The prophecies found in the book of Daniel provide an amazing look into future history of Israel. Many of the chapters schematically provide the duration of exile and punishment, the rebuilding and restoration of the temple in Jerusalem while also providing some details of the the different Gentile empires which were to rule over the Holy Land. It is because of these extraordinary prophecies that many skeptics today attempt to attack and discredit the authenticity of the book of Daniel, stating it was written as a second century B.C. forgery during the period of the Maccabeean Revolt. However, interpreted correctly regardless of authoring timeframe of sixth or second century B.C., the Book of Daniel might actually provide a look into events in history much later than the two centuries before Christ. This is the heart of the issue between skeptics and apologists of Daniel’s prophecies. If Daniel can provide solid evidence of fulfillment MUCH later in the course of history than originally thought, then the proof of divine inspiration and possible existence of God is shown to be even more so against these skeptics and atheists.
On the other side of the coin, there are many Christians and Jews that believe in the authenticity of Daniel and many works have been written since the early days of the Church fathers. The Dawn of the Reformation and the invention of the printing press produced hundreds, if not thousands of published works on the topic of the prophecies of Daniel. These writings led to the development of different methods of prophetic interpretation that continue to be promoted today. Many scholars today continue to follow some of these ideas, and as a result continue to misinterpret or obfuscate key sections of Daniel, while overlooking potential fulfillment of these verses during the period which we now refer to as the Middle Ages. For example, the Dispensationalist and Futurist Interpreters promote a confusing and illogical “2000-year gap” theory of Daniel’s 70 weeks until the rise of the Antichrist. Then on the other end of the spectrum, others attempt to apply these chapters to a “Israel-Only” interpretation by promoting the idea that the book describes only events in Jerusalem which were fulfilled with the 70 AD destruction of Rome. This idea of “all things fulfilled” by 70 AD is the primary theme promoted by the Preterists.
This article will provide an overview of Daniel chapter 7 describing the rise of major empires observed in middle east since the Jews were taken to Babylon after the first temple destruction. Much of the analysis and writings of the rise of the great empires described in Daniel 7 is common among Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox Christians. The differences of opinion are primarily at the latter part of the chapter, which ends with a vision of the “Little Horn.” This Little Horn is often interpreted by many theologians to be the “Antichrist“, the “Destroyer” or the “Man of Perdition” in the New Testament scriptures. The practical application of these verses is where many scholars diverge on their interpretations, to the point where the outright molesting of these latter passages by some Protestant sects is what has lead to the development of new heresies such as Seventh-Day Adventism and Dispensationalism. Many of these Futurist ideas has even infected the minds of Orthodox Christians today with the idea that the arch enemy of Christ still has not come yet. and they are convinced he will be “born from the tribe of Dan as a Jew, and he will rebuild his temple in Jerusalem after a three and a half year peace treaty between the Arabs and Jews.” These ideas have also continued to promote Antisemitism (in the form of Anti-Zionism) within the Church. After all, they say, isn’t this is what a few of the second and third century church fathers have taught us? Well, not really. I am all for studying the church fathers, however why discount the history books of the past 2000 years which has only served to aid us in “unsealing” the prophecies at the appointed time? If it can be demonstrated through the proper analysis of the prophecies in scripture that the Antichrist, perhaps, might have already come to us on this earth and we all missed it (“let the reader understand” – Matthew 24), then what? Would it change our understanding on what is really going on behind the politics in the Middle East today?
Daniel chapter 7 also is one of key set of prophecies of the Old Testament which provides a vision of Jesus as the “Son of Man“, an interpretation which is fought vehemently by the Jews to this day. Unfortunately for the Jews missionaries who still strongly reject Christ as messiah today, Daniel chapter 9 is the critical chapter which only serves as THE NUMBER ONE PROOF-TEXT in all of the scriptures that Jesus was the messiah to come to Israel.
So then, the primary questions addressed in this article are:
- Do key events in the history of the last two thousand years after Christ reveal the identity of the Antichrist?
- Does Daniel Chapter 7 provide us the high-level outline of the period (which are expanded upon in later chapters of Daniel)?
- How long is this period of Gentile Domination to last?
- Does this chapter align exactly with the period of SEVEN TIMES of punishment of the Jews foretold in Leviticus 26, Joshua 6 and Daniel 4 & 5.
Before we begin our analysis of the chapter 7 text, lets briefly review the concept of the Seven Times described in different parts of the Old Testament. This concept of a seven times punishment of Israel and the Jews is critical to understanding the reason why Daniel beheld this vision while he was in the 70-years of Babylonian Exile.
The 2520-year Period of Gentile Domination of Israel
It can be demonstrated that from the start of the first empire described in Daniel 7 until the end of the fragmentation of the fourth and last empire, the period is approximately 2520 years. Why is this significant? Because this is the timeline that God pre-ordained to Moses in which the Jews would be punished SEVEN Times if they did not repent. My previous article on the subject of the SEVEN TIMES provides some background on the subject.
Let’s examine some scriptural references to the SEVEN TIMES punishment and restoration.
The Seven Times in Leviticus 26
The Seven Times were pre-announced by God through the proclamation of Moses. In Leviticus 26 it states that God would punish the Hebrew people “seven times” if they did not observe his commandments.
- Leviticus 26:12-28 –“And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright. But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits. And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate. And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also walk contrary unto you,and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied. And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.”
A “Times” is considered to 360 “days”, equivalent to a “prophetic” year. The concept of a prophetic year is based on a 360-degree circle which forms the basis and foundation of advanced mathematics and is the standard used in many calculations of geometry and trigonometry. 360 degrees can be derived as the average number of days with the solar and lunar calendars. So a Times = 360 “days” or years, while 7 x 360 – 2520 years.
360 “degrees in a circle” or “days in a prophetic year” is not the only consideration for our measurements. We can also consider that there are actually 365.25 days in a “solar” calendar or 354.37 days in the “lunar” calendar, which was commonly used by the Jews.
So a measurement of the Seven Times could be one of the three possible options:
- 360 x 7 = 2520 years
- 354.37 x 7 = 2480.59 years
- 365.25 x 7 = 2556.75 years
That is, the Seven Times measurement is a “Trinity” calculation based on one of three possible time-frames based on the geometric circle, the solar year or the lunar year.
The Seven Times in Genesis Chapters 1 & 2
The 7 Days of The Creation Week is equivalen to SEVEN TIMES. Each day the Earth revolved 360 degrees for a total of 2520 degrees in the course of a week.
Seven Rotations in 7 Days = 2520 degrees
The Seven Times in Joshua 6
The Jews were told to march around the walls of the city of Jericho seven times. The total number of degrees measured by this march is also equivalent to 2520 degress. Another allusion in scriptures to the SEVEN TIMES period of years:
- Joshua 6:15-17 – “But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times. And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city! Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it.”
The Seven Times in Daniel 4
The symbolism here of Nebuchadnezzar’s punishment for Seven Times is actually a prophecy on the Jewish scattering and diaspora described in Leviticus 26.
- Daniel 4:13-17 –“I saw in the visions of my head while on my bed, and there was a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven. He cried aloud and said thus: ‘Chop down the tree and cut off its branches, Strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts get out from under it, And the birds from its branches. Nevertheless leave the stump and roots in the earth, Bound with a band of iron and bronze, In the tender grass of the field. Let it be wet with the dew of heaven, And let him graze with the beasts On the grass of the earth. Let his heart be changed from that of a man, Let him be given the heart of a beast, And let seven times pass over him. ‘This decision is by the decree of the watchers, And the sentence by the word of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.’”
The Seven Times in Daniel 5
The symbolism of the “writing on the wall” prophecy calculates to a value of 2520 gerahs. God provided this monetary calculation as clue of the duration of the punishment that would fall after the end of the Babylonian Empire as it was to be given to the Medes and the Persians in 539 BCE. From this moment in history we can measure 2520 years until the diaspora Jews would once again return to Israel after 536 BCE with the decree of Cyrus. The Holy Land was to become free from Gentile Muslim rule after a 2520 year lunar calendar measured period from 536 BCE until 1948 AD.
- Daniel 5:24-28 – “Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. And this is the writing that was written, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. This is the interpretation of the thing: Mene; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. Tekel; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. Peres; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
MENE means “numbered” and comes from the word mina and is equal to 50 shekels, so MENE, MENE is 100 shekels.
TEKEL means “weighed” and is another word for shekel, and therefore equals 1 shekel.
UPHARSIN comes from the word ‘to divide’ and is half a MENE, or 25 shekels, which brings the total to 126 shekels.
50 + 50 + 1 + 25 = 126
Mena + Mena + Tikel + Upharsin = 126 shekels
Ezekiel 45:12 tells us that each shekel is worth 20 gerahs. – “The shekel shall be twenty gerahs.”
126 x 20 = 2520 gerahs
So the most precise units of measure for each of these four different terms in the “handwriting on the wall” prophecy combine to equal 2520 gerahs.
This clue given to us in Daniel chapter 5 is, therefore, another allusion to the seven-times prophesies of Daniel 4 and Leviticus 26. So, we can measure the timing of our countdown at approximately 553 B.C.E when the fall of the empire of the Medes is recorded in the Babylonian inscription reporting that the Median king had been conquered by Cyrus the Great (“Cyrus, king of Anshan”). This would be the first appearance of Cyrus on record and details the rapid rise of the Persians. The critical clue provided in Daniel 5 confirms the “Times of the Gentiles” from the transition the Persian Kings:
553 B.C. + 2520 = 1967 A.D (Six Day War)
553 B.C. + 1260 = 707 A.D. (midpoint, Al Asqa Mosque)
707 A.D. + 1260 = 1967 A.D.
Daniel 12:6 – specifically mentions the half-way point of the 2520 days. “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?”…”a time, times, and half a time.” That is, from the point when the dispersion is completed and fulfilled within 1260 “days”, then we would begin to understand the true meaning of the prophecies.
Let’s move on to our analysis of Daniel chapter 7 and measure and combine the time periods of the four great empires and fallout of the Little Horn’s empire.
Daniel Chapter Seven – Rise of the Four Beasts
In order to understand the arrival of the Antichrist, we first need to understand the information imparted to us by Daniel on the four beasts which were to be powered by Satan. This information is helpful in understanding the Apocalypse of St. John, specifically the beasts described in Chapter 13 of Revelation.
Daniel 7:1 – “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.”
Daniel 7:2-3 – “Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.”
By “great sea” Daniel meant the Mediterranean Sea, which is the centered around the then civilized world and binds the the three continents Asia, Europe, and Africa together. The “sea” represents the barbarian nations and mass migrations, while the “earth” represents the civilized nations and cities . The “four winds of heaven” is analogous to the “four angels” in St. John’s Apocalypse in which john saw them standing on the four corners of the earth holding back the “four winds”, such that that no wind could blow it’s breath upon the “earth or “sea”, that is the great migration of nations through their invasions and wars were held in check until after Christ’s gospel message began to spread. This time period of history described by John describes the dissemination of the Gospel in the first few centuries by the 144,000 Jews.
However, in the case of Daniel. the four moral winds which moved the sea of nations with mass migrations and invasions would be used to form the great “beasts”, that is the great empires and dynasties to rule over the people of the civilized world around the Mediterranean. Thus, the term “beast” is critical to understanding the apocalypses of Daniel and Revelation. a “beast” represents a great world empire or dynasty which was to rise around the binding Mediterranean waters and subjugate the peoples of Europe, Asia and Africa. Let’s look at the rise of the first beast measured from the time of Daniel and which coincides with the time he penned the prophecy.
Daniel 7:4 – “The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.”
The first “beast” or empire to rise out of the sea was like a winged lion; while it’s wings were like those of the eagle. But the feathers fell from the wings, and the lioness flying from the earth stood upon human feet, now possessing the heart of man.
Daniel 7:5 – “And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.”
A second beast emerges from the sea holding three ribs in it’s teeth. It is commanded by the angels to “devour much flesh”.
Daniel 7:6 – “After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.”
Another beast, a leopard, came, following the bear. This empire is described as having had four heads and four wings like those of a fowl, and it was given great authority over the earth.
Daniel 7:7 – “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.”
After the leopard, Daniel saw a fourth beast coming up and spreading through fear. It was very different from all of the three beasts of the earth. Its teeth were of iron and after it had devoured anything in it’s path and trampled over the nations it conquered. This beast had also the ten horns like a dragon.
Daniel 7:8 – “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.”
As Daniel was trying to understand the meaning of the ten horns of the fourth beast, he noticed another small growing horn which caused the uprooting of three horns in front of it. This “little horn” which he saw had human eyes and a mouth uttering great and proud words.
Daniel 7:9-10 – “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.”
The thrones and the Ancient of days who sat on the throne were the court and the judge of the four beasts/empires that came up out of the sea to rule upon earth. The trial takes place during the last days of the fourth beast with the Little Horn with the human eyes and who’s mouth spat out arrogant blasphemy and proud words against God. The books recording the actions of the beasts and Little Horn were opened and their works are revealed, and judgment against them results in eternal punishment.
Daniel 7:11 – “I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.”
This highly symbolic passage strongly parallels what John observes in Revelation 19 where the death sentence of the beast and false prophet is to be thrown in the lake of fire. The appointed time would come after the duration of the reign of the Little Horn where it would suffer defeat from the saints and burn forever in disgrace through the pages of history as the saints rule over the earth with no more interference from Satan.
Daniel 7:12 – “As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.”
The ruling authority of the remaining beasts was transferred from one to another in succession. Each beast, or empire, living until a season and and a time and eventually being slain by the next beast in line for rulership of the lands around the Mediterranean. Finally, the last beast or Little Horn was sentenced to death by the Ancient of days and its body was given to the fire, scorn and ridicule, no longer able to deceive the nations. Afther the destruction of all of the beastly empires, a new authority is to gain power and control of the world.
Daniel 7:13 – “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”
The power and authority was given to the beasts by Satan in order to frustrate the will and plan of God for the salvation of Israel and the world. However, the “Son of Man” born of the Virgin was to wage war against Satan and defeat him on the earth, and “ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the father, to come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will have no end.” That is, after the defeat of the Little Horn, all peoples and nations will serve Him. His authority is permanent and eternal, whereas the kingdoms of the four beasts and blasphemous Little Horn was temporary and would exist for a small period corresponding to the length and duration of seven times. After this time period, the kingdoms of the Devil are replaced with the Kingdom of Christ throughput the world, as the gospel will finally be preached to all nations and adopted forever and ever by all peoples.
Daniel 7:15 -16- “I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.”
The profound visions and dreams of the beasts and Little Horn, their rise and fall and judgment by the Son of Man greatly disturbed and confused Daniel greatly as he pondered the significance of these events shown to him. Daniel then approached one of the angels and asked him for help in understanding and interpreting these visions to satisfy his curiocity.
Daniel 7:17-18 – “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.”
The angel gives the interpretation to Daniel regarding each beast coming out of the sea, or based around the Mediterranean areas of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. He explains that these represent a new great world empire rising from the sea (i.e. formed from the barbarian nations) through some great leader and conqueror. Each kingdom was to thrive for a period of time, then peak in power until it is challenged and brought down by a succeeding empire which was founded by a new conqueror.
The consensus by many interpreters and church fathers is that the empires are represented as:
1. Babylon – represented by the Lion
2. Medo-Persian – represented by the Bear
3. Greek – represented by the Leopard
4. Roman – most often represented as a Iron Beast with 10 horns.
The First Beast, the Lion, represented the Babylonian Empire which reigned during the Jewish deportation period. The leading monarch of was Nebuchadnezzar, who conquered Egypt and Phoenicia, destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judah,and carried Daniel as captive to Babylon. This great and powerful king was initially described by eagle’s wings because of his pride. However, later in life he became insane and fell from power and lived among the beasts for 7 “times” or years. After 7 years, Nebuchadnezzar regained his sanity and power and praised God in heaven, standing aright. This is why he is later described as having man’s feet and having acquired human heart, he felt the power of God and gave him glory, honor and worship. At first Nebuchadnezzar had the heart of the lion and relied on his own strength, but later in life the difference in the heart was that of a man. After his exile into the wilderness, God transformed Nebuchadnezzar by plucking the wings of his egotistical heart and removing his pride, helping him to stand on his feet as a man with the heart of man showing his true love for God. This story is covered in Daniel chapter 4. And just as Nebuchadnezzar was to suffer a period of seven years in the wilderness and suffer persecution among the beasts, the same was to happen upon the Jewish nation for a period of 2520 years. And just as Nebuchadnezzar was to repent and become spiritually well acceptable to God after “seven times” or seven years, so the same destiny will happen to the Jews after their exile unto the nations for 2520 years. After that, the will be fully restored as prophesied by St. Paul in Roman’s chapter 11, and be grafted back into the tree of the New Israel, or the church, giving God his proper honor and worship as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is why the Jewish diaspora must first be measured from the Babylonian Captivity, as Daniel 4 provides the clue that Nebuchadnezzar’s gentile reign over the Holy City of Jerusalem would begin the measurment of their deportation and exile which was to last “seven times” or revolutions around the Sun.
The Second Beast, the Bear, represented by the empire of the Medes and Persians, which was founded by Cyrus the Great, who destroyed the Babylonian dynasty in the year. 539 B.C. during the reign of Belshazzar, son of Nebuchadnezzar. The great kingdom of the Persians extended over three continents, which is why it is represented by the three ribs held between the bear’s teeth. This kingdom subjugated many nations over thes three continents, per the instruction by the four angels which said: “Arise, devour much flesh.”
The Third Beast, the Leopard, represented the kingdom of the Greeks, specifically the Macedonian empire which Alexander the Great, which came to power after destroying the Persian dynasty in 330 B. C. The leopard had four wings like those of a fowl, which indicated the speed and rapid movement with which Alexander the Great in a very short period of time conquered the entire world. It is also fascinating to note that the leopard had four heads, signifying the four kingdoms into which the great empire of Alexander was divided after his death:
- The kingdom of Macedonia,
- The kingdom of Pergamus,
- The kingdom of Syria and Palestine
- The kingdom of Egypt
The Fourth beast, represented the Roman Empire which rose to power and destroyed the four great Greek Empires of Macedonia in 148 B.C., the Syrian in 64 B.C., the Egypt empire in 30 B.C, and Pergamus in 130 B.C. The Roman Empire was famous for being ruthless and ruled by terror over it’s citizens, and thus is described with iron teeth which was to devour the kingdoms of the earth and trample upon them with it’s feet. This fourth beast also had ten horns which was to represent the barbarian migrating tribes that would inherit the lands of the empire after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD. Between these horns there grew a small “Little Horn” which uprooted three other kings or empires. This Little Horn is described as having human eyes and a mouth uttering great and blasphemous things. Daniel was very confused in analyzing these images, and sought further explanation from the interpreting angel.
Daniel 7:19-22 – “Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.”
Daniel was perplexed and then asked the interpreting angel why the fourth beast was different from the first three. He sought clarification on why it had ten horns on it’s head. What is the significance of this Little Horn? Why did a small horn grow and uprooted three others. Why did this horn grew taller than all the other horns of the beast? How could such a little horn grow to become great and powerful? Why did this “Litte Horn” horn have eyes and a mouth uttering great boastful things? In addition, this Little Horn also made war upon the saints, and prevailed over them until the time in which the the Ancient of days would come and gave the power and the kingdom to the saints of the Most High. The Angel responded with the following information in the next few verses.
Daniel 7:23 – “Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.”
The information provided by the angel answered all of his questions and concerns regarding the meaning of the fourth beast and its ten horns and Little Horn which was to uproot three others and grow very large. This fourth beast was described as ruthless, and very powerful, with iron teeth and brass nails., and ate everything in it’s path as it trampled upon them. This perfectly describes the Roman Empire, which in the many history books is often described as an empire which ruled harshly and subjugated the citizens it ruled over as it trampled upon all of the kingdoms of the Greeks that it conquered. It collected the riches and spoils of victory like no other empire before it to builds it’s cities, towns, roads and irrigation systems.
Daniel 7:24 – “And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.”
The ten horns or kingdoms were to rise up after collapse and division of the Roman Empire. These kingdoms were after the destruction of the Roman empire as it fell in 476 AD by the invading northern barbarian invasions, forming the nations we see in Europe today. Thus Daniel 7:24 highlights a key historical event, which had its beginning during the period of the Great Migration of Nations. This same event is also described in the Apocalypse chapter 7 and 8, in which the four winds were released to give rise to the Beast of Revelation chapter 13 which contained 7 heads and 10 horns. Therefore, Daniel 7:24 provides to us the most significant event in history of Europe leading us the start of the Middle Ages with the Great Migration of Nations of the barbarians from Asia into norther Europe to bring about the dissolution of the Roman Empire climaxing with the fall of Rome.
The ten horns are ten kings founded by the ten barbarian invaders who brought about the dissolution of the Roman Empire, only to be reborn as the Holy Roman Empire.
The Barbarian Tribes & 10 Nations of Europe consisted of:
- Franks (France & Central Europe)
- Angles & Saxons (Britain)
- Ostrogoths (Italy)
- Visigoths (Spain)
These ten barbarian tribal kingdoms would go on to form the nations of medieval and modern Europe through the various German and French empires of the middle ages under the Holy Roman Empire.
Daniel 7:24 is one of the most misunderstood passages by the Protestant Futurist and Preterist scholars today. The Futurists treat to 10 kings to as a future event who would become a “revived Roman Empire” to reign with a future Antichrist figure that has not yet arrived on the scene in history, and they promote a significant period of time (often called the “gap” theory for Daniel’s 70 Weeks interpretation) inserted between the fall of Rome and the rise of the 10 horns in the to-be-determined future. The Preterists believe these were 10 Roman emperors in antiquity which ruled over Jerusalem before it was destroyed in 70 AD, which fulfilled Daniel 7-25. However, the key to understanding Daniel 7 is to treat the period between the first beast and the Little Horn as one continuous event in time with no gaps between the fulfillment of empires as measured in the time-frame preordained by God in Leviticus 26, Joshua 6, Daniel 4 and Ezekiel 4. This same period was to last consecutively for the 4 beasts and Little Horn for approximately 2520 years. And history confirms the fact that the 10 barbarian tribes descended upon Rome and inherited her lands and rulership through a revived Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages. It is during this period of time in the early middle ages that the Little Horn was to rise up and swallow up the continents and lands located around the Mediterranean Sea.
In addition to the 10 Horns, the Little Horn is described to grow to eventually uproot three other horns before it, and finally grow larger than the territory of all of the other horns. Why did this horn have human eyes and and a mouth uttering great things and blasphemies? The answer is very obvious when studying history but overlooked by all of the Preterists and Futurists. And here is the answer… the Little Horn was intended to represent that after the destruction of the Roman empire and the establishment of the ten kingdoms, the great Empires and Caliphates of the Arabs would spring up, through the so-called prophet Mohammed, which, though his new religous/political movement was very small at first, it eventually grew through deceptive warring techniques and bribery to be greater than all other empires and kingdoms in Europe. After conquering Persia in Asia Minor, and many former lands of the Byzantine Empire, and Egypt, the first Islamic empire was able to capture the lands of three kings or barbarian tribes, the Vandals of North Africa, Visgoths of Spain in Europe, Not only that, the Little Horn was able to swallow up in it’s entirety the former territories and lands of the first three beasts, the Lion, Leopard and Bear. This same tri-composite nature of the beast and Little Horn is described by St. John in Revelation 13-2:
Revelation 13:2 – “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”
And so the composition of the beast shows that the power of the false prophet Mohammed was to have Persia for its feet, Greece for its body, and Babylon for its mouth and that it was to spread over these three ancient monarchies beginning with that of Persia as it fell to Islam in the early 7th century.
Again, why did this horn have human eyes and a boastful mouth? Because the founder of this new monotheistic religious movement was uttering great blasphemies against the Holy Trinity, denying the divinity of Christ, the “Son of Man” described in this chapter.
Daniel 7:25 “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”
Mohammed fought against his arch-enemy Christ and the saints of his New Testament Gospel, the Christians. For this reason he also declared war “on the saints,” and he prevailed over them, since this privilege had been allowed him until “a time, times, and a half of a time” or a period of 1260 years between the first head of the beast or “Caliphate in 632 AD until the fall of the seventh head or Caliphate of the beast in 1924 AD. This same 1260 year duration of the tri-composite Lion-Bear-Leopard beast was predicted to reign over the Holy City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount for “42 months” or 1260 literal years according to St. John’s Revelation chapters 11 and 13:
Revelation 11:1-2 – “I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months.”
Revelation 13:5 – “The beast was given a mouth to speak arrogant and blasphemous words, and authority to act for forty-two months.”
“Forty-two months” here represents 1260 years, applying the traditional Day-Year Principle of prophetic interpretation used by historicists since the 12th century. The calculation of the number of days is determined as 42 month x 30 days/month = 1260 “days”.
42 x 30 = 1260 years (based on a 360 day/year cycle)
This is also the same duration spoken about in Daniel 12:7, i.e, “Time, Times and a Half of Time” also represents 1260 “days”/years. The variation of 1260 day measurement can be determined with consideration of using three calendars for use in our computation, the traditional “biblical” calendar, the “solar” calendar of 365.25 days/year, and the “lunar” calendar of 354 days/year.
- 1260 years = 3.5 x “Biblical” 360 days/year [i.e. Father, 360 degrees in a circle]
- 1279 years = 3.5 x “Solar” 365.25 days/year [i.e. Son/”Sun of Righteousness”]
- 1240 years = 3.5 x “Lunar” 354 days/year [i.e. Moon/Church calendar]
The starting point of the calculation can be confirmed when Caliph Omar invaded Jerusalem in 637 A.D. We were given a significant clue for the starting point of measurement of the 1260-year period by Sophronius, who was the Patriarch of Jerusalem when Omar invaded Jerusalem with his armies. When Sophronius saw the Caliph Omar on the temple mount he announced these prophetic words:
“This is the Abomination of Desolation announced by the Prophet Daniel, and now stands from this point on holy ground.”
This prophetic utterance by Sophronius would be the fulfillment what was spoken about in Daniel Chapter 9 and by Jesus in Matthew Chapter 24:
Matthew 24:15 – “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination of desolation,’ described by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand)”
It is obvious that the year 637-638 A.D. invasion of Jerusalem is THE significant event, and NOT the 70 A.D. destruction of the second temple, in revealing the identity of the prophesied “Antichrist” and “Man of Perdition.” This starting point with the invasion of Jerusalem by the first Caliphate Omar can be used to calculate the exact reign and duration of the Antichrist and Tribulation Period of the saints based on subtle mathematical equations and riddles provided in scripture: such as the terms “forty-two months” and “1260 days”. In addition, if the 637 A.D. invasion of Jerusalem is of important significance in identifying the Antichrist, then certainly other significant dates around the life of the same Islamic Beast and empires should also be considered in identifying the fulfillment of the prophecy of the 42 months? The answer is an emphatic YES, it can most certainly be demonstrated that a pattern emerges of a so-called “parallel of the times” with the calculations of key events noted in history. That is, like in mathematics, numerous results can be shown to highlight the fulfillment of the prophetic texts based on the same Y = 1260 + X or Y = 2520 + X algebraic/linear equations but with a different starting point or initial condition. These starting points in our measurement are based on the rise and fall of the empires of the Islamic Beast and exile of the Jews to Babylon during the first temple destruction. We also can observe that these dates in history involved around construction of the Dome of the Rock on the temple mount also aligns “in the middle of Daniel’ 70 weeks” viewed equivalently as a “seven times” period of duration. As a result, these dates in history leave us no doubt and they confirm the authenticity of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. This becomes apparent as we notice graphically in our chart that the time between the exile of the Jews and the Dome of the Rock point to the end of Gentile Domination in the Holy Land and Jerusalem in the years 1948 A.D. when the modern nation of Israel was founded and 1967 A.D. when the Jews captured East Jerusalem in 1967 A.D., ending the SEVEN TIMES of Gentile Rule in the Holy Land for approximately 2520 years.
Let’s examine the key starting points for our calculations:
- 622 AD = Mohammed begins his prophetship, flight to Medina, Hegira
- 632 AD = Death of Mohammed
- 637 AD = Caliph Omar invades Jerusalem
- 656 = Koran was compiled/completed
- 688-692 AD = Dome of the Rock Construction and Completion
- 705-to-712 AD = Al Asqa Mosque Construction and Completion
So using these three (“Trinity”) calendars, we are able to measure the “1260 days” and “forty-two months” from Omar’s invasion of Jerusalem, the Dome of the Rock construction and Al Asqa Mosque construction.
- 622 + 1260 = 1882 (Aliyah Jewish Immigration from the Land of Israel)
- 638 + 1240 = 1878 (Petah Tivka settlement)
- 637 + 1260 = 1897 (Zionism Movement for establishment of home in Palestine)
- 622 + 1290 = 1912 (First Balkan War)
- 638 + 1279 = 1917 (Balfour Declaration)
- 632 + 1290 = 1922 (Death of Mohammed until death and fall of Turkish Empire)
- 656 + 1260 = 1916 (approx 1 year Balfour Declaration)
- 656 + 1240 = 1896 (approx 1 year before 1897 Zionist Movement)
- 688 + 1260 = 1948 (Modern Nation of Israel)
- 688 + 1279 = 1967 (Jerusalem captured by Israel in Six-Day War)
- 708 + 1240 = 1948 (Modern Nation of Israel)
- 707 + 1260 = 1967 (Jerusalem captured by Israel in Six-Day War
Identifying the Abomination of Desolation in Daniel Chapter 9
The significant pattern emerges with the calculation of the “1260 days/years” and “Seven Times/2520 years” that validate the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation with the use of the Solar calendar, Lunar calendar, and Geometric 360-day calendar. That is, the use of these calendars in many cases tie important events in Jewish history around the temple destruction and reconstruction, and the return of the Jews in modern history to Palestine… to the exact year of fulfillment! This is a very significant point that can’t be discounted! Many Orthodox Christians today continue to fight the idea that the “Zionist” Ashkenazi Jews are “fake Jews” that have no right to the Holy Land… but yet, the mathematical odds of such an alignment of dates taken from the prophecies regarding a Jewish Return in the OT scriptures and St John’s Apocalypse can leave no doubt that God has intended a limited time-frame for the destruction of the Little Horn and restoration of the Jews per the hundreds of OT and NT prophecies. That is, the Antichrist Mohammed validates the middle of Daniel’s 70 weeks for the restoration of the Jews, and the Jewish return properly points to the identity of the Antichrist as Mohammed himself! And to further add evidence to such a statement, if we examine the translation of the Septuagint for Daniel 12-7 and the oath of the Sunlike Angel and pre-incarnate Christ, we will find the hidden encryption key to support the identification of the Antichrist and the validity of a Jewish return to Palestine:
“(…) in a time of times and a half of a time, when the dispersion hath been consummated, all these things shall become known.” – Daniel 12:7 (Septuagint)
That is an extraordinary oath given by Christ Himself before his incarnation to Daniel. That is, he is saying to Daniel that when the 1260 years have completed at the end of some “Diaspora”, then all of the prophecies in Daniel will be understood. Thus, the reason why the Church Fathers were not able to fully interpret the apocalyptic scriptures. It is not due to the ignorance of the divine things in the prophecies, but the simple fact that the mathematical equations based around events on the Temple Mount could really only be confirmed once the events became fulfilled in history… that is, only at the completion of the 1260 year tribulation period could we properly confirm the identity of the Antichrist. And as stated before, the Jewish return to Israel in 1948 and Jerusalem in 1967 confirms that the Abomination Temple constructed in 688 AD identifies Mohammed as the Little Horn and “Man of Perdition.”
Let’s examine some additional scripture to see if “all is fulfilled” with respect to the Abomination of Desolation.
Revelation 13:6 – “And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.”
The mouth of the beast is the false prophet Mohammed development of his teachings through the Koran. His imams – the mouth of the beast – blaspheme the name of God by proclaiming that God is a barren god, that he did not beget a Son, co-eternal and co-ruling. The first dogma of Islam is blasphemy against His tabernacle, against the God of heaven, and blasphemy against the saints born of God through Jesus Christ, the first-fruits of those before them.
The inscriptions on the walls of the “Dome of the Rock” confirm the Abomination and Blaspheming of God the Father, Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit.
“In the name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate. There is no god but God. He is One. He has no associate.”
“People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning God save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a Messenger of God, and His Word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His messengers, and say not ‘Three’ – Cease!“
These inscriptions on the temple mount confirm the warnings and identification by the John and Paul with respect to a coming new major Christological heresy of the Church:
John 2:22 – “Who is the liar, if it is not the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, who denies the Father and the Son.
1 John 4:3- “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
2 Thessalonians 2:4 – “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”
Mohammed claimed he was the last and greatest of all of the prophets and greater than (the God-Man) Jesus, which is proclaimed in the Islamic Creed: “There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed Is his Messenger”. His glory, honor and worship was confirmed on the ruins of the second temple through the “Abomination of Desolation” that is, the “Dome of the Rock“ was constructed in the seventh century.
Daniel 7-25 describes the “wearing out the saints of the most High”, which is very similar language to what John uses in Revelation 13-7:
Daniel 7-25: “He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.”
Revelation 13:7 – “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”
This beast was able to kill and subjugate whoever he desired, he granted life to whoever he lusted and desired, and taxed others whoever he chose to, wielding great and absolute power. Power was “given to him over all kindreds and tongues and nations.” The Islamic Beast subdued not only the Christians in the Middle East and East, but all of the peoples of Asia and Africa, and many others in Eastern Europe and Slavic nations.
Both Daniel 7-25 and Revelation 13-5 confirm the reign of the beast for 1260 years, measured from the first caliphate to the last. The traditional Protestant Historicists have long used these verses to identify the Pope as the Antichrist, claiming the Pope changed the “times and the laws”. Historically, there is no comparison on who has made a greater impact to changing the “times” and “traditions” of Christianity. Who made a greater impact with changing the times and laws of God? The evidence is clear:
- Mohammed altered the times (chronology) and God’s law with the development of a “new” testament/bible = the Koran, claiming that the Apostles corrupted the texts of the Bible.
- He thus adopted the lunar month of 28 days, the lunar year of 13 months,
- The time of day was now countable from sunrise to sunset
- The year 622 A.D. as the beginning of chronology Hegira calendar with the aim of highlighting more importance to counting years from Mohammed instead of the Birth of Jesus Christ.
- He brought back into force the Jewish circumcision which Christ abolished.
- He rejected the Christian worship on Sunday and the Jews Sabbath, and adopted Friday as the day of rest.
- History confirms that Islam “made war with the saints and defeated them”… with the many invasions into Egypt, Syria and beyond… with forced conversions of Jews and Christians to Islam.
Daniel 7:26-27 – “But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”
After the completion of the 1260 year tribulation period of the Little Horn, who would rise up and subjugate the former lands of the Persian, Greek and Babylonian empires combined, the Saints will rise up and rule the earth in glory with Christ. This is the common theme of Revelation chapter 19 and 20, and foretold in numerous non-biblical (i.e. Orthodox and Byzantine-era) apocalypses, which predict the demise of Islam and the spreading of the True Faith to all four corners of the earth. The time will come when the saints will sit in judgment at a future Ecumenical Council and separate the wheat from the chaff, the right heresy from the wrong, and become unified with the “Wedding Feast” of Unity, and from then on, all nations and peoples will co-reign with Christ upon the Earth.
Daniel 7:28 – “Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.”
Daniel is told that this is the end of the interpretation and explaining by the angel. After hearing these prophecies on the rise of the empires which would rule over the people who worshiped the One True God, Daniel became troubled. He began to realize that the Jews would begin to suffer a long period of persecution. He pondered these events in his heart as he would complete his exile in Babylon. However, Daniel 7 is the start of the amazing prophecies which are to come in the rest of the book, including Daniel 9’s 70 weeks which outlines the arrival of Jesus Christ and the timing of the destruction and reconstruction of the temple in Jerusalem. In the next series of articles of Daniel, we will examine the prophecies in chapters 8, 9 and 11.
The skeptics and atheists hate the Book of Daniel. If this book was found to be authentic and not a second-century BC forgery, then it would provide us key evidence of a Divine Being. The truth is, Daniel’s book demonstrates a remarkable accuracy on the details and timing of future events in history. This would not be possible without the aid of the divine assistance of our God. Given the description of the four great empires in Daniel 7, and specific detailed events of Daniel chapter 11 (which we will soon analyze in the coming weeks), the skeptics promote the idea to place the authorship of Daniel within the second century BC instead of the beginning of the 6th century BC. This would then allow them to say that these events in Daniel were already fulfilled when it was written after the fact. However, we have shown in this study the new evidence that further highlights Divine inspiration of Daniel because the events described herein are fulfilled much later in history. So then, even if Daniel was really authored in the second century BC after the rise of a few of the empires, it does not matter to us. This is because many of the events described in the 7th chapter of Daniel would only come to realization much later than previously thought, beginning in the fifth and seven centuries, or during the Middle Ages with the fall of the Roman Empire and the Rise of Islam. Daniel 7:25-27 also seems to further describe events that were to take place over a much longer 1260 year period until the Modern Age, and perhaps even terminates in the twenty-first century with the eradication of the Little Horn from the face of the earth. Once again, the skeptics are proven wrong.
The main purpose of this article was to show that Daniel 7 provides a description of every major world empire centered around the Holy Land, which is measured from the time of Daniel and the first beast or Babylonian Empire, until the destruction of the Seventh Head or Caliphate with the destruction of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th Century. During this time, the Holy City of Jerusalem was under Gentile Domination, from one empire to the next. It was only after the year 1967 AD that the trampling of the Holy City of Jerusalem by the Little Horn was completed. The timing of the rise of the first empire until the return of the Jews in 1948 AD and 1967 AD measures exactly “SEVEN TIMES” or 2520 years. In summary, Daniel chapter 7 provides an outline of future history of the great world empires that would dominate Jerusalem during this time period of 2520 years. And the understanding is possible because “the Dispersion Hath Been Consummated” as indicated by the Septuagint version of Daniel chapter 12 verse 7.
Time and (future) history may soon reveal the final and true completion of the Seven Times prophecies of Israel.. when the unbelieving Jews accept their “Messiah The Prince“!
“(…) in a time of times and a half of a time, when the dispersion hath been consummated, all these things shall become known.” – Daniel 12:7 (Theodotian)
Glory be unto God for all things. Amen!
© 2018 by Jonathan Photius
Thank you for sharing information about Daniel 7. However, could it be the little horn is not Islam, but the Papacy which immediately assumed power and authority of Rome after the Barbarian invasion. Also, uprooted three of their kingdoms, and persecuted God’s people. I don’t recall Islam thinking to change God’s law and times. The Papacy, yes! The Little Horn of Daniel 7 is the same as the first Beast of Rev. 13. Islam does not fit further details given in about the Little using a different symbol in Rev. 13:1. Islam is not a composite of Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece which was all pagan, but the Papacy is! The Papacy received a deadly wound in 1798, which Napoleon removed Pope Pius VI and the Papacy of its temporal power. When did Islam receive a significant blow to its existence. Islam doesn’t seem to fit the symbol, but the Papacy does. All the Protestant Reformers were clear on this point. I would like to hear your response.
Good points. To be correct, the interpretation must meet all the applicable prophecies. On the other hand, Islam seems to have changed from one day sabbath to every day worship, and specifies multiple times per day (changed days and times). In support of Mr. Wright views, above, killing one pope who was replaced a few years later, does not seem to be significant blow to the many years of the papacy. I note also that the French 1798 conquest of the Italian state of Rome did not meet many of the prophetic criteria of Revelation that must be “no more at all in thee”. However, the events and “no more at all in thee” criteria in Rev 18 could be fulfilled by a nuclear attack centered on Babylon, New York, in accordance with “Babylon the Great Has Fallen”. These event criteria are in Revelations chapters concerned with the lamb who rose from the Earth. USA type of government was not like totalitarian/Nicolaitans empires that rose from the waters, we rose from farmers forming a democracy/republic, dedicated to God by George Washington and the initial elected officials in Saint Paul’s Chapel on April 30, 1789, on the other side of the world from Rome. Some of the prophecies for Babylon to fall have triggered the fulfillment period of less than one year. The only person who met Rev 18:7 died September 8, 2022. Note that England was the parent country of the Lamb that rose from the Earth. Sometime during the year following her death will be fulfillment of Rev 18:8-24. The great millstone may also be triggered by the same events. It also appears that the events of 1 Th 4:13-17 may be part of the fall of Babylon, NY.
Another trigger point is the fulfillment of the fig parable of Mat 24:34, using the span of Psalm 90:10, coupled with Nation of Israel proclaimed and recognized by USA (another link to the lamb). which seems to center around 2024 plus or minus 5 years. One final note; lamb is sacrificial in old and new testament. Jesus/Jehoshua had to be sacrificed and it looks like the lamb who rose from the earth will be sacrificed shortly. On the bright side, we stand a good chance of rising up in a mushroom shaped cloud (in the twinkle of an eye), to a wonderful gathering.