Daniel 11:8
And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north.
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(8) He shall continue.—Apparently the meaning is (comp. the use of the preposition in Daniel 11:31) “He shall stand on the side of [i.e., as an ally of] the northern king several years.” Others translate, “He shall abstain from the king of the north some years.” In either case the sense is nearly the same. The reference is said to be to the cessation of hostilities between Ptolemy and Seleucus, but there is nothing in these verses which leads us to infer what history states as a fact, that the northern king was completely crippled by a serious defeat, and that his fleet was dispersed by a storm.

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 shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods ... - That is, their idols. Jerome (in loc.) says that Ptolemy took with him, on his return, forty thousand talents of silver, a vast number of precious vessels of gold, and images to the number of two thousand four hundred, among which were many of the Egyptian idols, which Cambyses, on his conquering Egypt, had carried into Persia. These Ptolemy restored to the temple to which they belonged, and by this much endeared himself to his people. It was on account of the service which he thus rendered to his country that he was called Euergetes, that is, the Benefactor. - Prideaux, iii. 121. In 1631, an inscription on an ancient marble in honor of this action of Euergetes was published by Allatius: "Sacris quoe ab Egypto Persoe abstulerant receptis, ac cum reliqua congesta gaza in Egyptum relatis." - Wintle.

And he shall continue more years than the king of the north - Ptolemy Euergetes survived Seleucus about four years. - Prideaux, iii. 122. He reigned twenty-five years.

8. carry … into Egypt their gods, &c.—Ptolemy, on hearing of a sedition in Egypt, returned with forty thousand talents of silver, precious vessels, and twenty-four hundred images, including Egyptian idols, which Cambyses had carried from Egypt into Persia. The idolatrous Egyptians were so gratified, that they named him Euergetes, or "benefactor."

continue more years—Ptolemy survived Seleucus four years, reigning in all forty-six years. Maurer translates, "Then he for several years shall desist from (contending with) the king of the north" (compare Da 11:9).

With their precious vessels of silver and of gold; which with other vessels amounted to two thousand five hundred, among which were the images which Cambyses long before had carried out of Egypt into Persia; for which good act the Egyptians called this Ptolemy, Euergetes, the Benefactor.

He shall continue more years than the king of the north; he continued forty-six years, and had subdued all Seleucus’s kingdom, had he not been recalled.

And shall also carry captive into Egypt their gods, with their princes,.... Jerom relates, from the historians he conversed with, that Ptolemy carried captive with him into Egypt two thousand five hundred images; among which were many of the idols which Cambyses, when he conquered Egypt, carried from thence; and Ptolemy replacing them in their proper temples, gained him the affection of his people the Egyptians, who were much addicted to idolatry; hence they gave him the name of Euergetes, that is, "the benefactor":

and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; the same writer reports, that he brought with him out of Syria, and the places he conquered, forty thousand talents of silver, and precious vessels; vessels of gold and silver, a prodigious number:

and he shall continue more years than the king of the north; according to the canon of Ptolemy, this king of Egypt reigned twenty five years; and, as Dr. Prideaux (d) observes, outlived Seleucus king of Syria four years.

(d) Connexion, part 2. B. 2. p. 81.

And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue {u} more years than the king of the north.

(u) For this Ptolemais reigned forty-six years.

8. And also their gods, with their molten images, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold, shall he bring into captivity into Egypt] The custom of carrying off the gods of a conquered nation was common in antiquity: the capture of its gods implied naturally that the nation’s strongest support had passed into the hands of the victors. Cf. Isaiah 46:1-2; Jeremiah 48:7; Jeremiah 49:3. On the present occasion Jerome, following Porphyry, states that Ptolemy brought back with him 40,000 talents of silver and 2,500 precious vessels and images of gods, among the latter being those which Cambyses had carried off from Egypt 280 years before (cf. the Canopus decree, ll. 9–10: Mahaffy, p. 230). In consequence of the recovery of these images, it was said, the Egyptians conferred upon him the title of Euergetes (‘Benefactor’).

precious vessels] lit. vessels of desire: the same expression, 2 Chronicles 32:27; 2 Chronicles 36:10; Hosea 13:15; Nehemiah 2:9; Jeremiah 25:34.

and he shall refrain some years from (R.V.)] i.e. desist from attacking. ‘Refrain’ is lit. stand: cf. in the Heb. Genesis 29:35, 2 Kings 4:6.

Verse 8. - And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north. The version of the LXX. is again very different from that of the Massoretic text, "And their gods, with them that moulded them, he shall subdue (καταστρέψει), and their multitudes with the vessels of their desirable things, the silver and the gold, shall go into captivity in Egypt, and the year shall be to the king of the north." Theodotion. as so frequently is the case, takes a place intermediate between the Massoretic and the version of the LXX. His rendering is, "And their gods, with those that moulded them, all their desirable vessels of gold and silver, he shall carry with the captivity into Egypt, and he shall prevail over the king of the north." Both the Greek versions take נְסִכֵהֶם (nesikhayhem) as derived from nasak, "to pour out," hence "to mould," "to form a molten image," reading the word noskeem. The Syriac differs from both the Greek renderings and also from the Massoretic, "And even he shall terrify them, and their desirable vessels of silver and gold and the captives he shall carry down to Egypt, and twice (literally, 'one, two') shall rise against the king of the north." The Vulgate differs in meaning from all the preceding, but the text it is drawn from does not differ consonantly from that of the Massoretes, "And besides their gods. and their graven images, precious vessels too of silver and gold, he shall lead captive into Egypt, he shall prevail against the king of the north." The word n'sikhayeem is rendered, in the Revised Version, 'molten images' - a meaning given to the word by Furst, Gesenius, and Winer, with reference to this verse. The meaning assigned to the word in the Authorized is drawn from Rashi, and is in accordance with the usage of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 32:30). And shall also carry caprices into Egypt their gods, with their princes. As we have said, Ptolemy Euergetes conquered all Syria and Mesopotamia to beyond the Tigris. From this we learn he carried off immense booty, and among the articles taken were images of their gods. And not only the gods of Syria, but the images of the Egyptian gods, which had been carried into Syria from Egypt by Cambyses, nearly three centuries before. If this doubtful word, nasakeem, is taken to mean "images," it is difficult to see the reference of the prenominal suffix. Does it mean that the gods themselves, and the images of these gods, were taken? That is to say, does it mean that gods of the Syrians were taken, and also their images, as if the images and the gods were different? From this, notwithstanding the general consensus of interpreters, we feel ourselves necessitated to differ, and to make the word mean "princes," although there is no prominence, in the few accounts we have of this expedition, to any captives of such rank as to be called princes. And with their precious vessels of silver and of gold. This rendering, although retained in the Revised, is scarcely grammatically accurate, as the noun for "vessels" is already defined by the prenominal suffix. On the other hand, this word cannot readily be in apposition, as the article would be needed. Professor Bevan would make it "in silver and gold." We feel inclined to regard this as a somewhat irregular construction, as if a ray had dropped out before כֶסִפ, "silver," though most of the versions regard these nouns as in the genitive after "vessels." And he shall continue more years than the king of the north It is a matter of fact that Euergetes survived Seleueus Callinicus, his sister's stepson, about four years. Hitzig and Ewald would render," He shall refrain for some years from attacking the king of the north." This rendering has the advantage that it escapes from the purely unimportant personal statement that Ptolemy should survive Callinicus. That the king of the north was allotted to regain the greater part of the dominions which had been wrested from him, without any counter effort on the part of Ptolemy, is more important. Keil objects to this that the emphatic position of וְהוּא is against this, and would support the rendering of the Vulgate, Ipse prevalebit adversus regem Aquilouis. Both versions are so far grammatically defensible; yet both are a little strained: both are in accordance with history. Daniel 11:8To bring the subjugated kingdom wholly under his power, he shall carry away its gods along with all the precious treasures into Egypt. The carrying away of the images of the gods was a usual custom with conquerors; cf. Isaiah 46:1., Jeremiah 48:7; Jeremiah 49:3. In the images the gods themselves were carried away; therefore they are called "their gods." נסכיהם signifies here not drink-offerings, but molten images; the form is analogous to the plur. פּסילים, formed from פּסל; on the contrary, נסיכם libationes, Deuteronomy 32:38, stands for נסכּיהם, Isaiah 41:29. The suffix is not to be referred to אלהים, but, like the suffix in חמדּתם, to the inhabitants of the conquered country. וזהב כּסף are in apposition to חמדּתם כּלי, not the genitive of the subject (Kran.), because an attributive genitive cannot follow a noun determined by a suffix. Hv., v. Leng., Maurer, Hitzig, Ewald, and Klief. translate 'וגו יעמד שׁנים והוּא: he shall during (some) years stand off from the king of the north. Literally this translation may perhaps be justified, for עמד, c. מן, Genesis 29:35, has the meaning of "to leave off," and the expression "to stand off from war" may be used concisely for "to desist from making war" upon one. But this interpretation does not accord with the connection. First, it is opposed by the expressive והוּא, which cannot be understood, if nothing further should be said than that the king of the south, after he had overthrown the fortresses of the enemies' country, and had carried away their gods and their treasures, abstained from war for some years. The והוּא much rather leads us to this, that the passage introduced by it states some new important matter which does not of itself appear from the subjugation of the enemy and his kingdom. To this is to be added, that the contents of Daniel 11:9, where the subject to בּא can only be the king of the north, do not accord with the abstaining of the king of the south from warring against the king of the north. By Ewald's remark, "With such miserable marchings to and fro they mutually weaken themselves," the matter is not made intelligible. For the penetrating of the king of the south into the fortresses of his enemy, and the carrying away of his gods and his treasures, was not a miserable, useless expedition; but then we do not understand how the completely humbled king of the north, after his conqueror abstained from war, was in the condition to penetrate into his kingdom and then to return to his own land. Would his conqueror have suffered him to do this? We must, therefore, with Kranichfeld, Gesenius, de Wette, and Winer, after the example of the Syriac and Vulgate, take מן יעמד in the sense of: to stand out before, מן in the sense of מפּני, contra, as in Psalm 43:1 it is construed with ריב, which is supported by the circumstance that עמד in Daniel 11:6, Daniel 11:15, Daniel 11:17, and Daniel 11:25, has this meaning. By this not only is והוּא rightly translated: and he, the same who penetrated into the fortresses of his adversary and carried away his gods, shall also take his stand against him, assert his supremacy for years; but also Daniel 11:9 contains a suitable addition, for it shows how he kept his ground. The king of the north shall after some time invade the kingdom of the king of the south, but shall return to his own land, namely, because he can effect nothing. Kran. takes the king of the south as the subject to וּבא, Daniel 11:9; but this is impossible, for then the word must be בּמלכוּתו, particularly in parallelism with אדמתו. As the words stand, הנגב מלך, can only be the genitive to בּמלכוּת; thus the supposition that "the king of the south is the subject" is excluded, because the expression, "the king of the south comes into the kingdom of the south and returns to his own land," has no meaning when, according to the context, the south denotes Egypt. With the וּבא there also begins a change of the subject, which, though it appears contrary to the idiom of the German [and English] language, is frequently found in Hebrew; e.g., in Daniel 11:11 and Daniel 11:9. By the mention of an expedition of the king of the north into the kingdom of the king of the south, from which he again returned without having effected anything, the way is opened for passing to the following description of the supremacy of the king of the north over the king of the south.
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