Spear in hand, a Syrian soldier banged hard on the door. “Open up in there!” he
shouted. The Judean family who lived in the house were not surprised by the visit, but
neither were they prepared. The Torah scroll that the father had been reading quietly to
his wife and children was quickly swept off the table and hidden, just moments before
the soldier barged through the door. Glaring around the room, the soldier’s eyes fixed
on the children’s father. “Where is it?” he demanded, referring to the hidden scroll. The
moment of hesitation told the soldier what he wanted to know. Drawing his arm back,
behind his shoulder, then thrusting it forward, he drove the spear hard into the father’s
chest, killing him instantly.
“The rest of you, outside,” he ordered.
THE FIRST LITTLE HORN
The ancient prophecy had come true. Roughly 400 years before, Daniel had
prophesied of “little horn” (Daniel 8), a ruthless and wicked Gentile king, who would
come to power through intrigue, sweep through the land of Israel, desecrate the temple
and persecute the holy people of YHVH.
“ … a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand
up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall
destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty
and the holy people.” (Daniel 8:23-24)
His name was Antiochus IV Epiphanes (c215-164 BC), who ruled over the Seleucid
empire in the time of the Second Temple. His ruthlessness only exceeded his
arrogance, for after he became king, he took on the blasphemous title, “Epiphanes”
which meant “god manifest.”
A TIME OF TROUBLE
Many Judeans in Israel were a devout people who worshiped YHVH, the Holy One of
Israel. They studied the Torah and were obedient to the Law and commandments.
When Antiochus pushed his wretched Hellenism upon the land, it didn’t go well.
Tensions mounted between the holy people and the king who thought he was “god.”
While the former Seleucid kings generally had a policy of tolerance and were respectful
of other cultures, that all changed with the vile Antiochus, who began a campaign of
terror against the Judeans. Targeted were those who opposed paganism, polytheism
and Hellenism to serve to one true Elohim and follow HIS ways.
What began over a dispute between two idol-worshiping High Priests at the Temple
(who paid handsome tributes to the king to secure their position), ended with an
enraged Antiochus leaving Egypt to deal with the ensuing chaos. Determined to crush
all rebellion, Antiochus took Jerusalem by storm. Driving the point home, the king
ordered his soldiers to cut down every Judean man they met and to pursue all those
who attempted to take refuge.
“There was a massacre of young and old, a killing of women and children, a
slaughter of virgins and infants. In the space of three days, eighty thousand were
lost, forty thousand meeting a violent death and the same number being sold into
slavery.” (II Maccabees 5:11-14)
A permanent garrison of Syrian soldiers was imposed on Jerusalem. It was a dark time
for the holy land, only made worse by Antiochus’ next actions. On the 15 th of Kislev,
the wicked king desecrated the Temple, by erecting an image to Zeus that was said to
have resembled the king. The image, the abomination of desolation, 1* was placed near
the burnt altar. Within days, (25 Kislev), worship of Zeus was enforced and pigs were
sacrificed. The most depraved of behaviors were encouraged at the Temple among the
pagans, including pleasure with prostitutes and other indecencies.
2* Following this, decrees were mandated by Antiochus that forbade ANY observance of
Torah Law, under penalty of death. Scrolls of the Law were confiscated and many were
burned. Ruthlessly, Antiochus’ soldiers sought out those who remained faithful to
YHVH, who kept His commandments, those who tried to secretly pray, study Torah,
meet on Sabbath or the Feast days, etc.
Persecution came in various forms:
a) such as the public shaming of captured Judeans. Under harsh compulsion, they
were forced to wear ivy wreaths, while walking in procession at the monthly
birthday celebration of Antiochus. The entire spectacle was dedicated to
Dionysus, god of the grape harvest. 3*
b) Some Judeans fled to hills, spending Sabbath in the wilderness to avoid
but when discovered, they were killed. 4*
c) Eleazer, a devout man and elderly in years, was forced to open his mouth to
accept abominable pig’s flesh. Refusing it, he chose to spit it out and walk to the
block of his own accord. When counseled by friends to pretend to eat it to spare
his life, he explained that he could not do that. He had lived his life in honor to
YHVH, and was now choosing to die a worthy death as an example for the youth
of his day. 5*
1* Abomination of desolation (1 Macc 1:54-55)
2* Fornication at the Temple (2 Macc 6:4)
3* Monthly birthday celebration of Antiochus and Dionysaic procession (2 Macc 6:6-8)
4* Fled to the wilderness (2 Macc 6:11)
5* The martyrdom of Eleazar (2 Macc 6:18-30
d) Two women, charged with circumcising their babies were paraded publicly
around town with their babies hanging from their breasts, before they and their
babies were thrown over the city wall to their deaths. 6*
e) There were seven sons and their mother, who were tortured in the most brutal of
ways. Some were skinned, their tongues ripped out, their limbs torn off, their
bodies fried to death. But, they remained strong to the end, for they loved not
their lives unto death. 7*
Those faithful ones, “chose death rather than contamination by such fare or profanation
of the holy covenant and they were executed. It was a dreadful wrath that visited Israel.”
(I Macc 1:63-67)
Many are familiar with the Maccabean revolt (the Chanukah story). When urged to
bow at a pagan altar erected in the town of Modein, a godly man named Mattathias,
resisted. Matthias raised his voice, saying that even if every nation in the king’s domain
were to obey his laws and conform to his decrees, he, his sons and brothers, would still
follow the covenant of their ancestors. And, as for the king’s orders, Mattathias and his
sons would not swerve from their devotion to YHVH’s Law and commandments (I Macc
2:19-22) When a compliant Jew stepped forward to follow the edict of the king,
Mattathias, filled with the zeal of Phinehas, slew him and the officer on the spot, then
tore down the unauthorized altar. Mattathias ran through the town, beckoning those
who had a fervor for the Law to follow him (I Maccabees 2:27-28)
Mattathias, his sons, and those who joined them, fled to the hills. That small band of
brave and courageous men fought hard against the well-outfitted armies of Antiochus/
YHVH, in His grace and mercy, gave victory to the Maccabees time and again. The
three-year revolt culminated in the cleansing and rededication of the desecrated temple.
THE SECOND LITTLE HORN
Daniel prophesied of another “little horn” (Daniel 7) who will YET appear in the end of
days. He is called “Anti-messiah” in scripture. (I John 2:1:8) That Antiochus and Anti-
messiah are both called “little horn” implies that the former is a foreshadow of the other.
This FINAL worldly king will be LIKE Antiochus, but worse, for he will be completely
indwelt with Satan. The dragon gives “him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”
(Rev 13:2) By studying the profile of the former “little horn,” we can know for certainty
what is ahead.
A TIME OF TROUBLE FOR JACOB
As Antiochus was arrogant, with a mouth speaking great things so will Anti-messiah be
(Dan 7:8, 20; Dan 11:36; Rev 13:5; I Macc 1:16-23)
6* Martyrdom of two women and their babies (2 Macc 6:10-11)
7* The martyrdom of the seven sons (2 Macc 7:1-42)
As Antiochus, the first “little horn,” (Dan 8:9) persecuted and hated the holy people of
YHVH, so will Anti-messiah, the second “little horn” (Dan 7:8; Rev 12:17)
As Antiochus targeted the descendants of Jacob, so will Anti-messiah. The Tribulation
is called “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” (Jer 30:7; Rev 12:17)
Antiochus took the title “Epiphanes” which means “god manifest,” The Anti-messiah
will one day declare himself to be “god manifest.” (II Thess 2:3-4; Rev 13:8)
As Antiochus stopped the daily sacrifices at the Second Temple. so Anti-messiah will do
at the (coming) Third Temple (Dan 12:11)
As Antiochus erected an image, the “abomination of desolation” at the temple, Anti-
messiah will do the same (Matt 24:15)
After the desecration at the Second Temple, the Judeans fled to the wilderness. After
the desecration at the [coming] Third Temple, the Judeans will again flee to the
wilderness. (Matt 24:15-16)
As the Judeans who refused to worship Zeus and Antiochus were killed, all who refuse
to worship Anti-messiah and his image will be killed (Rev 13:8. 13-15
As Antiochus made war with the saints, so will Anti-messiah. (Rev 13’7)
As Antiochus made it illegal to keep Torah, and truth was cast to the ground, so will
Anti-messiah. (Dan 7:21; Rev 12:17; 14:12)
As Antiochus changed times and laws. so Anti-messiah will do (Dan 7:25)
As Antiochus wanted a “single” people who would follow Hellenism, so Anti-messiah will
enforce a one-world order that follows Romanism.
Here we are in the year 2022. Against a backdrop of great evil and darkness called “the Great Reset,” there is a great drama being played out that was prophesied long ago.
It is the FINAL seven years before the coming of Messiah Yeshua.
It is a time unprecedented, a time unlike ANYTHING ever before. We are watching the
rise of the fourth beast kingdom (the revived Roman Empire), a new world order and a
one-world religion. What a stench in the nostrils of YHVH, the Holy One of Israel/ As
there were those who capitulated to the decrees of Antiochus to spare their life, the
world will capitulate to the decrees of the coming Anti-messiah.
Are we to be obedient to the laws of the land? Yes, up to the point that the laws go
against the eternal Law (Torah) and Commandments of YHVH.
Anti-messiah WILL make war with the saints and WILL prevail. (Dan 7:21; Rev 13:7)
However, there is (and will be) a remnant of true believers, who will not acquiesce.
They will not love their lives unto death, but will choose death rather than disobedience
A time is fast approaching, that the hearts of man will be tested. The second “little horn”
is coming and may already be here. May we ready ourselves for the spiritual battle
ahead and the needful separation from those who will gladly follow the lawless one.
Stand strong my friends
Endure to the end
1) Why Did Antiochus Issue Decrees Against the Jews? Jewish Link, 12/18/14
2) Book of Maccabees
3) Antiochus Epiphanes IV by Louis Ginzberg, Jewish Encyclopedia
4) Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Wikipedia , wikipedia.org
5) The History of Hanukkah by My Jewish Learning
6) Antiochus and the Antichrist by Douglas Bookman, Israel My Glory, July/August 2009,
7) Daniel chapters 7,8, 11:1-35 (Antiochus) and 11:36-12:3 (Anti-messiah)
8) Who Can Remember? A Hanukkah Story by Sandy Brusin, reconstructingjudaism.org
9) Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Brittanica Online Encyclopedia
10) The Maccabees: The Jewish Freedom Fighters; Hanukkah 2018; chabad.org