Interpretation Principles Used - Characteristics on the beast, move from the body to horns to go forward in time, a horn comes up after other horns to move forward in time, similarity and differences between powers represented by the horns and body, concurrency of the horns. For more information, see Prohpetic Rules of Interpretation in the Main Menu above.
Daniel did not give a species name to the 4th great beast, but he did describe it as a very powerful animal, dreadful and terrible (perhaps suggesting it was rather ugly), and its behavior as quite dangerous. That certainly would be a fitting description of Rome. The description of this beast illustrates the Characteristics Principle, which says that secondary characteristics (things other than just the body, heads, or horns, these would be things such as wings or teeth or claws or the fact that one of the horns on this beast talked) tell us about the behavior of the nation represented, or else tells us something about what or how it would do something.
Every beast that Daniel saw in the vision recorded in Daniel 7 was represented by animals that were in fact used by those nations to represent themselves. The Babylonians apparently used winged lions to represent themselves. The Medes and Persians used a bear as a symbol of themselves. The leopard was used by the kingdom of Alexander the Great to represent itself. The Romans, which this dreadful beast represented, used a dragon to represent themselves, which certainly would be like what Daniel described, though he did not say it was a dragon.
Now, some take
this to mean that the fourth beast that Daniel saw was a dragon. This may
or may not be true. We cannot be sure of this because Daniel does not
name the species of the beast he saw in vision. However, given that
the other beasts Daniel was shown were used by their respective nations
to represent themselves, it seems likely that the beast Daniel saw
was in fact a dragon, which, of course, is a mythical beast that is
considered to be huge and of immense power. This certainly is fitting for Pagan Rome.
The 10 horns are believed to represent all the European divisions of the Roman empire after the teenage emperor was forced to resign from office in 476 AD and hand the kingdom over to Odacer, a man who became Italy's new king and essentially dissolved the Western Roman Empire. So, the body of this beast represented Pagan Rome and its time of existence and the 10 horns occurred after the time represented by the body of the beast (after Pagan Rome). This follows the pattern of the Miller Principle. Note that these 10 horns started out their political existence together and they all ruled at the same time (Concurrency Principle) until, one by one, they fell when they were conquered by other powers.
Why is a dreadful looking beast used to represent Pagan Rome? Consider that a dinosaur could have been used, or maybe an elephant. Yet that is not what was done so far as we know. Why is this animal without a species name?
Consider that the description of this beast is another example
of the Characteristics Principle being
applied. This beast is said to "devour, and
crush, and stamp what was left with its feet" (Daniel 7:7)
and also "...which was different from all of them, very frightening,
whose teeth were of iron and its nails bronze..." (Daniel 7:19).
This describes its behavior - what it would do when it attacked. You
might say this is a description of it's method of attack. Rome
did have a policy that it would respond with overwhelming force
against any rebellion, and it tended to do this very well. Of
course, it was much more successful in doing this than the Persians
were, but its troop training and battle equipment was superior
to that of the Persians.
Daniel was told that this beast would be different than all before it. What did this mean? How was it different than all before it? The others had one thing in common, which is that all of them were ruled by kings. But, Rome did not share that characteristic with them because Rome experimented with six different forms of government before it broke up in 476 AD. If you think carefully about this, notice that God had not said anything about the form of governments of the previous kingdoms. He was silent, almost as if He had this unwritten rule about the other kingdoms, but with this one He changes the rule and only then notifies you of its existence by informing you it was being changed. The statement that the fourth dreadful beast is diverse from all those who went before it is an example of the Exception Principle being applied by God, which means whatever rule was in effect up until the exception is stated, is now obsolete and the new rule takes its place from this point on for this power.
Another aspect of this kingdom that made it different than
those that went before it was that it conquered most of Europe. Previous
kingdoms did not succeed in doing that for various reasons. Babylon never
approached Europe. The Persians tried to take over Europe, but were
stopped by the Greeks. The Greeks seem to have gone from Greece eastward
all the way to India, but apparently did not go west or north into Europe
(though some recent discoveries suggest they may have planted colonies on
mainland Italy). So, Rome was different in this aspect from the
beginning. Again this reflects use of the Characteristics
This beast evidently had one head with iron teeth (the bible only mentions the iron teeth, so it seems reasonable that there is a head - it does not mention 2 or more heads, and teeth without a head would look ridiculous. It originally had ten horns, but after them another came up (horns coming up after other previously existing horns, another form of the Miller Principle) which had a mouth and eyes like a man and spoke great words against God. The author likes to refer to the horn that talked as the "Talking Horn" because of its behavior. Some people refer to it as the little horn power, which is the same thing. This new talking horn was responsible for uprooting 3 of the original 10 horns. The author shows the image above with 3 of those horns removed (you can see where they "broke off" on the head), with the 3 horns on the ground below the beast.
Rome was known as a particularly cruel empire, but it also created a peace that had not existed before then, something that many businessmen no doubt appreciated. Because Rome had a policy that it would respond with overwhelming force against any rebellion, it forced a peace among the many peoples it governed who would otherwise have sooner or later gone to war against each other or against Rome. Because of the peace that Rome forced onto the region and because of a more reasonable justice system with laws better than other countries, many people respected Rome. Several kingdoms were in fact quietly handed over to Rome because of this. For example, the Attalid Empire, centered in Pergamum (more detailed information on Pergamum here), was willed by its last king to Rome in 133 BC. Bithynia (Wikipedia article) was also willed to Rome in 75 or 74 BC when its last king (Nicomedes III) died.
Rome conquered the three remaining divisions of the four Greek kingdoms that came out of the empire of Alexander the Great. This conquest of the Greek kingdoms began when Rome took Asia Minor away from the Seleucid Empire in 188 BC. Of course, at that time Rome did not destroy any of the three remaining Greek kingdoms that came out of Alexander the Great's empire. The region of Asia Minor was originally one of the four kingdoms that came out of Alexander the Great's empire and was a kingdom ruled by Lysimachus until Seleucid went to battle against him and took it away from him.
The first conquest
that destroyed a Greek empire was against the Greek Macedonian
empire (an empire begun by Cassander) in 168
BC (at the Battle of Pydna which is also considered the beginning
date for the Roman Empire by historians). The second of these
conquests was the Greek Syrian empire (an empire begun by Seleucus
I) in 63
BC. He was attacked on one side by the Parthian
empire and Rome on the
other at about the same time. The third was of the Greek Egyptian
empire in 30 BC., an empire begun
by Ptolomy I.
The horn with the mouth and eyes which spoke against God has been believed by many to represent the papacy, which certainly got legal powers it did not have after the date historians note as the end of the Roman empire (476 AD). The papacy certainly existed before the fall of Rome, to be sure, but the symbol of the talking horn coming up after the other 10 horns began to have their day of power, is trying to show us that the time when it had legal power to work against God is what is represented here, which began in 538 AD. It is not trying to show us that it existed only after 476 AD, for it certainly did exist before then.
Just for your information, click here for a map of the remains of the Roman Empire and the Barbarian kingdoms in 530 AD. It is quite interesting and worth a few minutes to study it. Click here for a map of the Barbarian invasion paths, identity of the invaders, and when they invaded the Roman Empire.
At this point in time, March of 538 AD, all three factors necessary to enforce the decree were is place: (1) Justinian's government controlled Rome and (2) they (Belisarius and the pope) could now send messages to/from the outside world, (3) and back up what they ordered with force of arms. Thus it was that this decree became enforceable in March of 538 AD. This power lasted until 1798 when Napoleon's general Berthier invaded Rome and on the 15th of February of that year, wrote a decree ending the powers of the papal government, which officially ended the power the pope had over other governments and religious authorities (click here for historical details).
It is important to note that this decree didn't
end the papacy, for clearly it continued to exist. However, the
power the Papacy had over other governments was over. It could no
longer persecute on the basis of religious beliefs through other
Some would argue that nothing significant happened in 538 AD, but that is untrue. It is recognized by historians that the pope consolidated his powers in Rome in the year 538 AD, and not before. It is from this point in time that the setup of the church with the powers it would have for the next 1260 years was created, not later. The power of the church began to grow some from this point in time as well. Further, it gave the pope powers he did not have before so that he could control the church from his post in Rome. It also removed the direct control of the Ostrogoths as a force opposing the pope, for they were Arians and were opposed to papal power because of the beliefs they had. It also prepared the way for pope Gregory, who came along late in the 6th century, to be able to greatly consolidate and concentrate papal power, which further enabled him to reorganize the church. All of these things tie back into the events of 538. Without that event, none of these would have been possible.
one still has doubts about this, consider that on February 15, 1798,
General Berthier of the French army issued a decree ending the
power the Papacy had over other governments to effect persecution
based on heresy. The Bible said that the power the talking horn
was to be given over the saints of God was to continue for 1260
prophetic days, or 1260 literal years. So, go back 1260 years prior
to February 15, 1798, and this takes you to March of the year 538.
That is when the Ostrogoths withdraw from Rome, freeing the pope
to enforce the decree given to him by Justinian.
In what other ways does the author know that the decree is what defined the start of the 1260 years? Dan 7:25 says "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." The phrase "and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time" tells you that during the 1260 years the people of God would be given into the hands of the talking horn. Who gave them into his hand? Justinian, by a simple decree which gave the pope the power to punish heresy. Justinian had to do this because the pope could not just hand that power to himself. That power of arrest, trial, and sentence execution rightfully belonged to the state, a power that the pope did not naturally possess. Therefore, someone with that power in hand had to legally give it to the pope. Hence, the Bible says that the people of God were given into his hand, meaning into the hands of the talking horn, which the pope headed.
The decree clearly
allowed the pope to decide what was heresy without any oversight
by anyone else. His
word was law without question. Historically, it is known that
the papacy did engage in some persecution before 538
AD, but after that it was explicitly legal for them to do
this, unlike the situation before. So, the people of God were
literally given into the hand of this power. That, combined with
the identity of the talking horn (other places typically refer to this
power as the "little
and the obvious historical fact that they had this legal power for
1260 years almost down to the month, is reasonable evidence that the
AD to 1798
AD constitute the 1260 years based on the decrees.
Now there is the saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and it certainly is true. History shows the results of this, for unknown numbers of people were killed on the orders of the popes during this time period. If you doubt that, consider that Pope John Paul II has admitted that they persecuted and killed many, and he "apologized" for the errors of past popes in doing this. Catholic protagonists argue that "only a few heretics were killed", which statements history does not support as a lot more than just a few were killed. But, even if their statement were true, which it is not, what if you were one of those "few heretics" who was burned at the stake for your beliefs? How would you feel about it? God says what he thinks about it, for Dan 7:26 says about this talking horn "But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. " So, those who do these things will receive their punishment from God.
Remember that Jesus said "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service" (John 16:2). This indicates that there would come a time when people would be killed by those who think they are doing a service to God, which is not unlike the murders done by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001 in New York City, who believe that they were doing a service to Allah (their god). We all know that those terrorists will meet the judgment bar of God and receive punishment for what they have done. Likewise those who kill others for their beliefs, as was done by the Catholic Church during the dark ages, and those protestants who did the same to Catholics after the Protestant Reformation was over, will also meet the judgment bar of God. The same standard will be applied to both sides.
argued that the governments of the dark ages killed far more than
the Catholic Church. This is true. In many
instances, the governments had people arrested for being heretics,
tried them in court, and after conviction, they were punished, which
sometimes included a death sentence. Over the centuries, this added
up to quite a few individuals who were killed for their beliefs.
One can be sure, however, that those officials in the governments
responsible for this will be punished by God. However, the leaders
of the Catholic Church will also be held responsible for this because
they instigated this in the first place. They were the ones who
taught the government leaders that the pope is God and must be obeyed.
Therefore, they will not escape the jubgments of God either. It
is sad indeed that these things were ever done, but the results
are sure. God has promised that those who do these things will receive
judgment at his hands for what they have done. He never lies so
will keep his word on this.
The talking horn did certain other things that can be used to identify it. Daniel 7:24 says that it will subdue three kings, meaning 3 tribes that opposed the papacy were to be destroyed. This does not necessarily mean it was directly responsible for their destruction, just that it had an influence with regards to these events. Several questions are raised by this. First, the Bible says there are 10 horns. There have been numerous attempts to identify the 10 nations that came out of the Western Roman Empire which this applies to. The facts are that there were more than 10 tribes that came out of Rome, so how is one to understand the number 10? Is it literal or symbolic?
The Bible explains the nature of the number ten in Daniel 1:20. In Daniel 1, the story is told of how Daniel and his friends, after being taken from Jerusalem and selected for service for the king of Babylon, determined not to eat of the foods that the king served to them because they were foods that God had forbidden. Instead, they wanted to eat foods that God had instructed are the proper way to eat. After a ten day testing time, the man overseeing Daniel and his friends decided that the results were good, so their new diet was continued. When they were tested by the king at the end of their training period, the king apparently found them to be "ten times better than all the astrologers and magicians in all his realm".
Now, it is not that hard to realize that they could not really be that much better than all the others, though the difference was likely very significant as you can easily imagine. To describe the difference between Daniel and his friends compared to the others, the Bible is almost certainly using hyperbole, which is extravagent exaggeration of the actual facts, to illustrate that Daniel and his friends excelled in their studies and service to the king afterwards in spite of their use of a "strange diet" which the Chaldeans were not likely familiar with. Clearly, they were better than the others. The difference was sufficient that the king could tell the difference. As a result, they stood before the king in his presence in their service work for him.
Because of the experience of Daniel and his three friends, you should be able to see that the number ten is used to illustrate not only the extravagent exaggeration, but also to create a symbol for comparison purposes to show that the number ten represents something that is "a lot more" than something else by comparison. Thus, it is not necessarily a literal number, but can also be a symbolic number.
The ten horns can represent simply "a lot more" than what came before. With the dreadful beast, there was one kingdom before and then there were "a lot more" than before. History records some twenty tribes or so that arose after Western Pagan Rome, though it did turn out that ten of them were the roots for the major nations of modern Europe. So, it is likely that the number ten is symbolic of all the tribes that came out of Western Rome and is also literal because the major nations of modern Europe were formed from ten of those tribes.
In the past, the ten most influential tribes in Europe are the ones typically proposed for the ten horns as these eventually evolved into the major nations of Europe that we see today. The table below has a list of the ten tribes that became the major nations of Europe which includes their primary religious preference prior to 538 AD:
|Vandals||Destroyed in 533-534 AD||Arian|
|Ostrogoths||Destroyed in 554-556 AD||Arian|
|Heruli||Destroyed in 493 AD||Arian|
history, what is known is this. There were originally
6 tribes in Europe that were Arian in their beliefs, which
means they did not believe in the Trinity of the Godhead. The
Catholic Church believed in the Trinity, which means they
believed that Jesus was divine. This set the papacy
against those who did not believe the same way. There
were 3 Arian tribes which did not actively oppose the
Papacy and three Arian tribes which did actively opposed
the papacy. The three Arian tribes which actively opposed
the Papacy were the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths. For more information about the Vandals,
here is a web page on the Vandals from the ancient history web page,
and an additional
page about the Vandals from the Catholic Encyclopedia.
Though most of the Heruli were Arian, it appears from history that some of them were more pro-Catholic in beliefs. The Heruli in Rome were Arian and worked as imperial guards and as mercenaries for the Roman army until they revolted against Rome (the emperor was Romulus Augustulus) in 476 AD and made Odoacer their king. To learn more about Odoacer, see: ODOACER at LoveToKnow. They revolted because they requested land for their service in the Roman army, but their request was turned down by the teenage emperor, who apparently didn't really understand the importance of the request presented to him. Historians generally consider this act to have ended the Western Roman Empire officially. The Eastern Roman Empire continued to exist for about another thousand years in Constantinople until the Muslims were finally able to take it.
Odoacer remained king until 493 AD, when the Ostrogoths installed their own king, Theodoric the Great, on the throne in Rome by deposing and killing Odoacer. They invaded Italy beginning about five years before at the request of Zeno, who wanted to get the Heruli and their king out of the way. Apparently he believed that if the Ostrogoths removed the Heruli from Italy, it would remove one threat to the Papacy, which he wanted to favor because he also was Catholic. He probably had several other reasons for wanting this done.
Several Heruli tribal groups in Italy and
Austria were destroyed by the Ostrogoths under Theodoric as they
invaded Italy, and after the invasion was complete and Odoacer and
his followers were dead, it seems the Heruli disappeared
from the history of Rome. As
a people, the remaining Heruli disappeared altogether from history
AD when the Lombards destroyed them
during their invasions that eventually led right into Italy. The
removal of the Heruli from Rome in 493
AD solved one problem for the pope. But the coming of the
Ostrogoths to replace the Heruli created another problem for
the pope because the Ostrogoths were also Arians.The
Ostrogoths granted religious freedom to all, which didn't set
well with the Papacy because it wanted absolute control of religious
beliefs of all people. But they had to wait. This problem
remained for the Papacy until March of 538 AD and was solved by Justinian through General Belisarius when
he drove the Ostrogoths out of Rome.
The Vandals were destroyed on the order of Justinian, who had his capital at Constantinople and ruled the Eastern Roman Empire. He sent General, Belisarius after the Vandals in North Africa in 533 AD. By 534, they were either dead, dispersed, or removed, so they were never heard from again in history. It is reported in history literature that the final battle against the Vandals was so fierce that the men of the Vandal tribe simply abandoned their property, wives, and children, and fled into the desert around their living place, never to be heard from again. It seems likely that nearly all of them died in the desert.
A historian traveling with the troops sent to destroy the Vandals recorded that this action was being taken to "protect the Christians", meaning the Catholics were to be protected from the Arians as a result of this military action (Procopius, History of the Wars, 3.10.19, cited by C. Mervyn Maxwell in God Cares, page 146, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Nampa, Idaho, USA). As a result, we can easily see that this was in fact done to remove opposition to the Papacy. Clearly then, the Vandals were almost certainly one of the three uprooted tribes.
Justinian wrote a decree in 533 AD (some say 529 AD) in which he stated that the pope (1) was supreme bishop over all other bishops, and (2) had the power to prosecute heresy. But it does not take a genius to realize that this was not enforceable when written because Justinian did not rule Rome. It would be like the United States Congress passing a law for a province in Canada - it clearly would not have the force of law there unless that province later decided to join the United States to become part of it. Should it do so, then any laws passed by the US Congress would become enforceable in that province.
same is true with Justinian's decrees involving the pope. They were null and void until Justinian
controlled Rome and the territories surrounding it that Rome once
controlled. Further, he needed to be able to enforce the decree from
Rome, something that cannot be done under siege conditions. Once that
control was established and the siege lifted, then he could enforce his
So, it is plain to see that both Justinian and the Pope had to find some
way to remove the Vandals and the Ostrogoths that stood in the way of their
common objectives. Hence it is that Justinian dispatched his army
to destroy the Vandals to remove their opposition to the pope, and drive
the Ostrogoths from Rome.
The talking horn that came up after the other horns that were already on the head of the dreadful beast is an example of the Exception Principle being applied by God in this prophecy. Here is how that works. All previous parts of this beast were political in nature but here comes to light a power that is different than all before it. This horn represented a power that spoke against God and oppressed the people of God. What is interesting about this power is that the description of this power seems to center on religious power, rather than political power. The beast this talking horn arises from does have political power, to be sure, but there is something different about this power compared to the others because its power, as described by God, focuses on religion rather than politics. So, we should apply the Exception Principle, which means that we consider this power and anything that comes from it to take on the characteristic described by the exception. So, in what ways was thls power different from that which came before it?
To answer that, let us consider history and Daniel 7:11, which says the following about the nature of the beasts:
These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
Combine this with Daniel 7:23, which says:
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.
Now, let us put some thoughts together from these two verses to explain things a little clearer. Begin with this: "These great beasts ... are four kings". Then consider that verse 23 tells us that "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth". Combining these two verses together tells us that the four beasts each represent a kingdom and that these kingdoms are led by kings.
Now history plainly shows that each of the four kingdoms was led by multiple leaders who succeeded one another, so the word "kings" is clearly representative of a line of kings. Even Babylon, which did not survive all that long as an empire (about 65 years approximately), was led by a series of kings, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar. Further, each individual king within a given line of kings was generally an inherited position, one inherited from his father. The Roman Republic was a form of government of Rome whose leaders were elected rather than inheriting their position, but the other forms of Roman government had leaders whose positions were inherited - usually. Last of all, these leadership positions were those over a political organization. The kings may have had some religious duties and responsibilities, but their primary function was as political leaders.
Now, what does it mean by the following in verse 17?
"...four kings, which shall arise out of the earth."
What does it mean to "arise out of the earth?" How could the kings do that?
Clearly they cannot literally rise out of the earth because they are humans, not rocks or plants, so it must be symbolic. Remember that the four beasts arose out of the waters in Daniel's dream or vision, and these clearly represented nations and peoples from among which the four kingdoms arose (if you don't believe that, see Revelation 17:15). The winds upon the waters which stir up the waters indicates that these four kingdoms arise during times of warfare among nations and peoples. They arose from areas that had functioning governments and were populated and reasonably well organized politically.
There are two different reasons why Daniel 7:17 says that the kings arise out of the earth. First, to say that the kings arise out of the earth is to say that they are not nations and do not arise in the same way that the beasts do. In other words, the kings don't arise out of the waters because they are not a nation which which arises by armed struggle of nations against nations. Instead, they arise from families. You could say that nations "give birth" to nations, whereas families give birth to children. They are a product of individuals within the nations from which they come. As it happens, these families normally were the royal families of the nations, so that these kings were born into each of those families and inherited their thrones from their fathers.
The second use of the phrase to "arise out of the earth" is as a literary phrase to link this verse with the term "kings of the earth" from Revelation. After all, it should be obvious that "kings of the earth" should be those that "arise out of the earth", so they are representing the same basic idea - they represent political leaders of nations. The kings of the earth are mentioned in Revelation 1:5; 6:15; 16:14; 17:2,18; 18:3, 9; 19:19; and 21:24. Without Daniel 7:17, it would be that difficult to guess who the "kings of the earth" are, but with Daniel 7:17, you should have no doubt that it means they are the political leaders of nations. This literary linkage helps us understand Revelation, especially Revelation 17, more clearly, and vice versa.
So, what do we know about this talking horn that was different than those who came before?
To understand this, we need to summarize what we know about the kings who arise out of the earth.
The kings who arise out of the earth were:
- political leaders of nations
- primary duties and powers were political in nature
- were born into Royal families
- inherited their thrones from their fathers - normally
Now, consider the following verses:
Dan 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth...
Dan 7:23 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.
(a) And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise:
(b) and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
Dan 7:25 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.
Now, please carefully consider the following evidence extracted from the verses above. Note that the kings in verse 17 are defined to be kings who arise out of the earth, or in other words, they are the political leaders of the nations whose duties are primarily political in nature. If you take time to read verse 18 through 22, you will NOT find that the word "kings" is redefined anywhere in those verses. Therefore, when one reads verse 23, which says that the fourth beast is the fourth kingdom upon earth, you know that it remains a political kingdom because it has a political king. The word "king" is NOT redefined in verse 23. It is said to be diverse, but that is because its leadership is diversified over the life of this empire. It remained a political kingdom and nothing changed about that. But the fact that Rome had six different forms of government over its existence as an empire certainly makes it different from those coming before it in the line of empires that Daniel was shown.
Verse 24 has been split by the author into two parts to make it easier to see the different parts. Part (a) tells you about the symbolic 10 kingdoms that the Western Roman Empire will split into after Rome fell. There were 10 main kingdoms that came out of Rome after the fall of its government, but there were more than 20 tribes that existed after the fall of Rome. What is significant is that the word "king" is NOT redefined in verse 24 part (a). Thus, these kings were to be political kings.
Part (b), which refers to the talking horn that Daniel saw, is said to be diverse from the first, meaning from the beginning he will be different from those who came before him. This could be different in the sense of Pagan Rome where it was said to be diverse and yet it remained a political kingdom. But that turns out not to be the case because in verse 25, it tells us several specifics of exactly how this power would be different from previous powers: it is a religious power that believes it can change God's laws and persecute the people of God. It also has power for a specific time period during which the people of God are handed over to it.
As a result, we can say the following is true of the talking horn. It is described by things which are the converse of the description of the kings of the earth or kings who arise from the earth:
- They were religious leaders as opposed to political leaders
- Their primary powers and duties were religious in nature
- The were NOT born into royal famiiles
- They did NOT normally inherit their thrones from their families
- Are NOT kings of the earth because they do not arise from royal families or inherit their thrones from their families and they do NOT arise out of the waters as the beasts do so are not nations
These things must be true of the talking horn king because he is diverse from those who came before him and exercises his power in a religious way, so he cannot be the same things they are but must be different from them.
Note that this means the talking horn king is simply a king, not a king who arises out of the earth, or a "king of the earth" as he is called in Revelation 17. The talking horn king is the equivalent of the "kings" as they are referred to in Revelation 17, who are NOT kings of the earth. Thus, the kings of the earth in Revelation 17 are political leaders while the kings of Revelation 17 are religious kings, not political kings. There is a difference between them.
Ultimately, what this tells us is that there are two types of kings described in Daniel 7. These are:
- The political kings, those who lead political empires and are described as rising from the earth, or as Revelation 17 calls them, the kings of the earth
- The religious kings, those who lead religious empires and exercise their power in a religious way
Since these parallel the different kings of Revelation 17, we can create the following table:
|Daniel 7||Revelation 17|
|Kings||Political Leaders||Kings of the Earth||Political Leaders|
|Diverse king||Religious Leader||Kings||Religious Leaders|