The hypocrisy of the devil.
The Ram and the Goat
In Chapter seven we learned about the four great beasts; the empires we saw in chapter two that there would be four great empires going on to the coming of Christ. Now chapter eight still gives more about the second and the third of these three empires.
We learned that the little horn will attack the people of the Most High God, 7.21.
Now a vision appeared to Daniel; and he says in Chapter 8:2-3, “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.  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.”
This time the dream is about two domestic animals, The Ram and the Goat
a) The ram, vs. 3,4
b) The goat, vs. 5-8
but in this chapter these two acted like wild beasts. The hypocrisy of the devil.
There is also
c) The little horn, vs. 9-12
1 This vision was two years after the first one, while Belshazzar was still reigning as king of Babylon.
These two visions helped Daniel to know that the kingdom of Babylon would come to an end, and so, with God’s help, it wasted no time for him to understand the writing on the wall, 5.26. Paul said, ”But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5
The saints of the Lord shall take the kingdom and dwell there in forever. Folks you just need to understand scripture and all things will fall in place, even prophecy – everything will be revealed as you read along.
Anyway, Daniel saw himself in Susa, or Shushan, the palace, which was
located in the province of Elam, near the river Ulai. In his dream, Daniel saw himself on the banks of the river.
b) First he saw The ram, 8.3,4
3 This animal was standing by the river Ulai. It had two high horns – one came up later and was higher than the other. This fits
in with the second wild animal, the bear, which raised itself on one side, 7.5. The Persians soon became stronger than the Medes.
4 The bear was commanded to eat, and, here, Daniel saw the ram pushing in three directions, but not eastward. The second empire grew as the kings conquered more countries; no one could stand against them, and the empire became great. These kings could do anything they wanted, although they had to keep their own laws, 6.15.
c) Second he saw The goat, 8.5-8
5 The ram was pushing towards the west, but Daniel saw this male goat running from the west. The goat ran so quickly that in the dream his feet did not even touch the ground. Typical of the leopard, which can run very fast, but also it had wings. The ram had at first only one horn, plain to see, between its eyes.
6,7 The goat came rushing at the ram with great anger. At once, it broke both the shorter and the longer horns of the ram. The horn
is a sign of strength, and the ram could do nothing to protect itself. The angry goat threw the ram to the ground and stamped on it, as the fourth beast did, 7.7,23. At first, the ram was so strong that no nation could save another from its power, v.4. Now no one can help the ram in the day of its defeat.
8 This goat then became very strong, but soon its great horn was broken. In its place, four other horns grew, pointing in four different directions.
We know through history that Alexander the
Great was the first king of the Greek empire. He rose to power very quickly and conquered the Persians. When he died four of his generals divided up the empire, each one controlling certain countries.
d) The little horn, 8.9-12
9 Then Daniel saw a little horn grow from one of the four horns. It soon became very great, and his kingdom kept growing, especially towards the south and the east, but also towards the land of Israel, Ezekiel 20.6,15.
10 Victory brings pride, as seen in the little horn of Rome, 7.25, and this little horn of Greece soon attacked the armies of heaven; leaders of God’s people, Israel, whom the little horn threw down and stamped on.
11 The little horn became so proud that he dared to defy the Head of the armies of Israel, the Lord GOD, and to set himself up
as Lord of Israel. He took away the daily sacrifices and threw down the Temple.
12 Many in Israel were afraid and went along with this. Because of this sin, the little horn got control of the army of Israel so he
could take away the regular offerings to Jehovah. This Greek leader did not care about the truth which God gave to His people. He was at first successful in everything which he did.
e) How long it will last, 8.13,14
13 No doubt Daniel wondered how long Israel’s trouble would last. He heard one angel asking another how long this enemy would be able to take away the daily sacrifice, to defile the Temple and to control the army of Israel.
14 The other one said it would be 2,300 days before the Temple would be used again for the worship of Jehovah.
There was a great Greek leader who did these very things. His name was Antiochus Epiphanes. The word Epiphanes means the glorious one and was usually used of the gods. He conquered Egypt and Israel and he tried to stamp out the worship of Jehovah with great cruelty. He caused the priests of Israel to stop offering sacrifices to the LORD, and he set up a Greek altar for sacrifices to a heathen god on top of a true altar. After about three years, the Jews were able to remove this, set up their own altar and cleanse the Temple. Antiochus died the same year.
It is important to remember that God always sets a time limit to the trouble which His people have. The church of Smyrna faced deep trouble, but only for ten days, Revelation 2.10. God is always on the throne.
2. The meaning, 8.15-27
Daniel recorded what he saw in his vision, and the Lord sent His messenger to explain it to him.
15 Daniel was a prophet of God, but he did not at once understand the meaning of the vision, as in 7.16. He was still in his
dream, and he saw someone who looked like a man telling Gabriel to make Daniel understand the vision.
17 Daniel was greatly afraid when the mighty angel Gabriel came near him, but the angel called him son of man and told him to understand that the vision was for the end time.
But Daniel fell to the ground, unconscious until Gabriel touched him and brought him to his feet. The angel said that
he would inform him what will happen at the end of the time of God’s anger against His people. There will surely be an end. God knows how long it will all last.
b) The near future, 8.20-22
20 One horn on the ram was higher and came up later. This was like the Persian king, Cyrus. Darius the Mede was king of Babylon at first, 5.31, and he agreed to the law of the Medes and the Persians, 6.8,12,15. But Cyrus became more important, v.3; 6.28;
10.1; Ezra 1.1.
21 Daniel knew the first two kingdoms, and now the Lord re- vealed to him the name of the third: Greece.
Alexander the Great was the first great king who made Greece into an empire.
22 Alexander died as a young man, and four generals divided up the empire; but none of them was as strong as Alexander, v.8.
c) Later still, 8.23-27
23 Some people say Daniel could not have known that 200 years later the Greeks would defeat the Persians. But Daniel was the
prophet of God, and we are sure that God knows the future better than we can know what is past. So the angel continued here to tell Daniel (and us) what took place later still.
The Greek rulers became more proud and sinful, and Israel, too, kept on breaking God’s laws. God allowed this little horn, v.9, to become strong. This king would make people afraid when they see him, like Nebuchadnezzar, 3.19. He would be able to understand hard sayings, like Solomon, 1 Kings 10.1,3; Proverbs 1.6, but God gave Solomon his wisdom, 1 Kings 3.12.
24 He would have great power, not his own, but given to him by Satan. God showed His prophets that there is the power of evil spirits behind the kings who rule wickedly, even the power of Satan himself, Isaiah 14.4 (king of Babylon) and vs. 12-15 (Lucifer or Satan); Ezekiel 28.2 (prince of Tyre) and vs. 12-14 (king of Tyre, the cherub who had been in Eden, that is, Satan). The man of sin will have the power of Satan in him to help him gain control of the world, Revelation 13.4. We believe that this little horn is a picture of the coming man of sin. For one thing, the Greek little horn and the man of sin both attack God’s people, Israel.
25 This Greek king would teach his people how to deceive others. He will become very proud; he will call himself Epiphanes,
the glorious one. He would tell people they are quite safe, then destroy them without warning. He will set himself against the Lord Jesus, the Prince of princes, v.11. Christ is the Prince, 9.25; see Isaiah 9.6; Ezekiel 37.25; Revelation 19.16. Of course, the little horn cannot succeed. He will be destroyed by the power of God, not by man. The man of sin will not die; he will be destroyed when God’s angels throw him alive into the lake of fire, Revelation 19.20.
26 Then Gabriel told Daniel that the time of 2,300 evenings and mornings was correct. He should not tell everyone about his
vision, which would be fulfilled over 200 years later. This prophecy refers to the daily sacrifices, evening and morning, Exodus 29.39, which Antiochus stopped, v.11. The 2,300 sacrifices would mean 1,150 days, or about three years. This is what happened.
We will learn more about the man of sin from the revelations given to Daniel in the rest of this book.
27 Daniel became sick about what he had seen and heard, but he soon got better and went about the business of Belshazzar. He was surprised at his vision and could not understand it all. Soon the
Lord gave him more to think about and more details of what will hap- pen in the end.