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Little horn

Bible teaching about the "little horn":

  1. It arises after the ten horns...
  2. ...but out of their midst;
  3. it uproots three of the ten; and
  4. it has eyes like a man, and a mouth speaking boastfully (Dan 7:8), against God (Dan 7:25).
  5. It is a king, but different from the other kings (Dan 7:24).
  6. It fights against the "saints" (God's people, or Israel in this case) and defeats them (Dan 7:21).
  7. It rules over them (Israel) until Christ comes (Dan 7:22).
  8. it continues for "time, times, and half a time", or 3 1/2 years (Dan 7:25).
Consider the Arab nations in prophecy:

  1. the ten nations of Psalm 83, avowed enemies of God and His nation in Bible times;
  2. their modern-day Arab counterparts; and
  3. ten Arab nations surrounding Israel: These nations were "born" in the same generation as was Israel -- from 26 years before 1948 to 23 years after: Egypt (1922), Jordan (1949), Syria (1946), Lebanon (1943), Iraq (1932), Saudi Arabia (1932), Kuwait (16963), Bahrain (1971), Qatar (1971), and UAE (1971). They are "all the trees" in the Middle East, to which Jesus referred when he prophesied of the Last Days: Luk 21:29-31.
Along with these, there is also a possible eleventh "horn" that may arise considerably after the other ten. This may well be the "little horn" of Palestine, newly struggling to independence in 1993, whereas the other ten "horns" have been independent since 1922 (the earliest) through 1971 (the latest). Now, more than 20 years later, there comes on the Middle Eastern scene an eleventh independent (or almost independent!) Arab nation. Does Palestine fit the Bible description of the "little horn"?

  1. It does arise after the other 10.
  2. It does arise out of their very midst.
  3. Will it uproot three others? There are presently sizeable contingents of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. In Jordan, in fact, the Palestinians pose a serious threat to the stability of King Hussein's government. In many ways, Lebanon has already been consumed, by the 1982 war and the subsequent takeover by Syria.
  4. The leader of the Palestinians -- at this time Yasser Arafat -- has made a career of speaking "boastful" threats against Israel (and, by implication, against the God of Israel) -- just as did Goliath, the Philistine (or "Palestinian") enemy of Israel in David's day. If Arafat and the PLO were displaced as the leadership of an independent Palestine by even more radical leaders out of Hamas or other Muslim fundamentalist groups, such "boastful", threatening, blasphemous verbal attacks against Israel would escalate.
  5. This "little horn" is different in the way it is established: it has been legitimatized by Israel, and it is not initially an official state.
  6. This "little horn", by its threats and bluster, will bring about the last great "holy war" against the Jewish infidels!
  7. The war against, and victory over, Israel...
  8. and a brutal oppression of 3 1/2 years... are, of course, yet future events. But who better than the Palestinians to trigger such a final Arab "holy war" against Israel?
The Beast of Rev 13: The "little horn" shares characteristics with the Beast of Rev 13:

The little horn (Dan 7)
The beast (Rev 13)
"Different" from the others (Dan 7:24)
"Different" from the others (Rev 13:8)
"A mouth speaking boastfully" (Dan 7:8)...
"A mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies" (Rev 13:5)...
"...against the Most High" (Dan 7:25)
" blaspheme God and to slander his name" (Rev 13:6)
"To wage war against the saints and defeat them" (Dan 7:21)
"To make war against the saints and conquer them" (Rev 13:7)

This leads to one of two conclusions: Either...

  1. The "little horn" becomes the whole Beast -- ie, assumes headship of the whole Arab confederation; or
  2. The "little horn" works so closely with the Beast that their objectives and actions are interchangeable.
The characteristics and activities of the "latter day" "horn" described in Dan 8:9-12,23-25 reinforce this conclusion.

At the very least, the "little horn" takes precedence over the other horns and acts as a catalyst for the last great defeat of God's people Israel.

The "Fatal Wound"

The Beast of Revelation will suffer a "fatal wound", but will be healed "miraculously" (Rev 13:3,12). If the Beast and the "little horn" are equivalent, then what "fatal wound" has Palestine suffered? Possibly, the seemingly insurmountable defeats suffered by the PLO in the 1970s and 1980s should be considered the "fatal wound", from which the "phoenix" Arafat has recovered (even literally rising out of a plane crash to resume leadership of the PLO). Some thought the PLO had been effectively destroyed by the Israelis' 1982 invasion. Perhaps the "fatal wound" was the doldrums in which the whole of the Palestinian nation had fallen, with no real hope of statehood, until quite recently.

Or is the final "fatal wound" yet in the future for Palestine -- one tremendous defeat from which the nation, with a special leader, rises up again, still speaking great and blasphemous words against Israel and Israel's God?


It is obviously too early in the process for anyone to fully identify and explain all the details. Certainly no one has "all the answers". However, it is possible that the PLO will be the primary candidate for the "little horn" of Daniel. By implication, the PLO is also a major factor in the interpretation of the Revelation beast.

Some questions to be considered in the upcoming months and years:

  1. Will Arafat survive the challenges to his authority, or even the threats on his life?
  2. Will Hamas supplant the PLO as the "legitimate" political arm of the Palestinian people?
  3. Will the rich Arab gulf states support the "new order" financially?
  4. Will the Palestinians continue to grow in power in Jordan?
  5. Will the "peace treaty" inspire a militant Jewish backlash?
  6. How will ongoing discussions about the fate of Jerusalem affect the total picture?
  7. Will the U.S. continue to provide economic and military support to Israel?
Some areas to watch:

  1. The Middle East in general, and Israel in particular.
  2. Jerusalem's Temple Mount, where the conflicting claims of Muslims and Jews will never be reconciled.
  3. Arafat, the PLO, Hamas, and the Palestinian peoples in Gaza and West Bank!
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