Book of DANIEL

Compiled by WD Kemner January 2024




Chapter 8

Daniel’s Second Vision: The Ram and Goat



SPECIAL NOTE for Chapters 5 - 8


Chapter 5 started with Belshazzar as king and ends with his death and the Medes and Persians taking over Babylon.


Chapter 5 therefore belongs after chapter 8 in chronology.


The chapters being placed in this manner allows all the prophetical chapters (7-12) to remain together.



In this vision we get more details regarding Daniels first vision of the beasts.



Daniel Chapter 8 verse 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.




In the third year of the reign of Belshazzar


It is two years after chapter 7.  Belshazzar was king in chapter 5.



Daniel Chapter 8 verse 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 was the chief city of Persia. Daniel was apparently on official business there when he had this vision. In this vision Daniel was by the river Ulai. This was the Euleus canal, it divided Shushan and Elymais. Eventually it would be named Karun River.






Daniel Chapter 8 verses 3-4


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.  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.




The ram as we will learn in the interpretation is the Medo-Persia kingdom.


The horns represent the kings Darius and Cyrus.  Cyrus having come up after Darius.  There is some evidence that they were ruling jointly for a period, prior to Cyrus having full control.  The Medo-Persia empire expanded further than what the Babylonian empire had controlled



Daniel Chapter 8 verses 5-7


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. 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.


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.




The Goat is the Grecian empire.  The first king Caranus choose a goat as the kingdom’s emblem.  The Grecian expansion was so swift.  Alexander took only 13 years to conquer what he controlled. He is the notable horn.



Daniel Chapter 8 verse 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.




Great Horn = Alexander     Four Horns = Four Generals


Alexander died at the height of his conquests and power at the young age of 33.  His empire was divided into four sections among his four generals.  Alexander’s kingdom covered most of the area now represented by modern: Greece, Turkey, Syria and Egypt.




Map of the Empire of Alexander the Great 325 BC


Alexander the Great Empire 325 B.C. (map is Public Domain)



Not long after the death of Alexander; the territory that had once been under one man was now divided into four and each controlled by a former General of Alexander’s. The Generals and four divisions were:


1)    Cassander – took portion which would include Greece and Macedon


2)    Lysimachus – took portion which would include Asia Minor and modern Turkey


3)    Seleucus I – took portion which would include Syria, modern Iraq, Iran, Lebanon


4)    Ptolemy Lagidae – took portion which would include Egypt.  It is this fourth region that is important to this vision and will be the focus of attention in Daniel chapter 11.




It is assumed that the reader understands that there are a lot more events that occurred historically that are not the point of this study and are not mentioned in this document.  Only the events needed are referred to.




This is how the map looked after the empire was divided:


Map showing how the empire looked after being divided.






Daniel Chapter 8 verse 9a


And out of one of them came forth a little horn,




Out of one of the four horns (from verse 8) appears a little horn. This is the little horn again from the vision in chapter 7.


From chapter 7; we know that this little horn represents the Anti-christ.


This vision of Chapter 8 will narrow down where the Anti-christ comes from.


He will come out of one of these four divisions of the old Grecian Empire.



Daniel Chapter 8 verse 9b


…which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.




The Antichrist will be great among those nations to the east and south.  He must therefore be at peace with them. Some form of a treaty of recognition.  Including Israel!  He will be a man of Great Stature, not in the sense of physical height, but in that of politics and society. He will have the answers to the world’s problems.


Pleasant = “tsebiy” - meaning splendor, beautiful, goodly; “pleasant Land” = Land of Palestine



Verses 10-14 are events that will transpire during the tribulation Period.



Daniel Chapter 8 verses 10-12


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. 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. 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.




If you read the entire context of these verses together it is obvious that he is referring to human men and the sacrifices in a temple.  The Jewish temple is yet to be rebuilt and have sacrifices offered.



When the sacrifices do begin; the Anti-christ (at some point) after having allowed sacrifices to take place will now do away with the sacrifice and the High Priest in the Temple at Jerusalem and replace it with his own worship.  This is called the “transgression of desolation”.  Jesus would refer to this in Matthew 24.



Daniel Chapter 8 verses 13-14


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? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.




There will be 2300 days from the start of the daily sacrifice and then the desecration that occurs until it is “CLEANSED” and removed from the sanctuary.




There are teachings that state that this is actually three and a half years or 1270+ days.  The idea comes from the fact that it would reflect the total number of actual sacrifices that could be offered in that amount of time. Counting two sacrifices each day, both morning and evening adds up to the number.





The Interpretation given Daniel



Daniel Chapter 8 verses 15-16


And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.




Daniel sought for the meaning. There stood before him the appearance of a man. Who spoke with voice of a man with authority that told an Archangel Gabriel to explain it to Daniel. Who has command over the Archangels?



Daniel Chapter 8 verses 17


So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.




Gabriel now proceeds to clarify things for Daniel.  If Daniel sought after an interpretation and it is given to him by Gabriel, who are we then to attempt to try and re-interpret, re-invent any different meanings?


This vision occurs at the END of TIMES not at any other point in the history of man.



Daniel Chapter 8 verses 18-19


Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.




At the point when God has had enough and His anger shall be taken out on the evil.  The end WILL come at the point that it is supposed to.  Not at any “speculative determination” of man.



Daniel Chapter 8 verses 20-22


The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.  And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.  Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.




kings of Media and Persia (from verse 3-4).

king of Grecia and the first king (from verse 5).

Four kingdoms out of that kingdom (from verse 8).


The angel calls these empires BY NAME.  Cannot be any debate over who is meant.


Put yourself in Daniel’s position.  NONE OF THIS HAS YET HAPPENED!  Daniel has just been told what is going to happen in world history in the future. He would now know that the earthly king and kingdom he was now serving would be overthrown and by whom.



Daniel Chapter 8 verses 23


And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.




In the last days - little horn from verse 9



Daniel Chapter 8 verses 24-25


And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.




Description of the power and evil of the antichrist and he will ultimately stand up to Prince of Princes (Jesus Christ) and be taken down.



Daniel Chapter 8 verses 26


And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.




This vision needs to be “filed away for future reference” because it will be a while until it takes place.



Daniel Chapter 8 verses 27


And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.




Daniel fainted and was sick several days after the vision.


Because of the vision?  Would this not be enough to make any man sick?  Daniel was also probably fasting while seeking the interpretation of the vision which in itself probably lasted some period of time.


Daniel then went about his business for the king.  He was astonished at the vision but no one he knew understood it.  This would seem to indicate that he shared the vision but no one understood.  Inlight of the fact that it was regarding nations that would later come, it is not a surprise.  We have hindsight being able to look back at history.