Daniel Chapter 8
At times, it is crucial to determine, if possible, the time frame of when a chapter is taking place early in our study so that the data we are gathering fits that time frame. What is the time frame of Daniel 8? "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" (Daniel 8:17, emphasis added). "For at the time appointed the end shall be" (Daniel 8:19, emphasis added). Even though, as we shall see, the vision begins in the distant past, the main thrust of what Daniel was shown in chapter 8 pertains to "the time of the end" (Daniel 8:17) which is still in the future.
Daniel received "a vision . . . by the river of Ulai." Let us look at the vision to see what is in it. "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" (Daniel 8:3-4, emphasis added).
The ram was pushing toward the west, north, and south. Would it then be reasonable to conclude that he is coming from the east? In the portion of Daniel 8 where the explanation of the vision is given we read, "the ram which thou saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia" (Daniel 8:20, emphasis added). The two horns represented Darius and Cyrus, "the kings of Media and Persia." A horn represents an individual king and not a system or kingdom in this chapter. The higher horn represented King Cyrus of Persia, and the lower horn represented King Darius of the Medes. Even though King Cyrus was the more powerful one, he deferred the kingship to his uncle, King Darius. The ram's coming from the east is consistent with where Daniel was at the time of the vision; he was in what is known today as Iraq, and the Medes and the Persians came from modern-day Iran. Elohim has set up two essential criteria for unlocking the rest of the vision given in Daniel 8; one horn equals one king, and directional relevance.
Let us go to Daniel 8:5, where these two criteria are restated and thus confirming them. "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" (emphasis added).
In Daniel 8:21, the interpretation of Daniel 8:5 is given: "And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king" (emphasis added). We know this "first king" to be Alexander the Great. Once again, in this vision of Daniel 8, one horn equals one king. And he comes from a specific direction, the west.
"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 [All other translations referenced used ‘horns' instead of ‘notable ones.'] toward the four winds of heaven. 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 [west – this is the land of Israel]" (Daniel 8:8-9, emphasis added).
From where did this "little horn" come? Let us carefully examine what the passage is saying. In the English language, a pronoun refers back to the last noun a majority of the time. The last noun that precedes "out of one of them" is "winds." "Out of one of . . . the four winds of heaven . . . came forth a little horn" (Daniel 8:9, emphasis added). From which one of the "four winds of heaven" does he come?
The "little horn . . . waxed . . . toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land [west – this is the land of Israel]" (Daniel 8:9, emphasis added). For Daniel in modern-day Iraq, "the pleasant land" would have been towards the west, meaning this "little horn" came from the north. This is consistent with what we have discovered in the first two parts of the vision of Daniel 8.
Historically, many have said the "little horn" is the papacy because he came from one of the "four notable ones." Is that correct? We see clearly from the context that this "little horn" comes from a geographical direction as dictated from what has been shown previously in the vision and from what is stated in Daniel 8:8-9.
The ram and the goat came from specific directions. Why would Elohim show this to us unless He wanted us to carry those thoughts into the scenario of the little horn so we would know that the "little horn" came from a specific direction just as the ram came from the east (Daniel 8:4) and the goat came from the west (Daniel 8:5)? Elohim set the pattern for us to follow by what He revealed in the first two parts of the vision. Does the papacy meet this directional specification? Rome is to the west of modern-day Iraq, not to the north.
Also, is the papacy a system or an individual? The horns pictured in Daniel 8 represent individuals based on what Elohim has revealed to us in Daniel 8:20-21. Are we then to say “the little horn” represents a system in spite of all that Elohim has shown us in this vision and ignore what Elohim has shown previously? The "little horn . . . waxed . . . toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land [west]" coming from the north.
Based on what we have looked at so far, the "little horn" is not the papacy because it does not meet two critical criteria of contextual perimeters we are bound to in our study of the prophecy in Daniel 8. Horns are specific individuals (Darius, Cyrus, and Alexander) and have specific directional references of east and west. In summary, thus far, we know that "the little horn" represents a specific individual, not a system, and he comes from one specific direction; the north and is not from one of the "four notable ones" into which the empire of Alexander was divided. One of those divisions soon passed away, and all the divisions of Alexander's empire were gone by the time the papacy came into existence. So how could it be said, that the "little horn" came out of one of those divisions if it indeed was the papacy when none of the "four notable ones" were still in existence by the time the papacy came into existence?
Remember from our discussion at the beginning of this chapter; this vision pertains to “the time of the end" (Daniel 8:17). Even though the vision begins with the Medes, the Persians, and the Greeks, it "leapfrogs" to "the time of the end" at some point within the vision. What events are still going to happen at "the time of the end?"
In the explanation portion of Daniel 8, we read, "The ram which thou saw 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" (Daniel 8:20-21).
"Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. 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" (Daniel 8:22-23).
So what is it saying: "in the latter time of their kingdom?" "The latter time of" whose kingdom? If those generals who took over Alexander's empire are gone, who is this verse referring to, and who will be around during "the time of the end?"
We read in Daniel 2:44, "And in the days of these [ten toes] kings shall the Elohim of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed" (Daniel 2:44). When these ten-toed kings of a mixture of iron and clay are in power at "the time of the end," then we will see the concluding events described in Daniel 8 take place and "the king of fierce countenance" will come up "in the latter time of their kingdom."
Another element dealing with the time of this vision is found in the words: "when the transgressors are come to the full." Have "the transgressors . . . come to the full?" Had they "come to the full" when the papacy arose in AD 538? As we observe what is taking place around us, we see things going from bad to worse, do we not? When we think it cannot be any worse, some new revelation of wickedness appears. So it seems that, at least for right now, we may not have reached the time pointed out in this vision? We do know from what is written in Psalm 92:7 that "When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed forever." Elohim is allowing sin to come to maturity so that before it and sinners are destroyed, the Universe will see what it was that Lucifer began in heaven over 6,000 years ago. Yahushua told the parable of the wheat and the tares as recorded in Matthew 13. "But He said, Nay; lest while you gather up the tares, you root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather you together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into My barn" (Matthew 13:29-30).
"And it [‘little horn' (Daniel 8:9)] 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 [‘little horn'] magnified himself even to the Prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down" (Daniel 8:10-11).
This "little horn" is quite presumptuous and even magnifies himself "to the Prince of the host" who is Yahushua. He also "cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground." We know from Revelation 12:4 that Satan "drew the third part of the stars of heaven" when he was cast out of heaven to this earth.
When Satan had Yahushua crucified in AD 31 the "daily sacrifice [sacrifice was not in the Hebrew texts and is added] was taken away" and in AD 70, "the place of the sanctuary was cast down." Even though Satan personally did not do either of these two things, he was the power behind what was done in AD 31 and AD 70. See chapter 2 on Daniel 9 for a review of these events having been foretold.
The "little horn," of Daniel 8, is also "the king of fierce countenance" and comes from the north, according to Daniel 8:9. In Jeremiah 1:14, we read, "Then Yahuwah said unto me, out of the north shall evil break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land" (emphasis added). "But destruction cometh; it cometh out of the north" (Jeremiah 46:20. emphasis added). "Evil appears out of the north, and great destruction" (Jeremiah 6:1, emphasis added). "For, I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction" (Jeremiah 4:6, emphasis added).
Was Jeremiah telling Israel that Elohim was bringing evil and destruction to them from the geographical north? Jeremiah should have been writing that it was coming from the east if he was referring to the Babylonians. Or was Jeremiah speaking to us in the days in which we are living? I believe the prophets spoke as much for the days in which we are living as they did for the time in which they lived. “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).
Satan is being described as "the king of fierce countenance" because for over 6,000 years he has been indulging his hateful spirit until his countenance, which was once beautiful and peaceful, has been changed into a "fierce countenance."
Satan was called the destroyer in Revelation 9:11: "And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon [destroyer], but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon [destroyer]" (emphasis added). "So destruction comes out of the north" and is caused by the "destroyer," Satan, the "king" who is the "angel of the bottomless pit" and in this chapter is referred to as the "king of fierce countenance."
"At the time of the end shall be the vision" (Daniel 8:17). In the explanation of the vision given in Daniel 8, we read, "A king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences shall stand up" (Daniel 8:23, emphasis added). This is the description of "the little horn" in Daniel 8. He is a king just as Satan was described as a "king" in Revelation 9:11. This king has had lofty ambitions as we are told in Isaiah. "For thou [Satan] hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of Elohim [Elohim's angels]; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north [Psalm 48:2]. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the most HIGH" (Isaiah 14:13-14, emphasis added). Yes, the papacy has made some pretty blasphemous statements of similar claims, but it is from the Bible that we are to obtain our understanding and not from the comments of man.
This has always been the great controversy between Yahushua and Satan, but many, because of their misunderstanding of Daniel and Revelation, have made it appear that it was a controversy between Yahushua and the papacy. It is Satan that has had such lofty ambitions. "And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power" (Daniel 8:24). Although fallen, Satan is still a mighty angel who retains much of his power and intellect which Elohim had given to him when he was created. Elohim has kept him on a short leash and is now allowing Satan more freedom to manifest himself as we approach the time of the end. We have a saying which goes, "give him enough rope, and he will hang himself." So it will be with Satan at the time of the end. He has indulged his evil nature for so long that when Yahushua gives him more rope, he will hang himself, exposing himself for what he has become through six thousand years of indulging in evil. Evil will be allowed to come to full maturity before it is destroyed forever, and this is why, as we approach the time of the end, that things are only going to get worse. We do not have a true conception of how evil, powerful, and malignant our mighty foe is, but during the last days, Elohim will allow Satan to manifest his real character that all may decide on their own whom they will serve. "Choose you this day whom you will serve" (Joshua 24:15). There will be no walking the fence line. We will either choose Elohim or Satan! “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
"And he [Satan] shall destroy wonderfully, and he shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people" (Daniel 8:24, emphasis added). Other portions of Scripture we will look at will verify that it is Satan that will be doing these things which are written here. Satan shall prosper for a time and shall even be permitted to "destroy the mighty and the holy people." "And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit [Satan] shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them [the 144,000]"(Revelation 11:7).
Jeremiah has told us of the destruction that shall come upon us from him who comes out of the north (Jeremiah 4:6). We have seen in Revelation 9:5 that Satan will torment, for five months, those that have not the seal of Elohim in their foreheads. Also, in Revelation 9, we saw how Satan and his angels will kill one-third of the people (Revelation 9:15, 18). We find in Daniel 8 that he will even be permitted to "destroy the mighty and the holy people" whom we will see are the 144,000.
Satan will be fully exposed for what he has become in the coming struggle at the end of time. The Universe witnessed Satan's hatred for the Son of Elohim, when he had Him crucified nearly two thousand years ago, and we will see his hatred of Elohim and His people in the last days when he is permitted to fulfill his desire upon Elohim's people. He will be doing this personally and not through intermediaries as he has done in the past, but he will not be telling people the truth of who he is.
"But he shall be broken without hand" (Daniel 8:25, emphasis added). Just as the image seen by King Nebuchadnezzar was destroyed by a "stone was cut out of the mountain without hands"(Daniel 2:34), so the "king of fierce countenance," Satan, is "broken without hand." Other translations add "human" to "without hands" reading "without human hands." Other translations read not "by human agency" or not "by human power." Yahuwah will be personally breaking him and his power over humanity.
Elohim will put an end to Satan's reign of terror on this earth and will set up His everlasting kingdom. He does not need the assistance of man to accomplish this, and in the coming struggle, we will see how helpless we indeed are in combating Satan in our strength and wisdom.
I have not addressed Daniel 8:12-14 at this time. These verses will be included in our discussion of Daniel 12. These verses deal with what will take place when Satan is on the earth during the "the time of the end."
In Daniel 8:14, where it reads, "Unto 2,300 days," the word "days" should have been translated "evenings and mornings" [Amplified, NAS, and NIV]. "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" (Daniel 8:26, emphasis added). It appears that the correct understanding of this portion of this vision was not to be understood until we come to the end of time. "The vision of the evening and the morning" is discussed in Daniel 8:12-14. Those days are coming "at the time appointed" (Daniel 8:19) in the last days.
One last thing before we leave Daniel 8. Regarding "the latter time of their kingdom" (Daniel 7:23), how long will the New World Order (Daniel 2:44) be in power? When we discover that, we will be able to know the approximate time of when Satan will appear on the earth. In Revelation 13, we are told the composite beast (New World Order) "was given unto him to continue forty and two months" (Revelation 13:5, emphasis added). Therefore we can expect Satan to show up on the earth sometime after the twenty-first month, once the New World Order has come into power.
- 1. Who is the “little horn” pictured in this chapter?
- 2. From what geographical location does he come from?
- 3. Who is the “king of fierce countenance?”
- 4. Who is the “first king” of Greece?
- 5. Who are the kings of Media-Persia?
- 6. When do the final scenes pictured in Daniel chapter 8 take place?