Daniel 8:3

3 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.

Read Daniel 8:3 Using Other Translations

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.
I raised my eyes and saw, and behold, a ram standing on the bank of the canal. It had two horns, and both horns were high, but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last.
As I looked up, I saw a ram with two long horns standing beside the river. One of the horns was longer than the other, even though it had grown later than the other one.

What does Daniel 8:3 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Daniel 8:3

Then I lifted up mine eyes
To see what was to be seen in this place, where he in the vision was brought; he lifted up the eyes of his understanding, being enlightened by the vision of prophecy, and the eyes of his body, to which objects of corporeal things formed in the fancy were represented: and saw, and, behold;
he saw something wonderful in a visionary way, and which struck his mind, and raised his attention: there stood before the river;
the river Ulai, near Shushan, the palace, the seat of the kings of Persia, to the east: a ram, which had two horns;
a symbol of the kingdom of the Medes and Persians, signified by the two horns, ( Daniel 8:20 ) , an emblem of power and dominion, and sometimes used to signify kings and kingdoms; see ( Daniel 7:24 ) and these as united in one monarchy, under one monarch, Cyrus, and continued in his successors unto the times of Alexander; and therefore called "a ram", or "one ram" F13, as in the original; and which in sound has some likeness to Elam or Persia: and this kingdom or monarchy may be signified by it, partly because of its strength and power, and partly because of its riches, as some think, as well as because it is a fighting creature; and it may be chiefly because this monarchy was mild, and kind, and gentle to the Jewish nation: and it is very remarkable, that, according to Ammianus Marcellinus F14, the ram was the royal ensign of the Persians; whose kings used to wear for a diadem something made of gold, in the shape of a ram's head, set with little stones: and the two horns were high;
grew straight up on high, and so were different from the usual horns of a ram, which are crooked; denoting the great power, authority, wealth, and riches, these two kingdoms rose up unto: but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last;
I think the words might be rendered better, "and the first was higher than the second, but it ascended, or grew up, higher at last" F15; the kingdom of the Medes was the first kingdom, and it was at first superior to the kingdom of Persia; but afterwards the kingdom of Persia became greater than that, under Cyrus and his successors: and Sir John Chardin says {p}, that rams' heads, with horns one higher than another, are still to be seen in the ruins of Persepolis.


FOOTNOTES:

F13 (dxa lya) "aries unus", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus
F14 Hist. l. 19.
F15 (hnwrxab hle hhbghw tynvh Nm hxbg txahw) .
F16 Travels, vol. 3.
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