towards all three directions?
As an alternative to the interpretation they have been taught all their lives, most former Adventists now believe that Antiochus IV Epiphanes could be the only historical character that could possibly fulfill the prophecies of Daniel chapter 8.
Among those former Adventists, there is one group whose website is titled “nonsda,” and whose founder is none other then Mr. Dirk Anderson, owner of ellenwhiteexposed.com. Above the banner at the front page of this website, over pictures of about five students, is an interesting sentence which reads, "We Studied Our Way Out of the Seventh-day Adventist Church."
One of the biggest ideas these are trying to promote, is that since (as they believe) Rome and the Papacy can not be the little horn power of Daniel 8, it must be Antiochus IV Epiphanes. This King, they and Mr. Anderson are in essance saying, fits all the descriptions described in Daniel 8. In their own words…
“As we examine the evidence below, it will become abundantly clear that Antiochus Epiphanes fulfills every specification of Daniel 8 with exactness. The same cannot be said of Rome.”
With exactness? Really?
In regards to the little horn of Daniel chapter 8, verse 9, the prophet says that he “waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.” The RAM, symbolizing the kingdom of the Medes/Persians waxed great (Daniel 8:4, 20). The HE GOAT, being Greece (Daniel 8:21) waxed very great (Daniel 8:8) but the little horn power waxes “exceeding great.” Our critics provide what they believe is proof that Antiochus Epiphanes waxed exceeding great towards all of these three directions. But they fell “exceedingly” short when they tried to prove he waxed great towards the East… Armenia and Persia. They direct their readers to 1 Maccabees chapter three to prove their case. The verses they quoted are as follows:
"Wherefore, being greatly perplexed in his mind, he determined to go into Persia, there to take the tributes of the countries, and to gather much money." (1 Maccabees 3:31)
"About that time king Antiochus traveling through the high countries heard say, that Elymais in the country of Persia was a city greatly renowned for riches, silver, and gold; 2 And that there was in it a very rich temple, wherein were coverings of gold, and breastplates, and shields, which Alexander, son of Philip, the Macedonian king, who reigned first among the Grecians, had left there." (1 Maccabees 6:1,2)
The only thing mentioned above is that the King found it a good idea to travel east towards Persia to attack and take with him their treasures. But there is no mention in these verses that he was successful in this. Did he really wax “exceeding great” towards the East (Persia)? Let’s read the next few verses which our critics so conveniently forgot to include:
1 Maccabees 6:3-4
(3) Wherefore he came and sought to take the city, and to spoil it; but he was not able, because they of the city, having had warning thereof,
(4) Rose up against him in battle: so he fled, and departed thence with great heaviness, and returned to Babylon.
Antiochus doesn’t seem so great after all. After trying his best to take from the Persians their treasures, he was defeated by them, and “fled… with great heaviness.” It dousn't seem like he ever made it to Babylon, because while still in Persia, he dies (1 Maccabees 6:16). The evidence which they therefore provide actually backfires upon their own reasoning, because it quite proves the opposite.
Why didn’t they share with their audience the rest of the context of that chapter of Antiochus' life? Did they perhaps think we would not investigate this matter for ourselves? Didn’t they say that they studied their way out of Adventism? We’re sure they and Dirk Anderson studied the entire chapter of 1 Maccabees 6… why they didn’t share the rest of the chapter will be exposed below in the next section.
Already we see that Antiochus does not fit all the prophetic description with “exactness,” and if at any point the character considered does not fit just “one” Identification mark, it can not be the power intended in the entire prophecy of Daniel 8. So with this we have sufficient evidence to discard Antiochus IV Epiphanes as the little horn power, yet the evidence against him goes even farther then this one point, for he doesn’t even fulfill…
To explain, notice first the order in which the "little horn" power is to invade the three countries:
(9) And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
The order in which this power is to invade is towards:
(1) The South
(2) The East
(3) The Pleasant Land (Jerusalem)
The order in which our critics at this website put Antiochus' invasions is as Daniel sees it (note the image from their website above). However, we learned above that Antiochus DIED in Persia (the East), how therefore did he then go on to the Pleasant Land?
Let us see what the true order was for Antiochus:
(1) Went South towards Egypt in the year 143 (169 BC):
“After Antiochus had defeated Egypt in the year one hundred and forty-three…” -1 Maccabees 1:20.
(2) Went to The Pleasant Land right after Egypt between the year 143 and 145 (about 167 BC):
“After Antiochus had defeated Egypt… he returned and went up to Israel and to Jerusalem with a strong force. He insolently invaded the Sanctuary and took away the golden alter… two years later the King send the Mysian commander to the cities of Judah, and he came to Jerusalem with a strong force.” -1 Maccabees 1:20-29.
(3) Went East towards Persia, and there died in the year 149 (164 BC):
“King Antiochus died in Persia in the year one hundred and forty-nine.” -1 Maccabees 6:16.
If we examine the above facts closely, we discover that Antiochus did not fulfill the prophecy of Daniel 8:9, because he did not go in the order prophesied. This is the very reason, friends, why critic Dirk Anderson and his friends did not share the rest of the story in regards to what transpired while Antiochus was in the East, because that’s where he died! And to share that information would mean to expose themselves as wolves in sheep’s clothing. Antiochus did not in the year 149 go to the East to then go backwords 4 years to the year 145 to try to conquer the Pleasent Land. I think our opponants want us to believe the impossible.
Rather then going in the prophetic order, which is:
3) Pleasent Land
Antiochus went in the wrong order, which was:
2) Pleasent Land
And died right there in the East.
For these reasons we find that the late Antiochus IV Epiphanies could not possibly be the little horn power. And we continually find more and more reasons that help us sustain this fact. Click on the links below to see more.
For further study, see: