Future wars (Dan 11:40-11:40)

“At the time of the end,

The king of the south

Shall attack him.

But the king of the north

Shall rush upon him

Like a whirlwind,

With chariots,

With horsemen,

With many ships.

He shall advance

Against countries.

He shall pass through

Like a flood.”

Gabriel then made another prediction about King Antiochus IV. He said that the king of the south, King Ptolemy V, would invade the north, but be defeated because of the great military of King Antiochus with his chariots, horsemen, and ships. In fact, this northern king would advance through countries like a moving flood storm. This apparently never happened, as opposed to the preceding that actually took place.

The Ethiopians (Ezek 30:9-30:9)

“On that day,

Messengers,

Shall go out

From me,

In ships,

To terrify

The unsuspecting Ethiopians.

Anguish

Shall come

Upon them

On the day

Of Egypt’s doom.

It is coming!”

Yahweh was going to send out messengers or angels in ships to terrify the unsuspecting Ethiopians, who were south of Egypt. Anguish would come upon these Ethiopians on the same day that Egypt was being enveloped in doom. This was going to happen, so watch out.

The gathering from the whole world (Isa 66:19-66:19)

“I will set a sign among them.

From them,

I will send survivors to the nations,

To Tarshish,

To Put,

To Lud,

To those who draw the bow,

To Tubal

To Javan,

To the coastlands far away.

They have not heard of my fame.

They have not seen my glory.

They shall declare my glory

Among the nations.”

How were they going to get all these people into Jerusalem? Some people would go out to various places and have people from there come to Jerusalem to see the glory of Yahweh. Tarshish was the place that had the famous sailing ships. Perhaps it was some place in Spain or on the Mediterranean Sea. Put or Pul may have been in Somalia. Lud refers to some place in Libya or Asia Minor. Tubal and Javan were probably wealthy places in Asia Minor that would send ships to Tyre on the Mediterranean coast. Obviously all the coastal cities on the great sea were to be included. They had no idea about the fame and glory of Yahweh. They would all like to see the fame and glory of Jerusalem. The glory of Yahweh was to be declared to all these nations.

Yahweh helped those at sea (Ps 107:23-107:32)

“Some went down to the sea in ships.

He did business on the mighty waters.

They saw the deeds of Yahweh.

They saw his wondrous works in the deep.

He commanded.

He raised the stormy wind.

He lifted up the waves of the sea.

They mounted up to heaven.

They went down to the depths.

Their courage melted away in their calamity.

They reeled.

They staggered like drunkards.

They were at their wits’ end.

Then they cried to Yahweh in their trouble.

He brought them out from their distress.

He made the storm be still.

The waves of the sea were hushed.

Then they were glad

Because they had quiet.

He brought them to their desired haven.

Let them thank Yahweh

For his steadfast love!

Let them thank Yahweh

For his wonderful works to humankind!

Let them extol him

In the congregation of the people.

Let them praise him

In the assembly of the elders.”

This is the case where those who were seafarers saw the great deeds of Yahweh.   Yahweh commanded the storms. He commanded the waves to go high and low so that their ships often reeled like drunken sailors. However, when they cried to Yahweh, he heard them in their distress. Yahweh stilled the storms and urged the waves to be quiet. Then like in the preceding verses, they had to give thanks for Yahweh’s steadfast love and wonderful works. They also had to praise him among the people and the elders.

The defeat of the kings (Ps 48:4-48:8)

“Then the kings assembled.

They came on together.

As soon as they saw it,

They were astounded.

They were in panic.

They took to flight.

Trembling took hold of them there.

They had pains like a woman in labor.

They were like

When the east wind shatters

The ships of Tarshish.

As we have heard,

So have we seen.

In the city of Yahweh of hosts,

In the city of our God,

God is established forever.”

Selah

Many kings assembled to attack Jerusalem. However, they were astonished and fled in panic when they saw the Temple and the palace on Mount Zion. They began to tremble with pain as if they were women in labor. This might be a reference to the defeat of foreign kings attacking Jerusalem. The reference to the ships of Tarshish can be found in 1 Kings, chapter 10, where this fleet, with the silver, gold, ivory, apes, and peacocks, came every 4 years.   Not only did they hear about these things, but they actually saw them in the city of David, the city of Yahweh, the city of God, that was established forever. Then there is the usually musical interlude pause, the Selah.

The Olympics at Tyre (2 Macc 4:18-4:20)

When the quadrennial games were being held at Tyre, the king was present. The vile Jason sent envoys, chosen as being citizens of Antioch from Jerusalem. They were to carry three hundred silver drachmas for the sacrifice to Hercules. Those who carried the money, however, thought best not to use it for sacrifice, because that was inappropriate. They spent if for another purpose. So this money that was intended by the sender for the sacrifice to Hercules, but by the decision of its carriers it was applied to the construction of triremes.”

Now we have the Olympics in the biblical tradition. The quadrennial Olympics were held in Tyre. The Greek Olympics began in 776 BCE. However, they were eliminated by the Christian Emperor Theodosius in 393 CE as a pagan cult. Although the Olympics were only held in Olympia in Greece, there were other gatherings of athletes in what might be called Pan-Hellenic Games that were held throughout the ancient world in various cities at different times what were also called Olympics. Tyre was an important sea port town north of Palestine. Hercules was the name of god of Tyre. Instead of offering the sacrifice to Hercules, these so-called Antiochian envoys to these games made triremes, war vessels with rowers on each side.

King Antiochus VII invades Dor (1 Macc 15:10-15:14)

“In the one hundred seventy-fourth year, Antiochus set out and invaded the land of his ancestors. All the troops rallied to him, so that there were only a few with Trypho. Antiochus pursued him. He came in his flight to Dor, which is by the sea. He knew that troubles had converged upon him, since his troops had deserted him. So Antiochus encamped against Dor, and with him were one hundred twenty thousand warriors and eight thousand cavalry. He surrounded the town since the ships had joined battle from the sea. He pressed the town hard from land and sea. He permitted no one to leave or enter it.”

In 138 BCE, or the 167th year of the Greek Empire, King Antiochus VII invaded the land of his ancestors. That sounds strange to invade your own country. He was trying to take back the throne from King Trypho. King Trypho fled to Dor, a sea port south of Carmel, miles north of Caesarea. Most of the troops of King Trypho had abandoned him. King Antiochus VII followed him to Dor with 120,000 warriors and 8,000 cavalry. Once again, these numbers seem high. He then surrounded the city since he had ships in the port so that no one could leave or enter the city.

Jonathan is buried in a tomb in Modein (1 Macc 13:25-13:30)

“Simon sent and took the bones of his brother Jonathan. They buried him in Modein, the city of his ancestors. All Israel bewailed him with great lamentation. They mourned for him many days. Simon built a monument over the tomb of his father and his brothers. He made it high so that it might be seen, with polished stone at the front and back. He also erected seven pyramids, opposite one another, for his father and mother and four brothers. For the pyramids he devised an elaborate setting, erecting about them great columns. On the columns he put suits of armor for a permanent memorial. Beside the suits of armor, he carved ships, so that they could be seen by all who sail the sea. This is the tomb which he built in Modein. It remains to this day.”

Simon had the bones of his brother brought back to Modein, where the rest of his family was buried. There was great bewailing, mourning, and lamentations over the death of Jonathan. However, Simon built a special monument to his family. He built 7 pyramids for his parents and his siblings. He also built great columns with suits of armor and carved ships. This giant tomb could not be seen from the sea, but it was meant as a memorial for those who do sail the seas. However, they did have a sea port in Joppa. This great monument certainly existed at the time of the biblical author of this book.

A copy of the letter of the Romans to the Jews (1 Macc 8:22-8:30)

“This is a copy of the letter that the Romans wrote in reply on bronze tablets. They sent these bronze tablets to Jerusalem to remain with them there as a memorial of peace and alliance.

‘May all go well with the Romans!

May all go well with the nation of the Jews

At sea and on land forever.

May sword and enemy be far from them.

If war comes first to Rome

Or to any of their allies in all their dominion,

The nation of the Jews shall act

As their allies wholeheartedly,

As the occasion may indicate to them.

To the enemy who makes war

They shall not give or supply grain, arms, money, or ships,

Just as Rome has decided.

They shall keep their obligations without receiving any return.

In the same way,

If war comes first to the nation of the Jews,

The Romans shall willingly act as their allies,

As the occasion may indicate to them.

To their enemies,

There shall not be given grain, arms, money, or ships,

Just as Rome has decided.

They shall keep these obligations.

They shall do so without deceit.

Thus on these terms

The Romans make a treaty with the Jewish people.

If after these terms are in effect

Both parties shall determine to add or delete anything,

They shall do so at their discretion.

Any addition or deletion that they may make shall be valid.’”

The treaty was written on bronze tablets because it was important since bronze was used for all important documents. This continues the trend of the post-exilic Jews dependence on written documents from kings and other groups. It almost treats Rome and the Nation of the Jews on equal terms as sovereign states, which they were not. After the friendly greetings, the treaty calls for each party to protect the other as they see fit. They cannot offer any grain, arms, money, or ships to the enemy of the other. Why would the Romans enter such a treaty? They wanted to start rebellions in the various eastern areas without being involved and this was a way to have a rebellious group in the Seleucid Empire.

The wealth of King Solomon (2 Chr 8:17-8:18)

“Then King Solomon went to Ezion-geber and Eloth on the shore of the sea, in the land of Edom. King Huram sent him ships with his servants who were familiar with the sea. They went to Ophir together with the servants of King Solomon. They imported from there four hundred and fifty talents of gold. They brought it to King Solomon.”

Once again, this is based on 1 Kings, chapter 9. Here King Solomon is not in the ship building business. Here his good friend Hiram or Huram from Tyre helped with his ships since his men were good seamen. Everything else is exactly the same. They went to the same places. Eloth was a seaport in the land of Edom on the Red Sea in the Gulf of Aqaba. Ophir is difficult to locate, but there was a huge gold mine there. There is a mention of this in Genesis, chapter 10, when showing how the earth was populated after the great flood. The descendants of Shem, Noah’s son lived in the Persian Gulf or the Indian Ocean area and they mentioned the town of Ophir. So both biblical authors were familiar with this town and its gold. This time the gold haul is 450 talents of gold, 30 more talents than was in 1 Kings. That would put its value over 2 billion USA dollars, $2,000,000,000.00, quite a large amount of money or wealth for any time, even for 3,000 years ago. They brought all this gold to King Solomon.