The 3 horns and the Ostrogoths

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A good point on the 3 horns and the Ostrogoths that I never noticed before was brought to my attention in a recent e-mail:

Daniel would have been talking about the Jewish year of 360 days.  If we use the day/year principle for 1260 years,  (453,600 days) and divide that by 365.25 (Gregorian calendar) it equals 1242 Gregorian years.

Subtracting 1242 from the year 1798 we arrive at 556 AD.  That would seem to fit your 555 AD of the final defeat of the Ostrogoths.  The persecution may very well have started 1 year later???

A few problems with using this type of year:

  • We don’t know that Daniel was talking about a 360-day year.  They certainly knew the difference between the 360-day year and the solar year, and he could have been talking about either.
  • The Jewish calendar had an extra month every few years in order to keep Passover at the same time every solar year.  The Islamic calendar doesn’t have this, so Ramadan, for example, moves earlier and earlier as each solar year passes.  For the Jewish calendar, Passover stays at the same time, synchronised with the solar year.
  • Therefore the concept of 1260 years (and the day/year principle in this case is very dubious) is unlikely referring to 1260 years of 360 days, because such a time-line was foreign to the Jews, whose calendar was synchronised with the solar year.

A few problems with the dating of 555 and the Ostrogoths:

  • That would make the count of 1260 years inaccurate – the Bible should then have said 1261 years.
  • The Ostrogoths were defeated by Justinian, who was neither Roman nor acting under the command of the pope.  (The Heruli were in fact overthrown by the enemies of the papacy.)  So this was not a papal overthrow of the Ostrogoths.
  • The defeat of the Ostrogoths was of the same nature as the defeat of the Visigoths – so taking the Ostrogoths as a horn that was uprooted, but excluding the Visigoths, is arbitrary and therefore their defeat is meaningless in the context of Daniel 7.

Many other problems with the 3 horns interpretation can be found here.

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