the name of several Syrian kings from B.C. 280 to B.C. 65. The most notable of these were, (1.) Antiochus the Great, who ascended the throne B.C. 223. He is regarded as the "king of the north" referred to in Da 11:13-19. He was succeeded (B.C. 187) by his son, Seleucus Philopater, spoken of by Daniel (Da 11:20) as "a raiser of taxes", in the Revised Version, "one that shall cause an exactor to pass through the glory of the kingdom."
Illustration: Antiochus the Great
(2.) Antiochus IV., surnamed "Epiphanes" i.e., the Illustrious, succeeded his brother Seleucus (B.C. 175). His career and character are prophetically described by Daniel (Da 11:21-32). He was a "vile person." In a spirit of revenge he organized an expedition against Jerusalem, which he destroyed, putting vast multitudes of its inhabitants to death in the most cruel manner. From this time the Jews began the great war of independence under their heroic Maccabean leaders with marked success, defeating the armies of Antiochus that were sent against them. Enraged at this, Antiochus marched against them in person, threatening utterly to exterminate the nation; but on the way he was suddenly arrested by the hand of death (B.C. 164).
Illustration: Antiochus Epiphanes
1. Theus," King of the N." (Da 11:6.) Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, to end the war with him, give Berenice his daughter to Antiochus, who divorced Laodice to marry Berenice. But Ptolemy having died, Betentre aid "not retain the power of the arm," i.e., she was unable to be the mainstay of peace; for on Ptolemy's death Antiochus took back Laodice, who then poisoned him and caused Berenice and her son to be slain. "But out of a branch other roots stood up" in the place of Philadelphus (margin) Ptolemy Euergetes, Berenice's brother, who avenged her, overran Syria, and slew Laodice, "carrying captives into Egypt their gods, princes, and vessels of silver and gold." He restored to Egypt many of the idols carried away formerly by the Persian Cambyses, whence the idolatrous Egyptians surnamed him Euergetes (benefactor). He "continued four more years than the king of the N.," Antiochus.
2. Antiochus the Great, the grandson of Antiochus Theus, and son of Seleucus Callinicus, "came and overflowed and passed through," recovering all the parts of Syria taken by Euergetes, and reached "even to his (border) fortress," Raphia, near Gaza. Here "the king of the S.," Ptolemy Philopator, Euergetes' son, "shall fight with" Antiochus, and Antiochus's "multitude (70,000 infantry and 500 cavalry) shall be given into his hand." 10,000 were slain and 4,000 made captive. Ptolemy's "heart was lifted up" by the victory, so that though he "cast down many ten thousands, he was not strengthened by it" through his luxurious indulgence. For Antiochus "returned after certain years" (14 after his defeat at Raphia) against Philopator's son, Ptolemy Epiphanes.
In those times many stood against the king of the S., Epiphanes, namely, Philip of Macedon and "robbers of the people," factious Jews, who, revolting from Ptolemy, helped Antiochus unconsciously, "establishing the vision," i.e. fulfilling God's purpose of bringing trials on Judaea, "but falling," i.e. failing in their aim to make Judaea independent. So Antiochus, overcoming the Egyptian general Scopas at Paneas, near the Jordan's sources, forced him to surrender at Zidon, a "fenced city." Thus Antiochus "did according to his own will, standing in the glorious land (Judaea) which by his hand was consumed," Hebrew perfected, i.e. perfectly brought under his sway, or else desolated by being the arena of conflict between Syria and Egypt. The "upright ones with him" were Israelites, so called from their high privileges, though their practice of violence in support of a pagan king is reprobated.
Next he thought, by wedding his "daughter" Cleopatra to Ptolemy Epiphanes, ultimately to gain Cilicia, Lycia, and even Egypt itself; "corrupting her," i.e. making her his tool; but "she did not stand on his side, but on that of her husband." Then he "took many of the isles'" in the AEgean in his war with the Romans. But Scipio Asiaticus routed him at Magnesia 190 B.C., and so "caused the reproach Offered by him (to Rome's allies) to cease."
Then, compelled to cede his territory W. of Taurus, "he turned his face toward the fort of his own land," i.e. garrisoned the cities left to him. Finally, trying to plunder Jupiter's temple at Elymais, he "fell" in an insurrection of the inhabitants. Selenens succeeded," raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom," or, as Maurer explains, "one who shall cause the taxgatherer to pass through the glorious kingdom," Judaea; i.e. inheriting it by hereditary right. "Within a few days (12 years, "few" in comparison with Antiochus's 37 years) he was destroyed, neither in anger nor in battle," but poisoned by Heliodorus.
3. Antiochus IV. succeeded, surnamed Epiphanes, "the Illustrious," for establishing the royal line against Heliodorus. Nicknamed Epimanes, "madman," for his great unkingly freaks, carousing with the lowest, bathing with them in public, and throwing stones at passers by. Hence, and because of his craftily supplanting Demetrius, the rightful heir, he is called in Daniel 11: "a vile person." He "came into the kingdom by flatteries" to Eumenes and to Attalus of Pergamus, and to the Syrians high and low. With his "flood" like hosts the Egyptians and Ptolemy Philometer, "the prince of the covenant," were "overflown from before him." Philometor was in covenant with him by right, being son of Cleopatra, Antiochus's sister, to whom Antiochus the Great had promised, as dowry in marrying Ptolemy Epiphanes, Coelosyria and Palestine.
Philometor's generals in trying to obtain these covenanted promises were defeated, and Pehsium, the key of Egypt, was taken 171 B.C. Antiochus Epiphanes "worked deceitfully," feigning friendship to young Philometor, and" with a small people" or force, "peaceably" in pretense, he took Memphis and "the fattest places," and seized Philometer. Thus he" did that which his fathers had not done," namely, gained Egypt, and "scattered among (his dependents) the prey." "He forecast his devices against the strongholds" of Egypt. He gained all except Alexandria. Retiring Judaea, where the Jews in joy at the report of his death had revolted, he took Jerusalem. He then "stirred up his power with a great army against the king of the S.," Ptolemy Physcon (the gross), made king by the Egyptians because Philometer was in Antiochus's hands. The Egyptian king did "not stand," for his own nobles "forecast devices against him."
At last Antiochus, when checked at Alexandria, met the Egyptian king at Memphis, and "both spoke lies at one table," trying to deceive one another. In his capture of Jerusalem, guided by Menelaus the high priest "against the holy covenant," he took away the golden altar, candlestick, vessels of gold and silver from the temple, sacrificed swine on the altar, and sprinkled swine broth through the temple; his spoils from it amounted 1800 talents. A second time he openly invaded Egypt, but his invasion was not successful "as the former," Popilius. Laenas, the Roman ambassador, arriving in Graeco Macedonian ships ("of Chittim") and compelling him to return. Finding that God's worship had been restored at Jerusalem, "he had indignation against the holy covenant." He "had intelligence (correspondence) with them that forsook the holy covenant," Menelaus and others, who had cast off circumcision and treated all religions as equally good for keeping the masses in check, and adopted Greek customs and philosophy.
Antiochus's general, Apollonius, dismantled Jerusalem, and from a high fortress slew the temple worshippers. Antiochus commanded all on pain of death to conform to the Greek religion, and consecrated the temple to Jupiter Olympius or Capitolinus. Identifying himself with that god "whom his fathers knew not," and whose worship he imported from Rome, he wished to make his own worship universal. The Jews were constrained to profane the sabbath and monthly on the king's birthday to eat of the idol sacrifices, and to go in procession to Bacchus, carrying ivy. This was the gravest peril that ever betel the theocratic nation; hence arose the need of a prediction so detailed as Daniel 8; 11. Porphyry the opponent of Christianity, had to admit the accurate correspondence of the facts to the prediction, but explained it away by alleging the latter to have been written after the events.
But as Messianic events are foretold in Daniel, Jesus' adversaries, the Jews, would never have forged the prophecies which confirm His claims. Daniel 9 would comfort the faithful Jews amidst the "abominations" against "the covenant," with the prospect of Messiah, who would confirm it. Bringing salvation, yet abolishing sacrifices, He would show that the temple services which they so missed were not indispensable to real worship. Language is used (Da 11:31-45) which only in type applies to Antiochus, but exhaustively to Antichrist. Antiochus "took away the daily sacrifice, and placed (on the 15th day of Cisleu, on Jehovah's altar) the abomination (idol, Jupiter Olympius' image) that maketh desolate," i.e. that pollutes the temple.
The Maccabees (see 1 and 2 Maccabees in Apocrypha), "who knew their God, were strong" in their determination not to deny Him, and "did exploits." Judas, son of the patriot Mattathias,
A name borne by a number of the kings of Syria subsequent to the period of Alexander the Great.
1. Antiochus I. (b.c. 280
There were several kings bearing this name who ruled over Syria, and though they are not mentioned by name in scripture, some of their actions are specified. These are so clear and definite that sceptics have foolishly said that at least this part of the prophecy of Daniel must have been written after the events! The Greek kingdom, the third of the four great empires, was, on the death of Alexander the Great, divided among his four generals, and this resulted principally in a series of kings who ruled in Egypt bearing the general name of PTOLEMY, and are called in scripture 'Kings of the South;' and another series, called 'Kings of the North,' who bore the general name of either SELEUCUS or ANTIOCHUS. Both the Ptolemies and the Seleucidae began eras of their own, and some of the kings of each era had to do with Palestine and the Jews. The following is a list of the kings, with the dates when they began to reign, noticing the principal events that were prophesied of them in Daniel 11.
320 Ptolemy I, Soter. He takes Jerusalem. Era of the Ptolemies begins.
312 SELEUCUS I, Nicator. He re-takes Palestine. Era of the Seleucidae begins.
283 Ptolemy II, Philadelphus. The O.T. translated into Greek.
280 ANTIOCHUS I, Soter.
261 ANTIOCHUS II, Theos. He was at war with Ptolemy, but peace was restored on
condition that Antiochus should put away his wife Laodice and marry Berenice the
daughter of Ptolemy. This was done, but on the death of Philadelphus he restored
Laodice; but she, fearing another divorce, poisoned her husband, and then caused the
death of Berenice and her son. See Da 11:6.
247 Ptolemy III, Euergetes. He revenged his sister's death, being 'a branch of her roots;'
and carried off 40,000 talents of silver, etc. 'Shall enter into the fortress of the king of
the north,' and carry away their precious vessels of silver and gold. Da 11:7-9.
246 SELEUCUS II, Callinicus.
226 SELEUCUS III, Ceraunus.
223 ANTIOCHUS III, the Great.
222 Ptolemy IV, Philopater. War between Ptolemy and Antiochus. Ptolemy recovers
Palestine. Da 11:10-12.
205 Ptolemy V, Epiphanes (5 years old). Antiochus seized the opportunity of the minority of
the king to regain the country. Da 11:16. He also joined with Philip of Macedonia to
capture other portions of the dominions of Ptolemy. But Rome was now growing in
power, and on being appealed to by Egypt for protection, Antiochus was told he must
let Egypt alone. In the meantime an army from Egypt had re-taken Palestine; but
Antiochus, on his return, again obtained the mastery there. Wishing to extend his
dominions in the west he proposed that Ptolemy should marry his daughter Cleopatra,
that she might serve her father's ends; but she was faithful to her husband. Daniel thus
speaks of it: "He shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her, but she shall not
stand on his side, neither be for him." Da 11:17. Antiochus took many maritime
towns, but after many encounters he was compelled by Rome to quit all Asia on that
side of Mount Taurus, give up his elephants and ships of war and pay a heavy fine.
Antiochus had great difficulty in raising the money, and on attempting to rob a temple
at Elymais he was killed. Da 11:18-19.
187 SELEUCUS IV, Philopator, succeeded. His principal work was the raising of money to
pay the war-tax to Rome. He ordered Heliodorus to plunder the temple; but
Heliodorus poisoned him. He was thus 'a raiser of taxes,' and was 'destroyed neither
in anger, nor in battle.' Da 11:20. Heliodorus seized the crown but was destroyed
by Antiochus IV.
181 Ptolemy VI, Philometor. He was a minor, under his mother and tutors.
175 ANTIOCHUS IV, Epiphanes. He was not the rightful heir. He 'obtained the kingdom
by flatteries.' He called himself Epiphanes, which is 'illustrious;' but he was such 'a vile
person' that people called him Epimanes, 'madman.' Da 11:21-24. He invaded
Egypt and was at first successful: cf. Da 11:25-26. The two kings entered into
negotiations, though neither of them was sincere in what they agreed to: their hearts
were to do mischief, and they 'tell lies at one table.' Da 11:27. Then Antiochus
returned to his land with great riches: his heart was 'against the holy covenant,' and he
entered Jerusalem and even into the sanctuary and took away the golden altar, the
candlestick, the table of showbread, the censers of gold, and the other holy vessels
and departed. 'At the appointed time he shall return and come toward the South,'
Da 11:29; but he was stopped by Rome; 'ships of Chittim,' ships from Macedonia,
came against him; and in great anger he returned and vented his wrath on Jerusalem.
He sent an army there with orders to slay all the men and sell the women and
children for slaves. This was to a certain extent carried out. The walls were also
thrown down and the city pillaged and then set on fire. He then decreed that the Jews
should forsake their religion, and all should worship the heathen gods. To ensure this
at Jerusalem with the few that still clung to the place, an image of Jupiter Olympius was
erected in the temple and on an altar sacrifices were offered to this god. This was in
B.C. 168 on the 25th of the month Chisleu. Daniel relates "They shall pollute the
sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the
horn' refers to Antiochus Epiphanes.
Bleek, Delitzsch, and others consider that in Da 8:14, the 2,300 'evening,
morning,' margin, refer to the daily sacrifice, which is spoken of in Da 8:11-13;
and that by 2,300 is meant 1,150 days: cf. also Da 8:26. The dedication of the
temple was on the 25th of Chisleu, B.C. 165, and the desecration began some time in
the year 168.
Da 11:32b, 33-35 refer to the change that soon took place under Judas
Maccabeus and his brothers, commencing B.C. 166, and in 165 the temple was
re-dedicated. In B.C. 164 ANTIOCHUS V. Eupator succeeded to the throne; and
in 162 DEMETRIUS SOTER; but they were not powerful against Judaea, and in B.C.
161 an alliance was made by Judaea with Rome. The historical notices in Daniel end
at Da 11:35.
It will be seen by the above that the records of history agree perfectly with the prophecy, as faith would expect them to do. It is only unbelief that has any difficulty in God foretelling future events. Without doubt some of the acts of Antiochus Epiphanes are types of the deeds of the future king of the North
(an opponent), the name of a number of kings of Syria who lived during the interval between the Old and New Testaments, and had frequent connection with the Jews during that period. They are referred to in the Apocrypha especially in the books of the Maccabees.
ANTIOCHUS. There were many kings of this name in Syria, much celebrated in the Greek, Roman, and Jewish histories, after the time of Seleucus Nicanor, the father of Antiochus Soter, and reckoned the first king of Syria after Alexander the Great.
1. ANTIOCHUS SOTER was the son of Seleucus Nicanor, and obtained the surname of Soter, or Saviour, from having hindered the invasion of Asia by the Gauls. Some think that it was on the following occasion: The Galatians having marched to attack the Jews in Babylon, whose army consisted only of eight thousand men, reinforced with four thousand Macedonians, the Jews defended themselves with so much bravery, that they killed one hundred and twenty thousand men, 2 Mac. 8:20. It was perhaps, too, on this occasion, that Antiochus Soter made the Jews of Asia free of the cities belonging to the Gentiles, and permitted them to live according to their own laws.
2. ANTIOCHUS THEOS, or, the God, was the son and successor of Antiochus Soter. He married Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt. Laodice, his first wife, seeing herself despised, poisoned Antiochus, Berenice, and their son, who was intended to succeed in the kingdom. After this, Laodice procured Seleucus Callinicus, her son by Antiochus, to be acknowledged king of Syria. These events were foretold by Daniel: "And in the end of years," the king of Egypt, or of the south, and the king of Syria, or of the north, "shall join themselves together; for the king's daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times," Da 11:6.
3. ANTIOCHUS THE GREAT was the son of Seleucus Callinicus, and brother to Seleucus Ceraunus, whom he succeeded in the year of the world 3781. and before Jesus Christ 223. He made war against Ptolemy Philopator, king of Egypt, but was defeated near Raphia, 3 Mac. 1. Thirteen years after, Ptolemy Philopator being dead, Antiochus resolved to become master of Egypt. He immediately seized Coelo-Syria, Phenicia, and Judea; but Scopas, general of the Egyptian army, entered Judea while Antiochus was occupied by the war against Attalus, and retook those places. However, he soon lost them again to Antiochus. On this occasion happened what Josephus relates of this prince's journey to Jerusalem. After a victory which he had obtained over Scopas, near the springs of Jordan, he became master of the strong places in Coelo-Syria and Samaria; and the Jews submitted freely to him, received him into their city and furnished his army plentifully with provisions. In reward for their affection, Antiochus granted them, according to Josephus, twenty thousand pieces of silver, to purchase beasts for sacrifice, one thousand four hundred and sixty measures of meal, and three hundred and seventy-five measures of salt to be offered with the sacrifices, and timber to rebuild the porches of the Lord's house. He exempted the senators, scribes, and singing men of the temple, from the capitation tax; and he permitted the Jews to live according to their own laws in every part of his dominions. He also remitted the third part of their tribute, to indemnify them for their losses in the war; he forbade the Heathens to enter the temple without being purified, and to bring into the city the flesh of mules, asses, and horses to sell, under a severe penalty.
In the year of the world 3815, Antiochus was overcome by the Romans, and obliged to cede all his possessions beyond Mount Taurus, to give twenty hostages, among whom was his own son Antiochus, afterward surnamed Epiphanes, and to pay a tribute of twelve thousand Euboic talents, each fourteen Roman pounds in weight. To defray these charges, he resolved to seize the treasures of the temple of Belus, at Elymais; but the people of that country, informed of his design, surprised and destroyed him, with all his army, in the year of the world 3817, and before Jesus Christ 187. He left two sons, Seleucus Philopator, and Antiochus Epiphanes, who succeeded him.
4. ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES, the son of Antiochus the Great, having continued a hostage at Rome fourteen years, his brother Seleucus resolved to procure his return to Syria, and sent his own son Demetrius to Rome in the place of Antiochus. Whilst Antiochus was on his journey to Syria, Seleucus died, in the year of the world 3829. When, therefore, Antiochus landed, the people received him as some propitious deity come to assume the government, and to oppose the enterprises of Ptolemy, king of Egypt, who threatened to invade Syria. For this reason Antiochus obtained the surname of Epiphanes, the illustrious, or of one appearing like a god.
Antiochus quickly turned his attention to the possession of Egypt, which was then enjoyed by Ptolemy Philometor, his nephew, son to his sister Cleopatra, whom Antiochus the Great had married to Ptolemy Epiphanes, king of Egypt. He sent Apollonius, one of his officers, into Egypt, apparently to honour Ptolemy's coronation, but in reality to obtain intelligence whether the great men of the kingdom were inclined to place the government of Egypt in his hands during the minority of the king his nephew, 2 Mac. 4:21, &c. Apollonius, however, found them not disposed to favour his master; and this obliged Antiochus to make war against Philometor. He came to Jerusalem in 3831, and was received there by Jason, to whom he had sold the high priesthood. He designed to attack Egypt, but returned without effecting any thing. The ambition of those Jews who sought the high priesthood, and bought it of Antiochus, was the beginning of those calamities which overwhelmed their nation under this prince. Jason procured himself to be constituted in this dignity in the stead of Onias III; but Menelaus offering a greater price, Jason was deprived, and Menelaus appointed in his place. These usurpers of the high priesthood, to gratify the Syrians, assumed the manners of the Greeks, their games and exercises, and neglected the worship of the Lord, and the temple service.
War broke out between Antiochus Epiphanes and Ptolemy Philometor. Antiochus entered Egypt in the year of the world 3833, and reduced almost the whole of it to his obedience, 2 Mac. 5:3-5. The next year he returned; and whilst he was engaged in the siege of Alexandria, a false report was spread of his death. The inhabitants of Jerusalem testifying their joy at this news, Antiochus, when returning from Egypt, entered this city by force, treated the Jews as rebels, and commanded his troops to slay all they met. Eighty thousand were killed, made captives, or sold on this occasion. Antiochus, conducted by the corrupt high priest Menelaus, entered into the holy of holies, whence he took and carried off the most precious vessels of that holy place, to the value of one thousand eight hundred talents. In the year 3835, Antiochus made a third expedition against Egypt, which he entirely subdued. The year following, he sent Apollonius into Judea, with an army of twenty-two thousand men, and commanded him to kill all the Jews who were of full age, and to sell the women and young men, 2 Mac, 5:24, 25. These orders were too punctually executed. It was on this occasion that Judas Maccabaeus retired into the wilderness with his father and his brethren, 2 Mac. 5:29. These misfortunes were only preludes of what they were to suffer; for Antiochus, apprehending that the Jews would never be constant in their obedience to him, unless he obliged them to change their religion, and to embrace that of the Greeks, issued an edict, enjoining them to conform to the laws of other nations, and forbidding their usual sacrifices in the temple, their festivals and their Sabbath. The statue of Jupiter Olympus was placed upon the altar of the temple, and thus the abomination of desolation was seen in the temple of God. Many corrupt Jews complied with these orders; but others resisted them.
Mattathias and his sons retired to the mountains. Old Eleazar, and the seven brethren, suffered death with great courage at