Daniel 8 continued
As we continue with verse 12, remember the reference to the “pleasant land” in V. 9 is the land of Israel. “The host of heaven” (V. 10) refers to the people of Israel and the “stars” speak of the religious leaders, their luminaries. So these end time events are how the “little horn” will effect Israel. Verse 11 gives the reason the little horn is allowed to take away the daily sacrifice and the sanctuary cast down, it is a judgment of the Jews. They will be wholly given over into the hands of this godless little horn (the false prophet) for a specified time. Everything in this chapter 8 stamps it of a religious character. While the little horn of chapter 7 is a Gentile king of the political world (the Antichrist).
The false prophet could be a Jew, (he comes up out of the earth - Rev. 13:11) a religious man, cosmopolitan in nature, as if for all men Jews and Gentiles. Verses 13 & 14 answer the question of how long the desecration will continue (2300 days or 6 years 4 months and 20 days). In verses 15-19, Daniel seeks to know the truth concerning the vision. The angel draws near and speaks, “understand, O son of man.” Daniel is given an open ear and an understanding heart. The vision shall be at “the time of the end,” “the last, end” and “at the time appointed the end shall be” (Vs. 17 & 19). And we shall read in V. 26, the vision is yet for “many days.”
Vs. 20-22, the vision is interpreted. And in Vs. 23 the little horn is called, “a king of fierce countenance” which becomes powerful in the south, the east, and in the pleasant land (V. 9). The north and western portions are not mentioned, so he must come from one of these sections of the empire (Greece or Asia Minor). Antiochus Epiphanes came from Syria, a country of Asia Minor. He was a fore runner, a picture of the false prophet of the last days, yet to be manifested.
V. 24, his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power – Satan empowers him. Craft shall prosper in his hand, he shall magnify himself and by peace destroy many V. 25. We read of both in Revelation chapter 13; the little horn of Daniel 7 (the Antichrist a political man) who gains power and will put him-self up as God, for he is raised from the dead by Satan. The little horn of chapter 8 (the false prophet comes from the quite, steady, established religious world). These two will work hand in glove together energized by Satan. They will influence the world nationally and religiously. The world will obey one and worship the other. It takes 2 men to counterfeit Christ in these two offices. In Christ’s first advent He was Messiah, the Prophet. In His second advent, He will be Messiah, the King.
We read in II Thess. 2:3-4, Satan gives the Antichrist his power and place of authority. And in II Thess. 2:8-10 Satan gives the false prophet power to do signs and lying wonders. V. 7 tells us that the mystery of iniquity doth already work. Just think the spirit of anti-Christ at work in the world all this time - I Jn. 4:1-4. It is the world system of rebellion against God.
II Thessalonians tells us there is some force that hinders the spirit of iniquity, it is the mystery of Godliness – II Thess. 2:6-7. God’s people are a part of the mystery of Godliness which hinders. When the mystery of Godliness is taken out of the way (the rapture of the full over comers), the mystery of iniquity will have its day. People who reject Christ, the truth, they will radially accept what the false prophet says.
The Prince of princes (V. 25) is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. The world awaits His return to the earth, and when He comes the King of fierce countenance “shall be broken without hand” without the aid of a human hand. “Whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming” – II Thess. 2:8. Read also Rev. 19:11-13,15-16,19-20.
V. 26 – The vision is true. The first and partial fulfillment was in Antiochus, but there will be the final and perfect fulfillment yet future. Daniel is to shut up the vision, preserve it.
Daniel fainted and was sick for certain days to know the sufferings of his own people, but he went about and faithfully fulfilled his daily duties in the corrupt Babylonian court (V. 27). One day soon when the Jews are so persecuted, they will remember their prophet Daniel whom they have ignored for the most part. They will remember that he wrote of the last days and they will turn to his writing and search them out They will want to understand what he has written.
Next issue: Daniel is informed of the seventy weeks.