Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Read Daniel 8

Daniel’s Vision of a Ram and a Goat

In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me. In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. I watched the ram as it charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against it, and none could rescue from its power. It did as it pleased and became great.

As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between its eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. It came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at it in great rage. I saw it attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering its two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against it; the goat knocked it to the ground and trampled on it, and none could rescue the ram from its power. The goat became very great, but at the height of its power the large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven.

Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land. 10 It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. 11 It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of the Lord; it took away the daily sacrifice from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down. 12 Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.

13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the Lord’s people?”

14 He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.”

The Interpretation of the Vision

15 While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man. 16 And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.”

17 As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. “Son of man,” he said to me, “understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.”

18 While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet.

19 He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath,because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end. 20 The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king. 22 The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.

23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people. 25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.

26 “The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true,but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.”

27 I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.

Go Deeper

Sometimes reading a chapter of scripture like this can make you scratch your head and say, “What in the world did I just read?” Well, Daniel is the one who saw the vision and in verse 27, Daniel even says that he was appalled by the vision to the point of sickness and did not understand it. This should serve as a reminder that God’s ways are much higher than ours, and that we do not need to understand everything immediately to fully understand His love for us. We must simply trust Him.

However, even though this can be hard to understand, confusion is not one of God’s characteristics. If the Holy Spirit preserved this text, then we can be certain that there is a purpose to it. We must simply seek Him and ask for wisdom to understand, like Daniel did consistently. In verse 15, we see that Daniel “sought to understand” the vision, and God assisted him in doing so. Matthew 7:7 says that if we seek Him, we will find Him.

So, what did this vision mean? This vision points to the awesomeness and omniscience of God. The first ram represents the Medo-Persian Empire. The goat represents Greece, and the horns represent the rulers of the Greek Empire. The description of the goat in this chapter, according to historians accurately depicts the following historical events perfectly:

  • The Greek Empire rose further west than previous empires.
  • It rose with amazing speed (without touching the ground).
  • Had a notable ruler (horn) in Alexander the Great.
  • Had a famous war with the Medo-Persian Empire and won.
  • Alexander the Great’s reign was short.
  • The empire split into four separate kingdoms and rulers.
  • Antiochus IV Epiphanes who ruled over Syria and Israel’s land became great out of the four rulers.
  • And the most amazing one of all: 2,300 days. The date when the temple was cleansed is well established as December 25, 165 B.C. If we count back 2,300 days from then, we come to the year when Antiochus Epiphanes began his severe persecution of the Jewish people (171 BC).

These facts are amazing, but what do we do with them? Perhaps our primary takeaway today should be to pause and realize that every single part of history has all been uniquely seen, known, and planned by God. He is in control of empires, and is even in control of the smallest creatures (Matthew 6:26). If He is in control of all of this, then you can be certain He is in control of your life right now.

As you read this, be reminded that God’s plan is perfect, even if we can’t see it right now. His plan for you is perfect. You are not a purposeless being drifting through time. You are a son or daughter of the Creator of all things. You are loved by Him. You are here for a purpose. You were purchased with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). You mean the world to God, and He is in control. What is there to fear?


  1. What stuck out to you the most when you read this chapter for the first time? Why? 
  2. Looking back at your life, what are some times that God’s plan turned out to be perfect even when it did not seem that way at the time?
  3. What are you fearful of that you need to give over to God?

Keep Digging

Interested in learning more about the prophecy of 2300 days? Check out this article from

Leave a Comment below

Did you learn something today? Share it with our Bible Reading Plan community by commenting below.

Join the Team

Interested in writing for the Bible Reading Plan? Email

3 thoughts on “Daniel 8”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    If Daniel, who was referred to as “son of man”, a term also assigned to the Messiah, was perplexed by this vision, we surely will be. Even after Gabriel explained the meaning, Daniel was greatly troubled and could not understand it. Scripture records that he “was overcome and lay sick for several days.” Hindsight is 20/20 as we see that history records how these events perfectly played out. However, a further fulfillment of this prophecy will occur in the future with the coming of the Antichrist. Our greatest takeaway rests in the sovereignty of our God. His power and justice will prevail; this means that we can always have hope no matter how powerful God’s enemies may seem. He wins!

  2. Are we on watch? The adversary is seeking to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. He is tickling ears with what people want to hear. He is luring people into a relaxed and complacent acceptance of wrong. vs 24-25 of Daniel “His power will be mighty, but not by his own power, and he will destroy to an extraordinary degree and prosper and perform his will; He will destroy mighty men and the holy people. And through his shrewdness he will cause deceit to succeed by his influence; and he will magnify himself in his heart, and he will destroy many while they are at ease.” We need to stand up and be vigilant, watchful, diligent and passionate towards our relationship with a HOLY God. We need to be PRAYING and interceding for one another, our church leadership and this country and its leadership diligently. BUT GOD is the answer, Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matt 7:7

    God help me to not be complacent, help me to be vigilant and to endeavor to be in communication with You as an intercessor for Your people, You know what is going on but I know we win. God thank You for loving me and showing me when and how to be at the moment what You need me to be, do or pray in Jesus name amen

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.