11:3 Then a powerful king 1 will arise, exercising great authority and doing as he pleases. 11:4 Shortly after his rise to power, 2 his kingdom will be broken up and distributed toward the four winds of the sky 3 – but not to his posterity or with the authority he exercised, for his kingdom will be uprooted and distributed to others besides these.
11:5 “Then the king of the south 4 and one of his subordinates 5 will grow strong. His subordinate 6 will resist 7 him and will rule a kingdom greater than his. 8 11:6 After some years have passed, they 9 will form an alliance. Then the daughter 10 of the king of the south will come to the king of the north to make an agreement, but she will not retain her power, 11 nor will he continue 12 in his strength. 13 She, together with the one who brought her, her child, 14 and her benefactor will all be delivered over at that time. 15
11:7 “There will arise in his 16 place one from her family line 17 who will come against their army and will enter the stronghold of the king of the north and will move against them successfully. 18 11:8 He will also take their gods into captivity to Egypt, along with their cast images and prized utensils of silver and gold. Then he will withdraw for some years from 19 the king of the north. 11:9 Then the king of the north 20 will advance against the empire of the king of the south, but will withdraw to his own land. 11:10 His sons 21 will wage war, mustering a large army which will advance like an overflowing river and carrying the battle all the way to the enemy’s 22 fortress. 23
11:11 “Then the king of the south 24 will be enraged and will march out to fight against the king of the north, who will also muster a large army, but that army will be delivered into his hand. 11:12 When the army is taken away, the king of the south will become arrogant. 25 He will be responsible for the death 26 of thousands and thousands of people, 27 but he will not continue to prevail. 11:13 For the king of the north will again muster an army, one larger than before. At the end of some years he will advance with a huge army and enormous supplies.
11:14 “In those times many will oppose 28 the king of the south. 29 Those who are violent 30 among your own people will rise up in confirmation of 31 the vision, but they will falter. 11:15 Then the king of the north will advance and will build siege mounds and capture a well-fortified city. 32 The forces of the south will not prevail, not even his finest contingents. 33 They will have no strength to prevail. 11:16 The one advancing against him will do as he pleases, and no one will be able to stand before him. He will prevail in the beautiful land, and its annihilation will be within his power. 34 11:17 His intention 35 will be to come with the strength of his entire kingdom, and he will form alliances. 36 He will give the king of the south 37 a daughter 38 in marriage in order to destroy the kingdom, but it will not turn out to his advantage. 11:18 Then he will turn his attention 39 to the coastal regions and will capture many of them. But a commander 40 will bring his shameful conduct to a halt; in addition, 41 he will make him pay for his shameful conduct. 42 11:19 He will then turn his attention to the fortresses of his own land, but he will stumble and fall, not to be found again. 11:20 There will arise after him 43 one 44 who will send out an exactor 45 of tribute to enhance the splendor of the kingdom, but after a few days he will be destroyed, 46 though not in anger or battle.
1 sn The powerful king mentioned here is Alexander the Great (ca. 336-323
2 tn Heb “and when he stands.”
3 tn Or “the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.
4 sn The king of the south is Ptolemy I Soter (ca. 323-285
5 tn Heb “princes.”
6 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (the subordinate prince mentioned in the previous clause) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
7 tn Heb “be strong against.”
8 tn Heb “greater than his kingdom.”
9 sn Here they refers to Ptolemy II Philadelphus (ca. 285-246
10 sn The daughter refers to Berenice, who was given in marriage to Antiochus II Theos.
11 tn Heb “the strength of the arm.”
13 tn Heb “and his arm.” Some understand this to refer to the descendants of the king of the north.
14 tc The present translation reads יַלְדָּה (yaldah, “her child”) rather than the MT יֹלְדָהּ (yolÿdah, “the one who begot her”). Cf. Theodotion, the Syriac, and the Vulgate.
15 sn Antiochus II eventually divorced Berenice and remarried his former wife Laodice, who then poisoned her husband, had Berenice put to death, and installed her own son, Seleucus II Callinicus (ca. 246-227
16 sn The reference is to the king of Egypt.
17 tn Heb “the stock of her roots.”
sn The reference to one from her family line is probably to Berenice’s brother, Ptolemy III Euergetes (ca. 246-221
18 tn Heb “will deal with them and prevail.”
19 tn The Hebrew preposition מִן (min) is used here with the verb עָמַד (’amad, “to stand”). It probably has a sense of separation (“stand away from”), although it may also be understood in an adversative sense (“stand against”).
20 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the king of the north) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
21 sn The sons of Seleucus II Callinicus were Seleucus III Ceraunus (ca. 227-223
22 tn Heb “his”; the referent (the enemy of the king of the north) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
23 tn Heb “and he will certainly come and overflow and cross over and return and be aroused unto a fortress.” The translation has attempted to simplify the syntax of this difficult sequence.
24 sn This king of the south refers to Ptolemy IV Philopator (ca. 221-204
25 tn Heb “his heart will be lifted up.” The referent (the king of the south) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
26 tn Heb “cause to fall.”
27 tn Heb “of myriads.”
28 tn Heb “stand against.”
29 sn This was Ptolemy V Epiphanes (ca. 203-181
30 tn Heb “sons of violence.” “Son(s) is sometimes used idiomatically in Hebrew to indicate that someone is characterized by a certain quality. So the expression “sons of violence” means that these individuals will be characterized by violent deeds.
31 tn Heb “to cause to stand.”
32 sn This well-fortified city is apparently Sidon. Its capture from the Ptolemies by Antiochus the Great was a strategic victory for the Seleucid kingdom.
33 tn Or “choice troops” (BDB 104 s.v. מִבְחָר), or “elite troops” (HALOT 542 s.v. מִבְחָר).
34 tn Heb “hand.”
36 tc The present translation reads מֵישָׁרִים (mesharim, “alliances”) for the MT וִישָׁרִים (viysharim, “uprightness”).
37 tn Heb “him”; the referent (the king of the south) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
38 tn Heb “the daughter of the women.”
sn The daughter refers to Cleopatra, the daughter of Antiochus, who was given in marriage to Ptolemy V.
40 sn The commander is probably the Roman commander, Lucius Cornelius Scipio.
41 tn The Hebrew here is difficult in that the negative בִּלְתִּי (biltiy, “not”) is used in an unusual way. The sense is not entirely clear.
42 tn Heb “his shameful conduct he will return to him.”
43 tn Heb “on his place.”
44 sn The one who will send out an exactor of tribute was Seleucus IV Philopator (ca. 187-176
45 sn Perhaps this exactor of tribute was Heliodorus (cf. 2 Maccabees 3).
46 tn Heb “broken” or “shattered.”