In the end of years - Several historical circumstances are here passed by.
The king's daughter of the south - Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, was married to Antiochus Theos, king of Syria. These two sovereigns had a bloody war for some years; and they agreed to terminate it by the above marriage, on condition that Antiochus would put away his wife Laodice and her children, which he did; and Berenice having brought an immense fortune to her husband, all things appeared to go on well for a tine.
But she shall not retain the power of the arm - זרע zaro, her posterity, shall not reign in that kingdom.
But she shall be given up - Antiochus recalled his former wife Laodice and her children, and she, fearing that he might recall Berenice, caused him to be poisoned and her to be murdered, and set her son Callinicus upon the throne.
And they that brought her - Her Egyptian women, striving to defend their mistress, were many of them killed.
And he that begat her - Or, as the margin, "he whom she brought forth;" the son being murdered, as well as the mother, by order of Laodice.
And he that strengthened her - Probably her father Ptolemy, who was excessively fond of her, and who had died a few years before.
And in the end of years - In the future periods of the history of these two kingdoms. The event here referred to did not occur during the lives of these two kings, Seleucus Nicator and Ptolemy Soter, but in the reign of their successors, Ptolemy Philadelphus and Antiochus Theos or Theus. The phrase “the end of years” would well denote such a future period. The Vulgate renders it, “after the end of years;” that is, after many years have elapsed. The meaning is “after a certain course or lapse of years.” The word “end” in Daniel (קץ qêts ) often seems to refer to a time when a predicted event would be fulfilled, whether near or remote; whether it would be really the “end” or “termination” of an empire or of the world, or whether it would be succeeded by other events. It would be the end of that matter - of the thing predicted; and in this sense the word seems to be employed here. Compare Daniel 8:17; Daniel 11:13 (margin), and Daniel 12:13. “They shall join themselves together.” Margin, “associate.” The meaning is, that there would be an alliance formed, or an attempt made, to unite the two kingdoms more closely by a marriage between different persons of the royal families. The word “they” refers to the two sovereigns of Egypt and Syria - the south and the north.
For the king‘s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement - Margin, “rights.” The Hebrew word properly means rectitudes or rights (in the plural מישׁרים mēyshârı̂ym ); but here it seems to be used in the sense of “peace,” or an alliance. The act of making peace was regarded as an act of “justice,” or doing “right,” and hence, the word came to be used in the sense of making an alliance or compact. This idea we should now express by saying that the design was “to make things right or straight” - as if they were wrong and crooked before, giving occasion to discord, and misunderstanding, and wars. The intention, now was to establish peace on a permanent basis. The compact here referred to was one formed between Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, and Antiochus Theos, king of Syria. Ptolemy, in order to bring a war in which he was engaged to an end, and to restore peace, gave his daughter in marriage to Antiochus, in hopes of establishing a permanent peace and alliance between the two kingdoms. One of the conditions of this alliance was, that Antiochus should divorce his former wife Laodice, and that the children of that former wife should be excluded from the succession to the throne. In this way Ptolemy hoped that the kingdom of Syria might become ultimately attached to that of Egypt, if there should be children by the marriage of Berenice with Antiochus. Ptolemy, however, died two years after this marriage was consummated, and Antiochus restored again his former wife Laodice, and put away Berenice, but was himself murdered by Laodice, who feared the fickleness of her husband. The officers of the court of Syria then planned the death of Berenice and her children, but she fled with them to Daphne, and was there put to death, with her children. - Appian, c. lxv.; Lengerke, in loc. She was put to death by poison. See Gill, in loc.
But she shall not retain the power of the arm - The word “retain” here is the same as in Daniel 10:8, “I retained no strength.” The word “arm” is a word of frequent use in the Old Testament, both in the singular and plural, to denote “strength, power,” whether of an individual or an army. So Job 22:8, “A man of arm,” that is, “strength;” Genesis 49:24, “The arms (power) of his hands were made strong by the God of Jacob.” Compare Isaiah 51:9; Isaiah 62:8. It is frequently used in this chapter in the sense of “strength,” or “power.” See Daniel 11:15, Daniel 11:22, Daniel 11:31. This alliance was formed with the hope that the succession might be in her. She was, however, as stated above, with her children, put to death. While queen of Syria, she, of course, had power, and had the prospect of succeeding to the supreme authority.
Neither shall he stand - The king of the south; to wit, Egypt. That is, he would not prosper in his ambitious purpose of bringing Syria, by this marriage alliance, under his control.
Nor his arm - What he regarded as his strength, and in which he placed reliance, as one does on his arm in accomplishing any design. The word “arm” here is used in the sense of “help,” or “alliance;” that is, that on which he depended for the stability of his empire.
But she shall be given up - That is, she shall be given up to death, to wit, by the command of Laodice.
And they that brought her - That is, those who conducted her to Daphne; or these who came with her into Syria, and who were her attendants and friends. Of course they would be surrendered or delivered up when she was put to death.
And he that begat her - Margin, “or, whom she brought forth.” The margin expresses the sense more correctly. The Latin Vulgate is, “adolescentes ejus.” The Greek, ἡ νεάνις hē neanis So the Syriac. The Hebrew (והילרה vehayoledâh ) will admit of this construction. The article in the word has the force of a relative, and is connected with the suffix, giving it a relative signification. See Ewald, as quoted by Lengerke, in loc. According to the present pointing, indeed, the literal meaning would be, “and he who begat her;” but this pointing is not authoritative. Dathe, Bertholdt, Dereser, DeWette, and Rosenmuller suppose that the reading should be והילדה vehayaledâh Then the sense would be, “her child,” or “her offspring.” Lengerke and Ewald, however, suppose that this idea is implied in the present reading of the text, and that no change is necessary. The obvious meaning is, that she and her child, or her offspring, would be thus surrendered. The matter of fact was, that her little son was slain with her. See Prideaux‘s “Connexions,” iii. 120.
And he that stregnthened her in these times - It is not known who is here referred to. Doubtless, on such an occasion, she would have some one who would be a confidential counselor or adviser, and, whoever that was, he would be likely to be cut off with her.
There were frequent wars between the kings of Egypt and Syria. Especially was this the case with Ptolemy Philadelphus, the second king of Egypt, and Antiochus Theos, third king of Syria. They at length agreed to make peace upon condition that Antiochus Theos should put away his former wife, Laodice, and her two sons, and should marry Berenice, the daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus. Ptolemy accordingly brought his daughter to Antiochus, bestowing with her an immense dowry.DAR 225.4
“But she shall not retain the power of the arm;” that is, her interest and power with Antiochus. And so it proved; for some time shortly after, in a fit of love, Antiochus brought back his former wife, Laodice, and her children, to court again. Then says the prophecy, “Neither shall he [Antiochus] stand, nor his arm,” or seed. Laodice, being restored to favor and power, feared lest, in the fickleness of his temper, Antiochus should again disgrace her, and recall Berenice; and conceiving that nothing short of his death would be an effectual safeguard against such a contingency, she caused him to be poisoned shortly after. Neither did his seed by Berenice succeed him in the kingdom; for Laodice so managed affairs as to secure the throne for her eldest son, Seleucus Callinicus.DAR 226.1
“But she [Berenice] shall be given up.” Laodice, not content with poisoning her husband, Antiochus, caused Berenice to be murdered. “And they that brought her.” Her Egyptian women and attendants, in endeavoring to defend her, were many of them slain with her. “And he that begat her,” margin, “whom she brought forth;” that is, her son, who was murdered at the same time by order of Laodice. “And he that strengthened her in these times;” her husband, Antiochus, as Jerome supposes, or those who took her part and defended her.DAR 226.2
But such wickedness could not long remain unpunished, as the prophecy further predicts, and further history proves.DAR 226.3
Honored by men with the responsibilities of state and with the secrets of kingdoms bearing universal sway, Daniel was honored by God as His ambassador, and was given many revelations of the mysteries of ages to come. His wonderful prophecies, as recorded by him in chapters 7 to 12 of the book bearing his name, were not fully understood even by the prophet himself; but before his life labors closed, he was given the blessed assurance that “at the end of the days”—in the closing period of this world's history—he would again be permitted to stand in his lot and place. It was not given him to understand all that God had revealed of the divine purpose. “Shut up the words, and seal the book,” he was directed concerning his prophetic writings; these were to be sealed “even to the time of the end.” “Go thy way, Daniel,” the angel once more directed the faithful messenger of Jehovah; “for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.... Go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Daniel 12:4, 9, 13. PK 547.1
As we near the close of this world's history, the prophecies recorded by Daniel demand our special attention, as they relate to the very time in which we are living. With them should be linked the teachings of the last book of the New Testament Scriptures. Satan has led many to believe that the prophetic portions of the writings of Daniel and of John the revelator cannot be understood. But the promise is plain that special blessing will accompany the study of these prophecies. “The wise shall understand” (verse 10), was spoken of the visions of Daniel that were to be unsealed in the latter days; and of the revelation that Christ gave to His servant John for the guidance of God's people all through the centuries, the promise is, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.” Revelation 1:3. PK 547.2
From the rise and fall of nations as made plain in the books of Daniel and the Revelation, we need to learn how worthless is mere outward and worldly glory. Babylon, with all its power and magnificence, the like of which our world has never since beheld,—power and magnificence which to the people of that day seemed so stable and enduring,—how completely has it passed away! As “the flower of the grass,” it has perished. James 1:10. So perished the Medo-Persian kingdom, and the kingdoms of Grecia and Rome. And so perishes all that has not God for its foundation. Only that which is bound up with His purpose, and expresses His character, can endure. His principles are the only steadfast things our world knows. PK 548.1Read in context »
But who reads the warnings given by the fast-fulfilling signs of the times? What impression is made upon worldlings? What change is seen in their attitude? No more than was seen in the attitude of the inhabitants of the Noachian world. Absorbed in worldly business and pleasure, the antediluvians “knew not until the Flood came, and took them all away.” Matthew 24:39. They had heaven-sent warnings, but they refused to listen. And today the world, utterly regardless of the warning voice of God, is hurrying on to eternal ruin. 9T 14.1
The world is stirred with the spirit of war. The prophecy of the eleventh chapter of Daniel has nearly reached its complete fulfillment. Soon the scenes of trouble spoken of in the prophecies will take place. 9T 14.2
“Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.... Because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate.... The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth.” Isaiah 24:1-8. 9T 14.3Read in context »