But out of a branch of her roots - A branch from the same root from which she sprang. This was Ptolemy Euergetes, her brother, who, to avenge his sister's death, marched with a great army against Seleucus Callinicus, took some of his best places, indeed all Asia, from Mount Taurus to India, and returned to Egypt with an immense booty, forty thousand talents of silver, precious vessels, and images of their gods two thousand five hundred, without Callinicus daring to offer him battle. I can but touch on these historic facts, for fear of extending these notes to an immoderate length.
But out of a branch of her roots - Compare the notes at Isaiah 11:1. The meaning is, that as a branch or shoot springs up from a tree that is decayed and fallen, so there would spring up some one of her family who would come to avenge her. That is, a person is indicated who would be of a common stock with her; or, in other words, if taken strictly, a brother. The phrase “branch of her roots” is somewhat peculiar. The words “her roots” must refer to her family; that from which she sprang. We speak thus of the root or “stem” of a family or house; and the meaning here is, not that one of her “descendants,” or one that should “spring from her,” would thus come, but a branch of the same family; a branch springing from the same root or stem. The fact in the case - a fact to which there is undoubted reference here - is, that her revenge was undertaken by Ptolemy Euergetes, her brother. As soon as he heard of the calamities that had come upon her, he hastened with a great force out of Egypt to defend and rescue her. But it was in vain. She and her son were cut off before he could arrive for her help, but, in connection with an army which had come from Asia Minor for the same purpose, he undertook to avenge her death. He made himself master not only of Syria and Cilicia, but passed over the Euphrates, and brought all under subjection to him as far as the river Tigris. Having done this, he marched back to Egypt, taking with him vast treasures. See Prideaux, “Con.” iii. 120,121.
Shall one stand up - Shall one arise. See the notes at Daniel 11:2. That is, there shall “be” one who shall appear for that purpose.
In his estate - Margin, “place,” or “office.” The word כן kên means, properly, stand, station, place; then base, pedestal. Compare Daniel 11:20-21, Daniel 11:38. See also Genesis 40:13: “Within three days shall Pharaoh restore thee to thy p ace.” And again, Genesis 41:13, “to my office.” Here it means, in his place or stead. That is, he would take the place which his father would naturally occupy - the place of protector, or defender, or avenger. Ptolemy Philadelphus, her father, in fact died before she was put to death; and his death was the cause of the calamities that came upon her, for as long as he lived his power would be dreaded. But when he was dead, Ptolemy Euergetes stood up in his place as her defender and avenger.
Which shall come with an an army - As Ptolemy Euergetes did. See above. He came out of Egypt as soon as he heard of these calamities, to defend her.
And shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north - His strongholds. In fact, he overran Syria and Cilicia, and extended his ravages to the Euphrates and the Tigris. Polybius (Hist. l. 5) says that he entered into the fortified cities of Syria, and took them. In the passage before us, the singular - “fortress” - is put for the plural.
And shall deal against them - Shall “act” against them. Literally, “shall do against them.”
And shall prevail - Shall overcome, or subdue them. As seen above, he took possession of no small part of the kingdom of Syria. He was recalled home by a sedition in Egypt; and had it not been for this (Justin says), he would have made himself master of the whole kingdom of Seleucus.
This branch out of the same root with Berenice was her brother, Ptolemy Euergetes. He had no sooner succeeded his father, Ptolemy Philadelphia, in the kingdom of Egypt, than, burning to avenge the death of his sister, Berenice, he raised an immense army, and invaded the territory of the king of the north, that is, of Seleucus Callinicus, who, with his mother, Laodice, reigned in Syria. And he prevailed against them, even to the conquering of Syria, Cilicia, the upper parts beyond the Euphrates, and almost all Asia. But hearing that a sedition was raised in Egypt, requiring his return home, he plundered the kingdom of Seleucus, took forty thousand talents of silver and precious vessels, and two thousand five hundred images of the gods. Among these were the images which Cambyses had formerly taken from Egypt and carried into Persia. The Egyptians, being wholly given to idolatry, bestowed upon Ptolemy the title of Euergetes, or the Benefactor, as a compliment for his having thus, after many years, restored their captive gods.DAR 226.5
This, according to Bishop Newton, is Jerome’s account, extracted from ancient historians; but there are authors still extant, he says, who confirm several of the same particulars. Appian informs us that Laodice, having killed Antiochus, and after him both Berenice and her child, Ptolemy, the son of Philadelphus, to revenge those murders, invaded Syria, slew Laodice, and proceeded as far as Babylon. From Polybius we learn that Ptolemy, surnamed Euergetes, being greatly incensed at the cruel treatment of his sister, Berenice, marched with an army into Syria, and took the city of Seleucia, which was kept for some years afterward by the garrisons of the kings of Egypt. Thus did he enter into the fortress of the king of the north. Polyaenus affirms that Ptolemy made himself master of all the country from Mount Taurus as far as to India, without war or battle; but he ascribes it by mistake to the father instead of the son. Justin asserts that if Ptolemy had not been recalled into Egypt by a domestic sedition, he would have possessed the whole kingdom of Seleucus. The king of the south thus came into the dominion of the king of the north, and returned to his own land, as the prophet had foretold. And he also continued more years than the king of the north; for Seleucus Callinicus died in exile, of a fall from his horse; and Ptolemy Euergetes survived him for four or five years.DAR 227.1
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 »