The Jewish Eye
Sefer Daniel: Part 22 - Perek 11 cont'd: Antiochus, Ptolemy and Cleopatra
"Also their gods with their rulers, with their precious vessels of silver and gold, in captivity will bring to Mitzrayim, and he will withstand for years from the king of the North."
Ptolemy III returned to Mitzrayim with his booty and military successes. However, the war was not yet over. The next northern king, Seleucus II, reconquered some of his territory, and war began anew, but Ptolemy III remained the stronger one for at least two years.
"And he will come to the kingdom of the king of the south, and he will return to his land."
Seleucus II had succeeded in reconquering some of his land. He then ventured out with a huge fleet to conquer the islands of the south, but stormy conditions destroyed his ships, and he returned to his land in shame.
"His sons will rouse themselves, and will gather many armies. He will come, and storm, and pass through. And he will return and provoke until his stronghold."
"His sons will rouse themselves"- The children of Seleucus, continued to provoke wars, in which one of them was killed.
"He will come"- The remaining son, Antiochus III, who had become the next king, attacked the south, headed by Ptolemy IV. Ptolemy realized that he would not be able to defeat Antiochus' armies, and instead, he signed a peace treaty with him. During the next four months, Ptolemy built up his army, and then violated the peace treaty and attacked Antiochus.
"And he will return" - Antiochus twice returned to war, and managed to reach the stronghold of the border of Mitzrayim (Rafiah).
"The king of the south will become bitter, will go out and battle with him, with the king of the north; he will raise a large amount (of troops), and they will be given into his hand."
Ptolemy IV normally liked nothing more than indulging in pleasure, but when he saw that the king of the north had entered his border, his bitterness was aroused, and he went out to battle him, and overcame him.
"The huge amount (of troops) will feel uplifted, and its heart will be proud. And they cut down tens of thousands, but they will not overcome."
The Egyptians were proud of their victory over the North; they had inflicted heavy losses. However, they mistakenly thought it was a complete victory, and neglected to chase after them and decimate them completely, partly due to Ptolemy's love of leisure. Ptolemy later paid for his laziness when Antiochus III attacked Egypt once again.
"The king of the north will return and establish more (troops) that at first, and at the end of times, years, he will come with a great army and with great wealth."
Many years after Antiochus was initially defeated by Ptolemy IV, he again attacked Egypt and Syria. Ptolemy IV had died meanwhile, and the kingdom was ruled (in name only) by his son, Ptolemy V, who was still very young.
"In those times, many will stand up against the king of the south; and the unruly sons of your people will raise themselves to establish a vision and will stumble."
"In those times, many will stand against the king of the south."-Other kings, including the king of Macedonia joined in the battle against Egypt.
"And the unruly sons of your people..." The Jews hated the Ptolemy dynasty because of their oppression. Some of the Jews them feigned nevuah, and claimed that the king of the north will be the victor in the war with Ptolemy. They supported Antiochus, and were eventually killed as collaborators by the Egyptian government.
"The one that will come to him will do as he wants, and no one will stand against him, and he will stand in the land of tzvi (Eretz Yisrael), and all of it in his hand."
This is still referring to Antiochus, who conquered all of Syria, and also Eretz Yisrael.
"He will set his face to take over the strength of his entire kingdom,, and he will make an agreement with him, and he will give the daughter of the women to destroy, and it will stand, and she will not be his."
Antiochus was now ready to conquer the "strength of the kingdom of the south" - Egypt. Meanwhile, the Romans were growing wary of Antiochus, and offered aid to the Egyptians. Antiochus devised a plan to take over the malchus in a different way. He made a peace agreement with Egypt and gave his daughter, Cleopatra, as a wife to Ptolemy V. He had high hopes that Cleopatra would eventually turn against her husband and help her father to take over Egypt. However, his conniving plans failed since Cleopatra was faithful to her husband.
"And he will turn his face to the island, and will conquer many, and an officer will put an end to his impudence; his impudence will be returned to him."
Antiochus now began conquering islands, some of which belonged to the Romans. He also entered the islands of Greece on the advice of his ally, Hannibal, provoking a war with the Romans.
The Romans then sent an officer to stop Antiochus, and the Romans defeated Antiochus, and retook the countries he had conquered and imposed a large tax on him.
"And he will turn his face to the fortresses of his land, and he will stumble and fall, and will not be found."
Antiochus returned home to collect the tax which he was being forced to pay the Romans. He heard that that a great treasure could be found in a certain temple, and he stole it. The people were furious and killed him secretly, and no one knew where he was.
"One will stand in his place, and the glory of his kingdom will be the passing of the tax collector. In time, he will be broken, but not by anger, and not by war."
The son of Antiochus III, Seleucus IV, took over the kingdom. His malchus lasted only for twelve years, in which no events of note, such as rebellion or wars, took place. However, he was forced to pay heavy taxes to Rome every year, and his government was constantly occupied with collecting money from the populace for the tax. He was eventually poisoned by a member of his government.
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