Daniel 11:21

21 In his place shall arise a contemptible person to whom royal majesty has not been given. 1He shall come in without warning and obtain the kingdom 2by flatteries.

Daniel 11:21 Meaning and Commentary

Daniel 11:21

And in his estate shall stand up a vile person
Upon his basis or stand, in the same place where Seleucus Philopator stood, succeeded Antiochus Epiphanes his brother, called "vile", being a very immoral man, given to drunkenness, lasciviousness, uncleanness, and unnatural lusts, and a violent persecutor of the church of God. The word signifies "despicable" F16; he was a vile person, and justly condemned for his vices, and also for that mean and ignoble life he had lived at Rome, having been an hostage there for eleven or twelve years; and though the other hostages were changed at three years' end, yet he remained; which shows what little account he was of even with his father; and was in no esteem with the people, among whom, by his freaks and frolics, he made himself very ridiculous; by rambling about streets with a servant or two; conversing with tradesmen about their trades; drinking with strangers, and people of low life; revelling at merry bouts with young people; putting on strange habits; throwing away his money among the rabble, and stones at those that followed him; washing at public baths among the common people; all which, and many others, are reported F17 of him by historians; hence he was called by some Epimanes the madman; though he took to himself the title of Epiphanes the "illustrious", the reverse of his character. This is the little horn in ( Daniel 8:9 ) and who was an eminent type of antichrist, with whom his character agrees, as well as other things: to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom;
neither his father, nor his brother, nor the peers and people of the land of the kingdom of Syria; they never once thought of making him king; they neither chose him, nor called him, nor crowned him: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries;
pretending to take it, not for himself, but for his nephew Demetrius, the son of his brother Seleucus, now an hostage at Rome, in his stead; so that the states opposed him not, but quietly admitted him, thinking all was safe for the rightful heir and successor; and when he had got possession for his nephew, he obtained it for himself by his flattering speeches to the nobles, and his gifts among the citizens, and his great pretensions to clemency and humanity; or these "flatteries" may refer to the artifices he used to gain Eumenes king of Pergamus, and Attalus his brother, to assist him against Heliodorus the usurper; and the promises of friendship and assistance against the Romans he made to them, and by whose help he came peaceably to the kingdom.


F16 (hzbn) "despectus", Pagninus, Montanus; "contemptus", Vatablus, Piscator, Tigurine version.
F17 See Prideaux's Connexion, par. 2. B. 3. p. 153, 154, Out of Athenaeus, Diodorus and the Universal History, vol. 9. p. 276, 277, 289, 290.

Daniel 11:21 In-Context

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.
20 "Then shall arise in his place one who shall send an exactor of tribute for the glory of the kingdom. But within a few days he shall be broken, neither in anger nor in battle.
21 In his place shall arise a contemptible person to whom royal majesty has not been given. He shall come in without warning and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
22 Armies shall be utterly swept away before him and broken, even the prince of the covenant.
23 And from the time that an alliance is made with him he shall act deceitfully, and he shall become strong with a small people.

Cross References 2

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