1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, even to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first. 2 And I saw in a vision, and it came to pass when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam. And I saw in a vision that I was by the Ulai River. 3 Then I lifted up my 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. 4 I saw the ram goring westward, northward, and southward, so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any who could deliver out of his hand, but he did according to his will and became great.
5 And as I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and did not touch the ground. And the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. 6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran to him in the fury of his power. 7 And I saw him come close to the ram, and he was moved with anger against him and smote the ram and broke his two horns. And there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and stamped upon him. And there was no one who could deliver the ram out of his hand. 8 Therefore, the male goat became very great, and when he was strong, the great horn was broken and in its stead four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven.
9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which became exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. 10 And it grew great, even to the host of heaven, and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground and stamped upon them. 11 It even magnified itself to the prince of the host, and by it the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. 12 And a host was given to it against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground and did its pleasure and prospered. 13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said to that certain saint who spoke, "How long shall the vision be concerning the daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?" 14 And he said to me, "Until two thousand and three hundred days. Then the sanctuary shall be cleansed."
15 And it came to pass, when I, even I, Daniel, had seen the vision and sought the meaning, then behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. 16 And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, "Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision." 17 So he came near where I stood. And when he came, I was afraid and fell upon my face, but he said to me, "Understand, O son of man, the vision shall be for the time of the end."
18 Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground, but he touched me and set me upright. 19 And he said, "Behold, I will make you know what shall be in the last end of the indignation, for at the time appointed the end shall be.
20 "The ram which you saw having two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia.
21 "And the rough goat is the king of Grecia. And the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22 Now that which is broken, where four stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
23 "And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have come to the full, a king of fierce countenance and understanding dark sentences shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power. He shall destroy wonderfully and shall prosper and do his pleasure. He shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25 And through his understanding he shall also cause deceit to prosper in his hand. He shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many. He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes, but he shall be broken, though not by human hands.
26 And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true. Therefore, shut up the vision, for it shall be for many days to come."
27 And I, Daniel, fainted and was sick some days. Afterward, I rose and did the king's business. And I was astonished at the vision, but no one understood it.
John Gill's Chapter Summary:
This chapter contains the vision of a ram and male goat, and the interpretation of it. It begins with observing the time and place of the vision (Daniel 8:1-2); then describes the ram seen, by the place of his situation, by his two horns, and by his pushing several ways with so much force and fury that none could stand before him, or deliver out of his hands (Daniel 8:3,4); next the male goat appears and is described by the part from where he came, the swiftness of his motion, the notable horn between his eyes, and his running to the ram in great fury, smiting him between his horns, casting him to the ground, and trampling upon him, and none to deliver (Daniel 8:5-7); but, after waxing great and powerful, its horn was broken, and four more rose up in its stead, and out of one of them a little horn (Daniel 8:8-9); which little horn is described by its power and prevalence to the south and to the east, toward the pleasant land, the host of heaven, and the Prince of the host, and by it the stars were cast down and trampled upon, the daily sacrifice made to cease, the place of the sanctuary cast down, and truth itself (Daniel 8:9-12); and upon inquiry it appeared that these sacred things were to continue in this desolate condition to 2300 days (Daniel 8:13-14). Daniel being desirous of knowing the meaning of this vision, the Angel Gabriel is ordered by Christ to give him an understanding of it, who drew near to him and woke him out of his sleep and gave him the interpretation of it (Daniel 8:15-19); which is as follows: the ram, with two horns, signifies the kings of Media and Persia; the rough goat, the king of Greece; and the great horn the first king, Alexander the great; and the four horns, four kingdoms which rose up out of the Grecian empire upon his death (Daniel 8:20-22); and the little horn a king of fierce countenance, Antiochus Epiphanes, who is described by his craft and cunning, by his power and might, and by the destruction he should make (Daniel 8:23-25); this vision the angel assures the prophet was true, and bids him shut it up, since it was for many days (Daniel 8:26); upon which Daniel fainted and was sick for a time, but afterward recovered, so as to be able to do the king’s business, but astonished at the vision himself, and which was not understood by others (Daniel 8:27).