on Daniel 8 :8
The he-goat waxed very strong - He had subdued nearly the whole of the then known world.
The great horn was broken - Alexander died in the height of his conquests, when he was but about thirty-three years of age. His natural brother, Philip Aridaeus, and his two sons, Alexander Aegus and Hercules, kept up the show and name of the Macedonian kingdom for a time; but they were all murdered within fifteen years; and thus the great horn, the Macedonian kingdom, was broken, Alexander's family being now cut off.
And for it came up four notable ones - The regal family being all dead, the governors of provinces usurped the title of kings; and Antigonus, one of them, being slain at the battle of Ipsus, they were reduced to four, as we have already seen.
1. Seleucus, who had Syria and Babylon, from whom came the Seleucidae, famous in history.
2. Lysimachus, who had Asia Minor.
3. Ptolemy, son of Lagus, who had Egypt, from whom sprang the Lagidae. And,
4. Cassander, who had Greece and the neighboring countries. These held dominion towards the four winds of heaven.
Cassander had the western parts, Lysimachus had the northern regions, Ptolemy possessed the southern countries, and Seleucus had the eastern provinces.
on Daniel 8 :8
Therefore the he-goat waxed very great - The Macedonian power, especially under the reign of Alexander.
And when he was strong, the great horn was broken - In the time, or at the period of its greatest strength. Then an event occurred which broke the horn in which was concentrated its power. It is easy to see the application of this to the Macedonian power. At no time was the empire so strong as at the death of Alexander. Its power did not pine away; it was not enfeebled, as monarchies are often, by age, and luxury, and corruption; it was most flourishing and prosperous just at the period when broken by the death of Alexander. Never afterward did it recover its vigour; never was it consolidated again. From that time this mighty empire, broken into separate kingdoms, lost its influence in the world.
And for it came up four notable ones - In the place of this one horn in which all the power was concentrated, there sprang up four others that were distinguished and remarkable. On the word notable, see the notes at Daniel 8:5. This representation would lead us to suppose that the power which had thus been concentrated in one monarchy would be divided and distributed into four, and that instead of that one power there would be four kingdoms that would fill up about the same space in the world, occupy about the same territory, and have about the same characteristics - so that they might be regarded as the succession to the one dynasty. The same representation we have of this one power in Daniel 7:6 : "The beast had also four heads." See also Daniel 11:4 : "His kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven." This accords with the accounts in history of the effect of Alexander's death, for though the kingdom was not by him divided into four parts, yet, from the confusion and conflicts that arose, the power was ultimately concentrated into four dynasties.
At his death, his brother Aridaeus was declared king in his stead, and Perdiccas regent. But the unity of the Macedonian power was gone, and disorder and confusion, and a struggle for empire, immediately succeeded. The author of the books of Maccabees (1 Macc. 1:7-9) says: "So Alexander reigned twelve years, and then died. And his servants bare rule every one in his place. And after his death, they all put crowns upon themselves; so did their sons after them many years; and evils were multiplied in the earth." Alexander died 323 b.c.; Antipater succeeded Perdiccas, 321 b.c.; Ptolemy Lagus the same year took possession of Egypt; Cassander assumed the government of Macedon, 317 b.c.; Seleucus Nicator took possession of Syria, 311 b.c.; in 305 b.c. the successors of Alexander took the title of kings, and in 301 b.c. there occurred the battle of Ipsus, in which Antigonus, who reigned in Asia Minor, was killed, and then followed in that year a formal division of Alexander's empire between the four victorious princes, Ptolemy, Seleucus, Cassander, and Lysimachus. This great battle of Ipsus, a city of Phrygia, was fought between Antigonus and his son Demetrius on the one side, and the combined forces of these princes on the other.
Antigonus had aimed at universal sovereignty; he had taken and plundered the island of Cyprus; had destroyed the fieet of Ptolemy Lagus, and had assumed the crown. Against him and his usurpations, Ptolemy, Cassander, and Lysimachus, combined their forces, and the result was his complete overthrow at the battle of Ipsus. - Lengerke, in loc. In this battle, Antigonus lost all his conquests and his life. In the division of the empire, Seleucus Nicator obtained Syria, Babylonia, Media, and Susiana, Armenia, a part of Cappadocia, Cilicia, and his kingdom, in name at least, extended from the Hellespont to the Indies. The kingdom of Lysimachus extended over a part of Thrace, Asia Minor, part of Cappadocia, and the countries within the limits of Mount Taurus. Cassander possessed Macedonia, Thessaly, and a part of Greece. Ptolemy obtained Egypt, Cyprus, and Cyrene, and ultimately Ccelo-Syria, Phoenicia, Judea, and a part of Asia Minor and Thrace - Lengerke, in loc.
Toward the four winds of heaven - Toward the four quarters of the world. Thus the dominions of Seleucus were in the east; these of Cassander in the west; those of Ptolemy in the south, and those of Lysimachus in the north.
on Daniel 8 :8
8:8 Was broken - When Alexander was greatest, then was he broken, and that to pieces, for he, his mother, son, brother, and all his kindred were destroyed. The four winds Antipater got Greece. Asia was possessed by Antigonus. Ptolemy got Egypt. Seleucus had Babylon and Syria. All these were variously situated; to the east, Babylon and Syria; to the south, Egypt; to the north, Asia the less; to the west, Greece.