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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

As soon as he arrived at Jerusalem, he began by suppressing the daily, or burnt offering of continuance, and all the observances of the Jewish law.

He caused the sabbaths and other festivals to be profaned; forbade the circumcision of children; carried off and burnt all copies of the law wherever they could be found; and put to death whoever acted contrary to the decree of the king.

To establish it the sooner in every part of the nation, altars and chapels filled with idols were erected in every city, and sacred groves were planted.

Officers were appointed over these, who caused the people generally to offer sacrifice in them every month, on the day of the month on which the king was born, who made them eat swine's flesh and other unclean animals sacrificed there.

The temple in Jerusalem was dedicated to Jupiter Olympus, whose statue was placed within it.

Thus he did in his great indignation against Jehovah and His people Israel.

And such of the Jews as do wickedly against the covenant shall Antiochus by flatteries cause to dissemble.

These not only "forsook the holy covenant," but "had intelligence" with the king, and aided him all they could in the desolation with which he was overspreading their country.

But the Maccabees and their adherents, people who do know their God shall be strong, and do valiantly in war.

And they, even Mattathias and his five sons, etc., that understand among the people shall instruct, and encourage, many; yet they of their party shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, days.

Now when they shall fall by these calamities they shall be holpen with a little help; for whilst Antiochus was amusing himself by celebrating games at Daphne, Judas Maccabaeus had raised the standard of independence, and was helping his countrymen in Judea.

He levied a small army, fortified the cities, rebuilt the fortresses, threw strong garrisons into them, and thereby awed the whole country.

He defeated and killed Apollonius, and made great slaughter of the troops.

With 3,000 men he defeated Lysias with 47,000; and another army of 20,000 under Timotheus and Bacchides; and in the year b.

170, he gave Lysias a second defeat at Bethsura, by which he dispersed 65,000 of the enemy.

Yet, many shall cleave to them, the Maccabees, with flatteries, for it was a time of trial.

And therefore some of them of understanding shall fall to try them, and to purge, and make them white for the Time of the end; because it, the time of the end, is yet for a time appointed.

The thirty-fifth verse of this eleventh chapter brings us down to the end of 430 years from the destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans.

There is here a break in the prophecy.

Nothing more is said about Israel and the king of the north, until the prediction is resumed in the fortieth verse, which may be regarded as continuous with verse thirty-five.

The latter speaks of their being tried and made white to, or till, the time of the end, and then the fortieth re-introduces the king of the south and the king of the north, and outlines the events they were to bring to pass in that time, and which will end in the resurrection, when they who have been tried and made white in the long interval, will stand in their lot with Daniel at the end of the 1,335 days.

With the exception of the "little help" derived from the victories of the Maccabees, the history of Israel has been a series of calamities to this day; and will so continue to be till the "time appointed" for their deliverance arrives.

But the Maccabean epoch is particularly interesting as the termination of Ezekiel's 430 years.