Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little
When the Jews shall be thus harassed and distressed by Antiochus and his armies, to the ruin of many, by the several sorts of punishments inflicted on them; they should be helped and eased a little by Mattathias, a priest of Modin, and his five sons, commonly called the Maccabees; Porphyry himself interprets this of Mattathias: the help and assistance which he and his sons gave to the Jews was but "little"; if we consider they were persons of a small figure, began with a handful of men, and could do but little, especially at first; and though great exploits were done by them, considering their number and strength, yet they were not able to restore the land to its former glory and liberty; nor did this help of theirs last long, but the enemy returned with great fierceness and cruelty, and sadly afflicted the people of the Jews. Cocceius understands this of the help the Christians had under Constantius Chlorus, and Constantine the great; and so does Sir Isaac Newton, who agrees with him in interpreting this and the preceding verse: he interprets "arms", in ( Daniel 11:31 ) , of the Romans, and so Jacchiades; and makes this to be the beginning of the fourth kingdom that should "stand", (wnmm) , "after him"; that is, after Antiochus; so the particle, he observes, is used in ( Daniel 11:8 ) , and it must be owned this is the sense in which it is sometimes used, of which Noldius F12 has given instances: and this seems to agree with the thread of history, and introduces the Romans, who must have a place in this prophecy, in a very proper manner; and carries on the account of things, through the times of Christ, his apostles, the first ages of Christianity under persecution, until the rise of antichrist, ( Daniel 11:36 ) and throws light upon the text in ( Matthew 24:15 ) , the language of which seems best to agree with ( Daniel 11:31 ) , and, if so, must respect something to be done, not in the times of Antiochus, but after the times of Christ. But many shall cleave to them with flatteries;
seeing Mattathias and his sons succeed, some of those, who had been apostates from their religion, or not heartily friends to it, joined them, but not sincerely; pretended to be on their side, and commended their bravery and courage; and being ambitious of honour and fame, took with them, in order to share the glory of their actions; such were Joseph the son of Zachariah, and Azarias, in the Apocrypha: ``56 Joseph the son of Zacharias, and Azarias, captains of the garrisons, heard of the valiant acts and warlike deeds which they had done. 57 Wherefore they said, Let us also get us a name, and go fight against the heathen that are round about us.'' (1 Maccabees 5) and those under whose clothes were found idols, or what belonged to them, at Jamnia, when they were slain, in the Apocrypha:
``Now under the coats of everyone that was slain they found things consecrated to the idols of the Jamnites, which is forbidden the Jews by the law. Then every man saw that this was the cause wherefore they were slain.'' (2 Maccabees 12:40)and Rhodocus, a soldier of the Jewish army, who betrayed their secrets, in the Apocrypha:
``But Rhodocus, who was in the Jews' host, disclosed the secrets to the enemies; therefore he was sought out, and when they had gotten him, they put him in prison.'' (2 Maccabees 13:21)Cocceius applies this to antichrist and his followers pretending to be for Christ and his church, but were not.
F12 Concord. Part. Ebr. p. 557.