|Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8, 9, 10-11, 12, overview||WhyProphets.com|
and the "little horn"
The Dark Ages: a period of war in the name of God
Daniel's "little horn" is the great opponent of the Church in the time up to the Second Coming. Daniel was not the first prophet to talk about it, nor was he the last. Daniel gave more details in chapter 8, which discusses the same topic from a different perspective. The scripture is not trying to confuse us - it all talks about the same things!
|The Big Picture|
Moses, Ezekiel and John
Let us assume that the Bible is not trying to confuse us. In that case, it makes sense that the great opponents to the Church described by the prophet are often the same forces, seen from different perspectives. So the horn is a part of the beast in Revelation, and the same as Gog and Magog in Ezekiel. In fact, the horn is none other than the cultural center for the Gentiles in the last days!
All this background is discussed in another page, on the history of the Gentiles.
|The horn in Daniel chapter 7|
Daniel 7:8 - It started little:
Europe has its roots in Byzantium, as discussed elsewhere. As noted there, this was the least important corner of Alexander's empire.
Daniel 7:8 - It subdued three of the ten kings:
This is discussed in detail in the page about Europe. The height of Byzantine power as when it conquered three of the old Roman kingdoms in the sixth century: Italy, Southern Spain, and North Africa. These victories were so astonishing that even today Belisarius is remembered as one of the greatest generals who ever lived.
Daniel 7:8 - It had eyes like a man:
Note that this had eyes like a man, not the eyes of a man. The meaning of a "horn" in scripture was discussed elsewhere. As for eyes, Jesus taught in Matthew 6:22-23:
"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!"
The Bible has many examples of man's eyes, meaning how a man sees things (as opposed to how God sees things). Proverbs 16:2 sums it up:
"All the ways of man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits."
The European kingdoms had eyes like a man in another way too. When contrasted with the mighty god-like emperors who previously ruled the known world single-handed, the collection of minor rulers of splintered Europe seemed very human indeed. This is especially true as Europe has become gradually less religious, and slowly stopped even paying lip service to God.
Daniel 7:8 - It spoke boastfully:
Europe and the modern west is nothing if not boastful. The Dark Ages were marked by a religious structure that considered itself to be the triumph of Christianity, ruling the known world as God's representative. After that it got worse - the renaissance was a time when man's puny efforts were held up as the ultimate ideal. Today we tend to believe that man's science can create anything and solve all problems. What could be more boastful or more foolish?
Daniel 7:9-14 - it continues until Jesus returns:
This is the most important fact from Daniel's point of view, and it is the strongest argument for the horn being a collective term for a number of kingdoms. Individual kingdoms come and go (the Papacy, the Franks, Napoleon, the European Union, and whoever). But Europe (as defined earlier) has existed continuously since the fall of Rome.
Daniel 7:21 - it waged war against the saints:
What is it that the saints of God fight against? Persecution from outside, yes, but mainly apostasy from within. Satan is too crafty to present a clear physical enemy against which Christians can unite. The elements which destroyed the church of God after the deaths of the apostles were primarily man-made teachings (supplied by the so called Christian church that rejected new prophecy) and the love of money (supplied by the linking of church and state). The new European system was united by both.
See the quotations of modern prophets regarding the little horn for where the greatest danger to the church lies: in becoming comfortable with the world. It is a silent war being waged in people's hearts.
The phrase "until the Ancient of days came" is discussed on the page about different approaches to Daniel
Daniel 7:24 - it is different from the earlier kingdoms:
The new Europe differed from the other kingdoms of the time in several important ways:
Daniel 7:25 - it spoke against the Most High:
Europe has done this since the Dark Ages, by setting up various false priesthoods - churches that claim the right to preach the gospel, but they are not led by prophets. When the Most High wants to lead them, they reject the living prophets in favour of the dead ones - Pharisee style. It happens even more outside the churches - our modern world is characterised by Humanism, which openly mocks religion. Just turn on the TV to see how religious people are portrayed - as dangerous, outdated, or just weak.
Daniel 7:25 - it tried to change the set times:
As a Jew, the set times (feast days) were important to Daniel. But as Medieval Europe forgot its Jewish roots, it crated its own special dates. Many of them (e.g. Christmas, Easter, etc.) were based on the dates of previous Pagan festivals. And when was this process completed? "The liturgical year as it is now observed was not completed until the end of the sixth century" (- Elwell Evangelical Dictionary, "Worship in the Church")
Daniel 7:25 - it tried to change the set laws:
The laws are changed as nations drift further from the ten commandments as a basis for their legal systems, and on to a system of common law as pioneered in the Justinian Code (see above). For another interpretation of this, read about Gregory. The laws were also changed by the churches that rejected the living prophets. Indeed, they are changed so much that it is common for Protestant churches to reject the importance of good works altogether!
Daniel 7:25 - time, times, and half a time:
This was fulfilled precisely, as discussed elsewhere.
Eventually, Daniel says that the kingdoms of this world will be given to the saints. For more about this, see The Government of God
the bottom line
Can you think of a political power that has had more effect on the world in the last two thousand years than Europe? No, neither could Daniel.