“ Popillius, however, drew a circle in the earth around the king with his walking stick and demanded an unequivocal answer before Antiochus left the circle. Dismayed by this public humiliation, the king quickly agreed to comply.”
The place was Eleusis, a suburb of Alexandria Egypt. The king humiliated by this circle in the sand was Antiochus Epiphanes, the so-called great anti-Christ, and the ambassador who so bravely drew the circle came onto the scene on orders of the Roman senate. By now Rome yielded such power in the ancient Greek kingdom, that everyone feared them. They showed the beginnings of a super power, appointed themselves as the policeman of the world, with the skills of an ancient U.N. Whatever the complaint, you could appeal to Rome for help, and if you found favour with the senators, they would speak and the rest of the Greek empire would obey. And that included Epiphanes.
Epiphanes knew better than to disobey the senate, as he grew up in Rome as a hostage, and there saw enough to fear Rome. But let me give you some background first on when Rome began to become great and began to meddle in the internal affairs of the Greek empire. You will recall a piece I wrote on Ptolemy V, the boy king of Egypt [the South] being unashamedly attacked by many such as Antiochus “the great” and Philip of Macedon 200 BC. You can click on “Archibald” to find ‘ The infallible word of prophecy’ where it was discussed.
As Phillip and Antiochus advanced, Greek states such as Rhodes appealed to Rome to intervene and the Romans defeated Phillip, preventing him from reaching Egypt to share the agreed plotted spoils with Antiochus, father of Epiphanes. But Antiochus who then had conquered much land in the East, and who by then had given himself the title ‘the great’, pressed on and defeated the forces of the little boy king of Egypt.[Dan11:14a] He then also later on gave his daughter to the 15 year old Ptolemy V to marry, so he would have a direct representative in Egypt.
At that time he truly felt like Alexander ‘the great’, and thus gave himself the same added title. When Rome attacked Phillip, he asked Antiochus for help, but Antiochus ignored his ally and pressed on to Egypt. A little later, tensions with Rome increased when Antiochus gave refuge to the Carthaginian general Hannibal, who became his adviser. In 190 BC Rome defeated Anthiochus at the Battle of Magnesia.
Under the treaty of Apamea, Anthiochus III now the ‘not so great’, had to pay indemnity of 15 000 talents over 12 years to Rome, and also had to hand over his sons, which included Epiphanes, as hostages. After his death his son Seleucus IV took over in the north and then exchanged Epiphanes for his own son Demetrius. At the death of Seleucus IV, Antiochus Epiphanes then became ruler of the north 175 BC.
Meanwhile in Egypt after Panion 200 BC, when Antiochus III ‘the great’ handed them defeat, the boy king grew up and had children with his wife Cleopatra, sister of Epiphanes. His son Ptolemy Philometor after a succession struggle between brothers in which Rome again interfered, later became the more prominent ruler of Egypt. Do you see the parallel of superpowers with sinister motives meddling in the affairs of smaller nations? History is absolutely repeating even this very day. Ptolemy Philometor which means ‘loving his mother’, was only 6 years [180 BC] when he became king, and so again, the South had a boy king.
Luckily his mother Cleopatra was on hand to avoid trouble with her brother Seleucus IV in the north. But at her death in 176 BC, one year before Epiphanes came to power, Philometor fell into the hands of ambitious courtiers. Under his advisers' guidance, preparations were made to invade Coele Syria. “ During this period of uncertainty in Syria, the guardians of Ptolemy VI,[Philometor] the Egyptian ruler, laid claim to Coele Syria, Palestine, and Phoenicia, which Antiochus III had conquered. Both the Syrian and Egyptian parties appealed to Rome for help, but the Senate refused to take sides.” [Britannica]
This led to the fulfilment of Daniel 11:15. This prophecy, given to Daniel in 536 BC according to the author himself, [read Dan.10] now deals with the military achievements of Epiphanes. It was given a whopping 361 years before Epiphanes came to power but said he would achieve this concerning Egypt [South]:
" DANIEL 11:15 So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand."
Daniel 11:14b dealt with the religious failures of Epiphanes against the Jews when he tried to establish a vision of being the great anti-Christ the 666, but failed as discussed in ‘The Rejected Anti-Christ.’ Daniel 11:15 now deal with his military failures in the south. Now if you read the verse, you will see only success against Egypt, but then the verse stops and does not say whether Epiphanes became master of Egypt. It kind of leaves us in the air.
When any prophecy is given we only need to look at one thing to know whether the prophet who spoke it spoke truth or not. History of whether the event came to pass will determine the truth. Now let the history speak for Daniel whether verse 15 came to pass:
“ Antiochus forestalled an Egyptian expedition to Palestine by invading Egypt. He defeated the Egyptians between Pelusium and Mount Kasion, conquered Pelusium, and in 169 occupied Egypt with the exception of Alexandria, the capital. Ptolemy VI was Antiochus' nephew—Antiochus' sister, Cleopatra I, had married Ptolemy V—and Antiochus contented himself with ruling Egypt as Ptolemy's guardian, giving Rome no excuse for intervention.
The citizens of Alexandria, however, appealed to Ptolemy VIII, the brother of Ptolemy VI, and to his sister Cleopatra II to form a rival government. Disturbances in Palestine forced Antiochus to return to Syria, but he safeguarded his access to Egypt with a strong garrison in Pelusium. In the winter of 169/168 Perseus of Macedonia in vain begged Antiochus to join forces with him against the danger that Rome presented to all of the Hellenistic monarchs.
In Egypt, Ptolemy VI made common cause with his brother and sister and sent a renewed request to Rome for aid, and Antiochus prepared for battle. The fleet of Antiochus won a victory at Cyprus, whose governor surrendered the island to him. Antiochus invaded Egypt again in 168, demanded that Cyprus and Pelusium be ceded to him, occupied Lower Egypt, and camped outside Alexandria. The cause of the Ptolemaeans seemed lost.” [Britannica]
Epiphanes conquered Pelusium and it says there he occupied Egypt with the exception of Alexandria the capital. The whole of lower Egypt was in his hands. Thus the Scripture came to pass to the dot. Egypt was finished, as they had no strength left. Not even their bravest of men could withstand. As you know by now the Greeks were worshipped as gods and the full title of Antiochus IV was: “Theos Epiphanes.” It means “ God manifest.” This was sure a manifestation of the military power of the Syrian north! And Scripture knew this would happen as it said: “...and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.” Britannica so beautifully interpret that Scripture here when it says:
“ The cause of the Ptolemaeans seemed lost.” True to the dot. Marvellous! I speak of the accuracy of Scripture not the war. Someone asked: What is the purpose of you continually showing us prophecies that came to pass in the past? What good is it today? One way in which God proves Himself is by making His word came to pass. The testimony of Jesus Christ is prophecy. Jesus said: “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
So God asks people to believe and then He will bring to pass that which they believe for? Seeing prophecy come to pass ought to raise the believer’s faith in Him, that He indeed keeps His word. And since these prophecies is about world politics and runs from the Persian period right into the End times [Dan.11:40], it concerns everybody. The accuracy of it in the past is thus vital for people to even begin to consider its future prophecies.
As for the believer, the Bible has hundreds of promises. If you can believe Bible promises, you could be healed, delivered, helped from various problems even receive eternal life. And what is a promise? Prophecy!-something that will come to pass in your future. Now if the believer sees God always keeps His word-won’t it give him faith that promises unto him will also be kept? Whatever the prophecy, it will come to pass. You can bank on His promises [prophecies] in your personal life if thou canst only believe them for yourself. And here He proves what He says will never fail. For those seeking more faith I recommend listening to this: http://branham.org/messageplayer/63-0801
Now back to our verse. You will notice Dan.11:15 suddenly stops abruptly, makes a dot. That means God is finished telling us about that war. Egypt had no strength to withstand and then what? Well silence. The next line of verse 16 has no direct link to verse 15. In fact, verse 16 talks about the king of the North under threat in the north and verse 17 talks about marriage arrangements. It does NOT tell us what happened to the South. And now we are forced to turn to history to find out why the sentence leaves us in the air.
“ But on June 22, 168, the Romans defeated Perseus and his Macedonians at Pydna, and there deprived Antiochus of the benefits of his victory. In Eleusis, a suburb of Alexandria, the Roman ambassador, Gaius Popillius Laenas, presented Antiochus with the ultimatum that he evacuate Egypt and Cyprus immediately. Antiochus, taken by surprise, asked for time to consider.
Popillius, however, drew a circle in the earth around the king with his walking stick and demanded an unequivocal answer before Antiochus left the circle. Dismayed by this public humiliation, the king quickly agreed to comply. Roman intervention had reestablished the status quo. By being allowed to retain southern Syria, to which Egypt had laid claim, Antiochus was able to preserve the territorial integrity of his realm.” [Britannica]
There it is! That’s the reason why God made a dot. For that’s how it ended! He had all strength to finish them off but then it was -status quo-Back to square one. All the bloodshed, and all the sweat, all the sacrifices for nothing. The mighty Roman senate has spoken, stopped a victory in process and turned it into nothing. One moment Antiochus the so-called ‘god manifest’ was ready to deliver the final blow, the next he was on his way back home. Has this ever happened before in history? Can a predator that conquered a victim, be robbed of his prey, before he takes a bite from it? Can a fox take away the prey a lion has killed?
What a humiliation from Rome on Epiphanes. See why Daniel never made Antiochus Epiphanes the great world ruling Anti-Christ or 666? Rome controlled him. And if Daniel lived 164 BC he would absolutely have known that. In fact, any Jew living in those days would have spoken tauntingly of Epiphanes. How could Rome treat the great Anti-Christ like that? Here is the truth. Daniel never considered him as such. Daniel 11:15 is the last verse Antiochus Epiphanes featured in the Book of Daniel.
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