A seemingly insignificant eleventh king rises to power
during the time of this ten-kingdom confederacy.
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 man and a mouth
that spoke boastfully.
A little horn came up (between, among) the ten horns.
“Eyes like the eyes of a man” suggests this king is an
intellectual genius with penetrating insight and
discernment. “A mouth that spoke boastfully” suggests
persuasive oratory skills, which at the same time
blasphemes God. This little horn is the Willful King of
Daniel 11:36-39, also known as “the Antichrist,” and “the
man of lawlessness” of 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4:
Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day
will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of
lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He
will oppose and will exalt himself over everything
that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets
himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
The little horn will be satanically inspired, according
to Revelation 13:4-6:
Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority
to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked,
“Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?” The
beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and
blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two
months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to
slander his name and his dwelling-place and those who live
The outlook for the future is pessimistic. Biblical
prophecy forecasts no peace-loving world ruler until the
Messiah establishes His kingdom. Ravenous commercialism
and political imperialism accompanied by the most beastly
warfare will dominate the world scene. Progressive
and social advancement are the fabrications
of the Evil One. Over the horizon awaits the monstrosities
of the fourth beast.
Daniel reveals a great deal more concerning “the little
horn” in 7:19-27; 9:26-27; and 11:36-45. Critics identify
this king as Antiochus IV Epiphanes and the kingdom as
Greece. They assume that the foregoing passages depict the
Seleucids and its ruler.
Critics generally agree that the ten horns upon the
creature’s head represent ten kings, not contemporaries,
but successive rulers that begin with either Alexander the
Great or with the Selucus Nicator, the founder of the
Seleucid dynasty. Then the rulers continue, in the same
line, down to the point at which Antiochus IV Epiphanes
came to the throne.
There are three major difficulties with the critics’
assumption. First, one cannot pinpoint ten successive
kings in history. Second, Jesus announced, long after the
death of Antiochus, that “the abomination that causes
desolation” that Daniel attributes to the little horn is
still future (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15). Third, the
kingdom of the little horn is to be replaced by Christ’s
kingdom (Daniel 7:26-27), which clearly did not happen in
the middle of the second century B.C.
Uprooted (rqe (`aqar) may denote either a gradual
process, where new growth pushes out the old, or where it
is plucked up quickly. It is uncertain, whether “the
little horn” will take control of all three areas at once
or over time. In either case, he will be recognized as the
ruler of the remaining horns.
Notably, the book of Daniel either reveals the name of,
or details about, the initial rulers of the first three
empires: Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon; Cyrus of Medo-Persia;
Alexander the Great of Greece and its division by his four
generals—Lysimachus, Cassander, Seleucus and Ptolemy.
However, nothing is revealed about the initial ruler of
the fourth empire of Ancient Rome. Instead, the prophecy
focuses on the kings of the Revived Roman Empire of the
last days, especially its “little horn.”
Instead of a king conquering territory and people,
there was a gradual expansion of the Roman power,
culminating in the establishment of a unified empire by
Augustus (B.C. 30 to A.D. 14), who was emperor at the time
of the Messiah’s birth and during part of His lifetime.
Empire was unique in regards to its
The Empire bound together a variety of peoples and
cultures, maintaining itself not only by military power
but by efficient and generally lenient provincial
administration. Another unifying
factor was the nearly
universal use of the Greek language and a general
acceptance of Greek culture and values. In addition, a
complex of major land and sea routes linked major cities
of the Empire, permitting the easy movement of people
and goods as well as armies.
Regarding freedom, while Roman law imposed harsh
penalties for criminal acts and for any activity that
might be considered treasonable, most national groups were
permitted to follow their own customs and religions.
Self-government by each national group, under its own laws
and courts, was encouraged, although Roman laws and courts
The Empire, which gave the varied peoples of Europe and
the Mediterranean a common language and permitted free
movement of persons and ideas, was essential to the spread
of Christianity (abstracted from “Roman Empire,” The
Revell Bible Dictionary).
Parallels between the Roman Empire and the European
Union are remarkable. The first phase of the Roman Empire
paved the way for the coming of the Messiah and the spread
of Christianity. The second phase (feet and ten toes) of
the Roman Empire will pave the way for the Antichrist and
the spread of his false religion.
The charts on the next page demonstrate that the fourth
empire of chapter seven of Daniel is the Revived Roman
Empire. It is also the same as the seventh and eighth
empires of chapter seventeen of Revelation.