In the interpretation, the characteristics of the fourth beast are first listed again. The fourth beast is the fourth kingdom, which is the restored Western Roman empire, or the united Europe. In the ten horns on its one head we see on the one hand the unity of the empire represented which on the other hand consists of ten separate realms. No empire is as violent as this empire.
Then there is another horn on it. As the fourth empire differs from the previous empires, so does the last horn differ from the ten horns. The ten states, represented in the ten horns, will voluntarily give all their power in the hand of a single ruler, that is the small horn. That is the difference with the previous empires, all of which were created by subjugation of the peoples. The difference between the little horn and the ten is that he will eliminate three and possess an unprecedented power that he will exercise in unparalleled wickedness.
With this power he will turn in a satanic way against God and His people who are then on earth. He can only do something against God with his mouth. Because he cannot reach God with his deeds, he will with satanic pleasure persecute all those who belong to God to destroy them and thereby also provoke God. For this purpose, he will make alterations in times and in law in a way that will make service to the true God impossible. This shows that it is not about the church, for the service of the church to God is not governed by times and laws, but is a service in spirit and truth (Jn 4:21-2421Jesus *said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.22You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.23But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.24God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”). Moreover, the church is already in heaven.
Also this end time fact of the change of times and laws casts its shadow forward. We can apply it to the voices that are becoming louder and louder in our days to banish everything that reminds us of God and Christ from society. Intolerance against all that is Christian is growing more and more.
Because God allows, the little horn will be able to turn against all those who stand in his way, especially those who want to serve God. For this he gets a certain, but limited time span. God determines the boundary (cf. Job 1:12a12Then the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.; 2:66So the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.”). This is indicated here by “a time, times, and half a time”. This period, also known as the time of “great tribulation” (Mt 24:2121For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.; Rev 7:1414I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.) or a “time of distress” (Dan 12:11“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands [guard] over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.; Jer 30:77‘Alas! for that day is great,
There is none like it;
And it is the time of Jacob’s distress,
But he will be saved from it.
), lasts three and a half years. This is expressed in the terms used, where ‘a time’ stands for one year, ‘times’ for two years, and ‘half a time’ for half a year (cf. Dan 9:2727And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations [will come] one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”; 12:77I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these [events] will be completed.; Rev 11:2-32Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.3And I will grant [authority] to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”; 12:6,146Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she *had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.14But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she *was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.; 13:55There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.).
Finally, Daniel is informed with remarkable clarity and without any fuss of words of the end of the reign of this anti-godly person. Nothing remains of all his pruning and all his power. This paves the way for the introduction of an empire that is completely different, both in terms of its ruler and in terms of its rule.