Page images
PDF
EPUB

possessed the whole kingdom of Seleucus,»* 'So the king of the south came into the kingdom of the north, and then returned into nis own land.' He likewise continued more years than the king of the north :' for Seleucus Callinicus died in exile of a fall from his horset, and Ptolemy Euergetes survived him about four or five years. I

But his sons, that is, the sons of the king of the north, should endeavour to vindicate and avenge the cause of their father and their country. 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,-ver. 10. The sons of Seleucus Callinicus were Seleucus and Antiochus ;the elder of whom, Seleucus, succeeded him in the throne, and to distinguish him from others of the same name, was denominated Ceraunus or the thunderer. Where by the way one cannot help observing the ridiculous vanity of princes in assuming or receiving such pompous appellations without deserving them. Seleucus the father was surnamed Callinicus, or the famous conqueror, though he was so far from gaining any considerable victory, that he was shamefully beaten by the Egyptians in the west, and was made a prisoner by the Parthians in the east. In like manner Seleucus the son was called Ceraunus, or the thunderer, though he was so far from performing any thing worthy of the name, that he was a poor and weak prince in all respects, in mind, and body, and estate. Great and splendid titles, when improperly applied, are rather a satire and insult upon the persons, than any honor or commendation. Seleucus Ceraunus was indeed * stirred up, and assembled a multitude of great forces, in order to recover his father's dominions; but" being destitute of money, and unable to keep his army in obedience, he was poisoned by two of his generals, after an inglorious reign of two or three yearsl." Upon his decease his brother Antiochus Magnus was proclaimed king, who was more deserving the title of great, than Seleucus was of that of the thunderer. The prophet's expression is very remarkable, that his sons should be stirred up, and assemble a multitude of great forces;' but then the number is changed, and only

* Qui nisi in Ægyptum domestica seditione rerocatus esset, totum regnum Seleua occupasset. "Translated in the text] Justin, lib. 27, cap. I. + Justin, lib. 27, cap. 3.

See Usher, Prideaux, Blair, and other chronologers.

Post fugam et mortem Seleuci Callinici, duo filii ejus Seleucus cognomento Cerannus et Antiochus qui appellatus est Magnus, &c. [After the flight and death of Seleucus Calli nicus, his two sons, Seleucus surnamed Ceraunus, and Antiochus, who was called the Great, &c.] Hieron in locum, col. 1124, vol. 3, edit. Benedict. Polyb. lib. 4, p. 315 edit. Casaubon. Appian de Bell. Syr. p. 131, edit. Steph.; p. 211, edit. Tollii.

Η Σελευκω μεν δη, ασθενει τι όντι και σενομενω, και δυσπειθη τον σρατον έχoντι, έπεβε Λευσαν οι φιλοι δια φαρμακων, και ες έτη δυο μονα έβασιλευσεν. Seleucus nec vale tudine firmus nec opibus, exercitum in officio continere non potuit, veneno sublatus purpuratorum perfidia, post exactum regni annum alterum. [Translated in the text

one should certainly come, and overflow, and pass through.'* Accordingly, Antiochus came with a great army, retook Seleucia, and. by the means of Theodotus the Ætolian recovered Syria, making himself master of some places by treaty, and of others by force of arms.t Then after a truce, wherein both sides treated of peace, but prepared for war, Antiochus returned, and overcame in battle Nicolaus, the Egyptian general, and had thoughts of invading Egypt itself. I

The king of Egypt at that time was Ptolemy Philopator, who was advanced to the crown upou the death of his father Euergetes, not long after Antiochus Magnus succeeded his brother in the throne of Syria.§ This Ptolemy was a most luxurious and vicious prince,|| but was roused at length by the near approach of danger. . 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. 11. Ptolemy Philopator was, no doubt, 'moved with choler' for the losses which he had sustained, and for the revolt of Theodotus and others. And he came forth ;' he marched out of Egypt with a numerous army to oppose the enemy,* and encamped not far from Raphia, which is the nearest town to Egypt from Rhinocorura. And there he 'fought with him, even with the kings of the north ;' for thither likewise came Antiochus with his army, † and a memorable battle was fought by the two kings. And he,' the king of the north, 'set forth a great multitude;' Polybius hath recited the various nations of which Antiochus's army was composed, and "all together it amounted to sixty-two thousand foot, six thousand horse, and one hundred and two elephants."ş But yet “the multitude was given into his hand, that is, into the hand of the king of the south : for Ptolemy obtained a complete victory; and “of Antiochus's army there were slain not much fewer than ten thousand foot, more than three hundred horse, and above four thousand men were taken prisoners; whereas of Ptolemy's there were killed only fifteen hundred foot, and seven hundred horse.” || Upon this defeat Raphia and the neighbouring towns contended who should be most forward to submit to the conqueror : and Antiochus was forced to retreat with his shattered army to Antioch, and from thence sent ambassadors to solicit a peace.ll

Appian. ibid. Quumque Seleucus major frater, tertio anno imperii esset occisns in Phrygia, per dolum Nicanoris et Apaturii, &c. [And when Seleucus the elder brother was slain in Phrygia, in the third year of his reign, by the treachery of Nicanor and Apaturius, &c.] Hieron. ibid. Polyb. ibid.

* Et propterea nunc infert, quod duo quidem filii provocati sunt, et congregaverunt multitudinem exercituum plurimorum: sed quod unus Antiochus Magnus venerit de Babylone in Syriann, &c. (And therefore he now declares, that his two sons being stirred up, should collect an exceeding great army, but that only one of them, Antiochus the Great, should come from Babylon into Syria, &c.] Hieron. ibid. + Polyb. lib. 5, p. 403, &c. Hieron. ibid.

Polyb. ibid. 411, &c. Quumque pugnasset adversum duces ejus, imo proditione Theodoti obtinuisset Syriam, quæ per successionem jam a regibus Ægypti tenebatur, in tantam venit audaciam contempta luxuria Philopatoris-at ultro Ægyptiis bellum conaretur inferre. [And when he had fought against his generals, and, by the treachery of Thendotus, had gained possession of Syria, which for a length of time had been prosperously governed by the kings of Egypt, so much did he despise the effeminacy of Philopator, that he had the boldness to wage war apon the Egyptians themselves.] Hieron. ibid. Antiochus rex Syriæ, veteri inter se regnorum odio stimulante, repentino Lello multas urbes ejus (Ptolemæi] oppressit, ipsamque Ægyptum aggreditur. [An. tiochus, king of Syria, stimulated by the old hatred subsisting between the two kingdoms, suddenly seized many of his (Ptolemy's cities, and attacks Egypt itself.] Justin, lib. 30, cap. 1.

s Ptolemæus in Can. Eusebius in Chron. Usher, Prideaux, and the Chrono !ogers.

| Polyb. lib. 5, p. 380, &c. edit. Casaubon. Strabo, lib, 17, p. 796, edit. Pario. 1620 p. 1146, edit. Amstel. 1707. Plutarch. in Cleomene, p. 820. edit. Paris. 1624. Justin lib. 30, cap. 1.

Ptolemy Philopator was more fortunate in gaining a victory, * Polyb. ibid. p. 421, 422. Hieron. ibid.

+ Polyb. ibid. p. 423, &c Strabo, lib. 16, p. 759, edil Paris, 1620; p. 1102, edit. Amstel. 1707. Hieron. ibid.

* Polyb. ibid. p. 421, 422. Και της μεν Αντινχε δυναμεως το πλήθος ήν, σεζοι μεν εξακισκυριοι και δισχιλιοι, συν δε τε τοις ιππεις εξακισχιλιοι, θηρια δε δυσι σλειω των εκατον. Summa totius exercitus Antiochi; peditum duo et septuaginta [sexaginta) millia; equitum sex : elephanti duo supra centum. [Translated in the text.]

ΚΑΙ Ησαν δε οι τετελευτηκοτες των παρ' Αντιοχή, σεζοι μεν ου πολυ λειποντες μνριων, ιππεις αλειας τριακόσιων ζωγρεια δε εαλωσαν υπέρ της τετρακισχιλιες.-των δε παρα Πτελεμαι», σεζοι μεν εις χιλιες και πεντακοσιας ετελευτησαν, , τπει δε εις επτακόσιες. Desideravit autem e suis Antiochus non multo pauciores decem millibus peditum. equites trecentos et eo plures: capti sunt vivi supra quatuor millia.—E Ptolemaicis occisi sunt pedites mille et quingenti equites septingenti. [Translated in the iext.] Polyb. ibid. p.

427. Inito ergo certamine juxta oppidum Raphiæ, quod in foribus Ægypti est, omnem Antiochus amisit exercitum, &c. [In a battle fought near the town of Raphia, which is on the borders of Egypt, Antiochus lost his whole army, &c.] Hieron. ibid.

| Polyb. ib. p. 427, 428. Quumque cessisset Syria, ad extremum foedere, et quihusdam conditionibus pugna finita est. (And after Syria had submitted, the war was at ength terminated by a treaty, and on certain conditions.] Hieron. ibid

than prudent in knowing how to make a proper advantage of it * And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up, and he shall cast down many ten thousands; but he shall not be strengthened by it,'- ver. 12. If Ptolemy had pursued the blow that he had given, it is reasonably presumed that he might have deprived Antiochus of his kingdom :* but his heart was lifted up' by his success ; being delivered from his fears, he now more freely indulged his lusts ; and after a few menaces and complaints he granted peace to Antiochus, that he might be no more interrupted in the gratification of his appetites and passions. He had before murdered his father, and his mother, and his brother it and now he killed his wife, I who was also his sister; and gave himself up entirely to the management of Agathoclea his harlot, and her brother Agathocles who was his catamite, and their mother Oenanthe who was his bawd. “And so, forgetful of all the greatness of his name and majesty, he consumed his days in feasting, and his nights in lewdness; and became not only the spectator, but the master and leader of all wickedness.”ll And what availed it to have conquered his enemies, when he was thus overcome by his vices ? he was so far from being strengthened by it, that even his own subjects, offended at his inglorious peace, and more inglorious life, rebelled against him. But the prophet in this passage alluded more particularly to the case of his own countrymen. After the retreat of Antiochus, Ptolemy visited the cities of Cæle-Syria and Palestine, which had submitted to him :** and among others in his progress he came to Jerusalem. He there offered sacrifices, and was desirous of entering into the holy of holies, contrary to the custom and religion of the place, being (as the writer of the third book of Maccabees says)“ greatly lifted up by pride and confidence.”++ His curiosity was restrained with great

* Justin, lib. 30, cap. 1. Spoliassetque regno Antiochum, si fortunam virtute juvisset. [He might have deprived Antiochus of his kingdom, if he had followed up his good fortune.] Polyb. lib. 5, p. 428, edit. Casaubon.

+ Justin, lib. 29. cap. 1 Polyb. lib. 5, p. 380, 382. * Justin, lib. 30, cap. 1. Polyb. lib. 15, p. 719.

Plutarch in Cleomene, p. 820, edit. Paris. 1624. Polyb. lib. 15, passim. Justin, lib. 30, cap. 1 & 2.

| Atque ita omnem magnitudinem nominis ac majestatis oblitus, noctes in stupris, dies in conviviis consumit,nec jam spectator rex, sed magistor niquitiæ. [Translated in the text.] Justin, ibid. cap. 1.

Polyb. lib. 5, p. 444. ** For these particulars the 3d book of Maccabees must be consulted. t! Υβρει και θρασει μεγαλως επηρμενον. [Translated in the text.] 3 Μacc. ii. 2ι.

.

difficulty, and he departed with heavy displeasure against the whole nation of the Jews. At his return therefore to Alexandria, he began a cruel persecution upon the Jewish inhabitants of that city, who had resided there from the time of Alexander, and enjoyed the privileges of the most favoured citizens. ' And he cast down many ten thousands ;' for it appears from Eusebius, that about this time forty thousand Jews were slain,* or sixty thousand, as they are reckoned in Jerome's Latin interpretation. No king could be strengthened by the loss of such a number of useful subjects The loss of so many Jews, and the rebellion of the Egyptians, added to the male-administration of the state, must certainly very much weaken, and almost totally ruin the kingdom.

Peace was to continue between the two crowns of Egypt and Syria for some years, and then the king of the north should attempt another invasion. 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,' (at the end of times, that is, years) with a great army, and with much riches,'-ver. 13. The following events, you see, were not to take place till • after certain years;' and the peace continued between the two crowns, about fourteen years.t In that time Ptolemy Philopator died of intemperance and debauchery ;£ and was succeeded by his son, Ptolemy Epiphanes, a child of four or five years old. Antiochus tuo, having taken and slain the rebel, Achæus, and having also reduced and settled the eastern parts in their obedience, || was at leisure to prosecute any enterprise, and could not let slip so favourable an opportunity of extending his dominions. He had acquired great riches, and collected many forces in his eastern expedition; so that he was enabled to

set forth a greater multitude than the former,' and he doubted not to have an easy victory over an infant king. Polybius expressly informs us, that from the king of Bactria, and from the king of India, "he received so many elephants as made up his number one hundred and fifty,”T besides provisions and riches

* Ιυδαιοι ληφθιντες, τεσσαρακοντα χιλιαδας οπλιτσν αποβαλομενοι. Εusebii Chron. p. 185. Victi Judæi: et LX millia armatorum ex numero eorum cæsa. Interprete Hieron. p. 143. [The Jews were overcome, and forty (sisty in the Latin interpretation · thousand armed men were slain.] + See Usher, Prideaux, and the Chronologers.

Ptolm. in Canone; Eusebius ; Justin. lib. 30, cap. 2; Hieron. Sec

Polyb. lib. 8, p. 522, &c. edit. Casaubon. | Polyb. lib. 10 et 11. Appian. de Bell. Syr. in principio.

Και λαβων ελεφαντας, ώςε γενεσθαι τις απαντας εις εκατον και συντηκοντα, και τ.λ. bi

« PreviousContinue »