(Daniel 11:36-45, B.C. 147-164)
Events from the beginning of the Maccabean rising to the death of Antiochus Epiphanes.
Daniel 11:36 -Antiochus will grow more arbitrary, more insolent, more blasphemous, from day to day, calling himself "God" (Theos) on his coins, and requiring all his subjects to be of his religion, and so even more kindling against himself the wrath of the God of gods by his monstrous utterances, until the final doom has fallen.
Daniel 11:37 -He will, in fact, make himself his own god, paying no regard (by comparison) to his national or local god, the Olympian Zeus, nor to the Syrian deity, Tammuz-Adonis, "the desire of women."
"Tammuz came next behind, whose yearly wound in Lebanon allured the Syrian damsels to lament his fate in amorous ditties all a summer day. While smooth Adonis from his native rock ran purple to the sea-supposed with blood of Tammuz yearly wounded. The love tale infected Zion’s daughters with like heat."
Daniel 11:38 -The only God to whom he shall pay marked respect shall be the Roman Jupiter, the god of the Capitol. To this god, to Jupiter Capitolinus, not to his own Zeus Olympios, the god of his Greek fathers, he shall erect a temple in his capital city of Antioch, and adorn it with gold and silver and precious stones.
Daniel 11:39 -"And he shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a strange god"-namely, the Capitoline Jupiter (Zeus Polieus)-and shall crowd the strongholds of Judaea with heathen colonists who worship the Tyrian Hercules (Melkart) and other idols; and to these heathen he shall give wealth and power.
Daniel 11:40 -But his evil career shall be cut short. Egypt, under the now-allied brothers Philometor and Physkon, shall unite to thrust at him. Antiochus will advance against them like a whirlwind, with many chariots and horsemen, and with the aid of a fleet.
Daniel 11:41-45 -In the course of his march he shall pass through Palestine, "the glorious land," with disastrous injury; but Edom, Moab, and the bloom of the kingdom of Ammon shall escape his hand. Egypt, however, shall not escape. By the aid of the Libyans and Ethiopians who are in his train he shall plunder Egypt of its treasures.
How far these events correspond to historic realities, is uncertain. Jerome says that Antiochus invaded Egypt a third time in B.C. 165, the eleventh year of his reign; but there are no historic traces of such an invasion, and most certainly Antiochus towards the close of his reign, instead of being enriched with vast Egyptian spoils, was struggling with chronic lack of means. Some therefore suppose that the writer composed and published his enigmatic sketch of these events before the close of the reign of Antiochus, and that he is here passing from contemporary fact into a region of ideal anticipations which were never actually fulfilled.
Daniel 11:43 (B.C. 165).-In the midst of this devastating invasion of Egypt, Antiochus shall be troubled with disquieting rumours of troubles in Palestine and other realms of his kingdom. He will set out with utter fury to subjugate and to destroy, determining above all to suppress the heroic Maccabean revolt which had inflicted such humiliating disasters upon his generals, Seron, Apollonius, and Lysias.
Daniel 11:45 (B.C. 164).-He shall indeed advance so far as to pitch his palatial tent "between the sea and the mountain of the High Glory": but he will come to a disastrous and an unassisted end.
These latter events either do not correspond with the actual history, or cannot be verified. So far as we know Antiochus did not invade Egypt at all after B.C. 168. Still less did he advance from Egypt, or pitch his tent anywhere near Mount Zion. Nor did he die in Palestine, but in Persia (B.C. 165). The writer, indeed, strong in faith, anticipated, and rightly, that Antiochus would come to an ignominious and a sudden end-God shooting at him with a swift arrow, so that he should be wounded. But all accurate details seem suddenly to stop short with the doings in the fourth section, which may refer to the strange conduct of Antiochus in his great festival in honour of Jupiter at Daphne. Had the writer published his book before this date, he could not surely have failed to speak with triumphant gratitude and exultation of the heroic stand made by Judas Maccabaeus and the splendid victories which restored hope and glory to the Holy Land. I therefore regard these verses as a description rather of ideal expectation than of historic facts.
We find notices of Antiochus in the Books of Maccabees, in Josephus, in St. Jerome’s Commentary on Daniel, and in Appian’s "Syriaca." We should know more of him and be better able to explain some of the allusions in this chapter if the writings of the secular historians had not come down to us in so fragmentary a condition. The relevant portions of Callinicus Sutoricus, Diodorus Siculus, Polybius, Posidonius, Claudius, Theon, Andronicus, Alypius, and others are all lost-except a few fragments which we have at second or third hand. Porphyry introduced quotations from these authors into the twelfth book of his "Arguments against the Christians"; but we only know his book from Jerome’s ex-parte quotations. Other Christian treatises, written in answer to Porphyry by Apollinaris, Eusebius, and Methodius, are only preserved in a few sentences by Nicetas and John of Damascus. The loss of Porphyry and Apollinarius is especially to be regretted. Jerome says that it was the extraordinarily minute correspondence of this chapter of Daniel with the history of Antiochus Epiphanes that led Porphyry to the conviction that it only contained vaticinia ex eventu.
Antiochus died at Tabae in Paratacaene on the frontiers of Persia and Babylonia about B.C. 163. The Jewish account of his remorseful deathbed may be read in #/RAPC 1 Maccabees 6:1-16 : "He laid him down upon his bed, and fell sick for grief; and there he continued many days, for his grief was ever more and more; and he made account that he should die." He left a son, Antiochus Eupator, aged nine, under the charge of his flatterer and foster-brother Philip. Recalling the wrongs he had inflicted on Judaea and Jerusalem, he said: "I perceive, therefore, that for this cause these troubles are come upon me; and, behold, I perish through great grief in a strange land."