“Then at the appointed time he will once again invade the south, but this time the result will be different. For warships from western coastlands will scare him off, and he will withdraw and return home. But he will vent his anger against the people of the holy covenant and reward those who forsake the covenant. “His army will take over the Temple fortress, pollute the sanctuary, put a stop to the daily sacrifices, and set up the sacrilegious object that causes desecration.” Daniel 11:29-31
In his final expedition against Egypt, “at the time appointed”—that is, by God— Antiochus’s success was not as great as in former expeditions. This seems to be what is meant by “but it shall not be this time as it was before.” The invasion ground to a halt when Antiochus was met near Alexandria by Roman consul Gaius Popillius Laenas, who summarily demanded that Antiochus leave Egypt at the pain of being attacked by Rome. The Roman consul is reported by Polybius to have drawn a circle about the king and told him that his decision had to be reached before he stepped out of the circle. Rather than risk a war with Rome, Antiochus, although greatly displeased, withdrew from Egypt immediately and conceded Egypt to Roman power.
Antiochus Epiphanes seems to have vented his wrath upon the Jewish people. In the process of his opposition to the Jews, Antiochus polluted the holy altar in the temple by offering a sow upon the altar and forbidding the continuance of the daily sacrifices. He also issued orders that the Jews should cease their worship and erected in the holy place an idol, probably the image of Zeus Olympius. This represents placing “the abomination that makes desolate” (v. 31), which Christ referred to in Matthew 24: 15. The parallel prophecy in Daniel 8: 23– 25 covers the same series of incidents. This desecration of the temple, in opposition to the Jewish faith, precipitated the Maccabean revolt that was cruelly suppressed by Antiochus with tens of thousands of Israelites perishing. The entire series of incidents, however— including the persecution of Israel, the desecration of their temple , and the stopping of the daily sacrifice— although fulfilled historically in Antiochus’s persecution of Israel, is also prophetic of the future persecution of Israel that will result during the great tribulation. The next few Bible Studies will be about The Maccabean Revolt.