Who Are the Ten Horns of the Beast? - Part 1

The ten horns of the beast have been mentioned many times in the Bible particularly in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. The beast signify a kingdom, a government ruled by the Antichrist. It also symbolizes the Antichrist himself since he will be ruling this kingdom. But within this world kingdom (beast), there will be ten horns. Who are these ten horns and what is their role along with the Antichrist? Let us quote a verse each from the books of Daniel and Revelation.

After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast — terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns (Dan 7:7).

And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority (Rev 13:1-2).

The beasts look similar in both passages. The passage from the Daniel tells of a fourth beast with ten horns but was different "from all the former beasts." These "former beasts" are all mentioned in Chapter 7 of the Book of Daniel. The other three former beasts are the lion with eagle's wings, the bear with three ribs in its jaw, and the leopard with four heads with wings of a bird. We will discuss further these beasts below.

The beast of the Book of Revelation differ with the fourth beast of Daniel in a way that the "former beasts" are now combined in the body of the fourth beast. In the scientific term, the beast of Revelation is a hybrid of all the beasts. Notice how it is written: "The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion." The reason is, unlike the beasts of Daniel when the beasts were kingdoms in different successive times (that's why it says "the former beasts"), the beast of Revelation is the combination of all the kingdoms in one time setting ruled only by one king. It means that the Antichrist will soon rule all great kingdoms of the world, the one big, frightening beast.

Before we get into the ten horns, it is important to first discuss about the four beasts in the Book of Daniel. The prophet Daniel was in the Kingdom of Babylon when he was inspired by God through a vision to write about the future on the coming great kingdoms. But the first beast, the lion with eagle's wings was the kingdom where he was a subject during his time. The first beast was the Kingdom of Babylon.

The kingdom of Babylon is also the lion kingdom, the greatest kingdom of its time due to the people of the House Judah and remnants of the people of Israel as its captive.

1. The Lion – the Kingdom of Babylon

"The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle . I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it" (Dan 7:4).

The Kingdom of Babylon was also the head of gold in Daniel 2. Babylon was responsible for the downfall of the House of Judah while the House of Israel was earlier taken captive to the land of Assyria, covering approximately the same territories of Babylon. Many were still there during the time of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Judah is a lion’s cub (Genesis 49:9), and the lion is Jesus Himself (Hosea 5:14 and Revelation 5:5). Each of the four cherubim around the throne of God had the faces of a lion, a man, an eagle, and a cattle with wings (Ezekiel 1, Revelation 4).

2. The Bear – the Kingdom of Persia

"And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, 'Get up and eat your fill of flesh!' (Dan 7:5)

A bear is a slow, lumbering giant whose strength is in the paws, jaws, and legs. Its powerful muscles easily make up for its sluggishness. No other beast can match its combined strength and ferocity. Persia won battles simply by the size of its army. The size of Xerxes’s expedition was 2,500,000 strong. The three ribs in its jaws are the three kingdoms it conquered successively. These are as follows:

The Persian kingdom is the bear due to the sheer size of its army.

1. Lydia in 546 BC,
2. Babylon in 539 BC, and
3. Egypt in 525 BC.

3. The Leopard – the Grecian Empire

"After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule" (Dan 7:6).

The next kingdom was symbolized by a leopard, an animal which is noted for its swiftness. Its strength can be weaker than its predecessors, but none can be compared to its swiftness over land. The beast has four heads and four wings of a bird. Its first king, Alexander the Great , had conquered eleven thousand miles of territory reaching to as far as India in just a span of eight years. The kingdom, however, was short–lived. Alexander the Great died on June 13, 323 BC, and immediately, the kingdom had disintegrated into four smaller kingdoms ruled by his four generals symbolized by its four heads and wings.

The Kingdom of Alexander the Great, the Leopard because of its swiftness to achieve the expansion of the kingdom up to the borders of India.

These are:

1. the whole of Egypt and Palestine, ruled by Ptolemy;
2. North Syria, ruled by Seleucus;
3. Macedonia and Thrace, ruled by Cassander ; and
4. Asia Minor, ruled by Lysimachus

Alexander the Great was also able to conquer the land of Edom, Moab, and Ammon, which was later ruled by Ptolemy. All these were part of Palestine. Edom, like his brother Jacob , suffered the same fate – the people and the kingdom mysteriously disappeared from the map in the ancient times. Today, the kingdom of Alexander, although divided, still remains where it was, the Middle East . They have a potential military force but weaker than the previous two. But from among them will rise the coming evil ruler of the world. Understanding the Kingdom of the Leopard is one important key to unlocking the mystery of the Antichrist. This will be revealed in Daniel ’s prophecy of the ram and the goat, in Daniel 8.

4. The Fourth Beast - The Roman Empire

"After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast — terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns" (Dan 7:7).

This beast has no likeness of all known animals. It has ten horns. Daniel was very curious about the ten horns and particularly the little horn that grew up, defeating the saints. Note that the legs of iron representing the Roman Empire in Daniel 2:36-43 are not represented in Daniel ’s dream of the four beasts. The Roman Empire is prophesied and discussed below.

The Roman Empire is the diverse beast with ten horns, being very ferocious. It is also kingdom of iron, although less precious but very strong. It is the largest of the empires and the most long lasting.

We will understand this more completely in the book, The Omega Days, chapter 5, “The Great Tribulation.” It is also very important to understand that the Roman Empire is also the home of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel (read What Is Happening to Europe?).

It is interesting to know that the beasts is actually similar to the earlier dream of King Nebuchadnezzar about a man standing who is made of material with decreasing value from head to toe - from gold to clay. That was to become the famous dream, the great image.

The Great Image

The great image of a man is about the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar that was interpreted by the prophet Daniel. For some reasons, the king can not even remember his dream to begin with and only Daniel was able to make him recall and interpret the dream. This is the interpretation:

The great image of Nebuchadnezzar

"This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.

"After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron — for iron breaks and smashes everything — and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay
(Dan 2:36-43).

The first kingdom is actually Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon kingdom, the head, and the kingdom of gold. This is also the kingdom of lion with eagle's wings. Why? It was not because the empire deserves it. Not even the kingdom of David at its zenith was described in the Bible as a kingdom of gold or a lion kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar was an idol-worshipping pagan. Remember, it was not of the kingdom itself or the king's power why it is the Lion Kingdom but because of the people of Israel being held captive within his empire.

Now understand this. Israel was blessed by God through Abraham as a holy nation (Ex 19:6, Jer 2:3) and the people (Ex 22:31; Deut 28:9, Ezr 9:2), the holy race. It was not because of the king of Israel's exploits and works or by the people's achievements why it is holy. It was holy because of God's great blessings. All men and nations fall short of God's glory. Nobody deserves to be called holy by our own doings. So when the people of Israel starting with the northern House of Israel were taken captive by her invaders, they continue to possess the blessings through Abraham. Even if they sinned greatly, the blessings for them to become great nations held on since it can not be withdrawn because the Great Promise was sworn by no less than in the Name of God.

The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you [Abraham] have done this and have not withheld your son [Isaac], your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me" (Gen 22:15-18).

After the Babylonian Empire, came the Persian Empire, the silver - the bear. After that Macedonian Empire by Alexander the Great - the bronze or the four-headed leopard with bird's wings. Next was the Roman Empire becoming the legs of iron, the beast with ten horns.

During the exile of the House of Israel to Assyria and later, the House of Judah to Babylon, they were initially in their pure genetic state until they got mix up with the Gentiles in the lands of their captivity. Early on, they were valued as gold but as time passes, they become less precious. As a result of living with the Gentiles, over time, they slowly lose their spiritual and cultural heritage. They soon became silver (Persian occupation), then bronze (Macedonian occupation), then iron (Roman occupation) and finally iron mixed with clay (last days). Later the world knew them as Gentiles. Except for the House of Judah and Benjamin who spent only seventy years in captivity in Babylon, they returned and remain where they were, in modern day Israel. The other ten became known as the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Because of the promise to become like the stars in the sky and the sand in the seashore (Gen 22:17), they multiplied fast in every place where they were taken or migrated to. And because of the Great Promise, they became rulers and kings, they became the possessor of the gates of their enemies. That's why the author believes that the "Gentiles" Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and the other great warriors of those empires were descendants of the House of Israel.

Therefore, the kingdoms or the beasts involved only the kingdoms where the people of Israel became citizens or subject to those empires and kings. There were other great kingdoms or empires somewhere in Asia, Africa, Egypt and many other parts of the world during those times but they were not written as among the great kingdoms since they did not rule over the people of Israel, the holy nation of God. Revelation 12 depicts this journey of Israel being pictured as woman with twelve stars on her head and being chased after by the Devil until the last days. That is describing the journey of Israel who were driven away from their homeland, went to Assyria, becoming Babylon then Persia, Macedonia, until becoming the Roman Empire. Notice in the maps above how the empires expanded east and west but stopped at India but then receded but expanded to move westward and become entirely different territory occupying Europe as the fourth beast. That is because Europe became the home of the Ten Lost tribes of Israel. That is why the dream of the four beasts and immediately went down to the feet and ten toes, meaning the kingdom that lasted through the last days. It is the only empire that has kept the Ten Lost Tribes down to the end of times. The Ten Tribes remained in Europe and some went westward, to the New World America (read The Real Roots of America), to many parts of the world to fulfill the Great Promises of God to Abraham to become great nations.

Next time we will continue to study about the ten horns of the beast and the other one that came up after them. The ten horns made Daniel curious as shown in the last part of his dream. This can intrigue us as well.

"While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully" (Dan 7:8).

I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell — the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom (Dan 7:20-22).

Who are the ten horns and the little horn that came up after the first ten? We will continue our studies next week. But this we should know right now-- the ten horns are already here with us today.

Keep watching and pray for guidance.

To be continued...

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