Excerpt from WWN 12(90)
In Daniel 8, an expressed command is given - "Gabriel make this [Daniel] to understand the vision." From this point on to the close of the book, Gabriel is in close communication with Daniel. Daniel had seen in vision a ram, and an he-goat with a notable horn which was broken off. In its place there arose four horns less prestigious, or in Gabriel's words - "not in his power" - that is, not in the power of the "great horn." (8:22) These symbols, Gabriel explains in unequivocal language. The "ram" is declared to be "the kings of Media and Persia." (8:20) The he-goat represented not "the American airforce" but "the king of Grecia" and the great horn "is the first king" or Alexander the Great. (8:21) In his place would stand up four kingdoms which were finally reduced to two, and become in Daniel 11, "the king of the north" and "the king of the south."
The other power in Daniel 8 is the "little horn" which waxed "exceeding great." (8:9) This "little horn" is defined as coming forth "out of one of them" clearly separating the power it symbolizes from being either the "king of the south" or the "king of the north" at any time in history.
To increase our understanding of this factor in the prophecy, we need to consider the phrase, "and out of one of them," from a linguistic viewpoint. in Hebrew, as well as other languages, nouns have gender, either masculine, feminine, or neuter. Pronouns referring to these nouns must also have the same gender as the noun. In Daniel 8:8, the four horns are pictured as extending "toward the four winds of heaven." Then in verse 9, comes the phrase - "and out of one of them" - "horns" or "winds"? In the Hebrew, "horns" is feminine, while "winds" is either feminine or masculine. The pronoun, "them," is masculine which would, refer to "winds" rather than to "horns." However, the SDA Bible Commentary points out that "this phrase presents confusion of gender." (Vol. 4, p. 840) While "them" is masculine, the word for "one" is in its feminine form, thus mixing the genders in the same phrase. So whether out of one of the horns, which can be substantiated by historical documentation, or from one of the four winds which fits the directions emphasized through the vision, the final designation is that this "little horn" is Rome in both its pagan and papal phases as distinct from the four horns, and not a part of them.
When the pagan phase of Rome is introduced in the prophecy of Daniel 11, it is not designated as either the "king of the south" nor the "king of the north." Daniel 11:19-21 is recognized as describing emperors of Rome, Julius Caesar through Tiberius, none of which are symbolized as a king of either the south or the north. Thus when the papal phase enters the continuum of the prophecy of Daniel 11, it cannot be considered as either of the two kings. With this factor clearly in mind, the "he" which did "stand in the glorious land" (Palestine and not America" fulfilling Daniel 11:16, Will be the same "he" which shall "enter into the glorious land" as noted in Daniel 11:41, and will be the "he" which "shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain" of Daniel 11:45 - only that the latter "he" will be the second or papal phase of the "little horn" of Daniel 8, or "the king" of Daniel 11:36.
We have given all too little thought or attention to papal thinking in regard to the Middle East and Jerusalem. Even though progress has been made in recent years improving relations between the Roman Catholic church and the Jews, the Vatican has not to this day offered to extend diplomatic recognition to Israel.1 This reluctance to do so disturbs and baffles Jewish leaders. "Documents issued by the Catholic church acknowledge the religious significance of Israel, but professor and Nobel laureate Elie Weisel stresses that it is of 'absolute importance to the Jewish people' that Israel be acknowledged politically as well." (National & International Religion Report, Oct. 22, 1990, p. 2) While no explanation has been given by the Vatican as to why they have not recognized the State of Israel, some observers suggest that the Roman Catholic church cannot politically afford to offend its Arab membership in the Middle East. It should also be noted in passing that President Bush's White House chief of staff, Sununu, has religious roots stemming from one of the Uniate or Eastern Rites of the Roman Catholic church.
The objectives of Papal Rome call for the internationalization of Jerusalem. On June 30, 1980, the Holy See lodged with the Security Council of the United Nations, a letter published the same date In the L'Osservatore Romano which set forth "the position of the Holy See concerning Jerusalem and all the holy places." This became Security Council document S/14032. In this document, a resolution on Palestine approved by the UN, Nov. 29, 1947, is noted along with a "special statute" for the city of Jerusalem drawn up by the Trusteeship Council, April 14, 1950 in harmony with the resolution of the UN. It calls for a "corpus separatum" for "Jerusalem and the surrounding area" administered by the Trusteeship Council of the UN. This is the Vatican position. It is totally at cross purposes with the perspective and the law of the State of Israel.
John Paul II clearly outlined the Papal view and significance of Jerusalem in an Apostolic Letter published in L'Osservatore Romano, April 30, 1984. He wrote:
Before it was the city of Jesus the Redeemer, Jerusalem was the historic site of the biblical revelation of God, the meeting place, as it were, of heaven and earth, in which more than in any other place the word of God was brought to men. ...
Indeed, in so far as she [Jerusalem] is the homeland of the hearts of all the spiritual descendants of Abraham who hold her very dear, and the place where, according to faith, the created things of earth encounter the infinite transcendence of God, Jerusalem stands out as a symbol of the coming together, or union, and of universal peace or the human family. ...
I think of and long for the day on which we shall all be so "taught of God" (Jn 6:45) that we shall listen to his message of peace and reconciliation. I think of the day on which Jews, Christians and Muslims will greet each other in the city of Jerusalem with the same greeting of peace with which Christ greeted the disciples after the resurrection: "Peace be with you" (Jn 20:19). ...
This peace proclaimed by Jesus Christ in the name of the Father who is in heaven thus makes Jerusalem the living sign of the great ideal of unity, of brotherhood and of agreement among peoples according to the illuminating words of the Book of Isaiah: "Many peoples shall come and say: 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths"' (Is 2:3).
Consider, whom does the Bible indicate will be the prime earthly force in the final events of human history? Who was the one who drew back the iron curtain which had separated Europe for decades? What is this power's objectives for Jerusalem? Read the above paragraphs from the Pope's Apostolic Letter once again. Note that he is basing his objectives on the prophecy of Isaiah 2:3. Open your Bible and read all of the verses of the context verses 2-6. When are these verses to be fulfilled? - "It shall come to pass in the last days."
Observe, the Pope looks for a time when mankind shall once again be taught of God, and perceives Jerusalem as the place where the word of God was brought to man - "where the created things of earth encounter the infinite transcendence of God." Now read the last part of verse 3 what he envisions will happen again "for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." - Ask yourself, what kind of a law, and what word would go forth should he and the one whom he represents be the "movers"? And they will be!
God plans to have a city of peace as the center of the whole united earth for "the spiritual descendants of Abraham." It is called the New Jerusalem. Now note again what is the pope's objective for, "all the spiritual descendants of Abraham." Herein is the tale of "two cities" as amplified in the book of Revelation, but God calls the "Jerusalem" promoted by the "beast" who carries the woman, "Babylon the great." (See Rev. 17:2-5) . . . we need to know the prophetic word and watch as the scroll unrolls. And it is now unrolling!
1[The Fundamental Agreement Between the Holy See and the State of Israel was signed by the Holy See and the State of Israel on 30 December 1993. It deals with the property rights and tax exemptions of the Roman Catholic Church within Israeli territory. As a result of the Agreement the Vatican established on June 15, 1994, full diplomatic relations with Israel, and appointed an Apostolic Nuncio to Israel. Wikipedia, "The diplomatic relations between Israel and the Holy See."]