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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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.