Previously on the Greek prophecies. We have seen how the ambitious Greek king of Egypt, Ptolemy Philometor failed when his elaborate scheme to place an imposter on the throne of his enemy in the northern Syrian kingdom backfired as was prophesied. Daniel 11:16-19 foresaw this as was discussed in previous articles.
But the Man that spoke to Daniel told him also what was to happen in the north after the fall of Philometor [145 BC]. “ DANIEL 11:20 Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.”
In the place of Philometor scheming in the north to wrestle power from the true heirs, now raised another imposter called Diodotus Tryphon. When Cleopatra Thea, daughter of Philometor was given to Alexander Balas as wife, they brought forth a son from their union. When Balas was deposed by his father in law[Philometor], he sent his infant son to be raised by an Arabian chieftan named Yamlik in the wilderness. Cleopatra Thea as you know was then married by her father to Demetrius Nicator.
Who was Tryphon? Diodotus Tryphon was a general first to Demetrius Soter, who just before Soter fell, switched sides to became a general then under Alexander Balas. Knowing about the whereabouts of the young infant son of Balas, Tryphon now went to fetch the 3 year old boy from Yamlik in order to claim the throne for him as true heir from Nicator. After the death of Philometor, Tryphon now entered the country and began to make war against Nicator and Cleopatra Thea, using Thea’s son against her and her second husband.
In him came true the prophecy concerning the raiser of taxes that was to rise in the place of Philometor as harasser of the north with false claims. Why were Tryphon called a raiser of taxes? When Demetrius Nicator came to power, he made a deal with Jonathan Maccabee to pay him a lump sum of 300 talents of silver, and then Judea would be exempted from any more taxes.
But Nicator was also to remove the rest of the Seleucid forces from Jerusalem. Nicator however failed to remove those forces according to the deal. Tryphon then approached Jonathan Maccabee and struck another deal with him in exchange for military assistance against Nicator. And so Jonathan switched sides and helped Tryphon obtain a great deal of the northern territory, even the capital Antioch. While a great part of the country fell to Tryphon, Demetrius Nicator still held some parts of the country. Having secured a large part of the country with the help of Jonathan Maccabee, Tryphon now turned his attention to try defeat Jonathan, as he deemed him too powerful.
He led Jonathan into a trap to dismiss his army of 40 000 and only keep 1000 men with him for negotiations at a place he determined. Jonathan foolishly fell for it and then was ambushed while all those remaining men were killed. With this Tryphon hoped to have broken the power of the Maccabees, and began to march upon Jerusalem. But in Jerusalem, Simon Maccabee, the brother of Jonathan was raised to the leadership role and quickly gained the confidence of the rest of the Judean army. As Tryphon approached he realized the Maccabees were still too strong and in the standoff demanded that 100 talents of silver be paid over supposedly owed to him by Jonathan. He expected taxes Jonathan supposedly failed to pay over in his capacity as royal officer and gave that as the reason for his arrest on Jonathan. History says:
“ Tryphon advanced upon Judea, bringing Jonathan with him. He demanded 100 talents, said to be due from Jonathan in his capacity of royal officer, and his two sons as hostages. Simon, lest his motives should be misconstrued, was obliged to comply. Needless to say, Jonathan was not released. Tryphon did not accomplish the invasion of Judaea.” [House of Seleucus- Edwin Robert Bevan]
DANIEL 11:20 Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.
There he was-the imposter Tryphon using the son of the imposter Balas as a tool to claim power for himself in the north just like Philometor did before him. The trick Philometor pulled on the north, he now repeated. But immediately after this extraction of money out of the Maccabees, he made his intentions clear when he killed the boy of Balas, [142 BC] and now proclaimed the throne unto himself.
But the days of this tax collector in the Judean glory of the kingdom, was not going to last just as Scripture there prophesied. How? Demetrius Nicator got involved in a war with Parthia and was captured in the process by the Parthian king. He however had a brother called Antiochus Sidetes who went into hiding with him some years ago [150 BC] when their father Demetrius Soter had trouble with the Balas/Philometor pact.
As Nicator was captured Sidetes now came out of exile to fight the imposter Tryphon to re-claim the throne of the house of Seleucids. He then brought to pass the last part of verse 20 where it says: “...but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.”
“ The councilors of Queen Cleopatra [Thea] at last told her that there was no course left but to call in Antiochus [Sidetes] to take the place of Demetrius, both as king and as her (third) husband. Thus was entrance into the kingdom opened for Antiochus. He arrived at Seleucia in 138, married Cleopatra and assumed the diadem as King Antiochus Euergetes. Antiochus was in Seleucia! At the tidings the star of Tryphon finally declined. Another king of the old house, whose record was as yet unstained, of whom men might hope anything — the news awoke all the old loyalty, and the soldiery upon whom Tryphon relied were soon flocking to Seleucia. Tryphon was left with only a remnant.”
There it is. Tryphon literally fell within a few days after this marriage! Tryphon was not defeated in anger, neither in hard battle’s, but simply by the name of the new king, him being a true Seleucid, with a name not scarred. His brother Demetrius Nicator had become unpopular due to mismanagement, but the soldiers and the population thought this new Seleucid king might be different and thus walked over to his side. With that Tryphon was soon on the run and when found in the place of his last stand, he committed suicide rather than falling into the hands of Sidetes.
Thus then came to pass another excellent prophecy. Note this one came to pass 138 BC, way beyond the supposed 164 BC date some scholars dated the writing of the Book of Daniel with. So citing the scholars as saying the Book was written after the fact does not count for much now. 138 BC is 26 years after 164 BC, and still the Book of Daniel continues to be accurate in prophecies. So even by their opinion –which remained only an opinion of some on dating the Book-This was perfect prophecy.
Antiochus Sidetes was the last strong ruler of the Greek north, and from this point on the kings of the north didn’t feature anymore in the Book of Daniel-UNTILL THE END TIMES, when a new threat was to arise in the lands north of Israel. There is a new king of the north today, and it is that king you have to watch. Watch Russia. For more on this and other things: http://branham.org/messageplayer/60-1211E
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