Daniel’s Evil Horn—Greek or Roman?

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Daniel’s evil horn–Greek or Roman

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Purpose

2. Daniel 2; Overview

3. Daniel 7; Overview
     
a The Four Kingdoms
      b The Horns
      c The Eleventh Horn

4. Daniel 8
     
The horn equivalent is to the horn in Daniel 7
      b  Three Interpretations of the horn
      c  Beasts compared
      d  Separate Mede kingdom?
      e  Darius the Mede
      f  From one from them
      g  Where is Rome in Daniel 8?

5. Daniel 11
     
Critics’ interpretation is based on Daniel 11
      b  Daniel 11; the first 20 verses
      c  The vile person is the horn
      d  Prince of the covenant (11:22)
      e  Relative chronology
      f  Emphasis on Antiochus III
      g  Where is Rome in Daniel 11?
      h  Antiochus as type

6. Conclusion

PURPOSE

The Macedonian (Greek) Empire, which encompassed the nation of Israel (Judea), ruled from about 330 B.C. for nearly 300 years.  Antiochus IV was a king of this empire.  He ruled between 168 and 165 BC.  He defiled the temple in Jerusalem in the year 168 B.C. and persecuted the Jews. 

In academic circles (critics) it is believed that he was the evil king presented in the prophecies of Daniel chapters 7, 8 and 11, and that the book Daniel was compiled after Antiochus defiled the temple.  The purpose of this document is to oppose this view, and to show that the evil king in the book of Daniel arises in time after Rome has become the dominant power and therefore cannot be Antiochus IV.

Academics base their view on their belief that accurate long term predictions are impossible.  Since particularly Daniel 11 depicts historical events very accurately, they conclude that the book of Daniel must have been written after these events.

The Dead Sea Scrolls and other resources prove that Daniel was written before Rome has become the dominant power.  If it can be shown that the evil king in Daniel, according to the prophecies of Daniel, arises after the Roman Empire, it also proves that the book of Daniel contains real long range predictions.

An article has already been published on this website in which it was argued that the cutting off of the Messiah Prince of Daniel 9 refers to the death of our Creator, Jesus Christ.  Since He was killed after Rome became the dominant power, that article also proves that the book of Daniel contains real long range predictions.

DANIEL 2

The vision in Daniel 2 uses the statue of a man to symbolize the history from the time of Daniel to the return of Christ:

Its head of gold (2:32) is explained as king Nebuchadnezzar (2:38), representing the Babylonian Empire.

Its breast of silver (2:32) is explained as “another kingdom inferior to” the Babylonian Empire (2:39), which will follow “after” the Babylonian Empire (2:39).

Its belly and thighs of bronze (2:32) is explained as “another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth” (2:39).

Its legs of iron (2:33) is “a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces” (2:40).

Its feet partly of iron and partly of clay (2:33) is “a divided kingdom” (2:41).  During each of the four successive kingdoms (2:37-40) there will be a supreme king over all nations.  But during the “divided kingdom” there will be no supreme king.  Many kings will rule at the same time over different kingdoms.  Verse 43 confirms this by explaining that these kings will “combine with one another” through intermarriage, but unity will not be achieved.

Then “a stone was cut out without hands” (2:34).  “Without hands” is explained as “God of heaven will set up” (2:44).  It means supernatural (Mar. 14:58; Col. 2:11).  This stone completely destroys the image.  “Not a trace of them was found” (2:35).  “But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth” (2:35).  This is explained as a “kingdom which will never be destroyed” (2:44).  The parallel vision in Daniel 7 refers to an “everlasting kingdom” (7:27)—“the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come” (7:18).  This eternal kingdom will be on earth (2:35).

Although the first four kingdoms dominate one after the other, each of them continues to exist until the eternal kingdom is set up.  Only then do they all disappear without a trace (2:35).

The vision in Daniel 2 therefore divides the history of the world into six successive epochs.  The first is the Babylonian Empire and the last is the eternal kingdom:

1. Head of gold = Babylonian Empire (2:38)
2. Breast = silver kingdom (2:39)
3. Belly and thighs = Bronze kingdom (2:39)
4. Legs = Iron kingdom (2:40)
5. Feet of iron and clay = Divided kingdom (2:41)
6. Great mountain = eternal kingdom (2:44)

DANIEL 7

Four Kingdoms

In the vision in Daniel 7 four kingdoms, symbolized by four beasts (lion, bear, leopard and a dreadful beast), come out of the sea (v3).  Verse 17 explains that the great beasts are “kings” that will “arise from the earth”.  The “sea (v2) is therefore a symbol for the “earth”.  The “kings” arise “from” “the earth”.  The “earth” is therefore not the physical earth, but symbolizes the peoples of the world.

Although the great beasts are explained as “kings”, verse 23 also says the “fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms”.  Each of the beasts is therefore a “kingdom”, i.e. series of kings.

These kingdoms will not reign simultaneously, but—like the metal-kingdoms of Daniel 2—one after the other, as confirmed by the following:

The fourth beast “was different from all the beasts that were before it” (verse 7).

The fourth beast will devour the “whole earth” (verse 23), which logically leaves no place for other beasts at the same time.

The words “after this”—explaining the sequence of beasts—(verses 6 and 7) implies that the beasts will follow each other in time.

It is generally agreed that the four metal-kingdoms in Daniel 2 are the same as the four beast-kingdoms in Daniel 7, for the following reasons:

FOUR: There is exactly the same number of metals in the vision of Daniel 2 as there are beasts in Daniel 7, namely four.

SUCCESSIVE:  Both the metals in Daniel 2 and the beasts in Daniel 7 represent successive kingdoms.

FOURTH:  The term “fourth kingdom” is used to explain both the fourth metal (iron) of the image (2:40) and the fourth beast (7:23).

ETERNAL: Both series of kingdoms end with the eternal kingdom (2:44; 7:24-27).

Since the same four kingdoms are in view, the first beast is the same as the (gold) kingdom of Daniel 2: the Babylonian Empire.

Horns

The fourth beast has ten horns (7:7).  They are explained as ten kings that will arise “out of” the fourth beast (7:24).  What is the relationship between the fourth empire and its horns?  Do the ten kings exist after or during the period of the fourth beast?  Critics propose that the horn-kings rule one after the other during the fourth empire.

Both the horns and the divided kingdom in Daniel 2 are described as a multitude of kings that are related to the fourth empire, and continue until the sixth or eternal kingdom.  To explain:

Related:  In Daniel 2 the fourth kingdom is represented by legs of iron.  This is followed by the feetof iron and … clay” (2:33).  This divided kingdom is related to the fourth empire because it contains the same metal (iron)In Daniel 7 the fourth kingdom is represented as a dreadful beast.  The horns are related to this beast because they come “out of” the fourth kingdom.

Multitude of kings:  By calling it a “divided kingdom” (2:41), Daniel 2 indicates that, during the fifth phase, there will not be a supreme king, but that a number of kings rule at the same time.  The horns in Daniel 7 also consist of a multitude of kings (7:8; 8:20-22).

Eternal kingdom:  Both the divided kingdom and the horns are followed by the eternal kingdom: “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed” (2:44, compare 7:24-27).

Because of these parallels it is proposed that the horns are equivalent to the divided kingdom in Daniel 2.

The visions in Daniel 2 and 7 are therefore parallel:

 

Daniel 2

Daniel 7

1

Head of fine gold

Lion

2

Breast and its arms of silver

Bear

3

Belly and its thighs of bronze

Leopard

4

Legs of iron

Dreadful beast

5

Feet of iron and clay

Horns

6

Everlasting kingdom

Everlasting dominion

The ten horns are therefore explained by the divided kingdom of Daniel 2:

Firstly, the divided kingdom in Daniel 2 follows after the fourth kingdom.  The time relationship is indicated by the five different body parts.  The head represents the first kingdom, the chest the second, the belly the third, the legs the fourth and the feet, which are the divided kingdom, are the fifth.  The feet “partly of iron and partly of clay” in Daniel 2 therefore exist after the iron legs, not at the same time as the iron legs. 

Since the horns are equivalent to the divided kingdom, it should be concluded that the horns follow after the fourth kingdom.  In other words, the horns are not individual kings of the fourth kingdom, but separate kingdoms that came about after the end of the fourth kingdom.  In Daniel 7 the time relationship is implied by the words “out of”; the ten kings will arise “out of” the fourth empire (7:24).

Secondly, the divided kingdom consists of a number kings that reign at the same time.  This is indicated by the name “divided kingdom”.  Of the divided kingdom it is also said “they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another” (2:43).  This confirms that “divided” implies kingdoms that exist at the same time.  Since the horns are equivalent to the divided kingdom, the ten kings also do not exist one after the other, but at the same time.  The following are further indications of this conclusion:

AMONG:  Although the eleventh horn will come up “after them” (7:24), Daniel saw it “among them” (7:8).  “Among” implies that the horns exist simultaneously.

THREE:  The eleventh horn uproots three of the other horns (7:8).  By specifying the number 3 it is implied that the other 7 remained.

DANIEL 8:  There are two other animals in Daniel with horns, and in both instances the horns indicate kingdoms that exist at the same time (8:20-22).  The ram in Daniel 8 has two horns, the one representing the Medes of the Mede-Persian Empire; the other representing the Persians (8:20).  These two components existed at the same time.  The goat in Daniel 8 grows 4 horns, representing the four divisions of the Greek Empire, which existed at the same time.

Eleventh Horn

The visions in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 have the same six phases, and even the horns are represented in Daniel 2 as the divided kingdom.  More detail is given about the four kingdoms in the form of descriptions of the beasts that represent these kingdoms, such as heads and wings and horns, but the most important additional information in Daniel 7 is about an evil king that will reign during the time of the horns.  It is symbolized by an eleventh horn that “came up among them” and uproot three of the other horns (7:8).  When it comes up it is “little” (7:8), but later it becomes “larger … than its associates” (7:20).  Daniel 7 says more about this evil horn than about any of the other kingdoms or kings.  It persecutes the saints, blaspheme God, and intend to change times and law (7:25). 

DANIEL 8

Daniel 8 uses only two animals—a ram and a goat:

RAM:  The ram appears first in the vision, conquering to the north, west, and south (vss. 3-4).  The ram is explicitly identified as Mede-Persia (8:20).

GOAT:  The goat with its principal horn came on the scene of action next. By defeating the Persian ram it became the dominant power (vss. 5-7).  The ram is explicitly identified as Greece (8:20-21).

Daniel 8 then explains the horns:

FOUR HORNS:  The principal horn of the goat was broken and four horns, extending out to the four winds of heaven, came up in its place (vs. 8).  Commentators generally concur that these four horns are the four kingdoms into which Alexander’s empire was divided.  The interpretation of the following character is more controversial:

LITTLE HORN:  Another horn (“a little horn“) appeared on the scene.  It did not attack the other beasts or kingdoms, but was:

against God’s people, identified as “the host of the stars” (vss. to, 24).
against God’s work of redemption, described as the tamid (daily or continual) and the temple (vss. 11-12), and
against God’s principal representative: “the Prince of the host” or “the Prince of princes(vss. 11, 25).

Daniel then heard two heavenly beings discussing the vision. One asked:

For how long is the vision concerning the [tamid], the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled under foot?

The other answered:

Unto 2300 evening-mornings, then the sanctuary shall be cleansed/restored.

Daniel 8 mentions neither the first kingdom of Daniel 7 (Babylon) nor the last (eternal) kingdom, but provides additional information about the key figure—the evil horn-king.  Most of Daniel 8 is about this king.

THE HORNS ARE THE SAME

It is generally agreed that the evil horn of Daniel 8 is equivalent to the evil horn of Daniel 7, for the following reasons:

HORNS:  The same symbol (horn) is used for both.  If a historical distinction had been intended here, the best way would have been to use a different symbol.

ACTIONS:  They do the same things.  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); for both a period of time is described (7:25 and 8:14); both are the last in a series of symbols and they eventually suffer similar fates (7:26 and 8:25).

AMPLIFY:  Virtually all commentators accept that, in the book of Daniel, the later prophecies amplify the earlier ones.  For instance, the four empires of Daniel 2 were repeated in Daniel 7, with additional information.  Additional details are given about them and their divisions, in particular through the use of horns to represent their major divisions.  The book itself also mentions this principle at least twice.  In 9:22-23 Gabriel says that he came to give Daniel understanding of “the vision”, which would be the vision in the previous chapter.  In Daniel 10-12 Daniel receives a “message” (10:1).  The purpose of the message was to explain the “vision” (10:1, 14).  This therefore also refers to the vision in Daniel 8, as that is the last “vision” in the book of Daniel.  The later chapters all explain that vision.  If this principle is applied to Daniel 8, the vision of Daniel 8 becomes an amplification of the vision of chapter 7.

THE HORN: THREE INTERPRETATIONS

The key character in Daniel 8:9-14 is a little horn that blasphemes God and persecutes His people.   Commentators have applied the preterist, futurist, and historicist schools of prophetic interpretation in their attempt to identify this little horn, its period of 2300 evening-mornings and the sanctuary which it will profane:

Preterists are committed to the view that the majority of the prophecies of the book of Daniel have already been fulfilled and, therefore, have no significance for the present day. Thus they hold that the little horn rose from one of the divisions of Alexander’s empire. They conclude that the activities of the little horn unmistakably point to Antiochus IV Epiphanes.  They have proposed that the 2300 “evening-mornings” should be interpreted as 2300 individual morning and evening sacrifices, or 1150 literal days. These should be applied to events in the career of Antiochus IV Epiphanes in the second century B.C.  Preterists claim the sanctuary refers to the temple in Jerusalem which was polluted by Antiochus and later purified by the victorious Jewish rebels.  The purification was completed before January 1, 164 B.C.

Futurists generally follow this line of interpretation also.  In addition, they see Antiochus as a type of an end-time antichrist who is to arise in the final years of earth’s history before Christ’s Second Advent.  As a type of the work of the final antichrist, some futurists have applied the “evening-mornings” as literal evenings and mornings, or 2300 days, which they claim have not yet begun, because the final manifestation of an antichrist belongs to the future.  During the final seven years of earth’s history a literal temple (to be rebuilt in Jerusalem for the Jews) will be polluted by an antichrist.  The temple will be restored when Christ comes and puts an end to the reign of the antichrist.

Historicists declare that the prophecies in Daniel portray an outline of history and the story of the on-going struggle between good and evil down to the end of time. Since a flow of history appears to be involved here, especially when Daniel 8 is compared with Daniel 7, the historicist holds that the little horn represents Rome—in its papal phase (the Roman Church).  Utilizing the day-for-a-year principle, historicists have held that the 2300 evening-mornings refer to a period of 2300 literal years, commencing with the Persian Ram and concluding with the recovery of the message of the Bible after the distortion of the Middle Ages.  The purification of the sanctuary is interpreted symbolically as the restoration of God’s people and/or their message—of which the cleansing of the earthly sanctuary in ancient Israel on the Day of Atonement was a symbol.

These three views on the interpretation of the various elements in Daniel 8:9-14 may be summarized as follows:

Element Preterlst Historicist Futurist
1. Little horn Antiochus IV Roman Church Future Antichrist
2. 2300 days Literal days 1150 past 2300 years Literal future 2300 days
3. Temple In Jerusalem God’s people To be re-erected
4. Cleansing Before 164 BC God’s people/message Return of Christ

To evaluate these views, the kingdom from which this horn arises must be identified:

BEASTS COMPARED

Historicists and futurists (conservatives) align the beasts of Daniel 7 as follows to the symbols of Daniel 8 and 2:

Daniel 2

Gold

Silver

Brass

Iron

Daniel 7

Lion

Bear

Leopard

Dreadful beast

Daniel 8

 

Ram (Mede-Persia)

Goat (Greece)

 

If this is correct, and the bear is Mede-Persia and the Leopard is the Greek empire, then the Dreadful Beast must represent Rome, because that was the next empire in history. Then the little horn comes about in the Roman period.

The Preterist School, which is essentially comprised of critical scholars, effectively read Daniel backwards.  They first identify the “despicable” of Daniel 11 (v21) as Antiochus IV.  Then, since the evil horns of Daniel 7 and 8 are the same as the “despicable” (as we agree), they identify the evil horns of Daniel 7 and 8 also as Antiochus IV.  But since Antiochus was a Greek king, this means that the fourth kingdom in Daniel 7 (the dreadful beast) must be the Greek Empire.  But then the question is: What are the Bear and Leopard kingdoms between the Babylonian and Greek empires?  To solve this problem Critics split Mede-Persian Empire into two separate empires and align the symbols as follows:

Daniel 2

Gold

Silver

Brass

Iron

Daniel 7

Lion

Bear

Leopard

Dreadful Beast

Daniel 8

Ram (Medes)

Ram (Persia)

Goat (Greece)

In this schema the Ram of Daniel 8 is equal to both the Bear and the Leopard of Daniel 7, and the Goat of Daniel 8 is equivalent to the Dreadful Beast of Daniel 7.  One way to determine which schema best fits the text of Daniel is to compare the descriptions of the animals in Daniel 7 and Daniel 8.

Firstly, contrary to the proposal by the critics, the Ram and the Leopard do not appear similar.  Consider their descriptions:

Leopard

Ram

Four wings (v6);
Four heads (v6);

Two horns—one higher (v3);
Higher horn came out last (v3);
Charges to West, North and South (v4);

The Ram has two horns while the Leopard has four heads.  The heads and horns seem to indicate the divisions of the kingdom.  The Ram and the Leopard therefore do not seem to be related.

Secondly, also contrary to the proposal by the critics, the Goat and the Dreadful Beast do not appear similar.  Consider their descriptions:

Dreadful Beast Goat
Terrible & very strong (v7);
Iron teeth (v7);
Bronze claws (v19);
It devoured; broke in pieces (v7);
Stamped residue with its feet (v7);
Different from the other beasts (v7);
Ten horns (v7);
From west (v5);
Not touching the ground (v5);
One conspicuous horn (v5);
Great horn broken when strong (v8);
Four horns to the four winds (v8)

The Goat has one horn at first and then later four.  The Dreadful Beast first has 10 horns, and then an 11th comes up which “pluck out” three of the ten horns by their “roots”, leaving 8 horns.  Since horns symbolize the divisions of these kingdoms, the Goat and the Dreadful Beast are not related.

Thirdly, consistent with the conservative view, the Ram and the Bear are similar in appearance

TWO SIDES: For both their two sides are emphasized, with one side higher than the other.  The Bear is “raised up on one side” (7:5) while the Ram has two horns; one being longer than the other.

CONQUERED THREE: Both conquered three others:  The Bear has three ribs between its teeth (7:5).  Since animals are used as symbols for kingdoms, the ribs represent the kingdoms or territory conquered.  The Ram pushes in three directions (8:4—West, North and South).

This implies that the Ram and the Bear represent the same empire.  The Ram is explicitly identified as “the kings of Media and Persia” (8:20).  Its two disproportionate horns are specifically identified as the kings of Media and Persia (vs. 20), expressing the same duality that is found in the bear.  The two horns of the ram and the two sides of the bear symbolize the composite nature of the kingdom formed by a fusion of the Medes and Persians.  The longer horn that came out last and the higher side of the bear refers to the Persians.  Initially Medes dominated Persia, but Cyrus reversed the relationship so that Persia dominated the Medes when their combined forces conquered Babylon.

The Medes and Persians are of the same race (Iranians).  Their kingdom expanded from the East towards Babylon and Judea.  The three ribs in the Bear’s mouth and the three directions in which the Ram pushes (West, North and South) may reasonably be taken as representing the three major conquests of the combined forces of the Medes and Persians in the sixth century BC: Lydia in the north in 547, Babylon in the west in 539, and Egypt in the south in 525.

Fourthly and lastly, consistent with the conservative view, the Goat and the Leopard are similar in appearance:

FAST: Both are represented as very fast.  The Leopard has four wings while the Goat flies.

FOUR: Both consist of four parts.  The Leopard has four heads, while four horns grow from the Goat’s head.

This implies that the Goat and the Leopard represent the same empire.  The Ram is explicitly identified as “the kingdom of Greece” (8:21), or the Macedonian Empire as it is known.  The speed of its quests refers to the speed by which Alexander the Great conquered the known world—within 10 years—and the four heads and four horns symbolize the four Greek Empires that came into being after Alexander’s death at the age of 33.

Conclusion

The comparison of the characteristics of the animals therefore does not support the preterist view, but supports the conservative interpretation, which identifies the third as the Greek Empire and the Fourth as the Roman Empire.  On the basis that the little horns of Daniel 7 and 8 refer to the same historical entity—as argued above, it follows that the horn comes out of Rome.  It cannot be Antiochus IV.

MEDIA AND PERSIA

One can also evaluate the validity of the critics’ separation of the Medes and Persians into two separate empires.  Critics propose that the author of Daniel inserted the Medes as a separate empire because of the predictions in Isaiah and Jeremiah that Babylon would fall to the Medes.  They consequently propose that, according to Daniel, the Neo-Babylonian Empire fell to the Medes under “Darius the Mede” (5:30-31; 6:28), preceding the reign of the Persian king, Cyrus the Great (10:1).

Historically this would be wrong.  The Medes were conquered about 550 BCE by the Persians.  It was the joint forces of the Persians and the Medes that conquered Babylon eleven years later, with Cyrus the Great as their supreme king.

It is also not consistent with Daniel.  Daniel’s author consistently viewed the Medes and Persians as a single entity, as indicated by the following:

FORCES: Daniel prophesied that Babylon would be conquered by the joint forces of the Medes and the Persians (5:28).

LAW: Daniel 6:9, 13 and 16 refers to the unchangeable law of the Medes and the Persians.

RAM: The ram is identified as “the kings of Media and Persia” (8:20).

MEDES: Daniel never refers to a separate Median kingdom.  He only refers to a person (Darius) as a Mede, but within the context of the Persian Empire (compare 10:1 to 11:1-2).

CONFLICT: There is no indication in Daniel of a conflict between the Medes and the Persians which resulted in the dominance of Persia.

Furthermore, the author would be inconsistent to describe both Media and Persia by a single beast in Daniel 8, but as two different beasts in Daniel 7 and as two different metals in Daniel 2.

DARIUS THE MEDE

Critics argue that the author of Daniel committed a historical blunder when he referred to Darius the Mede in 5:31-6:28 and 9:1. The argument runs as follows:

Although no such figure is known from history, Daniel’s reference to him thereby allowed for a separate Median kingdom between the Neo-Babylonian rulers, Nabonidus and Belshazzar, on the one hand, and the Persian king, Cyrus, on the other.

In a separate article on this website it is argued that Darius might have been the throne name for Ugbaru (Greek Gobryas), the general who conquered Babylon for Cyrus, and who was appointed by Cyrus as king over the “kingdom of the Chaldeans” (9:1)—one of the kingdoms in the Persian Empire—but who died three weeks after the conquest of Babylon.  He ruled only for one week, which explains why archaeologists have not yet found him in recorded history.

FROM ONE FROM THEM (Daniel 8)

Critics argue that 8:8-9 confirms that the little horn comes from one of the four Greek horns, and must therefore be a Greek king, like Antiochus IV Epiphanes.  

Nouns and pronouns in Hebrew have genders which require agreement.  The last phrase in 8:8, together with the beginning of 8:9, which specifies where the horn came from, with the relevant words marked (f) for feminine or (m) for masculine, reads as follows:

… the great horn was broken; for it came up four notable ones (horns (f) NASB) toward the four (f) winds (f) of heaven (m).  And out of one (f) of them (m) came forth a little horn (KJV)

To understand where the little horn comes from, we need to understand what the words “one” and “them” refer to:

The “them” in 8:9 must agree in gender and number with its antecedent (the previously mentioned noun to which it refers).  The word “them” in 8:9 is a masculine plural and the only masculine plural in the previous verse is “heaven”.  (“Heaven” is always plural [heavens] in biblical Hebrew.  The Hebrew word for “horn” is always feminine.  The word for “winds” is written in 8:8 as a feminine plural.)

The numeral “one” is feminine in form.  Firstly, it therefore does not have the same antecedent as the word “them”.  The first and second nouns must be different.  It therefore cannot refer to “one” of the heavens.  Secondly, the “one” can either refer to one of the horns or to one of the winds.  (The word “winds” means the four directions of the compass.)  Putting the above together, the phrase “out of one of them” can therefore either mean:

  1. Out of one of the horns of the heavens, or
  2. Out of one of the winds (compass directions) of the heavens

These options satisfy the gender requirements.  However, the first option is not acceptable because heavens do not have horns and horns nowhere else in Daniel come out of horns.  Since “the four winds of heaven” is the last phrase in verse 8, the second option is preferred.  The first phrase of 8:9 lines up as follows with the last phrase of 8:8:

  Feminine Masculine  
8:8 there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of the heavens  
8:9 from the one from them came forth a rather small horn

To summarize, verse 8 states that four horns appeared in the place of the great horn that was broken.  They extended “toward the four winds of the heavens.”  Verse 9 begins by saying that the little horn came from one of these four winds of the heavens, that is, from one of the directions of the compass.  It therefore did not come from one of the Greek horns, and is therefore not Greek in origin.

WHERE IS ROME IN DANIEL 8?

Critics challenge the conservative interpretation by asking: Where Rome is in Daniel 8?  Daniel 8 does not seem to describe another empire between the Greek Empire and the evil horn. 

Firstly, one needs to understand that Daniel 7 did not present the little horn as an entirely new entity, but as a continuation of the beast.  The beast remains alive as long as the horn is alive:

Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire. (7:11)

The beast and its dreadful horn are therefore described by Daniel 7 as a single entity.

Secondly, Daniel 8 does allow for political Rome.  The growth of the horn in Daniel 8, as described in verses 9 to 11, consists of two phases.  The first phase is horizontal growth:

a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land. (8:9)

The second phase is vertical growth:

It 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 down. It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down. (8:10-11)

The horn does not literally grow up to the stars.  The stars are symbols of God’s people, and the trampling of the stars is the same as the persecution of God’s people described by Daniel 7 (7:21, 25).  The Commander of the host is God—“Him who lives forever” (12:7).

The horizontal expansion of the horn is its political phase, and parallels the fourth beast of Daniel 7 when it “devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it” (7:8, 23).  The vertical expansion is the horn’s religious phase, parallel to the evil horn of Daniel 7.  Daniel 8 therefore merges the beast and its prominent horn into a single symbol—the horn.

This may be explained as follows:  Daniel 2 does not mention any anti-God activities, but Daniel 7 divides the fourth empire into a political phase, described in two verses (7:7, 19), and a subsequent phase during which an anti-God power will reign, described in about six verses.  Daniel 8 includes both phases under the symbolism an evil horn.  This indicates that the religious power is more important than the political power from which it came.  In fact, that religious power is more important than all four political empires.  The prophecies only mention the political empires to enable us to identify the evil anti-God power.

INTERPRETATION BASED ON DANIEL 11

The vision in Daniel 10-12 is important because, as mentioned above, critics actually derive the Antiochus-interpretation (the Maccabean thesis) from this vision, and then apply this interpretation to the earlier chapters.  As one critic wrote:

Daniel was written during the period of the Maccabees, in the middle of the 2nd century B.C., or about 400 years after the events it describes.  Its origin is betrayed in chapter 11, when Daniel supposedly prophesies about the future.

DANIEL 11; FIRST 20 VERSES

There are no animals in the vision in Daniel 10-12.  The Persian kingdom is identified by name (11:2), but none of the later kingdoms or kings is named.  Instead, the names “king of the south” and “king of the north” are used; each for an entire kingdom consisting of a whole series of kings.  The reader has to identify the relevant king by comparing the events described by the prophecy with actual history.

While many prophetic details in Daniel 11 are difficult to interpret, interpreters are in general agreement in interpreting verses 1- 13:

Verse 2 predicts four more Persians kings, and that the fourth will attack Greece.  This was the Persian king Xerxes.  By virtue of his failed attack on the Greeks he brought the Greek nation onto the ‘world’ scene.

Then verse 3 jumps 150 years over the remaining Persians kings to the first Greek king—the “mighty king” (Alexander the Great) (11:3).

Verse 4 refers to the four divisions into which Alexander’s kingdom was divided after his death.

Under the names “king of the north” and “king of the south” verse 5 onwards describes the two divisions of Alexander’s empire that were threats to Judea.  The “king of the north” was the series of Seleucid kings of the Middle East and the “king of the south” refers to the series of Ptolemaic kings of Egypt.  From verse 5 to 13 the Ptolemies and Seleucids follow in an order that can be determined with reasonable certainty down to the Seleucid Antiochus III.

Beginning with the troublesome reference to the “breakers of your people” in verse 14, however, interpretations diverge.  Critics agree that verses 14 to 19 describe Antiochus III.  To quote a critical scholar:

Daniel 11:2-20 is a very accurate & historically corroborated sequence of events from the third year (10:1) of the Persian era up to the predecessor of Antiochus IV: some 366 years!  Only the names and dates are missing.  Most of the details are about the conflicts between the kings of the South (the Ptolemies of Egypt) and the kings of the North (the Seleucids of Mesopotamia/ Syria).  The Seleucids are shown to become stronger and stronger (despite some setbacks) …  Of course, Jerusalem was in the middle and changed hand (197, from Egypt to Syria).

THE VILE PERSON IS THE HORN

The remainder of Daniel 11 describes the activities of a “vile person” (KJV; 11:21).  It is generally agreed that this “vile person” is the same as the horn of Daniel 8 and Daniel 7, argued as follows:

ELABORATE:  As argued above, the later prophecies in Daniel elaborate on the earlier prophecies.  Therefore, in chapter 11, where we no longer have beasts and horns representing kingdoms and their division, but rather a series of selected individual kings who ruled those kingdoms, it is still the same kingdoms.

PERSECUTION:  Both the horn and the vile person persecutes God’s people (7:25; 11:32-34);

3½ TIMES:  Both the horn and the vile person persecutes God’s people for a period of 3½ times (7:25; 12:7).  (The persecution by the vile person is described in 11:32-34, but when Daniel asked “How long shall it be?” (12:6), the answer is given “it would be for a time, two times, and half a time; and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be accomplished” (12:7).  This verse is not entirely clear, but it seems to say that the prophetic period “a time, two times, and half a time“, —a total of 3½ times—is the period of persecution for the holy people.  Since this question-and-answer dialogue comes at the end of the prophecy of Daniel 11·12, it relates to the previously mentioned persecution, which is the persecution in 11:32-34.

These 3½ times of Daniel 12:7 also occur in the Aramaic portion of Daniel—in Daniel 7:25—where it is also a time of persecution for the saints of the Most High, namely by the little horn.)

ABOMINATION: Both set up “the abomination (transgression/sin) that makes desolate” (11:31; 8:13).  (An abomination is a sin.  In Deut. 7:25 “graven images of their gods” are called “an abomination to the LORD your God”.) Both of these expressions tie in with the tamid (continual) in their respective contexts (compare 11:31 with 8:11-12).

TEMPLE:  The vile person profanes the strong temple (11:31), which is equivalent to the casting down of the place of the temple of the prince of the host by the horn in 8:11. 

TAMID:  Both remove the continual (tamid) (8:11; 11:31).

DECEIT:  Both work through deceit (8:25; 11:21-24) and both “magnify himself” (8:11; 11:36-37).

Daniel 11 therefore covers the same ground as Daniel 8, and provides additional information for the interpretation of Daniel 8; and therefore also for the question whether the little horn of Daniel 8 is Roman or Greek.

11:22; PRINCE OF THE COVENANT

The following is a rather literal translation of verse 22:

the arms of the flood are overflowed from before him, and are broken; and also the leader (nagid; prince–NASB) of the covenant (berit) (11:22; YLT)

The text presents a picture of inferior forces (“the arms of the flood“) being overwhelmed and defeated by the superior forces of the vile person. The lesser flood was to be flooded by an even greater flood of arms.

This verse is related to the prophecy of the death of Jesus Christ in Daniel 9:24-27, in a number of ways:

FLOOD: The word “flood” as a noun occurs only twice in Daniel—in 9:26 (“Its end shall come with the flood, and to the end there shall be war“) and 11:22.

NAGID:  The word ‘sar’ (translated “prince”) occurs 11 times in Daniel in various chapters (8:11, 25; 9:6, 8; 10:13, 20 [twice], 21; 11:5; 12:1), but the word ‘nagid’, which is also translated “prince” occurs only in 11:22 and in the prophecy of 9:24-27. In the prophecy of 9:24-27 it occurs first with the Messiah in verse 25 and then again alone in verse 26, where it refers to the prince “who is to come“.  The implication is that the “Messiah the Prince” (9:25), the “prince who is to come” (9:26) and “the prince of the covenant” (11:22) refer to the same individual—the Messiah Prince; Christ in His earthly incarnate state.

CUT OFF: In both 9:24-27 and 11:22 the nagid will be destroyed.  He is “cut off” (9:26) and ”broken” (11:22).

BERIT: The word berit (covenant) occurs in both passages.  Berit also occurs elsewhere in Daniel, but a prince is connected with the covenant only in these two passages.  In other words, only the nagid-prince is connected with the covenant.  In 9:26-27 it is the nagid who make strong the covenant for one week. (See article on Daniel 9.)  In 11:22 the nagid of the covenant is broken.  “Covenant” elsewhere in Daniel always refers to the covenant between God and His people (9:4; 11:28, 30, 32).

It is therefore concluded that the nagid in these two passages is the same individual, that the flood in the two passages refer to the same power and that the two passages refer the same events.  Since 9:24-27 refers to the death of Jesus Christ in the first century AD, the prophecy of Daniel 9 is fulfilled in the Roman period.  The same must therefore apply to 11:22.

Since the events in Daniel 11 are given in their chronological order, everything that follows after verse 22 must be sought sometime after the first century AD.  Just how long afterward is immaterial at this point, since we are only concerned here with the question whether the evil horn is Roman or Greek. 

In particular the setting up of the abomination (11:31) and the persecution of God’s people (11:32-34) follows after 11:22, and therefore somewhere after the crucifixion of Jesus.  This was confirmed by Jesus when He said:

Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), (Mat 24:15)

This phrase “abomination of desolation” comes from Daniel 11:31 and 12:11.  Jesus therefore also interpreted the vile person not as the Greek king Antiochus IV between 168 and 165 BC, but as an anti-God ruler that will arise later.

RELATIVE CHRONOLOGY

We are now able to establish a relative chronology between Daniel 11 and the earlier prophecies:

Daniel 11

Dan. 9

Dan. 8

Dan. 7

Persian kings (v2) Persian decree (v25) Persian ram (v2-4) Persian bear (v5)
Greek king (v3)   Greek goat (v5-7) Greek leopard (v6a)
Kings of North and South   Four horns (v8) Leopard’s four heads
Roman flood breaks Nagid of covenant (v22) Nagid cut off (v 25-27) Horizontal expansion (8:9) Fourth beast (v8, 23)
Vile person: profanes temple, set up abomination (v31), persecute for 3½ times (v32-34; 12:7)   Little horn: casts temple down, removes daily, transgression of desolation (v8-13) Little horn: persecute God’s people for 3½ limes;  (v25)

ANTIOCHUS III

Daniel 11 is quite brief about the earlier kings, but provides much detail about Antiochus III; the father and predecessor of Antiochus IV.  Critics argue that this emphasis on Antiochus III is a clear indication that the prophecy of the vile person points to Antiochus IV.

To this we respond as follows:  the fourth Persian king (Xerxes) was also highlighted earlier in Daniel 11 (v2), not to identify the Persian king that would follow him, but because his unsuccessful wars against Greece was a key turning point in history that shifted the balance of power in the known world from Mede-Persia to Greece.

In the same way Antiochus III’s unsuccessful war against the Romans, which is described in Daniel 11, was the key turning point that shifted the balance of power from the Greek Empire to Rome.  As a result he and his sons had to pay penalties to the Romans, and were left subject to the growing dominance of the Rome. 

This explains the significant attention to Antiochus III in Daniel 11.  It was for the same reason that Xerxes was emphasized in 11:2.  The purpose was not to identify the king that follow after Antiochus III, but rather that his reign was the key turning point for the shift in dominance from the Greek to the Roman Empires.

WHERE IS ROME IN DANIEL 11?

But the critics ask: Where is the Roman Empire in Daniel 11?  Daniel 11 seems to continue, without an intervening empire, from the Greek Empire (Antiochus III) to the vile person. 

To respond, we again refer to the key turning points, which shift the balance of power in favor of the next empire.  It is proposed, as a principle, that Daniel’s prophecies, once the key turning point has been reached, do not mention the previous empire any more, and jump right over the remaining kings to the next empire.

This is best explained by means of an example.  It was mentioned above that Xerxes’ war against the Greeks was a key turning point in history.  He is mentioned in verse 2.  Then the prophecy jumps over the next 150 years during which seven Persian kings reigned (Arlaxerxes I, Darius II, Xerxes II, Artaxerxes II, Artaxerxes Ill, Arses, and Darius III), to the first Greek emperor; Alexander the Great (11:3).

It is proposed that this principle equally applies to the shift from the Greek to the Roman empires.  Antiochus III’s war against Rome was another key turning point in history.  Then the prophecy jumps over the next 170, during which several Greek kings reigned, to the next empire (Rome).

This principle is also visible in Daniel 7 and 8.  The vision is Daniel 7 mentions Babylon, but the vision in Daniel 8, which was received only two years later (7:1; 8:1) does not.  It is proposed that the reason is that the key turning point, that shifted the balance of world power from Babylon to Mede-Persia, was between these two dates.  In this case Babylon was not involved.  In this case the war between the Medes and the Persians, which resulted in the prophesied Cyrus becoming supreme ruler of the Medes and the Persians, was the key turning point.

Applying this principle makes it quite possible to interpret 11:19 as a description of the death of Antiochus III and 11:22 as a description of the death of Christ 200 years later in the first century AD. 

Where is Rome?  Similar to Daniel 8 the vile person serves as a symbol for both the fourth kingdom in Daniel 7 (Rome) and the evil horn that arise from or after it:

Daniel 7 describes a fourth empire, followed by a ruler that wants to exterminate God’s people and God’s message.  But even in Daniel 7 the emphasis is on this anti-God ruler.  Daniel 7 describes the fourth empire in only two verses, but allows 6 verses for the evil horn.

Daniel 8 does not mention the Roman Empire directly, but only indirectly and in only a single verse (8:9).  It uses the same symbol for both the Roman Empire and worldwide anti-God ruler; namely the little horn that first expands horizontally (politically) and then vertically (religious growth).  Nearly all the attention is on the religious phase. 

Daniel 11 continues this trend by representing both the Roman Empire and the anti-God ruler as a single symbol; the despicable person.  Political Rome is only seen as the flood that flows away the “overflowing forces” and also flows away the “prince of the covenant” (11:22).  By far most of the description in Daniel 11 is about the subsequent anti-God king.

As mentioned before, the sole purpose of these prophecies and the first four kingdoms is to locate to worldwide anti-God ruler.  This is the reason for the ever reducing emphasis of the political phase of the fourth empire and an increasing emphasis on its religious phase.

DANIEL 11; ANTIOCHUS AS TYPE

But the critics are still not convinced.  They correctly argue that Antiochus IV fits the sequence of kings in Daniel 11:

Studies by the current author (comparing Daniel 11 to the history of the Seleucids kings as it is available on internet) have confirmed this.  It confirmed the majority interpretation up to 11:19, where Antiochus III dies.  The description of the vile person starts in 11:21.  Therefore, if 11:20 describes Seleucus IV (not Heliodorus), then Antiochus IV fits the sequence of kings. 

Critics also correctly argue that the history of Antiochus IV, such as the double invasion of Egypt (11:25, 29), and the persecution of God’s people, fits the descriptions of the “vile person” in the verses after 11:21 quite well.

For critics these are conclusive evidence that the vile person is Antiochus IV, and not the Roman Empire or some later ruler.

In response, it is very important to realize that the description of the “vile person” exceeds Antiochus IV.  For instance, Antiochus never gained authority or ruled through deceit (v21).  He did not distribute the plunder (v24).  He did not magnify himself above every god or not have regard for the god of his fathers, nor have regard for any god (v36-37).  And, as all agree, the events of the “time of the end” (v40-45) do not fit history at all.  As Desmond Ford noted:

Verses 21-35 fit his (Antiochus’s) time perfectly, but let it be noted that this interpretation by no means exhausts the passage (p 144; Daniel and the coming King).

Daniel 11 may therefore be understood as two stories intertwined.  The text describes the history up to and including Antiochus IV, but while discussing Antiochus IV it jumps to a future and worldwide evil king.  This also happens in Joel, where the prophet describes a local locust plague, but then suddenly jumps to the day of the Lord.  Isaiah 14 jumps from the king of Babylon to Lucifer, with no interruption (14:4, 12).  Ezekiel 28 jumps from the king of Tyre (v12) to an “anointed cherub who covers” (v14).  It is also similar to Matthew 24, where Jesus combined the description of the destruction of the temple in 70 AD and the end of the world.

The first story starts with the time of Persia and continues until Antiochus IV under the symbolism of the vile person.  The second is the story of a later worldwide evil king, also with the vile person as symbol, and continues until Michael stands up (12:1-3).

Understood this way, Antiochus IV is only a partial fulfillment of Daniel 11, to be followed by the final and fuller fulfillment by a much later and much larger anti-God ruler, in the same way as John the Baptist was a first representation of Elijah to come.  Understood in this way Antiochus IV serves as a type of the later anti-God ruler.

The vile person is therefore a double merge.  It merges the Roman Empire and its anti-God successor into a single symbol, but then also merges Antiochus IV into this symbol.

Why would God do this?  It is possible that God also reflected the events of Antiochus IV in Daniel 11, so that when the Jews see these events fulfilled in Antiochus IV they would accept the book as inspired and expect the coming of the Messiah as predicted in Daniel 9. 

CONCLUSION

The Critical View

Critics do not accept the possibility that the minutely accurate descriptions in Daniel of historical events up to the time of Antiochus IV could have been written in the sixth century BC.  They assume that these descriptions were written after the fact in the form of prophecies.

But since the New Testament refers a number of times to the book of Daniel, and since it takes a long time for a book to become accepted as inspired Scripture, the book of Daniel must have been written centuries before the NT.

Antiochus IV fit the sequence of kings and the activities of the evil king in Daniel 11 quite well.  Critics therefore propose that the book of Daniel was written in the time of Antiochus IV, that it was written in response to the persecution of the Jews by Antiochus IV, and that the evil king in Daniel represents this Antiochus.  Therefore Daniel would have been written approximately two centuries before the NT.

With this as the accepted view, critics have to interpret the prophecies accordingly.  To fit this view to Daniel 11, critics explain the prince of the covenant in 11:22 as the high priest Onias.  He was killed in the time on Antiochus.  But to fit this view to Daniel 2 and 7 is more difficult. To do that critics have a rather forced interpretation of the prophecy of those chapters.

Daniel 7

This document has provided proof that the forced interpretation of Daniel 2 and 7 is incorrect:

By comparing the beasts of Daniel 7 and Daniel 8, it has been shown that the fourth empire of Daniel 7 is the Roman Empire.  Consequently, the evil horn comes out the Roman Empire, and cannot represent the Greek king Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

Critics propose that the horns are individual kings of the fourth kingdom.  But it has been shown above, mostly on the basis of Daniel 2, that the horn-kings of the fourth beast in Daniel 7 rule after the fourth empire.

Critics propose that the author of Daniel split the Mede-Persian Empire into two empires, but it was shown above that the author of Daniel consistently treated the Mede-Persian Empire as a single empire.

Daniel 8

It has also been shown above that Daniel 8 does align well to the logical interpretation of Daniel 7:

Critics propose that 8:8-9 indicates that the little horn in Daniel 8 comes out of one of the Greek horns.  However, the antecedents of the pronouns in Daniel 8:8-9 indicate that the little horn comes out of one of the four directions of the compass, not from one of the four Greek horns, and is therefore not Greek.

Critics argue that the evil little horn in Daniel 8 is mentioned immediately after the Greek horns, with no intermediate empire.  However, it has been shown above that the little horn in Daniel 8 first grows horizontally, which is equivalent to the political phase of the fourth empire.  The horn of Daniel 8 therefore represents both the fourth kingdom and the horn of Daniel 7. 

Daniel 11

Conservatives base their interpretation mostly on Daniel 7 and 8, and often find it very difficult to explain Daniel 11.  The approach adopted in this document is as follows:

The linguistic links between Daniel 9:24-27 and 11:22 imply that the breaking of the prince of the covenant in 11:22 refers to the death of Jesus Christ in the first century AD.  Therefore the flood that shatters the nagid-prince of the covenant in 11:22 (and destroys the city and the sanctuary in 9:26) is the Roman Empire.

This means that the anti-temple activities and the persecution of God’s people later in Daniel 11 must occur some historical time after Christ’s death, and therefore during or after the Roman period.

In response to the criticism of this interpretation this article further argues as follows:

Daniel 11 emphasizes Antiochus III because his unsuccessful war against the Romans was the critical turning point that shifted the balance of power in the known world from the Greeks to the Romans.

Although Antiochus IV fits the sequence of kings in Daniel 11, Daniel 11:19-22 can be interpreted as a jump from Antiochus III to the Roman Empire because, as soon as a key turning point in history has been reached, the prophecies jump to the next empire.

The evil horn-king is the main purpose and main player in these prophecies, and in Daniel 11 the symbol of the evil king includes the fourth kingdom, symbolized by the flood (11:22). 

The history of Antiochus IV is reflected in the prophecies of Daniel, but Antiochus does not exhaust the prophecies.  The prophecies of Daniel simultaneously predict the persecutions of Antiochus and a much larger and much later anti-God ruler that will arise after the time of the Roman Empire.

For a more specific identification of the evil horn-king, please read the article on the seven headed beasts in Revelation.

God is in control

This document therefore supports the view that the book of Daniel was written before the time of Antiochus IV, and that the prophecies are real predictions of future events.  God is in control of history:

there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days (2:28).

the Most High God is ruler over the realm of mankind and that He sets over it whomever He wishes (5:21)

TO: General Table of Contents

Daniel’s evil horn—Greek or Roman? – Summary

To the complete article: The evil horn-king in Daniel’s prophecy

A Word version of this article can be downloaded:
Daniel’s evil horn–Greek or Roman
Summary in Work formst

This summary omits many key points.  The full document should rather be read.  The purpose of this summary is only to provide a high level overview.

Antiochus IV

The Macedonian (Greek) Empire, which included the nation of Israel (Judea), ruled from about 330 B.C. for nearly 300 years.  Antiochus IV was one of the many kings of this empire.  He ruled between 168 and 165 BC.  He defiled the temple in Jerusalem in the year 168 B.C. and persecuted the Jews.

Purpose

In academic circles (critics) it is believed that he was the evil king presented in the prophecies of Daniel chapters 7, 8 and 11The purpose of this document is to oppose this view, and to show that the evil king in the book of Daniel arises in time after Rome has become the dominant power and therefore cannot be Antiochus IV.

Daniel 2

Using the statue of a man, consisting of four different metals, the vision in Daniel 2 divides world history into six phases:

  1. Babylonian (Gold) Empire
  2. Silver (another) kingdom
  3. Bronze (third) kingdom
  4. Iron (fourth) kingdom
  5. Iron and clay; divided kingdom – no supreme ruler
  6. Eternal kingdom – destroys the entire image

The fifth phase is represented by the statue’s feet consisting partly of iron and partly of clay (2:33).  Iron is the same metal as the fourth kingdom, indicating that the feet continue the fourth kingdom.  But it is explained as “a divided kingdom” (2:41).  In other words, a supreme king will rule all nations during each of the four kingdoms (2:37-40), but during the “divided kingdom” there will be no supreme king.

Daniel 7

Daniel 2 has four metals and Daniel 7 has four beasts.  Both the four metals and the four beasts represent successive kingdoms.  Both Daniel 2 and 7 end with the “everlasting kingdom” (7:28).  Both have a phase of many kings after the first four, which continue the fourth empire, and which exist until the sixth or eternal kingdom.  This phase is symbolized by the horns of the fourth beast in Daniel 7 and by the feet of the statue (the divided kingdom) in Daniel 2.  The horns are therefore equivalent to the divided kingdom.  Daniel 7 therefore divides world history into the same 6 successive phases as Daniel 2:

 

Daniel 2

Daniel 7

1

Head of fine gold

Lion

2

Breast and its arms of silver

Bear

3

Belly and its thighs of bronze

Leopard

4

Legs of iron

Dreadful beast

5

Feet of iron and clay

Horns

6

Everlasting Kingdom

Everlasting dominion

Since the divided kingdom in Daniel 2 follows after the fourth kingdom, the horns are not individual kings of the fourth kingdom, but separate kingdoms that came about after the end of the fourth kingdom.  Further, since the divided kingdom consists of a number kings that reign at the same time, the ten kings do not exist one after the other, but at the same time.

Daniel 7 adds detail about the four kingdoms in the form of descriptions of beasts.  But most additional information is about the evil eleventh horn that arises from the fourth beast and rules during the divided kingdom.  This evil horn-king persecutes the saints and blasphemes God (7:25).

Daniel 8

Daniel 8 also uses beasts as symbols for kingdoms.  The first is a ram that is explicitly identified as Mede-Persia (8:20).  The second is a goat that is explicitly identified as Greece (8:20-21).

Daniel 8 then describes the four horns of the goat that represent the four kingdoms into which Alexander’s Greek empire was divided.

It also describes a horn that is small at first, but expands.  It attacks God’s people and the temple.

It is generally agreed that the evil horn of Daniel 8 is the same as the evil horn of Daniel 7.  Both are horns, both begin small and become great (7:8 and 8:9) and both blasphemes God and persecutes His people. 

Interpretations

This little horn is identified differently by the different schools of prophetic interpretation:

Preterists hold that the little horn points to Antiochus IV.

Futurists see Antiochus as a type of an end-time antichrist who is to arise in the final years before the return of Christ, and pollute a literal temple, to be rebuilt in Jerusalem.

Historicists, hold that the little horn represents the Roman Church.  The purification of the sanctuary is interpreted as the restoration after the distortion of the Middle Ages.

To evaluate these views, the kingdom from which this horn arises must be identified:

VIEWS EVALUATED

Alignment

Conservatives align the kingdoms as follows:

Daniel 2

Gold (Babylon)

Silver

Brass

Iron

Daniel 7

Lion

Bear

Leopard

Dreadful Beast

Daniel 8

 

Ram (Mede-Persia)

Goat (Greece)

 (Rome)

In this view the bear is Mede-Persia and the Leopard is the Greek Empire.  It follows that the Dreadful Beast must represent Rome, because that was the next empire in history. Then the little horn comes about in or after the Roman period.

The Preterist School split Mede-Persian Empire into two separate empires and aligns the symbols as follows:

Daniel 2

Gold

Silver

Brass

Iron

Daniel 7

Lion

Bear

Leopard

Dreadful Beast

Daniel 8

 

Ram (Medes)

Ram (Persia)

Goat (Greece)

In this schema the Ram of Daniel 8 is equal to both the Bear and the Leopard of Daniel 7, and the Goat of Daniel 8 is equivalent to the Dreadful Beast of Daniel 7. 

Compare descriptions

One way to determine which schema best fits the text of Daniel is to compare the descriptions of the animals in Daniel 7 and Daniel 8:

The Ram and the Leopard do not appear similar.  The Ram has two horns while the Leopard has four heads.

The Goat and the Dreadful Beast do not appear similar.  The Goat has one horn at first and then later four.  The Dreadful Beast first has 10 horns, and then an 11th comes up which “pluck out” three of the ten horns by their “roots”, leaving 8 horns.

The Ram and the Bear appear similar.  For both their two sides are emphasized, with one side higher than the other.  Both conquered three others.  This implies that they represent the same empire, namely “the kings of Media and Persia” (8:20).

The Goat and the Leopard appear similar.  Both are represented as very fast and both consist of four parts.  This implies that they represent the same empire, namely “the kingdom of Greece” (8:21).

This analysis of the characteristics of the beasts supports the conservative interpretation, which identifies the fourth beast of Daniel 7 as the Roman Empire.  It follows that the horn comes out of Rome.  It cannot be Antiochus IV.

Two separate empires

Critics defend their schema by proposing that the author of Daniel viewed the Medes and Persians as two separate empires with the Neo-Babylonian Empire falling firstly to the Medes under “Darius the Mede” (5:30-31; 6:28) and later to the Persians under Cyrus the Great (10:1).  This is not consistent with Daniel.  Daniel’s author consistently viewed the Medes and Persians as a single entity (5:28, 6:9, 13 and 16; 8:20).

Darius the Mede

Critics argue that the author of Daniel committed a historical blunder when he referred to Darius the Mede.  In a separate article on this website it is argued that Darius might have been the throne name for Ugbaru, the general who conquered Babylon for Cyrus, and who ruled over the province of the Chaldeans (9:1) for (at most) three weeks.  This short period explains why archaeologists have not yet found him in recorded history.

Out of one of them

Daniel 8:9 says that the little horn came “out of one of them”.  Since the previous verse referred to the four Greek horns, critics argue that 8:9 confirms that the little horn comes from one of the four Greek horns, and must therefore be a Greek king, like Antiochus IV.  However, an analysis of the genders of the nouns and pronouns indicates that the “them” in 8:9 can only to the “heavens”, which is the last word in 8:8.  The “out of one of them” can then be interpreted as either:

  1. Out of one of the horns of the heavens, or
  2. Out of one of the winds (compass directions) of the heavens

The first option is not acceptable because heavens do not have horns and horns nowhere else in Daniel come out of horns.  Since “the four winds of heaven” is the last phrase in verse 8, the second option is preferred.  The little horn therefore came from one of these four winds of the heavens, that is, from one of the directions of the compass.  It therefore did not come from one of the Greek horns, and is therefore not Greek in origin.

Where Rome is in Daniel 8?

Critics challenge the conservative interpretation by asking: Where Rome is in Daniel 8?  Daniel 8 does not seem to describe another kingdom between the Greek Empire and the evil horn. 

Firstly, both Daniel 2 and 7 describe the beast and its dreadful horn as a single entity (7:11).  Secondly, the growth of the horn in Daniel 8, as described in verses 9 to 11, consists of two phases.  The first phase is horizontal (political) growth (8:9) and the second phase is vertical (religious) growth.  The horizontal expansion parallels the fourth beast of Daniel 7.  The vertical expansion parallels the evil horn of Daniel 7.  Daniel 8 therefore merges the beast and its prominent horn into a single symbol—the horn.

DANIEL 11

Antiochus III

Critics agree that verses 14 to 19 describe Antiochus III, the father of Antiochus IV.  To quote a critical scholar:

Daniel 11:2-20 is a very accurate & historically corroborated sequence of events from the third year (10:1) of the Persian era up to the predecessor of Antiochus IV: some 366 years!  Only the names and dates are missing.  Most of the details are about the conflicts between the kings of the South (the Ptolemies of Egypt) and the kings of the North (the Seleucids of Mesopotamia/ Syria).  The Seleucids are shown to become stronger and stronger …  Of course, Jerusalem was in the middle and changed hand (197, from Egypt to Syria).

Vile person

The remaining 25 verses of Daniel 11 describe the activities of a “vile person” (KJV; 11:21).  It is generally agreed that this “vile person” is equivalent to the horn of Daniel 8 and Daniel 7 because:

Elaborate: The later prophecies in Daniel elaborate on the earlier prophecies.

Persecute: Both the horn and the vile person persecutes God’s people (7:25; 11:32-34) for 3½ times (7:25; 12:7).

Temple: Both set up “the abomination that makes desolate” (11:31; 8:13), profanes the strong temple (11:31; 8:11) and remove the continual (tamid) (8:11; 11:31).

Prince of the covenant

Daniel 11:22 indicates that the nagid (prince) of the covenant will be broken before the vile person.  This refers to the death of Jesus Christ:

The word ‘sar’ (translated “prince”) occurs several times in Daniel, but the word ‘nagid’, which is also translated “prince”, occurs only in 11:22 and in 9:24-27.  The word “covenant” is also used several times in Daniel, but only 11:22 and 9:24-27 link a prince to the covenant.  In both 9:24-27 and 11:22 the nagid is destroyed.  It is therefore concluded that the nagid in these two passages is the same individual and that the two passages refer the same events.  Daniel 9:24-27 refers to the death of Jesus Christ in the first century AD.  The same must therefore apply to 11:22.

Since the events in Daniel 11 are given in their chronological order, everything that follows after 11:22 must be sought sometime after the death of Christ.  This applies in particular to the setting up of the abomination (11:31) and the persecution of God’s people (11:32-34), which are the main activities of the vile person.  The vile person therefore cannot be the Greek king Antiochus IV that ruled between 168 and 165 BC, but must be an anti-God ruler that will arise later.

Detail about Antiochus III

Daniel 11 is quite brief about the earlier kings, but provides much detail about Antiochus III; the father and predecessor of Antiochus IV.  Critics argue that this emphasis on Antiochus III is a clear indication that the prophecy of the vile person points to Antiochus IV.

To this we respond as follows:  The reign of the father of Antiochus IV (Antiochus III the Great) was the critical turning point for the Greek Empire.  Just as the victory of the Persians over the Medes was the critical turning point that shifted the balance of ‘world power’ from the Babylonian to the Persian Empire, and just as the victory of the Greeks over the Persians in the time of Xerxes was the turning point that shifted ‘world dominance’ from the Persians to the Greek Empire, Rome’s victories over Antiochus III—the most powerful Greek kingdom at the time—was the critical turning point that shifted ‘world dominance’ from the Greek to the Roman Empire.  This explains the attention to Antiochus III in Daniel 11.  It was for the same reason that Xerxes was emphasized in 11:2, namely because his reign was the key turning point.

Where is the Roman Empire in Daniel 11?

But the critics ask: Where is the Roman Empire in Daniel 11?  Daniel 11 seems to continue, without an intervening empire, from the Greek Empire (Antiochus III) to the vile person. 

To respond, it is proposed here that Daniel’s prophecies, once the key turning point has been reached, no longer mention the previous empire, but jump right over the remaining kings to the next empire.  For instance, Xerxes’ war against the Greeks was a key turning point in history (11:2).  Then the prophecy jumps over the next 150 years, during which seven Persian kings reigned, to the first Greek emperor (11:3).  Similarly Antiochus III’s war against Rome was a key turning point in history.  Then the prophecy jumps over the next 170 years, during which several Greek kings reigned, to the next empire (Rome).

But the Roman Empire is not mentioned separately.  Similar to Daniel 8 the vile person serves as a symbol for both the fourth kingdom in Daniel 7 (Rome) and the evil horn that arise from it.  Political Rome is the flood that flows away the “overflowing forces” (11:22).  By far most of the description in Daniel 11 is about the subsequent anti-God king.

Verses 21-35 fit Antiochus

But the critics argue that Antiochus IV fits the sequence of kings in Daniel 11 quite well and that the history of Antiochus IV fits the descriptions of the “vile person” in the verses after 11:21 quite well.  This is granted. 

In this context it is very important to realize that the description of the “vile person” exceeds Antiochus IV.  For instance, Antiochus did not magnify himself above every god or not have regard for the god of his fathers.  Verses 21-35 fit Antiochus’s time perfectly, but Antiochus IV by no means exhausts the passage.

Daniel 11 may therefore be understood as two stories intertwined.  The text seems to describe the history up to and including Antiochus IV, but while discussing Antiochus IV it jumps to a future and worldwide evil king.  Understood this way, Antiochus IV is only a partial fulfillment of Daniel 11, to be followed by the final and fuller fulfillment by a later and much larger worldwide anti-God ruler.

CONCLUSION

A fundamental principle, accepted by all schools of thought, is that the little horn of Daniel 7 is equivalent to the little horn of Daniel 8 and to the vile person in Daniel 11.  However, the various schools of thought explain this evil king in different ways.

Critics do not accept the possibility that the minutely accurate descriptions in Daniel of historical events up to the time of Antiochus IV could have been written in the sixth century BC.  They assume that these descriptions were written after the fact in the form of prophecies.  But since the New Testament refers a number of times to the book of Daniel, and since it takes a long time for a book to become accepted as inspired Scripture, the book of Daniel must have been written hundreds of years before the NT was written.

Antiochus IV fit the sequence of kings and the activities of the evil king in Daniel 11 quite well.  Critics therefore propose that Daniel was written in the time of Antiochus IV, that it was written in response to the persecution of the Jews by Antiochus IV, and that the evil king in Daniel represents this Antiochus.  Therefore Daniel would have been written approximately 200 years before the NT was written.

With this as the accepted view, critics have to interpret the prophecies accordingly.  To fit this view to Daniel 11, critics explain the prince of the covenant in 11:22 as the high priest Onias.  He was killed in the time on Antiochus.  But to fit this view to Daniel 2 and 7 is more difficult. To do that critics have a rather forced interpretation of the prophecy of those chapters.  This document has provided proof that the forced interpretation of Daniel 2 and 7 is incorrect.  It has also been shown that Daniel 8 does align to the obvious interpretation of Daniel 7.

With respect to Daniel 11 it has been shown above that the breaking of the prince of the covenant in 11:22 refers to the death of Jesus Christ in the first century AD and therefore that the flood that shatters the nagid-prince of the covenant in 11:22 is the Roman Empire.  This means that the anti-temple activities and the persecution of God’s people later in that chapter must occur some historical time after Christ’s death, and therefore during or after the Roman period.

This document then had to explain the high level of detail of Antiochus III in Daniel 11, how Daniel 11:19-22 can be interpreted as a jump from Antiochus III to the Roman Empire if Antiochus IV fits the sequence of kings in Daniel 11 and the apparent absence of the Roman Empire in Daniel 8 and 11. 

This document therefore supports the view that the book of Daniel was written before the time of Antiochus IV, and that the prophecies are real predictions of future events.  God is in control of history:

there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days (2:28).

the Most High God is ruler over the realm of mankind and that He sets over it whomever He wishes (5:21)

TO the complete article: The evil horn-king in Daniel’s prophecy

TO: General Table of Contents

Election in Romans 9 – 11

Purpose

The purpose of the article on Romans 9 – 11 is to determine the meaning of the name “Israel” in the New Testament.  Both Romans 9 and 11 contain strong election statements.  Because it discusses the chapters verse by verse, the article on Romans 9 – 11 comments on these election statements in four different sections.  The purpose of this article is to bring these thoughts together into a single article.

It is advisable that the main article be read before this one.

Strong Election Statements

The article on Romans 9 – 11 argues that the question in these chapters is why Israel failed.  Both Romans 9 and 11 explain Israel’s failure as God’s decision, namely that God elected a remnant.  Romans 9:6 refers to the remnant as the (true) “Israel”.  The election of the true Israel is explained in Romans 9 using the example of Jacob, which is concluded as follows:

Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” (9:13)

This sounds unfair, and Paul is quick to explain that election does not depend on what the individual wants or does (9:16), but only on God’s mercy (9:15):

He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. (9:18)

This verse is part of the discussion of the election of Jacob.  God had mercy on Jacob, but hardened Esau.  But since Romans 9 uses Jacob as example of the election of the true Israel (9:6), it means that God had mercy on the true Israel, and hardened the rest of Israel.

The election of the true Israel is also illustrated with the Potter’s vessels (9:19-21), where it is argued that the potter has the right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use (9:21).

Romans 11:1-10 describe the remnant in clear election language as “His people whom He foreknew” (v2), “a remnant according to God’s gracious choice” (v5) and as those who were “chosen” (v7).  In contrast the “rest” of Israel (v7), which is that part of Israel that has been rejected through the election of the remnant, is described as hardened (v7).

Most people seem to understand these verses to say that God decides who goes to heaven and who goes to hell.  But it is proposed here that there is no need to read election to salvation into these verses, as explained below:

Israel was elected corporately for the mission.

Romans 9 uses Jacob (later renamed Israel) as example of the election of the true Israel of 9:6, but the election of Jacob never meant that he and his descendants are saved, as Paul makes clear in 9:27. The election of Jacob was a corporate election to perform a specific mission for God on earth, namely to be the vehicle for the promised blessings to “all the families of the earth” (Gen 12:3). In particular, God elected Israel as the nation from which the world’s Messiah, Jesus Christ, will be born, which is the ultimate blessing promised via Abraham (see Rom 15:8; 2Co 1:20; Gal 3:16 and Gal 3:29).

Neither does the election of the nation of Israel mean that all other people on earth are lost. Many examples can be listed from the Old Testament of non-Israelites that were saved. Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus were kings from foreign nations that probably were saved. The Gentiles that “do instinctively the things of the Law”, even though they do not have the law, are saved (Romans 2:14).

Conclusion:
The example of Jacob teaches that one must differentiate between the chosen and the saved. These groups overlap, but they are not the same. To be chosen for a mission does not guarantee salvation.

Hardened to save

Romans 9 uses Pharaoh as example of the hardened rest of Israel, but Romans 9 also indicates that God’s purpose in hardening Pharaoh was to save, not to send Pharaoh to hell.  He hardened Pharaoh by making him dull so that he would not understand the implications of the miracles he was experiencing.  But the important point is that He did this to show His power and to reveal Himself to Egypt and, by implication, to the entire needy world (cf. Rom. 9:17).

It is important to understand how hardening works.  God could have used a person, supported by miracles and wonders, similar to the way in which God used Moses, to cause Israel to accept Jesus, despite the fact that most of them are eternally lost.  But God hardened Israel by allowing non-believing leaders in the Jewish hierarchy to influence the nation’s decision against Jesus. Similar to the hardening of Pharaoh, the purpose of the hardening of Israel was not send people to hell, but to save. God purposefully hardened Israel (11:5) to make the gospel available to non-Jews (11:12, 15).

Conclusion:
Therefore, whether God elects or hardens, He does everything to save.  Election and hardening do consign people to hell or to heaven.

Hardened people may still be saved.

In response to the frightening description of the hardened Jews in verses 7 to 10, the final section of Romans 9-11 starts as follows:

I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. (11:11)

Stumble” refers back to 9:31-33, where Jesus was described as a stumbling stone, over which Israel stumbled.

The meaning of “fall” must be determined by the context, and the verses that follow after verse 11 contain many indications that it is still possible for hardened Israelites to be saved:

1. Salvation has come to Gentiles to make Israel jealous (v11, 14) (so that they might desire that which God’s chosen has obtained – see verse 7).

2. They may still experience “fulfillment” and “acceptance” as opposed to their “transgression”, “failure” and “rejection” of the past (v12, 15).

3. Paul wish to “save some of them” (v14).

4. God is able to graft them in again (v23).

Fall” therefore means to permanently remain stumbled, without the hope of returning to God. The statement “they did not stumble so as to falltherefore means that, although they have been “hardened” (11:7), these Jews may still return to God.

Conclusion:
Hardening therefore does not consign people to hell.  Consequently election, the opposite of hardening (9:18), is not eternal salvation.

Intensity of the arguments

Someone argues that the very intensity of the arguments in these chapters must mean that they refer to salvation. Not so. Everywhere he went Paul first spoke to the Jews, and Israel’s election was very important to them. To teach the Jews that they are no longer the chosen nation was no small matter.

The Saved and the Chosen the same in Paul’s day (9:30-10:21)

Romans 9:30-10:21 explains salvation by faith (9:30) by contrasting it with the pursuit of righteousness through works (9:32).  In sharp contrast to the first part of Romans 9, this section does not use election language at all.

Since Romans 9:30-10:21 is an explanation of the vessels in the potter illustration, the mercy-vessels (us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles) also are the people in 9:30-10:21 that pursue righteousness by faith.  If the election in Romans 9 – 11 is election to a mission, and not to salvation, why are the elected (the mercy-vessels) the same as the saved?

This is explained here as follows: There always was a vast difference between the saved and the chosen nation in OT times (Israel). Few of the chosen nation were saved while many non-Jews were saved.

In Paul’s day the real believers became visible as the people that believe in Jesus as messiah, and God elected to use this remnant as His new chosen nation. At that point in history the chosen nation (chosen for a mission) and the saved were the same, to a great extent.  Given this historical context Paul could correctly imply that they are the same. As the new chosen nation (the remnant) developed into formal organizations and adopted heathen teachings and customs, it became socially acceptable, and unconverted people joined its ranks. The Christian movement became similar to Israel of the OT, with a vast difference between the saved and those that call themselves Christians. Few church members are saved while many non-church members are saved.

Conclusion:
Paul implies that the chosen and the saved were the same in his day, but that was due to his unique historical situation.

Damascus

Election in Romans 9 is national and corporate, and therefore not to salvation.  But the election in Romans 11:1-10 is the election of individuals; not of a nation.  God has kept for Himself (v4) a remnant (v5), which is just a group of individuals. Does this prove that this election is election to salvation?

No.  In Romans 11 Paul uses himself as an example of the election of the remnant.  People speak about Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, but that was not his conversion.  It was his call to a mission:

the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” (Act 9:15-16)

For Paul Damascus was a change of facts, not a change of heart.  Conversion is not learning new facts. Satan never doubted God’s existence or goodness, but still he sinned. Having the right facts does not save you. Previously Paul was convinced that Jesus was a deceiver. That was what his teachers told him, and he believed them. His facts were wrong. When his facts were changed on the way to Damascus, it did not immediately change his heart. He was the same old fire-breathing Saul. The new facts found fertile soil in his heart, but he had a long way to go before he could stand before God on the basis of mercy only, not on works, as he was brought up to believe. Until he realised that he was the foremost of sinners (1Tim 1:15), he remained in danger of eternal loss. To be chosen as an individual, therefore, does not guarantee salvation.

Conclusion:
The remnant, of which Paul serves as example, has been called individually to the mission of taking the gospel of Jesus to the world, but even an individual call does not guarantee salvation.

The olive tree

The olive tree illustrates the election in Romans 9 and 11:1-10.  It symbolizes this election by God breaking off branches from the tree (11:17, 20-22) and grafting in other branches (11:23-24).  The broken off branches are the hardened “rest” of Israel. The remaining tree is the chosen remnant.  This confirms that these chapters do not deal with election to salvation, because, if it was true that God decides who should be saved, then He would not change His mind.  Rather, the olive tree is an illustration of the transition from Israel corporately as the chosen nation to the election of the remnant.

Beloved enemies

Consider the statement in 11:28:

they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers

They are simultaneously enemies and beloved. They are enemies because they are not saved (10:1), but they are beloved because of election (of the fathers – see main article). Here again the message is that salvation and election are two different things.

Romans 10

Some people emphasize the Bible verses that speak of God’s sovereignty and underemphasize those verses that speak about human freedom. But between Romans 9 and 11, with their heavy focus on God’s sovereignty and the fate of the chosen nation, we find Romans 10 (actually from 9:30 to the end of Romans 10), with its emphasis on righteousness (9:30; 10:3), salvation (10:1, 10, 13), faith (10:4, 6, 9) and human freedom (10:11, 13), with statements such as:

Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed (v11).

Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved (v13).

In contrast to this section, there is not a single word about salvation in the verses that discuss election (9:13-21). People read salvation into the election verses.

Conclusion:
God’s sovereignty and human freedom are both realities.  Human freedom is related to salvation, as indicated by the context in Romans 10, while God’s sovereign choice relates to who He uses in a special as vehicle of His grace, as is indicated by the context in Romans 9 and 11.

Conclusion

The lack of emphasis on election to a mission is a flaw in Dispensationalist thinking.  Because they frequently do not recognize the election in Romans 9 and 11 as election to a mission, Dispensationalists make Israel the end (purpose) of God’s election, instead of the means to an end.  In contrast this document proposes that the gifts and promises God gave to Israel were to make them a blessing to the nations of the world. Through them God sent the Messiah to the world. Through them God maintained His word on earth and wrote the Bible. Through them God sent the gospel into the world. Israel was elected to be a means—to be a tool in God’s plan of salvation—not an end in itself.

We should not be concerned about who will be saved and who will be lost. We must leave that to God. He alone can judge, and we must trust Him to do that perfectly. God continually works in the heart of every person on earth to lead them to accept His principles. Who will be saved and will be lost is a mystery beyond current human understanding. God will clear up the mess on earth and recreate a perfect world in which complete harmony and love will reign:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and … I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Rev 21:1-4)

TO: General Table of Contents