Sabbath Message by Wade Cox

Sabbath 12/9/29/120

Dear Friends,

This week we will deal with the events in Daniel chapter 8 and relate that to the time sequence from the conquests of the Babylonians and the events of chapter 2, and the parallel events of the end days. We will look at the Medes and Persians, to the Battle of the Granicus River in 334 BCE that marks the start of the He-Goat of the Greeks and Macedonians. The He-Goat was Alexander the Great.

We know that Alexander’s four generals succeeded him but the succession was not by common consent; rather it resulted from the constant squabbles among them. The Greek empire simply fell apart because none of them could successfully eliminate the others. Daniel correctly prophesies the fourfold division.

The general consensus is that the most important of the Diadochoi were: Antipater and his son Cassander, Antigonus Monopthalmus and his son Demetrius Poliorcetes, Craterus, Eumenes, Leonnatus, Lysimachus, Perdiccas, Ptolemy and Seleucus.

After the death of Alexander on 11 June 323 in Babylon, there was an initial arrangement for the administration of the empire, termed the Babylonian Settlement. The settlement took a month to achieve because of contention among the Macedonians of the Diadochoi. Alexander’s half-brother, Arrhidaeus (who had some mental deficiency), and unborn son of Roxana, Alexander IV, were jointly proclaimed king, and Perdiccas was established as regent. In 321-320 BCE a new settlement was agreed on at Triparadeisus in Syria.

By 306 BCE six of the Diadochoi remained. These were: Antigonus and Demetrius, Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy and Seleucus. The forces of Demetrius defeated Ptolemy in the naval battle off Salamis in Cyprus and that allowed him and his father Antigonus to take the royal title. The others soon followed suit. The empire was thus ruled in five kingdoms under six kings in constant rivalry.

The Diadochoi roughly reduced to four. The generals and their areas of rule were as follows:

Ptolemy I Soter (saviour), son of Lagus, ruled over Egypt as satrap from 323-305 BCE and as king from 305-283, ruling Palestine, Arabia, and Peterea. He was assisted by the general, Seleucus. General Seleucus had originally been given Babylon, but was forced out by Antigonus. Seleucus Nicator later ruled in Syria and recovered Babylon ca. 312 and later ruled in Judea, establishing the Seleucid dynasty.
Antigonus ruled Syria, Babylonia, and central Asia.
Cassander ruled over Macedonia and Greece.
Lysimachus ruled Thrace and Bythinia.

The Diadochoi continued the wars over the period from 320 to 281 BCE.

The major decisive battle was the Battle of Ipsus (301 BCE). Antigonus and Demetrius were pitted against the coalition of Cassander, Lysamachus, and Selecus near Ipsus in Phrygia. Antigous was defeated and killed and his possessions divided amongst the victors.

The Battle
“The sole surviving account of the battle appears in Plutarch's Life of Demetrius 28ff. Plutarch does not mention the location, but this is supplied by Appian (Syrian Wars 55). Fragments of Diodorus (Bibliotheka 21) provide additional details. According to Plutarch, Antigonus' forces included 70,000 infantry, 10,000 cavalry and 75 elephants, while his opponents fielded 64,000 infantry, 10,500 cavalry, 400 elephants and 125 war chariots. The exact numbers have been called into question (see Billows, Antigonus Monophthalmus p. 181) but the near-equality of the forces is not in doubt.

The action began with a cavalry charge led by Demetrius, which routed cavalry under the command of Antiochus. Having pursued the enemy off the battlefield, Demetrius found his return blocked by the large contingent of allied elephants. Cavalry under Seleucus took advantage of this situation by riding around the exposed flank of Antigonus' phalanx, threatening but not actually mounting an attack. This menacing maneuver (sic) led a portion of Antigonus' army to defect to the allied cause, and the remainder were subsequently routed. According to Plutarch, Antigonus died in a hail of javelins, confident of his son's immanent (sic) return. The battle lost, Demetrius escaped to Ephesus with 5,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry. According to Diodorus, Antigonus was subsequently given a royal burial.”

From 301 BCE, after Ipsus, the empire was as follows:
Ptolemy I Soter ruled Egypt and Palestine from his capital in Alexandria. He died in 282 BCE. It was this dynasty that he began which the Romans finally defeated in 31 BCE at the battle of Actium, signalling the end of the Hellenistic period and forming the Roman Empire in its place.

Seleucus I Nicator ruled Syria and Phrygia as far as the Indus from his capital in Antioch.
Lysimachus ruled Thrace and Bithynia, and
Cassander ruled Macedonia for only 4 years before his death in 297 BCE. Macedon was eventually lost to the descendents of Antigonus, founder of the Antigonid dynasty, one of the three Hellenistic dynasties along with the Ptolemaic and the Seleucid.

The period of 2300 years from the Battle of Ipsus takes us to the year 2000 CE. From the year 2001 the wars of the end began (see the paper The Last Thirty Years: the Final Strugggle (No. 219) and especially the audio).

The wars ended in 281 BCE, on the death of Seleucus and all the Diadochi were now dead. The four holdings reduced to three dynasties based on:
Egypt and the surrounding island and ports under Ptolemy II.
The Asiatic part of the empire under Antiochus the son of Seleucus.
Macedon and Greece were extant but unstable until subjugated by Antigonus Gonatus, son of Demetrius, when he seized the throne of Macedon in 276 BCE. This ended the age of the Diadochoi even though these three entities were not themselves successors or original Diadochoi.

The year 282/1 BCE is of significance also as we see below, relating to Judah and Egypt under the Diadochoi.

Jerusalem after Alexander

Josephus, in Antiquities of the Jews, Book 12, chapters 1 and 2, tells us of the way in which Jerusalem was subjugated by the treachery of Ptolemy on the death of Alexander. This seizure is also critical to the prophecy

“....Antigonus obtained Asia, Seleucus Babylon; and of the other nations which were there, Lysimachus governed the Hellespont, and Cassander possessed Macedonia; as did Ptolemaeus the son of Lagus seize upon Egypt. [3] And while these princes ambitiously strove one against another, every one for his own principality, it came to pass that there were continual wars, and those lasting wars too; and the cities were sufferers, and lost a great many of their inhabitants in these times of distress, insomuch that all Syria, by the means of Ptolemaeus the son of Lagus, underwent the reverse of that denomination of Saviour, which he then had. [4] He also seized upon Jerusalem, and for that end made use of deceit and treachery; for as he came into the city on a sabbath day, as if he would offer sacrifices he, without any trouble, gained the city, while the Jews did not oppose him, for they did not suspect him to be their enemy; and he gained it thus, because they were free from suspicion of him, and because on that day they were at rest and quietness; and when he had gained it, he ruled over it in a cruel manner. [5] Nay, Agatharchides of Cnidus, who wrote the acts of Alexander's successors, reproaches us with superstition, as if we, by it, had lost our liberty; where he says thus: [6] "There is a nation called the nation of the Jews, who inhabit a city strong and great, named Jerusalem. These men took no care, but let it come into the hands of Ptolemaeus, as not willing to take arms, and thereby they submitted to be under a hard master, by reason of their unseasonable superstition." [7] This is what Agatharchides relates of our nation. But when Ptolemaeus had taken a great many captives, both from the mountainous parts of Judaea, and from the places about Jerusalem and Samaria, and the places near Mount Gerizzim, he led them all into Egypt, and settled them there. [8] And as he knew that the people of Jerusalem were most faithful in the observation of oaths and covenants; and this from the answer they made to Alexander, when he sent an embassage to them, after he had beaten Darius in battle; so he distributed many of them into garrisons, and at Alexandria gave them equal privileges of citizens with the Macedonians themselves; and required of them to take their oaths, that they would keep their fidelity to the posterity of those who committed these places to their care. [9] Nay, there were not a few other Jews who, of their own accord, went into Egypt, as invited by the goodness of the soil, and by the liberality of Ptolemaeus. [10] However, there were disorders among their posterity, with relation to the Samaritans, on account of their resolution to preserve that conduct of life which was delivered to them by their forefathers, and they thereupon contended one with another, while those of Jerusalem said that their temple was holy, and resolved to send their sacrifices thither; but the Samaritans were resolved that they should be sent to Mount Gerizzim.

The account of Josephus seems somewhat strange in that Ptolemy is, on the one hand, treacherous and yet, on the other, bestows equality with the Macedonians whilst in Egypt even though they were also slaves. In those days many had slaves, including the Jews.

The important point is that Alexander had reigned twelve years and Ptolemy Soter reigned forty years. Thus, Judah had been taken into Egypt for at least forty years, perhaps before, but certainly from, the death of Alexander.

[2.] [11] When Alexander had reigned twelve years, and after him Ptolemaeus Soter forty years, Philadelphus then took the kingdom of Egypt, and held it forty years within one. He procured the law to be interpreted, and set free those that were come from Jerusalem into Egypt, and were in slavery there, who were a hundred and twenty thousand. [12] The occasion was this: Demetrius Phalereus, who was library keeper to the king, was now endeavouring, if it were possible, to gather together all the books that were in the habitable earth, and buying whatsoever was any where valuable, or agreeable to the king's inclination, (who was very earnestly set upon collecting of books,) to which inclination of his Demetrius was zealously subservient. [13] And when once Ptolemaeus asked him how many ten thousands of books he had collected, he replied, that he had already about twenty times ten thousand; but that, in a little time, he should have fifty times ten thousand. [14] But be said he had been informed that there were many books of laws among the Jews worthy of inquiring after, and worthy of the king's library, but which, being written in characters and in a dialect of their own, will cause no small pains in getting them translated into the Greek tongue;

Josephus then records that the king wrote to the Jewish High Priest requesting that he act. At the time of the ascension of Ptolemy II a friend of the king named Aristaeus petitioned the king to set the Jewish captives free. He first discussed the issue with the captains of the king’s guard, Sosibus of Tarentum and Andreas. They then approached the king on the grounds that, as the laws of the Jews were going to be transcribed, it was not fitting that they remain captive.

Josephus records that Ptolemy Soter reigned for forty years after the death of Alexander. Ptolemy II Philadelphus was King of Egypt from 284-47 BCE. It was actually his sister/wife who bore the title Philadelphus.

In about 285/4 BCE, Ptolemy I Soter is assumed to have taken as his co-ruler one of his sons by Berenice, Ptolemy II Philadelphus. The date is given by some as ca. 28 February 284 BCE. He became sole ruler of Egypt and the rest of his father's empire upon the death of Ptolemy I in 282 BCE, around Artemisius/Daisios year 41 (Mac.) or ca. April - June 282. He took the Egyptian name, Meryamun Setepenre, which means "Beloved of Amun, Chosen of Re". He expanded his possessions around the Mediterranean and stabilised Egypt. He completed many of the ambitious projects of his father, such as the Pharos Lighthouse and the Alexandrian University Library, which is the action that is referred to by Josephus.

Ptolemy II was born in Cos in about 309/8 BCE. His official birthday was 12 Dystros (Mac.) or ca. 10 February 308. His education followed the traditions set by Philip of Macedon in educating Alexander, who was taught by Aristotle. Ptolemy II wanted rule over the Aegean as well as Egypt and set about achieving that aim.

Alexandria grew rapidly under the first two Ptolemies and was eventually divided into three governable districts. By the end of his reign, they consisted of Rhakotis, the native Egyptian quarter, Bruchium, the royal Greek-Macedonian quarter, and the Jewish Quarter that was almost as large as the Greek.

It was this growth that influenced Ptolemy II to establish a high quality of education to both Greeks and Jews and to translate the laws of the Bible into the Greek language and hence the Septuagint was created. Called the Seventy (LXX) it, like the Sanhedrin, consisted of 72 translators comprised of six scholars from each tribe.

The liberation of the Jews took place from 282 BCE, prior to the compilation of the Septuagint, and before Eleazar was High Priest in Jerusalem.

Through Greek poets like Callimachus, and many others that Ptolemy II supported, a catalogue of works was written exalting the king. Manetho dedicated his history of Egypt to him even though Ptolemy II had ordered him to write the history in the first place.

If we take the period of the absolute rule of this king and apply it to the 2300 days on a year for a day basis, we arrive at 2017 and 2019 for his sole rule. Thus the commencement of the liberation of Judah as prophecy is from 2017 to 2019 CE with the period left of the seven years to the Jubilee, which we see as the fulfilment of The Fall of Jericho (No. 142) on a year for a day basis. It is also thus 2300 years from the translation of the Bible text into the gentile Greek to the establishment of the Bible text as the rule for the Millennium.

Josephus says (40) that he sent fifty talents of gold to Eleazar with an immense quantity of precious stones for the making of large basins and vials and cups for the Temple, and one hundred talents for the sacrifices and other uses of the Temple. Josephus says that Eleazar became High Priest after the death of Onias and his son Simon the Just. Simon had a son called Onias but his brother Eleazar, son of Onias I,assumed the High Priesthood ca. 260-245 BCE and it was to him that Ptolemy II wrote.

The application of this date for the furbishing of the Temple and the education of the Gentiles within this prophecy gives us the date 2041, being the Fourteenth year of the Golden Jubilee of the Millennium for the furbishing of the Temple at Jerusalem.

The letter sent by Ptolemy II to Eleazar is repeated by Josephus as follows.

"King Ptolemaeus to Eleazar the high priest, sendeth greeting. There are many Jews who now dwell in my kingdom, whom the Persians, when they were in power, carried captives. These were honoured by my father; some of them he placed in the army, and gave them greater pay than ordinary; to others of them, when they came with him into Egypt, he committed his garrisons, and the guarding of them, that they might be a terror to the Egyptians. [46] And when I had taken the government, I treated all men with humanity, and especially those that are thy fellow citizens, of whom I have set free above a hundred thousand that were slaves, and paid the price of their redemption to their masters out of my own revenues; [47] and those that are of a fit age, I have admitted into them number of my soldiers. And for such as are capable of being faithful to me, and proper for my court, I have put them in such a post, as thinking this [kindness done to them] to be a very great and an acceptable gift, which I devote to God for his providence over me. [48] And as I am desirous to do what will be grateful to these, and to all the other Jews in the habitable earth, I have determined to procure an interpretation of your law, and to have it translated out of Hebrew into Greek, and to be deposited in my library. [49] Thou wilt therefore do well to choose out and send to me men of a good character, who are now elders in age, and six in number out of every tribe. These, by their age, must be skilful in the laws, and of abilities to make an accurate interpretation of them; and when this shall be finished, I shall think that I have done a work glorious to myself. [50] And I have sent to thee Andreas, the captain of my guard, and Aristaeus, men whom I have in very great esteem; by whom I have sent those first-fruits which I have dedicated to the temple, and to the sacrifices, and to other uses, to the value of a hundred talents. And if thou wilt send to us, to let us know what thou wouldst have further, thou wilt do a thing acceptable to me."

Josephus records that there were also artefacts constructed over that period and given to the Temple by Ptolemy II.

We can thus determine from this letter that the Jews were set free at the very beginning of his reign and that this letter was probably sent at the beginning of the reign of Eleazar, as the replies and the entire works were all completed in his reign.

To apply this prophecy to the restoration of the Jews, as well as their enslavement, covers the period from 1967 to 2041 for the establishment of the Temple system in Jerusalem. If we look at the period involved in the construction of the Temple and the administration at Jerusalem under Solomon as detailed in the paper Rule of the Kings Part III: Solomon and the Key of David (No. 282C) we see that the system will be completed by the Twentieth year of the 121st Jubilee, or 2047 for the Reading of the Law in 2048.

Josephus also records (119) another matter of importance in the struggle between the Greek successors of Alexander and their effect on the Jews and Jerusalem. Seleucus Nicator made the Jews citizens in the cities he built in Asia, lower Syria and particularly in Antioch, and gave them privileges equal to the Macedonians and Greeks, which continued down to the time of the War with Rome under Vespasian and Titus.

The conflict over Jerusalem continued during the reign of Ptolemy IV Philopator, when it was taken by Antiochus the Great of the Seleucid Dynasty. The Egyptian general Scopas was sent out by his son to recover Coele Syria and Judaea, which he did. However, not long after, Antiochus overcame Scopas and recovered Coele Syria and Samaria and the Jews went over to him and supplied him and the army plentifully. He rewarded them for their generosity. He then wrote to Ptolemy concerning them.

Babylon and the Seven Times

The sequence of the seven times of the Babylonians goes for 2520 years from the battle of Carchemish in 605 BCE where Nebuchadnezzar established the Babylonian supremacy over the Egyptians and the Middle East. He began the sequence of the empires of Daniel chapter 2 and the Kings of the North and South explained in Daniel chapter 11. The early events spanned a block of time over an eighty-year period of two arms of forty years ending with Cambyses’ invasion of Egypt in 525 BCE (see the paper The Fall of Egypt: The Prophecy of Pharaoh’s Broken Arms (No. 36)). The seven times or 2520 years ends with the block from 1916 to the year 1996. 1997 to the Jubilee in 2027 covers the period of the last thirty years of this age.

From the end of that period in 1916 the British Commonwealth began to reclaim Palestine, and in 1917 The Balfour Declaration declared the Jewish homeland. In December 1917, on 24 Chislev or 7 December 1917 according to the Temple calendar (not the Hillel Postponement Calendar of modern Judaism) Jerusalem was retaken from the Ottoman Empire (see the papers The Oracles of God (No. 184) and the Commentary on Haggai (No. 21)).

The Palestinian Mandate.
The First World War ended in 1918 after the declaration of the Jewish homeland. The Palestine Mandate went from 1922 to 1947 during which large-scale Jewish immigration from abroad took place. That immigration was mainly from Eastern Europe with the numbers swelling in the 1930s during the notorious Nazi persecution of Jewish populations. Palestinians demanded independence and resisted Jewish immigration. Those factors led to a rebellion in 1937. The rebellion led to continuing terrorism and violence from both sides during and immediately after World War II. Great Britain tried to bring independence to Palestine, which was ravaged by violence. In 1947, Great Britain could not solve the problem and turned the problem over to the United Nations. Part of the reluctance to implement the Balfour Declaration was caused by considerations of oil and Arab opposition.

The UN canvassed the options and finally proposed, under Resolution 181 (II) of 1947, the partitioning of Palestine into two independent States, one Palestinian Arab and the other Jewish, with Jerusalem internationalized. The Jewish section, envisaged in the partition plan, then proclaimed its independence as Israel. War followed, and in the 1948 war Israel expanded to occupy 77 per cent of the territory of Palestine. In that war Israel also occupied the larger part of Jerusalem. In the conflict, more than half of the indigenous Palestinian population fled or were expelled. Many went to Lebanon and many to Tyre. Jordan and Egypt occupied the other parts of the territory assigned by the partition resolution to the Palestinian Arab State, which did not come into being.

In the 1967 war Israel occupied the remaining territory of Palestine, until then under Jordanian and Egyptian control (the West Bank and Gaza Strip). This included the remaining part of Jerusalem, which was subsequently annexed by Israel. The war brought about a second exodus of Palestinians, estimated at half a million. The UN Security Council (Resolution 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967) called on Israel to withdraw from territories it had occupied in the 1967 conflict.

The General Assembly reaffirmed, in 1974, the rights of the Palestinian people to return to their land and to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty. In 1975, the following year, the General Assembly established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and conferred observer status on the PLO in the Assembly and international conferences held under UN control.

The conflict continued to escalate, and in June 1982 Israel declared its intent to eliminate the PLO and invaded Lebanon. The conflict was brought to a halt by an arranged cease fire. The PLO troops withdrew from Beirut and were transferred to neighbouring countries. That was done only after guarantees of safety were provided for the thousands of Palestinian refugees left behind in Lebanon. Despite the guarantees a large-scale massacre of refugees took place in the camps of Sabra and Shatila.

In September 1983, the International Conference on the Question of Palestine adopted, inter alia, the Geneva Declaration, which contained the following principles:
1. the need to oppose and reject the establishment of settlements in the occupied territory and actions taken by Israel to change the status of Jerusalem,
2. the right of all States in the region to existence within secure and internationally recognized boundaries, with justice and security for all the people, and
3. the attainment of the legitimate, inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

In December 1987, a mass uprising, termed the intifadah, against the Israeli occupation began in the occupied Palestinian territory. Israeli forces’ retaliation in the uprising caused mass injuries and heavy loss of life among the civilian Palestinian population.

The Peace process

On 30 October 1991 a Peace Conference on the Middle East was convened in Madrid, Spain. It had the stated aim of achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement through direct negotiations along 2 tracks: between Israel and the Arab States, and between Israel and the Palestinians, based on the UN Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) (this was termed the "land for peace" formula).

Mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, as the representative of the Palestinian People, occurred as a result of protracted negotiations. The Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements were signed by both parties in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993. There were subsequent implementation agreements. They led to several other developments such as:
1. the partial withdrawal of Israeli forces,
2. the elections to the Palestinian Council and the presidency of the Palestinian Authority,
3. the partial release of prisoners, and
4. the establishment of a functioning administration in the areas under Palestinian self-rule.

The involvement of the United Nations has been regarded as essential to the peace process. It has been seen as the guardian of international legitimacy and essential in the mobilization and provision of international assistance.

We have now covered a series of developments over the period from 1916. When placed in the context of the prophecies of Daniel we see that those prophecies of the Book of Daniel cover the period from 1916 through to 2048. We will continue to unravel those sequences and their application to the Last Days.

Wade Cox

Coordinator General


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