The new leader (Dan 11:19-11:20)

“Then he shall turn back

Toward the fortresses

Of his own land.

But he shall stumble.

He shall fall.

He shall not be found.

Then shall arise

In his place,

One who shall send

An official

For the glory

Of the kingdom.

But within a few days,

He shall be broken,

But not in anger,

Nor in battle.”

King Antiochus III turned back to Syria. However, he stumbled and fell. In other words, he died. Then, his son, Seleucus IV (187-175 BCE), took over as king of Syria and Babylon. However, he sent one of his officials, Heliodorus, to take money from the Temple treasury in Jerusalem. However, this official was not successful. He died, not in anger or battle, but was a broken man. Actually, Heliodorus assassinated King Seleucus IV in 175 BCE.

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The coastland invasion (Dan 11:18-11:18)

Afterward,

He shall turn

To the coastlands.

He shall capture many.

But a commander

Shall put an end

To his insolence.

Indeed,

He shall turn

His insolence

Back upon him.”

Then King Antiochus III would turn to the coastlands in Asia Minor where he would be fairly successful. However, he ran into the Roman commanders who put a stop to his progress around the year 190 BCE.

The fight over Palestine (Dan 11:15-11:17)

“Then the king of the north

Shall come.

He shall throw up

Siege works.

He shall take

A well-fortified city.

The forces of the south

Shall not stand.

Not even his picked troops

Shall stand.

There shall be

No strength to resist.

But he who comes

Against him

Shall take the actions

He pleases.

No one shall withstand him.

He shall take a position

In the beautiful land.

All of it shall be

In his power.

He shall set his mind

To come

With the strength

Of his whole kingdom.

He shall bring terms of peace.

He shall perform them.

In order to destroy the kingdom,

He shall give him

A woman in marriage.

But it shall not succeed.

It shall not be to his advantage.”

Then the king of the north, King Antiochus III (222-187 BCE), took possession of the beautiful land of Israel or Judah. He would set up a siege against the fortified city. The southern forces from Egypt would not be able to stand up against him, even their special troops were not good enough. No one had the strength to resist. He set his mind to it and he was able to do it. Then he arranged a peace treaty. King Antiochus gave his daughter Cleopatra to the young King Ptolemy V (204-181 BCE) in marriage in 194 BCE, but it did not work.

The sons of the northern king attack the south (Dan 11:10-11:10)

“The sons of the northern king

Shall wage war.

They shall assemble

A multitude

Of great forces.

They shall advance

Like a flood.

They shall pass through.

They shall again carry the war

As far as his fortress.”

The sons of the northern King Seleucus II were King Seleucus III (225-223 BCE) and King Antiochus III (222-187 BCE) both of whom ruled after him. They decided to attack the southern king of Egypt. They assembled a great army and advanced like a flood to the fortress of Egypt.

King Antiochus IV appoints a successor (2 Macc 9:23-9:27)

“But I observed that my father,

On the occasions

When he made expeditions into the upper country,

He appointed his successor.

So that, if anything unexpected happened

Or any unwelcome news came,

The people throughout the realm would not be troubled.

They would know to whom the government was left.

Moreover, I understand how the princes along the borders

And the neighbors to my kingdom

Keep watching for opportunities

And waiting to see what will happen.

So I have appointed my son Antiochus to be king,

I have often entrusted and commended him to most of you,

When I hastened off to the upper provinces.

I have written to him what is written here.

I therefore urge and beg you to remember

The public and private services rendered to you.

Maintain your present good will,

Each of you,

Toward me and my son.

I am sure that he will follow my policy

He will treat you with moderation and kindness.’”

This letter of King Antiochus IV is really not a letter with all the conditions and wishes for the Jew that was mentioned above. Instead, it is a succession letter or last will and testament. Basically, since everyone was so kind to him, he wanted everyone to listen to his son who would succeed him if he did not get over this illness that occurred to him when he was in Persia. The idea of writing a letter of succession was not new, since his father King Antiochus III had done this. He had appointed King Seleucid IV, his brother, as the successor. King Antiochus IV wanted everyone to know that his son King Antiochus V would be his rightful moderate and kind successor. He did not trust the neighboring princes on the borders since they might try to raise havoc about who was in charge. He told them to remember the good times.

Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Macc 1:10-1:10)

“From them came forth a sinful root, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of King Antiochus. He had been a hostage in Rome. He began to reign in the one hundred and thirty-seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.”

Now we have a particular king, King Antiochus Epiphanes IV (215-164 BCE), the son of King Antiochus III the Great (223-187 BCE). He was a Syrian king of the Seleucid dynasty. There never were good relations between Syria and Judah. He came to rule in the 137th year of the Greeks. All the dating in this book is based on year 1 of the Greeks as 312 BCE. This then puts the rule of King Antiochus IV about 175 BCE. His father had taken Palestine from the Egyptians, but lost Asia Minor to the Romans, so that the son, Antiochus IV had been a prisoner in Rome.