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Daniel's Vision of Chapter 8
- Is it About to be Fulfilled?

Daniel's vision in chapter eight including the battle between the ram and the he goat could be fulfilled in our day and possibly very soon. When the symbols and events are examined in an end-time context there is a remarkable fit to current events. Also, Daniel was told three times that the vision is for the time of the end.

I have often shared in my Prophecy Newsletters developments indicating the nearness of the events described in Daniel 8. This study will take a detailed look at this chapter, its setting and its symbols. You will see evidence from this that it could indeed happen soon.

As many have understood that this vision has been fulfilled historically, I will make a few references to this although the emphasis here is on understanding the possibility of an end-time fulfillment.

Here is an interesting quote from a famous person in history that relates to this message:

"About the time of the end, a body of men will be raised up who will turn their attention to the prophecies, and insist upon their literal interpretation, in the midst of much clamour and opposition."
- Sir Isaac (1643-1727)

Daniel chapter eight naturally divides itself into two sections and will be covered in two pages. The description of the vision will be given on this page and the second page will cover the explanation of Daniel's prophecy by the angel.

Could Daniel's Vision of Chapter 8 be Fulfilled in Our Day? - Part 1
1. In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first. 2 And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.

Shushan or Susa was the capitol of Persia (where Esther and Nehemiah also lived). Ulai is the ancient name for the present Karun River which empties into the combined Tigris and Euphrates Rivers near Basra, in southern Iraq. This area is known as the Shat-al-Arab waterway.

3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.

We will be consistent with other material on this website and use the principle of allowing the Bible to define its own terms. Beasts and horns in Bible prophecy symbolize kings, kingdoms or nations as indicated by another vision of Daniel's:

"Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings." (Dan 7:23-24)
We want to examine the characteristics and actions of this ram to determine its identity.
4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.

This ram power is pushing in a seemingly aggressive or threatening manner towards other nations or kingdoms.. Heading westward from Media and Persia leads towards Israel, or the west in general. Northward - On December 29, 1990 the CBC reported that Iraq had moved 100,000 troops to the Turkish border. Turkey has angered Iraq by damming the Euphrates River and has called for NATO forces to defend it's territory. Look for more developments in this direction. Southward would be towards Kuwait and even Saudi Arabia. Recent news has Saudi Arabia making allowances for Israel to use its airspace for a possible attack on Iran. While Saudi Arabia is also a Muslim nation, it fears a nuclear-armed Iran. We may see changes back and forth between these nations. The relations between Arab nations has been described as "shifting like the sands of the desert."

5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

The he goat came "from the west" and so comprises mainly "western" powers. "On the face of the whole earth" implies possibly all or most nations excepting, of course, those it is attacking. "Touched not the ground" is suggestive of an attack by air. This certainly was the case in the attack which resulted in the occupation of Iraq. The "notable horn" logically designates the leader of the western nations, the United States.

Alexander the Great's Battle of Arbela, sometimes understood to fulfill this prophecy, was fought more than 700 miles away from the River Ulai.

6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.

"Moved with choler" - there will be a lot of anger against these Medes and Persians perhaps because of another 911 type of terrorist attack. There seems to be a growing frustration in the world over the continuing problems in the Middle East. The response from the west will be "in the fury of his power" suggesting the action will be very swift. The U.S. and its allies attack and break "his two horns." Both Iran and Iraq (or possibly Iran and Syria) will be defeated. The phrase "stamped upon him" sounds like the he-goat will kick the ram while he is down. "None that could deliver the ram out of his hand" suggests that he holds on to the defeated territory.

8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.

The he goat "waxed very great" appearing to be invincible. "The great horn" seems like a reference to the United States, the probable leader of the western world coalition that attacks the ram. At some time after the goat's victory, the power symbolized by the great horn loses its greatness, possibly involving its economy. We know that the U.S. with its multi-trillion dollars of debt already has a financial crisis looming.

"For it came up four notable ones" sounds like the U. S. power/influence may be replaced by four other powers. The "four winds of heaven" probably indicates the whole earth. It is used in that sense in Revelation 7:1.

"And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree." (Rev 7:1)
9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.

The phrase "out of one of them" is referring to one of the directions, thus one of the four notable ones" referred to in verse 8. The "little horn" is a separate power from the previous four but originating from the territory of one of them. The identity of the "little horn" power can be determined by carefully examining the characteristics given in Daniel 7 (where it is also referred to as a "little horn" - verse 8) and Revelation 13. This little horn becomes "exceeding great" - greater than the ram or the he goat. It expands its influence especially "toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land," the pleasant land being a reference to Israel. Tracing from Israel back in the opposite direction - north and west - gives a clue as to where the little horn comes from.

10 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. 11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. 12 And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered. 13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

Verses 10-14 go on to describe the actions of this little horn power. In this study, we are concentrating on the war between the ram and the he goat so will not go into the activities of the little horn. However, please see a very interesting study on "the daily sacrifice" as mentioned in verses 11 and 12.

The second half of Daniel chapter eight gives the interpretation of Daniel's dream. This will give further verification of what has been said above regarding the meaning of the various symbols.  

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