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BOOK THE SIXTEENTH.
Sect. I. The four victorious princes divide the
empire of Alexander the Great into as many kingdoms. Seleucus builds several cities. Athens shuts her gates against Demetrius. He reconciles himself with Seleucus, and afterwards with Ptolemy. The death of Cassander. The first actions of Pyrrhus. Athens taken by Deme , trius. He loses all he possessed almost at the same
time. * AFTER the battle of Ipsus,- the four confederate princes divided the dominions of Antigonus among themselves, and added them to those they already possessed. The empire of Alexander was thus divided into four kingdoms, of which Ptolemy had
Egypt, Libya, Arabia, Cælosyria, and Palestine: * Cassander had Macedonia and Greece: Lysimachus
Thrace, Bithynia, and some other provinces beyond the Hellespont, with the Bosphorus; and Seleucus all the rest of Asia, to the other side of the Eu. phrates, and as far as the river Indus. The domi. nions of this last prince are usually called the king:
• Plut. in Demetr. p.904. Appian. in Syr. p. 122, 121 Polyb. 1. xv. p. 572. VOL. VI.
dom of Syria, because Seleucus, who afterwards built Antioch in that province, made it the chief seat of his residence, in which he was followed by his successors, who from his name were called Seleucidæ. This kingdom, however, not only included Syria, but those vast and fertile provinces of Upper Asia, which constituted the Persian empire. The reign of twenty years, which I have assigned to Seleucus Nicator, commences at this period, because he was not acknowledged as king till after the battle of Ipsus; and if we add to these the twelve years, during which he exercised the regal authority without the title, they will make out the reign of thirty-one years assigned him by Usher.
These four kings* are the four horns of the hegoat in the prophecy of. Daniel, who succeeded in the place of the first horn that was broken. The first horn was Alexander, king of Greece, who destroyed the empire of the Medes and Persians, designed by the ram with two horns; and the other four horns, are those four kings who rose up after him, and divided his empire among them, but they were not of his posterity.
• And as I was considering, behold, an he-gcat came from the West on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two-horns, and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: And there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. Therefore the he-goat waxed very great, and when he was strong, the great horn was broken: And from it came up four notable horns, toward the four winds of heaven. Dan. chap. viii. ver, 5, 6, 7, 8. God afterwards explains to his prohorns are the kings of Media and Persii, and the rough goat is the king of Grecia, and the great horn that is between hiss eyes, is the first king.' Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. Ibid. ver. 20, 21, 22.
They are likewise shadowed out by the four heads of the leopard, which are introduced in another part of the same prophecy.*
These prophecies of Daniel were exactly accomplished by this last partition of Alexander's empire; . other divisions had, indeed, been made before this, but they were only of provinces, which were consigned to governors, under the brother and son of Alexander, and none but the last was the regal partition. Those prophecies, therefore, are to be understood of this alone, for they evidently represent these four successors of Alexander, in the quality of four kings, four stood up for it. But not one of Alexander's successors obtained the regal dignity, till about three years before the last division of the empire. And even this dignity was at first precarious, as being assumed by each of the several parties, merely by his own authority, and not acknowledged by any of the rest. Whereas, after the battle of Ipsus, the treaty made between the four confederates, when they bad defeated their adversary, and divested him of his dominions, assigned each of them their dominions under the appeliation of so many kingdoms, and authorised and acknowledged them as kings and sovereigns, independent of any superior power. These four kings are, Ptolemy, Seleucus, Cassander, and Lysimachus.
We can never sufficiently admire, in this and the other places, wherein the completion of the prophecies of Daniel will be observed, the strong light with which the prophet penetrates the thick gloom of futurity, at a time when there was not the least appearance of all he foretels. With how much cer . tainty and exactness, even amidst the variety of these revolutions and a chaos of singular events, does he determine each particular circumstance, and fix the number of the several successors! How express
After this I beheld, and lo, another like a leopard, which also four heads; and dominion was given to it. Dan. vii. 6. had upon the back of it four wings of a fówl, the beast had
ly has he pointed out the nation, that was to be the Grecian; described the countries they were to possess; measured the duration of their empires, and the extent of their power, inferior to that of Alexander; in a word, with what lively colours has he drawn the characters of those princes, and specified their alliances, treaties, treachery, marriages, and success! Can any one possibly ascribe to chance, or human foresight, so many circumstantial predictions, which at the time of their being denounced, were so remote from probability; and may we not evidently discover in them the character and traces of the Divinity, to whom all ages are present in one view, and who alone determines at his will the fate of all the kingdoms and empires of the world? But it is now time for us to resume the thread of our history
b Onias, the first of that name, and high priest of the Jews, died about this time, and was succeeded by his son Simon, who, for the sanctity of his life, and the equity of all his actions, was surnamed the Just. He enjoyed the pontificate for the space of nine years.
Seleucus, after the defeat of Antigonus, made 3704c himself master of Upper Syria, where he built AnAnt. J. C.
tioch on the Orontes, and gave it that name, either from his father, or his son, for they were both called Antiochus. This city, where the Syrian kings afterwards resided, was the capital of the East for a long time, and still preserved that privilege under the Roman emperors. Antigonus had lately built a city at a small distance from this, and called it Antigonia; but Seleucus had entirely demolished it, and. employed the materials in the construction of his own city, to which he afterwards transplanted the inhabitants of the former.
d Among seyeral other cities built by Seleucus in this country, there were three more remarkable than Joseph. Antiq. I. xii. c. 2.
c Strab. l. xvi. p. 749, 750, Appian. in Syr. p. 124. Justin. 1. xv. c. 4. Strab. 1. xvi, P. 750.