Daniel Chap 8 always confused me. The last (4th) Beast was detailed in Chap 7 and the former 3rd beast detailed in Chap 8. Both detailed beasts had a little horn coming up later but from different scenarios of previous horns. However Chap 8 explains the 3rd Empire (Chap 7 Leopard) instead as a Goat and in more detail. It's little horn rises out of 4 horns (Generals) taking over (per history) Alexander the Great's empire (at his death). But this little horn isn't said to subdue any previous horns but rather it waxed exceeding great to the south, east, and pleasant land. If one examines history the first sections of Chap 8 seems to be about the Seleucid Empire's Antiochus Epiphanes IV.

But the latter part of Chap 8 also seems to go beyond Seleucid's Epiphanes IV and details more in line with the timeline and happenstance of the 4th (final) beast of Chap 7(?). Other than this said implicit latter section expansion Chap 8 does not specifically mention the 4th beast empire included Daniel Chap 7.

The Seleucid Empire encompassed a good fraction of the same area as the Eastern Roman (4th beast) Empire. But it's confusing to see the little horn out of the 4 horns go on in the latter section of Chap 8 to sound synonymous with the little horn of the Chap 7's 4th beast which subdued 3 of it's previous 10 horns. Unless Chap 8 is not referring to the 4th beast at all (timeline or premise) and verse 11 is referencing Israel of Christ's earthly time. And verse 23's latter time is referencing the same? I.e. making Chap 7 more about the end of the times of the Gentiles and Chap 8 more about the cutting off of the messiah and Israel being scattered until the last days?


3 Answers 3


The beasts are distinct and each one is figuratively representing an different empire and period of history. The little horn of the third beast is often considered to have been Antiochus Epiphane, a historcal ruler if the Hellenic (Greek) period. His actions are related in the book of Maccabees.

The little horn of the fourth beast is related to the Roman Empire. Its interpretation is varied. Some link it to the antichrist, an singularly evil person who will appear near the end of the world. Others connect it to historical figures, including the papacy, napoleon, and Hitler. Interesting articles are available online on this topic:

To clear up some known confusion: let us look at another horn mentioned in chapter 8. It will help you to read the whole chapter, but we are not going to now. We will start in verse 9, and read a few verses to get this horn. Daniel saw a goat which had a great horn between his eyes, and this he goat (Greece) was very great, but there came a time when his great horn was broken, and for it four notable ones came up, and out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceedingly great toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land (ISRAEL). This little horn magnified himself, and by him the daily sacrifice of the Jews was taken away, and the truth was cast down to the ground, and the horn practiced and prospered. Go to verse 13, “Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” Now I know that sounds just like what we know about the Antichrist, what he will do in that seventieth week of Daniel, over in the great tribulation, but remember, the Antichrist only has 1,200 days allotted to him to do this, and then notice the answer given here in verse 14, “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; (2,300) then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” That is, without any doubt whatsoever, speaking of Antiochus Epiphanes, that horn of Syria which came out of the break up of the Grecian empire. But as you read on throughout this chapter, verses 24 & 25, which actually are speaking of the Antichrist, have caused some scholars to believe it is still referring to the horn of verse 9. That simply is a reference to show that this same spirit of Satan rested on those forerunning types of the wicked one who is yet to come. You will notice in verse 25, that this one stands up against the Prince of princes, which could be none other than Jesus Christ himself, and we know that Antiochus has never, and will never stand up against Jesus Christ in mortal flesh. It is only that the same spirit of destruction and desolation that was in Antiochus will also be in the Antichrist, the son of perdition. Some have looked at these verses and said, the Antichrist will come out of Syria. Others try to put these scriptures together, and they come up with the idea that he will be an apostle Jew. No! He will be a Roman. We will show you, in chapter 9, that the Antichrist must be a prince of the Romans. - https://www.fachurch.org/1980/07/21/publications/contenders/bro-raymond-jackson/the-abomination-that-maketh-desolate-part-1/

  • I agree, my previous confusion hinged on not realizing the context of the word "their" in verse 23 denoting the 4th horn's grow out and not the "latter" as in last end times., Verse 23 "And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up."
    – RWB
    Sep 12, 2019 at 22:30

Daniel 7 and Daniel 8 both present two little horns. The Bible clearly points out that a horn represents a king or kingdom therefore each little horn represents exactly that.

The little horn of Daniel 7 arises among the 10 horns on the beast i.e. among 10 kingdoms. However, the little horn of Daniel 8 arises among the 4 horns that replace the one notable horn.

Daniel 7 presents 10 European nations and the political-religious entity known as the papacy (little horn). Daniel 8 presents 4 nations that arise out of Alexander's empire. Out of one of them comes a little horn....a religious-political entity.....ISLAM.

Thus, the Bible clearly presents the two religious groups that will dominate the world at tge time of the end. Each has a "holy day" before or after the Sabbath day. Each persecuted saints of God... still do today and will still do even more soon. Each will oppose Jesus Christ at his coming.

Check it out.

  • 1
    Is this your own interpretation, or is this a commonly held belief/teaching among a, or numerous, Christian faith communities? Please take a look at How to Answer to see what the SE format requires in answers. Mar 1, 2020 at 18:37

There is another postion that can be taken regarding the difficulty in explaining Daniel 7-8. It would be that all interpretations to date are insufficient, or grossly in error.

Here is where I would point back to the beginning of creation, because I would contend there are under- appreciated elements involved in the creation. This oversight results in continuous errors in interpretation. This is essentially a spatially disorienting condition. ( I am reluctant to say geographical)

  1. Reality is composed of Heaven and Earth. These are two worlds.
  2. A firmanent (raquiya) is created to preform a function. It divides those things above from below. It makes a third component to the nature of reality. Heaven is plural, not one.
  3. Overlooked in Gen 2:1 is not only the plurality of Worlds, but plurality of host. It does not number them as two, but a plurality of types. How many exist is not stated.

Daniel 7 opens with the prophet's description of the four winds of heaven. This is not appreciated in importance, when in fact it is foundational to what follows. The four winds are real and functional, not merely existing. They are not ethereal, they are persons. While discribed as four, that may be four divisions, not a sum total. When Solomon constructed the molten sea, it rested on four groups of three oxen. Earlier, the laver rested on some type of stand or base.

  1. The Great Sea is not the Meditereanian Sea. It is the raqiya. It's location is Heaven, and the earthly symbols of oxen represent real life spirits, with assigned duties.
  2. The functioning of the raqiya, results in actions taking place on Earth. This is causality from a location, separated from the finale outcome.

Previously in Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar described watchers. They have assigned oversight duties of the lower World. In Dan 10, we are told of princes, but not whether prince and watcher, are one and the same. Watchers can apperently " come down," a function no different then angel as described by Jacob at Bethel. Prince is not described in terms of decent. Prince and elohym, may be one and the same. The number of elohym is never said, but may be over seventy.

When Satan makes appearances in Job, he stands among the elohym, or what is also called sons of God.

My conclusion is the activity taking place, is easily overlooked, and the focus is placed on historical identification of the components of Daniel 7. Doctrinal positions are being read back into the story.

The primary point of my theory is a type of multi-party war will break out in Heaven. Understanding it's location, is necessary to progress towards determining what is being contested.

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