Seleucus Philopator, the Raiser of Taxes
DA 11:20 “There shall arise in his place one who imposes taxes on the glorious kingdom; but within a few days he shall be destroyed, but not in anger or in battle.
In his place: In his place his son, Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175 B.C.) took the throne. Forced to pay tribute to Rome in the amount of 1000 talents annually, he taxed all his domain. He raised special taxes on the Jews administered by Heliodorus (2 Mac 3:7), Heliodorus plundered the Temple in Jerusalem. Selecus Philopater suddenly died after that, some suspect he was poisoned by Heliodorus.
The Rise of Antiochus IV Epiphanes
DA 11:21 “And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue.
DA 11:22 “With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant.
DA 11:23 “And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people.
In his place
Vile person: After the battle of Magnesia, Antiochus IV was taken hostage to Rome when his father Antiochus III lost to Scipio. In 175 B.C., his brother, Seleucus IV Philopator, interveined and he was released from Rome. He substituted his own son, Demetrius for his brother Antiochus IV. While in Antiochus, IV was in Athens, Seleucus was assassinated. Antiochus IV was referred to in Daniel 8:9-14,23-25 as the “Little horn”.
Peaceably: Antiochus IV claimed to act on the behalf of his brother’s son, Antiochus. Antiochus IV Ephiphanes was acting on his own behalf and took the kingdom for himself.
Force of flood: He immediately set about securing his throne. He overthrow Heliodorus in Jerusalem who was rumored to have killed his brother.
Prince of the covenant: Antiochus then had Onias, the High Priest killed in 172 B.C. Onias’ brother, Jason and another rival, Menelaus of the tribe of Benjamin, both wanted the office of High Priest. Both wanted to introduce Greek culture and customs into Temple worship, Onias opposed the Hellenization of the Temple and Jerusalem. His death allowed Antiochus IV to move forward with establishing Greek culture inJerusalem.
In 171 B.C. Menelaus purchased the office of High Priest from “Zeus Incarnate” Antiochus IV.
The league: The death of Cleopatria his sister, who was queen in Egypt, created a contest for power between her two sons, his nephews. Ptolemy Philometor and Ptolemy Euergetes for control of Egypt. Antiochus made a league with Philometer, but only for his own gain.
Antiochus’ Growth in Power
DA 11:24 “He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time.
DA 11:25 “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 shall devise plans against him.
DA 11:26 “Yes, those who eat of the portion of his delicacies shall destroy him; his army shall be swept away, and many shall fall down slain.
Enter peaceably: While in control Antiochus robed the richest places in his kingdom. He used the money obtained to buy alliances and secure his kingdom through loyalty. This was a practice his fathers and forefathers had not done.
King of the south: In 170 B.C. the amateur regents Eulaeus and Lenaeus advised Ptolemy VI to recover Syria. Antiochus IV heard about the attack and invaded Egypt with a large army. Ptolemy VI made peace with his uncle, in the meantime, the Alexandrians established his brother Ptolemy VIII king causing the Egyptian Kingdomto be weak.
Wickedness of Antiochus
DA 11:27 “Both these kings’ hearts shall be bent on evil, and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper, for the end will still be at the appointed time.
DA 11:28 “While returning to his land with great riches, his heart shall be moved against the holy covenant; so he shall do damage and return to his own land.
Both these kings: The kings of Egypt and Antiochus made all sorts of agreements. Neither side meant to keep their agreements, but they lied to forestall the real plans.
Against the holy covenant: Antiochus sought greater riches and seeing the wealth of the Temple caused him to try bring the treasures of the Temple under his control by installing people loyal to him.
Antiochus Opposed by Rome Persecutes the Jews
DA 11:29 “At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter.
DA 11:30 “For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.
DA 11:31 “And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.
Appointed time: The time is established by God, He is in control of the events taking place. The establishment of agreements between the children of Cleopatria who started ruling together caused Antiochus IV to invade again. Things were different this time.
Ships of Cyprus: This time however Rome came to the aid of Egypt. The Hebrew word here is yttk Kittiy is translated Cyprus. The Septuagint translates this word as Romans. In 168 B.C. Antiochus IV was met by the Romans who ordered him to leave Egypt immediately or be attacked by Rome. Roman consul, Gaius Popillus Saenas drew a circle around Antiochus IV and demanded a decision before he stepped out of the circle. Antiochus IV, being a captive in Rome from 189 to 175 B.C., knew the power of Roman might. He retreated to his kingdom and planned on securing his borders against Roman power.
Against the holy covenant: Upset with his humiliation by the Romans, Antiochus IV determined to bring Jerusalem into his Hellenistic kingdom tried to destroy the Jewish faith.
show regard: He along with the some Jews tried to turn the Temple in Jerusalem into a Greek Temple. In 167 B.C. he detached a body of troops to Jerusalem. They took the city by assault on the Sabbath, slaughtered many people and sacked the city.
Jews were compelled under the penalty of death, “to depart from the laws of their fathers, and cease living by the laws of God. Further, the sactuary in Jerusalem was to be polluted and called ‘Jupiter Olympius’” (I Macc. 1:30, 2 Macc 5;24)
Abomination of desolation: Josephus record the events
- King Antiochus returning out of Egypt 16 for fear of the Romans, made an expedition against the city Jerusalem; and when he was there, in thehundred and forty-third year of the kingdom of the Seleucidse, he took the
city without fighting, those of his own party opening the gates to him. And when he had gotten possession of Jerusalem, he slew many of the opposite party; and when he had plundered it of a great deal of money, he
returned to Antioch.
- Now it came to pass, after two years, in the hundred forty and fifth
year, on the twenty-fifth day of that month which is by us called Chasleu, and by the Macedonians Apelleus, in the hundred and fifty-third olympiad, that the king came up to Jerusalem, and, pretending peace, he
got possession of the city by treachery; at which time he spared not so much as those that admitted him into it, on account of the riches that lay in the temple; but, led by his covetous inclination, (for he saw there was in
it a great deal of gold, and many ornaments that had been dedicated to it of very great value,) and in order to plunder its wealth, he ventured to break the league he had made. So he left the temple bare, and took away the
golden candlesticks, and the golden altar [of incense], and table [of shew-bread], and the altar [of burnt-offering]; and did not abstain from even the veils, which were made of fine linen and scarlet. He also emptied it of its secret treasures, and left nothing at all remaining; and by this means cast the Jews into great lamentation, for he forbade them to offer
those daily sacrifices which they used to offer to God, according to the law. And when he had pillaged the whole city, some of the inhabitants he slew, and some he carried captive, together with their wives and children,
so that the multitude of those captives that were taken alive amounted to about ten thousand. He also burnt down the finest buildings; and when he had overthrown the city walls, he built a citadel in the lower part of the
city, 17 for the place was high, and overlooked the temple; on which account he fortified it with high walls and towers, and put into it a garrison of Macedonians. However, in that citadel dwelt the impious and wicked
part of the [Jewish] multitude, from whom it proved that the citizens suffered many and sore calamities. And when the king had built an idol altar upon God’s altar, he slew swine upon it, and so offered a sacrifice
neither according to the law, nor the Jewish religious worship in that country. He also compelled them to forsake the worship which they paid their own God, and to adore those whom he took to be gods; and made
them build temples, and raise idol altars in every city and village, and offer swine upon them every day. He also commanded them not to circumcise their sons, and threatened