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. 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. 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. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down. 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.( Daniel 8:8-12)
Daniel’s vision of the Ram and the Goat correctly predicted events which would happen two hundred plus years after his death, but the Angel that interpreted Daniel’s vision, told him that the vision was for the latter times.
And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. 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 8:16-19)
The chosen nation,Israel, is still suffering “the indignation” the long exile and period of subjugation by Gentile powers, the “time of the Gentiles ” that Jesus referred to in Luke 21,
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.(Luke 21:34)
The immediate fulfillment of the dream came about in the third century BC, when the Persian Empire,(The Ram) prospered and expanded, until with speed and ferocity, in three crucial engagements, the Macedonians under Alexander the Great (The Shaggy goat) toppled the Persian empire and conquered his way from the Levant all the way to the edges of India, in a period of 11 years.
But Alexander, (the horn of the goat) died suddenly, and having no heirs his Empire was carved up and divided among his four top Generals. Eventually, out of the Greek part of the Empire, a General arose who distinguished himself for his hatred of the God of the Jews. His name was Antiochus the 7th, also called “Epiphanes”, (Light from above).
This Emporer had possession of the Holy land.He sought to Hellenize* it, banning circumcision, the sabbath, and tried to destroy the scrolls of the Bible. He set up a Gymnasium in Jerusalem, and forced some men to undergo “reverse circumcision” , and actually killed any parents who circumcized their own children.
This man exalted himself above the “Prince of the Host” (the High Priest of Israel), forbidding sacrifices and he even desecrated the Holy Place of the Temple of God , sacrificing a swine on the Altar.
My point is that since Daniel 8 is a vision for the Latter times and the time of the “end of the indignation”, there must yet be a recapitulation of all of this.
Persia (Iran) is currently flexing its muscles, having taken Iraq, entered into Syria to support Bashir Assad, developing a Nuclear weapons program, projecting Naval power against the United States in the Persian Gulf, and has sent terror squads across the globe. For decades now Iran/Persia has been able to do “what she wills” and no one has seriously stopped her.
But some power from the West will soon come and destroy Iran, swiftly, fiercely and unexpectedly. This power will have to do with the Euro-Greek world, perhaps Turkey or Greece itself or perhaps a coalition of people’s from the former Greek world.
This western power will also be broken into “four horns”, (powers) but the “one little horn” will become prominent. In his success, he will be magnified by many , even worshipped.(“Who is like the Beast, who is able to make war with Him”?)
I believe personally that some Western Prince will deal with all of Islam, Sunni and Shiite, and that the civilized world, weary of Islam and its constant predations, will rejoice when he takes off the gloves and smites them soundly. The little horn will seemingly make peace in the Holy Land and confirm a covenant which will allow Israel to resume animal sacrifices.
But as in the case of his predecessor, Antiochus Epiphanes, the little horn will enter the place of Jewish worship, cut off the sacrifices and proclaim himself to be God. This is what will start the great tribulation and the “time of Jacob’s trouble”. As Antiochus resisted “the prince of the covenant” , the little horn will actually dare to resist the “Great High Priest”, none less than the King Messiah, Jesus himself.
- Hellenize- means to impose Greek language and culture and force conformity to it upon populations.
** Gymnasium- A Greek school for the whole man, which emphasized Philosophy , athletics and was rife with homosexuality. Gymnazo means to train nude.