“He shall stretch out his hand
Against the countries.
The land of Egypt
Shall not escape.
He shall become ruler
Of the treasures
All the precious things
Shall follow in his train.”
Next Gabriel talked about another war against Egypt that King Antiochus IV would win. He would then become the ruler of all the gold, silver, and precious things in Egypt. He would then go and capture Libya and Ethiopia. In fact, nothing like this ever took place. That might indicate the date of this writing as before the end of the life of King Antiochus IV.
“After subduing Egypt, King Antiochus returned in the one hundred forty-third year. He went up against Israel as he came to Jerusalem with a strong force. He arrogantly entered the sanctuary. Then he took the golden altar, the lamp stand for the light, and all its utensils. He also took the table for the bread of the Presence, the cups for drink offerings, the bowls, the golden censers, the curtain, the crowns, and the gold decoration on the front of the temple. He stripped it all off. He took the silver and the gold, and the costly vessels. He took also the hidden treasures which he found. Taking them all, he departed to his own land. He shed much blood. He spoke with great arrogance.”
King Antiochus IV of Syria actually had to give up Egypt because the Romans threatened him with war. Remember he had been a Roman prisoner, so that he feared the Romans. He decided to pick on Jerusalem in 169 BCE, the 143rd year since the beginning of the Greek empire. There is no mention of a big battle. He seems to have taken all the good stuff from the Jerusalem Temple, especially the gold and silver objects. He obviously was arrogant.
“Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was upon us. He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes along the way. We came to Jerusalem. There we remained three days. On the fourth day, within the house of our God, the silver, the gold, and the vessels were weighed into the hands of the priest Meremoth son of Uriah, and with him was Eleazar son of Phinehas, and with them were the Levites, Jozabad son of Jeshua and Noadiah son of Binnui. The total was counted and weighed. The weight of everything was recorded.”
Once again, notice the first person plural “we.” This group of about 5,000 with Ezra left on the 12th day of the 1st month. They were protected by God so that no enemy attacked them. They were lucky since they had a huge fortune with them. It does say how long it took them to make this journey, but the first group, some 80 years earlier, took about 5 months. However, the Temple was built by the time Ezra and his group arrived. They stayed 3 days before they presented their great treasures to the Temple priests. They then counted and weighed everything so that it could be recorded. Meremoth will play an important role in the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem. This Eleazar is obviously not the son of Aaron, but a common name for priests. There were other people name Jozabad, but this is the only Noadiah.