"He that cometh against him"
This is Rome, which is introduced into the prophecy for the first time here.
"Shall do according to his own will"
See comment on verse 3.
"And none shall stand before him"
Compare Daniel 8:4, 7.
"And he shall stand in the glorious land"
The margin indicates that the Hebrew says, "goodly land." This would be the land blessed by God; the home of God's people. At the time being described, the expression referred to the land of Palestine. Rome took control of Palestine in the year 63 B.C.
"Which by his hand shall be consumed"
This must be a reference to the fact that it was Rome which later, in A.D. 70, would destroy the city of Jerusalem.
Verse 17 Text
"And he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her"
This was Cleopatra.
Verse 18 Text
Verse 19 Text
Verse 20 Text
"A raiser of taxes"
This is Caesar Augustus, also known as Octavius. Luke 2:1 explains, "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world shold be taxed."
Verse 21 Text
"A vile person"
This was Tiberius Caesar.
Verse 22 Text
"Yea, also the prince of the covenant"
The Prince of the covenant is Jesus. This verse is a reference to His crucifixion.
Verse 23 Text
"And after the league made with him"
Having briefly overviewed the history of Rome's conquests up to the crucifixion of Christ, the narrative now returns to discuss additional prophetic details concerning Rome. In this verse we are carried back to the year 161 B.C., when the Jews entered into a league of amity and confederacy with the Romans for the purpose of protecting them from the Syrians.
Verse 24 Text
"And he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time"
We, along with other commentators such as Thomas Newton (Dissertations on the Prophecies), prefer the reading, "from the strong holds," rather than, "against the strong holds." Thus Rome would plan its activities from its fortress in Rome "even for a time." A time in Daniel is one year (See Daniel 4:16) of 360 days. Using the year-day principle, this verse predicted that the empire would base its operations in the city of Rome for 360 years. But from what starting point should these years be dated? Verse 25 tells us.
Verse 25 Text
"And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army"
This war was the Battle of Actium, fought against Egypt in 31 B.C. The 360 years of verse 24 began with that event and extended to the year A.D. 330 (Do not incorrectly insert a year "0" when adding from B.C. to A.D. time). The year A.D. 330 brought an end to the empire's Rome-based activities, for Constantine in that year moved the capital to Constantinople.
Verse 26 Text
Verse 27 Text
"Both these kings"
Mark Antony and Caesar Augustus.
Verse 28 Text
Verse 29 Text
"And at the time appointed he shall return"
This is the time appointed in verse 24. The "returning" is the empire's move to Constantinople.
Verses 30-39 Text
Commentary on these verses