Who does the little horn represent (Daniel 7)?

Author: BibleAsk Team

The Little Horn in Daniel 7

The little horn is a very important character in Daniel 7, and essentially in end time Bible prophecy. The little horn in Daniel 7:8, 24 appeared and uprooted 3 of the 10 horns. This little horn represents the Papacy. Between the later part of the Roman Empire and the arising of the different kingdoms of the barbaric tribes, the Catholic Church was formed and gradually gained power. As time progressed, the emperors of Western Europe were largely Catholic and supported the papacy in its growth and authority.

Three Arian kingdoms, however, did not support the papacy–the Vandals, Heruli, and Ostrogoths. For this reason, the emperors who were Catholic decided these three kingdoms must be subdued or destroyed. “The Catholic emperor Zeno (474-491) arranged a treaty with the Ostrogoths in 487 which resulted in the eradication of the kingdom of the Arian Heruls in 493.

And the Catholic emperor Justinian (527-565) exterminated the Arian Vandals in 534 and significantly broke the power of the Arian Ostrogoths in 538. Thus were Daniel’s three horns –the Heruls, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths–‘plucked up by the roots'” Dr. Mervyn Maxwell, God Cares, vol. 1, p. 129. It is not difficult to recognize that the papacy is indeed this little horn.

Some Characteristics of the Little Horn

  • Speaks great words against the most High (Daniel 7:25).
  • Wears out and persecute the saints for a time, times and the dividing of time (Daniel 7:21, 25).
  • Thinks to change times and laws (Daniel 7:25).

These points help in confirming that the little horn represents the papacy. The Catholic Church speaks great things against the most High (God) by claiming to be God on earth and claiming to have the ability to forgive sins. Let’s first look at the evidence for it claiming to forgive sins, taken directly from its own literature: “Does the Priest truly forgive the sins, or does he only declare that they are remitted? The Priest does really and truly forgive the sins in virtue of the power given to him by Christ.” Joseph Deharbe, S.J., A Complete Catechism of the Catholic Religion (New York: Schwartz, Kirwin & Fauss, 1924), 279. Thus, the papacy undermines Christ by creating a system of confession to an earthly priest, thus ignoring the Lord, our High Priest (Hebrews 3:1; 8:1, 2) and only Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5).

The popes claim to be God: “We [the popes] hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.” Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter “The Reunion of Christendom” (dated June 20, 1894) trans. in The Great Encyclical Letters of Pope Leo XIII (New York: Benziger, 1903), 304. “The pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ, Himself, hidden under the veil of flesh.” Catholic National, July 1895.

In addition, the Catholic Church persecuted God’s people for a specific amount of time. Historians estimate that during the inquisition, Middle Ages, and Early Reformation Era, more than 50,000,000 martyrs perished for their faith at the decree of the Papacy (Halley’s Bible Handbook, 1965 edition, page 726). The specific amount of persecution time is: time, times, and the dividing of a time. A time represents a year, times represents two years, and the dividing of a time half a year, so over all, we’re looking at three and a half years.

In Bible prophecy, a day represents a year (Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 14:34). In three and half years, there are 1260 days, therefore, 1260 days in prophecy represent 1260 years, which is exactly the amount of time that the papacy persecuted the saints. The rule of the papacy began in A.D. 538, when the last of the three opposing Arian kingdoms was uprooted. Its rule continued until 1798 when Napoleon’s general, Berthier, took the pope captive with hopes of destroying both Pope Pius VI and the political, secular power of the papacy. This period of time is an exact fulfillment of the 1,260-year prophecy and is also mentioned in Daniel 7:25; 12:7; Revelation 11:2, 3; 12:6, 14; 13:5.

As for thinking to change times and laws, the papacy did this as well. God’s law is the Ten Commandments, He wrote them on stone with His own finger (Exodus 31:18). The papacy changed the law of God by totally deleting the second commandment, and dividing the tenth commandment into two in order to have “ten” commandments. In addition, the only commandment dealing with time is the fourth commandment, which tells us to remember to keep the seventh day holy (Exodus 20:8-11). The papacy claims to have changed the sanctity of the seventh day to the first day of the week. Thus, the Catholic Church has tampered with God’s laws. (Check this for yourself. Compare the Ten Commandments in any Catholic catechism with God’s list of the commandments in Exodus 20:2-17).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


The contents of this article and website are not intended to be against any individual. There are many priests and faithful believers in Roman Catholicism who serve God to the best of their knowledge and are seen by God as His children. The information contained herein is directed only towards the Roman Catholic religio-political system which has reigned in varying degrees of power for nearly two millennia. This system has established an increasing number of doctrines and statements that directly go against the Bible.

It is our purpose to lay the clear Word of God before you, the truth-seeking reader, to decide for yourself what is truth and what is error. If you find anything here contrary to the Bible, do not accept it. But if you desire to seek for Truth as for hidden treasure, and find herein something of that quality and feel that the Holy Spirit is revealing Truth to you, please make all haste to accept it.

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