ram vision

Daniel Chapter 8

goat prophecy

The ram and goat vision of Daniel chapter 8 is usually interpreted in
accord with the translated text stated in Daniel 8:20-21,

                         Ram   =  Medo-Persia
                         Goat  =  Greece

The first horn of the goat is commonly viewed as Alexander the Great and
the little horn as the Greek king Antiochus Epiphanes (who desecrated the
temple about 168 BC).

For this reason the Daniel chapter 8 prophecy is usually deemed to be a
prophecy which is fully fulfilled.


The common explanation, alluded to above, does reasonably correlate with
the requirements of the prophecy, but fails to fully explain the clear
end-time references found in verses 17, 19 & 25. The view also fails
to adequately explain verse 26, which clearly states this vision was
'sealed'. (Note, Daniel 12:4 makes it perfectly clear that the very
purpose of 'sealing' was to hide understanding of the true meaning
until 'the time of the end'.)

The bible student needs to understand that the surface meaning of
Daniel chapter 8 is NOT the true teaching of this prophecy!

So how should we understand the biblical explanation of the ram being
Medo-Persia and the goat being Greece? The answer is we should become
aware that the symbols of the ram and goat are being even further
symbolised. That the two ancient empires, Medo-Persia and Greece, are
also being presented as symbols. That God in the text of chapter eight
simply does not wish to identify the actual entities being discussed.


Determining the true teaching of this prophecy requires a consideration
          1) related prophetic scriptures
          2) a pattern of events which can be matched to
             the structure presented in the vision.

The matching of the pattern presented: ie an entity with 2 horns, where
the higher horn rises last, which is then defeated by an entity with one
great horn, only to be later broken and replaced by 4 horns. Then in the
end-time, from one of these 4 horns, arises a horn which will exalt
itself and finally challenge the 'Prince of princes'.

Scripture does not supply sufficient information relevant to other Gentile
kingdom transitions to enable the selection of another suitable Gentile
perspective. However, Scripture does provide ample information regarding
the history of physical Israel and to a lesser extent Christianity.

If one searches Scripture for a king (or kingdom) which could represent
the first horn of the goat, it is apparent several options are possible:

          1) Jeroboam, the first king of the house of Israel.
             Some of the major subsequent kings of the house
             of Israel representing the 4 horns.

          2) King Josiah, who re-united the divided kingdom.
             His four descendants, who rose to the throne,
             possibly being the subsequent 4 horns.

          3) Jesus Christ, followed by four prominent apostles
             of the New Testament church.

To help select the most appropriate choice one must determine the scope
of the ram and goat vision.

While it is apparent that the sealed message of the vision reaches to the
end-time, what is not so apparent is which event initiates the prophecy.

To determine this event, and the time spanned by this prophecy, we need
to consider the literal duration of the period 2300 (Daniel 8:14).

The above page concludes that the 2300 period is in reality a period
of 3,450 years and that this period began with the settling of the
children of Israel in the land of Canaan (after their Exodus from

This very long span of time and the need to have two completely separate
kingdoms (one which takes the place of the other) favours the third option.

The great horn was Jesus Christ, who was followed by four prominent
apostles. Hence, the goat was representing the rise of the Christian faith
and the ram depicting the state of the prior Jewish faith. Hence, the two
spiritual kingdoms of God, Judaism and Christianity, were in symbol being
represented by two literal kingdoms - Medo-Persia and Greece.

So the vision in Daniel chapter 8, of the ram and goat, was a symbolic
illustration of the natural division of the work of God - into the Old
and New Covenants.


The ram portrays the Old Testament faith as it was manifest in Israel.

However, what is the identity of the two ram horns?

OPTION ONE - Judah and Ephraim (house of Judah & house of Israel)

The two horns may represent the two tribes of Judah and Ephraim.
These two tribes later came to lead the two divisions of Israel,
a) the house of Judah and b) the house of Israel. Historically, the
house of Judah became dominant.

This division of Israel was in part pre-figured by the splitting of the
promises, the promises initially made by God to Abraham.

   - The promise of 'kingship' (Gen 17:6) was passed down through
     Jacob's son Judah, refer Genesis 49:8,10.
   - The promise of 'nations' (Gen 17:5,6) and 'great prosperity'
     (Gen 22:17) was passed down through his grandson Ephraim
     (the younger son of Joseph), refer Genesis 48:19 & 49:22,25,26.

OPTION TWO - Benjamin and Judah

The second option focuses more upon the similarity between the kingship
of Medo-Persia and the kingship of nation of Israel.

The first king of Medo-Persia was a Mede and subsequent kings were Persian.
This is detailed in Scripture in Dan 11:1-2.
The same format was encountered with Israel where the first king, Saul, was
from the tribe of Benjamin (1Sam9:1-2,16,21) and subsequent kings, David
and Solomon, were from the tribe of Judah (1Sam17:12, 2Ch1:3,13-15).

Due to the presence of the symbolised prophetic text of Daniel 11:1-4,
and the fact that the 10 tribed house of Israel quickly adopted pagan
practices, it is likely the two horns are intended to refer to the kingship
of Benjamin and Judah.

In the Daniel chapter 8 text the ram is described as pushing toward the
west, north and south and by this means the verse describes the direction
from which the Ram originally came, ie from the east. The children of
Israel had approached the Promised Land from the east when they crossed
the Jordan River. Obviously after being settled in the Promised Land the
ram continued to push at the remaining original inhabitants that were
left in the land.


The comparison between Alexander the Great and Jesus Christ is unmistakable.
While Alexander conquered with great speed the known world, Jesus Christ
spiritually conquered in just a few years the Levitical establishment of
the spiritual world.

The New Covenant church is here being described as being represented by
four notable ones. This is likely a reference to the four leading apostles,
Peter, James, John and Paul.

    Gal    2:9   and when James, Cephas(Peter), and John, who seemed
                 to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been
                 given to me(Paul), they gave me and Barnabas the
                 right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the
                 Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

The prophecy also mentions that the four horns would go to the four winds
of heaven. It is apparent that the work of Paul in journeying to the
nations spread the work beyond the borders of Israel.

Daniel 8:22 indicates that the four horns would not posses the power of
the original horn. While John 14:12 speaks of those who believe in Christ
doing greater works, it is also apparent they were not completely filled
with the spirit of God as Christ had been. Their lesser spiritual strength
is evident in the text describing the conflict at Antioch, Gal 2:11-21.


In the end-time a little horn arises. It appears to arise from the north!

    Dan    8:9   And out of one of them came a little horn which
                 grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward
                 the east, and toward the Glorious Land [west?].

           8:23  And in the latter time of their kingdom, When the
                 transgressors have reached their fullness, A king
                 shall arise, having fierce features, who understands
                 sinister schemes {ie hidden mysteries}.

While the history of the church could be summed up by reference to the
Old and New Testament faiths, few have realized that the one who will
oppose the 'Prince of princes' will arise from Christianity! (Just as
in times past it was the recognized leadership of God's work which
opposed God's appointed.)

This little horn is predicted in verse 9 to come from the north and go
toward the south, east and the glorious land (ie west). The north is
a direction frequently associated with Gentile kingdoms. During the
history of Israel the Syrians, Assyrians and Chaldeans were aggressive
northern powers.

The role God has appointed to this little horn is to bring to an end
the transgression present in the sanctuary of symbolic Jerusalem, refer
verses 12 & 23. This little horn is God's instrument for bringing
the Great Tribulation upon the spiritual land of Judah (ie Judaism).
The little horn brings to an end in Judaism corrupt spiritual sacrifice,
just as did Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel's time.

Verse 25 shows that the little horn accomplishes this task through his
cunning and through the use of deception to influence those in positions
of power, refer verses 24-25.

  Note:  This little horn is the same entity described in the previous
         chapter. It is the little horn which in chapter 7 of Daniel
         subdues 3 horns (kingdoms) and then proceeds to lead the
         remaining 7 kingdoms for a period of '3.5 times'.

         Many commentators have in the past stressed that the little
         horn of Daniel chapter 8 differs from the little horn of Daniel
         chapter 7, but this has been due to them viewing both chapters
         from a purely literal viewpoint. It is only when one looks
         beyond surface meanings that the true message concerning the
         little horn, and its predecessors, can be discerned.


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