Book of Daniel, part 13

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  1. The Messenger (10:1-11:1)
  2. The Book of Truth (11:2 – 45)
  3. Sign Off and Seal (12:1-13)

Daniel 11:14-20
Cleopatra becomes a loyal Egyptian. Antiochus III gets no real advantage from the marriage. Cleopatra urges Ptolemy V to make an alliance with Rome.
Antiochus grabs power wherever he can. In 192 he teams up with Hannibal the Carthagenian. They threaten to take Europe. Rome attacks Antiochus and defeats his advances beyond Greece. Antiochus loses the Battle of Magnesia.
Now he owes Rome a tribute. In 187 BC, Antiochus is murdered while robbing his own sanctuary at Elam.
The Battle of Magnesia was fought in 190 BC near Magnesia ad Sipylum, on the plains of Lydia (modern Turkey), between the Romans, led by the consul Lucius Cornelius Scipio and his brother, the famed general Scipio Africanus, with their ally Eumenes II of Pergamum against the army of Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid Empire. The resulting decisive Roman victory ended the conflict for the control of Greece.The treaty forced upon Antiochus III by the victorious Romans was crippling, in the Treaty of Apamea Antiochus was forced to pay a huge war indemnity of 15,000 Talents along with giving up significant territory in Asia Minor. The Taurus Mountains became the new frontier. The Seleucid navy was limited by treaty. It weakened the already fractious Seleucid Empire and halted all ambitions of Antiochus III in becoming a latter day Alexander in his own right.
Antiochus III was defeated by the Romans in 190 BC at the Battle of Magnesia.
He died in the East trying to sack the temple of Elymas to get money to pay off Rome.

Antiochus III is followed on the throne by his eldest son Seleucus IV (who loves his father). Seleucus spends the next eight years paying off the debt to Rome. That’s why verse 20 refers to him as a tax collector.
He is assassinated by one of his officials – Heliodorus. (Mentioned in 2 Maccabees 3) Instead of the throne going to Seleucus’ son, his brother, Antiochus IV Epiphanes takes the throne – this is not the normal line of succession!

Daniel 11:21-35

  • A contemptible person
  • Forbids Jewish faith
  • Imposes Greek culture
  • Sides with opposition that kills Onias III
  • Defeats Ptolemy VI – the King of the South in 170 BC

    Antiochus IV starts out invading Egypt and doing a fine job of it (170 BC). He pushes his nephew Ptolemy VI around. In 168 BC he returns for his second invasion but in doing so he is defying the treaty that his father had been forced to accept.

    verse 30 – The ships of Kittim are Roman war vessels. (The Western Coastlands.) Gaius Popillius Laenas was the Roman Consul sent to Egypt to make peace.
    He was sent as an envoy to prevent a war between Antiochus IV Epiphanes of the Seleucid Empire and Ptolemaic Egypt. On being confronted with the Roman demands that he abort his attack on Alexandria, Antiochus played for time; Popillius Laenas is supposed to have drawn a circle around the king in the sand with his cane, and ordered him not to move out of it until a firm answer had been given. The Syrians withdrew. According to Livy,

    "After receiving the submission of the inhabitants of Memphis and of the rest of the Egyptian people, some submitting voluntarily, others under threats, [Antiochus] marched by easy stages towards Alexandria. After crossing the river at Eleusis, about four miles from Alexandria, he was met by the Roman commissioners, to whom he gave a friendly greeting and held out his hand to Popilius. Popilius, however, placed in his hand the tablets on which was written the decree of the senate and told him first of all to read that. After reading it through he said he would call his friends into council and consider what he ought to do. Popilius, stern and imperious as ever, drew a circle round the king with the stick he was carrying and said, "Before you step out of that circle give me a reply to lay before the senate." For a few moments he hesitated, astounded at such a peremptory order, and at last replied, "I will do what the senate thinks right." Not till then did Popilius extend his hand to the king as to a friend and ally. Antiochus evacuated Egypt at the appointed date, and the commissioners exerted their authority to establish a lasting concord between the brothers, as they had as yet hardly made peace with each other." Ab Urbe Condita, xlv.12.
    Antiochus leaves Egypt humiliated and enraged and he takes it out on Jerusalem.

    Daniel 11:31-45
    The desecration of the Temple is the crisis in the 2nd century that the book of Daniel is addressing.

    Daniel 12 – A Word of Hope

    1. Antiochus IV will meet his fate
    2. Book of Life
      1. Resurrection = Vindication
      2. How much longer?
    3. Rest, Daniel
      1. Seal the vision for the future
    4. Wisdom!

    Chris Benjamin

    West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
    Evening Sermon, 9 September 2007

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