Daniel 11:41
He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
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(41) The glorious land.—See Daniel 11:16. On the occasion of his hasty march against Egypt, while passing through Palestine, the king takes the shortest route, avoiding the three tribes which had been distinguished by their hostility towards the people of Israel. It is remarkable that these nations (two of which appear as figures of Antichrist, Isaiah 25:10; Isaiah 63:1) should escape, while other nations fell before Antichrist. It is also noteworthy that these three tribes are called nations, for after the return from the exile it appears that they ceased to have any distinct national existence. As tribes they had some considerable power, taking the part of Antiochus in the Maccabee wars. (See 1 Maccabees 3:10; 1 Maccabees 5:1-8.) Judas also fortified Zion against the Idumæans.

The chief of—i.e., the best of them. (Comp. Numbers 24:20.)

Daniel 11:41. He shall enter into the glorious or pleasant land — By this title it is beyond a doubt Judea is signified, chap. Daniel 8:9, and therefore it is reasonable to conclude Judea is meant here; and this seems to be spoken of Antiochus’s sending his captains Apollonius, Lysius, and Gorgias into the land of Judea, of which we have an account in the books of the Maccabees; for a king is said to enter a country when he sends his armies into it, though he be not there in person. And many countries shall be overthrown — Many of the neighbouring nations shall be cut off. But these shall escape out of his hand — These shall not be destroyed. Edom and Moab, and the children of Ammon — Grotius expounds the words to this sense, That Antiochus did not make war upon these people, because they readily complied with his commands, and joined with him against the Jews: for which cause Judas Maccabees made war upon them: see 1Ma 5:3-4.

11:31-45 The remainder of this prophecy is very difficult, and commentators differ much respecting it. From Antiochus the account seems to pass to antichrist. Reference seems to be made to the Roman empire, the fourth monarchy, in its pagan, early Christian, and papal states. The end of the Lord's anger against his people approaches, as well as the end of his patience towards his enemies. If we would escape the ruin of the infidel, the idolater, the superstitious and cruel persecutor, as well as that of the profane, let us make the oracles of God our standard of truth and of duty, the foundation of our hope, and the light of our paths through this dark world, to the glorious inheritance above.He shall enter also into the glorious land - Margin, "land of delight," or ornament, or goodly land. The Hebrew is, "land of ornament;" that is, of beauty, to wit, Palestine, or the holy land. The same word is used in Daniel 11:16. See the note at that place. As to the fact that he would invade that land, see the notes at Daniel 11:28, Daniel 11:31-33.

And many countries shall be overthrown - The word countries here is supplied by the translators. The Hebrew word רבות rabôth may denote "many things," and might refer to cities, dwellings, institutions, etc. The meaning is, that he would produce wide devastation, which was true of Antiochus, when, either personally or by his generals, he invaded the land of Palestine. See the notes above.

But these shall escape out of his hand ... - Intent on his work in Palestine, and having enough there to occupy his attention, the neighboring lands of Edom, Moab, and Ammon shall not be molested by him. The wrath of Antiochus was particularly against the Jews, and it is not a little remarkable that no mention is made of his invading these adjacent countries. The route which he pursued was to Egypt, along the shores of the Mediterranean, and though he turned from his course to wreak his vengeance on the Jews, yet it does not appear that he carried his arms farther from the main line of his march. Antiochus was principally engaged with the Egyptians and the Romans; he was also engaged with the Jews, for Palestine had been the battlefield - the main place and object of contention between the king of Syria and the king of Egypt. Moab, and Edom, and Ammon were comparatively remote from the scene of conflict, and were left unmolested. It would seem most probable, also, that these nations were friendly to Antiochus, and were in alliance with him, or at least it is certain that they were hostile to the Jews, which, for the purposes of Antiochus, amounted to the same thing. Judas Maccabeus is represented as engaged with them in war, and consequently they must have either been in alliance with Antiochus, or in some other way promoting his interests. See 1 Macc. 4:61; 5:3, 6-9. These countries were, therefore, in fact, secure from the invasions of Antiochus, and so far the prophecy was literally fulfilled. It may be added

(a), that no occurrence since that time has taken place to which the prophecy can with propriety be applied; and

(b), that no natural sagacity could have foreseen this, and that, therefore, if the prediction was uttered before the days of Antiochus, it must have been the result of Divine inspiration.

As to the former of these remarks (a), if anyone is desirous of seeing how forced and unnatural must be any attempt to apply this to any other times than those of Antiochus, he has only to consult Bishop Newton on the Prophecies (pp. 311-313), who explains it as referring to the Ottoman empire, and to the fact that though the Turks have been able to take Jerusalem, they have never been able to subdue the Arabians, the Moabites, or the Ammonites. Aleppo, Damascus, and Gaza, says he, were forced to submit, but these other places "escaped out of the hands" of the Turks. As to the other remark (b), if one, writing after the events, had intended to give a brief and striking view of what Antiochus did, he could not find better language to express it than to say in the words of the passage before us, "He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon." But it is clear that there is no natural sagacity by which this could be foreseen. There was nothing in the character of those nations, or in the nature of the case, which would lead one to anticipate it - for the presumption would be, that if a desolating war were waged on Palestine by a cruel conqueror, his ravages would be extended to the neighboring countries also.

41. Antiochus, according to Porphyry, marching against Ptolemy, though he turned from his course to wreak his wrath on the Jews, did not meddle with Edom, Moab, and Ammon on the side of Judea. In 1 Maccabees 4:61; 5:3; &c., it is stated that he used their help in crushing the Jews, of whom they were the ancient enemies. Compare Isa 11:14, as to Israel's future retribution, just as the Maccabees made war on them as the friends of Antiochus (1 Maccabees 5:1-68). Antitypically, the Turks under Selim entered Jerusalem on their way to Egypt, and retain "the glorious land" of Palestine to this day. But they never could conquer the Arabs, who are akin to Edom, Moab, and Ammon (Ge 16:12). So in the case of the final Antichrist. When the Turk should subdue Judea, those people of Edom, Moab, and Ammon shall be left, because all along to this day these Arabians live partly by robberies, and partly by Turkish salaries to secure their caravans; these shall live, and not be overthrown by Mahometans.

He shall enter also into the glorious land,.... The land of Israel, as the Syriac version expresses it; or the land of Judea, which the Turk entered into, and got possession of, and still retains, notwithstanding all the attempts made by the European princes to get it out of his hand:

and many countries shall be overthrown; of which the eastern empire listed as Bithynia, Mysia, Lycaonia, Phrygia, and Carlo, and to the Hellesport and the Euxine sea, conquered by Ottoman and his son Urchenes; Callipolis, Hadrianople, by Amurath; Thessalia, Macedonia, Phocis, Mysia, and Bulgaria, by Bajazet; and at last Constantinople itself by Mahomet the second, which put an end to the eastern empire: though perhaps those countries and places may be here more especially meant which lay near Judea, and fell into the hands of the Turk when that did; as Comagene of Syria, Antioch, Damascus, Tripolis, Berytus, Sidon, and all Palestine, and all the sea coast to Egypt:

but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon; by which according to Jerom is meant Arabia, left untouched by him; so Mr. Mede interprets them of Arabia and Petraea, which some of the above people formerly inhabited, as Jacchiades observes; and which Arabians were never subdued by the Turks, but are independent of them to this day; yea, the Turks pay a yearly tribute to them for the passage of their pilgrims to Mecca, as well as pay for the canyons that pass through their country, as is affirmed (z) by modern travellers; and yet it may be observed that these countries did not escape Antiochus, who particularly took Rabbath, the metropolis of Ammon.

(z) See Dr. Newton's Dissertations on the Prophecies. p. 53, 54, &c.

He shall enter also into the {c} glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.

(c) The angel forewarns the Jews that when they should see the Romans invade them, and that the wicked would escape their hands, that then they should think that all this was done by God's providence, seeing that he warned them of it so long before, and therefore he would still preserve them.

41. the beauteous land] the land of Israel, as Daniel 11:16.

shall be overthrown] lit. shall stumble (Daniel 11:14; Daniel 11:19; Daniel 11:33; Daniel 11:35), i.e. be ruined: cf., for the expression, Isaiah 3:8 ‘Jerusalem hath stumbled’ (A.V., R.V., is ruined). The word for ‘many’ is fem.: hence ‘countries’ must be understood from Daniel 11:40, though it is, of course, their inhabitants who are really meant. Bevan, Behrmann, Marti, Kamph., and Prince (with the change of a point) read ‘tens of thousands shall be overthrown’ (cf. Daniel 11:12).

Some countries will, however, escape; in particular, three of Israel’s ancient foes, of whom at least Edom and the Ammonites shewed hostility against the Jews at this time (cf. 1Ma 4:61; 1Ma 5:1-8). Jason, the renegade high-priest, twice found an asylum with the Ammonites (2Ma 4:26; 2Ma 5:7).

escape] be delivered (R.V.). (Escape is needed for a different Heb. word in Daniel 11:42.)

the chief of, &c.] i.e. the principal part of them. Cf., for the word, Numbers 24:20; Jeremiah 49:35; Amos 6:1.

Verse 41. - He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. The Septuagint rendering is slightly of the nature of a paraphrase, "And he shall pass into my land, and many (feminine) shall be offended, and these shall be saved from his hand, Edom, and Moab, and the head of the sons of Ammon." It is possible that the word tzebee was omitted, and the pronominal suffix attached to 'aretz. Theodotion renders, "And he shall enter into the land of the Sabaeem, and many shall be made weak; but these shall be delivered out of his hand, Edom, and Moab, and chief of the sons of Ammon." The transliteration here might suggest צְבַיִם instead of צְבִי, and a mistake of the former for עילָם is in the square letters not impossible; but צ and ע are, in the older scripts, very unlike. The Peshitta, while agreeing with the Massoretic generally, renders, "the glorious land," "the land of Israel" - an evident paraphrase. The Vulgate introduces solae before Edom and Moab, otherwise agreeing with the received text. The expedition of Antiochus reaches Palestine, on which the full force of the tempest is represented as being directed. The countries adjacent escape. Edom, Moab, and Ammon are mentioned, but Moab had by this time disappeared as a national name. It may have been inserted - as suggested by Professor Bevan - in consequence of the frequent conjunction of the three names, "Moab, Am-men, and Mount Seir." It is, however, singular that these nations should be named as "escaping," since they were the allies of Antiochus, or more properly, as they would be regarded by him as subjects, his instruments in the oppression of Israel. It may be that this version of the vision of Daniel has been less modified from the original than what has preceded. In the original document, Edom, Moab, and Ammon might have some symbolic reference. The glorious land can scarcely be other than Palestine. It is rendered by Ewald, "the land of the ornament" It might be rendered, "the land of the gazelle." Out of the thirty passages in which this word occurs in Scripture, fourteen times it must have this meaning, in some of the other cases it may have it. So far, then, as the name goes, it might apply to any country fitted for the habitation of the gazelle; but the mention of "Edom, Mesh, and Ammon" renders it nearly a necessity that the reference here be to Palestine. Many countries shall be overthrown. The verb used is kashal, which means, in the niphal, "to totter," "to fall," "to be weak." It is assumed by Hitzig and Fuller, as by the English versions, that "countries" is to be understood. Ewald, however, and many other commentators, following the older versions, would refer to men, and translate, "myriads shall fall." In the version from which Origen has supplemented the Septuagint it is rendered, "Many women or countries shall be offended (σκανδαλισθήσονται)," the feminine rendering being due to the feminine termination -oth in rabboth, but the verb is masculine. Daniel 11:41Penetrating into the countries and overflowing them with his host, he comes into the glorious land, i.e., Palestine, the land of the people of God. See at Daniel 11:16 and Daniel 8:9. "And many shall be overthrown." רבּות is not neuter, but refers to ארצות, Daniel 11:40. For "that the whole lands are meant, represented by their inhabitants (cf. The verb masc. יכּשׁלוּ [shall be overthrown]), proceeds from the exceptions of which the second half of the verse makes mention" (Kran.). The three peoples, Edomites, Moabites, and Ammonites, are represented as altogether spared, because, as Jerome has remarked, they lay in the interior, out of the way of the line of march of Antiochus to Egypt (v. Leng., Hitzig, and others). This opinion Hitzig with justice speaks of as altogether superficial, since Antiochus would not have omitted to make war against them, as e.g., his father overcame the Ammonites in war (Polyb. v. 71), if they had not given indubitable proofs of their submission to him. Besides, it is a historical fact that the Edomites and Ammonites supported Antiochus in his operations against the Jews (1 Macc. 5:3-8; 4:61); therefore Maurer remarks, under ימּלטוּ (they shall escape): eorum enim in oppremendis Judaeis Antiochus usus est auxilio. But since the king here spoken of is not Antiochus, this historizing interpretation falls of itself to the ground. There is further with justice objected against it, that at the time of Antiochus the nation of Moab no longer existed. After the Exile the Moabites no longer appear as a nation. They are only named (Nehemiah 13:1 and Ezra 9:1), in a passage cited from the Pentateuch, along with the Philistines and the Hittites, to characterize the relations of the present after the relations of the time of Moses. Edom, Moab, and Ammon, related with Israel by descent, are the old hereditary and chief enemies of this people, who have become by name representatives of all the hereditary and chief enemies of the people of God. These enemies escape the overthrow when the other nations sink under the power of the Antichrist. עמּון בּני 'ראשׁית, "the firstling of the sons of Ammon," i.e., that which was most valued or distinguished of the Ammonites as a first-fruit, by which Kranichfeld understands the chief city of the Ammonites. More simply others understand by the expression, "the flower of the people, the very kernel of the nation;" cf. Numbers 24:20; Amos 6:1; Jeremiah 49:35. The expression is so far altogether suitable as in the flower of the people the character of the nation shows itself, the enmity against the people of God is most distinctly revealed; but in this enmity lies the reason for this people's being spared by the enemy of God.
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