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Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Ram And The Goat of Daniel Chapter 8

To see Daniel Chapter 8 without my comments click HERE.

Daniel's vision
The first half of this Chapter is the most interpretable prophecy of the Bible, because the interpretation is given in the same chapter. During Daniel's time in Babylon, wickedness increased with no reverence for Father Yahweh, nor for his Hebrew/Israelite people. When Daniel was in the Palace of Shushan in the province of Elam he received a vision of a ram and a goat. 
The ram had two horns. One horn was higher than the other and came up last. This ram started pushing Westward, Northward, and finally Southward. From the West came a one horned goat that violently attacked the ram and was moving so fast that it broke the rams horns then threw it to the ground. After defeating the ram, the goats horn was then broken. Next, there were four notable ones that waxed great. From out of the four notable ones came one little horn that cast down the host and some of the stars while at the same time removing the daily sacrifice. Then it's stated the vision of the daily sacrifice would be removed for 2,300 days.

The interpretation
Shushan is located in Persia and is the place where Daniel served under Belshazzar, from which he was summoned to interpret “the writing on the wall” in Daniel Chapter5. Shushan is also the home of Esther; Est 1:25, City of Nehemiah; Neh 1:1, and is where the stele containing the law Code of Hammurabi was found in 1901. Although Persia did push in every direction except the East, the Westward direction was the one that is most prominent. In Daniel 11:2 it states that the 4th king after Cyrus will stir up the nations against Greece. 
History shows us that this 4th king was Xerxes which crossed the Hellespont in 480 B.C. Herodotus (the father of history) numbered the entire Xerxes army at around 1 ½ million. When Xerxes attacked Greece, Alexander the Great's army  lured the Persian army into a trap in the very narrow canyon at Thermopylae where 7,000 Greeks being led by 300 Spartan commando's defeated Xerxes army. It's estimated that 20,000 Persians were killed. This is about the same time that the Persian Navy lost 300 ships to a storm. Alexander further attacked the Persians in successive battles and Alexander totally defeated the Persian empire in only 6 years. 

Alexes Greek empire stretched from India to the Mediterranean, and from the Caucasian Mountains to the Fertile Crescents Western edge including Egypt as far South as modern day Ethiopia.

It's worth mentioning that the ram represented the empires of the Medes and Persians. The Medes were a much older empire and joined forces with the Persians because of the weakness of Babylon. According to historian Ammianus Marceilinus from the 4th Century, Xerxes wore the head of a ram when he lead his army into battle. The speed of Alexander the Great's army moved very quickly to defeat the Persians. This is symbolized by the fact that the goat in Daniel's vision of the goat did not touch the ground when it traveled. Obviously Alexander was the horn on the goat that was broken after defeating the Persian ram. Alexanders empire was then divided by the four notable ones of V. 8.

2,300 days
The last part of Chapter 8 deals with a prophecy of 2,300 days. This particular part of Daniel 8 remains unclear of exactly what happens to begin the 2,300 days and what event will happen at the end of the 2,300 days. I have read some peoples ideas about what the meaning of this time frame means, they include:
When the Romans sacrificed a pig on the alter of the temple for Zeus in 70 A.D.
I have heard of this referencing Islam also as Mohammad came from one of the areas of the four notable ones. I believe I could find other explanations of the 2,300 days if I searched.

My personal opinion of what the prophecy is talking about hasn't happened yet. This is because the book of Daniel origionally was not separated by chapters. Most people recognize the "Abomination of Desolation" as being of Daniel chapter 9. Daniel 8 leads into Daniel 9 and is the thought prior to the 9th Chapter. The Bible exchanges a day for a year in both Numbers 14:34 and again in Ezekiel 4:6. The passage of Daniel 8 for the most part is about the Greek empire. If you add 2,300 years after the death of Alexander the Great it comes to the year 1979. Nothing significant happened this year, and obviously another focal point in history starts the 2,300 years.

 During this time there will be one that will make war with the Israelite saints V. 24. This is also discussed by Yahshua (Jesus) in Matt 24:15. He tells us that when we see this abomination which was spoken by Daniel the Prophet, which actually started 2,300 years before, we are to flee to the mountains. As with all prophecy we will not know the actual events until during and after it happens. This is so that men that have free will will not alter history by making it happen before its time or by trying to have it not happen at all.

If others have an opinion on the 2,300 days, I would love to hear it. Praise the Lord for his word!

1 comment:

  1. I have continued to read about the 2,300 years on the internet and I have found that there are places on the internet that claim the 2,300 was a mistranslation and it should have been 2,200 from the original Hebrew. The claim is also there, that the dead sea scrolls where it is to read the amount of years is deteriorated to the point where it can not be read. I know there is a reasonable answer for this, which also may lie in Matt 24 when the Messiah talked about this time. only an in depth study involving Hebrew lexicons, etc, will yield the answer.