Daniel 11:27
And both of these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) Both these kings.—The two rival kings are here described as living upon terms of outward friendship, while each is inwardly trying to outwit the other. The context is opposed to any reference to the combination of Antiochus and Philometor against Physcon (see Livy, xlv. 11; Polyb. xxix. 8). The object of the paragraph is to show that the southern king was attempting to fight his rival with his own weapons—viz., deceit—but the plots of each king fail.

For yet . . .—i.e., the end of each will come only at the time definitely ordained by God for the consummation of His kingdom (Daniel 11:35). Man cannot hasten the events decreed by God’s providence. For an interesting commentary, read Isaiah 18:4-6.

Daniel 11:27. And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table — Antiochus and Ptolemy Philometor often met together at Memphis, and frequently ate at the same table as friends, Antiochus pretending to take care of the interests of his nephew Philometor, especially after the Alexandrians had proclaimed his brother Euergetes king; and Philometor seemingly confiding in his uncle’s protection. But herein they were both insincere, designing to impose upon each other; Antiochus’s design being to seize the kingdom of Egypt to himself, and Philometor’s to disappoint that design, by coming to an agreement with Euergetes and the Alexandrians. But still these artifices did not prosper on either side; for neither did Antiochus obtain the kingdom, nor did Philometor utterly exclude him; but at last the pretended friendship broke out into open wars, which were not to have an end till the time appointed, which was not yet come.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 both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief - Margin, "their hearts." The meaning is, that their hearts were set on some evil or unjust purpose. The reference here is, evidently, to Antiochus and Ptolemy Philometor, and the time alluded to is when Ptolemy was in the possession of Antiochus, and when they were together forming their plans. Antiochus invaded the country under pretenee of aiding Ptolemy and establishing him in the government, and for the same reason, under pretence of protecting him, he had him now in his possession. At first. also, it would seem that Ptolemy coincided with his plans, or was so far deceived by the acts of Antiochus as to believe in his friendship, and to unite with him in his schemes, for it is expressly said by the historians, as quoted above, that when Antiochus left Egypt, leaving Ptolemy at Memphis, and a strong garrison in Pelusium, Ptolemy began to see through his crafty designs, and to act accordingly. Until that time, however, he seems to have re garded the professions of Antiochus as sincere, and to have entered fully into his plans. To that fact there is allusion here; and the meaning is, that they were forming united schemes of evil - of conquests, and robbery, and oppression. The guiding spirit in this was undoubtedly Antiochus, but Ptolemy seems to have concurred in it.

And they shall speak lies at one table - At the same table. Ptolemy was a captive, and was entirely in the possession of Antiochus, but it was a matter of policy with the latter to hide from him as far as poossible the fact that he was a prisoner, and to treat him as a king. It is to be presumed, therefore, that he would do so, and that they would be seated at the same table; that is, that Ptolemy would be treated outwardly with the respect due to a king. In this familiar condition - in this state of apparently respectful and confidential intercourse - they would form their plans. Yet the devices of both would be "false" - or would be, in fact, "speak ing lies." Antiochus would be acting perfidiously throughout, endeavoring to impose on Ptolemy, and making promises, and giving assurances, which he knew to be false; and Ptolemy would be equally acting a deceitful part - entering into engagements which, perhaps, he did not intend to keep, and which would, at any rate, be soon violated. It is impossible now to know "how" he came into the hands of Antiochus - whether he surrendered himself in war; or whether he was persuaded to do it by the arts of his courtiers; or whether he was really deceived by Antiochus and supposed that he was his friend, and that his protection was necessary. On any of these suppositions it cannot be supposed that he would be very likely to be sincere in his transactions with Antiochus.

But it shall not prosper - The scheme con cocted, whatever it was, would not be successful. The plan of Antiochus was to obtain possession of the whole of Egypt, but in this he failed; and so far as Ptolemy entered into the scheme proposed by Antiochus, on pretence for the good of his country, it also failed. Whatever the purpose was, it was soon broken up by the fact that Antiochus left Egypt, and made war on Jerusalem.

For yet the end shall be at the time appointed - See Daniel 11:29. The end - the result - shall not be now, and in the manner contemplated by these two kings. It shall be at the time "appointed," to wit, by God, and in another manner. The whole case shall issue differently from what they design, and at the time which an over ruling Providence has designated. The "reason" implied here why they could not carry out their design was, that there was an "appointed time" when these affairs were to be determined, and that no purposes of theirs could be allowed to frustrate the higher counsels of the Most High.

27. both … to do mischief—each to the other.

speak lies at one table—They shall, under the semblance of intimacy, at Memphis try to deceive one another (see on [1105]Da 11:3; [1106]Da 11:25).

it shall not prosper—Neither of them shall carry his point at this time.

yet the end shall be—"the end" of the contest between them is reserved for "the time appointed" (Da 11:29, 30).

They shall speak lies at one table; they shall meet under pretence of peace, but ‘with treacherous intents on both sides; they both played the gipsies with each other at Memphis, where Ptolemy invited Antiochus to a feast. These interviews of neighbour kings jealous one of another have ever proved fatal, though under the smoothest pro. raises.

But it shall not prosper; for neither shall Antiochus gain Egypt by all his artifice, nor Ptolemy Syria.

At the time appointed, viz. by the Lord, whose purpose and counsel shall stand, whatever the devices of men’s hearts are. And both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief,.... Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria, and Ptolemy Philometor, king of Egypt, the latter being now in the hands of the former; whether he was taken by him, or voluntarily came to him, is not certain; but though they seemed to carry it very friendly to one another, yet at the same time they were contriving in their minds to do as much mischief to each other as they could:

and they shall speak lies at one table: at an entertainment at Memphis, where they met to eat food together, which shows great familiarity; or at the council table, where they pretended to consult each other's good, and to secure the peace of both kingdoms, but imposed on each other with lies. Antiochus pretended a great respect for Ptolemy, and that he had nothing more at heart than to take care of his affairs, and defend him against his brother Euergetes, whom the Alexandrians had set up for king; when his design was no other than to seize the kingdom of Egypt for himself: on the other hand, Ptolemy seemed greatly satisfied with his uncle's protection, and to place great confidence in him; when his view was to disappoint his scheme, and come to an agreement with his brother; neither of them meant what they said:

but it shall not prosper; the consultations they held, the schemes they laid, succeeded not; the peace made between them did not last:

for yet the end shall be at the time appointed; by the Lord, by whom all events are predetermined; whose counsel shall stand, notwithstanding all the devices in the hearts of men, and of kings themselves: the end of this peace between these two kings, and the end of the wars between them, yea, the end of the two kingdoms, when they should cease, and come into other hands; all was fixed to a time appointed of God, and should surely come to pass, as he had decreed.

And both these kings' hearts shall be to do {e} mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for {f} yet the end shall be at the time appointed.

(e) The uncle and the nephew will make truce, and banquet together, yet in their hearts they will imagine mischief against one another.

(f) Signifying that it depends not on the counsel of men to bring things to pass, but on the providence of God, who rules the kings by a secret bridle, so that they cannot do what they themselves wish.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
27. And as for the two kings, their heart (shall be) for mischief; and at one table they shall speak lies] Antiochus and Philometor, after the latter had fallen into his uncle’s hands, were outwardly on friendly terms with one another; but their friendship was insincere, as is expressively shewn by the picture which the writer’s words suggest: sitting and eating at one table, they both in fact spoke lies,—Antiochus, in professing disinterestedness, as though his only object were to gain Egypt for his nephew’s benefit, (cui regnum quaeri suis viribus simulabat, Livy xlv.11), and Philometor in feigning that he believed his uncle’s assurances, and cherished for him gratitude and regard.

but it shall not prosper] The common plan, on which they were supposed to be agreed, the conquest of Egypt, ostensibly for Philometor, in reality for Antiochus.

for the end (remaineth) yet for the time appointed] matters will not yet be settled in Egypt: the end of Antiochus’ doings there belongs still to a time fixed in the future.

It must be admitted that some of the references in Daniel 11:25-27 (esp. in Daniel 11:27) would be more pointed and significant, if they could be supposed to allude to events in the second Egyptian campaign of Antiochus, as well as to events in the first. Upon the chronology adopted above (which is that of most modern historians), this can only be, if the author, neglecting the strict chronological sequence, throws the first two Egyptian campaigns together, and then (Daniel 11:28) proceeds to describe the attack upon Jerusalem. We do not, however, possess any continuous narrative of the events of Antiochus’ reign; nor does there seem to be any express statement that Antiochus returned to Syria, or even that he left Egypt, at the close of what is described above as his ‘first’ Egyptian expedition; hence it is possible that Mahaffy[380] is right in his contention that Antiochus’ first two campaigns (as they are commonly called) were in reality only two stages in one campaign—the first stage ending at Pelusium, and the second embracing the conquest of Egypt, and both belonging to the year b.c. 170. If this view be adopted, the attack upon Jerusalem (Daniel 11:28; 1Ma 1:20-24) will come at the end of what is called above the ‘second’ Egyptian expedition (but thrown back now to b.c. 170)[381], and both that and the ‘first’ Egyptian expedition will be summarized in Daniel 11:25-28 and 1Ma 1:16-19.

[380] Empire of the Ptolemies, p. 494 f., cf. pp. 333–337, 340. So Wellhausen, Isr. und Jüd. Gesch. (1894), p. 203 n. (ed. 3, 1897, p. 246 n.).

[381] An interval of two years between this attack upon Jerusalem, and the persecuting edict of b.c. 168 is required by the dates in 1Ma 1:20 and 1Ma 1:29; 1Ma 1:54.Verse 27. - And both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. The Septuagint Version is, "And two kings shall dine alone at the same time, and eat at one table, and they shall speak lies, and they shall not prosper." The translator has read לבדם instead of לבבם. Theodotion is closer to the Massoretic, agreeing in this with the Peshitta and Vulgate. The probable reference is to Ptolemy Philometor, conveyed practically a prisoner with his uncle's army, while Epiphanes carried on his invasion of Egypt. They dined at one table, and probably deceived each the other. The purpose of Ptolemy was to get his usurping brother Physcon dethroned; the object of Antiochus was to possess Egypt for himself. Rashi sees in this a reference to the quarrels and reconciliations which diversified the conflict between John Hyrcanus II. and his brother Aristobulns. Jephet-ibn-Alimakes the two kings mean Arabia and Rome, since, according to him, these are respectively the kings of the south and of the north. Yet the end shall be at the time appointed. The progress of Antiochus was interrupted by the Romans. (Daniel 6:10-24)

Daniel's offence against the law; his accusation, condemnation, and miraculous deliverance from the den of lions; and the punishment of his accusers.

The satraps did not wait long for Daniel's expected disregard of the king's prohibition. It was Daniel's custom, on bended knees, three times a day to offer prayer to his God in the upper chamber of his house, the window thereof being open towards Jerusalem. He continued this custom even after the issuing of the edict; for a discontinuance of it on account of that law would have been a denying of the faith and a sinning against God. On this his enemies had reckoned. They secretly watched him, and immediately reported his disregard of the king's command. In Daniel 6:10 the place where he was wont to pray is more particularly described, in order that it might be shown how they could observe him. In the upper chamber of his house (עלּית, Hebr. עליּה, 1 Kings 17:19; 2 Samuel 19:1), which was wont to be resorted to when one wished to be undisturbed, e.g., wished to engage in prayer (cf. Acts 1:13; Acts 10:9), the windows were open, i.e., not closed with lattice-work (cf. Ezekiel 40:16), opposite to, i.e., in the direction of, Jerusalem. להּ does not refer to Daniel: he had opened windows, but to לביתהּ: his house had open windows. If להּ referred to Daniel, then the הוּא following would be superfluous. The custom of turning in prayer toward Jerusalem originated after the building of the temple at Jerusalem as the dwelling-place of Jehovah; cf. 1 Kings 8:33, 1 Kings 8:35; Psalm 5:8; Psalm 28:2. The offering of prayer three times a day, - namely, at the third, sixth, and ninth hour, i.e., at the time of the morning and the evening sacrifices and at mid-day, - was not first introduced by the men of the Great Synagogue, to whom the uncritical rabbinical tradition refers all ancient customs respecting the worship of God, nor is the opinion of v. Leng., Hitz., and others, that it is not of later origin than the time of the Median Darius, correct; but its origin is to be traced back to the times of David, for we find the first notice of it in Psalm 55:18. If Daniel thus continued to offer prayer daily (מודא equals מהודא, Daniel 2:23) at the open window, directing his face toward Jerusalem, after the promulgation of the law, just as he had been in the habit of doing before it, then there was neither ostentation nor pharisaic hypocrisy, nor scorn and a tempting of God, as Kirmiss imagines; but his conduct was the natural result of his fear of God and of his religion, under the influence of which he offered prayers not to make an outward show, for only secret spies could observe him when so engaged. דּי כּל־קבל does not mean altogether so as (Rosenmller, v. Leng., Maur., Hitzig), but, as always, on this account because, because. Because he always did thus, so now he continues to do it.

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