on Daniel 11 :45
He shalt plant the tabernacles - He shall make a last stand in Judea, and there shall his power be smitten.
He shall come to his end, and none shall help him - All his confederate and tributary kingdoms, states, and provinces shall desert him and leave that government to come to a shameful end.
In the interpretation of this chapter I have generally followed Bp. Newton, in his most excellent Dissertations on the Prophecies, consulting other eminent authors occasionally.
From the beginning of the chapter to the end of Daniel 11:30 all is very clear and plain, relative to the Grecian, Syrian, and Egyptian histories; from the thirty-first verse to the end, the mode of interpretation is not so satisfactory, in its application to the times since Christ. Yet possibly these alone may be intended; though the whole might be, with considerable ease, applied to the remaining part of the Syrian and Egyptian history. It is a wonderful piece of prophecy, and of great utility to the cause of Divine revelation.
on Daniel 11 :45
And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace - The loyal tents; the military tents of himself and his court. Oriental princes, when they went forth even in war, marched in great state, with a large retinue of the officers of their court, and often with their wives and concubines, and with all the appliances of luxury. Compare the account of the invasion of Greece by Xerxes, or of the camp of Darius, as taken by Alexander the Great. The military stations of Antiochus, therefore, in this march, would be, for a time, the residence of the court, and would be distinguished for as great a degree of royal luxury as the circumstances would allow. At the same time, they would consist of tabernacles or tents, as those stations were not designed to be permanent. The meaning is, that the royal temporary residence in this expedition, and previous to the close - the end of the whole matter, that is, the death of Antiochus - would be in the mountain here referred to.
Between the seas - That is, between some seas in the "east," or "north" - for it was by tidings from the east and north that he would be disturbed and summoned forth, Daniel 11:44. We are, therefore, most naturally to look for this place in one of those quarters. The fact was, that he had two objects in view - the one was to put down the revolt in Armenia, and the other to replenish his exhausted treasury from Persia. The former would be naturally what he would first endeavor to accomplish, for if he suffered the revolt to proceed, it might increase to such an extent that it would be impossible to subdue it. Besides, he would not be likely to go to Persia when there was a formidable insurrection in his rear, by which he might be harassed either in Persia, or on his return. It is most probable, therefore, that he would first quell the rebellion in Armenia on his way to Persia, and that the place here referred to where he would pitch his royal tent, and where he would end his days, would be some mountain where he would encamp before he reached the confines of Persia. There have been various conjectures as to the place here denoted by the phrase "between the seas," and much speculation has been employed to determine the precise location.
Jerome renders it, "And he shall pitch his tent in Apadno between the seas" - regarding the word which our translators have rendered "his palaces" (אפדנו 'apadenô) as a proper name denoting a place. So the Greek, ἐφαδανῷ ephadanō. The Syriac renders it, "in a plain, between the sea and the mountain." Theodoret takes it for a place near Jerusalem; Jerome says it was near Nicopolis, which was formerly called Emmaus, where the mountainous parts of Judea began to rise, and that it lay between the Dead Sea on the east, and the Mediterranean on the west, where he supposes that Anti-christ will pitch his tent; Porphyry and Calmer place it between the two rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates - the latter supposing it means "Padan of two rivers," that is, some place in Mesopotamia; and Dr. Goodwin supposes that the British Isles are intended, "which so eminently stand 'between the seas.'" Prof. Stuart understands this of the Mediterranean Sea, and that the idea is, that the encampment of Antiochus was in some situation between this sea and Jerusalem, mentioned here as "the holy and beautiful mountain."
So far as the phrase used here - "between the seas" - is concerned, there can be no difficulty. It might be applied to any place lying between two sheets of water, as the country between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean, or the Dead Sea, and Persian Gulf; or the Caspian and Euxine Seas; or the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf, for there is nothing in the language to determine the exact locality. There is no reason for taking the word אפדנו 'apadenô as a proper name - the literal meaning of it being tent or tabernacle; and the simple idea in the passage is, that the transaction here referred to - the event which would close this series, and which would constitute the "end" of these affairs - would occur in some mountainous region situated between two seas or bodies of water. Any such place, so far as the meaning of the word is concerned, would correspond with this prophecy.
In the glorious holy mountain - That is, this would occur
(a) in a mountain, or in a mountainous region; and
(b) it would be a mountain to which the appellation used here - "glorious holy" - would be properly given.
The most obvious application of this phrase, it cannot be doubted, would be Jerusalem, as being the "holy mountain," or "the mountain of holiness," and as the place which the word "glorious" (צבי tsı̂by) would most naturally suggest. Compare Daniel 11:16, Daniel 11:41. Bertholdt and Dereser propose a change in the text here, and understand it as signifying that "he would pitch his tent between a sea and a mountain, and would seize upon a temple (קדשׁ qôdesh) there." But there is no authority for so changing the text. Rosenmuller, whom Lengerke follows, renders it, "between some sea and the glorious holy mountain;" Lengerke supposes that the meaning is, that Antiochus, on his return from Egypt, and before he went to Persia, "pitched his tents in that region, somewhere along the coasts of the Mediterranean, for the purpose of chastising the Jews," and that this is the reference here. But this, as well as the proposed reading of Dereser and Bertholdt, is a forced interpretation. Gesenius (Lexicon) supposes that the phrase means, "mount of holy beauty," i. e., Mount Sion. There are some things which are clear, and which the honest principles of interpretation demand in this passage, such as the following:
(a) What is here stated was to occur after the rumour from the east and the north Daniel 11:44 should call forth the person here referred to on this expedition.
(b) It would not be long before his "end," - before the close of the series, and would be connected with that; or would be the place where that would occur.
(c) It would be on some mountainous region, to which the appellation "glorious holy" might with propriety be applied.
The only question of difficulty is, whether it is necessary to interpret this of Jerusalem, or whether it may be applied to some other mountainous region where it may be supposed Antiochus "pitched his tents" on his last expedition to the East; and near the close of his life. Jerome renders this, Supermontem inclytum, et sanctum; the Greek, "on the holy mountain Sabaein" - σαβαεὶν sabaein. The Syriac, "in a plain, between a sea and a mountain, and shall preserve his sanctuary." The literal meaning of the passage may be thus expressed, "on a mountain of beauty that is holy or sacred." The essential things are,
(a) that it would be on a mountain, or in a mountainous region;
(b) that this mountain would be celebrated or distinguished for "beauty" - צבי tsebı̂y - that is, for the beauty of its situation, or the beauty of its scenery, or the beauty of its structures - or that it should be regarded as beautiful;
on Daniel 11 :45
11:45 None shall help him - God shall cut him off in the midst of his days. And when he destroys, who can help?