“But reports from the east,
Reports from the north,
Shall alarm him.
He shall go out
With great fury
To bring ruin,
To bring complete destruction
He shall pitch
His palatial tents
Between the sea and
The beautiful holy mountain.
Yet he shall come
To his end,
With no one
To help him.”
It is not clear where King Antiochus IV died. However, in 2 Maccabees, chapter 9, there was a vivid description of the illness that led to his death. Here it takes place between the coast and the holy mountain of Jerusalem. Apparently, this king had problems in the east and north. Thus, he set out to ruin and destroy them. Then he pitched his palatial tent before he died. 1 Maccabees, chapter 6, and 2 Maccabees, chapter 9, have this dreadful king have a deathbed conversion to the God of Israel. Here, that is not mentioned.
“Prepare the buckler!
Prepare the shield!
Advance for battle!
Harness the horses!
Mount the steeds!
Take your stations!
Put on your helmets!
Polish your spears!
Put on your coats of mail!”
Jeremiah has a very vivid description of how these ancient warriors prepared to do battle. They had their small forearm buckler shields with their larger shield, as they advanced on foot to do battle. The cavalry horsemen had to harness their horses and then mount them. They all would take their appointed stations. They had their helmets and spears with their protective armor coats. They were now ready to do battle.
“I was envious of the arrogant.
I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have no pain.
Their bodies are sound and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are.
They are not plagued like other people.
Therefore pride is their necklace.
Violence covers them like a garment.
Their eyes swell out with fatness.
Their hearts overflow with follies.
They speak with malice.
Loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against heaven.
Their tongues range over the earth.”
Here we have a vivid description of these wicked arrogant people. Asaph, this psalmist, was envious of their prosperity. They did not have any pain with their sound slick bodies. They did not have troubles like other people who had various illnesses. They were proud violent people. Their garments and their necklaces were indications of their violent nature. They had fat eyes and foolish hearts. They were malicious people who threatened violence. They spoke against heaven as they pursued things here on earth.