Daniel 11:2
And now will I show you the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) The truth.—Comp. Daniel 10:21. This is the commencement of the revelation promised in Daniel 10:14; and from this point till the end of the book the difficulties that have to be encountered in attempting an exposition are almost insuperable. It has been customary from the time of St. Jerome, if not from an earlier epoch, to explain most of what follows as referring to the Ptolemies and Seleucidæ. The difficulties which oppose this interpretation will be pointed out in the notes. It is a question whether, after all, the early interpretation is correct, and, if not, whether this revelation does not still await its complete fulfilment. The mere similarity which exists between certain things predicted here and what actually occurred in the times of the Ptolemies is not sufficient to limit the fulfilment of the prophecy to those times, still less to justify the assumption that the section before us is a history of what occurred from the disruption of the Greek Empire to the death of Antiochus. “History repeats itself;” and just as Antiochus (Daniel 8:23-25) is a type of Antichrist (Daniel 7:21), so the events and political combinations which preceded Antiochus may be regarded as typical of what will occur before the coming of the Messiah and the general resurrection, with a prediction of which (Daniel 12:2-3) this revelation concludes.

Three kings.—It is hard to say who these were. Cyrus being on the throne already, it is most probable that his three successors are intended—Cambyses, Darius, and Xerxes. Those four kings appear to have been selected whose influence was most prominent in its bearings upon Israel. Xerxes is called the fourth king because the reckoning dates from Cyrus, and the short reign of the Pseudo Smerdis is not taken into account. Not only do the riches of Xerxes point him out as the last king, but also his conduct towards Greece may be correctly described as “stirring up” against himself “the realm of Grecia.”

Against . . .—The passage gives better sense if translated, he shall stir up all, the kingdom of Greece, that is, amongst those stirred up the kingdom of Greece is most prominent. It should be noticed that at the time of the invasion of Europe by Xerxes, Greece was in no sense “a kingdom.” Such language is incompatible with an authorship during the Maccabee period.

Daniel 11:2. And now I will show thee the truth — Now I will show thee future things plainly, not enigmatically, or under symbolical representations. Here this chapter should begin: what goes before should be added to the former chapter. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia — “According to the Canon, there were nine kings of the Persian empire from Cyrus to Codomanus, besides others, who, falling within a year, are not therein mentioned. Interpreters have differed, therefore, in pointing out the kings that are here meant, or in fixing the commencement of the Scripture, or writing, of truth, mentioned Daniel 10:21. But as the vision was revealed to Daniel in the third year of Cyrus, it is most natural to trace its beginning from that time; and then the three kings yet to stand up, or after the then reigning monarch, will be Cambyses, or the Ahasuerus, and Smerdis, or the Artaxerxes, of Ezra 4:6-7, and Darius Hystaspes; the second of whom, being a magian usurper, that reigned scarce eight months, according to Herodotus, is not in the Canon.” — Wintle. And the fourth shall be far richer than they all — That is, Xerxes, the son and successor of Hystaspes, who had inherited great riches from his father, according to Æschylus, and had amassed much more. Of him Justin truly remarks, “If you consider this king, you may praise his riches, not the general; of which there was so great abundance in his kingdom, that when rivers were dried up by his army, yet his wealth remained unexhausted.” Pythius, the Lydian, (according to Herodotus, book 7. sec. 27,) was at that time the richest subject in the world. He generously entertained Xerxes and all his army, and proffered him two thousand talents of silver, and three millions nine hundred and ninety-three thousand pieces of gold, with the stamp of Darius, toward defraying the charges of the war. But Xerxes was so far from wanting supplies, that he rewarded Pythius for his liberality, and presented him with seven thousand darics, to make up his number a complete round sum of four millions. Each of these darics was worth better than a guinea of our money. Many great and rich provinces, as India, Thrace, Macedonia, and the islands of the Ionian sea, were added by Darius to the Persian empire. And by his strength he shall stir up all — Both subjects and allies; against the realm of Grecia — “Xerxes’s expedition into Greece is one of the most memorable adventures in ancient history. Herodotus (book 7. sec. 20, 21) affirms, that Xerxes, in raising his army, searched every place of the continent, and it was the greatest army that ever was brought into the field; for what nation was there, says he, that Xerxes led not out of Asia into Greece? Herodotus lived in that age; and he, in the fore-mentioned place, recounts with great exactness the various nations of which Xerxes’s army was composed, and computes that the whole number of horse and foot, by land and sea, out of Asia and Europe, soldiers and followers of the camp, amounted to five millions two hundred and eighty-three thousand two hundred and twenty men. Nor was Xerxes content with stirring up the East, but was for stirring up the West likewise, (see Diod. Sic., book 11.,) and engaged the Carthaginians in his alliance, that, while he and his army overwhelmed Greece, they might fall upon the Greek colonies in Sicily and Italy: and the Carthaginians, for this purpose, not only raised all the forces they could in Africa, but also hired a great number of mercenaries in Spain, and Gaul, and Italy; so that their army consisted of three hundred thousand men, and their fleet of two hundred ships. Thus did Xerxes stir up all against the realm of Grecia: and after him no mention is here made of any other king of Persia. ‘It is to be noted,’ says Jerome, ‘that the prophet, having enumerated four kings of the Persians after Cyrus, slips over nine, and passes to Alexander; for the prophetic spirit did not care to follow the order of history, but only to touch upon the most famous events.’ Xerxes was the principal author of the long wars and inveterate hatred between the Grecians and Persians; and as he was the last king of Persia who invaded Greece, he is mentioned last. The Grecians then, in their turn, invaded Asia; and Xerxes’s expedition being the most memorable on one side, as Alexander’s was on the other, the reigns of these two are not improperly connected together.” — Bishop Newton.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 now will I show thee the truth - That is, the truth about events that are to occur in the future, and which will accord with what is written in "the scripture of truth," Daniel 10:21.

Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia - The phrase "stand up means that there would be so many kings in Persia; that is, there would be three before the fourth which he mentions. The same Hebrew word here rendered "stand up" (עמד ‛âmad) occurs in Daniel 11:3-4, Daniel 11:6-8, Daniel 11:14-16 (twice), Daniel 11:17, Daniel 11:20, Daniel 11:21, Daniel 11:25, Daniel 11:31; also in Daniel 12:1, Daniel 12:13. In Daniel 11:8 it is rendered "continue;" in Daniel 11:15, "withstand;" in the other cases, "stand up," or simply stand. Gesenius says it is a word used particularly of a new prince, as in Daniel 8:23; Daniel 11:2-3, Daniel 11:20. He does not say that there would be none afterward, but he evidently designs to touch on the great and leading events respecting the Persian empire, so far as they would affect the Hebrew people, and so far as they would constitute prominent points in the history of the world. He does not, therefore, go into all the details respecting the history, nor does he mention all the kings that would reign. The prominent, the material points, would be the reign of those three kings; then the reign of the fourth, or Xerxes, as his mad expedition to Greece would lay the real foundation for the invasion of Persia by Alexander, and the overthrow of the Persian empire; then the life and conquests of Alexander, and then the wars consequent on the division of his empire at his death. The "three kings" here referred to were Cambyses, Smerdis, and Darius Hystaspis. As this communication was made in the third year of Cyrus Daniel 10:1, these would be the next in order; and by the fourth is undoubtedly meant Xerxes. There were several kings of Persia after Xerxes, as Artaxerxes Longimanus, Darius Nothus, Artaxerxes Mnemon, Ochus, and Darius Codomanus, but these are not enumerated because the real ground of the invasion of Alexander, the thing which connected him with the affairs of Pcrsia, did not occur in their reign, but it was the invasion of Greece by Xerxes.

And the fourth shall be far richer than they all - That is, Xerxes - for he was the fourth in order, and the description here agrees entirely with him. He would of course inherit the wealth accumulated by these kings, and it is here implied that he would increase that wealth, or that, in some way, he would possess more than they all combined. The wealth of this king is mentioned here probably because the magnificence and glory of an Oriental monarch was estimated in a considerable degree by his possessions, and because his riches enabled him to accomplish his expedition into Greece. Some idea of the treasures of Xerxes may be obtained by considering,

(a) That Cyrus had collected a vast amount of wealth by the conquest of Lydia, and the subjugation of Croesus, its rich king, by the conquest of Asia Miner, of Armenia, and of Babylon - for it is said respecting him, "I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places," Isaiah 45:3 : see the note at that passage.

(b) That Cambyses increased that wealth which he inherited from Cyrus by his victories, and by his plundering the temples wherever he came. A single case occurring in his conquests may illustrate the amount of wealth which was accumulated. On his return from Thebes, in Egypt, he caused all the temples in that city to be pillaged and burned to the ground. But he saved from the flames gold to the amount of three hundred talents, and silver to the amount of two thousand and five hundred talents. He is also said to have carried away the famous circle of gold that encompassed the tomb of king Ozymandias, being three hundred and sixty-five cubits in circumference, on which were represented all the motions of the several constellations. - Universal History, iv. 140.

(c) This was further increased by the conquests of Darius Hystaspis, and by his heavy taxes on the people. So burdensome were these taxes, that he was called by the Persians, ὁ κάπηλος ho kapēlos - the "merchant," or "hoarder." One of the first acts of Darius was to divide his kingdom into provinces for the purpose of raising tribute. "During the reign of Cyrus, and indeed of Cambyses, there were no specific tributes; but presents were made to the sovereign. On account of these and similar innovations, the Persians call Darius a merchant, Cambyses a despot, but Cyrus a parent." - Herodotus, b. iii. lxxxix. A full account of the taxation of the kingdom, and the amount of the revenue under Darius, may be seen in Herodotus, b. iii. xc. - xcvi. The sum of the tribute under Darius, according to Herodotus, was fourteen thousand five hundred and sixty talents. Besides this sum received from regular taxation, Herodotus enumerates a great amount of gold and silver, and other valuable things, which Darius was accustomed to receive annually from the Ethiopians, from the people of Colchis, from the Arabians, and from India. All this vast wealth was inherited by Xerxes, the son and successor of Darius, and the "fourth king" here referred to.

Xerxes was full four years in making provision for his celebrated expedition into Greece. Of the amount of his forces, and his preparation, a full account may be seen in Herodotus, b. vii. Of his wealth Justin makes this remark: "Si regem, spectes, divitias, non ducem, laudes: quarum tanta copia in regno ejus fuit, ut cum flumina multgtudine consumerentur, opes tamen regioe superessent." - Hist. ii. 10. Compare Diod. Sic. x. c. 3; Pliny, Hist. Nat. xxiii. 10; AEl. xiii. 3; Herod. iii. 96; vii. 27-29. In the city of Celaenae, Herodotus says, there lived a man named Pythius, son of Atys, a native of Lydia, who entertained Xerxes and all his army with great magnificence, and who farther engaged to supply the king with money for the war. Xerxes on this was induced to inquire of his Persian attendants who this Pythius was, and what were the resources which enabled him to make these offers. "It is the same," they replied, "who presented your father Darius with a plane-tree and a vine of gold, and who, next to yourself, is the richest of mankind." - Herod. vii. 27.

And by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia - That is, all his kingdom. He was enabled to do this by his great wealth - collecting and equipping, probably, the largest army that was ever assembled. The expedition of Xerxes against Greece is too well known to need to be detailed here, and no one can fail to see the applicability of this description to that invasion. Four years were spent in preparing for this expedition, and the forces that constituted the army were gathered out of all parts of the vast empire of Xerxes, embracing, as was then supposed, all the habitable world except Greece. According to Justin, the army was composed of seven hundred thousand of his own, and three hundred thousand auxiliaries. Diodorus Siculus makes it to be about three hundred thousand men; Prideaux, from Herodotus and others, computes it to have amounted, putting all his forces by sea and land together, to two million six hundred and forty-one thousand six hundred and ten men; and he adds that the servants, eunuchs, suttlers, and such persons as followed the camp, made as manymore, so that the whole number that followed Xerxes could not have been less than five million. - Connexions, pt. i. b. iv. vol. i. p. 410. Grotius reckons his forces at five million two hundred and eighty-two thousand. These immense numbers justify the expression here, and show with what propriety it is applied to the hosts of Xerxes. On the supposition that this was written after the event, and that it was history instead of prophecy, this would be the very language which would be employed.

2. three kings in Persia—Cambyses, Pseudo-Smerdis, and Darius Hystaspes. (Ahasuerus, Artaxerxes, and Darius, in Ezr 4:6, 7, 24). The Ahasuerus of Esther (see on [1101]Da 9:1) is identified with Xerxes, both in Greek history and in Scripture, appearing proud, self-willed, careless of contravening Persian customs, amorous, facile, and changeable (Da 11:2).

fourth … riches … against … Grecia—Xerxes, whose riches were proverbial. Persia reached its climax and showed its greatest power in his invasion of Greece, 480 B.C. After his overthrow at Salamis, Persia is viewed as politically dead, though it had an existence. Therefore, Da 11:3, without noticing Xerxes' successors, proceeds at once to Alexander, under whom, first, the third world kingdom, Grecia, reached its culmination, and assumed an importance as to the people of God.

stir up all—Four years were spent in gathering his army out of all parts of his vast empire, amounting to two millions six hundred and forty-one thousand men. [Prideaux, Connexion, 1.4. l. 410].

The truth: this is that thing which Daniel saith, Daniel 10:1, was revealed unto him, and was true, i.e. plain, without any obscurity, and should suddenly and certainly come to pass.

There shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; which notes their flourishing and strength; for after them that monarchy declined. These three are Cyrus, Smerdis, Darius Hystaspes. Others put Cambyses for Cyrus; others add Xerxes, who is added as the fourth in this same verse, and made more potent than all the other three, because his father Darius had gathered an incredible mass for him, and he also himself drove the same trade for six years together before he made his expedition against Greece. There were more kings of Persia besides those four, but they had no concern with the people of God; but those four had, either in hindering or helping the building of the temple, and therefore the angel’s instructions from God to Daniel were principally touching those four who are mentioned.

The fourth shall be far richer than they all: he had vast territories from India to Ethiopia; he had a navy of one thousand two hundred ships, and an army of eight hundred thousand, as Ctesias writes, but Herodotus speaks of a prodigious army that Xerxes had little short of five millions and a half, (five millions two hundred and eighty-three thousand,) and all against the realm of Greece, where he made incredible havoc at Thermopyle and Athens, as the Greek and Latin histories mention. And now will I show thee the truth,.... And nothing but the truth; what will most certainly come to pass, and may be depended on, even what is written in the book of God's decrees, "the Scripture of truth", and which would appear in Providence in later times; and this he proposed to deliver to him, not in figurative, dark, and obscure expressions, but clearly and plainly, in language easy to be understood:

behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; which were Cyrus, who reigned alone after the death of Darius the Mede, his uncle; Cambyses, the son of Cyrus; and Darius Hystaspes. There was another between Cambyses and Darius, called Smerdis the magician, who reigned but seven months, and being an impostor is left out, as he is in Ptolemy's canon; not that these were all the kings of Persia after Darius the Mede; for, according to the above canon, there reigned six more after them; but because these kings had a connection with the Jews, and under them their affairs had different turns and changes, respecting their restoration and settlement, and the building of their city and temple; as also because these kings "stood", and the monarchy under them was strong and flourishing, whereas afterwards it began to decline; and chiefly it is for the sake of the fourth king that these are observed, who laid the foundation of the destruction of the Persian monarchy by the Grecians.

And the fourth shall be far richer than they all: this is Xerxes, who exceeded his predecessors in wealth and riches; enjoying what they by their conquests, or otherwise, had amassed together, to which he greatly added; Cyrus had collected a vast deal of riches from various nations, especially from Babylon: God gave him "the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places", Isaiah 14:3, Cambyses increased the store by his victories, and the plunder of temples wherever he came; out of the flames of which were saved three hundred talents of gold, and 2300 talents of silver, which he carried away, together with the famous circle of gold that encompassed the tomb of King Ozymandias (d): and Darius, the father of Xerxes, laid heavy taxes upon the people, and hoarded up his money; hence he was called by the Persians (e), the huckster or hoarder: and Xerxes came into it all, and so became richer than them all; of whom Justin says (f).

"si regem species; divitias, non ducem laudes: quarum tanta copia in regno ejus fuit, ut cum flumina multitudine consumerentur, opes tamen regiae superessent.''

And by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia; through his vast riches, which are the sinews of war, he collected a prodigious army out of all provinces, which he raised to make war against the Grecians; being moved to it by Mardonius, a relation of his, who was very ambitious of being at the head of a large army (g); three years were spent in preparing for this expedition, and forces were gathered out of all parts of the then known habitable world; out of all the west, under Hamilcar, general of the Carthaginians, with whom he made a league; and out of all the east, under his own command: his army, according to Justin (h), consisted of 700,000 of his own, and 300,000 auxiliaries; Diodorus Siculus (i) makes it much less, to be about 300,000 men; but Dr. Prideaux (k), from Herodotus and others, computes, that putting all his forces together by sea and land, by the time he came to the straits of Thermopylae the number of them were 2,641,610 men; and Grotius, from the same writer reckons them 5,283,000, to which others add two hundred and twenty (l) with these he marched into Greece, where, after having done much mischief, he was shamefully defeated and obliged to retire, and was murdered by Artabanus the captain of his guards. The words may be rendered (m), "he shall stir up all, even the realm of Grecia"; by the preparation he made, and the vast army he brought into the field, he raised all the cities and states of Greece to combine together to withstand him; and this step of his is what irritated the Grecians, and put them upon later attempts to avenge themselves on the Persians for this attack upon them; and which they never desisted from, till they had ruined the Persian empire, which they did under Alexander; and so he, in his letter to Darius, says (n),

"your ancestors entered into Macedonia, and the other parts of Greece, and did us damage, when they had received no affront from us as the cause of it; and now I, created general of the Grecians, provoked by you, and desirous of avenging the injury done by the Persians, have passed over into Asia.''

And it is for the sake of this, the destruction of the Persian empire by Alexander, that this expedition of Xerxes is here hinted at; and to pave the way for the account of Alexander and his successors, in the following part of this prophecy.

(d) See the Universal History, vol. 5. p. 194. (e) Herodot. l. 3. sive Thalia, c. 89. (f) E Trogo, l. 2. c. 10. (g) Diodor. Sicul. Bibliothec. l. 11. par. 2. p. 3. Ed. Rhodoman. (h) E Trogo, l. 2. c. 10. (i) Ut supra, ( Diodor. Sicul. Bibliothec. l. 11.) par. 2. p. 2.((k) Connexion, &c. part 1. B. 4. p. 233, 234. (l) See the Universal History, vol. 5. p. 233. (m) "excitabit universos, nempe regnum" Graciae, Michaelis. (n) Apud Arrian. Exped. Alexand. l. 2.

And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet {b} three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up {c} all against the realm of Grecia.

(b) Of which Cambyses that now reigned was the first, the second Smerdes, the third Darius the son of Hystaspis, and the fourth Xerxes, who all were enemies to the people of God, and stood against them.

(c) For he raised up all the east countries to fight against the Grecians, and even though he had in his army 900,000 men, yet in four battles he was defeated, and fled away with shame.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. And now will I declare truth unto thee] something which will be verified by the event (cf. Daniel 10:21).

The four kings of Persia.

stand up] i.e. arise, as Daniel 8:23, and below, Daniel 11:3-4; Daniel 11:7; Daniel 11:20-21.

three kings] the three kings following Cyrus (Daniel 10:1) are Cambyses (b.c. 529–522), Gaumâta (Pseudo-Smerdis) 522 (for 7 months), and Darius Hystaspis (522–485). Gaumâta, however, might easily be disregarded by the writer: in this case, the third king would be Xerxes (485–465).

in Persia] to, belonging to, Persia: the construction, as Deuteronomy 23:2-3 [3, 4]; Jeremiah 13:13 (see R.V. marg.); and frequently.

the fourth] the fourth, following the ‘three’? or the fourth, including Cyrus (who is reigning at the time, Daniel 10:1), i.e. the last of the ‘three’? The latter interpretation is the more probable one: otherwise, why was not ‘four kings shall stand up’ said? In either case, the fourth king is Xerxes, Gaumâta being counted in the former case but not in the latter. On Xerxes’ wealth and strength, see Hdt. vii. 20–99 (the account of the immense armament prepared by him against Greece).

and when he is waxed strong] The same expression (in the Heb.) as 2 Chronicles 12:1; 2 Chronicles 26:16.

he shall stir up all (in conflict) with, &c.] he will set in motion (Daniel 11:25; Isaiah 13:17; Jeremiah 50:9) all the men and forces of his vast empire. The allusion is to the well-known expedition against Greece, to which Xerxes devoted all his treasures and all his energies, and which ended in the disastrous defeat at Salamis, b.c. 480. The description of Greece as a ‘realm’ or kingdom, is, of course, inexact: Greece, in the age of Xerxes, consisted of a number of independent states, democracies or oligarchies; a Greek ‘kingdom’ did not arise till the days of Philip and Alexander of Macedon.

(2) Daniel 11:2 to Daniel 12:4. The revelation given to Daniel.

This consists of a survey of the history from the beginning of the Persian period down to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, followed by a description of the Messianic age, to begin afterwards. The description is brief and general in its earlier part, more detailed in the later parts. The angel first refers briefly to the doings of four Persian kings (Daniel 11:2), and of Alexander the Great (Daniel 11:3), with the division of his empire after his death (Daniel 11:4); then narrates more fully the leagues and conflicts between the kings of Antioch (‘the kings of the north’), and of Egypt (‘the kings of the south’), in the centuries following (Daniel 11:5-20); and finally, most fully of all, describes the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes (Daniel 11:21-45), including his conflicts with Egypt, and the persecution of the Jews (Daniel 11:30 b–39). The death of Antiochus is followed by a resurrection (of Israelites), and the advent of the Messianic age (Daniel 12:1-3). The revelation is intended to shew that the course of history is in God’s hands, and that though it may bring with it a period of trial for His people, this will be followed, at the appointed time, by its deliverance. It is thus designed particularly for the encouragement of those living in the season of trial, i.e. under the persecution of Antiochus; it is accordingly to be ‘sealed up’ by Daniel until then (Daniel 12:4).

As is usual in apocalyptic literature (Enoch, Baruch, 2 Esdras, &c.), no names are mentioned; the characters and events referred to being described in veiled language, which sometimes leaves the interpretation uncertain. The Commentary of Jerome is important in this chapter, on account of its preserving notices from writers no longer extant.Verse 2. - And now will I show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. The rendering of the LXX. is, "And now I came to show thee the truth. Behold, three kings have risen, and the fourth shall be rich with great riches above all, and when he shall strengthen himself in his riches, he shall stir himself up against every king of the Greeks." Theodotion is very like this, only the last words of the verse are, "all the realms of the Greeks." The Peshitta is very like Theodotion, having "kingdoms" instead of "realm." The Vulgate is in nearly exact agreement with the Massoretic text. When we turn to the Massoretic text and compare it with the versions, we find that the LXX. must have read, וּבְחֶזְקָתו, as it has ἐν. Theodotion reads, μετὰ; the Peshitta, ma; the Vulgate, cum. This is the beginning of the revelation referred to in Daniel 10:21a. The doubtful authenticity of that clause throws a shadow on this verse. It is to be noted that we are no longer in the region of symbol, but of distinct narration. There may have been something in the nature of a vision, and that here we have, enlarged, an interpretation of it. The fourth king is certainly Xerxes. If we regard him as one of the three successors to Cyrus, then Cambyses and Darius Hystaspis are the other two. So Hitzig and Delitzsch. Keil would more naturally make the fourth not the fourth King of Persia, but the fourth successor of Cyrus. (For the Hebrew usage, see Exodus 22:30.) Professor Bevan, assuming in his superior way the ignorance of the writer before us, here determines that he drew "most of his information" from the Bible, and, as there are only four names of Persian kings given in Ezra and Nehemiah, that he, this careful student of Scripture, came to the conclusion that there were only four kings. In the first place, if this portion was written, as it not impossibly was, in the Maceabean period, the writer must have got his information of the invasion of Greece by Xerxes from classical sources; he could not fail to know of Cambyses and the pseudo-Smerdis. Further, scarcely even the most casual reader of Ezra could fail to distinguish between the Artaxerxes who before Darius Hystaspis hindered the work of the Jews, and the Artaxerxes after Darius who fostered it. We have followed Herodotus in calling the brother of Cambysos, whose name the usurper assumed, "Smerdis;" but Ctesias calls him "Tanyoxarces;" Xenophon, "Tanaoxares;" and AEschylus, "Marries." We know that Artaxerxes was probably not a personal name, but rather a title, as was also Aehsverosh Xerxes. Some, as Behramnn, assume the fourth monarch here to be Darius Codomannus, but there seems no reason for this assump tion, save that critics are superior persons; and the writer, albeit many of them admit him to be inspired, would be more likely to be wrong in his facts than that their theories should be defective. As the writer here gives no names, it is certainly singular to assert that, though, if we take his Hebrew as grammatical, he gives a correct enumera tion of the Persian kings, he has defied Hebrew usage, and been wrong in his enumeration. He shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. All the versions except the Vulgate imply a plural here- מַלְכֻיות instead of מַלְכוּת. This reading is preferable to the Massoretic, which would arise easily from the next verse. If we may take this as the true reading, then the diversities of the states in Greece is indicated in the way most natural to an Oriental. The Kethiv תּוּכל, Daniel 5:16, is the Hebr. Hophal, as Daniel 2:10; the Keri תכּוּל the formation usual in the Chaldee, found at Daniel 3:29. Regarding the reward to Daniel, see under Daniel 5:7. Daniel declines (Daniel 5:17) the distinction and the place of honour promised for the interpretation, not because the former might be dangerous to him and the latter only temporary, as Hitzig supposes; for he had no reason for such a fear, when he spoke "as one conveying information who had just seen the writing, and had read it and understood its import," for the interpretation, threatening ruin and death to the king, could bring no special danger to him either on the part of Belshazzar or on that of his successor. Much rather Daniel rejected the gift and the distinction promised, to avoid, as a divinely enlightened seer, every appearance of self-interest in the presence of such a king, and to show to the king ad his high officers of state that he was not determined by a regard to earthly advantage, and would unhesitatingly declare the truth, whether it might be pleasing or displeasing to the king. But before he read and interpreted the writing, he reminded the king of the punishment his father Nebuchadnezzar had brought upon himself on account of his haughty pride against God (Daniel 5:18-21), and then showed him how he, the son, had done wickedly toward God, the Lord of his life (Daniel 5:22, Daniel 5:23), and finally explained to him that on this account this sign had been given by God (Daniel 5:24).
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