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Daniel 11


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#1 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:36 AM

John Gill leads us through the section of Daniel 11 which deals with Antiochus Epiphanes:

Daniel 11:
20  Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.

Ver. 20. Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom,  &c.] This was not Antiochus Epiphanes,  as Theodoret,  he is designed in the next verse; nor Ptolemy Epiphanes; as Porphyry,  for he did not succeed Antiochus the great; nor Tryphon, tutor to Antiochus,  as some Jewish writers; but Seleucus Philopator, the eldest son of Antiochus the great; who succeeded him,  and was settled in his kingdom in his father’s room,  and stood upon his basis; and might well be called a raiser of taxes,  being not only a covetous man,  and a lover of money above all things; and therefore laid heavy taxes on his subjects,  to gratify his avarice;

but was indeed obliged to it,  to raise the thousand talents yearly to pay the Romans,  which his father had laid himself under obligation to do; and this took up the whole life of this his successor; for as there were twelve thousand talents to pay,  a thousand each year,  and Seleucus reigned in all but twelve years at most,  he did nothing but raise taxes yearly to pay this tribute.

It may be rendered,  "then shall stand upon his basis": or,  "in his room",  as the Vulgate Latin version,  in the room of Antiochus the great,  "one that causes the exactors to pass through the glory of the kingdom" {o}; that causes tax gatherers to go through the kingdom,  and collect the tax of the people,  who are the glory of the kingdom, especially the rich,  the nobility,  and gentry; or money,  which is the glory of a nation: or,  "shall cause the exactors to pass over to the glory of the kingdom"; that is,  cause a tax gatherer to go over from Syria to the glorious land,  or the glorious part of his dominion,  the land of Judea; and so may have respect particularly to Heliodorus his treasurer,  whom he sent to Jerusalem to demand the treasure of money he heard was laid up in the temple there; in the Apocrypha:

“Now when Apollonius came to the king,  and had shewed him of the money whereof he was told,  the king chose out Heliodorus his treasurer,  and sent him with a commandment to bring him the foresaid money.”(2 Maccabees 3:7)

but within few days he shall be destroyed,  neither in anger,  nor in battle; or,  within a few years,  as Grotius and Prideaux render it; "days" being often put for years. Seleucus reigned but twelve years at most,  which were but few in comparison of the long reign of his father, which was a reign of thirty seven years; and he died not through the rage of the populace,  or through the sedition and rebellion of his subjects,  nor in war,  with a foreign enemy; but through the treachery of Heliodorus his treasurer,  by whom he was poisoned,  as is supposed;

either for the sake of Antiochus Epiphanes,  who was at that very time returning from Rome,  where he had been an hostage ever since the defeat of his father,  the money being now paid,  which was stipulated; or rather on his own account,  having a design to seize the kingdom for himself.

{o} twklm rdh vgwn rybem wnk le dmew "stabit autem super basillius, qui transire faciet exactorem per decus regni",  Michaelis.



#2 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:39 AM

21 And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.

Ver. 21. And in his estate shall stand up a vile person,  &c.] Upon his basis or stand,  in the same place where Seleucus Philopator stood, succeeded Antiochus Epiphanes his brother,  called "vile",  being a very immoral man,  given to drunkenness,  lasciviousness,  uncleanness,  and unnatural lusts,  and a violent persecutor of the church of God.

The word signifies "despicable" {p}; he was a vile person,  and justly condemned for his vices,  and also for that mean and ignoble life he had lived at Rome,  having been an hostage there for eleven or twelve years; and though the other hostages were changed at three years’ end,  yet he remained; which shows what little account he was of even with his father; and was in no esteem with the people,  among whom,  by his freaks and frolics,  he made himself very ridiculous; by rambling about streets with a servant or two; conversing with tradesmen about their trades; drinking with strangers,  and people of low life; revelling at merry bouts with young people; putting on strange habits; throwing away his money among the rabble,  and stones at those that followed him; washing at public baths among the common people; all which,  and many others, are reported {q} of him by historians; hence he was called by some Epimanes the madman; though he took to himself the title of Epiphanes the "illustrious",  the reverse of his character.

This is the little horn in #Da 8:9 and who was an eminent type of antichrist,  with whom his character agrees,  as well as other things:

to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom; neither his father,  nor his brother,  nor the peers and people of the land of the kingdom of Syria; they never once thought of making him king; they neither chose him,  nor called him,  nor crowned him:

but he shall come in peaceably,  and obtain the kingdom by flatteries; pretending to take it,  not for himself,  but for his nephew Demetrius, the son of his brother Seleucus,  now an hostage at Rome,  in his stead; so that the states opposed him not,  but quietly admitted him,  thinking all was safe for the rightful heir and successor; and when he had got possession for his nephew,  he obtained it for himself by his flattering speeches to the nobles,  and his gifts among the citizens,  and his great pretensions to clemency and humanity;

or these "flatteries" may refer to the artifices he used to gain Eumenes king of Pergamus,  and Attalus his brother,  to assist him against Heliodorus the usurper; and the promises of friendship and assistance against the Romans he made to them,  and by whose help he came peaceably to the kingdom.

{p} hzbn "despectus",  Pagninus,  Montanus; "contemptus",  Vatablus, Piscator,  Tigurine version.
{q} See Prideaux’s Connexion,  par. 2. B. 3. p. 153, 154, Out of Athenaeus,  Diodorus,  &c. and the Universal History,  vol. 9. p. 276, 277, 289, 290.



#3 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:40 AM

22  And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.

Ver. 22. And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him,  and shall be broken,  &c.] That is,  by the help of the forces of Eumenes and Attalus,  which were like an inundation of water, the party that were on the side of Heliodorus the usurper were bore down,  crushed,  and destroyed; and thereby Antiochus had a peaceable settlement in the kingdom:

or,  "the arms of a flood shall be overflowed from before him,  and be broken" {r}; either the arms of Heliodorus,  the forces he had got together; or the armies of the Egyptians,  which,  like an overflowing flood,  had used to run over Judea,  Coelesyria, Phoenicia,  and other places,  and carry all before them,  now should be overflowed,  and bore down themselves; of which see more on #Da 11:25:

yea,  also the prince of the covenant; which some understand of Judas Maccabaeus,  as Jerome and Jacchiades; others more probably of Onias the high priest,  whom Antiochus deposed in the first year of his reign,  and sold the priesthood to Jason his younger brother for four hundred and forty talents of silver; and who also promised to give him one hundred and fifty more for a license to erect a place of exercise for the training up of youth,  according to the fashion of the Greeks; which Antiochus greedily embraced,  the public treasury being empty through the large tribute paid to the  Romans the last twelve years; in the Apocrypha:

“7  But after the death of Seleucus,  when Antiochus,  called Epiphanes,  took the kingdom,  Jason the brother of Onias laboured underhand to be high priest,  8  Promising unto the king by intercession three hundred and threescore talents of silver,  and of another revenue eighty talents:

9  Beside this,  he promised to assign an hundred and fifty more,  if he might have licence to set him up a place for exercise,  and for the training up of youth in the fashions of the heathen,  and to write them of Jerusalem by the name of Antiochians. 

34  Wherefore Menelaus,  taking Andronicus apart,  prayed,  him to get Onias into his hands; who being persuaded thereunto,  and coming to Onias in deceit,  gave him his right hand with oaths; and though he were suspected by him,  yet persuaded he him to come forth of the sanctuary: whom forthwith he shut up without regard of justice. 35  For the which cause not only the Jews,  but many also of other nations,  took great indignation,  and were much grieved for the unjust murder of the man.” (2 Maccabees 4)

Others think Seleucus Philopator his brother is meant,  which is not probable,  his death being before described; rather Demetrius his nephew,  with whom he covenanted to hold the kingdom for him,  or through whom the covenant and peace with the Romans was continued so long,  he being an hostage at Rome; though others are of opinion that Trypho,  a peer of the realm of Egypt,  is designed,  who was the principal person concerned in a covenant made between Antiochus and Ptolemy Philometor king of Egypt; though it is more likely that Ptolemy himself is the person intended.

{r} wpjvy Pjvh twerzw "et brachia inundationis inundabantur", Cocceius,  Michaelis "brachia inundantia",  Piscator.



#4 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:42 AM

23  And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.

Ver. 23. And after the league made with him,  &c.] The prince of the covenant; either Demetrius his nephew,  or Ptolemy Philometor king of Egypt,  with whom a league was made in the lifetime of Cleopatra,  the sister of Antiochus,  and mother of Ptolemy:

he shall work deceitfully; either with the princes and people of Syria, by good words and fair speeches,  and by gifts and presents,  to get the kingdom for himself,  though he had covenanted with his nephew to hold it for him,  and resign it to him at his return; and with the Romans, and among his friends in the senate,  he artfully worked to detain him at Rome: or else with the king of Egypt,  pretending great friendship to him,  and to take the care and tuition of him during his minority; and at his coronation he sent one Apollonius to be present at it,  and to congratulate him upon it; in the Apocrypha:

“Now when Apollonius the son of Menestheus was sent into Egypt for the coronation of king Ptolemeus Philometor, Antiochus,  understanding him not to be well affected to his affairs,  provided for his own safety: whereupon he came to Joppa,  and from thence to Jerusalem:”(2 Maccabees 4:21)

for he shall come up,  and shall become strong with a small people; either he went into the heart of Syria with a small number of men at first,  and gathered together a large army; or into Phoenicia with a handful of men,  where he ingratiated himself into the affections of the people by words and gifts,  and became strong;

or he went up into Egypt accompanied only with a few,  lest,  the Egyptians should be suspicious of him; but these it is said were valiant men,  whom he placed in the forts of Egypt,  and so became master of it,  which is an instance of his deceitful working; and Sutorius,  an ancient historian,  as quoted by Jerom,  says that he subdued Egypt to himself with a very small number of people.



#5 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:43 AM

24  He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.

Ver. 24. He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province,  &c.] Or,  "into tranquillity,  and the fattest places of the province" {s}; that is,  into such places as were in great tranquillity, and men thought themselves safe and secure,  and had no suspicion of his designs upon them,  and which abounded in wealth and riches: these were either the principal cities in the kingdom of Syria,  which he visited in order to establish himself in their good opinion of him;

or the chief places of the province of Phoenicia,  where he endeavoured to make himself acceptable by his munificence; or it may be the best parts of the kingdom of Egypt are meant,  the richest of them,  such as Memphis, and the places about it; where,  as Sutorius in Jerome says,  he went; and which places being fat,  producing a large increase,  and abounding in wealth,  invited him thither; and which wealth he took,  and scattered among his friends and soldiers,  as in a following clause:

and he shall do that which his fathers have not done,  nor his fathers’ fathers; none of his ancestors,  more near or more remote; not Antiochus the great,  nor Seleucus Ceraunus,  nor Seleucus Callinicus,  nor Antiochus Theos,  nor Antiochus Soter,  nor Seleucus Nicator,  the founder of the Syrian empire;

for,  however greater these might be in power or riches,  they were inferior to him in success; though they all,  or most of them,  however,  had their eye upon Egypt,  and would gladly have been masters of it; yet none of the kings of Syria prevailed over it,  as Antiochus did; and this may also refer to what follows:

he shall scatter among them the prey,  and spoil,  and riches; which he took from the places or rich cities he entered into; and these he plentifully and liberally dispersed among his followers,  his soldiers, "the small people" he became strong with,  #Da 11:23,  whereby he gained their affections,  and attached them to his interest; and in this his liberality and munificence he is said to abound above all the kings that were before him,  in the Apocrypha:

“He feared that he should not be able to bear the charges any longer,  nor to have such gifts to give so liberally as he did before: for he had abounded above the kings that were before him.”(1 Maccabees 3:30)

and the character Josephus {t} gives of him is,  that he was a man of a large and liberal heart:

yea,  and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds; the fortresses of Egypt; as he got into the fat and richest parts of it, and distributed the wealth of them among his favourites and followers, which answered a good purpose; so he had his eye upon the fortified places of the kingdom,  and contrived ways and means to get them into his possession,  as Pelusium,  and other places; and how to keep them when he had got them,  which he did:

even for a time; till Ptolemy Philometor was at age,  and freed himself from him; or till the Romans {u} put a stop to his power.

{s} ynmvmbw hwlvb "in quietem et in pinguia",  Montanus; "in tranquillitatem et opima",  Cocceius; "in tranquillitatem et in pinguissima",  Michaelis.
{t} Antiqu. l. 12. c. 7. sect. 2.
{u} Vid. Joseph. Antiqu. l. 19. c. 5. sect. 2.



#6 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:44 AM

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.

Ver. 25. And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army,  &c.] 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.



#7 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:45 AM

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.

Ver. 25. And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army,  &c.] 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.



#8 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:48 AM

26  Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.

Ver. 26. Yea,  they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him,  &c.] Those of his own household,  his familiar friends,  his courtiers and counsellors,  and the generals of his army; his destruction,  or the loss of the battle,  was owing either to the bad counsels they gave him,  or to their desertion of him,  being corrupted by Antiochus:

and his army shall overflow: that is,  the army of Antiochus,  like a mighty inundation of water,  which carries all before it,  should overflow,  or bear down and destroy,  the army of Ptolemy,  and overrun all Egypt,  as it did,  as before related; no more resistance being to be made to it than to a rapid flood of water:

and many shall fall down slain: of the army of the king of Egypt. The account given of this affair in the Apocrypha:

“18 And made war against Ptolemee king of Egypt: but Ptolemee was afraid of him,  and fled; and many were wounded to death.  19  Thus they got the strong cities in the land of Egypt and he took the spoils thereof.” (1 Maccabees 1)

Josephus says {x},  that Antiochus,

“being with a great army at Pelusium,  and circumventing Ptolemy Philometor by fraud,  seized on Egypt; and being in the parts near to Memphis,  and taking it,  he hastened to Alexandria to besiege it,  and got Ptolemy,  reigning there, into his hands.”

{x} Antiqu. l. 12. c. 5, sect. 2.



#9 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:49 AM

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.

Ver. 27. And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief,  &c.] 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.



#10 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:51 AM

28  Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.

Ver. 28. Then shall he return into his land with great riches,  &c.] That is,  Antiochus,  with the spoils of Egypt,  and the gifts and presents he had received there; so the author of the first book of Maccabees says,

“20 And after that Antiochus had smitten Egypt,  he returned again in the hundred forty and third year,  and went up against Israel and Jerusalem with a great multitude,  21 And entered proudly into the sanctuary,  and took away the golden altar,  and the candlestick of light,  and all the vessels thereof, ”(1 Maccabees 1)

that is,  of the era of the Selucidae,  and the fifth or sixth year of his reign:

and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; not the covenant he had made with Ptolemy,  which was a fraudulent one; but the covenant between God and the Jews; whereby they became a distinct and peculiar people,  having a religion,  laws,  and ordinances,  different from all others; for which reason they were hated by other nations,  and particularly by Antiochus; and his heart was the more enraged against them at this time,  for the following reason; a false rumour being spread in Judea that Antiochus was dead,  Jason took the opportunity to recover the office of high priest from his brother Menelaus;

and,  with a thousand men,  took the city of Jerusalem,  drove his brother into the castle,  and slew many he took for his enemies. Antiochus,  hearing of this,  concluded the whole nation of the Jews had revolted from him; and therefore took Judea in his way from Egypt,  in order to suppress this rebellion; in the Apocrypha:

“5  Now when there was gone forth a false rumour,  as though Antiochus had been dead,  Jason took at the least a thousand men,  and suddenly made an assault upon the city; and they that were upon the walls being put back,  and the city at length taken,  Menelaus fled into the castle:

6 But Jason slew his own citizens without mercy,  not considering that to get the day of them of his own nation would be a most unhappy day for him; but thinking they had been his enemies,  and not his countrymen,  whom he conquered. 11 Now when this that was done came to the king’s ear,  he thought that Judea had revolted: whereupon removing out of Egypt in a furious mind,  he took the city by force of arms, ”(2 Maccabees 5)

and he shall do exploits; in Jerusalem,  very wicked ones indeed! he ordered his soldiers to slay all they met,  without mercy,  old and young,  women and children,  virgins and young men; and in three days’ time eighty thousand were slain,  forty thousand bound,  and no less sold: he went into the temple,  and took all the vessels in it,  and all the gold and silver,  and hidden treasures of it,  to the value of a thousand and eight hundred talents,  in the Apocrypha:

“12  And commanded his men of war not to spare such as they met,  and to slay such as went up upon the houses. 13  Thus there was killing of young and old,  making away of men, women,  and children,  slaying of virgins and infants.

14 And there were destroyed within the space of three whole days fourscore thousand,  whereof forty thousand were slain in the conflict; and no fewer sold than slain.

15  Yet was he not content with this,  but presumed to go into the most holy temple of all the world; Menelaus,  that traitor to the laws,  and to his own country,  being his guide: 16  And taking the holy vessels with polluted hands,  and with profane hands pulling down the things that were dedicated by other kings to the augmentation and glory and honour of the place,  he gave them away.

21  So when Antiochus had carried out of the temple a thousand and eight hundred talents,  he departed in all haste unto Antiochia,  weening in his pride to make the land navigable,  and the sea passable by foot: such was the haughtiness of his mind.” (2 Maccabees 5)

“23  He took also the silver and the gold,  and the precious vessels: also he took the hidden treasures which he found. 24  And when he had taken all away,  he went into his own land,  having made a great massacre,  and spoken very proudly. 25  Therefore there was a great mourning in Israel,  in every place where they were; ”(1 Maccabees 1)

and return to his own land; having done these exploits,  he made what haste he could to Antioch,  with the spoils of Egypt,  and the plunder of the temple at Jerusalem,  in the Apocrypha:

“And when he had taken all away,  he went into his own land, having made a great massacre,  and spoken very proudly.” (1 Maccabees 1:24)

“So when Antiochus had carried out of the temple a thousand and eight hundred talents,  he departed in all haste unto Antiochia,  weening in his pride to make the land navigable, and the sea passable by foot: such was the haughtiness of his mind.”(2 Maccabees 5:21)



#11 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:52 AM

29  At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.

Ver. 29. At the time appointed he shall return,  and come toward the south,  &c.] At the time appointed of God,  he should return from Syria again to Egypt; which was his third expedition thither,  and was occasioned by the Alexandrians setting up the brother of Ptolemy Philometor for king; wherefore he hastened to Egypt with a large army, under a pretence of restoring the deposed king; but in reality to seize the kingdom for himself {y}:

but it shall not be as the former,  or as the latter; this expedition should not succeed so well as the two former,  as it did not; he could not carry his point,  neither subdue Egypt,  nor get any of the two brothers into his hands,  as he had done before; the reason of which follows:

{y} See the Universal History,  vol. 9. p. 282, 409.



#12 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:54 AM

30  For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.

Ver. 30. For the ships of Chittim shall come against him,  &c.] Ptolemy king of Egypt,  and his brother,  being come to an agreement,  sent an embassy to the senate of Rome,  to implore their help and assistance against Antiochus,  who was preparing to besiege them in Alexandria; upon which they sent their ambassadors Caius Popilius Laenas,  Caius Decimus,  and Caius Hostilius,  in ships from Macedonia {z},  or Greece,  to Antiochus,  to require him to desist from making war upon Ptolemy,  and that he quit the land of Egypt; see #Nu 24:24. Macedonia is called the land of Cittim,  in the Apocrypha:

“And it happened,  after that Alexander son of Philip,  the Macedonian,  who came out of the land of Chettiim,  had smitten Darius king of the Persians and Medes,  that he reigned in his stead,  the first over Greece, ” (1 Maccabees 1:1)

“Beside this,  how they had discomfited in battle Philip, and Perseus,  king of the Citims,  with others that lifted up themselves against them,  and had overcome them:” (1 Maccabees 8:5)

Jarchi,  Aben Ezra,  Saadiah,  and Jacchiades,  interpret it of the Romans; and,  according to Gorionides {a},  Cittim are the Romans; and Jerom here interprets them of them; and Bochart has proved at large {b} that they are meant. The word seems to be used both of Grecians and Romans,  and here of Romans in Grecian ships:

therefore he shall be grieved,  and return; being obliged to it,  sore against his will: as soon as he saw Popilius,  with whom he had contracted a friendship while he was an hostage at Rome,  he offered his hand to kiss; but Popilius refused it,  and observed that private friendship should give way to public interest; and then produced the decree of the senate,  and delivered it to him,  and required his answer;

but Antiochus delaying,  telling him he would consult his friends, Popilius,  with a rod in his hand,  drew a circle round him,  and bid him consult his friends directly; adding that he should not stir from that circle till he had given a positive answer; which roughness struck him, and,  hesitating a little,  he replied he would obey the senate,  as Justin {c},  Livy {d},  Velleius Paterculus {e},  and other historians, relate; and upon which he at once departed with his army,  though fretted and vexed to the last degree:

and have indignation against the holy covenant; the Jews,  God’s covenant people; on whom he gratified his revenge,  sending Apollonius, with an army of twenty two thousand men,  to whom he gave orders to slay the men,  and sell the women and children; and who committed many outrages in the city and temple:

now it was the daily sacrifice was made to cease,  and the abomination of desolation set up,  as in the following verse,  and all that done predicted in #Da 8:10-12,  this was two years after his former expedition into Egypt,  and the havoc he made upon his return from thence,  and in the eighth year of his reign, and one hundred and forty fifth of the Seleucidae; in the Apocrypha:

“And spake peaceable words unto them,  but all was deceit: for when they had given him credence,  he fell suddenly upon the city,  and smote it very sore,  and destroyed much people of Israel.”(1 Maccabees 1:30)

“He sent also that detestable ringleader Apollonius with an army of two and twenty thousand,  commanding him to slay all those that were in their best age,  and to sell the women and the younger sort:”(2 Maccabees 5:24)

so shall he do; such wicked deeds as before declared,  in his wrath and fury against the Jews,  being provoked at his disappointment in Egypt:

he shall even return,  and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant: apostate Jews,  who had renounced their religion,  forsook the law of God,  and the ordinances of his worship,  and turned Heathens; of whom it is said,  agreeably to the language of this prophecy,  and seemingly with a view to it,

that they made themselves uncircumcised,  and departed from the holy covenant,  in the Apocrypha:

“And made themselves uncircumcised,  and forsook the holy covenant,  and joined themselves to the heathen,  and were sold to do mischief.”(1 Maccabees 1:15)

with these Antiochus kept an intelligence,  and held a correspondence, in order not only to know the affairs of the Jews from time to time, but to draw them off from their religion,  and propagate Heathenism among them; such as Jason,  Menelaus,  and others; in the Apocrypha:

“12  So this device pleased them well. 13  Then certain of the people were so forward herein,  that they went to the king,  who gave them licence to do after the ordinances of the heathen: 14  Whereupon they built a place of exercise at Jerusalem according to the customs of the heathen: 15 And made themselves uncircumcised,  and forsook the holy covenant,  and joined themselves to the heathen,  and were sold to do mischief. 

43  Yea,  many also of the Israelites consented to his religion,  and sacrificed unto idols,  and profaned the sabbath. 44  For the king had sent letters by messengers unto Jerusalem and the cities of Juda that they should follow the strange laws of the land,  45  And forbid burnt offerings,  and sacrifice,  and drink offerings,  in the temple; and that they should profane the sabbaths and festival days:”(1 Maccabees 1)

{z} Vid. Liv. Hist. l. 45. c. 10.
{a} Heb. Hist. l. 1. c. 1. p. 7.
{b} Phaleg. l. 3. c. 5.
{c} E Trogo,  l. 34. c. 2, 3.
{d} Hist. l. 45. c. 12.



#13 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:56 AM

31  And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

Ver. 31. And arms shall stand on his part,  &c.] Powerful armies sent by him into Judea; garrisons of soldiers placed in Jerusalem; mighty generals and commanders who fought for him,  as Lysias,  Philip the Phrygian,  Andronicus,  Apollonius,  Bacchides,  and others:

and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength; the temple,  which stood in Jerusalem,  a fortified city,  and was itself a building strong and stable; and especially it was so called,  because here the mighty God had his residence,  the symbol of which was the ark of his strength, and here he gave strength unto his people: this holy place,  sacred to his worship and service,  the commanders and soldiers of Antiochus defiled by entering into it,  who were men unholy and unclean; by making it a place of luxury and rioting,  of whoredom,  and all manner of uncleanness; by bringing things into it which were not lawful,  and filling the altar with what was abominable,  in the Apocrypha:

“4  For the temple was filled with riot and revelling by the Gentiles,  who dallied with harlots,  and had to do with women within the circuit of the holy places, and besides that brought in things that were not lawful. 5  The altar also was filled with profane things,  which the law forbiddeth.”(2 Maccabees 6)

particularly by erecting a high place upon the altar,  and sacrificing swine upon it,  as Josephus {f} relates; with which agrees what is said of Antiochus,  in the Apocrypha in is written that he ordered:

“46  And pollute the sanctuary and holy people: 47  Set up altars,  and groves,  and chapels of idols,  and sacrifice swine’s flesh,  and unclean beasts:”(1 Maccabees 1)

and shall take away the daily sacrifice; the sacrifice of the lamb in the morning,  and in the evening,  which the priests were hindered from offering,  by the crowds of Heathens in the temple; or prohibited by the order of Antiochus; for he forbad burnt offerings,  sacrifice,  and libation,  to be made in the temple,  in the Apocrypha:

“Set up altars,  and groves,  and chapels of idols,  and sacrifice swine’s flesh,  and unclean beasts:” (1 Maccabees 1:47)

and Josephus {g} expressly says,  that he forbad the daily sacrifices to be offered,  which were used to be offered to God,  according to the law: and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate; either a garrison of Heathen soldiers in the temple,  which drove the priests and people from it,  and made it desolate; or rather an idol in it,  it being usual in Scripture to call idols abominations,  as they are to God and all good men; the image of Jupiter Olympius,  as is thought, which was placed upon the altar of God by Antiochus,  on the fifteenth day of the month Cisieu,  in the hundred and forty fifth year of the Seleucidae,  and is called the abomination of desolations,  in the Apocrypha:

“And whosoever was found with any the book of the testament,  or if any committed to the law,  the king’s commandment was,  that they should put him to death.” (1 Maccabees 1:57)

and the temple itself was ordered to be called the temple of Jupiter Olympius,  in the Apocrypha:

“And to pollute also the temple in Jerusalem,  and to call it the temple of Jupiter Olympius; and that in Garizim,  of Jupiter the Defender of strangers,  as they did desire that dwelt in the place.”(2 Maccabees 6:2)

and what with this and other things that were done,  the temple and city were left desolate; for it is said in the Apocrypha:

“Now Jerusalem lay void as a wilderness,  there was none of her children that went in or out: the sanctuary also was trodden down,  and aliens kept the strong hold; the heathen had their habitation in that place; and joy was taken from Jacob,  and the pipe with the harp ceased.”(1 Maccabees 3:45)

It may be rendered,  "the abomination that maketh astonished" {h}; for it struck the people of the Jews with astonishment; it amazed and stupefied them,  when they saw such an idol placed in their temple. The Karaite Jews,  who by the others are called Sadducees,  give a very foreign interpretation of this passage,  which Aben Ezra observes:

“it is marvellous (says he) that the wise men of the Sadducees should explain this of future time,  and say that this sanctuary is Mecca,  where the Ishmaelites or Turks keep a feast; "the daily sacrifice",  to be removed,  their five prayers; and the "abomination" set up is their idolatrous worship.”

Sir Isaac Newton understands all this of the Romans,  and their building a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus,  where the temple in Jerusalem had stood.

{f} Antiqu. l. 12. c. 5. sect. 4.
{g} lbid.
{h} Mmwvm Uwqyvh "abominationem obstupefacientem",  Montanus; "quae obstupefaciet",  Calvin.



#14 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:57 AM

32  And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

Ver. 32. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall be corrupted by flatteries,  &c.] That forsook the law of God,  the book of the covenant,  and did things contrary to it; and particularly violated the covenant of circumcision,  drawing on the foreskin,  and becoming uncircumcised;

as well as rejected other ordinances of religious worship the Jews by covenant were obliged to observe: these apostates Antiochus corrupted by good words and fair speeches,  by gifts and presents; and they became his tools,  to do his pleasure,  and were his instruments to seduce the Jews to renounce their religion,  and give in to his idolatry; such as Jason,  Menelaus,  and others; in the Apocrypha:

“Now when the kingdom was established before Antiochus,  he thought to reign over Egypt that he might have the dominion of two realms.”(1 Maccabees 1:16)

“Now such was the height of Greek fashions,  and increase of heathenish manners,  through the exceeding profaneness of Jason,  that ungodly wretch,  and no high priest; ” (2 Maccabees 4:13)

“Yet was he not content with this,  but presumed to go into the most holy temple of all the world; Menelaus,  that traitor to the laws,  and to his own country,  being his guide:”(2 Maccabees 5:15)

“But they that had the charge of that wicked feast,  for the old acquaintance they had with the man,  taking him aside,  besought him to bring flesh of his own provision, such as was lawful for him to use,  and make as if he did eat of the flesh taken from the sacrifice commanded by the king; ”(2 Maccabees 6:21)

but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits; such who knew the Lord God of Israel to be the true God,  and owned and acknowledged him as such; and not only professed him,  but served and worshipped him,  having a spiritual knowledge of him,  and communion with him; and therefore could not be drawn off from him and his worship by flatteries or frowns,  by promises or menaces: these were strong in the Lord,  and in the power of his might;

they held fast their religion,  and the profession of it,  and were proof against all allurements or threatenings,  and endured racks and tortures,  all sorts of punishment, and death in every shape,  with the greatest constancy and courage; such as Eleazar,  the mother and her seven sons,  and others; as well as others did many valiant actions in the defence of themselves and country,  as Mattathias,  Judas Maccabaeus,  and his brethren; to which heroic actions the apostle refers in #Heb 11:34-37,  so Josephus {i} says,

“that many of the Jews indeed,  some willingly,  and others through fear of punishment,  obeyed the king’s commands; but the more approved,  and those of generous minds,  had a greater regard to the customs of their country than to the punishment threatened to the disobedient; and for this being continually harassed,  and enduring grievous punishments,  died; some were scourged,  and their bodies mutilated,  and being yet alive and breathing,  were crucified; women and their children,  whom they crucified,  were by the king’s orders strangled,  and hanged about the necks of their parents that were crucified; ”

In the Apocrypha:

“60  At which time according to the commandment they put to death certain women,  that had caused their children to be circumcised. 61  And they hanged the infants about their necks,  and rifled their houses,  and slew them that had circumcised them.
62  Howbeit many in Israel were fully resolved and confirmed in themselves not to eat any unclean thing. 63  Wherefore the rather to die,  that they might not be defiled with meats,  and that they might not profane the holy covenant: so then they died. 64  And there was very great wrath upon Israel.”(1 Maccabees 1)

{i} Antiqu. l. 12. c. 5. sect. 4.



#15 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:59 AM

33  And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.

Ver. 33. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many, &c.] Such as had a better understanding of divine things than others, had more light and knowledge in the sacred Scriptures,  in the law of God,  and in his mind and will,  and were capable of teaching others;

and such as these the Lord raises up among his people in the worst of times,  in the times of the greatest apostasy and declension; and these are enabled to perform their duty,  to instruct the people in theirs, teach them what they should do,  and how they should behave; exhort them to retain the doctrines and ordinances of their holy religion,  and not embrace the doctrines and inventions of men,  will worship,  superstition, and idolatry;

and so they instructed the ignorant,  strengthened the weak,  and established the wavering; such were Mattathias the priest of Modin,  and Eleazar,  one of the chief scribes,  in the Apocrypha:

“In those days arose Mattathias the son of John,  the son of Simeon,  a priest of the sons of Joarib,  from Jerusalem,  and dwelt in Modin.”(1 Maccabees 2:1)

“Eleazar,  one of the principal scribes,  an aged man,  and of a well favoured countenance,  was constrained to open his mouth,  and to eat swine’s flesh.”(2 Maccabees 6:18)

Auk applies this to the times of the apostles,  who he thinks are here meant; so Sir Isaac Newton:

yet they shall fall by the sword; by the sword of Antiochus and his soldiers; as multitudes of the Jews did,  even both the instructors and the instructed,  who would not comply with his orders:

and by flame; some were burnt alive in caves,  where they fled for shelter; and others as the mother and her seven sons,  were cast into heated caldrons of brass; in the Apocrypha:

“And others,  that had run together into caves near by,  to keep the sabbath day secretly,  being discovered by Philip, were all burnt together,  because they made a conscience to help themselves for the honour of the most sacred day.” (2 Maccabees 6:11)

“3  Then the king,  being in a rage,  commanded pans and caldrons to be made hot: 4  Which forthwith being heated, he commanded to cut out the tongue of him that spake first,  and to cut off the utmost parts of his body,  the rest of his brethren and his mother looking on. 5  Now when he was thus maimed in all his members,  he commanded him being yet alive to be brought to the fire,  and to be fried in the pan: and as the vapour of the pan was for a good space dispersed,  they exhorted one another with the mother to die manfully,  saying thus, ”(2 Maccabees 7)

by captivity; so it is expressly said of Antiochus,  that he carried captive women and children and at another time ordered the women and children to be sold for slaves,  in the Apocrypha:

“Insomuch that the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled because of them: whereupon the city was made an habitation of strangers,  and became strange to those that were born in her; and her own children left her.”(1 Maccabees 1:38)

“He sent also that detestable ringleader Apollonius with an army of two and twenty thousand,  commanding him to slay all those that were in their best age,  and to sell the women and the younger sort:”(2 Maccabees 5:24)

and by spoil many days; being plundered of their substance,  their houses rifled,  and their goods carried away; and this distress lasted "days",  a short time only; Josephus {k} reckons it at three years and a half. All this Cocceius interprets of the persecutions of the Christians by the Romans; and likewise Sir Isaac Newton.

{k} De Bello Jud. l. 1. c. 1. sect. 7.



#16 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 05:01 AM

34  Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.

Ver. 34. Now when they shall fall,  they shall be holpen with a little help,  &c.] When the Jews shall be thus harassed and distressed by Antiochus and his armies,  to the ruin of many,  by the several sorts of punishments inflicted on them; they should be helped and eased a little by Mattathias,  a priest of Modin,  and his five sons,  commonly called the Maccabees;

Porphyry himself interprets this of Mattathias: the help and assistance which he and his sons gave to the Jews was but "little"; if we consider they were persons of a small figure,  began with a handful of men,  and could do but little,  especially at first; and though great exploits were done by them,  considering their number and strength,  yet they were not able to restore the land to its former glory and liberty; nor did this help of theirs last long,  but the enemy returned with great fierceness and cruelty,  and sadly afflicted the people of the Jews.

Cocceius understands this of the help the Christians had under Constantius Chlorus,  and Constantine the great; and so does Sir Isaac Newton,  who agrees with him in interpreting this and the preceding verse: he interprets "arms",  in #Da 11:31,  of the Romans,  and so Jacchiades; and makes this to be the beginning of the fourth kingdom that should "stand",  wnmm,  "after him"; that is,  after Antiochus;

so the particle,  he observes,  is used in #Da 11:8,  and it must be owned this is the sense in which it is sometimes used,  of which Noldius {l} has given instances: and this seems to agree with the thread of history,  and introduces the Romans,  who must have a place in this prophecy,  in a very proper manner; and carries on the account of things,  through the times of Christ,  his apostles,  the first ages of Christianity under persecution,  until the rise of antichrist,  #Da 11:36 and throws light upon the text in #Mt 24:15,  the language of which seems best to agree with #Da 11:31,  and,  if so,  must respect something to be done,  not in the times of Antiochus,  but after the times of Christ.

But many shall cleave to them with flatteries; seeing Mattathias and his sons succeed,  some of those,  who had been apostates from their religion, or not heartily friends to it,  joined them,  but not sincerely; pretended to be on their side,  and commended their bravery and courage; and being ambitious of honour and fame,  took with them,  in order to share the glory of their actions; such were Joseph the son of Zachariah,  and Azarias,  in the Apocrypha:

“56  Joseph the son of Zacharias,  and Azarias,  captains of the garrisons,  heard of the valiant acts and warlike deeds which they had done. 57  Wherefore they said,  Let us also get us a name,  and go fight against the heathen that are round about us.”(1 Maccabees 5)

and those under whose clothes were found idols,  or what belonged to them,  at Jamnia,  when they were slain,  in the Apocrypha:

“Now under the coats of everyone that was slain they found things consecrated to the idols of the Jamnites,  which is forbidden the Jews by the law. Then every man saw that this was the cause wherefore they were slain.” (2 Maccabees 12:40)

and Rhodocus,  a soldier of the Jewish army,  who betrayed their secrets,  in the Apocrypha:

“But Rhodocus,  who was in the Jews’ host,  disclosed the secrets to the enemies; therefore he was sought out,  and when they had gotten him,  they put him in prison.” (2 Maccabees 13:21)

Cocceius applies this to antichrist and his followers pretending to be for Christ and his church,  but were not.

{l} Concord. Part. Ebr. p. 557.



#17 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 05:02 AM

35  And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.

Ver. 35. And some of them of understanding shall fall,  &c.] Not into sin,  or from the religion they profess; and the doctrines they have an understanding of,  and have instructed others in; but into distresses and calamities for their steadfast adherence to the word,  worship,  and ordinances of God:

to try them,  and purge and make them white; to try their faith, patience,  and other graces,  and whether they would hold fast their profession,  and persevere in the good ways of God; and to purge and separate them from others,  that were like chaff,  hypocrites,  that so they might be manifest,  both the one and the other; and these good men appear to be sincere and upright: moreover,  the best of men have their dross,  and chaff,  and spots,  to be removed from them; and this is one way of doing it,  even by afflictions: the allusion,  in the first word, is to the melting,  purifying,  and refining of metals,  gold and silver;

the second to the winnowing of a grain floor,  and separating the chaff from the wheat; and the third to the cleansing and whitening of cloths, and taking the spots out of them by the fuller. Afflictions are the furnace in which the Lord refines and purifies his people; the fan with which he purges his floor; and the fuller’s soap with which he makes his people white; by all this the iniquity of Jacob is purged,  and the fruit of it is to take away sin,  #Isa 27:9,  so that afflictions are not hurtful,  but beneficial to the saints,  even those more violent ones, severe persecutions.

Even to the time of the end; because it is yet for a time appointed; these distresses,  calamities,  and persecutions,  would have an end,  and the time for it was appointed of God; as yet it was not come,  but quickly would,  and then an end would be put to the third or Grecian monarchy; a hint of the Roman power over that being given,  #Da 11:30, hence we have no further account of Antiochus or his sons. Very remarkable are the words of Aemilius Sara {m},

“the Assyrians first were possessors of monarchy; then the Medes; afterwards the Persians; then the Macedonians; from that time the kings,  Philip and Antiochus,  who sprung from the Macedonians,  being conquered,  not long after Carthage was subdued,  the supreme power of empire came to the Roman people; ”

of whom,  under one character or another,  the following part of the prophecy is chiefly to be understood. So another historian says {n}, Antiochus being drove out of Asia,  the Romans first set footing there; and another {o} observes,  that Antiochus being defeated by L. Cornelius Scipio,  he took the name of Asiaticus,  because he had conquered Asia;

as his brother was called Africanus,  from his subduing Africa: wherefore Asia and Africa being now in the hands of the Romans,  the supreme power might well be said to be with them; and therefore, henceforward,  are only spoken of,  and particularly the Roman antichrist.

{m} De annis populi Romani apud Velleii Paterculi Hist. Roman. l. 1. c. 6.
{n} "Festi Breviarium,  prope initium".
{o} Eutropii Hist. Rom. l. 4. So Plutarch. in Vita Scipionis Africani.






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