on Daniel 11 :40
At the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him - These kings are to be understood in reference to the times of which the prophet speaks. While the kingdoms of Egypt and Syria were subsisting, the king of the south and the north applied to them exclusively: but they did not exist at the time of which the prophet speaks; therefore other southern and northern powers must be sought. These we may find in the Saracens, who were of the Arabians, who came from the south, headed by the false prophet Mohammed, who pushed at him - made war on the Greek emperor Heraclius, and with amazing rapidity deprived him of Egypt, Syria, and many of his finest provinces.
And the king of the north - The Turks, who were originally Scythians, seized on the remains of the Greek empire; and in process of time rendered themselves masters of the whole. They are represented as coming like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen; their armies being chiefly composed of cavalry.
And with many ships - With these they got possession of many islands and maritime countries; and were so powerful in their fleets, that they entirely defeated the Venetians; and at last their fleets became of the utmost consequence to them in besieging, and afterwards taking, Constantinople, a.d. 1453, which they hold to the present day. So they entered into the countries, and overflowed, rendering themselves masters of all Asia Minor and Greece.
on Daniel 11 :40
And at the time of the end - See Daniel 11:35. The "time of the end" must properly denote the end or consummation of the series of events under consideration, or the matter in hand, and properly and obviously means here the end or consummation of the transactions which had been referred to in the previous part of the vision. It is equivalent to what we should say by expressing it thus: "at the winding up of the affair." In Daniel 12:4, Daniel 12:9, Daniel 12:13, the word "end," however, obviously refers to another close or consummation - the end or consummation of the affairs that reach far into the future - the final dispensation of things in this world. It has been held by many that this could not be understood as referring to Antiochus, because what is here stated did not occur in the close of his reign. Perhaps at first sight the most obvious interpretation of what is said in this and the subsequent verses to the end of the chapter would be, that, after the series of events referred to in the previous verses; after Antiochus had invaded Egypt, and had been driven thence by the fear of the Romans, he would, in the close of his reign, again attack that country, and bring it, and Libya, and AEthiopia into subjection Daniel 11:43; and that when there, tidings out of the north should compel him to abandon the expedition and return again to his own land.
Porphyry (see Jerome, in loc.) says that this was so, and that Antiochus actually invaded Egypt in the "eleventh year of his reign," which was the year before he died; and he maintains, therefore, that all this had a literal application to Antiochus, and that being so literally true, it must have been written after the events had occurred. Unfortunately the fifteen books of Porphyry are lost, and we have only the fragments of his works preserved which are to be found in the Commentary of Jerome on the book of Daniel. The statement of Porphyry, referred to by Jerome, is contrary to the otherwise universal testimony of history about the last days of Antiochus, and there are such improbabilities in the statement as to leave the general impression that Porphyry in this respect falsified history in order to make it appear that this must have been written after the events referred to. If the statement of Porphyry were correct, there would be no difficulty in applying this to Antiochus. The common belief, however, in regard to Antiochus is, that he did not invade Egypt after the series of events referred to above, and after he had been required to retire by the authority of the Roman ambassadors, as stated in the notes at Daniel 11:30.
This belief accords also with all the probabilities of the case. Under these circumstances, many commentators have supposed that this portion of the chapter Daniel 11:40-45 could not refer to Antiochus, and they have applied it to Anti-christ, or to the Roman power. Yet how forced and unnatural such an application must be, anyone can perceive by examining Newton on the Prophecies, pp. 308-315. The obvious, and perhaps it may be added the honest, application of the passage must be to Antiochus. This is that which would occur to any reader of the prophecy; this is what he would obviously hold to be the true application; and this is that only which would occur to anyone, unless it were deemed necessary to bend the prophecy to accommodate it to the history. Honesty and fairness, it seems to me, require that we should understand this as referring to the series of events which had been described in the previous portion of the chapter, and as designed to state the ultimate issue or close of the whole.
There will be no difficulty in this if we may regard these verses Daniel 11:40-45 as containing a recapitulation, or a summing up of the series of events, with a statement of the manner in which they would close. If so interpreted all will be clear. It will then be a general statement of what would occur in regard to this remarkable transaction that would so materially affect the interests of religion in Judea, and be such an important chapter in the history of the world. This summing up, moreover, would give occasion to mention some circumstances in regard to the conquests of Antiochus which could not so well be introduced in the narrative itself, and to present, in few words, a summary of all that would occur, and to state the manner in which all would be terminated. Such a summing up, or recapitulation, is not uncommon, and in this way the impression of the whole would be more distinct.
With this view, the phrase "and at the time of the end" Daniel 11:40 would refer, not so much to the "time of the end" of the reign of Antiochus, but to the "time of the end" of the whole series of the transactions referred to by the angel as recorded "in the scripture of truth" Daniel 10:21, from the time of Darius the Mede Daniel 11:1 to the close of the reign of Antiochus - a series of events embracing a period of some three hundred and fifty years. Viewed in reference to this long period, the whole reign of Antiochus, which was only eleven years, might be regarded as "the time of the end." It was, indeed, the most disastrous portion of the whole period, and in this chapter it occupies more space than all that went before it - for it was to be the time of the peculiar and dreadful trial of the Hebrew people, but it was "the end" of the matter - the winding up of the series - the closing of the events on which the eye of the angel was fixed, and which were so important to be known beforehand. In these verses, therefore Daniel 11:40-45, he sums up what would occur in what he here calls appropriately "the time of the end" - the period when the predicted termination of this series of important events should arrive - to wit, in the brief and eventful reign of Antiochus.
Shall the king of the south - The king of Egypt. See Daniel 11:5-6, Daniel 11:9.
Push at him - As in the wars referred to in the previous verse - in endeavoring to expel him from Coelo-Syria and Palestine, and from Egypt itself, Daniel 11:25, Daniel 11:29-30. See the note at those verses.
And the king of the north shall come against him - The king of Syria - Antiochus. Against the king of Egypt. He shall repeatedly invade his lands. See the notes above.
Like a whirlwind - As if he would sweep everything before him. This he did when he invaded Egypt; when he seized on Memphis, and the best portion of the land of Egypt, and when he obtained possession of the person of Ptolemy. See the notes at Daniel 11:25-27.
With chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships - All this literally occurred in the successive invasions of Egypt by Antiochus. See the notes above.
And he shall enter into the countries - Into Coelo-Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and the adjacent lands.
And shall overflow and pass over - Like a flood he shall spread his armies over these countries. See the notes at Daniel 11:22.
on Daniel 11 :40