In tracing the prophecies of Daniel 11, we now enter the period after Epiphanes. When Epiphanes died unexpectedly of illness in 164 BC, he left his 9 year old son as heir to the throne. But trouble for the boy was not far off. You will recall that Seleucus IV, the brother of Epiphanes who ruled the north before him, had a son called Demetrius who should have taken the throne. Seleucus IV however during his reign exchanged Demetrius as hostage to Rome for Epiphanes under the treaty of Apamea.
When he died 175 BC, it was Epiphanes who took the throne instead of Demetrius who were still hostage in Rome. [You can find it in my previous post ‘Circle in the sand’] When Demetrius now heard Epiphanes died, he asked the Roman senate to grant him his freedom, so he could go home and help his 9 year old cousin rule the country.
The senate for their own obvious reasons however opted to keep him in custody as they preferred a weak 9 year old ruler in the north, rather than a strong man such as Demetrius. Demetrius subsequently escaped, killed his cousin who by then had ruled for 2 years, as well as the rest of the sons of Epiphanes and took the throne his father had before Epiphanes, as Demetrius Soter in 162 BC.
He quickly made enemies with the Maccabees by ousting the Hasmonean rulers which revived the rebel war in Judea. He made further enemies with Cappadocia when he effected regime change by helping the brother of the ruler there onto the throne, who unfortunately due to his own corrupt nature, couldn’t hold the throne for long. Also in Pergamum his interference in Cappadocia wasn’t well received. Demetrius also got Egypt as enemy by doing this:
“ In 155, however, the Seleucid ruler of Syria had incurred Ptolemy's [Philometor] enmity by conspiring to seize Cyprus.” [From Encyclopaedia Britannica] Thus when a young 14 year old who bored accidental resemblance to Epiphanes, appeared onto the scene, his enemies, immediately saw opportunity in this. “ Demetrius' downfall is attributed to Heracleides, a surviving brother of the defeated rebel Timarchus, who championed the cause of Alexander Balas, a boy he claimed was a natural son of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Heracleides convinced the Roman Senate to support the young pretender against Demetrius, ...” [Britannica]
Wikipedia says on Balas: “ Alexander's claims were recognized by the Roman Senate, Ptolemy Philometor of Egypt and others.” This support by many for a pretended son of Epiphanes was now going to bring to pass the next verse in the amazing line of prophecy:
“ DANIEL 11:16 But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.”
386 Years before the battle of 150 BC which Demetrius was going to fight, a Man spoke to Daniel [536 BC] and prophesied this. Against the king of the north [Demetrius] would arise a new threat in the north by way of a pretender with powerful connections. And of this pretender, or rather those who used him, it was prophesied that none shall stand before him. Demetrius was bound to fail. But did he? Was Rome going to help Balas? Although the boy had the blessings of the Roman senate, that was all he was going to get from them. In their policy of divide and rule they usually allowed the Greeks to destroy themselves.
The chief part of the military force of the allies of Balas, came from Ptolemy Philometor king of the southern Greek kingdom. So indirectly the Greek king of the north was attacked by the Greek king of the south who used Balas as puppet to legitimately attack Demetrius, so as to not arose Rome’s interferences. Demetrius now became desperate, and tried to make concessions to the Jewish leader Jonathan Maccabee whom he previously tried to crush:
“ Demetrius was now forced to recall the garrisons of Judea, except those in the City of Acre and at Beth-zur; he also made a bid for the loyalty of Jonathan, whom he permitted to recruit an army and to take the hostages kept in the City of Acre. Jonathan gladly accepted these terms and took up residence at Jerusalem in 153 BCE. He soon began fortifying the city.”
But that was a mistake as Scripture suggested Philometor who came in the name of Balas, would get the support of the Jews. “ ...and none shall stand before him [Ptolemy holding up Balas] : and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.”
Which land is the glorious land? God refers to Judea or the larger Israel, as the glorious land, and yes it is! The glory of God dwelt in that land since the time Joshua took the Ark in there. There is the glory of the whole earth! What made that land glorious is not so much it’s hills and landscape as there are much better places elsewhere, but the fact that the creator of all earth with all His glory chose to dwell in a simple Ark in that land, is what made it glorious. “ PSALM 85:9 Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.” That glory of God continued to dwell there when Solomon inaugurated the Temple of the Lord, and when it entered the temple, the priest could not even minister due to the awe and power of the Spirit of God.
At the time of this war, God was still just dealing with Judah. I believe the glory left when Judea rejected Jesus and He ascended on high, but that same glory of the Lord shall dwell there when the city of God shall descend out of heaven onto that area as John foresaw it will happen in Rev.21. Oh yes, It’s coming back, and it’s coming to that same land. God shall make His Tabernacle with man and then Jerusalem shall be called: The New Jerusalem. This parallels Is. 62 when Jerusalem shall be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Jerusalem shall be the praise of the earth. More on that here: http://branham.org/messageplayer/64-0802
But those who used Balas were to do this: “...and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.” Balas held up by Philometor, now drew the glorious land into his war plans when he promised Jonathan Maccabee many things in exchange for military assistance. Opposing the offer of Demetrius, Balas offered Jonathan even more.
“Alexander Balas also contacted Jonathan with even more favorable terms. Including official appointment as High Priest in Jerusalem. Withdrawing his support from Demetrius and declaring allegiance to Alexander, Jonathan was the first member of his dynasty to achieve appointment as High Priest. The title was not merely nominal. Jonathan became the official leader of his people and the Hellenistic party could no longer attack him without severe consequences. On the Feast of Tabernacle’s of 153 BCE, Jonathan put on the High Priest's garments and officiated for the first time."[Wikipedia]
None shall stand before him it says there. And indeed it was so. With the help of Ptolemy and Jonathan Maccabee, Balas finally conquered Demetrius as he died in battle 150 BC. Ptolemy now had achieved his first goal, that of establishing his own man in enemy territory. History records:
“ The chief part in overthrowing Demetrius and bringing in Alexander had been taken by Ptolemy Philometor. It had been shown abundantly how dangerous to the Egyptian realm an ambitious enterprising Seleucid king was likely to be. Philometor had therefore supported Alexander with the design of having upon the Seleucid throne someone entirely subservient to himself, of establishing a dominant interest in Syria.” [From -The house of Seleucids –Edwin Robert Bevan]
Rome didn’t want a strong ruler that could bring back glory to the Seleucids. Pergamum and Cappadocia wanted peace from a puppet ruler, and Philometor wanted someone subservient in the north, and therefore they all schemed this plot. Even the Jews could profit as Jonathan would be appointed High–Priest and be recognized as legitimate governor of Judea.
But how was Ptolemy going to make sure Balas was going to stay loyal? It was brought about through what the next verse of Daniel 11 said he would do. DANIEL 11:17 He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her...”
In this alliance of Balas in which Ptolemy played the chief part holding Balas up as a mere puppet, it was Ptolemy who came north with the whole strength of his Egyptian kingdom. And the upright ones there, was the law abiding Jews of Jonathan Maccabee who joined the army of Philometor and Balas in ousting Demetrius.
But when the war was over, and Demetrius dead, Philometor couldn’t exert himself directly. It was only Ptolemy who seemed in difficult situation. It was with his army that Balas got the victory but due to his fear for Rome he couldn’t just told Balas- “Now step aside, I won this war” So what did he do? Gave Balas his daughter as Scripture said he would and by that made sure he could frequently visit the north, advise, interfere and dictate as father in law to the new ruler of the north. This arrangement would prevent the Romans from ordering him out of the north. I quote Wikipedia:
“ He [Balas] was given the further honor of marriage to Cleopatra Thea, daughter of his allies Ptolemy VI and Cleopatra II. The wedding took place in Ptolemais in the presence of Ptolemy VI. Jonathan was invited but arrived after the wedding ceremony while celebrations continued. He appeared with presents for both kings, and was permitted to sit between them as their equal; Balas even clothed him with his own royal garment and otherwise accorded him high honor. He would not listen to the Hellenistic party that still accused Jonathan, but appointed Jonathan as strategos and "meridarch" (i.e., civil governor of a province; details not found in Josephus), and sent him back with honors to Jerusalem.” [Wikipedia]
DANIEL 11:17 He [Ptolemy holding up Balas] shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones [Maccabees] with him; thus shall he do: and he [Ptolemy holding up Balas ] shall give him [Balas -New king of the north] the daughter of women, corrupting her...”
Thus then came to pass another excellent prophecy! Note this one came to pass 150 BC, some 14 years after the 164 BC the scholars dated the Book of Daniel with. So even according to the scholars date of the Book of Daniel, this was prophecy!
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