22. 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.
22. Et brachia inundatione obruentur, ad verbum, inundabuntur, a conspectu ejus, et conterentur, atque etiam dux foederis.
We may naturally conjecture that the dominions of Antiochus were not immediately at peace, because a portion of his court favored the lawful heir. As it always happens in every change of government, there were many tumults in Syria before Antiochus could remove his adversaries out of his way. For although the kingdom of Egypt was then destitute of a head, as Ptolemy, called Philometor, was then only a boy, his counselors were in favor of the son of Seleucus, and so by secret supplies afforded their aid to the faction opposed to Antiochus. He had much trouble not only with his own people, but also with the neighboring nations. All pitied the lot of his ward, and his being quite undeserving of it moved many to render him every possible help. The boy was aided by the favor of Egypt, and of other nations. Thus Antiochus was subject to many severe commotions, but the angel announces his final conquest. The arms, he says, shall be inundated This is a metaphorical expression; for whatever aid the son of Seleucus acquired, was not by his own efforts, for he could use none, but by that of his friends. The arms, then, meaning, all the auxiliaries which should assist in the restoration of the son of Seleucus, should be overwhelmed by an inundation This is another metaphor, signifying, they shall be drowned as by a deluge; and by this figure the angel hints not only at the victory of Antiochus, but at its great facility. It was like a deluge, not by its own strength, but because God wished to use the hand of this tyrant in afflicting the Israelites, as we shall afterwards see, and also in harassing both Egypt and Syria. Antiochus was in truth God's scourge, and is thus compared to a deluge. Hence he says, out of his sight. He shews the terror of Antiochus to be so great, that at his very appearance he should dispirit and prostrate his enemies, although he was without forces, and was neither a bold nor a persevering warrior.
And they shall be broken, says he, and also the leader of the covenant; meaning, Ptolemy shall take the part of His relative in vain. For the son of Seleueus was the cousin of Ptolemy Philometor, since, as we have said, Cleopatra had married Ptolemy Philopator, whence this Philometor was sprung, and Seleueus was the brother of Cleopatra. He, then, was the leader of the covenant Ptolemy, indeed, who was but a boy, could neither undertake nor accomplish anything by his own counsel, but such was his dignity in the kingdom of Egypt, that he was deservedly called leader of the covenant, since all others followed the power of that king. The event fully proved with what ill success all who endeavored to eject Antiochus from his possessions, contended against him. It now follows, --