And in those times there shall many stand up against the king
of the south
The king of Egypt, Ptolemy Epiphanes being a minor; and while he was such, Antiochus king of Syria, and Philip king of Macedon, joined in alliance together, as before observed, to seize upon his kingdom, and divide it between them; and accordingly Antiochus began the war in Coelesyria and Phoenicia, and Philip went against Egypt and Samos, or Caria, according to Polybius F17. Agathocles and Agathoclea, favourites of the former king of Egypt, laid a scheme of taking the regency into their hands during the minority of the young king; and these, being persons of dissolute lives, were hated by the Egyptians, which caused insurrections and seditions among themselves; and Scopas, a principal general in the army of the king of Egypt, formed a design of taking the government to himself: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the
vision: this is directed to the Prophet Daniel,
and respects the Jews his countrymen, at least some of them, refractory persons that broke through all laws of God and men; seditious men, disturbers of the public peace, and who lived upon the spoil and plunder of others; these either took the advantage of the disturbances in Egypt, and went thither, and plundered what they could, in a bold and audacious manner, and so helped to fulfil this prophecy; or during the troubles in their own land, through the kings of Egypt and Syria, took the opportunity of committing thefts and robberies in a very daring manner, whereby they brought upon them those evils threatened in the law to such persons; and particularly when the Egyptians prevailed, they sided with them against Antiochus, especially such who apostatized from their religion to please the king of Egypt; but were afterwards punished by Antiochus, as it follows: but they shall fall:
be cut off and destroyed, as those apostates that were of Ptolemy's party were by Antiochus, when he invaded Judea, and became master of Jerusalem; see third Maccabees chapter one. Some understand this of the apostate Jews, who fled with Onias the high priest to Egypt, and were there honourably received by Ptolemy, and obtained leave to build a temple there, under pretence of fulfilling the vision or prophecy in ( Isaiah 19:19 ) , which continued many years to the times of the Romans, by whom it was destroyed; but this does not agree with the reign of this king of Egypt; for it was in the times of Ptolemy Philometor that this affair happened, as Josephus F18 relates. Sir Isaac Newton interprets it of the Samaritans F19.
F17 Hist. l. 3. in initio.
F18 Antiqu. l. 13. c. 3. sect. 1.
F19 Vid. Joseph. Antiqu. l. 12. c. 4. sect. 1.