on Daniel 11 :4
His kingdom shall be broken - Shall, after his death, be divided among his four chief generals, as we have seen before. See Daniel 8:22.
And not to his posterity - The family of Alexander had a most tragical end:
1. His wife Statira was murdered soon after his death by his other wife Roxana.
2. His brother Aridaeus who succeeded him, was killed, together with his wife Euridice, by command of Olympias, Alexander's mother, after he had been king about six years and some months.
3. Olympias herself was killed by the soldiers in revenge.
4. Alexander Aegus, his son, together with his mother Roxana, was slain by order of Cassander.
5. Two years after, his other son Hercules, with his mother Barsine, was privately murdered by Polysperchon; so that in fifteen years after his death not one of his family or posterity remained alive!
"Blood calls for blood." He (Alexander) was the great butcher of men. He was either poisoned, or killed himself by immoderate drinking, when he was only thirty-two years and eight months old: and a retributive Providence destroyed all his posterity, so that neither root nor branch of them was left on the face of the earth. Thus ended Alexander, the great butcher; and thus ended his family and posterity.
on Daniel 11 :4
And when he shall stand up - In the might and power of his kingdom. When his power shall be fully established. I understand this, with Rosenmuller and Havernick, as meaning, when he shall be at the height of his authority and power, then his kingdom would be broken up. The reference is, undoubtedly, to the sudden death of Alexander; and the sense is, that his empire would not "gradually" diminish and decay, but that some event would occur, the effect of which would be to rend it into four parts.
His kingdom shall be broken - To wit, by his death. The language is such as is properly applicable to this, and indeed implies this, for it is said that it would not be "to his posterity" - an event which might be naturally expected to occur; or, in other words, the allusion to his posterity is such language as would be employed on the supposition that the reference here is to his death.
And shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven - Into four parts. For the remarkable fulfillment of this prediction, see the notes at Daniel 8:8.
And not to his posterity - See also the notes at Daniel 8:8.
Nor according to his dominion which he ruled - This was literally true of the division of the empire. No one of his successors ever obtained as wide a dominion as he did himself.
For his kingdom shall be plucked up - By his death. This does not naturally mean that it would be by "conquest," for it is said that it would be "divided toward the four winds of heaven" - language which is not properly expressive of conquest. All that is implied is met by the supposition, that at his decease the kingdom which had been founded by him, and which had been sustained by his valor and political wisdom, would fall to pieces.
Even for others beside those - That is, to others beside those to whom it should be at first divided. Literally, "exclusively, or to the exclusion of" - מלבד mı̂llebad. The word "those" refers to his posterity; and the meaning is, that the process of division would not stop with them, or that the four portions of the empire, as thus divided, would not remain in their hands, or pass to their posterity. There would be other changes and other divisions; and it was not to be expected that just four, and no more, empires would grow out of the one which had been founded, or that when that one should be divided into four parts, that partition would always continue. There would be other divisions, and other princes besides those who first obtained the empire would come in, and the process of division would ultimately be carried much farther. It is unnecessary to say that this occurred in the empire founded by Alexander. It was, soon after his death, separated into four parts, but at no distant period this arrangement was broken up, and all traces of the empire, as established by him, or as divided among his four successors, wholly disappeared.
on Daniel 11 :4