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Listen to Cliff Goldstein's podcast on The Final Kingdom

If you’ve watched the video, you’ll remember how many times the speaker emphasized the point that the kingdom—in Daniel 2, 7, and 8—which arose after Greece extended to the time of the end, when God will establish His final kingdom.   

Why was that point so emphasized?  The reason will become apparent below.

For starters, as the video showed, the only power that fits that final kingdom in all three chapters is Rome, first pagan then papal—two stages of one power, stages that are reflected in the texts themselves. 

In Daniel 2, the iron first arises in the legs, but then becomes mixed with clay in the feet and toes (Daniel 2:32-33). It’s still iron, but it’s iron mixed with clay in the feet and toes, showing another stage of the same power, a power that arises after Greece but remains until the end of the world (Daniel 2: 34, 35, 43-45).

In Daniel 7, the fourth beast, a dragon-like beast arises (Daniel 7:7).   On the head of this beast were horns, and later another horn arose on the head of the same beast (Daniel 7:8).  Many details about that little horn are given (Daniel 7:20, 21, 24-26), and this horn remains until the judgment that ushers in God’s eternal kingdom.  The point is that this little horn is still part of the fourth beast. Thus, as in Daniel 2, the final power in Daniel 7 that arises after Greece exists, though in a different form, until the end. 

In Daniel 8 we see the same thing, though the two phases are subtler.  After Greece, which is named (see Daniel 8:5-8, 21), a little horn power arises (Daniel 8:8, 9). In Daniel 8:9, this horn power is depicted as spreading horizontally over the face of the earth; that is, it is spreading militarily.  This is the pagan phase of Rome. Starting in Daniel 8:10-12, the little horn is seen in a vertical attack, going after the “host of heaven” and the “prince of the host” and “the place of his sanctuary.” This is a religious attack, the second phase of Rome.  This power continues until—in a clear reference to Daniel 2:34, which describe the stone cut out without hands that ends the world—this final power in Daniel 8 is destroyed “without hand” (Daniel 8:25).

Here’s the point: a crucial identifying mark of the last power in all three is that it arises after Greece and exists until the end of the world.  You must get this truth firmly cemented in your head because most every Bible commentary and scholar in the world names this power, especially in Daniel 7 and 8, not as Rome but as Antiochus IV Epiphanes, even though Antiochus died in the second century B.C., which places him nowhere near the time that the visions depict the demise of this last kingdom.  

There’s no need here to get into the details about Antiochus. A lot of material can be found about him. But, in short, after the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 B.C., his empire was split apart by four generals. One of these generals, Seleucid, started a dynasty of about twenty kings whose rule last for more than two hundred years before the rise of the next power, Rome. Antiochus IV Epiphanes was eighth in the line of these kings. More so, his short rule  (from 175 to 164 B.C.) was not particularly a remarkable one.  However, because for a few years he persecuted the Jews and offered pagan sacrifices in the temple, he’s almost universally seen as that final power in Daniel 7 and 8—despite the fact that, apart from a few superficial similarities with the texts—he no way fits the description given in the two chapters. 

Even if you don’t know much of this history, you don’t need to.  The simplest and easiest way to see why this power cannot be Antiochus IV is to see what we have emphasized over and over: in Daniel 2, 7, and 8 the power that comes up after Greece extends to the end of the world.  If you can get that point firmly entrenched in your psyche, then that’s all you need to know why Antiochus IV does not and cannot fit. 

It’s important because, if it were Antiochus, then all the prophecies would have been fulfilled in Daniel 7 and 8 before even the first coming of Christ, which means 1844 is a non-starter.  Anyone who wants to avoid this deception can do so, pretty easily, by getting grounded in the point regarding the rise and demise of those last power in those three chapters, which shows why, in truth, Antiochus IV is the real non-starter.

There are many other reasons why Antiochus does not fit, and we’ll have more on that here. For what’s perhaps the best scholarly refutation of the Antiochus IV as the little horn in Daniel 8, read the chapter titled, “Why Antiochus IV is not the Little Horn of Daniel 8” by our church’s own Dr. William Shea. After you get to the page, scroll down to his paper.                            

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