During the third year of King Belshazzar's reign, I, Daniel, saw another vision, following the one that had already appeared to me.
This time I was at the fortress of Susa, in the province of Elam, standing beside the Ulai River. a3
As I looked up, I saw in front of me a ram with two long horns standing beside the river. b One of the horns was longer than the other, even though it had begun to grow later than the shorter one.
The ram butted everything out of its way to the west, to the north, and to the south, and no one could stand against it or help its victims. It did as it pleased and became very great.
While I was watching, suddenly a male goat appeared from the west, crossing the land so swiftly that it didn't even touch the ground. This goat, which had one very large horn between its eyes,
headed toward the two-horned ram that I had seen standing beside the river.
The goat charged furiously at the ram and struck it, breaking off both its horns. Now the ram was helpless, and the goat knocked it down and trampled it. There was no one who could rescue the ram from the goat's power.
The goat became very powerful. But at the height of its power, its large horn was broken off. In the large horn's place grew four prominent horns pointing in the four directions of the earth.
From one of the prominent horns came a small horn whose power grew very great. It extended toward the south and the east and toward the glorious land of Israel.
His power reached to the heavens where it attacked the heavenly armies, throwing some of the heavenly beings and stars to the ground and trampling them.
He even challenged the Commander of heaven's armies by canceling the daily sacrifices offered to him and by destroying his Temple.
But the army of heaven was restrained from destroying him for this sin. As a result, sacrilege was committed against the Temple ceremonies, and truth was overthrown. The horn succeeded in everything it did. c13
Then I heard two of the holy ones talking to each other. One of them said, "How long will the events of this vision last? How long will the rebellion that causes desecration stop the daily sacrifices? How long will the Temple and heaven's armies be trampled on?"
The other replied, "It will take twenty-three hundred evenings and mornings; then the Temple will be restored."
As I, Daniel, was trying to understand the meaning of this vision, someone who looked like a man suddenly stood in front of me.
And I heard a human voice calling out from the Ulai River, "Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of his vision."
As Gabriel approached the place where I was standing, I became so terrified that I fell to the ground. "Son of man," he said, "you must understand that the events you have seen in your vision relate to the time of the end."
While he was speaking, I fainted and lay there with my face to the ground. But Gabriel roused me with a touch and helped me to my feet.
Then he said, "I am here to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath. What you have seen pertains to the very end of time.
The two-horned ram represents the kings of Media and Persia.
The shaggy male goat represents the king of Greece, d and the large horn between its eyes represents the first king of the Greek Empire.
The four prominent horns that replaced the one large horn show that the Greek Empire will break into four sections with four kings, none of them as great as the first.
"At the end of their rule, when their sin is at its height, a fierce king, a master of intrigue, will rise to power.
He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause a shocking amount of destruction and succeed in everything he does. He will destroy powerful leaders and devastate the holy people.
He will be a master of deception, defeating many by catching them off guard. Without warning he will destroy them. He will even take on the Prince of princes in battle, but he will be broken, though not by human power.
"This vision about the twenty-three hundred evenings and mornings e is true. But none of these things will happen for a long time, so do not tell anyone about them yet."
Then I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for several days. Afterward I got up and performed my duties for the king, but I was greatly troubled by the vision and could not understand it.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)