Daniel 8:8-14 – Daniel’s Vision of the Ram and the Goat

Daniel 8:8-14 – Daniel’s Vision of the Ram and the Goat

by | Mar 2, 2011 | Uncategorized

Daniel 8:9-14 - Daniel's Vision of the Ram and the Goat pt 1 [30:43]

by Roy Schwarcz

Daniel 8:9-14 - Daniel's Vision of the Ram and the Goat pt 2 [1:31:22]

by Roy Schwarcz

Daniel 8:8-14 After the death of Alexander the Great, his empire was divided into four parts with four of his officers taking control (Daniel 8:8). Out of one of those horns a “little horn” appears this is Antiochus Epiphanes, the ruler of Syria from 175 to 163 B.C. and was a type of the Antichrist and the evil king responsible for the desecration of the Temple and the resulting revolt led by the Maccabees. Antiochus gave himself the name “Epiphanes,” which means a revelation (epiphany) of the gods.

He even had the word theos (god) put on the coins minted with his features on it, and his features on the coins came to look more and more like the Greek god Zeus. In order to assimilate Israel into his Kingdom he began a campaign to force the Jews to embrace Hellenism (the Greek world view) and worship the gods of Olympus. One of his first acts was to drive out the high priest Onias a faithful priest, and replace him with Jason who embraced the Greek world view.

But Jason was replaced by Menelaus, who purchased the priesthood. Believing a rumor that the king was dead, Jason attacked Jerusalem only to learn that Antiochus was very much alive. Antiochus in retaliation attacked Jerusalem and defiled the temple. He then issued an edict that there would be one religion and it would be the worship of the god’s of Olympus. He prohibited the Jews from honoring the Sabbath, practicing circumcision, and obeying kashrut. He replaced the Jewish altar with an altar to Zeus – and sacrificing a pig on it!

Any Jew found possessing a copy of the Torah was slain. Jerusalem was eventually delivered by the courageous exploits of Judas Maccabeus and his followers, and on Chanukkah in December, 165, the temple was purified, the altar of burnt offering restored, and Jewish worship once again restored. Antiochus went mad while in Persia, where he died in 163.

The historical events surrounding Antiochus help us understand the prophecy and vision of Daniel here in Chapter 8. Antiochus attacked the Jews in their “beautiful” land (Israel) and put a stop to worship in the Temple and claimed that he was a god. In Daniel 8:10, the Jewish people are described as “the host of heaven” (i.e., “godly people”) and “stars” (Genesis 15:5).

When Antiochus stopped the daily sacrifices in the temple and substituted pagan worship, this was called “the abomination that makes desolate” (Daniel 8:13). This is found in Daniel 9:27;11:31; and Daniel 12:11, and is later referred to by Jesus in Matthew 24:15. What Antiochus did was a foreshadowing of what the Antichrist will do when he puts his image in the temple and commands the world to worship him (2 Thesalonians 2;Revelation 13).

The holy ones referred to in Daniel 8:13-14 refer to two angels who speak together and from their conversation, Daniel learned that from the time of the desecration of the temple and its cleansing and restoration 2,300 days would pass. The Hebrew text reads “2,300 evenings and mornings,” because burnt offerings were sacrificed at the temple every morning and every evening of every day.

There is a debate over the meaning, is it 2,300 days or 1,150 days, 2,300 divided by two? And what date or event signals the beginning of the countdown? Some believe that it is 2,300 days which is about six years, if you use 360 days for the year. Others prefer 1,150 days, which give us slightly over three years. But what is the starting point for the countdown?

The six-year advocates begin with 171 B.C., when Antiochus deposed the true high priest. Subtract six years and this takes you to 165 when Judas Maccabeus defeated the enemy and reconsecrated the temple. However, the three-year advocates begin with the establishment of the pagan altar in the temple on 25 Kislev, 168, and this takes us to 165. Either approach meets the requirements of the prophecy.

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