on Daniel 11 :41
He shall enter also into the glorious land - Entirely subdue Judea.
And many countries shall be overthrown - Aleppo, Damascus, Gaza, and many other cities were forced to submit to them; and they hold them still.
But these shalt escape - Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon - These and other Arabians they have never been able to subdue. They still occupy the deserts; and receive a yearly pension of forty thousand crowns of gold from the Ottoman emperors, to permit the caravans, with the pilgrims for Mecca, to have a free passage.
on Daniel 11 :41
He shall enter also into the glorious land - Margin, "land of delight," or ornament, or goodly land. The Hebrew is, "land of ornament;" that is, of beauty, to wit, Palestine, or the holy land. The same word is used in Daniel 11:16. See the note at that place. As to the fact that he would invade that land, see the notes at Daniel 11:28, Daniel 11:31-33.
And many countries shall be overthrown - The word countries here is supplied by the translators. The Hebrew word רבות rabôth may denote "many things," and might refer to cities, dwellings, institutions, etc. The meaning is, that he would produce wide devastation, which was true of Antiochus, when, either personally or by his generals, he invaded the land of Palestine. See the notes above.
But these shall escape out of his hand ... - Intent on his work in Palestine, and having enough there to occupy his attention, the neighboring lands of Edom, Moab, and Ammon shall not be molested by him. The wrath of Antiochus was particularly against the Jews, and it is not a little remarkable that no mention is made of his invading these adjacent countries. The route which he pursued was to Egypt, along the shores of the Mediterranean, and though he turned from his course to wreak his vengeance on the Jews, yet it does not appear that he carried his arms farther from the main line of his march. Antiochus was principally engaged with the Egyptians and the Romans; he was also engaged with the Jews, for Palestine had been the battlefield - the main place and object of contention between the king of Syria and the king of Egypt. Moab, and Edom, and Ammon were comparatively remote from the scene of conflict, and were left unmolested. It would seem most probable, also, that these nations were friendly to Antiochus, and were in alliance with him, or at least it is certain that they were hostile to the Jews, which, for the purposes of Antiochus, amounted to the same thing. Judas Maccabeus is represented as engaged with them in war, and consequently they must have either been in alliance with Antiochus, or in some other way promoting his interests. See 1 Macc. 4:61; 5:3, 6-9. These countries were, therefore, in fact, secure from the invasions of Antiochus, and so far the prophecy was literally fulfilled. It may be added
(a), that no occurrence since that time has taken place to which the prophecy can with propriety be applied; and
(b), that no natural sagacity could have foreseen this, and that, therefore, if the prediction was uttered before the days of Antiochus, it must have been the result of Divine inspiration.
As to the former of these remarks (a), if anyone is desirous of seeing how forced and unnatural must be any attempt to apply this to any other times than those of Antiochus, he has only to consult Bishop Newton on the Prophecies (pp. 311-313), who explains it as referring to the Ottoman empire, and to the fact that though the Turks have been able to take Jerusalem, they have never been able to subdue the Arabians, the Moabites, or the Ammonites. Aleppo, Damascus, and Gaza, says he, were forced to submit, but these other places "escaped out of the hands" of the Turks. As to the other remark (b), if one, writing after the events, had intended to give a brief and striking view of what Antiochus did, he could not find better language to express it than to say in the words of the passage before us, "He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon." But it is clear that there is no natural sagacity by which this could be foreseen. There was nothing in the character of those nations, or in the nature of the case, which would lead one to anticipate it - for the presumption would be, that if a desolating war were waged on Palestine by a cruel conqueror, his ravages would be extended to the neighboring countries also.
on Daniel 11 :41
11:41 The children of Ammon - He will not hurt them; because they helped him against the Jews.