Daniel 8 Outline
– The vision of a ram and goat (Daniel 8:1-14)
– Gabriel told Daniel about the vision’s meaning (Daniel 8:15-27)
Daniel 8 Bible Study
When King Belshazzar was reigning in the third year, God gave Daniel a vision. In the vision, Daniel was in the citadel of Susa in Elam. Daniel was near the Ulai Canal when he saw a ram in front. The ram has two horns. One of the horns is longer than the other. The longer horn grows up later than the shorter horn. The ram charged against the west, south and north. It is so powerful that no animal can overcome it.
All of a sudden. a goat appeared from the west. The goat has a powerful horn in between its eyes. The goat conquered the ram and defeated it. The two horns of the ram was shattered into pieces during the attack. When the goat is at the peak of its power, the horn became broken. After the horn was broken, four horns grow up in its place. Another horn grown out of one of the four horns. The horn grow to the south, east and toward the pleasant land. It also grow towards the heaven and throw down some of the stars. It took away God’s daily sacrifice. The rebellion’s of God’s people caused the daily sacrifice to be given to it. It managed to prosper in whatever it did and the truth was thrown down.
Daniel heard a saint saying how long will it take for th evision to be fulfilled. Another saint reply that there will be two thousand and three hundred days until the sanctuary will be cleansed.
Daniel was thinking about the meaning of the dream when he heard the voice of a man called Gabriel. The messenger, Gabriel, told Daniel that the vision he had seen is concerned about the end time. As he spoke to Daniel, Daniel lie face down and prostrate on the ground. However, he set Daniel upright. According to the messenger, the two horns on the ram represent the kings of Media and Persia. The goat represents the king of Grecia. The horn in between the eyes represents the first king.
After the first king died, four kingdoms will be established. During the latter time, an evil king wll rise to power. The evil king will destroy the holy people. he will use peace to destroy many of God’s people. He will wage war against the Prince of princes. The messenger told Daniel that it will be a long time before the vision came to be fulfilled. After Daniel saw the vision, he fainted and became ill. He rested for several days before he continued about his duty.
The ram that has two horns is the Medo-Persian Empire. The shorter horn is Medes while the longer horn is Persia. The longer horn represents the increasing dominion of the Persian Empire. The Persian empire arose later than the Medes empire. The goat that conquered the ram is Alexander the Great’s Greek empire. The goat touched not the ground means Alexander will conquer the vast area of the world within a relatively short time. The breaking of the ram’s horns shows that both parts of the Medo-Persian Empire will be destroyed by Alexander.
Alexander died when he was at the peak of his career. Alexander was 33 years old when he died. After Alexander the Great died, his kingdom was divided between 4 generals including Ptolemy I, Seleucus, Lysimachus Asia Minor and Antipater. Ptolemy I controlled Egypt and several areas of Asia Minor. Seleucus controlled Babylonia, Syria, Israel and Mesopotamia. Lysimachus Asia Minor controlled Thrace and a few regions in Asia Mnor. Antipator was in charge of Macedon and Greece.
The little horn that arose out of the four horns is Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus Epiphanes conquered Egypt in the south and took over many regions. He also conquered Syria, Babylon and Armenia in the east. The pleasant land is referred to Judea because the temple of God was located in the region. Antiochus Epiphanes persecuted many people of God including the priests and others whose names are written in the Book. He not only persecuted the people of God but he also persecuted God. He robbed the sacred utilities used in the holy service from the temple of God. The holy angel said to another angel how long will Antiochus Epiphanes continue to persecute the people of God. The other angel replied that it will take 2,300 days until the temple of Jerusalem is rebuilt and the Jewish religion reestablished among the Jews.
Daniel was seeking for a greater understanding of the prophesy when the angel Gabriel, in the image of man, appeared in front of him. Daniel heard a man’s voice, which is from Christ, to ask the angel Gabrial to explain the prophecy. When the angel Gabriel came near, Daniel couldn’t bear the glory. He used the phrase son of man to remind Daniel that he is a fragile human being. He told Daniel that the prophecy will not be fulfilled in his lifetime.
Daniel was in a deep sleep when the angel Gabriel spoke to him. The angle just touched him once and he immediately recovers his strength. This indicates that the power of the angel is significantly greater than man. In the latter days, God will use Antiochus to pronounce judgment on the Jewish people. At the height of the Jewish kingdom, they will experience declination. When the sins of the Jews have grown to full extent, God will sent Antiochus to oppress and torture them with cruelty. He will oppose God’s laws by profaning the temple; and establishing images of pagan gods in the temple. Without hand means he will die of a disease.