There have been many people who have been speculated to have been the Antichrist throughout history. Nero, Hitler, and Stalin are but three who have been considered by some to be the Antichrist. And indeed any unpopular non-Christian politician is likely to be called the Antichrist by some people. The point of this article is not to speculate on any person but rather look at scripture.
There is one verse in the Bible which would seem to indicate that the Antichrist will be a Roman. In the midst of Daniel’s “seventy sevens” in Daniel 9, there is a short description about what will happen in the final “seven” after the period of seven sevens and sixty sevens has been completed.
26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
It’s easy to miss the Antichrist’s identity in these verses even after reading it. Here’s what we know for certain: the Anointed One is Jesus and He has been put to death. This happened right after the sixty sevens which concluded on Palm Sunday when Jesus entered Jerusalem.
Verse 27 seems pretty clear that Daniel is discussing the Antichrist and what he will do during the final “seven” which we also call the tribulation.
In between those two ideas we have one sentence to give us the identity or at least the nationality of the Antichrist. “The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” Based on verse 27 that follows it, the “ruler who will come” would appear to be the Antichrist. Who are his people?
The Antichrist’s people are those who destroyed the city and the sanctuary. In 70 AD the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, fulfilling Jesus’ prediction that not one stone would remain atop another. The gold in the temple melted and ran between the cracks in the stone. The Romans pried apart each and every stone of the temple to retrieve the gold.
For these reasons it can be derived from these verses that the Antichrist will be Roman. This comes with a caveat though. We cannot be sure if Roman meets the narrow definition of the city of Rome (or country of Italy) today or whether it meets the broader definition of the land that encompassed the Roman Empire of Christ’s day.
Likewise, the end times will see a Revived Roman Empire. Some see this being fulfilled through the European Union today (formed by the Treaty of Rome in 1960) but the truth is we have no way of knowing. The Revived Roman Empire may or may not incorporate the same area that the ancient empire did. Thus it could be possible to be “Roman” and not even be from a territory that originally made up the old empire.
There is also a possibility that the Revived Roman Empire is not even a literal Roman Empire but rather a new one that is built upon the same ideals of democracy. In such a case, some point to the United States as possibly fulfilling the position of the Revived Roman Empire. The nation was built on Roman principles of democracy and even its architecture is decidedly Roman with its columns and domes.
For these reasons we can say that the Antichrist will be Roman but we might not be able to truly pinpoint his country of origin. The most literal reading of these verses would have the Antichrist coming from Rome or at least Italy but there is certainly room for interpretation which would allow him to arise from many other locations as well.