Daniel 7:8 MEANING

Daniel 7:8
(8) I considered.--Literally, I kept on looking. Here, for the first time in the course of the vision, there appears a change taking place in the object itself. While the three beasts had passed away unchanged in any material addition, among the ten horns of the fourth beast there was seen to grow up a "little horn." which destroyed three of the other horns. That a man, and not a kingdom, is intended, though the man may be the representative of a kingdom, appears from the mention of "the eyes of a man," indicating craft and cunning, and "the mouth speaking great things," implying vain-glory and blasphemy.

Verse 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. The Septuagint Version, if we consider it a rendering of the Massorotic, begins really with the words which are made in it the last clause of the preceding verse, "And counsels were many in its horns." This reading is certainly not to be preferred, although it can easily be understood how it has arisen. The version proceeds, "And behold another born sprang up in the midst of them - little in its horns" - this latter is a doublet - "and three of the former horns were rooted cut by it, and, behold, eyes as human eyes were in this horn, and a mouth speaking great things, and it made war against the saints." Theodotion is practically in agreement with the Massoretic text, as is also the Peshitta. As Daniel is gazing, his attention is directed to the horns; he sees their appearance changing. An eleventh horn springs up, much less than any of the former ten; quickly, however, it grows, and before its growth three of the former horns are rooted up. This horn now drew his gaze from all the others: it had human eyes, it had a mouth speaking great things. In the changes of the dream the horn now seems separated from the animal on which it is; it becomes an oppressor, and makes war upon the saints. It is usual to identify this horn with that in ch. 8:7. When carefully looked at, the alleged resemblance is reduced to the fact that in both cases "a horn" is used as a symbol of an oppressor of the saints. We must remember that, according to the figure, these ten horns are contemporary. If we take the typology of the next chapter as our guide, these horns are kingdoms or dynasties. Unlike the Greek Empire, which split up into four, this fourth empire splits up into ten. Another dynasty rises up and sweeps away three of these earlier dynasties. Nothing like this occurred in regard to the empire of the Diadochi. Of course, it is true the number ought not to be pressed, save as a designative symbol. There must, however, be more than five or six, as in such a case four would be a more natural general number. It may, however, be twelve or fifteen. Several events in the history of the kingdoms that have followed the Roman Empire might satisfy one part of this picture - the replacing of three kingdoms by one. It is a possible enough view that provinces may be referred to, as Jephet-ibn. Ali maintains. As, however, the primary significance of the "horn" is power, the most probable solution seems to us to be to take the "ten" horns as the magistracies of Republican Rome. If we reckon the magistracies, there were fewer, if we take the distinctive individuals occupying the magistracies, more, than ten. The imperial form of government replaced several of these magistracies, which may roughly be reckoned at three. Certainly of the imperial power it might be said that it had a mouth "speaking great things;" for the claim to deification made openly was certainly a new claim. Other monarchs had claimed to be the sons of their god; only the Roman emperors were addressed as divus during their lifetime. Certainly the empire made war against the saints - against the people of God. It was Nero, a Roman emperor, who decreed war against the Jews; it was Vespasian, another Roman emperor, that began the conquest of Palestine; it was Titus, a third Roman emperor, that captured Jerusalem. Some support may be found for the Jewish idea that it is Titus personally. If we are permitted to take the ten horns as successive emperors, he was the eleventh emperor, and three emperors were swept away before the Flavian dynasty. We must reserve fuller discussion of this subject to a special excursus.

7:1-8 This vision contains the same prophetic representations with Nebuchadnezzar's dream. The great sea agitated by the winds, represented the earth and the dwellers on it troubled by ambitious princes and conquerors. The four beasts signified the same four empires, as the four parts of Nebuchadnezzar's image. Mighty conquerors are but instruments of God's vengeance on a guilty world. The savage beast represents the hateful features of their characters. But the dominion given to each has a limit; their wrath shall be made to praise the Lord, and the remainder of it he will restrain.I considered the horns,.... The ten horns of the fourth beast; these the prophet particularly looked at, took special notice of them, carefully observed them, their number, form, and situation, and pondered in his mind what should be the meaning of them:

and, behold; while he was attentive to these, and thinking within himself what they should be, something still more wonderful presented:

there came up among them another little horn; not Titus Vespasian, as Jarchi; nor the Turkish empire, as Saadiah; nor Antiochus Epiphanes, as many Christian interpreters; for not a single person or king is meant by a horn, but a kingdom or state, and a succession of governors; as by the other ten horns are meant ten kings or kingdoms; besides, this little horn is a part of the fourth, and not the third beast, to which Antiochus belonged; and was to rise up, not in the third or Grecian monarchy, as he did, but in the fourth and Roman monarchy; and was to continue until the spiritual coming of Christ; or, until his kingdom in a spiritual sense takers place; which is not true of him: and since no other has appeared in the Roman empire, to whom the characters of this horn agree, but antichrist or the pope of Rome, he may be well thought to be intended. Irenaeus (k), an ancient Christian writer, who lived in the second century, interprets it of antichrist; of whom having said many things, has these words:

"Daniel having respect to the end of the last kingdom; that is the last ten kings among whom their kingdom should be divided, upon whom the son of perdition shall come; he says that ten horns shall be upon the beast, and another little horn should rise up in the midst of them; and three horns of the first be rooted out before him; and, "behold", saith he, "in this horn were eyes as the eyes of man", &c.; of whom again the Apostle Paul, in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 declaring together the cause of his coming, thus says, "and then shall that wicked one be revealed &c."''

and in a following chapter (l) the same writer observes,

"John the disciple of the Lord in the Revelation hath yet more manifestly signified of the last time, and of those ten kings in it, among whom the empire that now reigns (the Roman empire) shall be divided; declaring what shall be the ten horns, which were seen by Daniel; saying, "the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet, &c."; therefore it is manifest, that of these he that is to come shall slay three, and the rest shall be subject to him, and he shall be the eighth among them;''

and Jerom on the place says, that this is the sense of

"all ecclesiastical writers, that when the Roman empire is destroyed, there shall be ten kings who shall divide it among them; and an eleventh shall arise, a little king, who shall conquer three of the ten kings; and having slain them, the other seven shall submit their necks to the conqueror:''

who he further observes is not a devil or demon, but a man, the man of sin, and son of perdition; so as that he dare to sit in the temple of God, making himself as if he was God: now to the Roman antichrist everything here said answers: he is a "horn", possessed of power, strength, authority, and dominion, of which the horn is an emblem; a "little" one, which rose from small beginnings, and came to his ecclesiastic power, from a common pastor or bishop, to be a metropolitan of Italy, and then universal bishop; and to his secular power, which at first was very small, and since increased; and yet in comparison of other horns or kingdoms, but little; though, being allowed to exercise a power within others, is, or at least has been, very formidable: this "came up among" the other horns; when the northern barbarous nations broke into the empire and set up ten kingdoms in it, this little horn sprung up among them; and while they were forming kingdoms for themselves, he was contriving one for himself; they rose at the same time and reigned together; see Revelation 17:12,

before whom, there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots; before whom three kings or kingdoms fell, and were subdued as in Daniel 7:20 which, according to Mr. Mede (m), were the kingdoms of the Greeks, of the Longobards, and of the Franks; but, according to Sir Isaac Newton (n), they were the exarchate of Ravenna, the kingdom of the Lombards, and the senate and dukedom of Rome; or, according to the present bishop of Clogher (o), the Campagnia of Rome, the exarchate of Ravenna, and the region of Pentapolis, which were plucked up by Pipin and Charlemagne, kings of France, and given to the pope; and were confirmed to him by their successor Lewis the pious, and is what is called the patrimony of St. Peter; in memory of which a piece of Mosaic work was made and put up in the pope's palace, representing St. Peter with three keys in his lap; signifying the three keys of the three parts of his patrimony; and to show his sovereignty over them, the pope to this day wears a triple crown:

and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man; in some monstrous births there have been eyes in the knees, and in the belly above the navel (p); but never was there known such a monster as this, to have a horn, and eyes in the horn; horns some monsters have but not eyes in them: these may design the pretended sanctity and religion of the pope of Rome or antichrist, who, though a beast, would be thought to be a man, a religious creature; or his pretended modesty, humanity, and courtesy, when he is all the reverse; or rather his insight into the Scriptures he makes pretension to, setting himself up as an infallible judge of them, and of all controversies: though they seem better to design what he really has than what he pretends to; and may denote his penetration and sagacity, his craft and cunning, and sharp looking out to get power and dominion, temporal and spiritual; and his watchfulness to keep it, that it is not encroached upon, and took away from him; and also all means and instruments by which he inspects his own and others' affairs; particularly the order of the Jesuits, which are his eyes everywhere, spies in all kingdoms and courts, and get intelligence of what is done in the councils and cabinets of princes: how many eyes this horn had is not said; nor is it easy to say how many the pope of Rome has; he has as many as Argus, and more too, and these sharp and piercing:

and a mouth speaking great things as that he is Christ's vicar on earth, Peter's successor, head of the church, and universal bishop; that he is infallible, and cannot err; that he has all power in heaven, earth, and hell; that he can forgive sin, grant indulgences, make new laws, and bind the consciences of men; dispense with the laws of God and men; dispose of kingdoms, and remove and set up kings at pleasure, with many others of the like kind; see Revelation 13:5.

(k) Advers. Haeress, l. 5. c. 25. (l) Ibid. c. 26. (m) Works, B. 4. p. 779. (n) Observations on Daniel, p. 75-78, 80, 88. (o) Inquiry into the Time of the Messiah's coming, p. 28. (p) Vid. Schott. Phyica Curiosa, l. 5. c. 25. p. 711, 712.

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