The Prophecies of Daniel – The little horns and Antiochus

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Here we continue looking at the prophecies of Daniel.


  1. Introduction
  2. Daniel chapter 8
  3. Daniel chapter 7
  4. The little horns and Antiochus (this post)
  5. Daniel chapter 2
  6. Daniel chapter 9
  7. Matthew 24 – The Olivet Prophecy

Are the two little horns the same?

Antiochus Epiphanes coin

Antiochus Epiphanes coin

Not everyone agrees as to whether the two little horns of Daniel 7 and Daniel 8 are the same entity. Some of the questions they ask are related to slight differences, especially the discrepancy between 2300 days and 3.5 years. The slight differences – I don’t see why they are significant: one horn subdues 3 kings, the other horn isn’t recorded as doing so. This is fine if the two are complementary. The only significant problem is 2300 days vs 3.5 years. For those who consider 2300 days to be years, then 2300 years certainly cannot be 3.5 years. But we saw before than 2300 days really means 2300 morning and evening sacrifices, and that’s 1150 days, very close to 3.5 years, which may be a simple rounding off.

The similarities are too strong to ignore.

Daniel 8:

  • Little horn comes from the one of the successors to Greece
  • Antiochus fits well

Daniel 7:

  • Little horn comes from the one of the successors to Greece
  • Antiochus fits well
  • Little horn period is over before Christ’s ascension

In the previous posts on Daniel 7 and 8, we saw that Antiochus Epiphanes was partly, but accurately, described in each.

To recap, we will put them in a table to see how they correlate.

Daniel 7 Daniel 8 Antiochus
Subdue 3 kings   Yes
Speak great words against the most High Magnified himself as the prince of the host of heaven
King understanding dark sentences
Eyes like a man
Mouth that speaks great things
Magnify himself in his heart
King of fierce countenance
  Waxes great
Waxes towards south and east and the pleasant land
Wear out the saints Destroy the mighty and holy people
Casts down some of the host of heaven and stars
Think to change times and laws Takes away the daily sacrifice
Cause craft to prosper
  Broken without hand Yes
3.5 years 1150 days Yes
Then the Ancient of Days and his kingdom Then sanctuary cleansed Yes

Does the New Testament comment on the little horn?

In Matt 24, Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. Even if you consider Matt 24 to refer to the end of the world, Jesus makes clear parallels between what happened in Antiochus’ day, and Daniel, and the future event.

Jesus refers in verse 15 to Daniel, and the abomination of desolation.

Sow with piglet

Antiochus sacrificed pigs in the temple

Jesus then goes on to list several warnings that come straight out of the account of Antiochus’ persecutions in the books of the Maccabees:

  1. When you see the abomination of desolation (1 Macc 1:57)
  2. Flee to the mountains (1 Macc 2:28)
  3. Leave your possessions (1 Macc 2:28)
  4. Woe to pregnant women and women with babies (1 Macc 2:9, 1 Macc 2:14)
  5. Pray that it may not be in winter (the abomination of desolation was set up on Kislev 8, in winter)
  6. Pray that it may not be on the sabbath (1 Macc 1:57, 1 Macc 2:29-41)
  7. There will be a great tribulation (read all of 1 Maccabees to see how this was the worst attack ever on the Jewish people, with an attempt to obliterate their worship completely)

Jesus told them to follow the example of the Jews under Antiochus, and to pray to avoid the same timing.

I think this clearly puts Antiochus as the fulfillment, in Jesus eyes, of Daniel 8’s little horn.

Given the similarities with the little horn of Daniel 7, I conclude that whenever Daniel is given a vision of a little horn, God meant it to be clear that they were one and the same thing.

Further reading:

Antiochus IV Epiphanes – Is he the little horn? … by Dale Ratzlaff
Daniel 8 – Antiochus and Antichrist
Daniel’s Prophecy of Antiochus Epiphanes … by Jason Jackson
Is the Little Horn of Daniel 7 the Roman Catholic Church? … by William Bell
The Maccabean Revolt … Ancient History Encyclopedia
The Revolt of the Maccabees
Why the Little Horn of Daniel 8 Must Be Antiochus EpiphanesAdventist Today
The Dangers of an Arrogant and Lazy Approach to Bible Prophecy … Stephen Ferguson, Adventist Today

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