The Dream :(v 1-4)
" In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, ... 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. 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.."
The Interpratation :(v 20)
" The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.." The coalition government of Media and Persia were to form the next world empire although Persia was the strongest of the two represented here by "one was higher than the other".
The Dream :(v 5-7)
" And as I was considering, behold, an he goat 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. 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.."
The Interpratation :(v 21)
" And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king ." The next kingdom to arise was that of greece with it's "great horn" Alexander "The Great". In spite of the medo/persians putting a 5 million man army in the field, Alexander, with his 500,000 made relatively short work of conquering and becoming the 5th world empire.
The Dream :(v 8)
" Therefore the he goat waxed very 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."
The Interpratation :(v 21-22)
" 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." At the very young age of 33, Alexander dies, leaving his empire to be ruled by his four generals who divided it in four equal parts, East, West, North and South.
After receiving this prophetic vision Daniel was in a quandary ( a state of perplexity or doubt - Webster's ) as to it's meaning and so in verses 15,16,17 and 19 it is made clear.
" And I heard a man's voice... which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.So he came near where I stood: and ...he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. 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.."
Here the angel says that we are to "understand" and that it is destined for "the time of the end", which will be "at the time appointed". If we are to remember our opening lesson study on The EndTime, Matthew 24, Jesus made it quite clear that there was definetly a time-line to be followed, or if you prefer, that things would happen at the time appointed and not before.
This chapter 8 of Daniel is probably the simplest of the prophetic visions to understand as it is, in large part, self-explaining. We are told explicitly what the ram and horns are, what the he goat is and who the great horn is. All of this information is now fully supported by the benefit of history for us, but at the time Daniel has no such reference to depend upon for clarity. The rest of the prophetic vision is equally simple when viewed in context with what we have already covered in former lessons.
This is now where this prophecy leaves the time-frame it is in and jumps into the far future to the Time of the End.
The Dream :(v 9-12)
" And out of one of them came forth a little horn, 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.."
The Interpratation :
We must remember that we are now bouncing out of the Grecian world empire where the "kingdom" was separated into four parts and given to Alexander's four generals. This is where we are when it says that "out of one of them" meaning that out of the remnants of one of the sections of the Grecian empire would come "a little horn".
This "little horn" is representative of the upcoming anti-christ, a demon-posessed world leader, to whom shall be given the power and authority to "cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamp upon them". This will be seen again in a further study on the book of Revelations where it is said,"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." (Rev 13:7) This we have already seen in the lesson on the Two Prophets and how it is only the anti-christ that will be able to overpower and destroy these two powerful witnesses.
This "little horn" will take away the daily sacrifice and break the covenant, as we have seen in previous lessons, and his "host/army" will "cast down the truth to the ground". He will even be so bold as to vaunt himself greater than God Himself. " Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all." (Da 11:37) And cause as many as would not worship him to be killed. (see Rev 13:15)
The Dream :(v 23-24)
"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."
The Interpratation :
As mentioned above, this is talking about the anit-christ and how he will operate "not by his own power" but by that of the devil himself incarnated into this person, which will permit him to "destroy the holy people" (true believing Christians)
It becomes more and more difficult to understand why some people teach that believers will not have to go through the "Tribulation" as the Bible is quite clear that this period of history is specifically designed to apply to the believers. It certainly will weed out all those who are only half hearts or wolves in sheep clothing huh?
***This concludes our lesson on Daniel chapter 8, our 8th lesson on the EndTime. Be sure that you have followed these lessons in chronological order as they are intended to paint a clear and simple to understand picture of what the Bible says about The EndTime. ***