He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the
Or, "into tranquillity, and the fattest places of the province" F19; that is, into such places as were in great tranquillity, and men thought themselves safe and secure, and had no suspicion of his designs upon them, and which abounded in wealth and riches: these were either the principal cities in the kingdom of Syria, which he visited in order to establish himself in their good opinion of him; or the chief places of the province of Phoenicia, where he endeavoured to make himself acceptable by his munificence; or it may be the best parts of the kingdom of Egypt are meant, the richest of them, such as Memphis, and the places about it; where, as Sutorius in Jerome says, he went; and which places being fat, producing a large increase, and abounding in wealth, invited him thither; and which wealth he took, and scattered among his friends and soldiers, as in a following clause: and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers'
none of his ancestors, more near or more remote; not Antiochus the great, nor Seleucus Ceraunus, nor Seleucus Callinicus, nor Antiochus Theos, nor Antiochus Soter, nor Seleucus Nicator, the founder of the Syrian empire; for, however greater these might be in power or riches, they were inferior to him in success; though they all, or most of them, however, had their eye upon Egypt, and would gladly have been masters of it; yet none of the kings of Syria prevailed over it, as Antiochus did; and this may also refer to what follows: he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches;
which he took from the places or rich cities he entered into; and these he plentifully and liberally dispersed among his followers, his soldiers, "the small people" he became strong with, ( Daniel 11:23 ) , whereby he gained their affections, and attached them to his interest; and in this his liberality and munificence he is said to abound above all the kings that were before him, in the Apocrypha:
``He feared that he should not be able to bear the charges any longer, nor to have such gifts to give so liberally as he did before: for he had abounded above the kings that were before him.'' (1 Maccabees 3:30)and the character Josephus F20 gives of him is, that he was a man of a large and liberal heart: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds;
the fortresses of Egypt; as he got into the fat and richest parts of it, and distributed the wealth of them among his favourites and followers, which answered a good purpose; so he had his eye upon the fortified places of the kingdom, and contrived ways and means to get them into his possession, as Pelusium, and other places; and how to keep them when he had got them, which he did: even for a time;
till Ptolemy Philometor was at age, and freed himself from him; or till the Romans F21 put a stop to his power.
F19 (ynmvmbw hwlvb) "in quietem et in pinguia", Montanus; "in tranquillitatem et opima", Cocceius; "in tranquillitatem et in pinguissima", Michaelis.
F20 Antiqu. l. 12. c. 7. sect. 2.
F21 Vid. Joseph. Antiqu. l. 19. c. 5. sect. 2.