Biblical Numerology: NUMBER SEVEN – Part 27

How the ‘Little Horn’ Uprooted the 3 Arian ‘Horns’

    I was considering the horns [the 10 horns in verse 7], and there was another little horn, a little one, coming up among them before whom three for the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this [little] horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.” Daniel 7: 8, N.K.J.V.


    “Out of the ruins of political Rome, arose the great moral Empire in the ‘giant form’ of the Roman Church.” – A.C. Flick, “The Rise of the Medieval Church,” 1900, p. 150.

Horns in Bible prophecy is symbolic of “kingdoms,” even as the “ten kings” (v. 24) and “four kings” of v. 17 represent kingdoms ( v. 3) and the “the four horns” of the goat are “four kingdoms”(ch. 8: 22). Though “little” or “small” at the outset, this little horn is later described as “more stout than his fellows” (KJV)—the continuation of the Roman element, the Roman power in the Church of Rome.

Arianism, and the Yet-Divided Eastern & Western Rome

Source(s): Daniel And the Revelation, Uriah Smith, pp.  120-122, 124, Southern Publishing Association, (Revised  1972), pp 120-122, 124, and others as indicated:

      “Says D’Aubigne, from whom we quote these words, “for the ambitious heart of man to reason thus. Ambitious Rome did so.’ – Jean Henri Merle d’Aubigne, ‘History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century,’ Vol. I, p. 8.

     “The bishops in the different parts of the Roman Empire felt a pleasure of yielding to the bishop of Rome some of that honor which that city received from the nations of the earth. There was originally no dependence implied in the honor thus paid.  ‘But,’ continues D’Aubigne, ‘usurped power increases like an avalanche. Admonitions, at first simply fraternal, soon became absolute commands in the mouth of the pontiff. The Western bishops favored this encroachment of the Roman pastors, either from jealousy of the Eastern bishops, or because they preferred submitting to the supremacy of a pope rather than to the dominion of a temporal power’ – Ibid, p. 9. Such were the influences clustering around the Bishop of Rome, and thus was everything tending toward his speedy elevation to the spiritual dominance of Rome.

   “Challenges of Arianism. – But the fourth century was destined to witness an obstacle thrown across the path of this ambitious dream. The prophecy [of Daniel] had declared that the power represented by the little horn would ‘subdue three kings.’ In the rise and development of Arianism early in the fourth century and the challenge it presented to the papacy, we find the causes leading to the plucking up [or uprooting] of the three of the kingdoms of Western Rome by the papal power.

Origin of Arianism

     ‘Arius, parish priest of the ancient and influential church of Alexandria [largest city in Hellenistic Egypt founded by Alexander the Great in 332/331 B.C., that centuries later became the famous seat of Christian philosophy], promulgated his doctrine to the world, occasionally so fierce a controversy in the Christian church that a general council was called at Nicaea, by the emperor Constantine in A.D. 325, to consider and rule upon its teaching. Arius maintained ‘that the Son was totally and essentially distinct from the Father; that He was the first and noblest of those beings whom the Father had created out of nothing, the instrument by whose subordinate operation the Almighty Father formed the universe, and therefore inferior to the Father, both in nature and dignity.’ The opinion was condemned by the council, which decreed that Christ was one with the Father.  Hereupon Arius was banished to Illyria, and his followers were compelled to give their assent to the creed composed on that occasion. (See John L. Mosheim, An Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern, Vol. I, p. 412; Arthur P. Stanley, Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church, pp. 239, 240/ D&L 121.

          “The controversy itself, however, was not to be disposed of in this summary manner. For ages it [this doctrine] continued agitate the Christian world [even to this time], the Arians everywhere becoming the bitter enemies of the pope and the Roman Catholic Church. It was evident that the spread of Arianism would check the onward march of Catholicism, and that the possession of Italy and its renowned capital by a people of the Arian persuasion would be fatal to the supremacy of the Catholic bishop. The prophecy, however, had declared that this [little] horn symbolizing the papacy would rise to supreme power, and that in reaching this position it would subdue three kings [kingdoms]. . . .

       “The Arian doctrine had a marked influence on the church at that time, as will be observed in the following paragraphs:

        ‘The whole of the vast Gothic population which descended on the Roman Empire, so far as it was Christian at all, held to the faith of the Alexandrian heretic [Arminius]. Our first Teutonic version of the Scriptures was by and Arian missionary, Ulfilas. [The following familiar names associated with the break-up of the Western Roman Empire will be covered in subsequent issues on the Seven Trumpets of Revelation]. The first conqueror or Rome, Alaric; the first conqueror of Africa, Genseric, were Arians. Theodoric the Great, king of Italy, and hero of the ‘Nilbelungenlied,’ was an Arian. The vacant place in his massive tomb at Ravenna is the witness of the vengeance which the Orthodox took on his memory, when on their triumph they tore down the porphyry vase in which his Arian subjects had enshrined his ashes.’ – Arthur P. Stanley,Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church,’ p. 151/ F&F 124.

     “Ranke states: ‘But she [the church] fell, as was inevitable, into many embarrassments, and found herself in an entirely altered condition. A pagan people took possession of Britain; Arian kings seized the greater part of the remaining West; while the Lombards [Italy], long attached to Arianism, and as neighbors most dangerous and hostile, established a powerful sovereignty before the very gates of Rome. The Roman bishops, meanwhile, beset on all sides, exerted themselves, with all the prudence and pertinacity which have remained their peculiar attributes, to regain the mastery—at least in their patriarchal diocese.’ – Leopold Ranke, ‘History of the Popes,’ Vol. I, p. 9.  

     “The relation which these Arian kings sustained to the pope is shown in the following testimony from Mosheim in his church history”

      ‘On the other hand, it is certain, from a variety of the most authentic records, that both the emperors and the nations in general were far from being disposed to bear with patience the yoke of servitude which the see of Rome was arrogantly imposing upon the Christian church. The Gothic princes set bounds to the power of the bishop of Rome in Italy, permitted none to be raised to the pontificate without their approbation, and reserved to themselves the right of judging concerning the legality of every new election [of a pope].’ – John L. Mosheim , ‘An Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern,’ Vol. I, pp. 113, 114.

     “An instance in proof of this statement occurs in the history of Odoacer [AKA Odovacar], the first Arian king above mentioned. (See Archibald Bower, The History of the Popes, Vol. I, p. 257). When, on the death of Pope Simplicius, A.D. 483, the clergy and the people had assembled for the election of a new pope, suddenly Basilius, lieutenant of King Odoacer, appeared in the assembly, expressed his surprise that any such work as appointing a successor to the deceased pope should be undertaken without him, in the name of the king declared that all that had been done null and void, and ordered a new election to be begun anew.

From Facts of Faith by Christian Edwardson (Revised), chapter: The Prophetic History of the World, pp. 34-38. Southern Publishing Asso. Nashville 8 TN, U.S.A., 1943.


   “His [Odovacar, king of the Heruli’s] interference in the Papal election ha[d] cast into the Roman Church the seed of a deep and threatening distrust towards him.’ –‘ The Barbarian Invasion of Italy, Vol. I, p. 147.

    “Rome could never forgive such an affront, and through its faithful ally, the emperor, another barbarian nation, the Ostrogoths, were called in to destroy the Heruli. Niccolo Machiavelli relates how the popes used such a method. He says:

     ‘Nearly all the wars which the northern barbarians carried on in Italy, it may be here remarked, were occasioned by the pontiffs; and the hordes, with which the country was inundated, were generally called in by them [the popes]. The same mode of proceeding still continued, and kept Italy weak and unsettled.’—‘History of Florence,’ p. 13. Washington and London: Universal Classics Library, 1901.” – Facts of Faith, p 39.

     “Villari says that Theodoric at the head of the [barbarian] Ostrogothic hordes entered Italy in the autumn of 488, backed by the authority of the emperor and the Church. Because of the discord that had now broken out between Odovacar and the pope had weakened and the former and consequently made him less formidable, after two disastrous battles he retreated toward the city of Rome from safety from the Ostrogoths, but ‘the gates of Rome were shut in his face, and the inhabitants of Italy began to show him marked hostility; partly on account with his recent conflict with the Church, partly for the increased deeds of spoliation.  . . . The Church had taken advantage of all these causes of discontent in order to excite the populace against him; and before long it was openly said that the clergy had organized a general conspiracy against him somewhat, it would seem, in the style of the Sicilian Vespers.’ –‘The Barbarian Invasion of Italy,’ 2-vol. ed. of 1880. Vol. I, pp. 153-156.

“John Henry Cardinal Newman, D.D., says:

      ‘Odoacer [Odovacar] was sinking before Theodoric, and the Pope was changing one Arian master for another.’ – ‘An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine,’ Part Ii, p. 320. London: 1878.

       “Villari continues: ‘On the 5th of March, 493, Theodoric entered Ravenna in triumph, all the clergy coming forth to meet him, chanting Psalms, and with the Archbishop at the head of the procession.’ –‘The Barbarian Invasion of Italy, Vol. I, p. 158.  Ten days later Odoacer [Odovacar] was murdered in cold blood.

     “Hodgkin points out that this coming of the archbishop to meet the Ostrogoths was staged so as to ‘impress vividly on the minds of both Italians and Ostrogoths that Theodoric came as the friend of the Catholic Church.’ –‘Italy and Her Invaders,’ 8-vol. ed. Vol. III, book 4, pp. 234, 235. Hodgkin further states that the Roman clergy were privy to a terrible secret plot of murdering the followers of Odovacar all over Italy.’ – ‘Id., pp. 225, 226.

The Heruli Disappear From History. “Thus the first of the three horns of Daniel 7: 8 was ‘plucked up by the roots,’ and history leaves no room for doubt that the Papacy through its allies engineered this act because of its opposition to Arianism. “- Facts of  Faith, p. 40.   

                                                       (Continued next week, God willing)