The southern campaign in Palestine (Dan 11:22-11:24)

“Armies

Shall be utterly swept away

Before him.

They shall be broken

Before him.

This includes

The prince of the covenant as well.

After an alliance is made

With him,

He shall act deceitfully.

He shall become strong

With a small party.

Without warning,

He shall come

Into the richest parts

Of the province.

He shall do

What none of his predecessors

Had ever done.

He shall lavish

Plunder,

Spoil,

Wealth,

On them.

He shall devise plans

Against strongholds,

But only for a time.”

This king of the north from Syria and Babylon, King Antiochus IV, would go south to Judea or Palestine. He would take his armies and go against the prince of the covenant, probably the Jerusalem high priest, Onias III. He was going to act deceitfully and become strong with a small party of his own. He even was going to attack the rich areas of Israel to plunder, spoil, and give wealth to his friends, something his predecessors had never done. He even would temporarily make plans against the various strongholds.

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.

The insurrection in the south (Dan 11:14-11:14)

“In those times,

Many shall rise

Against the king of the south.

The lawless

Among your own people

Shall lift themselves up

In order to fulfil the vision.

But they shall fail.”

There was an Egyptian insurrection against the child king Ptolemy V (204-181 BCE), since he was only 5 years old when he took over as king. The various regents controlled his activities. Somehow, some of the Judeans of Palestine got involved with this, as they took sides on the battle between the kings of the north and the south, Egypt and Syria. However, they failed.

The northern border (Ezek 47:15-47:17)

“This shall be the boundary

Of the land.

On the north side,

From the Great Sea

By way of Hethlon

To Lebo-hamath

of Hamath,

On to Zedad,

Berothah,

Sibraim.

Sibraim lies between

The border of Damascus

With Hamath.

It shall go as far

As Hazer-hatticon,

That is on the border

Of Hauran.

So,

The boundary shall run

From the sea

To Hazar-enon,

That is north of the border

Of Damascus,

With the border of Hamath

To the north.

This shall be the north side.”

Ezekiel started with a longer description of the northern border than what was found in Numbers, chapter 34. Obviously, this northern border started with the sea, the Mediterranean Sea on the northwest side. However, it extends further north into Syria on the north side of Damascus. There was no indication where the Sea and the land met in the north, just the listing of a series of towns like Hethlon, Lebo-hamath, Zedad, Berothah, and Sibraim that are difficult to determine exactly where they are. The northeastern border was Hazar-enon, as in Numbers. Hamath was the capital of upper Syria, while Damascus as the capital of lower Syria. Thus, this northern Israelite boundary was between these 2 Syrian cities.

Edom (Ezek 27:16-27:16)

“Edom did business

With you

Because

Of your abundant goods.

They exchanged

For your wares

Turquoise,

Purple,

Embroidered works,

Fine linens,

Coral,

Rubies.”

The next trading partner was Edom, south of Judah, but they did not have a port. Another reading has Aram or Syria, which makes more sense. Tyre had an abundance of goods, especially various purple colored items, embroidered works, linens, corals, and rubies.

The workers on the ships (Ezek 27:8-27:9)

“The inhabitants

Of Sidon

With the inhabitants

Of Arvad

Were your rowers.

The skilled men

Of Zemer

Were within you.

They were your pilots.

The elders

Of Gebal

With its artisans

Were within you.

They were caulking

Your seams.

All the ships

Of the sea

With their mariners

Were within you,

To barter

For your wares.”

Ezekiel showed a great knowledge about ships and travel in Tyre. The rowers in the boats of Tyre were from Sidon and Arvad. Sidon was often mentioned together with Tyre. Sidon itself, now part of Lebanon, was a seacoast town about 25 miles north of Tyre, supposedly named after the son of Canaan, the grandson of Noah. Arvad was another island city about 120 miles north of Tyre that is now part of Syria. The pilots on the boats were from Zemer, an inland town that is now part of Israel. The artistic caulkers on the ships were the old people from Gebal, later known as Byblos, about 70 miles north of Tyre. The sailors and the merchants were all from Tyre itself.

The wood used for the ships at Tyre (Ezek 27:5-27:6)

“They made

All your planks

Of fir trees

From Senir.

To make a mast

For you,

They took a cedar

From Lebanon.

They made your oars

From oaks

Of Bashan.

They made your deck

Of pines

From the coasts of Cyprus,

Inlaid with ivory.”

The people of Tyre got their wood for their ships from a variety of places. The planks for their ships came from the fir trees of Senir or Mount Hermon, between Syria and Lebanon. Of course, the cedar used for the mast of the ships came from Lebanon, as did all good cedar. The oars for the ships came from the oaks of Bashan, on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee. Their decks were made of pine from the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. Somehow their decks of pine were inlaid with ivory.

The capture and killing of the Judean leaders (Jer 52:25-52:27)

“From the city,

Nebuzaradan

Took an officer,

Who had been in command

Of the soldiers.

He took

Seven men

Of the king’s council

Who were found in the city.

He took the secretary,

Of the commander of the army,

Who mustered the people

Of the land.

He also took sixty men

Of the people

Of the land

Who were found

Inside the city.

Then Nebuzaradan,

The captain of the guard,

Brought them

To the king of Babylon

At Riblah.

The king of Babylon

Struck them down.

He put them

To death

At Riblah

In the land of Hamath.”

This section is practically word for word from 2 Kings, chapter 25. Nebuzaradan, the Babylonian captain of the guard, took the commander of the army, the men of the king’s council, the secretary of the army, and anyone still left in Jerusalem. Here it is 7 men, while in 2 Kings, it was only 5 men. He brought them to Riblah, a city in Syria, in the land of Hamath, that was on the border with Palestine on the main route from Syria. There the king of Babylon killed them.

The menace from the north (Jer 8:16-8:17)

“The snorting of their horses

Is heard from Dan.

At the sound of

The neighing of their stallions

The whole land quakes.

They come.

They devour the land.

They devour all that fills it.

They devour the city.

They devour all those who dwell in it.

See!

I am letting snakes loose among you.

These are adders

That cannot be charmed.

They shall bite you.’

Says Yahweh.”

Here Yahweh, via Jeremiah, warns them that the destroyer is coming from the north, much like in chapter 4 of this work. The horses and the stallions are snorting and neighing in the territory of Dan, the most northern part of Israel, near Syria. The land was beginning to quake as they are getting closer. They would come and devour the land with everything in it. They would devour their cities and everyone living there. Yahweh was going to let the snakes and the adders loose in Judah so that they would bite them.

Honor Yahweh (Isa 43:20-43:21)

“The wild animals will honor me.

The jackals will honor me.

The ostriches will honor me.

I give water in the wilderness.

I give rivers in the desert

To give drink

To my chosen people.

They are the people

Whom I formed for myself

That they might declare my praise.”

Second Isaiah has Yahweh continue in the first person singular, saying that the wild animals will honor him. However, he only lists the jackals and the ostriches. Yahweh has provided water in the wilderness by providing rivers in the desert. Thus his specially chosen people could also give praise, just like the wild animals have. The wild animals seemed to appreciate the water more than Yahweh’s chosen people. Apparently on the return from Babylon, they passed through a desert wilderness in Syria some place.