Daniel 7:8 Index
"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."
Research Material

"I considered the horns..."

  • HORNS: "Horns" is frequently used to symbolize divisions, or nations, that develop out of a great parent kingdom. Thus the ten horns appearing on the fourth beast of Daniel 7 (compare the paralleling beasts of Revelation 13 and Revelation 17) are expressly stated to be ten kingdoms; or divisions, that would arise out of the territory of the fourth world kingdom. (Froom 33)

"...came up among them..."

  • 1) the Little Horn would arise among the ten horns of Western Europe. (KC 81)

"...another little horn..."

  • The Scripture lists four points that identify the Little Horn: (KC 81)
  • Better, "another horn, a little one." Though small at the beginning, this little horn is described later as "more stout than his fellows," literally, "greater than its companions." It will be seen that this was the continuation of the Roman power in the Roman Church.... "Out of the ruins of political Rome, arose the great moral Empire in the 'giant form' of the Roman Church." (A.C. Flick, The rise of the Mediaeval Church [1900], p. 150).... "Under the Roman Empire the popes had no temporal powers. But when the Roman Empire had disintegrated and its place had been taken by a number of rude, barbarous kingdoms, the Roman Catholic church not only became independent of the states in religious affairs but dominated secular affairs as well. At times, under such rulers as Charlemagne (768-814), Otto the Great (936-973), and Henry III (1039-1056), the civil power controlled the church to some extent; but in general, under the weak political system of feudalism, the well-organized, unified, and centralized church, with the pope at its head, was not only independent in ecclesiastical affairs but also controlled civil affairs." (Carl Conrad Exkhardt, The Papacy and World-Affairs [1937], p.1). (4BC 826)
  • But Roman history did not end with the division. Daniel watched, "and behold, there came up among them another little horn, before which there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots." A new power, one outside the empire, is here represented by the little horn. The three divisions which were plucked up were the Heruli in 493, the Vandals in 534, and the Ostrogoths in 538 A.D. Justinian, the emperor, whose seat was at Constantinople, working through his general Belisarius, was the power that overthrew the three kingdoms represented by the three horns, and the reason for their overthrow was their adherence to [beliefs] in opposition to the orthodox Catholic faith. The details of the overthrow, and the religious controversy which was the root of the trouble, are fully given by Gibbon in the "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," by Mosheim in his church history, and by others. (SNH 109-110)

"...before whom..."

  • More accurately "in the presence of" or "to make make way for him." (4BC 826)

"...three of the first horns plucked up by the roots..."

  • 2) Three of the Germanic tribes would be destroyed by the Little Horn. (KC 81)
  • The "little horn" is a symbol of papal Rome. Hence the plucking up of three horns symbolizes the overthrow of three of the barbarian nations. Among the principal obstructions to the rise of papal Rome to political power were the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths. All three (as suggested by papal Rome, as there is no proof their statement is true) were supports of Arianism, which was the most formidable rival of Catholicism.... The Heruli were the first of the barbarian tribes to rule over Rome. They were German auxiliary troops in Rome who mutinied, and in A.D. 476 deposed the boy Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of the West. At the head of the Heruli and the other mercenary troops was Odovacar (Odoacer), who make himself king in Rome. Odovacar, an Arian, though tolerant toward the Catholics, was hated by the Italians. At the suggestion of the Emperor Zeno of the Eastern Empire, Theodoric, leader of the Ostrogoths, next invaded Italy. He arrived there in A.D. 489, and in A.D. 493 secured Odovacar's surrender and soon afterward killed him. (Thomas Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, vol.3, pp. 180-213). (4BC 826)
  • So far as the position of the Roman Church was concerned the arrival of Theodoric marked no change for the better, but merely a change of leaders. Theodoric was as strong an Arian as his predecessor on the throne of Italy. Although he granted toleration to the various religions in his kingdom, the lofty ambitions of the Roman pontiff could not succeed under a system that granted only toleration. (4BC 826-827)
  • In the meantime the Vandals, led by Gaiseric (Genseric), had settled in North Africa, having taken Carthage in A.D. 439. Being fanatically Arian and warlike, they posed a threat to the supremacy of the Catholic Church in the West. They were particularly intolerant toward Catholics, whom they termed heretics. To help the cause of the Catholics in the West the Emperor Justinian, who ruled the Eastern half of the Roman Empire in Constantinople, dispatched Belisarius, the ablest of his generals. Belisarius completely vanquished the Vandals in A.D. 534.... This victory left the Ostrogoths in Italy as the sole surviving Arian power of significance to hinder the hegemony of the papacy in the West. Having wiped out the Vandals, Belisarius in A.D. 534 began his campaign against the Ostrogoths in Italy. Though this campaign lasted for twenty years before the imperial armies emerged completely victorious the decisive action occurred early in the campaign. The Ostrogoths, who had been driven from Rome, returned and laid siege to it in A.D. 537. The siege lasted for a full year, but in A.D. 538 Justinian landed another army in Italy, and in March the Ostrogoths abandoned the siege. It is true that they re-entered the city for a very brief time in A.D. 540, but their stand was short-lived. Their withdrawal from Rome in A.D. 538 marked the real end of Ostrogothic power, though not the Ostrogothic nation. Thus was "plucked up" the third of the three horns that stood in the way of the little horn. (4BC 827)
  • Justinian is noted not only for his success in temporarily reuniting Italy and parts of the West with the Eastern half of what had been the Roman Empire, but also for the gathering and organizing of the then-existing laws of the empire, including new edicts of Justinian himself. Incorporated into this imperial code were two official letters of Justinian, which had all the force of royal edicts, in which he legally confirmed the bishop of Rome as the "head of all the holy churches" and "head of all the holy priests of God" (Code of Justinian, book 1, title 1). In the later epistle he also commends the pope's activities as corrector of heretics.... Although this legal recognition of the pope's ecclesiastical supremacy was dated in A.D. 533, it is obvious that the imperial edict could not become effective for the pope so long as the Arian Ostrogothic kingdom was in control of Rome and the greater part of Italy. Not until the rule of the Goths was broken cold the papacy be free to develop fully its power. In A.D. 538, for the first time since the end of the Western imperial line, the city of Rome was freed from the domination of an Arian kingdom. In that year the Ostrogothic kingdom received its deathblow (although the Ostrogoths survived some years longer as a people). That is why A.D. 538 is a more significant date than A.D. 533. (4BC 827)
  • To summarize: (1) The pope had already been recognized generally (though by no means universally) as supreme bishop in the churches of the West, and had exercised considerable political influence, from time to time, under the patronage of the Western emperors. (2) In A.D. 533 Justinian recognized the pope's ecclesiastical supremacy as "head of all the holy churches" in both East and West, and this legal recognition was incorporated into the imperial code of laws in A.D. 534. (3) In A.D. 538 the papacy was effectively freed from the domination of the Arian kingdoms that followed the Western emperors in the control of Rome and Italy. From then on the papacy was in position to increase its ecclesiastical power. The other kingdoms became Catholic, one by one, and since the distant Eastern emperors did not retain control of Italy, in the turbulent development that followed, the pope emerged often as the leading figure in the West. The papacy acquired territorial rule and eventually it reached its peak in political as well as religious dominance in Europe. (4BC 827)
  • Some find it significant that Vigilius, the pope who held office in A.D. 538, had, the year before, replaced a pope who had been under Gothic influence. The new pope owed his office to the Empress Theodora, and was regarded by Justinian as the means of uniting all the churches, East and Wet, under his own imperial dominance. It has been pointed out that, beginning with Vigilius, the popes were more and more men of the state as well as of the church, often became rulers of the state. (Charles Bemont and G. Monod, Medieval Europe, p. 21). (4BC 828)
  • Daniel considered the hors. A strange movement appeared among them. Another horn, at first little, but afterward more stout than its fellows, thrust itself up. It was not content quietly to find a place of its own, and fill it; it must thrust aside some of the others, and usurp their places. Three kingdoms were thus plucked up. (US 110-111)
  • This little horn, as we shall have occasion to notice more fully hereafter, was the papacy. The three horns plucked up by the roots represented the Heruli, the Ostrogoths, and the Vandals. The reason for their removal was their opposition to the teachings and claims of the papal hierarchy. (US 111)

"...Little Horn... eyes like the eyes of man..."

  • 3) Referring to the Little Horns leadership. (KC 81)
  • Generally taken to be a symbol of intelligence. In contrast with the barbarians, who were largely illiterate, the power represented by the "little horn" was noted for its intelligence, its insight, and its foresight. (4BC 828)
  • ...fit emblems of the shrewdness, penetration, and arrogant claims of an apostate religious organization. (US 111)

"...Little Horn... a mouth speaking great things."

  • 4) This power will speak words against God. (KC 81)
  • Daniel 8:25