32 “‘Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. 33 And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. 34 Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. 35 And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.’”
“Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”
Antiochus deceived Jews by flattery (1 Macc 1:11-15). He divided their loyalties. Many “progressive” Jewish leaders believed in the expediency of acquiescing to Hellenism.
The “people” here are Israelites who led the Maccabean revolt in the second century B.C. The Maccabeans sought to bring independence to Israel. In this national movement, thousands led by Mattathias and his three sons revolted against Antiochus (1 Macc 2:23-28). They ultimately defeated the Seleucids in Palestine. Judas Maccabaeus killed General Apollonius in battle.
“And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering.”
Antiochus persecuted the Jews faithful to the Mosaic Law. The persecution of the Jews by Antiochus gave impetus to Jews loyal to the Mosaic Law and the traditions of Judaism. This movement was the Chassidim (loyal ones). The Maccabean revolt also energized this movement. Some of the Chassidim became the sect of the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. Others became Essenes, who isolated themselves in a Qumran community near the Dead Sea.
Antiochus killed many thousands of Jews in the years following the desecration of the temple. He died insane in Persia (163 B.C.).
“Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue.”
The pro-Hellenists Jews did not aid Jews faithful to the Mosaic Law. More Jews joined the movement as the effectiveness of the Maccabeans became apparent. Many pro-Hellenists deceptively joined the nationalists. The Maccabees eventually executed many of these phonies.
“And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.”
The resistance against the Greek Syrians purified the Jews. The persecution against the Jews ran its course. A son of Simon Maccabaeus, John Hyrcanus, established a strong Jewish kingdom (134 –104 B.C.). He freed Judea from Syria but never proclaimed himself king, although he did designate himself high priest. His departure formed the ideals of the Hasmoneans (Maccabeans), which many years later became, in part, the Pharisees.
The angel gave assurance to Daniel that the persecution would come to an “end; because it is still for the appointed time.” There would be further purification in the latter days. Mention of “the end” sets the context for a transition in chapter 11 to far prophetic events (events not yet fulfilled in our day).
Prophecy shows the supernatural nature of the Word of God.
The first thirty-five verses are a remarkable example of pre-written history. This prophecy is so utterly detailed and accurate that it staggers those who study it. There are approximately one hundred and thirty-five fulfilled prophecies in the first thirty-five verses.
The one hundred and thirty-five prophecies in Daniel 11:1-35 are already fulfilled to us in the twenty-first century. The intricate detail of the conflicts between the Seleucids and Ptolemies shows the specificity of these prophecies.
The specificity of these prophecies is so extensive that skeptics had to change the date of Daniel so that it would not be so blatantly supernatural. They claim that Daniel was written during the time of the Maccabees (168-134 B.C.) after many of the events took place.
We find the career of a single king of the North – Antiochus Epiphanes – in verses 21-35. He is also the “little horn” of Daniel 8 who persecuted Israel and set up the “abomination of desolation” in the temple at Jerusalem. Daniel also predicts in verses 32-35, the rise of the Maccabees who revolted against Antiochus.