Daniel Chapter 8, part 2

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Daniel Chapter 8 part 2 – The Little Horn

Basic and General Study of the Book of Daniel

In part 1, we saw that at the death of Alexander the Great, his kingdom was divided into 4 regions just as it had been prophesied by Daniel. Out of one of those 4 regions, a little horn sprang out and this is the subject of our study in this part 2.

We should remember that these past events were still future in Daniel’s day. Daniel was not simply a historian, reporting what happened in the second century BC. He was a prophet in the sixth century BC, who received a supernatural revelation from God as to what the future held. He was shown enough of that future to comprehend that what would happen to his people in the course of history would be awful.

The vision:

DAN.8:9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.

DAN.8:10 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.

The interpretation:

DAN.8:23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full , a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. (See 2Tim.3:1-5)

DAN.8:24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. (See Rev.13:2-4)

Other Scriptures about the “little horn”:

**DAN.7:8, 25 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

**REV.13:5, 6 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

Between what Daniel saw and what Gabriel explains to him, we gain a lot of information about the little horn. We see that he is none other than the devil-man of the End, the Antichrist. This “horn” is both a man and a spiritual entity, for he cannot do what he does being only a mortal.

Many Bible prophecy scholars believe that the little horn of this vision was Antiochus Epiphanes, who ruled from 175-164 BC; he was the last king of any importance of the Seleucid Empire, one of the four kingdoms of the Grecian empire. He did certain things during his reign that fulfilled some of the prophetic events listed in this chap­ter. This man simply and literally hated God and His people. As told in the 1st Book of Maccabees, he stopped circumcision, ordered the destruction of Jewish writings, banned the Jewish daily sacrifice, and went as far as offering a pig on the temple altar, which was an abomination for them. And in one vicious campaign, he killed 100,000 Jewish people. Nevertheless, he was just a "type" and forerunner of the evil one who is to come. No doubt he was an intermediate fulfillment of the final little horn, as others also were. (see the appendix at the end of this class)

Throughout history many pretenders have taken on the “Messiah” role; likewise, many have taken on the "Antichrist" role. This was certainly true of Antiochus Epiphanes who, besides being an actual historical figure, can be viewed also as a sort of precursor of the Antichrist who is to come. An important comment by Jesus on the predictions of Daniel clearly place some of these events as hap­pening AFTER His time on Earth, and therefore long AFTER Antiochus:

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whoso reads, let him understand.” (MAT.24:15, Mk.13:14)

We note the obvious here: For Jesus, the fulfilment of Daniel’s prophecy was yet future, and he connected it with His return as the glorious Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven. In this way, He made it clear that Daniel 7 and 8 are also speaking about that future historical era that would arrive just before His Second Coming.

(V.9) Apparently, the little horn uses one of these regions as his springboard into worldwide prominence. They correspond to the modern areas of 1) Greece, 2) Turkey, 3) Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Iraq, and Iran, and 4) Egypt and North Africa. Just which one at this time, we don’t know. Scholars are divided in their opinions: a traditional interpretation is that he will rise up from a league of ten European nations from the geographic area of the old Greek and Roman Empire. However, if we go by Gabriel’s prophetic message in chapter 11, there he seems to pinpoint Syria as the location for the Antichrist’s staging ground in the Middle East. We will have to wait and see. In chapter 7 we saw the corresponding horn come out of the head of what used to be the Roman Empire, and that encompassed almost all the same lands.

Those four countries and areas are all still in existence and most still bear the same names that they did during the time of the four who sprang out Alexander's great Empire, except for Turkey. (Previously Thrace and Anatolia.)" He expands his control to the south, to the east, and to the Pleasant Land. The Pleasant Land would be a reference to Israel (Psa.106:24), sacred homeland to Daniel and the Jews who had been exiled from it for 50 or so years.

This horn, or king as he is referred to later in the chapter (Verses 10 and 23), magnifies himself against the host of heaven and casts some of them down to the earth and tramples upon them. Some people say, because of Rev.12:4, "Well, that host of heaven must be some of the devil’s angels or demons”.

**REV.12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman…

Yes, a third of the angels follow him out of Heaven when he's cast out in the book of Revelation. But here in Daniel chapter 8, do you think the Antichrist, or really the devil (as the Antichrist will be the devil in the flesh), do you think the devil would be stamping on some of his own angels (demons)? No, most scholars believe that it's the Church! That this host of Heaven represents God’s children.

Certainly, the Antichrist couldn't stamp on God's angels, that's for sure, so it has to be the Church. If the Antichrist has power over angels we might as well quit right now! But it's not talking about the angels. The "host of heaven" in verse 10 is the same as the "holy people" of verse 24. He prospers in all that he does and he destroys the mighty and also the holy people. "Holy" means "set apart", or "separate"--God's children who are separated from the unclean world to serve God (II Cor. 6:14-18).

So, contrary to the opinion of some, God’s people will still be here during the Antichrist reign, undergoing a time of great tribulation and persecution, as we see in the following verses:

**DAN.7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

**REV.13:7 and it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, tongues, and nations.

**DAN.12:7 …and swore by him that lives for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he (the Antichrist) shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

We know, however, that at the Second Coming of Jesus when all those who believe on Him will rise to meet Him in the air, there will be multitudes of believ­ers. The Antichrist’s attempts to destroy all the holy people are obviously far from thorough. Even though there is intense persecution of believers, it has only limited success, as have all persecutions of Christians through the ages.

The Saints and the Holy People

The “saints” and “holy people” are terms used to describe the same people. They are not only the saints of the Catholic Church and other churches that some might imagine. Those saints might be included in this designation, but Daniel is writing of a much broader brotherhood of people. “Saint” comes from the Latin word Sanctus, which means holy. “Holy” means something that is dedicated to God. These saints therefore are those who are dedicated to God, or even more broadly, those who are the believers in God. The Israelites of the Old Testament can be regarded as the “Holy People” of those days by virtue of the fact that they were the chosen people. In the New Testament era this honor belongs now to those who follow Jesus.

As Paul explained, “he is not a Jew who is one outwardly … but he is a Jew who is one inwardly … in the Spirit.” And “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”. (Ro.2:28–29; Ga.3:28–29).

Appendix on Daniel 8: More on Antiochus Epiphanes and the End Time Antichrist. Taken from Lennox, John C. Against the Flow . Monarch Books. Kindle Edition, section “The future – and beyond”

"How can the description of a Seleucid king in the second century BC possibly relate to the time of the end? The answer is, surely, that the figure of Antiochus and the horrors he perpetrated throw long shadows into the future. At the time of the end another leader like Antiochus will arise, who will do similar things. In Antiochus there were the seeds of an evil that will gestate and come to its fearful fruition in a time yet to come. Antiochus and the events of his time, therefore, form a prototype or thought model of the future, which will help Daniel and us imagine what is to come – and to be aware of similar tendencies in our own day. Indeed, as we read the explanation given to Daniel by Gabriel, it is hard to resist the impression that something much more distant and much more sinister than Antiochus is in view.

Speaking of the four kingdoms, Gabriel says:

**And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold countenance, one who understands riddles, shall arise. His power shall be great – but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken – but by no human hand. (Daniel 8: 23– 25)

As we read this passage it is almost as if we are looking through the contours of Antiochus and his time to a much bigger and, sadly, more terrible scenario in the future, when a bold and fierce king who is like Antiochus in his deceit, cunning, and power rises up against the Prince of princes and is destroyed by supernatural power. This description links conceptually with another passage in 2nd Thessalonians:

**Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there comes a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God…

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2TH.2:1-10

The parallels are striking. Both the bold king in Daniel’s vision and the man of lawlessness get their power from a dark source. They exalt themselves against God; they fight against Christ who is the Prince of princes; and they are killed by the supernatural power of God.

Therefore, the prophecies of Daniel 2, 7, and 8 (and also, as we shall see, 9 and 11) all home in on this final manifestation of evil government that shall be destroyed by the coming of Christ. This means that we have several perspectives on that time – just as we have four Gospels in the New Testament that give us four perspectives on the historical events that underlie the Christian faith.

Or we could think of the way in which astrophotographers take three separate monotone pictures of a galaxy through red, green, and blue filters, and then combine them to form a stunning colour photograph. In Daniel’s visions we are presented with separate images, and by collecting them together we can get a composite idea of the whole. Antiochus is but one prototype of what shall happen in the future."

(End of the excerpt from John Lennox)

To be continued in part 3 of this study with much more detail about this little horn, the coming end time Antichrist.

Be ready for these events. You can receive Jesus at this very moment. It is a free gift of God. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph.2:8-9)

If you haven’t done it yet, please pray this simple prayer:

"Dear Jesus, I want to know You personally. Please forgive all my faults. I accept that You are the Son of God and that You died for me. I invite You into my heart and life. Thank you for your gift of eternal life and please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Help me to read and understand Your Word. Amen."

Compiled and edited by Gaetan from multiple sources.

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