In Daniel 8, did the evil horn come out of the Greek goat?

ORIGIN OF THE HORN

The Horn is Roman.

A previous article showed that the Fourth Beast of Daniel 7 must be the Roman Empire. Consequently, the eleventh Evil Horn in Daniel 7 grows out of the Roman Empire. As argued, the Evil Horns of Daniel 7 and 8 are one and the same. That would mean that the Evil Horn of Daniel 8 also comes out of the Roman Empire.

Or is it Greek?

Daniel 8 symbolizes the Greek Empire as a goat (Dan 8:21). On this goat:

“There came up four conspicuous horns
toward the four winds of heaven.
9 Out of one of them came forth a rather small horn” (Dan 8:8-9).

In the view of some, the “small horn” came out of one of the “four conspicuous horns,” which symbolize the four parts into which the Greek Empire divided (Dan 8:22). Then the “small horn” would be Greek, and could be a Greek king, such as Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

It comes from One of the Compass Directions.

However, for the following reasons, “one of them” does not refer to one of the four horns of the goat but to one of the “four winds of heaven,” meaning the four compass directions:

Firstly, horns do not grow on horns; horns grow on the heads of animals. The “small horn” cannot come out of one of the Greek horns.

Secondly, Hebrew nouns and pronouns have genders that require agreement. The last part of Dan 8:8, together with the first part of Dan 8:9, with the relevant words marked (f) for feminine or (m) for masculine, read as follows:

8 … the large horn was broken; and in its place
there came up four conspicuous horns (f)
toward the four winds (f) of heaven (m).
9 Out of one (f) of them (m) came forth a rather small horn

In the English translation, this information is lost, but an analysis of these genders shows that the small horn comes out of one of the winds of the heavens:

“Them” refers to the Heavens.

“Them” cannot refer to the horns because “them” is male, while the Hebrew word for “horn” is always feminine. “Them” also cannot refer to the “winds” because the word for “winds” in Daniel 8:8 is written in a feminine form. “Them” can only refer to the heavens because that is the only male plural in the previous phrase. (In Hebrew, “heaven” is always plural (heavens).)

“One” refers to one of the Winds.

One Heaven – While “them” is male, “one” is female. “One,” therefore, does not have the same antecedent as “them.” Therefore, since “them” refers to the heavens,” “one” cannot be one of the “heavens.”

One Horn – Both “one” and “horns” are feminine but “one” cannot refer to one of the horns because ‘heavens’ do not have horns. One cannot say ‘one of the horns of heaven’.

One wind – The only other feminine in the previous phrase is “winds. Therefore “out of one of them” must be read as “out of one of the winds of the heavens.”

This conclusion is supported by the fact that the final phrase in verse 8 is, “the four winds of heaven.” The first phrase of Dan 8:9, therefore, lines up as follows with the last phrase of Dan 8:8:

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

It came from the Roman Empire.

Four horns appeared in the place of the great horn that was broken off. They extended “toward the four winds of the heavens.” From one of those ‘four winds’, that is, from one of the four directions of the compass, came the “small horn.” It, therefore, did not come from one of the Greek horns and, therefore, is not Greek in origin.

Since horns grow on heads, it is the horn of some beast. Since the next empire after Greece was Roman, the horn came from the Roman Empire.

WHERE IS ROME?

One possible objection to this interpretation is that Daniel 8 does not seem to describe another empire between the Greek Empire and the Evil Horn. It does not explicitly symbolize the Roman Empire. So, the question arises: Where is the Roman Empire in this chapter? This is answered as follows:

The Horn includes the Beast (Rome).

Firstly, the previous chapter (Daniel 7) refers to the Horn as if it is the fourth beast; a distinct entity. 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.” (Dan 7:11)

So, when Daniel 8 refers to the Horn, the fourth beast of Daniel 7 is included in that symbol.

The Horn’s Political phase symbolizes Rome.

Secondly, Daniel 8 does allow for political Rome, for the horn in Daniel 8 has two phases of growth:

It first grows horizontally (Dan 8:9), symbolizing the horn’s political phase. This parallels the fourth beast of Daniel 7 when it “devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it” (Dan 7:8, 23).

It then grows vertically to “the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth” (Dan 8:10). It does not literally grow up to the stars. The stars symbolize God’s people, and the trampling of the stars symbolizes the persecution of God’s people, as also described by Daniel 7:21, and 25.

“It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host” (Dan 8:11), who is God. “It removed the regular sacrifice from Him.” The vertical expansion, therefore, is the horn’s religious phase, parallel to the evil horn of Daniel 7.

The first phase of growth, therefore, is the fourth beast of Daniel 7.

Daniel 8 is an explanation of Daniel 2 and 7.

Lastly, what we see in Daniel 8 is a trend we already saw in Daniel 7; an increasing focus on the Evil Power:

Daniel 2 describes the full period from the time of Daniel to the Return of Christ without mentioning an evil power.

Daniel 7 also covers that full period but reveals the Evil One. In fact, the evil entity is the main character in this prophecy. This chapter divides the fourth empire into a political phase, described in only two verses (Dan 7:7, 19), and a subsequent phase during which an anti-God power will reign, described in about six verses.

Daniel 8 continues this pattern. By not mentioning the first (Babylonian) or the last (eternal) kingdoms, and by not explicitly mentioning the political phase of the Roman Empire, it reduces the focus on the full period. All focus is on the Evil Horn. In other words, this anti-God power is more important than the political power from which it came. The only reason that the prophecies mention the political empires is to enable us to identify the evil anti-God power.

These three prophecies, really are one single prophecy.


OTHER ARTICLES

The Antichrist in Daniel, which is the same as the Sea Beast in Revelation, arises out of the Roman Empire; it is not Antiochus Epiphanes.

FOOTNOTES

  • 1
    Daniel 2 sets the stage to identify the Antichrist.
  • 2
    The four beast-kingdoms reign one after the other but the ten horns exist at the same time; after the fourth empire.
  • 3
    Daniel 8 identifies the two animals as Mede-Persia and Greece but not the horn. This article explains the alternative interpretations.
  • 4
    A comparison of the animals of Daniel 7 and 8 identifies the fourth kingdom, from which the Antichrist arises, as the Roman Empire.
  • 5
    The genders in Daniel 8 show that “one of them” means one of the compass directions of the heavens, which means the horn came out of Rome.
  • 6
    In Daniel 11, is the Vile Person of Antiochus IV or an end-time Antichrist?
  • 7
    This article lists several differences between the evil king of Daniel 7, 8, and 11 and Antiochus IV. Antiochus was a type of a much later and greater Antichrist.