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and riches : yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strongholds, even for a time.
Antiochus expended large sums in games. opened also his treasure, and gave his soldiers pay for a year. . . . Nevertheless, when he saw that the money of his treasure failed, and that the tributes in the country were small, because of the dissension and plague which he had brought upon the land in taking away the laws which had been of old time, 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 Macc. iii. 28-30.
Dan. xi. 25: 6 And he shall stir
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."
1 Macc. i. 16: “Now when the kingdom was established before Antiochus, he thought to reign over Egypt. ... Wherefore he entered Egypt with a great multitude ... and made war against Ptolemy king of Egypt ... but Ptolemy fled, and many were wounded to death. Thus they got the strong cities in the land of Egypt, and he took the spoils thereof." According to 2 Macc. v. 1, this was his second expedition into Egypt.
Ver. 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.”
Many of the Egyptians were favourable to Antiochus, which enabled him to overrun the country with ease after the battle of Pelusium.t
Ver. 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."
Polyb. apud Athen. I. v.
† Diod. in Excerp. Vales.
Antiochus set Ptolemy Philometer at liberty, and pretended great friendship towards him.*
Dan. xi. 28: “ Then shall he return into his own land with great riches, and his heart shall be against the holy covenant, and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.”
The capture of Jerusalem and the profanation of the temple are related, 2 Macc. v. 11, in such a manner that they might be supposed to happen immediately after the second expedition into Egypt; but the authors of both books of Maccabees do not appear to have observed strict chronological order in the history of Antiochus. Their main object was to relate his oppressions of the Jews, and they give them in a mass, without stopping to notice each intervening expedition into Egypt. Hence, the history in Maccabees does not run chronologically parallel with the prophecy, which notices the different expeditions with more detail; and it is possible that the above entrance into Jerusalem may be that alluded to at ver. 30, 31.
Ver. 29: “At the time appointed, he shall return, and come toward the south, but it shall not be as the former or the latter. 30: For the ships of Chittim shall come against him.”
Antiochus was prevented from completing the subjugagation of Egypt by the arrival of the Roman ambassadors.
Ver. 30: “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."
2 Mac. v. 11: " Whereupon removing out of Egypt in a furious mind, he took the city (Jerusalem) by force of arms.” Then follows the slaughter of eighty thousand Jews, and the profanation of the temple. Ver. 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.” The apostacy of many of the Jews is described also, 1 Macc. i. 15: “They made themselves uncircumcised, and forsook the holy covenant, and joined themselves to the heathen, and were sold to do mischief.”
* Diod. in Excerp. Vales.
+ Liv. l. 45.
Dan. xi. 31: “ And arms* shall stand on his part, and shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.”
According to the Septuagint, “σπερματα εξ αυτε ανασησονTam;" Jerome, "ex eo brachia stabunt.” Arms, branches, or off-shoots, shall proceed from this wicked root, Anti
* Here is the important point of separation with the commentators. Bishop Newton, (Diss. xxii. p. 2,) following Sir Isaac Newton, translates the first clause, “and after him, arms (that is, the Romans) shall stand up;" and informs us that, from this verse, “he” and “the king” mean the Romans. It is not easy to see any necessity for thrusting in the Romans here, since the explanation can go on much better without them; but if they cannot be introduced here, there is no chance of success afterwards; for the rest of the chapter does not afford even such a miserably narrow entrance as the word “arms;" and then the whole must evidently be limited to Antiochus, which would bring on the question whether Jesus Christ interpreted Daniel rightly in applying the abomination of desolation to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. The Bishop, however, having with much effort, and calling on Sir Isaac Newton and Mr. Mede to assist him, brought the Romans into the chapter, tries to keep them there with this remark: “Our Saviour himself making use of this same phrase, the abomination of desolation, in his prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem, may convince us that this part of the prophecy refers to that event.” But he candidly allows that what follows applies in part to the times of Antiochus. If we be obliged to conclude that this is the only rational application of what follows, the inference must be that the author of Matthew has misapplied this as well as many other parts of the Old Testament, and, in this instance, attributed his own mistake to Jesus Christ.
ochus; for his lieutenants, Philip, Andronicus, Menelaus, and Apollonius, will be as bad as himself. “ And he left governors to vex the nations.” 2 Macc. v. 22. The king's collector fortified himself in the city of David with a strong wall and towers, which became “a place to lie in wait against the sanctuary, and an evil adversary to Israel. Thus they shed innocent blood on every side of the sanctuary, and defiled it.” 1 Macc. i. 36, 37. The abomination which maketh desolate is explained thus : “ Not long after this, the king sent an old man of Antioch to compel the Jews to depart from the laws of their fathers, and not to live after the laws of God; and to pollute also the temple in Jerusalem, and to call it the temple of Jupiter Olympius.” 2 Macc. vi. 1.
Dan. xi. 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.”*
Antiochus flattered as well as threatened in order to induce the Jews to change their religion, 2 Macc. vii. 24. Mattathias, however, killed the king's commissioner, who was compelling some Jews to sacrifice, 1 Macc. ii. 23: and flying with his sons into the mountains, set Antiochus at defiance.
Ver. 33 : “ And they that understand among the people, shall instruct hany: yet they shall fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and by spoil, many days.”
1 Macc. ii. 27 : “ And Mattathias cried throughout the city with a loud voice, saying, Whosoever is zealous of the law, and maintaineth the covenant, let him follow me. ... 29: Then many that sought after justice and judgment, went down into the wilderness to dwell there.
45: Then Mattathias and his friends went round
* Interpreted by Bishop Newton concerning the persecution of the Christians by the Roman magistrates.
about, and pulled down the altars." Meanwhile the oppressions were continued at Jerusalem and other cities. 2 Macc. vi. 8-12.
Dan. xi. 34: “ Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help; but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.”
The resistance of Mattathias, and afterwards of Judas, did not for a long time free the nation. It is very likely that some should have joined the company of Judas for the sake of betraying them : see one instance, 2 Macc. xii. 21.
Ver. 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."
Eleazar and other supporters of the law died soon after the outbreak of the insurrection.
Ver. 36: “ And the king shall do according to his will: and he shall exalt himself,* and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished : for that that is determined shall be done.”
1 Macc. i. 21: “He entered proudly into the sanctuary. 2 Macc. v. 16–20: “And taking the holy vessels with polluted hands, and with profane hands pulling down the things that were dedicated by other kings to the glory and honour of the place, he
away. And so haughty was Antiochus in mind, that he considered not that the Lord was angry for awhile for the sins of them that dwelt in the city . . . And as the place was forsaken in the wrath of the Almighty, so again the great Lord being reconciled, it was set up with all glory.”
* St. Paul appears to quote this passage when speaking of the man of sin: 2 Thess. ij. 3, 4. · Bishop Newton explains it of the anti-christian power which began in the Roman emperors, and continued in the popes. Diss. xvii. part 2.