St. Jerome (his actual name, Hieronymos, is Greek) lived c.347-420 AD; he is a Post-Nicene Father (the Council of Nicaea was held in 325). He wrote a number of commentaries, letters, and tracts. His views on eschatology are scattered throughout his writings. Seeing as some of these are less accessible than others, I have elected to take quotations from his Commentary on Daniel, which is an obviously eschatological text. I have accessed Gleason L. Archer’s translation of 1958 at http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/jerome_daniel_01_intro.htm .
Dan. 7:7 ‘”. ..and it had ten horns.” Porphyry assigned the last two beasts, that of the Macedonians and that of the Romans, to the one realm of the Macedonians and divided them up as follows. He claimed that the leopard was Alexander himself, and that the beast which was dissimilar to the others represented the four successors of Alexander, and then he enumerates ten kings up to the time of Antiochus, surnamed Epiphanes, and who were very cruel. And he did not assign the kings themselves to separate kingdoms, for example Macedon, Syria, Asia, or Egypt, but rather he made out the various kingdoms a single realm consisting of a series. This he did of course in order that the words which were written: “.. .a mouth uttering overweening boasts” [in the last part of verse 8] might be considered as spoken about Antiochus instead of about Antichrist.’
This text indicates that Jerome considered the 11th Horn on the 4th Beast to be referring to the Antichrist, and not Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who is mentioned in 1 and 2 Maccabees. This belief is shared by many modern (Protestant and Orthodox) students of eschatology. The question of who the Antichrist is and when he appears relative to Jerome will inform us as to whether Jerome supported a preterist interpretation (Antichrist = Nero or Domitian, 1st century AD) or a futurist one.
‘Verse 8. “I was looking at the horns, and behold, another small horn rose up out of the midst of them, and three of the earlier horns were torn away before it. And behold, there were in that horn eyes like unto human eyes, and a mouth uttering overweening boasts.” Porphyry vainly surmises that the little (p. 531) horn which rose up after the ten horns is Antiochus Epiphanes, and that the three uprooted horns out of the ten are (A) Ptolemy VI (surnamed Philometer), Ptolemy VII (Euergetes), and Artaraxias, King of Armenia. The first two of these kings died long before Antiochus was born. Against Artarxias, to be sure, we know that Antiochus indeed waged war, but also we know that Artarxias remained in possession of his original kingly authority. We should therefore concur with the traditional interpretation of all the commentators of the Christian Church, that at the end of the world, when the Roman Empire is to be destroyed, there shall be ten kings who will partition the Roman world amongst themselves. Then an insignificant eleventh king will arise, who will overcome three of the ten kings, that is, the king of Egypt, the king of [North] Africa, and the king of Ethiopia, as we shall show more clearly in our later discussion. Then after they have been slain, the seven other kings also will bow their necks to the victor. “And behold,” he continues, “there were eyes like unto human eyes in that horn.” Let us not follow the opinion of some commentators and suppose him to be either the Devil or some demon, but rather, one of the human race, in whom Satan will wholly take up his residence in bodily form. “. . .and a mouth uttering overweening boasts…” (cf. II Thess. 2). For this is the man of sin, the son of perdition, and that too to such a degree that he dares to sit in the temple of God, making himself out to be like God.’
This text tells us that Jerome was of a futurist persuasion. He places the 11 Horns at a time when “the Roman Empire is to be destroyed” (emphasis mine). Because of the grammatical tense-logic of the sentence and the fact that the Roman Empire had not been destroyed in Jerome’s day (neither West nor East), we may conclude that Jerome believed the 11 Horns to be still future to him. Since he identifies the 11th Horn as Antichrist, and the 11th Horn is still future to him, Jerome, the Antichrist cannot be Nero, Vespasian, Titus, or Domitian, who all lived long before Jerome. Furthermore, Jerome affirms that his interpretation is in accordance with “the traditional interpretation of all the commentators of the Christian Church”. Allowing for rhetorical exaggeration, this text still strongly implies that the futurist interpretation was common, if not prevalent, among the writers/Fathers who came before Jerome, i.e. held by the pre-Nicene Church. Notice also that Jerome identifies the Antichrist, a term taken from the Apostle John’s writings, with the “son of perdition” found in Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians (chapter 2). Thus Jerome believed that this 11th Horn would proclaim himself to be God in God’s Temple at a time still future to him, Jerome, and would do all the things he is said to do in the Book of Daniel. Now, if Jerome believed the Temple in 2 Thess. 2 to be the Jewish Temple of Jerusalem/Shiloh, then this text implies that Jerome believed the Jewish Temple would be rebuilt in the future. Nor was this foolish speculation. Ammianus Marcellinus, a Roman historian, records the fact that the emperor Julian the Apostate tried to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Julian the Apostate was in fact a partial contemporary of Jerome: Julian lived from 331 to 363 AD.
‘Verses 17, 18. “These four great beasts are the four kingdoms which shall arise from the earth. But the saints of the Most High God shall take the kingdom.” The four kingdoms of which we have spoken above were earthly in character. “For everything which is of the earth shall return to earth” (Eccl. 3:20). But the saints shall never possess an earthly kingdom, but only a heavenly. Away, then, with the fable about a millennium! [Cesset ergo mille annorum fabula.]’
This text tells us that Jerome was not premillennial in his eschatology. However, he was futurist, which is an unusual combination in today’s world, since many amilliennialists and post-millennialists are preterist in their eschatology. Jerome’s view, then, appears to be something like this:
Church Age/Millennium > Fall of Roman Empire > Antichrist’s Reign (Abomination of Desolation) > Second Coming of Christ > Last Judgement > Eternity
This view corresponds roughly to a view held in some (but not all) Roman Catholic circles.
‘“. . .And they shall possess the kingdom unto eternity, even forever and ever. …” If this be taken to refer to the Maccabees, the advocate of this position should explain how the kingdom of the Maccabees is of a perpetual character.’
Again, this text clearly shows that Jerome was not a preterist in his interpretation of Daniel.
“. . .And he shall crush the saints of the Most High, and will suppose himself to be able to alter times and laws.” The Antichrist will wage war against the saints and will overcome them; and he shall exalt himself to such a height of arrogance as to attempt changing the very laws of God and the sacred rites as well. He will also lift himself up against all that is called God, subjecting all religion to his own authority.
‘”. . .And they shall be delivered into his hand for a time, and times, and half a time.” “Time” is equivalent to “year.” The word “times,” according to the idiom of the Hebrews (who also possess the dual number) represents “two years.” [The Aramaic original here, according to the Massoretic vowel pointing, has the plural ending —-iyn, not the dual ending —-ayin. To be sure, the consonantal text could also be pointed as dual.] The half a year signifies “six months.” During this period the saints are to be given over to the power of the Antichrist, in order that those Jews might be condemned who did not believe the truth but supported a lie. The Savior also speaks of this period in the Gospel, saying: “Unless those days had been cut short, no flesh would be saved” (Matt. 24:22). In the final vision we shall assert the inappropriateness of this period to Antiochus.’
These texts show us very clearly that St Jerome had a personal Antichrist in view who would rule for 3.5 years prior to the coming of Christ. In denying the interpretation of Antiochus Epiphanes as fulfilling this passage, Jerome moves its fulfilment forward into the future.
So, why is all of this important? For me, at least, it is because Jerome provides me with a bridge to my brethren in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. By choosing to make the Millennium a secondary issue (Jerome as an amillennialist did not agree with Hippolytus who was a premillennialist), we can instead focus on the theme that is consistent and agreed upon across the fathers: the future time of trouble for the church under the reign of the Antichrist. Why have I chosen such a dark point to focus on? Well, the reason is not to prioritise it over the hope inspired by Christ’s Second Coming, when He shall reward the faithful. Rather, I have chosen this because of its pastoral relevance: in the New Testament, Jesus, Paul, and John tell us of the Antichrist, not to satisfy our curiosity, but for two chief reasons. A) Because his coming is a sign that Christ’s coming is near (c. 3.5 years away); B) To warn us regarding spiritual deception and persecution. The Copts in Egypt and the Assyrian Catholics have been living with this reality under Islam for years.
Bosco the Great said:
and he shall exalt himself to such a height of arrogance as to attempt changing the very laws of God and the sacred rites as well. He will also lift himself up against all that is called God, subjecting all religion to his own authority.
Who does that sound like to you?
The Cc changed the Sabbath from sat to sunday. the Sabbath is still Saturday, but the CCsaid it was the mark of its power to do so.
God says keeping the Sabbath is a mark of his people.
Then, the head of the CC takes the name of god…the Holy Father.
And they shall be delivered into his hand for a time, and times, and half a time.”
this equals 1260 yrs. My time might be wrong, but some council happened in 536 or there abouts, which establishd the CC, and then my hero Napoleon took that sod Pope captive in 1798…this was 1260 yrs to the day. the CC was finishd. It no longer could oppress the saints. But its deadly wound was healed in 1929 by that fathead Mussolini.
The official position of the CC is that everything in Rev has already happened, except for the judgment. that’s the way they explain away the description of the CC in cpt 16 and 17. it also keeps them from waking up screaming in the middle of the nite. In their haste to “say it aint so” they forget that the prophesies are for the end times, not 2000 yrs ago..
All right, Bosco. Which 1260 year period?
“If the papal power, as a horn or temporal power, be intended here, which is most likely, (and we know that that power was given in 755 to Pope Stephen II. by Pepin, king of France), counting one thousand two hundred and sixty years from that, we are brought to a.d. 2015, about one hundred and ninety years from the present [a.d. 1825]. But I neither lay stress upon nor draw conclusions from these dates. If the Church of Rome will reform itself, it will then be the true Christian Church, and will never be destroyed. Let it throw aside all that is ritually Jewish, all that is heathen; all that which pretends to be of God, and which is only of man, all doctrines that are not in the Bible; and all rites and ceremonies which are not of the appointment of Christ and his apostles; and then, all hail the once Roman, but now, after such a change, the Holy, Catholic Church! Every true Protestant would wish rather the reform than the extinction of this Church.”
“Prop. 1. The 2300 prophetick days did not commence before the rise of the little horn of the He Goat.
2 Those day [sic] did not commence a[f]ter the destruction of Jerusalem & ye Temple by the Romans A.[D.] 70.
3 The time times & half a time did not commence before the year 800 in wch the Popes supremacy commenced
4 They did not commence after the re[ig]ne of Gregory the 7th. 1084
5 The 1290 days did not commence b[e]fore the year 842.
6 They did not commence after the reigne of Pope Greg. 7th. 1084
7 The diffence [sic] between the 1290 & 1335 days are a parts of the seven weeks.
Therefore the 2300 years do not end before ye year 2132 nor after 2370. The time times & half time do n[o]t end before 2060 nor after  The 1290 days do not begin [this should read: end] before 2090 nor after 1374 [sic; Newton probably means 2374]”
“the best of calculators have failed in the latter: but seeing the time when he was made universal bishop by Phocas bids fair for the time of his open appearance, and the beginning of his reign, and of his blasphemy, which was in the year 859, to which, if we add 1260, the expiration of his reign will fall in the year 1866; so that he may have upwards of an hundred and twenty years yet to continue; but of this we cannot be certain; however, the conjecture is not improbable.”
How is it that you historicists can’t even AGREE on the duration of the reign of the Catholic Church?!?
Bosco the Great said:
I cant speak for those other guys.Uh, maybe 528 Ad. some council or another happened there for the CC. I forgot. maybe you know. Then in 1798, Napoleon took the pope captive and he died in paris in jail. that was the official end of the reign of terror by the papacy. One of its heads was wounded unto death. but it continued to live. When Mussolini gave the Vatican back its state, the headlines went like this…”The Wounds are healed” . Its deadly wound was healed.Now, instead of just burning ppl to death, it kills with demonic doctrine that sends its flock to the pits of hell. it bars the way to salvation thru Christ and throws some queen of heaven in the way and a bunch of catholic saints. the faithful cling to them, all the way down.
The beast in Revelation is healed BEFORE it wreaks havoc on the world for 42 months. Nice try.
Here you go Bosco. I found something helpful for you:
“time … times and … dividing of time—one year, two years, and half a year: 1260 days (Re 12:6, 14); forty-two months (Re 11:2, 3). That literally three and a half years are to be the term of Antichrist’s persecution is favored by Da 4:16, 23, where the year-day theory would be impossible. If the Church, moreover, had been informed that 1260 years must elapse before the second advent, the attitude of expectancy which is inculcated (Lu 12:38; 1Co 1:7; 1Th 1:9, 10; 2Pe 3:12) on the ground of the uncertainty of the time, would be out of place. The original word for “time” denotes a stated period or set feast; or the interval from one set feast to its recurrence, that is, a year [Tregelles]; Le 23:4, “seasons”; Le 23:44, “feasts.” The passages in favor of the year-day theory are Eze 4:6, where each day of the forty during which Ezekiel lay on his right side is defined by God as meaning a year. Compare Nu 14:34, where a year of wandering in the wilderness was appointed for each day of the forty during which the spies searched Canaan; but the days were, in these two cases, merely the type or reason for the years, which were announced as they were to be fulfilled. In the prophetic part of Nu 14:34 “years” are literal. If the year-day system was applied to them, they would be 14,400 years! In Eze 4:4-6, if day meant year, Ezekiel would have lain on his right side forty years! The context here in Da 7:24, 25, is not symbolical. Antichrist is no longer called a horn, but a king subduing three out of ten kings (no longer horns, Da 7:7, 8). So in Da 12:7, where “time, times, and half a time,” again occurs, nothing symbolic occurs in the context. So that there is no reason why the three and a half years should be so. For the first four centuries the “days” were interpreted literally; a mystical meaning of the 1260 days then began. Walter Brute first suggested the year-day theory in the end of the fourteenth century. The seventy years of the Babylonian captivity foretold by Jeremiah (Jer 25:12; 29:10) were understood by Daniel (Da 9:2) as literal years, not symbolical, which would have been 25,200 years! [Tregelles]. It is possible that the year-day and day-day theories are both true. The seven (symbolical) times of the Gentile monarchies (Le 26:24) during Israel’s casting off will end in the seven years of Antichrist. The 1260 years of papal misrule in the name of Christ may be represented by three and a half years of open Antichristianity and persecution before the millennium. Witnessing churches may be succeeded by witnessing individuals, the former occupying the longer, the latter the shorter period (Re 11:3). The beginning of the 1260 years is by Elliott set at A.D. 529 or 533, when Justinian’s edict acknowledged Pope John II to be head of the Church; by Luther, at 606, when Phocas confirmed Justinian’s grant. But 752 is the most likely date, when the temporal dominion of the popes began by Pepin’s grant to Stephen II (for Zachary, his predecessor’s recognition of his title to France), confirmed by Charlemagne. For it was then first that the little horn plucked up three horns, and so became the prolongation of the fourth secular kingdom [Newton]. This would bring us down to about A.D. 2000, or the seventh thousand millenary from creation. But Clinton makes about 1862 the seventh millenary, which may favor the dating from A.D. 529.”
-Jamieson-Faussett-Brown Bible Commentary
I honestly am unaware of anything historically significant happening for the Papacy in the year 538 (I believe the year you are looking for). I have found sources saying that is when Justinian I re-captured Rome and placed the Papacy in power in Rome, however, they are mostly conspiracy theorist websites which I do not trust. Associated with the SDA church. I’d stay far away from their stuff.
Also, seriously, get better at interpreting the Bible. The beast is fatally wounded prior to its coming into power. This interpretation is often overlooked by more recent historicists.