Q. I have been listening to some teaching by a messianic Jewish bible scholar who was talking about the identify of the antichrist. Though he agrees no one knows the antichrist’s identity, he believes the little horn mentioned in Daniel suggests the antichrist will be (a)-syrian.. or from Syria. He traces Syria history back from the Hittites, to the Assyrian Empire, Babylonian Empire, Persian Empire, Alexander, Ottoman and so forth. What are your thoughts?
A. There two little horns in Daniel. The one in Daniel 7:8 springs up within the 4th Kingdom, the Roman Empire, and is clearly a prophecy of the anti Christ. In Daniel 8 a little horn comes out of one of the four surviving components of the Greek Empire following Alexander’s death. This is commonly thought to be the Selucid Kingdom in today’s Syria. This prophecy was fulfilled in the life of Antiochus Epiphanes, the Selucid King responsible for the desecration of the Temple and subsequent Maccabbean revolt in 168-165 BC.
But beginning in Daniel 8:23 the Angel Gabriel’s interpretation of Daniel’s vision also seems to include an end times reference to the anti Christ, called a stern faced king, who will come to power by means of peace. This reference has helped scholars see Antiochus as a type of the anti Christ since much of what he did in prompting the Maccabbean revolt will be repeated at the beginning of the Great Tribulation.
Like the antiChrist, Antiochus called himself a god, and set about to destroy Israel. He erected a statue in his own likeness in the Holy Place, and required worship on pain of death. This too was called the Abomination of Desolation and sparked a 3 1/2 year revolt.
This may be where your teacher draws his Syrian conclusion. I am currently intrigued with the notion of al Mahdi, the so-called Moslem Messiah as a likely candidate for the anti Christ, although I don’t believe the church will be around to see him emerge.