Decoding Daniel - an in depth Bible study of the book of Daniel

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Daniel 8

Outline and Background - Daniel 8

The Vision of the Ram - Daniel 8:1-4

The Vision of the Goat - Daniel 8:5-8

The Vision of the Little Horn - Daniel 8:9-12

The Time-span of the Host Trampling the Sanctuary - Daniel 8:13-14

The Interpretation of the Vision by Gabriel - Daniel 8:15-27

Application of Daniel 8

The Vision of the Goat - Daniel 8:5-8

Another conqueror would be given the title, “the Great,” which Cyrus had held. This conqueror was depicted by a prominent horn between the eyes of a male goat. Normally, a goat has two horns but not this one. The goat is Greece and this horn is Alexander the Great.

The national emblem of Macedonia (Greece) was a “goat,” and the goat is found on the coins of that country. Its ancient capital was called Aegae, or the “Goat City,” while the adjacent waters were called the Aegean or “Goat-Sea.” Hence, the son of Alexander the Great by Roxana was called Aegus, the “Son of a Goat.”

Alexander the Great was born in 356 B.C., and educated under Aristotle. His father, Philip of Macedonia, was a great conqueror. When he was murdered, Alexander took over a powerful military.

In 334 B.C., Alexander the Great came from the region of Macedonia and Greece, striking a fatal blow to Medo-Persia. Like a giant goat, he leaped over the Hellespont with his army of 30,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry, and he completely crushed a Persian army on the banks of the Granicus. He then swiftly advanced eastward and a year later defeated a Persian army of 600,000 in a battle at Issus. By 331 B.C., Alexander was on the banks of the Tigris River, where he defeated an enormous army led by King Darius.

Between the years 330 B.C. and 327 B.C., Alexander captured the outlying provinces of the Persian Empire. He invaded and conquered the entire Near East and Middle East within three years. His rapid conquest is symbolized by the goat crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. To this day, Alexander’s rapid conquest remains unique in military history. Despite the Persian forces’ immense numbers and commanding military equipment (including war elephants), young Alexander’s tactical genius and disciplined Macedonian army won the day.

At the height of Alexander’s power in 323 B.C., the goat’s prominent horn was broken off. At age 33, the world conqueror died at Babylon, in his vomit from a drunken stupor or from poison given by Cassander or complications from malaria. His early demise is a demonstration of God’s sovereignty over the rise and fall of empires and of great leaders.

And in its place four prominent horns grew up towards the four winds of heaven.

As indicated earlier by the four heads of the third beast (7:6), Alexander’s four generals divided the empire into four parts: Lysimachus ruled Thrace and Bithynia; Cassander ruled Macedonia and Greece; Seleucus ruled Syria, Babylonia and eastward to India; and Ptolemy, ruled Egypt, Palestine and Arabia Petraea. This division occurred after twenty-one years of intense fighting to gain rule following the death of Alexander. Antigonus was a fifth general who was defeated and shoved out, leaving only four. If Antigonus had gotten in as the fifth ruler, the reader could
throw away the book of Daniel!

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