Daniel 8: 9 “And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land. 10 And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them. 11 He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. 12 Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.
13 Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, ‘How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled under foot?’ 14 And he said to me, ‘For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.’”
And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land.
Verses nine through fourteen cover the “little horn” of the goat. This little horn grew out of the four horns (v.22) that displaced the single horn on the goat (Greece, v.21). This horn is not the same as the “little” horn that came out of the ten horns of the fourth beast (Rome, 7:8, 11, 24-26). This is Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) from the Seleucid dynasty. Antiochus Epiphanes ruled Syria from 175 to 164 B.C. (1 Macc 1:10; 6:16). His capital city, Antioch, was named after him. This was also the city where Christians were first called “Christians” (Ac 11:26).
While there are similarities between the little horn of chapter seven and that of chapter eight, the dissimilarities are significant. The fourth kingdom in chapter seven is Rome while the goat in chapter eight is not Rome. The Messianic kingdom in chapter seven will be erected after the final world empire, while this is not true of the goat in chapter eight. These two men (“little horns”) are alike in many respects but they are not the same.
Antiochus went south to Egypt, east to Mesopotamia (especially northeast to Armenia), and to the “glorious land” (Palestine). He dominated the land of the Jews. The Jews called Antiochus “Epimanes” (madman). He conquered Jerusalem because of this insult. He defiled the high priests and entered the temple. He erected a pagan altar and offered unclean swine as sacrifice upon it. He sprinkled the blood of the swine throughout the sanctuary defiling the entire sanctuary.
The “Glorious Land” is Palestine. Antiochus especially hated the Jews. He killed 40,000 Jews on one assault on Jerusalem and carried 10,000 into captivity. In 168 B.C., Antiochus sent Apollonius with 20,000 troops to take control of Jerusalem. As a final insult, he erected an idol of Zeus in the temple and offered a swine on the altar. The Jews called this idol “the abomination of desolation.”
A Jewish nationalist by the name of Judas Maccabaeus led a rededication of the temple on December 25, 164 B.C. This is the event that caused the Jews to celebrate the Hanukkah ever since.
And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them.
The little horn, Antiochus Epiphanes, caused some of the children of Israel to fall. Verse twelve indicates that the little horn controlled “the host,” the Jews in Palestine. The “stars” may be the leaders of the Jews.
1 Macc 1: ?29? “And after two years fully expired the king sent his chief collector of tribute unto the cities of Juda, who came unto Jerusalem with a great multitude, ?30? And spake peaceable words unto them, but all was deceit: for when they had given him credence, he fell suddenly upon the city, and smote it very sore, and destroyed much people of Israel. ?31? And when he had taken the spoils of the city, he set it on fire, and pulled down the houses and walls thereof on every side. ?32? But the women and children took they captive, and possessed the cattle.”
He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.
Antiochus desecrated the temple attempting to make himself superior to Yahweh. Attack on the temple is equivalent to an attack on God Himself. He suspended sacrifices in the temple. This Antiochus anticipates the final Antichrist. Antiochus commanded the Jews to reject the law of Moses.
1 Macc 1: 44? “?For the king had sent letters by messengers unto Jerusalem and the cities of Juda that they should follow the strange laws of the land, ?45? And forbid burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and drink offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the sabbaths and festival days: ?46? And pollute the sanctuary and holy people: ?47? Set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine’s flesh, and unclean beasts: ?48? That they should also leave their children uncircumcised, and make their souls abominable with all manner of uncleanness and profanation: ?49? To the end they might forget the law, and change all the ordinances. ?50? And whosoever would not do according to the commandment of the king, he said, he should die.”
Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.
God gave the Jews over to Antiochus (the little horn) because of their transgression. God used Antiochus as an instrument of divine discipline on the Jews. God allowed Antiochus to prosper even with his shocking behavior because He has a greater plan for the Jews.
Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled under foot?”
The holy ones here are angels (4:17) who speak of the violation of Antiochus’ transgression of the temple sanctuary.
And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”
Daniel predicted that the sacrifices of morning and evening would be taken away for a definite period. An angel replied to Daniel in answer to the question regarding the length of time the sanctuary would be trampled underfoot. The answer was that the sanctuary would be trampled for 2300 days. These “days” are the time that Antiochus persecuted the Jews in round numbers from 171 B.C. to his death in 164 B.C.
Antiochus’ desecration of the temple anticipates the desecration of the temple in the last days.
Jesus used the desecration of the temple symbol as a picture of Jerusalem in the last days.
Mt 24:15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”