Daniel 11:18
After this shall he turn his face to the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn on him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) Shall he turn.—He goes northward, this being the direction indicated by “the isles.” This has been explained of the victories gained by Antiochus the Great in Asia Minor. He is stated to have reduced various towns and islands, and finally to have taken Ephesus. He was in this way brought into contact with the Romans, and was defeated by L. Scipio, who is identified with “the prince” mentioned in this verse. The Greek versions exhibit considerable variations.

A prince.—It is doubtful whether this is to be taken as nominative or as accusative. The English Version treats it as nominative, St. Jerome and Theodotion as accusative. In accordance with the latter rendering, the meaning is, “The king of the north will cause to cease the princes who have been his reproach. But the princes shall return him his reproach.” The word “prince” is used collectively to mean the rulers of the islands mentioned in the first part of the verse. It is stated that in the first instance the northern king will be successful, but in the end the princes will repay him the reproach which he inflicted upon them, as appears more fully in the next verse.

Daniel 11:18. After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many — After entering into this alliance, Antiochus fitted out a formidable fleet of one hundred large ships of war, and two hundred other lesser vessels, with a view to reduce under his power the maritime places of Asia, Thrace, and Greece; and he took Samos, Eubœa, and many other islands, which was a great indignity and reproach offered to the Romans, when their confederates were thus oppressed; and the cities which they had lately restored to liberty were enslaved. But a prince, &c., shall cause the reproach to cease — This prince was Lucius Scipio, the Roman consul, who made the reproach, which Antiochus had offered to the Romans by invading their allies, to return upon his own head, by overthrowing him in battle at mount Sipylus, and forcing him to quit all the conquests he had made in the lesser Asia. In this battle Antiochus lost fifty thousand foot and four thousand horse; one thousand four hundred were taken prisoners, and he himself escaped with difficulty. From this great victory, whereby Asia was delivered out of the hands of Antiochus, Scipio obtained the surname of Asiaticus: see Livy, lib. xxxvii, cap 44. Antiochus, in consequence of this defeat, was obliged to sue for peace, and, to obtain it, was under the necessity of submitting to very dishonourable conditions; namely, not to set foot in Europe, and to give up all he possessed in Asia on this side mount Taurus; to defray the whole expenses of the war, &c., and to give twenty hostages for the performance of these articles, one of whom was his youngest son Antiochus, afterward called Epiphanes. By these means he and his successors became tributary to the Romans. So that nothing could be more fully accomplished than what is here said about the reproach he had brought upon others being turned upon himself.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.After this shall he turn his face unto the isles - The islands of the Mediterranean, particularly those in the neighborhood of and constituting a part of Greece. This he did in his wars with the Romans, for the Roman power then comprehended that part of the world, and it was the design of Antiochus, as already remarked, to extend the limits of his empire as far as it was at the time of Seleucus Nicator. This occurred after the defeat of Scopas, for, having given his daughter in marriage to Ptolemy, he supposed that he had guarded himself from any interference in his wars with the Romans from the Egyptians, and sent two of his sons with an army by land to Sardis, and he himself with a great fleet sailed at the same time into the AEgean Sea, and took many of the islands in that sea. The war which was waged between Antiochus and the Romans lasted for three years, and ended in the defeat of Antiochus, and in the subjugation of the Syrian kingdom to the Roman power, though, when it became a Roman province, it continued to be governed by its own kings. In this war, Hannibal, general of the Carthaginians, was desirous that Antiochus should unite with him in carrying his arms into Italy, with the hope that together they would be able to overcome the Romans; but Antiochus preferred to confine his operations to Asia Minor and the maritime parts of Greece; and the consequence of this, and of the luxury and indolence into which he sank, was his ultimate overthrow. Compare Jahn's "Heb. Commonwealth," pp. 246-249.

And shall take many - Many of those islands; many portions of the maritime country of Asia Minor and Greece. As a matter of fact, during this war which he waged, he became possessed of Ephesus, AEtolia, the island of Euboea, where, in the year 191 b.c. he married Eubia, a young lady of great beauty, and gave himself up for a long time to festivity and amusements - and then entrenched himself strongly at the pass of Thermopyloe. Afterward, when driven from that stronghold, he sailed to the Thracian Chersonesus, and fortified Sestos, Abydos, and other places, and, in fact, during these military expeditions, obtained the mastery of no inconsiderable part of the maritime portions of Greece. The prophecy was strictly fulfilled, that he should "take many" of those places.

But a prince for his own behalf - A Roman prince, or a leader of the Roman armies. The reference is to Lucius Cornelius Scipio, called Scipio Asiaticus, in contradistinction from Publius Cornelius Scipio, called "Africanus, from his conquest over Hannibal and the Carthaginians. The Scipio here referred to received the name "Asiaticus," on account of his victories in the East, and particularly in this war with Antiochus. He was a brother of Scipio Africanus, and had accompanied him in his expedition into Spain and Africa. After his return he was rewarded with the consulship for his services to the state, and was empowered to attack Antiochus, who had declared war against the Romans. In this war he was prosperous, and succeeded in retrieving the honor of the Roman name, and in wiping off the reproach which the Roman armies had suffered from the conquests of Antiochus. When it is said that he would do this "for his own, behalf," the meaning is, doubtless, that he would engage in the enterprise for his own glory, or to secure fame for himself. It was not the love of justice, or the love of country, but it was to secure for himself a public triumph - perhaps hoping, by subduing Antiochus, to obtain one equal to what his brother had received after his wars with Hannibal. The motive here ascribed to this "prince" was so common in the leaders of the Roman armies, and has been so generally prevalent among mankind, that there can be no hesitation in supposing that it was accurately ascribed to this conqueror, Seipio, and that the enterprise in which he embarked in opposing Antiochus was primarily "on his own behalf."

Shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease - The reproach offered by Antiochus to the Roman power. The margin is, "his reproach." The reference is to the disagrace brought on the Roman armies by the conquests of Antiochus. Antiochus had seemed to mock that power; he had engaged in war with the conquerors of nations; he had gained victories, and thus appeared to insult the majesty of the Roman name. All this was turned back again, or caused to cease, by the victories of Scipio.

Without his own reproach - Without any reproach to himself - any discomfiture - any imputation of want of skill or valor. That is, he would so conduct the war as to secure an untarnished reputation. This was in all respects true of Scipio.

He shall cause it to turn upon him - The reproach or shame which he seemed to cast upon the Romans would return upon himself. This occurred in the successive defeats of Antiochus in several engagements by water and by land, and in his final and complete overthrow at the battle of Magnesia (190 b.c.) by Scipio. After being several times overcome by the Romans, and vainly sueing for peace, "Antiochus lost all presence of mind, and withdrew his garrisons from all the cities on the Hellespont, and, in his precipitate flight, left all his military stores behind him. He renewed his attempts to enter into negotiations for peace, but when he was required to relinquish all his possessions west of the Taurus, and defray the expenses of the war, he resolved to try his fortune once more in a battle by land. Antiochus brought into the field seventy thousand infantry, twelve thousand cavalry, and a great number of camels, elephants, and chariots armed with scythes. To these the Romans could oppose but thirty thousand men, and yet they gained a decisive victory. The Romans lost only three hundred and twenty-five men; while, of the forces of Antiochus, fifty thousand infantry, four thousand cavalry, and fifteen elephants were left dead on the field, fifteen hundred men were made prisoners, and the king himself with great difficulty made his escape to Sardis. He now humbly sued for peace, and it was granted on the terms with which he had formerly refused compliance - that he should surrender all his possessions west of the Taurus, and that he should defray the expenses of the war. He further obligated himself to keep no elephants, and not more than twelve ships. To secure the performance of these conditions, the Romans required him to deliver up twelve hostages of their own selection, among whom was his son Antiochus, afterward surnamed Epiphanes." - Jahn's "Hebrew Commonwealth," pp. 248, 249.

18. isles—He "took many" of the isles in the Ægean in his war with the Romans, and crossed the Hellespont.

prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach … to cease—Lucius Scipio Asiaticus, the Roman general, by routing Antiochus at Magnesia (190 B.C.), caused the reproach which he offered Rome by inflicting injuries on Rome's allies, to cease. He did it for his own glory.

without his own reproach—with untarnished reputation.

After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many, i.e. the isles and sea-coasts of that part of the Mediterranean and Ægean Sea, as Cyprus, Rhodes, &c.; also Asia the Less with the Grecian coasts, for the Hebrews call countries bordering on the sea isles; particularly Greece and Italy. The meaning is, that this Antiochus craftily desisted for a time from his enterprise against Egypt, for fear of the Romans. and, dissembling with them both, presumed he should outwit them all, and therefore persuaded as many of the Greeks as he could to take part with him against the Romans, slighting and reviling them.

But a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease, i.e. a brave Roman ambassador, and commanders sent by the Roman senate, viz. Atilius, and chiefly Scipio, beat Antiochus at his own weapons of power and policy, and turned the reproach

upon his own head; for they fell upon him, because Ptolemy required help of them, who was besieged by Antiochus; they raised the siege, and recovered all that he had gotten from them; for the Romans were dexterous in protecting their allies, and in retorting indignities and affronts offered them by encroachers and oppressors. After this he shall turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many,.... Finding himself disappointed in his design on the kingdom of Egypt, he turned his face, and steered his course another way, and with a large fleet sailed into the Aegean sea; and, as Jerom relates, took Rhodes, Samos, Colophon, and Phocea, and many other islands; and also several cities of Greece and Asia, which lay on the sea coasts; it being usual with the Jews to call such maritime places islands:

but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; the reproach that Antiochus cast upon the Romans, by seizing on their provinces, taking their cities, doing injuries to their allies, and treating their ambassadors with contempt: this the Romans wiped off by taking up arms against him, and gaining victories over him both by sea and land. The "prince" here may design the Romans in general, who, on their own behalf, or for their own honour, sent out armies and fleets against him, to put a stop to his insults over them; or some particular leader and commander of theirs, not a king, but a general or admiral, as Marcus Acilius, who beat him at the straits of Thermopylae; also Livius Salinator, who got the victory over his fleet about Phocea, where he sunk ten of his ships, and took thirteen; likewise Aemilius Regillus, who got the better of his fleet at Myonnesus, near Ephesus; and especially Lucius Scipio, who, in a land fight, beat him at Mount Siphylus, with an army of thirty thousand against seventy thousand, killed fifty thousand footmen of Antiochus's army, and four thousand horsemen, and took fourteen hundred prisoners, with fifteen elephants and their commanders (k), and so drove him out of lesser Asia:

without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him; without any reproach to the Roman general; the reproach which Antiochus cast upon the Roman nation was turned upon his own head, by the many victories obtained over him by sea and land, and especially by the last and total defeat of him; for no other terms of peace could he obtain, but to pay all the expenses of the war, quit all Asia on that side Taurus, and give hostages, and his own son was one, in the Apocrypha:

"10 And there came out of them a wicked root Antiochus surnamed Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king, who had been an hostage at Rome, and he reigned in the hundred and thirty and seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.'' (1 Maccabees 1:10)

(k) See Liv. Hist. l. 36. & 37.

After this shall he turn his face unto the {l} isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf {m} shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon {n} him.

(l) That is, towards Asia, Greece, and those isles which are in the Mediterranean Sea: for the Jews called all countries which were divided by the sea isles.

(m) For whereas Antiochus was accustomed to condemn the Romans, and put their ambassadors to shame in all places, Attilius the consul, or Lucius Scipio put him to flight, and caused his shame to turn on his own head.

(n) By his wicked life, and obedience to foolish counsel.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. And he shall turn his face to the isles (or coast-lands), and shall take many; but a commander shall cause his reproach to cease to him; nay, he shall even return his reproach unto him] Antiochus cherished ambitious designs towards the West. In 196 most of the cities in Asia Minor submitted to him; in the same year he even crossed the Hellespont and seized the Thracian Chersonese, and in 195 set about organizing it as a satrapy for his son Seleucus. In 192 he landed in Greece, and occupied various places to the N. of the Isthmus of Corinth, but was defeated by the Romans in 191 at Thermopylae, and compelled to retire to Ephesus. The Romans next determined to expel Antiochus from Asia. Immense preparations were made on both sides: in the end, the decisive battle was fought in the autumn of 190, at Magnesia, near Smyrna, and Antiochus’s huge army of 80,000 men was defeated, with enormous loss, by Lucius Cornelius Scipio (Livy xxxvii. 39–44). Antiochus was now obliged to renounce formally all claims to any part of Europe, or of Asia Minor, west of the Taurus, and to submit to other humiliating conditions of peace[367]. His ruin was complete: “never, perhaps,” remarks Mommsen, “did a great power fall so rapidly, so thoroughly, so ignominiously, as the kingdom of the Seleucidae under this Antiochus the Great.” These are the events alluded to in the present verse of Daniel.

[367] See fuller particulars in Livy xxxvii. 39–45, 55; or in Mommsen’s Hist. of Rome, Bk. iii., chap. ix.

turn his face] implying a change of purpose and direction: so Daniel 11:19.

isles (or coast-lands)] Heb. ’iyyîm],—the word used regularly (e.g. Genesis 10:5; Isaiah 11:11) of the islands and jutting promontories (for it includes both) of the Mediterranean Sea. Here it denotes in particular the coasts and islands of Asia Minor and Greece.

a commander] Lucius Cornelius Scipio, at the battle of Magnesia. The Heb. word (ḳâẓîn) means properly a decider (Arab. ḳâḍi), and is used of one who interposes, or acts, with authority: in Joshua 10:24, Jdg 11:6; Jdg 11:11, of a military commander, as here; Isaiah 3:6-7, of a dictator, taking the lead in a civic emergency; of other authorities, civil or military, in Isaiah 1:10; Isaiah 22:3; Micah 3:1; Micah 3:9; Proverbs 6:7; Proverbs 25:15 (all).

his reproach] implied in the defiant attitude adopted by him towards the Romans: not only had he, for instance, attacked many of their allies, but he told their legates at Lysimacheia that they had no more right to inquire what he was doing in Asia, than he had to inquire what they were doing in Italy (Liv. xxxiii. 40).

to him] a dative of reference,—though certainly redundant, after the pron. his; cf. (without a pron.) Jeremiah 48:35; Ruth 4:14.

return] hurl back, and at the same time requite,—viz. by the humiliating repulse at Magnesia, after which, in Appian’s words (Syr. c. 37), men used to say, ἦν βασιλεὺς Ἀντίοχος ὁ μέγας. For the expression, which forms here a climax on ‘make to cease,’ see Hosea 12:14; Nehemiah 4:4 (Heb. 3:36).Verse 18. - After this he shall turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him. The rendering of the LXX. is nearly unintelligible, "And he shall set (δώσει) his face against the sea, and shall take many (πολλοῦς), and shall turn the wrath of their reproach in an oath against his reproach." The translator had read לים instead of לאיים. Professor Bevan would ingeniously supply some words to the Greek. With all it seems nearly impossible to explain the relation between the Massoretic text and that used by the Septuagint. Theodotion is much briefer, "He shall turn his face to the islands, and shall take many, and shall cause rulers to cease from their reproach; but his reproach shall return upon him." The Peshitta renders, "And he shall turn his face to the islands of the sea, and shall conquer many, and a ruler of reproach shall cause it to cease in regard to him, and his reproach shall return to him." The Vulgate is closely related to the Peshitta. We would render the last clause, with Behrmann, "Yea, his reproach will he repay to him." The events referred to are clear and obvious enough. Antiochus the Great took advantage of the disastrous defeat inflicted on Philip of Macedon by the Romans, to seize many of the islands of the archipelago. He not only took possession of all the Asiatic dominions of Philip, but crossed into Europe and seized Thrace. The Romans demanded that he should retire from all the former dominions of Philip. He refused, and war ensued, in which, after being driven out of Europe, he was totally defeated at Magnesia by Lucius Scipio, and compelled to surrender all his dominions west of the Taurus. (Daniel 5:31-6:9)

Transference of the kingdom to Darius the Mede; appointment of the regency; envy of the satraps against Daniel, and their attempt to destroy him.

The narrative of this chapter is connected by the copula ו with the occurrence recorded in the preceding; yet Daniel 6:1 does not, as in the old versions and with many interpreters, belong to the fifth chapter, but to the sixth, and forms not merely the bond of connection between the events narrated in the fifth and sixth chapters, but furnishes at the same time the historical basis for the following narrative, vv. 2-29 (vv. 1-28). The statement of the verse, that Darius the Mede received the kingdom when he was about sixty-two years old, connects itself essentially with Daniel 5:30, so far as it joins to the fulfilment, there reported, of the first part of the sacred writing interpreted by Daniel to Belshazzar, the fulfilment also the second part of that writing, but not so closely that the designation of time, in that same night (Daniel 5:30), is applicable also to the fact mentioned in Daniel 6:1 (Daniel 5:31), and as warranting the supposition that the transference of the kingdom to Darius the Mede took place on the night in which Belshazzar was slain. Against such a chronological connection of these two verses, Daniel 5:30 and Daniel 6:1 (Daniel 5:31), we adduce in the second half of v. 1((Daniel 5:31) the statement of the age of Darius, in addition to the reasons already adduced. This is not to make it remarkable that, instead of the young mad debauchee (Belshazzar), with whom, according to prophecy, the Chaldean bondage of Israel was brought to an end, a man of mature judgment seized the reigns of government (Delitzsch); for this supposition fails not only with the hypothesis, already confuted, on which it rests, but is quite foreign to the text, for Darius in what follows does not show himself to be a ruler of matured experience. The remark of Kliefoth has much more in its favour, that by the statement of the age it is designed to be made prominent that the government of Darius the Mede did not last long, soon giving place to that of Cyrus the Persian, v. 29 (Daniel 6:28), whereby the divine writing, that the Chaldean kingdom would be given to the Medes and Persians, was fully accomplished. Regarding Darjawesch, Darius, see the preliminary remarks. The addition of מדיא (Kethiv) forms on the one hand a contrast to the expression "the king of the Chaldeans" (Daniel 5:30), and on the other it points forward to פּרסיא, v. 29 (Daniel 6:28); it, however, furnishes no proof that Daniel distinguished the Median kingdom from the Persian; for the kingdom is not called a Median kingdom, but it is only said of Darius that he was of Median descent, and, v. 29 (Daniel 6:28), that Cyrus the Persian succeeded him in the kingdom. In קבּל, he received the kingdom, it is indicated that Darius did not conquer it, but received it from the conqueror. The כ in כבר intimates that the statement of the age rests only on a probable estimate.

Daniel 6:2 (Daniel 6:1)

For the government of the affairs of the kingdom he had received, and especially for regulating the gathering in of the tribute of the different provinces, Darius placed 120 satraps over the whole kingdom, and over these satraps three chiefs, to whom the satraps should give an account. Regarding אחשׁדּרפּניּא (satraps), see at Daniel 3:2. סרכין, plur. of סרך; סרכא has in the Semitic no right etymology, and is derived from the Aryan, from the Zend. sara, ara, head, with the syllable ach. In the Targg., in use for the Hebr. שׁטר, it denotes a president, of whom the three named in Daniel 6:2 (1), by their position over the satraps, held the rank of chief governors or ministers, for which the Targg. use סרכן, while סרכין in Daniel 6:8 denotes all the military and civil prefects of the kingdom.

The modern critics have derived from this arrangement for the government of the kingdom made by Darius an argument against the credibility of the narrative, which Hitzig has thus formulated: - According to Xenophon, Cyrus first appointed satraps over the conquered regions, and in all to the number of six (Cyrop. viii. 6, 1, 7); according to the historian Herodotus, on the contrary (iii. 89ff.), Darius Hystaspes first divided the kingdom into twenty satrapies for the sake of the administration of the taxes. With this statement agrees the number of the peoples mentioned on the Inscription at Bisutun; and if elsewhere (Insc. J. and Nakschi Rustam) at least twenty-four and also twenty-nine are mentioned, we know that several regions or nations might be placed under one satrap (Herod. l.c.). The kingdom was too small for 120 satraps in the Persian sense. On the other hand, one may not appeal to the 127 provinces (מדינות) of king Ahasuerus equals Xerxes (Esther 1:1; Esther 9:30); for the ruler of the מדינה is not the same as (Esther 8:9) the satrap. In Esther 3:12 it is the פּחה, as e.g., of the province of Judah (Haggai 1:1; Malachi 1:8; Nehemiah 5:14). It is true there were also greater provinces, such e.g., as of Media and Babylonia (Ezra 6:2; Daniel 2:49), and perhaps also pecha (פּחה) might be loosely used to designate a satrap (Ezra 5:3; Ezra 6:6); yet the 127 provinces were not such, nor is a satrap interchangeably called a pecha. When Daniel thus mentions so large a number of satraps, it is the Grecian satrapy that is apparently before his mind. Under Seleucus Nicator there were seventy-two of these.

The foundation of this argument, viz., that Darius Hystaspes, "according to the historian Herodotus," first divided the kingdom into satrapies, and, of course, also that the statement by Xenophon of the sending of six satraps into the countries subdued by Cyrus is worthy of no credit, is altogether unhistorical, resting only on the misinterpretation and distortion of the testimonies adduced. Neither Herodotus nor Xenophon represents the appointment of satraps by Cyrus and Darius as an entirely new and hitherto untried method of governing the kingdom; still less does Xenophon say that Cyrus sent in all only six satraps into the subjugated countries. It is true he mentions by name (Daniel 8:6-7) only six satraps, but he mentions also the provinces into which they were sent, viz., one to Arabia, and the other five to Asia Minor, with the exception, however, of Cilicia, Cyprus, and Paphlagonia, to which he did not send any Πέρσας σατράπας, because they had voluntarily joined him in fighting against Babylon. Hence it is clear as noonday that Xenophon speaks only of those satraps whom Cyrus sent to Asia Minor and to Arabia, and says nothing of the satrapies of the other parts of the kingdom, such as Judea, Syria, Babylonia, Assyria, Media, etc., so that no one can affirm that Cyrus sent in all only six satraps into the conquered countries. As little does Herodotus, l.c., say that Darius Hystaspes was the first to introduce the government of the kingdom by satraps: he only says that Darius Hystaspes divided the whole kingdom into twenty ἀρχαί which were called σατραπηΐ́αι, appointed ἄρχοντες, and regulated the tribute; for he numbers these satrapies simply with regard to the tribute with which each was chargeable, while under Cyrus and Cambyses no tribute was imposed, but presents only were contributed. Consequently, Herod. speaks only of a regulation for the administration of the different provinces of the kingdom for the special purpose of the certain payment of the tribute which Darius Hystaspes had appointed. Thus the historian M. Duncker also understands this statement; for he says (Gesch. des Alterth. ii. p. 891) regarding it: - "About the year 515 Darius established fixed government-districts in place of the vice-regencies which Cyrus and Cambyses had appointed and changed according to existing exigencies. He divided the kingdom into twenty satrapies." Then at p. 893 he further shows how this division also of the kingdom by Darius was not fixed unchangeably, but was altered according to circumstances. Hitzig's assertion, that the kingdom was too small for 120 satrapies in the Persian sense, is altogether groundless. From Esther 8:9 and Esther 8:3 :19 it follows not remotely, that not satraps but the פחות represent the מדינות. In Daniel 8:9 satraps, פחות, and המדינות שׂרי are named, and in Daniel 3:12 they are called the king's satraps and מדינה על אשׁר פחות. On Esther 3:12 Bertheau remarks: "The pechas, who are named along with the satraps, are probably the officers of the circles within the separate satrapies;" and in Daniel 8:9 satraps and pechas are named as המדינות שׂרי, i.e., presidents, superintendents of the 127 provinces of the kingdom from India to Ethiopia, from which nothing can be concluded regarding the relation of the satraps to the pechas. Berth. makes the same remark on Ezra 8:36 : - "The relation of the king's satraps to the pachavoth abar nahara (governors on this side the river) we cannot certainly determine; the former were probably chiefly military rulers, and the latter government officials." For the assertion that pecha is perhaps loosely used for satrap, but that interchangeably a satrap cannot be called a pecha, rests, unproved, on the authority of Hitzig.

From the book of Esther it cannot certainly be proved that so many satraps were placed over the 127 provinces into which Xerxes divided the kingdom, but only that these provinces were ruled by satraps and pechas. But the division of the whole kingdom into 127 provinces nevertheless shows that the kingdom might have been previously divided under Darius the Mede into 120 provinces, whose prefects might be called in this verse אחשׁדּרפּנין, i.e., kschatrapavan, protectors of the kingdom or of the provinces, since this title is derived from the Sanscrit and Old Persian, and is not for the first time used under Darius Hystaspes of Cyrus. The Median Darius might be led to appoint one satrap, i.e., a prefect clothed with military power, over each district of his kingdom, since the kingdom was but newly conquered, that he might be able at once to suppress every attempt at insurrection among the nations coming under his dominion. The separation of the civil government, particularly in the matter of the raising of tribute, from the military government, or the appointment of satraps οἱ τὸν δασμὸν λαμβάνοντες κ.τ.λ., along with the φρούραρχοι and the χιλίαρχοι, for the protection of the boundaries of the kingdom, was first adopted, according to Xenophon l.c., by Cyrus, who next appointed satraps for the provinces of Asia Minor and of Arabia, which were newly brought under his sceptre; while in the older provinces which had formed the Babylonian kingdom, satrapies which were under civil and military rulers already existed from the time of Nebuchadnezzar; cf. Daniel 2:32. This arrangement, then, did not originate with Darius Hystaspes in the dividing of the whole kingdom into twenty satrapies mentioned by Herodotus. Thus the statements of Herodotus and Xenophon harmonize perfectly with those of the Scriptures, and every reason for regarding with suspicion the testimony of Daniel wholly fails.Daniel 6:2-3 (Daniel 6:1-2)

According to v. 2, Darius not only appointed 120 satraps for all the provinces and districts of his kingdom, but he also placed the whole body of the satraps under a government consisting of three presidents, who should reckon with the individual satraps. עלּא, in the Targg. עילא, the height, with the adverb מן, higher than, above. טעמא יהב, to give reckoning, to account. נזק, part. of נזק, to suffer loss, particularly with reference to the revenue. This triumvirate, or higher authority of three, was also no new institution by Darius, but according to Daniel 5:7, already existed in the Chaldean kingdom under Belshazzar, and was only continued by Darius; and the satraps or the district rulers of the several provinces of the kingdom were subordinated to them. Daniel was one of the triumvirate. Since it is not mentioned that Darius first appointed him to this office, we may certainly conclude that he only confirmed him in the office to which Belshazzar had promoted him.

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