Outline of Chapter Eight
The Vision of the Ram, 1-4
The Vision of the Goat,
The Vision of the Little Horn, 9-12
Time-span of the Host Trampling the Sanctuary, 13-14
The Interpretation of the Vision by Gabriel, 15-27
The chronological order of the chapters of the book of
Daniel is 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 5, 9, 6, 10,11, and12.
The time of the vision in this chapter was the third
year of the reign of Belshazzar (551 B.C.), twelve years
before the fall of Babylon. Daniel was about seventy years
old that year. In 539 B.C., Daniel could interpret the
handwriting on the wall because he already knew the future
course of the world empires. But, there is much for the
prophet and his readers to learn of the future. The vision
in this chapter reveals details about the rulers of the
Medo-Persian and Greek empires.
This chapter begins with a switch from Aramaic back to
Hebrew, indicating that Israel is back in the prophetic
picture and is the intended audience for the last five
chapters of this book. These five chapters are intended to
show Israel its place in prophetic history and to prepare
the Jews for the terrible persecutions that lie ahead. The
bad news is that persecution is coming, but the good news
is that it will end at God’s set time.
Chapter eight elaborates and expands certain features
of the dream and visions in chapter seven. Chapter seven
was a sweep of history, while chapter eight deals with
specifics of the second and third kingdoms, focusing on
another “little horn” who foreshadows the Antichrist.
Here Daniel becomes a time traveler. He is projected
into the future and to a different location, somewhat like
the prophet Ezekiel and the apostle John.
This chapter contains a vision, apocalyptic symbolism,
history told in veiled terms, angels, persecution,
prediction, and the interpretation of the vision. It has
1. A vision of a ram and a goat (1-12)
introduction of heavenly interpreters (13-19)
interpretation of the vision (20-27)
Nabonidus’ policy toward Cyrus was friendly and
cooperative until the Persian merger with the Medes. Then
Nabonidus made secret overtures with Lydia and Egypt,
hoping to forge a triple alliance against the dangerous
and aggressive Cyrus the Great. The great sea is churning;
a new world empire is coming out of the sea.