Daniel 8

The Ram and the He-Goat

 Lorraine Day, M.D.


1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me, Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.

“The vision of Daniel’s eighth chapter, as well as the one in the ninth chapter, occurred at a notable crises in the world’s affairs.  The third year of Belshazzar was his last.  It marked the close of the Babylonian empire and the rise of the Persian.  The golden head of the image passes into history, hence is not in view any longer.  At that time arises Medo-Persia, represented by the silver chest and arms.  Then the vision runs parallel to the remainder of the image. . .

“Daniel himself is now given a vision of the political course of events, especially as it concerns the time of the end.  He is not shown the glory of the kingdoms by the metallic image of a man as Nebuchadnezzar had seen it, but he is almost exclusively concerned with their violent, destructive side, as figured by horns.  Only the world conquerors are brought before him, first generals, and then the inferior horn of the time of the end.  The many other great conquerors, even Rome, are ignored, because, having boundaries, they were limited in their scope, hence not comparable to the coming Kingdom of Christ.  In the seventh chapter Daniel saw the equivalent of the lawless one over the nations.  In the eighth it is the antichrist, as the false messiah.  With his eye longing for the true Anointed, this is the saint’s-eye view of earth’s political history.

“In the metallic image we have the political picture of the earth during Israel’s apostasy.  In the four animals we have the religious developments among the unbelieving nations.  Now Daniel views these political and religious developments again, but from the standpoint of a Believer.”  Concordant Studies in the Book of Daniel, p 258.

2 And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass. When I saw, that I was at Shushan (Susa) in the palace (citadel), which is the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.

“The place in which a vision is seen accords with its contents, even as the time when it is given.  The great metallic image was seen in Babylon, the center of world government, under the head of gold.  Now that the new world power is about to appear, Daniel is found in its chief city, Shushan.

“The river Ulai is generally thought to be an artificial canal, because of its root in the Syriac language, in which this portion was written.”  Ibid.

3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.

4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.


20 The Ram which you saw possessing the two horns, is the kingdom of Media and Persia.

“The Medo-Persian empire seems to be reckoned as being centered, at it s commencement, where Daniel received his vision, that is, at Shushan, southeast of Babylon.  Media was to the north.  It is usually supposed that the Persian was the superior element in the combination, but as a horn, the Median army may have been the more powerful, as the Medes lived among the mountains and were somewhat hardier than their lowland neighbors.” 

“A lamb is one of the most harmless of animals, but a male sheep, a ram, may give a most powerful blow.  Indeed, the name has been used figuratively for all sorts of butting instruments, including the tremendous battering rams used anciently for making a breach in walls and fortifications.  Such is the animal to which the second great world empire is likened.  For two centuries it battered its way westward in the conquest of Babylonia, Lydia (Asia Minor), and Greece; northward to subdue Armenia, Scythia, the Caspian district, and Bactria; and southward over Ethiopia, Egypt and Lybia.  Thus it won its place as a world empire.”  Ibid, p 259, 260.

5 And as I was considering, behold, a he-goat came from the west across the surface of the earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes.

6 and he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him with furious power.

7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with rage against him, and attacked the ram, and broke his two horns; and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and trampled upon him; and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.

8 Then the he-goat magnifies himself unto excess:


21 The hairy he-goat is the kingdom of Greece.  The great horn which is between its eyes, it is the first king.

“Now the picture changes slightly.  Beside the ram we see a hairy he-goat.  In place of the ram’s unequal horns he had an unnatural outgrowth between his eyes, a most dangerous weapon for an animal that butts with its head.  Added to this is the speed with which he skims over the earth, so swift that he does not even touch the ground.  In his mad fury he smites the ram and breaks his horns; he flings him down and tramps upon the once all-powerful, but now helpless and deserted ram.

“A more vivid presentation of the conquest of Alexander the Great could not be given.  The Medo-Persian empire was the result of centuries of warfare.  In contrast to this, Alexander’s career was only about thirteen years in duration.  No wonder it is pictured as possessing a speed unknown before.  With about forty thousand soldiers Alexander defeated at Granicus and again at Arbela, an army overwhelmingly superior.  He marched to India on the east and Egypt on the west, and so settled the score for the invasion of Greece years before.  Thus he ended the Medo-Persian empire.  He took both Shushan and Babylon, and sighed because there were no more worlds for him to conquer.”  Ibid, p 262


and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and instead of it came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.


22 When it is being broken, standing up are four in its stead;  Four kingdoms from his nation are standing up, yet not with his vigor.

After Alexander’s death, his empire finally fell into the hands of four of his generals.  Syria was taken by one, Egypt by another, Asia Minor (Turkey/Khazaria) by a third, and Macedonia by the fourth.  These were military powers, hence are figured by horns.”

The little (or inferior) horn is described as a king of strong presence (literal translation - Daniel 8:23). 

9 And out of one of them came forth a little (inferior) horn that grew exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the glorious land.


23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgression comes to an end, standing up is a king of strong presence and understanding problems.

“We have now arrived at the critical point in the vision where the past gives way to the future.  This is not very clear in the vision, but unmistakable in the explanation.  We are shifted to the latter time of the kingdom.  Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews, finds the fulfillment in the career of Antiochus Epiphanes about 408 years after it was given to Daniel. . . But the greatest of all the prophets, the Lord Jesus Christ, conclusively and finally quashed this interpretation when, in His day, He spoke of the abomination of desolation that is declared through Daniel, the prophet, as a future event (Matt 24:15). . .

“The inferior horn is described as a king of strong (or commanding) presence (Dan 8:23).  The KJV has “fierce countenance.”  This has led to much mistaken speculation.  As each succeeding “antichrist” is brought forward, an attempt is made to give him a fierce facial expression.”  Ibid p 263, 264

10 He grew great, even unto the host of the heavens, and cast to the earth is one from the host, and one from the stars also trampled on them. 

11 Yes, he exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host, and because of him, the daily (Temple) sacrifice (continuous ritual) was taken away, and flung down is all that pertains to the site of His sanctuary.

12 And the horn is given a host for trespassing against the continuous ritual; thus he cast down the truth to the ground.  And he does this and prospers.

“Cast to the earth is one from the host,” can mean no one other than Satan.  He was from heaven and was referred to as one of the stars of heaven.  He tramples on the saints, exalts himself as high as God, does everything possible to take away the true worship of God, and casts to the grown all the truth about God’s temple (His people.)

The “horn,” which is obviously the Beast power of Revelation 13, tramples on the true followers of Christ.  He “does this and prospers.”  It is no secret that the Beast power – the Zionist Jews – are “prosperous” in human-money terms.


 24 And his power shall be mighty, but not of his own power; and he shall destroy fearfully, and shall prosper, and deal.

 25 And through his cunning also he shall cause craft (deceit) to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and with ease (literal translation) will he ruin many.  He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; yet at the limit of his hand he shall be broken.

Again, a perfect description of the Beast Power of Revelation 13, the Zionist Jews – cunning, deceitful, will ruin many, will stand up against Jesus Christ, but will eventually be broken.  The “abomination of desolation” takes the place of divine worship.  The plan of the Jewish Zionists is to eliminate the worship of the true God – Jesus Christ – and institute the worship of themselves and the worship of the dragon – Satan – from whom they get their authority.  (See Revelation studies – particularly “Revelation 13 – the Two Beasts” and “What is the Mark of the Beast?”)

“What better comparison could be given to show the extent of the power and glory given to the horn?  Satan, a leader among the heavenly host in opposition to God, had been given all authority on earth.  Our Lord did not dispute his claim when he said that all the authority and glory of all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth had been given up to him, and that he could give it to whomsoever he willed.  (Luke 4:5,6)  Now he, Satan, gives it to the “horn,” and, as a consequence, it is as great in the earth as the one whom it represents. 

“From being an inferior horn, it becomes the most marvelous of all the military powers the earth has ever seen, with the backing of all the powers of darkness, just as the Messiah will have behind Him the unlimited power of God in the Kingdom.”  Ibid p 268

In verse 12 we read that the “horn” trespasses against the “continual ritual” or, according to the King James Version, the “daily sacrifice” and “casts truth to the ground” and he “did all this and prospered.”

The “continuous ritual” or “daily sacrifice” obviously refers to the true worship of God by the true followers of God.  This “horn” will attempt to destroy all true worship of God and the true followers of Jesus Christ.  This obviously will be a popular quest for the “horn” power, The Zionist Jews, because the “horn” “did all this and prospered!”

Let us note carefully that there is no fighting spoken of at this time. . .  The “horn” will offer the people of the earth peace on advantageous terms.  This will be the ruin of many, for they will be receiving the Mark of the Beast and will worship him (Rev. 13:15).  Peace at the price he offers is the most expensive and ruinous bargain ever made by a Believer.  In that day those who take Daniel to heart will beware of peace on such terms. . .

“When he has concentrated in his hands all the authority of the spirit powers as well as all financial, political, and religious might on earth, so that no more can be added, then is the time for God to show what all this amounts to in contrast to the authority of Jesus Christ.  No more impressive or effective object lesson could be given to the universe than the instantaneous overthrow of the greatest confederation of evil ever formed just when this is at its best.”  Ibid, p 271,272

13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint that spoke, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily temple sacrifice, and the transgression making desolate to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?

The saints are asking for clarification regarding how long will the Truth of God and those who follow it, be trodden under foot?  How long will it take to set things right?

14 And he said unto me, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days (evening-mornings); then shall the sanctuary (temple) be set right.”

We know that the “sanctuary” (temple) symbolizing the worship of the true God by His true followers, as well as God’s perfect plan of salvation, cannot be “set right” until Jesus comes, or possibly not even until the final consummation.  (See Does “Forever” Really Mean Forever?)  Therefore the ending of this 2,300 days has to be either at the Second Coming of Christ OR at the Final Consummation – AFTER the Judgment and AFTER ALL have reaped what they have sown, and ALL have turned to Christ.

Many Bible scholars believe that this period of time in “days” is really prophetic years.

Therefore, if the last eon is 1,000 years (See  Does “Forever” Really Mean Forever? )

However, if this time period, 2300 evening-mornings, is in literal days, it is 6 years and 4 1/2 Mo.

It is important to study ALL the prophetic time periods in Daniel and Revelation together, as they, most likely, are all related to each other.

In the next four Chapters of Daniel (Chapters, 9, 10, 11, 12), we will study the following time periods to learn a) the time when each ends, b) why different phrases are used to describe the time periods, i.e. “evening-mornings,” “weeks,” “months” and “days,” and c) if and how each time period relates to the others.

1. 2300 evening-mornings – Daniel 8:14
70 weeks – Daniel 9:24-27
1260 days – Revelation 11:3; 12:6
42 months – Revelation 11:2; 13:5
for a time, times, and half a time, Rev. 12:14
1290 days – Daniel 12:11
1335 days – Daniel 12:12

When we study through to the end of the book of Daniel, we then can learn more of these time periods and how they inter-relate.

15 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me  one having the appearance of a man.

16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.

17 So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall the vision come to pass.

Daniel is told that this vision is for the far future – for the time of the end – possibly the time we are living in right now!

18 Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep with my face toward the ground; but he touched me, and stood me upright.

19 And he said, Behold, I will let thee know what shall be in the latter time of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.

God has an appointed time for everything, but He has promised to give us a lot of information beforehand so we can grasp when the time of His return is near.

(Verses 20-25 have already been included in the text above.)

26 And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore seal thou up the vision; for it refers to many days in the future.

This vision was not for Daniel to understand, for it concerned the distant future – the time of the end.

27 And I Daniel, fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.

© Lorraine Day, M.D. 2006. All Rights Reserved.
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