The Little Horn of Greece – Daniel 8

A curious entity known as the Little Horn emerges in two places in the Old Testament.  One, found in Daniel 8, will appear in the latter days of the Empire of Greece, and bring much suffering to Judah while ruling over it.  A second little horn will appear at the end of our modern era, as described in Daniel 7.  He will bring trouble to the entire world.  This second one, sometimes referred to as the Man of Sin or Antichrist, is also found in the New Testament and will be prominent in the book of Revelation. 

Let’s focus today on the Little Horn of Greece – who is this character and why this strange title?  It is certainly not a term that gets much use today.  But it has great meaning in the holy scriptures.

Our first clue comes from the biblical description of the great conqueror and world ruler, Alexander the Great.  He is described as a large horn in Daniel’s third prophetic vision.  So apparently the large horn represents both personal power and worldwide respect.  As Daniel’s prophecy about two hundred years into his future states:

21 The buck, the male goat, is the king of Greece; and the large horn between his eyes is the first king.  22 The four horns that replaced the one that was broken represent four kingdoms that will arise from this nation, though not with its power.  Daniel 8:21 (TLV)

The large horn, Alexander the Great will defeat the Medo-Persian empire to become leader of the known world.  But Alexander would die prematurely at the age of 33.  In his place, four lesser leaders, smaller horns, will divide his empire amongst themselves and rule them independently.  These smaller horns do not have the global respect or power that Alexander had.  But one from their line, Antiochus Epiphanes IV, will align with satanic powers of darkness to do much damage to God’s people in the region of Judah, desecrating their worship services and killing many in the process. 

23 “‘Now toward the end of their reign, when the measure of transgressions is completed, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 His power will be mighty, but it will not be by his strength alone. He will cause extraordinary devastation, and succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy both the powerful and the holy people. 25 By his cunning he will cause deceit to prosper under his hand and he will consider himself superior. He will destroy many, taking them unaware. He will even stand up against the Prince of princes, yet he will be broken, but not by human hands.  Daniel 8:23-25 (TLV)

This Little Horn of Daniel 8 who caused such extraordinary devastation is a forerunner of another little horn that will arise in our future, near the end of the times of human government.  Neither of these horns will prevail – both will be defeated by the hand of God, who will install His own eternal kingdom to be led by the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

The Lord has given us these scriptures as a warning and a preparation.  Warnings have not prevented evil dictators from coming to power in the past nor will they do so in the future.  But God wants us to know that we have a future and a hope under His blessing and protection.  He is still in control despite the often-evil leanings of people under the influence of dark spiritual powers.  In the end, both evil people and dark powers will be removed from His kingdom.


We can rest today knowing that whatever oppression surrounds us, God knows every detail and will help us to get safely through even the darkest of nights.  He loves us and holds us gently in His hands, bringing us care and comfort. We are safe from the storm.

I will say of Adonai,
“He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.
For He will rescue you from the hunter’s trap
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His feathers,
and under His wings you will find refuge.
His faithfulness is body armor and shield.
You will not fear the terror by night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the plague that stalks in darkness,
    nor the scourge that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side,
and ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.  Psalm 91:2-7 (TLV)

Father God, thank You that we can rest in Your protection and love.  Hold us close as we go through the pains and trials of life.  Help us to be a comfort to others just as You are a comfort to us.  We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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