In Belshazzar's third year as king, I, Daniel, saw a vision. This vision came after the one I saw earlier.
In my vision I saw myself in the fortress of Susa in the province of Elam. In my vision I saw myself at Ulai Gate.
I looked up and saw a single ram standing beside the gate. The ram had two long horns, one longer than the other, though the longer one had grown up later.
I saw the ram charging west, north, and south. No other animal could stand in front of it, and no one could escape from its power. It did anything it pleased and continued to grow.
As I was watching closely, I saw a male goat coming from the west. It crossed the whole earth without touching it. This goat had a prominent horn between its eyes.
The goat was coming toward the two-horned ram that I had seen standing beside the gate. It furiously ran at the ram.
I saw it come closer to the ram. The goat was extremely angry with the ram, so it attacked the ram. It broke both of the ram's horns. The ram didn't have the strength to stand up against the goat. So the ram was thrown down on the ground and trampled. No one could rescue the ram from the goat's power.
The male goat became very important. But when the goat became powerful, his large horn broke off. In its place grew four horns. They corresponded to the four winds of heaven.
Out of one of the horns came a small horn. It gained power over the south, the east, and the beautiful land.
It continued to gain power until it reached the army of heaven. It threw some of the army of heaven, the stars, down on the ground and trampled them.
Then it attacked the commander of the army so that it took the daily burnt offering from him and wrecked his holy place.
In its rebelliousness it was given an army to put a stop to the daily burnt offering. It threw truth on the ground. The horn was successful in everything it did.
Then I heard a holy one speaking. Another holy one said to the one who was speaking, "How long will the things in this vision--the daily burnt offering, the destructive rebellion, the surrender of the holy place, and the trampling of the army--take place?"
He told me, "For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the holy place will be made acceptable to God."
Now as I, Daniel, watched the vision and tried to understand it, I saw someone who looked like a man standing in front of me.
I heard a man in Ulai [Gate] call loudly, "Gabriel, explain the vision to this man."
Gabriel came up beside me, and when he came, I was terrified and immediately knelt down. He said to me, "Son of man, understand that the vision is about the end times."
As he spoke to me, I fainted facedown on the ground, but he touched me and made me stand up.
He said, "I will tell you what will happen in the last days, [the time of God's] anger, because the end time has been determined.
"The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kingdoms of Media and Persia.
The hairy male goat is the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is its first king.
The horn broke off, and four horns replaced it. Four kingdoms will come out of that nation, but they won't be as strong as the first king was.
"In the last days of those kingdoms, when rebellions are finished, a stern-looking king who understands mysterious things will rise to power.
He will become very strong, but not by his own strength. He will cause astounding destruction and will be successful in everything he does. He will destroy those who are powerful along with some holy people.
He will cleverly use his power to deceive others successfully. He will consider himself to be great and destroy many people when they don't expect it. He will oppose the Commander of Commanders, but he will be defeated, though not by any human power.
The vision about the [2,300] evenings and mornings that was explained to you is true. Seal the vision, because it is about things that will happen in the distant future."
I, Daniel, was exhausted and sick for days. Then I got up and worked for the king. The vision horrified me because I couldn't understand it.