[CF Devotionals] 2007-08-26 - Daniel

Chapter 8 ~ Installment 65

Verses 1-8, 15-22: 2 Now from the midst of these horns comes an even greater one. A new power arises on the face of the Earth. Here the question becomes who - or what - is the "little horn" in Chapter Eight versus Chapter Seven? Here the vision changes from the previous prophecies. First, since in is written in Hebrew versus Aramaic, we can assume that what is foretold is meant for the Jewish people and affects them directly.

Here we find another "little horn." This could mean Daniel is identifying this as a different individual, or power from the one identified in the previous chapter. The actions of this one are the desecration of the sanctuary and the persecution of the Jewish people. Now this certainly sounds like the Antichrist. But it seems that the best understanding is this horn is connected with Rome - not the resurrected Roman Empire yet to come, but the Rome that was still to replace Greece.

As Boice notes 3 one of the best reasons for holding this view is because the Antichrist rises out of the ten-nation confederacy, while this individual rises out of the midst of the Greek generals. Note he doesn't replace them; rather, he comes from them. His focus: the destruction of the Jewish people and the temple. And this individual is generally recognized to be the Greek King Antiochus IV Epiphanes (God Manifest).

"In 170/169 B.C. he invaded Egypt. In Jerusalem he tried to impose religious and cultural uniformity by suppressing Jewish worship. Already in 175 B.C.., at the beginning of his reign, he had expelled the godly high priest Onias III and had replaced him with Onias' hellenizing younger brother Jason. He put an end to the daily sacrifices at the temple, forbade the circumcision of Jewish infants, and made it a crime to possess a copy of the Jewish Scriptures.

"All this came to a head in December 168 B.C. when Antiochus seized Jerusalem by treachery. He had been turned back from Alexandria by the Roman commander Popilius Laenas and now took out his frustration in a bitter and repressive campaign against Jews. He sent his general Apollonius into the city with 20,000 troops and there erected an idol of Zeus in the temple area. He desecrated the altar by offering swine upon it. This was the greatest affront to faithful Judaism that could possibly be imagined, and the idol became known to the Jews as 'the abomination of desolation'." 4

And so with the actions of Antiochus, we see the fulfillment of the prophecy. This is not the work of the Antichrist. But his actions certainly foreshadow those of the Antichrist. In The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Daniel, Zondervan, 1985, Gleason Archer, Jr. illustrates that two traits of Antiochus characterize Antichrist's rule: "His treachery and intrigue, in order to catch his victims unawares and unprepared; his overweening pride, which led him to claim divine honors." And in verse 19 we read there will be a fulfillment at the end of time. This means a second fulfillment at the hands of Antichrist.

It is because of this parallel between these two events that it seems safe to think that in type, there is a double fulfillment of this prophecy. One refers to Antichrist, but he is a foreshaowed of Antiochus.

"His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress, and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation."

"So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel ... let the reader understand" (Daniel 11:31; Matthew 24:15).

Comments or Questions?

[email geoff] GKragen@aol.com

2 James Montgomery Boice, Daniel, Zondervan, 1989, pg. 97.
3 Ibid, pg. 98-99
4 Ibid.

Additional studies by Geoff
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