Loading

Daniel Eight

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Daniel 8:1 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.

In the third year. At this point in his book, Daniel returns again to using the Hebrew language rather than Aramaic, presumably because by this time (the third year of Belshazzar), his influence with the leaders of Babylon had become minimal and he was writing mainly for his own people of Judah. However, his later experience in the lion's den during the reign of Darius, as recorded in Daniel 6, was again written in Aramaic, probably as a testimony to Darius and his Persian nobles, as well as to the Babylonians remaining in the city. The Persians were probably fluent in the language of the Chaldeans. It is noteworthy that Daniel's visions as recorded in Daniel 7, 8, 9, and probably those in Daniel 10, 11, 12 as well, were given and probably recorded before the history account in Daniel 6.

Daniel 8:2 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.

Shushan. Daniel was translated in his vision to the capital of Persia even before the Persians had conquered Babylon. Furthermore, his vision then prophesied the eventual defeat of Persia by Greece, as well as the still more distant break-up of the Grecian empire. It is not surprising that those who deny supernatural divine inspiration must try to assign the book of Daniel to a later period.

Daniel 8:3 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.

two horns. The ram is Medo-Persia, with the higher horn representing Persia and the lower Media (Daniel 8:20).

Daniel 8:4 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.

no beasts might stand. When this was written, Babylonia was still dominant, but the Medo-Persians were rising, and Daniel saw that, eventually, not even Babylon could stand against them.

Daniel 8:5 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.

he goat. This “he-goat” represents the Greek empire (Daniel 8:21), which Daniel prophesied would eventually conquer the Medo-Persian empire, just as he had prophesied the latter would conquer the Babylonian empire. These events, of course, came to pass as predicted. The fact that the ram is Medo-Persia and the goat is Greece provides further indication that the bear and leopard in Daniel 7 were not these two kingdoms, as many take them to be, but rather two great kingdoms of the end-times.

notable horn. This “notable horn” on the goat is said to be the “first king” of the future conquering Greek empire (Daniel 8:21)—none other than the famous Alexander the Great, whose conquests were so swift that it seemed like his legions “touched not the ground” as they advanced.

Daniel 8:6 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.

Daniel 8:7 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.

Daniel 8:8 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.

great horn was broken. Alexander, fully as arrogant as Nebuchadnezzar had been, boasted of his exploits and complained that there were no more worlds to conquer, then soon died as a dissolute young man.

four notable ones. This unlikely prophecy was fulfilled when Alexander's four generals divided up his kingdom after his death. Ptolemy took over the southern parts of his empire, Lysimachus the northern, Cassander the western, and Seleucus the eastern.

Daniel 8:9 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.

little horn. This “little horn” is evidently the same as the “little horn” of Daniel 7:8, the Beast of the end-times, also known as the Antichrist. He cannot be (as some expositors believe) Antiochus Epiphanes, one of the Syrian kings in the dynasty established by Seleucus. Although he did manifest the character of an antichrist, Antiochus did not become as great as “the host of heaven” (Daniel 8:10) or do the other things described in Daniel 8:10-14 and Daniel 8:22-25. When Gabriel interpreted the vision to Daniel, he said specifically that it was “the time of the end” (Daniel 8:17).

Daniel 8:10 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.

waxed great. This person, said specifically to come forth out of one of the four divisions of Alexander's empire, must be possessed and energized by Satan himself, for in no other way could he be said to wax as great as “the host of heaven,” a term used throughout the Bible only for either stars or angels or both. In the New Testament, he is called “that man of sin ... the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3), and it is clear that when men worship him as he demands, they actually are worshiping Satan (Revelation 13:4).

Daniel 8:11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.

the daily sacrifice. The statements of this passage could only be literally applied to Satan, who brought down many of the angelic “stars” with him when he “magnified himself” against God. Further, he will (through his possessed “son”) take away the daily sacrifice in the restored temple during the tribulation period (see Daniel 9:27; 11:31; Matthew 24:15).

Daniel 8:12 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 practiced, and prospered.

Daniel 8:13 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?

Daniel 8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

two thousand and three hundred days. According to the interchange between the two “saints” (Daniel 8:13), who were evidently two holy angels, the sanctuary which was desolated by the replacement of the daily sacrifice by the image of the beast (Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11) will be purged and cleansed 2300 days later. But also see Daniel 12:11, 12. There are many things that must happen in that seven-year period, at the very climax of history.

Daniel 8:15 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 as the appearance of a man.

Daniel 8:16 And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.

Daniel 8:17 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 be the vision.

Daniel 8:18 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.

Daniel 8:19 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.

Daniel 8:20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.

Daniel 8:21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

Daniel 8:22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.

Daniel 8:23 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.

dark sentences. This dark king, learned in occultism and lying wonders, possessed and controlled by the devil, will arise “in the latter time.” There have been many antichrists, but the great Antichrist has not yet arisen.

Daniel 8:24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.

destroy the mighty and holy people. He will not only stop Jewish sacrifices but will attempt genocide on the entire chosen people.

Daniel 8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

shall be broken. When He finally confronts Christ, he will quickly be “broken without hand,” simply by “the breath of His lips” (Isaiah 11:4).

Daniel 8:26 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.

Daniel 8:27 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.