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nation' and doth not this imply that the remaining kingdom, the kingdom of the 'little horn,' should be not of the nation?
The general character therefore is better adapted to the Romans. and now let us consider the particular properties and actions of the little horn, whether they may be more justly ascribed to Antiochus Epiphanes, or to the Romans. And out of one of them came forth a little horn.' Antiochus Epiphanes was indeed the son of Antiochus the Great, king of Syria: and he is said to be the little horn' because he rose from small beginnings to the kingdom, having been many years an hostage at Rome. But then his kingdom was nothing more than a continuation of one of the four kingdoms; it cannot possibly be reckoned as a fifth kingdom springing up among the four; ard the little horn is plainly some power different and distinct from the four former horns. Is not this therefore more applicable to the Romans, who were a new and different power, who rose from small beginnings to an exceeding great empire, who first subdued Macedon and Greece, the capital kingdom of the goat, and from thence spread and enlarged their conquests over the rest? Nor let it seem strange, that the Romans, who were prefigured by a great 'beast' in the former vision, should in this be represented only by the horn' of a beast; for nothing is more usual, than to describe the same person or thing under different images upon different occasions; and besides, in this vision the Roman empire is not designed at large, but only the Roman empire as a horn of the goat. When the Romans first got footing in Greece, then they became a horn of the goat. Out of this horn they came, and were at first a little horn, but in process of time overtopped the other horns. From Greece they extended their arms, and overran the other parts of the goat's dominions: and their actions within the dominions of the goat, and not their affairs in the western empire, are the principal subject of this prophecy. But their actions, which are most largely and particularly specified, are their great persecution and
* Qui quum obses fuisset Romæ, et nesciente senatu, cepisset imperium, &c. [Who, when he was an hostage at Rome, without the knowledge of the senate, seized the empire.] &c. Hieron. in Dan. 8. col. 1105, edit. Benedict. Antiochum Epiphanem significat, quia fuit Romæ obses. [It denotes Antiochus Epiphanes, because he was an hostage at Rome.] Vatablus in locum. Antiochus qui obses fuit Romæ, nec a patre designatus rex, sed invasit regnum, &c. Antiochus, who was an hostage at Rome though not appointed king by his father, yet seized the kingdom.] Clarius in locum. Antiochus modicæ primum fortunæ, privatus, et Romæ obses, ex post facto dictus Epiphanes. [Antiochus at first a private person of a moderate fortune, and an hostage at Rome, from his future exploits was called Epiphanes.] Grotius in locum. So likewise Pool, &c.
oppression of the people of God: which renders it probable, that the appellation of the little horn' might be given them for the same reason, that the great persecutor and oppressor of the saints in the western empire is also called 'the little horn.' It is the same kind of power, and therefore might be signified by the same name.
It will appear too, that the time agrees better with the Roinans. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.' Antiochus Epiphanes might be said indeed to stand up in the latter time of their kingdom;' because Macedonia, the first of the four kingdoms, was conquered and reduced into a Roman province during his reign. But when he stood up, the transgressors' in the Jewish nation were not come to the full;' for when he began to reign, Onias was highpriest of the Jews,* and the temporal as. well as ecclesiastical government was at this time in the hands of the high-priest, and this Onias was a most worthy good magistrate, as well as a most venerable pious priest. As the author of the second book of Maccabees saith, 2 Mac. iii. 1, the holy city was inhabited with all peace, and the laws were kept very well, because of the godliness of Onias the high-priest, and his hatred of wickedness.' It was after this time, that the great corruptions were introduced into the Jewish church and nation; and they were introduced chiefly through the means of Antiochus, by his direction, or under his authority. The Romans might much better be said to stand up in the latter time of their kingdom,' who saw the end not only of one kingdom, but of all the four; who first subdued the kingdom of Macedon and Greece, and then inherited by the will of Attalus the kingdom of Pergamus, which was the remains of the kingdom of Lysimachus, and afterwards made a province of the kingdom of Syria, and lastly of the kingdom of Egypt. When the Romans stood up too, the transgressors were come to the full;' for the high-priesthood was exposed to sale; good Onias was ejected for a sum of money to make room for wicked Jason, and Jason was again supplanted for a greater sum of money by a worse man (if possible) than himself, his brother Menelaus; and the golden vessels of the temple were sold to pay the sacrilegious purchase. At the same time the customs of the heathen nations were introduced among the Jews the youth were trained up and exercised after the manner of the
For these and many particulars which follow, the two books of Maccabees, and Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews must be consulted.
Greeks; the people apostatized from the true religion, and even 'the priests' 2 Mac. iv. 14, had no courage to serve any more at the altar, but despising the temple, and neglecting the sacrifices, they hastened to be partakers of unlawful' diversions. Nay Jeru salem was taken by Antiochus; forty thousand Jews were slain, and as many more were sold into slavery; the temple was profaned even under the conduct of the high-priest Menelaus, was defiled with swine's blood, and plundered of every thing valuable; and in the same year,* that Paulus Æmilius the Roman consul vanquished Perseus the last king of Macedonia, and thereby put an end to that kingdom, the Jewish religion was put down, and the heathen worship was set up in the cities of Judea and in Jerusalem; and the temple itself was consecrated to Jupiter Olympius, and his image was erected upon the altar. very Then indeed the transgressors were come to the full,' and then, as we see, the Romans stood up, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences.'
A king in the prophetic style is the same as a 'kingdom,' and a Kingdom, as we before observed, is any state or government. 'A king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences.' The latter expression in the Syriac is translated “skilful of ruling," and in the Arabic "skilful of disputations." We may suppose the meaning to be, that this should be a politic and artful, as well as a formidable power; which is not so properly the character of Antiochus, as of the Romans. They were represented in the former vision by a 'beast dreadful and terrible;' and for the same reason they are here denominated a king of fierce countenance.' He cannot so well be said to be a king of fierce countenance,' who was even frightened out of Egypt by a message from the Romans. The story is worthy of memory. Antiochus Epiphanes was making war upon Egypt, and was in a fair way of becoming master of the whole kingdom. The Romans therefore fearing lest he should grow too powerful by annexing Egypt to the crown of Syria, sent an embassy to him, to require him to desist from his enterprise, or to declare war against him. He was draw ing near to besiege Alexandria, when he was met by the three am
* See Prideaux Connect. part 2, b. 3. Anno 168.
+ Regnandi peritus.—Syr. Disputationum peritus.--Arab. [Translated in the text.] Rolyb. Legat. 92, p. 916, edit. Casaubon. Appian. de Bellis Syriacis, p. 131, edit. Steph.; p. 212, edit. Tollii. Livius, lib. 45, cap. 12. Valerius Maximus, lib. 6, cap. 4, Fect. 3. Velleius Paterculus, lib. 1, cap. 10. Justin, lib. 34. cap. 3.
bassadors from Rome. Popillius, the chief of them, had formerly been his friend and acquaintance, while he was an hostage at Rome : and the king at their first meeting graciously offered him his hand in remembrance of their former friendship. But Popillius declined the compliment by saying, that private friendship must give place to the public welfare, and he must first know whether the king was a friend to the Roman state, before he could acknowledge him as a friend to himself: and so saying he presented to him the tables which contained the decree of the senate, and desired an immediate answer. Antiochus opened and perused them, and replied that he would consider the matter with his friends, and return his answer very speedily. But Popillius with a wand that he carried in his hand, drew a circle in the sand round the king, and insisted upon his answer, before he stirred out of that circle. The king astonished at this peremptory and imperious manner of proceeding, after some hesitation, said that he would obey the commands of the senate: and then at length Popillius reached forth his hand to him as a friend and confederate. This incident happened very soon after the conquest of Macedonia, which as it dismayed Antiochus, so it emboldened the Romans to act in this manner and this being their first memorable action as soon as they became a horn or kingdom of the goat, it is very fitly said of them more fitly than of Antiochus, a king of fierce countenance shall stand up.'
The other actions likewise of the little horn accord better with the Romans. This horn, though little at first, yet 'waxed exceeding great toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.' This horn therefore, as Sir Isaac Newton justly observes,* was to rise up in the north-west parts of those nations, which composed the body of the goat; and from thence was to extend his dominion towards Egypt, Syria, and Judea. Observe the particulars-He 'waxed exceeding great:' and so did the Roman empire even within the territories of the goat, but not so did Antiochus Epiphanes; for he was so far from enlarging the kingdom of Syria, that it was less in his time than under most of his predecessors, and he left it as he found it, tributary to the Romans.† 'Toward the south:' Antiochus indeed did several times invade Egypt, and gained great advantages over Ptolemy Philometor king of Egypt; but he was never able to make himself absolute master
Sir Isaac Newton's Observ. on Daniel, chap. 9, p. 119, 120.
of the country, and annex it to the kingdom of Syria, as the Romans made it a province of their empire, and kept possession of it for several centuries. His designs were frustrated, as we have seen, by an embassy from the Romans; and he went out of Egypt baffled and disgraced, a word from them being as effectual as an army. Toward the east:' the Romans did grow very powerful toward the east; they conquered and made a province of Syria, which was the eastern kingdom of the goat; but Antiochus was seated in the east himself, and did not extend his dominions farther eastward. On the contrary the Parthians had withdrawn their obedience from the kings of Syria, and had erected a growing kingdom in the east. Antiochus did indeed vanquish Artaxias, the tributary king of Armenia, who had revolted from him:* but this was rather in the north than in the east. He had not the like success among the Persians, who were also dilatory in paying their tribute; for having heard much of the riches of Elymais,† and particularly of the temple there, he went thither with a design of seizing the treasures of the city and temple; but the inhabitants rose upon him, repelled and routed him and his army, so that he was forced to fly with disappointment and disgrace out of the country; and soon after he sickened and died. And toward the pleasant land,' that is Judea; for so it is called in the Psalms, cvi. 24,'the pleasant land;' and in Jeremiah, iii. 19,—' a pleasant land, a goodly heritage;' and so twice again afterwards in Daniel, xi. 16, 41. Antiochus did indeed take Jerusalem, and miserably harass and oppress the Jews, as it has been above related: but the Jews in a little time, under the conduct of the Maccabees, recovered their liberties, and established their religion and government in greater splendour and security than before. The Romans more effectually conquered and subdued them, first made a province of their country, and then destroyed their city and temple, and dispersed the people, so that after so fatal a fall they have never from that time to this been able to rise again.
Another remarkable property, that eminently distinguished the little horn from all others, was, that his power should be mighty, but not by his own power;' which commentators are much at a loss to explain. Some say, that he should be mighty not so much
* Appian. de Bell. Syr. p. 117 & 131, edit. Steph.; p. 187 & 212, edit. Tollii. Porphyrius apud Hieron. in Dan. 11. col. 1113, edit. Benedict.
1 Maccab. vi. 1-4. 2 Maccab. ix. 1, 2. Joseph. Antiq. lib. 12, cap. 8, sect. 1, p. 544, edit. Hudson. Porphyrius apud Hieron. ibid.