Evidence regarding Daniel 11 & Antiochus IV

by Bobcat 24 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Bobcat


    In addition, Jesus Christ would reject the Maccabean interpretation of "the disgusting thing causing desolation." As a first fulfillment, he applied it to the Romans, not the Seleucid kings (cf. Matt. 24:15; Mark 13:14; Luk. 21:20, 21).

    Thanks for your post. You know this point about Jesus quoting from Daniel was also of great interest to me. I was thinking of several possibilities. One was the possibility that he saw some sort of parallel in Antiochus IV. As if the experience with Antiochus IV was something that was expected to repeat (more or less) later in history.

    The commentary I was using at the moment (NAC) views Daniel 11:21-35 as referring to Antiochus IV. For verses 36-45 it mentions that scholars are divided over its application into two general camps: Some say it continues to describe Antiochus IV, whereas others view it as a future evil ruler (Antichrist) who has many similarities to Antiochus.

    One of the reasons I liked this particular commentary was because it lets you know what views are 'out there.' That is something you don't get with the Society. They package and filter everything. Having studied the WT's Daniel Prophecy book several times, this NAC commentary struck me as far more open and honest. Not that I accept every conclusion he reaches, but he does reason his arguments and show what opposing views there are. I find that much more satisfying than the Society's methods. Although, I will say that it demands more mental effort than simply 'reading and accepting' like the Society wants you to do.

    After I finish my immediate study of Daniel to get the historical context that I missed at WT meetings, I'm going to try to branch out further to consider Jesus reference to it.

    But I will gladly consider anything you post on the subject.

  • rubbeng


  • Vidqun

    Two choices, either Daniel was grossly deluded or modern interpretation is wrong:

    Modern interpreters base their findings mainly on probability. I believe this is a faulty premise. Here are some of the reasons. As was mentioned, Daniel 11 &12 starts with Cyrus of Persia and ends with the resurrection ( Dan. 10:1 ; 12:13 ). Quite a few chronological gaps occur, which is not unusual of apocalyptic eschatology, especially that of Daniel. Also, the term “latter part of the days” connects Daniel to the rest of the prophets ( Is. 2:2 ; Jer. 23:20 ; 30:24 ; 48:47 ; 49:39 ; Dan. 12:13 ; Hosea 3:5 ; Mic. 4:1 ; cf. Ezek. 38:8 , 16 ) . The term “end time” occurs only in Daniel ( Dan. 8:17 , 19 ; 11:35 , 40 ; 12:4 , 9 ). These refer, not to the end of time, but to a new era in human history. History, as we know it, will come to an end.

    Keil & Delitsch give reasons why Antiochus IV Epiphanes is not a good fit for Dan. 11 (as with all my posts, I have removed all Hebrew fonts. These don't transfer well) . Here’s a few examples:

    Dan. 11:20:

    Finally, of his successor, Seleucus Philopator, to whom v. 20 must refer, if the foregoing verses treat of Antiochus the Great, nothing further is communicated, than that he quum paternis cladibus fractas admodum Syriae opes accepisset, post otiosum nullisque admodum rebus gestis nobilitatum annorum duodecim regnum, was put to death through the treachery of Heliodorus, unius ex purpuratis (Liv. xli. 19, cf. App. Syr. c. 45), and the mission of Heliodorus to Jerusalem to seize the treasures of the temple, which is fabulously described in 2 Macc. 3:4ff. The phrase (shall be destroyed) of this king (within few days) does not harmonize with the facts of his twelve years’ reign.

    Dan. 11:22:

    The interpretation of the high priest Onias III, who at the commencement of the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes was driven from his office by his brother, and afterwards, at the instigation of Menelaus, was murdered by the Syrian governor Andronicus at Daphne near Antioch, 2 Macc. 4:1ff., 33ff. (Rosenmüller, Hitzig, etc.)—this interpretation is not warranted by the facts of history. This murder does not at all relate to the matter before us, not only because the Jewish high priest at Antioch did not sustain the relation of a “prince of the covenant,” but also because the murder was perpetrated without the previous knowledge of Antiochus, and when the matter was reported to him, the murderer was put to death by his command (2 Macc. 4:36–38). Thus also it stands in no connection with the war of Antiochus against Egypt. The words cannot also (with Hävernick, v. Leng., Maurer, Ebrard, Kliefoth) be referred to the Egyptian king Ptolemy Philometor, because history knows nothing of a covenant entered into between this king and Antiochus Epiphanes, but only that soon after the commencement of the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes the guardians of the young Philometor demanded Coele-Syria from Antiochus, which Antiochus the Great had promised (see above, p. 792) as a dowry to his daughter Cleopatra, who was betrothed to Ptolemy Philometor, but Antiochus did not deliver it up, and hence a war arose between them.

    Dan. 11:36:

    This exaltation of this dynasty or line of kings is here introduced, which expresses the self-will and the irresistible might of their proceeding; cf. Dan. 3:16 and 8:4. He shall raise himself above every god, not merely “subjectively in his lofty imagination” (Hitzig), but also by his actions. Every god, not merely the God of Israel, but also the gods of the nations. This does not agree with Antiochus. The ἰσόθεα φρονεῖν ὑπερηφανῶς which is said of him, 2 Macc. 9:12, is not an exalting of himself above every god. “Antiochus was not an ἄθεος; he even wished to render the worship of Zeus universal; and that he once spoiled the temple does not imply his raising himself above every god” (Klief.).

    Dan. 11:40-45:

    Thus vv. 40–45 cannot apply to Antiochus Epiphanes, but, with most ancient interpreters, these refer to the final enemy of God’s people in the time of the end. Without taking into account the connection, this interpretation is not merely possible, but it is even very natural to refer the suffix and in to one and the same person, namely, to the king who has hitherto been spoken of, and who continues in vv. 40–45 to be the chief subject. But the connection makes this reference impossible. It is true, indeed, that the suffix in refers without doubt to this king, but the suffix in can be referred only to the king of the south named immediately before, who pushes at him, because the king against whom the king of the south pushes, and of whom mention is made vv. 21–39, is not only distinctly designated as the king of the north (vv. 13–21), but also, according to vv. 40–43, he advances from the north against the Holy Land and against Egypt; thus also, according to vv. 40b–43, must be identical with the king of the north. In vv. 40–43 we do not read of a war of the hostile king against the king of the south and the king of the north. The words in which Kliefoth finds indications of this kind are otherwise to be understood.

    If we now more closely look into particulars, we find that is not the end of the hostile king, but, as in vv. 27 and 35, the end of the present world-period, in which also, it is true, occurs the end of this king (v. 45). For the figurative expression (shall push), cf. Dan. 8:4. In the word there lies the idea that the king of the south commences the war, makes an aggression against the hostile king. In the second clause the subject is more precisely defined by “the king of the north” for the sake of distinctness, or to avoid ambiguity, from which it thence follows that the suffix in refers to the king of the south. If the subject were not named, then “the king of the south” might have been taken for it in this clause. The words, “with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships,” are an oratorical exemplification of the powerful war-host which the king of the north displayed; for the further statement, “he presses into the countries, overflows and passes over” (as v. 10), does not agree with the idea of a fleet, but refers to land forces. The plur. (into the countries) does not at all agree with the expedition of a Syrian king against Egypt, since between Syria and Egypt there lay one land, Palestine; but it also does not prove that “the south-land and the north-land, the lands of the kings of the south and of the north, are meant” (Klief.), but it is to be explained from this, that the north, from which the angry king comes in his fury against the king of the south, reached far beyond Syria. The king of the north is thought of as the ruler of the distant north.

  • Jeffro

    All of Daniel chapter 11 relates to events up to Antiochus IV in the 2nd century BCE. There is no good reason to believe they refer to any later period.

    See here for more information.

  • bohm
    I miss Leolaia. sigh.

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