Daniel 11:25
And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) The south.—Here, for the first time in the second portion of the prophecy, mention is made of the southern king. It is highly probable that the deceit mentioned in the last three verses had this king and his provinces for its object. This and the next two verses are supposed to describe the war of Antiochus with Ptolemy Philometor (see 1 Maccabees 1:16-19), or his war with Physcon, on which see Livy. xliv. 19.

His power and his courage—i.e., his military skill as well as his personal energy.

But he shall not stand.—Comp. Daniel 8:4. The subject is the king of the south, who finds the devices of his opponent are more than a match for him. The “devices are explained in the next two verses.

Daniel 11:25-26. For he shall stir up his power, &c., against the king of the south — By the king of the south is meant the king of Egypt, namely, Ptolemy Philometor, who demanded the surrender of Cœlosyria to him, as by right belonging to him, through virtue of the marriage articles between Ptolemy Epiphanes and Cleopatra; but Antiochus, instead of complying with his demand, invaded Egypt with a vast force both by sea and land. And the king of the south shall be stirred up, &c. — That is, the generals of Ptolemy were stirred up to war with very many and exceeding strong forces; and yet could not resist the fraudulent counsels of Antiochus. The two armies engaged between Pelusium and mount Cassius, and Antiochus obtained the victory. The next campaign he had greater success, routed the Egyptians, took Pelusium, ascended as far as Memphis, and made himself master of all Egypt except Alexandria. These transactions are recorded Maccabees Daniel 1:16-19. The misfortunes of Ptolemy are, by the prophet, ascribed to the treachery and baseness of his own ministers and subjects, Daniel 11:26 : and it is certain that Eulæus was a very wicked minister, and bred up the young king in luxury and effeminacy, contrary to his inclination. Ptolemy Macron, too, who was governor of Cyprus, revolted from him, and delivered up that important island to Antiochus. Nay, even the Alexandrians, seeing the distress of Philometor, renounced their allegiance; and taking his younger brother Euergetes, or Physcon, proclaimed him king instead of his elder brother.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 he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army - This must refer to a subsequent invasion of Egypt by Antiochus. In the course of his reign he four times invaded that conntry with various degrees of success. In the first, he took Pelusium, and having placed a garrison there, retired into winter-quarters to Tyre. In the second, above referred to, he took Memphis and laid siege to Alexandria. The third invasion here referred to was after he had taken Jerusalem, and was caused by the fact that, as Ptolemy Philometor for was in the hands of Antiochus, the Egyptians had raised Ptolemy Physcon (the Gross) to the throne. This prince assumed the name of Euergetes II. The pretended object of Antiochus in this invasion (168 b.c.) was to support the claims of Ptolemy Philometor against the usurpation of his brother, but his real purpose was to subject the whole country to his own power. He defeated the Alexandrians by sea near Pelusium, and then drew up his land forces before the city of Alexandria. Ptolemy Physcon sent an embassy to Rome to solicit the protection of the Senate, and at the same time entered into negotiations of peace with Antiochus. The proposals were rejected; but when Antiochus perceived that the conquest of Alexandria would be difficult, he retired to Memphis, and pre tended to deliver up the kingdom to Ptolemy Philometor, and having left a strong garrison at Pelusium, he returned to Antioch. This invasion is thus de scribed by the author of the book of Maccabees (1 Macc. 1:17); "Wherefore he entered Egypt with a great multitude, with chariots, and elephants, and horsemen, and a great navy." - Porphyry, as quoted by Scaliger; Polybius, Legat, Sections 81, 82, 84; Livy, xliv. 19; xlv. 11; Justin, xxxiv. 2; Prideaux, Con. iii.-232-235.

And the king of the south - Ptolemy Physcon, king of Egypt.

Shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army - To oppose Antiochus.

But he shall not stand - He shall not be able to resist him. His navy was defeated; Antiochus still held possession of Memphis, and laid siege to Alexandria.

For they shall forecast devices against him - Hebrew, "shall think thoughts" (see the notes at Daniel 11:24); that is, they shall form plans against him to defeat him. The reference here is to the invading forces, that they would form sagacious plans for the overthrow of the king of Egypt.

25. A fuller detail of what was summarily stated (Da 11:22-24). This is the first of Antiochus' three (Da 11:29) open invasions of Egypt.

against the king of the south—against Ptolemy Philometer. Subsequently, Ptolemy Physcon (the Gross), or Euergetes II, was made king by the Egyptians, as Ptolemy Philometer was in Antiochus' hands.

great army—as distinguished from the "small people" (Da 11:23) with which he first came. This was his first open expedition; he was emboldened by success to it. Antiochus "entered Egypt with an overwhelming multitude, with chariots, elephants, and cavalry" (1 Maccabees 1:17).

stirred up—by the necessity, though naturally indolent.

not stand—Philometer was defeated.

they shall forecast, &c.—His own nobles shall frame treacherous "devices" against him (see Da 11:26). Eulœus and Lenœus maladministered his affairs. Antiochus, when checked at last at Alexandria, left Ptolemy Philometer at Memphis as king, pretending that his whole object was to support Philometer's claims against the usurper Physcon.

Antiochus Epiphanes, being imboldened by his former successes, shall wage war against Ptolemy king of Egypt, with all his might, and with open force.

And the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle; being exasperated against Antiochus.

But he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him: he might have prospered, if he had not been betrayed by Eulaius, Leneeus, and the rest of his nobles, being corrupted by Antiochus. And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army,.... That is, Antiochus shall arouse himself, and exert his courage, and gather a large and powerful army, and set out with them to fight with Ptolemy Philometor, king of Egypt; this is his second expedition into Egypt, as is observed in the Apocrypha:

"About the same time Antiochus prepared his second voyage into Egypt:'' (2 Maccabees 5:1)

before he went into Egypt more privately, with a few men, under a pretence of friendship; but now more openly as an enemy, with a large army; so it is said in the Apocrypha:

"17 Wherefore he entered into Egypt with a great multitude, with chariots, and elephants, and horsemen, and a great navy, 18 And made war against Ptolemee king of Egypt: but Ptolemee was afraid of him, and fled; and many were wounded to death.'' (1 Maccabees 1)

and he entered into Egypt with a great multitude, with chariots, and with elephants, and with horses, and with a great fleet; which account exactly agrees with this prophecy, and serves to illustrate it:

and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; this is Ptolemy Philometor, king of Egypt, who, hearing of the preparations of Antiochus, and of his design to enter his kingdom, gathered a large army together to give him battle:

but he shall not stand; the king of Egypt could not stand against Antiochus; the two armies met between Mount Casius and Pelusium, where they came, to a battle, and Antiochus got the victory: upon his second victory over the forces of Ptolemy, he took Pelusium, and led his army into the very heart of the kingdom, and had it in his power to have cut off all the Egyptians, to a man; he made himself master of Memphis, and all the rest of Egypt, except Alexandria, which held out against him (w):

for they shall forecast devices against him; Antiochus, and those that assisted him with their counsels, formed schemes against Ptolemy, which succeeded: the loss of the battle was not owing to want of the necessary preparations for it; or to an insufficient number of men; or to a defect of military skill and courage; but to the treachery of his own courtiers and commanders, particularly Eulaeus and Lennaeeus to whom the blame was laid, and to the desertion of Ptolemy Macron; which is more clearly expressed in the following verse.

(w) See the Universal History, vol. 9. p. 280, 281.

And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not {b} stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.

(b) He will be overcome with treason.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. courage] lit. heart: cf. Joshua 2:11; Amos 2:16; Psalm 76:5.

the king of the south] Ptolemy Philometor.

shall be stirred up] shall stir himself up (Daniel 11:10).

a great army … a very great and mighty army] We have no independent evidence as to the relative size of the armies of Antiochus and Philometor. There is however no reason to suppose that the author would not represent correctly what had taken place only two or three years before he wrote.

but he shall not stand, for they shall devise devices against him] In spite of his superior army, Philometor could not maintain the contest, owing to the treachery of his adherents. We cannot say more particularly what is referred to: it is possible that the fortress of Pelusium, and Philometor himself, both fell into Antiochus’ hands by treachery.

25–28. Antiochus’ first Egyptian expedition (b.c. 170).Verse 25. - And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him. The versions present no point of remark, save that, instead of "king of the south," the Septuagint has, as usual, "the King of Egypt." This is supposed to be a compendious account of the second of the wars waged by Epipbanes against Egypt; but it suits the first better. At this time the Romans had declared war against Perseus, King of Macedon, and Antiochus, finding that they did not conquer Macedon easily, regarded the opportunity a suitable one for assailing Egypt and wresting from Ptolemy Philometor Coele-Syria, which his father had given as dower with Cleopatra, his daughter. The state of Egypt presented an aspect eminently hopeful to an assailant. The court of Egypt was full of intrigue and treachery; the centre of intrigue was the brother of the king, Ptolemy, nicknamed Physeon. The king, Ptolemy, was young; his generals, however, took up the challenge, and set on the field a large army; but the army was defeated, and Antiochus advanced as far as Memphis. Ptolemy was taken prisoner by his uncle, and Physeon his brother ascended the throne. The defeat of Philometor was supposed to be largely due to treachery. In order that they may more certainly gain their object, they request the king to put the prohibition into writing, so that it might not be changed, i.e., might not be set aside or recalled, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, in conformity with which an edict once emitted by the king in all due form, i.e., given in writing and sealed with the king's seal, was unchangeable; cf. Daniel 6:15 and Esther 8:8; Esther 1:19. תעדּא לא דּי, which cannot pass away, i.e., cannot be set aside, is irrevocable. The relative דּי refers to דּת, by which we are not to understand, with v. Lengerke, the entire national law of the Medes and Persians, as if this were so unalterable that no law could be disannulled or changed according to circumstances, but דּת is every separate edict of the king emitted in the form of law. This remains unchangeable and irrevocable, because the king was regarded and honoured as the incarnation of deity, who is unerring and cannot change.
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