8:1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
8:3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
The eighth chapter gives details concerning the second and third world-kingdoms: the silver and brass kingdoms of Dan. 2.; the bear and leopard kingdoms of Dan. 7., viz., the Medo-Persian and Macedonian kingdoms of history. At the time of this vision ( Daniel 8:1 ) the first monarchy was nearing its end. Belshazzar was the last king of that monarchy.
third year About B.C. 530.
8:9 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.
(See Scofield "Daniel 8:20") .
8:10 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.
The "little horn" here is a prophecy fulfilled in Antiochus Epiphanes, B.C. 175, who profaned the temple and terribly persecuted the Jews. He is not to be confounded with the "little horn" of Dan. 7. who is yet to come, and who will dominate the earth during the great tribulation. (See Scofield "Daniel 7:8") concerning "The Beast". See Scofield " Revelation 19:20 " and "The great tribulation," Psalms 2:5 . See Scofield " Revelation 7:14 ". But Antiochus is a remarkable type of the Beast, the terrible "little horn" of the last days. Verses 24,25 go beyond Antiochus and evidently refer to the "little horn" of Dan. 7. Both Antiochus and the Beast, but the Beast pre-eminently, are in view in verses 24,25. That the "little horn" of Dan. 7. cannot be the little horn of Daniel 8:9-13 Daniel 8:23 is evident. The former comes up among the ten horns into which the fourth empire (Roman) is to be divided; the little horn of Dan. 8. comes out of one of the four kingdoms into which the third (Grecian) empire was divided ( Daniel 8:23 ), and in "the latter time" of the four kingdoms Daniel 8:22 Daniel 8:23 ). This was historically true of Antiochus Epiphanes. They are alike in hatred of the Jews and of God, and in profaning the temple. Cf. Daniel 7:25 (the Beast) with Daniel 8:10-12 (Antiochus):
one of them Anticohus Epiphanes came out of Syria, one of the "four notable" kingdoms into which Alexander's empire was divided.
8:12 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.
And it waxed great
This passage ( Daniel 8:10-14 ) is confessedly the most difficult in prophecy, a difficulty increased by the present state of the text. Historically this was fulfilled in and by Antiochus Epiphanes, but in a more intense and final sense Antiochus but adumbrates the awful blasphemy of the "little horn" of ; Daniel 7:8 Daniel 7:24 Daniel 7:25 ; 9:27 ; 11:36-45 ; 12:11 . In Daniel Daniel 8:10-14 the actions of both "little horns" blend.
8:13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
Cf. Daniel 9:27 where the Beast comes into view:
8:15 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.
Seven times in Daniel the "desolation" is spoken of:
(1) Of the sanctuary, Daniel 8:13 fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes, B.C. 175-170.
(2) Of the sanctuary, Daniel 9:17 the condition in Daniel's time, when the Jews were in exile and the sanctuary desolate.
(3) Generally, of the land, Daniel 9:18 also referring to Daniel's time.
8:19 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.
8:20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.
Two "ends" are in view here:
(1) historically, the end of the third, or Grecian empire of Alexander out of one of the divisions of which the little horn of verse 9 (Antiochus) arose;
(2) prophetically, the end of the times of the Gentiles Luke 21:24 ; Revelation 16:14 when the "little horn" of Daniel 7:8 Daniel 7:24-26 the Beast, will arise--Daniel's final time of the end. (See Scofield "Daniel 12:4") .
8:21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
The "higher" horn which "came up last" is Cyrus, the other "Darius the Mede."
8:22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
i.e. Alexander the Great.
8:23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
The four empires into which Alexander's empire was divided about B.C. 300; Greece, Asia Minor, including Syria, Egypt, the East.
king of fierce countenance
i.e. Antiochus Epiphanes who arose out of Syria, one of the "four kingdoms," B.C. 170.