Possibly the Most Amazing Prophetic Chapter in the Bible: Daniel Chapter 8
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Daniel – believer in pagan world, old man (70? event ch 8 yrs prior), sees future
- Daniel 8 shifts from Aramaic to Hebrew
- 8X reference/allusion to Daniel 8 in NT, 6 Revelation
- Daniel 8 covers roughly 200 years 350 BC-164 BC
Imagery – 1). Animals (wild beasts) 2. Horns (kings/kingdoms)
- Pulling chapter into thematic categories of vision/interpretation
Daniel 8:1-4 In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first. 2 And I saw in the vision; and when I saw, I was in Susa the citadel, which is in the province of Elam. And I saw in the vision, and I was at the Ulai canal. 3 I raised my eyes and saw, and behold, a ram standing on the bank of the canal. It had two horns, and both horns were high, but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. 4 I saw the ram charging westward and northward and southward. No beast could stand before him, and there was no one who could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great.
Daniel 8:15-2015 When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it. And behold, there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. 16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, and it called, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.” 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, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end.” 18 And when he had spoken to me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face to the ground. But he touched me and made me stand up. 19 He said, “Behold, I will make known to you what shall be at the latter end of the indignation, for it refers to the appointed time of the end. 20 As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia.
- 8:1 550 BC
- Belshazzar (Neb grandson, fell to Persia Daniel 5)
- Susa – Persian Kingdom “White House”, today Iran, 200 miles away from Daniel. Home to Esther (1:1-2); city Nehemiah worked from to rebuild Jerusalem (1:1)
- The lumpy bear in 7 is the Medo-Persian Empire that became Persia
- Gabriel means “mighty man of God”
- 8:16 Jesus or angel speaks? Gabriel one of 2 named angels in Bible (Michael)
- “like a man” vs ch 7 “like a son of man”
PERSIA = allowed Jews to return home & return to worship of God & witness world
Their version Puritans & Pilgrims .Temple open Bible taught & worship til Jesus came
Daniel 8:5-8 As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground. And the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. 6 He came to the ram with the two horns, which I had seen standing on the bank of the canal, and he ran at him in his powerful wrath. 7 I saw him come close to the ram, and he was enraged against him and struck the ram and broke his two horns. And the ram had no power to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power. 8 Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.
Daniel 8:21-22 21 And the goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king. 22 As for the horn that was broken, in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from his nation, but not with his power.
Symbol of Greece. 1st colony given oracle to follow a goat & build a city dedicated to the goat for leading them. Aegae “goat city”. Greece surrounded by “Aegaen Sea” Goat Sea
- Alexander the Great, 200 years after Daniel
- Father King of Macedon, wanted to conquer the Persians, raised a warrior king
- Parents assassinated, so he took the throne young (20’s)
- 334 BC army 35k attacked Persia & King Darius w/100k men. Killed 20k Persian soldiers, lost 100 Greek soldiers.
- By 32/33 conquered known world, sat down and wept nothing left to conquer
- Age 32/33 returned Babylon/Nebuchadnezzar’s palace, died, possible poisoning
- No heir, kingdom divided 4 generals
Josephus – prolific Jewish historian, wrote Antiquity of the Jews around 94 AD
Alexander conquered Israel, approached Temple in Jerusalem. High Priest lead the people to welcome him. HP dressed in purple, believers in white. As Alexander approached, they welcomed him. Alexander said that in Macedonia he had a dream of the High Priest wearing purple telling him it was time to attack the Persians. So, he assembled his troops & left in obedience to the revelation. He sought the blessing of the God of Israel. Entered Temple with High Priest to offer a sacrifice and worship God, honored the High Priest as a Man of God. High Priest opened Bible to Daniel 8, showed prophecy that a king from Greece would conquer Persia, & that he was the fulfilment. Alexander believed the prophecy in the Word of God, asked the High Priest what he could do for him, and was asked for religious freedom which Alexander granted before riding off to conquer Persia & fulfill Daniel 8. (Liberals: could not have been written after)
GREECE – brought education & common language Roman Empire, language of NT
ROMAN EMPIRE – peace, connection, travel, chose Greek as the primary language
Vision: Antiochus and Antichrist 8:9-14
Daniel 8:9-14 9 Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land. 10 It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them. 11 It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown. 12 And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression, and it will throw truth to the ground, and it will act and prosper. 13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, “For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?” 14 And he said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.”
Interpretation: Antiochus and Antichrist
Daniel 8:23-2723 And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise. 24 His power shall be great—but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. 25 By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand. 26 The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true, but seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now.” 27 And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king’s business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it.
- God creates, Satan counterfeits. God builds, Satan breaks.
- :9 skips 150 years
- “Little horn” = Antiochus “God-man” IV Epiphanes “the mad” (rose power 175 BC)
- 1. Destroyed Bible 2. Desecrated Temple 3. Defamed God 4.Destroyed believers
- 2,300 eve & mornings A) day (Genesis) B) 1500 days (sacrifices) C) figurative
- “Stars” = shift between seen & unseen realms, war in both
1-2 Maccabees good history, bad Bible
- God’s people handed themselves over to evil, so God did the same
- Brutal demonic king – 3 days killed 80k Jewish civilians women/children (Hitler)
- Sold many Jews into slavery (2 Macc. 5:12-14)
- Overtook Temple, set up pagan God Zeus, offered a pig = his abomination caused desolation – worshippers of God fled
- Died of a bowel disease which drove him mad, finger of God
HANUKKAH – festival of lights- 8 days candle lit every day, light returning to the world from the people of God until Jesus comes as the Light of the World
Antichrist same demonic power as Antiochus
- Double fulfilment – near and far
John 1 Jn 2:18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.
Paul 2 Thess. 2:3 rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved..
Jesus Matt 24:15 “…when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
- Temple destroyed 70 AD so this must be a rebuilt Temple
- Antichrists have come – Mao, Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Herod, Judas,
- This is the last hour, antichrist is coming, worse then perfect
- God’s Word that is 100% accurate in past will be 100% accurate in future
- If you commit your life to serving the Kingdom of Jesus Christ God will show up
- Live in light of your divine destiny (Alexander & Daniel)
- Sometimes it’s good for the Word of God to wreck you (Daniel, me)
Daniel 8 is one of, if not the, most amazing prophetic chapter in the entire Bible. The passage interprets itself and clearly shows that God shows up in all of human history.