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Daniel Chapter 8 also has great prophetic significance in that it finally clarifies the earlier Daniel prophecies, and tells us of the coming of a second antichrist who will attempt to destroy the remnant of God's people in the Last Days. The setting for this bible book is the province of Elam just southeast of the ancient city of Babylon. Chapter 8 gives us a much more solid basis for examining the chronology of the biblical kingdoms (Rev. 17:11-12) or empires, that were destined to persecute God's people throughout history. This chapter differs greatly from the chapters before it, in that the angel Gabriel personally reveals to Daniel the actual identity of two of those world empires destined to follow the Babylonian empire in history.
DANIEL CHAPTER EIGHT:
In the third year of the reign of the great King Belshazzar, ruler of Babylon, Daniel the prophet receives a second vision. Daniel says "And I saw in the vision as it came to pass that I was in the palace at Shushan in the province of Elam, and I saw in the vision that I was by the river Ulai. I lifted up my eyes and behold, there stood before the river a ram with two horns. And the horns of this ram were very high, but one was higher than the other and the higher horn came up last. And I saw the ram pushing westward, northward and southward so that no beast could stand before him. Neither was there anyone who could be delivered out of hands, but he did whatever he willed, and he waxed very great.
And as I watched, behold a he-goat came from the west over the whole face of the Earth and he came so quickly that he was barely touching the ground. This goat had a notable horn between his eyes and came to the ram that had the two horns which I had seen standing by the river and ran into him with great rage and fury. And I saw him come close to the ram and he was moved with great rage against him and smote the ram and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to remain before the goat, and the goat thrust the ram to the ground and stamped upon him and there was no one who could deliver the ram out of the goat's hand.
Then this he-goat waxed very great, and when he was at the peak of his strength his great horn was broken, and from out of it came four notable horns toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of these horns came forth another little horn (first antichrist) which waxed exceedingly great toward the south, and toward the east and toward the Holy Land. And it waxed great even to the saints of heaven, and it cast some of the saints to the ground, and stamped upon them. And he magnified himself even to the prince of the saints and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary removed. And permission was given to him to remove the place of the daily sacrifice, because of its sins, and he cast down truth to the ground, and practiced and prospered. Then I heard one of the saints speaking to the other saint, and he said to that certain saint "How long shall it be, this vision concerning the daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden down? And he said unto me it shall be two thousand and three hundred days (two thousand and FOUR hundred days in the Vatican copy of the Septuagint) and then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
And it came to pass when I Daniel had seen this vision and sought for its meaning, that behold there stood before me the appearance of a man. And I heard a man's voice from between the banks of the river Ulai which called out and said, "Gabriel, make this man understand the vision. And so he came near to where I stood, and when he came near me I was afraid and fell down upon my face, but he said unto me, "Understand, oh son of man, for this vision shall be at the time of the end. Now as he spoke to me I was in a deep state of sleep with my face toward the ground, but he touched me and sat me upright. And he said, behold I will make thee know what shall be in the end of the indignation. For at the time appointed, then shall the end be. The ram which thou sawest, having two horns, are the kings of Media and Persia (Darius and Cyrus). And the rough goat is the king of Grecia, and the horn between his eyes is the first king of Grecia, (Alexander the Great). Now that horn being broken four more stood up for it (Alexander's four generals). And so also four kingdoms will stand up out of that nation, but not in his power.
And in the latter time of these kingdoms, when the transgressors (empires) are come to an end a king of fierce countenence and understanding dark sentences shall stand up (the 2nd antichrist). And his power shall be mighty but not by his own power and he shall destroy greatly and shall prosper and practice and shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. And through his policies shall he cause craft (technologies) to prosper in his hand, and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace he shall destroy many. He shall also stand up against the prince of princes, but shall be broken without hand. And this vision in the evening and the morning which was told to you was true but therefore shut up the vision because it will not be for many days. And I Daniel fainted and was sick for many days afterward, then finally I rose up and did the king's business and was astonished at the vision, but did not fully understand it."
This is the end of the message of Daniel Chapter 8. In Chapter 8 the angel Gabriel actually reveals to Daniel the identity of two of the Biblical beasts (Persia and Greece) or empires that will eventually follow the Babylonian empire in history. He also reveals the fact that another antichrist, (the second antichrist) will arise out of one of the four broken pieces of the Greek empire. This is one more vital piece of evidence neccessary for us to correctly identify the mysterious "Second Antichrist" of Revelation Chapter 13.
THE GREAT EMPIRES (BEASTS) OF HISTORY
1. The Kingdom of Egypt
2. The Babylonian Empire
3. The Persian Empire (the Ram - Cyrus)
4. The Kingdom of Greece (the He-Goat - Alexander)
5. The Roman Empire
6. The Holy Roman Empire
7. Empire of 1st Antichrist
8. Empire of 2nd Antichrist (a man of fierce countenence)
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