5.3 Verse 12 and the Transgression

The relationship of the horn, the daily, and the host with respect to the transgression will be examined in this section.

5.3.1 The Daily, the Host and the Horn. It has already been demonstrated the thematic parallelism of gender in verses 9-12 exhibiting the pattern A:B::A’:B’ which represents the identification of pagan Rome (verses 9 & 11) and papal Rome (verses 10 & 12). The focus of the subjective action in verse 12 resides with the feminine phase of the horn from littleness. As Shea points out correctly, the verb “was given” is in the third person, singular and feminine form and therefore its subject must be feminine.(60) It cannot be the “host” (masculine) and agree with the verb in gender. Thus, the sentence structure indicates that the feminine phase of the horn was given a host: “it (feminine) was given a host against the daily by transgression.” Shea proceeds to argue convincingly in concert with Hasel(61) that the host in verse 12 should not be linked with “host of heaven” in verse 10 which other scholars, in contrast, have attempted to do.(62)

The premise that the “daily” represents Christ’s high priestly ministry leads naturally to the conclusion that the “host” in verse 12 must be a spiritual army or clerical priesthood opposing the priesthood of Christ acting in or with transgression (bepasa`). This is a position of both Shea(63) and Hasel.(64) An alternative view put forth by Hasel is that the preposition “be” in bepasha` expresses cause (causing transgression). With this understanding Hasel concludes that “the transgression that is caused may be the leading of human beings to trust in the substitute service(s) of the horn’s counterfeit continuous ministry.”(65) However, if the preposition, in fact, expresses cause, the most natural interpretation would be that “the act of giving” causes transgression or was done in rebellion against God. Hasel’s view requires the exegete to indulge in eisegesis by reading into the text words and meaning not present (“It was given a host against the daily causing transgression of the saints“).

Furthermore, it will be demonstrated in a later section on Cultic Terminology in Daniel 8 that the context of verses 1-14 is one of a counterfeit cultic setting, not a genuine cultic setting. Thus, the transgression in 8:12 transpires in a counterfeit setting: the horn was given (it was given = feminine; papal Rome); a host (pagan army); by transgression (unrepentant rebellion of pagan/papal forces).

All exegetical arguments stand or fall based on the interpretation of the “daily” which in turn depends on the correct identification of the antecedent of “from him” (mimmennu), the pivotal point of prophecy in verse 11. It was demonstrated previously that the linguistic and contextual evidence strongly favors the identification of the “one exalting himself” in verse 11 with the antecedent of mimmennu.

With the correct understanding of the daily (hattamid) representing the self-exalting character of all pagan nations including Rome which was lifted up by papal Rome, it becomes clear that there is a contest or struggle not only between the horn (both phases) and the Prince of the host, but also between the two phases of Rome. For example, not only was the daily lifted up by papal Rome from pagan Rome, but the place of his sanctuary was cast down by papal Rome in vs. 11. The struggle continues in a pitched battle in verse 12 where an army is given to papal Rome against the “continual” self-exalting behavior manifested by pagan forces toward God. This battle matured during the period of AD 496 to 508 when the first of the ten horns, the Franks led by Clovis following his conversion, became the “Eldest Son of the Church” and used the sword to expand the power of the papacy. This culminated in AD 508 with the subjection of the Arborici, the Roman garrisons in the West, Brittany, the Bergundians, and the Visigoths.(66) The Arian Visigoths represented the epitome of self-exalting behavior against God in the view of the Roman church.

It is maintained that the host was a historical army, led by Clovis, resulting from a collaboration or union of church (papal Rome) and the state (Clovis & the Franks). This “host” or unholy union represented a counterfeit army in contrast to the genuine host of heaven (verses 10 & 13), the saints of the Most High.

5.3.2 The Transgression. The “transgression” does not represent the unrighteous rebellion against God led by the horn and his host of an earthly priesthood as suggested by Shea.(67) The giving of the host to the horn would be done so “by”, “in”, “through”, or “with” transgression (bepasha`). Shea acknowledges that the “precise sense of the preposition (be) is difficult to capture”.(68) Hasel attempts to minimize this difficulty with the preposition by transforming a simple prepositional phrase into a causative participle, “causing transgression” and applying it to the papal priesthood which causes its adherents to transgress. Hasel also admits that the first clause of v. 12 is “probably the most difficult in verses 9-14 for understanding its meaning” thus rendering the phrase “obscure”.(69) This obscurity is, in part, a direct result of attempting to identify the “daily” with the heavenly priestly ministry of Christ.

It is suggested that the “sense” of the prepositional phrase, bepasha` (by transgression) is neither “difficult to capture” within the context of the passage nor is its meaning “obscure”. The transgression is represented by the outward demonstration of religious zealotry against pagan worship by a religious power of pagan origins. This self-magnifying behavior of the apostate Christian church attracts multitudes. More specifically, the transgression is represented by the “giving process” of the host or army of the Franks led by Clovis in support of Papal Rome. Thus, the “transgression” is manifested in the union of church and state claiming to be acting in behalf of God and doing His will. This transgression, or unrepentant rebellion against God, remains unconfessed and requires no cleansing of the sanctuary in terms of confessed sins. However, this transgression does result in the trampling of the sanctuary (qodesh) in verse 13 due to the exploits of a counterfeit priesthood of the horn. The trampling of the sanctuary by the horn (papal Rome) requires the sanctuary “to be put right” (nisdaq) in v.14. The “trampling-nisdaq” concept will be examined in Section 8.0 on “The Audition about the Sanctuary.”

The transgression in verse 12 resulting in the union of church and state is the same transgression that will be repeated at the end of time with the enforcement of the mark of the beast. Therefore the sense and meaning of the first phrase of verse 12 becomes explicitly clear. “It (papal Rome) was given a host (support of Clovis and Franks) against the daily (self-exalting activity of pagan and Arian forces) by transgression (by union of church and state claiming to act in behalf of God).”

5.3.3 Truth Cast to the Ground. On the basis of the use of the word “truth” (’emet) in Dn. 8:26; 9:13; 10:1, 21 & 11:2, truth may be understood to refer to God’s revelation in its comprehensive sense, including both the “law of Moses and the prophetic-apocalyptic revelation contained in the book of Daniel itself”. Hasel’s assessment here is quite correct.(70) Truth refers to the divine truth of revelation which the horn (papal phase) opposes and casts to the ground. “This revelatory truth contains the instructions about worship, salvation, and related matters including God’s plan to set up His kingdom of grace and glory” in the context of the end-time cleansing of the sanctuary.(71)

60) W. H. Shea, DARCOM: Vol. 2, p. 516.
61) G. F. Hasel, DARCOM: Vol. 2, p. 416.
62) R. M. Davidson, Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 2/1 (1991): 105. Also see E. J. Young, A Prophecy of Daniel: A Commentary, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, p. 172, 1949.
63) Ibid.
64) G. F. Hasel, DARCOM: Vol. 2, pp. 416-417.
65) G. F. Hasel, DARCOM, Vol 2, pp. 415-418, 441. See also R. M. Davidson, Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 2/1 (1991): 105.
66) Smith: D & R, p. 271.
67) W. H. Shea, DARCOM: Vol. 2, p. 516.
68) Ibid., p.198.
69) G. F. Hasel, DARCOM: Vol. 2, p.418.
70) Ibid. p. 419.
71) Ibid.


<= Previous Return to Main Menu Next =>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *