Daniel 11:21 Index
"And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries."
Research Material

"...in his estate shall stand up a vile person..."

  • Augusts was succeeded by his adopted son, Tiberius, who was eccentric, misunderstood, unloved, and ruling at the time the "Prince of the Covenant," Jesus Christ, was put to death. (KC 131)
  • That is, one lightly esteemed or despised. Augustus was succeeded by Tiberius (A.D. 14-37).... sufficient factual evidence remains to show that Tiberius was an eccentric, misunderstood, and unloved person. (4BC 870)
  • Tiberius Caesar followed Augustus on the Roman throne. He was raised to the consulate at the age of twenty-nine. It is recorded that as Augustus was about to nominate his successor, his wife, Livia, besought him to nominate Tiberius, her son by a former husband. But the emperor said, "Your son is too vile to wear the purple of Rome." Instead, the nomination was given to Agrippa, a virtuous and much-respected Roman citizen. But the prophecy had foreseen that a vile person should succeed Augustus. Agrippa died; and Augustus was again under the necessity of choosing a successor. Livia renewed her intercessions for Tiberius, and Augustus, weakened by age and sickness, was more easily flattered, and finally he consented to nominate that "vile" young man as his colleague and successor. But the citizens never gave him the love, respect, and "honor of the kingdom" due to an upright and faithful sovereign. (US 255)
  • The person brought to view in the text is called "a vile person." Was such the character sustained by Tiberius? Let another paragraph from the Encyclopaedia Americana answer:
    • "Tacitus records the events of this reign, including the suspicious death of Germanicus, the detestable administration of Sejanus, the poisoning of Drusus, with all the extraordinary mixture of tyranny with occasional wisdom and good sense which distinguished the conduct of Tiberius, until his infamous and dissolute retirement (A.D. 26), to the isle of Capreae, in the bay of Naples, never to return to Rome.... The remainder of the reign of this tyrant is little more than a disgusting narrative of servility on the one hand and despotic ferocity on the other. That he himself endured as much misery as he inflicted, is evident from the following commencement of one of his letters to the senate: 'What I shall write to you, conscript fathers, or what I shall not write, or why I should write at all, may the gods and goddesses plague me more than I feel daily that they are doing, if I can tell.' 'What mental torture,' observes Tacitus, in reference to this passage, 'which could extort such a confession!'" (Encyclopaedia Americana, 1849 ed.,, Vol. XII, p. 251, art. "Tiberius.") (US 256)
  • Tyranny, hypocrisy, debauchery, and uninterrupted intoxication - if these traits and practices show a man to be vile, Tiberius exhibited that character to perfection. (US 256)

"...they shall not give the honour of the kingdom..."

  • Literally, "they did not give." The reference is probably to the fact that Tiberius was not originally in line for succession to the throne, but became the son of Augustus by adoption, and was appointed heir to the empire only when he had reached middle life. (4BC 870)

"...but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries."

  • When Augustus died, Tiberius ascended the throne peacefully. He was only the stepson of his predecessor, and his accession to the imperial dignity was to a considerable extent due to the maneuverings of his mother, Livia. (4BC 870)
  • How clear a fulfillment is this of the prediction that they should not give him the honor of the kingdom. But he was to come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. A paragraph from the Encyclopaedia Americana shows how this was fulfilled:
    • "During the remainder of the life of Augustus, he [Tiberius] behaved with great prudence and ability, concluding a war with the Germans in such a manner as to merit a triumph. After the defeat of Varus and his legions, he was sent to check the progress of the victorious Germans, and acted in that war with equal spirit and prudence. On the death of Augustus, he succeeded (A.D. 14), without opposition, to the sovereignty of the empire; which, however, with his characteristic dissimulation, he affected to decline, until repeatedly solicited by the servile senate." (Encyclopaedia Americana, 1849 ed.,, Vol. XII, p. 251, art. "Tiberius.") (US 255)
  • Dissimulation on his part, flattery on the part of the "servile senate," and a possession of the kingdom without opposition were the circumstances attending his accession to the throne, thus fulfilling the words of the prophecy. (US 255-256)