“Out of one of them came a little horn.” The little horn that came from one of the Greek Empires was Antiochus Epiphanes, who was the eighth ruler of the Seleucid kingdom. He is the most profound type of the Antichrist in Scripture, so much so that we learn about what the Antichrist will be like by studying Antiochus. The parallel between the Antichrist and Antiochus Epiphanes even shows up in the name Antiochus gave himself, “Epiphanes,” which means “god manifest” or “god visible,” in other words “the visible manifestation of god” or even “the visible god.” When the Antichrist shows up, he will go into the Temple and portray himself as a god (2 Thess. 2:4). The “little horn” here in Daniel 8:9 is Antiochus, and the “little horn” in Daniel 7:8 clearly refers to the Antichrist.
The little horn here in Daniel 8:9 is Antiochus Epiphanes, who is a type of the Antichrist, gives us another important piece of information about the Antichrist that historians and biblical commentators have mostly been wrong about. It has been assumed for generations that the Antichrist would come from the ancient Roman empire, but there are serious problems with that, one of them being that the little horn here in Daniel 8:9 is an Easterner, and does not come from Rome. Although a type of the Antichrist does not have to match the Antichrist in every way, just as a type of Christ does not have to match Christ in every way, this particular mismatch has been a problem for scholars (cp. Stephen Miller, The New American Commentary: Daniel. P. 225, fn. #22). This is actually more evidence that the fourth beast in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream vision was not Rome, but the Islamic Caliphate.
It should not surprise us that we learn about the Antichrist by studying a biblical figure as ungodly as Antiochus. In the same way that Jesus could say, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), if we have seen the Devil’s people we have seen the Devil. Thus, for example, when Jesus was speaking to the very evil religious leaders of his time, he said, “You are of your father the Devil, and you want to do the desires of your father” (John 8:44).
“toward the south, and toward the east.” This is historically accurate concerning Antiochus Epiphanes, who had great military success in Egypt to the south, as well as to the east, where he had victories in Persia, Parthia, and Armenia. Also, he conquered Palestine, “the glorious land.”
“glorious land.” That is, the land of Israel.