Daniel has a vision of a ram and a goat. An angel named Gabriel interprets the visions.
VERSE 1. In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, even to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first.
after that which appeared unto me at the first. This is a different vision than the ones Daniel described in previous chapters.
VERSE 2. I saw the vision. Now it was so, that when I saw, I was in the citadel of Susa, which is in the province of Elam. I saw in the vision, and I was by the river Ulai.
Susa. This was the royal place of the king of Persia.
Some translations say “Shushan.”
VERSE 3. Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns. The two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
two horns. The two horns represent the kings of Media and Persia, as we see in verse 20 below.
VERSE 4. I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward. No animals could stand before him. There wasn’t any who could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and magnified himself.
neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand. The NLT translation puts it this way: “no one could stand against him or help his victims.”
In other words, this ram is a powerful force for evil.
he did according to his will. This reminds us of Judges 17:6:
Judges 17:6. In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. (NLT translation)
VERSE 5. As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west over the surface of the whole earth, and didn’t touch the ground. The goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
a male goat. This goat represents the king of Greece, as we see in verse 21 below.
Alexander the Great was the king of Greece. He destroyed the kingdoms of Media and Persia.
VERSE 6. He came to the ram that had the two horns, which I saw standing before the river, and ran on him in the fury of his power.
VERSE 7. I saw him come close to the ram, and he was moved with anger against him, and struck the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to stand before him; but he cast him down to the ground, and trampled on him. There was no one who could deliver the ram out of his hand.
VERSE 8. The male goat magnified himself exceedingly. When he was strong, the great horn was broken; and instead of it there came up four notable horns toward the four winds of the sky.
four notable horns. The king of Greece falls from power. In his place emerge four kingdoms, each with less power, as we see in verse 22 below.
VERSE 9. Out of one of them came out a little horn, which grew exceedingly great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the glorious land.
a little horn. This is probably king Antiochus IV.
toward the glorious land. That is, the glorious land of Israel.
VERSE 10. It grew great, even to the army of the sky; and it cast down some of the army and of the stars to the ground, and trampled on them.
the army of the sky. That is, the heavenly host of angels.
VERSE 11. Yes, it magnified itself, even to the prince of the army; and it took away from him the continual burnt offering, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
the prince of the army. This is probably either the Lord Jesus Christ, or possibly Michael the Archangel. Either can be described that way.
it took away from him the continual burnt offering. The enemy causes the daily sacrifice in the temple to be ceased.
from him. The daily sacrifice in the temple is “owned” by the prince of the host. That suggests that the prince of the host is the Lord Jesus Christ, not Michael the Archangel.
the place of his sanctuary was cast down. The enemy destroys the temple. This is a terrible event.
VERSE 12. The army was given over to it together with the continual burnt offering through disobedience. It cast down truth to the ground, and it did its pleasure and prospered.
it cast down the truth to the ground. The enemy overthrows truth itself. Jesus Christ describes himself as the truth.
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it did its pleasure and prospered. For a time, evil is successful in everything it does.
It often seems, at least in the short term, that evil people are more successful than godly people. But in the long run, success is in the hands of the LORD.
VERSE 13. Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who spoke, “How long will the vision about the continual burnt offering, and the disobedience that makes desolate, to give both the sanctuary and the army to be trodden under foot be?”
VERSE 14. He said to me, “To two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary will be cleansed.”
two thousand and three hundred. If we take that at face value, and not metaphorically, it means 6.3 years. (2,300 evenings ÷ 365 days per year)
then shall the sanctuary be vindicated. After that timeframe, the LORD God will reinstate the temple.
VERSE 15. When I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it. Then behold, there stood before me something like the appearance of a man.
something like the appearance of a man. Whatever this thing is, it has a human form.
VERSE 16. I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, which called, and said, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.”
Gabriel. This name means “Mighty One of God.”
Gabriel one of the three greatest angels of heaven.
To our recollection, this is the very first time the Bible mentions an angel by name.
VERSE 17. So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I was frightened, and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Understand, son of man; for the vision belongs to the time of the end.”
I was frightened, and fell on my face. In the Bible, when someone sees an angel, they fall to the ground in terror. Even Daniel, a fearless man of God, is frightened.
However, in our day, artists make us think angels are chubby, blue-eyed, caucasian babies that smile.
son of man. The Lord Jesus Christ often used this title for himself.
the vision belongs to the time of the end. This vision is about the End of Days. It does not describe past events. It is not a metaphor about “standing strong” or “fighting evil.”
VERSE 18. Now as he was speaking with me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face toward the ground; but he touched me, and set me upright.
he touched me, and set me upright. To be able to forge ahead in the spiritual journey, many of us need “a touch from heaven.”
VERSE 19. He said, “Behold, I will make you know what will be in the latter time of the indignation; for it belongs to the appointed time of the end.
the appointed time of the end. This reads as if the date of the End of Days has already been determined.
Daniel 8:19. He said, “Behold, I will make you know what will be in the latter time of the indignation; for it belongs to the appointed time of the end.
Zechariah 14:7. It will be a unique day which is known to the LORD—not day, and not night; but it will come to pass that at evening time there will be light.
Matthew 24:36. But no one knows of that day and hour, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Mark 13:32. But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
If the Lord Jesus Christ does not know that day or hour, and the angels don’t know it, then neither do we.
Yet in our day, many people claim to know it. They are frauds. Their deception contaminates the faith of many people.
the kings of Media and Persia. This explains verse 3 above.
VERSE 21. The rough male goat is the king of Greece. The great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
the king of Greece. This explains verse 5 above.
VERSE 22. As for that which was broken, in the place where four stood up, four kingdoms will stand up out of the nation, but not with his power.
four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation. This explains verse 8 above.
VERSE 23. “In the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have come to the full, a king of fierce face, and understanding dark sentences, will stand up.
VERSE 24. His power will be mighty, but not by his own power. He will destroy awesomely, and will prosper in what he does. He will destroy the mighty ones and the holy people.
but not by his own power. There is some unknown force behind the success of this king. It might be political connections with an even more powerful person. Or it could be a connection with an evil spirit.
He will destroy awesomely. This arrogant king is a master of destroying other people.
Daniel 8:24. His power will be mighty, but not by his own power. He will destroy awesomely, and will prosper in what he does. He will destroy the mighty ones and the holy people.
Daniel 11:44. But news out of the east and out of the north will trouble him; and he will go out with great fury to destroy and utterly to sweep away many.
John 10:10. The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.
VERSE 25. Through his policy he will cause deceit to prosper in his hand. He will magnify himself in his heart, and he will destroy many in their security. He will also stand up against the prince of princes; but he will be broken without hand.
he will cause deceit to prosper. The art of lying reaches its pinnacle in this king.
he will magnify himself in his heart. He considers himself superior to other people. He is a narcissistic jerk.
He will also stand up against the prince of princes. Jesus Christ is the prince of peace.
VERSE 26. “The vision of the evenings and mornings which has been told is true; but seal up the vision, for it belongs to many days to come.”
VERSE 27. I, Daniel, fainted, and was sick for some days. Then I rose up, and did the king’s business. I wondered at the vision, but no one understood it.
fainted, and was sick. From time to time you might meet someone who claim to have seen a vision or had a mystic experience. Ask them if they got sick afterwards. Daniel go sick.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.