DANIEL - Chapter 8 - Daniel In Iran (2023)
DANIEL IN IRAN – Second Vision in Iran
Tuesday Morning Bible Study
October 31, 2023
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
In this vision described in Chapter 8, Daniel was taken in the Spirit to Susa (Shushan) a second time. Susa is at the foot of the highlands of Iran at the beginning of the Tigris River Valley. It is of interest that the Lord would choose to take Daniel by vision to Iran in view of the present and continuing war-spirit over Iran. Daniel was told the vision pertained to the time of the end.
Daniel 8:1-2: In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me ---to me, Daniel --- after the one that appeared to me the first time. I saw in the vision, and it so happened while I was looking, that I was in Shushan, the citadel, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision that I was by the River Ulai.
As I studied about Elam, the Khuzestan province in Iran, I also discovered Iran’s Second Nuclear Reactor is in this province. It is one of the major oil producing regions of Iran. This is the location of the Yadavaran Oil Field.
DANIEL – Chapter 8 – THE LITTLE HORN
Sunday Evening Service
November 27, 2011, The Year of our Lord
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
As we continue our study of the Book of Daniel, one of our quests is to expose the spirit of antichrist which is at work in the nations of the world.
1 John 2:18: Little children, it is the last time; and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
1 John 2:22: Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the father and the Son.
Anyone against Christ is antichrist. In this sense there are many. However, the prophet Daniel and the Book of Revelation teach us Satan will embody one man in the last days.
Antichrists” (1 John 2:18) Strong’s G500 ---“opposing God; the adversary of the Messiah, a most pestilent being, corrupt power and influence hostile to Christian interests, especially that which is at work in false teachers who have come from the bosom of the church and are engaged in disseminating error. Paul teaches that Antichrist will be an individual man of the very worst character, instigated by the devil to try to palm himself off as God. The author of the Apocalypse discovers the power of antichrist in the sway of imperial Rome and his person in the Emperor Nero.”
Scripture gives us 15 titles of the Antichrist:
1. Antichrist (l Jn. 2:18)
2. The Assyrian
3. The King of Babylon (Isa. 14:4)
4. The Spoiler (Isa. 16:4)
5. The Extortioner (Isa. 16:4)
6. Gog, the chief Prince of Meshech and Tubal (Ez. 38: 2-3)
7. The little horn (Dan. 7:8, 24; 8:9, 23)
8. King of Fierce Countenance (Dan. 8:23)
9. The Prince that shall come (Dan. 9: 26-27)
10. The King of the north (Dan. 11: 5-45)
11. The Man of sin (2 Th. 2: 1-12)
12. The Son of Perdition (2 Th. 2: 1-12)
13. The Wicked (Isa. 11:4)
14. That Wicked (2 Th. 2: 8-12)
15. The Beast (Dan. 7:11; Rev. 13)
THE VISION OF A RAM WITH TWO HORNS:
This vision deals with only two of the kingdoms symbolized by the metallic man of Daniel 2 and the four beasts of Daniel 7. These are the Medo-Persian and the Grecian.
Daniel 8: 3-4: Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns, and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no animal could withstand him, nor was there any that could deliver from his hand, but he did according to his will and became great.
The ram with two horns signifies the Medo-Persian empire. When the kings of the empire went to battle, they wore helmets instead of crowns which looked like rams’ horns.
THE GOAT FROM THE WEST 8:5-8:
Daniel 8: 5-8: As I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power. I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him; and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand. Therefore, the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven.
This goat refers to the Greek empire, and the horn between the eyes signifies Alexander the Great.
Matthew Henry tells an interesting story about Alexander the Great as related by Josephus.
“When Alexander capture Tyre on the way to Jerusalem, Jaddas, then high priest, fearing his rage prayed to God and was warned in a dream that upon Alexander’s approach, he, Jaddas, should open the gates of the city, and that he and the rest of the priests should go forth to meet him in their habits, and all the people in white.
Alexander seeing this company at a distance went alone to the high priest. With his face on the floor, he saluted Jaddas. One of His captains asked why he did this. Alexander said he had a vision while in Macedon of a man dressed as Jaddas, who invited him to Asia and assured him of success in the conquest of Asia. The priests led him to the temple, where he offered sacrifices to the God of Israel as they directed him; and they showed him this book of the prophet Daniel, where it was foretold that a Grecian would destroy the Persians, which cheered him in the expedition against Dairus.”
Alexander took the Jews and their religion under his protection. He promised to be kind to those of their religion in Babylon and Media where he was headed.
The breaking of this notable horn is in reference to the untimely death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C.
In its place there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.
The wind here again denotes the Lord’s providence and God’s sovereignty over human history. The four horns are the four generals we discussed in chapter 7.
A LITTLE HORN 8: 9-12:
And out of one of them came forth a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land. And it grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down. It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down. And on account of transgression the host will be given over to the horn along with the regular sacrifice; and it will fling truth to the ground and perform its will and prosper.
This story about a little horn is quite mysterious and difficult to understand. This little horn is different from the one which appeared in chapter 7. This second prophecy of a little horn has been already fulfilled historically, but at the same time it has a dualistic interpretation because it stands for the antichrist which is yet to come.
The territory controlled by the four generals is known to us as Greece, Turkey, Syria, and Egypt. Two of the four eventually emerged as major forces: Syria, taken by Seleucus and Egypt, taken by Ptolemy. These two kingdoms were constantly engaged in hostile actions.
Israel was sandwiched geographically between the two kingdoms. When Egypt came up to fight Syria, Israel was trampled underfoot and likewise when Syria went down to fight Egypt. Thus, the sufferings of Israel were beyond description.
Under these circumstances, a little horn came up out of one of the horns. The described follows in Daniels account fits perfectly a king of Syria named Antiochus Ephiphanes, who was eighth in the Seleucus dynasty (175-164 B.C.).
Antiochus rose to prominence among the four horns. He defeated Egypt, and on his way home, he subdued Jerusalem. After Jerusalem surrendered, he set himself up against God and cruelly trampled Israel under foot.
Some scholars believe “the host” refers to the Jews whom this conqueror cast down in defeat. Otherwise throughout scripture, “The host” refers to “army, war, warfare, angels, sun, moon, stars of the whole creation,”
Antiochus murdered several of the political and religious leaders of Israel, including the high priest Onias III, the religious star of the Jews in that day. Moreover, he set himself up to be as great as the Prince of the host. He forbade the daily sacrifice in the temple. He desecrated the sanctuary with an altar offered to the Greek deity he worshipped. On it he sacrificed swine’s blood, an abomination to the Jews.
He abolished the Mosaic Law. He forbade circumcision and imposed a pagan lifestyle upon them. Anyone who refused to obey Antiochus or rebelled against him was subject to death.
These events paralled what will come to pass in the last days, the rise of the antichrist, his conquest and cruel treatment of Israel.
Rev. 17:17: For God has put in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom to the beast, until the words (G4483-rhema) of God shall be fulfilled.
THE BLASPHEMY OF THE LITTLE HORN 8: 13, 14:
Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to that particular one who was speaking, “How long will the vision about the regular sacrifice apply while the transgression causes horror, so as to allow both the holy place and the host to be trampled.” And he said to me, “For 2300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored.”
These words of the angels came true in history. The persecution against the Jews began in 171 B.C. and continued until Antiochus finally died on an expedition to Media in 164 B.C. As soon as he died, Israel was released from Syrian bondage. (This connection of the Little Horn to Syria is the basis for many scholars’ belief that the antichrist will come from Syria). The temple was purged, and the daily sacrifice was restored. The exact number of days from Antiochus’ conquest of Israel to his death was exactly 2300, the number prophesied here.
It is interesting to note that Antiochus was struck with an incurable plague after he swore to make Jerusalem a common burial place after the Jews cast the image of Jupiter out of the temple. Despairing of his recovery, he acknowledged his injuries to the Jews, released them to worship God without persecution. Still, he died admitting that he has set himself in competition with God.
Because this is a dualist prophecy which was once fulfilled in history yet will be fulfilled again at the end of the world, this passage shows clearly that some day the antichrist, like Antiochus Epiphanes, will arise to destroy Israel. As we have already seen in chapter 7:25 that period of time has been prophesied as a time, times, and half a time (3-1/2 years).
GABRIEL’S INTERPRETION OF THE VISION 8: 15-27:
And it came about when I, Daniel, had seen the vision, that I sought to understand it; and behold, standing before me was one who looked like a man. And I heard the voice of a man between the banks of Ulai, and he called out and said, “Gabriel, give this man an understanding of the vision.”
This man would be Jesus Christ, as the Son-of-Man, for no one but He had the authority to give orders to Gabriel. Gabriel is an archangel. We meet him throughout scripture delivering important messages.
Daniel 8: 17-22: So., he came near to where I was standing, and when he came, I was frightened and fell on my face; but he said to me, “son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end.” Now while he was talking with me, I sank into a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me and made me stand upright. And he said, “Behold I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of the Indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end. The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Medes ad Persia. And the shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king. And the broken horn and the four horns that arose in its place represent four kingdoms which will arise from his nation, although not with his power.
Here Gabriel explains the significance of the vision according to the historical outline we have been studying. Then he went on to say that at the latter part of the period of the four kingdoms rising out of Alexander’s kingdom would arise a fierce enemy of the Jews. This was Antiochus Ephiphanes, but because he was a type of the antichrist, what is said here is also applied to the antichrist who is to come.
A DESCRIPTION OF THE ANTICHRIST:
Daniel 8: 23-25: In the latter period of their rule, when the transgressors have their run their course, a king will stand up insolent and skilled in intrigue. (He will understand dark sentences.) His power will be mighty, but not by his own power. He will destroy to an extraordinary degree. He will prosper and perform his will. He will destroy mighty men and the holy people. Through his shrewdness (craftiness). He will cause deceit to succeed by his influence. He will magnify himself in his heart. He will destroy many while they are at ease. (By peace shall destroy many); He will even oppose the Prince of princes, He will be broken without human hand.
He will be a master of intrigue and manipulation. He will enter a seven-year treaty with Israel. He will help Israel rebuild the temple, which was destroyed by the Romans. For 3-1/2 years, he will take advantage of Israel, using the nation for his own purposes until he has enough political power to stand by himself.
The antichrist will suddenly turn into the beast, claiming that he is God. Having his own idol built in the sanctuary, he will force the people to worship it. But monotheistic Israel will never obey that command. Consequently, this will lead to the campaign against the Jews:
Referring to this Jesus said:
Matthew 24: 15-22: Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on the housetop not go down to get the things out that are in his house; and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak. But woe to those who are with child and to those nurse babes in those days! But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath; for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. And unless those days have been cut short, no life would have been saved; but the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short.
Thus, the antichrist will persecute the Jews, opposing God and claiming that he is Christ at the time that is known as the great tribulation.
When will this antichrist fall? During the war of Armageddon:
Rev. 16:14-16: They are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth to the kings of earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty…And he gathered them together into a placed called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
THE END OF THE AGE:
Daniel 8:26-27: “The vision of the evenings and mornings which has been told is true; but keep the vision secret, for it pertains to many days in the future.” Then I, Daniel, was exhausted and sick for days. Then I got up again and carried on the king’s business; but I was astounded at the vision, and there was none to explain it.
This period of over two thousand years was kept secret to the prophets. Yet the end of it was foretold in Joel, when he said that God would pour out His spirit upon His servants, both men and women (Joel 2: 28, 29). That happened at the beginning of this century when the latter rain of the Holy Spirit came down to earth in the Pentecostal outpouring.
Israel has risen again, regaining her nationhood. The fig tee is a symbol of Israel, and Jesus said: Now learn the parable from the fig tree; when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that he is near, right at the door (Mt. 24: 32,33).
The fig tree, Israel, wandered among the nations for a long time but has finally become a nation once more and put forth leaves.
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries Church