Daniel's Vision of the Ram and the He-Goat

posted Oct 10, 2016, 7:29 AM by Basic Bible Doctrine   [ updated Oct 10, 2016, 7:31 AM ]
Two years after his first vision of the "Four Wild Beasts," Daniel had another vision. In vision, Daniel was transported to Shushan, the capital of Persia, and as he stood on the bank of the river Ulai, he saw a Ram which had "Two Horns," one higher than the other, and the higher came up last. He saw the Ram push "Westward" and "Northward" and "Southward" and nothing could stand before it, and it did according to its will. Dan. 8:4. While Daniel was "considering" what the vision of the Ram meant, he saw a He-Goat come from the West unmolested, and he noticed it had a "Notable Horn" between its eyes, and when it reached the Ram it was moved with "choler" or anger against it, and smote it with "fury," and broke its "Two Horns," and knocked it down and stamped upon it.
Then the He-Goat waxed great, but when it became strong its "Great Horn" was broken off, and "Four Notable Horns" came up in its place, and out of one of them sprang a "Little Horn" which waxed exceeding great toward the "South" and toward the "East," and toward the "Pleasant Land" (Palestine). Dan. 8:5-9.
When Daniel sought for the meaning of the vision he heard a voice say—"Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision." Then Gabriel said to Daniel: The vision belongs to the 'Time of the End,' and is to make thee know what shall come to pass in the "Last End of the Indignation." Dan. 8:15-19. Gabriel then informed Daniel that the "Ram" stood for the Medo-Persian Kingdom, with its two Kings, Darius and his nephew Cyrus; that the He-Goat stood for the Grecian Kingdom, the "Great Horn" between its eyes for its first King (Alexander the Great), and that the "Four Horns" that took the place of the "Great Horn" stood for Four Kingdoms into which the Grecian Kingdom should be divided.
This explanation cleared up things considerably for Daniel. It revealed to him that the "Two Horns" of the Ram, one higher than the other, and the "Two Shoulders" of the Bear, one higher than the other, of his vision of the "Four Wild Beasts;" and the "Two Arms" of the Colossus of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, must stand for the same thing, and that the double Kingdom of Medo-Persia. He also saw that the "Four Horns" that came up in the place of the "Great Horn" corresponded to the "Four Heads" of the Third Wild Beast (the Leopard) and that therefore the He-Goat and the Third Wild Beast and the "Abdomen and Hips" of the Colossus stood for the Grecian Kingdom, and its fourfold division among the generals of Alexander the Great.
It is noteworthy that Daniel's information was progressive, and that each new vision threw light on his previous visions. For instance the Ram's pushing "Westward" and "Northward" and "Southward," identifies it with the Bear [the Second Wild Beast] crunching "Three Ribs" in its mouth which was prophetic of the subjugation of Lydia to the "West," Babylon to the "North," and Egypt to the "South."
The fury and violence of the He-Goat well depicts the vigor of Alexander the Great's attacks which carried everything before them. Rushing from the West, Alexander, in three great battles, made himself master of the world. But the "Great Horn" was suddenly broken off, for Alexander, with plans inconceivably vast, succumbed to marsh fever and intemperance at Babylon, in the thirty-third year of his life, and, in fulfillment of the prophecy "Four Horns" sprang up in the place of the "Great Horn."
These "Four Horns" stood for the four Generals of Alexander's army who divided his Kingdom among themselves. Cassander took possession of Macedonia. Lysimachus seized upon Thrace, Western Bithynia, Lower Phrygia, Mysia and Lydia. Seleucus took the remainder of Asia Minor and the East, including Syria and Assyria. Ptolemy took possession of Egypt. These Four Kingdoms were in time all absorbed into the Fourth World Kingdom, the Roman Empire. The last to lose its identity being Egypt, which succumbed in B.C. 30.
Soon after the appearance of these "Four Horns" on the head of the He-Goat Daniel saw a "Little Horn" come up on one of them. Gabriel explained the significance of this "Little Horn" to Daniel.
He told him that it stood for a King of "Fierce Countenance" who should stand up in the "Latter Time" of the Kingdom, and who should stand up against the "Prince of Princes" (Christ). Dan. 8:23-25. The description of this "Little Horn" so clearly corresponds with the description of the "Little Horn" that rose among the "Ten Horns" on the head of the Fourth Wild Beast that it was not difficult for Daniel to see that they described and stood for the same Person—THE ANTICHRIST. The revelation so overcame Daniel that he "fainted" and was sick certain days. Dan. 8:27.