DOES THE LITTLE HORN REPRESENT ROME?
DID DANIEL UNDERSTAND WHAT THE ANGEL TOLD HIM?
WHAT HAPPENED IN 1844?
The following illustration(not here produced - Keith Hunt), is
taken from the standard Seventh-day Adventist work, "Thoughts on
Daniel," and is itself sufficient to convince any reasonable
person that the application of the "tittle horn" to Rome is
forced to make the "2300 days" end in 1844.
Please note that in the illustration they make the little horn
begin its career before any one of the four divisions of
Alexander's kingdom, and instead of the "little horn" coming out
of one of the four horns, it represents the "little horn" as
coming from the West, and when it reaches the Macedonian horn,
instead of its coming out of that horn, the Macedonian horn is
blended or merged into the Roman horn, whereas, the little horn
was "to come out of one of them" (out of one of the four). This
is in itself a complete reversal of the prophecy.
Furthermore, Rome did not come out of any one of the divisions of
at the very least calculation, over 400 years B.C., and arose on
the banks of the Tiber. Every history book teaches that it came
out of Italy, and not out of one of the divisions of Alexander's
kingdom. It therefore seems quite dishonest to claim that Rome
came out of Macedonia.
Following the "little horn" in this illustration, it can be seen
that the writer of the book, "Thoughts on Daniel," knew this
as he starts the Roman horn with parallel lines of the goat and
before any one of the four horns rose. He then blends it into the
Macedonian horn. The dates are also incorrect, in view of the
events of the prophecy. He starts the horn first Eastward, to
Syria, which is marked B.C. 65, whereas the prophet starts the
horn Southward, as shown in the illustration on Pages 36 and 39,
just as Antiochus started South and conquered Egypt B.C. 171.
It will be observed in the foregoing illustration that after the
"Roman horn," as they call it, leaves Syria, it starts South for
Egypt, which Rome conquered in B.C.30, whereas the prophet starts
it first toward the South and then toward the East, just as
Antiochus, after his victory in Egypt started Eastward to Persia
after he left Egypt. Reader, can you not see that the
illustration from the Seventh-day Adventist authority reverses
the entire order of the prophecy and trifles with the plain Word
of God? This seems sufficient to condemn the interpretation and
the conclusion that the "little horn" represents Rome. It also
shows what men will do to sustain an error, and to justify a
wrong position. The events of this prophecy were literally
fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes long before the dates given on
the little horn in the illustration from, "Thoughts on Daniel,"
by Uriah Smith.
THE RIGHT WAY
The next illustration gives as good a demonstration of the rise
and work of the little horn of Daniel the eighth chapter as it is
possible to draw on paper. The "little horn" is said to come out
of one of the horns (divisions) of Alexander's Empire (Grecia),
which Rome never did. The fact that Rome conquered Antiochus the
Great, the father of Antiochus Epiphanes, proves nothing in favor
of Rome being the "little horn," but much to the contrary.
After Rome conquered the father of Antiochus Epiphanes, is it not
a fact that Antiochus refused subjection to the Romans, and is it
not also a fact that he proclaimed himself king and "came out of"
the subdued horn (Syria)? The fact that he did thus come out of
the subdued horn in defiance to Rome proves positively that he
was "the little horn" that "came out of one of the first horns"
as a new power - a power strong enough to conquer Egypt, Persia
and the Holy Land. Rome was not then powerful enough to stop him,
nor did it even so much as try to stop him.
All the leagues and conquests made by Rome after this can have no
possible bearing on these facts. To represent Rome, which was the
strongest Universal Empire that ever existed, by a "little horn,"
while the two preceding it, Medo-Persia and Grecia, are
represented by powerful beasts is not only turning matters upside
down, but positively ridiculous.
Antiochus Epiphanes was a new power that sprang up out of the
conquered Syrian power, and yet his kingdom was the continuation
of the Syrian division of the Grecian Empire of Alexander. He
made Antioch his capital and went forth South, East and West to
conquer. The author of the book of Maccabees, after noting the
death of Alexander and the division of his Empire into four parts
(the four divisions), says:
And there came out of one of them a wicked root, Antiochus,
surnamed Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king, who had been
a hostage at Rome, and he reigned in the hundred and
thirty-seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks
(1 Maccabees 1:10).
Antiochus fulfilled the prophecy which said:
And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed
exceeding great, toward the South, and toward the East, and
toward the Pleasant Land (Daniel 8:9).
"Toward the South"-In the year B.C. 170, Antiochus conquered
Egypt and plundered Palestine. (See 1 Maccabees 1:16-19.)
"Toward the East"-Toward Persia and the countries of the
East, which he invaded and made subject to him. (See 1
"Toward the Pleasant Land" - Toward Palestine and especially
Jerusalem, which he plundered, entirely destroying their
sanctuary service and abolishing their evening and morning
sacrifices, as foretold by Daniel. He also polluted the sanctuary
and offered swine's flesh on the altar and destroyed God's
people, The until the sanctuary was cleansed by order of Judas
Maccabees. For a record of this, read the entire fast chapter of
the first book of Maccabees.
No person who has intelligently studied this prophecy and
compared it with history can ever again believe that "the little
horn" represented Rome, for the application to Antiochus
Epiphanes is too plain and clear to mistake, while the "Rome
theory" is forced to the very distortion and turning upside down
of every rule of prophetic interpretation.
MAKING LINKS TO ORDER
When trying to impress the people to the effect that the 2300
days ended in 1844, there are several arguments used by
Seventh-day Adventist preachers, elders, and teachers to connect
the ninth chapter of Daniel with the eighth.
One of these is quoted from the eighth chapter and is the
language of Daniel himself. In the last verse he says:
And I, Daniel, fainted and was sick certain days: afterward
I rose up, and did the king's business and I was astonished
at the vision, but none understood it.
The claim is made that the angel did not at that time fully make
known the meaning of the vision and was obliged to do so at a
subsequent time. No such conclusion can be logically drawn from
that or any other text for the simple reason that the angel DID
explain it to Daniel most fully.
The cause of Daniel's sickness was the vision of the persecution
his people were to suffer under Antiochus, and the polluting of
the sanctuary, and NOT anything else.
No man can point to a single line of that vision that was not
fully explained. To be sure, he told Daniel "...to shut up the
vision." The question arises, why did he tell Daniel to "shut up
It is very evident that he was commanded to "shut up the vision,"
because it was now complete, and fully explained, and as it was
not to be fulfilled for several hundred years, or, as the angel
said, "it shall be for many days." The vision that there would be
apostasy among the Jews leading up to the terrible slaughter
would cause more or less speculation and be discouraging to God's
people then, but not during its fulfillment, hence it was "shut
up and "sealed" until the time.
To say that none understood the vision proper or that part was
omitted because Daniel said he was sick and afterwards rose up to
do the king's business, "and none understood it," is rather
far-fetched, and besides, it is very doubtful if Daniel told
others of the vision, as he was commanded to "shut up the
When the angel told Daniel to "shut up the vision," he wanted him
to seal it up and perhaps make a record of it to be preserved
until the time of its fulfillment. Said the angel: "For it shall
be for many days;" that is, many days will elapse before its
fulfillment, and therefore let the record be made and closed up
or sealed till the appointed time. Then, when the people go
through these trials, they will know that it will terminate after
a certain number of evening and morning sacrifices have been set
aside and it will then hearten them to bear the trials.
The question might suggest itself that the vision was plain
enough, but that the "it," which "none understood," was not the
prophecy at all, but the depressed condition of Daniel. Suppose
we allow Dr.Isaac Leeser to throw a little light on that subject
and find out what the "it" refers to in this verse.
We quote from the Leeser Jewish Bible as follows:
And I, Daniel, grieved and was sick several days: afterward
I to-e up, and did the king's business: and I was depressed
because of the appearance, but no one observed it (Daniel
8:27, Leeser's Bible).
In the Seventh-day Adventist book, "Thoughts on Daniel," the
Why did not Gabriel at this time fully carry out his
instructions, and cause Daniel to understand the vision?
Because Daniel had received all that he could then bear.
Further instruction is, therefore, deferred to a future
Thus, he frames a question based on a false premise - that the
angel did not at that time do what he was commanded to do, to
make this man to understand the vision.
Gabriel did make Daniel understand every word of the vision on
that occasion, hence the question is merely a dodge and the
answer he gives to his own question is worse. He says:
Daniel had received all that he could then bear.
Preposterous. If Daniel was so weak that he could not bear more,
Gabriel had power to strengthen him, as he did on another
occasion, when Daniel said:
There remained no strength in me, neither is there breath
left in me. Then there came again and touched me, one like
the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me (Daniel
If Daniel really was too weak, Gabriel would have strengthened
him, but there was no occasion for this, as the whole vision was
fully explained and the angel concluded his work when he said.
Wherefore, shut up the vision; for it shall be for many
Did the angel say part of the vision and its explanation was
deferred?? No - but he did say, "Shut up the vision."
In other words, having explained all, there was an end to it, and
all that remained, was to shut it up until the "many days" had
RECALL THE VISION! WHICH VISION?
Now having disposed of that argument to connect the eighth
chapter of Daniel with the ninth, there is still another text
that seems to require a little light. It is as follows:
At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came
forth and I am now come to show thee; for thou art greatly
beloved: therefore, understand the matter and consider the
vision (Daniel 9:23).
Changing the word "consider" to "recall," they attempt to prove
that the angel Gabriel, knowing that Daniel did not understand
the vision of the eighth chapter, wants Daniel to recall that
vision and give Daniel a starting date to begin the reckoning of
the "2300 days," or "2200 evening morning," as has been shown to
be the correct rendering.
We must object to this manner of interpretation from several
standpoints, as follows:
First - The angel does not even so much as mention or hint at
even one point of the vision of the eighth chapter.
Second - The thing that the angel wanted Daniel to "consider" or
"recall" was the vision of Jeremiah concerning the restoration of
the Jews and the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem, about
which Jeremiah had written and which Daniel was studying before
his prayer (verse 2).
Third - Daniel was praying for light on that subject, for the
Jews were at that time in Babylonian captivity, away from their
own land, their city and the sanctuary were at that very time
desolate (see verses 17 to 19). The angel himself said he came to
give Daniel skill and understanding in answer to his prayer,
which we know was for the restoration of Jerusalem and the
sanctuary, then desolate (see verse 23).
Not a word in the ninth chapter connects it with the eighth and
the whole argument is a ruse to make "2300 days" end in 1844,
which is over 2000 years after the prophecy was fulfilled.
The angel said, "Wherefore shut thou up the vision," and if God
wanted the vision, which was surely completed before it was
sealed, "shut up," how dare any man say that the vision was re-
opened in the ninth chapter to give added matter, when the "many
days" had not yet expired? Read the words of the angel:
Wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many
days (Daniel 8:26).
DOES THE WORD "DETERMINED," MEAN "TO CUT OFF?"
Before the time of William Miller, no Biblical expositors
attempted to connect the eighth and the ninth chapters of Daniel,
and no man who ever carefully studies the ninth chapter would
think of joining it with the eighth, unless to bolster up a
doctrine that could not be sustained in any legitimate way.
In Daniel 9:24 we find this so called connecting link, as
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy
holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end
of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to
bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the
vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
The turn is made on the word "determined." Seventh-day Adventists
teach that one of the meanings of the word rendered "determined"
is "to cut off," and from this they conclude that the seventy
weeks were "cut off" from the first part of the "2300 days," and
they begin their 2300 days at the very time or date when the
seventy weeks were to start, and without the least particle of
proof that they are correct, or the least authority for doing so.
All of this is supposition pure and simple; yea, it is handling
the Word of God deceitfully.
The same word "determined," is used in verses 26 and 27 and as
Unto the end of the war, desolations are determined - Verse
26. And that determined shall be poured upon the desolate -
Clearly then, is it not a fact that the word "determined" in
verses 26 and 27, must mean the same thing as in verse 24? In
verses 26 and 27 it very evidently "fixed by decree" or
"allotted," and is so rendered in some translations. Leeser's
Jewish Bible renders the word "decreed" as does also the New
Translation by the Jewish Publication Society.
In Daniel 11:36 we find the word "determined" again, as follows:
"For that that is determined shall be done."
Does this mean "to cut off?" Decidedly not.
To say that the word "determined" in verse 24 means "cut off,"
and that the same word in verses 26 and 27 and also in Dan.10:36
means "allotted or decreed," would be to trifle with God's Word.
Granting that one of its meanings is "to cut off," why conclude
that the seventy weeks are cut off from the 2300 days, when there
is absolutely no connection between chapters eight and nine?
These two chapters differ widely and do not deal with the same
events at all, as a careful perusal will disclose.
The starting point for the seventy weeks is given in verse 25, as
"from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build
Jerusalem," and from the date of the going forth of that
commandment, seventy weeks were allotted or decreed to the Jews
during which time they were to accept their Messiah or be cut off
from God as a nation and people.
That this is all that the word "determined" stands for in the
text, is so evident that no further comment is required, and
there is not the least particle of evidence to warrant any person
in assuming that the eighth and ninth chapters of Daniel connect
or address the same events and subjects.
A far-fetched theory requires bolstering up, but the truth never
does. The construction placed upon the word "determined" in Dan.
9:24 is one of the links made to order to give a starting point
for the 2300 day dream of the Seventh-day Adventists, which in
the final analysis, we have shown to be not 2300 days at all, but
more properly 2200 daily evening and morning sacrifices,
centuries in the past, and absolutely not in any manner connected
with 1844, which date is the key-stone to the arch of a
fundamental, but erroneous theory of Seventh-day Adventism.
GREAT-VERY GREAT EXCEEDING GREAT
A point on which great stress is placed by those who insist that
Rome is symbolized by the "little horn" which the prophet
describes as coming out of one of the divisions of Alexander's
Empire, is that the term "great" is applied to the ram, "very
great" to the goat, while the little horn is characterized as
"exceeding great." From this they argue that while the
Medo-Persian power was "great," and the Empire of Greece "very
great," only Rome could fulfil the demands of the prophecy for a
power that in comparison with Medo-Persia and Grecia would be
greater than either, or, as the prophecy says, "exceeding great."
Such an argument is so far-fetched that one is astonished at the
appalling lack of real Biblical exegesis. Ignorance alone can
lead to such an absurd conclusion that the "little horn" was to
be greater than Medo-Persia and Grecia, as the language of the
prophecy does not even remotely imply this. The prophet said:
And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed
exceeding great towards the South, and towards the East and
towards the Pleasant Land (Daniel 8).
TO BE CONTINUED