Daniel 8

Two important factors mark Daniel 8 as the beginning of a new section.

1. The language returns to Hebrew from Aramaic (Ch 2:4-7:29)

2. From here to the end of the book the prophecy is occupied with human history as it relates to Israel.

Chapter 7 is a broad summary of the times of the Gentiles with emphasis of the climactic events, culminating in the coming of Christ to the earth.

v. 1-2 Daniel finds himself projected in a vision to a palace in Shushan, in the province of Elam, by the river Ulai.

The first part of the vision concerns the second and third world empires. In Neb’s dream they are represented as the chest and arms of silver. And the belly and thighs of brass.

In Daniel’s vision he saw them as a bear with those ribs in its mouth and a leopard with four wings and four heads. These same empires are before us in the vision.

The Medo-Persian empire appears as (v. 20) a ram with two horns, the one was higher than the other. This counts with the bear with one paw higher.

v. 14 This verse describes the conquest of the empire.

Westward, northward and southward = Three ribs in its mouth.

This empire ruled irresistibly for 200 years until an he-goat came on the scene.

v. 5 The he-goat is interpreted as the king of Greece. v. 21

The “notable horn” is Alexander the Great.

The phrase “and touched not the ground”, v. 5, denotes the swiftness and the tremendous speed which characterized the conquests of Alexander.

v. 6-7 gives us in capsule form a description of Alexander’s conquests against the Medo-Persian empire.

Between the years 334 B.C. and 331 B.C. Alexander destroyed the power of Persia. Then went on and swiftly conquered Syria-Phoenicia-Cyprus-Egypt-Babylonia.

v. 8 describes the death of Alexander.

“Where he was great and strong, the great horn was broken.”

As he reached the pinnacles of his power Alexander died.

Although he had conquered the world, he never conquered himself.

After a reign of almost 14 years, he died at 32 years of age a broken and debauched man.

After his death Alexander’s kingdom was divided among his four top generals.

Verses 9-12 describe the rise of a “little horn”.

This little horn emerges from one of the four “notable horns”.

He became exceedingly great, as his armies thrust towards the south, the east and in particular towards the “pleasant land” – Palestine.

This “little horn” has been identified as Antiochus Epiphanes, the mad man, the eight king in the Syrian dynasty who reigned from 175-166 B. C.

This king was a tyrant who oppressed the Jews ruthlessly.

His wicked deeds, blasphemy and sacrilege are fully described in the book of the Maccabees.

The stone which he cast down to the ground and stamped upon are symbols of the people of Israel.

His actions against the sanctuary of the Lord are also prophetically pictured.

Note what this man did (1) He made himself as God, (2) he stopped all worship of God, (3) he desecrated the truth and the temple.

The facts of history.

When he conquered Jerusalem he sacrificed a pig upon the altar and sprinkled its inwards over the whole temple.

He changed the feast of tabernacles to the beast of Bacchur.

He corrupted the youth, true worship was forbidden, idol worship was enforced especially of Jupiter Olympus.

The city of Jerusalem and the land of Palestine was devastated, some 100,000 pious Jews were massacred.

In verses 13-14 Daniel heard the conversation of two holy ones – angels.

They are discussing the duration of this fearful desecration by Antiochus.

They told Daniel that it would last 2,300 days, then the sanctuary would be cleansed. 7 ½ years.

The period was fulfilled from 171 B.C. to 164 B.C. If culminated in the death of this cruel and wicked king.

Verses 15 through 22 is the interpretation of the vision.

A close examination of this brings us to the conclusion that part of this chapter is now history, and part is still to be fulfilled.

1. The one spoken of (the Antichrist) is to appear in the latter times of Israel’s history. v.23 “The king of fierce countenance.”

2. Through alliance with other nations he achieves world-wide influence, v. 24.

3. A peace program helps his rise to power, v. 25.

4. He is extremely intelligent and persuasive, v. 23

5. He is characterized by Satanic control, v. 24.

6. He is the great adversary of Israel and of the Prince of princes, v. 24-25

7. A direct judgment from God terminates his rule, v. 25.

v. 26 Daniel was instructed how to shut up this vision.

Daniel himself could not understand it, the prophecy is for the benefit of future generations.

v. 27 Describe the effect of the vision on Daniel.

He fainted and was sick for three days.


2 Thess 2 — The man of sin.

Revelation 19 – His end-broken without hands.