Well Harry, I think you need a real scholar to answer this question, you ay not be happy with my humble response.
FWIW, I think their small size is relative to the other horns of the two beasts,respectively, “Little” simply established that these two horns were the last to develop in their respective groups.They are still growing. One more reason they were unlikely to be Roman: (Little compared to what? In fact, there’s no host beast!)
Not quite. It appears in the Writings in later collections, and one of the main reasons for that was that Daniel was not based in Israel and he mainly had visions, not prophetic declarations.
You’re reading historicist ideas into the early church. They believed in a variety of views, some premillennial some not. A more accurate word for their view would be realizationism, where a few saw events being fulfilled in their lifetime and others saw the fall of Rome as the end, but they didn’t develop anything approaching the systematic approach known as historicism, which divides up time into various stages of fulfillment, of which we are always at the last stage(save for a few who thought the 7th millenium would be the end).
The problem is that the earliest mention of the abomination is in 1 Macc. which clearly identifies it as being the Seleucid king. There’s also the issue that Matthew 24 and Mark 13 use that same phrase, which Luke 21 simply interprets as "the armies surrounding Jerusalem) since he had a primarily Gentile audience which would not understand that Jewish phrase. Jesus was making a call back to the Daniel event to show that the Temple would be destroyed again. Every system admits this, even the most ardent futurist.
In my paper, I did not deal with the little horn of Dan 7. What I did say is that, if they are necessarily the same entity, then the clearer chapter 8 should inform our decision about Dan 7. Because the “little horn” in Dan 8 is undeniably Greek, then the “little horn” in Dan 7 should arise from Greece as well.
One thing to keep in mind is that “little horns” were a very common occurrence in the agrarian Mesopotamic world and as such, I don’t see a reason to see this symbol as a rarity or a unique feature requiring that it apply to the same entity in both chapters. Compare a little horn to a “unicorn” which would virtually force the reader to exclaim: “Here’s THAT unicorn again!”
Another problem is that we’re not even dealing with the same imagery in these chapters: in Dan 7 the little horn rises from an unclean monster while Dan 8 has it rising from a clean sanctuary animal, a male goat. I’m sure we could find other discontinuities between both chapters that could potentially weaken the correspondence between these two little horns. In other words, Rome could be in Dan 7 while not at all present in Dan 8.
It should also be noted that there’s no consensus on seeing Rome as the fourth animal in Dan 7, there are scholars who hold to a Greek fourth animal there but I have not articulated my position on this front yet.
No, he (@mikecmanea) does not know everyone here and we don’t know him either. I asked him several times about his credentials, and guess what? He never even acknowledged my request. I wonder if he is hiding something that actually may reveal that he is not as knowledgeable as he is pretending to be.
I see where you commented that it is “amusing” to see Conversation here on Spectrum.
This occurs quite frequently. It is in THIS WAY that persons sharing “partial truths” with
each other gain more Truth and eventually it becomes the Whole Truth.
Apparently the different “Teachers” of Truth we were taught by did NOT have the Whole Truth either.
So it all gets put together by shared information and discussion.
I have mused in the past on the topic of, if the “Pillar” was removed, what would a re formed Adventist landscape actually look like!
Thank you for answering my question. I’d like to address some points you made in your answer.
When we consider the successive visions in the book of Daniel, we see that, starting with the second one, they give more details about the visions given before. We know that the visions are about Babylon, the Medo-Persian empire, the Greek empire and finally the Roman empire (those who mistakenly think that the Greek empire is the fourth empire do so by saying that the Medes represent one empire and the Persians another one which is erroneous since even the book of Daniel presents them as one empire (see Daniel 6:8,15 and Daniel 8:20, for example; see also Esther 1:18,19)).
When a vision gives more details about a precedent one, it doesn’t give information that is contradictory to the previous one but complementary. So when we consider the visions of the statue, of the four beasts, and of the goat and the ram, we see that the vision of the four beasts gives more details than the vision of the statue and the vision about the goat and the ram gives more details about two of the empires mentioned in the previous visions.
Are they contradictions? No, but additional information is given.
Now comes the little horn.
The first time it is mentioned is in Daniel 7 and without any doubt we see it coming from the fourth kingdom which is Rome.
The second time it is mentioned is Daniel 8. Is it a different little horn or is it the same one as in Daniel 7?
When we compare the descriptions of these little horns in Daniel 7 and Daniel 8. we can see a lot of similitudes:
- they are both called “little horn” (Dan 7:8; Dan 8:9)
- the little horn says “great things” (Dan 7:8) or magnifies himself (Dan 8:11)
- it makes war against the people of God (Dan 7:21; Dan 8:24)
- it is against God (Dan 7:25; Dan 8:25)
- it will win for a time (Dan 7:25; Dan 8:24,25)
Now, it is true that there seems to be a major difference, that is, in Daniel 7 the little horn comes from the fourth beast while in Daniel 8 it comes (or at least seems to come) from the third beast. But can we simply said that the little horn “in Daniel 8 is undeniably Greek”? Because in Daniel 7 it is undeniable that the little horn is not Greek.
So, which interpretation is correct as there seems to be an ambiguity (are there two little horns one Greek and the other one Roman, or is there only one but the location is uncertain, seeming to be Roman at the beginning but ending up being Greek)?
So far, God has been careful to avoid ambiguities in the presentation of the different kingdoms in the visions sent to Daniel to the point to even name the first three kingdoms (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece). So, why start now?
If we consider that God doesn’t make a mistake in his presentation and doesn’t want to introduce any confusion, it is simpler to consider that the little horn in Daniel 7 and the one in Daniel 8 represent the same power/kingdom (after all, the same symbol is used in both visions).
So, what about the origin discrepancy? Maybe there is none. An explanation could be that Daniel 8 is, in fact, giving a clue as for the the identity of the fourth empire. So far, we know the identity of the first three kingdoms but nothing has been said about the fourth one except that it is represented by a dreadful beast in Daniel 7. But in Daniel 8, it is said that the little horn comes out of one of the horns representing Greece. Rome fits perfectly in that picture as it is the heir of the Greek empire. Legend has it that the founders of Rome (Remus and Romulus) are descendants of a Trojan prince and Troy belonged to the Greek empire. The Romans adopted many things from the Greek culture and even their religion and their gods (Zeus/Jupiter, Hera/Juno, Ares/Mars, Hades/Pluto, Heracles/Hercules, Aphrodite/Venus, Hermes/Mercury, Athena/Minerva, etc). So, it can be said that the origins of Rome really “springs out” from the Greek empire and that the little horn in Daniel 8 represents an aspect of Rome, not Greece.
This interpretation has the merit of being simpler and of reconciling Daniel 7 and Daniel 8.
You crack me up George… I suppose this forum can use a bit of entertainment.
What we could use a little bit more for sure is answers to some questions posted…
As a church our mission is to uplift Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. When we put forward large investments of time and effort to describe the Antichrist, we have shifted our attention away from the saving power of the Gospel. In truth, Adventism can survive and thrive quite well without any emphasis on the Little Horn described in Dan 8.
I will try and “spin this” in a different context, namely, being able to “discuss a biblical text” and trying to lay a ground work (given a specific herm-method)… to wit.
I’ve studied Daniel for the last 40 years, attempting to understand, local context, why was the book written, when was it written, and then of course… what is the “essence” of the book within these “classifications”… namely, whilst an Adventist (not anymore), I could not "hold to the the other 4-5 historicist interpretations of Dan 7/8/9 due to the pre-amblification (thats a confabulutated word for EGW dogma as the pre-set)… Basically that since she is “prophetic” her interpretation – cements elemental discovery of the text. Aka the “rosetta stone”.
I find it quite disconcerting… that even in 2018 there’s not a “peep” of discussion regarding historicist positions (or even entertained to “further examine” the text.)
The correlation of this is evident in our command to know the “contents of the book of Revelation”… to do so requires … a thorough word study and image comparison with several OT books… yep you guessed it… Daniel.
My hope one day is to fully understand both Books… a cemented “stance” regarding Daniel 8:14, without comparative study… does not bode well for the person seeking to “study to show thyself approved”.
Just food for thought…
with kind regards,
Just reading through the discussion here. Areis, really? What kind of hermeneutic is this ?
Thank you very much George.
Below I highlight the external, non-textual assumptions underlying your comment and the conclusion you draw.
Nothing in the text creates this interdependence between the preceding visions and Dan 8. This is brought onto the text because of an artificial concern to connect the visions.
Not found in the text.
The question is irrelevant because it’s based on the circular assumption that the chapters should agree and that, therefore, “confusion” should be unacceptable. Remove this flawed assumption and there is no “confusion.”
Again, your “simpler” solution here assumes that a different origin for the little horn in 7 & 8 would be more “complicated.” But this does not appear as a concern in the text whatsoever. You are putting words and thoughts in the author’s mouth because you’re uncomfortable with the implications of what Dan 8 clearly says.
Daniel 8 focuses on Greece (15 out of 27 verses) there’s nothing pointing back to the “fourth empire” in Dan 7 necessarily. If it did, that fourth empire should be Greece and not Rome because the little horn — which you assume are the same — rises from the same empire. This argument actually defeats your assumption. You can’t have it both ways. That’s why I said that because the little horn is undeniably Greek in 8, than it should be Greek in 7 if you’re trying to force this connection. @DarrelL
Conclusion dependent on Assumptions
The text of Dan 8:23 requires that the little horn be part of the “descendants” (Heb. acharith) of one of the four horns and rise at a posterior period in relation to the events described in the vision rather than as an ancient forebear of the four horns. This theory also presupposes that the readers would interpret a Roman little horn is ultimately Greek which is preposterous. Lastly, by the time the little horn arises, if Rome is intended, it was not Greek little horn, but a massive empire able to defeat Greece. The Greek theory of the origin of the Roman “little horn” crumbles on its own. At least you seem to acknowledge that a Greek horn fits the evidence better, even as you try to consider Rome as having “Greek” origins.
Read in context, Dan 8 makes perfect sense without Dan 7. Only interpreters having a strong presuppositional need to keep them in tandem force Rome in the place of Greece in Dan 8 when in fact Greece is not only specifically named, but dominates most of Dan 8.
In sum, Rome only “works” in Daniel 8 if you impose this massive presuppositional template on the text.
I’m curious what conclusions you’ve come to.
This is if you superimpose an historicist interpretation onto the oracles to the seven churches in Rev. 2-3. But, if one reads the text naturally as John writing to seven literal churches in late 1st c. Asia Minor, then a ten year prophetic period in the early 4th c. makes no contextual sense, because it would have been totally irrelevant and made no sense to the original audience in Smyrna, or in any of the seven churches where the entire book was intended to be read aloud to the congregations.
Revelation, in its entirety, needs to be read and understood in terms of what it meant to the original hearers…as a message written primarily to them in their situation in the late 1st century Roman Empire, not to us. Only as we grasp this primary aim can we then apply its message to ourselves in the early 21st century church.
This is not preterism. This is a contextual, historical way of reading the text, just as we would do with Romans, Galatians, Amos, Jeremiah, etc., that seeks to locate its primary meaning and message within its original historical setting, and as it was meant for its original audience. The forced frameworks of historicism, futurism, etc., largely pay lip service to this, if not bypass this altogether, and place primary emphasis on locating ourselves in a prophetic puzzle piece game, as if this was the primary aim of John.
It wasn’t, and to read it this way leads us to distort the meaning and message of the text. In our case, we have done it in a narrow sectarian manner that has John putting SDAism at the center of God’s eschatological purposes.