corrupt." There has been some doubt, however, in regard to the word "her," in this place, whether it refers to Cleopatra or to the kingdom of Egypt. Rosenmuller, Prideaux, J. D. Michaelis, Bertholdt, Dereser, and others, refer it to Cleopatra, and suppose that it means that Antiochus had instilled into her mind evil principles, in order that she might betray her husband, and that thus, by the aid of her arts, he might obtain possession of Egypt. On the other hand, Lengerke, Maurer, DeWette, Havernick, Elliott ("Apocalypse," iv. 130), and others, suppose that the reference is to Egypt, and that the meaning is, that Antiochus was disposed to enter into this alliance with a view of influencing the Egyptian government not to unite with the Romans and oppose him; that is, that it was on his part an artful device to turn away the Egyptian government from its true interest, and to accomplish his own purposes.

The latter agrees best with the connection, though the Hebrew will admit of either construction. As a matter of fact, "both" these objects seem to have been aimed at - for it was equally true that in this way he sought to turn away the Egyptian government and kingdom from its true interests, and that in making use of his daughter to carry out this project, it was expected that she would employ artifice to influence her future husband. This arrangement was the more necessary, as, in consequence of the fame which the Romans had acquired in overcoming Hannibal, the Egyptians had applied to them for protection and aid in their wars with Antiochus, and offered them, as a consideration, the guardianship of young Ptolemy. This offer the Romans accepted with joy, and sent M. Aemilius Lepidus to Alexandria as guardian of the young king of Egypt. - Polybius, xv. 20; Appian, "Syriac." i. 1; Livy, xxxi. 14; xxx. 19; Justin, xxx. 2, 3; xxxi. 1. The whole was, on the part of Antiochus, a stroke of policy; and it could not be accomplished without what has been found necessary in political devices - the employment of bribery or corruption. It accords well with the character of Antiochus to suppose that he would not hesitate to instil into the mind of his daughter all his own views of policy.

But she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him - That is, she would become attached to her husband, and would favor his interests rather than the crafty designs of her father. On this passage, Jerome remarks: "Antiochus, desirous not only of possessing Syria, Cilicia, and Lycia, and the other provinces which belonged to Ptolemy, but of extending also his own scepter over Egypt itself, betrothed his own daughter Cleopatra to Ptolemy, and promised to give as a dowry Coelo-Syria and Judea. But he could not obtain possession of Egypt in this way, because Ptolemy Epiphanes, perceiving his design, acted with caution, and because Cleopatra favored the purposes of her husband rather than those of her father." So Jahn ("Heb. Commonwealth," p. 246) says: "He indulged the hope that when his daughter became queen of Egypt, she would bring the kingdom under his influence; but she proved more faithful to her husband than to her father."

17. set his face—purpose steadfastly. Antiochus purpose was, however, turned from open assault to wile, by his war with the Romans in his endeavor to extend his kingdom to the limits it had under Seleucus Nicator.

upright one—Jasher, or Jeshurun (De 32:15; Isa 44:2); the epithet applied by the Hebrews to their nation. It is here used not in praise; for in Da 11:14 (see on [1104]Da 11:14) they are called "robbers," or "men of violence, factious": it is the general designation of Israel, as having God for their God. Probably it is used to rebuke those who ought to have been God's "upright ones" for confederating with godless heathen in acts of violence (the contrast to the term in Da 11:14 favors this).

thus shall he do—Instead of at once invading Ptolemy's country with his "whole strength," he prepares his way for doing so by the following plan: he gives to Ptolemy Epiphanes his daughter Cleopatra in marriage, promising Cœlo-Syria and Judea as a dowry, thus securing his neutrality in the war with Rome: he hoped through his daughter to obtain Syria, Cilicia, and Lycia, and even Egypt itself at last; but Cleopatra favored her husband rather than her father, and so defeated his scheme [Jerome]. "She shall not stand on his side."

He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom; he shall use all the force and fraud he can to master Egypt, and engross it to himself, because Ptolemy was then young, and not able to match him.

And upright ones with him, i.e. many of the religions Jews joined with him, Numbers 23:10, called righteous in opposition to the rest of his army, which was composed of idolaters, and a profane rabble of rude heathens.

He shall give him the daughter of women, i.e. Antiochus shall give Cleopatra his daughter, who was young, to young Ptolemy, called

the daughter of women for her beauty, and rare parts, which she afterwards discovered; and gave in dowry with her Coelosyria, Phoenice, and Judea, dividing the tribute and revenues between them.

But she shall not stand on his side: as Saul gave Michal to David to be a snare to her husband, to betray him and destroy him, but she stuck to her husband’s interest, and not her father’s. He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom,.... Antiochus, having conquered Coelesyria, Phoenicia, and Judea, should set his face towards the land of Egypt, having a greedy desire after it, and bend his mind and forces that way; form a design of invading it, and for that purpose determine to bring all the forces he could master together throughout his dominions. So Justin (b) says, that upon the death of Ptolemy Philopator, Antiochus king of Syria determined to seize on Egypt. The Vulgate Latin version is, "that he might come to lay hold on his whole kingdom"; to seize the whole kingdom of the king of Egypt:

and upright ones with him: meaning, as many think, the Jews, so called to distinguish them from the Heathens, and even from those Jews who had took on the side of Ptolemy, and had changed their religion; but these persevered in it, which Antiochus approved of; and had now a great opinion of them, and had bestowed many favours upon them, as before observed; wherefore he might take some of them, and they might choose to go with him on this expedition, and especially to assist in his intended agreement with the king of Egypt, and the marriage of his daughter to him; in bringing about which they were to have a concern, as being reckoned men of probity and uprightness: or rather the sense is, according to the Vulgate Latin version,

and he shall do right things; in show and appearance: or "he shall make agreement", or peace, as Aben Ezra; enter into covenants of alliance and marriage, upon seeming just conditions, with a great show of sincerity and uprightness:

thus shall he do; in the following manner: or, "and he shall do" (c); that is, succeed in his proposals:

and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her; this was the stratagem he used; finding he could not obtain the kingdom of Egypt by force of arms, for fear of the Romans, who were the guardians of the king of Egypt, he proposed to give his daughter Cleopatra to him in marriage, a beautiful virgin; and therefore called the "daughter of women"; or rather because she was as yet under the care of the women she was first committed to, as Gussetius (d) observes; and so he did marry her, and gave for her dowry Coelesyria, Samaria, Judea, and Phoenicia (e): this was done at Raphia (f), a fortified city of Egypt, where the famous battle had been fought between him and Ptolemy Philopator; see Daniel 11:10 and if the former clause is rendered, as I think it may, "he shall also set his face to enter into the fortress of the whole kingdom"; this is the place intended, where he was desirous of going to meet the king of Egypt, and execute this scheme of his; which, though done under a plausible pretence of peace, and of putting ahead to their quarrels, was with a view to get his kingdom into his hands; "corrupting" his daughter to betray the counsels of her husband; or to put him to death by poison, or otherwise, that he might seize the kingdom on her behalf; or it may be rendered, to "corrupt" or "destroy it" (g), the kingdom; he married his daughter to the king of Egypt with this view, to obtain the kingdom from him:

but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him; being married, she forgot her own people, and her father's house, and cleaved to her husband; took his part, and not her father's, yea, took part with her husband against her father; for ambassadors were sent out of Egypt by both her husband and herself, congratulating the Romans on the victory Acilius gained over Antiochus her father, and that he had drove him out of Greece, exhorting them to carry their army into Asia (h); and thus he was disappointed of his design in this marriage: and this may be the meaning of the expression here; for it may be rendered, "it shall not stand" (i); his counsel shall not stand, his scheme shall not take place, but fall to the ground, and come to nothing:

and it shall not be for him; the kingdom shall not be his, he shall never possess it, as he did not.

(b) E Trogo, I. 31. c. 1.((c) "et faciet", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Gejerus; "efficietque", Junius & Tremellius. (d) Ebr. Comment. p. 540. (e) Joseph. Antiqu. l. 12. c. 4. sect. 1.((f) Liv. Hist. l. 35. c. 13. p. 597. (g) "ad corrumpendum illam", Montanus, Gejerus. (h) Liv. ibid. l. 37. c. 3. p. 633. (i) "et non succedet hoc", Grotius

He shall also {g} set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the {h} daughter of women, corrupting {i} her: but {k} she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.

(g) This was the second battle that Antiochus fought against Ptolemais Epiphanes.

(h) That is, a beautiful woman who was Cleopatra, Antiochus' daughter.

(i) For he did not regard the life of his daughter in respect of the kingdom of Egypt.

(k) She will not agree to his wicked counsel, but will love her husband, as her duty requires, and not seek his destruction.

17. And he shall set his face—i.e. purpose, plan (2 Kings 12:17; Jeremiah 42:15; Jeremiah 42:17; Jeremiah 44:12)—to come with the strength, &c.] to advance with all his force against Egypt. Livy (xxxiii. 19) describes how, in the spring of 197, omnibus regni viribus connixus, quum ingentes copias terrestres maritimasque comparasset, Antiochus himself set out with a fleet for the purpose of attacking all the cities on the coast of Cilicia, Lycia, and Caria, which were subject to Ptolemy. He did not actually invade Egypt, nor does the present verse say that he would do so.

and upright ones with him; thus shall he do] the words yield no sense: read, with very slight changes, but shall make an agreement (see Daniel 11:6) with him: so LXX. Theod. Vulg. (cf. R.V. marg.). He did not carry out his intention, but found it convenient to come to terms with Ptolemy (φιλίαν καὶ σπονδὰς πρὸς τὸν Πτολεμαῖον ἐποιήσατο, Jos. Ant. xii. iv. 1). Antiochus had his eye on Asia Minor, and even on Europe: but being opposed by the Romans, he was glad to be on good terms with Egypt; he accordingly betrothed his daughter Cleopatra to Ptolemy Epiphanes, promising that she should receive as her dowry what was afterwards understood by the Egyptians to be the provinces of Cœle-Syria, Phœnicia, and Palestine, though this was denied before the Roman legates by Antiochus Epiphanes (Polyb. xxviii. 17, who appears to think that Antiochus Epiphanes was right)[366]. The marriage actually took place in the winter of 194–3, Antiochus taking his daughter to Raphia for the purpose (Livy xxxv. 13).

[366] The dowry seems in fact to have been not the provinces themselves, but their revenues (Wilcken [see p. 178 n.]; Mahaffy, p. 306).

Cleopatra’s betrothal is alluded to in Polyb. xviii. 51 end (whence Livy xxxiii. 40): in reply to the Roman legates who were sent to him in 196 at Lysimacheia (in Thrace) to demand (among other things) that he should restore the cities taken from Ptolemy, Antiochus replied that he was on friendly terms with Ptolemy, ‘et id agere se, ut brevi etiam affinitas jungatur.’

and he shall give him the daughter of women] his daughter Cleopatra.

corrupting her] a very improbable rendering: Cleopatra was not (as was the case with many of the queens of the Ptolemies) her husband’s sister; and (Mahaffy, p. 330) she “bears an excellent character in Egyptian history.” Keil renders to destroy her; but Cleopatra, so far as we know, lived happily in Egypt, and died a natural death. The only reasonable rendering is to destroy it,—the pronoun being referred ad sensum to Egypt. Antiochus was not really actuated by friendliness to Egypt; his true motives, no doubt, being (Hitz.) ‘to protect himself against Roman interference, to gain a footing in Egypt, and, if the opportunity should offer, to secure the country for himself.’ In 196, upon a false report of the death of Ptolemy reaching Lysimacheia (below, note), he actually started for the purpose of seizing Egypt (Livy xxxiii. 41).

but it shall not stand, neither be for him (emph.)] his plan will not succeed (cf. for the expression, Isaiah 7:7; Isaiah 14:24), nor turn out to his advantage, but (as is implied by the position of the pron., ‘and not for him shall it be’) to that of another. Jerome writes, ‘Neque enim obtinere potuit Aegyptum: quia Ptolemaeus Epiphanes et duces eius, sentientes dolum, cautius se egerunt, et Cleopatra magis viri partes quam parentis fovit.’ In point of fact, Ptolemy retained the friendship of the Romans, while Antiochus, to his cost (see on Daniel 11:18), lost it.Verse 17. - He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him: thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him. The LXX. renders, "And he shall set (give, δώσει) his face to enter upon (ἐπελθεῖν) his work with violence, and he shall make covenants with him, and shall give him a daughter of man to corrupt her, but she shall not obey, neither shall it be." The translator seems to have had before him מלאכתּו, "work," instead of מלכותו, "kingdom" - a reading not equal to the Massoretic, and מֵישָׁרִים instead of וִישׁרִים, in which case the LXX. reading is preferable. Theodotion is like the Massoretic, "And he shall set (τάξει) his face to enter with the strength of all his kingdom, and he shall make all things straight with him, and shall give him a daughter of the women to corrupt her, but she shall not continue on his side, neither be for him." The Peshitta renders, "And he shall set his face to enter with the force of all his kingdom, and all his people shall pass over, and the daughter of men shall be given to him to corrupt her, but she shall not stand, neither be for him." The Vulgate rendering is independent of the other versions, "And he shall set his face that he may come to lay hold of his whole kingdom, and he shall do right things with him, and he shall give to him the daughter of women that he may overturn it, but she shall not stand, neither be for him." The events portrayed here are well known. Antiochus collected all his forces with a view to the conquest of Egypt, then, alarmed by the progress of Rome and the overthrow of Philip of Macedon, he changed his plan. He now endeavoured to get Ptolemy to be his ally, and gave him his daughter Cleopatra to wife, with Coele-Syria as a dowry. His idea was that she would remain always on his side, would be his spy in the court of her husband, and would always lead the policy of Egypt in the lines he wished. His hopes were frustrated. She was not corrupted so as to be false to her husband. In proof of this, when her father's armies were defeated by the Romans, she joined with her husband in sending congratulations to the Senate of Rome. With the death of Belshazzar that very night the interpretation given by Daniel began to be fulfilled, and this fulfilment afforded a certainty that the remaining parts of it would also sooner or later be accomplished. That this did not take place immediately, we have already shown in our preliminary remarks to this chapter.
Daniel 11:17 Interlinear
Daniel 11:17 Parallel Texts

Daniel 11:17 NIV
Daniel 11:17 NLT
Daniel 11:17 ESV
Daniel 11:17 NASB
Daniel 11:17 KJV

Daniel 11:17 Bible Apps
Daniel 11:17 Parallel
Daniel 11:17 Biblia Paralela
Daniel 11:17 Chinese Bible
Daniel 11:17 French Bible
Daniel 11:17 German Bible

Bible Hub

Daniel 11:16
Top of Page
Top of Page