Asia-Pacific International University (AIU)
The Little Horn in Daniel 8: In Defense of Historicism
The major part of this paper
was presented in partial fulfilment
of the requirements for the Courses
RELT455 Hermeneutics and Doing Theology in Asia,
and RELB421 Old Testament Apocalyptic Writings
November 2018, August 2019
Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 1
CHAPTER I: HISTORICAL CONTEXT ............................................................................. 5
CHAPTER II: UNITY OF THE BOOK OF DANIEL ......................................................... 8
The Principles of Hermeneutics for Apocalyptic Prophecies ................................... 8
Study of Units and Words ................................................................................ 11
Structure, Thematic Unity, and Parallels of the Book of Daniel ........................... 14
Chiastic Structure of Chapters 2-7 ................................................................... 14
Chiastic Structure of Chapters 7-12 ................................................................. 14
Elaboration on the Unity of the Book of Daniel .............................................. 15
Recapitulation in the Book of Daniel ............................................................... 18
CHAPTER III: STUDIES ON DANIEL 8 ........................................................................... 21
Introduction to Exegesis and Interpretation of Daniel 8 ........................................ 21
Literary Structure ...................................................................................................... 21
The Roman View for the Origin of the Little Horn ................................................ 22
Different Views ................................................................................................ 23
Does the Little Horn Come from Horns or Winds? ......................................... 24
The Meaning of Horns.......................................................................... 26
The Meaning of Winds.......................................................................... 27
The Little Horn Comes from the North ............................................................ 27
From Horns and/or Winds but the Same Entity ............................................... 28
The Identity of the Little Horn.................................................................................. 31
Antiochus IV Epiphanes Was Not Great Enough ............................................ 32
The Little Horn is Exceedingly Great. ................................................. 32
The Little Horn is Preeminent (Exceedingly Great). ........................... 33
The Little Horn Grows to Heavenly Spheres. ...................................... 38
“Not in His Own Power.” .................................................................... 38
The Little Horn Casts Down the Sanctuary. ........................................ 40
The Time Periods ....................................................................................................... 41
Evidence for the Year-Day Principle ............................................................... 42
“The Time of the End” ..................................................................................... 44
“The Latter Time” ............................................................................................ 45
From Unity to Universal ............................................................................................ 46
CHAPTER IV: THE UNIVERSALITY OF THE BOOK OF DANIEL .......................... 48
The Christocentric Principle ..................................................................................... 49
The Universal Yom Kippur .............................................................................. 51
The Universality of the Little Horn .......................................................................... 53
The Spiritual Continuum of the King of the North .......................................... 54
The Phases of Rome. ............................................................................ 60
Conclusion. ........................................................................................... 61
1,260 Years....................................................................................................... 62
The Great Controversy Against Jesus Christ by the Forces of Deception ....... 63
Conclusion ............................................................................................................................... 68
The apocalyptic jewel of the Old Testament (OT) is the book of Daniel. It reveals
important truths about the cosmic conflict between good and evil. The book, at least it’s
mainly apocalyptic portion (chapters 7-12) and chapter 2’s vision, are universal in their
nature. They cover the history from the Neo-Babylonian empire until the end of time. This
understanding or method of interpretation is called historicism.
In Daniel 7 and 8 occur a “little horn” symbol, which is a God-opposing power. The
historicist view includes the belief that the little horn arises from the fourth beast (Dan. 7:7-8,
19-27), which is Rome. This understanding is called the Roman view. The historicist view
sees the little horn as the Roman Papacy in Daniel 7, and as Rome in its imperial and papal
stages in Daniel 8.
However, there are methods of interpreting chapters 7 and 8 which seem to break this
universal and wholistic historical character of the visions. Preterism sees the happenings of
. This does not mean that there cannot be God’s own people, meaning the ones who
will be saved, in the Catholic Church. This research is in favor of the view that the
ecclesiastical and political system of the Papacy is the little horn, not the people in that
church. In fact, in every church, God has sincere people, who live according to the light that
they have about the truth in Jesus and the Bible (John 10:16). God has people even in every
religion (Rom. 2:12-16). There can be some kind of faith without the full knowledge about
Jesus and God’s Word yet (Acts 19:1ff). However, this does not mean that God would not
gather all the sincere seekers of truth together at the time of the end. This unified group at the
end-times is called “the remnant,” and it “keep the commandments of God, and have the
testimony of Jesus Christ,” (Rev. 12:17, KJV) and “the faith of Jesus” (14:12, KJV). This
remnant has a special mission to proclaim “the everlasting gospel,” for example (14:6, KJV).
This is important, because “[i]n the apostolic church acceptance of the gospel included not
only believing in Christ but also worshiping the true God and rejecting idolatry (cf. Acts
14:15; 20:24).” Ángel Manuel Rodríguez, “Concluding Essay: God’s End-Time Remnant and
the Christian Church,” in Ángel Manuel Rodríguez, ed., Toward a Theology of the Remnant
(Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 2009), 212. Worship happens through faith,
and true faith is knowing and obeying the truth (Titus 1:1; Rom 2:8). Gerhard Pfandl,
“Identifying Marks of the End-Time Remnant in the Book of Revelation,” in Rodríguez,
Toward a Theology of the Remnant. Moreover, there will be only two groups in the end:
Those who are “called and chosen and faithful” to the Lamb (Rev. 17:14, NASB), and those
who worship the beast (13:4).
chapter 7 and 8 in a local setting, in Judea, during the Maccabean period. From this
understanding we have the so-called Maccabean view or thesis, which believes that the little
horn corresponds for a Seleucid king, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who stood against the Jews in
the second century BCE. Futurism, on the other hand, understands the little horn as a symbol
for some future “antichrist” (or makes a difference between the little horns of Daniel 7 and 8).
Moreover, there is also a view, that claims that the little horn in Daniel 7 is not the same little
horn as in Daniel 8. Finally, there are also the idealistic and the apostelematic views of
apocalyptic prophecy, which believe that the character of the little horn can be applied to
different entities in history.
The purpose of apocalyptic prophecies in the Bible is to show that history is in the
hands of a loving, caring, and just Creator God. They point to Jesus Christ as the winner over
Satan, and proclaim the bright future for humanity in the salvation that is in Jesus. These
prophecies identify the great powers and kingdoms on earth, and show how the history and
the great controversy between Christ and Satan have moved and moves toward its climax.
God wants people to identify the little horn especially, because it is the climactic power that
stands up “against the Prince of princes,”
(Dan. 8:25, RSV) speaks “great words against the
most High, and think[s] to change times and laws” (7:25, KJV). If the little horn is not
Antiochus IV Epiphanes but a universal, political-ecclesiastical-economic power (Dan. 7:25;
8:9-12, 24-25; 11:30-38; Matt. 24:25; Rev. 13:1-10; 17:1-7; 18:2-5, 7, 9; 2 Thess. 2:3-12), i.e.
the antichrist, that arises out of the divided Roman empire (Dan. 7:7, 24), continues the
Roman legacy (7:8), will be in the world until the Ancient of days (Jesus Christ) comes
(7:22), leads people astray from salvation and truth into destruction (2 Thess. 2:3-12; Rev.
13:3-6; 14:8-11; 16:13-14; 17:8; 18:1-4; Dan. 8:10-13; 11:30-38), manifests or influences an
establishment of a death decree for the followers of Jesus and for those “who keep the
. Prince of princes is Jesus Christ (Dan. 9:25), as will be shown in this paper.
commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12, KJV; cf. Dan. 7:21, 25; 8:10, 24;
11:33, 44; Rev. 12:17; 13:7-10, 15-17; 17:6; 18:20, 24), and cunningly wins or viciously
destroys anyone or any power that stands on its way (Dan. 8:23-25; 11:32-35, 39-45), it is
extremely important to identify this entity, because, if this power is such a prominent
influencer in the contemporary world, it affects your life and my life.
Even though this research cannot avoid pointing out some of the characteristics for the
fulfilment of the antichrist-prophecies according to the historicist view, the main purpose of
this paper is not to discuss about the many identifying marks of the antichrist, and how they
are fulfilled in the Papacy, but to show that historicist interpretation is the correct one and to
argue that Antiochus IV Epiphanes cannot be the little horn of Daniel 7 and 8. The main
focus of this research is on chapter 8.
As was mentioned, the paper stands for the historicist method of interpreting
apocalyptic prophecies, and uses the historical-grammatical method of interpretation. As a
matter of fact, the principles of Protestant biblical hermeneutics point to the direction of
historicism, as will be shown when textual, lexical, and theological areas are researched.
Before doing that, this study indicates that the book of Daniel is a unified whole, which is one
hermeneutical key to unlock the Bible, and Daniel 8, in this case. The unity of the book of
Daniel stands against the claim that the little horns in Daniel 7 and 8 are not the same entity.
The main arguments for the research are the following. Antiochus IV Epiphanes
cannot be the little horn of Daniel 7 and/or 8 because: (1) The historicist view for the origin of
the little horn is the most probable; (2) Epiphanes was not great enough and the preeminent in
the land for the proportions of the little horn, but Rome was preeminent in its imperial stage,
and was and is preeminent in its papal stage; (3) the time prophecies of Daniel do not fit into
the reign of this Seleucid king; (4) Epiphanes did not rise at the latter period of the Seleucid
kingdom; (5) the book of Daniel is mainly a universal book, and Christocentric interpretation
model leads to that conclusion; (6) because the book is universal in scope, the little horn
grants universal proportions, which are also seen in history; (7) it is more probable that the
little horn comes from one of the four winds (the northern wind) than one of the four horns,
because the little horn continues the philosophical and spiritual legacy or continuum of the
king of the north; and (8) the “abomination of desolation”, ultimately, has a spiritual and end-
time meaning, which is fulfilled in history.
Before going to the unity of the book and the points of argument about the little horn
not being Antiochus IV Epiphanes, it is important to know the historical background of the
book of Daniel. In fact, the historical background reveals evidence for the unity of the book.
The book of Daniel itself informs that it was written during the sixth century BCE by
Daniel (Dan. 1:1; 7:1, 15; 8:1; 9:1; 10:1; 12:4, 5). “The genuineness of Daniel as a sixth
century B.C. writing by the prophet Daniel does not seem to have been questioned in the
ancient world until the third century A.D. At that time, Porphyry, a pagan Neo-Platonist,
attacked the book, asserting that it was a second century B.C. forgery.”
Today, most of the
scholars think like Porphyry about the authorship and date of the book of Daniel.
prominent for the topic at hand, because the latter date is used for the argument that
Antiochus IV Epiphanes is the little horn in Daniel,
even though many scholars hold on to
both the Antiochus interpretation and the earlier date.
However, because the main
concentration of this paper is not the authorship and date of the book of Daniel, only some of
the most important arguments for the earlier date are presented here briefly.
. John F. Walvoord, Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation (Chicago, IL: The
Moody Bible Institute, 1971), 16.
. Tremper Longman III and Raymond B. Dillard, An Introduction to the Old
Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006), 373.
. E.g. André Lacocgue, The Book of Daniel (London: SPCK Holy Trinity Church),
. This approach is called the historic-preterist school. Pfandl and Müller, “How Do
Seventh-day Adventists Interpret Daniel and Revelation,” in Gerhard Pfandl, ed. Interpreting
Scripture: Bible Questions and Answers, Biblical Research Institute Studies, vol. 2 (Silver
Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 2010), 80.
Firstly, critical scholars, as Lacocque, claim that the book of Daniel is making a
mistake, when it states that Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem in the third year of
Jehoiachim’s reign, when history proves that it happened during the fourth year.
this problem is that Daniel did not count the accession year as the first year of Jehoiachim’s
reign (known as the accession-year method); both nonaccession-year method and the
accession-year method were general systems of dating in the ancient Near Eastern world.
Secondly, an ancient document states that Nabonidus was the king at the time of the fall of
This is why Lacocque, and many scholars who hold on to the later-day-view, say
that Daniel made a second mistake, because he asserted that Belshazzar was a king during the
conquering of Babylon by Cyrus (Dan. 5:1-2; 7:1; 8:1) (p. 24). However, ancient documents
reveal that Nabonidus took the throne from Nebuchadnezzar’s son, Labashi Marduk,
after that Belshazzar was a co-regent with his father Nabonidus.
Thirdly, Lacocque, for example, states that Daniel is a second century BCE
pseudonymous work, because the book of Daniel was not held as a part of the Prophets
(prophetical books of the OT), but was part of the Writings (Psalms, wisdom literature, etc.).
Josephus, and the Qumran community list Daniel among the Prophets of
. Lacocque, 24.
. Longman and Dillard, 376; William H. Shea, Daniel: A Reader’s Guide (Nampa,
ID: Pacific Press, 2005), 23-25.
. Lacocque, 24; Longman and Dillard, 376.
. Zdravko Stefanovic, Daniel: Wisdom to the Wise (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press,
. The Septuagint, that is a Greek version of the Hebrew Bible from the second
. Stefanovic, Daniel, 21.
There are strong evidence for the authorship of Daniel and for the early date. Most
importantly, The OT (Ezek. 14:14, 20; 28:3) and the New Testament (NT) (Matt. 24:15-16)
agree with Daniel’s authorship. As was mentioned, the historian Josephus supports this
“Furthermore, only someone living in the sixth century B.C. could have known some
of the historical facts found in the book.”
The date for Daniel 8, which is the main focus of
this paper, is 547 or 539 BCE.
However, the mentioning of Neo-Platonism as a reason for doubting the traditional
view of Daniel’s origin is important for this study. The reason is that, as was mentioned, this
research argues that the little horn arises, in a way, from both Greece and Rome.
Lacocque claims that the book of Daniel does not have unity and includes two
originally independent works.
However, the literary context of Daniel, among other factors,
stand as evidence for the unity of the book, which will be discussed next.
. Gerhard Pfandl, Daniel: The Seer of Babylon (Hagerstown, MD: Review and
Herald, 2004), Google Play eBook, xii.
. Pfandl, Daniel, xii.
. Stefanovic, Daniel, 293.
. Lacocque, 9-10.
UNITY OF THE BOOK OF DANIEL
In addition to Lacocque, who believes that Daniel 1-6 is written by a different author
than Daniel 7-12,
Andr Reis questions the view that the little horn is the same entity in
Daniel 7 and 8. Reis states that Daniel 8 “contains enough information to stand on its own
without depending on certain interpretative presuppositions” that are applied to Daniel 2 and
This is why, firstly, this paper discusses about the hermeneutical principles of
apocalyptic prophecies. Secondly, the structure of the book of Daniel, thematic unity,
parallels of the book, and the recapitulation principle will give evidence for the unity of the
The Principles of Hermeneutics for Apocalyptic Prophecies
The principles of hermeneutics in the Protestant historical-grammatical method come
from the Bible itself. To name just a few basic principles for the exegesis of prophecy, the
cultural and historical background, the larger and immediate contexts, and parallel passages
need to be taken into count.
The same principles apply to the interpretation of apocalyptic
However, in the interpretation of apocalyptic prophecy, one needs to remember
the special characteristics of this genre, which are as follows.
. Lacocque, 9-10.
. Andr Reis, “A Response to Glifford Goldstein on the Little Horn on Daniel 8,”
ResearchGate, April, 2018, 1, accessed November 15, 2018,
. Bernard Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI:
Baker Book House, 1970), 247-250.
. Ramm, 268.
David S. Russell states in his book The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic,
that a characteristic of apocalyptic prophecy is “the cosmic dimensions of the final conflict of
good and evil between heaven and earth.”
Jon Paulien asserts, “Apocalyptic prophecy is
concerned with long sequences of human history, including the major saving acts of God
within that history.”
Klein, Blomberg, and Hubbard state, “Characteristics of apocalyptic
literature include a description of the events surrounding the end of world history.”
Kaiser writes similarly with the previous scholars.
Apocalyptic literature’s dualism is
“historical and temporal,” and a “definite time schedule” moves things toward the end.
Apocalyptic visions are given by God as unconditional future events. The prophecies of this
genre are not conditional,
and they have a single fulfilment.
From these principles we can see that the content of Daniel 8, as well, with its time
prophecy, has something to do with the long periods of history and the end-times. Moreover,
with apocalyptic prophecies, symbolism is very prominent, and it is linked with the whole
apocalyptic context of the book. When interpreting a symbol, Mickelsen guides to look for
. Quoted in Hans K. LaRondelle, “Interpretation of Prophetic and Apocalyptic
Eschatology,” in Gordon M. Hyde, ed., A Symposium on Biblical Hermeneutics (Washington,
DC: Review and Herald, 1974), 230.
. Jon Paulien, “The Hermeneutics of Biblical Apocalyptic,” in George W. Reid, ed.,
Understanding Scripture: An Adventist Approach (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research
Institute, 2006), 249.
. William W. Klein, Craig L. Blomberg, and Robert L. Hubbard, Jr., Introduction to
Biblical Interpretation (Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group, 1993), 371.
. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Toward an Exegetical Theology: Biblical Exegesis for
Preaching and Teaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1981), 93.
. Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation: The New International Commentary
on the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1977), 20.
. Arthur J. Ferch, Daniel on Solid Ground: A Powerful Defense for SDA Position
(Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1988), 75-81, 90-92.
. Paulien, 249.
the immediate context or any part of the book.
Ramm advices to check if the symbol has a
meaning in the culture of the author;
and he writes, “When the Scripture interprets a symbol,
then we are on sure ground.”
He goes on to say, “Investigate the context thoroughly. It
might be that in what it said before or after, the idea corresponding to the symbol is
Ramm also teaches to look for other passages with the same symbol, if they
match, because there can be double imagery in a symbol, or different symbols can have the
Hasel teaches to look for the whole of Scripture.
Hasel gives an important
rule of interpretation, “A basic principle of interpretation with regard to words is to
investigate the same word or term in its usage in the same book, by the same author, and then
beyond in the remaining writers of the Bible.”
Therefore, it is obvious that one should look
for similar symbolism from the Bible and definitely from the same book where the symbol
occurs. Gregory K. Beale, a Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at
Westminster Theological Seminary, states that “[c]lear and repeated figurative use of the
same word elsewhere in the book… is probably the most consistently helpful.”
. A. Berkeley Mickelsen, Interpreting the Bible (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans
Publishing Company, 1963), 278.
. Ramm, 269.
. Ramm, 233.
. Ramm, 234.
. Ramm, 234.
. Gerhard F. Hasel, “Principles of Biblical Interpretation,” in Gordon M. Hyde, ed.,
A Symposium on Biblical Hermeneutics, 191.
. Hasel, “Principles of Biblical Interpretation,” 177.
. Quoted in Paulien, 257.
Study of Units and Words
In lexical analysis, smaller units and words are studied. Words can be interpreted
differently, and this way, the meaning of the whole unit and chapter even, can be changed. It
is true that smaller units correct, enlarge and amplify the larger units and “the total
understanding of biblical witnesses.”
However, if the immediate context is not clear about
the meaning, the interpreter must move on to the larger context. It is true that Daniel 8 is not
a 100% clear text, but with unclear texts one should turn to clear texts and let them fulfil the
meaning. One cannot assume that one unit stands on its own, because, in apocalyptic texts,
this one unit would direct all other units. This would be a setting of a canon within a canon.
Tota scriptura means that all the parallel texts explain each other. Walter Kaiser and Moisés
Silva acknowledge the systematic structure of the prophecies in the Bible. They notice that
the “interdependence of prophetic discussions within the biblical text becomes most important
for the interpreter; we cannot assume that each prediction is a sealed unit to itself. It seldom
Kaiser and Silva use Daniel 2, 7, and 8 as an example of this interdependence.
Moreover, Hasel writes,
Biblical books by the various authors form the next larger wholes, and they are made
of a series of units. The understanding of books and authors depends on the
understanding of the units of which the books are composed. The units in turn are
better understood through the total outlook and meaning of the authors and the books.
To speak again in terms of the hermeneutic circle, each of the words, phrases,
sentences, and units contributes to an understanding of the total end product. But at
the same time the end product aids in the interpretation and understanding of the
. Hasel, “Principles of Biblical Interpretation,” 178.
. Note, that apexes in chiastic structures do not set verses or chapters as
hermeneutical keys that direct the way everything else should be interpreted but they point out
key themes in a book or a chapter.
. Walter C. Kaiser Jr. and Moisés Silva, An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics:
The Search For Meaning (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994), 145.
. Kaiser and Silva, 145-146.
single part. Understanding the single part spirals to constantly higher levels on the
basis of the understanding of the book, and vice versa.
As the etymology of the words are researched, alternative meanings come across.
Gerhard Hasel mentions that etymology is a part of exegesis; however, about the use of root
words and etymology, he also states that when one is reading root meaning into all contexts, it
becomes “impossible to recognize that a biblical writer may have used the term with his own
connotation and semantic emphasis. This is what has been called root fallacy and
Very rarely a text from the Bible can stand on its own. The very idea of tota scriptura
and analogia scripturae is intertextual dependence of the Bible’s content, and the
complementary parallel texts. One must count the whole context of a text in the study. One
must also take similar themes into consideration. These similar themes are called thematic
or similar ideas. There can also occur linguistic parallels.
“What are parallels? Parallel material means identical or similar language, or identical
or similar ideas found in a different context from the one being studied.”
instructs, “Observe carefully any parallels in the same book to the materials in the passage
All of this, what have been discussed about the hermeneutics of apocalyptic
prophecies, mean that the immediate context, the larger context, and even theological motifs
can define the meaning of a word. This does not mean that the theological motifs and/or
. Hasel, “Principles of Biblical Interpretation,” 182.
. Ibid., 172.
. Ekkehardt Müller, “Guidelines for the Interpretation of Scripture,” in Reid, ed.,
Understanding Scripture, 119.
. Mickelsen, 104.
. Mickelsen, 113.
presuppositions come from outside of the Bible. When applying the Protestant historical-
grammatical method and hermeneutics, the theological motifs come from the Bible itself.
Edersheim goes even further and states in his book Prophecy and History in Relation
to the Messiah, “Prophecy can only be fully understood from the standpoint of fulfilment…
first the historical, then the exegetical argument.”
Moreover, Robert Mounce asserts: “It is
difficult to say what anything means until one has decided in a sense what everything
He continues that “an informed sensitivity to the thought forms and vocabulary of
apocalyptic is the sine qua non of satisfactory exegesis.”
This “everything” is the larger
systematic whole, or else it does not explain the smaller units, sentences, clauses, and words.
In the example of Daniel 8, the whole book of Daniel, especially the parallel visions
and explanations of visions, serve as the context. They explain each other and recapitulate.
Moreover, the theological motifs from the whole Bible explain Daniel 8. Additionally, the
symbolic nature of this apocalyptic book ties the visions together. The hermeneutics of
apocalyptic prophecy helps us to see the unity of the book, and the unity of the larger context
of the apocalyptic books of the Bible.
. Quoted in J. Barton Payne, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy: The Complete
Guide to Scriptural Predictions and Their Fulfillment (New York, NY: Harper & Row,
. Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation: The New International Commentary
on the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1977), 12.
. Mounce, 12.
Structure, Thematic Unity, and Parallels of the Book of Daniel
The book of Daniel has a chiastic structure. It interlocks the themes of the book
together. The chiasm for chapters 2-7 is from Zdravko Stefanovic,
and the chiasm for
chapters 7-12 is from the writer of this research paper.
Chiastic Structure of Chapters 2-7
A—Vision of world kingdoms (chap. 2)
B—The faithful tested (chap. 3)
C—Judgment on a king (chap. 4)
C’—Judgment on a king (chap. 5)
B’—The faithful tested (chap. 6)
A’—Vision of the world kingdoms (chap. 7)
Chiastic Structure of Chapters 7-12
A—The Son of Man comes and saves (7:9-14), The destiny of God’s people (7:22), time
prophecy concerning the end-time (7:25)
B—The proud little horn (7:25), destroys God’s people (v. 25)
C—The vision (8:1-13)
C’—Explanation of the vision (8:15-26)
B’—Daniel’s humility, prays mercy for Israel (9:1-19)
A’—The Messiah saves (9:20-27), the destiny of Israel (9:24), time prophecy (9:24-27),
reference to the end-time (v. 27)
B’—Daniel’s fast for 3 weeks (10:2, 3)
A—Michael comes and saves (10:5-11)
. Stefanovic, Daniel, 29.
B—Prince of Persia resisted for 3 weeks (10:12)
A’—Michael saves (10:13), the destiny of God’s people at the end of time (10:14)
B’—Clash between North and South (11:1-29)
B—Clash between North and South (11:40-45)
A—Michael saves (12:1), the destiny of God’s people at the end of time (12:1, 7, 10), time
prophecy concerning the end-time (vv. 11-12)
Elaboration on the Unity of the Book of Daniel
From the chiastic structure we can see that there are thematic parallels in chapters 2-7,
the visions, the tests for the faithful, and the judgments to the kings. Especially, king
Nebuchadnezzar’s dream about the statue in chapter 2 and Daniel’s vision of the beasts and
horns in chapter 7 are parallel discussions about the world kingdoms (2:39, 40; 7:4, 5, 23).
More parallels in these two chapters are the following: 4th kingdom is strong (2:40; 7:7);
strong as iron/iron teeth (2:40; 7:7); 4th kingdom breaks (2:40; 7:19, 23); and 4th kingdom
divided/ten horns (2:41; 7:7).
Moreover, the book of Daniel has thematic unity as a whole, between the two
Stefanovic finds seven thematic links between Belshazzar and the little horn,
which appear in chapters 5, 7, and 8. For example both Belshazzar and the little horn speak
and act blasphemously (Dan 5:23; 7:25; 8:11).
Daniel 7 and 8 use the same symbol: the little horn. The following are similarities
between the little horns of the chapters: “Both appear to arise at a somewhat similar time in
. Gleason L. Archer, Jr., “Daniel,” in Frank E. Gæbelein, ed., The Expositor’s Bible
Commentary, vol. 7, Daniel-Minor Prophets (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1985), 8-9;
Longman and Dillard, 391-396.
. Zdravko Stefanovic, “Thematic Links Between the Historical and Prophetic
Section of Daniel,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 27, no. 2 (Summer 1989): 121-127.
history; both begin small and become great (7:8 and 8:9); both are blasphemous powers (7:8,
25 and 8:11, 25); both persecute the saints of God (7:21, 25 and 8:11, 25); “both eventually
suffer similar fates (7:26 and 8:25);”
and both extend their action until the time of the end
(7:25-26; 8:17, 19).
Also, chapter 11 parallels with chapter 8. This suggests that chapters 2, 7, 8, and 11
are complementary. Structural parallels in the acts of the little horn in chapter 8 and the
contemptible person/the king of the north in chapter 11, are the following: Rises from small
(8:9; 11:23); rises against the host of heaven, the sanctuary, and the truth (8:10-12), and rises
against the holy covenant (11:28, 30); rises against the Prince of the host/the Prince of the
covenant (8:11; 11:22); magnifies himself against the Prince of the host/the Prince of
princes/the God of gods/above all (8:11, 25; 11:36, 37); works cunningly (8:25; 11:23, 32);
speaks cunningly/speaks against God (8:23; 11:36); prospers (8:24, 25;11:36); takes away the
daily (8:11; 11:31); casts down/defiles the sanctuary (8:11; 11:36); causes the abomination of
desolation (8:11; 11:36); sets himself against the saints (8:24; 11:33); destroys many (8:24,
25; 11:44); will be destroyed/will come to its end (8:25; 11:45); acts at the time of the end
(8:17; 11:35, 40).
It is prominent that the time of the end in chapter 12, which pictures the ultimate time
of trouble (v. 1), and the eschatological resurrection (v. 2), mentions the time period of “time,
times, and half a time” (v. 7). This is important, because chapter 12 is linguistically,
thematically, and chiastically linked with Daniel 7’s Messiah figure, the destiny of God’s
people, and the time prophecy of 1,260 days. In turn, chapter 12 is a straight continuation of
. William H. Shea, Selected Studies on Prophetic Interpretation, Daniel and
Revelation Committee Series, vol. 1 (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing
Association, 1982), 38.
. William H. Shea, “Unity of Daniel,” in Holbrook, ed., Symposium on Daniel,
Daniel and Revelation Committee Series, vol. 2 (Washington, DC: Biblical Research
Institute, 1986), 187.
chapter 11, because the same angel figure is still speaking and explaining things to Daniel
(12:1), and because the same “man clothed in linen“ (10:5) is still involved in the dialog
(12:6-7). This all connects chapters 7, 8, 11, and 12 together, which means that they are
amplifying each other.
Stefanovic mentions scholars stating that “chapter 7, with its central concept of
judgment, serves as a bridge that holds the two parts of the book together.”
visions are not apostelematic, because they are “carefully located in time,”
they have only
one fulfilment. The theme of judgment is all over the book, and it supports the view of an
interconnected whole of the book.
Moreover, chapter 7 connects the Biblical Aramaic text
into the visionary material.
Most importantly, we can see from the chiastic structure that the coming of the Son of
Man interlocks the two sections of the book together. Jesus Christ is the centre of the book of
Daniel, and the Person of Him and the theme about Him connect chapters 7 and 8 together.
Moreover, the chiastic structure of chapters 7-12 has its centre points in the person, coming,
and saving power of the Messiah and the “defilement-cleansing” theme. And, this connects
the judgment theme into the cleansing of the temple in Daniel 8:14, because it refers to Yom
Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The explanation for the “defilement-cleansing” theme will be
discussed in Chapter IV of this paper.
. Stefanovic, Daniel, 29.
. Jacques B. Doukhan, Daniel: The Vision of the End, rev. ed. (Berrien Springs, MI:
Andrews University Press, 1989), 9.
. Doukhan, Daniel: The Vision, 11-13.
. Bible Works (Norfolk: BibleWorks, LLC., 2001), BibleWorks. v.10.
. The coming and saving acts of the Messiah, the Son of Man, and Michael are also
judgments, because God’s judgment can also be liberating (Isa. 1:18; 26:9; Zeph. 2:3). Zeph.
2:3 refers to the Day of the Lord, which means the coming of the Lord, as well (1 Thess 5:1-
9). Moreover, the Judges in the OT were often seen as liberators (Judges 3:9, 15; 18:28).
In fact, this brings Daniel 2, and its universal-historical-chronological preview along,
as well. Chapter 2 in the book of Daniel is the “ABC of Bible prophecy”.
It is “a miniature of the whole book. It contains both Hebrew and Aramaic, narrative
and prophecy. It speaks of the testing of the people of God by the heathen, as well as
the providential testing of the gentile genius. The outcome of the test is the elevation
of the saints and the defeat of their idolatrous competitors. All the main themes to be
enlarged upon later are found here.”
Desmond Ford asserts that Daniel 8:14 is the climax of the book. He continues, “All
that precedes and all that follows 8:14 contribute to its explanation. Scholars have long
acknowledged that the later sections of Daniel are explanatory of 8:1-14, but it is also true
that chapters 2 and 7 contribute to its meaning.”
The chiastic structure of Daniel 7-12 suggests that the casting down of the temple in
Daniel 8:9-14, and its connection to the amplification in Daniel 9:20-27, are universal,
because the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is the universal Saviour for everyone whether one is a Jew
or a Gentile, or a man or a woman (Gal. 3:28). Moreover, this is an argument for the
universal little horn in Daniel 7 being the same little horn in Daniel 8. The universality of the
book and the little horn will be discussed with further detail below.
Hints have been given already about the progressive feature of the book of Daniel, as
chapter 2 is the ABC of prophecy, chapter 7 builds on chapter 2, and chapter 8 complements
chapter 7. This is another quality of unity in Daniel, which is called recapitulation.
. LaRondelle, “Interpretation of Prophetic and Apocalyptic Eschatology,” 242;
Desmond Ford, Daniel (Nashville, TN: Southern Publishing Association, 1978), 84.
. Ford, 84.
. Ford, 85.
Recapitulation in the Book of Daniel
Recapitulation is a literary feature of the Bible.
It “acknowledges that biblical texts
are parallel in content and/or scope. That does not mean that all elements must match one
another perfectly, although a series of elements should be roughly parallel… Passages that
recapitulate may provide special emphasis and additional information and enlargement.”
For example, Genesis 1-2 uses recapitulation. In the first chapter we can see the
overall happenings of the creation week, when in chapter 2, we read about closer events that
happens during the day six, as chapter 2 elaborates more on the meaning of humanity on the
earth (vv. 5, 8, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25).
Similarly, Daniel 2 and 7 give the overall
picture of the history from the Neo-Babylonian empire until the end of the world, but chapter
8 elaborates more on the spiritual and religious characteristics of the little horn. Daniel 7 is
not adding new elements to the vision of Daniel 2; rather, “it is elaborating on the later stages
. Recapitulation is not a principle that is used only in Seventh-day Adventist
theology. Already in the third century Victorinus brought the theory of recapitulation as an
interpretation method for the book of Revelation. Mounce, 39. Moreover, William
Hendrickson, who is a proponent of Amillennialism, introduced the theory of progressive
parallelism, which is similar to recapitulation. Amillennialists apply the principle of
recapitulation to Revelation 20, as well. See Jim Mc, “Progressive Parallelism,” Grace
Christian Assembly: A Sovereign Grace Fellowship, accessed November 16, 2018,
http://salvationbygrace.org/current-qa/progressive-parallelism/. Amilleanist approach is not
an Adventist approach to that chapter of Revelation. The progressiveness of revelation is seen
also when Jesus pointed out that “the abomination of desolation” will come at the end of time
(Matt. 24:15), and that in Revelation and 2 Thess. 2, for example, the picture of the antichrist
gets clearer. Mickelsen, 292-293.
. Ekkehardt Müller, “When Prophecy Repeats Itself: Recapitulation in Revelation,”
Biblical Research Institute Release 14 (May 2015): 32, Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research
. See also Gen. 6-8. Moreover, in Acts we have parallel reports, which use a kind of
recapitulation, when the conversion story of Paul in chapter 9 gets complementary details in
chapter 22. G. K. Beale mentions in his book The Book of Revelation that Isaiah, Ezekiel,
Daniel, and Zechariah use recapitulation in some form. Quoted in Müller, “When Prophecy
Repeats Itself,” 8.
One can apply this same principle to the relationship between Daniel 7 and Daniel 8.
Arthur Ferch asserts, “Most scholars recognize that the visions in the book parallel each other
with later chapters progressively enlarging earlier chapters.”
Moreover, Baldwin states that
chapter 7 recapitulates chapter 2, and chapters 8-12 “relate the visionary material under new
symbols with the express purpose of revealing in increasing detail the bearing of world
empires on Jerusalem, the holy city, and the time of the end (Dn. 8:17, cf. 19; 11:35, 40).”
The book of Revelation uses recapitulation, as well.
Mounce states that the book of
Revelation is “the NT counterpart to the OT apocalyptic book of Daniel.”
In fact, the two
books explain each other, as Daniel and Revelation use similar recapitulation in the
identification of the antichrist. Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 already have indications that the
antichrist power would not be only a state power but an ecclesiastical power, as well. And
Daniel 8 and Revelation 17 further identify this power as an ecclesiastical power.
. Paulien, 261.
. Arthur Ferch, “Authorship, Theology, and Purpose of Daniel,” in Holbrook,
Symposium on Daniel, 48.
. Joyce G. Baldwin, Daniel: An Introduction & Commentary (Downers Grove, IL:
Inter Varsity Press, 1978), 60-61.
. For example, there are recapitulation between the visions of the seven seals, the
seven trumpets, and the satanic trinity. See Müller, “When Prophecy Repeats Itself.”
. Mounce, 23.
. Also, David L. Barr sees a potential parallelism between Daniel 7 or 8 and
Revelation 12-13. See David L. Barr, ed., The Reality of Apocalypse: Rhetoric and Politics in
the Book of Revelation, Society of Biblical Literature Symposium Series, no. 39 (Boston,
MA: Brill, 2006), 190.
STUDIES ON DANIEL 8
Introduction to Exegesis and Interpretation of Daniel 8
As we studied the hermeneutical principles of apocalyptic prophecies above, now we
apply them to Daniel 8. Chapter III studies the textual, lexical, and theological areas of the
eighth chapter of the book of Daniel. The goal of this paper is not to emphasize either
exegesis (with lexical analysis) or theological analysis over one another. Both exegesis and
interpretation are important, and both are utilized in this research.
The chapter begins with the literary structure of Daniel 8. However, right after this,
this chapter introduces the main views of interpretation. The reason for this, as was discussed
above, is the nature of apocalyptic prophecy, with its symbolism, and cosmic and end-time
concentration. Moreover, as was also mentioned, with apocalyptic texts, many times,
theological and historical application goes hand in hand with exegesis. This is why the
textual and lexical studies of Daniel 8 below are studied within the larger context and the
Chapter 8 (vv. 1-27) in the book of Daniel is clearly a separate unit, because it
describes a separate vision.
“Several scholars have classified Daniel 8 as a vision report.”
As we study the little horn in chapter 8, the structure of the chapter reveals some important
. See Samuel Nuez, “Narrative Structure of Daniel 8: A Text Linguistic
Approach,” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 26, no. 2 (2015): 92, accessed
August 18, 2019, http://archive.atsjats.org/Nunez%20S%20-
. Nuez, 91.
tools for understanding the phases of the little horn’s actions. The following literary structure
is built with the help from Samuel Nuez’ narrative structure of the chapter:
1. Prologue (vv. 1-2).
2. The ram with two horns (vv. 3-4).
3. The male goat, with one great horn between its eyes, defeats the ram; the great
horn breaks, and four horns grows to its place (vv. 5-8).
4. The little horn comes “on the arena,” grows and grows, and casts down the host
and stars of heaven (vv. 9-10).
5. The little horn acts against the Prince of the host, the temple and its function (vv.
6. Dialogue between the angels; and the 2,300 evenings and mornings (vv. 13-14).
7. Daniel in the presence of the man-like Being and Gabriel (vv. 15-18).
8. The explanation of the vision: First part (vv. 19-22).
9. The explanation of the vision: Second part: Predictive discourse (vv. 23-25)
10. Affirmation of the time period in the vision (v. 26)
11. Final words from Daniel (v. 27).
The Roman View for the Origin of the Little Horn
After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE, his kingdom was divided among
four generals in 301 BCE. Lysimachus took Thrace and portions of Asia Minor, Seleucus had
Syria and Mesopotamia, Ptolemy was given Egypt, and Cassander received Macedonia and
Greece. The notable horn between the eyes of the goat in Dan. 8:5 was Alexander the Great.
The four horns that grew out of the goat, after the destruction of the notable horn, were the
four generals (8:8). After this, the little horn arrived (8:9).
From which kingdom does the little horn arise? Before answering this question, one
should know the identity of the kingdom from which the little horn comes from. There are
three main views: (1) The Roman view, which kingdoms have the sequence of Babylon,
Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome; (2) the Greek view 1, which has the sequence of Babylon,
Media, Persia, and Greece; and (3) the Greek view 2, which has the sequence of Babylon,
Medo-Persia, Alexander the Great’s kingdom, and “Alexander’s feet of iron (plus
Walton argues that Media and Persia can be seen as separate kingdoms in Daniel,
because the ancient writers Sibyl and Polybius separate them.
It is true that they were also
unique kingdoms. However, one should primarily look at what the book itself in the canon of
the Bible states about the issue. Daniel 5:28 and 6:8 indicate that Media and Persia were
understood as one kingdom. Moreover, H. H. Rowley states that history corroborates with
the sequence: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
Preterists also see a connection
between chapters 2, 7 and 8. For example, Lacocque thinks that the little horns are the same
How can we claim that the little horn is a kingdom when it is called a “king” (Dan.
8:23), which would suggest a person, not a kingdom? In Daniel, the concepts of kings and
. Andrew E. Hill, Daniel: The Expositors Bible Commentary, rev. ed., Tremper
Longman III and David Garland, ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008), Google Play
. John H. Walton, “The Four Kingdoms of Daniel,” Journal of the Evangelical
Theological Society 29, no. 1 (1986): 34-35, accessed September 16, 2018.
. Norman R. Gulley, Systematic Theology, vol. 4, The Church and the Last Things
(Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2016), 712.
. Lacocque, 141, 161.
kingdoms are used interchangeably (Dan. 7:17). Moreover, same mode of thinking can be
seen in Isa 45:13-14, “where no change of subject is indicated contextually but where v 13
refers to Cyrus and v 14 to his successor Cambyses.”
Hill explains that “[g]enerally, conservative scholars hold the Roman view (supported
by the NT; see below).
” Hill writes,
John the Baptist announced that the kingdom of God was near (Mt 3:2), and Jesus
claimed to have inaugurated the kingdom of God on his earthly ministry of teaching
and healing (Mt 4:23; 12:28; Mk 9:1; Lk 9:1-2). Thus, the NT supports the
identification of the fourth kingdom (made of iron) as the Roman Empire.
Hill also mentions that the Israelites understood the cut rock from the mountain as the
fulfilment of the promise to be the heirs of God’s kingdom, which was promised already to
Abraham (Isa. 51:1-3).
Obviously, historicist view includes the Roman view. In this way, the defending of
the Roman view supports historicism. The holders of the Greek view(s) are normally
believers of the Maccabean theory. Futurists believe that the little horn in chapter 7 is the
antichrist that will arise to rule some kind of a new Roman Empire, that has been brought
back to life in the last days of human history.
Does the Little Horn Come from Horns or Winds?
The proponents of the Maccabean theory argue that the little horn is Antiochus
Epiphanes, because the little horn seems to rise from one of the four horns of the Greek
corresponding animal. However, the Hebrew text does not specify from which possible
. Walton, n38.
. Hill, 128.
. Hill, 128-129.
. Hill, 129.
. Hill, 245.
antecedent, “horns” or “winds,” (Dan. 8:9) the little horn comes, because both of the nouns
are feminine but the pronoun “them” in verse 9 is masculine.
Doukhan and Maxwell
believe that the little horn comes out of one of the four winds.
One of the evidence for this
is that the “winds” are a syntactically closer antecedent than the “horns”. Moreover, Doukhan
states that 8:23 explains that the little horn comes “far after” the four kingdoms.
Pröbstle writes in his dissertation about Daniel 8:9-14, that the little horn is portrayed as being
on a same level than the ram and the goat, being thus a great kingdom as they are, and that in
Zechariah 2:1-2 appear horns by themselves without an animal to grow out of, which would
be a biblical example.
Additionally, Pröbstle concludes similarly with Nuez that the
coming of the little horn starts a new structural unit (from v. 9). He continues that the little
horn is seen as a separate actor that “is introduced in relation to a geographical term or
location and its first activity is described as a geographical movement,” similarly to the other
main actors: the ram and the goat.
Gerhard Hasel, additionally, states that verse 9 uses the
Hebrew verb , which means “to come, move forth,” instead of , which means “to come
up,” and which is used for the growing of horns.
. Bible Works (Norfolk: BibleWorks, LLC., 2001), BibleWorks. v.10; Stefanovic,
Daniel, 300; Reis, 2.
. Doukhan, Daniel: The Vision, 28; C. Mervyn Maxwell, God Cares, vol. 1, The
Message of Daniel for You and Your Family (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1981), 152.
. Doukhan, Daniel: The Vision, 28.
. Martin Pröbstle, “Truth and Terror: a Text-Oriented Analysis of Daniel 8:9-14,”
PhD diss., Andrews University, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary (2006)
dissertations (132), 536, accessed November 16, 2018,
. Pröbstle, “Truth and Terror,” 122.
. Gerhard F. Hasel, “The ‘Little Horn,’ the Heavenly Sanctuary, and the Time of the
End: A Study of Daniel 8:9-14,” in Frank B. Holbrook, ed., Symposium on Daniel, 392-393.
Shea and Stefanovic do not rule out the coming out of horns.
Stefanovic thinks that
perhaps both possibilities are right.
Reis parallels Dan. 8:9 and 23 with Dan. 7:8 and 24,
where is found the same kind of gender conflict. He argues that since in Daniel 7 the little
horn arises from the ten kings (horns) in a verbally and thematically parallel way to chapter 8,
the little horn should arise from the four kings (horns) in chapter 8, as well.
However, if we
use chapter seven as a thematic parallel, we must also remember that the thematic parallelism
of chapters seven and eight can be used as an argument for the Roman view, which states that
in chapter seven the little horn arises from the fourth beast. Moreover, when we take chapter
two into consideration, as well, we have two thematically parallel influencers for chapter
So, does the little horn arise from the four horns or the four winds? At first, let us see
what “horns” and “winds” mean in the Bible.
The Meaning of Horns. In the Scriptures, “horn” ( ) is “a symbol of strength,”
(Deut. 33:17) sometimes of a “deliverer” (2 Sam. 22:3).
It can also stand for “grace” or
Leviticus 4:7 attaches the saving power of horns to the temple service.
We can see that it can mean “saving power,” as the Bible confirms (2 Sam 22:3 and Ps 18:2;
. William H. Shea, “Spatial Dimensions in the Vision of Daniel 8,” in Holbrook,
ed., Symposium on Daniel, 505; Stefanovic, Daniel, 300.
. Stefanovic, Daniel, 300.
. Reis, 2-3.
. Francis Brown, S. R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs, A Hebrew and English
Lexicon of the Old Testament With an Appendix Containing the Biblical Aramaic (BDB),
based on the lexicon of William Gesenius (1952), s.v. “ .”
. William L. Holladay, A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old
Testament: Based upon the Lexical Work of Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner
(Leiden: Brill, 2000), BibleWorks, v.10., s.v. “ .”
Ps 132:17; Luke 1:69).
A single “horn” is, then, used as a political and spiritual power in
the OT, inside and outside the book of Daniel. Margit L. Süring uses a saying that the little
horn operates on a horizontal (earthly) and vertical (heavenly) level.
The Meaning of Winds. “Wind” comes from the Hebrew word , which can also
mean “breath,” “air,” “spirit,” and “mind.”
The “four winds” symbolize different parts of
the world (Ezekiel 5:10), and all directions of the compass (Ezek. 37:9; Zech. 2:6).
The Little Horn Comes from the North
The origin of the little horn can be either west or north, because it takes over south,
east, and the “pleasant land.” “The northern wind”, meaning the north, has clear connection
to Babylon (Jer. 1:14; 6:1; 10:22; 46;10, 20; Isa. 14:13) and Tyre, because both of them are
depicted as fallen-angel-like powers (Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; Luke 10:18). They
united when Babylon conquered Tyre (Jer. 27:3-11; Ezek. 26:7–14),
and Babylon was seen
as an evil, northern power, because, even though located in the east, it attacked against Israel
from the north.
This has the connection with Daniel 11, where the king of the north
symbolizes this God-opposing power, which has the thematic linkage with the little horn, as
. See also Hasel, “Principles of Biblical Interpretation,” 176.
. Margit L. Süring, “The Horn Motifs of the Bible and the Ancient Near East,”
Andrews University Seminary Studies 22, no. 3 (Autumn 1984): 327-340, accessed November
. Holladay, Lexicon, s.v. “.”
. Doukhan, Daniel: The Vision, 123n33. There are four winds, because four
symbolises universality and completeness. See Stefanovic, Daniel, 255, 257.
. Gary Byers, “The Biblical Cities of Tyre and Sidon,” para. 12, Associates for
Biblical Research, accessed November 14, 2018,
. Stefanovic, Daniel, 400.
was shown above. As the power comes from the north, it is a power like Babylon: a political
and a spiritual power (Jer. 50-51); and, exactly in the book of Daniel, Babylon has a spiritual
characteristic, as Nebuchadnezzar erects the statue on the plain of Dura, and forces everyone
to worship it (Dan. 3). The concept of Babylon would also have a straight connection to the
end-time Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18.
From Horns and/or Winds but the Same Entity
From the previous arguments by all the scholars, it seems more probable that the little
horn comes out from one of the four winds. However, as we can conclude from the meanings
of “horn” and “wind,” in the context of Daniel 8, whether the little horn comes out of the
horns or winds, we are talking about a spiritual and political power. This is not root fallacy
and etymologizing, because the context of Daniel 8 points towards an ecclesiastical and
spiritual viewpoint, as well. This is seen from the temple-language, the animals being pure
and sacrificial, etc.
Moreover, in chapter seven, only Rome has horns, when in chapter
eight, both of the animals have horns, which seem to imply that there is something special
about Rome and its horns.
It seems that as the fourth, political, iron kingdom in chapters
two and seven gets spiritual characteristics,
and as the little horn in chapter eight is a
. Shea finds six elements from chapter eight that point to the sanctuary. See Shea,
“Unity of Daniel,” 196-198. Chapter eight views the actions of the little horn and the great
controversy between Christ and antichrist from the viewpoint of the Day of Atonement. See
Doukhan, Daniel: The Vision, 28.
. Holladay, Lexicon. can also symbolize “iron imitation,” (1 Kings 22:11).
Holladay, Lexicon, s.v. “ .” We remember that the little horn of Daniel 7 arises from the
iron Rome. It is also prominent that “horn” can be used “as wind instrument” (Jos. 6:5). This
could demonstrate the connection between horns and the winds.
. “Clay” in the feet of the statue, which does not cleave to the iron, and the
mentioning about marriages (Dan. 2:43), can have, in addition to political meaning, a spiritual
meaning, because the Bible uses “clay” as a symbol for Israel (even in a fallen condition) (Isa.
18:6-12), and because “marriage” is a symbol of the covenant between God and Israel (Jer.
6:2; 3:6-10). In chapter seven, the little horn has spiritual characteristics as it is speaking
against the most High, and it is changing the times and laws.
spiritual and political power, these chapters are picturing the same power. Nuez explains
that the introduction of the little horn in chapter eight “has no indication of surprise (no
hinneh particle) possibly because the narrator already knew the actor from his previous vision
(cf. Dan 7:8).”
This would suggest that the little horn is the same entity in both chapters.
All in all, we have seen that even if the little horn came only from one of the horns, it does not
necessarily count out the Roman view.
However, when the little horn comes out of one of the four horns or one of the four
winds, and if the little horn symbolises both the pagan and papal Rome, how can it arise from
two different entities? How can one power arise from two different beginnings and times?
Moreover, Reis argues that the Roman view cannot be right, because when the Romans
conquered the last of the four Greek kingdoms in 63 BCE, Rome was not a little power (a
little horn) anymore.
Moreover, Reis states that the Romans did not desecrate the temple in
In order to answer all of these questions, firstly, the little horn has risen cumulatively
and it has two different aspects. Samuel Nuez, in his text linguistic approach to Daniel 8,
shows that the little horn has to rise in three stages. Nuez concludes that the little horn
cannot be Antiochus IV Epiphanes, because the little horn in Daniel 8:9-12 makes its attack
on the Prince of the host in these three stages.
Secondly, the three stages have overlapping,
but they basically are the following: (1) The Romans attack and destroy the temple of
Jerusalem in 70 CE (vv. 9-12); (2) the Papacy of the Middle Ages destroys God’s people, and
. Nuez, 96.
. Reis, 5.
. Reis, 5.
. Nuez, 108-109. In his study, Nuez uses the theoretical model of Text
Linguistics, which includes looking at the Hebrew verbal forms and clause types, which
define the stages in narration.
replaces God’s truth (thus destroying it, as well), salvation, and the heavenly mediation of
Jesus Christ by setting an earthly mediation and salvation system (vv. 10, 12); and (3) the
Papacy continues its actions (vv. 9, 11, 12).
These stages are built on thematic parallels
from chapters 8, 9, and 11. Moreover, Nuez explains that verses 11 and 12 have “extra-
paragraph comments,” which are clauses that provide additional comments that do not break
the chain of the narrative.
This is why, according to Nuez, the first clause of Daniel 8:12,
which has a repetitive function, states: “In rebellion a host was given [repetitively unto
trampling] in addition to the regular [cultic worship].”
Thus, Nuez states, “These
repetitive actions against the host do not represent a one-time event, but they would actually
occur in three different stages of the little horn’s reign (cf. Dan 8:23-26 and 11:21-45).”
This is why, Antiochus Epiphanes cannot be the little horn whether it comes from one of the
horns or one of the winds.
Thirdly, for the argument that Rome was not a little power anymore when it
desecrated the temple (in 70 BCE in this case), the text does not say that the little horn would
be little when it attacks against the temple of God and God’s people. The text states that the
power grows and grows until it does its assault (Dan. 8:9, 10, 11).
Whatever the sequence of the little horn’s actions might be, it is clear that its actions
have overlapping in Daniel 8:9-12, and that the text reveals the little horn as one entity. This
means that the little horn will remain as one entity until the end of the world, while at the
same time its history includes stages. This is exactly what we can see from history according
. The analysis of the stages includes the marking of the exact clauses with
alphabet, which are not mentioned in this study.
. Nuez, 97.
. Nuez, 107.
. Nuez, 108.
to the historicist interpretation, which also sees the historical, philosophical and political
continuum between the imperial Rome and papal Rome, as will be discussed in Chapter IV.
This is not apostelematic approach, because the entity stays the same, and because Daniel 8
does not set a time prophecy for the little horn.
The thematic linkage with the king of the north in chapter 11 is an important
foundation for the historicist view. This brings the northern wind, with an explanation, into
the picture. This is why the little horn can come from one of the winds without coming from
one of the horns. This will be discussed in detail in Chapter IV.
Before it, let us consider, why God gave a second vision for Daniel about the same
entity? Was not the vision in chapter seven enough? This brings us to the identity of the little
horn. Chapter eight of Daniel elaborates more on the characteristics of this political and
religious power. Moreover, we are going to look for the arguments from history and word
studies for and against Antiochus Epiphanes being the little horn.
The Identity of the Little Horn
Does Antiochus IV Epiphanes fulfil the identity marks of the little horn? Shea offers
the following arguments for the Antiochus theory: (1) “Antiochus was a Seleucid king;” (2)
“Antiochus' succession was irregular,” which can be applied to “but not with his power,” at
the beginning of Daniel 8:24, if this text is original in the Masoretic Text; (3) “Antiochus
persecuted the Jews;” (4) and “Antiochus polluted the Jerusalem temple and disrupted its
Against the Antiochus theory, this paper gives the following points: (1) Epiphanes was
not great enough for the proportions of the little horn, let alone a universal power; (2) the time
. Shea, Selected Studies, 43.
prophecies of Daniel do not fit into the reign of this Seleucid king; (3) Epiphanes did not rise
at the latter period of the Seleucid kingdom.
Antiochus IV Epiphanes Was Not Great Enough
The Little Horn is Exceedingly Great. In its time, the ram, Medo-Persia, “became
great” (Dan. 8:4, KJV). In turn, the goat, Alexander’s kingdom, “waxed very great” (8:8,
KJV). The adverb here is , which can mean “very,” “in the highest,”
“up to abundance,
to a great degree,” or “exceedingly.”
Finally, the little horn grew “exceedingly great” (8:9,
NASB, RSV, NKJV). Does not this suggest that Alexander’s kingdom can be as great as the
little horn’s or even greater?
The Hebrew word involved in Dan. 8:9 is (yeter), which means “remainder,
excellence, excess,” or “remnant (with implied inferiority in number or quality)”.
According to Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, in Daniel 8:9 the word means
Armstrong, Busby, and Carr state the same thing;
and Owens agrees
The word is found also from Dan. 7:7, which depicts the terrible iron Rome,
which devoured “the whole earth” (v. 23, KJV). This, alone, suggests that the little horn in
. Holladay, Lexicon, s.v. “ .”
. Brown, BDB, s.v. “ .”
. Brown, BDB, s.v. “ .”
. G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringgren, Theological Dictionary of the
Old Testament, vol. 6 (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1990),
. Terry A. Armstrong, Douglas L. Busby, and Cyril F Carr, A Reader’s Hebrew-
English Lexicon of the Old Testament: Four Volumes in One (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan,
. John Joseph Owens, Analytical Key to the Old Testament, vol. 4, Isaiah—
Malachi (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1989), 736.
chapter 8 is a parallel power, and the greatest power from all of its predecessors. However,
the little horn did not only grow “exceedingly great,” but it grew preeminent, as well.
The Little Horn is Preeminent (Exceedingly Great). Reis points out that the root
word can also mean “pre-eminence.”
He states, “The translation ‘grew exceedingly great’
then must be surrendered and changed to either ‘the little horn grew in pre-eminence,’ or, if
we use the usual meaning of yeṯer as ‘remainder’, it could be rendered: ‘the little horn grew
the remainder [of its size]’, that is, reached maturity.”
Reis can be right in his first
suggestion, and in his second suggestion without the adding “of its size.” He can be correct,
because Genesis 49:3, which uses the same word ( ) states, “Reuben, you are my first-born;
My might and the beginning of my strength, Preeminent [ ] in dignity and preeminent
[ ] in power.” (NASB) Moreover, Harris, Archer and Waltke say, “In Gen. 49:3f. the word
carries the idea of pre-eminence; there Jacob declared to Reuben, ‘you are… pre-eminent in
pride and pre-eminent in power; unstable as water you shall not have pre-eminence.’”
obvious that Jacob is talking about the inheritance that his sons will have, and the
relationships of preeminence, which include the land that they will get or will not get.
However, application to Antiochus IV Epiphanes is not probable, because it does not fit into
the context, as will be shown next. Rather, the context suggests a power that will be
relatively very successful, and preeminent in a way that it is the one that has been left to rule
. Reis, 5.
. Reis, 5-6.
. Laird R. Harris, Gleason L. Archer, and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook
of the Old Testament, vol. 1 (Chicago: The Moody Bible Institute, 1980), 420.
. Other places, where yeter can be found in support for the idea of preeminence,
are Genesis 32:24, where “Jacob was left alone,” (KJV) and he wrestled with the Angel and
became known as Israel; Joshua 18:2 talks about the inheritance of the promised land for
In the previous Bible verses, we can see resemblances to the little horn, which is the
preeminent one in a way that it takes over the land, which means rulership. However, Reis
claims that “the verse emphasize where the ‘little horn’ became most active or pre-eminent:
east and south and Palestine, and not how ‘great’ it was there”.
argument, together with the claim that yeter can be rendered as “growing the remainder [of its
size]” or “reaching maturity,” in terms of the little horn, are not tenable according to the
context, as will be shown next.
Firstly, in the explanation part of the vision report, Medo-Persia, and Greece with its
kings, are quickly mentioned, but the little horn, or the “king of fierce countenance” (v. 23),
gets three quite long verses (vv. 23-25). Secondly, Reis adds the nuances of “most active”
and “of its size” to yeter, which does not fit the context, that is discussing about the success of
the little horn. This becomes clear from Daniel 8:12 and 24, which use , a verb from
hiphil stem, that means “to accomplish prosperously, to finish well”.
This verb is not used
from any other of the previous kingdoms. The little horn is said to enlarge its territory
“toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land” (Dan. 8:9, KJV).
Antiochus did not succeed in his conquest of Egypt; he could not regain the territories back
seven tribes; Proverbs 2:21 mentions that the remnant has a special blessing: the inheritance
of the land; and Isaiah 4:3 calls the remnant “holy” (KJV). One more very important text
asserts, “’Therefore, as I live,’ declares the LORD of hosts, The God of Israel, ‘Surely Moab
will be like Sodom, And the sons of Ammon like Gomorrah—A place possessed by nettles
and salt pits, And a perpetual desolation. The remnant of My people will plunder them, And
the remainder of My nation will inherit them.’” (Zeph. 2:9 NASB). And, again, “[A]t the end
of time, the survivors in Jerusalem will never be wiped out again (Zeph. 14:2).” Harris,
Archer, and Waltke, 421. These Bible texts have the word , as Harris, Archer, and Waltke
mention, also. Harris, Archer, and Waltke, 421.
. Reis, 6.
. Wilhelm Gesenius, Gesenius’s Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon (London: Samuel
Baxter and Sons, 1857), Blue Letter Bible, s.v. “ ,” accessed November 16, 2018,
that Antiochus III had subjected but lost in the east; and Epiphanes did not conquer “the
glorious land,” because Antiochus III had already done it in 198 BCE.
In other words,
Epiphanes did not “accomplish prosperously” or “finish well”. Antiochus IV Epiphanes was
“forced to pay tribute to Rome constantly… It would be hard to find in history a ruler that
was more eccentric. Today we might call him paranoid… He did not enlarge his territory.
He was simply one among many kings. If it were left to historians alone to select a man to fill
the role [of the little horn], it certainly would not be Antiochus Epiphanes.”
Thirdly, there is a succession of powers in the book of Daniel. The next appearing
kingdom is always stronger, or more preeminent, than the previous one (Dan. 2, and 7).
The last one is always the one that remains. In chapter seven, the little horn is the greatest of
all of its predecessor powers (Dan 7:7, 23), and it is a part of the fourth beast; it is the last
great power (horn) of that beast, and it will be until the end of time (vv. 21-22). Chapter two
asserts that the fourth kingdom will last until the end of time, because the feet of the statue
include iron element in them, which comes from the iron legs. The feet will be crushed by
“the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands,” which means that “the God of
heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another
people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure
forever.” (Dan. 2:44, 45). Chapter eight informs us that the last power, the little horn, “will
be destroyed, but not by human power,” (Dan. 8:25) which is a parallel verse to Daniel 2:45.
Moreover, the idea of succession has the link to the eschatological nuance of Daniel 12, as
was explained above.
. Shea, Selected Studies, 45.
. Roy Allan Anderson, Unfolding Daniel’s Prophecies (Mountain View, CA:
Pacific Press, 1975), 103.
. Note that the four kings in Daniel 8:8 and 22 are a part of the kingdom of Greece.
When discussing more about the succession in preeminence, in Daniel 8, the
mentioning of growth is appearing only once per animal with the ram and the goat (vv. 4 and
8). However, the idea of growth is expressed three times with the little horn, as the word
appears in verses 9, 10, and 11.
“[I]t is evident that this is a progression from the
comparative to the superlative.”
Moreover, Nuez explains that the last clause in Daniel
8:22 “emphasizes the diminished power of the four sub-kingdoms of Greece in comparison
with their former united empire.”
This means that it “avoids any misconception regarding
the referent of the little horn that would be greater than any of the previous kingdoms.”
In addition, the little horn is said to “destroy to an extraordinary degree” (Dan. 8:24
NASB). In the lexicon of Holladay, this niphal verb “to be extraordinary,” or “marvelous,”
( ) is said to be used with the concept “to ‘speak unheard-of words’” in Daniel 11:36,
when the thematically parallel entity, the contemptible person/the king of the north, utters
these “extraordinary” words against God. In a similar way, we can conclude that in Daniel
8:24, the little horn destroys in an unheard-of and extraordinary way. This is parallel with the
fourth beast, Rome, in Daniel 7, where it devours “the whole earth,” (v. 23, KJV) and “speaks
great words against the most High” (v. 25, KJV).
The acts of the little horn seem to have excessive vertical growth and spiritual
connotations in Daniel 8:10, which assert that the little horn “grew up to the host of heaven
and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them
. Bible Works, v.10.
. Shea, Selected Studies, 44.
. Nuez, 102.
. Nuez, 102.
. Holladay, Lexicon , s.v. “.”
down” (NASB). Since, this verse is amplified by Daniel 9:24-26,
it also means the attack
of the Romans against Israel. This means the event when Romans assaulted the Jerusalem
temple in 70 CE, as Maxwell and Nuez think, as well.
The iron Rome became
preeminent. However, as mentioned already, Nuez shows in his text linguistic study that
verse 10 gets extra comments from verses 11 and 12, which make verse 10 clearer, and
emphasize the spiritual side of the attack of the little horn. Not only the little horn attacks
against the spiritual Israel, Christians, during the Middle Ages, but when this power makes
the kingdom of God fall to the earth, it could mean that it claims and boasts that it can build
the kingdom of heaven on earth. This can be argued by that the little horn tries to take the
role of the remnant (Rev. 12:17; 14:12; 15:2; 19:10) or the overcomers (Rev. 15:2; 21:7), who
inherit the kingdom and the earth (Dan. 7:22, 27; Rev. 21:7)
It is prominent, that this is
exactly what the Papacy argued during its totalitarian reign,
as it spoke unheard-of things
against God (cf. Dan. 11:36), and this is what it argues now in a more subtle way.
. Nuez explains that verses 24-26 also point to the time of the end. Nuez, 105n.
. Nuez, 106; Maxwell, 160.
. The group pictured in Rev 12-14 has the same characteristics as the 144,000:
They are not defiled with the Babylon; they follow the Lamb; and they do not lie as the beast
and the false prophet lie. Richard P. Lehman, “The Remnant in the Book of Revelation,” in
Rodríguez, Toward a Theology of the Remnant. It is interesting that Archer sees a remnant
theme of the true believers in the book of Daniel. Archer, “Daniel,” 9. The remnant theme of
Daniel is amplified in the book of Revelation.
. For example, Petrus de Ancharano, who made the commentary for the renewed
Canon Law by Pope Gregory IX, stated, “The Pope is crowned with a triple crown, as king of
heaven and of earth and of the lower regions [infernorum]… The Pope can modify divine law,
since his power is not of man, but of God, and he acts in the place of God upon earth, with the
fullest power of binding and loosing his sheep.” Lucius Ferraris ”Papa”, art. 2, Prompta
Bibliotheca (Venetiis [Venice]: Caspa Storti 1772), vol. 6, 26, 29, as trans. in Seventh-day
Adventist Bible Students’ Source Book, rev. ed., vol. 9, Commentary Reference Series
(Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1962), 680.
. Ville Suutarinen, “Exploring the Grievances of the Union of Church and State,”
ResearchGate, accessed November 12, 2018,
little horn tries to pull the kingdom of God in the earthly level. This idea is found in
Revelation 17:1-18:23, which states that the apostate church, “the harlot”, rides (controls) the
greatest political and economic powers of the world.
The Little Horn Grows to Heavenly Spheres. Reis claims that the little horn does not
necessarily grow exceedingly, because it is already in heaven (v. 8).
With this, Reis seems
to understand the preposition differently than for example NASB, NKJV, RSV, NIV, and
ESV. However, as was stated, “the four winds of heaven” means the four cardinal points of
the compass. It is safe to reason that, firstly, the idea of the text in the context is to indicate
the rulership and territorial movements of world powers. For example, in verse 4, the ram is
“charging westward and northward and southward” (RSV). Secondly, the chapter is also
directing the attention to the compass point-origins of the animals. The ram comes from the
east (v. 4); the goat comes from the west (v. 5); and the little horn seems to come from the
north (v. 9). In other words, the animals are acting in an earthly sphere. However, the little
horn makes a move beyond the earthly sphere, and it attacks the heavenly host and the Prince
of the host (vv. 10-11). Even if the four horns and the little horn would have been already in
“heaven,” the little horn does something different and grows to a higher level, magnifying
itself on the spheres of sacred things, as the succession of power in the chapter, again,
“Not in His Own Power.” Reis states, that both the clause “but not in his own
power” in Daniel 8:22 (KJV) and the clause with the same words in 8:24 (KJV) refer back to
. The Bible is clear about that a “pure woman” symbolizes God’s people on earth
(Jer. 6:2; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:23-27); and a “harlot woman” means fallen and apostate church
that is only namely God’s people (Ez. 16:15-58; 23:2-21; Jer. 3:6-10; Rev. 14:4, 8).
. Reis, 6.
the great horn (Alexander), as antecedent, in verse 21. The clause in verse 22 is translated
“but not with his power” in ASV and ESV. Reis argues that this would mean that the little
horn does not contain the same power than Alexander the Great, thus being a smaller king
than Alexander. He defends this claim by pointing out that both clauses are exactly similar in
the Hebrew text, which is true,
and asserting that “there is no syntactical reason to translate
the same exact expression differently in such close proximity, just two verses apart and when
dealing with related kings coming out of the same animal, the male goat.”
are two syntactical reasons for the argument that the antecedent of “his” in verse 24 is the
(“king”) in verse 23. Firstly, it is more probable, because it is masculine singular and
syntactically closer than the other “king” in verse 22.
Secondly, Nuez’ study of the
narrative structure shows that verses 19-22 belong to a slightly different part of the chapter.
He states that “Gabriel’s explanation uses a series of verbless clauses, with some embedded
clauses (Dan 8:20-22), that are predominant clausal forms for Expository Discourse.”
After these clauses, comes the part of verses 23-25, which form a “Predictive Discourse.”
Moreover, it could be that verse 24 explains the meaning of “but not by his own
power,” by expressing that the little horn is crafty. In other words, it will conquer not by his
own power, as Alexander did, but by “intelligence,” (Dan. 11:30, KJV) “corrupt by
flatteries,” (11:32, KJV) and “by peace shall destroy many” (8:25, KJV). This actor would be
a shrewd politician and diplomat; perhaps even so cunning that it could persuade the whole
. Bible Works, v.10.
. Reis, 6.
. Bible Works, v.10.
. Nuez, 102.
. Nuez, 102-103.
world to look up to it (Rev. 13:3-4), which would suggest special power and intelligence from
Satan (Rev. 13:2).
The Little Horn Casts Down the Sanctuary. It is true that Antiochus Epiphanes did
“profane” the Temple of Jerusalem, as the Hebrew verb in Daniel 11:31 suggests.
Nevertheless, Daniel 8:11 states that “the place of His sanctuary was thrown down” (NASB);
and KJV says it was “cast down”. Hill argues that Antiochus Epiphanes “brings low” the
However, the verb here is , which means exactly what the previous Bible
translations make it.
The verb does not mean “’bringing low’ the sanctuary by interrupting
the daily worship,” as Hill argues.
This can be seen from the sentence, which has a
construct chain of nouns ( ),
which is translated the way as NASB and KJV put
it. The text says that “the place of his sanctuary,” (KJV, italics added) was tumbled down.
The word “place” ( ) “occurs in the Hebrew Bible 17 times. In every instance but one it
refers to the place where God dwells or the site upon which His throne rests”.
horn did not just profane the sanctuary, it tumbled down its very foundation of place.
. Pröbstle states, ”The little horn appears to be an earthly instrument of Satan;
therefore, it is said to be ‘mighty, but not by his own power…’” Martin Pröbstle, “Who Is the
Little Horn in Daniel 8?” in Pfandl, ed., Interpreting Scripture: Bible Questions and Answers,
Biblical Research Institute Studies, vol. 2 (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute,
. Hill, 255.
. Brown, BDB, s.v. “ .” Holladay says that it means “be overturned, tumbled
down.” Holladay, Lexicon, s.v. “.”
. Hill, 255.
. Bible Works, v.10.
. Shea, Selected Studies, 46.
Antiochus IV Epiphanes did not grow as the remainder or the preeminent in the land.
He did not fulfil the great proportions of the little horn. Moreover, he was not a universal
power. However, Rome, in its imperial and papal phases, fulfils the characteristics of the
little horn better than Antiochus Epiphanes.
The Time Periods
As it is written in 2 Maccabees 4, when Antiochus Epiphanes reigned, high priest
Onias III was murdered in about 171-170 BCE.
Eventually, the Maccabean revolt freed the
Jews from Antiochus in 164 BCE, as 1 Maccabees 2 and 4 record.
The Maccabean view
tries to fit the time prophecies, either one or both, into the actions of Epiphanes.
Daniel 7:25 gives a time period of “a time, times, and half a time,” (NASB) which is
repeated in Daniel 12:7. In turn, Daniel 8:14 states the time prophecy of “2,300 evenings and
mornings” (NASB). In his commentary on Daniel, Hill brings the common evangelical views
about the little horn into our evaluation.
The evangelical view, that the little horn of Daniel
7 and Daniel 8 are Antiochus IV Epiphanes, cannot hold water in the light of the different
time periods of these chapters. The desecration of the temple by Antiochus IV Epiphanes
lasted for three years and eight days,
which is not three and a half years, as Daniel 7:25
points out. Moreover, Daniel 8:14 talks about 2,300 days until the sanctuary would be
cleansed. This is explained by that 2,300 days (that is 2,300 “evenings and mornings” [
. Roy E. Gane, “Methodology for Interpretation of Daniel 11:2-12:3,” Journal of
the Adventist Theological Society 27, no. 1-2 (2016): 312, accessed November 16, 2018,
https://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1547&context=jats; Reis, 7.
. Hill, 262; Reis, 7.
. Hill, 245.
] in Hebrew)
means 2,300 evening and morning sacrifices, which would count for
1,150 days. However, Hill admits that 1,150 days is not exactly 1,260 days.
means a whole day of 24-hours (Gen. 1:3, 6, 13, 19, 23, 31);
and in temple-
context it is used for tending the lamps (Exod. 27:20-21; Lev. 24:2-3), but never of the daily
When discussing about the sacrifices, the Bible uses a term “morning and
Thus, the time prophecies of Daniel do not fit into Antiochus Epiphanes.
Instead, they speak for the historicist interpretation, which holds on to the year-day principle.
Evidence for the Year-Day Principle
The 490-year prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27 has a great significance for the foundation
of the historicist method’s year-day principle. Hill gives a vast picture of the different
“schools” of interpretation of this time prophecy.
He divides the schools into two: the
“messianic” and the “antiochene” approach. Under both of these approaches, the 70 weeks of
years prophecy is seen as literal or symbolic. However, only one of the literal calculations fits
into history and prophecy, and it is the messianic approach, which has its starting point from
Idealists see the prophecy’s periods of time as symbolic, and Hill states that
. Bible Works, v.10.
. Hill, 257.
. Bible Works, v.10.
. Shea, “Unity of Daniel,” 197.
. Hill, 291-296.
. Ezra 7:12-26 refers to the starting point of the prophecy of Daniel 9 (Dan. 9:25),
which is a part of the time prophecy of 2,300 days in Dan. 8:14, because of the structural and
thematic parallels, for example. Artaxerxes I gave the order to build Jerusalem in its fullest
form. Ezra 6:14 tells that the temple construction was started already at the time of Cyrus, and
continued by the decree of Darius. Because the starting point of the time prophecy refers to
“[q]uite apart from the interpretive details of Gabriel’s message to Daniel concerning the
‘seventy sevens’ (vv.24–27), one thing is certain: the NT indicates that the message of
seventy weeks of years had significance for times well beyond the persecution of the Jews by
Antiochus IV Epiphanes (cf. Mt 24:15; Mk 13:14; Rev 11:2; 13:5).”
The 490 years prophecy is an important one, because it is about the Messiah, and, as
mentioned, it gives the foundation for the year-day principle, as it uses “days” for “years”. If
it would not do this, Jesus would not be pointed as the Messiah by this prophecy.
Here are some of the points for the defense of the year-day principle:
(1) Jesus used
an expression of a “day” for a “year” (Luke 13:32); (2) typology points to it, as Jesus spent 40
days in the wilderness for the 40 years that Israel wandered in the desert; (3) as the
apocalyptic texts are mainly symbolic, it is logical that the time prophecies are symbolic, as
well; (4) as the reigns of the kingdoms of the world in the visions of Daniel cover long
periods, hundreds of years, it is reasonable that the time periods are also long periods; (5) the
idea of “a day for a year” is found in the Bible (Num. 14:34; Ez. 4:6); (6) a day counted for a
year is built in the Hebrew language, as the word “day” (yom ) can mean “a year” (Ex.
13:10; Num. 9:22; Judges 11:40; 1 Kings 1:1).
The final important evidence for the year-day principle is that “[t]he prophecies of
Daniel 7-8 and 10-12 lead up to the ‘time of the end’ (8:17; 11:35, 40; 12:4, 9), which is
the reconstruction of Jerusalem, not only the temple, the year 457 BCE is the correct one.
Stefanovic, Daniel, 364.
. Hill, 295.
. Points 3 and 4 are from Gerhard Pfandl and Ekkehardt Müller, “How Do
Seventh-day Adventists Interpret Daniel and Revelation,” in Pfandl, Interpreting Scripture,
. Bible Works v.10; also, Holladay mentions the following examples of yom,
meaning a year: 1 Sam. 1:21; 2:19; 20:6. See Holladay, Lexicon, s.v. “.”
followed by the resurrection (12:2).”
However, Reis argues that “the time of the end” does
not mean the eschatological times of the world but times before Christ.
What does the
“The Time of the End”
The meaning for the expression “time of the end” ( ) is found from the Bible
texts mentioned above.
Carol Ann Newsom and Brennan W. Breed claim that it means
“eschatological horizon” from the prophet’s own viewpoint,
which is called “the end of an
era” by Goldingay.
Additionally, Reis argues that “the time of the end” is parallel to “’the
latter part [future] of their [Greek] rule’ (8:23; cf. ‘many days from now,’ v. 26),” which
would mean “the time when the book of Daniel would no longer be ‘secret’ and ‘sealed’”
after the Babylonian captivity, or when the book of Daniel became part of the Hebrew
Nevertheless, the context indicates that “the time of the end” is pointing to the time
before the second coming of Christ, because, as was mentioned, in chapter twelve, it is
followed by resurrection; and, as has been pointed out, chapter twelve is connected with
chapters two, seven, eight, nine, and eleven, which, together, proclaim the cosmic controversy
between good and evil until the end of the world. Daniel 11:35, which mentions the “time of
the end… for the appointed time,” (NKJV) is thematically and chiastically parallel with
Daniel 8:14, which gives the “appointed time” of 2,300 years. Moreover, “the time of the
. Pfandl and Müller, “Daniel and Revelation,” 83.
. Reis, 7.
. Bible Works, v.10.
. Quoted in Reis, 7.
. Quoted in Hill, 259.
. Reis, 7.
end” happens after the time of Jesus, because Daniel 11:23 introduces the “Prince of the
Stefanovic asserts that the expression “time of the end” in Daniel 11:40 “serves
as the introduction to the events found in verses 40-45 of this chapter, which will occur in the
period known as ‘the time of the end.’”
“The Latter Time”
What does “the latter time of their kingdom” (Dan. 8:23, KJV) mean? As mentioned,
Reis sees that it is parallel with “the time of the end”. He further explains that it is parallel
with Daniel 11:4, as well, which states that the Alexander Great’s kingdom will be divided to
the four directions, but “not to his [Alexander’s] posterity” (KJV). According to this, Reis
claims that 8:23 should be translated as follows, “And during the posterity [the period of the
descendants] of these [Greek] kingdoms, when the transgressions have reached their full
measure, a [Greek] king of bold countenance shall arise, skilled in intrigue.”
In order to answer this, firstly, the word “latter time” is in Hebrew , which can
mean “end, outcome, posterity, remnant, future, descendants (no temporal indication), last,
and least (people)”.
Secondly, a closer link, than Daniel 11:4, is found in the immediate
context, from the vision itself. As it was explained, the vision tells us that the little horn,
which is parallel to the “king of fierce countenance,” arouse as the preeminent, the last one
standing, spreading to south, east, and “the pleasant land”. Thirdly, the verse itself
. Even though the Bible teaches that the end-times began already after the death of
Jesus on the cross (1 Peter 1:5; James 5:3), Jesus pointed to a special period of time in the
latter part of the end times, because He used the destruction of Jerusalem as a type for the end
of the world (Matt. 24).
. Stefanovic, Daniel, 413.
. Reis, 8.
. Holladay, Lexicon, s.v. “ .”
emphasizes “end” and/or “outcome,” because the word can mean the previous
concepts, and because the verse uses the word “full” ( ), which can mean “be complete,”
“be finished,” and the concept that something is made ready.
These suggest that the
kingdom of the four kings is at its end, when the circumstances, especially corrupting idolatry
and immorality, are getting “ripe,” and the outcome of it is this new, corrupt, scheming, and
dark power. RSV puts the first part and NKJV puts the second part of the verse aptly, “And
at the latter end of their rule, when the transgressors have reached their full measure,” (RSV)
“A king shall arise, Having fierce features, Who understands sinister schemes” (NKJV).
Fourthly, since the verse is leaning towards the “end” of the time of the four
kingdoms, Antiochus Epiphanes does not fit into it, because Epiphanes did not rise at the
latter end of the Greek kingdoms. He came to power a little after the middle line of the rule
of the four divided kingdoms of Greece.
Fifthly, even if the word would contain the meaning “prosperity” in this verse,
it can be applied to Rome, as well, because it started to be victorious during the “prosperity”
of the Greek kingdoms. Rome started to rise from 168 BCE, and continued growing until it
conquered all of the Greek kingdoms, as Egypt fell, as well, in 30 BCE.
From Unity to Universal
We have seen that the book of Daniel is an interconnected whole. The hermeneutical
principles, the structure of the book, and the recapitulation principle speak for it. The
structural, textual, linguistic, lexical, and theological studies above have shown that the
Roman view is the correct one, and Antiochus IV Epiphanes does not fit into “the shoes” of
. Holladay, Lexicon, s.v. “ .”
. Maxwell, 153.
the little horn. Moreover, the year-day principle suggests universal and eschatological
characteristics of the conflict between the Messiah and the little horn.
The final chapter of this paper concentrates even more on the universality of the book
of Daniel. It also discusses about the Christocentric or Christological principle, which exists
in the heart of the universal message of the book of Daniel and the whole Bible. This is the
final evidence for the argument that Antiochus Epiphanes, as a local and small king, cannot
be the adversary of God in the cosmic controversy.
THE UNIVERSALITY OF THE BOOK OF DANIEL
Apocalyptic prophecy is cosmic. For example, it involves “such objects as the sun,
the moon, and the stars.”
Succession in time is seen in the book of Daniel’s apocalyptic
portions, which suggest historicism, and historicism covers the history, universally, from the
time of the author until the end of time, as has been stated. “This was the understanding of
Daniel’s prophecies that both the Christian church and Judaism maintained until the recent
rise of the Maccabean theory.”
Desmond Ford saw that the coming of the kingdom of God
is a theme of the parallel chapters two, seven, and eight in the book, because “[a]pocalyptic is
cosmic in its scope, and its terminus is the kingdom of God in glory.”
The book of Daniel and the Revelation are parallel books. Norman R. Gulley writes,
The books of Daniel and Revelation are similar, for they are historical, eschatological,
and apocalyptic (unveiling). They use symbols, use the literary device of
recapitulation, praise the true God, and oppose false gods. Both books ask a
challenging question, directed to God’s people: “Who is the god who will deliver you
from my hands?” (Dan. 3:15b), and “who is like the beast? Who is able to make war
with him?” (Rev. 13:4b). Both books include a primarily historical (Dan. 1-6; Rev. 1-
12) and a primarily eschatological division (Dan. 7-12; Rev. 13-22). Both books
speak of the postresurrection Christ (Dan. 7:13-14; Rev. 1:10-20). Both books focus
on a compromised power that speaks pompous words against God, exists during a
1,260-year period, and persecutes the saints (Dan. 7:6-8, 19-23, 24-25; Rev. 12:13-
Both books focus on God’s throne in heaven (Dan. 7:9-10; Rev. 4-5). Both books
have a high regard on God’s law (Dan. 7:25; Rev. 12:17; 14:12). Both books speak of
a judgment in heaven during the end-time history and hence are preadvent (Dan. 7:9-
14; Rev. 14:6-7). Both books include a command to worship an image or die (Dan.
3:1-28; Rev. 13:14-15). Both books have to do with God’s deliverance from human
death decrees (Dan. 3:23-27; 7:26-27; Rev. 19:19-21). Both books offer a blessing
(Dan. 12:12; Rev. 22:7). And both books speak of the destruction of the counterfeit
. Stefanovic, Daniel, 235.
. Arthur J. Ferch. Daniel on Solid Ground: A Powerful Defense for SDA Position
(Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1988), 87.
. Ford, 167.
church system and the deliverance of God’s people. They deal with the unfolding and
climax of the cosmic controversy.”
This means that these two books share the same eschatology, which is a universal one. In
addition, in the book of Daniel, the time of trouble is said to be of the calibre that has never
been experienced on earth before (Dan. 12:1), and Revelation speaks about “great tribulation”
(Rev. 7:14, KJV). Moreover, both books see the resurrection as an eschatological event (Dan.
12:2; Rev. 20). Finally, Daniel 12:13 talks about the end of all.
The Christocentric Principle
Perhaps the most important argument to back up the universality of Daniel’s
apocalypse is the fact that it is concentrated on Jesus. The centrality of the Messiah, Jesus
Christ, in the structure of the book of Daniel has already been discussed in this research. As it
was stated, the chiastic structure of Daniel 7-12 suggests that the casting down of the temple
in Daniel 8:9-14, and its connection to the amplification in Daniel 9:20-27, are universal,
because the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is the universal Saviour for everyone, whether one is a Jew
or a Gentile, or a man or a woman (Gal. 3:28). Moreover, this is an argument for the
universal little horn in Daniel 7 being the same little horn in Daniel 8. This section will look
at Jesus at the centre from a theological point of view. Jesus stated Himself that He can be
found from all Scriptures (Luke 24:27, 44). Jesus Christ is the centre of the theological
system of the Bible. “He is the center of the cosmic controversy throughout Scripture,” and a
central theme and Person, not canon within a canon.
The NT is intertextually connected to the OT. According to the Apostles, the plans
and kingdom promises of the OT (e.g. Isa. 27:6; Zech. 9:10; Ezek. 37:22-25) were fulfilled in
. Gulley, Systematic Theology, vol. 4, 5.
. Norman R. Gulley, Systematic Theology, vol. 1, Prolegomena (Berrien Springs,
MI: Andrews University Press, 2003), 148.
Jesus (Acts 13:32-34), and it is the great metanarrative of the NT.
The old sanctuary
system was destroyed and replaced (Matt. 21:43)
by the eschatological and spiritual temple
of living stones in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:20-22; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Peter 2:5).
and the new covenant in Christ became to force. Now, Jews can be saved individually
through Jesus Christ, as everyone else.
Ramm states that
the coming of Jesus Christ gives us a new perspective for interpreting the Old
Testament. The Old Testament was given in a specific dispensational form and if Old
Testament truth carries over into the New Testament some of the dispensational form
must be dropped as it most certainly is in typology proper. That is to say, the
fulfilment of the prophecy is not to be expected to be in the form of the prophecy…
[W]ith the advent of Christ some change in the form of fulfilment must be
This hermeneutical point can be called “the Christological interpretation of the Israel of God
as a spiritual nation” (1 Peter 2:9).
The King of this eschatological temple is Jesus Christ,
“the Eternal Ruler of Israel” (Micah 5:2, KJV), “the Anointed One” (Ps. 89:38), “the Prince
of Peace” (Isa. 9:6), “the Prince of the Host” (Dan 8:11), and the Son of man (Dan. 7:13; cf.
Luke 19:10). Thus, Jesus is at the centre of the end-time temple in the book of Daniel, as
Nevertheless, the literal fulfilment of the kingdom promises will become true, as well.
This happens after the resurrection. Christ’s own will reign (Ezek. 40-48; Rev. 20-22)! The
. Timo Eskola, Uuden Testamentin Narratiivinen Teologia (Kauniainen, Finland:
Perussanoma Oy, 2011), 20.
. Eskola, 40.
. Eskola, 72-73; Gulley, Systematic Theology, vol. 1, 717-749.
. Carl Friedrich Keil, Biblical commentary on the Old Testament: Biblical
commentary on the book of Daniel, trans. from German by M. G. Easton (Grand Rapids, MI:
Eerdmans, 1959), 7-10.
. Ramm, 260.
. Hans K. LaRondelle, ”Interpretation of Prophetic and Apocalyptic Prophecy,” in
Hyde, A Symposium on Biblical Hermeneutics, 229.
mode of fulfilment, whether literal or spiritual, depends on the physical or spiritual presence
It is true that Daniel 8 is discussing also about the Hebrew temple, since the vision
was given to Daniel and the Jewish people at the time when the earthly sanctuary services
were the core of atonement. However, one must understand the universal and typological
character of the OT ceremonial laws and sanctuary service. They were pointing to Jesus, His
atoning death and nature, and His High Priestly service in heaven (Hebr. 8:1-2). Carl
Friedrich Keil writes that the book of Daniel concentrates on “the establishment of an
everlasting righteousness, the fulfilling of all prophecies, and the setting up of a true holy of
The Universal Yom Kippur
Jesus’ High Priestly intercession in the heavenly sanctuary is, obviously, a universal
theme; and this research paper argues that it is a very important motif in the book of Daniel.
The cleansing of the sanctuary, which is mentioned in Daniel 8:14 (KJV), points to Yom
Kippur (the Day of Atonement). As was mentioned above, Daniel 8 is full of sanctuary
language, as the sacrificial animals suggest, for example. It is prominent that the same
sacrificial animals occur on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:5, 7). The cleansing of the
sanctuary (Dan. 8:14) is expressed by the Hebrew niphal verb (nitsdaq), which has a
range of meaning from “be brought (back) to its rights, be vindicated”
to “be cleansed”.
The last option is the most probable, because the context of Daniel 8:14 is the sanctuary and
. Richard M. Davidson, “Interpreting Old Testament Prophecy,” in Reid,
Understanding Scripture, 200.
. Keil, 13.
. Holladay, Lexicon, s.v. “.”
the Day of Atonement, and because “all ancient translations (Septuagint, Theodotion,
Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic)” translated the verb as “cleansed/purified.”
9:24 relates the word (tsadaq) to the verb , which points to atonement,
of the synonymous parallelism.”
A famous Jewish commentator Rashi also would connect
this passage with the Day of Atonement.
Biblical theology and the ancient Jewish Midrash
understood the Israelite sanctuary as the representative of the whole earth.
This is a clear
indicator to the universal character of the sanctuary. The typology points to Jesus.
The cleansing of the sanctuary in the peaks of the chiastic structure, as shown in
Chapter II, points out the theme of Yom Kippur. They also show that the cleansing happens in
both the heavenly sanctuary (Dan. 8:9-14) and the spiritual temple, i.e. God’s people on earth
(11:30-39). Daniel 8:9-24 explains that the main emphasis in cleansing happens in the
heavenly reality according to Christ’s infinite righteousness (justification), which we need
“daily” (KJV) ( ) or “continually,”
(e.g. Exod. 25:30; 28:38; 29:38; Lev. 6:13) and how
the antichrist arises against God’s righteousness and destroys the daily. In turn, Daniel 11:30-
39 refers to the daily ( ) (v. 31), but it also concentrates on the earthly sphere, as it shows
that the cleansing of the earthly temple, the reality of human experience (sanctification), is a
consequence of justification, as God’s own stand firmly in Christ and work for God even in
. Gerhard F. Hasel, “The ‘Little Horn,’ the Heavenly Sanctuary and the Time of
the End,” 450.
. Holladay, Lexicon, s.v. “.”; Doukhan, Daniel: The Vision, 29.
. Doukhan, Daniel: The Vision, 29.
. Jacques B. Doukhan, Secrets of Daniel: Wisdom and Dreams of a Jewish Prince
in Exile (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2000), 122.
. Doukhan, Secrets of Daniel, 123-124.
. Holladay, Lexicon, s.v. “ .”
the midst of persecution and deception (vv. 32-34), when some fall away from the truth
during this refinement process (sanctification) (v. 35).
Then, Daniel 11:36-39 describes the
opposite character of the antichrist against the people of God, as it is pompous, speaks against
God, relies on wordly power and riches, and gains wordly dominion and riches (“de-
sanctification” [i.e. corruption]).
The Universality of the Little Horn
The study about the unity of the book of Daniel, and the hermeneutical principles,
show that the context of the whole book of Daniel need to interpret chapter eight. This means
that chapter eight, alone, does not determine the origin of the little horn. As one looks at the
other chapters, as well, one can see that both chapter two and seven suggest the Roman view.
Moreover, in chapter eleven, the mentioning of the “Prince of the covenant,” (v. 22) and the
acts of the “contemptible person” are placed in the latter part of the chapter (vv. 21-45), which
suggest that they happen at the end of time.
As was mentioned, Jesus is the centre of chapters seven and eight, as well. Moreover,
as the meaning of “horn” suggested, the little horn tries to take the kingship of Jesus and the
saving power of Jesus. Longman notices that in the Antiochus Epiphanes interpretation, “we
see references to Antiochus Epiphanes taking on larger than life characteristics, which we,
living in the light of the New Testament, might describe as anticipatory of a figure called
. However, it is important to mention that God’s people are ultimately saved by
Jesus’ blood, which is imputed for them, which is justification. Justification is the beginning,
the end, and the daily coverage in salvation. Christ’s blood counted for one is the first and the
last thing that God looks at as the means for one to enter heaven (Matt. 5:7; John 6:29; Luke
17:10; 18:9-14). See Ville Suutarinen, “The Postmodern ‘Sacramental and Experiential
Presence’ Vs. Justification by Faith,” ResearchGate, accessed August 16, 2019,
. Quoted in Hill, 335.
Of course, one could argue that the conditions of the time of Antiochus Epiphanes
were greatly disturbing, like “the end of the world”, for the Jewish people. Without a doubt,
they were at least greatly disturbing for the Jewish people. However, we must remember the
characteristics of apocalyptic prophecy, which are the universality and nonlocality, and the
cosmic panoramas. It is interesting that in 1090 CE, Pope Gregory VII states in Dictatus
Papae that “the Roman pontiff alone can with right be called universal;” “[t]hat he alone may
use the imperial insignia;” “[t]hat of the pope alone all princes shall kiss the feet;” “[t]hat his
name alone shall be spoken in the churches;” “[t]hat this is the only name in the world;” and
“[t]hat he who is not at peace with the Roman church shall not be considered catholic.”
From these decrees we can read that the Papacy sees itself as a universal power over all,
which suits for the identifying marks of the little horn.
The characteristics of apocalyptic prophecy are not an Adventist invention, as has
become clear. Many scholars have realised that the Bible is systematic and has different
genres of literature. The vision reports are clearly parallel and recapitulative reports of world
history from the time of the author until the end of time, as this paper argues. We have also
seen that the structure of the book of Daniel and the Christocentric principle suggest that the
temple-theme is a spiritual theme in Daniel 8. We can apply this spiritual theme to
historicism very well. It is seen in the phases of the king of the north and in the phases of
Rome in history.
The Spiritual Continuum of the King of the North
We have seen that whether the little horn comes from one of the four winds or from
one of the Greek horns, the main idea is that it arrives from a cardinal point, north or west,
. “Medieval Sourcebook: Gregory VII: Dictatus Papae 1090,” Fordham
University, accessed November 17, 2018, https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/source/g7-
because it also moves into different cardinal directions. However, whether the little horn
comes from north or west, it can be applied to Rome. As was stated, this research stands
behind the view that the little horn comes from the north.
It is important to realize that, firstly, Alexander the Great’s kingdom was spread
“towards the four winds of heaven,” (Dan. 8:8) as the four generals took their kingdoms.
Secondly, we know that the Greek culture and philosophy spread to all directions of the
compass. And out of one of them became the little horn. The little horn is the major phase in
the continuum of the king of the north. This continuum or legacy is spiritual as will be shown
One of the identifying marks of the little horn is its background in Greek philosophy.
As mentioned, chapter eight of Daniel is concentrating on the religious/philosophical aspect
of the little horn. The little horn comes from the cardinal point of north in chapter eight, and
this is why it is connected with the king of the north in chapter eleven. As was shown, king
of the north is a political and spiritual power. In addition to these points, the connection of
the little horn with the Greek philosophy can be explained by the following points.
Before going to the points, it is important to see that there is a continuum of the kings
of the north in the Bible. Jeremiah 50:9 shows that Medo-Persia, a conqueror from the north,
takes over Babylon, the conqueror of the north,
because the parallel text of Jeremiah 51:27
which were the dwelling places of the Medes (and it
mentions Minni, that was the lower or lesser Armenia.
This suggests that when Greece
. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible (n.p.: n.p.), BibleWorks, v.10.
. A. R. Faussett, Faussett Bible Dictionary (1888) (n.p.: International Bible
Translators, 1998), BibleWorks, v.10., sv. “Ararat.”
. Ibid., sv. “Ashkenaz.”
. Ibid., sv. “Minni.”
conquered Persia, and when Rome conquered Greece, the same sequence of the cumulation of
the king of the north continued. Every time, a king of the north was beaten by a stronger king
of the north. Of course, this comes clear in terms of Greece in Daniel 10:20-11:4, but it is not
so widely accepted in the case of Rome taking over Greece in chapter 11.
Now to the actual points, which show that the maintaining legacy of the king of the
north is spiritual. Firstly, Daniel 10:20 explains that the controversy between Greece and God
is mainly spiritual, because Greece stands here against God. Martin Pröbstle writes, “In fact,
the synergetic relationship between the heavenly struggle and earthly events and vice versa in
the Hebrew Bible is perhaps best explained and illustrated by Daniel 10:4-11:1. This
synergism between events in heaven and on earth is one of the major theological
contributions of the book of Daniel.”
Moreover, “north” seems to symbolize spiritual
leadership in Ezekiel 40:6 (cf. 46:19).
Secondly, Daniel 11:8 shows that the king of the north has idols, which means that he
probably has a temple, because the king of the south steals valuable statutes and vessels.
King of the north is the first one mentioned that has the idols in chapter eleven. One example
of the succession of the same idols from Greece to Rome is the descending of the god
Tammuz, which was Adonis to the Greeks and the Romans.
It is interesting that Tammuz
was infused into Yahweh worship at the north gate of the Temple of the Lord (Ezek. 8:14).
Thirdly, the angel also mentions that God and he stand behind the truth (Dan. 10:21).
This can be explained by the fact that “truth” here means “revelation,” as we look at parallel
texts from Daniel 10:1 and 8:26.
Martin Pröbstle states, “As argued in the semantic
. Pröbstle, “Truth and Terror,” 724.
. Faussett, sv. “Tammuz;” Elias N. Azar, ”Adonis: Definition,” Ancient History
Encyclopedia, accessed August 12, 2019, https://www.ancient.eu/Adonis.
. Stefanovic, Daniel, 378, 391.
analysis, in the book of Daniel has a specifically unique connotation and refers to the
truthfulness and reliability of the divine revelation, that is, God’s Word and prophetic
message. This has to be regarded as the primary meaning of in Dan 8:12b.”
“Truth” is connected with the temple conception (Dan. 8:12), and the concept of
revelation (through vision) (Dan. 8:26), which means that “truth” is connected with the
concept of the idols (and temple) and revelation in chapter 11, as well. Daniel 11:8 is
discussing about the time of the split Greek kingdom, and the idols of truth are spread from
north to the south. During this time, Greek philosophy was alive and well.
In Daniel 11:16, the king of the north conquers the glorious land. In this verse, the
Imperial Rome continues the legacy of the king of the north (and its idols and temple), which
could mean that the same idols of truth have been transferred to Rome, as well, especially,
because the king of the north kills Jesus Christ (v. 22), who is the great High Priest of God’s
temple and the truth. Pilate even asked, “What is truth?” (John 18:38), and then sentenced the
King of truth to death. Later in Daniel 11, it comes even more obvious that the king of the
north is against God’s sanctuary and truth, as he is against the holy covenant (v. 30), brings
the abomination of desolation (which means destruction because of idol worship, as can be
seen from v. 31), worships the “foreign god,” (v. 39) etc.
The concept of truth among the Greco-Roman world was developed by the Greek
philosophers. This is prominent, because the concept of truth is basically similar with the
concept of revelation, because the main question with both concepts is: How is truth revealed
to human beings, or how do human beings find truth? Parmenides seems to be the one who
came up with the idea that the knowledge of truth is basically found from timelessness and
. Pröbstle, “Truth and Terror,” 482.
He lived way before the split Greek kingdom and the time of verse eight in chapter
eleven. “And because timelessness was the first basic understanding of Being’s and reason’s
dimensionality, the whole range of philosophical thinking—ontology, epistemology, even
logic and theology—was shaped by it.”
Later, Parmenides’ understanding of truth “was
developed by Plato into a worldview”;
and Aristotle continued the teaching of the
timelessness of the essence of reality and theos.
Roman culture was a continuum of the Hellenistic culture. Ellis and Esler write, “To
the Romans, Greek art, literature, philosophy, and scientific genius represented the height
cultural achievement. The admiration never wavered, leading the Roman poet Horace to note,
‘Greece has conquered her rude conqueror.’”
Rome absorbed its values and beliefs, as
well, mostly from Greek culture. “The Romans believed in numerous gods and goddesses,
many of whom they adapted from Greek religion.”
Finally, Plato’s and Aristotle’s philosophy was infused into the thinking of the
Medieval Church. Large part of Christianity “lost much of its original biblical identity by
accommodating Greco-Roman culture. Even prominent leaders, such as Irenaeus, Origen,
and Augustine, give evidence in their writings of such changes.”
“[B]uilt on the
. Fernando Canale, A Criticism of Theological Reason: Time and Timelessness as
Primordial Presuppositions, Andrews University Seminary Doctoral Dissertation Series, vol.
10 (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1983), 76-85.
. Canale, 83-84.
. Canale, 85.
. Canale, 89-95.
. Elisabeth Gaynor Ellis and Anthony Esler, World History (Boston, MA: Pearson,
. Ellis and Esler, 153.
. Alberto R. Timm, “Historical Background of Adventist Biblical Interpretation,”
in Reid, Understanding Scripture, 2.
cosmology of Parmenides, theology has constructed its view of God, and this view is nearly
universal through the two millennia.”
The ecclesiastical authority of the little horn is based
on Greek philosophy; and post-Apostolic Christianity in the form of the Roman Papacy
absorbed the same culture in its syncretistic beliefs and practices, as will be shown below.
Perhaps this is the reason why the terrible beast that Apostle John saw rising from the sea
was, mainly, looking like a leopard (the symbol of Greek kingdom in Daniel 7) (Rev. 13:2).
Neo-Platonism became the philosophy for the Papacy.
The allegorical method forgot the sole authority of the Bible, and left an authoritative
vacuum to be fulfilled by the Bishop of Rome.
“Origen’s allegorical method” and
“Irenaeus’s elevation of tradition above the Scriptures” dominated through the Middle
As was mentioned, it is interesting that Porphyry, a pagan Neo-Platonist, attacked the
authorship of Daniel and the date of the book of Daniel already in the third century CE,
asserting that the book was a second century BCE forgery. In here, we can see the influence
of the Greek culture. And in this way, the Greek philosophy had an effect on God’s people,
meaning that it influenced both the Jewish people
and the Christians. Thus, the Greek
understanding of truth, not the biblical understanding of revelation, as the basis of theology
became Rome’s understanding in its imperial and papal stages, when it was seen in the
. Gulley, Systematic Theology, vol. 1, 12.
. Timm, “Historical Background,” 3.
. The effect on Jewish people can be seen from the writings of Philo. The
Alexandrian Jews “adopted allegorical interpretations of Scripture to accommodate its beliefs
to the Platonic expression of Greek philosophy.” Timm, “Historical Background,” 2.
hermeneutics of the Catholic Church, and particularly in the allegorical method of
One could argue that the spiritual continuum of the little horn from Greece defends the
claim that the little horn came from one of the horns, as well, because the king of the north
meant Seleucus in Daniel 11:8. However, one must realize that “north” is the remaining
aspect and the kings are changing aspects in chapter eleven. This means that the religious
philosophy against truth stays the same, but the kings change during the times, just as
happened in the Greco-Roman-Papal history.
The Phases of Rome. The Temple of Jerusalem, as a typological entity, is at the
centre of chapter eight. Daniel looks at things from the standpoint of God’s people—who
were the Israelites at the time of Daniel—and from the standpoint of the Temple of Jerusalem
(Dan. 6:10; 9:1-19). Even if the little horn would come from a horn, it fits well to Rome,
because Rome sprung up as the conqueror of Macedonia in 168 BCE from the Cassander’s
horn, from the north. However, it can as well come from the cardinal point (the wind) of
north. North as the origin of the little horn is from the viewpoint of the geographical spread
of the four Greek kingdoms, and from the viewpoint of Jerusalem.
After Rome defeated Macedonia, it took over Pergamum in the east in 133 BCE. It
conquered “the glorious land,” Jerusalem and Judea, in 60 BCE, and Egypt in 33 BCE.
The little horn was expected to enlarge its territory towards these geographical points.
The spiritual politics of the Papacy is a continuum of the Roman Empire. Thus, it
fulfils a characteristic of both the king of the north and the little horn. The emperor was
worshipped as a god after death,
such as popes were kept as gods. Harry A. Dawe asserts
in a college textbook,
. Shea, Daniel, 136.
. Ellis and Esler, 159.
In the West, the Church took over the defense of Roman civilization. The emperor
gave up the [pagan] title of Pontifex Maximus (high priest) because the Roman gods
were no longer worshipped. The bishop of Rome assumed these priestly functions,
and this is why the pope today is sometimes referred to as the Pontiff. When the
Huns, a fierce and savage tribe, led by brutal Attila, swept into Italy and threatened to
take and destroy the city of Rome, it was the leader of the Christian Church, Pope Leo,
not the emperor, who met the barbarian. Attila was so impressed with the Pope’s
spiritual power that he turned back. What Leo said to Attila remains unknown, but
what is significant is the fact that it was the Pope and not the emperor who stood at the
gates of Rome. The Roman Empire had become the Christian Church.
Conclusion. King of the north is a concept of a spiritual-political continuum in the
Bible. We have seen that it is more probable that the little horn came from the northern wind
than from a specific king or kingdom of Greece. Even if the little horn would come from one
of the four horns (together with one of the four winds or not), it would still fit into Rome
much better than into Antiochus Epiphanes. While there is a possibility for that the little horn
would come out of one of the four horns, it is a very minor possibility. Moreover, we do not
need the little horn coming from one of the horns of the goat, because we still can keep the
background of Greek philosophy as one of the identifying marks of the little horn, the king of
the north, and the antichrist.
As a conclusion, Daniel 10 and 11 explain that the king of the north had the wrong
concept of truth, and the aspect of the north continued through history, even though the kings
changed. This is why, together with the other points presented in this paper, the solid ground
for the interpretation of the origin of the little horn is that it comes out of one of the four
. Quoted in Maxwell, God Cares, 154. The source in Maxwell: Harry A. Dawe,
Ancient Greece and Rome, World Cultures in Perspective (Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill
Publishing Co., 1970), 188.
As, according to the Protestant historical-grammatical method and historicist view, the
apocalyptic books of the Bible explain each other, the time periods “time, times, and a half a
time” (Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 14), “forty-two months” (Rev. 11:2; 13:5), and “one thousand
two hundred and sixty days” (Rev. 11:3; 12:6) all apply to the same time period. Even though
this time period is not mentioned in Daniel 8, it is discussed here briefly, because it fits into
the Roman Papacy. The bishop of Rome got the highest status in Christendom and open
hands in politics in 538 CE, when the Emperor Justinian’s Code (especially novellae, which
discussed about the role of the ecclesiastical power) came into force.
laws, and military attacks had the elevation of papal power as their goal.”
Pope John II had drawn up the documents from the letters between them already in 533 and
534 CE, but the decree or “edictum” came valid when the Byzantines had the dominant
position over the Ostrogoths in 538 CE, when the reign of the pontiff started without the
hindrance of the Arian powers.
The papal dominion lasted until it had its “mortal wound”
(Rev. 13:3) in 1798, as Napoleon’s general, Berthier, captured Pope Pius VI, and ended the
. Heinz Schaidinger, “Historical Confirmation of Prophetic Periods,” Biblical
Research Institute Release 7 (May 2010), 25-32.
. Schaidinger, 30.
. Schaidinger, 25-32.
. Even though the pope lost the Papal States during the French Revolution, the
Papacy came back to politics after Mussolini restored the temporal power of the Roman
pontiff in 1929.
The Great Controversy Against Jesus Christ by the Forces of Deception
The cross of Calvary is the dividing point in history. At the Calvary, the devil was
defeated. After the Calvary, Satan has attacked God’s people, the Christians (Rev. 12).
Similarly, to the visions shown to Daniel, the visions shown to Apostle John start from the
time of the prophet and continue until the end of time. The “last times” or “last days” started
during the time of Jesus (1 Peter 1:5; James 5:3; Heb. 1:2). During this end-time, when Satan
attacks God’s people, he attacks Jesus Christ, Himself (Zech. 2:12; Eph. 5:29-32; Matt.
25:31-45). The opposition against the authority of Jesus, and His Word, will continue until
the end, because Revelation 1:5 states that Jesus has the rulership of the world, yet Revelation
11:15 asserts that the rulership of Him will come at the final judgment.
Before they are
destroyed, Satan, the beast, and the false prophet try to usurp God’s authority, and give a
diluted expression of His character and truth (Rev. 13; 16:13-16). Antiochus Epiphanes
cannot be the entity that attacks against Jesus Christ, because “without Jesus there is no
Hans K. LaRondelle says,
Inasmuch as the four major outline prophecies of Daniel (chaps. 2, 7, 8, 11-12:2)
begin with the world empires of Daniel’s own days (Neo-Babylonia and Medo-persia)
and all four series end with the judgment day, somewhere in each series the first
advent of Christ is necessarily passed. This may not be indicated explicitly in any
series, but it still is of crucial importance for the Christian expositor from a
hermeneutical point of view.”
The last word in this research is left to Jesus. It is highly significant that He stated that
“the abomination of desolation” would arise after His time (Matt. 24:15; Mark 13:14, KJV).
The “abomination of desolation” is the consequence of defiling the temple and taking away
. Ekkehardt Müller, “Historicism and Eschatology” (video of lecture, 4th
International Bible Conference, Ergife Hotel, Rome, Italy, June 14, 2018), accessed
November 13, 2018, https://vimeo.com/280803763.
. Müller, “Historicism and Eschatology.”
. LaRondelle, 242.
the daily (Dan 11:31; 12:11). This links Daniel 8 to Jesus in a way that the little horn would
stand against Christ, which makes the chapter universal.
Why did Jesus apply the abomination of desolation into two different occasions?
Jesus used typology, and it is not the same as stating that a time prophecy’s time period can
be applied to different times in history. Jesus specifically said that one should study the book
of Daniel, in order to find the meaning to “the abomination of desolation” (Matt. 24:15; Mark
13:14, KJV). This means that one must look for the answer from the context of the book,
which we have done in this research. We have seen that the context points to the time of the
end. Thus, Jesus used the destruction of Jerusalem as a type for the conflict during the last
days of the world.
Jesus did not mention nothing about a time prophecy.
Moreover, “the abomination of desolation,” of which Daniel says that “on the wing of
abominations will come one who makes desolate,” (Dan. 9:27, NASB) means the reasons,
states, and characteristics that lead to destruction. The OT makes it clear that this
abomination is idol worship (e.g. 2 Kings 23:24). The temple in Jerusalem became a place of
idol worship and was destroyed, because the Jews abandoned the Messiah, continued the
sacrifices in the temple as a consequence of resisting Jesus, and made the temple as a military
base when the Romans attacked Jerusalem.
When applying the “abomination of desolation” into the Papacy, we can read from
history, that some sects of the Christian church started to embrace Greek philosophy and
beliefs and cultic practises from the pagan culture around it, as was shown above. Thus, in a
spiritual way, a part of Christianity let the desolation come in the entity of Rome. The bishop
of Rome took over the western Christianity and continued the pagan Rome’s beliefs and
. See Gulley, Systematic Theology, vol. 4, 156.
. Shea, Daniel, 171
rituals by “Christianizing” them.
For example, the veneration of Mary came from the
worship of the virgin goddess Diana
and ascetic Gnosticism.
Augustine of Hippo, a very
influential church father who lived in fourth and fifth centuries CE, stated, or implied, that
Mary had no sin.
Later, this developed into uplifting Mary as an intercessor in heaven and
the queen of heaven.
Additionally, already in the fourth century, by Ambrose, the church
started to understand the Lord’s Supper as a sacrifice of Jesus’ real flesh and blood by the
consecration of the priests, and that the priests can forgive sins through this sacrament.
Papacy replaced the biblical teaching of justification by faith with justification by faith and
works, and with infused righteousness.
Moreover, the Roman Papacy united church and state, and, thus, corrupted “the
temple,” i.e. the spiritual temple of Christ, by making it a political and militaristic entity.
By doing this, the Papacy “erected the abomination of desolation” in God’s temple, the
In addition to its spiritual aspect, the desolation will be physical, as well (2 Thess.
2:8; Lev 18:24-30; Isa. 24:1-6; Rev. 17:16-17; 18:9-24; 19:20).
. Gulley, Systematic Theology, vol. 4, 164.
. Gulley, Systematic Theology, vol. 4, 201.
. Bernhard Lohse, A Short History of Christian Doctrine (Philadelphia: Fortress
Press, 1978), 200.
. Augustine, On Nature and Grace 42.
. Lohse, 200, 201.
. Lohse, 135-155.
. Suutarinen, “The Postmodern ‘Sacramental and Experiential Presence’ Vs.
Justification by Faith.”
. The union of church and state is not legitimate in, at least, three points: (1) It is
unsustainable to social justice; (2) it is unsupported by history; and (3) it is unbiblical. To
further read about these arguments, see Ville Suutarinen, “Exploring the Grievances of the
As stated, the competing temple and salvation system of the Papacy on earth, which it
erected against the real temple and salvation system in heaven, has its roots in Greek
philosophy. When it comes to the sacramental experience, Thomas Aquinas influenced it
massively by marrying Christian faith and Aristotle’s philosophy.
Aristotelian philosophy to explain the instrumental power of the sacraments for causing
This belief became prominent in the Middle Ages and has stayed in the teachings of
the Catholic Church until today.
This man-made belief and mediation philosophy and
Union of Church and State.” To read more about the argument that, according to the Bible,
the church cannot be a militaristic entity (as it is when it is united with the state), see Ville
Suutarinen, “Christian Nonresistance: Investigating the Meaning of Luke 22:35-38,”
ResearchGate, accessed November 13, 2018,
. Gulley, Systematic Theology, vol. 1, 198.
. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica 3.62.4; Bernhard Blankenhorn, “The
Instrumental Causality of the Sacraments: Thomas Aquinas and Louis-Marie Chauvet,” Nova
et Vetera, English Edition 4, no. 2 (2006): 255–94, accessed February 1, 2019,
. Lohse, 135-155. This sacrifice of Jesus Christ over and over again is not biblical,
because He was sacrificed only once for everyone (Hebr. 9:25-28; 10:12). Moreover, the
teaching that a priest can consecrate and “transform” the substances into God supernaturally,
is not biblical. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus transforms His ontological form,
thus becoming a pantheistic God in a way, by the word of consecration of a human. The
evidence for this are: (1) God is a real person with a body in heaven; (2) God is the Highest;
(3) Jesus is God and the only High Priest who can forgive sins. There are many illustrations in
the Bible of a personal God who, for example, sees (Gen. 1:10), speaks (2:16), gets angry (Ps.
2:5), rejoices (Isa. 62:5) and grieves (Ps 78:40). Even though, the Creator is a real character,
He does not live in human temples (1 Kings 8:27). Only God is holy (Isa. 6:3; Luke 5:8),
immortal (1 Tim. 6:16) and the truth in a person (John 14:6). Only God is self-existent, and
only His life is underived, because He is life Himself (Exod. 3:14). Jesus Christ is a real
Person with a body, because He rose to heaven in a bodily form, and He will come back in
that same bodily form in a way that all eyes can see Him (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thess. 4:16; Rev.
1:7). Jesus is God (John 1:1; Hebr. 1), and He works as the High Priest in heaven, who only
can forgive sins, because only He is perfect (Hebr. 4:15; 5:9; 7:23-28; 8:1, 2, 12; 10:19-22).
Thus, the teaching that a human-priest can bring God down into some other form, and
proclaim everyone’s sins forgiven by this consecration-ritual, is not biblical. In fact, this is
one point for the argument of this paper that the Catholic Church tries to replace the High
Priestly ministry of Jesus Christ in heaven by its “high priestly” ministry on earth, as the
system is the abomination of desolation. It got started with unlimited power in 538 CE. Its
heart is justification by works and infused righteousness.
Bible states that the little horn would do. Moreover, as Jesus is the only Mediator between
God and man, Mary, saints, or anyone, cannot take the place of Jesus Christ.
From Chapters I and II of this research, we have seen that the book of Daniel is a
unified whole. The historical context of the book informs that it was written by Daniel
himself, which means that it is a unified and one work by one author.
The hermeneutical principles of apocalyptic prophecies speak for the unity, as well.
The characteristics of apocalyptic prophecies point to long periods of history, end-times, and
universality. The symbols of apocalyptic texts need to be interpreted by the immediate and
larger context, and by the whole Bible. Context determines the meaning of a unit or word. In
the case of apocalyptic prophecies, theological motifs and interpretations about the fulfilments
influence the meaning of units, sentences, clauses, and words.
The chiastic structure of the book of Daniel shows that the central themes of the book
are the Messiah (Jesus Christ), and the defilement and cleansing of the temple of God. The
structure of the book of Daniel, thematic unity, parallels of the book, and the recapitulation
principle give strong evidence for the unity between the whole book and especially between
chapters two, seven, eight, and eleven, which discuss about the world history from the time of
the author until the end of days. Moreover, they reveal parallel and recapitulative
characteristics and actions of the little horn.
In Chapter III, we saw that the Roman view was the most probable one, which
supports historicism. The little horn arose from one of the four winds, which pointed to the
cardinal point of north. The concept of north has a clear thematic parallel with the king of the
north in chapter 11. Thus, even if the little horn came from one of the horns (or from both
one of the horns and one of the winds), it does not necessarily count out the Roman view.
However, the characteristics of the little horn and the literary structure of Daniel 8 suggest
that it is an equal actor with and a separate actor from the other great kingdoms.
Moreover, the study revealed that the identifying marks of the little horn did not fit
into Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who was not great enough, did not become the preeminent in
the land, did not fulfil the time prophecies of the book of Daniel, did not act during “the time
of the end,” and did not rise at the latter period of the Seleucid kingdom.
Chapter IV discussed about the universal nature of the book of Daniel. It showed how
it, together with the book of Revelation, point to the eschaton. Moreover, the Christocentric
principle suggested that the temple-theme in Daniel 8 is universal. By this, we were able to
see the universality and spiritual nature of the little horn in history.
The little horn continued the spiritual legacy or continuum of the king of the north.
The religious philosophy against truth stayed the same, but the kings changed during the
times, just as happened in the Greco-Roman-Papal history. The Greek philosophy and the
allegorical method became the base for the theology of the Papacy. We do not need the little
horn coming from one of the horns of the goat, because we still can keep the background of
Greek philosophy as one of the identifying marks of the little horn, the king of the north, and
the antichrist. Thus, it is more probable that the little horn came from the northern wind than
from a specific king or kingdom of Greece. The bishop of Rome continued as the Pontifex
Maximus, the ecclesiastical and political leader of Roman Christianity. Moreover, the 1,260
year time prophecy corresponds with the reign of the Papacy.
Finally, the cross of Calvary was seen as the central point in history. From that on,
Satan has attacked against the people of God during the “last days.” Antiochus Epiphanes
cannot be the entity that attacks against Jesus Christ, because there is no eschatology without
Jesus. Christ asserted that “the abomination of desolation” would arise after His time (Matt.
24:15; Mark 13:14, KJV). Both the imperial and papal Rome brought “the abomination of
desolation” into the temple of God. Papal Rome did it spiritually, by false doctrines, which
will also have the consequences of a physical desolation.
The little horn, i.e. the antichrist, is not Antiochus IV Epiphanes but a universal,
political-ecclesiastical-economic power (Dan. 7:25; 8:9-12, 24-25; 11:30-38; Matt. 24:25;
Rev. 13:1-10; 17:1-7; 18:2-5, 7, 9; 2 Thess. 2:3-12). The exposure and true understanding of
the antichrist helps to form true understanding of Jesus Christ, and the truth in Him (1 Cor.
1:24; John 16:13; 17:3; Eph. 4:21; 5:6-14; Col. 1:28; 2:2-3) and in His Word (Joh. 17:17),
because the Bible is a whole, and it has analogy and systematic theology, where everything
effects everything. The Protestant historical-grammatical method and the historicist method
of interpretation have strong historical roots and a solid base on the Word of God. Historicist
method keeps on living!
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