Daniel 11:17

17 He shall 1set his face to come with the strength of his whole kingdom, and he shall bring terms of an agreement and perform them. He shall give him the daughter of women to destroy the kingdom,[a] but it shall not stand or be to his advantage.

Daniel 11:17 Meaning and Commentary

Daniel 11:17

He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his
whole kingdom
Antiochus, having conquered Coelesyria, Phoenicia, and Judea, should set his face towards the land of Egypt, having a greedy desire after it, and bend his mind and forces that way; form a design of invading it, and for that purpose determine to bring all the forces he could master together throughout his dominions. So Justin F2 says, that upon the death of Ptolemy Philopator, Antiochus king of Syria determined to seize on Egypt. The Vulgate Latin version is, "that he might come to lay hold on his whole kingdom"; to seize the whole kingdom of the king of Egypt: and upright ones with him:
meaning, as many think, the Jews, so called to distinguish them from the Heathens, and even from those Jews who had took on the side of Ptolemy, and had changed their religion; but these persevered in it, which Antiochus approved of; and had now a great opinion of them, and had bestowed many favours upon them, as before observed; wherefore he might take some of them, and they might choose to go with him on this expedition, and especially to assist in his intended agreement with the king of Egypt, and the marriage of his daughter to him; in bringing about which they were to have a concern, as being reckoned men of probity and uprightness: or rather the sense is, according to the Vulgate Latin version, and he shall do right things;
in show and appearance: or "he shall make agreement", or peace, as Aben Ezra; enter into covenants of alliance and marriage, upon seeming just conditions, with a great show of sincerity and uprightness: thus shall he do;
in the following manner: or, "and he shall do" F3; that is, succeed in his proposals: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her;
this was the stratagem he used; finding he could not obtain the kingdom of Egypt by force of arms, for fear of the Romans, who were the guardians of the king of Egypt, he proposed to give his daughter Cleopatra to him in marriage, a beautiful virgin; and therefore called the "daughter of women"; or rather because she was as yet under the care of the women she was first committed to, as Gussetius F4 observes; and so he did marry her, and gave for her dowry Coelesyria, Samaria, Judea, and Phoenicia {e}: this was done at Raphia F6, a fortified city of Egypt, where the famous battle had been fought between him and Ptolemy Philopator; see ( Daniel 11:10 ) and if the former clause is rendered, as I think it may, "he shall also set his face to enter into the fortress of the whole kingdom"; this is the place intended, where he was desirous of going to meet the king of Egypt, and execute this scheme of his; which, though done under a plausible pretence of peace, and of putting ahead to their quarrels, was with a view to get his kingdom into his hands; "corrupting" his daughter to betray the counsels of her husband; or to put him to death by poison, or otherwise, that he might seize the kingdom on her behalf; or it may be rendered, to "corrupt" or "destroy it" F7, the kingdom; he married his daughter to the king of Egypt with this view, to obtain the kingdom from him: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him;
being married, she forgot her own people, and her father's house, and cleaved to her husband; took his part, and not her father's, yea, took part with her husband against her father; for ambassadors were sent out of Egypt by both her husband and herself, congratulating the Romans on the victory Acilius gained over Antiochus her father, and that he had drove him out of Greece, exhorting them to carry their army into Asia F8; and thus he was disappointed of his design in this marriage: and this may be the meaning of the expression here; for it may be rendered, "it shall not stand" F9; his counsel shall not stand, his scheme shall not take place, but fall to the ground, and come to nothing: and it shall not be for him;
the kingdom shall not be his, he shall never possess it, as he did not.


F2 E Trogo, I. 31. c. 1.
F3 (hvew) "et faciet", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Gejerus; "efficietque", Junius & Tremellius.
F4 Ebr. Comment. p. 540.
F5 Joseph. Antiqu. l. 12. c. 4. sect. 1.
F6 Liv. Hist. l. 35. c. 13. p. 597.
F7 (htyxvhl) "ad corrumpendum illam", Montanus, Gejerus.
F8 Liv. ibid. l. 37. c. 3. p. 633.
F9 (dwmet al) "et non succedet hoc", Grotius

Daniel 11:17 In-Context

15 Then the king of the north shall come and throw up siegeworks and take a well-fortified city. And the forces of the south shall not stand, or even his best troops, for there shall be no strength to stand.
16 But he who comes against him shall do as he wills, and none shall stand before him. And he shall stand in the glorious land, with destruction in his hand.
17 He shall set his face to come with the strength of his whole kingdom, and he shall bring terms of an agreement and perform them. He shall give him the daughter of women to destroy the kingdom, but it shall not stand or be to his advantage.
18 Afterward he shall turn his face to the coastlands and shall capture many of them, but a commander shall put an end to his insolence. Indeed, he shall turn his insolence back upon him.
19 Then he shall turn his face back toward the fortresses of his own land, but he shall stumble and fall, and shall not be found.

Cross References 1

  • 1. See Jeremiah 42:15

Footnotes 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.