Daniel 8

Last Updated: 04/29/2021 21:13    | Print This Page | |

Two years after Daniel’s vision in chapter 7, he is shown another vision that covers the history of Alexander the Great’s conquests over Medo-Persia some 300 years in Daniel’s future and what happens to Alexander’s kingdom when he dies. It shows the historic split of Alexander’s kingdom upon his death and the subsequent rise of a ruler from the Syrian Seleucid Empire, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who is a foreshadow of the future man of sin, the antichrist.

Daniel 8
1-2: 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. And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.

3-4: Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: [kings of Media & Persia] and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. 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.

5-8: And as I was considering, behold, an he goat [king of Grecia ~ Alexander the Great] came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. [the first king] And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. Therefore the he goat waxed very great: [Alexander the Great] and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. [His four generals split the kingdom]

9-12: And out of one of them came forth a little horn, [Antiochus IV Epiphanes came from the Seleucid Empire of Syria] which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered. [First abomination of desolation]

13-14: Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days (2300); then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

The 2300 Day Prophecy of Daniel 8 - An examination of history and scripture to show the fulfillment of this prophecy ending with what is celebrated today as Chanukkah.

[Prophecy gone over again to explain symbols]
15-19: 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 as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. 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 be the vision. Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.

It should be recalled that when Daniel was given this prophecy, Israel was still held in captivity in Babylon. This prophecy tells the future from Daniel’s perspective but it isn’t until now at the time of the end that it hold much significance as we see prophecy given through history, often times not understood by those living in the times or just before them.

20-22: The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.

23-25: And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft [H4820 deceit] to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace [H7962 Security] shall destroy many: [Daniel 11:21] he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

I believe this is speaking of Antiochus IV Epiphanes from above. The context of this chapter is telling Daniel the time from the end of their captivity to the restoration of the temple celebrated today in Judaism as Chanukkah.

26-27: And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. 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.

Excerpts from The Persian Wars:

“The ram represents the Medo-Persian Empire. The longer horn that grew up later was the Persian side. The Medes were originally the dominant force but Cyrus quickly turned things around so that the Persians overwhelmed the Medes and claimed the Empire through shrewd political maneuvering.”

“The goat, representing the Greek Empire (also known as the Macedonian Empire) under Alexander, moved so fast it literally flew eastward. Alexander conquered the known world in just 11 years. The Persian king Xerxes had built a huge army numbering 2 million men whom he had trained for four years. Yet Alexander’s small army decimated the powerful Persian might with ferocity and innovative military tactics. The Persians were powerless to stand against the Greeks. Alexander died at the height of his power, of a sudden fever following a drunken party in Babylon at the age of 33. There were rumors that he was actually poisoned by Cassander, one of his generals. He was eventually succeeded by his four key generals [“four notable horns” - Daniel 8:8] who divided the kingdom among them after 22 years of infighting, murder, bribery and political chicanery.”

“In 330BC, Jaddua the high priest showed Alexander the Great Daniel chapter 8. Alexander was so impressed as he saw his military conquest of Persia laid out before him in a 200-year-old account that he not only spared the city but granted the Jews many concessions.”

I believe the vision of the ram and goat in Daniel 8 is clearly laying out history, in the future for Daniel, but for us verifiable in looking back at both Bible prophecy and history. This is one of those prophesies that validates the Truth of the Bible.

The story of Chanukkah begins in the reign of Alexander the Great. Alexander conquered Syria, Egypt and Palestine, but allowed the lands under his control to continue observing their own religions and retain a certain degree of autonomy. Under this relatively benevolent rule, many Jews assimilated much of Hellenistic culture, adopting the language, the customs and the dress of the Greeks, in much the same way that Jews in America today blend into the secular American society.

More than a century later, a successor of Alexander, Antiochus IV was in control of the region. He began to oppress the Jews severely, placing a Hellenistic priest in the Temple, massacring Jews, prohibiting the practice of the Jewish religion, and desecrating the Temple by requiring the sacrifice of pigs (a non-kosher animal) on the altar. -Link

I believe this was a foreshadow of the same kind of war on religious fundamentalism based on generalizing that any religion which doesn’t conform to common standards is an “enemy of the state” on a world-wide level. This could be implemented through the Alliance of Civilizations. With Antiochus, he attempted to get rid of Judaism just like it will be in the end-times with the war on religious fundamentalism. What I mean by fundamentalism is unwavering belief based on the core writings of whatever religion.

We’re already seeing this kind of animosity being built up against fundamentalist believers by the mainstream media, Hollywood and politics. If one is unwilling to adjust their beliefs to be more inclusive, thereby diluting and destroying the original belief, then they are considered unreasonable and eventually will be labeled as dangerous. Fundamentalist Islam has been one key in demonstrating how religious fundamentalism can be dangerous, it’s just another few steps to applying generalizations for an ignorant society to grab hold of and run with.

If Daniel 8:25 is actually talking about Antiochus IV, then as an antichrist himself and operating under the same spirit, I would expect the latter days antichrist to act much the same way, deceitful and ruthless in the end.

“During the latter part of the Seleucid dynasty, Antiochus III was succeeded by his son Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175 BC). In order to collect tributes, Seleucus IV sent his tax collector, Heliodorus, to rob the Jerusalem temple, however, Heliodorus engineered a conspiracy against Seleucus IV, killed him, and assumed interim Syrian leadership

Shortly before the death of Seleucus IV, his son Demetrius was sent to Rome, in a hostage trade for Antiochus IV, brother of Seleucus IV, who was previously captured by the Romans in a war with Antiochus III. Upon release from Rome, Antiochus IV traveled to Athens and secretly negotiated with the Romans, for the Seleucid throne. He convinced the Romans to keep Demetrius, the rightful heir to the throne in Rome, as a permanent hostage, in return for monetary tributes. As a part of the deal, the king of Pergamus, who was given a portion of the kingdom of Antiochus III by the Romans for assisting them in war against the Seleucid dynasty, expelled Heliodorus by force and placed Antiochus IV on the throne.

With the stoic face of a master poker player, and with his trickery, lies, and charlatanism, Antiochus IV Epiphanes finagled his way into control as ruler of the powerful kingdom of Syria and reigned from 175 BC to 164 BC. Taken for a mad man, Antiochus IV stole from the palace treasury and Jewish temples, rambled around in Roman officer disguise, and drank and caroused with people of the lowest rank.

In 170 BC, with relative ease, Antiochus IV attacked and overtook the Egyptian army, and then, he defeated the Egyptian navy. At one point, capable of destroying the commanders of the Egyptian army and masses of the population, Antiochus IV spared them and befriended several Egyptian cities in a blatant gesture of sycophancy, with the hope of persuading the young Egyptian king Ptolemy VI Philometer, who became his captured ward, to politically assist in the battle against the young king’s brother who headed the remainder of the uncaptured Egyptian forces stationed in the city of Alexandria.

Having risen to power after Seleucus IV, who was known for his consideration toward the Jews offering them many freedoms, Antiochus IV was absolutely ruthless in his treatment of the Jews, committing unfathomable abuse of the Jews. He deposed Onias the High-Priest and sold the priesthood to Jason, the younger brother of Onias for 440 talents of silver. Onias was subsequently killed by Andronicus, deputy to Antiochus IV in Antioch. In two incredible acts of viciousness, Antiochus IV became known throughout all future Jewish history for blatantly killing an old priest, Eleazar, on the torture wheel because he would not eat pork, and, for methodically dismembering to death, seven sons in the presence of their mother, and then the mother, for not eating pork sacrificed to Zeus Jupiter. Once while Antiochus IV was away at battle in Egypt, a false rumor spread that he was dead, sending Judea into revolt. Angered at his disloyal Jewish subjects, Antiochus IV returned to Jerusalem with his vast army and he indiscriminately killed 80,000 Jews from young to old, and sold another 40,000 Jews into slavery. He was a very evil human being.

As recorded in the Second Book of Maccabees, Chapter 9, God struck Antiochus IV down with an incurable pain in his bowels. Arrogantly acting as though unfazed by his illness, Antiochus IV was riding in a chariot when he fell out and his body was racked throughout. Living for a brief period, his body became so infected that flesh fell off his bones and produced an intolerable stench. Humbled by God, Antiochus IV died without dignity.” - Link broken