November 4, 2014 by Chris French
10 “His sons shall wage war and assemble a multitude of great forces, which shall keep coming and overflow and pass through, and again shall carry the war as far as his fortress. 11 Then the king of the south, moved with rage, shall come out and fight against the king of the north. And he shall raise a great multitude, but it shall be given into his hand. 12 And when the multitude is taken away, his heart shall be exalted, and he shall cast down tens of thousands, but he shall not prevail. 13 For the king of the north shall again raise a multitude, greater than the first. And after some years[b] he shall come on with a great army and abundant supplies.
Seleucus II’s son, Antiochus III, picked a fight with Ptolmey IV, but wasn’t big enough to beat him. Ptolmey lost 2,200 men to Antiochus III’s 17,000. Ptolmey IV dies under suspicious circumstances and his son, you guessed it Ptolmey V, is only 6 at the time so the Prime Minister becomes the regent of Egypt. Antiochus III sees their weakness and strikes. He picks a fight with the Egyptians at Gaza and Paneas in 200 B.C. and this time is victorious. This is the “great army and abundant supplies” that Daniel refers to. Now Palestine is under the reign of Syria.
14 “In those times many shall rise against the king of the south, and the violent among your own people shall lift themselves up in order to fulfill the vision, but they shall fail. 15 Then the king of the north shall come and throw up siegeworks and take a well-fortified city. And the forces of the south shall not stand, or even his best troops, for there shall be no strength to stand.16 But he who comes against him shall do as he wills, and none shall stand before him. And he shall stand in the glorious land, with destruction in his hand.
After the battle at Paneas the Egyptians (kingdom of the south) are reeling and looking for a safe place to lay low so they run to the fortress city of Sidon on the Mediterranean Coast. They don’t get to lay low long though because Antiochus III (the king of the north) finds them and sieges the city and takes it in 198 b.c. Further strengthening Antiochus III’s grip on Palestine (the glorious land).
17 He shall set his face to come with the strength of his whole kingdom, and he shall bring terms of an agreement and perform them. He shall give him the daughter of women to destroy the kingdom,[c] but it shall not stand or be to his advantage.
Antiochus “set his face to come with the strength of his whole kingdom”, but he’s got a problem. Rome is quickly growing in power and he knows they’ll soon be a threat so he makes a deal with Ptolmey V, who is now 16 years old. He gives Ptolmey V his dauther, Cleopatra I, to marry thinking this would firm up their alliance and that he would have an ally against Rome when he needed it. The problem is that Cleo isn’t much of a daddy’s girl. She convinces Ptolmey V to ally with Rome against dear ole dad, thus he gave “him the daughter of women to destroy the kingdom (Rome), but it shall not stand or be to his advantage.”
18 Afterward he shall turn his face to the coastlands and shall capture many of them, but a commander shall put an end to his insolence. Indeed,[d] he shall turn his insolence back upon him. 19 Then he shall turn his face back toward the fortresses of his own land, but he shall stumble and fall, and shall not be found.
“Afterwards” Antiochus is going to have to fight Rome, but it’s not going to go well for him. He meets them at the famed Thermopylae (coastlands) and is beaten, but gives it the old college try again at Magnesia where he is crushed. Antiochus’ force of 70,000 men was defeated by Rome’s 30,000. The Roman commander, Lucius Scipio Asiaticus, put an end to Antiochus III’s insolence. The fee Rome leveled at Antiochus III was pretty steep. He had to give over 20 hostages, including Antiochus IV, and pay a tribute that pretty well bankrupted him. He dies two years later trying to plunder a Persian temple to pay the tribute.