Sun, Mar 18, 2018

Rams and Goats


1 In the third year of the kingdom of Belshazzar the king, a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after the one that appeared to me previously.

We are now switching back to the Hebrew Language.  [1]

  • This is interesting because Daniel 5-6 were written in Aramaic regarding visions and dreams that happened after this vision.
  • While one cannot be dogmatic, it seems reasonable that since this last section focuses primarily on what will happen to Israel in the end-times that the language be Hebrew. [2]
    • King Belshazzar’s third year was 551, so this vision came to Daniel before the fateful banquet described in chapter 5. [3]
      • This vision occurs BEFORE Cyrus and Darius overthrow Babylon.
      • Daniel 7 was written in the first year of Belshazzar’s reign.


Jack Hayford:  “The precise fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecies concerning the defeat of the Medo-Persians (the ram, v. 4) by the Greeks (a male goat, v. 5) and the events that led up to Antiochus Epiphanes has caused secular historians to declare that the Book of Daniel could not have been written earlier than 200 b.c., for they deny the supernatural source of the Scriptures. But for all who embrace the validity of this part of the Word’s having been written in the sixth century b.c., it is a confirming testimony to the remarkable prophetic anointing that rested upon Daniel for the detailed foretelling of forthcoming events.”   [4]


2 And I saw in the vision, and when I saw, I was in Susa, the citadel that was in the province of Elam. And I saw in the vision, and I myself was at the stream of Ulai.

  • Daniel has been transported here in his vision – Susa (Shushan) was about 200 miles from Babylon.


15 And then when I, Daniel, saw the vision, and I was seeking understanding, there was one standing before me with the appearance of a man.

16 And I heard the voice of a human at the Ulai,

and he called and said, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.”

17 And he came beside where I was standing,

and when he came I became terrified and I fell prostrate on my face.

And he said to me,

“Understand, son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end.”

18 And when Gabriel spoke with me I fell into a trance

with my face to the ground,

and he touched me and made me stand on by feet.

19 And he said,

“Look, I am making known to you what will happen in the period of wrath,

for it refers to the appointed time of the end.

  • I really love how Daniel often interacts with Divine Beings.
  • He seems to almost expect them to be near him, to speak to him, to direct him, to interpret things for him.
    • No less than Gabriel shows up and speaks to Daniel about the future empires coming soon.
    • 3 Angels [5] named in our canon of Scripture.
    • Daniel is the first in Scripture to mention an Angel by name.
      • Lucifer
      • Gabriel
      • Michael
    • Trance—(Gr. ekstasis, from which the word “ecstasy” is derived) denotes the state of one who is “out of himself.”
      Such were the trances of Peter and Paul, Acts 10:10; 11:5; 22:17, ecstasies, “a preternatural, absorbed state of mind preparing for the reception of the vision”, (comp. 2 Cor. 12:1–4). In Mark 5:42 and Luke 5:26 the Greek word is rendered “astonishment,” “amazement” (comp. Mark 16:8; Acts 3:10). [6]


3 And I lifted up my eyes and I saw, and look!

A ram standing before the stream, and it had two horns, and the horns were long, but the one was longer than the second, and the longer one came up after the other one.

  • Ram with 2 horns – one longer than the other

20 “The ram that you saw who had two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia.

  • Though Persia rose later than Media (559 b.c. for Persia compared with centuries earlier for Media) the Persians overshadowed the Medes. So the second horn on the ram was larger than the first horn. [7]
    • came up after” Referring to Cyrus the Persian who was king of the Medes and Persians after Darius the Mede. Under him and his successors Persia attained to a greater power than ever under the Medes.

4 I saw the ram charging westward and northward and southward, and none of the beasts stood before it, and there was no rescuing from its power, and it did what it wanted and it became strong.

  • Persia extended its empire to the west, north, and south with a vast army of more than 2 million soldiers. [8]

5 And I was considering this, and look, a he-goat coming from the west across the face of the whole earth, and it was not touching the ground;

and the he-goat had a conspicuous horn between its eyes.

21 “And the hairy he-goat is the kingdom of Greece,

and the great horn that is between his eyes — he is the first king.

  • The hairy He-Goat is Greece
  • The mighty Horn is Alexander the great.

6 Then it came toward the ram that had the two horns that I saw standing before the stream, and it ran at it with the rage of its power.

7 And I saw it approaching the ram and it was furious at it, and it struck the ram, and it broke its two horns, and there was not strength in the ram to stand before him, and he threw it down to the ground and trampled it, and there was no one who could rescue the ram from its power.



8 And the he-goat grew exceedingly great, and at the height of its power the great horn was broken, and four conspicuous horns came up in place of it toward the four winds of heaven.

21 “And the hairy he-goat is the kingdom of Greece,

and the great horn that is between his eyes — he is the first king.

22 And the horn that was broken,

and then there arose four horns in place of it —

these are four kingdoms that will arise from his nation,

but not with his power.

  • The single horn represented Greece’s first king, Alexander (cf. 11:3). Though his father Philip II of Macedonia had united all the Greek city-states except Sparta, Alexander is considered Greece’s first king. [9]


  • After Alexander’s death, in the prime of life and in the height of his conquests, his brother and two sons were all murdered; and the kingdom was divided among four of his generals.
    Seleucus, who had Syria and Babylon;
    2. Lysimachus, who had Asia Minor;
    3. Ptolemy, who had Egypt;
    4. Caseander, who had Greece, etc. [10]


9 And from one of them came forth a horn, a little one, and it grew exceedingly toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the beautiful land.

10 And it grew up to the host of heaven, and it threw down to the ground some of the host and some of the stars and trampled them.

Daniel 7:8  I was considering the horns, and look, another little horn came up among them, and three of the earlier horns were rooted out from before it, and there were eyes like the eyes of a human in this horn and also a mouth that was speaking boastfully.


Revelation 12:3–4

3 And another sign appeared in heaven, and behold, a great fiery red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven royal headbands.

4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars from heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, in order that whenever she gave birth to her child he could devour it.

11 Even against the prince of the hosts it acted arrogantly and took away from him the regular burnt offering, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown.

12 And on account of transgression,

the host was given over to the horn in addition to the regular burnt offering.

And it cast down truth to the ground, and it acted, and it had success.

  • An ancient application in History – Antiochus Epiphanes
  • A modern – prophetic future application as well.

Matthew 24:15    “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken about by the prophet Daniel standing in the holy place” (let the one who reads understand),


Daniel 11:31   And military forces from him will occupy and will profane the sanctuary stronghold, and they will abolish the regular burnt offering, and they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.


Daniel 11:36–37

36 “Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt himself and will consider himself above any god, and he will speak horrendous things against the God of gods, yet he will succeed until the period of anger is finished, for what is determined will be done.

37 He will not pay respect to the gods of his ancestors, or to the darling of women, and not to any god will he pay respect, for he will consider himself great over all gods.


23 And at the end of their kingdom, when the transgressions are completed, a king will arise, fierce in countenance and skilled in riddles.

24 And his power will grow, but not by his own power, and he will cause fearful destruction, and he will succeed and he will act, and he will destroy the mighty and the people of the holy ones.

25 And by his planning he will make a success of deceit by his hand, and in his mind he will boast, and in their ease he will destroy many, and even against the prince of princes he will rise up, and he will be broken, but not by human hands.

  • A fierce General
  • Skilled in riddles
    • 2420 חִידָה [chiydah /khee·daw/] n f. From 2330; TWOT 616a; GK 2648; 17 occurrences; AV translates as “riddle” nine times, “dark sayings” three times, “hard question” twice, “dark sentence” once, “proverb” once, and “dark speech” once. 1 riddle, difficult question, parable, enigmatic saying or question, perplexing saying or question. 1a riddle (dark obscure utterance). 1b riddle, enigma (to be guessed). 1c perplexing questions (difficult). 1d double dealing (with ‘havin’). [11]\


1 Corinthians 14:33   For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.


  • Great power – but not of his own power – power from possession.
  • He brings great destruction upon the earth, and against every mighty nation.
    • Particularly upon Israel and the Jews
  • Great ability to deceive the world


  • The Prince of Princes will arise!!

Zechariah 14:1–9

1 Look! A day is coming for Yahweh,

when your plunder will be divided in your midst.

2 I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, and they will loot the houses, and the women will be raped; half of the city will go into exile, but the remainder of the people will not be cut off from the city.

Psalm 2:1–12

1 Why are nations in tumult, and countries plotting in vain?

2 The kings of the earth establish themselves,

and the rulers conspire together against Yahweh and his anointed:

3 “Let us tear off their bonds, and cast their cords from us!”

4 He who sits enthroned in the heavens laughs.

The Lord derides them.

5 Then he speaks to them in his wrath, and in his fury he terrifies them:

6 “But as for me, I have set my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”

7 I will tell the decree; Yahweh said to me: “You are my son; today I have begotten you.

8 Ask from me and I will make the nations your heritage, and your possession the ends of the earth.

9 You will break them with an iron rod. Like a potter’s vessel you will shatter them.”

10 So then, O kings, be wise. Be warned, O rulers of the earth.

11 Serve Yahweh with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son lest he be angry and you perish on the way, for his anger burns quickly. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.


3 Then Yahweh will go forth and fight against those nations, like when he fights on a day of battle.

4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in half, from east to west, by a very great valley; and half of the mountain will withdraw toward the north, and the other half toward the south.

5 And you will flee by the valley of my mountains, because the valley of the mountains will reach to Azal, and you will flee like you fled from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. And Yahweh my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

6 And then on that day there will not be light, the precious things will congeal.

7 There shall be continuous day—it is known to Yahweh—not day and not night; and at evening time there will be light.

8 And then on that day, living waters will flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea, and the other half to the western sea; it will happen both in the summer and in the winter.

9 And Yahweh will be king over all the earth; on that day Yahweh will be one and his name one.


13 And I heard a certain holy one speaking,

and a certain other holy one said to the specific one who was speaking,

“For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, and the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and the host to trampling?”

14 And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred evenings

and mornings, then the sanctuary will be restored.”

  • Much speculation on the meaning of the 2300 evenings and mornings
    • Most likely the days during the Maccabeus when the Temple had been desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes
    • The conclusion of which brought about the “Feast of Lights” celebration – Hanukkah.

The case for the 2,300-day view seems conclusive, indicating that the period in view covered six years and almost four months. December 164 (the re-consecration of the sanctuary) is the termination date given in the text, thus the 2,300 days began in the fall of 170 b.c. Something significant must have occurred at that time that marked the beginning of the persecution, and such an event did take place. In 170 b.c. Onias III (a former high priest) was murdered at the urging of the wicked high priest Menelaus, whom Antiochus had appointed to that position for a bribe. From this point trouble between Antiochus’s administration and the Jews began to brew (cf. 2 Macc 4:7–50). In 169 b.c. Antiochus looted the temple and murdered some of the Jewish people (cf. 1 Macc 1:20–28). The altar to Zeus was not set up until 167 b.c., but the persecution had been going on long before that event. According to the 2,300-day view, therefore, the whole persecution period (the time that the saints “will be trampled underfoot”) was involved, not just the span from the cessation of the sacrifice and the desecration of the sanctuary until the rededication of the temple.41

Verse 14 concludes by stating that after this period of persecution, the temple would be “reconsecrated.” Just over three years after the altar to Zeus was set up, Judas Maccabeus cleansed and rededicated the temple on December 14, 164 b.c. (cf. 1 Macc 4:52). Today the Jews celebrate the Feast of Hanukkah (“dedication”) to commemorate this momentous event (cf. John 10:22).   [12]


26 And the vision of the evening and the morning that has been described, it is true; and you, seal up the vision, for it refers to many days to come.”

  • †סָתַם S5640 TWOT1550 GK6258 stop up, shut up, keep close (NH id.; 𝔗 סְתַם id.; Syriac ܣܛܰܡ (sṭam) (ܣܬܡ (stm) very rare); Arabic سَدَمَ (sadama) close door Lane1334, and سَطَمَ (saṭama) Ḳam Frey, are perhaps loan-words; cf. Assyrian (bît) šutummu, storehouse, treasury, Zehnpf i. 531); —Qal Pf. 3 ms. ס׳ 2 Ch 32:30; Impf. 2 mpl. תִּסְתֹּ֑מוּ 2 K 3:19; 3 mpl. יִסְתֹּ֑מוּ v 25, וַיִּסְתְּמוּ 2 Ch 32:4; Imv. ms. סְתֹם Dn 8:26; 12:4; Inf. cstr. לִסְתּוֹם 2 Ch 32:3; Pt. pass. סָתוּם Ez 28:3, סָתֻם ψ 51:8, pl. סְתֻמִים Dn 12:9;—1. stop up springs of water 2 K 3:19, 25; 2 Ch 32:3, 4, cf. v 30. 2. shut up, keep close, prophetic words Dn 8:26; 12:4, 9; בְּסָתֻם ψ 51:8 in (the) closed (chamber of the breast; || טֻחוֹת).—כָּל־סָתוּם Ez 28:3 usually no secret is too dark for thee, but doubtful (v. II. עמם); 𝔊 σοφοί, Co חַרְטֻמִּים < Toy חֲכָמִים, or Berthol. קֹסְמִים. Niph. Inf. cstr. לְהִסָּתֵם Ne 4:1 the breaches [in the walls] had begun to be stopped up. Pi. Pf. 3 pl. sf. סִתְּמוּם Gn 26:15; Impf. 3 mpl. sf. וַיְסַתְּמוּם v 18, both of stopping wells quite up (RJE). [13]

27 And I, Daniel, was overcome, and I became ill for some days, and I performed the business of the king, and I was dismayed over the vision and I did not understand it.

  • Gabriel tells Daniel that all he has seen and heard is true.
    • Unbelievable as it was to Daniel, it all became perfectly true.
  • Future fulfillment.
    • Many days to come
    • Antiochus would come 400 years later
    • Antichrist is yet to come.
  • Daniel still could not understand the vision


[1] It is fascinating that the Aramaic section begins and ends with the two perspectives of the four great Gentile kingdoms (Daniel 2 and Daniel 7). Similarly, the book Jeremiah was written mainly to Israel, but the one verse in the book that aims at the wider audience is written in Aramaic and contains a powerful challenge to the false gods of the Gentile world: "Thus you shall say to them, 'The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens' " (Jer. 10:11).  Daniel Whitcomb


[3] Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Resolute, “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Victor, 2000), 94–95.

[4] Jack W. Hayford, ed., Spirit Filled Life Study Bible, electronic ed. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1997), Da 8:1.

[5] The English word archangel is derived from the Greek ἀρχάγγελος (arch- + angel, literally chief angel or angel of origin).  It appears only once in the New Testament in the phrase 'the archangel Michael' (Jude 9). The corresponding Hebrew word in the Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) is found in two places as in "Michael, one of the chief princes" (Dan 10:13) and in "Michael, the great prince" (Dan 12:1). Michael and Gabriel are recognized as archangels in Judaism, Islam, the Baha'i Faith and by most Christians. Protestants recognize Gabriel as an angel but consider Michael to be the only chief angel  or archangel. Raphael—mentioned in the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit—is also recognized as an archangel in the Catholic and Orthodox churches. Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael are venerated in the Roman Catholic Church with a feast on September 29 (between 1921 and 1969, March 24 for Gabriel and October 24 for Raphael), and in the Eastern Orthodox Church on November 8 (if the Julian calendar is used, this corresponds to November 21 in the Gregorian). The named archangels in Islam are Gabriel, Michael, Israfil and Azrael. Jewish literature, such as the Book of Enoch, also mentions Metatron as an archangel, called the "highest of the angels", though the acceptance of this angel is not canonical in all branches of the faith.

[6] M. G. Easton, Easton’s Bible Dictionary (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1893).

[7] J. Dwight Pentecost, “Daniel,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 1356.

[8] J. Dwight Pentecost, “Daniel,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 1356.

[9] J. Dwight Pentecost, “Daniel,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 1357–1358.

[10] B. Blayney, Thomas Scott, and R.A. Torrey with John Canne, Browne, The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, vol. 1 (London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, n.d.), 553.

[11] James Strong, Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon (Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1995).

[12] Stephen R. Miller, Daniel, vol. 18, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994), 229–230.

[13] Francis Brown, Samuel Rolles Driver, and Charles Augustus Briggs, Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977), 711.