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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Sir Isaac Newton :: Daniel and Revelation

Sir Isaac Newton :: Chapter 12. Of the Prophecy of the Scripture of Truth.

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Part I. Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel.

Chap. 12.

Of the Prophecy of the Scripture of Truth.

The kingdoms represented by the second and third Beasts, or the Bear and Leopard, are again described by Daniel in his last Prophecy written in the third year of Cyrus over Babylon, the year in which he conquered Persia. For this Prophecy is a commentary upon the Vision of the Ram and He-Goat.

Behold, saith he, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia,[Cyrus, Cambyses, and Darius Hystaspes] and the fourth [Xerxes] shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength thro' his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. And a mighty king [Alexander the great] shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided towards the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity [but after their death,] nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be pluckt up, even for others besides those {Dan. 11:2, 3, 4.}. Alexander the great having conquered all the Persian Empire, and some part of India, died at Babylon a month before the summer Solstice, in the year of Nabonassar 425: and his captains gave the monarchy to his bastard brother Philip Aridaeus, a man disturbed in his understanding; and made Perdiccas administrator of the kingdom. Perdiccas with their consent made Meleager commander of the army, Seleucus master of the horse, Craterus treasurer of the kingdom, Antipater governor of Macedon and Greece, Ptolemy governor of Egypt; Antigonus governor of Pamphylia, Lycia, Lycaonia, and Phrygia major; Lysimachus governor of Thrace, and other captains governors of other Provinces; as many as had been so before in the days of Alexander the Great. The Babylonians began now to count by a new Aera, which they called the Aera of Philip, using the years of Nabonasser, and reckoning the 425th year of Nabonassar to be the first year of Philip. Roxana the wife of Alexander being left big with child, and about three or four months after brought to bed of a son, they called him Alexander, saluted him King, and joined him with Philip, whom they had before placed in the throne. Philip reigned three years under the administratorship of Perdiccas, two years more under the administratorship of Antipater, and above a year more under that of Polyperchon; in all six years and four months; and then was slain with his Queen Eurydice in September by the command of Olympias the mother of Alexander the great. The Greeks being disgusted at the cruelties of Olympias, revolted to Cassander the son and successor of Antipater. Cassander affecting the dominion of Greece, slew Olympias; and soon after shut up the young king Alexander, with his mother Roxana, in the castle of Amphipolis, under the charge of Glaucias, An. Nabonass. 432. The next year Ptolemy, Cassander and Lysimachus, by means of Seleucus, form'd a league against Antigonus; and after certain wars made peace with him, An. Nabonass. 438, upon these conditions: that Cassander should command the forces of Europe till Alexander the son of Roxana came to age; and that Lysimachus should govern Thrace, Ptolemy Egypt and Lybia, and Antigonus all Asia. Seleucus had possest himself of Mesopotamia, Babylonia, Susiana and Media, the year before. About three years after Alexander's death he was made governor of Babylon by Antipater; then was expelled by Antigonus; but now he recovered and enlarged his government over a great part of the East: which gave occasion to a new Aera, called Aera Seleucidarum. Not long after the peace made with Antigonus, Diodorus saith the same Olympic year; Cassander, seeing that Alexander the son of Roxana grew up, and that it was discoursed thro'out Macedonia that it was fit he should be set at liberty, and take upon him the government of his father's kingdom, commanded Glaucias the governor of the castle to kill Roxana and the young king Alexander her son, and conceal their deaths. Then Polyperchon set up Hercules, the son of Alexander the great by Barsine, to be king; and soon after, at the sollicitation of Cassander, caused him to be slain. Soon after that, upon a great victory at sea got by Demetrius the son of Antigonus over Ptolemy, Antigonus took upon himself the title of king, and gave the same title to his son. This was An. Nabonass. 441. After his example, Seleucus, Cassander, Lysimachus and Ptolemy, took upon themselves the title and dignity of kings, having abstained from this honour while there remained any of Alexander's race to inherit the crown. Thus the monarchy of the Greeks for want of an heir was broken into several kingdoms; four of which, seated to the four winds of heaven, were very eminent. For Ptolemy reigned over Egypt, Lybia and Ethiopia; Antigonus over Syria and the lesser Asia; Lysimachus over Thrace; and Cassander over Macedon, Greece and Epirus, as above.

Seleucus at this time reigned over the nations which were beyond Euphrates, and belonged to the bodies of the two first Beasts; but after six years he conquered Antigonus, and thereby become possest of one of the four kingdoms. For Cassander being afraid of the power of Antigonus, combined with Lysimachus, Ptolemy and Seleucus, against him: and while Lysimachus invaded the parts of Asia next the Hellespont, Ptolemy subdued Phoenicia and Coelosyria, with the sea-coasts of Asia.

Seleucus came down with a powerful army into Cappadocia, and joining the confederate forces, fought Antigonus in Phrygia and slew him, and seized his kingdom, An. Nabonass. 447. After which Seleucus built Antioch, Seleucia, Laodicea, Apamea, Berrhaea, Edessa, and other cities in Syria and Asia; and in them granted the Jews equal privileges with the Greeks.

Demetrius the son of Antigonus retained but a small part of his father's dominions, and at length lost Cyprus to Ptolemy; but afterwards killing Alexander, the son and successor of Cassander king of Macedon, he seized his kingdom, An. Nab0nass. 454. Sometime after, preparing a very great army to recover his father's dominions in Asia; Seleucus, Ptolemy, Lysimachus and Pyrrhus king of Epirus, combined against him; and Pyrrhus invading Macedon, corrupted the army of Demetrius, put him to flight, seized his kingdom, and shared it with Lysimachus. After seven months, Lysimachus beating Pyrrhus, took Macedon from him, and held it five years and a half, uniting the kingdoms of Macedon and Thrace. Lysimachus in his wars with Antigonus and Demetrius, had taken from them Caria, Lydia, and Phrygia; and had a treasury in Pergamus, a castle on the top of a conical hill in Phrygia, by the river Caicus, the custody of which he had committed to one Philetaerus, who was at first faithful to him, but in the last year of his reign revolted. For Lysimachus, having at the instigation of his wife Arsinoe, slain first his own son Agathocles, and then several that lamented him; the wife of Agathocles fled with her children and brothers, and some others of their friends, and sollicited Seleucus to make war upon Lysimachus; whereupon Philetaerus also, who grieved at the death of Agathocles, and was accused there of by Arsinoe, took up arms, and sided with Seleucus. On this occasion Seleucus and Lysimachus met and fought in Phrygia; and Lysimachus being slain in the battel, lost his kingdom to Seleucus, An. Nabonass. 465. Thus the Empire of the Greeks, which at first brake into four kingdoms, became now reduced into two notable ones, henceforward called by Daniel the kings of the South and North. For Ptolemy now reigned over Egypt, Lybia, Ethiopia, Arabia, Phaenicia, Coelosyria, and Cyprus; and Seleucus, having united three of the four kingdoms, had a dominion scarce inferior to that of the Persian Empire, conquered by Alexander the great. All which is thus represented by Daniel: And the king of the South [Ptolemy] shall be strong, and one of his Princes [Seleucus, one of Alexander's Princes] Shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.{Dan. 11:5.}

After Seleucus had reigned seven months over Macedon, Greece, Thrace, Asia, Syria, Babylonia, Media, and all the East as far as India; Ptolemy Ceraunus, the younger brother of Ptolemy Philadelphus king of Egypt, slew him treacherously and seized his dominions in Europe: while Antiochus Soter, the son of Seleucus, succeeded his father in Asia, Syria, and most of the East; and after nineteen or twenty years was succeeded by his son Antiochus Theos; who having a lasting war with Ptolemy Philadelphus, at length composed the same by marrying Berenice the daughter of Philadelphus: but after a reign of fifteen years, his first wife Laodice poisoned him, and set her son Seleucus Callinicus upon the throne. Callinicus in the beginning of his reign, by the impulse of his mother Laodice, besieged Berenice in Daphne near Antioch, and slew her with her young son and many of her women. Whereupon Ptolemy Euergetes, the son and successor of Philadelphus, made war upon Callinicus; took from him Phoenicia, Syria, Cilicia, Mesopotamia, Babylonia, Susiana, and some other regions; and carried back into Egypt 40000 talents of silver, and 2500 images of the Gods, amongst which were the Gods of Egypt carried away by Cambyses. Antiochus Hierax at first assisted his brother Callinicus, but afterwards contended with him for Asia. In the mean time Eumenes governor of Pergamus beat Antiochus, and took from them both all Asia westward of mount Taurus. This was in the fifth year of Callinicus, who after an inglorious reign of 20 years was succeeded by his son Seleucus Ceraunus; and Euergetes after four years more, An. Nabonass. 527, was succeeded by his son Ptolemy Philopator. All which is thus signified by Daniel: And in the end of years they [the kings of the South and North] shall join themselves together: for the king's daughter of the South [Berenice]shall come to the king of the North to make an agreement, but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall she stand, nor her seed, but she shall be delivered up, and he [Callinicus] that brought her, and he whom she brought forth, and they that strengthened her in [those] times,[or defended her in the siege of Daphne.] But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his seat [her brother Euergetes] who shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress [or fenced cities] of the king of the North, and shall act against them and prevail: and shall carry captives into Egypt, their Gods with their Princes and precious vessels of silver and gold; and he shall continue some years after the king of the North.{Dan. 11:6, 7, 8.}

Seleucus Ceraunus, inheriting the remains of his father's kingdom, and thinking to recover the rest, raised a great army against the governor of Pergamus, now King thereof, but died in the third year of his reign. His brother and successor, Antiochus Magnus, carrying on the war, took from the King of Pergamus almost all the lesser Asia, recovering also the Provinces of Media, Persia and Babylonia, from the governors who had revolted: and in the fifth year of his reign invading Coelosyria, he with little opposition possest himself of a good part thereof; and the next year returning to invade the rest of Coelosyria and Phoenicia, beat the army of Ptolemy Philopator near Berytus; he then invaded Palestine and the neighbouring parts of Arabia, and the third year returned with and army of 78000: but Ptolemy coming out of Egypt with and army of 75000, fought and routed him at Raphia near Gaza, between Palestine and Egypt; and recovered all Phoenicia and Coelosyria, Ann. Nabonass. 532. Being puffed up with this victory, and living in all manner of luxury, the Egyptians revolted, and had wars with him, but were overcome; and in the broils sixty thousand Egyptian Jews were slain. All which is thus described by Daniel: But his sons [Seleucus Ceraunus, and Antiochus Magnus, the sons of Callinicus] shall be stirred up, and shall gather a great army; and he [Antiochus Magnus] shall come effectually and overflow, and pass thro' and return, and [again the next year] be stirred up [marching even] to his fortress, [the frontier towns of Egypt;] and the King of the South shall be moved with choler, and come forth [the third year]and fight with him, even with the King of the North; and he [the King of the North]shall lead forth a great multitude, but the multitude shall be given into his hand. And the multitude being taken away, his heart shall be lifted up, and he shall cast down many ten thousands; but he shall not be strengthened by it: for the king of the North shall return, &c. {Dan. 11:10, &c.}

About twelve years after the battle between Philopator and Antiochus, Philopator died; and left his kingdom to his young son Ptolemy Epiphanes, a child of five years old. Thereupon Antiochus Magnus confederated with Philip king of Macedon, that they should each invade the dominions of Epiphanes which lay next to them. Hence arose a various war between Antiochus and Epiphanes, each of them seizing Phoenicia and Coelosyria by turns; whereby those countries were much afflicted by both parties. First Antiochus seized them; then one Scopas being sent with the army of Egypt, recovered them from Antiochus: the next year, An. Nabonass. 550, Antiochus fought and routed Scopas near the fountains of Jordan, besieged him in Sidon, took the city, and recovered Syria and Phoenicia from Egypt, the Jews coming over to him voluntarily. But about three years after, preparing for a war against the Romans, he came to Raphia on the borders of Egypt; made peace with Epiphanes, and gave him his daughter Cleopatra: next autumn he passed the Hellespont to invade the cities of Greece under the Roman protection, and took some of them; but was beaten by the Romans the summer following, and forced to return back with his army into Asia. Before the end of the year the fleet of Antiochus was beaten by the fleet of the Romans near Phocaea: and at the same time Epiphanes and Cleopatra sent an embassy to Rome to congratulate the Romans on their success against their father Antiochus, and to exhort them to prosecute the war against him into Asia. The Romans beat Antiochus again at sea near Ephesus, past their army over the Hellespont, and obtain'd a great victory over him by land, took from him all Asia westward of mount Taurus, gave it to the King of Pergamus who assisted them in the war; and imposed a large tribute upon Antiochus. Thus the King of Pergamus, by the power of the Romans, recovered what Antiochus had taken from him; and Antiochus retiring into the remainder of his kingdom, was slain two years after by the Persians, as he was robbing the Temple of Jupiter Belus in Elymais, to raise money for the Romans. All which is thus described by Daniel. For the King of the North [Antiochus]shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former; and shall certainly come, after certain years, with a great army and with much riches. And in those times there shall many stand up against the King of the South, [particularly the Macedonians;] also the robbers of thy people [the Samaritans, &c.] shall exalt themselves to establish the vision, but they shall fall. So the King of the North shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities; and the arms of the South shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand. But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which shall fail in his hand. He shall also set his face to go with the strength [or army] of all his kingdom, and make an agreement with him [at Raphia;] and he shall give him the daughter of women corrupting her; but she shall not stand his side, neither be for him. After this he shall turn his face unto the Isles, and shall take many: but a Prince for his own behalf [the Romans] shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him. Then he shall turn his face towards the fort of his own land: by he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.{Dan. 11:13-19.}

Seleucus Philopator succeeded his father Antiochus, Anno Nabonass. 561, and reigned twelve years, but did nothing memorable, being sluggish, and intent upon raising money for the Romans to whom he was tributary. He was slain by Heliodorus, whom he had sent to rob the Temple of Jerusalem. Daniel thus describes his reign. Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom, but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger nor in battle. {Dan. 11:20.}

A little before the death of Philopator, his son Demetrius was sent hostage to Rome, in the place of Antiochus Epiphanes, the brother of Philopator; and Antiochus was at Athens in his way home from Rome, when Philopator died: whereupon Heliodorus the treasurer of the kingdom, stept into the throne. But Antiochus so managed his affairs, that the Romans kept Demeturius at Rome; and their ally the King of Pergamus expelled Heliodorus, and placed Antiochus in the throne, while Demetrius the right heir remained an hostage at Rome. Antiochus being thus made King by the friendship of the King of Pergamus reigned powerfully over Syria and the neighbouring nation: but carried himself much below his dignity, stealing privately out of his palace, rambling up and down the city in disguise with one or two of his companions; conversing and drinking with people of the lowest rank, foreigners and strangers; frequenting the meetings of dissolute persons to feast and revel; clothing himself like the Roman candidates and officers, acting their parts like a mimick, and in publick festivals jesting and dancing with servants and light people, exposing himself by all manner of ridiculous gestures. This conduct made some take him for a madman, and call him Antiochus Έπιμένης. In the first year of his reign he deposed Onias the high-Priest, and sold the high-Priesthood to Jason the younger brother of Onias: for Jason had promised to give him 440 talents of silver for that office, and 150 more for a licence to erect a place of exercise for the raining up of youth in the fashions of the heathen; which licence was granted by the King, and put in execution by Jason. Then the King sending one Apollonius into Egypt to the coronation of Ptolemy Philometor, the young son of Philometor and Cleopatra, and knowing Philometor not to be well affected to his affairs in Phoenicia, provided for his own safety in those parts; and for that end came to Joppa and Jerusalem, where he was honourably received; from thence he went in like manner with his little army to the cities of Phoenicia, to establish himself against Egypt, by courting the people, and distributing extraordinary favors amongst them. All which is thus represented by Daniel. And in his [Philometor's] estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they [the Syrians who set up Heliodorus] shall not give the honour of the kingdom. Yet he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries [made principally to the King Pergamus;] and the arms [which in favour of Heliodorus oppose him] shall be overflowed with a flood from before him, and be broken; yea also [Onias the high-Priest] the Prince of the covenant. And after the league made with him, [the King of Egypt, by sending Apollonius to his coronation] he shall work deceitfully [against the King of Egypt,] for he shall come up and shall become strong [in Phoenicia] with a small people. And he shall enter into the quiet and plentiful cities of the Province [of Phoenicia;] and [to ingratiate himself with the Jews of Phoenicia and Egypt, and with their friends] he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers fathers: he shall scatter among them the prey and spoil, and the riches [exacted from other places;] and shall forecast his devices against the strong holds [of Egypt] even for a time.{Dan. 11:21, &c.}

These things were done in the first year of his reign, An. Nabonass. 573. And thenceforward he forecast his devices against the strongholds of Egypt, until the sixth year. For three years after, that is in the fourth year of his reign, Menelaus bought the high-Priesthood from Jason, but not paying the price was sent for by the King; and the King, before he could hear the cause, went into Cilicia to appease a sedition there, and left Aandronicus his deputy at Antioch; in the mean time the brother of Menelaus, to make up the money, conveyed several vessels out of the Temple, selling some of them at Tyre, and sending others to Andronicus. When Menelaus was reproved for this by Onias, he caused Onias to be slain by Andronicus: for which fact the King at his return from Cilicia caused Andronicus to be put to death. Then Antiochus prepared his second expedition against Egypt, which he performed in the sixth year of his reign, An. Nabonass. 578: for upon the death of Cleopatra, the governors of her son the young King of Egypt claimed Phoenicia and Coelosyria from him as her dowry; and to recover those countries raised a great army. Antiochus considering that his father had not quitted the possession of those countries, denied they were her dowry; and with another great army met and fought the Egyptians on the borders of Egypt, between Pelusium and the mountain Casius. {2 Maccab. 3:5, 8. & 4:4.} He there beat them, and might have destroyed their whole army, but that he rode up and down, commanding his soldiers not to kill them, but to take them alive: by which humanity he gained Pelusium, and soon after all Egypt; entring it with a vast multitude of foot and chariots, elephants and horsemen, and a great navy. Then seizing the cities of Egypt as a friend, he marched to Memphis, laid the whole blame of the war upon Eulaeus the King's governor, entred into outward friendship with the young King, and took upon him to order the affairs of the kingdom. While Antiochus was thus employ'd, a report being spread in Phoenicia that he was dead, Jason to recover the high-Priesthood assaulted Jerusalem with above a thousand men, and took the city: hereupon the King thinking Judea had revolted, came out of Egypt in a furious manner, re-took the city, slew forty thousand of the people, made as many prisoners, and sold them to raise money; went into the Temple, spoiled it of it's treasures, ornaments, utensils, and vessels of gold and silver, amounting to 1800 talents; and carried all away to Antioch. This was done in the year of Nabonassar 578, and is thus described by Daniel. And he shall stir up his power, and his courage against the King of the South with a great army; and the King of the South shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they, even Antiochus and his friends,shall forecast devices against him, as is represented above; yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat, shall betray and destroy him, and his army shall be overthrown, and many shall fall down slain.  And both these Kings hearts shall be to do mischief; and they, being now made friends, shall speak lyes at one table, against the Jews and against the holy covenant; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end, in which the setting up of the abomination of desolation is to prosper,shall be at the time appointed. Then shall he return into his land with great riches, and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall act,against it by spoiling the Temple, and return into his own land. {Dan. 11:25, &c.}

The Egyptians of Alexandria seeing Philometor first educated in luxury by the Eunuch Eulaeus, and now in the hands of Antiochus, gave the kingdom to Euergetes, the younger brother of Philometor. Whereupon Antiochus pretending to restore Philometor, made war upon Euergetes; beat him at sea, and besieged him and his sister Cleopatra in Alexandria: while the besieged Princes sent to Rome to implore the assistance of the Senate. Antiochus finding himself unable to take the city that year, returned into Syria, leaving Philometor at Memphis to govern Egypt in his absence. But Philometor made friendship with his brother that winter; and Antiochus, returning the next spring An. Nabonass. 580, to besiege both the brothers in Alexandria, was met in the way by the Roman Ambassadors, Popilius Laena, C. Decimius, and C. Hostilius: he offered them his hand to kiss, but Popilius delivering to him the tables wherein the message of the Senate was written, bad him read those first. When he had read them, he replied he would consider with his friends what was fit to be done; but Popilius drawing a circle about him, bad him answer before he went out of it: Antiochus, astonished at this blunt and unusual imperiousness, made answer he would do what the Romans demanded; and then Popilius gave the King his hand to kiss, and he returned out of Egypt. The same year, An. Nabonass. 580, his captains by his order spoiled and slaughtered the Jews, profaned the Temple, set up the worship of the heathen Gods in all Judea, and began to persecute and make war upon those who would not worship them: which actions are thus described by Daniel. At the time appointed he shall come again towards the South, but the latter shall not be as the former. For the ships of Chittim shall come, with an embassy from Rome, against him. Therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant. So shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. {Dan. 11:29, 30.}

In the same year that Antiochus by the command of the Romans retired out of Egypt, and setup the worship of the Greeks in Judea; the Romans conquered the kingdom of Macedon, the fundamental kingdom of the Empire of the Greeks, and reduced it into a Roman Province; and thereby began to put an end to the reign of Daniel's third Beast. This is thus exprest by Daniel. And after him Arms, that is the Romans, shall stand up. As ממלך signifies after the King, Dan. 11:8; so ממנו may signify after him. Arms are every where in this Prophecy of Daniel put for the military power of a kingdom: and they stand up when they conquer and grow powerful. Hitherto Daniel described the actions of the Kings of the North and South; but upon the conquest of Macedon by the Romans, he left off describing the actions of the Greeks, and began to describe those of the Romans in Greece. They conquered Macedon, Illyricum and Epirus, in the year of Nabonassar 580, 35 years after, by the last will and testament of Attalus the last King of Pergamus, they inherited that rich and flourishing kingdom, that is, all Asia westward of mount Taurus; 69 years after they conquered the kingdom of Syria, and reduced it into a Province, and 34 years after they did the like to Egypt. By all these steps the Roman Arms stood up over the Greeks: and after 95 years more, by making war upon the Jews, they polluted the sanctuary of strength, and took away the daily sacrifice, and then placed the abomination of desolation. For this abomination was placed after the days of Christ, Math. 24:15. In the 16thyear of the Emperor Adrian, A. C. 132, they placed this abomination by building a Temple to Jupiter Capitolinus, where the Temple of God in Jerusalem had stood. Thereupon the Jews under the conduct of Barchochab rose up in arms against the Romans, and in the war had 50 cities demolished, 985 of their best towns destroyed, and 580000 men slain by the sword; and in the end of the war, A. C. 136, were banished Judea upon pain of death, and thenceforward the land remained desolate of its old inhabitants.

In the beginning of the Jewish war in Nero's reign, the Apostles fled out of Judea with their flocks; some beyond Jordan to Pella and other places, some into Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia minor, and elsewhere. Peter and John came into Asia, and Peter went thence by Corinth to Rome; but John staying in Asia, was banished by the Romans into Patmos, as the head of a party of the Jews, whose nation was in war with the Romans. By this dispersion of the Christian Jews, the Christian religion, which was already propagated westward as far as Rome, spred fast into all the Roman Empire, and suffered many persecutions under it till the days of Constantine the great and his sons: all which is thus described by Daniel. And such as do wickedly against the covenant, shall he, who places the abomination, cause to dissemble,and worship the heathen Gods; but the people among them who do know their God, shall be strong and act. And they that understand among the people, shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, and by captivity, and by spoil many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help, viz. in the reign of Constantine the great; and at that time by reason of their prosperity, many shall come over to them form among the heathen, and cleave to them with dissimulation. But of those of understanding there shall still fall to try God's peopleby them, and to purge them from the dissemblers, and to make them white even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. {Dan. 11:32, &c.}

Hitherto the Roman Empire continued entire; and under this dominion, the little horn of the He-Goat continued mighty, but not by his own power. But now, by the building of Constantinople, and endowing it with a Senate and other like privileges with Rome; and by the division of the Roman Empire into the two Empires of the Greeks and Latins, headed by those two cities; a new scene of things commences, in which a King, the Empire of the Greeks, doth according to his will, and, by setting his own laws above the laws of God, exalts and magnifies himself above every God, and speaks marvellous things against the God of Gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished.--Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the lawful desire of women in matrimony, nor any God, but shall magnify himself above all. And in his seat he shall honour Mahuzzims, that is, strong guardians, the souls of the dead; even with a God whom his fathers knew not shall he honour them, in their Temples, with gold and silver, and with precious stones and valuable things. {Dan. 11:36, &c.} All which relates to the overspreading of the Greek Empire with Monks and Nuns, who placed holiness in abstinence from marriage; and to the invocation of saints and veneration of their reliques, and such like superstitions, which these men introduced in the fourth and fifth centuries. And at the time of the end the King of the South, or the Empire of the Saracens, shall push at him; and the King of the North, or Empire of the Turks, shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries of the Greeks, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon: that is, those to whom his Caravans pay tribute. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape; but he shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and the Lybians and Ethiopians shall be at his steps.{Dan. 11:40, &c.} All these nations compose the Empire of the Turks, and therefore this Empire is here to be understood by the King of the North. They compose also the body of the He-Goat; and therefore the Goat still reigns in his last horn, but not by his own power.

Chapter 11. Of the Times of the Birth and Passion of Christ. ← Prior Section
Chapter 13. Of the King who did according to his will, and magnified himself above every God, and honoured Mahuzzims, and regarded not the desire of women. Next Section →
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The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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