The ten horns first appear in Daniels night visionarising from the fourth, terrible beast [#12-#22] (Dan. Dan. 7:24). From these horns an eleventh little horn arises [#22-#15] (Dan. Dan. 7:8). This little horn overcomes three of the previous ten horns (Dan. Dan. 7:8, Dan. 7:24). John sees the same ten horns upon the dragon [#15-#22] (Rev. Rev. 12:3+) and upon the Beast [#16-#22] (Rev. Rev. 13:1+; Rev. 17:3+, Rev. 17:7+). Indicating:
The ten horns are ten kings (Rev. Rev. 17:12+) of the time of the end who had not received authority by the time of Johns vision but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they give their power and authority to the beast. [#16-#22] (Rev. Rev. 17:12-13+). Although the Harlot reigns over the kings of the earth [#21-#22] (Rev. Rev. 17:18+), these kings hate the Harlot and destroy her in accordance with Gods will [#22-#21] (Rev. Rev. 17:16-17+). (The MT and NU texts indicate that the Beast also turns on her [#16-#21]. See commentary on Revelation 17:16.) Although both the seven heads and the ten horns are said to be kings, there is an important distinction between the two. The seven heads span a long period of history whereas the ten horns are contemporaries at the time of the end:
- The horns are empowered by the dragon for the ultimate purpose which the dragon has for the Beast. This is seen in their submission to the Beast.
- The Beast is the final stage of Daniels fourth terrible beast out of which the ten horns arose [#12-#22] (Dan. Dan. 7:24).
While both the ten horns and seven heads are representative of kings, there is a difference between them. The ten horns are kings that are contemporary with each other. They all rise and reign at the same time. But the seven heads are chronological or sequential. One follows the other in chronological sequence, and no two are ever contemporary.1
There is an intentional correlation between the horns of Daniels night vision and the feet and toes of the image in Nebuchadnezzars dream (Dan. Dan. 2:22-34, Dan. 2:41-42):
See Nebuchadnezzars Dream and Daniels Vision. See #4 - Seven Heads/Kings. See #25 - Little Horn. See Symbols of Kingdoms.
- Both horns and toes are ten in number.
- Both are outgrowths of the last Gentile kingdom (Dan. Dan. 2:41-42; Dan. 7:8; Rev. Rev. 17:12+).
- Both are destroyed by the arrival of Gods kingdom on earth, the Millennial Kingdom (Dan. Dan. 2:34; Rev. Rev. 17:14+ cf. Rev. Rev. 16:14+).
1 Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Footsteps of Messiah, rev ed. (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 2003), 41-42.