Important Notes Expanding the Daniel 7 Comments
These notes are too long to fit on the main chapter 7 page and might be better understood in the context there. Links then bring you here. da0701.
Text Comments
 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.
Note for verse 4:
  Some see the two parts of the Neobabylonian Empire here. Nebuchadnezzar (605-652 BC) and that of the kings that followed (562-539). I see it as already explained da0704. Being lifted up and standing don't seem to fit the other scheme.
 7  After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
  8 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.
Note for verse 7:
   Devoured and brake & stamped Considering the the two actions, we see both Imperial Rome and the Holy Roman Empire. Imperial Rome's takeover of the Greek empire was quite different from the earlier kingdoms in how conquered nations were handled. It devoured them and broke them up. There was also physical crushing – destruction of reminders of preceding empires. Jesus told the disciples that no stone of the temple (some weighing many tons) would be left on another mt2402. That temple was completely removed by the Roman conquests. Debris from the city filled up one of the valleys around it.
   Stamped The trampling of sanctuary and host da0813 was particularly severe during the time of papal Rome. The strong arm of the state in response to the church is well documented for this time in history.
   Residue This would have been the remnant – those people who held their faith in the Scriptures while the majority bowed to the authority of the church-state system. We see them in Revelation 13, too re1310b.
Note for verse 8
   Little horn We find more than one beast both in the symbols of Daniel and of Revelation. The prominent beast of persecution here in Daniel is not the most prominent beast there. The "little" horn that grew from the dreadful beast's head here in verses 8 and 20 and which persecuted the saints for 3½ "times" is seen as the beast that arose from the sea in Revelation 13 and overcame the saints for the same duration of time – there calculated as 42 "months." The two powers speak strong words against God and have other common traits. Both represent the Roman church which rose to significant power at the fall of Imperial Rome.
   The horns of the sea beast in Revelation 13  wear crowns which means sovereignty just as the horns here are "ten kings" v24. Both represent the divisions of Europe after the fall of Imperial Rome. The nations were under the controlling influence of papal Rome re1301b&c.
  Before whom ... three horns plucked up by the roots The picture is of complete destruction. Some of the tribes of the new Europe which was called The Holy Roman Empire had been "christianized," officially receiving the Catholic faith. (Compare the later dechristianization of revolutionary France.) The Catholics, however, persecuted three nations (former tribes) because their official belief was that Jesus Christ was not God. The doctrine is known as Arianism.
  "... the Catholic emperors of the eastern empire found ways to help the pope by eliminating three of the Arian tribes. The Catholic emperor Zeno (474-491) arranged a treaty with the Ostrogoths in 487 which resulted in the eradication of the kingdom of the Arian Heurls in 493. And the Catholic emperor Justinian (527-565) exterminated the Arian Vandals in 534 and significantly broke the power of the Arian Ostrogoths in 538. thus were Daniels three horns — the Heuels, the Vandals, and the Osttogoths — plucked up by the roots." (C. Mervyn Maxwell, God Cares, vol. 1, Daniel, p. 129, Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1981.)
  The Catholics correctly believed that Jesus Christ was both divine and human. They have their own problems, however, They had taken on doctrines of the pagan nations 
23  Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. Note for verse 23
   The whole earth Someone asked the following questions:

   Did Rome really devour the whole earth?  It certainly was a huge empire, but  the entire western world hadn't been discovered, yet many native American  tribes were living there at the time.  The Roman empire had no effect on  them.

     Dear L, Good question. There are two reasons in support of the Bible text. First, predictive prophecy focuses on the struggles of bearers of Scripture truth and therefore the nations involved. Thus the image of Daniel 2 ignores China, India, and probably other civilizations which were known at the time. Of course they are not ignored by God. The nations of the image were where the action was in the conflict. I didn't realize the other reason for not including native Americans and other civilizations until I read something not long ago. The thought pattern of Daniel's contemporary readers was that their own part of the world was the whole world, and perhaps that the distant lands didn't count. Xerxes and some others, as I recall, spoke of conquering the whole world where in reality he hadn't and they may have known it. They, in a sense, defined their "world." In treading down, the iron kingdom got bigger and bigger, seeking to stretch the rule of Rome over an enormous land mass. Did they take some subjugated nations and divide them (break them into pieces) for better control? A careful study of Roman history may have the answer. A brief comment in a commentary I consulted states that Macedonia and the Selucid dominions were divided into provinces. tw.

Text Comments
 25  And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. Note a for verse 25
  speak . . . words against the Most High  May be translated, "speak commands beside (contrary to) the Most High." The KJV reads "great words" but the adjective "great" is not in the original.
   "words as an adversary of the Most High it doth speak." –YLT
   The original Chaldean (Aramaic) word which has been translated in the KJV and elsewhere as "words" may also have other meanings. Underlined words in two other verses quoted below from the Chaldean part of Daniel illustrate the meaning of this term as "commands":
   "The command from me is firm." –Dan. 2:5, NASB.  (Also in verses 8, 11, 15, 17, 23.)
   Nebuchadnezzar declared, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him.  They disobeyed the king's command and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God." –Dan. 3:28, NRSV (also in 3:22).
   Also compare translations of the term in da0430f; da0515, da0526, da0612 (KJV, "thing").
   And he [beast from the sea] was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies . . . .  Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. –Rev. 13:5, 6.  (Mark 2:6, 7 clarifies the meaning of the word, blasphemy. mr0206)

    "Then there are those who say, 'Well, what does it matter? Saturday, Sunday, any day will do. . . . To suggest that men could change it [the day of rest] is absurd. To argue that there are good reasons for it is nonsense, for what are man's puny reasons beside God's commands. If it has been done it has been done in virtue of the power He entrusted to the Apostles, and especially to St. Peter. . . . [See on mt1618] Why do some modern Christians doubt it?" —Prefecture Apostolic, Very Reverend R.S. Dehler, C.R., published in The Catholic Bulletin, Bermuda, Feb. 7,1954.

    "We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church instituted by Christ, to teach and guide men through life, has the right to change the Ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance, the Friday Abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages, and a thousand other laws.
    "We also say that of all protestants, the Seventh-day Adventists are the only group that reason correctly and are consistent with their teachings. It is always somewhat laughable to see the Protestant Churches, in pulpit and legislature demand the observance of Sundays of which there is nothing in the Bible.
    With best wishes, Peter R. Tramer, Editor" [of The Catholic Extension Magazine, in response to a letter May 22, 1954.] See on mt1618.

 25  And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. Note b for verse 25: On the beginning and ending time for the the 1260 years see first on Rev. 13. re1305wh and comments on re1004.  I'll share here a letter I received (e-mail) and then my edited answer.

E-mail questioning the starting point of the 1260 days
I have seen two different explanations for the beginning of the prophecy [of the 1260 days].
   1.  the prophecy began in 538 because the ostrogoths were "uprooted".
   2.  Justinian officially recognized the power of the pope he placed in rome.

   Number 1. has been discredited by many websites due to the fact, found in most history books, that the ostrogoths actually were conquered and removed around 550.
   Number 2. makes more sense because it says in the bible that "the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time" Dan. 7:25. Now that says to me that the 1260 years starts when the saints are given into his hand not when the third horn is uprooted. In fact I see nothing in the bible about the horns being uprooted having anything to do with the starting of the time, only that the three countries being "uprooted" is an identifying feature of the little horn..  maybe I'm wrong but I see a lot of negative about the SDA who choose to use Number 1 as a starting point.

Any feedback would be welcome..  thanks, J

   The Ostrogoth army had set a siege around Rome and was defeated in 538. I was unaware of the 550 date but can see how it could be significant. From a brief encyclopedia account, I see that the nation chose a new leader after the loss which would have been 538. They were totally defeated and the nation lost its identity in 552. Whether this meant genocide, I do not know. The church, over the ages, has had a strong hand in seeing what was preserved in historical records. 538 would then be when they ceased to impede the Roman church. The story of what happened to the Ostrogoths who surrounded Rome, although not prominent in the history books, has been preserved. The reference I have for it is Thomas Hodgkin,  Italy and Her Invaders, 2nd ed., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1885-1899) 4:250. Also Charles Oman, The Dark Ages, 476-916, 4th ed., 1901 p. 106.
    In 533 Justinian declared the bishop of Rome to be "head of all the holy churches." Justinian, at about this time, also set up the the code of law which, in an accompanying document, declared the Catholic church to be supported militarily and financially by the state (so there wouldn't be religious diversity to trouble the stability of the empire). This system of thought about laws was not replaced until the end of the French revolution around 1800 when the Code of Napoleon was developed. However, the effective end of Justinian's ideas came 1260 years after 533. That was 1793, the time of the bloody Reign of Terror.
   I have suggested the span of 538 (last horn effectively uprooted) to 1798 (papacy effectively uprooted). Whether this or the span of 533 to 1793 or 538 to 1798, we have 1260 years. The basic conclusions are the same. The events of the earlier dates set up the events of the latter.
   For a reminder, here is verse 8 about the horns: "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." In verse 25, the saints would be given into the hand of the horn power for 3½ "times" or 1260 years.
   Daniel did not say that the three horns would disappear and the little horn pop up at a point in time but that the three horns would be uprooted in the process of the new horn's coming to power.
   I prefer the period, 538 to 1798 because (1) In Daniel the rise of the horn power was at the time of plucking up the three horns. As the little horn pushes up, the others get pushed out. Also, (2) the deadly wound of Rev. 13 is better seen as 1798. 1793 is the date for the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution, there was an uprising against both kings and religion in general.
   Taking the 552 beginning date for the 1260 years brings us to 1812. The papacy was well on the way to recovery then. The low point of the beast power (the "deadly wound," Rev. 13: 3, 14) just seems best identified by the capture of the pope. 538 makes a better starting point for the papal supremacy than does 552 in that 538 opened the door that allowed the pope to actually put into practice the power Justinian had declared. Before that, Rome, with the pope in residence, was under siege by the Ostrogoths. See on re1006.
   Incidentally, there is also a 30 year gap between the promise and the launching of the 1260 days. Clovis' baptism may be dated as 508. (This would be the beginning of the 1290 days in Dan. 12). At around this time, the French king committed his military support to the church. 30 years later the military forces working for and with the papacy became effective and soon began trying to force the consciences of the people.
   One could make arguments for several dates. For me, 538 to 1798, best fits the prophecies. Hope this helps. May God bless your study.
Note c for verse 25:
   The precision of God's foreknowledge is also seen in the time of Belshazzar's reign da0526. Also we see the 3½ in verse 25 da0525.
 25  And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. Note d for verse 25: Supporting quotations and comments
   Did the horn power try to change God's law? Actually, yes, the fourth commandment (which Catholics call the 3rd because they combine the first two, as Protestants see them, and split the tenth.) This commandment deals with time.
   The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, recognizes that "Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week. . . ." – Article 2175. Sunday worship is then justified. "The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: 'On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass.'" – Article 2180 quoting Codex Luris Canonici, can. 1247. The precept of the church thus contradicts the law of the Lord which could not be more specific.
   "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Ex. 20:9-11)
   So what happened? The change came gradually. "The first ecclesiastical law on the subject of Sunday rest appears to have been that of the Synod of Laodicea toward the end of the 4th century." –New Catholic Encyclopedia, p. 800. Jerome condemned "the Sabbatarian idea" in 538. Charlemagne included Sunday sacredness in his decree of 789 prohibiting labor on Sunday. For links to other discussions on the day of worship, go.
   Did the Catholic church really change anything? Notice that Daniel 7:25 at the left says that the horn power would think to change times and laws, not that it would actually do it. God's law does not change mal0306, mt0517, he1308. What a sobering challenge to divine authority! Although I am constrained to share with you the warnings I see in God's sacred book, I respect the people of the Catholic faith. Few understand what I have shared with you. We may pray for them.
   Praise God for the certainty that He will ultimately make everything right.


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