Islam from a Biblical Perspective VIII
The Little Horn
Daniel 8 begins with the rise of the Medo-Persian Empire and concludes with Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the most prominent type of the Antichrist in scripture. It should be understood as an expansion of the same story that unfolds in Daniel 2 and 7. The story is developed and unfolded even further, informing us of many of the characteristics and actions of the coming Antichrist. As the vision occurs, Daniel is in the city of Susa, the capital of Elam, in modern-day Iran, roughly two hundred miles to the east of Babylon. The wording of the passage seems to indicate that he was there, not physically, but only in his vision.
In Daniel 7, the Medo-Persian Empire was portrayed as a lopsided bear. but here, Medo-Persia is portrayed as a ram with two horns, one longer than the other.
The uneven horns clearly correlate with the lopsided nature of the bear in Daniel 7. It is later identified as such by the angel Gabriel.
It conquered westward toward modern-day Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Greece; northward toward contemporary Iran, Chechnya, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan; and southward toward what are now Iraq, Israel, and Egypt. The Alexandrian Greek Empire was portrayed as a shaggy goat with one large horn protruding from its head. This goat corresponds to the leopard of Daniel 7. The prominent single horn represents Alexander the Great.
Alexander utterly destroys the Medo-Persian ram, who is unable to offer a defense. As the passage states, "none could rescue" Medo-Persia from Alexander the Great's military power. Alexander's death is portrayed as the singular horn of the goat is "broken". In its place, four horns grow up, representing the four generals who succeeded Alexander. these generals are often referred to as the Diadochi(successors).
The four horns also correlate with the four wings of the leopard in Daniel 7. The angel Gabriel leaves no doubt as to the meaning of the goat and its horns.
Two "kings" or dynasties, emerged as the dominant rulers over the majority of the former Alexandrian Greek Empire. The largest of the two empires was the Seleucid Empire in the north, which ruled over the regions of modern-day Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. In the south was the Ptolemaic Empire, which ruled over Egypt, Libya, and Sudan. In 175 BC, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the son of King Antiochus III, seized the throne of the Seleucid Empire. Antiochus is referred to in the text as "a little horn".
All of his atrocities are recounted as the career of the "little horn" unfolds in Daniel's vision.
Daniel 8:10-12Antiochus IV Ephiphanes is undoubtedly one of the greatest prototypes of the Antichrist in all the Bible. The events carried out by Antiochus as detailed in Daniel 8 will be mirrored, to a degree, by the Antichrist in the last days. The angel Gabriel directly informs Daniel of the ultimate end-time context of the vision.
There are numerous similarities between Antiochus and the coming Antichrist.
1. Both Antiochus and the Antichrist are referred to using the symbolism of a "little horn". While the Antichrist is referred to as "another horn, a little one" in Daniel 7:8. Antiochus is referred to as simply "a little horn" in Daniel 8:9.
2. Both Antiochus and the Antichrist are great persecutors of God's people. While the Antichrist "shall persecute the saints of the Most High" who "shall be given into his hand" in Daniel 7:25, it said of Antiochus that he would "destroy fearfully, and shall prosper and thrive; he shall destroy the mighty, and also the Holy people" in Daniel 8:24.
3. Both Antiochus and the Antichrist are pictured as "stern-faced" or having an "imposing look" in Daniel 8:23 and 7:20.
4. Both Antiochus and the Antichrist exalt themselves. While Antichrist "shall speak pompous words against the Most High" in Daniel 7:25, it was said of Antiochus, "He shall exalt himself in his heart... He shall even rise against the Prince of princes" in Daniel 8:25.
5. Both Antiochus and the Antichrist have great power, which comes directly from Satan. Of the Antichrist, it is said that "the coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders" in 2 Thessalonians 2:9. It is specifically said that Satan, the dragon, will give his "authority to the beast" in Revelation 13:4, and the Antichrist "shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god" in Daniel 11:39. Concerning Antiochus, it was said "His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power" in Daniel 8:24.
6. Both Antiochus and the Antichrist would be destroyers of men. Of the Antichrist, it is said that he will "cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed" in Revelation 13:15. The apostle John, in a vision, saw "unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty" in Revelation 13:13-14. Of Antiochus, it was said, "He shall destroy the mighty" in Daniel 8:24.
7. Both Antiochus and the Antichrist are master deceivers. Of the Antichrist, it is said that his career will be defined by "all power, signs, and lying wonders" in 2 Thessalonians 2:9. During the reign of the Antichrist, "those who dwell on the earth" will be deceived by false "signs" in Revelation 13:14. Of Antiochus it was said that he "understands sinister schemes" in Daniel 8:23, and "through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule" in Daniel 8:25.
8. Both Antiochus and the Antichrist are defined as proud and arrogant. The Antichrist will have "a mouth speaking pompous words" specifically "against the Most High" in Daniel 7:8, 11, 25. Of Antiochus it is said, "And he shall exalt himself in his heart" in Daniel 8:25. Both Antiochus and the Antichrist would use false peace to achieve their aims. While the Antichrist will enter into a false peace agreement with Israel in Daniel 9:26, of Antiochus it was written that he would "come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries" in Daniel 11:21, 24; and "he will destroy many by peace" in Daniel 8:25. Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 do not point to the Roman Empire, but to the Islamic Caliphate. The region of the Islamic Caliphate and the consolidated Seleucid-Ptolemaic Empire of Antiochus IV Epiphanes are the same. When one understands that both chapters refer to the Islamic Caliphate, then all of Daniel's visions flow together smoothly and the historical difficulties of interpreters are resolved. Whether Daniel 2, 7, or 8, all three prophetic passages point to the final Antichristic kingdom arising from out of the Middle East.