Daniel 11:21
And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) A vile person.—The meaning of the language will be plainer after a reference to Psalm 119:141; Jeremiah 22:28. The moral character of the man is especially described. The words that follow explain more fully that he was not worthy of receiving royal majesty. This person is generally identified with Antiochus Epiphanes. The description certainly agrees with him very closely. In fact, just as his predecessors resembled in various points the kings spoken of in Daniel 11:1-20, so Antiochus resembles the person here described. The language of St. Jerome about early interpreters of the Book of Daniel is striking: “Cumque multa quœ postea lecturi et exposituri sumus super Antiochi persona conveniant, typum eum volunt Antichristi habere, et quœ in illo ex parte prœceperint, in Antichristo ex toto esse complenda.

Peaceably.—Unexpectedly, as LXX. (Comp. Daniel 8:25.) The king is here represented as taking possession of the kingdom by craft, and in the following clause he is said to gain his end by “flatteries,” or by intrigues and cunning hypocritical conduct. It does not appear that this was done by Antiochus Epiphanes.

Daniel 11:21. And in his estate shall stand up a vile person — This is a description of Antiochus Epiphanes, the great persecutor of the Jewish nation and religion. He is here called a vile person, not for any want of wit or parts, but for the extravagance of his life and actions, which made many doubt whether he had more of the fool or the madman in him: see note on Daniel 8:9; Daniel 8:23-26. To whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom, &c. — The right of succession belonged to Demetrius, the son of Seleucus Philopater, and nephew to Antiochus; but he being a hostage at Rome when his father died by the treachery of Heliodorus, Antiochus, who was now returned from thence, took advantage of his absence, and by courting Eumenes king of Pergamus, and Attalus his brother, with flattering speeches, and great promises of friendship and assistance against the Romans, prevailed with them to assist him against the usurper Heliodorus. He also flattered the Syrians, and with great show of clemency obtained their concurrence. He flattered the Romans likewise, and sent ambassadors to court their favour, to pay the arrears of tribute, to present them besides with golden vessels of five hundred pounds’ weight, and to desire their friendship and alliance. Thus he came in peaceably — And as he flattered the Syrians, the Syrians flattered him again, and bestowed upon him the title of Epiphanes, or Illustrious; but the epithet of vile, or rather despicable, here given by the prophet, agrees better with his true character.

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 in his estate - In his place. See the notes at Daniel 11:7, Daniel 11:20.

Shall stand up a vile person - There shall succeed to the throne. The reference here is to Antiochus Epiphanes, who reigned from 175 b.c. to 163 b.c. The epithet "vile" here given him was one which his subsequent history showed was eminently appropriate to him in all respects, as a man and as a prince. The Hebrew word rendered "vile" - נבזה nı̂bezeh - properly means one despised or held in contempt, Isaiah 49:7; Psalm 22:6 (7). The meaning here is, that he was one who deserved to be despised, and who would be held in contempt - a man of a low, base, contemptible character. Vulgate, "despectus;" Greek ἐξουδενώθη exoudenōthē; Luther, "ein ungeachteter." Never were terms better applied to a man than these to Antiochus Epiphanes - both before and after his ascension to the throne. The manner of his seizing upon the crown is stated above. He was surnamed Epiphanes (Ἐπιφανής Epiphanēs), "the Illustrious," because, if we believe Appian, he vindicated the claims of the royal family against the usurpations of the foreigner Heliodorus. He also bore the name Θεός Theos, "God," which is still seen upon his coins.

But by his subjects he was called Epimanes (Ἐπιμανής Epimanēs) "the Insane," instead of "Epiphanes" - a name which he much more richly deserved. The following statement from Jahn (Heb. Commonwealth, ch. x. Section 92) will show with what propriety the term "vile" was applied to him: "He often lounged like a mere idler about the streets of Antioch, attended by two or three servants, and not deigning to look at the nobles; would talk with goldsmiths and other mechanics in their workshops, engage in idle and trifling conversation with the lowest of the people, and mingle in the society of foreigners and men of the vilest character. He was not ashamed to go into the dissipated circles of the young, to drink and carouse with them, and to assist their merriment by singing songs and playing on his flute. He often appeared in the public baths among the common people, engaging in every kind of foolish jest, without the least regard to the dignity of his station and character. Not unfrequently he was seen drunk in the streets, when he would throw his money. about, and practice various other fooleries equally extravagant. He would parade the streets of his capital in a long robe, and with a garland of roses upon his head: and if any attempted to pass by or to follow him, he would pelt them with stones, which he carried concealed under his garments," etc. See also Appian in "Syriacis," 45:70-75; Eusebius in "Chronicon;" Athenaeus, lib. v. p. 193; x. p. 438; Livy, xli. 20; Diod. Sic. "Frag." xxvi. 65; xxxi. 7, 8; Prideaux, "Con." iii.-212-214; 1 Macc. 1:9.

To whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom - That is, the people. Or, in other words, it should not be conferred on him by any law or act of the nation, or in any regular succession or claim. The true heir to the crown was Demetrius, who was absent at Rome. On him the crown would have regularly devolved; but in his absence it was obtained by Antiochus by arts which he practiced, and not by any voluntary grant of the nation.

But he shall come in peaceably - Quietly; without war or force; by art rather than by arms. Gesenius (Lexicon) renders the phrase used here "in the midst of security;" that is, unexpectedly, suddenly. The idea seems to be, that he would do it when the nation was not expecting it, or apprehending it; when they would be taken off their guard, and he would "steal a march upon them." All this accorded with fact. The nation seemed not to have anticipated that Antiochus would attempt to ascend the throne on the death of his brother. But he quietly left Rome - while Demetrius, his nephew, the true heir to the crown, remained there; came to Athens, and learned what was the state of things in Syria, where Heliodorus had usurped the authority; made an agreement with the king of Pergamos to aid him, and, by the assistance of a part of the Syrians who were opposed to the usurper Heliodorus, deprived him of the authority, and himself took possession of the crown. No one seemed to suspect that this was his aim, or to doubt that his object was to remove an usurper that his nephew might be placed on the throne.

And obtain the kingdom by flatteries - חלקלקות chălaqelaqqôth - "lubricitates, blanditioe." "The word," says Elliott (Rev. iv. 133), "has a double sense, being applied both to the slipperiness of a path, and the slipperiness or flattering and deceit of the tongue." In the former sense it occurs in Psalm 35:6, "Let their way be dark and slippery;" in the latter, its originating verb, Proverbs 2:16; Proverbs 7:5, "The stranger that flattereth or dissembleth with his words;" and Proverbs 29:5, "A man that flattereth (or dissembleth to) his neighbor." In this latter sense the verbal seems to be used both here and in the verses Daniel 11:32, Daniel 11:34 below: "arts of dissimulation." - Gesenius. The probable meaning here is, that he would obtain the throne by acts of dissembling, and by promises of rewards and offices. Such promises he would probably make to Eumenes, king of Pergamos, and to the Syrian nobles and people who espoused his cause. It would not be difficult to secure the aid of multitudes in this way, and the character of Antiochus was just such as to permit him to use any of these arts to accomplish his ends. Perhaps, also, he might hold out the hope of aid from the Romans, with whom he had long lived. It was no uncommon thing for an usurper to make his way by flattering certain classes of a people, and by promises of largesses, of offices, and of the removal of oppressive burdens. Compare Prideaux, "Con." iii. 212. See also the case of Absalom in 2 Samuel 15:1-6.

21. vile—Antiochus called Epiphanes, that is, "the illustrious," for vindicating the claims of the royal line against Heliodorus, was nicknamed, by a play of sounds, Epimanes, that is, "the madman," for his mad freaks beneath the dignity of a king. He would carouse with the lowest of the people, bathe with them in the public baths, and foolishly jest and throw stones at passers-by [Polybius, 26.10]. Hence, as also for his crafty supplanting of Demetrius, the rightful heir, from the throne, he is termed "vile."

they shall not give … kingdom: but … by flatteries—The nation shall not, by a public act, confer the kingdom on him, but he shall obtain it by artifice, "flattering" Eumenes and Attalus of Pergamos to help him, and, as he had seen candidates at Rome doing, canvassing the Syrian people high and low, one by one, with embraces [Livy, 41.20].

Antiochus called Epiphanes, i.e. illustrious; thus he was called by his flatterers and admirers: but the people of God accounted him contrary, i.e. infamous, base, treacherous, barbarous; such were his manners, and accordingly the angel calls him here a

vile person, the type of antichrist, Epimanes, a mad persecutor.

To whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom, i.e. neither peers nor people; nor was he the heir, but his nephew, or brother, Philopater’s son, but he cheated him of the kingdom, and crept in by flatteries, i.e. he was a great flatterer of the Romans, as well as of his people, till he got up, and shut out Demetrius the son of Selencus; so vile a flatterer was he, that he would bathe in the same bath with mean people, to make them believe he was good-natured, and not proud. He soothed and courted the nobles with much kindness and presents, and said he was but guardian to his brother’s son the heir, till he destroyed him.

And in his estate shall stand up a vile person,.... Upon his basis or stand, in the same place where Seleucus Philopator stood, succeeded Antiochus Epiphanes his brother, called "vile", being a very immoral man, given to drunkenness, lasciviousness, uncleanness, and unnatural lusts, and a violent persecutor of the church of God. The word signifies "despicable" (p); he was a vile person, and justly condemned for his vices, and also for that mean and ignoble life he had lived at Rome, having been an hostage there for eleven or twelve years; and though the other hostages were changed at three years' end, yet he remained; which shows what little account he was of even with his father; and was in no esteem with the people, among whom, by his freaks and frolics, he made himself very ridiculous; by rambling about streets with a servant or two; conversing with tradesmen about their trades; drinking with strangers, and people of low life; revelling at merry bouts with young people; putting on strange habits; throwing away his money among the rabble, and stones at those that followed him; washing at public baths among the common people; all which, and many others, are reported (q) of him by historians; hence he was called by some Epimanes the madman; though he took to himself the title of Epiphanes the "illustrious", the reverse of his character. This is the little horn in Daniel 8:9 and who was an eminent type of antichrist, with whom his character agrees, as well as other things:

to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom; neither his father, nor his brother, nor the peers and people of the land of the kingdom of Syria; they never once thought of making him king; they neither chose him, nor called him, nor crowned him:

but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries; pretending to take it, not for himself, but for his nephew Demetrius, the son of his brother Seleucus, now an hostage at Rome, in his stead; so that the states opposed him not, but quietly admitted him, thinking all was safe for the rightful heir and successor; and when he had got possession for his nephew, he obtained it for himself by his flattering speeches to the nobles, and his gifts among the citizens, and his great pretensions to clemency and humanity; or these "flatteries" may refer to the artifices he used to gain Eumenes king of Pergamus, and Attalus his brother, to assist him against Heliodorus the usurper; and the promises of friendship and assistance against the Romans he made to them, and by whose help he came peaceably to the kingdom.

(p) "despectus", Pagninus, Montanus; "contemptus", Vatablus, Piscator, Tigurine version. (q) See Prideaux's Connexion, par. 2. B. 3. p. 153, 154, Out of Athenaeus, Diodorus, &c. and the Universal History, vol. 9. p. 276, 277, 289, 290.

And in his estate shall stand up a {s} vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.

(s) Who was Antiochus Epiphanes, who as is thought was the occasion of Seleucus his brother's death, and was of a vile, cruel, and flattering nature, and defrauded his brother's son of the kingdom, and usurped the kingdom without the consent of the people.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. Antiochus’ accession. Antiochus was the younger brother of Seleucus Philopator; and, in accordance with the terms of the peace concluded by Antiochus the Great with the Romans (p. 175), he had been, for 14 years, one of the Syrian hostages at Rome[372]: Seleucus, in his 12th year had recalled him, sending, to take his place at Rome, his own son Demetrius (a boy aged 11 or 12); and it was while he was at Athens, on his way back to Antioch, that Seleucus was murdered by Heliodorus (above, on Daniel 11:20). Heliodorus aspired naturally to the throne, but was thwarted in his designs by Eumenes, king of Pergamum, and his brother, Attalus, who, as Antiochus was proceeding homewards, met him, unsolicited (ἀπαρακλήτως), with great friendliness, supplied him with money and troops, and so enabled him to secure the throne. An inscription has been recently discovered at Pergamum, recording a vote of thanks passed by the Council and people of Antioch to Eumenes and Attalus for the help thus given by them to Antiochus (see p. 205 f.).

[372] He had been well treated during these years, as he afterwards boasted in a message sent to the Senate (Livy xlii. 6), ‘Ea merita in se senatus fuisse, quum Romae esset, eam comitatem iuventutis, ut pro rege, non pro obside, omnibus ordinibus fuerit.’

And in his place shall stand up a contemptible person] Antiochus IV., called ‘contemptible’ (more lit. despised, Psalm 15:4 (R.V.), Psalm 119:141) on account of his character (p. xxxviii f.), perhaps also in intentional opposition to the title ‘Epiphanes.’ In 1Ma 1:10 he is called a ‘sinful root.’

upon whom had not been conferred the majesty of the kingdom] The phrase, exactly as (in the Heb.) 1 Chronicles 29:25 (‘bestow,’ lit. put), and Numbers 27:20 (A.V., R.V., weakly, ‘honour’). The words, taken in conjunction with the two following clauses, imply that Antiochus had not been generally regarded as the heir to the throne, but that he gained it partly by a coup d’état, partly by address. His nephew, Demetrius, the son of Seleucus Philopator, was the lawful heir; but, as has been just said, he was a child, and also now a hostage at Rome.

but he shall come in (time of) security] i.e. unawares (Daniel 11:24, Daniel 8:25).

by flatteries] or smooth sayings, i.e. plausible representations, the exact nature of which we do not know. Cf. Daniel 8:23, which speaks of his mastery in dissimulation (מבין חידות). The details are unknown to us: but it is quite possible that the support given to Antiochus by Eumenes and Attalus took the Antiochenes by surprise: it would be entirely in accordance with Antiochus’ character that he should afterwards ingratiate himself with the people, and lead them to thank his two friends publicly for the part they had taken in securing him the kingdom. According to Jerome, there was a party in Syria, which supported the claims of his nephew (see on Daniel 11:17), the youthful son of Ptolemy Epiphanes and Cleopatra (afterwards Ptolemy Philometor), and refused to recognize Antiochus until he had disarmed their opposition simulatione clementiae.

Before proceeding further, it will be convenient to give a summary of the chief events of Antiochus Epiphanes’ reign[373].

[373] The principal authorities are Polybius xxvi. 10, xxvii. 17, xxviii. 1, 16, 17, 18, 19, xxix. 1, 11, xxxi. 3, 4, 5, 11; Livy xli. 20, xlii. 6, 29, xliv. 19, xlv. 11, 12; Porphyry (as cited by Jerome on Daniel 11:21 ff.), who states (see p. 622, ed. Bened.) that he follows various Greek authorities, including some now lost. Some uncertainty arises (especially as regards the 1st and 2nd Egyptian expeditions) from the fact that the records (in particular those of Polyb.) are incomplete. Among modern authorities, reference may be made in particular to J. F. Hoffmann, Antiochus IV. Epiphanes, 1873; and U. Wilcken’s art. Antiochus IV., in Pauly-Wissowa’s Real-Encyclopädie (1894).

Antiochus’ first expedition into Egypt (b.c. 170). The death, soon after Antiochus’ accession, in 174 or 173, of his sister, Cleopatra, widow of Ptolemy Epiphanes, was the signal for fresh complications with Egypt. His nephew, Ptolemy Philometor, who was a boy of not more than 15 years old, fell now under the influence of his guardians, the eunuch Eulaeus and a Syrian named Lenaeus, who assured him that, if he would but make the attempt, he would easily recover for Egypt her Syrian possessions. Antiochus, learning through Apollonius, the governor of Cœle-Syria (whom he had sent to attend the enthronement of Philometor), Egyptian feeling towards himself, proceeded to act without further delay. First, with the intention, no doubt, of making himself popular with the Jews, he visited Jerusalem, and received there, at the instance of the Hellenizing high-priest Jason (above, on Daniel 9:26), a magnificent welcome (2Ma 4:21-22). After this, he led his army into Phœnicia (ibid.). Both parties, now that hostilities were actually beginning, sent embassies to Rome, each hoping to enlist the sympathies of the Senate, and each laying the blame of the war upon the other,—Antiochus declaring that he held the Syrian provinces by inheritance from his father Antiochus the Great, and that he was only defending rights which had been unjustly (παρὰ πάντα τὰ δίκαια) attacked, while Ptolemy contended that Antiochus the Great had taken advantage of the youth of his father, Ptolemy Epiphanes, to wrest these provinces from him. Nothing, however, of importance resulted from these embassies, and hostilities continued. In 170 b.c. Antiochus marched into Egypt with a considerable force (1Ma 1:17), defeated Ptolemy’s troops between Pelusium and Mons Casius, and—by some dishonourable means which Polybius censures (xxviii. 7. 16)—obtained possession of the important border-fortress—the claustra Aegypti, as Livy calls it (xlv. 11)—of Pelusium. It was the clemency shewn by Antiochus in the battle near Pelusium—he rode about among his troops, and would not permit them to massacre the defeated Egyptians—that won for him the favour of the Egyptians, and facilitated considerably both his capture of Pelusium, and his subsequent conquest of Egypt (Diod. xxx. 14). After the fall of Pelusium, Eulaeus, it seems, persuaded Ptolemy to abandon his kingdom, and retire to Samothrace (Polyb. xxviii. 17a); but,—apparently on the way thither,—he was intercepted, and fell into his uncle’s hands. According to Jerome, Antiochus now, simulating friendship with his nephew, proceeded to Memphis, where ex more Aegypti he was crowned[374]; and pretending to be acting in Philometor’s interests (puerique rebus se providere dicens), succeeded in occupying the whole of Egypt (cf. 1Ma 1:18-20), an act in which, Jerome adds, tam callidus fuit, ut prudentes cogitationes eorum qui duces pueri erant, sua fraude subverteret[375]. After this Antiochus prepared to return to Syria. Meanwhile, however, disturbances had arisen in Jerusalem. A rumour having been current of the death of Antiochus, Jason, the deposed and exiled high-priest (above, on Daniel 9:26), thought the opportunity a favourable one for recovering his former position; so he attacked Jerusalem with 1000 men, and compelled Menelaus to take refuge in the citadel, but misusing his success for the purpose of slaughtering his own countrymen, was obliged to retire again to the country of the Ammonites (2Ma 5:5-10). Antiochus, hearing of these proceedings, thought Jerusalem was in revolt: so on his return from Egypt, he made a détour through Judaea, and entering the city with his army, massacred many of the inhabitants, penetrated into the sanctuary, and carried away all the sacred vessels, as well as all the other gold and silver that he could find there (1Ma 1:20-24; also, probably with some exaggeration, 2Ma 5:11-17; 2Ma 5:21 : cf. Jos. B. J. i. i. 1)[376]. In all this Antiochus was supported by Menelaus and his other Hellenizing friends among the Jews; indeed, according to Josephus (Ant. xii. Daniel 11:3) they opened the gates of Jerusalem to admit him.

[374] Cf. the coin, No. 4, on the Plate, p. 192.

[375] Hoffmann thinks that the first campaign against Egypt ended at Pelusium, his occupation of Egypt, mentioned above, in Jerome’s condensed account, belonging really to his second campaign.

[376] The statement in 2Ma 5:1 that these events took place on Antiochus’s return from his second expedition into Egypt, appears to be erroneous.

Antiochus’ second expedition into Egypt (b.c. 169). It was probably during Antiochus’ absence from Egypt that Philometor’s younger brother, Ptolemy Physcon (afterwards Euergetes II.), was proclaimed king in Alexandria. This led to Antiochus’ second invasion of Egypt (b.c. 169), in which he gave out that he was acting from the honourable motive of restoring his nephew and ally, Philometor, to his lawful rights[377], while, of course, in reality he was simply playing off one brother against the other with the object of securing all for himself. Having defeated the Egyptian fleet in a naval battle near Pelusium, he marched to Memphis, and then sailed down the Nile towards Alexandria. A little S. of Naukratis he was met by an embassy of Achaeans and others, who came on behalf of Physcon to treat for peace. Antiochus received the envoys courteously, and listened to their arguments. They cast the whole blame for what had occurred upon Lenaeus; and referring to Ptolemy’s youth, and his relationship to himself, entreated the king to lay aside his anger. Antiochus replied, stating at length the grounds on which he claimed Syria: it had been held by Antigonus, the founder of the Syrian empire, it had been afterwards ceded formally by the Macedonian kings to his son, Seleucus, and it had been conquered afresh by his own father, Antiochus the Great: the agreement, by which, as was alleged, it had been granted by Antiochus the Great to Cleopatra as a dowry (above, on Daniel 11:17) he entirely denied. Polybius adds that he convinced all who heard him of the justice of his contention (ὡς δίκαια λέγει). After this, Antiochus sailed on to Naukratis, where he treated the inhabitants graciously, giving to every Greek resident a gold coin. He then proceeded to lay siege to Alexandria. During the siege an embassy of Rhodians approached Antiochus with proposals for peace; but these envoys he cut short in their arguments by remarking that “the kingdom belonged to Ptolemy Philometor, that with him he had long been at peace [viz. since he fell into his hands, after the battle of Pelusium], and they were both friends; if therefore the Alexandrians were prepared to call Philometor back, he would not stand in their way.” We do not know how long the siege of Alexandria continued; but the city must have suffered in it severely; Livy (xliv. 19) narrates how an embassy sent on behalf of Physcon to Rome, made a piteous appeal to the Senate, declaring that unless help were speedily forthcoming, the whole of Egypt would fall into the hands of Antiochus. C. Popillius Laenas, and two other envoys, were accordingly deputed by the Senate to terminate the war between the two kings, and to inform both that, whichever persisted in hostilities would not be regarded by the Romans as their friend or ally. However, before these envoys could reach Egypt, Antiochus, finding himself unable to take Alexandria, withdrew to Syria, leaving Philometor, cui regnum quaeri suis viribus simulabat ut victorem mox aggrederetur (Livy xlv. 11), as nominal king at Memphis, and stationing a strong garrison in Pelusium.

[377] This was the speciosus titulus with the help of which, by means of letters and embassies, he sought to win the sympathy of all the cities of Asia and Greece (Liv. xlv. 11).

Antiochus’ third expedition into Egypt (b.c. 168). The garrison left in Pelusium, the ‘key of Egypt,’ opened Philometor’s eyes: it was evident that Antiochus wished to be in a position to return to Egypt with his army when he pleased, and also that the end of the war between the two brothers would be that the victor, whichever he was, would fall afterwards an easy prey to Antiochus. Accordingly Philometor made overtures of peace to Physcon, which, being seconded by Physcon’s friends, and warmly supported by his sister, Cleopatra, were listened to favourably: before long a reconciliation was effected and Philometor was received into Alexandria (Livy xlv. 11). As Livy drily remarks, if Antiochus’ real object had been to restore Philometor to his throne, he ought to have rejoiced at this reconciliation: in point of fact, however, he was so incensed at it, that he proceeded (b.c. 168) to attack the two brothers with far greater animosity (multo acrius infestiusque) than he had ever displayed towards the one. His fleet he sent on at once to Cyprus; he himself, at the beginning of spring, marched by land through Cœle-Syria towards Egypt. At Rhinocolura, the border-stream of Egypt, he was met by the envoys of Philometor, who endeavoured to appease him by assuring him that their master gratefully recognized that it was by Antiochus’ help that he had regained his kingdom, and that he hoped the king would still continue to be his friend. Antiochus replied that he would recall neither his army nor his fleet unless the whole of Cyprus were ceded to him, as well as Pelusium, and the country about the Pelusiac arm of the Nile; and appointed a day before which Philometor should declare whether he accepted these terms or not. As no answer came within the stipulated time, Antiochus advanced to Memphis, was well received by the people, ‘partly from good-will, partly from fear,’ and then proceeded by leisurely stages to Alexandria. At Eleusis, four miles from Alexandria, he was met by Popillius Laenas and the other Roman legates. He offered Popillius his hand. The Roman held out to him the ultimatum of the Senate, and bade him first read that. Antiochus, having read it, replied that he would consider with his friends what he would do. Popillius, Proverbs cetera asperitate animi (cf. xlv. 10), drew with his staff a circle round the king; and bade him give his answer to the Senate before leaving that circle. Antiochus was taken aback at this unexpected demand; but, after a moment’s hesitation, he replied, ‘I will do what the Senate desires.’ Then Popillius took his proffered hand. Antiochus was obliged to evacuate Egypt by a specified day; the Roman legates then took measures to consolidate the peace between the two brothers, and sailing to Cyprus, obliged the forces of Antiochus (which had already obtained a victory over the Egyptian generals) to retire from the island. Both Philometor and Antiochus afterwards sent flattering and complimentary messages to the Senate (Livy xlv. 13). Thus ended Antiochus’ third expedition into Egypt.

For the subsequent years of Antiochus’ reign, see on Daniel 11:40.

21–45. Antiochus IV. (Epiphanes), 175–164.

Verse 21. - And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. As said above, the opening clause of this verse, as it appears in the Septuagint, really belongs to the previous verse, "And there shall stand up in his place a mean person (εὐκαταφρόνητος), and the glory of a king shall not be given to him, and he shall come suddenly, and the king shall be strong in his inheritance." Evidently the translator, has omitted the reduplication and has derived the word חֲלַקְלַקות (halaqlaqqoth) from חֶלְקָה (hel qah), "a portion," "an inheritance." Theodotion's rendering is not very intelligible, "On his preparation he shall be set at naught, and they shall not give to him the glory of the kingdom, he shall come in prosperously (ἐν εὐθηνίᾳ), and shall overpower the king dom by flatteries." It is, however, more in accordance with the Massoretic text. The Peshitta is in practical agreement with the Massoretic, and the Vulgate reads as if a rendering of the Peshitta. It is assumed that this is Antiochus Epiphanes, yet there are considerable difficulties. A vile person. Certainly he was morally vile enough, though not nearly so vile as some of the kings of Egypt, his contemporaries, or some of his own ancestors. The meaning of נבזה is "rejected, despised" (see Isaiah 53:3). It may be that it was derived from the idea that the Romans rejected Epiphanes as a hostage, and demanded Demetrius the son of Seleucus instead, and so Epiphanes got the opportunity of returning to Syria. This, however, is not the aspect which the matter assumes in Appian. Seleucus appears as the party desiring the change of hostage. To whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom. That certainly is not the case; he had the kingdom as much as his brother had; he was acknowledged as king. He certainly had not the power his father had before his defeat at Magnesia, but he had as much as the semi-subject conditions of Syria permitted. He shall come in peaceably. That also is doubtful, for Eumenes of Pergamos supported his claims with an army. Obtain the kingdom by flatteries. Even that is not a prominent feature of the accession of Antiochus. The Septuagint, as will be seen, separates between the vile person who should not have the glory of the kingdom given to him, and the king who should be strong in his inheritance. If we were sure that Appian had followed Polybius, we might see in the first part of the verse Heliodorus, and in the second the coming of Epiphanes. Daniel 11:21The further Unveiling of the Future

In this section we have (Daniel 11:21) first the description of the prince who, in striving after supremacy, sues all the means that cunning and power can contrive, and in his enmity against the holy covenant knows no bounds. This description is divided into two parts - (1) Daniel 11:21-25, and (2) vv. 36-12:3-which designate the two stadia of his proceedings. In the first part are described, (1) his gradual rising to power, Daniel 11:21-24; (2) his war with the king of the south for the supremacy, Daniel 11:25-27; (3) his rising up against the covenant people, even to the desecration of the sanctuary by the taking away of the daily sacrifice and the setting up of the abomination of desolation, Daniel 11:28-32; (4) the effect and consequence of this for the people of God, Daniel 11:32-35. This prince is the enemy of the holy God who is prophesied of in Daniel 8:9-13, Daniel 8:23-25, under the figure of the little horn, and is typically represented in the rising up of the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes against the covenant people and their worship of God.

The prince's advancement to power. - He appears as נבזה, one despised, i.e., not such an one as by reason of birth has any just claim to the throne, and therefore as an intruder, also one who finds no recognition (Kranichfeld); which Hitzig has more definitely explained by mentioning that not Antiochus Epiphanes, but his nephew Demetrius, the son of the murdered Seleucus Philopator, was the true heir, but was of such a character that he was not esteemed worthy of the throne. נבזה, is despised, not equals bad, unworthy, but yet supposes unworthiness. There was not laid on him the honour or majesty of the kingdom. The dignity of the kingdom requires הוד, splendour, majesty, such as God lays upon the king of Israel, Psalm 21:6 (5), 1 Chronicles 29:25. But here the subject spoken of is the honour which men give to the king, and which was denied to the "despised one" on account of his character. He comes בּשׁלוה, in security, i.e., unexpectedly (cf. Daniel 8:25), and takes possession of the kingdom. החזיק, to grasp, here to draw violently to himself. בּחלקלקּות, properly, by smoothnesses, intrigues and cunning, not merely flatteries or smooth words, but generally hypocritical behaviour in word and deed; cf. Daniel 11:34.

Links
Daniel 11:21 Interlinear
Daniel 11:21 Parallel Texts


Daniel 11:21 NIV
Daniel 11:21 NLT
Daniel 11:21 ESV
Daniel 11:21 NASB
Daniel 11:21 KJV

Daniel 11:21 Bible Apps
Daniel 11:21 Parallel
Daniel 11:21 Biblia Paralela
Daniel 11:21 Chinese Bible
Daniel 11:21 French Bible
Daniel 11:21 German Bible

Bible Hub






Daniel 11:20
Top of Page
Top of Page