are at least four major views about the meaning of the monster in
Daniel 7:7-8. Most of the views reject a future, literal understanding
of scripture. Most of these views are not careful about the details
in the verse which help us understand the meaning of the monster.
this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth
beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it
had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and trampled
down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from
all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. While
I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little
one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled
out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed
eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts.
(NASB) Dan. 7:7-8
key points in this passage are the fact that the beast starts with
ten horns and that a new horn comes to power by removing three of
the ten horns. This leaves eight horns. These horns are kings who
rule different nations of the world (Dan. 7:24). These are the key
The first view is held by some who reject the Bible as being the Word
of God. It is called the Liberal View. This view says that the monster
is the nation of Syria or the Seleucidae Empire. They claim that Syria
had seven kings and Antiochus Epiphanes, the eighth king, was the
This view ignores the fact that the
prophecy says the kings will not rule sequentially, but at the same
time. The ten kings will live at the same time. The Syrian kings ruled
in sequence, as a normal monarchy, and not concurrently. Another reason
this view is in error is that there will be ten kings and Syria only
had eight kings. This view ignores key facts of the prophecy and as
a result is rejected.
View. The next view says that the monster, including the
horns, is the Roman Empire of the past. That is, the beast is simply
historical. This is a view held by some Amillennialists.
This view states that the Roman Empire
was a collection of ten nations: Britain, Egypt, Germany, Greece,
France, Italy, Macedonia, Spain and others. It states that the little
horn is the pope of the Roman Catholic Church, and they teach that
the pope removed three kings from different nations at different periods
of time. It states that the church is the physical kingdom on earth.
There are several problems with this
view. First, those who hold this view do not agree among themselves
as to which countries are the ten countries. Even the historic maps
of the Roman Empire do not agree with their list of countries since
they include more than ten countries. In fact, around A.D. 750, at
the height of the Roman Empire, there were thirteen dioceses (R. R.
Palmer. Historical Atlas of the World, Rand McNally. p. 8). That is
a major problem. Second, this view ignores the fact once again that
ten kings ruled at the same time and that a new king came to power
by crushing three existing kings. They have also ignored the fact
the pope has never been a king and they miss the point that the pope
did not come to power as the result of defeating three
ruling kings. That never happened. The Roman Catholic Church peacefully
assumed religious authority. Further, the church is not a world military
view. Another view says that the ten horns of the beast
were the Caesars of the Roman Empire. This view has a major problem
since the Roman Empire had eighty-five Caesars. This position is also
to be rejected.