"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
The Prophecy of Daniel Commentary
THE FUTURE IS UNFOLDED TO DANIEL, #4
Lesson Number 35
By Given O. Blakely
A VILE PERSON
“And in his estate shall stand up a vile person . . . ” Other versions read, “in his place a despicable person will arise,” NASB “He will be succeeded by a contemptible person,” NIV “There shall stand up in his place one despised,” DOUAY and “In his place will rise a wretch.” NJB
A “vile person” is one worthless and disdained, or looked down upon. The sons of Eli are described as men who “made themselves vile” (1 Sam 3:13). A “vile person” is said to “speak villany” (wickedness), and “work iniquity” (Isa 32:6). Such a person is one in whom iniquity is enthroned, and its expression is aggressive.
In this case, the vileness of the ruler will be measured by his conduct toward the people of God.
THEY WILL NOT GIVE THE HONOR OF THE KINGDOM
“. . . to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom , , , ” Other versions read, “to whom they will not give the honor of royalty,” NKJV “on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred,” NASB “who has not been given the honor of royalty,” NIV and “on whom royal majesty has not been conferred.” NRSV
The idea is that Antiochus Epiphanes did not come to the throne through a normal process – i.e., either by succession, or royal appointment. Following the assassination of Seleucus Philopator, the rightful heir of the throne was his son, Demetrius. Antiochus was the younger brother of Seleucus, and other son of Antiochus the Great. He is one of the two sons of the king of the North (Seleucus Callinicus), who were stirred up against the “king of the South,” or Egypt (11:10).
History records the following concerning the ascension of Antiochus Ephphanes to the throne. “ . . . also called Antiochus Epimanes (the Mad) Seleucid king of the Hellenistic Syrian kingdom who reigned from 175 to 164 BC. As a ruler he was best known for his encouragement of Greek culture and institutions. His attempts to suppress Judaism brought on the Wars of the Maccabees.” BRITANNICA 2003 “Antiochus IV was the Seleucid king whose attempts to introduce pagan rites in Jerusalem led to the revolt of the Maccabees and the creation of a Jewish state. The son of Antiochus III, he had to defeat the usurper Heliodorus before taking power in 175. GROLLIERSs 2003
McClintok and Strong’s Cyclopedia of Bible Knowledge says the following about this man. “ANTIOCHUS (IV) EPIPHANES (Ejpifanh, illustrious; comp. Michaelis on 1 Maccabees 1:10, and Eckhel, Doctr. num. I, 3, 223; nicknamed Epimanes, Ejpimanh, madman, Athen. 10:438 sq.; on coins Theos, Qeo ,god, see Frohlich, Annal. tab. 6, 7), a Seleucid king of Syria, second son of Antiochus the Great (Appian, Syr. 45; 1 Maccabees 1:11), ascended the throne on the death of his brother, Seleucus Philopator (on his enumeration, the 11th of the Seleucidae, Daniel 7:8, 24; see Lengerke, Daniel, p. 318 sq.), B.C. 175 (see Wernsdorf, De fide libr. Macc. p. 28 sq.), and attained an evil notoriety for his tyrannical treatment of the Jews (comp. Daniel 7:8 sq.), who have described him (in the second Book of the Maccabees) as barbarous in the extreme (see Eichhorn,Apokr. p. 265). He had been given as a hostage to the Romans (B.C. 188) after his father’s defeat at Magnesia. In B.C. 175 he was released by the intervention of his brother Seleucus, who substituted his own son Demetrius in his place. Antiochus was at Athens when Seleucus was assassinated by Heliodorus. He took advantage of his position, and, by the assistance of Eumenes and Attalus, easily expelled Heliodorus, who had usurped the crown, and himself “obtained the kingdom by flatteries” (Daniel 11:21; comp. Liv.41:20), to the exclusion of his nephew Demetrius (Daniel 7:8).
Now the angel shines the light of heavenly illumination upon this despot, showing his role in the latter days of the Grecian Empire – particularly as it regards the land of Israel and the people of God.
"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).