Daniel 11:26
Yes, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.
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(26) They that feed.—The context points to treachery. The false companions of the southern king betray him to the enemy; he is broken, the hostile army pours in, and many are slain. This has been referred to the second campaign of Antiochus in Egypt; however, history is silent of any treachery against Physcon. St. Jerome remarks: “Nostri secundum superiorem sensum interpretantur omnia de Antichristo qui nasciturus est de populo Judœorum, et de Babylone venturus, primum superaturus est regem Egypti, qui est unus de tribus cornibus.”

11:1-30 The angel shows Daniel the succession of the Persian and Grecian empires. The kings of Egypt and Syria are noticed: Judea was between their dominions, and affected by their contests. From ver. 5-30, is generally considered to relate to the events which came to pass during the continuance of these governments; and from ver. 21, to relate to Antiochus Epiphanes, who was a cruel and violent persecutor of the Jews. See what decaying, perishing things worldly pomp and possessions are, and the power by which they are gotten. God, in his providence, sets up one, and pulls down another, as he pleases. This world is full of wars and fightings, which come from men's lusts. All changes and revolutions of states and kingdoms, and every event, are plainly and perfectly foreseen by God. No word of God shall fall to the ground; but what he has designed, what he has declared, shall infallibly come to pass. While the potsherds of the earth strive with each other, they prevail and are prevailed against, deceive and are deceived; but those who know God will trust in him, and he will enable them to stand their ground, bear their cross, and maintain their conflict.Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him - They of his own family; they who are nourished at his table; they who are his cabinet counselors, and professed and confidential friends. The meaning is, that they would prove treacherous and unfaithful. This is by no means improbable. Antiochus was powerful, and had seized upon Pelusium, and upon Memphis, and upon the fairest portions of Egypt. He was also in possession of the person of the lawful king, and had a fair prospect of subduing the whole country. In these circumstances, nothing would be more natural than that the very inmates of the palace - the persons around the reigning king - should begin to doubt whether he could hold out, and should be disposed to make terms with the invader.

And his army shall overflow - The connection here requires us to understand this of the army of the king of Egypt. The meaning seems to be, that his forces would be great, and would spread themselves out like overflowing waters, but that not withstanding this many of them would be slain.

And many shall fall down slain - In battle. Not withstanding the army would be numerous, and would, as it were, spread over the land, still it would not be sufficient to keep out the invaders, but many of them would fall in the field. The account in 1 Macc. 1:18 is, that "Ptolemy was afraid of him (Antiochus) and fled; and many were wounded to death."

26. they that feed of … his meat—those from whom he might naturally have looked for help, his intimates and dependents (Ps 41:9; Joh 13:18); his ministers and guardians.

his army shall overflow—Philometer's army shall be dissipated as water. The phrase is used of overflowing numbers, usually in a victorious sense, but here in the sense of defeat, the very numbers which ordinarily ensure victory, hastening the defeat through mismanagement.

many shall fall down slain—(1 Maccabees 1:18, "many fell wounded to death"). Antiochus, when he might have slain all in the battle near Pelusium, rode around and ordered the enemy to be taken alive, the fruit of which policy was, he soon gained Pelusium and all Egypt [Diodorus Siculus, 26.77].

His most familiar friends and confidants shall be false and treacherous to him, for he shall he overthrown with a great slaughter, as when Nilus overflows the country, for there was the battle, between Mount Casius and Pelusium. Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him,.... Those of his own household, his familiar friends, his courtiers and counsellors, and the generals of his army; his destruction, or the loss of the battle, was owing either to the bad counsels they gave him, or to their desertion of him, being corrupted by Antiochus:

and his army shall overflow: that is, the army of Antiochus, like a mighty inundation of water, which carries all before it, should overflow, or bear down and destroy, the army of Ptolemy, and overrun all Egypt, as it did, as before related; no more resistance being to be made to it than to a rapid flood of water:

and many shall fall down slain: of the army of the king of Egypt. The account given of this affair in the Apocrypha:

"18 And made war against Ptolemee king of Egypt: but Ptolemee was afraid of him, and fled; and many were wounded to death. 19 Thus they got the strong cities in the land of Egypt and he took the spoils thereof.'' (1 Maccabees 1)

Josephus says (x), that Antiochus,

"being with a great army at Pelusium, and circumventing Ptolemy Philometor by fraud, seized on Egypt; and being in the parts near to Memphis, and taking it, he hastened to Alexandria to besiege it, and got Ptolemy, reigning there, into his hands.''

(x) Antiqu. l. 12. c. 5, sect. 2.

Yea, they that feed of the portion of {c} his meat shall destroy him, and his army {d} shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.

(c) Signifying his princes and the chief men about him.

(d) Declaring that his soldiers will break out and venture their life to stay and to be slain for the safeguard of their prince.

26. And they that eat of his delicacies (Daniel 1:5) shall break him] some of his courtiers will be his ruin. For the expression, cf. 1 Kings 2:7, ‘those that eat of thy table’; break, as Daniel 11:20. The allusion may be to Eulaeus and Lenaeus, at whose ill-advised suggestion it was that Philometor was first led to think of reconquering Syria, and the former of whom, after the battle of Pelusium, persuaded the king to abandon his country. Ptolemy Macron, also, the very capable (Polyb. xxvii. 12) governor of Cyprus (though this was perhaps later), deserted to Antiochus (2Ma 10:13).

and his army shall overflow] i.e. Antiochus’ army. But the pronouns from Daniel 11:25 b refer all to Philometor: the verb should therefore probably be vocalized as a passive (יִשָּׁטֵף) and his army (Philometor’s) shall be flooded (or swept) away; the word, as Daniel 11:22.

and many shall fall down slain] cf. 1Ma 1:18, ‘and many fell down slain’ (also of Antiochus’ victories in Egypt), where the Greek (except in the tense) is exactly the same as in LXX. and Theod. here.Verse 26. - Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain. The Septuagint rendering here is different, "And his cares shall consume him and turn him away, and he shall pass by (and shall hiss, κατασυριεῖ); and many shall fall down wounded." Paulus Tellensis renders κατασυριεῖ by (nigrooph), "shall overflow," as if he had read καταρεύσεται, or perhaps κατασυρεῖ, though it does not exactly represent the Hebrew. Theodotion is liker the Massoretic , "And they eat his provisions, and shall break him to pieces; and he shall overflow powers, and many shall fall wounded." The account of the invasion of Egypt by Epiphanes occurs in 1 Macc. 1:18. The Septuagint translator, appears to have read, instead of וְלֺאכְלֵי פַּת־בָגו (veochlay path-bago), וְאָכְלוּ דָאגְתָיו (veachloo dageothav). There would seem also to have been some confusion between הִיל (heel), "strength," and הלד (halach), "to go." The Peshitta rendering is, "They that eat his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall be dispersed, and many shall fall wounded." The Vulgate is closely related to this. This refers to the treachery which was alleged to have been at work and to have caused the overthrow of Philometor in his contest with his uncle. The version of the Septuagint is more picturesque, and more in accordance with facts. Cares might well devour Ptolemy Philometor - treachery in his army and his brother occupying his throne. Certainly he was defeated, turned asae, and was compelled to accompany the victor as a prisoner, while Egypt was wasted (κατασυρεῖ) The king carried out the proposal. ואסרא is explicative: the writing, namely, the prohibition (spoken of); for this was the chief matter, therefore אסרא alone is here mentioned, and not also קים (edict), Daniel 6:8.

The right interpretation of the subject-matter and of the foundation of the law which was sanctioned by the king, sets aside the objection that the prohibition was a senseless "bedlamite" law (v. Leng.), which instead of regulating could only break up all society. The law would be senseless only if the prohibition had related to every petition in common life in the intercourse of civil society. But it only referred to the religious sphere of prayer, as an evidence of worshipping God; and if the king was venerated as an incarnation of the deity, then it was altogether reasonable in its character. And if we consider that the intention of the law, which they concealed from the king, was only to effect Daniel's overthrow, the law cannot be regarded as designed to press Parsism or the Zend religion on all the nations of the kingdom, or to put an end to religious freedom, or to make Parsism the world-religion. Rather, as Kliefoth has clearly and justly shown, "the object of the law was only to bring about the general recognition of the principle that the king was the living manifestation of all the gods, not only of the Median and Persian, but also of the Babylonian and Lydian, and all the gods of the conquered nations. It is therefore also not correct that the king should be represented as the incarnation of Ormuzd. The matter is to be explained not from Parsism alone, but from heathenism in general. According to the general fundamental principle of heathenism, the ruler is the son, the representative, the living manifestation of the people's gods, and the world-ruler thus the manifestation of all the gods of the nations that were subject to him. Therefore all heathen world-rulers demanded from the heathen nations subdued by them, that religious homage should be rendered to them in the manner peculiar to each nation. Now that is what was here sought. All the nations subjected to the Medo-Persian kingdom were required not to abandon their own special worship rendered to their gods, but in fact to acknowledge that the Medo-Persian world-ruler Darius was also the son and representative of their national gods. For this purpose they must for the space of thirty days present their petitions to their national gods only in him as their manifestation. And the heathen nations could all do this without violating their consciences; for since in their own manner they served the Median king as the son of their gods, they served their gods in him. The Jews, however, were not in the condition of being able to regard the king as a manifestation of Jehovah, and thus for them there was involved in the law truly a religious persecution, although the heathen king and his satraps did not thereby intend religious persecution, but regarded such disobedience as only culpable obstinacy and political rebellion."

(Note: Brissonius, De regio Persarum princ. p. 17ff., has collected the testimonies of the ancients to the fact that the Persian kings laid claim to divine honour. Persas reges suos inter Deos colere, majestatem enim imperii salutis esse tutelam. Curtius, viii. 5. 11. With this cf. Plutarch, Themist. c. 27. And that this custom, which even Alexander the Great (Curt. vi. 6. 2) followed, was derived from the Medes, appears from the statement of Herodotus, i. 99, that Dejoces περὶ ἑαυτὸν σεμνύειν, withdrew his royal person from the view of men. The ancient Egyptians and Ethiopians paid divine honours to their kings, according to Diod. Sic. i. 90, iii. 3, 5; and it is well known that the Roman emperors required that their images should be worshipped with religious veneration.)

The religious persecution to which this law subjected the Jews was rendered oppressive by this: that the Jews were brought by it into this situation, that for a whole month they must either omit prayer to God, and thus sin against their God, or disregard the king's prohibition. The satraps had thus rightly formed their plan. Since without doubt they were aware of Daniel's piety, they could by this means hope with certainty to gain their object in his overthrow. There is no ground for rejecting the narrative in the fact that Darius, without any suspicion, gave their contrivance the sanction of law. We do not need, on the contrary, to refer to the indolence of so many kings, who permit themselves to be wholly guided by their ministers, although the description we have of Cyaxares II by Xenophon accords very well with this supposition; for from the fact that Darius appears to have sanctioned the law without further consideration about it, it does not follow that he did not make inquiry concerning the purpose of the plan formed by the satraps. The details of the intercourse of the satraps with the king concerning the occasion and object of the law Daniel has not recorded, for they had no significance in relation to the main object of the narrative. If the satraps represented to the king the intention of compelling, by this law, all the nationalities that were subject to his kingdom to recognise his royal power and to prove their loyalty, then the propriety of this design would so clearly recommend itself to him, that without reflection he gave it the sanction of law.

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