Daniel 11:17 Index
"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."
Research Material

"He shall also set his face..."

  • Rome was beginning to exercise her strength when Ptolemy XI, king of Egypt, died in 51 B.C. He placed his two children, Cleopatra and Ptolemy XII, under the guardian ship of Rome. Just three years later Cleopatra became the mistress of Julius Caesar. Daniel 11:17-20 tell how Julius Caesar took his campaign to the coast lands and was assassinated in 44 B.C. Cleopatra didn't stand with Caesar, but turned her affections to Mark Anthony. (KC 130-131)

"...to enter... his whole kingdom..."

  • Daniel 11:16 brought us to the conquest of Syria and Judea by the Romans. Rome had previously conquered Macedon and Thrace. Egypt was now all that remained of the "whole kingdom" of Alexander which had not been brought into subjection to the Roman power. Rome now set her face to enter by force into the land of Egypt. (US 247)

"...and upright ones with him..."

  • Ptolemy XI Auletes died in 51 B.C., he placed his two children, Cleopatra and Ptolemy XII, under the guardianship of Rome. (4BC 869)
  • Ptolemy Auletes died in 51 B.C. He left the crown and kingdom of Egypt to his eldest surviving daughter, Cleopatra, and his elder son, Ptolemy XII, a lad of nine or ten years. It was provided in his will that they should marry each other and reign jointly. Because they were young, they were placed under the guardianship of the Romans. The Roman people accepted the charge, and appointed Pompey as guardian of the young heirs of Egypt. (US 247-248)
    • Soon a quarrel broke out between Pompey and Julius Caesar, which reached its climax in the famous battle of Pharsalus. Pompey, being defeated, fled into Egypt. Caesar immediately followed him thither; but before his arrival Pompey was basely murdered at the instigation of Ptolemy. Caesar now assumed the guardianship of Ptolemy and Cleopatra. He found Egypt in commotion for internal disturbance, for Ptolemy and Cleopatra had become hostile to each other, since she had been deprived of her share in the government. (US 248)
    • The troubles daily increasing, Caesar found his small force insufficient to maintain his position, and being unable to leave Egypt on account of the north wind which blew at that season, he sent into Asia for all the troops he had in that region. (US 248)
    • Julius Caesar decreed that Ptolemy and Cleopatra should disband their armies, appear before him for a settlement of their differences, and abide by his decision. Since Egypt was an independent kingdom, this haughty decree was considered an affront to its royal dignity, and the Egyptians, highly incensed, took up arms. Caesar replied that he acted by the authority of the will of their father, Ptolemy Auletes, who had put his children under the guardianship of the senate and people of Rome. (US 248)
    • The matter was finally brought before him, and advocates appointed to plead the cause of the respective parties. Cleopatra, aware of the foible of the great Roman general, decided to appear before him in person. To reach his presence undetected, she had recourse to the following stratagem: she laid herself at full length in a carpet and, Apollodorus, her Sicilian servant, wrapped her up in a cloth, tied the bundle with a thong, and raising it upon his Herculean shoulders, sought the apartments of Caesar. Claiming to have a present for the Roman general, h was admitted into the presence of Caesar, and deposited the burden at his feet. When Caesar unbound this animated bundle, the beautiful Cleopatra stood before him. (US 248-249)
      • Of this incident F.E. Adcock writes: "Cleopatra had a right to be heard if Caesar was to be judge, and she contrived to reach the city and to find a boatman to take her to him. she came, saw, and conquered. To the military difficulties of withdrawal in the face of the Egyptian army was added the fact that caesar no longer wished to go. He was past fifty, but he retained an imperious susceptibility which evoked the admiration of his soldiers. Cleopatra was twenty-two, as ambitious and high-minded as Caesar himself, a woman whom he would find it easy to understand and admire as well as to love." (The Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. IX, p. 670). (US 249)
    • Caesar at length decreed that the brother and the sister should occupy the throne jointly, according to the intent of the will. Pothinus, the chief minister of state, principally instrumental in expelling Cleopatra from the throne, feared the result of her restoration. He therefore began to excite jealousy and hostility against Caesar by insinuating among the populace that he designed eventually to give Cleopatra the sole power. Open sedition soon followed. The Egyptians undertook to destroy the Roman fleet. Caesar retorted by burning theirs. Some of the burning vessels being driven [by the wind] near the quay, [caused] several of the buildings of the city [to catch] fire, and the famous Alexandrian library, containing nearly 400,000 volumes, was destroyed. Antipater the Idumean joined [Caesar] with 3,000 Jews. The Jews, who held the frontier gateways into Egypt, permitted the Roman army to pass without interruption. The arrival of this army of Jews under Antipater helped decide the contest. (US 249)
    • A decisive battle was fought near the Nile by the fleets of Egypt and Rome, resulting in a complete victory for Caesar. Ptolemy, attempting to escape, was drowned in the river. Alexandria and all Egypt then submitted to the victor. Rome had now entered into and absorbed the entire original kingdom of Alexander. (US 251)
    • By the "upright ones" of the text are doubtless meant the Jews, who gave Caesar the assistance already mentioned. Without this, he must have failed; with it, he completely subdued Egypt in 47 B.C.

"...and he shall give him the daughter of women..."

  • An unusual expression... emphasizing the femininity of the women referred to... Cleopatra, the daughter of Ptolemy XI placed under Roman guardianship in 51 B.C., and... (4BC 869-870)

"...corrupting her..."

  • ...three years later became the mistress of Julius Cesar, who had invaded Egypt. (4BC 870)
  • "The daughter of women, corrupting her" is Cleopatra, who had been Caesar's mistress and was the mother of his son. His infatuation for the queen kept him much longer in Egypt than his affairs required. He spent whole nights in feasting and carousing with the dissolute queen. (US 251)

"...but she shall not stand on his side..."

  • Cleopatra's devious career fits well the specifications of this clause... for Cleopatra did not stand for Caesar, but for her own political interests. After Julius Caesar was assassinated, Cleopatra turned her affections to Mark Antony, the rival of Caesar's heir, Octavian. Octavian (later Augustus) defeated the combined forces of Cleopatra and Antony at Actium (31 B.C.). The next year Antony's suicide (said by some to have been engineered by Cleopatra) opened the way for the new victor. (4BC 870)
  • "BUT," said the prophet, "she shall not stand on his side, neither for him." Cleopatra afterward joined herslef to antony, the enemy of Augustus Caesar, and exerted her whole power against Rome. (US 251)

"...neither be for him."

  • Then Cleopatra, finding that she could not ingratiate herself with Octavian, committed suicide.... With Cleopatra the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt ended, and from 30 B.C., onward Egypt was a province of the Roman Empire. (4BC 870)