|Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8, 9, 10-11, 12, overview||WhyProphets.com|
The saints are "given into the hand" of
"a little horn"
for 1260 "days"
Above: a stylised map from 1588, showing Europe as a powerful king or priest. (try looking at the map on its side). Note that the most important city, and the link with the Old Testament lands, is Constantinople (Byzantium).
Who or what was the "horn" spoken of in Daniel chapters 7 and 8? If we are careful to apply the golden rule of interpretation (Keep it simple!), the "little horn" must refer to Europe.
Some issues are discussed on other pages:
The word "horn" simply means "power"
Daniel 7, verse by verse (and Daniel 8, verse by verse)
Daniel 7 and 8 are the same "little horn"
The 1260 "day" prophecies
The origins of Europe (and what happened in AD 570)
The role of Byzantium (and the emperor Justinian)
Antiochus IV is not the horn (and neither is the Pope)
The Beast (and the Second Beast, and Gog and Magog)
What modern prophets say about the horn (and about AD 570 )
|What is the little horn?|
One little horn, not two.
Throughout this web site, I have gone for the simplest explanation that fits the known facts. In that spirit, we must reject the idea that there are two little horns. Some people have found that their pet theories don't fit Daniel 7 and 8, so they assume that the scripture talks of two different "little horns". (The NIV Study Bible takes this approach.) But this is more complicated than it needs to be, so I reject their man-made theories. See also are Daniel 7 and 8 talk
How "little" is it?
Not very. It starts little (Daniel 7:8) but is soon just called "the horn" (7:11) and soon is identified as being "more stout" (greater) than those around it. Chapter 8 only calls it "little" in comparison with the "great" horn, Alexander's empire, which at the time covered a much larger area. Chapter 8 soon goes on to stress that the horn "waxed great", "waxed exceedingly great", and "magnified itself".
Clue 1: is it an individual or an empire or what?
Daniel 7 refers to this horn as a "king". But then again, the other great empires are also referred to as "kings". See for example Daniel 7:17 (the NIV incorrectly translates this as "kingdom", yet the Strong's number is 4430, for "melek", or king). So even the combined Media and Persia (the third of the four beasts) comes under this description of a "king". So "king" means anything from a single kingdom to more than one empire. For more about horns and kings, click here.
The symbolism is of an individual with a mouth and eyes like a man (not of a man, like a man). But remember Isaiah chapter 14. The whole Assyrian empire was described as a single individual (in this case Lucifer).
Clue 2: what the Bible says it does.
The horn has power over the Saints, and does great and terrible things - it is apparently even more significant than the previous empires because it is most significant worldly empire at the time when Christ comes in triumph (i.e. the Second Coming).
Clue 3: when the Bible says it begins its evil work.
Put simply, and combining the information from Daniel chapters 7 and 8, we have four signs that identify the origin of the little horn:
- First, it appeared from the smallest of the divisions of Alexander's empire.
- Second, it subdued three of the ten divisions of the what had been the Roman empire.
- Third, it made great religious claims.
- Fourth, it trampled on the true church.
As I will show here and in the page on the origins of Europe, the book of Daniel is an accurate record of the key events in western history - written a thousand years before they happened.
The ten kings / horns / toes
Daniel 7:24 says the horn will arise after the ten kings. Does this mean after they are first established (i.e. soon after the fall of Rome), or after the ten kingdoms fall? Well, only three of them are spoken of as falling (Daniel 7:24). Indeed, Daniel 2 said that the kingdoms after Rome would survive until the coming of the Kingdom of God. So "after them" must mean "after they are established". So we are looking in late Antiquity, or the early Middle Ages. To confirm this, Daniel 8 shows that its origins go back as far as the end of the Greek empire, which takes us to the same period at the latest (More on this below).
A tentative conclusion
So the little horn is a kingdom or group of kingdoms that dominates world history from late Antiquity or the early Middle Ages (broadly speaking, perhaps AD 300 to 700), and dominates world history until the end of the world. So far, only Europe seems to fit the bill.
|The Bible is quite precise:|
Daniel 8:9 gives us the origin of the little horn. It goes like this:
The goat (Greece) has a single great horn, which is universally identified as Alexander the Great, probably the most successful military conqueror who ever lived, and the man who ensured that Greek ideas spread round the world.
The division of Alexander's empire at his death, 323 BC. Source: Penguin atlas of World History.
|The horn breaks off and is replaced by four smaller
horns. These are generally identified as the four
divisions of Alexander's empire after his death. Although
they did not stay static, they can be identified as:
From one of these horns comes the "little horn" in question. But which one did it come from?
This is where it helps to compare the different Bible translations. The King James version says that from one of the four horns sprang the little horn. But the translators of the more recent Jerusalem Bible disagree. They believe that the verse in question, Daniel 8:9, should read as follows:
"...from one of these [horns], the small one, sprang a horn which grew..."
The kingdoms of the Diadochi (Alexander's successors) by 180 BC. Source: Penguin atlas of World History.
|Which horn was "the small one"? Syria, Palestine and Egypt are the most important (according to Encarta). Greece and Macedonia were the seat of empire. So that leaves Thrace and Asia Minor as "the small one". In Old Testament times this was a relatively unimportant part of the world..|
Did Europe spring from the area of Thrace and Asia Minor?
Yes it did. For details, see the origins of Europe and a history of the Gentiles.
Can Europe be treated as a single entity?
Yes it can. Europe began as the little horn of Greece. Greece, in its early days, was not a single nation, but a collection of independent states that could be treated as a whole. Europe is the same.
It is true that Europe has often had wars within its borders, but this just gave it the practice needed to take over the world. Compared with the rest of the world, Europe has always seen itself as a single power (or "horn" in Daniel's language).
It originated as one unit
As power passed from Rome to Europe, the main European nations relied on a single Byzantine emperor. Even the invading tribes owed their success to Rome, as described elsewhere.
It continued as one unit:
For the first few centuries it was referred to as "Christendom", a single world body with the Pope as its spiritual head.
It became "a kind of great republic":
As Voltaire observed, in the century before the restoration, Europe is "a kind of great republic divided into several states" (quoted in "Europe - A History", by Norman Davis. London: Pimlico, 1996 p.7).
Napoleon and Hitler:
The modern era began with Napoleon trying to unite Europe again under a single human leader (himself). In the early twentieth century, various extreme parties (notably Hitler) had a very well developed idea of a single European state. See "The Tainted Source - the undemocratic origins of the European Idea" by John Laughland (London: Little Brown and Company, 1997).
The European Union:
Today more than ever, Europe is a single block. Many of its states share a common currency. It is aiming for "ever closer union" based on the infamous "treaty of Rome". Thus Rome - through Europe - has come full circle.
During the 1260 years when Europe ruled the world, there was no other power to challenge it (with he possible exception of Islam). So the people felt no need to unite. Europeans used the word "civilisation" when they meant the countries of Europe. Only after that time, when other power blocks seemed to be a real threat (America, and later the Soviet Union and the Far East), do we see people bothering to talk about making a federal Europe. The Germans took the led in this from the nineteenth century to the present. See 1830 and a history of the Gentiles part 2 for details.
|The Golden Horn and the origins of Europe|
To better understand the "little horn", it helps to look at the big picture.
The page on the times of the Gentiles looks at history and prophecy on a broad scale: the role of the gentiles from the days of Noah to the End of the World, with a special emphasis on Byzantium - the city on the Golden Horn.
The page on the origins of Europe looks more closely at the processes and events that caused Rome to be replaced by Europe.
|Checking this conclusion - that the "little horn" is Europe|
"subduing three of the ten kingdoms"
As noted on the page on how Europe replaced the Roman Empire, the turning point, the effective transfer of power, came after the new Europe subdued three of the ten kingdoms that remained of the Roman Empire. Daniel was right again.
Double checking the conclusion: Daniel chapter 8
Daniel 8:23 states that the horn stands up in the latter end of the four kingdoms that arose from the great horn of Greece. In other words, the horn begins its power in the last days of the Hellenistic kingdoms. Many people assume that these kingdoms ceased to exist when Rome took over, so this date must be some time in the centuries Before Christ. But that is not true.
If you read the ancient history of Greece, you will find that it was not destroyed by Rome, but rather incorporated into it. Greek power and culture were alive and well in the Roman period. I recommend the Library of Congress Country Studies series for a readable account of this period - you can find it at the Library of Congress web site, look for the Country Studies / Area Handbook Program, under Greece (the historical section).
To cut a long story short, the Hellenistic kingdoms were alive and well until the crises of the third century AD. At this time of chaos (military, financial, and cultural), and in the centuries that followed, the Greek states finally gave way to the Byzantine empire. "The latter time of their kingdom" was the first days of Byzantium, and, as I have shown, the first days of Europe.
The final proof of the little horn's identity
|Daniel was not the only prophet to talk about the great enemy of Israel. Ezekiel calls him Gog, king of Magog. In every respect they are the same - the oppressor of Israel, who provoked God's jealousy and polluted his holy name (Ezekiel 38:19, 39:7). Daniel deals with the big picture and Ezekiel focuses on the very end - the part described in Daniel 7:26:"the judgement shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end"|
And if further proof were needed, just note that Revelation is written to Asia Minor, the birthplace of Europe. The angel called the city closest to Byzantium "the Seat of Satan". In fact, the whole history of the Gentiles centers on this area.
The lands of the north
An additional confirmation comes from the prophecies of the gathering. When Israel and Judah were scattered in Old Testament times, they went East - to Assyria and Babylon. But when Jeremiah and other prophets talk of their return, they speak of a return "from the north country" and "from the coasts of the earth" (see for example Jeremiah 31:8). If Europe is the great oppressor of God's people in the Great Apostasy, this suddenly makes sense.
|The Sunset of Civilisation|
Europe is aptly named. It is the last great power before the second coming of Jesus. It is the last in the sequence of great powers referred to above. The origin of the name "Europe" is not certain, but it either comes from the legend of Europa, or the Phoenician word "Ereb".
Europa was a legendary Phoenician princess who was captured by Zeus (in the form of a white bull), and raped. What appropriate imagery, if Europe is indeed the blasphemous horn spoken of by Daniel. In the Old Testament, the true church, Israel, was referred to as the bride of the Messiah. When the church went after false gods, it was described as whoring. So how appropriate, when the whole continent has believed the lies of the ultimate false god, mammon (money), it has a name that recalls being raped by the king of the false gods, Zeus.
And what of the Phoenician word "Ereb"? It means "sunset". Europe, as the last of the great worldly powers in Daniel's visions (the toes in chapter 2, the horns in chapter seven), is the sunset of civilisation.
Europe and the Beast
All this ties in with the prophecies of the origins of the Gentiles, the Beast, and Leviathan. Some commentators find great interest in the legend of Europa. All the pictures of "the rape of Europa" show a woman on the back of a bull (a horned beast), reminiscent of the whore on the beast in Revelation 17. The picture is featured on an EU Quality Mark (when you try to buy or sell, they ask "do you have the Quality Mark?"). The legend of Zeus seducing Europa sounds just like Genesis 6:1-2. And so on. Much of this is just speculation, but it does illustrate one thing: Wherever you look, Europe fits the prophecies
(actually, I love Europe)
Lest I be misunderstood, let me be clear. I live in Europe (in Scotland). I believe in the European Union as a great political body. Europe is one of the most freedom loving, most exciting places in the world. We have a great heritage.
But compared with what it could be, compared with what God offers to anyone who is willing to take it, it is a miserable failure. We worship money when we could worship truth. We trust in force when we could trust in love. We have one of the best societies in the world, but the world's standards for society are not high. Being the best of a bad bunch is not saying much.
Europe, more than any other part of the world, has had access to the Bible since the earliest times. We knew that prophets had once walked the earth. We knew that prophets had made great promises about making a perfect society. We knew that one day the prophets would return. But instead of looking for them, we looked to generals and politicians and kings. Instead of trying God's promises, we trusted in the arm of flesh. Europe, this beautiful, fertile, wealthy continent, could have been a utopia, but instead we chose wars and ignorance. We chose to look back to ancient Rome for our inspiration, and only use the Bible as it suited us politically. Frankly, we blew it.
If Europe is not any worse than other world powers, why then does Daniel focus on it? The answer is simple.
- Europe took over from Rome.
- Europe took over from the church.
- Europe has had a far greater impact on the history of the world than any other region.
- Europe dominated the world through colonialism.
- Even today the most powerful nation on earth (America) has its roots and culture from Europe, while the European Union attempts to resurrect past dominance.
. Europe is unique.
the bottom line
A horn is a power. What, since Bible times, has had more power than Europe, the successor to Rome?