Daniel 8:12 Index
"And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered."
Research Material

"...an host was given him..."

  • A "host was given him [the little horn] against the daily." The barbarians that subverted the Rome Empire in the changes, attritions, and tans formation of those times, became converts to the Catholic faith, and the instruments of the dethronement of their former religion. Though conquering Rome politically, they were themselves vanquished religiously by the theology of Rome, and became the perpetuators of the same empire in another phase. This was brought about by reason of "transgression," that is, by the working of the mystery of iniquity. The papacy may be called a system of iniquity because it has done its evil work under the pretense of the pure and undefiled religion. Of this false religious system, Paul wrote in the first century to the Thessalonians, "The mystery of iniquity doth already work." (2 Thessalonians 2:7). (US 161)

"...it cast down the truth to the ground..."

  • The papacy loaded the truth with tradition and obscured it by superstition. (4BC 843)
  • What Satan could not accomplish through open opposition, he sought to accomplish by policy and strategy (Daniel 8:25). Silently, stealthily, the principles of evil crept into the church of Christ (Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:30), which had grown up in spite of the pagan opposition. The humility of the Son of God at first characterized the body of Christians, and therein lay the power of the early church. Christian mothers gathered their children about them as the Jewish mothers had done in the days of their prosperity (Zechariah 3:6-7). From infancy the truths of God's Word were implanted in their hearts; sacred songs were in their lips; the Word of God was the text-book from which all lessons were learned (2 Timothy 1:5, 3:15). Parents dared not allow their children to remain in the pagan schools, for the very atmosphere breathed of the heathen worship; the air was heavy with the odor of sacrifices to idols. They dared not sit at the table with those with whom they had once been familiar, for the food had been consecrated to idols (Acts 15:20, 28-29; 21:25; 1 Corinthians 8:9-13, 10:19-20; Revelation 2:14). In the most careful way the rising generations was educated, and Christianity took the place of paganism (Romans 1:8; Colossians 1:6). (SNH 127-128)
  • But Satan could not see his power overthrown without making a desperate struggle, and by stealth he insinuated his principles into the new church (Genesis 3:1). Wrangles, disputes, theological controversies drove out the spirit of life (Romans 16:17-18, I Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 4:14; Philippians 1:15-16; Titus 3:9). Self-exaltation put men in power (Mark 10:35-37); the equal rights of all fell before the rising power of a hierarchy. The principle of trusts and monopolies, of unions and leagues, which had always characterized pagan society (Isaiah 8:12; James 5:1-6), twined its tendrils about the new organization of Christians, and choked its life. Paganism -- the "daily" of Daniel 8:12 -- was taken away it is true, and Rome became nominally a Christian empire. Her emperor professed the name of Christ, and carried before his army the banner of the cross. Decrees were issued causing men to worship according to the dictates of Rome. Then it was that man -- the emperor -- and the empire attempted to exalt themselves above the God of heaven. The principles of Lucifer himself had crowded out the truth of Christ (Acts 20:29-30), and, as was shown to Daniel, the truth was cast down to the ground. (SNH 128)
  • To John this transfer from paganism to the papacy is represented as a transfer of power from the dragon to the beast. (Revelation 13:7). Daniel 8:11-12 are parallel with Daniel 7:21-25, where the little horn makes war with the saints (Daniel 7:21), and speaks great words against the Most High, attempting to change His times and law. Twice Daniel had been shown the twofold history of Rome (Daniel 7:25): first as a pagan power, when it was more cruel than any pagan government before it (Daniel 7:7-8); and later as a professedly Christian power, when its cruelty far surpassed all the workings of paganism (Daniel 8:23-25). (SNH 128-129)
  • The prophet was heart-sick as he beheld these scenes and the deep sufferings of the people of God. He was unable to grasp the idea of the time when these events should occur, and thought that his own people, perhaps the very ones who were at that time in bondage to Babylon, would be called to suffer these things. The investigative judgment had been revealed to him, when the cases of men would be tried and the oppressor condemned. The end also of this oppressive power he had been shown was the lake of fire, when Roman authority should be broken without hands. In Nebuchadnezzar's dream the end would come when the stone cut out without hands would smite the image and finally fill the whole earth. As these scenes passed like a panorama before the eye of the prophet, angels also watched, for they are interested in all that affects God's people on earth. (SNH 129)
  • The little horn "cast down the truth to the ground, and practiced and prospered." This [text] describes in few words the work and career of the papacy. The truth is by its hideously caricature, loaded with traditions, turned into mummery and superstition, cast down and obscured. (US 161)

"...and it practiced..."

  • Of this ecclesiastical power it is declared that it has "practiced" - practiced its deceptions on the people, practiced its schemes of cunning to carry out its own ends and aggrandize its own power. (US 161)

"...and prospered."

  • Likewise it has "prospered." It has made war upon the saints, and prevailed against them. It has well-nigh run its allotted career, and is soon to be broken without hand, to be given to the burning flame, and to perish in the consuming glories of the second appearing of our Lord. (US 161-162)