“and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things … Then I desired to know the truth about the … horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions. As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.”
(Daniel 7:8, 19-22)
There are a few diverse interpretations of this prophecy sloshing around the Internet, and I’d like to hear yours. The background is Daniel’s wider vision of 4 beasts representing four empires, which the early Church Fathers (and the Jews?) identified as Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Out of Rome would emerge 10 kingdoms, and out of them would emerge this ‘little horn.’
*]The best known idea is that the little horn Daniel sees is ‘Antichrist,’ a world leader who rises to power from a ‘revived Roman Empire’ shortly before Jesus returns.
*]Another view (you’ll be charmed by this) is that he represents the papal dynasty of the Roman Catholic Church, arising out of the remnants of the old Roman Empire during the dark ages.
*]A lesser known view is that he represented an Islamic Caliphate that will be revived in the future, and will somehow incorporate elements of the 4 beasts of history.
Do you agree with any of these? Are there any other interpretations? I would be especially interested to know how commentaries predating the Reformation treated this question.