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Daniel & Revelation

Avoiding deep 'theological' language, the prophetic books speak their message in a way that all can understand. 

 "Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight." Luke 10:21

DANIEL 8

The Ram & the He-Goat

Audio MP3

PPS: The Ram and the He-Goat Daniel 8 

FURTHER STUDY: TDR: World Arraigned Before the Court of Heaven

8. Quiz and Summary:

 “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.” Daniel 8:1, 2

Two years have elapsed since Daniel’s previous vision. Daniel was now an old man. He had been in captivity a total of about fifty-five years; and as he was probably around sixteen or eighteen years of age when brought to Babylon, he would now be well over seventy. His vision about the four beasts in chapter 7 came to him while he was in bed, but this vision occurred while he was awake and in the palace.

“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. 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.” Daniel 8:3, 4

It was the third year of Belshazzar and Babylon had not yet fallen but so soon was that going to happen that it isn’t mentioned in this vision, like it was in the last one. Daniel sees a great ram with one of its horns higher than the other one. It is pushing with its horns west, north and south and nothing could stand before it. These are the directions Medo-Persia did go and in that order.

This ram is Medo-Persia, and as we look back in chapter 7, we see that the bear raised up on one side; so this ram had two horns and one was higher than the other. This was to show that the Persian part of the empire was stronger than the Medes, their partners. Like a cruel bully, the Medo-Persian ram charged “westward, northward and southward,” in that very order. (The three ribs)

Now here is something interesting; in the vision of the four beasts Daniel was shown the nations and what they would do to the world in general. But this vision is different, it shows what the nations will do to God’s people and his truth. We know this because the animals and symbols, rams and goats, in this new vision are found in the sanctuary services.

“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.” Daniel 8:5-7

There was the ram, who had conquered everything, standing there so proud. Then all at once came a he-goat with one big horn between his eyes, he went so fast he didn’t touch the ground. (Remember the leopard with the four wings?)
He ran right into the ram and knocked him down. He broke off his horns and stamped on him. That ram could do no more. Now this he-goat was the Greeks and the one big horn represented Alexander the Great, the leader who swiftly conquered the world. It is interesting that the Greeks did use a goat as one of their symbols just like Babylon did use a winged lion.

It seems Alexander the Great may have even been aware of the prophecy of Daniel. A ram and one-horned goat united, symbolizing the Persian and Macedonian kingdoms, and perhaps carved for Alexander the Great, was found on a signet gem now in the Florentine collection.

“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.” Daniel 8:8

Now we see that rough goat standing so powerful and proud, but something happens; while he is strong, the big horn is broken off, and four horns come up instead. Now we would not expect that to happen when the goat is strong, but remember, Alexander the Great died just after he had conquered the entire world.

His four Generals divided the empire between them, as he had no adult son to rule after him.  Actually his descendents were later murdered, so they could not claim the throne. The four horns like the four heads on the leopard, represented the four generals of Alexander the Great, which took over the kingdom following Alexander’s death. These were: Cassander, who had Greece and its area; Lysimachus, who had Asia-minor; Ptolemy, who had Egypt; and Seleucus, who had Syria and Babylon. 

At first there were many more generals fighting over the throne; but it boiled down to four. Much later, in the time of their descendents, there were only two left.

Doesn’t it make you feel safe to realize that God knows all what will happen before it does? And He never makes a mistake.

“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.” Daniel 8:9

Now I have to tell you a secret that many people that read prophecy don’t know. It makes a lot of difference to how we know what God is telling us in these prophecies. In some languages they have what is called ‘gender’. This means that words are considered either masculine or feminine. (Male or female) English does not have this like some languages have. In English if I say ‘his’ you know I mean a boy or male. If I say ‘hers’ you know I mean a girl or female. But if I say tree or house, you do not think of them as male or female; but in French, and Greek and Hebrew they do have gender, and we know by how the sentences are written if the word is masculine or feminine. This was written in Hebrew and so knowing the gender helps us to understand the meaning.

In verse 8 it talks about the four horns and these are masculine, then it talks about four winds and these are feminine.
Now in verse 9 it says ‘out of one of them’ and people think it means out of one of the horns, but it doesn’t, because in the sentence ‘them’ is feminine. It means out of one of the winds; out of one of the four winds, or the four directions in the world. The more we learn about Bible Prophecies, the more wonderful they are.

What we see here is Pagan Rome and how it conquered the world and also attacks God’s people.

“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.” Daniel 8:10

Now in this verse “it” changes to feminine with a religious aspect to it, Papal Rome persecuting God’s people. Remember the terrible fourth beast in Daniel 7? How it stamped with its feet? Now this is Papal Rome who here is seen stamping on God’s people and His truth. 

We can read this verse: “And it (feminine) became great even to the host of the heavens. And it (fem.) made fall to the ground (some) from the host and (some) from the stars and trampled them.”

It is interesting that here, as in other places in the Bible, the power behind the human power is also referred to; the one who cast down some of the host of heaven, (‘stars: meaning angels’), was Satan, and he was the spirit behind the persecuting power of both Pagan and Papal Rome.  But the terms ‘hosts of heaven’ and ‘stars’ also have a secondary application to God’s faithful martyrs, the persecution of which we read about in Daniel 7:21, 25.

“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.” Daniel 8:11

Now this verse is masculine again and shows Pagan Rome. Remember that Rome was ruling the Jews when Jesus was born. The Roman powers through Herod tried to kill Jesus even as a baby!

It was by Pagan Rome’s authority that Jesus, our Prince and Prince of the Heavenly Hosts of angels, was crucified. So we know this is Pagan Rome. Now in the next few verses we have the gender thing again. Pagan Rome is masculine and another power that follows it, is feminine, this is Papal Rome.

Now there is another fact in the Hebrew that affects our understanding of this verse. It is that there are two different words in Daniel translated into English as ‘take away’; one is ‘cuwr’ (soor) the other is ‘ruwm’ (room). cuwr means to take away but ruwm means actually to lift up and exalt. We see this in Daniel 11:12 where it is translated ‘lifted up’. There are only 2 places in the Bible where ruwm is translated as ‘take away’ and both ought to be ‘lift up’.
In this verse ruwm is repeated twice to show it was greatly lifted up and exalted. In Daniel 11:31 we see ‘taken away’ again but this time it is the work cuwr which really does mean ‘take away’.

The verse goes on: “and by him (Masculine) the daily {sacrifice} was taken away, and the place of his (Masculine) sanctuary was cast down.” The bolded part should read: “and through Pagan Rome, paganism was greatly lifted up and exalted, and the place of Pagan Rome’s sanctuary was cast down. Daniel 8:11.”

 You see that word ‘sacrifice’ in your Bible? It is put in italics in the King James translation. That means the word is not in the original Hebrew. The translators added it because they thought it should be there, but it does not belong there.
The word translated ‘Daily’ or ‘continuance’ here, refers to Paganism, which had been a continual desolating power throughout history. The translators got mixed up here because the word ‘ha-tamid’ in other parts of the Bible is an adjective, meaning ‘continual’ and often refers to the sanctuary services. But Daniel is the only place in scripture where the word is actually used as a noun.

Pagan Rome had a sanctuary in Rome, the pantheon,  where they kept all their heathen gods.  Every time Pagan Rome would conquer a country, they would bring back its idol-gods and add them to the Pantheon, where they could go and worship them all. They thought all these gods would certainly give them great power.

There is another way that pagan Rome greatly lifted up paganism, even to the Prince of the Host; they began to declare their Caesars were gods and forced people to worship them.

The biblical and historical records are clear and confirm that the one exalting himself to the Prince of the host is characterized by pagan Rome, the forerunner to papal Rome who inherited the same characteristics.

The last part of this verse is referring to Pagan Rome that the ‘place of its sanctuary’; the city of Rome, would be ‘cast down’ when it came to the end of its ‘time’ or 360 year rule: 31 BC - 330 AD. (See Daniel 11:24) After this time, the city of Rome was no longer the capitol of the Roman Empire, which was moved to Constantinople. This opened the way for the Papal power to become stronger.

“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.” Daniel 8:12

We can read this as: It (feminine) was given even a host against the daily by means of transgression. And it (feminine) cast down truth to the ground and it (feminine) worked and it (feminine) prospered.

This is a very interesting verse that we should take special notice of.  It is telling in a remarkable way the history of how Papal Rome was able to become the world-ruling power at the beginning of the 1260 day/years that it ruled. It says an ‘host’ was given him. (The Papacy) What was the ‘host’ that allowed this strange little-horn power to get control of the world?

“By reason of transgression”, what is this ‘transgression’ here? It is using the power of the State to enforce religious decrees. It is the Union of Church and State. Whenever and wherever it occurs, it is a terrible force for evil and God has forbidden it; but it is the secret of the power of the Papal See.

Up until this time, the nations of Europe were pagan, and had not been sympathetic to Roman Catholicism, but prophecy states that “arms shall stand on his part.” (Daniel 11:31) In fulfillment of this, Clovis, King of France, came to the military aid of the Papacy, and France became the first Catholic nation. Clovis dedicated his sword and his throne to the Papacy in 496, and soon the other six European kings did likewise.

Between that time and AD 508, by alliances, capitulations and conquests, the Arborici, the Roman garrisons in the West, Brittany, the Burgundians, and the Visigoths, were brought into subjection. So thus ‘the Daily’ had been taken out of the way and no longer impeded the Papal rise to power.

In the war against the three horns; the Ostrogoths, Vandals, and Heruli, we see that by 538 the last of them were driven from Rome, and soon eliminated, and the Papal horn was ruling the world.

“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; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”  Daniel 8:13, 14

 Now Daniel hears two heavenly beings talking about these cruel powers who were going to trample on God’s truth and His people and they ask “How long is this going to go on? How long will evil trample on the good?” The question is of duration of the vision and the word translated ‘vision’ here is ‘chazown’ (khaw-zone). This word means the entire vision.
Then the answer comes: “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Remember when Jesus was on earth, how He went into the temple and drove out the wicked ones who were disobeying God? Well this verse tells of a time that God had set from way back, and when that time would come, He would begin a special work that would lead to the end of all cruel and wicked powers. 

We learn that this time prophecy of 2300 days was to start when the decree was given to allow the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem. (see Daniel 9:25) This happened in 457 BC. 

In certain time prophecies a ‘day’ means a real year of time. So 2300 days mean 2300 years. When we figure out from 457 BC and add 2300 years it takes us to 1844. (Remember there is no year ‘0’ between BC and AD!) This was when Jesus went from the Holy Place in heaven to the Most Holy place, and began a special work called the ‘cleansing of the sanctuary’. We call it the ‘Investigative Judgment’ and it parallels the ‘Day of Atonement’ in the ancient Hebrew Sanctuary ceremonies.

Now what do all these big words mean to you and me? It means that God had set a time when He would begin to look at the lives all those who had claimed to be His people from the beginning of the earth. By looking at the records of their lives, He could find out if they really loved Him and were His children or not. Then all those who had really given their hearts to God, and believed on Him, and obeyed Him, would have their names kept in the Book of Life to be taken to heaven when Jesus comes.

The cruel little-horn power, also represented by the leopard-like beast of Revelation 13, claimed, and still claims to be God’s church. But in the judgment this power is being judged along, with all who have ever claimed to belong to the God of Heaven. 

The names of those who claimed to belong to God, but did not let Jesus change their selfish hearts and remove their sins, are taken out of the Book of Life and they will not be able to go home when Jesus comes; instead they will be destroyed.
All those cruel powers that claimed to be doing work for Jesus, while they were really killing and hurting God’s dear people, will not be kept in the Book of Life, unless they, like Paul, had repented and stopped doing this.
 It is good to know that God will only let the cruel and wicked things go on for a short while; soon Jesus will put an end to what hurts His dear children and take us home.  

“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.” Daniel 8:15-17

Daniel wanted to understand what all the things he was seeing in the vision meant, and so he asked. In verse 16 we see the angel Gabriel asked to explain it. Now in this verse there is a different Hebrew word that is translated ‘vision’. It is ‘mar’eh’, and it means a small part of the vision rather than ‘chazown’ which means the entire vision; sort of like a snapshot compared to a whole movie. Jesus was the one who asked the angel Gabriel to explain to Daniel what part of the vision meant.

Notice how Daniel was affected by the presence of these holy beings. Daniel is one of the few people in the Bible that there is no record made of his ever being unfaithful to the Lord; and yet even he falls helpless to the ground when Jesus speaks and the angel comes near. What do you think will happen to the wicked when Jesus returns in all His glory and all His angels?

Now Daniel knew that God had told the Prophet Jeremiah that the Jewish people would be kept in Babylon as slaves for 70 years, and then they would be allowed to return to Jerusalem. Daniel knew that soon those years would end and had been praying about it.

Gabriel then told Daniel that the whole vision, the ‘chazown’ would be at the time of the end of the world.

"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.” Daniel 8:18, 19

Gabriel strengthened Daniel here and helped him up. Then he told him that he would help him know what these things meant but that they were to happen at the time of the end, not in Daniel’s day.

The ‘last end of the indignation’ is referring to the end of the prophecy of the ‘Seven Times’ or 2520 years. The nation of Israel was divided, right after the reign of Solomon, who had lead the people into idol worship. There was then a Northern kingdom, the ten tribes, and a Southern kingdom, or Judah.

They both continued in idolatry, and the 2520 curse began first with the Northern tribes in 723 BC, when Hoshea was taken into captivity by Assyria, and second with Judah in 677 BC, when Manasseh was captured.

Another name for these Seven Times is the ‘Indignation’. So there was a first Indignation and a last Indignation. The first one ended in 1798 and the last one in 1844, the same time as the 2300 day-year prophecy ends. So when Gabriel says ‘the last end’ he is referring to the Indignation or 2520 years that ended in 1844. This was going to end at the same time as ‘the time appointed’ for the special Judgment Day at the end of the 2300 days, or literal years.

“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.” Daniel 8:20-22

As you know, Alexander died right after conquering the world, and so the kingdoms following were ‘not in his power’. 

“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.” Daniel 8:23-24

Notice here this ‘Mystery King’ destroys and conquers but ‘not by his own power’; the papacy always gets the power of state and kings and governments to do its dirty-work and thus it persecutes God’s people.

“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.” Daniel 8:25

‘Craft’ or as we might say ‘craftiness’ shall prosper; under this religious-political combination, lying, hypocrisy, sneakiness, dishonest and unjust practices are the rule of the day! No human effort will stop the march of this king of fierce countenance.  Only God will bring him down, and none shall help him. Praise the Lord! (See Daniel 11:45)
This verse slips back in gender to the masculine, and shows us Pagan Rome again, and how it used peace treaties to extend its power, and stood up against the Prince of Princes, Jesus. But the Papal power also did this in the person of His people as well. 

He shall be broken ‘without hand’. Remember in our study of Daniel 2, the stone that struck the image on the feet and destroyed it, was ‘cut out without hand’? Well this shows that God himself will finally bring all these cruel, despotic powers to an end. 

“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.”  Daniel 8:26, 27

Now as the angel explains to him about long periods of time, many days, Daniel is shocked and afraid that maybe the Jews would not be returning home after all. It bothered him so much that the dear old man fainted. Also he was horrified at what he had seen about the terrible little-horn power and what it would do to the dear children of God.
 God was telling Daniel things that he was to write down so His people that live on earth today, in the last days of time, would be able to know what God was doing.

We are living in the final scenes of the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan. The Judgment of those who died claiming to belong to God, has been going on in heaven since 1844. Soon the great test will come, in which the living will demonstrate whose side they have chosen to be on. Day by day we are making choices to obey or disobey; to serve God or ourselves. Even in the little daily things of life, we are making choices, and often we are not even aware of it.

The prophecies are there to warn us, but also to encourage Jesus’ dear people today. Daniel’s messages were written for you and me; they tell us that God is in charge, and if we give our hearts to Him, and choose Jesus to be our own dear Savior and Lord, we can know that we will be loved and cared for by Jesus and our Heavenly Father. Then someday, we will go home to heaven when Jesus comes again. That time is soon; be ready!

Daniel 9: