Their father had been humiliated in war. The land they should have inherited had been spoiled and divided, and some of it went to those who should have remained subordinates. This situation just had to be rectified rather than accepted, and they felt, they had to do it. But long before they were born, there was a Book that foretold their successes, as well as their failures with such accuracy 311 of years before it began to happened, that it blows the mind. This is their story. But before we get there, let us just pick up some background.
You will remember that Ptolemy Euergetes invaded the Syrian north to avenge the death of his sister, and how he dealt with them in his anger for 5 years of war. If you are not up to date on that you can click on “Archibald” here above and read the previous article “ Vengeance of the branch” , to update yourself. Following this historic line of events, we last ended where the Bible said:
“...; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north. 9 So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.” Dan11:9
Just as the heavenly visitor Daniel received 536 BC told him, Ptolemy Euergetes [246 -221 BC] king of the Egyptian south indeed did live longer than Seleucus Callinicus [246-225 BC] king of the Syrian North, and whilst he could have subjected the conquered parts of the north to his rule, he instead returned into his own land. History bored record of that. But the Man Daniel met in Dan.10 told him it would not end there, and then went on to say this:
“ DANIEL 11:10 But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces:...”
Seleucus Callinicus defeated king of the north, indeed had two sons. He lost a lot of land after the war with Euergetes, and as it was, some of the regions used the chaos to detach themselves and declared their independence. Callinicus was not able to re-conquer what he lost, but his sons were not going to accept that situation, and as prophesied , there were indeed stirred up to try to rectify it.
Assembling multiple forces
In absolute accordance to what the man told Daniel 536 BC, his first son Seleucus III who came to power 225 BC ,311 years after the prophecy upon the death of his father, immediately began to fulfill the above prophecy in part:
“ Seleucus took up the task of reconquering Pergamum in Asia Minor from a cousin, Attalus I. The first general whom he sent, Andromachus, was decisively defeated by Attalus and captured.” [Britannica on Seleucus III, son of Callinicus]
Not to be discouraged in defeat, Seleucus III assembled another force and this time led it himself.
“Seleucus III then led an army across the Taurus himself. In Phrygia, however, he was assassinated. He was succeeded by his younger brother, Antiochus III the Great.” [Britannica on Seleucus III who reigned 225-223BC]
Scripture partly fulfilled! But the prophecy said: “But his sons shall be stirred up,” More than one son of Callinicus was going to be stirred up, assemble forces, and go to war. When as you’ve read above, Seleucus III was tragically assassinated after only 2 years of reign, his brother, Antiochus III also called ‘the great’ came to power. He too set out to re-conquer and assembled again an army.
“ Antiochus III inherited a disorganized state. Not only had Asia Minor become detached, but the further eastern provinces had broken away, Bactria under the Greek Diodotus of Bactria, and Parthia under the nomad chieftain Arsaces. Soon after Antiochus's accession, Media and Persis revolted under their governors, the brothers Molon and Alexander. The young king, under the baneful influence of the minister Hermeias, authorised an attack on Judea instead of going in person to face the rebels.
The attack on Judea proved a fiasco, and the generals sent against Molon and Alexander met with disaster. Only in Asia Minor, where the king's cousin, the able Achaeus represented the Seleucid cause, did its prestige recover, driving the Pergamene power back to its earlier limits.”
Scripture again fulfilled even to the smallest details. Both sons were stirred up and assembled multiple forces to regain their losses. Not to be discouraged by some setbacks, Antiochus ‘the great’ again assembled an army and set out, hoping for more success:
“ In 221 BC Antiochus at last went east, and the rebellion of Molon and Alexander collapsed. The submission of Lesser Media, which had asserted its independence under Artabazanes, followed. Antiochus rid himself of Hermeias by assassination and returned to Syria (220 BC).
Meanwhile Achaeus himself had revolted and assumed the title of king in Asia Minor. Since, however, his power was not well enough grounded to allow of his attacking Syria, Antiochus considered that he might leave Achaeus for the present and renew his attempt on Judea.” [Wikipedia]
War with the Egyptian south
The Bible even went further and foretold more things about Antiochus III, ‘the great’. It said he would indeed even come up against the new king of the South.
“ ...and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: ....”Dan11:10b
Right there the king of the South was warned-One shall certainly come , yes, one of the stirred up sons of Callinicus shall indeed come, and when he does he will overflow and pass through your land. Intelligence was given 317 years before it happened. This is the kind of intelligence every government in the world covets. You want to know when there will be war, and by who, and for what reason.
All these details were given right in this verse. The sons of Callinicus will be stirred up, disturbed about the war their father lost, and beware people of the South, one of them shall certainly come. Since the reign of the first son only lasted 2 years before his assassination, the intelligence officers of the South could now know for sure, it would have to come to pass in the reign of his brother. But was this intelligence correct? Did it happen? Could the South rely on it? I will let the history speak:
“ Antiochus was now free to conduct what has been called the Fourth Syrian War (219–216), during which he gained control of the important eastern Mediterranean sea ports of Seleucia-in-Pieria, Tyre, and Ptolemais.” [Britannica on Antiochus III and his first campaign of the south of Egypt]
By the time Antiochus III king of the north made this attack, Ptolemy IV Philopator the son of the mighty Ptolemy Euergetes, had taken over in Egypt. Instead of reading the long given intelligence, and at least be prepared that it might happen, he was taken by complete surprise when this attack took place. Instead of being ready, he was shaken. Unlike his father Euergetes, Philopator was what we would call a “party animal”, one who did not care much about the affairs of the state. We read he instead of building armies, built luxury cruise ships to explore the Nile, while holding wild parties.
Luckily for him there was a man in the royal court, an adviser called Sosibius who was a quick thinker, and he instead of engaging into war, started negotiations with the advancing armiy of the North. Sosibius knew they had no army that could oppose Anthiochus ‘the great’ successfully, and thus began to use time buying stalling tactics so they could recruit and built an army that could save Egypt from total embarrassment and humiliation. I now quote a little more:
“ Following the defection of one of Ptolemy's best commanders, Egypt's Syro-Palestinian territory, Coele Syria, was seriously threatened by Antiochus III, the Syrian Seleucid ruler. In 219, when the Seleucid ruler captured some of the coastal cities, Sosibius and the Ptolemaic court entered into delaying negotiations with the enemy, while the Ptolemaic army was reorganized and intensively drilled. So grave was the threat that for the first time under the Ptolemaic regime native Egyptians were enrolled into the infantry and cavalry and trained in phalanx tactics.” [Britannica on Ptolemy IV Philopator]
There it is. Did Antiochus pass through and overflow? Yes! Scripture fulfilled. But as seen the then shaken Philopator at least did something wise here. He started to prepare and army for war. Because the Bible detail prophesied the negotiations would NOT be enough to save this situation as it clearly stated Antiochus III would return.
Dan.11:10b “ ...and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress...”
Now watch the beauty of the prophecy here. One of the sons of Callinicus would certainly come, and pass through: Did you notice the words pass through is used? Somehow he would NOT stay-but merely pass through. This is strange because soldiers usually stay till they finish in victory. Why would he merely pass through? This came to pass when Sosibius started stalling his attack via negotiations and Antiochus III had to withdraw for a while.
But what is the next word used? “ then shall he return, and be stirred up even to his fortress...” Wonderful! The South now could also know the negotiations would not work forever, for the Bible intelligence said he shall return. Did it happen? Could they trust this intelligence? History speaks:
“In 218 the negotiations collapsed, and Antiochus renewed his advance, overrunning Ptolemy's forward defenses.” [ Britannica 2008 on Ptolemy IV Philopator]
If someone overruns your forward defenses, then he is getting right into your stronghold right? Indeed he went right up to the Egyptian strong holds or fortress.
“ In 218 he held Coele Syria (Lebanon), Palestine, and Phoenicia.” [Britannica on Antiochus III ] Overrunning deep into Egyptian territory- exactly what stands there. Fortress there also mean “ strong hold” according to the Hebrew lexicon. Right into the Egyptian stronghold he came past all those lands. Philopator in the past year of negotiations had time to train his Egyptian recruited locals and with the help of his sister wife Arsinoe III swept those Egyptians up into a frenzy into defending their country. In spite of Philopator being shaken initially, the Scripture prophesied a surprising conclusion to this war:
“ Daniel 11:11 And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.”
This was quite unexpected. Antiochus ‘the great’ looked so good in his first attack, but would he actually lose the war? Did he? History speaks:
“ In 217 he engaged an army (numbering 75,000) of Ptolemy IV Philopator, a pharaoh of the Hellenistic dynasty ruling Egypt, at Raphia, the southernmost city in Syria. His own troops numbered 68,000. Though he succeeded in routing the left wing of the Egyptian army, his phalanx (heavily armed infantry in close ranks) in the centre was defeated by a newly formed Egyptian phalanx. In the subsequent peace settlement, Antiochus gave up all his conquests except the city of Seleucia-in-Pieria.” [Britannica on Antiochus failing exactly as prophesied]
There it is, history telling how it came to pass verse for verse, word after word, letter after letter. Antiochus ‘the great’ was stirred to war, but when he finally got there, he was shaken. This is indeed the Word of the Lord, the word of the all knowing God of the Bible. I have never seen it fail in prophecy, no- not even once. There are those who say it failed, but it’s rather a case of their own failure to understand what they read.
As you have seen thus far, its intelligence or foreknowledge of things to come is trust worthy. It will not say there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when in fact there is not. The CIA may fail, but not this intelligence. And oh, do we need intelligence for the future? Indeed we do. The most important intelligence info I would think for the individual today is: What waits for me after I die? Will I be nothing as some of those who never went beyond the grave say, or is there indeed heaven and hell? For such intelligence please read Luke 16:19-31.
But God in His love and warning of the future did not only spoke through Jesus, He also had many others experience life after death, coming back from the dead just as the rich man asked to tell us what is beyond the curtain of time. You might want to read one such an experience I told you about before called: “Beyond the curtain of time” which should be available if you click on “ Archibald” above.
I would also recommend watching this movie approached from a scientific point of view and telling about a man who was dead for 3 days. You ought to get enough info out of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvFIcMH8B8g
Make sure you are not stirred to war against the Bible only to be shaken when you finally die.
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