NB: This is a direct continuation from Antiochus and Ptolemy wars.
Antiochus Epiphanes is important in the world history and the Bible because he is a picture of one coming to the nation of Israel; a prototype of the Antichrist.
Antiochus Epiphanes came to the scene as man of peace about 175 B.C. He was a great public orator and with great flatteries he made the people acknowledge that he was the right king, not only in Syria but in Israel.
And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant (Dan 11:21-22).
In the Old Testament ‘the prince of the covenant’ refers to the high priest in Jerusalem while in the New Testament ‘the prince of the covenant’ is Jesus.
Onias was the legitimate high priest, a Jewish high priest. Antiochus Epiphanes brutally threw him out and exalted an apostate; a false priest, a man called Menelaus. The Jews started being suspicious.
He took over the fat lands of Israel Edom, Moab, all Palestine up to Syria as prophesied: He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time (Dan 11:24).
He came down to invade Egypt with a great army and the old rivalry between Egypt and Syria was renewed as was said, ’And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army. ; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him (Dan 11:25).
Antiochus Epiphanes tricked some leaders of the south to turn against their king and Ptolemy was betrayed as prophesied, ‘Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain (Dan 11:26).
Antiochus then came down to Egypt to sign a peace treaty. The two leaders, Antiochus and Ptolemy, lied in the signing of the treaty as prophesied, ‘And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed’ (Dan 11:27).
Antiochus secretly devised the destruction of the Old Covenant, intending to replace it with pagan Hellenistic, hedonistic culture and religion as prophesied, ‘His heart shall be against the covenant (Dan 11: 28).
Feeling that he has the situation well with the Egyptians after signing the treaty, he decided to conquer Egypt once again but the ships of chittim (which is Cyprus) came down against him as prophesied, ‘For the ships of Chittim shall come against him (Dan 11:30).
Ships of Chittim were Roman Empire soldiers stationed in Cyprus.
The Roman soldiers stopped Antiochus from attacking Egypt. And in his anger and frustrations he turned back to Jerusalem to avenge his anger on the Jews as prophesied, ‘therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant’.
Antiochus Epiphanes Abomination of Desolate
On arriving in Jerusalem, that night many Jews were slaughtered.
He went into the temple, took away the daily sacrifice, set up an image and demanded every person to worship it. He slaughtered a pig inside the temple and the priests were forced to drink the pig blood.
This is the abomination that makes the temple desolate. And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate (Dan 11:31).
Antiochus sent Apollinius with 22,000 soldiers to pollute Jerusalem and the temple thus it is said, ‘arms shall stand on his part’.
Dan 11:32: And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
The Jews became devastated by this massacre and abomination. One jewish priest, Maccabean, refused to blasphemy God and Antiochus Epiphanes killed him. The five sons of Maccabean, led by Judas Maccabean, began to merge a guerrilla war on the Antiochus and his armies reason it is said, ‘but the people that do know their God shall be strong (Dan 11:32).
Miraculous other Jews started joining the Maccabean family and the Maccabean revolt took place. Antiochus Epiphanes and his armies were drawn out of Jerusalem.
When Judas Maccabean and his brothers come into the temple, they found oil to last the candles lit for one day. It took eight days to make and sanctify the oil. They prayed and miraculously the oil lasted eight days.
Reason the Jews celebrate Hanukah on 25th December for eight days. The Jews do not celebrate Christmas as other people of the world do but they celebrate Hanukah.
Angel Gabriel then goes on to define Antichrist character in his one week (7 years) reign from Daniel 11: 36 on-wards.