17. He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.
17. Et ponet faciem suam ad veniendum cum potentia totius regni, et rectitudines cum eo: et faciet, et filiam mulierum dabit illi ad perdendum eam, sed non stabit ipsa, et non erit ipsa ei.
He here describes the second war of Antiochus against Epiphanes, who was then growing old; and so he gave, him his daughter Cleopatra in marriage, hoping in this way, by subtle contrivances, to subdue the kingdom of Egypt. For he thought his daughter would remain faithful to his interests; but she rather preserved her conjugal fidelity to her husband, and hesitated not to espouse her husband's quarrel against her father. She faithfully adhered to her husband's interests according to her duty, and never listened to the cunning designs of Antiochus. Thus he was deprived of his expectation, and his daughter never became the means of his acquiring authority over Egypt. Before this marriage of his daughter with Ptolemy, he had tried the effect of war, bug in this he failed; and when he perceived the interposition of the Romans, he desisted from future hostilities, and consoled himself with the thought which we have already expressed, of receiving immediate assistance against Egypt through his daughter. He turns, therefore, to come with the power of his whole kingdom; meaning, he collects all his forces to overwhelm Ptolemy Epiphanes, who was then but a young man, and had neither obtained any great authority, nor arrived at sound wisdom and discretion. When he perceived his want of success in the fortune of war, he gave him the daughter of women, referring to her beauty. This is the explanation of interpreters, who suppose the phrase to imply her remarkable beauty.
As to the next clause, those who translate it, and the upright with him, think the Jews are intended, for Antiochus had received them in surrender, and there were many who openly espoused his cause. They think the Jews so called as a mark of honor, and as upright with respect to the worship of God. But this appears to me too forced. I hesitate not to suppose the angel to signify the superior character of the agreement between Antiochus and Ptolemy, when the former found the impossibility of obtaining his adversary's kingdom by open warfare. Although the Romans had not yet sent forth any armament, yet Antiochus began to fear them, and he preferred the use of cunning in providing for his own interests. Besides this, as we lately mentioned, he was longing for other booty, for he immediately transferred the war into Greece, as the angel will inform us. But he first announces, his giving away his daughter to destroy her He here reproves the artifice of Antiochus the Great, in thus basely selling his daughter, as if she were a harlot. As far as he possibly could, he induced her to slay her husband either by poison or by other devices. Hence, he gave up his daughter to destroy her, but she did not stand by him, and was not for him; meaning, she did not assent to her father's impious desires, and was unwilling to favor such monstrous wickedness. We read in profane writers the fulfillment of these predictions of the angel, and thus it more clearly appears how God placed before the eyes of the pious, a mirror in which they might behold his providence in ruling and preserving his Church. It now follows, --