In Daniel 7 we read of a prophetic vision God gave to Daniel in which the Lord was indicating that sometime in the future there would be a revived form of the Roman Empire. But as Daniel was considering the ten horns that appeared in this vision, he made this statement in Daniel 7:8: “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn,” so this is an eleventh horn, “before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things.”
Daniel said that as he was watching the ten horns that were already on the head of this fourth beast, that after a while, there was an eleventh horn that began pushing its way up through the head of this fourth animal and as it pushed its way up through the head of that animal, it uprooted three of the original ten horns that were there.
Now, in light of the fact that the original ten horns were interpreted by an interpreting angel as representing ten kings or rulers, it’s obvious this eleventh horn is also representing a ruler who will rise to power from within this revived Roman Empire. And it’s indicating that as he rises to power, he will overthrow three of the original ten rulers and thereby gain controlling authority over this revived Roman Empire.
Now, we’re told here that this little horn had eyes like the eyes of man. Again, this is a vision and we have symbols, but symbols of real things. In the Bible, eyes are used symbolically for intelligence. The implication is, this eleventh ruler will be a very intelligent man. Apparently, he will be noted in the world for his brilliance and perhaps his ability to tackle difficult world problems and come up with very plausible solutions for those world problems and thereby gain tremendous influence in the world. But we’re also told that he has a mouth speaking great things.
Now, in order to see what the interpreting angel had to say about this eleventh horn, we look again at Daniel 7:24, where the angel said to Daniel, “And the ten horns of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise and another”—in other words, an eleventh one—“shall rise after them, and he shall be diverse (or different) from the first.” How will he be different from the first ten rulers? Well, the first ten rulers of the revived Roman Empire will be content to be equal in authority with each other. But not this eleventh ruler. He will not be content to share equal rule with other men. This man will want to be the dominant ruler of the revived Roman Empire. So the angel says at the end of verse 24, “He shall subdue three kings.” He’ll overthrow three of the ten and thereby gain controlling power of the revived Roman Empire.
What about the mouth “speaking great things” that we’re told in verse 8? Here’s what the angel says about that in verse 25: “And he shall speak great words against the Most High.” Now, in the book of Daniel, “the Most High” is a reference to the God of Israel, the true and the living God who created the universe and is Sovereign Lord over the entire universe. The Hebrew language literally says of this eleventh ruler that “he shall speak words at the side of the Most High,” in other words, on an equal level with the Most High. The implication being that once this ruler of the future revived Roman Empire comes to full power, he’s going to, by what he claims about himself, he will try to raise himself to the level of absolute deity, to the level of the true and the living God.
Keeping my finger here in Daniel 7, I’m going over to Daniel 11 where this same man is described, and in verse 36 we’re told, “He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god and shall speak marvelous things”—literally monstrous things—“against the God of gods.” Notice, he’s going to try to exalt and magnify himself above every god even including the true and the living God.
In 2 Thessalonians 2 the Apostle Paul talks about this same man and he calls him “the man of sin” or literally, “the man of lawlessness.” And in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, Paul says, “…the man of sin will be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he as God, sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” Paul is indicating here that when this man comes to full power, he is going to walk into a new temple that the people of Israel will have built in Jerusalem by that time and he’s going to take control of that temple, and when he does that, he’s going to make the bold claim that he is the God of this universe. And the Scriptures make it very clear that people who reject his claim to be God and who refuse to worship him as God, he’s going to wage all-out war against them.