“While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully. Daniel 7:8 (NIV).
The other beasts represent empires from Nebuchadnezzar forward. What does this little horn represent?
The short answer is “nobody knows.” I searched numerous sources, both online and written, and many possible answers were recorded. Antiochus, Nero, Domitian, even an unnamed future Antichrist: all are possible – and logical – answers to who is represented by the little horn growing out amidst the ten horns of the fourth beast. The most popular answer among millenialists is that the little horn represents the Antichrist, a tie to the beast John mentions in Revelation 13 (see https://www.gotquestions.org/Daniel-four-beasts.html). It’s generally accepted that the boastful little horn grew to represent something sinful, blasphemous. Yet, even after over 2500 years, the only full answer is that we simply do not know.
What we do know about the little horn is that it represented human beings and spoke boastfully. In a way, we are our own little horns, our own boastful megaphones that can rise out of anything. Timid and small at first, our words can build things up, increase us in number beyond simple beginnings. Powerful movements usually don’t begin at the top. Usually they start with ideas, then words, spoken small at first but then rising in volume and number.
Whatever Daniel’s prophecy refers to, this is how it begins. Something, or someone, small who rises and speaks boastfully, then blasphemously, against God. One word grows in intensity can become a roar, then a scream, then a battle cry.
What will you and I do with our words?
As mentioned, this prophecy is generally accepted as referring to something against God, someone speaking against, then growing against God; more of this will be revealed in the verses soon to come. Yet contrast it with the growth of Christianity, and the words of saints spoken since that time. Rome tried to exterminate Christianity from Good Friday onward. The tiny sect of “The Way” should have died out in first century Judea. It was just a very small group of people who preached a new idea. According to the world, it should have quickly died out.
But it didn’t. Where evil sprang from the words of Daniel’s beast (Rome), God’s grace grew one believer at a time into the most powerful movement in history: a movement founded on simply following the only true God through His Son, Jesus Christ, who Rome couldn’t kill. Who loud, boastful words can’t crush. We know what Jesus did with His seemingly small words. What will we do with ours?
For further reading: Psalm 12:3, Revelation 9:7, Revelation 13:5-6, Daniel 7:9
Lord, thank You for Your prophecies.
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