The Little Horn: Daniel 7 and Daniel 8

The "little horn" mentioned in Daniel chapters 7and 8 is a vital piece of scripture
which when properly understood provides information tounseal the 2300 Day
Prophecy in Daniel 8 and many other prophecies in Daniel and the Revelation. 
The little horn in Daniel 7 and 8 is often identified as Antiochus IV or the Papacy,
but this is not what the little horn really represents.

Many SDA preachers and commentators have previously identified the "little horn," 
in Daniel 7 and 8, as the Papacy, while they identify the fourth beast as Rome.
Commentators generally though identify the "Little horn" as Antiochus IV. But
Daniel tells us that the "little horn" is exceedingly great, even greater than
Alexander the Great.

To understand the "little horn" and what it
represents we have to first identify
what the fourth beast in Daniel really represents.

The Fourth Beast

Daniel 7:7-8 "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had 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 out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words."
The fourth beast is described as being a devastating power during the Iron Age and it destroys the kingdoms all around it. We are told that the fourth beast has ten horns which represent ten kings. SDA theology upholds that these ten kings are ten countries which remained after the breakup of the Roman Empire.
“How accurately Rome answered to the iron division of the image! How accurately it answers to the beast before us! In the dread and terror which it inspired, and in its exceeding strength, the world has never seen its equal. It devoured as with iron teeth, and brake in pieces; and it ground the nations into the very dust beneath its brazen feet. It had ten horns, which are explained in verse 24 to be ten kings, or kingdoms, which should arise out of this empire.”
{Daniel and the Revelation, chapter 7, The Four Beasts, Uriah Smith, page 134}
Daniel 7:24 “The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings.”
Notice the ten horns are ten kings who arise FROM this fourth beast kingdom they are not ten kingdoms which arise after the breakup or decline of the fourth beast. And notice that the "little horn" himself subdues the three kingdoms. I believe that the ten kings are literally ten kings FROM the Roman Republic. The "little horn" comes up from among these ten horns and subdues three kings. kings represent their kingdoms in prophecy so we have not only ten kings, but they represent ten major kingdoms prior to the Roman Empire. For example: Aegyptus (Egypt), Africae (coastal north Africa), Syria (Israel/Syria), Asiana (western Turkey), Galatia (east Turkey) Macedonia (Greeks), Thracia (Bulgaria), Galliae (France and southern Germany), Hispania (Spain), and Brittania (possibly). These ten kings should not be confused with the ten kingdoms in Revelation which represent ten countries of the modern world.

What is a Beast?
Daniel 7:17 "Those great beasts which are four are four kings, representing their kingdoms, which arise out of the earth."
Therefore, a beast = a king representing its kingdom.
Daniel 7:23 "Thus he said; "The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom ...."
The first three beasts in Daniel and recorded in known history are Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Empire, Cyrus the Great and the Mede/Persian Empire and Alexander the Great and the Macedonian Empire. In recorded history we know who followed these three empires - Julius Caesar and the Caesars of the Roman Empire. Therefore the "little horn," must firstly be identified as a king representing the Roman Empire, the "fourth beast".

Three Empires Subdued
Daniel 7:24 "The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings."
Were there three kings, kingdoms or empires which Rome uprooted in their early history?
"Ultimately Rome would also have to deal with the three great Hellenistic kingdoms carved out of the world empire of Alexander the Great - the Seleucid Empire in Syria, the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt, and Alexander's original Macedonian Empire." 
{From Village to Empire; Imperial Rome by Moses Hadas, p.37}

The three horns (kings and their kingdoms) whom the Roman’s uprooted were; Phillip V of Macedon and his son Perseus (Macedonia), Antiochus III (Asia Minor/Syria) and Mark Anthony/Cleopatra (Egypt).
Phillip V of Macedon was defeated by the Romans at the Battle of Cynoscephalae in 197 BC.1 After Phillip died his son Perseus became the last king of Macedon and he was defeated by the Romans in 168 BC.2 Rome defeated Antiochus III personally in 191 BC, but the final blow came to the Seleucid Empire when the treaty of Apamea was signed in 188 BC.3 Antiochus IV was a king of the Seleucids and he ruled Judea from 175 BC until his death in 164 BC.4 Antiochus IV is famous for his persecution of the Jews and for destroying Jerusalem. Syria was finally made into a Roman province by Pompey in 64 BC.5 Mark Antony and Cleopatra both committed suicide after being defeated by Augustus Caesar in 30 BC and Egypt then became a Roman province.6 Thus the Roman Republic uprooted the three great empires; the Seleucids, the Macedonians and the Ptolemies.

The Ram and the Goat
The identification of the ‘little horn,’ as the Caesars of the Roman Empire is confirmed by what is written in Daniel 8 and by known historical events. Daniel starts by describing the vision of the ram with two horns and the goat with one notable horn.
Daniel 8:1-2 “In the third year of the reign of Belshazzar a vision appeared to me – to me, Daniel after the one that appeared to me the first time. I saw in the vision, and it so happened while I was looking, that I was in Shushan, the citadel, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision that I was by the river Ulai.”
Daniel 8:3 “Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns, and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last.”
No better words could describe the relationship between Media and Persia. Media was at first a strong kingdom, but gradually Persia became more dominant. Cyrus the Great was king of Media before he became king of Persia.
Daniel 8:4 “I saw the ram and it was pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no animal could withstand him; nor was any that could deliver from his hand, but he did according to his will and became great.”
This verse describes the expansion of the Persian Empire under Cyrus who was later named Cyrus the Great.
Daniel 8:5-7 “And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power. And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to ground and trampled him; and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand.”
The first ting to note is that the ram has two horns which most identify as the kingdoms of Mede and Persia. However I believe they also represent two kings within the Mede/Persian Empire. Cyrus the Great developed the Empire while Darius the Great was the last Persian king. In Daniel the ram, ‘cast him down to the ground and trampled him.’ From history we know that Alexander pursued Darius III until they met at the river Ulai. Alexander defeated Darius III and at that moment the entire Persian Empire became his.
“Persia was subdued, the country ravaged, its armies cut to pieces and scattered, its cities plundered, and the royal city of Persepolis, the capital of the Persian empire, and even in its ruins one of the wonders of the world to the present day, was sacked and burned. Thus the ram had no power to stand before the goat, and there was none that could deliver him out of his hand.”
{Daniel and the Revelation, chapter 8, Vision of the Ram, He Goat and Little Horn, Uriah Smith, page 171}
To cast down to the ground and trample then means to utterly destroy the country and the city of that kingdom. Keep this in mind for later when it comes to the little horn.
Daniel 8:8 “Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven.”
Alexander and his empire grew very great but when he became strong, Alexander the Great died. In his place four notable generals eventually came forth; Ptolemy ruled Egypt, Cassander ruled Macedonia, Seleucus ruled Babylon/Syria and Lysimachus ruled Asia Minor.

The Little Horn
Daniel 8:9 "And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land."
Notice that the little horn comes out of one of the four kingdoms after the break up of Alexander's empire, not the breakup of the Roman Empire.
Daniel 8:8-9 “Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land.”
Alexander the Great is described as being very great and rightly so as he conquered the majority of the civilized world in his day. The little horn is described as being exceedingly great. The logical conclusion then is that the little horn is greater than Alexander. In general theology globally Antiochus IV is seen as fulfilling this prophecy, but was Antiochus IV greater than Alexander? No, not by a long shot. Antiochus only occupied parts of Asian Minor and Judea, not the entire known world at the time.
Daniel 8:25 “…. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without human means.”
This verse tells us plainly that the little horn king would rise up against the Prince of princes who can only represent Christ. Antiochus IV died long before Christ was born, however, Octavian/Augustus the first emperor of the Roman Empire was reigning when Christ was born and he died of natural causes, without human means, when it was common to be assasinated.
The "little horn" comes out of one of the four kingdoms after the breakup of Alexander's Empire, not the breakup of the Roman Empire as SDA theology often states. In other words the little horn comes out of; Egypt, Macedonia, Babylon/Syria or Thrace/Asia Minor.
In his book Unfolding Daniel’s Prophecies, Roy Allan Anderson identifies that the little horn comes out of one of four empires after Alexander died and he rightly concludes that Rome is the little horn.
“Only one fulfills the prophecy, and that is Rome, the fourth in the succession of empires.”
{Unfolding Daniel’s Prophecies, Roy Allan Anderson, page 104}

The Papacy did not come out of one of the four kingdoms after the breakup of Alexander’s Empire it came out of Rome itself. Out of one of the four kingdoms, Macedonia, emerged the little kingdom of Rome,"It grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east and toward the Glorious Holy Land." These verses can only describe the expansion of the Roman Republic and history tells us that this is so.
“The field of vision here is substantially the same as that covered by Nebuchadnezzar's image of chapter 2, and Daniel's vision of chapter 7. And in both these prophetic delineations we have found that the power which succeeded Grecia as the fourth great power, was Rome. The only natural inference would be that the little horn, the power which in this vision succeeds Grecia as an "exceeding great" power, is also Rome.”
{Daniel and the Revelation, by Uriah Smith, chapter 8, Vision of the Ram, He Goat and Little Horn, page 177}
Even Uriah Smith had to identify Rome as the ‘little horn’ because the verses cannot apply to any other worldly power. But as with most SDA theologians Smith jumps from pagan Rome to the Papacy when confronted with the ‘daily’ in Daniel 8:11-12, wiping out over 500 years of Roman history with a swipe of the pen.


The Caesars
The identity of the "little horn" as the Caesars of the Roman Empire is confirmed by what is written in Daniel 8. 
Daniel 8:20 "The ram which you saw, having two horns - they are the kings of Media and Persia."
We are told in this verse that two horns equal two kingdoms.
(Note: the second beast in Revelation has two little horns like a lamb.)
Daniel 8:21 "And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is its first king."
To be sure we have the right information we are told that the male goat is Greece and the large horn is its first king Alexander the Great.
Daniel 8:22 "As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power."
The four separate kingdoms that actually arose after Alexander died were; Macedonia, Syria, Asia Minor and Egypt. They did not have the power of Alexander's empire as prophesied.
Daniel 8:23 "And in the latter time of their kingdom, When the transgressors have reached their fullness, A king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes."
This sinister king arises at the latter time of the four kingdoms after the breakup of Alexander's empire. The latter time of the four kingdoms reign was a period covering c.200 - 1 BC. Note that this period is before Christ not after Him and in no way shape or form can it represent Papal Rome. Macedonia was made into a Roman province c.146 BC.7 Asia Minor was made into a Roman province c.133 BC.8 Syria was annexed to the Roman Republic in 64 BC by Pompey.9 Egypt was made into a Roman province in 30 BC.10 We are told that this is when a king would arise who would have fierce features. The man with ‘fierce features, who understands sinister schemes’ is none other than the ‘little horn’ himself. Note that this is when the Roman republic was starting to emerge as a world empire. Sulla was the first dictator of the Roman republic and he had incredibly fierce features and he understood sinister schemes.11 However, I believe this verse is referring specifically to Julius Caesar the first elected dictator of the Roman Republic. Julius Caesar was perhaps the greatest Roman to have lived and even his subjects treated him like a god. Caesar was a shrewed dictator, and a brilliant tactician, like Daniel says, in the end "no one would help him" and he was buchered in the Roman senate.
An important point is to note the order of these verses and what is contained in them. The "little horn" is identified as Rome in verses 8 and 9. The "little horn" then takes away the ‘daily’ and casts down the sanctuary in verses 11 and 12.  To be sure we have the right information the story of the Media/Persian Empire, Alexander’s empire and its division is explained again in more detail in verses 20-22. Then again the "little horn" is identified as a king of Rome in verse 23 and his attributes are recorded in verses 24-25.  To identify these attributes as purely Papal and having nothing to do with Julius Caesar or his successor Augustus is to belittle the importance of these two giants of men and their enormous contributions to Roman history and Bible prophecy.

Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar
"Julius Caesar was the first historical Roman to be officially deified. He was posthumously granted the title Divus Iulius or Divus Julius (the divine Julius or the deified Julius) by decree of the Roman Senate on 1 January 42 BC. .... The cult of Divus Iulius was promoted by both Octavian and Mark Anthony. After the death of Antony, Octavian, as adoptive son of Caesar, assumed the title of Divi Filius (son of a god)."
{Gaius Julius Caesar, Wikipedia}


"His qualifications for leadership were brilliant and physically imposing, a talented military commander, a skillful politician and a shrewd financier."
{Julius Caesar; Imperial Rome by Moses Hadas}
"The 41-year reign of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, first and greatest of Rome's many emperors, was long remembered as a golden age. Romans called him Augustus, meaning, "the revered," and provincials hailed him as a god. Augustus was above all a consummate politician. He was a man of calculated modesty who gave the appearance of simplicity, but, as Seutonius noted, wore shoes that were "high-soled, to make him look taller than he really was." Julius Caesar's adopted son, Augustus fought his way to power by eliminating the leaders of the old republic, more notably Mark Anthony. He "won over the soldiers with gifts," said Tacitus, "the populace with cheap grain, and all men with sweets of repose.... while he concentrated in himself the functions of the senate, the magistrates, and the laws." Once Augustus was in power, he reorganized Roman government so brilliantly that it served less able-even demented-emperors for centuries to come."

"Romans called him Augustus, meaning "the revered", and provincials hailed him as a god."
{Imperial Rome by Moses Hadas, p.37}
Augustus Caesar reigned from 27 BC - 14 AD. Christ, the true Son of God, was born during his reign as the first emperor of Rome.

Moses Hadas says that Augustus Caesar created, ‘Strict laws governing personal behaviour; and established a peace which endured through his long reign.’
“On 6 March 12 BC, after the death of Lepidus, he additionally took up the position of pontifex maximus, the high priest of the collegium of the Pontifices, the most important position in Roman religion. On 5 February 2 BC, Augustus was also given the title pater patriae, or "father of the country".”
{Bowersock (1990), p. 380. Eder (2005), 28. Mackay (2004), 186. Eck (2003), 129.}

Julius Caesar was the first elected dictator of the Roman Republic. Augustus was the first Emperor of the Roman Empire and he took the name of his grandfather Julius Caesar. History tells us that Augustus was indeed a little man but he became the first emperor of the mighty Roman Empire. From here on we must identify the ‘little horn,’ as first being Julius and Augustus and then the Caesars who followed who took the titles ‘Augustus’ and ‘Caesar.’
Daniel 8:24-25 "His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power, he shall destroy fearfully, and shall prosper and thrive, he shall destroy the mighty and also the holy people. Through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; but shall be broken without human means."
Augustus Caesar's power was mighty, but not by his own power, he had his legal grandfather's nod of approval, a list of extraordinary powers given by the senate, he had the backing of the army and the people idolized him. He also had the backing of a very important nobleman and a leading Optimate orator Marcus Tullius Cicero. Augustus also formed an alliance with Mark Antony and Lepidus called the second triumvirate. Augustus destroyed fearfully, prospered and thrived; he destroyed the mighty, Egypt, and the holy people, the Jews. Through his cunning he caused deceit to prosper under his rule; and he exalted himself in his heart. He destroyed many kingdoms in their prosperity. He even rose against the Son of God by declaring himself ‘son of god.’ It was under his reign that the Roman census was decreed and Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem. It was during his reign that Herod decreed that all male Jewish children under two years of age be killed. Augustus reportedly died of natural causes in 14 AD which was rare for a Roman leader at this time and thus he fulfilled the prophecy being broken without human means.12
The Caesars after Augustus all rose against the word of God by first crucifying Christ and by then persecuting the apostles, the disciples and the new Christians. The Roman Empire itself began a gradual decline from within mainly due to incompetence, corruption and the mismanagement of resources and funds. The start of this gradual decline of the empire began shortly after the start of the Jewish revolt in Jerusalem, 66 AD but it was a slow and agonizing decline.
".... there were uprisings in; Armenia, Britain, Gaul, Africa, Spain and Judea .... in 68 AD ...."
{Imperial Rome by Moses Hadas}
"The Huns triggered the Germanic invasions which led to the sacking of the Western Roman Empire .... in the fourth and fifth centuries AD. .... The Huns displaced three tribes the Alani, the Ostrogoths and the Visigoths. .... They went on to conquer Rome itself in 410 AD .... The Vandals sacked Rome in 455 AD ...."
"According to the Roman historian Livy, Rome became an empire because the Gods had ordained it: "Go proclaim to the Romans it is heaven's will that my Rome shall be the capital of the world", says Romulus, the city's legendary founder."" 


The Little Horn Changes Time
Daniel 7:25 ".... And shall intend to change time and law. ...."
The Caesars changed both ‘time,’ and ‘laws.’ The ‘time,’ change that they made was the conversion of how we record time, the months and the years.
“The most important change, however, was his reform of the calendar. The calendar was then regulated by the movement of the moon, and this had left the calendar in a mess. Caesar replaced this calendar with the Egyptian calendar, which was regulated by the sun. Did you get that? Caesar replaced the established system with a new system which was regulated by the sun. He set the length of the year to 365.25 days by adding an intercalary/leap day at the end of February every fourth year. To bring the calendar into alignment with the seasons, he decreed that three extra months be inserted into 46 BC (the ordinary intercalary month at the end of February, and two extra months after November). Thus, the Julian calendar opened on 1 January 45 BC. This calendar is almost identical to the current Western calendar.”13
Julius Caesar gave us the Julian calendar that led to the Gregorian calendar which our current calendar system is based upon. So we are still recording years according to the movements of the sun. A Roman also changed time by changing the established system of recording years into the more familiar BC and AD which our current system is still based upon. Dionysius Exiguus a member of the Roman see devised the Anno Domini system to calculate the date for easter.14
The Romans would also change the ‘laws,’ of God by the re-writing of the Ten Commandments. The most notable change being the change of God's Holy Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday possibly during the reign of Constantine c.330 AD. Although there was no specific decree, the change from Sabbath worship was instigated around the time of 
Constantine's reign or before as Constantine admonishes certain Christians in the east that should not be Judaizers.
15  In other words he didn't want Christians to celebrate and rest on the Sabbath as did the Jews. And in an amendment he instructed instead that they should rest on the Lord's Day, Sunday. We have to remember that Constantine wasn't a Christian, he wasn't observing the "Lord's Day." So who was? The Roman Catholic Church. The true Christians in the east were observing the Sabbath rest prior to his decree, not because they wanted to be like the Jews, but because it was a Christian tradition passed on from Christ and the Apostles, who were Jews. Thus Constantine's decree initiated the change that would spread across the whole Roman world and the society we live in today is the result, a society which worships the Sun.
Because of these changes and other non-scriptural theology, the saints, who had retained the true word of God, were hunted, persecuted and murdered.

Daniel 7:25 ".... Then the saints shall be given into his hands for a time, times and half a time. ...."

A ‘time’ = 360 years  
‘time, times and half a time’ = 1260 years
The new Christians were given into the hands of the Romans for 1260 years from c.31 - 1291 AD. The last Roman province of Acre was taken by the Sultan Baybars in 1291 AD ending the dominance of the Holy Roman Empire in the holy land. 

{Wikipedia, 2015}

Daniel 8:10 "And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them."
The Caesars aspired to be like God Himself; and they cast down some of the host of heaven, the Son of God and His word, and some of the stars, the apostles, and trampled them by killing them and by rejecting their testimony.
Thus the "little horn" was established and it wasn't long before they would prepare an assault on God Himself by destroying His city and His people in Jerusalem as prophesied by Daniel 8 and Daniel 9.
For more information on the "little horn" go to my blog page and the posts Daniel 7 and Daniel 8.

1. Battle of Cynoscephalae, Wikipedia, 2015
2. Perseus of Macedon, Wikipedia, 2015
3. Antiochus III the Great, Wikipedia, 2015
4. Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Wikipedia, 2015
5. Syria (Roman Province), Wikipedia, 2015
6. Egypt (Roman Province), Wikipedia, 2015
7. Macedonia (Roman Province), Wikipedia, 2015
8. Asia (Roman Province), Annexation, Wikipedia 2015
9. Syria (Roman Province), Wikipedia, 2015
10. Egypt (Roman Province), Wikipedia, 2015
11. Sulla, Wikipedia, 2015
12. Augustus, Wikipedia, 2015
13. Julius Caesar, Wikipedia, 2015
14. Anno Domini, Wikepedia, 2015
15. Christian Classics Ethereal Library,, 2015

16. Bust of Caesar, By Gautier Poupeau from Paris, France (César) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.
17. By UnknownTill Niermann (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons
the sea beast in Revelation 13
The Seven Headed Sea Beast in Revelation 13, Brent Dawes, 2015
The Tusculum portrait, perhaps the only surviving sculpture of Caesar made during his lifetime. 16
Augustus of Prima Porta, 1st century, white marble. 17