In Chapter 11:21 the predicted course of events as told in the vision reaches the reign of Antiochus Epiphances, and the historical fulfillment can be traced with accuracy up to verse 35. The career of Antiochus is reveled in four main features:
(a) the craft by which he obtained the throne and won his way to power (verses 21-23);
(b) his love of munificent and lavish giving (verse 24a);
(c) his plans for war (verse24b), especially his wars against Egypt (verses 25-30); and
(d) his acts of sacrilege against the temple in Jerusalem and persecution of the Jews (verses 31-35).
The remainder of the passage (11:36-12:4) seems at first sight to be a continuation of the career of Antiochus, but on close examination is seen to go beyond it in its description of the king (verse 36; cf. 2 Thess. 2:4), in the events that it record (e.g., 12:1, 2), and in the emphasis laid on its being ‘the time of the end’ (11:35, 40; 12;4). The figure of Antiochus seems here to merge into the more sinister figure of the Antichrist. With 12:2, 7, cf. 7:25; 9:27.
- Gather out the evidence given here on the one hand of man’s sinfulness and lust for power, and on the other of God’s overruling control and purpose. Cf. Jer. 17:5-14.
- What are the characteristics of those who will be glorified and of those who will be put to shame at the end times?
- 11:21. ‘No been given the honour of royalty’:i.e., he was not the recognized heir to the throne.
- 11:22-24.The prince of the covenant’ is probably Antiochus, the infant son and heir of Seleucus IV. The ‘fortresses’ are those of Egypt.
- 11:27. Antiochus actually captured the king of Egypt, but they pretended to be friendly.
- 11:30. ‘Ships of the western coastlands’: i.e., Roman ships, which refused to allow Antiochus to proceed. He vented his anger, therefore, on Palestine.
- 11:31. ‘The abomination that causes desolation’: a small altar was placed on the alter of burnt offering and sacrifices were offered to idols.
- 11:37. ‘The one desired by women’ refers to the god Tammuz. See Ezek. 8:14.