And out of one of them came forth a little horn
Meaning not the kingdom of Titus Vespasian, as Jarchi; nor the kingdom of the Turks, as Saadiah; but the kingdom of Antiochia, as Aben Ezra and Jacchiades; or rather Antiochus Epiphanes, who sprung from the kingdom of the Seleucidae in Syria, or from Seleucus king of Syria, one of the four horns before mentioned: this is that sinful root said to come out from thence, in the Apocrypha:
``And there came out of them a wicked root Antiochus surnamed Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king, who had been an hostage at Rome, and he reigned in the hundred and thirty and seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.'' (1 Maccabees 1:10)called "a horn", because he had some power and authority, and which he usurped and increased in; though but a "little" one in comparison of Alexander the great horn; or at his beginning, being an hostage at Rome; from whence he got away by stealth, and seized the kingdom of Syria, which belonged to his elder brother's son, whom he dispossessed of it; and by mean, artful, and deceitful methods, got it into his hands, who had no right unto it, nor any princely qualities for it: which waxed exceeding great toward the south;
towards Egypt, which lay south of Syria; into which Antiochus entered, and fought against Ptolemy Philometer, king of it, took many cities, and besieged Alexandria; and in all probability would have subdued the whole country, had not the Romans F3 restrained him, by sending their ambassador Popilius to him, who obliged him to desist and depart;
``17 Wherefore he entered into Egypt with a great multitude, with chariots, and elephants, and horsemen, and a great navy, 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. 20 And after that Antiochus had smitten Egypt, he returned again in the hundred forty and third year, and went up against Israel and Jerusalem with a great multitude,'' (1 Maccabees 1)and toward the east;
towards Armenia and Persia, the Atropatii in Media, and the countries beyond the Euphrates, whom he made tributary to him; in the Apocrypha:
``Wherefore, being greatly perplexed in his mind, he determined to go into Persia, there to take the tributes of the countries, and to gather much money.'' (1 Maccabees 3:31)
``1 About that time king Antiochus travelling through the high countries heard say, that Elymais in the country of Persia was a city greatly renowned for riches, silver, and gold; 2 And that there was in it a very rich temple, wherein were coverings of gold, and breastplates, and shields, which Alexander, son of Philip, the Macedonian king, who reigned first among the Grecians, had left there.'' (1 Maccabees 6)and toward the pleasant land;
the land of Judea, so called because of its delightful situation, and great fruitfulness; and because God chose it above all others for his habitation; where his word, and worship, and ordinances, were observed and enjoyed; and where the Messiah should be born and dwell; into this Antiochus led his army, and greatly afflicted and distressed it; he made himself master of most places in Galilee and Judea. The Arabic version reads "toward the west"; no mention is made of the north, because there he himself reigned; Syria being north to Egypt, as that was south to Syria; hence afterwards the king of Egypt is called the king of the south, and the king of Syria the king of the north.
F3 See Joseph. Antiqu. l. 12. c. 5. sect. 2.