Daniel 11:6
And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.
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(6) In the end.—Comp. Daniel 11:8; Daniel 11:13, and 2Chronicles 18:2. Here again the reference is most obscure. If the “joining themselves together” refers to the marriage of Antiochus II. with Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus, and if “the agreement” (comp. “upright ones,” Daniel 11:17) refers to the terms of the marriage, which were that Antiochus should put away his former wife Laodice, and appoint her firstborn son successor to the throne, then it must be remarked that history is irreconcilable with the prophecy. Also it appears from Daniel 10:14 that this revelation bears upon the future of Israel, and it does not appear that this marriage affected the Jewish people more than any other marriage. This, and the fact that a period of more than fifty years intervened between the events supposed to be implied in Daniel 11:5-6, make the traditional interpretation very unsatisfactory. The language refers to what is mentioned as one of the characteristics of the last empire (Daniel 2:43), various attempts to consolidate earthly powers by political marriages. These do not characterise the era of the Seleucidæ any more than they do the times of Ahab, or many other periods of history.

Shall not retain.—The Greek versions show the difficulties experienced by the translators, the LXX. apparently following a different text. The meaning appears to be that the marriage will not accomplish its intended purpose. The king of the south, instead of becoming independent of his northern rival, will only become more subjected to him than he was previously. This does not appear to have happened with regard to Ptolemy Philadelphus and Antiochus Theos, the former of whom is generally identified with “he that begat her,” the latter with “he that strengthened her.”

Daniel 11:6. And in the end of years — That is, after several years, for these wars lasted long. They shall join themselves together — Shall enter into a league or confederacy with each other. For the king’s daughter of the south, &c. — They agreed to make peace, upon condition that Antiochus Theus should put away his former wife, Laodice, and her two sons, and marry Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus. Thus she came to the king of the north to make an agreement — For Ptolemy her father brought her to Antiochus Theus, and with her an immense treasure, so that he received the appellation of the dowry-giver. But she shall not retain the power of the arm — That is, her interest and power with Antiochus; for after some time, in a fit of love, he brought back his former wife, Laodice, with her children, to court again. Neither shall he stand, nor his arm — Or seed, for Laodice, fearing the fickle temper of her husband, lest he should recall Berenice, caused him to be poisoned; and neither did his seed by Berenice succeed him in the kingdom; but Laodice contrived to fix her eldest son, Seleucus Callinicus, on the throne of his ancestors. But she shall be given up — For Laodice, not content with poisoning her husband, caused also Berenice to be murdered. And they that brought her — Or, her Egyptian women and attendants, endeavouring to defend her, were many of them slain with her. And he that begat her — Or rather, as it is in the margin, he whom she brought forth; for the son was murdered as well as the mother, by order of Laodice. And he that strengthened her, &c. — Her husband Antiochus, as Jerome conceives; or rather, her father, who died a little before, and was so very fond of her that he took care continually to send her fresh supplies of the water of the Nile, thinking it better for her to drink of that than any other river, as Polybius relates. See 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 in the end of years - In the future periods of the history of these two kingdoms. The event here referred to did not occur during the lives of these two kings, Seleucus Nicator and Ptolemy Soter, but in the reign of their successors, Ptolemy Philadelphus and Antiochus Theos or Theus. The phrase "the end of years" would well denote such a future period. The Vulgate renders it, "after the end of years;" that is, after many years have elapsed. The meaning is "after a certain course or lapse of years." The word "end" in Daniel (קץ qêts) often seems to refer to a time when a predicted event would be fulfilled, whether near or remote; whether it would be really the "end" or "termination" of an empire or of the world, or whether it would be succeeded by other events. It would be the end of that matter - of the thing predicted; and in this sense the word seems to be employed here. Compare Daniel 8:17; Daniel 11:13 (margin), and Daniel 12:13. "They shall join themselves together." Margin, "associate." The meaning is, that there would be an alliance formed, or an attempt made, to unite the two kingdoms more closely by a marriage between different persons of the royal families. The word "they" refers to the two sovereigns of Egypt and Syria - the south and the north.

For the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement - Margin, "rights." The Hebrew word properly means rectitudes or rights (in the plural מישׁרים mēyshârı̂ym); but here it seems to be used in the sense of "peace," or an alliance. The act of making peace was regarded as an act of "justice," or doing "right," and hence, the word came to be used in the sense of making an alliance or compact. This idea we should now express by saying that the design was "to make things right or straight" - as if they were wrong and crooked before, giving occasion to discord, and misunderstanding, and wars. The intention, now was to establish peace on a permanent basis. The compact here referred to was one formed between Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, and Antiochus Theos, king of Syria. Ptolemy, in order to bring a war in which he was engaged to an end, and to restore peace, gave his daughter in marriage to Antiochus, in hopes of establishing a permanent peace and alliance between the two kingdoms. One of the conditions of this alliance was, that Antiochus should divorce his former wife Laodice, and that the children of that former wife should be excluded from the succession to the throne. In this way Ptolemy hoped that the kingdom of Syria might become ultimately attached to that of Egypt, if there should be children by the marriage of Berenice with Antiochus. Ptolemy, however, died two years after this marriage was consummated, and Antiochus restored again his former wife Laodice, and put away Berenice, but was himself murdered by Laodice, who feared the fickleness of her husband. The officers of the court of Syria then planned the death of Berenice and her children, but she fled with them to Daphne, and was there put to death, with her children. - Appian, c. lxv.; Lengerke, in loc. She was put to death by poison. See Gill, in loc.

But she shall not retain the power of the arm - The word "retain" here is the same as in Daniel 10:8, "I retained no strength." The word "arm" is a word of frequent use in the Old Testament, both in the singular and plural, to denote "strength, power," whether of an individual or an army. So Job 22:8, "A man of arm," that is, "strength;" Genesis 49:24, "The arms (power) of his hands were made strong by the God of Jacob." Compare Isaiah 51:9; Isaiah 62:8. It is frequently used in this chapter in the sense of "strength," or "power." See Daniel 11:15, Daniel 11:22, Daniel 11:31. This alliance was formed with the hope that the succession might be in her. She was, however, as stated above, with her children, put to death. While queen of Syria, she, of course, had power, and had the prospect of succeeding to the supreme authority.

Neither shall he stand - The king of the south; to wit, Egypt. That is, he would not prosper in his ambitious purpose of bringing Syria, by this marriage alliance, under his control.

Nor his arm - What he regarded as his strength, and in which he placed reliance, as one does on his arm in accomplishing any design. The word "arm" here is used in the sense of "help," or "alliance;" that is, that on which he depended for the stability of his empire.

But she shall be given up - That is, she shall be given up to death, to wit, by the command of Laodice.

And they that brought her - That is, those who conducted her to Daphne; or these who came with her into Syria, and who were her attendants and friends. Of course they would be surrendered or delivered up when she was put to death.

And he that begat her - Margin, "or, whom she brought forth." The margin expresses the sense more correctly. The Latin Vulgate is, "adolescentes ejus." The Greek, ἡ νεάνις hē neanis. So the Syriac. The Hebrew (והילרה vehayoledâh) will admit of this construction. The article in the word has the force of a relative, and is connected with the suffix, giving it a relative signification. See Ewald, as quoted by Lengerke, in loc. According to the present pointing, indeed, the literal meaning would be, "and he who begat her;" but this pointing is not authoritative. Dathe, Bertholdt, Dereser, DeWette, and Rosenmuller suppose that the reading should be והילדה vehayaledâh. Then the sense would be, "her child," or "her offspring." Lengerke and Ewald, however, suppose that this idea is implied in the present reading of the text, and that no change is necessary. The obvious meaning is, that she and her child, or her offspring, would be thus surrendered. The matter of fact was, that her little son was slain with her. See Prideaux's "Connexions," iii.120.

And he that stregnthened her in these times - It is not known who is here referred to. Doubtless, on such an occasion, she would have some one who would be a confidential counselor or adviser, and, whoever that was, he would be likely to be cut off with her.

6. in … end of years—when the predicted time shall be consummated (Da 11:13, Margin; Da 8:17; 12:13).

king's daughter of the south—Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus of Egypt. The latter, in order to end his war with Antiochus Theus, "king of the north" (literally, "midnight": the prophetical phrase for the region whence came affliction to Israel, Jer 1:13-15; Joe 2:20), that is, Syria, gave Berenice to Antiochus, who thereupon divorced his former wife, Laodice, and disinherited her son, Seleucus Callinicus. The designation, "king of the north" and "of the south," is given in relation to Judea, as the standpoint. Egypt is mentioned by name (Da 11:8, 42), though Syria is not; because the former was in Daniel's time a flourishing kingdom, whereas Syria was then a mere dependency of Assyria and Babylon: an undesigned proof of the genuineness of the Book of Daniel.

agreement—literally, "rights," that is, to put things to rights between the belligerents.

she shall not retain the power of the arm—She shall not be able to effect the purpose of the alliance, namely, that she should be the mainstay of peace. Ptolemy having died, Antiochus took back Laodice, who then poisoned him, and caused Berenice and her son to be put to death, and raised her own son, Seleucus Nicator, to the throne.

neither shall he stand—The king of Egypt shall not gain his point of setting his line on the throne of Syria.

his arm—that on which he relied. Berenice and her offspring.

they that brought her—her attendants from Egypt.

he that begat her—rather as Margin, "the child whom she brought forth" [Ewald]. If English Version (which Maurer approves) be retained, as Ptolemy died a natural death, "given up" is not in his case, as in Berenice's, to be understood of giving up to death, but in a general sense, of his plan proving abortive.

he that strengthened her in these times—Antiochus Theus, who is to attach himself to her (having divorced Laodice) at the times predicted [Gejer].

They shall join themselves together, i.e. the successors of those first kings of Egypt and Syria shall join and make leagues. This confederacy was two several times: the first peace was concluded between Ptolemy Lagus and Antiochus Soter. The other (which is here meant) was between Ptolemy Philadelphus and Antiochus Theus the son of Soter. So Junius and Polanus. The king’s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement; Bernice shall come from Egypt and marry with Antiochus Theus, who was the son of Antiochus Soter, and nephew to Seleucus Nicanor, for her father brought her to Pelusium with an infinite sum of gold and silver for her dowry. Here was nothing sincere on either side, for each gaped after the other’s kingdom, and covered all with a league and a marriage; for Antiochus put away his lawful wife Laodice, by whom he had two children, that he might take her sister to wife. Thus sacred wedlock and leagues were violated.

But she shall not retain the power of the arm; she continued not in favour and authority, for Antiochus now put away Bernice, and took Laodice again.

Neither shall he stand, nor his arm; for she made away Antiochus by poison, and set up her son Seleucus Callinicus in his stead, who slew Bernice. From hence many cruel wars and tragedies arose between those two kings. See here the miserable fates of wicked princes and courts, where their sinful politics most commonly end in their ruin; for so it did to these two families: which thing God by his angel instructs Daniel in, to inform and satisfy him about these wonderful providences relating to his church and their enemies.

And in the end of years they shall join themselves together,.... The two kings of Egypt and Syria; not the two former kings, but their successors: the king of Egypt was Ptolemy Philadelphus, the second king of Egypt, the son of Ptolemy Lagus; this is the king of Egypt who collected such a vast number of books into his library at Alexandria, and got the law of Moses translated into Greek: the king of Syria was Antiochus, surnamed Theos; this name was first given him by the Milesians, upon his delivering them from the tyranny of Timarchus governor of Caria; he was the third king of Syria; Seleucus Nicator the first, Antiochus Soter the second, and this the third: there had been very great wars between these kings for many years; and now, being weary of them, they entered into confederacies and alliances with each other, and which were designed to be strengthened by a marriage next mentioned; this is thought to be about seventy years after the death of Alexander: (q).

for the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement; this was Bernice, daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus king of Egypt, who carried her to Pelusium, and from thence sailed with her to Seleucia in Syria; where he met with Antiochus king of Syria, to whom he gave her in marriage, with a vast dowry of gold and silver; hence she was called and the marriage was celebrated with great solemnity (r): and this was "to make agreement", or "to make things right or straight" (s); that were wrong and crooked before; to put an end to wars and discords; to make peace and cultivate friendship; to strengthen alliances, and confirm each other in their kingdoms:

but she shall not retain the power of the arm; unite the two kingdoms, and secure the peace of them, which was the thing in view; nor retain her interest in her husband, nor her power at court; for, as soon as her father was dead, Antiochus dismissed Bernice from his bed, and took Laodice his former wife again, by whom he had had two sons, Seleucus Callinicus, and Antiochus Hierax (t):

neither shall he stand, nor his arm; neither Antiochus; for Laodice, knowing that by the late treaty the crown was settled upon the children of Bernice, who already had a son by him, and sensible of his fickleness, and fearing he might divorce her again, and take to Bernice, got him poisoned by his servants: nor Bernice his queen, called "his arm"; who fleeing to Daphne for shelter, on hearing what was done, was there slain; or it may be his son he had by her, so it follows:

but she shall be given up; into the hands of Seleucus Callinicus, the son of Laodice; whom she placed on the throne after the death of his father; and who sent to Daphne to slay Bernice, which was accordingly done (u):

and they that brought her; into Syria; that attended her from Egypt at her marriage, and continued with her in the court of Syria, and fled with her to Daphne:

and he that begat her: or, "whom she brought forth"; as in the margin; her little son, who was murdered at the same time with her; for her father died before:

and he that strengthened her in these times; either her husband, or her father, who were both dead before, and so stood not, and could not help her; unless this is to be understood of her brother, and the cities of the lesser Asia, who, hearing of her distress at Daphne, set out for her relief, but came too late; she and her son were both slain first (w).

(q) See the Universal History, vol. 9. p. 384. (r) Ibid. p. 196. & Jerom. in loc. (s) "ad faciendum reetitudines", Pagninus, Michaelis; "ut faciat rectitudines", Montanus; "recta", Calvin. (t) Universal History, vol. 9, p. 196, 197. (u) Ibid. (w) Justin, l. 27. c. 1.

And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king's {n} daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the {o} arm; neither shall {p} he stand, nor his {q} arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he {r} that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.

(n) That is, Bernice the daughter of Ptolemais Philadelphus will be given in marriage to Antiochus Theos, thinking by this affinity that Syria and Egypt would have a continual peace together.

(o) That power and strength will not continue: for soon after her husband's death, Bernice and her young son were slain by her stepson Seleicus Calinieus the son of Laodice, the lawful wife of Antiochus, but put away for this woman's sake.

(p) Neither Ptolemais nor Antiochus.

(q) Some read seed, meaning the child begotten by Bernice.

(r) Some read, she that begat her, and by this understand her nurse, who brought her up: so that all those who were part of this marriage were destroyed.

6. Ptolemy II. (Philadelphus), 285–247, and Antiochus II. (Theos), 261–246.

Antiochus I. (Soter), b.c. 280–261, is passed by in the survey, as a ruler whose reign was of no importance to the Jews. The allusion in Daniel 11:6 is to what happened about b.c. 249. In order to terminate his long wars with Antiochus II. (Theos), Ptolemy Philadelphus gave him in marriage his daughter, Berenice, upon condition that he should divorce his legitimate wife, Laodice, and that his two sons, Seleucus and Antiochus, should renounce all claim to the throne of Syria: in the event of Antiochus and Berenice having issue, Ptolemy hoped in this way to secure Syria as an Egyptian province. After two years, however, Ptolemy died. Antiochus then took back Laodice, and divorced Berenice. Laodice, however, dreading her husband’s fickleness (‘ambiguum viri animum,’ Jerome), and fearing lest he might again evince a preference for Berenice, before long procured his death by poison. She then persuaded her son, Seleucus, to secure the throne for himself by murdering both Berenice and her infant child (Jerome ad loc.; Appian, Syr. 65; Justin xxvii. 1).

at the end of (some) years] 31 years after the death of Seleucus Nicator.

join themselves together] by the matrimonial alliance just described.

and the daughter of the king of the south] Berenice.

come to] in marriage (cf. Joshua 15:18; Jdg 12:9).

to make an agreement] lit. uprightness (Psalm 9:8), or equity (Psalm 98:9), i.e. (here) the equitable adjustment of a dispute. Comp. Daniel 11:17.

but she shall not retain the power of the arm] fig. for, she will not be able to maintain herself against her rival, Laodice. As said above, she was first divorced by Antiochus in favour of Laodice, and afterwards murdered at her instigation.

neither shall he stand] Antiochus, who was murdered by Laodice.

nor his arm] his might will come to an end. Theod., Kamph., Prince, ‘nor his seed’ (זַרְעוֹ for זְרֹעוֹ), referring to Antiochus’ issue by Berenice[359].

[359] Bevan and Marti render the last three clauses, but the arm (fig. for the support afforded by Berenice) shall not retain strength, neither shall his (other) arms (supports) abide (prove effectual),—altering (with Hitz.) the division and punctuation of the last two words.

but she shall be given up] Berenice, put to death at the instigation of Laodice.

they that brought her] either into the marriage, or to Syria. The expression is a vague one. The reference may be (Ewald, Meinh.) to Berenice’s attendants, who accompanied her to Antioch, and met there the same fate as their mistress; it may be (Hitz., Keil) simply to Antiochus (the plural being generic, without reference to the number of persons actually meant; cf. Genesis 21:7, Matthew 2:20); it may even be, more generally, to the ministers of Ptolemy who supported the alliance, and who were ‘given up,’ in the sense of finding their expectations disappointed.

he that begat her and supported (Daniel 11:1) her] Ptolemy Philadelphus (so Ew., Hitz., Keil). Or, he that begat her, and he that obtained (Daniel 11:21) her; i.e. Ptolemy, and Antiochus (so von Leng., Zöckl., Meinh.).

in the times] at the time in question = in those times (R.V.).

Verse 6. - And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times. The LXX. differs in a remarkable way from this, "And at the end of years he shall lead them, and the King of Egypt shall enter into the kingdom of the north to make covenants: but he shall not prevail, because his arm shall not establish strength (οὐ στή σει ἰσχύν); and his arm shall become stiff, and that of those accompanying him, and he shall remain for a season (εἰς ὥρας)." It is certainly difficult to see the reading from which this rendering came. It is noticeable that there is no reference to "the king's daughter of the south." History confirms the statement in the Massoretic text, but there is no expedition related in the history of Philadelphus undertaken against the kingdom of Syria. It is trite our records of the reign of Philadelphus are somewhat scanty. Theodotion is nearer the Massoretic text, though not quite in accordance with it, "And after his Jays they shall mingle with one another (συμμιγήσονται); and the daughter of the king of the south shall enter unto the king of the north to make treaties with him: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; and his seed shall not stand: and she shall be betrayed, and those that brought her, both the damsel and he that did violence to her." The last words are separated from this verse and conjoined to the following verse. The text behind this seems, in many ways, superior to the Massoretic. The Peshitta agrees in the opening clauses with the Massoretic; at the end of the verse the difference is considerable, "But power shall not be in her, from the fear which she feared: and she shall be betrayed, and her youths, and those accompanying her, and those supporting her in this time." The Vulgate agrees pretty closely with this. The reference here is generally understood to be to the affinity made by the Lagids with the Seleucids, when Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphns, married Antiochus II. (Theos), who repudiated his first wife, Laodike, in order to do so. The leap over a space of approximately sixty years is not so trying as Professor Fuller imagines; but the uncertainty as to the text is great, and the meaning of even the Massoretic is by no means fixed. Still, the agreement with the course of events is so marked according to the common interpretation, that one feels inclined to adopt it. After the death of her father Philadelphus, Antiochus Theos took back Laodike, who, in order to escape the risk of being again dismissed, unceremoniously poisoned her rival Berenice and her son, and then her husband Antiochus. Yet this transaction seems somewhat dubiously set forth in the Massoretic text. Theodotion is closer to facts, though it is possible that the text has been altered to suit what were known to be facts. Daniel 11:6שׁנים לקץ, "in the end of years," i.e., after the expiry of a course of years; cf. 2 Chronicles 18:2. The subject to יתחבּרוּ (join themselves, 2 Chronicles 20:35) cannot, it is evident, be אהרים, Daniel 11:4 (Kran.), but only the king of the south and his prince who founded a great dominion, since the covenant, according to the following clause, is brought about by the daughter of the king of the south being given in marriage (אל בּוא, to come to, as Joshua 15:18; Judges 1:14) to the king of the north, to make מישׁרים, to effect an agreement. מישׁרים, rectitudes, synonymous with righteousness and right, Proverbs 1:3, here designates the rectitude of the relation of the two rulers to each other in regard to the intrigues and deceits they had previously practised toward each other; thus not union, but sincerity in keeping the covenant that had been concluded. "But she shall not retain the power of the arm." כּוח עשׂר as Daniel 10:8, Daniel 10:16, and הזּרוע, the arm as a figure of help, assistance. The meaning is: she will not retain the power to render the help which her marriage should secure; she shall not be able to bring about and to preserve the sincerity of the covenant; and thus the king of the south shall not be preserved with this his help, but shall become subject to the more powerful king of the north. The following passages state this. The subject to יעמד לא is the נגב מלך; and his, i.e., this king's, help is his own daughter, who should establish מישׁרים by her marriage with the king of the north. וּזרעו is a second subject subordinated or co-ordinated to the subject lying in the verb: he together with his help. We may not explain the passage: neither he nor his help, because in this case הוּא could not be wanting, particularly in comparison with the following היא. The "not standing" is further positively defined by ותּנּתן, to be delivered up, to perish. The plur. מביאיה is the plur. of the category: who brought her, i.e., who brought her into the marriage (מביא to be explained after בּוא), without reference to the number of those who were engaged in doing so; cf. The similar plur. in particip. Leviticus 19:8; Numbers 24:9, and in the noun, Genesis 21:7. היּלדהּ, particip. with the suffix, wherein the article represents the relative אשׁר. מחזיק, in the same meaning as Daniel 11:1, the support, the helper. The sense is: not only she, but all who brought about the establishment of this marriage, and the object aimed at by it. בּעתּים has the article: in the times determined for each of these persons.
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