The Ram, The He-Goat, Daniel and the Divine Plan

The Ram, The He-Goat, Daniel and the Divine Plan

Persian Kingdom (Click on this link until you see the Image file in PDF Format)

The Ram and The He-Goat Image in PDF  (Click on this link until you see Image file in PDF Format)

Dan 8:1 LITV

(1)  In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar, a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first.

Here we are at chapter eight in the Book of Daniel.  If you have followed my Blog, you know very well that in the graphic file call “Daniel’s Timeline Based on Chapters on PDF”, which is in a PDF Format, you will see this chapter taking place in between the chapters Four and Five.  At this point Daniel is much older than the previous chapters, and as you can read in this chapter is also the third year of Belshazzar king of Babylonia, and descendant of Nebuchadnezzar I, who during the first chapters of the Book of Daniel (chapters One throughout Four (Chapter Four was written by Nebuchadnezzar himself)), Babylonia saw the highest level of prominence and power among the nations of the known world at the time.  Now Belshazzar is enjoying the fruits of those hard days.  Daniel also indicated here that a vision came to him, after the one he (Daniel) received on chapter seven (just to refresh your memory it was about the four beasts and the end times).

Within a few months, this estranged relationship between Belshazzar and Belteshazzar (Daniel), his step grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar’s prime minister would be more fully revealed. At the last banquet at the capital at Babylon, Belshazzar was feasting with his close advisors and friends when he brought out the sacred vessels of the temple of Solomon and desecrated them in revelry to their god Marduk. There the inter-dimensional finger began writing an inscription upon the walls of the banquet hall. Daniel was not consulted until the Queen Mother recommended that he be so. (Daniel 5:10-12)

The writing in the Scroll of Daniel begins (Daniel 1:1) in the Hebrew language. The Hebrew script continues until the text reads, “the Chaldean spoke to the king in Aramaic” and there the script in the Book of Daniel changes to Aramaic. (Daniel 2:4).

We must remember that the Book of Daniel in our Bible was not a book. It was written on a long parchment manuscript and rolled up into a scroll. From the fourth verse of the second chapter to the end of the seventh chapter the text within the scroll was written in Syriac or the ancient Aramaic language. Even the sixth chapter, which describes events taken during the rule of the Medes, was written in Aramaic, as Aramaic was the official language of the Babylonians, the Medes and the Persians. (Ezra 4:19-22 and 7:12-16) What is even more fascinating is in fact that chapter seven which includes the vision of the four beasts of Daniel was also written in Aramaic.

With this in mind, it may suggest that prophetic section written in Aramaic may refer to the empires of the world that affected the Jewish people in the ancient days. It also suggests that the prophetic sections of Daniel that were written in Hebrew may refer to imperial powers that affect the Jewish people today at the time of the end. The modern imperial powers today that surround the Land of Israel today may be affected by the shadow pictures of those ancient empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome as seen in the Great Statue of Nebuchadnezzar.

Dan 8:2 LITV

(2)  And I looked in the vision, and it happened when I looked that I was at Shushan, the palace, which is in the province of Elam. And in a vision I looked, and I was by the Ulai Canal.

Daniel indicated here in verse two, that he is at Shushan, the palace in the province of Elam, he also added he was by the Ulai Canal.

Susa Image of the Palace and the Site Location  ( Click to see Image in PDF Format of the Susa Palace and Site of the Location )

The fortified town of Susa was in the northern portion of the modern province of Khuzistan in the southwestern corner of Iran. About twenty miles north of the city proper, two rivers flowed by, the Karua in the east and the Karkheh in the west. The royal fortress was built to the west along a tributary of the Karkheh called the Shaur, called in other historical accounts as the Eulaeus.

This royal city of Shushan was also called Susa, Sousan or Sousa. It was the former capital of the kingdom of Elam or Susiana, whose ancient roots were during the days of Terah and Abraham in the days of King Nimrod, over fifteen centuries prior. The Assyrian king Aššurbanipal in 647 BCE earlier destroyed it. Under the Persians later rose to great prominence and prosperity.

Daniel is not here in person but in a vision given by the Lord in regard to these future events.  In the kingdom of the Babylonian there were two cities that were considered the two most important cities of the known world at the time of the kingdom of the Babylonian, they were Babylon (considered the capitol of the kingdom) and Shusan, this particular city is described, as a city with a splendor and beauty as never seeing before by human’s eyes.  In this palace which also is described as the place in where the kings and royalty used to take their vacations and relax from the difficult work of managing a fast growing kingdom in a fast very dangerous moving world (does that sound familiar to you?), please read in Esther chapter two if interested in seeing the beauty of this palace.

Its bowmen were famed (Isa_22:6); so God says, “I will break the bow of Elam.” After scattering them God saith, “in the latter days I will bring again the captivity of Elam,” namely, in the coming restitution of all things by Messiah, an earnest of which was given in that Elamites were on Pentecost among the first who heard and accepted the gospel (Act_2:9).

Son of Shem (Gen_10:22). The name is Semitic. The Elamites gave their name to Elymais, the region on the left or E. bank of the Tigris, opposite Babylonia, between it on the W. and Persia proper on the E., and S.W. of Media. The region is also named Susiana or Susis from its capital Susa, called Shushah in Dan_8:2, where Nehemiah (Neh_1:1) waited on king Artaxerxes, and where Ahasuerus (Xerxes) held his court in Esther’s (Est_1:2; Est_2:5) time. Daniel mentions the river Ulai near, i.e. the Greek Euloeus. From Darius Hystaspes’ time to Alexander the Great it was the Persian king’s court residence. Chedorlaomer who invaded Palestine in Abraham’s time (Genesis 14) was king of Elam, and then lord paramount over Amraphel, king of Shinar (Babylonia) on its confines, read below:

Est 2:6-10 LITV

(6)  who had been exiled from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been led away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had exiled.

(7)  And he was rearing Hadassah (she is Esther) his uncle’s daughter, for she had no father nor mother. And the young woman was fair of appearance and beautiful of form. And at the death of her father and mother, Mordecai took her for his daughter.

(8)  And it happened, when the king’s command and his order was heard, and when many young women had been gathered to Shushan the palace, into the hand of Hegai, Esther was taken into the king’s house, into the hand of Hegai, keeper of the women.

(9)  And the young woman was good in his eyes, and she rose in favor before him. And he hastened her purifiers, and her portions, to give them to her. And seven young women were seen to be given to her out of the king’s house. And he moved her and her maids to the best place in the house of the women.

(10)  Esther had not revealed her people or her kindred, for Mordecai had commanded her that she should not reveal it.

Notice also that Daniel mentioned to be by the Ulai Canal.  This is not a coincidental point in the text; this is because Daniel is in what is well known by the people of God the symbol of God’s Spirit.  Also water is the most important, pure and needed element known to the mankind for their existence, as it is the Spirit of God.

As the vision begins, we can imagine Daniel strolling out over the countryside or possibly standing on a balcony of the citadel or fortress palace of the king of Persia overlooking an embankment of the river where the division of the two streams of the divided river is described by Daniel as standing “between the banks of U’lai”. (Translation and Commentary by Rabbi Hersh Goldwurm, Daniel / a new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic and Rabbinic sources, Mesorah Publications, Ltd, 4401 Second Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11232 1979…1998, page 216)

Even the suggestion of ‘waters’, such as rivers and streams is important to the Jewish rabbis in the midst of a prophetic message. Why? According to Rabbi Avraham ben Meir Ibn Ezra of Toledo Spain (Jewish years 4849-4924 or 1089-1164 CE) in his short commentary on Daniel called the Perush HaKatzer (publ. 1897) and Abarbanel in their interpretations of Daniel, it was pointed out that in the Mechilta to Exodus 12:1 that Daniel, being on a river bank, meant that God was revealing Himself to Daniel only at a “pure place” such as near running water which purifies.

In 933 CE as recorded in the “Travels of Benjamin of Tudelo”, Rabbi Benjamin was traveling from the kingdom of Navarre in Spain to the Middle East and later rendered his report upon return to the king of Castille. Concerning Shushan he wrote.

Travels of Benjamin of Tudelo – “Four miles from thence begins Khuzistan, the Elam of Scripture, a large province, which, however, is but partially inhabited, a portion of it lying in ruins. Among the latter are the remains of Shushan, the metropolis and palace of King Ahasuerus, which still contain very large and handsome buildings of ancient date. It has seven thousand Jewish inhabitants, with fourteen synagogues; in front of one of which is the sepulcher of Daniel, who rests in peace. The river U’lai divides the city into two parts, which are connected by a bridge; that portion of it which is inhabited by the Jews contains the markets, to which all trade is confined, and there all the rich dwell; on the other side of the river they are poor, because they are deprived of the above-named advantages, and have even no gardens or orchards.”

The Assyrians had destroyed this castle or acropolis and most scholars only recognize that it was rebuilt in the time of the Persians. Here, though, we see Daniel at the winter residential palace of King Nabonidus in Shushan. Because this palace fortress was built separately and distinct from the city proper, it later may result in the difference between the habitants who lived on the two sides of the river E’lai; the Jewish people and the royal citadel on one side of the river and the city proper of Shushan on the other.

According to Rabbi Meir Leibush Malbion (Jewish years 5569-5639 or 1809-1879 CE), who wrote the commentary on Daniel called Yefe-ach LaKetz, the word “capital” was used because:

Rebbi Meir Leibush Malbion – “Daniel foresaw that Shushan would become the capital, an event which occurred only after the fall of Babylon. Seeing the ram in the ‘capital’ Shushan foretold the downfall of the Babylonian empire even though Darius had his seat of government in Babylon…” (Translation and Commentary by Rabbi Hersh Goldwurm, Daniel / a new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic and Rabbinic sources, Mesorah Publication, Ltd, 4401 Second Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11232 1979…1998, page 216)

Four or five years later, Babylon had fallen and this came fortress citadel was now the palace of the Persian kings. Here we observe a great feast being held by King Ahasuerus (Artaxerses). This sets the stage for the story of Esther who will become the Queen of Persia, living in the capital city and the royal citadel at Shushan.

Dan 8:3-4 LITV

(3)  Then I lifted up my eyes and looked. And behold! A ram was standing before the canal, having two horns. And the two horns were high, but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last.

(4)  I saw the ram pushing westward and northward and southward, so that no beasts could stand before him, and none could deliver out of his hand. But he did according to his will and became great.

Here in the verses three and four Daniel is start describing the vision.  There are many theologians that expressed in this particular that the two horns were the kingdom of Media and Persia, which without a doubt I have to agree.  Please read below:

Kingdom of Medes taking over the Babylonian kingdom;

Dan 5:30-31 LITV

(30)  In that night Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldeans, was killed.

(31)  And Darius the Mede took the kingdom, being a son of sixty two years.

Kingdom of the Medes taken by the Persian Kingdom;

Dan 6:28 LITV

(28)  And this Daniel was made to prosper in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

(Please keep in mind that this is the same Cyrus that God, centuries before this moment above described, thru the prophet Isaiah chapter 44 verse 28 and chapter 45 verses 1-3 called by his name, read please below):

Isa 44:28 LITV

(28)  He says to Cyrus, You are My shepherd; and he shall complete all My pleasure, even for Me to say to Jerusalem, You are built; and to the temple, You are founded.

Isa 45:1-3 LITV

(1)  So says Jehovah to His anointed, to Cyrus, whom I have seized by his right hand, to subdue nations before him. Yea, I will open the loins of kings, to open the two leaved doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut.

(2)  I will go before you and make hills level; I will tear apart the bronze doors, and cut the iron bars in two.

(3)  And I will give you the treasures of darkness, even treasures in secret places, that you may know that I am Jehovah, who calls you by your name, the God of Israel.

He saw this ram pushing all about him with his horns (Dan_8:4), westward (towards Babylon, Syria, Greece, and Asia the less), northward (towards the Lydians, Armenians, and Scythians), and southward (towards Arabia, Ethiopia, and Egypt), for all these nations did the Persian empire, one time or other, make attempts upon for the enlarging of their dominion. And at last he became so powerful that no beasts might stand before him. This ram, though of a species of animal often preyed upon, became formidable even to the beasts of prey themselves, so that there was no standing before him, no escaping him, none that could deliver out of his hand, but all must yield to him: the kings of Persia did according to their will, prospered in all their ways abroad, had an uncontrollable power at home, and became great.

Dan 8:5-8 LITV

(5)  And I was considering. And behold! A male of the goats came from the west, over the face of all the earth and did not touch the ground. And the he goat had an outstanding horn between his eyes.

(6)  And he came to the ram with two horns which I had seen standing before the canal. And he ran to it in the fury of his power.

(7)  And I saw him touched beside the ram. And he was moved with anger against him. And he struck the ram and shattered his two horns. And there was no power in the ram to stand before him. But he threw him down to the ground and trampled him. And no one could deliver the ram from his hand.

(8)  Then the he-goat became very great. And when he was mighty, the great horn was shattered. And in its place came up four outstanding ones toward the four winds of the heavens.

After such incredible and powerful beast as it was the ram, to Daniel’s surprise there was a bigger and more powerful beast, the “male of the goats/he-goat”.  This was Alexander the Great, who came from the west side of the Persian kingdom.

Many of you had heard from either school, read on a book, or maybe even watch a Hollywood movie about Alexander The Great.  But really who was Alexander?

Based on the Book “People & Places in the Bible” © 1987 by Barbour and Company, Inc. by John Farrar, says:

Alexander (commonly known as “the Great”) was son and successor of Phillip, king of Macedonia and his name means “one that assist men”.  He is denominated in the prophecies of Daniel as a leopard with four wings, signifying his great strength and the rapidly of his conquest.  Daniel vii. 6.  And by one-horned he-goat running over the earth so swiftly as not to touch it, attacking a ram with two horns, overthrowing him, and trampling upon him, without any being able to rescue him.  Dan viii. 4-7.  In the statue beheld by Nebuchadnezzar, the belly of Brass was the emblem of Alexander.  He succeeded his father, A.M. 3668; and in the 20th year of his reign was chosen general of the Greeks, who marched against the Persian.  He subdued the whole Asia and the Indies with incredible success and rapidly, and at length died in the thirty year of his age, the victim of intemperance”.

Dan 8:8-12 LITV

(8)  Then the he-goat became very great. And when he was mighty, the great horn was shattered. And in its place came up four outstanding ones toward the four winds of the heavens.

(9)  And out of one of them came a little horn which became very great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the bountiful land.

(10)  And it became great, even to the host of the heavens. And it caused some of the host and of the stars to fall to the ground, and it trampled them.

(11)  Yea, he magnified himself even to the leader of the host. And the regular sacrifice was taken away by him, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.

(12)  And a host was given with the regular sacrifice because of transgression. And it threw the truth down to the ground, and it worked and prospered.

As we mentioned before this is Alexander the Great, who conquered the known world in swift quick manner, as never was done before.  At the early age of 32 to 33 years old Alexander was injured in battle and die as a drunken man and many speculate that he possibly was poison.  In either case at an early age Alexander die with no descendants to the throne, Alexander’s four captains, to whom he bequeathed his conquests; and he had so much that, when it was divided among four, they had each of them enough for any one man. These four notable horns were towards the four winds of heaven, the same with the four heads of the leopard (Dan_7:6), the kingdoms of Syria and Egypt, Asia and Greece – Syria lying to the east, Greece to the west, Asia Minor to the north, and Egypt to the south.

In verse 9 it does described a little horn coming out and becoming great in deed, this in accordance with the majority of the theologians it was without a doubt Antiochus Epiphanes (so he called himself) – the illustrious, but others called him Antiochus EpimanesAntiochus the furious.  He became a barbaric leader especially against the Jews.

But even though it is the general agreement in so, I am still thinking that this small horn is the anti-Christ in the last days.

Dan 8:13-18 LITV

(13)  Then I heard a certain holy one speaking, and another holy one said to that one who spoke, Until when is the vision, the regular sacrifice and the desolating transgression, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled?

(14)  And he said to me, For two thousand, three hundred evenings and mornings, then the sanctuary will be put right.

(15)  And it happened when I, Daniel, had seen the vision, then I sought the meaning. And, behold, the form of a man stood before me.

(16)  And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, and he called and said, Gabriel, make this one understand the vision.

(17)  And he came beside my place. And when he came, I feared and fell on my face. But he said to me, O son of man, understand, for the vision is for the time of the end.

(18)  And while he was speaking with me, I was stunned and on my face toward the ground. But he touched me and made me stand.

The verses above are self-explanatory, with the exception of me to say that there is more than what the naked eyes can see, and of course we are talking about the Word of God.

Here you can see two holy ones speaking in regard to this matter of the vision, it is very important to know that the angels of the Lord are always ready to help us to the command of the One that Saves Us, our Lord Jesus.

1Pe 1:12-16 LITV

(12)  To whom it was revealed that not to themselves, but to us they ministered the same things, which now were announced to you by those having preached the gospel to you in the Holy Spirit sent from Heaven; into which things angels long to look into.

(13)  Because of this, having girded up the loins of your mind, being sober, perfectly hope on the grace being brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

(14)  as children of obedience, not fashioning yourselves to your former lusts in your ignorance,

(15)  but according to the Holy One who has called you, you also become holy in all conduct;

(16)  because it has been written, “Be holy,” “because I am holy.” Lev. 19:2

Everything is in the time and under the plan of God All Mighty, read below:

Luk 22:37 LITV

(37)  For I say to you that this that has been written must yet be fulfilled in Me: “And He was numbered with the lawless.” Isa. 53:12 For the things concerning Me also have an end.

As you can see the little horn was also mentioned in chapter 7 of the Book of Daniel.

Dan 7:24-26 LITV

(24)  And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings; they shall rise, and another shall rise after them. And he shall be different from the first, and he shall humble three kings.

(25)  And he shall speak words against the Most High, and he shall wear out the saints of the Most High. And he intends to change times and law. And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and one half time.

(26)  But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his rulership, to cut off and to destroy until the end.

Some make the morning and the evening, in this number of verse 14, to stand for two, and then 2300 evenings and as many mornings will make but 1150 days; and about so many days it was that the daily sacrifice was interrupted: and this comes nearer to the computation (Dan_7:25) of a time, times, and the dividing of a time. But it is less forced to understand them of so many natural days; 2300 days make six years and three months, and about eighteen days (If you have an eye for numbers you might see in here the relation to the following number, 6 years, 3 months, 18 days (18=3X6), so if you substitute this will be as follows 6 years, (3 month and 3 days) 6, 6 days, all equal to the number 666, coincidence?  Maybe or maybe is me); and just so long they reckon from the defection of the people, procured by Menelaus the high priest in the 142nd year of the kingdom of the Seleucidae, the sixth month of that year, and the 6th day of the month (so Josephus dates it), to the cleansing of the sanctuary, and the re establishment of religion among them, which was in the 148th year, the 9th month, and the 25th day of the month, 1 Macc. 4:52.

Dan 8:19-27 LITV

(19)  And he said, Behold, I will make you know what shall happen in the last end of the indignation. For it is for the time appointed for the end.

(20)  The ram which you saw with two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.

(21)  And the shaggy goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king.

(22)  And as for that which was shattered, and four stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in its power.

(23)  And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have come to the full, a king, strong of face and skilled at intrigues, shall stand up.

(24)  And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power. And he shall destroy wondrously, and he shall prosper, and work, and destroy the mighty, and the holy people.

(25)  And also through his skill he will make deceit succeed in his land. And he will lift himself up in his heart, and be at ease; he shall destroy many. He shall also stand up against the Ruler of rulers, but he shall be shattered without a hand.

(26)  And the morning and evening vision that was told is true. But you shall shut up the vision, for it shall be for many days.

(27)  And I, Daniel, was faint. And I was sick for days. Afterwards, I got up and did the king’s business. And I was amazed at the vision. But there was no understanding.

In the explanation that the angel is giving to Daniel, a point that most be presented is how in verse 25 it is declared by the angel that the strong king that will rise, will not only do so against the others kingdoms and the holy people (Jews), but also will stand up against the Ruler of rulers, please pay attention to the way it is spell out.  This is in regard to the Only Living God, who is the Ruler of rulers and it also said that the king will be shattered without a hand, as it was destroyed the image in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

Dan 2:34 LITV

(34)  You continued until a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces.

God is the All Mighty, and there is nothing that can hold His power, He does not share His Glory!

So Daniel continue his personal affairs in the kingdom on behave of the king without been capable to understand to that moment the meaning of the vision.

It is not on our time but on the time of God.  Amen.

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