Daniel 11


This chapter gives a more particular explanation of those

events which were predicted in the eighth chapter. The prophet

had foretold the partition of Alexander's kingdom into four

parts. Two of these, in which were included Egypt and Syria,

the one to the north, the other to the south, in respect of

Judea, appear to take up the chief attention of the prophet,

as his people were particularly concerned in their fate; these

being the countries in which by far the greatest number of the

Jews were, and still are, dispersed. Of these countries he

treats (according to the views of the most enlightened

expositors) down to the conquest of Macedon, A.M. 3836, B.C.

168, when he begins to speak of the Romans, 1-30;

and then of the Church under that power, 31-35.

This leads him to speak of Antichrist, who was to spring up in

that quarter, 36-39;

and of those powers which at the TIME of the end, or the

latter days of the Roman monarchy, (as this term is generally

understood,) were to push at it, and overthrow many countries,


By the king of the SOUTH, in the fortieth verse, the dominion

of the Saracens, or Arabs, is supposed to be intended, which

was an exceeding great plague to the Roman empire in the east,

and also to several papistical countries, for the space of one

hundred and fifty years, i.e. from A.D. 612, when Mohammed and

his followers first began their depredations, to A.D. 762, when

Bagdad was built, and made the capital of the caliphs of the

house of Abbas, from which epoch the Saracens became a more

settled people. By the king of the NORTH in the same verse the

prophet is supposed by some to design that great scourge of

eastern Christendom, the Ottoman or Othman empire, by which,

after about a hundred and fifty years of almost uninterrupted

hostilities, the Roman empire in the east was completely

overturned, A.D. 1453. The chapter concludes with a prediction

of the final overthrow of this northern power, and of the

manner in which this great event shall be accomplished, 44, 45.

But it should be observed that, notwithstanding the very

learned observations of Bishop Newton and others upon this

chapter, their scheme of interpretation presents very great and

insurmountable difficulties; among which the very lengthy

detail of events in the Syrian and Egyptian histories,

comprising a period of less than two hundred years, and the

rather uncouth transition to the incomparably greater

transactions in Antichristian times, and of much longer

duration, which are passed over with unaccountable brevity,

are not the least. On all these subjects, however, the reader

must judge for himself. See the notes.


Verse 1. In the first year of Darius the Mede] This is a

continuation of the preceding discourse. Bp. Newton, who is ever

judicious and instructing, remarks: It is the usual method of the

Holy Spirit to make the latter prophecies explanatory of the

former; and thus revelation "is a shining light, that shineth more

and more unto the perfect day." The four great empires shown to

Nebuchadnezzar, under the symbol of a great image, were again more

particularly represented to Daniel under the forms of four great

wild beasts. In like manner, the memorable events that were

revealed to Daniel in the vision of the ram and he-goat, are here

more clearly revealed in this last vision by an angel; so that

this latter prophecy may not improperly be said to be a comment on

the former. It comprehends many signal events. The types, figures,

and symbols of the things are not exhibited in this, as in most

other visions, and then expounded by the angel; but the angel

relates the whole: and, not by way of vision, but by narration,

informs Daniel of that which is noted in the Scripture of truth,

Da 10:21.

Verse 2. There shall stand up yet three kings] Gabriel had

already spoken of Cyrus, who was now reigning; and after him three

others should arise. These were, 1. Cambyses, the son of Cyrus. 2.

Smerdis, the Magian, who was an impostor, who pretended to be

another son of Cyrus. And, 3. Darius, the son of Hystaspes, who

married Mandane, the daughter of Cyrus.

Cambyses reigned seven years and five months; Smerdis

reigned only seven months; and Darius Hystaspes reigned thirty-six


The fourth shall be far richer than they all] This was Xerxes,

the son of Darius, of whom Justin says. "He had so great an

abundance of riches in his kingdom, that although rivers were

dried up by his numerous armies, yet his wealth remained


He shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.] His military

strength was such, that Herodotus, who lived in that time, informs

us that his army amounted to five millions, two hundred and

eighty-three thousand, two hundred and twenty men. Besides these,

the Carthaginians furnished him with an army of three hundred

thousand men, and a fleet of two hundred ships. He led an army

against the Greeks of eight hundred thousand men, and twelve

hundred and seven ships, with three banks of rowers each. As he

marched along, he obliged all the people of the countries through

which he passed to join him.

Verse 3. A mighty king shall stand up] This was Alexander the

Great. It is not said that this mighty king shall stand up against

Xerxes, for he was not born till one hundred years after that

monarch; but simply that he should stand up, i.e., that he should

reign in Greece.

Verse 4. His kingdom shall be broken] Shall, after his death, be

divided among his four chief generals, as we have seen before. See

Da 8:22.

And not to his posterity] The family of Alexander had a most

tragical end: 1. His wife Statira was murdered soon after his

death by his other wife Roxana. 2. His brother Aridaeus, who

succeeded him, was killed, together with his wife Euridice, by

command of Olympias, Alexander's mother, after he had been king

about six years and some months. 3. Olympias herself was killed by

the soldiers in revenge. 4. Alexander AEgus, his son, together

with his mother Roxana, was slain by order of Cassander. 5. Two

years after, his other son Hercules, with his mother Barsine, was

privately murdered by Polysperchon; so that in fifteen years after

his death not one of his family or posterity remained alive!

"Blood calls for blood." He (Alexander) was the great butcher of

men. He was either poisoned, or killed himself by immoderate

drinking, when he was only thirty-two years and eight months old:

and a retributive Providence destroyed all his posterity, so that

neither root nor branch of them was left on the face of the earth.

Thus ended Alexander, the great butcher; and thus ended his family

and posterity.

Verse 5. The king of the south] This was Ptolemy Lagus, one of

his generals, who had the government of Egypt, Libra, &c., which

are on the south of Judea. He was strong, for he had added Cyprus,

Phoenicia, Caria, &c., to his kingdom of Egypt.

And one of his princes-shall be strong above him] This was

Seleucus Nicator, who possessed Syria, Babylon, Media, and the

neighbouring countries. This was the king of the north, for his

dominions lay north of Judea.

Verse 6. In the end of years] Several historical circumstances

are here passed by.

The king's daughter of the south] Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy

Philadelphus, king of Egypt, was married to Antiochus Theos, king

of Syria. These two sovereigns had a bloody war for some years;

and they agreed to terminate it by the above marriage, on

condition that Antiochus would put away his wife Laodice and her

children, which he did; and Berenice having brought an immense

fortune to her husband, all things appeared to go on well for a


But she shall not retain the power of the arm] zaro, her

posterity, shall not reign in that kingdom.

But she shall be given up] Antiochus recalled his former wife

Laodice and her children, and she, fearing that he might recall

Berenice, caused him to be poisoned and her to be murdered, and

set her son Callinicus upon the throne.

And they that brought her] Her Egyptian women, striving to

defend their mistress, were many of them killed.

And he that begat her] Or, as the margin, "he whom she brought

forth;" the son being murdered, as well as the mother, by order of


And he that strengthened her] Probably her father Ptolemy, who

was excessively fond of her, and who had died a few years before.

Verse 7. But out of a branch of her roots] A branch from the

same root from which she sprang. This was Ptolemy Euergetes, her

brother, who, to avenge his sister's death, marched with a great

army against Seleucus Callinicus, took some of his best places,

indeed all Asia, from Mount Taurus to India, and returned to Egypt

with an immense booty, forty thousand talents of silver, precious

vessels, and images of their gods two thousand five hundred,

without Callinicus daring to offer him battle. I can but touch on

these historic facts, for fear of extending these notes to an

immoderate length.

Verse 8. He shall continue more years] Seleucus Callinicus

died (an exile) by a fall from his horse; and Ptolemy Euergetes

survived him four or five years.-Bp. Newton.

Verse 9. So the king of the south] Ptolemy Euergetes-

Shall come into his kingdom] That of Seleucus Callinicus.

And shall return] Having heard that a sedition had taken place

in Egypt, Ptolemy Euergetes was obliged to return speedily in

order to repress it; else he had wholly destroyed the kingdom of


Verse 10. But his sons shall be stirred up] That is, the sons of

Callinicus, who were Seleucus Ceraunus and Antiochus, afterwards

called the Great.

Shall assemble a multitude] Seleucus Ceraunus did assemble a

multitude of forces in order to recover his father's dominions;

but, not having money to pay them, they became mutinous, and he

was poisoned by two of his own generals. His brother Antiochus was

then proclaimed king; so that one only of the sons did certainly

come, and overflow, and pass through; he retook Seleucia, and

regained Syria. He then returned, and overcame Nicolaus the

Egyptian general; and seemed disposed to invade Egypt, as he came

even to his fortress, to the frontiers of Egypt.

Verse 11. The king of the south] Ptolemy Philopater, who

succeeded his father Euergetes.

Shall come forth and fight with him] He did come forth to

Raphia, where he was met by Antiochus, when a terrible battle was

fought between these two kings.

And he (Antiochus, the king of the north) shall set forth a

great multitude] Amounting to sixty-two thousand foot, six

thousand horse, and one hundred and two elephants; but yet the

multitude was given into his hand, the hand of the king of the

south; for Ptolemy gained a complete victory. Raphia, and other

neighbouring towns, declared for the victor; and Antiochus was

obliged to retreat with his scattered army to Antioch, from which

he sent to solicit a peace. See 3Macc 1:1-6, and Polybius, lib. v.

Verse 12. His heart shall be lifted up] Had Ptolemy improved his

victory, he might have dispossessed Antiochus of his whole empire;

but giving way to pride, and a criminally sensual life, he made

peace on dishonourable terms; and though he had gained a great

victory, yet his kingdom was not strengthened by it, for his

subjects were displeased, and rebelled against him, or at least

became considerably disaffected.

Verse 13. The king of the north shall return-after certain

years] In about fourteen years Antiochus did return, Philopater

being dead, and his son Ptolemy Epiphanes being then a minor. He

brought a much larger army and more riches; these he had collected

in a late eastern expedition.

Verse 14. Many stand up against the king of the south]

Antiochus, and Philip king of Macedon, united together to overrun


Also the robbers of thy people] The Jews, who revolted from

their religion, and joined Ptolemy, under Scopas,-

Shall exalt themselves to establish the vision] That is, to

build a temple like that of Jerusalem, in Egypt, hoping thereby to

fulfil a prediction of Isaiah, Isa 30:18-25, which seemed to

intimate that the Jews and the Egyptians should be one people.

They now revolted from Ptolemy, and joined Antiochus; and this was

the means of contributing greatly to the accomplishment of

prophecies that foretold the calamities that should fall upon the


But they shall fall.] For Scopas came with a great army from

Ptolemy; and, while Antiochus was engaged in other parts, reduced

Coelesyria and Palestine, subdued the Jews, placed guards on the

coasts of Jerusalem, and returned with great spoils to Egypt.

Verse 15. So the king of the north] Antiochus came to recover

Judea. Scopas was sent by Ptolemy to oppose him; but he was

defeated near the fountains of Jordan, and was obliged to take

refuge in Sidon with ten thousand men. Antiochus pursued and

besieged him; and he was obliged by famine to surrender at

discretion, and their lives only were spared. Antiochus afterwards

besieged several of the fenced cities, and took them; in short,

carried all before him; so that the king of the south, Ptolemy,

and his chosen people, his ablest generals, were not able to

oppose him.

Verse 16. He shall stand in the glorious land] Judea. For he

reduced Palestine; and the Jews supplied him with provisions, and

assisted him to reduce the garrison that Scopas had left in the

citadel of Jerusalem.

Which by his hand shall be consumed] Or, which shall be

perfected in his hand. For Antiochus showed the Jews great favour:

he brought back those that were dispersed, and re-established them

in the land; freed the priests and Levites from all tribute, &c.

Verse 17. He shall also set his face to enter] Antiochus

purposed to have marched his army into Egypt; but he thought it

best to proceed by fraudulence, and therefore proposed a treaty of

marriage between him and his daughter Cleopatra, called here the

daughter of women, because of her great beauty and

accomplishments. And this he appeared to do, having "upright ones

with him." Or, as the Septuagint have it καιευθειαπανταμετ

αυτουποιησει, "and he will make all things straight with him;"

that is, he acted as if he were influenced by nothing but the most

upright views. But he intended his daughter to be a snare to

Ptolemy, and therefore purposed to corrupt her that she might

betray her husband.

But she shall not stand on his side] On the contrary, her

husband's interests became more dear to her than her father's; and

by her means Ptolemy was put upon his guard against the intentions

of Antiochus.

Verse 18. Shall he turn his face unto the isles] Antiochus had

fitted out a great fleet of one hundred large ships and two

hundred smaller, and with this fleet subdued most of the maritime

places on the coast of the Mediterranean, and took many of the

isles, Rhodes, Samos, Euboea, Colophon, and others.

But a prince for his own behalf] Or, a captain. The consul

Acilius Glabrio caused the reproach to cease; beat and routed

his army at the straits of Thermopylae, and expelled him from

Greece. So he obliged him to pay the tribute which he hoped to

impose on others; for he would grant him peace only on condition

of paying the expense of the war, fifteen thousand talents; five

hundred on the spot,-two thousand five hundred when the peace

should be ratified by the senate,-and the remaining twelve

thousand in twelve years, each year one thousand. See Polybius

in his Legations, and Appian in the Wars of Syria. And thus,-

Without his own reproach] Without losing a battle, or taking a

false step, Acilius caused the reproach which he was bringing upon

the Romans to turn upon himself.

Verse 19. He shall turn his face toward the fort of his own

land] After this shameful defeat, Antiochus fled to Sardis,

thence to Apamea, and the next day got into Syria, and to Antioch,

his own fort, whence he sent ambassadors to treat for peace; and

was obliged to engage to pay the immense sum of money mentioned


But he shall stumble and fall] Being under the greatest

difficulties how to raise the stipulated sums, he marched into his

eastern provinces to exact the arrears of taxes; and, attempting

to plunder the temple of Jupiter Belus at Elymais, he was opposed

by the populace, and he and his attendants slain. This is the

account that Diodorus Sicules, Strabo, and Justin give of his

death. But it is variously related by others; some saying that he

was assassinated by some of his own people whom he had punished

for being drunk at a feast.-So Aurelius Victor. St. Jerome says he

lost his life in a battle against the inhabitants of Elymais. In

short, the manner of his death is uncertain; and perhaps even this

circumstance is referred to by the prophet, when he says, "He

shall stumble and fall, and NOT BE FOUND."

Verse 20. Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes]

Seleucus Philopater succeeded his father Antiochus. He sent his

treasurer Heliodorus to seize the money deposited in the temple of

Jerusalem, which is here called the glory of the kingdom, see

2Macc 9:23. He was so cramped to pay the annual tax to the

Romans, that he was obliged to burden his subjects with continual


He shall be destroyed, neither in anger-fighting against an

enemy, nor in battle-at the head of his troops; but basely and

treacherously, by the hand of Heliodorus his treasurer, who hoped

to reign in his stead.

Verse 21. In his estate shall stand up a vile person] This was

Antiochus, surnamed Epiphanes-the Illustrious. They did not give

him the honour of the kingdom: he was at Athens, on his way from

Rome, when his father died; and Heliodorus had declared himself

king, as had several others. But Antiochus came in peaceably, for

he obtained the kingdom by flatteries. He flattered Eumenes, king

of Pergamus, and Attalus his brother, and got their assistance. He

flattered the Romans, and sent ambassadors to court their favour,

and pay them the arrears of the tribute. He flattered the Syrians,

and gained their concurrence; and as he flattered the Syrians, so

they flattered him, giving him the epithet of Epiphanes-the

Illustrious. But that he was what the prophet here calls him, a

vile person, is fully evident from what Polybius says of him,

from Athenaeus, lib. v.: "He was every man's companion: he

resorted to the common shops, and prattled with the workmen: he

frequented the common taverns, and ate and drank with the meanest

fellows, singing debauched songs," &c., &c. On this account a

contemporary writer, and others after him, instead of Epiphanes,

called him Epimanes-the Madman.

Verse 22. And with the arms of a flood] The arms which were

overflown before him were his competitors for the crown. They

were vanquished by the forces of Eumenes and Attalus; and were

dissipated by the arrival of Antiochus from Athens, whose presence

disconcerted all their measures.

The prince of the covenant] This was Onias, the high priest,

whom he removed, and put Jason in his place, who had given him a

great sum of money; and then put wicked Menelaus in his room, who

had offered him a larger sum. Thus he acted deceitfully in the

league made with Jason.

Verse 23. He shall come up] From Rome, where he had been a

hostage for the payment of the tax laid on his father.

Shall become strong with a small people.] At first he had but

few to espouse his cause when he arrived at Antioch, the people

having been greatly divided by the many claimants of the crown;

but being supported by Eumenes and Attalus, his few people

increased, and he became strong.

Verse 24. He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places]

The very richest provinces-Coelesyria and Palestine.

He shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his

fathers' fathers] He became profuse in his liberalities, and

scattered among them the prey of his enemies, the spoil of

temples, and the riches of his friends, as well as his own

revenues. He spent much in public shows, and bestowed largesses

among the people. We are told in 1Macc 3:30, that "in the liberal

giving of gifts he abounded above all the kings that went before

him." These are nearly the words of the prophet; and perhaps

without any design to copy them on the part of the apocryphal

writer. He would sometimes go into the streets, and throw about a

handful of money, crying out, "Let him take it, to whom Fortune

sends it."

He shall forecast his devices] As Eulaeus and Lenaeus, who were

the guardians of the young Egyptian king Ptolemy Philometer,

demanded from Antiochus the restitution of Coelesyria and

Palestine, which he refused, he foresaw that he might have a war

with that kingdom; and therefore he forecast devices-fixed a

variety of plans to prevent this; visited the strong holds and

frontier places to see that they were in a state of defense. And

this he did for a time-he employed some years in hostile

preparations against Egypt.

Verse 25. He shall stir up his power] Antiochus marched against

Ptolemy, the king of the south, (Egypt,) with a great army; and

the Egyptian generals had raised a mighty force.

Stirred up to battle] The two armies met between Pelusium and

Mount Casius; but he (the king of the south) could not stand-the

Egyptian army was defeated. The next campaign he had greater

success; he routed the Egyptian army, took Memphis, and made

himself master of all Egypt, except Alexandria, see 1Macc 1:16-19.

And all these advantages he gained by forecasting devices;

probably by corrupting his ministers and captains. Ptolemy Macron

gave up Cyprus to Antiochus; and the Alexandrians were led to

renounce their allegiance to Potlemy Philometer, and took

Euergetes, or Physcon his younger brother, and made him king in

his stead. All this was doubtless by the corruptions of Antiochus.

See below.

Verse 26. Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat] This

is the proof of what has been last noted, that the intrigues of

Antiochus, corrupting the ministers and officers of Ptolemy,

were the cause of all the disasters that felt on the Egyptian

king. They that fed of the portion of his meat-who were in his

confidence and pay, and possessed the secrets of the state,

betrayed him; and these were the means of destroying him and his

army, so that he was defeated, as was before observed.

Verse 27. And both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief]

That is, Antiochus, and Ptolemy Philometer, who was nephew to the

former, and whose interest he now pretended to have much at heart,

since the Alexandrians had renounced their allegiance to him, and

set his younger brother Euergetes upon the throne. When Antiochus

came to Memphis, he and Philometer had frequent conferences at the

same table; and at these times they spoke lies to each other,

Antiochus professing great friendship to his nephew and concern

for his interests, yet in his heart designing to ruin the kingdom

by fomenting the discords which already subsisted between the two

brothers. On the other hand, Philometer professed much gratitude

to his uncle for the interest he took in his affairs, and laid the

blame of the war upon his minister Eulaeus; while at the same time

he spoke lies, determining as soon as possible to accommodate

matters with his brother, and join all their strength against

their deceitful uncle.

But it shall not prosper] Neither succeeded in his object; for

the end of the appointed time was not yet come.

Verse 28. Then shall he return onto his land with great riches]

Antiochus did return, laden with riches, from the spoils that he

took in Egypt; see 1Macc 1:19, 20. And hearing that there had been

a report of his death, at which the citizens of Jerusalem had made

great rejoicings,-

His heart shall be against the holy covenant] He was determined

to take a severe revenge, and he had an ostensible pretext for it,

for Jason, who had been deprived of the high priesthood, hearing

the report of the death of Antiochus, raised forces, marched

against Jerusalem, took it, and obliged Menelaus, the high priest,

to shut himself up in the castle. Antiochus brought a great army

against Jerusalem; took it by storm; slew forty thousand of the

inhabitants; sold as many more for slaves; boiled swine's flesh,

and sprinkled the temple and the altar with the broth; broke into

the holy of holies; took away the golden vessels and other sacred

treasures, to the value of one thousand eight hundred talents;

restored Menelaus to his office; and made one Philip, a Phrygian,

governor of Judea. 1Macc 1:24; 2Macc 5:21. Prideaux and Newton.

These are what we term exploits; which having finished, he

returned to his own land.

Verse 29. At the time appointed he shall return] Finding that

his treachery was detected, and that the two brothers had united

their counsel and strength for their mutual support, he threw off

the mask; and having collected a great army early in the spring,

he passed through Coelesyria; entered Egypt; and the inhabitants

of Memphis having submitted to him, he came by easy marches to

Alexandria. But, says the prophet, "it shall not be as the former

or as the latter:" he had not the same success as the former, when

he overthrew the Egyptian army at Pelusium; nor as the latter,

when he took Memphis, and subdued all Egypt, except Alexandria.

See the reason.

Verse 30. For the ships of Chittim shall come against him]

Chittim is well known to mean the Roman empire. Antiochus, being

now in full march to besiege Alexandria, and within seven miles of

that city, heard that ships were arrived there from Rome, with

legates from the senate. He went to salute them. They delivered

to him the letters of the senate, in which he was commanded, on

pain of the displeasure of the Roman people, to put an end to the

war against his nephews. Antiochus said he would go and consult

his friends; on which Popilius, one of the legates, took his

staff, and instantly drew a circle round Antiochus on the sand

where he stood, and commanded him not to pass that circle till he

had given a definitive answer. Antiochus, intimidated, said, he

would do whatever the senate enjoined; and in a few days after

began his march, and returned to Syria. This is confirmed by

Polybius, Livy, Velleius, Paterculus, Valerius Maximus, and


Therefore he shall be grieved] "Grieving and groaning," says

Polybius; both mortified, humbled, and disappointed.

Have indignation against the holy covenant] For he vented his

rage against the Jews; and he sent his general, Apollonius, with

twenty-two thousand men against Jerusalem, plundered and set

fire to the city, pulled down the houses round about it, slew much

of the people, and built a castle on an eminence that commanded

the temple, and slew multitudes of the poor people who had come up

to worship, polluted every place, so that the temple service was

totally abandoned, and all the people fled from the city. And when

he returned to Antioch he published a decree that all should

conform to the Grecian worship; and the Jewish worship was totally

abrogated, and the temple itself consecrated to Jupiter Olympius.

How great must the wickedness of the people have been when God

could tolerate this!

In the transacting of these matters he had intelligence with

them that forsake the holy covenant; with wicked Menelaus the high

priest; and the apostate Jews united with him, who gave from time

to time such information to Antiochus as excited him against

Jerusalem the temple, and the people. See 1Macc 1:41, 62;

2Macc 6:1-9; confirmed by Josephus, War, book i. chap. 1, s. 1.

The concluding reflection of Bp. Newton here is excellent:-

"It may be proper to stand a little here, and reflect how

particular and circumstantial this prophecy is, concerning Egypt

and Syria, from the death of Alexander to the time of Antiochus

Epiphanes. There is not so concise, comprehensive, and regular an

account of their kings and affairs to be found in any authors of

those times. The prophecy is really more perfect than any history,

and is so wonderfully exact, not only to the time of Antiochus

Epiphanes, but likewise equally so beyond that time, that we may

conclude in the words of the inspired writer, 'No one could thus

declare the times and seasons, but he who hath them in his own


Verse 31. And arms shall stand on his part] After Antiochus,

arms, that is, the Romans, shall stand up: for arms in this

prophecy every where denote military power; and standing up, the

power in activity and conquering. Both Sir Isaac Newton and Bp.

Newton agree, that what follows is spoken of the Romans.

Hitherto Daniel has described the actions of the kings of the

north and of the south, that of the kings of Syria and Egypt;

but, upon the conquest of Macedon by the Romans, he has left off

describing the actions of the Greeks, and begun to describe those

of the Romans in Greece, who conquered Macedon, Illyricum, and

Epirus, in the year of the era of Nabonassar, 580. Thirty-five

years after, by the will of Attalus, they inherited all Asia

westward of Mount Taurus; sixty-five years after they conquered

the kingdom of Syria, and reduced it into a province; and

thirty-four years after they did the same to Egypt. By all these

steps the Roman arms stood up over the Greeks; and after

ninety-five years more, by making war upon the Jews, they

polluted the sanctuary of strength,-the temple, (so called by

reason of its fortifications,) and took away the daily sacrifice

and placed the abomination that maketh desolate, or of the

desolator; for that this abomination was thus placed after the

time of Christ, appears from Mt 24:15.

In the sixteenth year of the Emperor Adrian, A.D. 132, they

placed this abomination by building a temple to Jupiter

Capitolinus, where the temple of God in Jerusalem stood; upon

which the Jews, under Barchocab, rose up against the Romans. But

in this war they had fifty cities demolished, nine hundred and

fifty of their best towns destroyed, and eighty thousand men were

slain by the sword; and in the end of the war, A.D. 136, were

banished Judea on pain of death; and thenceforth the land became

desolate. See Observations on Daniel, and Bp. Newton on the


Verse 32. Such as do wickedly against the covenant] This if

understood of the Christian Jews; for the NEW had now succeeded to

the OLD, the whole of the Jewish ritual having been abolished, and

Jerusalem filled with heathen temples. And he-the Roman power, did

all he could by flatteries, as well as threats, to corrupt the

Christians, and cause them to sacrifice to the statues of the


But the people that do know their God] The genuine Christians.

Shall be strong] Shall be strengthened by his grace and Spirit.

And do exploits.] Continue steadfast in all temptations, hold

fast their faith, and enjoy a good conscience.

Verse 33. And they that understand] The apostles and primitive

Christians in general, who understood from the prophets, and his

own actions, that JESUS was the true MESSIAH.

Instruct many] Preach the Gospel every where, and convert

multitudes to the faith.

Yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity,

and by spoil, many days.] They were exposed to the malice and fury

of their enemies, during TEN STATE PERSECUTIONS, and suffered all

kinds of tortures, with but little intermission, for three hundred


Verse 34. Now when they shall fall] When the storm of the tenth

persecution under Diocletian, which lasted ten years, fell upon

them, they were sorely oppressed.

They shall be holpen with a little help] By Constantine; who,

while he removed all persecution, and promoted the temporal

prosperity of the Christian Church, yet added little to its

spiritual perfection and strength. For many, now seeing the

Christians in prosperity,-

Cleave to them with flatteries.] Became Christians BECAUSE the

EMPEROR was such.

Verse 35. And some of them of understanding] Disputes on certain

points of religion soon agitated the Christian Church; and now,

having no outward persecution, they began to persecute each other.

And many excellent men, men of understanding, fell victims because

they would not embrace erroneous doctrines, when professed by the

state. But this was permitted,-

To try them, and to purge, and to make them white] To bring all

to the pure profession, possession, and practice of Christianity.

To the time of the end] To the time that God shall cause pure

and undefiled religion every where to prevail. But when is the

time appointed for this?

Verse 36. And the king shall do according to his will] This may

apply to Antiochus, who exalted himself above every god, called

himself a god, sported with all religion, profaned the temple,

&c., &c. But others think an antichristian power in the Church is

intended; for in the language of this prophecy king is taken for

power, a kingdom, &c. That such a power did spring up in the

Church that acted in an arbitrary manner against all laws, human

and Divine, is well known. This power showed itself in the Greek

emperors in the east, and in the bishops of Rome in the west.

And this is to continue.

Till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is

determined shall be done.] This is the same as what was called in

Da 8:19,

the last end of the indignation; and Da 9:27,

the consummation; and means the end or consummation of God's

indignation against the Jews. And this seems more clearly

expressed, Da 12:7: "When he shall have accomplished to scatter

the power of the holy people." We see this still subsisting in the

Church of Rome; and it was a saying of Rabbi David Kimchi, "When

Rome shall be laid waste, then shall be redemption for Israel."

For the destruction of Rome and the restoration of the Jews shall

fall out about the same time.-Bp. Newton.

Verse 37. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers] That

God who sent the evangelists and apostles to preach the pure

doctrine. These true fathers of the Christian Church, and their

God, this Church has not regarded, but put councils, and

traditions, and apocryphal writings in their place.

Nor the desire of women] Both the Greek and Latin Church, in

their antichristian enactments, have discouraged, and in several

cases proscribed, marriage, under the pretense of greater

chastity, to the discredit of God's ordinance, and Christianity


Nor regard any god] For the mandates and decrees of that Church

have been often in defiance of God and his word, for it has

magnified itself above all power and authority in heaven and on

earth. It professes to hold the keys, and to open and shut heaven

at pleasure, both to states and individuals.

Verse 38. Shall he honour the god of forces] mauzzim, or

gods protectors, as in the margin; worshipping saints and

angels as guardians, and protectors, and mediators; leaving

out, in general, the true God, and the only Mediator, JESUS CHRIST.

And a god whom his fathers knew not] For these gods guardians,

the Virgin Mary, saints, and angels, were utterly unknown as

mediators and invocable guardians in the primitive apostolic


Shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones]

How literally does this apply to the Church of Rome! See the house

of our lady at Loretto; the shrines of saints; the decorated

images, costly apparel, gold, jewels, &c., profusely used about

images of saints, angels, and the blessed virgin, in different

popish churches. This superstition began to prevail in the fourth

century, and was established in 787, by the seventh general

council; for in that the worship of images was enacted.

Verse 39. In the most strong holds with a strange god] Bishop

Newton proposed the following translation, after justly finding

fault with our common Version: "Thus shall he do to the defenders

of Mauzzim, together with the strange god whom he shall

acknowledge: he shall multiply honour, and he shall cause him to

rule over many; and the earth he shall divide for a reward." The

defenders of Mauzzim, these saint and angel gods protectors,

were the monks, priests, and bishops; of whom it may be truly

said, "They were increased with honour, ruled over many, and

divided the land for gain." They have been honoured and reverenced

almost to adoration; their jurisdiction was extended over the

purses and consciences of men; they have been enriched with the

noblest buildings and largest endowments, and the choicest lands

have been appropriated for Church lands. These are points of such

public notoriety, that they require no proof.-Newton.

Verse 40. At the time of the end shall the king of the south

push at him] These kings are to be understood in reference to the

times of which the prophet speaks. While the kingdoms of Egypt and

Syria were subsisting, the king of the south and the north applied

to them exclusively: but they did not exist at the time of which

the prophet speaks; therefore other southern and northern powers

must be sought. These we may find in the Saracens, who were of the

Arabians, who came from the south, headed by the false prophet

Mohammed, who pushed at him-made war on the Greek emperor

Heraclius, and with amazing rapidity deprived him of Egypt, Syria,

and many of his finest provinces.

And the king of the north] The Turks, who were originally

Scythians, seized on the remains of the Greek empire; and in

process of time rendered themselves masters of the whole. They are

represented as coming like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with

horsemen; their armies being chiefly composed of cavalry.

And with many ships] With these they got possession of many

islands and maritime countries; and were so powerful in their

fleets, that they entirely defeated the Venetians; and at last

their fleets became of the utmost consequence to them in

besieging, and afterwards taking, Constantinople, A.D. 1453, which

they hold to the present day. So they entered into the countries,

and overflowed, rendering themselves masters of all Asia Minor and


Verse 41. He shall enter also into the glorious land] Entirely

subdue Judea.

And many countries shall be overthrown] Aleppo, Damascus, Gaza,

and many other cities were forced to submit to them; and they hold

them still.

But these shalt escape-Edom and Moab, and the chief of the

children of Ammon.] These and other Arabians they have never been

able to subdue. They still occupy the deserts; and receive a

yearly pension of forty thousand crowns of gold from the Ottoman

emperors, to permit the caravans, with the pilgrims for Mecca, to

have a free passage.

Verse 42. He shall stretch forth his hand] He-the Ottoman

emperors, have stretched forth the hand, not only on European,

but also upon Asiatic and African countries. Egypt-has not

escaped; it is a province of the Turkish government, as are also

Fez, Morocco, Algiers, and many other African countries. And as

the prophecy says they "got power over the silver and gold, and

the precious things of Egypt," so it was; for when Selim conquered

Egypt, A.D. 1517, he took all its spoils; and the immense sums

drawn from it to the present day, and the wretchedness of the land

in consequence, are almost incredible.

The Libyans and the Ethiopians] The Cushim-unconquered Arabs,

all sought their friendship; and many of them are tributary to the

present time.

Verse 44. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall

trouble him] This part of the prophecy is allowed to be yet

unfulfilled; and what is portented, the course of prophetic

events will show. Were we to understand it as applying to

Antiochus, then the news might be of the preparations which he

heard, that the provinces of the east, and Artaxerxes, king of

Armenia, on the north were intending to rise up against him. But

if the Turkish power be understood, as in the preceding verses, it

may mean that the Persians on the east, and the Russians on the

north, will at some time greatly embarrass the Ottoman

government. And how completely has this been fulfilled; first, by

the total destruction of the Egyptian fleet, by the combined

fleets of England, France, and Russia, in the Bay of Navarino;

and, secondly, by the total overthrow of the Turkish army by the

Russians, in the years 1828 and 1829, when the sultan was obliged

to accept any conditions that the emperor of Russia was pleased to

give! [N.B.-The former part of this note was written for the first

edition of this work, printed in 1825.]

Verse 45. He shalt plant the tabernacles] He shall make a last

stand in Judea, and there shall his power be smitten.

He shall come to his end, and none shall help him] All his

confederate and tributary kingdoms, states, and provinces shall

desert him, and leave that government to come to a shameful end.

IN the interpretation of this chapter I have generally followed

Bp. Newton, in his most excellent Dissertations on the Prophecies,

consulting other eminent authors occasionally.

From the beginning of the chapter Da 11:1 to the end of

Da 11:30 all is very clear and plain, relative to the Grecian,

Syrian, and Egyptian histories; from the thirty-first verse to the

end, Da 11:31-45 the mode of interpretation is not so

satisfactory, in its application to the times since Christ. Yet

possibly these alone may be intended; though the whole might be,

with considerable ease, applied to the remaining part of the

Syrian and Egyptian history. It is a wonderful piece of

prophecy, and of great utility to the cause of Divine revelation.

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