on Daniel 11 :3
A mighty king shall stand up - This was Alexander the great. It is not said that this mighty king shall stand up against Xerxes, for he was not born till one hundred years after that monarch; but simply that he should stand up, i.e., that he should reign in Greece.
on Daniel 11 :3
And a mighty king shall stand up - So far as the language here is concerned, it is not said whether this would be in Persia, as a successor of the "fourth king" Daniel 11:2, or whether it would be in some other part of the world. The next verse, however, shows that the reference is to Alexander the Great - for to no other one is it applicable. There were several monarchs of Persia, indeed, that succeeded Xerxes before the kingdom was invaded and subdued by Alexander (see the notes at Daniel 11:2), and these are here entirely passed over without being alluded to. It must be admitted, that one who should have read this prophecy before the events had occurred would have inferred naturally that this "mighty king that should stand up" would appeal immediately after the "fourth, "and probably that he would be his successor in the realm; but it may be remarked,
(a) that the language here is not inconsistent with the facts in the case - it being literally true that such a "mighty king" did "stand up" who "ruled with great dominion, and according to his will;"
(b) that there was no necessity in the prophetic history of referring to the acts of these intermediate kings of Persia, since they did not contribute at all to the result - it being well known that the reason alleged by Alexander for his invasion of the Persian empire was not anything which they had done, but the wrongs sustained by Greece in consequence of the invasion by Xerxes and his predecessor. The real succession of events in the case was that last invasion of Greece by Xerxes, and the consequent invasion of the Persian empire by Alexander. It was these transactions which the angel evidently meant to connect together, and hence, all that was intermediate was omitted. Thus Alexander, in his letter to Darius, says: "Your ancestors entered into Macedonia, and the other parts of Greece, and did us damage, when they had received no affront from us as the cause of it; and now I, created general of the Grecians, provoked by you, and desirous of avenging the injury done by the Persians, have passed over into Asia." - Arrian, Exped. Alex. i.2.
That shall rule with great dominion - That shall have a wide and extended empire. The language here would apply to any of the monarchs of Persia that succeeded Xerxes, but it would be more strictly applicable to Alexander the Great than to any prince of ancient or modern times. The whole world, except Greece, was supposed to be subject to the power of Persia; and it was one of the leading and avowed purposes of Darius and Xerxes in invading Greece, by adding that to their empire, to have the earth under their control. When, therefore, Alexander had conquered Persia, it was supposed that he had subdued the world; nor was it an unnatural feeling that, having done this, he, whose sole principle of action was ambition, should sit down and weep because there were no more worlds to conquer. In fact, he then swayed a scepter more extended and mighty than any before him had done, and it is with peculiar propriety that the language here is used in regard to him.
And do according to his will - Would be an arbitrary prince. This also was true of the Persian kings, and of Oriental despots generally; but it was eminently so of Alexander - who, in subduing kingdoms, conquering mighty armies, controlling the million under his sway, laying the foundations of cities, and newly arranging the boundaries of empires, seemed to consult only his own will, and felt that everything was to be subordinate to it. It is said that this passage was shown to Alexander by the high priest of the Jews, and that these prophecies did much to conciliate his favor toward the Hebrew people.
on Daniel 11 :3
11:3 A mighty king - Alexander the great.