CHAPTER 8 - verses 8-17

Verse 8: “And the goat will become very great, and when he is strong his great horn will be broken, and it will come up four under him and to the four winds of the heavens.”

Become very great: The goat empire (European empire) grows very strong after it defeats the ram (the Iranian empire).

Note: Many people, based upon this verse, want to take this prophecy and stick it into the time of Alexander the Great and leave it there. They say that Alexander is the goat, and after his death the four rulers that came up out of his administration are related to the four that we see rise up to rule at the end of this verse. However, there is a problem with this interpretation. When we get to Daniel 8:17&19 we are told three times that these visions are related to the last days, the time at the very end – of which Alexander the Great has nothing to do with. 

Although this was something that did happen in Alexander’s day it can be seen as a foreshadowing of what is going to ultimately, and finally, happen again (refer to the note made at the beginning of Daniel 8, part 1).

When he is strong: This empire reaches its strongest point. This is not referring to when this leader dies, when he is overcome or when he is defeated. This happens at a time when there is no threat to his administration.

His great horn will be broken: This brokenness is for a purpose. It enables this empire to spread out even more.

Will come up four under him: They rise up in order to serve under his authority.

To the four winds of the heavens: This empire is going to increase in all four (global) directions.


Verse 9: “And from one of them will come forth a little horn. He is going to become great, and is going to spread out to the south, and to the east, and to the beautiful land.”

One of them: From one of these four leaders.

Little: (The base of this word (translated ‘little’) is also found in Micah 5:2. It is a word that speaks of something (in the book of Micah it refers to Bethlehem) initially being perceived as insignificant. In Micah this word was used prophetically to describe the humble beginnings of Messiah (Yeshua).

In Daniel this same word is being used to describe the beginnings of the antichrist – the false messiah.

To the beautiful land: The land of Israel. The antichrist will have his sights set on Jerusalem. He is going to want a temple to be set up in Jerusalem, as he wants to go into that temple – into the Holy of Holies – to proclaim that he is the son of God, that he is Messiah, and therefore should be worshipped.

Verse 10: “And he became great even to the hosts of heaven; and it cast to the ground some of the host and some of the stars, and trampled them.”

Became great even to the hosts of heaven: This is not a natural leader – he has a spiritual objective. He does not only want to rule over all the kingdoms of earth, but he also wants to rule in the heavens (Isaiah 14:13-15 – the antichrist is satan incarnate, and, like satan, he will want to establish his throne above God).

Some of the host and some of the stars: Talking about a group of angels.

Verse 11: “Even unto the Prince of the host he exalted himself; and he cast down the daily sacrifice, and he cast away his holy place.”

Prince of the host – the general of the armies of heaven – Some people interpret this to be the Lord of Hosts (God the Father). Some say he is the Prince of Peace (Messiah). Still others say it is Michael. We can’t be dogmatic about who it is.

He cast down the daily sacrifice: He is opposed to everything which is of God. He does not want sacrifices to be offered up to God, so he calls a halt to them.

He cast away his holy place: He does not want the temple in Jerusalem to be a place where the God of Israel is worshipped, but he wants to be the one worshipped in this temple instead (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

Verse 12: “And an army will be given to him, concerning the daily sacrifice, in transgression. He will cast truth towards the ground, and he will do so successfully.”

An army will be given: The antichrist is going to do away with the daily sacrifice. He wants a cessation of any worship of the God of Israel. This army will ensure that his wishes and orders are carried out.

He will do so successfully: He is going to have a period of success.

Verse 13: “I was listening to one of the holy ones speaking, and he said to another holy one that was speaking: ‘How long until the vision of the daily sacrifice and until the transgression of abomination that will be given unto the holy place and the heavenly hosts to be trampled underfoot?”

I was listening: A heavenly conversation is taking place between two angels and Daniel is listening in.

One of the holy ones: This is an angel. 

How long: (This phrase has end time ramifications. These angels have seen all of what has been described – this attack against the heavenly hosts and the degree of success that there has been with angels being cast down. The attack has even gone so far as to reach the Prince of the hosts – although he will not be cast down. 

These angels are talking to one another, and are wanting to know how long this will go on for before the Kingdom of God is established.

The transgression of abomination: Also known as the abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15). By using the word ‘transgression’ we can logically deduce that this abomination is based in sin, and it is going to bring about utter destruction.

Verse 14: “And he said to me: ‘Unto an evening and a morning two thousand three hundred days, and the holy place will be made righteous.”

Evening and a morning: This is a very Jewish way of looking at the timing of the day – from evening to morning (Genesis 1:5).

Two thousand three hundred days: Approximately 6.3 years

Note 1: Although a period of 1 week, i.e. 7 years, is spoken about in Daniel 9:27 this verse seems to suggest that the antichrist’s reign will be shortened to a 6.3 year, 2300 day, period of time. He will not reign for the entire 7-year period. This could explain the meaning of the verse in Matthew 24:22 about the time being shortened.

Note 2: Another explanation could be that the antichrist does not immediately take the throne when the evil kingdom is established. It is possible that although the empire rises in a period of instability (Revelation 13:1: sea speaks of instability) only after a time of tranquillity, stability, does the antichrist begin to reign (in Revelation 13:11 if speaks of another beast coming up out of the land – land speaks of stability). It could take a couple of months for the new empire to stabilise and the antichrist to rise to power.

Holy place will be made righteous: The Kingdom of God will be established.

Verse 15: “And it came about that when I, Daniel, saw the vision I was seeking understanding; and behold there was one standing by me, and he had the appearance of a mighty one.”

Mighty one: An angel (Probably Gabriel)

Verse 16: “I heard the sound of a man between the river, and he called, and he said: ‘Gabriel, give understanding to this one of the vision.’”

This one: Daniel

Verse 17: “He came where I was standing, and when he came I was afraid, and I fell upon my face. And he said to me: ‘Understand, son of man, that for the end times is this vision.’”

I was afraid: Daniel was terrified when Gabriel approached him to give him understanding of the vision that he had seen.

For the end times is this vision: This is a problematic truth for those who want to relegate the prophecy of Daniel to the past – to the times of Antiochus Epiphanes, Alexander the Great etc.


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