Showing posts with the label Little Horn

Time, Times, Half a Time

In the interpretation of his vision in Chapter 7, Daniel received the limits for the time allotted to the “ Little Horn ” to persecute the saints – “ Time, times, and part of a time .” After that, he lost his domain. The description is ambiguous but becomes clear in Daniel’s subsequent visions. And the Book of Revelation uses this cipher for the “ Short Season ” during which the “ Dragon ” and his agents are authorized to persecute the “ saints .”

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.

The Ram and Goat

Next, Daniel received a vision of a “ Ram ” and a “ Goat ” with a prominent horn. The Ram represented the “ Kingdom of the Medes and Persians ,” the Goat symbolized the kingdom of Greece, and its large horn represented its first great king who overthrew the “ Ram .” The vision is followed by an interpretation provided by an angelic figure. The Goat’s single horn was broken and replaced by four smaller horns.

His Everlasting Dominion

Key phrases from Daniel’s vision of four beasts “ ascending from the Sea ” and the “ one like a Son of Man ” are applied in the New Testament to the future coming of Jesus and descriptions of the Kingdom of God and the sovereignty of the Messiah. What follows is a handful of examples.

The Fourth Beast

In Chapter 7 of the Book of Daniel , the fourth “ Beast ” that the Prophet saw “ ascending from the sea ” is presented in more detail than the first three. It is the center and primary concern of the vision. The three other “ beasts ” provided background information for the rise of the fourth kingdom. Unlike the first three, it had no analog in the animal kingdom. It was an unnatural and monstrous creature with “ iron teeth ” and “ ten horns .”

The Little Horn

The image of the “ Little Horn ” is a key component of Daniel’s visions. It represents a king from one of the four Hellenic kingdoms that evolved from Alexander the Great’s short-lived empire. Passages in the  Book of Daniel  concerning this figure also provide Paul with the model for his “ Man of Lawlessness ” described in his second letter to the Thessalonians.

Son of Destruction

Many saints will apostatize when the Lawless One, the Son of Destruction, seats himself in the Sanctuary of God . As the Apostle Paul explained to the Thessalonians, the “ Day of the Lord ” would not arrive until the “ Apostasy ” occurred and the “ Man of Lawlessness ” was unveiled, the one who would seat himself “ in the Sanctuary of God .” Paul also labeled him the “ Son of Destruction ,” but is there any additional significance to this second designation?

Four Beasts in One

In the 13th chapter of Revelation, the single “ Beast from the Sea ” displays the same animal characteristics of the four creatures that Daniel saw ascending from the sea. John’s “ beast ” is from the same lineage, but it is also something more. It certainly is not identical to the “ fourth beast ” with the “ little horn ,” though it incorporates many of its attributes.

Arrogant King of the North

Beginning with the division of the Greek empire, the angel outlines the coming conflicts between two of the subsequent realms that will culminate in the rise of a “ contemptible ” ruler. Previously, the rise and division of the Greek empire were portrayed in the vision of the “Ram” and of the “ Goat ,” representing the realms of the “ Medes and Persians ” and “ Greece ,” respectively.

Desolating Abomination - Context

The climax of the ‘Seventy Weeks’ prophecy is the appearance of the “ abomination that desolates .” But what is it? The reference to it in chapter 9 is neither the first nor the last word on the matter. Interpreting the “ abomination ” in isolation from the larger literary context produces incomplete and even false answers to the question.

Lawless One - Forerunner

T he Little Horn in Daniel is the model for the Man of Lawlessness described by Paul to the Thessalonians . I n his visions, Daniel sees a malevolent ruler called variously the “ Little Horn ,” the “ King of Fierce Countenance ,” the “ Contemptible One ,” and the “ King who does according to his will .” This figure is an arrogant ruler with a “ mouth speaking great things. ” He profanes the Sanctuary, causes the cessation of the daily burnt offerings in the Jerusalem Temple, erects the “ Abomination that Desolates ,” and “ exalts himself against God .”

Two Little Horns?

The figure called the “ Little Horn ” figures prominently in the visions of the  Book of Daniel . It is explicitly named in the visions of the “ four beasts from the sea ” and of the “ Ram and the Goat .” It is reasonable to assume both visions portray the same figure. The historical references in the first vision are enigmatic, and in the second, they become explicit. But to understand the larger picture, we must begin with the dream of Nebuchadnezzar recorded in Chapter 2 since it provides the fourfold structure underlying the later visions.

War Against the Saints

Language from Daniel’s vision of the “little horn” that waged war against the “saints” is applied in Revelation to the church – Daniel 7:21.  In the interpretation of the image of the “ little horn ,” this malevolent figure made “ war on the saints and prevail over them .” That same image is reapplied in the  book of Revelation  to the “ war ” of the “ Dragon ” and his vassals against the “ saints ,” those who “ follow the Lamb wherever he goes .” Similarly, descriptive language from this same vision was applied by the Apostle Paul to the coming “ man of lawlessness .”

The Fierce King

In the second half of Chapter 8, Daniel receives the interpretation of his vision of the “ Ram and the Goat .” In Chapter 7, only the first “ Beast from the Sea ,” the lion-like creature, could be identified with certainty, namely, the Neo-Babylonian Empire. In contrast, in the interpretation in Chapter 8, two of the four kingdoms are identified by name, the “ Kingdom of the Medes and Persians ” and “ Greece .”

Four Beasts - Interpretation

The vision of the fourth beast, its little horn, and the war it wages on the saints is interpreted for Daniel by an angel .  Daniel’s vision of the four beasts “ from the sea ” concludes with a judgment scene. In it, the figure “ like a Son of Man ” approaches the “ Ancient of Days ” and receives everlasting “ dominion .” His vision leaves Daniel confused and troubled, but an angel provides him with the interpretation.