In order to understand this passage we need consider the visions of Daniel, the seer and these provide us a useful insight into the manner the Spirit employs visions. After introducing the four beasts in the Book of Daniel (ch.7) the little horn narrative is an interruption a ‘turnpike moment’ giving the gentiles their chance to burst in while the Scripture has been focussing the rise and captivity of the nation of Israel. The little horn fits the historical person of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. He is reported to have defiled the temple of Jerusalem and is associated with ‘the abomination of desolation (Matt.24:15)’ referred in the Book. His might and reign was as sudden as it was short-lived. Historically his place has been determined.
What we are considering are visions from the perspective of the nations. The little horn had supplanted three horns and established itself as powerful. ”In this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking like a man. And a mouth speaking great things (Dan.7:8).The significance of ten horns has been held back. So the little horn is a sign. So was Jonah. “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth(Matt.12:40). What happened to Jonah was not for himself but also as a pointer to the son of man. It is thus we need see the place of the little horn in the end times. As a sign and articulated symbol he points to the ten horns and seven heads as the history of nations.
These ten horns are associated with the beast on which the Scarlet woman is seated. ‘The ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings (Re.17:12). These ten horns were held back by the Spirit in the Book of Daniel as in the case of the prophecy of 70 weeks. This pertains ‘to bring in everlasting righteousness’ and unto the end of the war desolations are determined’ (Dan.9:24-27). This seventy weeks prophesy is articulated and the selfsame articulation we see in apocalyptic visions as well. We have already considered the Re.12 as an example. So prophecies, visions are articulated as men and symbols serve as signs. The beast and the the little horn are tied in by a clue ‘a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies (Re.13:5; Dan.7:8,11 ‘great words which the horn spake’)
Another feature of the visions mentioned in the Book of Daniel we note the vision of Judgement at the end to indicate these are referring to selfsame end,- of everlasting righteousness. We have the imagery of the Ancient of days and the expression,‘and the books were opened (Dan.7:10).’ A similar verse shows us the role of Daniel’s vision was to underpin the beast with ten horns who were to be judged and sent to perdition. The symbol of the fourth kingdom represented by this fourth beast kept in suspended animation while the horns one after the other made war with the saints and prevailed Dan.7:20-23 and it must speak for the time for sorrows associated with the great tribulation. Judgment mentioned in Dan. 7:10 and Dan. 7:25-26 are about the same.
The title that the Scarlet woman carried ‘Abominations Of The Earth(v.5)’ recalls the defilement of the temple of God at the time of the little horn.
The seven heads on which the woman sits signify seven mountains(v.9). Rome readily comes to mind but she is also called Babylon the Great. This being a vision we need accept the name may refer to any great city. Above everything else we are considering Time as set by the Holy Spirit.
(To be continued)