MP3: The Mighty Angels of Daniel 8
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
Gabriel Interprets the Vision
Nathan Jones: It’s now time to receive the interpretation to the Vision of a Ram and a Goat by reading Daniel 8:17-27.
“So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, ‘Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.’
Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me, and stood me upright. And he said, ‘Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be. The ram which you saw, having the two horns they are the kings of Media and Persia. And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king. As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power.
And in the latter time of their kingdom, then the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, and shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without human means. And the vision of the evenings and mornings which was told is true; therefore seal up the vision, for it refers to many days in the future.’
And I, Daniel, fainted and was sick for days; afterward I arose and went about the king’s business. I was astonished by the vision, but no one understood it.”
Vic Batista: Notice in verse 19 that Gabriel talks about “the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be.” This vision will then take place sometime future to Daniel. These things had not yet occurred to him. They foretold to Daniel an event that was going to come to his future. Nearly 600 years after Daniel, the Apostle John would experience the same type of foretelling in the book of Revelation.
Nathan Jones: Gabriel points out that he is referring to the latter time, the last days, the time of indignation, the time of the Gentiles — all key phrases that speak about an era from when Jerusalem was destroyed during Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. Even after the Jews returned from Babylon to Israel and rebuilt the Temple 70 years later, Israel never really got back control of Israel. Maybe a little bit of control was returned under the Maccabees, but even then Israel was dependent on Rome for a rescue. Rome came to help, but instead conquered Israel. The Jews were kicked out of their land again in 70 AD and forced back into exile. The Jews are back in the land today, but continue to this day to have a very tenuous hold on their territory. The whole world wants to steal the land of Israel away from the Jews and give it to the Palestinians. So, the Gentiles continue to trample down Jerusalem, and they will do so until Jesus’ Second Coming. That is when the Time of the Gentiles will finally be over.
Vic Batista: I also notice verse 19 refers to “the appointed time.” These are things that are definitely going to occur. This is not a fairy tale. These are not made up events. No, these events will actually happen because God has ordained them to be.
Nathan Jones: Yes, and in our day we can look back in history and identify the different historical characters Gabriel was referring to. We learn that much of this vision has already been fulfilled. The Ram and the Goat we can easily identify as the Medo-Persian Empire and the Greek Empire. The Large Horn is Alexander the Great, followed by his four generals who split Alexander’s empire into quarters after he died suddenly.
As for the King With Fierce Features that rises up, that symbol actually has two fulfillments, and we’ll explain him more later as we get into other chapters in the book of Daniel. A lot of Daniel’s vision has been fulfilled already hundreds of years ago, but we are still waiting for a final fulfillment of that king, also known as the Little Horn in verse 9.
Vic Batista: Notice in verse 20, that Gabriel provides the interpretation of the vision with, “The ram which you saw, having the two horns — they are the kings of Media and Persia.” Clearly this vision is talking about kingdoms.
Nathan Jones: Right! Daniel received three separate visions concerning kingdoms throughout the book of Daniel. Each vision revealed how different human empires would rise and fall.Daniel received three separate visions concerning kingdoms throughout the #BookofDaniel. Click To Tweet
For example, back in Daniel 2, Daniel was given the interpretation to Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The dream described a great statue where the head of gold represented Nebuchadnezzar. The silver arms and chest represented the Medo-Persian Empire. The bronze waist represented the Greek Empire. Then there were the iron legs which represented the Roman Empire, followed by the feet made of iron mixed with clay which represents a revived Roman Empire.
Then, in Daniel 7, Daniel describes four different animals. There is a winged lion which again represents Babylon, a bear which represents Medo-Persia, a winged leopard which represents Greece, and a ferocious beast which represents Rome.
In Daniel 8, Daniel is given yet another vision of the nations that will come, but this time the vision leaves out Babylon because Babylon was coming to an end. Belshazzar was the last king of Babylon. The Vision of a Ram and a Goat identifies the Ram as representing the Medo-Persian Empire. The Medes controlled an area in southwest Iran, and today we’d identify them as the Kurds. The Persians controlled what is known today as Iran. These two powers merged and overthrew Babylon and they became what is represented as the ram with two horns.
Elam — the Medes — were first in name, but eventually the Persians ruled with much greater importance. When you have a name in first position, such as Simon and Garfunkel, Simon becomes the better known one. With the Medo-Persians, it is opposite. The Persians were the bigger, better, and stronger of the two powers when it came to conquering.
In the sixth segment of this series on the mighty angels of Daniel, we’ll recoil at the fierce featured king.