Daniel’s Little Horn
Daniel 7 kicks off the prophetic section of Daniel, with a vision that begins what eventually will become the norm of the rest of the book. Here’s a synopsis:
Daniel sees four beasts come out of the sea. A beast represents a king (kingdom) according to Daniel 7:1. And the sea represents a multitude of peoples. So this vision is about kingdoms that rise from areas with many people.
Lion – represents Babylon. Just like Daniel 2, Daniel 7 uses appropriate beasts to represent their kingdoms. Lions are the perfect animal to characterize the kingdom of Babylon.
Bear – represents Medo-Persia. The three ribs represent the three territories that Medo Persia conquered, and the fact that it was raised on one side reveals that Persia was the stronger kingdom of Media and Persia.
Leopard – represents Greece. Coming right after the bear, we know this is Greece when we cross reference Daniel 2. The four heads represent the four generals that took over the Greek empire after Alexander the Great died.
Dreadful beast – represents Rome. We know Rome was the next world empire to follow Greece. While Daniel 2 briefly talks about the legs of iron, we see more emphasis on this kingdom here in Daniel 7.
Little horn – represents the papacy that follows the Roman empire. According to history, we see that with the crumbling of the Roman Empire, the emperor transferred authority to the pope, who became the ruling religious power during the Middle Ages.
We covered the little horn in this post, so for further information on the little horn please read that here. And we also established that the little horn is similar to the first beast of Revelation 13.
Why do we bring this up? Because while Daniel 2 and 7 cover the same timeline, their emphasis is on different parts of history. Daniel 2 begins the revelation of the future by drawing our minds to the return of Jesus (as evidenced by the rock that destroyed the image and became a mountain). Before we dive in to any prophecy, we must establish that focal point where all of Earth’s history is leading to. Jesus wins in the end with a kingdom that no one can ever take down. Therefore, whatever we study in the time between now and then, no matter how dire the situation may appear, Jesus is victorious. In fact, in Daniel 7:26 the little horn, which spoke blasphemies and challenged God’s authority, will be consumed and destroyed.
The effects of this vision affected Daniel the same way it is probably affecting you. Daniel was greatly troubled and his thoughts troubled him. Likewise, after reading Daniel 7 you may feel faint at heart. And for good reason. We cannot sugarcoat the crazy things that the little horn will do right before Jesus comes. But God shares this information with us because He loves us and want us to be ready.
Let us not ignore the warnings God has graciously given us. But let us alter our lives to respond to God’s calling when the Holy Spirit convicts us!