on Daniel 11 :38
Shall he honor the god of forces - מעזים mauzzim, or gods protectors, as in the margin; worshipping saints and angels as guardians, and protectors, and mediators; leaving out, in general, the true God, and the only Mediator, Jesus Christ.
And a god whom his fathers knew not - For these gods guardians, the Virgin Mary, saints and angels, were utterly unknown as mediators and invocable guardians in the primitive apostolic Church.
Shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones - How literally does this apply to the Church of Rome! See the house of our lady at Loretto; the shrines of saints; the decorated images, costly apparel, gold, jewels, etc., profusely used about images of saints angels, and the blessed virgin, in different popish churches. This superstition began to prevail in the fourth century, and was established in 787, by the seventh general council; for in that the worship of images was enacted.
on Daniel 11 :38
But in his estate - The marginal reading here is, "As for the Almighty God, in his seat he shall honor, yea, he shall honor a god," etc. The more correct rendering, however, is that in the text, and the reference is to some god which he would honor, or for which he would show respect. The rendering proposed by Lengerke is the true rendering, "But the god of forces (firm places, fastnesses - der Vesten) he shall honor in their foundation" (auf seinem Gestelle). The Vulgate renders this, "But the god Maozim shall he honor in his place." So also the Greek. The phrase "in his estate" - על־כנו 'al-kanô - means, properly, "upon his base," or foundation. It occurs in Daniel 11:20-21, where it is applied to a monarch who would succeed another - occupying the same place, or the same seat or throne. See the notes at Daniel 11:2. Here it seems to mean that he would honor the god referred to in the place which he occupied, or, as it were, on his own throne, or in his own temple. The margin is, "or stead;" but the idea is not that he would honor this god instead of another, but that he would do it in his own place. If, however, as Gesenius and De Wette suppose, the sense is, "in his place, or stead," the correct interpretation is, that he would honor this "god of forces," in the stead of honoring the god of his fathers, or any other god. The general idea is clear, that he would show disrespect or contempt for all other gods, and pay his devotions to this god alone.
Shall he honor - Pay respect to; worship; obey. This would be his god. He would show no respect to the god of his fathers, nor to any of the idols usually worshipped, but would honor this god exclusively.
The God of forces - Margin, Mauzzim, or gods protectors; or, munitions. Hebrew, מעזים mâ‛uzym; Latin Vulgate, Maozim; Greek, Μαωξεὶμ Maōxeim; Syriac, "the strong God;" Luther, Mausim; Lengerke, der Vesten - fastnesses, fortresses. The Hebrew word מעוז mâ‛ôz means, properly, a strong or fortified place, a fortress; and Gesenius (Lexicon) supposes that the reference here is to "the god of fortresses, a deity of the Syrians obtruded upon the Jews, perhaps Mars." So also Grotius, C. B. Michaelis, Staudlin, Bertholdt, and Winer. Dereser, Havernick, and Lengerke explain it as referring to the Jupiter Capitolinus that Antiochus had learned to worship by his long residence in Rome, and whose worship he transferred to his own country. There has been no little speculation as to the meaning of this passage, and as to the god here referred to; but it would seem that the general idea is plain.
It is, that the only god which he would acknowledge would be force, or power, or dominion. He would set at nought the worship of the god of his fathers, and all the usual obligations and restraints of religion; he would discard and despise all the pleadings of humanity and kindness, as if they were the weaknesses of women, and he would depend solely on force. He would, as it were, adore only the "god of force," and carry his purposes, not by right, or by the claims of religion, but by arms. The meaning is not, I apprehend, that he would formally set up this "god of forces," and adore him, but that this would be, in fact, the only god that he would practically acknowledge. In selecting such a god as would properly represent his feelings he would choose such an one as would denote force or dominion. Such a god would be the god of war, or the Roman Jupiter, who, as being supreme, and ruling the world by his mere power, would be a fit representative of the prevailing purpose of the monarch.
The general sentiment is, that all obligations of religion, and justice, and compassion, would be disregarded, and he would carry his purposes by mere power, with the idea, perhaps, included, as seems to be implied in the remainder of the verse, that he would set up and adore such a foreign god as would be a suitable representation of this purpose. It is hardly necessary to say that this was eminently true of Antiochus Epiphanes; and it may be equally said to be true of all the great heroes and conquerors of the world. Mars, the god of war, was thus adored openly in ancient times, and the devotion of heroes and conquerors to that idol god, though less open and formal, has not been less real by the heroes and conquerors of modern times; and, as we say now of an avaricious or covetous man that he is a worshipper of mammon, though he in fact formally worships no god, and has no altar, so it might be affirmed of Antiochus, and may be of heroes and conquerors in general, that the only god that is honored is the god of war, of power, of force; and that setting at nought all the obligations of religion, and of worship of the true God, they pay their devotions to this god alone.
Next to mammon, the god that is most adored in this world is the "god of force" - this Mauzzim that Antiochus so faithfully served. In illustration of the fact that seems here to be implied, that he would introduce such a god as would be a fit representative of this purpose of his life, it may be remarked that, when in Rome, where Antiochus spent his early years, he had learned to worship the Jupiter of the Capitol, and that he endeavored to introduce the worship of that foreign god into Syria. Of this fact there can be no doubt. It was one of the characteristics of Antiochus that he imitated the manners and customs of the Romans to a ridiculous extent (Diod. Sic. Frag, xxvi. 65); and it was a fact that he sent rich gifts to Rome in honor of the Jupiter worshipped there (Livy, lxii. 6), and that he purposed to erect a magnificent temple in honor of Jupiter Capitolinus in Antioch - Livy, xli. 20.
This temple, however, was not completed. It will be remembered, also, that he caused an altar to Jupiter to be erected over the altar of burnt-sacrifice in Jerusalem. It should be added, that they who apply this to Anti-christ, or the Pope, refer it to idol or image worship. Elliott (Apocalypse, iv. 153) supposes that it relates to the homage paid to the saints and martyrs under the Papacy, and says that an appellation answering to the word Mahuzzim was actually given to the departed martyrs and saints under the Papal apostasy. Thus he remarks: "As to what is said of the willful king's honoring the god Mahuzzim (a god whom his fathers knew not) in place of his ancestors' god, and the true God, it seems to me to have been well and consistently explained, by a reference to those saints, and their relics and images, which the apostasy from its first development regarded and worshipped as the Mahuzzim, or fortresses of the places where they were deposited." - Apoc. iv. 157. But all this appears forced and unnatural; and if it be not supposed that it was designed to refer to Antichrist or the Papacy, no application of the language can be found so obvious and appropriate as that which supposes that it refers to Antiochus, and to his reliance on force rather than on justice and right.
And a god whom his fathers knew not - This foreign god, Jupiter, whom he had learned to worship at Rome.
Shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones ... - That is, he shall lavish these things on building a temple for him, or on his image. This accords with the account which Livy gives (xli. 20) of the temple which he commenced at Antioch in honor of Jupiter. Livy says that, although in his conduct he was profligate, and although in many things it was supposed that he was deranged - "Quidam hand dubie insanire aiebunt" - yet that in two respects he was distinguished for having a noble mind - for his worship of the gods, and for his favor toward cities in adorning them: "In duabus tamen magnis honestisque rebus vere regius erat animus, in urbium donis, et deorum cultu." He then adds, in words that are all the commentary which we need on the passage before us: "Magnificentiae vero in deos vel Jovis Olympii ternplum Athenis, unum in terris inchoatum pro magnitudine dei, potest testis esse. Sed et Delon aris insignibus statuarumque copia exornavit; et Antiochiae Joyis capitolini magnificum templum, non laqueatum auro tantum, sed parietibus totis lamina inauratum, et alia multa in aliis locis pollicita, quia perbreve tempus regni ejus fuit, non perfecited."
And pleasant things - Margin, "things desired." That is, with ornaments, or statuary, or perhaps pictures. Compare the notes at Isaiah 2:16. e meant that the temple should be beautified and adorned in the highest degree. This temple, Livy says, he did not live to finish.
on Daniel 11 :38