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>> Chapter Twelve - Book of the Prophet DanielHigher Praise Bible School - Chapter Twelve - Book of the Prophet Daniel - Page: 19
Chapter 8. The vision of the Ram, He-Goad, and the Little Horn
In the section chapters 8 to 12 inclusive, the main theme seems to be
the fortunes of the chosen people, Israel, as wrapped up in the activities of these world-empires.
Here in chapter eight we have the same succession of world-empires, namely, from the succession of Darius, king of Medo-Persia, to the division into four kingdoms of Alexander's Empire following it. The focus of the vision evidently is in the "little horn" who arises out of one of these four divisions. The interpretation of the vision of the ram is given in vs. 20, and of the he-goat in vs. 21. The two horns of the ram, as seen here, refer to the Median and the Persian divisions of this kingdom, the latter of which became predominant in power. The swiftness of the conquest of Alexander's armies is pictured in vss. 4 and 5, especially in the expressions "on the face of the whole earth," and "touched not the ground". Alexander began his career at the age of twenty and it is said that at the age of thirty-two he wept because there were no more worlds to conquer. The division of Alexander's dominion arises whether this "little horn" coming up out of one of those four kingdoms is the same as the "little horn" of ch. 7:8. The descriptions of this king in both chapters 7 and 8, so nearly coincide that we are inclined to believe that they are the one and the same (7:8,20,25; ch.8:23-25).
We believe that this "little horn" is the lawless one, the Antichrist, the beast, the last great Gentile ruler of the nations, the final persecutor of the Jews (II Thess. 2:8; I John 3:4; Rev. 13:4-7).
Some say that the fulfillment of the passage about the "little horn" of chapter eight, was exhausted by Antiochus Epiphanes, the Greek Antichrist, the eighth of the Seleucid dynasty of Syria, 175-164 B.C., one of the divisions of Alexander's empire. Antiochus was literally a devil incarnate in his hatred of the Jews. "The God-defying insolence of this Horn was, till then, without parallel. Other conquerors of the Jews had at least respected their religion. This one had no respect. Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus and Alexander paid homage to 'God, Most High' and bowed before the holy oracles. This one paid none, and trampled the 'Truth' to the ground. With self-magnifying egotism he invaded the Holy Land and raging in hate against the Holy Covenant, took the Holy City, assailed the ... princes and priests of Israel. Even to the 'Prince of the Host,' i.e., the High Priest, Onias III, he opposed himself, 'doing great things,' taking away the stated morning and evening service at the altar, polluting and degrading the place of the sanctuary, erecting a pagan altar upon the altar of burnt-offering, sacrificing a swine upon it, sprinkling with swine's broth the holy places and setting up beside the altar a statue of Jupiter. Yet more, in his madness, he continued his work, introducing the youth of Jerusalem to the Greek gymnasia, customs and games established for their recreation, weaning them away from their religion, supplanting the practice of virtue by the lewd sports of Hercules, the Feast of Tabernacles by the festival of Bacchus ... With those who 'forsake the holy covenant' (Dan. 11:30), he entered into a new covenant (1 Macabees 1:11,
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