1 In the 3rd year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
2 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.
Daniel saw a vision (chap. viii,) in which the following events are comprehended; the beginning and rise of the Persian empire, its overthrow by Alexander the Great, the partition of the Grecian empire, at that monarch's death, into four parts, and the appearance of the Roman power in the southern section of the divided empire, resulting in the death of Jesus, the disruption of the Jewish commonwealth, and the final casting down of the destroying enemy.
3 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.
4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
About three years after the vision of the Four Beasts the prophet saw another vision in which there were only two, namely, a Ram and He-goat. The former had two horns of unequal height, and "the higher came up last.'' In the twentieth verse we are informed that the horns represent the kings of Media and Persia." Hence the Ram symbolises the Medo-Persian power with its two dynasties which were not contemporary, but came up one after the other, the Median first, and then the Persian.
Having established itself, the Medo-Persians pushed their conquests westward towards Greece (Dan. 11:2), northward toward Armenia, and southward towards Egypt and Ethiopia; so that no powers could stand before them, nor was there any dominion strong enough to deliver the conquered nations from their yoke.
5 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.
Things continued thus about two centuries from the death of Belshazzar, when a power arose in the west which was represented to Daniel by a unicorn, that is, by a goat with one horn. This was the Macedonian kingdom; and the horn, its first king, or Alexander the Great. He is styled in the vision "a notable horn;" and in the prophecy "a mighty king, ruling with great dominion, and doing, according to his will" (Dan. 11:3). The ram's dominion is represented by the silver part of the image, and the Goat's by the brazen, ''which bare rule over all the earth."
6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.
7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
War broke out between these two powers, which ended in the breaking off of the Ram's two horns; so that the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the Ram, stretching from India to Ethiopia, were transferred to the Macedonian victor.
8 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 toward the four winds of heaven.
...the four winds (wings) of heaven;" that is, "four kingdoms stood up out of the nation." ...the four heads of the Leopard, ... represent the same thing as the four horns. Of the horns, it is said, "they stood up not in his power," which is interpreted to signify, that the power of the kingdoms did not accrue ''to the first king's prosperity ; for his kingdom was plucked up for others beside them.
9 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.
Little horn = Roman Fifth sin Power to oppose and destroy the holy people.
The power, which was new to the Asiatic, came from Europe west of Greece; and planting itself in Syria, north of Palestine, extended its dominion eastward, and southward, until it had absorbed within itself the power of all the Four Horns of the Goat.
The Little Horn power was that of a rude and uncultivated people inhabiting Italy; and known in the history of that country, as Etrurians, Umbrians, Ligurians,Sabines, Veientes, Latins, Aequi, and VoIscians.
About five hundred years after the foundation of ROME, Italy was subdued to the authority of this city of the seven mountains; and all these tribes came to bear indiscriminately the name of Romans.
After the subjugation of Italy, the Little Roman Horn proceeded to conquer all the nations round the Mediterranean. It subdued Greece about 146 years before Christ. In 67 before Christ, it appeared in Syria; and from thence "waxed exceedingly great, toward the south," and "toward the pleasant land," absorbing Palestine and Egypt; "and toward the east," to the Tigris and lands of Euphrates.
...Thus the Little Horn became an exceedingly great power. Its empire, which, seven hundred and thirty years before the birth of Jesus, was confined to the walls of a small city, in the second century of our era, was about two thousand miles in breadth, from the walls of Antonine and the northern limits of Dacia, to Mount Atlas and the tropic of Cancer; it extended in length more than three thousand miles from the Western Ocean to the Euphrates, and was supposed to contain 6,000,000 square miles. The number of subjects, who, either as citizens, provincials, or slaves, observed the rule of Rome, is estimated at 120,000,000.
Now, in the latter time of these four Macedonian kingdoms, a fifth power made its appearance among them, and subdued them all. This is represented in the vision by a Little Horn growing up out of one of the four horns; and in the prophecy, as "a king doing according to his will" (Dan.11:36). Though relatively small in its beginnings, this fifth power
"waxed exceeding great, toward the south, or Egypt: towards the east, or Euphrates; and toward the pleasant land of Canaan (Dan. 8:9).
The history of the kingdoms into which Alexander's dominion was broken, enables us to determine what fifth power is represented by the little horn of the goat, and upon which of the four horns it made its appearance in relation to the land of Israel, which is the arena of the latter time of the vision and prophecy. The Little Horn, then, is representative of the dragon's power in the East, that is, of the Roman; which was planted on the Assyro-Macedonian Horn B.C. 65, when it became a province of the dragon empire.
The Little Horn of Daniel's Fourth Beast.
-Among these Ten States, Daniel sees another arise, which he calls "a Little Horn." A State territorially small but ultimately wielding a power of a very remarkable kind, a Power distinguished by extraordinary intelligence and arrogant pretensions (symbolised by the Eyes and Mouth), a State before which three of the original Ten were uprooted to make room for it; a State which must be still in existence, because it is to endure to the End of Time, and be extinguished only by the establishment of the Kingdom of Christ on earth.
A Power distinguished by peculiar hostility to God's true people, and by utterances of such a character as will ultimately call down Judgment from Heaven upon it. We ask, then, is there anywhere in the neighbourhood of the Mediterranean Sea a Power in existence which answers to all the characteristics here given? Again the answer of history is clear and emphatic.
In the very central part of the map of the Mediterranean there is situated a power which fulfils this description to the life. Its seat is the ancient capital of the Roman Empire, and it has been a kind of continuation of Roman Dominion in an altered form for the past twelve centuries at least."-C. B.
The Christadelphian, Aug 1899
10 And it 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.
It continued to wax exceeding great in these countries until it established its dominion over Syria, Palestine, part of Arabia, and Egypt.
The fourth beast
...This Little Horn become so great was now the fourth of Daniel's beast-dominions. It planted itself in Jerusalem B.C. 63; and in A.D. 33, was popularly and pontifically acknowledged as "the King of the Jews" (John 19:12,15). It had acquired identity with "the old serpent" by its incorporation of the Syro-Babylonian, or Northern Horn power (out of which, in relation to the Holy Land, it came forth), into its Italian dominion. It was now "the Dragon, the Old Serpent" - Leviathan, the flying and very tortuous serpent, the dragon that is in the sea (Isa. 27: 1).
But when it conquered the Syro-Babylonian Horn, B.C. 67, it did not thereby acquire the apocalyptic "surname" of "the Diabolos and the Satan." It was not until the Little Horn had "magnified itself against the Prince of the Host," or Messiah the Prince; and undertook, as "a roaring lion, prowling about, seeking whom he might devour," to exterminate the saints from among the living; that it acquired the character signified by the terms "fiery red," "diabolos," and "Satan" (Apoc. 12:9).
11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
'... by crucifying "the Prince of the Host" ; destroying Jerusalem and the temple; sets up a god in Rome whom his fathers knew not; and ends by standing up against Michael, the Prince of princes, who brings him to his end, with none to help him (Dan. 9:26; 11:38; 13:25; 11:45; 12:1).
12 And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.
We know from Daniel, that the Roman Dragonic Horn would magnify itself against the Prince of Judah's host, suppress the Daily Sacrifice, destroy the city and sanctuary, cast down the truth to the ground, and practice and prosper (viii. 11,12; ix. 26); -- all of which came to pass in the period before Domitian's assassination.
But, of the judicial visitation that should fall upon Roman society in the period the Roman government and people should be venting the ferocity so characteristic of them upon Messiah the Prince and "the people of the holy one," prophecy does not testify.
The tenth, eleventh, and twelfth verses, represent the part it [the Little Horn of the Assyro-Macedonian Horn of the Goat] was to enact in the overthrow of the Jewish state; and the twenty-fifth out lines its ecclesiastical policy, and its exaltation against the Prince of princes in "the last end of the indignation," when it "shall be broken without hand," that is, by the Stone of Israel when he smites the Image on the feet.
All the power of the dragon in relation to Israel and the land of promise is embodied in the Little Horn of the East. The smiting of the Image, the breaking of the Goat's little horn, and the binding of the dragon are synchronous and synonymous catastrophies; and "the stone," "the Prince of princes," "Messiah the prince," and "Michael the great prince who stands up for Israel," are but different titles by which the Lord Jesus is designated, who is to descend from heaven and fight the battle of God Almighty against them.
Such, then, was "the vision" which was understood by none. At the time it was revealed, Jerusalem and the temple were in ruins and Israel dispersed among the Gentiles.
13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
14 And he said unto me, Unto 2 300 days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
A day for a year
1. -- The fitness of things.
When events affecting millions of people, and extending over vast geographical areas, are condensed into small symbolic objects, such as a ram, a horn, &c., it is necessary that the times be also condensed, so as to agree with the symbol that is the subject of the time.
2.-The scale of the events symbolized, as interpreted to the prophet, shows that the days were not literal days.
Thus the vision of the ram and the goat (Dan. 8.) is explained (5:20) to represent the career of the Persian and Grecian empires, and the political results ensuing on the dismemberment of Greece, including the development of the Roman empire, its destruction of the Jewish commonwealth, and the ultimate out-pouring of retribution on the adversaries of Israel.
Daniel is told, the vision shall be "for many days." In answer to the question, "How long shall be the vision, &c.?" the specific answer was communicated to him,
"Unto two thousand three hundred, (Septuagint-four hundred) days."
If this was a literal period, why was it expressed in days instead of the literal time-six years and seven months. No one, speaking literally, recognizes days except as fractions of a year. The absurdity of understanding this as literal days (less than seven years), is evident at a glance. The first event in the vision alone, viz., the development of the Persian empire, occupied two hundred years; the second, the career of Greece from the days of Alexander, other two hundred years, and the career of Rome to the downfall of Jerusalem, more than a hundred years more.
3.-The clues supplied in the Scriptures themselves.
Ezek. 4:5 shews that it is a divine method, when time has to symbolized, to use a day to represent a year. The prophecy of the seventy weeks (Dan. 9.) shows that this is the method adopted in the visions communicated to Daniel. The prophecy declared the appointment of 490 days to run from the issue of the Persian edict to "restore and build Jerusalem," to the appearance and death of the Messiah. Had literal days been intended, the Messiah must have appeared B.C. 452, or two years after the edict. But he was not "cut off" till 490 years after, which shows that though not expressed, seventy weeks (7 by 70-490 days) was intended to express a literal period of 490 years, on the principle of a day for a year.
To this, it has been objected that the "seventy weeks" are "seventy sevens," or hebdomads, simply, and not weeks, and may be seventy sevens of anything. That this is a mere device to get out of a difficulty, will be evident from the following considerations: The word translated "weeks" (shavooag) is the only word employed in Hebrew to express a literal week. The following are examples:-
"I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks; " "till three whole weeks be fulfilled."-(Dan. 10:2-3.) "Seven weeks shalt thou number," &c.-(Deut. 16:9.) It will also be found in the following: Gen. 29:27, 28; Exod. 34:22; Lev. 12:5; Numb. 28:26; Deut. 16:10; 2 Chron. 8:12; Jer. 5:24; Ezek. 45:21 (translated seven days).
In no other text is the word employed. It is never used to represent seven in the abstract. It is derived from the same root as the adjective numeral, shivgah, seven, because expressive of a period of seven days, but it is never employed to express the idea of seven in any other connection than that of the common week of seven days.The Christadelphian July 1870
15 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.
16 And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.
17 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.
18 Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.
19 And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.
Daniel being aware of this from the testimony of Jeremiah, made confession of sins, and supplicated the return of national prosperity. His prayer was heard, and "the man Gabriel," who had given him the interpretation of the symbols of the vision, was sent forth to "give him skill and understanding" of that part of the vision of the Ram and the Goat, which had reference to the subject of his prayer; and to communicate some additional particulars.
20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.
The Great horn - Alexander the Great
21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
The Medo-Persian Bear, or Ram dynasty was made to give place to Daniel's third dominancy, symbolized by the four-winged and four-headed Leopard, the brass of the image, and the four-homed goat (Dan. 7:6; 2:32; 8:5-8).
These symbols represent "the old serpent" in the Era of the Greeks. Dominion was given to this people over the whole Dragon territory, which was enlarged towards the west.
But the power of the old serpent was not to remain in the form of the four heads of the leopard, and four horns of the Grecian goat.
The Greeks of "the whole earth," the sovereign race, were to yield the dominion given to them, to "A LITTLE HORN," or power; which, in relation to the Lion-Man territory of Daniel's first beast, which included the Holy Land, was to appear in the country of the Northern Horn of the Goat.
22 Now that [Alexander] being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, <so as to cause transgressors to fill up their measure> a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
...the reason assigned for the standing up of the "king of a fierce countenance" against Judah in the latter time of the northern and southern kingdoms of the Goat is, "so as to cause transgressors to fill up their measure", which I take to be the meaning of kh' hahthaim haph-pohshim, rendered in the English version, "when the transgressors are come to the full".
This is not true in fact. The transgressors in Judah had not filled up their measure in the latter time of the reign of the kings of Syria and Egypt, when the Roman power stood up in their place against Judah. This is evident from the Lord's denunciations in which he said to them a hundred years after,
"Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers, ye hypocrites" (Matt. 23:32).
The Roman power was allowed to overshadow Judah as a means of bringing their rebellion against Yahweh to a head, or to perfect it, according to Gabriel. Every reader of the apostolic writings must be familiar with the way this was accomplished. The Lord Jesus appeared among them as "THE HEIR" of the Kingdom and throne of David; and they said,
"Come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance" (Matt. 21:38).
Exposition of Daniel
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
But why, it may be asked, has all this symbolography been introduced into the Bible? The answer is, to illustrate the relations of the Sin-power to "the holy people" (Dan. 8:24;12:7) in the eastern and western divisions of the Roman empire. By the holy people is meant the twelve tribes of Israel, and the two witnesses, including also the saints of the holy city
among the Gentiles. The Roman power, under its several constitutions, has been the destroyer of ''Judah and his companions," and the slayer of the christians, grafted into the stock of Israel, and of those associated with them for their defence against the Beast.
Elpis Israel 3.4.
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
26 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.
The present tendency of Britain to insulation is then perfected; and her destiny is identified with the New [omnipotent] Power of the East. In this co-operation, she becomes
"the land shadowing wide with wings, extending from beyond to rivers of Cush" -
- the Tigris and Euphrates; whose shadow shall be as the night in the midst of the noonday, for the hiding of the outcasts in the land of Moab (Isa. xviii. 1; xvi. 3-5). At this epoch, the land becomes prosperous --
"a land of unwalled villages, whose inhabitants are at rest, and dwelling safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates. The desolate places of central Palestine are then inhabited, by a gathering out of the nations, which has become wealthy in cattle and goods"
(Ezek. xxxviii. 8,11,12).
But this prosperity becomes an irresistible temptation to the king of the north to invade the land, and if possible to annex it to his dominion bordering upon it, by Hamath, Armenia, and Assyria.
"He will ascend like a storm, like a cloud to cover the land;" for "tidings out of the east, and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall pitch the tents of his entrenched camp between the seas," the Mediterranean and sea of Tiberias, which will extend "to the mountain of the glory of the holy" (Dan. xi. 44,45).
Thus all the nations of this northern confederacy are gathered by Yahweh against Jerusalem, after his descent to Sinai and before his own entrance into the city. He permits it to be taken, and rifled by the spoiler, and its inhabitants to be partly expelled and sent into exile (Zech. xiv. 2).
Their hope would now seem to be lost, and themselves finally cut off from their parts (Ezek. xxxvii. 11). They had, doubtless, thought that the long expected rest had been established beyond the possibility of disturbance. They were at rest in the midst of the land; but the whole house of Israel was not there; and the nations were not yet acquainted with the omnipotence of "the Kings of the Sun's risings."
The land being covered with the northern hosts as with a cloud, the Russo-Assyrian Gog is the lord ascendant of the country, with none to dispute his authority, but "Edom, Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon," south and east of the Dead Sea, and the river Arnon. In this region, his power is contested. "Sheba and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof," protest against the invasion of the land, but without effect.
Doubtless, he will feel too strong to be deterred from a grand solution of the Eastern Question in his own behalf. But "he shall be broken without hand:" the stone-power is near ready to fall upon him, and grind him to powder -- the power of the kingdom embodied in the rainbow organization (Matt. xxi. 44; Dan. ii. 45; viii. 25).
The northern Gog pays no respect to the young lions and merchants of Tarshish; but invades the country, and dominates it with an iron rule, as exemplified in the history of daemonial and idol worshipping Poland.
The fate of this province of the papal empire was a punishment due to them as worshippers of the beast and his image; but the people "dwelling in the midst of the land," in central Palestine, in peace and prosperity, belong to the Rainbowed Angel; and to invade and oppress them will not be tolerated: "for thus saith YAHWEH Tz'vaoth, after the glory," manifested in the land,
"hath he sent me unto the nations who spoiled you; for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye" (Zech. ii. 8).
At this crisis, then, of extreme peril to the Jewish population of Palestine -- of that "tenth" indicated in Isa. vi. 13 -- "the fury of Adonai YAHWEH comes up into his face" -- his eyes become as a flame of fire, and his countenance as the sun shining in his strength (Apoc. i. 14,16; x. 1).
He comes out of Egypt, as it is written, "Out of Egypt I called my son" (Hos. xi. 1). This was true of "Israel my son, my first born" (Exod. iv. 22), in the days of Moses; of the child Jesus, prophetically named Israel in Isa. xlix. 3, the Beloved Son of the Eternal Father, in the days of his infancy (Matt. ii. 15); and it is also true of Israel in Egypt, and of the Rainbowed Angelic Son of Man, the Yahweh Name, their King, in the day when Gog, in the latter-years manifestation of the Little Horn of the Goat, the King of fierce countenance, "shall stand up against the Prince of princes" (Dan. viii. 25). The Son of the Eternal Father in these several manifestations of Sonship, is called out of Egypt.
27 And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.