Vision of the ram and he goatDaniel 8
While still in the Babylon empire, Daniel was given another vision two years after the vision of chapter 7. In spirit he was taken to Shushan the palace in the province of Elam (v.2) which is Iran today. This vision overlaps the vision of chapter 7, but it is viewing the happening from another angle. Chapter 7 with the ferrous beasts is the political scene, chapter 8 pertains to the religious scene by the symbolic domestic animals (goats & rams).
There is no doubt who the ram & goat represent. Daniel sees a ram with 2 horns at the first (two powers within the one power), then one horn came up higher (v.3). The ram is the same as the bear of chapter 7. The Medes took power in the beginning, but the Persians became stronger and took over the empire. The ram pushed westward, northward, and southward; and no beast could stand before him nor could any deliver out of his hand. He did according to his will and became great (v.4).
Then a goat came from the west that touched not the ground (moving with great speed, coming from the west). It had a notable horn (Alexander the great) and it ran into the ram with 2 horns in fury and power. He moved with choler and smote the ram breaking his two horns. The ram had no power to stand before him, and was cast to the ground and stamped upon. None could deliver the ram out of his hand. (vs.5-7). The goat is the same as the leopard of chapter 7.
In time “the great horn was broken speaking of the death of Alexander the great. The kingdom was divided into 4 nations and “Out of one of them came forth a little horn. This time it is not Rome as we had in chapter 7 that pictured the Antichrist; here this little horn comes out of Syria and represents the false prophet, a religious leader. He waxed exceedingly great toward the south, the east and toward the pleasant land which is Israel. (vs.8-9).
Often in prophecy there is a local or earlier fulfillment which speaks of a later fulfillment to come. These happenings came to pass, but were future to Daniel for he was still in the Babylon empire. Those succeeding empires are history to us, but they tell us of a future fulfillment.
The false prophet will magnified himself, which is the attitude of Satan. How different from our Lord Jesus Christ who “Made Himself of no reputation.” Satan will empower the false prophet and he will be able to counterfeit God’s things to a certain extent. He will lift himself up, even to the prince of the host (the Antichrist). He will point to him as the great one and say this is the one, for he was raised from the dead (vs.10-12).
The false prophet is also pictured in Rev. chapter 13. Where 2 beasts come up, the Antichrist out of the sea (the nations); the other comes out of the earth, the false prophet. In Daniel the first one come out of Rome (Ch. 7) and this one of chapter 8 comes out of Syria. They are pictured as the hireling shepherd and the wolf in John Chapter 10. The hireling answers to the false prophet. He doesn’t care for the sheep, the people of Israel. He could even be a Jew, one of their own leaders. He will convince them to make a covenant with the nations and with the Antichrist. The wolf speaks of the Antichrist that cometh to steal and to kill.
In Job these two men are connected again figured by 2 great beasts, the “behemoth, a land animal and the Liviathan, a beast of the sea – ch. 40 & 41. David speaks of them in Ps. 140:1,4,11; “the violent man” the king and the evil man, the wicked evil speaker, the false prophet. It is possible that these two men are alive today and are ready to come to the forefront.
Next issue we will continue Daniel 8 where Daniel is given the understanding of the vision and that it will be fulfilled in the end time.