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In Hebrew poetry the word "horn" is used as a metaphor for strength and authority.  The authority can be political, military, or spiritual.  Not surprisingly the Bible also uses the word "horn".                             

"In that day I will cause the horn of the house of   Israel to spring forth..."  (Ezekiel 29:21)                

"The horn of Moab is cut off..." (Jeremiah 48:25)                        

"(God) has raised up a horn of salvation for us."   (Luke 1:69)                                             

In Daniel 8 Daniel, while he was residing in Babylon, was given a vision.  In the vision he was standing by the River Ulai and saw a ram that had two uneven horns.  The ram was fierce and powerful.  It charged in several directions and kept becoming more and more mighty.                                    

We are told in verse 20 that the ram represented the kings of Media and Persia.  In ancient times Persia was a vast empire.  According to Esther 1:1 the empire stretched from India to Ethiopia.                                          

Next Daniel saw a male goat zooming out of the West with a noteable horn between its eyes.  In the vision the goat charged at the ram and slew him.  The goat survived but the noteable horn was broken.  The horn was replaced by four other horns.                                            

We are told in verse 21 that the male goat represented the future king of Greece and the notable horn represented the first of several Greek kings.                                                 

Historically Greece rose up at the time of Alexander. After a time in Egypt, Alexander deployed his vast army eastward across Asia Minor to fight the Persians.  He defeated the Persians in three decisive battles: Granicus (334 BC); Issus (333); and Gaugamela (331).  In 330 BC the Persian King Darius III died and the once mighty Persian Empire died with him.  Despite being enemies Alexander gave Darius a stately funeral.                                     

After a brief time in India, in 323 BC, Alexander died at the young age of 32.  After his death the Greek Empire was divided up by four of his surviving generals.  As Daniel 8:8 foretold the notable horn would be broken and replaced by four new horns                                          

Daniel 8 also mentions the rise of a SECOND horn, a "little" horn that over time will rise after the period of the four new horns.  This horn will command armies that will march to the south and east.  In time he will invade the "Glorious Land".  Once there he will stop the daily Temple sacrifices and cast truth to the ground.  In his arrogance he will blaspheme the Prince of princes.  Later he will be killed but not by an enemy soldier's hand.                                   

Secular history does record the exploits of such a godless anti-Semite.  In 175 BC, nearly a century and a half after Alexander's death, Antiochus IV Epiphanes assumed the throne of what had become the Grecio-Syrian-Seleucid kingdom.                                              

In 167 BC he had a short campaign in Egypt that ended with a negotiated peace with Rome.  With the support of the so-called Hellenist Jews, Antiochus turned his army toward the "Glorious Land" (Israel).  That same year he invaded Jerusalem and desecrated the Temple.                                      

This was a dark period for the non-Hellenistic Jews who remained faithful to the Torah.  A puppet high priest was appointed by Antiochus.  Thereafter he and his Gentile thugs ransacked the Temple.  Religious objects were ruined, Old Testament scrolls were burned, swine blood sacrifices were made in front of a statue of Zeus, and Jews were forbidden from observing their yearly feasts or adhering to their dietary standards.  In fact there was an incident when a godly scribe was flogged to death only because he refused to eat pork.                                        

By 164 BC the Jews had had enough of Antiochus and his sac-religious mayhem.  A sect called the Maccabees that was led by Judah "the Maccabee" (the term "Maccabee" is said to mean "the hammer") raised up a fighting force and drove all the Gentile thugs out of the Temple.                                      

That same year Antiochus died from a painful bowel disease.  He was broken but not by an enemy soldier's hand.  Many Jews believed that his painful death was divine judgment for his mistreatment of the Jews.                                      

The Temple was occupied for exactly 1150 days.  During that 3.15 year period (167-164) a total of 2300 evening and morning sacrifices (the sacrifices mentioned in Exodus 29:39) were missed.  When the ungodly Gentiles were driven from the Temple, the Temple became "cleansed".  Therefore as the Bible predicted:                                                    

"After 2300 evenings and mornings the sanctuary   (Temple) will be cleansed" (Daniel 8:14)                                        

Now let's turn our attention toward Rome and learn the exploits of a THIRD horn.  By the fourth Century AD Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire eastward to the Greek city of Byzantium.  He renamed the city Constantinople.  (Today the city is called Istanbul)                          

As we noted earlier the fourth beast in Daniel's vision had ten horns.  What could these ten horns represent? Note that the number "10" is God's number for fullness and completeness.  We also see the ten horns in Revelation 17:                                              

"And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these  will hate the harlot and make her desolate." (v.16)                                     

I believe that the ten horns represent the fullness in number of all the millions of people who will never become saved.  That group is symbolized by "ten kings" who will give their power over to the beast who is Satan himself.  Every unsaved person whether he admits it or not is handing his power over to Satan.                                        

In Daniel 7 the prophet notices four horns with one of those horns overpowering and outlasting the other three.  What is being foretold is a power struggle that existed in the 4th Century. We will see if it is possible to identify this victorious fourth horn and if it has any connection to Revelation 13 and 17.                                         

The beast coming up from the sea is described as having seven heads and ten horns.  We've already uncovered the identity of the ten horns but what about the seven heads?  What do they represent?                                        

To understand Revelation 13 we need to jump ahead to Revelation 17:10:                                                                    

"...the seven heads are seven mountains on which the  woman sat.  There are also seven kings.  Five have fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come And when he comes he must continue a short time."                                         

Here is a classic example of double meaning.  The seven heads are seven mountains.  This identifies with Rome - a city that is set on seven hills.  The seven heads also represent seven kings or kingdoms.  Of these seven kingdoms, five have fallen, one is, and one is yet to come.                                  

Before we go any further I want to point out that the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet ALL refer to Satan himself.  They form a sort of unholy trinity.                                       

In Revelation 13:1 we see the beast rising out of the sea with an impressive show of power and glory.  The beast is described as having seven heads and ten crowned horns.  The beast is also described as being part lion, part bear, and part leopard.  When we turn back to Daniel 7 we see that the kingdoms of Babylon, Persia, and Greece are symbolized as a lion, a bear, and a leopard respectively.  As we've seen in Revelation 17 the seven heads represent seven mountians and seven kings or seven kingdoms.  Presto!,  we just identified three of the seven heads.  The third, fourth, and fiveth heads are Babylon, Persia, and Greece.                             

Historically the Assyrian Empire overpowered the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BC.  Less than a century later the Assyrian capital of Ninevah was overpowered by the Babylonians in 612 BC.  This could mean that the second head could represent Assyria.                                       

The identity of the first head isn't important.  It could represent Philistia who made war against Israel during the time of the Judges or it could represent Egypt at the time of Moses.  All we know is that the first head represents a kingdom that existed before the Assyrian Empire.                        

Now what about the sixth head?  What could it represent?  Remember Revelation was written around 95 AD. The empires of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece all have fallen into the dustbin of ancient history.  After those five had  fallen the sixth kingdom is described as "is" - that is it is present during the time John wrote Revelation.  Which empire was in full power at the time of John?  The answer of course is Imperial Rome. This would make Imperial Rome the sixth head of the beast.  But we are told that the beast in Revelation 13:1 has seven heads.  What could the seventh head possibly represent?                               

We read in Revelation 17:10 that the seventh head (a seventh kingdom) has not yet come.  Yes I believe that the seventh kingdom is futuristic but futuristic in John's time not ours.  When John wrote Revelation around 95 AD he saw a future kingdom that rose out of the ruins  of the old Roman Empire.  For John this prophecy was futuristic.  But for us it is historic.                           

Let's take a second look at the fourth beast that appeared in Daniel's vision:                    

"I saw a fourth beast dreadful and terrible and    exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth... it was   different from all the beasts before it and it had   ten horns."                      

Note that the beast described in Daniel 7:7 does not have seven heads which makes it different from the beast in Revelation 13:1.  Note also that this fourth beast has iron teeth.  When we turn back to Daniel 2 we read that the great image in the king's dream had two iron legs.  The presense of iron in both settings is symbolism that represents an empire that would become divided in two - East and West.  That empire of course is Rome.                           

The fourth beast is described as having ten horns. In verse 8 Daniel has something interesting to say about the ten horns:                       

"I was considering the horns and there was another   horn, a little one, coming up among them before whom  three of the first horns were plucked up by the   roots. And in the horn were eyes like the eyes of a   man and a mouth speaking pompous things."                

Daniel goes onto describe the further activities of this victorious little horn:                    

"He shall speak pompous words against the Most High  he shall persecute the saints of the Most High.  And  shall intend to change times and law. Then the  saints will be given into his hand for a time,    times, and half a time."                   

What could possibly be the identity of this wicked, blasphamous, anti-Christian "little horn" that will rise from the ruins of the ancient Roman Empire?  And what is the identity of the seventh head of the seven headed beast?  Could they both be the same entity?  Or is the victorious "little horn" a precursor or an early stage of the seventh head who makes it possible for the seventh head to reign?  To answer these questions we need to know some Roman history.

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