The vision of the ram (Dan 8:3-8:4)

“I looked up.

I saw a ram

Standing

Beside the river.

It had two horns.

Both horns

Were long.

But one was longer

Than the other.

The longer one

Came up second.

I saw the ram

Charging

Westward,

Northward,

Southward.

All beasts were

Powerless

To withstand him.

No one could be rescued

From its power.

It did as it pleased.

It became strong.”

Daniel then saw a ram standing by the river. Obviously, it had 2 long horns, but one horn was longer than the other. Perhaps, this was an indication of the longer Persian was the shorter Medes horn. This ram charged west, north, and south, but not eastward. All the other animals were powerless before it. No one could escape from it, because it did what it pleased, as it seemed to get stronger.

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The vision in Susa (Dan 8:1-8:2)

“In the third year

Of the reign

Of King Belshazzar,

A vision appeared

To me,

Daniel.

This was after

What appeared to me

At first.

In the vision,

I was looking.

I saw myself

In Susa,

In the capital,

In the province

Of Elam.

I was by

The river Ulai.”

Daniel once again assumes the first-person singular. His second vision took place two years after the first dream, around 542 BCE, the 3rd year of King Belshazzar. In this vision, he was in Susa, the winter capital of Babylon, also mentioned in the Book of Esther. Susa was the ancient capital of the province of Elam. The Ulai River or the Eulaeus River, or as it is known today as the Karkheh River flowed through Susa. Today Susa is known as Shush, in Iran.

The everlasting kingdom of the Most High (Dan 7:27-7:27)

“The kingship,

The dominion,

The greatness,

Of the kingdoms,

Under the whole heaven,

Shall be given

To the people

Of the holy ones

Of the Most High.

Their kingdom shall be

An everlasting kingdom.

All dominions

Shall serve them.

All dominions

Shall obey them.”

All the kingships, dominions, and greatness of these kingdoms will be given to the holy ones of the Most High God, the righteous of Israel. Their kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, where everyone would obey and serve them.

The last of the ten kingdoms (Dan 7:24-7:26)

“As for the ten horns,

Out of this kingdom,

Ten kings shall arise.

Another shall arise after them.

This one shall

Be different

From the former ones.

He shall put down

Three kings.

He shall speak words

Against the Most High.

He shall wear out

The holy ones

Of the Most High.

He shall attempt

To change

The sacred seasons.

He shall attempt

To change the law.

They shall be given

Into his power

For a time,

Two times,

Half a time.

Then the court shall sit

In judgment.

His dominion shall be

Taken away,

To be consumed,

To be totally destroyed

To the end.”

Next, he explained that the 10 horns on the beast were the 10 Greek kings that succeeded Alexander the Great in his kingdom. However, there was a vehemence against the little horn king that overthrew the 3 kings. This was, of course, a reference to the Greek King Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-163 BCE), who was different from the other Greek rulers. He spoke openly against the Most High God. He wore out God’s holy ones. He attempted to change the holy seasons and do away with the religious festivals. He also tried to change the Jewish law. He had power for a little while, before the final kingdom would come. Then his dominion would be taken away. He would be consumed and destroyed. 1 Maccabees, chapter 1, went into great detail about this king.

The fourth kingdom (Dan 7:23-7:23)

“This is what

He said.

‘As for the fourth beast,

There shall be

A fourth kingdom

On earth.

It shall be different

From all the other kingdoms.

It shall devour

The whole earth.

It shall trample it down.

It shall break it

To pieces.’”

It is not clear who the “he” speaking here is. It could be the Ancient One or that attendant who was standing around, but it is not Daniel. The 4th beast would have a kingdom, unlike any other kingdom. This kingdom would devour the whole earth, trample it down, and finally break it into pieces. This could be a reference to Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE) and the large Greek kingdom that he established.

The odd little horn was at war with the holy ones (Dan 7:20-7:22)

“There were ten horns

On its head.

The other horn

Came up.

To make room for it,

Three of them fell out.

This horn had eyes.

It had a mouth

That spoke arrogantly.

It seemed greater

Than the others.

As I looked,

This horn made war

With the holy ones.

It was prevailing

Over them.

Then the Ancient One came.

His judgment was given

For the holy ones

Of the Most High.

The time arrived

When the holy ones

Gained possession

Of the kingdom.”

Rather than dwell on the 4th beast, Daniel took notice of the little horn that came out of its head to replace 3 other horns. This little horn had eyes and an arrogant mouth. Somehow, it seemed greater than the others. Then Daniel saw the little horn start a war with the holy ones. In fact, the little horn was winning, until the Ancient One showed up and proclaimed judgment in favor of the holy ones of the Most High God. Finally, the holy ones gained possession of the kingdom.