תמונות בעמוד

ter Berenice and her son had been slain.—These facts, like others, need not be compared with it, for they are those of the prophecy.-But out of a branch of her roots shall one (her brother) stand up in his estate (in the place and office of their father) which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail ; and shall also carry captive into Egypt, their gods with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold ; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north. Ver. 7, 8.

But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces : and one shall certainly come, and overflow and pass through: then shall he return and be stirred up, even to his fortress. And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north : and he shall set forth a great multitude: but the multitude shall be given into his hand. Ver. 9, 10.-There is no end to the retaliation of wrongs; and the king of Syria had next to be avenged on the king of Egypt. The animosity that subsisted between Ptolemny Euergetes and Seleucus Callinicus, died not with themselves ; but was transmitted together with their kingdoms, of which such a passion was too dear a purchase to their children. The sons of Callinicus were Seleucus and Antiochus. The former succeeded to the throne, or to the remnant of the kingdom of his father; but though.named Ceraunus, or the thunderer, he lived not to recover any part of his lost dominions, nor to enter into conflict with the king of Egypt. But one did certainly come-his brother Antiochus succeeded him, whose reign was long, and whose achievements were so splendid that he is known in history by the name of the Great. He did overthrow and pass through. · He reduced his own

rebellious subjects to submission, traversed CæloSyria ; stormed and took the city of Seleucia, in Syria; obtained possession of Tyre and Ptolemais, which Euergetes had wrested from the dominion of his father; and, advancing to the borders of Egypt, meditated an invasion of that kingdom both by sea and land. The country being at that season overflowed by the Nile, he accepted of a truce for four months, tendered by the Egyptians, and returned in order to secure his sway over the territories he had passed through. The alloted time elapsed in abortive negotiation. And he was stirred up even to his fortress. Again he advanced with his army towards Egypt—and having recovered the dominion which his father had lost, he threatened to retaliate on the son of Ptolemy Euergetes, the evils which had been inflicted upon Syria.

The fourth of the Ptolemies, surnamed Philopater, was, till then the most degenerate of his race. He had not the activity of Euergetes, nor the love of science which also distinguished Philadelphus, nor the humanity of Ptolemy Lagus. But, notwithstanding his general devotedness to luxury and effeminacy, he was yet moved with choler when his hereditary foe, at the head of an army, was on the border of Egypt: and, roused at last, he assembled at Pelusium seventy thousand foot, five thousand horse, and above seventy elephants. With these he traversed the desert, and met his adversary at Raphia, not distant from Gaza. The forces of Antiochus were still more numerous ; but the multitude was given into the hand of the king of the south. Antiochus at first overthrew the Egyptians whom he encountered ; but, while rashly urging on his success, the great body of his army was broken, four thousand were taken prisoners, ten thousand slain, and the whole multitude eventually routed and dispersed; and Palestine again was in the possession of a Ptolemy. And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down ten thousands : but he shall not be strengthened. Ver. 12. Elated with his success, he received the submission of the cities of Syria, entered Jerusalem, and, in defiance of the resistance, and in despite of the wailings of the peaple, he could scarcely be restrained from forcing his way into the holy of holies. Returning to Egypt, he exercised great cruelties against the Jews, and, as variously stated, either forty or sixty thousand of them were slain. Instead of prosecuting the war which he had so successfully begun, he sunk into his wonted sensuality ; his own subjects revolted against him, and he was not strengthened, even though a multitude was given into his hand.

Ver. 13-15. For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years, with a great army and with much riches. And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south; also the robbers (or revolters) of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision ; but they shall fall. So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities : and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand. Antiochus the Great, after the defeat of his army, entered into a treaty of peace with Ptolemy Philopater, desisted for å time from again encountering the Egyptians, and by reducing Media and Babylonia, and other countries, to entire submission, " he gathered together an incredible army," to which were attached one hundred and fifty elephants. He had to wipe out the disgrace of his former defeat, and to reconquer part of his hereditary kingdom. For the attainment of such objects, the breach of a treaty, and preying on the innocent and helpless, stood not in the way of the revenge and ambition of the king. Ptolemy Philopater, his former victor, had fallen an early victim to intemperance, and had left his kingdom to his son, while yet but five years old. Seizing so tempting a time to destroy or dethrone the son of his rival, he drew together bis forces from the farthest corners of his empire, and set forth a multitude greater than the former, and came after certain (or fourteen) years, with a great army and much riches. In those times many stood up against the king of the south. By the promise of half the kingdom of Egypt for a prey, Antiochus gained over the king of Macedon to his alliance and aid in the intended conquest. Some of the tributary provinces of Egypt revolted ; insurrections arose in that country itself : and the Jews, who during two reigns had been subject to the Ptolemies, revolted, and thus exalted themselves to establish the vision, or contributed to its fulfilment, together with the Gentiles around them. But they fell. In the absence of Antiochus, who, after having subjected Syria without a struggle, had withdrawn his army to Asia Minor, Palestine was open to the incursion of the Egyptians, and along with the neighbouring regions of Syria, became the chief theatre of the war. The Jews fell ; but Antiochus soon returned. He defeated, with a great slaughter, the Egyptian army under 'Scopas, near to the sources of the Jordan, and besieged the remnant of their forces in the fortified city of Sidon. Repeated and desperate efforts were made to raise the siege ; for that purpose “three of the best generals at the head of the choicest troops” were sent from Alexandria. But all their attempts were ineffectual: the armies of the Egyptians were subdued ; Sidon was taken ; and the whole of Syria was again in the possession of the descendant and successor of Seleucus. He did according to his will; and none stood before him ; he stood in the glorious land, in

Judea, which by his hand was perfected, or did prosper under him. * Ver. 17-19. He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him, or, (as rendered in the Septuagint and Vulgate,) he shall make all things right or make an agreement with him ; and thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.-Urged on by Hannibal, who had fled to him for protection from the Romans, and provoked at the aid they had given to the young king of Egypt, which had frustrated his great scheme of dismembering that kingdom, Antigonus had resolved on a war with Rome; and, as if unmindful of the disastrous consequences of the former connubial alliance between his family and that of the king of Egypt, he gave his daughter Cleopatra in marriage to Ptolemy Epiphanes. By her, a woman of exquisite beauty, and hence called the daughter of women, he thought to maintain his influence over the young Egyptian king; and his policy being changed, and his hopes of higher conquests having been excited by Hannibal, after he had set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom into Egypt, he turned his arms against the allies of the Romans. Vain was his trust in the affections of his daughter, for it soon became manifest how she greaily preferred the interests of her husband to those of her father: she did not stand on his side, for, together with her husband, she unnaturally congratulated the Roman senate on his defeat by the armies of Rome.

After this he shall turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many, ver. *18. With a fleet of three hundred vessels, enough, as he boasted, to fill the largest harbour in Greece, and a vast army, commanded by his sons, which formed the whole

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