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by Dr. John Thomas
Though relatively small in its beginnings, this fifth power "waxed exceedingly great, toward the south, or Egypt; towards the east, or Euphrates; and toward the pleasant land of Canaan".
The history of the kingdoms into which Alexander's dominion was broken, enables us to determine what fifth power is represented by the Little horn of the goat, and upon which of the four horns it made its appearance in relation to the land of Israel, which is the arena of the latter time of the vision and prophecy.
The Little Horn, then, is representative of the dragon's power in the East -- that is, of the Roman; which was planted on the Assyro-Macedonian Horn b.
65, when it became a province of the dragon empire.
It continued to wax exceeding great in these countries until it established its dominion over Syria, Palestine, part of Arabia, and Egypt.
The tenth, eleventh, and twelfth verses represent the part it was to enact in the overthrow of the Jewish State; and the twenty-fifth, outlines its ecclesiastical policy, and its exaltation against the Prince of princes in "the last end of the indignation," when it "shall be broken without hand" -- that is, by the Stone of Israel when he smites the Image on the feet.
We see, then, that Daniel treats of two Little horns; the one the "Holy Roman" power of the West that came up "after" the Ten Horns; and the other, the Pagan Roman power of the East that appeared in Syria and Palestine in the latter end of the Macedonian kingdoms, and before the Ten Horns by many centuries.
The Little Horns are representative of powers on certain territories, not of races.
It matters not whether they be Pagan Romans, Catholic Greeks, Moslem Turks, or Greek-Catholic Russians, the power that rules in Constantinople and plants its standard in Assyria, is the Little Horn of the Assyro-Macedonian Horn of the Goat; and begins its careers by crucifying "the Prince of the Host"; destroying Jerusalem and the temple; sets up a god in Rome whom his fathers knew not; and ends by standing up against Michael, the Prince of princes, who brings him to his end, with none to help him.
All the power of the dragon in relation to Israel and the land of promise is embodied in the Little Horn of the East.
The smiting of the Image, the breaking of the Goat's little horn, and the binding of the Dragon, are synchronous and synonymous catastrophes; and "the Stone," "the Prince of princes," "Messiah the prince," and "Michael, the great prince who stands up for Israel," are but different titles by which the Lord Jesus is designated, who is to descend from heaven and fight the battle of God Almighty against them.
Such, then, was "the vision," which was understood by none.
At the time it was revealed, Jerusalem and the temple were in ruins, and Israel dispersed among the Gentiles.
The time, however, had approached to within two years of the period of restoration.
Daniel being aware of this from the testimony of Jeremiah, made confession of sins, and supplicated the return of national prosperity.
His prayer was heard, and "the man Gabriel," who had given him the interpretation of the symbols of the vision, was sent forth to "give him skill and understanding" of that part of the vision of the Ram and the Goat which had reference to the subject of his prayer; and to communicate some additional particulars.
"The matter" revealed is termed the prophecy of the seventy weeks.
In this he was informed that a decree should be made for the restoration of the Jewish State; but that at a subsequent period the city and temple should be again destroyed; and that this second destruction should be followed by a desolation of the country which should continue till that determined should be poured out upon the desolator, that is, on the Little Horn of the goat in "the time of the end".
But he was informed that, between the restoration from Babylon and the second destruction of the city, the following important events would come to pass -- namely, first, the transgression of the law of Moses would be put an end to; secondly, an end would be made of sin-offerings by causing the sacrifice and oblation to cease; thirdly, reconciliation would be made for iniquity by cutting off Messiah the Prince; fourthly, everlasting righteousness, as opposed to the temporary righteousness of the law, would be brought in; fifthly, the vision and the prophecy would be sealed up in the confirmation of the covenant; and sixthly, the Most Holy would be Anointed.
These things were to be brought about by the instrumentality of the Little Horn of the goat; who should "magnify himself against the Prince of the host (of Israel), and by him the daily (sacrifice and oblation) should be taken away, and the place of his sanctuary (the temple) be cast down".
To effect this, "an army (the people of the Prince that should come) should be given him against the daily"; because the transgressors in Israel "had come to the full".
Therefore he should "cast down the truth (the law and covenant of Sinai) to the ground," and "prosper and practice, and destroy the mighty and the holy people.
But when should this second destruction of the city and temple be?