Showing posts with the label Little Horn

End of the Indignation

In chapter 7, the timeframe during which the “ little horn ” is authorized to wage war “ against the saints ” is described as a “ time, times, and part of a time .” At the end of the period, this malevolent ruler will lose his domain. In chapter 8, the angel Gabriel describes it as “ the END OF THE INDIGNATION, for at the appointed time will be an end .” However horrific the “ desolation ” might be, it will not last forever.

Little Horn - Interpretation

The second half of the seventh chapter interprets the vision that concluded in a judgment and with a declaration. The one “ like a Son of Man ” received the kingship from the “ Ancient of Days ” so now “ all peoples, races, and tongues should render homage to him; his dominion was an everlasting dominion, which should not pass away ” - (Daniel 7:9-14).

Arrogant King of the North

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

Desolating Abomination

SYNOPSIS – Literary context is vital for understanding the “Abomination that Desolates” in the book of Daniel - Daniel 9:27.  The climax of the “ seventy weeks ” prophecy is the appearance of the “ abomination that desolates ” in the final half of the “ seventieth week .” What is this “ abomination ”? When did it appear? Is it a yet future reality? Investigations seeking to answer these and similar questions must begin with what  book of Daniel  has to say about it. Moreover, the reference to it in the “ seventy weeks ” prophecy is neither the first nor the last word on the matter. Interpreting the “ abomination ” in isolation from the larger context of  Daniel  will not produce accurate answers.

Boastful Mouth

In  Revelation , the “ little horn ” is  NOT  explicitly named but its characteristics are present in the “ Beast from the sea .” But the book does not retell the same story without changes. Instead, it modifies and repurposes it to tell  ITS  story. The “ Beast ” is based on Daniel’s “ little horn ,” but it also is something beyond it, and arguably, far worse.

Two Little Horns?

The figure called the “ little horn ” figures prominently in Daniel’s visions. It is explicitly named in the visions of the “ fourth beast ” and the “ ram and goat .” It is reasonable to assume both visions portray the same figure. The historical references in the first vision are enigmatic, in the second, they are explicit.

Little Horn - Son of Destruction

The “little horn” in Daniel becomes the model for the “man of lawlessness” described by Paul in Thessalonians .  In his visions, Daniel saw a malevolent ruler called variously the “ little horn ,” the “ king of fierce countenance ,” the “ contemptible one ,” and the “ king who does according to his will .” This figure was an arrogant ruler with a “ mouth speaking great things ” who profaned the sanctuary, caused the cessation of the daily burnt offering, erected the “ abomination that desolates ” in the Temple, and “ exalted himself against God .”

Fourth Beast

The fourth beast is the focus of the vision, especially its little horn with a mouth speaking great things .  The fourth “ beast ” is presented in more detail than the first three.  It is the center of the vision. The other “ beasts ” provide background information for the rise of this kingdom. Unlike the first three, it has no analog in the animal kingdom. It is an unnatural creature with “ iron teeth ” and “ ten horns .”

Four Beasts in One

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

Little Horn - Identity

The image of the “ little horn ” is a key component of Daniel’s visions. It represents a king from one of the four Hellenic kingdoms that evolved from Alexander the Great’s short-lived empire. Passages in Daniel concerning this figure also provide Paul with the outline for his “ man of lawlessness ” in  2 Thessalonians .

King of Fierce Countenance

Next, Daniel receives the interpretation of his vision of the “ ram and goat .” In chapter 7, only the first “ beast ” can be identified with certainty – Babylon. In contrast, in the interpretation in chapter 8, two of the four kingdoms are identified by name, the kingdom of the “ Medes and Persians ” and “ Greece .”

Ram, Goat, Little Horn

Next, Daniel receives a vision of a “ ram ” and a “ goat .” The ram represents the kingdom of the “ Medes and Persians ,” and the goat the kingdom of Greece, beginning with its first great king who overthrew the “ ram .” The vision is followed by an interpretation provided by an angelic figure.

Four Beasts – Interpretation

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