Daniel 1

Daniel 8 Part 1

Before we continue to read the book of Daniel let's take a minute to reflect on a couple of things.

First - Daniel is progressively being shown what will come to pass. The Ram and rough goat mentioned in Daniel chapter 8 expounds upon the two beasts the bear and four headed leopard that are mentioned in Daniel chapter 7.

Second - The date the book of Daniel was written is very important. This chapter clearly points out historical events that happened, which probably draws us to one of two conclusions.

 

1) Daniel had these dreams before these events occurred, and history followed his dreams perfectly. This means that God's Word is inspired. Or; 

 

2) The book of Daniel was written after all these events occurred by someone pretending to be Daniel, in order to fake like god told Daniel everything that would occur.

 

This is why many critics of the Bible will fight tooth and nail about the date the book of Daniel was written, because acknowledging Daniel was written before these events happened means either god exists or Daniel eerily predicted the future with perfect accuracy.

 

Third - Daniel 8 is interpreted for us. So let's learn what each beast represents beforehand to help us get the full picture while reading through it. 

The first beast, The Ram

20The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.

So the first beast, the ram, is Media and Persia. Verse 3 tells us this Ram had two horns, with one horn being higher than the other. Last week we also learned about Daniel's vision of the four beasts, and the second beast the Bear, also represented Media and Persia. If you remember, the bear had one side risen higher than the other. Likewise the ram has one horn higher than the other.

The second beast, The Rough Goat or He Goat

The second beast mentioned in Daniel 8 is the rough goat. Verse 21 says:

And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.

So the second beast, the rough goat or 'he-goat' is the King of greece. The ram as we just learned corresponded to the bear mentioned in Daniel 7. The beast that came after the bear in Daniel chapter 7 was the leopard with four heads. That leopard corresponds to the second beast mentioned in chapter 8, the rough goat. Just like the leopard was one beast but then had four heads, the rough goat also has one horn or one king, but that horn would be broken, and 4 kings would take its place.

So,

The Bear in chapter 7 is the same as the Ram in chapter 8, which both represent Media and Persia.

and,

the 4 headed Leopard in chapter 7 is the same as the Goat mentioned in chapter 8, both representing the kingdom of Greece that would eventually be split into 4 parts. Those four parts are signified by the four heads of the leopard in Daniel 7 and by the goats horn that broke into four places in Daniel 8.

Pharaoh's Dream

Think back about Pharaoh's dream in Genesis 41. Pharaoh had two dreams. The first dream had 7 fat cows followed by 7 skinny cows that eventually ate the 7 fat cows that appeared first. Pharaoh's second dream had 7 good ears of corn sprout up, followed by 7 thin ears of corn that ended up eating the 7 good ears of corn that appeared first.

When Joseph interpreted the dream for Pharaoh, he told him the dreams were 'one and the same'. God was telling Pharaoh the exact same thing, but with different images.

That is what God was doing with Daniel, telling him the same thing twice, but with different images. The Bear and the four headed leopard, and the Ram and the rough goat were one and the same.

God was making Daniel's understanding of future events more clear. Daniel already knew from the second year of his captivity that Babylon would not last forever because the head of gold in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, which represented Babylon was to be followed by other kingdoms. But now instead of just knowing that Babylon would eventually fall, Daniel is now being told the actual kingdoms that would come after Babylon and the order looked something like this.

1. Babylon.

2. Media & Persia

3. Greece

4. The first king of Greece will die and be replaced by four kings.

That is perfect history folks. That is exactly what history tells us happened.

Because the book of Daniel describes perfect history, many people try to discredit the book for one thing or another.

 

Now we can go through all the 'argument's' about it being written after the fact some other time but let me leave you with two thoughts. The book of Daniel is part of the Greek Septuagint, which means the book of Daniel was written before some of these events took place, and also Yahusha refers to the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel. Clearly Yahusha thought the book of Daniel was valid.

Now that we know the first beast the ram, is Media & Persia, and the second beast the rough goat is Greece, let us read Daniel 8.

Daniel 8.....for real this time

Daniel's Vision of the Ram and Goat

1In 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. 2And 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. 3Then 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. 4I 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.

5And 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. 6And 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. 7And 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. 8Therefore 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.

9And 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.10And 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. 11Yea, 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.12And 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. 13Then 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? 14And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

Gabriel Interprets Daniel's Vision

15And 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. 16And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. 17So 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.

18Now 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. 19And 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.

20The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.

21And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.

23And 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.

24And 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.

25And 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.

26And 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.

27And 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.

Explanation

We will now expand on each of the paragraph's concerning Daniel's Vision. The paragraph's have been shortened for time's sake.

2And I saw in a vision; 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. 4I 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 two horns are Media and Persia. Persia is the second horn that was higher, but came up last. Persia defeated the Medes and then pushed Westward conquering Babylonians, Northward conquering the Sardes, and Southward conquering the Egyptians. You can see Persia's conquest on the map to the side or below.

5And 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. 6And 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. 7And 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. 8Therefore 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 rough goat or he goat represented Greece and the single horn on the goat represented Alexander the Great. The ram is said to moved on the face of the earth without touching the ground. That is because Alexander traveled by sea, and therefore did not touch the ground just as God had said.

The great horn being broken meant Alexander would die, and four notable horns, or kings, would take his place. Those four kings were:

1. Longimus

2. Lysimachus

3. Seleucus (Great Great Grandfather of Antiochus IV)

4. Ptolemy

Seleucus and Antiochus are the kings you need to focus on for now. Let's continue with verse 9:

The Little Horn

9And 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.10And 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. 11Yea, 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.12And 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. 13Then 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? 14And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

What you should notice here is that out of one of the horns would come forth a little horn, that little horn is Antiochus Epiphanes, also known as Antiochus IV. This little horn would come from the line of Seleucus, who was the great-great-grandfather of Antiochus IV.

Now Daniel knew that Israel would one day leave Babylon and the sacrifices would continue. However he now knew Media Persia would overthrow Babylon, Greece would overthrow Media Persia, and one of the Greek descendants would then trod God's sanctuary underfoot.

 

How terrible it must have been for Daniel to know that even after Israel was set free, and the sanctuary rebuilt, another nation, this time the Greeks, would trample the sanctuary once more.

Daniel then overhears one of the men in his vision asking the other man how long would this Greek king would be allowed to trample on God's Sanctuary. The other man answers him unto two thousand and three hundred days, then the sanctuary will be cleansed.

The 2300 Day Error

If you remember from Daniel Chapter 4 about Nebuchadnezzar's dream of a tree, we talked about how Jehovah's Witnesses incorrectly interpreted the scripture and used it to proclaim Yahusha would return in 1914.

Likewise the Millerites (which Seventh day adventists eventually came from) used the 2300 days mentioned in Daniel 8 to incorrectly conclude that Yahusha would return in 1844. This is known as the great disappoint- ment.

 

William Miller believed when it said that in 2300 days the sanctuary would be cleansed, the sanctuary represented the earth, and the earth would be cleansed when Yahusha returned. So therefore, the end of the 2300 days mentioned referred to Yahusha's return to cleanse the earth.

 

The only thing missing was the starting point. When do we start counting the 2300 days (or prophetic years) from? William Miller stated it must be from the time of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, which he believed was in 457 b.c.  With that said, let's look at the math.

2300

-457

1843

We then add one year leaving us at the year 1844. There you have it. William Miller and his followers believed this is the year Yahusha would return.

But was the two men in Daniel's vision talking about the end of the earth? No, they were talking about the end of the Grecian rule and more specifically how long the Greeks would trample God's Sanctuary underfoot.

 

The answer? 2300 days.

So the Sanctuary would be trampled for 6 years?

Ok this is the tricky part. I don't remember where I first read this from but I do remember reading somewhere that Daniel 8 actual read for 2300 days and evenings. Not 2300 days. The point was that 2300 days and evenings was actually short for 2300 day and evening sacrifices.

Since Israel offered up daily sacrifices both in the day and in the evenings, that means each day had two daily sacrifices. So it would take 1,150 days to offer 2,300 daily sacrifices. 1,150 in the day and another 1,150 in the evening.

Keeping this in mind I pondered the meaning of the 2,300 days but figured that this trampling by Antiochus would last either just over 6 years since 6 times 365 = 2,180 or half of that, which would be just over 3 years.

I tried to find how the six years might work, but I've yet to find any evidence that six years would fit. I then thought of how 3 years might be able to work. I knew there was a solution, I just had to find it. We will be reading the book of Maccabees soon, however in the first book of Maccabees it tells us

 

"15 On the fifteenth day of Chislev in the year 145 (that would be the 145th year of Greece's rule) the king built the appalling abomination on top of the altar of burnt offering; and altars were built in the surrounding towns of Judah

1 Maccabees 4 then says:

"

On the twenty-fifth of the ninth month, Chislev, in the year 148 they rose at dawn

53 and offered a lawful sacrifice on the new altar of burnt offering which they had made"

So there was three years and 10 days between the sanctuary's desolation and dedication. The dates were:

15 Chislev in the 145th year of Greece's rule to...

25 Chislev in the 148th year of Greece's rule.

Some of the Greek Calendars had 360 days in a year made up of twelve 30 day months. The Greeks also had leap months just like the Jews. Those leap months would normally alternate between leap month and non leap month years. That means any three year time frame could have 2 years with a leap month.

That means if we add the total number of days contained in 3 years with two leap months we would get

360

x  3

1080

1080 days plus the 60 days in the two leap months would be:

1080

+ 60

1140

And obviously there is 10 days between 15 Chislev and 25 Chislev so we would add another 10 days to 1,140 leaving at 1,150 days.

1,140

+   10

1,150

There would then be EXACTLY 2,300 evening and morning sacrifices in those 1,150 days. I believe that is what God was telling Daniel, and since they would be under the control of the Greeks, God used the Greek Calendar to calculate the number of days of the Sanctuary's cleansing.

I don't believe this is forced either, I believe it is beyond coincidence. If the angel told Daniel any other number of days this wouldn't work, if Maccabees told us that Antiochus desecrated the sanctuary one day earlier or the sanctuary was re-dedicated one day later, the math wouldn't work.

Daniel 8 is perfect history even to the 2,300 evening and morning sacrifices.