on Daniel 11 :39
In the most strong holds with a strange god - Bishop Newton proposed the following translation, after justly finding fault with our common Version: "Thus shall he do to the defenders of Mauzzim, together with the strange god whom he shall acknowledge: he shall multiply honor, and he shall cause him to rule over many; and the earth he shall divide for a reward." The defenders of Mauzzim, these saint and angel gods protectors, were the monks, priests, and bishops; of whom it may be truly said, "They were increased with honor, ruled over many, and divided the land for gain." They have been honored and reverenced almost to adoration; their jurisdiction was extended over the purses and consciences of men; they have been enriched with the noblest buildings and largest endowments, and the choicest lands have been appropriated for Church lands. These are points of such public notoriety, that they require no proof. - Newton.
on Daniel 11 :39
Thus shall he do in, the most strong holds - Margin, "fortresses of munitions." The reference is to strongly fortified places; to those places which bad been made strong for purposes of defense. The idea is, that he would carry on his purposes against these places, as it were, under the auspices of this strange god. It was a fact, that in his wars Antiochus came into possession of the strong places, or the fortified towns of the nations which he attacked - Jerusalem, Sidon, Peluslum, Memphis - then among the strongest places in the world.
With a strange god - A foreign god whom his fathers did not acknowledge; that is, according to the supposition above, and according to the fact, with the god whom he had adored at Rome, and whose worship he was ambitious to transfer to his own empire - the Jupiter of the Capitol. He seemed to be acting under the auspices of this foreign god.
Whom he shall acknowledge - By building temples and altars to him. "And increase with glory." That is, with honor. He would seem to increase or extend his dominion in the world, by introducing his worship in his own county and in the lands which he would conquer. Before, his dominion appeared to be only at Rome; Antiochus sought that it might be extended farther, over his own kingdom, and over the countries that he would conquer.
And he shall cause them to rule over many - That is, the foreign gods. Mention had been made before of only one god; but the introduction of the worship of Jupiter would be naturally connected with that of the other gods of Rome, and they are, therefore, referred to in this manner. The conquests of Antiochus would seem to be a setting up of the dominion of these gods over the lands which he subdued.
And shall divide the land for gain - Margin, "a price." The reference here is, probably, to the holy land, and the idea is that it would be partitioned out among his followers for a price, or with a view to gain; that is, perhaps, that it would be "farmed out" for the purpose of raising revenue, and that with this view, as often occurred, it would be set up for sale to the highest bidder. This was a common way of raising revenue, by "farming out" a conquered province; that is, by disposing of the privilege of raising a revenue in it to the one who would offer most for it, and the consequence was, that it gave rise to vast rapacity in extorting funds from the people. Compare 1 Macc. 3:35, 36, where, speaking of Lysias, whom Antiochus had "set to oversee the affairs of the king from the river Euphrates unto the borders of Egypt," it is said of Antiochus that he "gave him (Lysias) charge of all things that he would have done, as also concerning them that dwelt in Judea and Jerusalem: to wit, that he should send an army against them, to destroy and root out the strength of Israel, and the remnant of Jerusalem, and to take away their memorial from that place; and that he should place strangers in all their quarters, 'and divide their land by lot. '"
on Daniel 11 :39
11:39 With a strange god - Using all art and authority to propagate his worship.