Mouth Speaking Great Things

In the Book of Revelation, the “Little Horn” from Daniel’s visions is NOT referred to explicitly but its characteristics are present in the “Beast from the Sea.” The Book does not retell the same story from Daniel without changes. Instead, it modifies and repurposes it to tell ITS story. The “Beast” is based on Daniel’s “Little Horn,” but it also is something beyond it, and arguably, far worse.

Revelation uses language from Daniel but with modifications and reapplications to the situation of the “churches of Asia.” For example, the “fiery furnace” of Nebuchadnezzar provides the imagery for the “lake of fire.” The original “four beasts” from the sea become the single “Beast from the Sea” in John’s vision.

Dinosaur Bones - Photo by Narciso Arellano on Unsplash
[Photo by Narciso Arellano on Unsplash]

The Book does not simply restate the original vision of the prophet Daniel, but neither does it fabricate new things out of thin air.


There are precedents in Daniel for combining the “four beasts from the Sea” into a single creature. For example, in his dream of a great image, Nebuchadnezzar saw four kingdoms represented by ONE “great image.” The four individual sections were parts of a greater single whole.

Moreover, in Daniel’s interpretation of the king’s dream, all four of its parts were destroyed at once when the single great image was struck by the stone “cut without hands”- (Daniel 2:32-35).

In Daniel, the dominant feature of the “Little Horn” is its “Mouth speaking great things.” The “Little Horn” appeared only after three of the “Fourth Beast’s” ten horns were uprooted. Likewise, in Revelation, the “Beast from the Sea was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies” with which it “slandered those who were tabernacling in heaven.”

The two descriptions are close. However, rather than to one of its horns, in Revelation, the “Mouth speaking great things” is given to the entire “Beast from the Sea,” not just one of its “ten horns,” and nothing is said about first horn uprooting three of the others – (Revelation 13:4-6).

Nor does Revelation reuse every feature of Daniel’s “Little Horn.” For example, the “two eyes like a man” are not included in Revelation. Nonetheless, in both books, the “Mouth” directs its words against the “saints” as part of its “war” to destroy them - (Daniel 7:21-25, 8:10, 8:24, Revelation 13:5-7).


The “Tabernacle” of God that is “slandered” by the “Mouth” is identified as “those who tabernacle in the heaven,” that is, the “saints.” This is one of several ways that Revelation contrasts those who follow the “Beast” (“The inhabitants of the earth”) with those who “follow the Lamb” (“those who tabernacle in heaven”).

The single “Beast from the Sea” is “given” the authority to “slander those who tabernacle in heaven,” and to persecute the “saints,” essentially, two ways of saying the same thing.

The “Beast” is granted authority by the “Dragon.” Similarly, in Daniel, the “Little Horn” had “mighty power, but not by his own power” for waging war on the “saints” – (Daniel 8:25, Revelation 13:4-7).

In Daniel, the “Little Horn” was authorized to persecute the saints “until a season, seasons, and part of a season.” Likewise, in Revelation, the “Beast” is authorized to attack the “saints” for “forty-two months.”

In Daniel’s vision, the “Fourth Beast” was destroyed at the end of the designated period - “burned with fire” - and its “Little Horn” was “broken without hand” after it attempted to “stand up to the Prince of princes.” In Revelation, a similar reality is presented in the vision of the “rider on a white horse” – (Daniel 7:11, 7:26, 8:25).

  • (Revelation 19:16-20) – “And he hath on his garment and on his thigh a name written, KINGS OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS…And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to make war against him that sat upon the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet…they two were cast alive into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone.”

But there are differences. For example, in Revelation, in addition to “ten horns,” the “Beast” has “seven heads,” and one of them receives the “death stroke” that is then “healed.”

Similarly, in Daniel, though all four beasts were overthrown, they were not immediately annihilated – “And as for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time” - (Daniel 7:12, Revelation 13:3).

In both books, “horns” represent kings and their kingdoms. In Daniel, the seven “heads” are distributed among all four “Beasts from the Sea” – the “four heads” of the leopard and the one “head” of each of the remaining three “beasts.” In Revelation, the one “Beast from the Sea” has all “seven heads.” What do they represent?


The explanation is provided in the image of the “Great Harlot” that is “carried by the Beast.” The “seven heads” represent seven “kingdoms.”

The description of the “Beast that was and is not” in Chapter 17 refers to its “death stroke” and restoration. In view is not an individual human being but a “kingdom” – (Revelation 17:8-11).

For John and the “seven churches of Asia,” five of the kingdoms are in the past (“five are fallen”), the sixth exists (“one is”), and the seventh is yet to appear (“the other is not yet come”).

The identities of the five fallen domains are not important to the vision. The one existing in the first century could only be Rome. The seventh that will arrive in the future is the “Beast from the Sea” - (“The beast that was and is not”).

The seventh kingdom is also “an eighth and is of the seven.” Though ambiguous, this suggests the final kingdom will be of the same character as its predecessors, but also something beyond them – “diverse from the other beasts.”

The “Great Harlot” in Chapter 17 sits on all seven “heads,” past, present, and future. This points to a transhistorical reality. The final incarnation of the “Beast” will be a culmination of an age-long conflict that will conclude with the destruction of the “Dragon,” the “Beast,” and the “False Prophet” in the “Lake of Fire.”

In Daniel, the “Little Horn” represents a known historical figure, Antiochus IV. In Revelation, characteristics, imagery, and terminology from all four of Daniel’s “beasts” are combined to paint a graphic and terrifying portrait of the final cosmic “Beast,” the “seventh, who is also an eighth.”

And rather paradoxically, the Beast’s “war” against the “saints” will prove to be its undoing.


But what are the “great things” emanating from this “Mouth”? In Daniel, the “Little Horn” represents a malevolent king who “waxed great against the host of heaven,” “magnified” himself, “destroyed the holy people,” and was “skillful in dissimulation.” And he “exalted himself and magnified himself against every god, even against the God of gods will he speak wonderful things” - (Daniel 8:11, 8:24-25, 11:36).

Likewise, in Revelation, the “Mouth” speaks “slanders” against God and His “Tabernacle, namely, those who are tabernacling in heaven.” This is interpreted as the “war against the saints” when the “Beast” is authorized for forty-two months to persecute the church:

  • And it was given to it to overcome them… If anyone is for captivity, into captivity, he goes. If anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword he must be slain. This is the endurance and the faith of the saints.”

The Greek word rendered “blasphemy” in many English translations more accurately means “slander.” The same word is used in the letter to the church in Smyrna to describe the “blasphemy” or “slander” of those who say they are “Jews and are not but are a synagogue of Satan.”

This refers to false accusations leveled against believers by their opponents from the local synagogue, most probably before local city magistrates, or perhaps even before the representatives of Rome. Likewise, the “slander” against the saints by the “Mouth speaking great things” refers to political and legal charges brought against believers.

Thus, the “great things” spoken by this “Mouth” are the accusations and legal charges leveled against the followers of the “Lamb,” those who are “tabernacling in heaven.” In short, they are persecuted by the “Beast from the Sea.”

Whether the “Mouth speaking great things” represents an individual or something else is not immediately clear. But in the larger context, the “Mouth” may be identical to the “Beast from the Earth,” the “False Prophet” who uses the authority of the “first beast” to coax and coerce men to render homage to the “Beast from the Sea.”



Silence in Heaven

Sorrow Not