For the ships of Chittim shall come against him
Ptolemy king of Egypt, and his brother, being come to an agreement, sent an embassy to the senate of Rome, to implore their help and assistance against Antiochus, who was preparing to besiege them in Alexandria; upon which they sent their ambassadors Caius Popilius Laenas, Caius Decimus, and Caius Hostilius, in ships from Macedonia F26, or Greece, to Antiochus, to require him to desist from making war upon Ptolemy, and that he quit the land of Egypt; see ( Numbers 24:24 ) . Macedonia is called the land of Cittim, in the Apocrypha: ``And it happened, after that Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian, who came out of the land of Chettiim, had smitten Darius king of the Persians and Medes, that he reigned in his stead, the first over Greece,'' (1 Maccabees 1:1) ``Beside this, how they had discomfited in battle Philip, and Perseus, king of the Citims, with others that lifted up themselves against them, and had overcome them:'' (1 Maccabees 8:5) Jarchi, Aben Ezra, Saadiah, and Jacchiades, interpret it of the Romans; and, according to Gorionides F1, Cittim are the Romans; and Jerom here interprets them of them; and Bochart has proved at large
F2 that they are meant. The word seems to be used both of Grecians and Romans, and here of Romans in Grecian ships: therefore he shall be grieved, and return;
being obliged to it, sore against his will: as soon as he saw Popilius, with whom he had contracted a friendship while he was an hostage at Rome, he offered his hand to kiss; but Popilius refused it, and observed that private friendship should give way to public interest; and then produced the decree of the senate, and delivered it to him, and required his answer; but Antiochus delaying, telling him he would consult his friends, Popilius, with a rod in his hand, drew a circle round him, and bid him consult his friends directly; adding that he should not stir from that circle till he had given a positive answer; which roughness struck him, and, hesitating a little, he replied he would obey the senate, as Justin F3, Livy F4, Velleius Paterculus F5, and other historians, relate; and upon which he at once departed with his army, though fretted and vexed to the last degree: and have indignation against the holy covenant;
the Jews, God's covenant people; on whom he gratified his revenge, sending Apollonius, with an army of twenty two thousand men, to whom he gave orders to slay the men, and sell the women and children; and who committed many outrages in the city and temple: now it was the daily sacrifice was made to cease, and the abomination of desolation set up, as in the following verse, and all that done predicted in ( Daniel 8:10-12 ) , this was two years after his former expedition into Egypt, and the havoc he made upon his return from thence, and in the eighth year of his reign, and one hundred and forty fifth of the Seleucidae; in the Apocrypha: ``And spake peaceable words unto them, but all was deceit: for when they had given him credence, he fell suddenly upon the city, and smote it very sore, and destroyed much people of Israel.'' (1 Maccabees 1:30) ``He sent also that detestable ringleader Apollonius with an army of two and twenty thousand, commanding him to slay all those that were in their best age, and to sell the women and the younger sort:'' (2 Maccabees 5:24) so shall he do;
such wicked deeds as before declared, in his wrath and fury against the Jews, being provoked at his disappointment in Egypt: he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the
apostate Jews, who had renounced their religion, forsook the law of God, and the ordinances of his worship, and turned Heathens; of whom it is said, agreeably to the language of this prophecy, and seemingly with a view to it, that they made themselves uncircumcised, and departed from the holy
in the Apocrypha: ``And made themselves uncircumcised, and forsook the holy covenant, and joined themselves to the heathen, and were sold to do mischief.'' (1 Maccabees 1:15) with these Antiochus kept an intelligence, and held a correspondence, in order not only to know the affairs of the Jews from time to time, but to draw them off from their religion, and propagate Heathenism among them; such as Jason, Menelaus, and others; in the Apocrypha:
``12 So this device pleased them well. 13 Then certain of the people were so forward herein, that they went to the king, who gave them licence to do after the ordinances of the heathen: 14 Whereupon they built a place of exercise at Jerusalem according to the customs of the heathen: 15 And made themselves uncircumcised, and forsook the holy covenant, and joined themselves to the heathen, and were sold to do mischief. 43 Yea, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols, and profaned the sabbath. 44 For the king had sent letters by messengers unto Jerusalem and the cities of Juda that they should follow the strange laws of the land, 45 And forbid burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and drink offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the sabbaths and festival days:'' (1 Maccabees 1)
F26 Vid. Liv. Hist. l. 45. c. 10.
F1 Heb. Hist. l. 1. c. 1. p. 7.
F2 Phaleg. l. 3. c. 5.
F3 E Trogo, l. 34. c. 2, 3.
F4 Hist. l. 45. c. 12.
F5 Roman. Histor. l. 1.