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by Dr. John Thomas
And the hearts of both these kings shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table, but shall not prosper; for the end is yet at the time appointed.
Then shall Antiochus Epiphanes return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the Holy Covenant; and he shall do terrible things against Jerusalem, taking it by storm, butchering 80,000 men, making 40,000 prisoners, and causing a like number to be sold for slaves.
And then shall he return to his own land, laden with the spoils of the temple, amounting to 1,800 talents, or 270,000 pounds At the time appointed, under pretence of restoring Philometor to the throne, he shall return, and come toward the south against Alexandria to besiege it.
But it, this fourth invasion, shall not be as the former, or as the latter.
He raised the siege, and marched towards Memphis, where he installed Philometor as king.
As soon, however, as he had departed, Philometor came to an understanding with Euergetes, and they agreed to a joint reign over Egypt.
This coming to the ears of Antiochus, he led a powerful army against Memphis for the purpose of subduing the country.
Having nearly accomplished his project, he marched against Alexandria, which was the only obstacle to his becoming absolute master of Egypt.
But the Roman Embassy, sent at the request of the Ptolemies, met him about a mile from the city.
They had left Rome with the utmost diligence.
When they arrived at Delos, they found a fleet of Macedonian, or Greek, ships, on board of which they embarked for Alexandria, where they arrived at the crisis of his approach.
Popilius delivered him the decree of the Senate, and demanded an immediate answer.
Sorely against his will, he agreed to obey its mandate, and draw off his army from Egypt.
Thus his invasion terminated very differently from the former: 30.
for the ships of Chittim shall come against him, and prevent him from incorporating Egypt into his Assyrian kingdom of the north.
All his wrath was kindled at this interference; therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the Holy Covenant; for in his return march through Palestine, he detached 20,000 men under Apollonius with orders to destroy Jerusalem, b.
So shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the Holy Covenant.
And arms shall stand on his part under Apollonius; and they, the Assyro-Macedonian troops, shall pollute the temple, or sanctuary of strength, by shedding the blood of the worshippers in its courts; and they shall take away the daily sacrifice; and they shall place a strong fort and garrison to command the temple, even the abomination that maketh desolate, and overawes the nation.
As soon as Antiochus Epiphanes was returned to Antioch, he published a decree by which all his subjects were required to conform to his religion.
This was aimed chiefly at the Jews, whose religion and nation he was resolved to extirpate.
Atheneus, a man advanced in years, and extremely well versed in all the ceremonies of the Grecian idolatry, was commissioned to carry the edict into effect in Judea and Samaria.