The Rise and Fall of Alexander the Great
DA 11:3 “Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
DA 11:4 “And when he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken up and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not among his posterity nor according to his dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be uprooted, even for others besides these.
Mighty King: The attacks on Greece from Persia caused a sense of outrage that simmered in the hearts of Greeks. Alexander the Great’s father, Philip of Macedon, before his death had laid plans to attack Persia before his death. Alexander from his childhood was raised to hate the Persians for their attacks on Greece over the years.
In 10-years Alexander was able to destroy the Persian Empire and establish the Greek Empire which was even larger then Persia. Only after his men refused to go any further did Alexander return to Babylon to solidify his conquests. He planned to solidify his Empire, he encouraged his Macedonian soldiers to marry Persian women. Babylon was to be the capital of his Greek/Persian Empire.
His kingdom…broken: Before Alexander could follow through on his plans he died in Babylon at nearly the age of 33. After his death his generals fought over his kingdom. Four generals surfaced to take control of the kingdom
Four winds: The four winds signify all directions. His kingdom was parceled off,
After Alexander the Great died, his kingdom was fought over by his Generals for a period of 20 years. Four generals emerged as head of his kingdom,
- Cassander assumed rule over Macedonia and Greece;
- Lysimacus took control of Thrace, Bithynia and most of Asia Minor;
- Selecus took Syria and the lands to the east including Babylonia;
- Ptolemy established rule over Egypt and possibly Palestine and Arabia Petraea.
His posterity: Alexander had two known offspring. Herecules, the son of Alexander from Barsina, and Alexander from Roxane. Roxane after Alexander’s death had Barsina and Hercules killed by Polysperchon. Alexander, the son of Alexander the Great, was born after his death from Roxana. Roxana and her son were later murdered by Cassander, one of Alexander succeceeding generals.
After Alexander’s death (323) she had his second wife, Stateira (Barsine), killed, and she gave birth at Babylon to a son (Alexander IV), who was accepted by the Macedonian generals as joint king with the idiot Philip III Arrhidaeus (half brother of Alexander the Great). In 319 Roxana joined Alexander’s mother, Olympias, in Epirus, but she was captured in 316 in Macedonia by Cassander, who later took the title of king of Macedonia. He imprisoned Roxana at Amphipolis and then executed her and her son.
His kingdom was not left to his posterity but divided between his generals.
Ptolemy I Soter and Seleucus I Nicator
DA 11:5 “Also the king of the South shall become strong, as well as one of his princes; and he shall gain power over him and have dominion. His dominion shall be a great dominion.
King of the South: Following the death of Alexander, there was a period of time, about 20 years, when the Diadochoi (Successors) fought for control of the empire. The four successors, Cassander, Lysimacus, Selecus and Ptolemy divided the kingdom. The king of the South, Egypt, was Ptolemy I Soter (Savior) (323-285). Ptolemy aided Selecus in regaining his kingdom from another general who tried to reestablish Alexander’s Empire under his own authority, Antigonus.
One of his princes: Selecus I Nicator (312-281 B.C.) was ousted by Antigonus and fled to Ptolemy, there as one of Ptolemy’s generals, they were able to defeat Antigonus. Selecus regained his kingdom, Selecus according to Daniel would become King of the North.
The final battle took place at Ipsus in Phrygia, 301 B.C.,
Ipsus, Phrygia, in 301 BC between two camps of the “successors” (diodochoi) of Alexander the Great, part of a struggle that accelerated the dismemberment of Alexander’s empire begun after his death………..In 302 a coalition representing Lysimachus, king of Thrace, Seleucus I Nicator of Babylon, Ptolemy I Soter of Egypt, and Cassander of Macedonia moved against Antigonus I Monophthalmus, king in Asia Minor, and his son Demetrius I Poliorcetes. Although the combined strength of Seleucus and Lysimachus in troops was only slightly inferiorto the 70,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 horses of Antigonus, it was the allies’ superiority in elephants that proved invaluable for victory. The elephants prevented Demetrius, who had pursued too far after defeating the opposing cavalry, from returning to rescue his father. Antigonus was killed, Demetrius fled, and Asia Minor was added to the dominions of Lysimachus.
Gain power over him: Selecus was able to secure the greater kingdom at the expense of Ptolemy who initially aided him.
Daughter or Egypt and the King of Syria
DA 11:6 “And at the end of some years they shall join forces, for the daughter of the king of the South shall go to the king of the North to make an agreement; but she shall not retain the power of her authority, and neither he nor his authority shall stand; but she shall be given up, with those who brought her, and with him who begot her, and with him who strengthened her in those times.
Join forces: The wars between the King of the North, Syria and the King of the South, Egypt continued off and on over territory, they became known as the “Syrian Wars”. During the Second Syrian War (260-253 B.C.) Antiochus II Theos (261-246 B.C.) sued for peace by agreeing to marry Ptolemy II Philadelphius (285-246 B.C.) daughter Bernice. The problem was Antiochus II was already married to Laodiceia. He therefore divorced Laodicea and married Bernice.
Daughter of the king of the South: Bernice was the daughter of the king of the South. The marriage took place in 252 B.C. she conceived and had a son. The son was to take possession of both the northern and southern kingdoms. When Ptolemy II died, Antiochus II restored his wife Laodiceia who had then had Bernice, her infant son and Antiochus II Theos killed.
Given up: Laodiceia had her son Seleucus Calliniucs (247-226 B.C.) succeed her husband to the throne.
Ptolemy Euergetes and Seleucus Callinicus
DA 11:7 “But from a branch of her roots one shall arise in his place, who shall come with an army, enter the fortress of the king of the North, and deal with them and prevail.
DA 11:8 “And he shall also carry their gods captive to Egypt, with their princes and their precious articles of silver and gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the North.
DA 11:9 “Also the king of the North shall come to the kingdom of the king of the South, but shall return to his own land.
Branch of her roots: The brother of Bernice, who was killed by Laodiceia, Ptolemy III Euergetes (246-221 B.C.) avenged his sister’s death. He attacked Seleucus Calliniucs and his mother Laodiceia who ruled from Syria. He plundered Susa,Babylonia and went as far as the borders of India.
Jerome in his commentary provides a detailed description of Ptolemy Euergetes conquest of the King of the North.
He came up with a great army and advanced into the province of the king of the North, that is Seleucus Callinicus, who together with his mother Laodice was ruling in Syria, and abused them, and not only did he seize Syria, but also took Cilicia and the remoter regions beyond the Euphrates and nearly all of Asia as well. And then, when he heard that a rebellion was afoot in Egypt, he ravaged the kingdom of Seleucus and carried off as booty forty thousand talents of Silver, and also precious vessels and images of the gods to the amount of two and half thousand. Among them were the same images which Cambyses had brought to Persia at the time when he conquered Egypt. The Egyptian people were indeed devoted to idolatry, for when he had brought back their gods to them after so many years, they called him Euergetes (Benefactor). And he himself retained possessions of Syria, but he handed over Cilicia to his friend, Antiochus, that he might govern it, and the provinces beyond the Euphrates he handed over to Xanthippus, another general.
King of the North: Several years after the Egyptian invasion Seleucus Calliniucs was able to mount a return attack on Egypt in about 240 B.C. Seleucus was defeated and returned to his own land and died in 226 B.C.
Seleucus and Antiochus III the Great vs. Ptolemy Philopater
DA 11:10 “However his sons shall stir up strife, and assemble a multitude of great forces; and one shall certainly come and overwhelm and pass through; then he shall return to his fortress and stir up strife.
DA 11:11 “And the king of the South shall be moved with rage, and go out and fight with him, with the king of the North, who shall muster a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into the hand of his enemy.
DA 11:12 “When he has taken away the multitude, his heart will be lifted up; and he will cast down tens of thousands, but he will not prevail.
DA 11:13 “For the king of the North will return and muster a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come at the end of some years with a great army and much equipment.
DA 11:14 “Now in those times many shall rise up against the king of the South. Also, violent men of your people shall exalt themselves in fulfillment of the vision, but they shall fall.
DA 11:15 “So the king of the North shall come and build a siege mound, and take a fortified city; and the forces of the South shall not withstand him. Even his choice troops shall have no strength to resist.
DA 11:16 “But he who comes against him shall do according to his own will, and no one shall stand against him. He shall stand in the Glorious Land with destruction in his power.
DA 11:17 “He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do. And he shall give him the daughter of women to destroy it; but she shall not stand with him, or be for him.
DA 11:18 “After this he shall turn his face to the coastlands, and shall take many. But a ruler shall bring the reproach against them to an end; and with the reproach removed, he shall turn back on him.
DA 11:19 “Then he shall turn his face toward the fortress of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.
His sons: Despite Selecus Callinicus failure to attack Egypt and win, his sons were able to do what he could not. Seleucus III (226-223 B.C.) his son died in battle in Asia Minor. Antiochus III the Great (223-187 B.C.) succeeded where his brother and father failed. Antiochus III began what became known as the Fourth Syrian War.
One shall: The “one” is Antiochus III who waged war against Egypt, the King of the South.
The king of the South: The King of the South was Ptolemy IV Philopator (221-203 B.C.). Antiochus III first took Lebanon in 219 B.C. and pushed south toward Egypt. The Egyptian ruler assembled a large army in 217 B.C. and met Antiochus at Raphia, south of Gaza. The Egyptian army, led by Ptolemy and his wife-sister, Arsinoe resulted in a complete victory for Egypt. The armies both numbered about 70,000.
The Multitude: Antiochus lost his entire army and fled into the desert. Egypt reclaimed southern Syria for the time.
The king of the North: Antiochus now turned his attention to the East part of his kingdom. His campaigns against Bacteria and Parthia (Persia) gained him the title “The Great” (212 -204 B.C.) In 203 B.C., Ptolemy IV and Arsinoe had a mysterious death. Their son, Ptolemy V (203-181 B.C.) succeeded them, he was seven when he took power.
Antiochus saw his opportunity and assembled a greater army then his failed attack in 217 B.C. against the child king. The Jews rebelled against the Ptolemies, the “violent men of your people”. The gates of Jerusalem were opened for the armies of Antiochus who attacked the Egyptian garrison at Jerusalem.
Scopas the Egyptian General was decisively defeated in 198 B.C. by Antiochus. The prospect of Roman intervention forced Antiochus III to make a treaty with Egypt. By marrying his daughter, Daughter of women, Cleopatra (Daughter of the father) to Ptolemy V, Antiochus had the idea her son and his grandson would become king. He had hoped Cleopatra would help him, but his daughter sided with the Egyptians against her father.
Face to the coastlands: After his victory over Scopas Antiochus now turned to the growing Roman threat and attempted to conquer Greece and equal the work of Alexander the Great. The Roman consul, Lucius Scipio Asiaticus defeated Antiochus III. In two battles, the first at Thermopylae, north of Athens, in 191 B.C, and again at Magnesia on the Maeander River in 189 B.C. This paved the way for Roman expansion later into the region. Roman forced Antiochus III to pay tribute for 12 years and turn over his son Antiochus IV as a hostage.
Antiochus III turned back to his own land. Hoping to raise more money he plundered a temple in Elam and was killed.