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. 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. 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. 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.(Daniel 8:5-8)
We have been examining Daniel’s vision, recorded in chapter 8, concerning the future of Persia (Iran) in the end times. Persia is seen as an aggressive Ram, pushing successfully in three different directions, north, west and south. No one is able to resist the Ram, and by its pushing the Ram had become great.The Ram has two horns, one taller than the other.
But suddenly from the West, and at great speed, across(the face of the whole earth) comes an angry, soft Goat, with one horn. The Goat was enraged with the Ram, and smashed into him, breaking the Ram’s horns(Power) and throwing the Ram to the ground, trampling upon him. No one was able to deliver the Ram out of the hands of the Goat, such is the future of Iran.
The Goat comes from the West. The identity of the Goat in Daniel’s near future has become evident by subsequent events in history. The Persian Empire was an undisputed world power until the rise of Alexander the Great in Macedonia.
The swiftness of Alexander’s conquests and the fury of assault upon the mighty Persian Empire by the relatively small army led by Alexander, resembles the vision of the Goat in Daniel 8, roughly two hundred years earlier.In three decisive battles Alexander toppled the behemoth Persian army and navy.
Alexander the Great was shown a passage of Daniel, from two centuries earlier, and he acknowledged that he was the subject of the prophecy.The historian Josephus reported that as Alexander conquered his way through the Levant, he saw in a dream the High Priest of Israel in all of his holy array. As the Army of Alexander approached Jerusalem, the High Priest himself was given a dream instructing him to dress in Priestly garments and go forth to greet Alexander;
Now Alexander, when he had taken Gaza, made haste to go up to Jerusalem; and Jaddus the high-priest, when he heard that, was in an agony, and under terror, as not knowing how he should meet the Macedonians, since the king was displeased at his foregoing disobedience. He therefore ordained that the people should make supplications, and should join with him in offering sacrifice to God, whom he besought to protect that nation, and to deliver them from the perils that were coming upon them; whereupon God warned him in a dream, which came upon him after he had offered sacrifice, that he should take courage, and adorn the city, and open the gates; that the rest should appear in white garments, but that he and the priests should meet the king in the habits proper to their order, without the dread of any ill consequences, which the providence of God would prevent. Upon which, when he rose from his sleep, he greatly rejoiced, and declared to all the warning he had received from God. According to which dream he acted entirely, and so waited for the coming of the king.
And when Jaddus understood that Alexander was not far from the city, he went out in procession, with the priests and the multitude of the citizens. …And when the Phoenicians and the Samarians that followed him thought they should have liberty to plunder the city, and torment the high-priest to death, which the king’s displeasure fairly promised them, the very reverse of it happened; for Alexander, when he saw the multitude at a distance, in white garments, while the priests stood clothed with fine linen, and the high-priest in purple and scarlet clothing, with his mitre on his head, having the golden plate whereon the name of God was engraved, he approached by himself, and adored that name, and first saluted the high-priest.(Flavius Jospehus Jewish antiquities 11.317-345)
The Phoenician, Samaritan, and Syrian generals accompanying Alexander, preparing to loot and plunder Jerusalem, were stunned that he (Alexander) should dismount and adore the God of the High Priest in Jerusalem!
It was when Alexander met the High Priest of Israel, on foot and not as a conqueror but as a worshipper, that the book of Daniel was shown to him, containing prophecies of Alexander’s exploits.
The kings of Syria and the rest were surprised at what Alexander had done, and supposed him disordered in his mind. However, Parmenion alone went up to him, and asked him how it came to pass that, when all others adored him, he should adore the high-priest of the Jews? To whom he replied, ‘I did not adore him, but that God who has honored him with his highpriesthood; for I saw this very person in a dream, in this very habit, when I was at Dion in Macedonia, who, when I was considering with myself how I might obtain the dominion of Asia, exhorted me to make no delay, but boldly to pass over the sea thither, for that he would conduct my army, and would give me the dominion over the Persians; whence it is that, having seen no other in that habit, and now seeing this person in it, and remembering that vision, and the exhortation which I had in my dream, I believe that I bring this army under the Divine conduct, and shall therewith conquer Darius, and destroy the power of the Persians, and that all things will succeed according to what is in my own mind.’
And when he had said this to Parmenion, and had given the high-priest his right hand, the priests ran along by him, and he came into the city. And when he went up into the temple, he offered sacrifice to God, according to the high-priest’s direction, and magnificently treated both the high-priest and the priests. And when the Book of Daniel was showed him wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended. And as he was then glad, he dismissed the multitude for the present.(Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 11.317-345)
Alexander the great certainly fit the partial bill as the subject of the prophecy of Daniel 8, but we must remember that ultimately this vision is for the latter times. The exploits of Alexander are merely a foreshadowing of the final fulfillment of this vision, in some sense another Western Power, (Greek) must “fly over the face of the earth” and trample the Persian (Iranian) Ram into the ground.
There are few possibilities that I know of as to the identity of the Goat, which will attack and trample Persia (Iran) in the last days.
Turkey, which lies to the west of Iran is a possible fulfillment of the Goat in the vision. Turkey was at one time Asia minor and was at the heart of the classical Grecian world until the Turks swept in in the seventh century. The Greek peoples in the eastern European Union is also to the west of Iran.
Or perhaps it will be the a coalition of Western nations in general, who will finally deal with the all too long tolerated threat that is Iran, in a decisive way. There is a tremendous amount of animosity growing in European and Western populations, towards Muslims in general and a nuclear Iran in particular.
Sooner or later one of these entities or perhaps a coalition of these will be allowed by the Most High God to attack and trample on the Shiite hegemony which has since the 1980’s, terrorized the West, exported death and mayhem, oppressed her own people, taken over Iraq, infiltrated South America, openly threatened to obliterate Israel, with seeming impunity.
The Goat (Whoever he is) and the great single horn on the goat, (whoever he is) will then triumph, but only briefly, before he too is shattered, and out of the pieces shall arise a little horn of incredibly evil significance.