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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Daniel 8:14

He said to me, "For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored."
New American Standard Version
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  1. Adam Clarke Commentary
  2. Bridgeway Bible Commentary
  3. Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible
  4. E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
  5. Calvin's Commentary on the Bible
  6. Brian Bell Commentary on the Bible
  7. Chuck Smith Bible Commentary
  8. John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
  9. Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
  10. Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
  11. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
  12. Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
  13. F. B. Hole's Old and New Testament Commentary
  14. F.B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary
  15. Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
  16. G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible
  17. John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible
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  19. Geneva Study Bible
  20. George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary
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  23. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
  24. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
  25. James Gray's Concise Bible Commentary
  26. Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
  27. John Trapp Complete Commentary
  28. Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary
  29. Kingcomments on the Whole Bible
  30. The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann
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  32. Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible
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Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Angel (a Spirit);   Church;   Day;   Temple;   Thompson Chain Reference - Awakenings and Religious Reforms;   Reforms, Religious;   Religious;   Temple;   The Topic Concordance - Abomination;   Empires/world Powers;   Last Days;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Darius;   Shushan;   Vision;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Allegory;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Day;   Gog;   Israel;   Justification;   Number;   Zacharias;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Daniel, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Thessalonians, Second Epistle to the;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Jonah ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Antiochus ;   Daniel, Book of;   Horns;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Darius;   Day;   Ulai;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Millenarians;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Babylonish Captivity, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Astronomy;   Day and Night;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Night;   Revelation (Book of);  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Unto two thousand and three hundred days - Though literally it be two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings. Yet I think the prophetic day should be understood here, as in other parts of this prophet, and must signify so many years. If we date these years from the vision of the he-goat, (Alexander's invading Asia), this was A.M. 3670, b.c. 334; and two thousand three hundred years from that time will reach to a.d. 1966, or one hundred and forty-one years from the present a.d. 1825. This will bring it near to the time mentioned Daniel 7:25; (note), where see the note.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/daniel-8.html. 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Vision of the ram and the goat (8:1-14)

This vision is easier to understand than that of the previous chapter (which was given to Daniel two years earlier; cf. 7:1; 8:1). This is partly because of the interpretation given to Daniel, and partly because of ancient records that show a remarkable correspondence between details of the vision and events as they actually happened.

It was now almost 550 BC, and though Babylon was still the dominant power in the region, Persia had now begun to challenge it. The significant event of 550 BC was Persia's conquest of the formerly great kingdom of Media. Then, in 539 BC, the combined armies of Persia and Media conquered Babylon. This combined Medo-Persian power was pictured in the vision as a ram, one of whose horns (Persia) was higher than the other (Media) (8:1-4; see also v. 20).

Persia ruled till about 333 BC, when Alexander the Great came from the west and with unbelievable speed overran the Persian Empire. His Greek Empire was symbolized in Daniel's vision as a goat, with Alexander as the large horn between the goat's eyes. But at the height of his power, when only thirty-two years of age, Alexander suddenly died. His empire soon split into four sectors ('four new horns') (5-8; see also. v. 21-22).

One of these sectors was centred on Syria. From this sector there arose, many years later, a king ('a little horn') who attacked God's people and even God himself ('the stars of heaven and the Prince of those stars'). This king, Antiochus Epiphanes, stopped the regular sacrifices that the Jews offered each morning and evening, set up Greek idols and a heathen altar in their holy temple, and forced the Jews to carry out practices that he knew their law prohibited (9-12; see also v. 23-25).

This attack on the Jewish religion lasted more than three years (1150 days, or 2300 morning and evening sacrifices). It came to an end in 165 BC, when the Jews regained control of their temple. They then cleansed and rededicated it to the holy worship of God (13-14).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/daniel-8.html. 2005.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And he said unto me - Instead of answering the one who made the inquiry, the answer is made to Daniel, doubtless that he might make a record of it, or communicate it to others. If it had been made to the inquirer, the answer would have remained with him, and could have been of no use to the world. For the encouragement, however, of the Hebrew people, when their sanctuary and city would be thus desolate, and in order to furnish an instance of the clear fulfillment of a prediction, it was important that it should be recorded, and hence, it was made to Daniel.

Unto two thousand and three hundred days - Margin, evening, morning. So the Hebrew, בקר ערב ‛ereb boqer So the Latin Vulgate, ad vesperam et mane. And so Theodotion - ἔως ἑσπέρας καὶ πρωΐ̀ heōs hesperas kai prōi - “to the evening and morning.” The language here is evidently what was derived from Gen. i., or which was common among the Hebrews, to speak of the “evening and the morning” as constituting a day. There can be no doubt, however, that a day is intended by this, for this is the fair and obvious interpretation. The Greeks were accustomed to denote the period of a day in the same manner by the word νυχθήμερον nuchthēmeron (see 2 Corinthians 11:25), in order more emphatically to designate one complete day. See Prof. Stuart‘s Hints on Prophecy, pp. 99,100. The time then specified by this would be six years and a hundred and ten days.

Much difficulty has been felt by expositors in reconciling this statement with the other designations of time in the book of Daniel, supposed to refer to the same event, and with the account furnished by Josephus in regard to the period which elapsed during which the sanctuary was desolate, and the daily sacrifice suspended. The other designations of time which have been supposed to refer to the same event in Daniel, are Daniel 7:25, where the time mentioned is three years and a half, or twelve hundred and sixty days; and Daniel 12:7, where the same time is mentioned, “a time, times, and an half,” or three years and an half, or, as before, twelve hundred and sixty days; and Daniel 12:11, where the period mentioned is “a thousand two hundred and ninety days;” and Daniel 12:12, where the time mentioned is “a thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.” The time mentioned by Josephus is three years exactly from the time when “their Divine worship was fallen off, and was reduced to a profane and common use,” until the time when the lamps were lighted again, and the worship restored, for he says that the one event happened precisely three years after the other, on the same day of the month - Ant. b. xii. ch. vii. Section 6. In his Jewish Wars, however, b. i. ch. i. Section 1, he says that Antiochus “spoiled the temple, and put a stop to the constant practice of offering a daily sacrifice of expiation for three years and six months.” Now, in order to explain the passage before us, and to reconcile the accounts, or to show that there is no contradiction between them, the following remarks may be made:

(1) We may lay out of view the passage in Daniel 7:25. See the note at that passage. If the reasoning there be sound, then that passage had no reference to Antiochus, and though, according to Josephus, there is a remarkable coincidence between the time mentioned there and the time during which the daily sacrifice was suspended, yet that does not demonstrate that the reference there is to Antiochus.

(2) We may lay out of view, also, for the present, the passages in Daniel 12:11-12. Those will be the subject of consideration hereafter, and for the present ought not to be allowed to embarrass us in ascertaining the meaning of the passage before us.

(3) On the assumption, however, that those passages refer to Antiochus, and that the accounts in Josephus above referred to are correct - though he mentions different times, and though different periods are referred to by Daniel, the variety may be accounted for by the supposition that separate epochs are referred to at the starting point in the calculation - the terminus a quo. The truth was, there were several decisive acts in the history of Antiochus that led to the ultimate desolation of Jerusalem, and at one time a writer may have contemplated one, and at another time another. Thus, there was the act by which Jason, made high priest by Antiochus, was permitted to set up a gymnasium in Jerusalem after the manner of the pagan (Prideaux, iii. 216; Daniel 8:9, and the things which attracted the attention of Daniel were, that he “waxed great,” and made war on “the host of heaven,” and “cast some of the host and of the stars to the ground” Daniel 8:10, and “magnified himself against the prince of the host” Daniel 8:11 - acts which refer manifestly to his attack on the people of God, and the priests or ministers of religion, and on God him. self as the “prince of the host” - unless this phrase should be understood as referring rather to the high priest. We are then rather to look to the whole series of events as included within the two thousand and three hundred days, than the period in which literally the daily sacrifice was forbidden by a solemn statute. It was practically suspended, and the worship of God interrupted during all that time.

(5) The terminus ad quem - the conclusion of the period is marked and settled. This was the “cleansing of the sanctuary.” This took place, under Judas Maccabeus, Dec. 25,165 b.c. - Prideaux, iii. 265-268. Now, reckoning back from this period, two thousand and three hundred days, we come to August 5,171 b.c. The question is, whether there were in this year, and at about this time, any events in the series of sufficient importance to constitute a period from which to reckon; events answering to what Daniel saw as the commencement of the vision, when “some of the host and the stars were cast down and stamped upon.” Now, as a matter of fact, there commenced in the year 171 b.c. a series of aggressions upon the priesthood, and temple, and city of the Jews on the part of Antiochus, which terminated only with his death. Up to this year, the relations of Antiochus and the Jewish people were peaceful and cordial.

In the year 175 b.c. he granted to the Jewish people, who desired it, permission to erect a gymnasium in Jerusalem, as above stated. In the year 173 b.c. demand was made of Antiochus of the provinces of Ccelo-Syria and Palestine by the young Philometor of Egypt, who had just come to the throne, and by his mother - a demand which was the origin of the war between Antiochus and the king of Egypt, and the beginning of all the disturbances. - Prideaux, iii. 218. In the year 172 b.c., Antiochus bestowed the office of high priest on Menelaus, who was the brother of Jason the high priest. Jason had sent Menelaus to Antioch to pay the king his tribute-money, and while there Menelaus conceived the design of supplanting his brother, and by offering for it more than Jason had, he procured the appointment and returned to Jerusalem. - Prideaux, iii. 220-222. Up to this time all the intercourse of Antiochus with the Jews had been of a peaceful character, and nothing of a hostile nature had occurred.

In 171 b.c. began the series of events which finally resulted in the invasion and destruction of the city, and in the cessation of the public worship of God. Menelaus, having procured the high priesthood, refused to pay the tribute-money which he had promised for it, and was summoned to Antioch. Antioclius being then absent, Menelaus took advantage of his absence, and having, by means of Lysimachus, whom he had left at Jerusalem, procured the vessels out of the temple, He sold them at Tyre, and thus raised money to pay the king. In the meantime, Onias III, the lawful high priest, who had fled to Antioch, sternly rebuked Menelaus for his sacrilege, and soon after, at the instigation of Menelaus, was allured from his retreat at Daphne, where he had sought an asylum, and was murdered by Andronicus, the vicegerent of Antiochus. At the same time, the Jews in Jerusalem, highly indignant at the profanation by Menelaus, and the sacrilege in robbing the temple, rose in rebellion against Lysimachus and the Syrian forces who defended him, and both cut off this “sacrilegious robber” (Prideaux), and the guards by whom he was surrounded.

This assault on the officer of Antiochus, and rebellion against him, was the commencement of the hostilities which resulted in the ruin of the city, and the closing of the worship of God. - Prideaux, iii. 224-226; Stuart‘s Hints on Prophecy, p. 102. Here commenced a series of aggressions upon the priesthood, and the temple, and the city of the Jews, which, with occasional interruption, continued to the death of Antiochus, and which led to all that was done in profaning the temple, and in suspending the public worship of God, and it is doubtless to this time that the prophet here refers. This is the natural period in describing the series of events which were so disastrous to the Jewish people; this is the period at which one who should now describe them as history, would begin. It may not, indeed, be practicable to make out the precise number of days, for the exact dates are not preserved in history, but the calculation brings it into the year 171 b.c., the year which is necessary to be supposed in order that the two thousand and three hundred days should be completed. Compare Lengerke, in loc., p. 388. Various attempts have been made to determine the exact number of the days by historic records. Bertholdt, whom Lengerke follows, determines it in this manner. He regards the time referred to as that from the command to set up pagan altars to the victory over Nicanor, and the solemn celebration of that victory, as referred to in John 10:22, and which our Saviour honored with his presence. See 1 Maccabees 4:41-58; 2 Maccabees 10:1-7; Josephus, Ant. b. xii. ch. vii. Section 6,7.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/daniel-8.html. 1870.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

me. Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read "him".

two thousand and three hundred days. See App-91, and note on Daniel 8:26 below.

days = evenings and mornings, the times of the offering of the "continual" or daily sacrifice.

cleansed = vindicated or sanctified: in this form, occurs only here. Compare Daniel 9:24; and see App-90.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/daniel-8.html. 1909-1922.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

The phrase, And he said to me, now follows. This ought to be referred not to the angel inquiring, but to the Wonderful One. Whence we, rather gather the great anxiety of the angel concerning the interpretation of the prophecy, not for his own sake, but for the common benefit of the pious. Respecting this Wonderful One, though I am persuaded he was the Son of God, yet whoever he was, he certainly does not reject the angel’s request. Why then does he address Daniel rather than the angel? Because the angel was not seeking his own benefit, but took up the cause of the whole Church, as we have Shawn how angels are occupied in our salvation. Thus also we see how the angel notices the Prophet’s astonishment, when he was almost dead, and had not thought of inquiring for himself, or at least did not dare to break forth at once; for he afterwards recovered himself, and was raised up by the angel’s hand, as we shall soon perceive. The Wonderful One said to me — that is, the incomprehensible or the mysterious one said to me for two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings, then the sanctuary shall be justified Here the Hebrews are mutually at variance whether they ought to understand the number of years or of months; but it is surprising to perceive how grossly they are deluded in so plain a matter. The expression, to evening and morning, is not doubtful, since Christ, clearly means two thousand three hundred days; for what else can the phrase, morning and evening, signify? It cannot be used of either years or months. Evidently we ought to understand natural days here, consisting of twenty-four hours each. Those who receive it of years and months are wretchedly mistaken, and even ridiculous in their calculations. For some begin to calculate the, time from Samuel, they next descend to the reign of Saul, and next to that of David; and thus they foolishly trifle, through not understanding the intention of Christ, who wished his Church to be forewarned of the coming empires and slaughters, with the view of rendering the faithful invincible, however sorely they may be oppressed on all sides. Christ therefore wished to hold up a light to direct all the elect through the approaching darkness under the tyranny of Antiochus, and to assure them that in the very depths of it they would not be deserted by the favor of God. Hope would thus elevate their minds and all their senses unto the promised termination. To what purpose, then, do those interpreters speak of the reigns of Saul and David? We see this to be altogether foreign and adverse to the mind of Christ, and to the use of this prophecy. No less absurd is the guess of those who prate about months. Their refutation would occupy three or four hours, and would be a waste of time, utterly profitless. It is sufficient to gather this simple meaning from the words — Christ does not speak here of years or months, but of days. We must now seek the true interpretation of the passage from the whole context. We have shewn how impossible it is to explain this prophecy otherwise than by Antiochus: the event itself proves this to be its meaning. Blind indeed must be those who do not hold this principle — the small horn sprang from one of those remarkable and illustrious persons who came forth in place of one very large horn. Boys even know this by reading the accredited history of those times. As Christ here alluded to the tyranny of Antiochus, we must observe how his words accord with the facts. Christ numbers 2300 days for the pollution of the sanctuary, and this period comprehends six years and about four months. We know the Jews to have used lunar years as well as months. They afterwards used interealary periods, since twelve lunar months did not correspond with the sun’s course. The same custom prevailed among both Greeks and Romans. Julius Caesar first arranged for us the solar year, and supplied the defect by intercalary days, so that the months might accord with the sun’s course. But however that was, these days, as I have said, fill up six years and three months and a half. Now, if we compare the testimony of history, and especially of the book of Maccabees, with this prophecy, we shall find that miserable race oppressed for six years under the tyranny of Antiochus. The idol of Olympian Jove did not remain in the temple for six continuous years, but the commencement of the pollution occurred at the first attack, as if he would insult the very face of God. No wonder then if Daniel understood this vision of six years and about a third, because Antiochus then insulted the worship of God and the Law; and when he poured forth innocent blood promiscuously, no one dared openly to resist him. As, therefore, religion was then laid prostrate on the ground, until the cleansing of the temple, we see how very clearly the prophecy and the history agree, as far as this narrative is concerned. Again, it is clear the purifying of the temple could not have been at the end of the sixth current year, but in the month כסלו, keslu, answering to October or November, as leaned men prudently decide, it was profaned. For this month among the Jews begins sometimes in the middle of October, and sometimes at the end, according to the course of the moon; for we said the months and years were lunar. In the month Keslu the temple was polluted; in the month אדר Ader, about three months afterwards, near its close, the Maccabees purged it. (1 Maccabees 4:36.) Thus the history confirms in every way what Daniel had predicted many ages previously — nay, nearly three hundred years before it came to pass. For this occurred a hundred and fifty years after the death of Alexander. Some time also had already elapsed, as there were eight or ten kings of Persia between the deaths of Cyrus and Darius. I do not remember any but the chief events just now, and it ought it to be sufficient for us to perceive how Daniel’s predictions were fulfilled in their own season, as historians clearly narrate. Without the slightest doubt, Christ predicted the profanation of the temple, and this would depress the spirits of the pious as if God had betrayed them, had abandoned all care of his temple, and had given up his election and his covenant entirely. Christ therefore wished to support the spirit of the faithful by this prediction, thereby informing them how fully they deserved these future evils, in consequence of their provoking God’s wrath; and yet their punishment should be temporary, because the very God who announced its approach promised at the same time a prosperous issue.

Respecting the phrase, the sanctuary shall be justified, some translate it — “Then the sanctuary shall be expiated;” but I prefer retaining the proper sense of the word. We know how usually the Hebrews use the word “justify” when they speak of rights. When their own rights are restored to those who have been deprived of them — when a slave has been blessed with his liberty — when he who has been unjustly oppressed obtains his cause, the Hebrews use this word “justified.” As God’s sanctuary was subject to infamy by’ the image of Olympian Jove being exhibited there, all respect for it had passed away; for we know how the glory of the temple sprang from the worship of God. As the temple had been defiled by so great disgrace, it was then justified, when God established his own sacrifices again, and restored his pure worship as prescribed by the Law. The sanctuary, therefore, shall be justified; that is, vindicated from that disgrace to which for a time it had been subject. It follows: —

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Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/daniel-8.html. 1840-57.

Brian Bell Commentary on the Bible

  1. Intro: Persian Vision
    1. All of us have that within our nature which desires to know something of the future. This sometimes has caused unwise speculation and even wild schemes.
      1. God has wisely concealed from us details concerning that which is yet to come, but he has given us certain assurances. He is in control of the future.
      2. We do not always know what the future holds but we know who holds our future. We can serve Him w/assurance that the victory will be ours in the end.
      3. An army does not have to win every battle to win the war.
      4. There will, at last, be an end to those who oppose God and His way of life.
        1. Those who rebel against God and set themselves against the divine will are doomed. Judgment has already been pronounced against them. The righteous will survive and be vindicated.
    2. In this next vision we have moved from wild beasts to domesticated beasts.
    3. Let’s look at a Lopsided Ram, a Hairy He-Goat, Little Horn Syndrome, a Famous Angel, an Infamous Antichrist, & a Disturbed Daniel.
  2. A LOPSIDED RAM (1-4) Medo-Persia
    1. (1) 2 years after the vision in ch.7.
    2. (2) A vision in Persia, yet during the reign of Babylon.
      1. Sushan/Susa is also where Esther would intercede for the lives of her people.
      2. This also is where Nehemiah would serve as cupbearer to king Artaxerxes Neh1:1
    3. (3) Persia arose after Media but eventually took over the superior role.
    4. (4) The Persian army was 2 million soldiers strong.
      1. They expanded west to Macedonia, north past the Caspian Sea, & south through Egypt.
      2. For about 200 years The Ram Ruled the World…until a deadly blow of a head-butt from the West.
  3. A HAIRY HE-GOAT (5-8) Greece
    1. ​​​​​​​(5-8) A notable horn between his eyes – Alexander the Great.
      1. Alex was told by his mother, that his father (Philip of Macedon) had descended from Hercules (I think he believed it).
      2. Alex conquered Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, & Mesopotamia w/unprecedented speed.
      3. W/in 3 years crushed all of Persia, converted the culture to Hellenism, & pushed to India.
      4. One foe he couldn’t defeat was alcoholism. He died at age 33 in 323 bc, from a fever brought on by Malaria & complications from alcoholism.
    2. Then, the large horn was broken (8) - Alex didn’t last long.
    3. (8) 4 notable ones – The 4 generals.
      1. Cassander (Ca-Sander) – took Macedonia & Greece. [green on map]
      2. Lysimachus (lie-SIM-a-chus) – Thrace, & parts of Asia Minor. [peach on map]
      3. Ptolemy (Tol-emy) – Egypt & parts of Asia Minor. [dark blue on map]
      4. Seleuces (Sel-EU-cis) – Syria, Israel & Mesopotamia. [yellow on map]
      5. These generals & their successors would battle for total control, but never rise to the level of power that Alexander had (22).
    4. We’re going to keep our eye on the Seleucid Dynasty for out if it would sprout the little horn.
  4. LITTLE HORN SYNDROME (5-8) Antiochus IV Epiphanes [ruled 175-163 bc]
    1. A little horn w/a severe case of little man syndrome.
    2. His name means Illustrious One (which explains the size of his ego)
      1. The Jews used a play on words & called him Epimandes, the Madman.
    3. (9) He invaded Palestine (The Glorious Land).
    4. (11,12) He defiled the Jewish temple & put the Jews under bondage.
      1. He is a picture of the world ruler to come, the Antichrist (23-25).
      2. W.A.Criswell talks about his terrible deeds: (read pg.100 Swindoll)
    5. (13,14) 2300 days, or better, evening & morning sacrifices.
      1. So 2300 sacrifices @ 2 a day = 1,150 days or for a little over 3 years he will shut down temple worship & terrorize the Jewish people.
      2. Which did last for 3 years, from 167bc (when Antiochus defiled the Temple) to Dec.14th 164bc (The Maccabean revolt).
    6. Lets run back the clock:
      1. Judea fell between the anvil & the hammer of Syria & Egypt (at this time many Jews were established in Egypt & so the Septuagint translation (LXX) of the OT was begun in 285bc)
      2. Antiochus on a raid to get Egypt was stopped, as the Roman Senate stepped in & forced them back.
      3. With this near-conquest of Egypt, which led to a confrontation that became an origin of the metaphorical phrase, "line in the sand".
      4. On the return to Syria, while passing through Israel, he ordered his generals to destroy Jerusalem.
      5. Antiochus offers a sow upon the great altar & erected an altar to Zeus.
        1. He sprinkled its blood in the Holy of Holies, & poured its broth over the sacred scrolls before cutting them to pieces & burning them.
      6. The Syrian army went even farther erecting altars in different cities, having Jews sacrifice a pig & then command them to eat its flesh…until they ran into Mattathias.
        1. In the city of Modi’in (17m. NW of Jer) they asked the gray haired Mattathias to, he refused, an apostate Jewish priest asked to do it. Matt grabbed the soldiers sword killed him & the apostate, his 4 boys jump in killing the rest, & they and others flee to the Judean mountains. [read 1st Maccabee’s in your Catholic Bible]
        2. Slide#18 This faithful band grew, engaging in guerrilla warfare against the Syrian army outposts. Matt’s son Judah took over the campaign. He became known as the Maccabee (the hammer?)
        3. Imagine their horror seeing the Temple for the 1st time in 3 years. defiled, desecrated, a huge statute to Zeus in the middle.
        4. 3 years to the day when the Temple was defiled they were able to rededicate it. They found 1 small cruse of unpolluted oil (for the lampstand) in an unbroken seal of the high priest. It was only 1 day’s supply, but miraculously lasted for 8 days, hence the 8 day feast of lights or Hanukkah.
    7. He soon after this Antiochus died…A madman…he died insane.
    8. So these prophecies were fulfilled precisely & literally, should we expect the same for the future predictions then?
  5. A FAMOUS ANGEL (15-22) Gabriel
    1. ​​​​​​​The Interpretation (15-22)
      1. (16) First reference to Gabriel in the Bible. [Gabriel = champion of God]
      2. (17,19) The vision refers to the time of the end...the latter time - This vision had a double meaning, a double fulfillment.
        1. The near fulfillment of the prophecy foreshadows the far.
        2. Jesus Himself said it was also future, Mt.24:15 Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, whoever reads, let him understand.
  6. AN INFAMOUS ANTICHRIST (23-26) Antichrist’s Character
    1. ​​​​​​​David Jeremiah’s Study Bible says, Antichrist will be: Dramatic in appearance(23). Destined to do evil (23). Dynamic in leadership (23). Demonic in power (24). Destructive in his reign (24). Deceitful in his practice (25). He will Deify himself(25). He will Disguise his cruelty with peace promises (25). But will be destroyed supernaturally (25).
    2. (24) But not by his own power – See Rev.13:2.
    3. (25) w/o human means – Jesus takes care of him Himself. (Rev.19:19,20)
    4. What Antiochus was to the Jews, the Antichrist will be to the believers in the Tribulation…& more.
      1. Just because evil men seem to abound, we shouldn’t feel that God is absent or unconcerned.
  7. A DISTURBED DANIEL (27) Daniel’s Feelings
    1. ​​​​​​​Sealed (26) meaning conclude it, not keep it secret.
    2. Sick (27)
      1. Daniel overwhelmed by the vision that he became ill & couldn’t work.
      2. He could never be the same again, knowing what God had planned for his people in the future. If we could see into the future and witness the doom of the wicked, we too would be astonished and sick. How does prophecy affect you?
    3. Daniel was Confused looking into the future; but we looking back at it as history, become Confident with this precise fulfillment.
      1. However, if Antioch Epiphanies is only a shadow of what’s to come, what horror awaits the future?
      2. Application: If you knew a Tornado was coming, the best things to do would be: Slide#25 Keep informed, Stay prepared, & Warn your neighbors.
        1. Keep informed: read up on what is coming.
        2. Stay prepared: by fortifying your relationship with the Lord.
        3. Warn your neighbors: contrast how dark the skies are getting, in comparison to how beautiful the light of Jesus Christ.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Brian Bell Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cbb/daniel-8.html. 2017.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Chapter8

Now two years later:

In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even as unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first ( Daniel 8:1 ).

A similar type of a vision.

But in this vision; it came to pass, and I saw, that I was in Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai. And then I lifted up my eyes, and I saw, behold, there stood before a river a ram that had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last ( Daniel 8:2-3 ).

The Medo-Persian Empire represented by the two horns. The Persian Empire being the higher coming up last and was more powerful than the Median Empire.

And I saw the ram [that is, the Medo-Persian Empire], as it was pushing westward, and northward, southward; so that no beast might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; and he did according to his will, and became great. And as I was considering, behold, a he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes ( Daniel 8:4-5 ).

So he was watching this ram, the Medo-Persian Empire, as it was conquering, but suddenly there comes this goat out of the west, Greece, with a notable horn, Alexander the Great. And conquering so rapidly that the feet weren"t touching the ground. You read of the conquests of Alexander the Great, and it"s amazing how rapidly he was able to conquer the known world at that time.

And he came to the ram that had the two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and he ran unto to him with a fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and he 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 stomped on him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and was strong, and the great horn was broken; and from it there came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven ( Daniel 8:6-8 ).

A graphic prophecy, fabulous, interesting prophecy. How could Daniel know this except by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that the great horn, Alexander would be broken in his youth. Thirty-two years old when he died. And the Grecian Empire passed on to the four generals, Syria, Antiochus Epiphanes, and then of course out of Egypt, Asia Minor, and Greece.

And out of one of them came forth a little horn [Antiochus Epiphanes], who waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land ( Daniel 8:9 ).

Antiochus Epiphanes who moved against Egypt down toward the south and, of course, in passing from Syria into Egypt, he had to go through the land of Israel.

And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host ( Daniel 8:10 )

Now we go from Antiochus Epiphanes to what he has a type of the antichrist and we go on now right to the antichrist. "And it waxed great even to the Host of Heaven,"

and it cast down some of the host of the stars to the ground, and stomped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And a host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking to another saint and said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Two thousand three hundred days; and then shall the sanctuary be cleansed ( Daniel 8:10-14 ).

Now this, of course, is a prophecy concerning Antiochus Epiphanes. It does have a dual aspect in the fulfillment. But he"s talking about this profaning of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes. When he came to Jerusalem to show his utter disregard for God and for their beliefs, he sacrificed a pig upon the holy altar there in Jerusalem. And he sought to turn the temple into a pagan temple. This created such a feeling of incense in the Jewish zealots, that Judas Maccabaeus gathered together a group of men and against insurmountable odds came to Jerusalem and defeated the Syrian army that was there.

Now this is where the Feast of Dedication comes from, Hanukkah. They wanted to re-establish the true worship, and interestingly enough, it was2,300 days after Antiochus Epiphanes had profaned the temple, exactly as Daniel said. Twenty-three hundred days later, Judas Maccabaeus and these faithful zealots had come and they were wanting to re-institute the proper sacrifices and the temple worship again. But it was found that they had, of course, only enough holy anointing oil to last for one day, there in the candle set. And it took a period of about seven days to prepare this oil, or eight days, whatever it is. And so by divine miracle the one-day supply lasted until they were able to get the new supply of oil compounded and made for the lights there in the temple, and hence the Feast of Dedication, or Hanukkah, and even to the present day the lighting of the nine candles to symbolize the miraculous preservation of the oil in the lamps during the period that they were preparing new oil for them.

Jesus was in Jerusalem for Hanukkah, in John, chapter10. It was, notice, in the middle of the winter. Hanukkah corresponds, of course... Hanukkah is tomorrow. In the celebration, Hanukkah comes this year on the twenty-first, that"s tomorrow, and so the Jews will be celebrating Hanukkah at the time that we are celebrating Christmas. The Feast of Dedication it was called. And it relates to, actually, the period of history of Judas Maccabaeus, but it is prophesied and predicted here the profaning of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes and the resultant cleansing2,300 days later by Judas Maccabaeus. And so the sanctuary was trodden down for the2,300 days.

Now, there was a fellow by the name of Miller. He was a minister in the United States back in the1800"s and he took and said, 2,300 days is actually2,300 years. And he took the day that the temple was profaned and he added to that2,300 years and he said Jesus is coming in the2,300 years after the profaning of the temple and so he picked a date in1844that he had determined Christ was coming. And they got white robes and they went out in the hills there in Illinois and waited for Jesus to come. After a couple of weeks, they had sold everything, sold their houses, farms, everything else, so certain the Lord would come. And, of course, when the Lord didn"t come, the group that were known as the Millerites sort of disbanded. But then a lady came along, Ellen G. White, and said, "Oh Jesus at this point cleansed the sanctuary in the heavens. He entered into the sanctuary and cleansed it in the heavens." And so she developed the Seventh Day Adventists and they follow her writings and so forth, which it turns out aren"t necessarily her writing. She was a plagiarist and has copied from other books and so forth, which some of their own scholars are discovering nowadays and exposing and getting kicked out of the Seventh Day Adventist. It"s quite a stir that"s going on in that particular denomination right now. But at any rate, they took the prophecy from here in Daniel, but there is no basis whatsoever to make the2,300 days2,300 years. That"s not good Biblical interpretation or exegesis, or whatever.

Now the Lord interprets the whole thing for Daniel.

And it came to pass when I, Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me the appearance of a man. And I heard a man"s voice between the banks of the Ulai which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So he [that is, Gabriel] came near to where I was standing ( Daniel 8:15-17 ):

Gabriel is an interesting angel. He"s going to be a fun one to meet too. We"ll talk more about him next week as we meet him again in chapter9. We meet him during the Christmas season. He"s the one that came to Mary and told her that she was to have a child. He came to Zacharias the priest and let him know that his wife Elizabeth would have the child, John the Baptist. He said, "How can I know this?" He said, "I"m Gabriel, I stand in the presence of God. Think I"d lie to you man?" And so he is a very interesting angel. And here he"s commanded, "Explain to the fellow what it"s all about."

So he came near where I was standing: and I was afraid, and I fell on my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for the time of the end shall be the vision ( Daniel 8:17 ).

Now this vision is gonna to take you out to the time of the end.

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. And he said, Behold, I will make you to know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. Now the ram which you saw having two horns ( Daniel 8:18-20 ),

We don"t need to question what is the ram, for he tells us.

they are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Greece ( Daniel 8:20-21 ):

And, of course, this is when Greece was nothing.

and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king ( Daniel 8:21 ).

Or Alexander the Great. That is the first king during the time of its conquering. Philip, Alexander"s father did not conquer or begin any kind of a world conquest. That would be the first king in its conquering efforts.

Now that being broken ( Daniel 8:22 ),

Alexander dying at thirty-two years,

whereas four stood up, there will be four kingdoms that will come out of the nation, but not in the power ( Daniel 8:22 ).

Of Alexander the Great, which was true, and did happen.

And the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressions are come to a full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty ( Daniel 8:23-24 ),

And this, of course, is referring now to the antichrist.

but not by his own power ( Daniel 8:24 ):

We read in Revelation 13:1-18 that this beast that rises out of the sea that Satan gives unto him his authority and his power. So this man of sin is going to arise; he"s going to be tremendously powerful, but not his own power. It will be Satan"s power that will be vested in him. All of the power of Satan will be given unto man, this man. "His power will be mighty, but not by his own power."

and he shall destroy awesomely, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people ( Daniel 8:24 ).

He"s gonna make war against Israel, ultimately.

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace will he destroy many ( Daniel 8:25 ):

He"s gonna come on with a program of peace. And be hailed, really, as the savior of the world.

he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes, but he will be broken without a hand ( Daniel 8:25 ).

The brightness of the coming of Jesus Christ with the word that goes forth out of the mouth of Christ, the antichrist will be broken and destroyed without a hand touching him.

And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days ( Daniel 8:26 ).

Just close it because it isn"t pronounced for the future.

And I Daniel fainted, and I was sick for certain days, and afterward I rose up, and I did the king"s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it ( Daniel 8:27 ).

It was all before the fact. No one understood it, he just wrote it. And, of course, that"s an interesting thing. "Man, I don"t understand it. This is weird you know, but this is what it was, you know." Now we look at it, we say, "Wow, that"s so clear! Man, that"s interesting how he could write with such clarity things that had not happened, you know." But that"s because we"re looking at it from this standpoint and we can see where it was fulfilled. Whereas Daniel, "Who, Grecia? Man, that little area of Grecia? Well, it"s over there, you know. How can they ever destroy the Persian Empire?" And yet, in time it all was fulfilled.

As we get into the ninth chapter of the book of Daniel, I think that it does posses, really, the key to the understanding of all of prophecy. If you understand the ninth chapter of the book of Daniel, the whole subject of prophecy will become very clear to you. If you"re garbled on the ninth chapter of the book of prophecy, your whole prophetic picture will be garbled. The ninth chapter is the key to the understanding of the subject of prophecy. And so we"ll be spending a lot of time next Sunday night in the ninth chapter because I want you to get the key. Because if you can get this chapter then prophecy shouldn"t be a problem for you ever. Everything will fit together perfectly if you get this ninth chapter. So, next week we"ll finish the book of Daniel, Lord willing. But paying a special attention, special attention to the ninth chapter of this prophecy of Daniel.

May the Lord be with you in this hectic week. One of my little granddaughters was in a little ballet today at South Coast Plaza. She was Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Naturally, grandpa had to go up and see her do her little bit. But oh my, South Coast Plaza on the Sunday before Christmas, what a zoo. Was I ever glad I wasn"t there to buy anything, just to observe. And this week before Christmas is so oftentimes hectic. They"re out of what you were planning to get, you know. And now it throws a whole new dilemma on this problem of giving the gift. And may the Lord see you through the whole malaise. And may the giving of the gifts to each other become secondary as our relationship with God is enriched and becomes more meaningful. As we remember that God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son. And thus, through it all, may the Lord be magnified and may you be drawn close to Him. And thus, may your Christmas be a very meaningful day of sharing God"s love, receiving God"s joy, and experiencing the peace of God which passes human understanding. May indeed you know the joy that He came to bring to this world. The peace on earth and the good will. "

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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/daniel-8.html. 2014.

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible


The Vision of the Ram and the He-Goat

In the third year of Belshazzar Daniel has a vision in which he seems to stand by the river Ulai, near Susa (Daniel 8:1-2). He sees a two-homed ram which behaves aggressively for a time (Daniel 8:3-4), but is attacked and overthrown by a he-goat which comes rapidly from the w, (Daniel 8:5-7). The he-goat has a notable horn (Daniel 8:5), which is presently broken, and instead of which four others come up (Daniel 8:8). From one of these there springs a little horn, which

Identification.

Daniel 2

Daniel 7

Compare Daniel 8

The Babylonian empire, or Nebuchadnezzar himself

The head of gold

The lion

The 'Median' empire, or Belshazzar

The breast and arms of silver

The bear

The Persian, or the Medo-Persian empire

The belly and thighs of brass

The leopard

The ram (the Medo-Persian empire)

The Greek empire of Alexander and his successors

The legs of iron and the feet of iron and clay

The beast with 10 horns

The he-goat

The Messianic kingdom

The stone cut from the mountain.

The human figure 'a son of man'

prospers greatly, and behaves arrogantly and wickedly, especially against the sanctuary and the continual burnt offering (Daniel 8:9-12). An angel proclaims that its oppressions will last for 2,300 evenings and mornings (Daniel 8:13-14). The angel Gabriel then explains the vision to Daniel (Daniel 8:15-16). It relates to 'the time of the end' (Daniel 8:17-19). The ram is the Medo-Persian empire (Daniel 8:20), and the he-goat the Greek empire (Daniel 8:21). The notable horn is the first Greek king (Alexander the Great), and the four horns which succeed it are the rulers of the four divisions of his empire (Daniel 8:20-21). The little horn is a king of one of these divisions, and the description plainly points to Antiochus Epiphanes. Gabriel foretells his various acts of oppression and blasphemy and his sudden overthrow (Daniel 8:23-25). The last two vv. contain Gabriel's parting message to Daniel, and describe the effect of the vision on the latter (Daniel 8:26-27).

2. A vision] RV 'the vision.' Shushan.. the palace] Susa, the capital of the Persian kings (Nehemiah 1:1; Esther 1:2). Elam] a region NW. of Persia proper, frequently mentioned in OT. (Genesis 10:22; Isaiah 11:11; Jeremiah 49:34, etc.). Ulai] the Eulæus, a large canal in the vicinity of Susa: cp. the 'Chebar' in Ezekiel's vision (Ezekiel 1:3), and the 'Hiddekel' (Daniel 10:4).

8. For it] RV 'instead of it.'

9. Pleasant (RV 'glorious') land] Palestine.

10. The host of heaven] the stars, symbolising in Daniel the righteous Israelites (Daniel 12:3), some of whom were slain by Antiochus: see Daniel 8:24; Daniel 1 Maccabees 1:24, 1 Maccabees 1:30, 1 Maccabees 1:57, 1 Maccabees 1:63).

11. The prince of the host] God. And by him, etc.] RV 'And it took away from him' (God) 'the continual burnt offering': see Daniel 11:31; Daniel 1 Maccabees 1:45, 1 Maccabees 1:59. The place of his sanctuary was cast down] see 1 Maccabees 1:21-23, 1 Maccabees 1:39; 1 Maccabees 3:45; 1 Maccabees 4:38.

12. The rendering of this v. is uncertain. RV 'And the host' (of the Israelites) 'was given over to it' (the little horn)],'through transgression' (the apostasy of the heathen party in Jerusalem, 1 Maccabees 1:11-15). Practised] RV 'did its pleasure.' Similarly in Daniel 8:24.

13. Saint] RV 'holy one,' angel: see Daniel 4:13. Transgression of desolation] see Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:11; Daniel 1 Maccabees 1:54, 1 Maccabees 1:59.

14. Days] RV 'evenings and mornings,' 1,150 days. The period between 1 Maccabees 1:54 and 1 Maccabees 4:52-53, when the Temple was cleansed, was 3 years and 10 days. The 1,150 days may be reckoned from a slightly earlier starting-point in the profane career of Antiochus.

16. Gabriel] the first mention in Scripture of an angelic name.

17. At the time of the end, etc.] RV 'The vision belongeth to the time of the end.' This defines the limit of Daniel's outlook upon the future. The termination of this vision is therefore that of all the visions in the book.

18. Was in] RV 'fell into': see Ezekiel 2:1, Ezekiel 2:2.

19. Last end] RV 'latter time.' Indignation] the troubles of Israel are tokens of God's displeasure: see Daniel 11:36; Daniel 1 Maccabees 1:64. At the time appointed, etc.] RV 'It belongeth to the appointed time of the end.'

20. Kings of Media and Persia] The Medo-Persian empire is symbolised here by one animal, but its two portions are distinguished, and the Persian rule is regarded as succeeding the Median, since the higher of the two horns comes up last (Daniel 8:3).

21. The king of Grecia(RV 'Greece')] 'King' is evidently used loosely for 'kingdom' (as in Daniel 7:17), since the kings are particularised as horns in what follows. The first king] Alexander the Great.

22. Four kingdoms] those of Alexander's four generals—Macedonia, Thrace, Egypt, and Syria: see Intro. In his power] RV 'with his power.' These kingdoms were severally inferior to Alexander's empire.

23. A king of fierce countenance] Antiochus Epiphanes. Understanding dark sentences] skilled in deceitful intrigues.

24. Not by his own power] This rendering may mean 'by God's permission,' or, 'by craft rather than force.' But RM has, 'not with his' (Alexander's) 'power,' as in Daniel 8:22. Mighty] RV 'mighty ones.'

25. By peace] RV 'in their security.' Some of the worst outrages of Antiochus upon the Jews had this treacherous character: see Daniel 11:21, Daniel 11:24; Daniel 1 Maccabees 1:29, 1 Maccabees 1:30. The Prince of princes] God. Broken without hand] destroyed by God's power: cp. Daniel 2:34, Daniel 2:35.

26. Evening.. morning] RV 'evenings.. mornings.'. The reference is to Daniel 8:14.

Wherefore] RV 'but.' Shall he for many days] RV 'belongeth to many days to come,' to a future remote from Daniel's time.

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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/daniel-8.html. 1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

4. The little horn on the goat8:9-14

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/daniel-8.html. 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Another angel replied, but he replied to Daniel. The answer was primarily for his comfort and for the comfort of his people, the Jews. The angel said that the desecration would last2,300 evenings and mornings. Many commentators take this as meaning2,300 days (i.e, six years, four months, and20 days) since the Jews described a24-hour day as evening and morning ( Genesis 1:5-31). [Note: E.g, Walvoord, p190; Feinberg, p107; Whitcomb, p113; Campbell, p96; Young, p174; Leupold, p357; Goldingay, p213; and Ironside, p152.] Others believe it means a total of2,300 evenings and mornings (1,150 of each), namely, 1,15024-hour days (i.e, three years, two months, and10 days). In this case, "2,300 evenings and mornings" may mean: 2,300 evening and morning sacrifices. This period then may describe the duration of the period when Antiochus did his worst to the temple and the Jews (167-164 B.C.). [Note: Archer, " Daniel," p103; Pentecost, p1358; Baldwin, p158; G. C. Aalders, Daniel, p165; Dyer, in The Old . . ., p715; and Culver, " Daniel," p792.] 1think2,300 days are in view-the former view. The Jews followed a calendar that consisted of30 days each month. This, of course, results in a year of360 days, which is five and one quarter days short of a lunar year. They made up the remaining days every few years by inserting another month. [Note: See The New Bible Dictionary, 1962ed, s.v. "Calendar," by F. F. Bruce.]

Some interpreters view the2,300 as a symbolic number. The problems with this approach are essentially two. First, the other similar numbers in Daniel appear to be literal. Second, arriving at the symbolic meaning of this number is extremely difficult and boils down to guessing. Other interpreters have tried to explain these days as years, but the connection with evenings and mornings probably limits them to days. [Note: See Keil, pp302-308.] Seventh-Day Adventists take the days as years and believe that Jesus did not enter the holiest in heaven until A.D1844, 2,300 years after Cyrus issued his decree to rebuild the temple. [Note: See Ironside, pp152-53.] Perhaps the figure is in days, rather than in months or years, to give the impression of a long, hard duration.

The temple would be restored after2,300 days.

"Innumerable explanations have been attempted to make the twenty-three hundred days coincide with the history of Antiochus Epiphanes." [Note: Walvoord, Daniel . . ., p189.]

One way to locate the fulfillment is to identify the end of the2,300 days, and then work back. But did the angel mean that this period would end with the restoration of the holy place, or that the restoration of the holy place would follow sometime after the end of the2,300 days? The text does not provide the answer, but the first Hanukkah in December of164 B.C. may be the Revelation -consecration that the angel predicted. Alternatively, the full restoration of all the sacrifices, and the religious independence of the Jews that came a few months later, may be in view. In either case, the year of restoration was probably164 B.C, or shortly after that.

One literal view is that the2,300 days ended with Antiochus" death in November-December of164 B.C. [Note: Ibid, p190; Keil, p304; Wood, A Commentary ..., p219.] However, the text seems to identify the2,300 days specifically with the desecration of the temple and the persecution of the Jews. As far as we know, Antiochus did not take over six years to do those things. Antiochus began his reign in175 B.C, and in169 B.C. he first entered the temple. Some who hold this view identify the beginning of this period as Antiochus" initial entrance into Jerusalem in170 B.C. Others identify it with the murder of the Jewish high priest Onias III in171 B.C. However, there was no abridgement of temple service at those early dates. Antiochus looted the temple in170 B.C, but the abolition of the sacrifices did not begin until167 B.C. 1 Maccabees 6:8-13 records Antiochus" comments, just before his death, about failing to destroy the Jews.

Walvoord considered2,300 "obviously a round number." [Note: Walvoord, Daniel . . ., p190.] But other scholars have questioned why this is so obvious.

Regardless of how one solves the2,300 evenings and mornings problem, there is general agreement among the scholars that Antiochus fulfilled this prophecy. I believe the2,300 days was a period of persecution during his domination of the Jews, perhaps167-164 B.C.

"A persecutor of the Jews in Russia asked a Jew what he thought the outcome would be if the wave of persecutions continued. The Jew answered, "The result will be a feast! Pharaoh tried to destroy the Jews, but the result was the Passover. Haman attempted to destroy the Jews, but the result was the Feast of Purim. Antiochus Epiphanes tried to destroy the Jews, but the result was the Feast of Dedication."" [Note: Campbell, p96.]

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/daniel-8.html. 2012.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(14) Unto two thousand and three hundred days.—It is clear from the language that the period here spoken of terminates with the cleansing of the sanctuary, and that it begins with the transgression that led to the awful events that occurred in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. Judas Maccabeus took Jerusalem in the year B.C. 165, and kept the Feast of Dedication the same year, Antiochus being at the time in Armenia. The period apparently commences with the events mentioned in , which occurred about B.C. 171. The dates, however, not being recorded precisely, it is impossible to reckon with certainty whence the starting-point is to be dated. The phrase “evening morning” (see margin) is used to indicate a complete night and day, and 2,300 complete days of twenty-four hours make a period of six years 140 days. It has been observed that this period falls short of seven years (a week of years) by about two-thirds of a year. If, then, seven years is the number of years symbolical of Divine chastisements, the prophecy implies that the people shall not suffer persecution according to their full deserts, but “for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (See Note on Daniel 7:25.)

Be cleansed.—Literally, be placed in its proper state.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/daniel-8.html. 1905.

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

Daniel 8:2

In his Remarkable Passages of the Life and Death of Mr. John Semple, minister of Carsphairn in Galloway, Patrick Walker tells how "that night after his wife died, he spent the whole ensuing night in prayer and meditation in his garden. The next morning, one of his elders coming to see him, and lamenting his great loss and want of rest, he replied: "I declare I have not, all night, had one thought of the death of my wife, I have been so taken up in meditating on heavenly things. I have been this night on the banks of Ulai, plucking an apple here and there.""

Daniel 8:2

Even in a palace life may be lived well.

—Marcus Aurelius.

See M. Arnold"s Sonnet, "Worldly Place".

Daniel 8:3-7

As I gazed out into vacancy, the grey masses began to move, to wave to and fro; it seemed as if the wind swept heavy veils away, and suddenly there lay disclosed right before me a sheet of cold, dark northern sea. A rock rose out of it, snow-covered, and carrying on its crags long icicles, which hung down to the sinister-looking water. On the top of the rock sat a huge polar bear; his paws were holding the carcass of the last animal he had found in this wilderness, and he looked triumphantly around as if to say, "Now am I sole lord of the world ". But already the black waters moved and gurgled, and out of them arose the shining body and the huge fins of a snake-like monster; his walrus head carried a real mane, and from his mouth hung seaweed and the remnants of some small fish—the last he had found in the sea. His glassy, greenish eyes stared about, and they also seemed to say, "Now am I quite alone, master of the world ". But suddenly the huge white bear and the sea monster caught sight of each other; the enormous fins beat the waves, the cruel paws clawed at the rock. Both were yet gorged with food, but already they were measuring one another with angry looks like future adversaries. They had devastated the whole world, and now they met in this desolate waste for the ultimate fight.... I believe that for a moment the clouds which ever surround us had lifted, allowing me to catch a glimpse of the history of the world; which often is a history of wild beasts.

—From The Letters Which Never Reached Him.

Compare the closing paragraphs of Victor Hugo"s Shakespeare.

Reference.—VIII:19.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xv. No888.

Daniel 8:27

Great position often invests men with a second sight whose visions they lock up in silence, content with the work of the day.

—John Morley.

Daniel 8:27

There"s many a good bit of work done with a sad heart.

—George Eliot"s Adam Bede.

References.—IX:1-13.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xlviii.. No2802. IX:1-19.—Ibid. vol. iii. No154.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/edt/daniel-8.html. 1910.

F. B. Hole's Old and New Testament Commentary

WE NOW LEAVE that portion of the prophecy that deals specially with the Gentile powers; and so, as we begin chapter 8, the language of the original reverts to Hebrew from the Chaldee. The vision recorded in this chapter, is dated about two years after the one we have just considered. Though Gentile powers are still in view, the main point seems to be their action in regard to Jerusalem with its sanctuary and sacrifices. It came to Daniel not when he was in Babylon but rather in Shushan; that is, in a palace of the Medo-Persian empire, which overthrew the Babylonian, and it must have been just before that overthrow took place.

Thus before the Medo-Persian empire triumphed, its own overthrow was pictured in the mind of Daniel, since the ram with two horns clearly represented that power. The Persian horn became the dominant one, but it came up last. For a time the ram was irresistible, doing its own will and pushing in all directions.

The he goat of verse Daniel 8:5 is clearly the Grecian power, and the 'notable horn' was a prediction of Alexander the Great, who, moving with great swiftness, crushed the Persian power. Then verse Daniel 8:8 predicted the sudden end of Alexander and the division of his newly acquired dominion into four lesser ones.

Thus far, we have been given an enlarged view of what was compressed into verse Daniel 8:6 of the previous chapter; but in Daniel 8:9 we pass into predictions that are new, and that deal with happenings that would spring out of the dissolution of the Grecian empire rather than the affairs of the last days, until we come to the interpretation of the vision, which is given to us in verses Daniel 8:19-26. As is frequently the case, the interpretation travels beyond the details given in the vision.

The predictions, as to 'the little horn' and his doings, are distinct from those of the 'little horn', of Daniel 7:1-28. That was to spring out of the fourth empire in its last days: this, out of one of the four parts of the divided third empire. This striking individual was to glorify himself and reach towards the south and east and 'the pleasant land', which doubtless is Palestine. The 'stars' he would cast down, we understand to be shining servants of God. He would take away the daily sacrifice and tread the sanctuary down, dishonouring the 'prince of the host'. This was all fulfilled in the career of that evil man, known to history as Antiochus Epiphanes. He defiled the temple and tried to force heathen worship on the Jews, which led to the revolt under the Maccabees, and a time of much tribulation, until at last after the 2,300 evenings and mornings the sanctuary was cleansed. We believe that many details given in Hebrews 11:35-38, may refer to saints of those days.

When Daniel was made to understand the vision, his thoughts were soon carried on to 'what shall be in the last end of the indignation', as verse Daniel 8:19 says. Verses Daniel 8:20-22, summarize the history we have considered, and then verse Daniel 8:23 carries us on to the latter days, when two things will happen. First, transgressors will have 'come to the full'. Second, a king, marked by bold power and clever understanding, will rise up from the same quarter. This is indicated by the fact that he arises in the latter time of 'their kingdom'; that is, from the north region of Syria, whence came Antiochus of evil memory, who sprang from Seleucus, one of Alexander's generals, who became king of the north, while Ptolemy and his successors became kings of the south, or Egypt.

This coming king of the north, like Antiochus, will attempt to 'destroy the mighty and the holy people'; that is, the Israel of the last days. His doings are described in verses Daniel 8:24-25, but at the last he will 'stand up against the Prince of princes', and as a result be broken 'without hand'; that is, we understand, without human instrumentality. Here then, we have that 'king of the north', or 'the Assyrian', that figures so largely in other Old Testament prophecies, who will be destroyed by the Lord Jesus Himself when He appears in His glory, and His feet stand on the Mount of Olives, as Zechariah has predicted in the opening of Zechariah 14:1-21.

It is important, we believe, to keep clear in our minds the distinction between this 'little horn', proceeding from the third beast, and the one on the fourth beast in Daniel 7:1-28, who is supported by the false Messiah in Jerusalem, according to Revelation 13:1-18; and that means of course that he is in league with the Jew and Jerusalem, whereas this northern king is violently against them. Both, though probably not at the same moment, will be destroyed by the glorious appearing of Christ.

Daniel was assured that this vision was true and certain, though what it portrayed was distant from his days. Though the terror of it caused him to faint, he understood it not. It was to be as a sealed book in his day. It is an open vision to us, since we have the light of the New Testament and are indwelt by the Spirit of God. We may well exclaim, 'Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift'!

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Bibliographical Information
Hole, Frank Binford. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "F. B. Hole's Old and New Testament Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fbh/daniel-8.html. 1947.

F.B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary

GOD’S SANCTUARY DISHONORED

Daniel 8:1-14

Shushan was the lily palace. There, by the river Ulai, the prophet beheld in vision the attack which would subsequently be made on the Medo-Persian kingdom by Alexander. The great horn which was broken is, of course, Alexander, and the four notable ones are his four generals, who after his death divided up his conquests. The little horn is referred by many to Antiochus, whose conflict with the Maccabees was one of the most significant in later Jewish history. Others refer it to Mohammed and his followers, who have reigned over the same regions. In this case the little horn would stand for the Eastern apostasy as distinguished from the Western, which is said to be represented by the little horn of the fourth beast, Daniel 7:8. The Books of the Maccabees, included in the Apocrypha, should be studied to understand more clearly what is intended in Daniel 8:11-12. The explanation of these obscure verses is also given in Daniel 8:24-25. Antiochus was obsessed with hatred against the spiritual worship of the Jews, and their refusal to admit his image into the Temple. He stayed their sacrifices, though they were restored for a season, to be finally suspended during the present age. The day for a year system, Daniel 8:14, may refer to the desolations of the Turkish or Ottoman empire, of which Antiochus was the representative.

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Meyer, Frederick Brotherton. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "F. B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fbm/daniel-8.html. 1914.

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

CHAPTER 8 The Ram and the He-Goat

1. The vision (Daniel 8:1-14)

2. The interpretation of the vision (Daniel 8:15-27)

Daniel 8:1-14. Beginning with this chapter to the end of the book prophecy will lead us mostly upon Jewish ground. While some of these prophecies were fulfilled in the past, most of them are related to the future when the great end fulfillment takes place before the coming of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven to receive the kingdom. The phrases “the latter times,” “the time of the end,” “in the last end of the indignation,” appear several times in these chapters. These phrases describe the same period of time mentioned in the seventh chapter, “a time, times and dividing of times; “ the 1,260 days or 42 months in the book of Revelation. It is the great tribulation which is recorded in the last chapter of this book.

The time and place of the vision in this chapter are given in the beginning. The ram, according to divine interpretation (Daniel 8:15, etc.), is the Medo-Persian monarchy--the silver kingdom, the kingdom also typified by the bear. The he-goat with a notable horn is the Graeco- Macedonian monarchy and the notable horn is Alexander the Great. In 334 B. C., Alexander leaped like a swift he-goat across the Hellespont and fought his successful battles, then pushed on to the banks of the Indus and the Nile and then onward to Shushan. The great battles of the Granicus, Issus and Arbella were fought, and he stamped the power of Persia and its King, Darius Codomannus, to the ground. He conquered rapidly Syria, Phoenicia, Cyprus, Tyre, Gaza, Egypt, Babylonia, Persia. In 329 he conquered Bactria, crossed the Oxus and Jaxaitis and defeated the Scythians. And thus he stamped upon the ram after having broken its horns. But when the he goat had waxed very great, the great horn was broken. This predicted the early and sudden death of Alexander the Great. He died after a reign of 12 years and eight months, after a career of drunkenness and debauchery in 323 B.C. He died when he was but 32 years old. Then four notable ones sprang up in the place of the broken horn. This too has been fulfilled, for the empire of Alexander was divided into four parts. Four of the great generals of Alexander made the division namely, Cassander, Lysimachus, Seleucus and Ptolemy. The four great divisions were, Syria, Egypt, Macedonia and Asia Minor.

Then a little horn appeared out of one of these divisions; it sprung up out of Syria. This little horn is of course not the little horn mentioned in the previous chapter, for the little horn in Daniel 7:1-28 has its place in connection with the fourth beast (Rome), while this one comes from a division of the third beast, the Graeco-Macedonian monarchy.

History does not leave us in doubt of how and when this great prophetic vision was fulfilled. This little horn is the eighth king of the Seleucid dynasty. He is known by the name of Antiochus Epiphanes; after his wild and wicked deeds he was called Epiphanes, the madman. Long before he invaded the pleasant land (Israel’s land), Daniel saw what he would do. He conquered Jerusalem. He took away the daily sacrifice in the temple and offered a swine and swine’s blood upon the altar. He introduced idol worship, devastated the whole land and killed some 100,000 Jews.

In Daniel 8:13-14 is an angelic conversation. The 2,300 days (literal days) cover just about the period of time during which Antiochus did his wicked deeds. When they were ended Judas Maccabaeus cleansed the sanctuary about December 25, 165 B.C.

We believe these 2,300 days are therefore literal days and have found their literal fulfillment in the dreadful days of this wicked king from the north. There is no other meaning attached to these days and the foolish speculations that these days are years, etc., lacks scriptural foundation altogether. Such views and fanciful interpretations bring the study of prophecy into disrepute. We have special reference to the Seventh Day Adventist delusion. They teach the abominable falsehood that the Lord Jesus Christ did not enter into the Holiest till the year 1844 had been reached, because this is according to their reckoning 2,300 years after Cyrus had issued the command to build the temple. That this is a denial of the gospel itself and satanic is self-evident.

Daniel 8:15-27. Gabriel is the interpreter of the whole vision. It should be carefully studied. It points to a future fulfillment.

Gabriel told Daniel that the vision has a special meaning for the time of the end. Four different expressions are used to denote the time of the final fulfillment of the vision: (1) “The time of the end” (Daniel 8:17); (2) “The last end of the indignation” (Daniel 8:19); (3) “The latter time of their kingdom” (Daniel 8:23); (4) “When the transgressors are come to the full” (Daniel 8:23).

Once more, at the close of the age, before the Lord comes in visible glory, in the days of the great tribulation, the time of Jacob’s trouble, an invasion from the north takes place. Israel’s land will once more undergo the horrors of a devastation, foreshadowed by Antiochus Epiphanes. The king of the north, as he is also called in Isaiah’s prophecy, “the Assyrian,” will do this work. For details and other prophecies relating to this coming event see our exposition of Daniel, pages 102-118.

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Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/daniel-8.html. 1913-1922.

G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Two years later, in the third year of king Belshazzar's reign, another vision came to Daniel. It was of a ram with two horns pushing westward, northward, and southward. As Daniel watched, a he goat attacked the ram, and overcame him, and magnified himself. Four horns appeared, out of one of which came another, which grew until it had broken down the sanctuary. A voice of a holy one inquired how long this would continue, and the answer was given to Daniel.

Again he pondered the vision, and sought to understand it, and an interpretation was given to him. The two- horned ram represented the united power of Media and Persia, the rough he goat was the king of Greece. Against him a fierce one would arise, succeeding through policy, but ultimately being broken without hand.

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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "G. Campbell Morgan Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gcm/daniel-8.html. 1857-84.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he said unto me,.... That is, "Palmoni", the wonderful person, to whom the angel put the above question, gave the answer to it; not unto the angel that asked it, but unto Daniel that stood by; knowing that it was for his and his people's sake the question was asked, and therefore gave the answer to him, as follows:

unto two thousand and three hundred days; or so many "mornings" and "evenings"F8ערב בוקר "vespero matutina", Castalio; "vespertina matutinaque tempora", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. ; which shows that not so many years, as Jacchiades, and others, are meant; but natural days, consisting of twenty four hours, and which make six years, three months, and eighteen days; and reckoning from the fifteenth day of the month Cisleu, in the year 145 of the Selucidae, in which Antiochus set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, in the Apocrypha:

"Now the five and twentieth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idol altar, which was upon the altar of God.' (1 Maccabees 1:59)

to the victory obtained over Nicanor by Judas, on the thirteenth day of the month Adar, Anno 151, are just 2300 days; which day the Jews kept as an annual feast, in commemoration of that victory; and from that time enjoyed peace and rest from warF9Joseph. Antiqu. l. 12. c. 10. sect. 5. : this way goes L'Empereur after Capellus; but others begin from the defection of the people from the pure religion by Menelaus, Anno 141; though Antiochus did not enter on his impieties till the following year; and, reckoning from the sixth day of the sixth month in that year, to the twenty fifth day of Cisleu in the year 148, when the Jews offered the daily sacrifice on the new altar of burnt offerings, in the Apocrypha:

"Now on the five and twentieth day of the ninth month, which is called the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and eighth year, they rose up betimes in the morning, 53And offered sacrifice according to the law upon the new altar of burnt offerings, which they had made. ' (1 Maccabees 4:52)

were just six years, three months, and eighteen days: and so it follows,

and then shall the sanctuary be cleansed; as it was by Judas Maccabeus at the time above mentioned; when he purified the holy places, sanctified the courts, rebuilt the altar, renewed the vessels of the sanctuary, and put all in their proper places; in the Apocrypha:

"41Then Judas appointed certain men to fight against those that were in the fortress, until he had cleansed the sanctuary. 42So he chose priests of blameless conversation, such as had pleasure in the law: 43Who cleansed the sanctuary, and bare out the defiled stones into an unclean place. 44And when as they consulted what to do with the altar of burnt offerings, which was profaned; 45 They thought it best to pull it down, lest it should be a reproach to them, because the heathen had defiled it: wherefore they pulled it down, 46 And laid up the stones in the mountain of the temple in a convenient place, until there should come a prophet to shew what should be done with them. 47 Then they took whole stones according to the law, and built a new altar according to the former; 48 And made up the sanctuary, and the things that were within the temple, and hallowed the courts. 49 They made also new holy vessels, and into the temple they brought the candlestick, and the altar of burnt offerings, and of incense, and the table. 50 And upon the altar they burned incense, and the lamps that were upon the candlestick they lighted, that they might give light in the temple. 51Furthermore they set the loaves upon the table, and spread out the veils, and finished all the works which they had begun to make.' (1 Maccabees 4)

Indeed, as Antiochus was a type of antichrist, and his persecution of that desolation made by antichrist in the church; these 2300 days may be considered as so many years, which will bring it down to the end of the sixth Millennium, or thereabout; when it may be hoped there will be a new face of things upon the sanctuary and church of God, and a cleansing of it from all corruption in doctrine, discipline, worship, and conversation.

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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/daniel-8.html. 1999.

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

The Vision of the Ram and the Hebrews -Goat (550 B.C.) - records the vision of the ram and the Hebrews -goat. The traditional view is that this vision represents the conquests of Alexander the Great, king of the Grecian Empire, over the Persians, a conquest extending down to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, and to the calamities and desolations that he would bring upon the holy land

Daniel 8:1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.

Daniel 8:1 — "In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar" - Comments- Nebuchadnezzar, the grandfather of Belshazzar and father of Nabonidus, ruled the Babylonian Empire from 604-561 B.C. Gleason Archer dates the first year of Belshazzar's reign in 556-555 B.C. as coregent with his father Nabonidus, 111] while John Goldingay gives a date of 550 B.C. 112] Thus, the third year of the reign of Belshazzar would be either 554-553 B.C. or 548-547 B.C. Belshazzar will be the last ruler of the Babylonian Empire, with the city of Babylon falling to the Medes and Persians later under the leadership of Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Persian in 539 B.C.

111] Gleason L. Archer, Jeremiah, Daniel, The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 7, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House), 1976-1992, in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), notes on Daniel 7:1.

112] John E. Goldingay, Daniel, in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD- Romans, vol 30, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas: Word Inc, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Daniel 9:24.

"a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first" - Comments - In Daniel 8:1 the prophet Daniel refers to a former vision, which is generally understood as the one recorded in Daniel 7:1-28.

Daniel 8:2 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, and I was by the river of Ulai.

Daniel 8:2Comments - Scholars are divided as to whether Daniel was physically present in the palace at Shushan or present only in the vision.

Daniel 8:3 Then I lifted up mine 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.

Daniel 8:3Comments - Daniel 8:3 describes the rise of the Medo-Persian Empire, with the Persian kings rising up to take control.

Daniel 8:4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.

Daniel 8:4Comments - Daniel 8:4 describes the expansion of the Persian Empire.

Daniel 8:5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

Daniel 8:5Comments - Daniel 8:5 describes the rise of Alexander the Great. His rapid expansion is reflecting in the phrase "he touched not the ground." Within a period of four years (334-331 B.C.), he brought down the Persian Empire, establishing his rule from Europe to India.

Daniel 8:6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.

Daniel 8:6Comments - Daniel 8:6 describes the important battles fought between Alexander the Great and the Persians.

Daniel 8:7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake 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 none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.

Daniel 8:7Comments- It is a natural instinct for rams and goats to butt with their heads in conflict, which is what Daniel saw take place in his vision.

Comments- Daniel 8:7 describes the defeat of the Persians at the hands of Alexander the Great.

Daniel 8:8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.

Daniel 8:8Comments- Daniel 8:8 describes the rise of Alexander the Great, his untimely death, and his replacement by four leading Greek generals.

Daniel 8:9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.

Daniel 8:9Comments - Daniel 8:9 describes the rise of one of these generals called Antiochus IV (175-164 B.C.). His exploits are described in Daniel 11:21-45.

The phrase "pleasant land" is generally understood to be a reference to the land of Israel.

Daniel 8:10 And it waxed 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.

Daniel 8:10Comments - Daniel 8:10 describes the efforts of Antiochus IV to persecution the Jews. The reference to the stars in the heavenly host could be figurative of God's children. We find in 2 Maccabees 9:10 a statement that this wicked leader thought that "he could tough the stars of heaven."

2 Maccabees 9:10, "Because of his intolerable stench no one was able to carry the man who a little while before had thought that he could touch the stars of heaven." (NRSV)

Daniel 8:11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.

Daniel 8:11Comments - The account of Antiochus IV destroying the city of Jerusalem, stopping the Temple sacrifice, and defiling its Temple is recorded in 1 Maccabees 1:29-38.

Daniel 8:21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

Daniel 8:21 Comments- The first king of Grecia, or Java, would be Alexander of Macedonia.

Daniel 8:22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.

Daniel 8:22Comments- History tells us that the kingdom of Greece broke up into four parts after the death of Alexander the Great (323 B.C.): the Seleucid (Syria), the Ptolemaic (Egypt), the Thrace-Asia Minor domain of Lysimachus, and the Macedonian-Greco merger maintained by Cassander. We know that none of these four subdivisions ever had the power of the first kingdom.

Daniel 8:23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.

Daniel 8:23 — "And in the latter time of their kingdom" - Comments- Some scholars suggest that the phrase "and in the latter time of their kingdom" in Daniel 8:23 takes the vision of Daniel into a giant leap of several thousand years to the Tribulation Period and the time of the second desecration of the Temple, which Jesus referred to in Matthew 24.

Daniel 8:23 — "a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up" - Comments- A popular interpretation regarding the fierce king that stood up in Daniel 8:23-25 is to say that it is a reference to the Syrian king of the Greek Empire named Antiochus Epiphanes, who was very hostile to the people of God during his reign. He represents a type of Antichrist, which will arise in the last days.

Daniel 8:26 — "but he shall be broken without hand" - Comments- That Isaiah, the Prince of princes shall break him without man's hands contributing to this great victory. This clearly describes the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when He shall slay the enemies of God with the sword of His mouth.

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Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/daniel-8.html. 2013.

Geneva Study Bible

And z he said unto me, Unto a two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

(z) Christ answered me for the comfort of the Church.

(a) That is, until so many natural days have passed, which make six years, and three and a half months: for the temple was profaned this long under Antiochus.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/daniel-8.html. 1599-1645.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Days. That is, six years and almost four months; which was the whole time from the beginning of the persecution of Antiochus till his death. (Challoner) --- He began A. [in the year] 143, and died A. [in the year] 149, according to the era of Seleucus. (Haydock) --- The temple was purified in the mean time. (1 Machabees i. 21. and vi. 16.) (Worthington) --- Full days are specified. Sacrifice entirely ceased for three years, in the year 145. (Chap. vii. 25.) Sym. [Symmachus?] has 2,400, others 2,200, as quoted by St. Jerome. We know not whether the solar year of 365 days, or the lunar of 354, be meant.

Ver 16. Between, in an island formed by the river. It was the Son of God, (Calmet) or St. Michael, (St. Jerome) directing Gabriel to explain the vision.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/daniel-8.html. 1859.

Hamilton Smith's Writings

THE RAM AND THE Hebrews -GOAT

Daniel 8

The first seven chapters of the Book of Daniel have been mainly occupied with the Gentile powers, whether as they appear in the sight of Prayer of Manasseh, or as viewed by God. From chapter eight to the end of the Book. the visions and interpretations in a very special way concern the Jews; many details are given that would have little interest or even meaning for the Gentile powers.

This may account for the fact that, from Daniel 2:4 to the end of Daniel 7, the Spirit of God has used the Aramaic dialect, this portion of the book being more directly concerned with the Gentiles. In Daniel 8 the Spirit of God again reverts to the Hebrew language, which is used to the end of the Book, this part of the prophecy being specially concerned with the Jews.

In Daniel 8 we have the record of Daniel"s vision of the ram and the Hebrews -goat (verses1-14); and the interpretation of the vision (verses15-27).

We have seen that the second and third world empires have been pre-figured in the image by the breast and arms of silver, and the belly and thighs of brass, setting forth their imposing character in the sight of men. Again, in the visions of Daniel 7, they come before us under the figure of beasts- the bear and the leopard- to set forth their moral character in the sight of God. Now, again, in Daniel 8, the second and third empires pass before us under the figure of two animals- the ram and the Hebrews -goat- to set forth their history in relation to men. That these figures respectively set forth the Empires of Persia and Greece is not a matter of conjecture but Revelation, according to the interpretation given by Gabriel in verses20,21.

As these empires have passed away, the question might arise, What use can these details serve? Two things have to be borne in mind in answering this question. First, these empires, in the day of their power, had to do with God"s people, and whatever concerns His people touches His glory, and is of deep and lasting importance. Secondly, we have to remember that though these empires have "had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time" ( Daniel 7:12). Thus, to the end of the times of the Gentiles, there will still exist nations that represent these once powerful empires, and, at the time of the end, these nations will be found in opposition to the people of God- the Jews. This it is that gives such importance to the details of Daniel 8. It prophetically gives the history of these two empires in the day of their power, and their connection with the people of God- prophecies which have already been fulfilled. At the same time their past history foreshadows their opposition to the people of God in the time of the end.

In reading these Scriptures, let us, as one has said, hold these two thoughts, "that Christ is the aim and end of all the counsels of God, and that the Jews are the objects of His counsels here below." It is true that God"s earthly people have broken down, and, under the chastening of God, have been scattered and no longer publicly owned as His people. Nevertheless, they are still the people beloved for the fathers" sake, and, when the time of their judicial blindness is past they will be restored to their land and Revelation -established in blessing. "The gifts and calling of God are without repentance" ( Romans 11:29). Moreover, if the everlasting love of God is still toward Israel, His eyes are still upon the Land and the Temple. The land may be desolate and trodden under foot of the Gentiles, but it is still the "land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year" ( Deuteronomy 11:12). Again, the word came to Song of Solomon, "I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put My name there for ever; and Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be there perpetually." ( 1 Kings 9:3).

Keeping these thoughts before us, we can understand that everything that concerns God"s earthly people, whether in the past or future, is of the deepest importance to God, for in and through this people the glory of Christ on earth will at last be maintained, and all the counsels of God for the blessing of the nations be fulfilled.

Through their sin and failure the earthly people of God have come under the indignation and chastening of God, whereby they have fallen into the bondage of the nations. Nevertheless, God is not indifferent to the ill-treatment of His people by those who have taken occasion by God"s chastening to exalt themselves and persecute God"s people.

The prophecies of Daniel, as other Scriptures, clearly show that in the time of the end the opposition to and persecution of God"s people will take a threefold form.

First, there will be the persecution arising from the revived head of the Roman Empire, brought before us under the figure of the little horn of chapter7. (See verses21, 25, and ). Secondly, there will be the persecution arising against the Jews, when back in their land, from their northern enemy, as set forth in the little horn of chapter8. Thirdly, there will be persecution from the Antichrist in their midst, brought before us in Daniel 11:36 to39. (See also Revelation 13:11-18).

It is the second form of the persecution of God"s earthly people that passes before us in Daniel 8, that is to say, the persecution that comes from the Assyrian, or king of the north, referred to by so many of the prophets.

(a) The vision of the ram and the Hebrews -goat (1-14).

(Vv1, 2). This fresh vision appeared to Daniel in the third year of the reign of Belshazzar. The period of the first world empire was within three years of its close. In the palace of Shushan, in the province of Elam, Daniel in vision stood by the river Ulai.

(Vv3, 4). He sees a ram with two horns, one being higher than the other, and this higher horn appearing after the other This, we know from verse20, is a figure of the Medo-Persian Empire, the two horns setting forth the dual character of the empire. One horn being higher than the other prophetically sets forth that one part of the empire would gain ascendancy over the other, and this dominating power would rise last. This we know is exactly what came to pass. Darius the Mede who crushed the power of Babylon, gave place to Cyrus the Persian, who rapidly gained the ascendancy in the Persian Empire. The victorious career of Cyrus, and the directions of his conquest, are foretold by the ram pushing toward the west, and north, and south. No power could stand against him or thwart his will.

(Vv5-7). As Daniel was considering this ram, he saw an Hebrews -goat come from the west, moving with such swiftness that he did not appear to touch the ground. Between the eyes of the goat was a notable horn. This rough goat, we know from verse21, is a figure of the Grecian kingdom, and the great horn a figure of the first king. In few and striking words the passage sets forth the career of Alexander the Great.

The Hebrews -goat attacks the ram with such overwhelming force that there was no power in the ram to withstand the onslaught. The ram was cast down, ruthlessly crushed with none to deliver. The figure vividly sets forth the rapidity and ferocity of the conquests of Alexander by which the Persian Empire was crushed and came to its end as a world power, the Grecian Empire being established in its place.

(V:8). Further, in the vision Daniel saw that the Hebrews -goat became very great, but at the summit of its power the great horn was broken, and in its place four notable horns came up towards the four winds of heaven. Again it is impossible not to see in this picture exactly what came to pass in history. Alexander"s brief but victorious career was cut short in the midst of his triumphs, and eventually the empire was divided into four kingdoms, Syria, Egypt, Greece and Thrace.

(Vv9, 10). Out of one of these four horns there came forth a little horn. Evidently this little horn sets forth a king that arises in the north, for he pursues his conquests towards the south, the east, and the pleasant land.

This "little horn" is not to be confounded with the "little horn" of Daniel 7. The expression "little horn" may indicate that the person thus figured arises from the mass, and, apart from his own genius, would be a person of no consequence. The little horn of Daniel 7 is evidently the head of the revived Roman Empire, while the little horn of Daniel 8 is a figure of the king of the north, who is the subject of many prophecies and who will play such a leading part in connection with God"s earthly people in the time of the end. For this reason, doubtless, the vision and interpretation are mainly occupied with this little horn.

It will help to notice that the portion of the vision to the end of verse8 has already been fulfilled. At verse9 we pass to that part of the vision the fulfilment of which is yet future. In the time of the end (verse17), there will exist a nation north of Palestine that will attack the Jewish nation then gathered back in their land. The "host of heaven" would seem to be figurative of the people of God- those who own the rule of heaven. The "stars," as in other Scriptures, set forth those who hold a place of subordinate authority under God amongst His people (See Revelation 1:20; Revelation 2:1; Revelation 3:1). This northern power will be allowed, for a time, to overrun the "pleasant land," and cast down those in authority among God"s people.

(Vv11, 12). Here the prophet speaks more particularly of the head of this northern power, for he no longer says "it" - the power- but "he" - a person. This person will exalt himself against Christ, the Prince of the host, and "from him" (not "by him" as in our translation) "the daily sacrifice was taken away." The sacrifice will be taken from Jehovah and His sanctuary destroyed. The opening clause of verse12should read, "A time of trial was appointed to the continual sacrifice by reason of transgression" (N. Tn.). The meaning appears to be that the little horn will be allowed to take away the sacrifice because of the transgression of God"s people. Then the vision indicates that "it," the northern power, will cast down tile truth and, for a time, be allowed to prosper and accomplish great things.

(Vv13, 14). At this point in the vision Daniel heard one saint speaking to another, and asking how long will the state of things of which the vision speaks be allowed to continue. Speaking to Daniel, one says that the sanctuary and the host will be trodden underfoot for two thousand three hundred days, or nearly six and one half years.

(b) The interpretation (Vv15-27).

(Vv15-18). In the verses that follow, the meaning of these visions is made known to Daniel by the Angel Gabriel. As ever, the interpretation adds further details to the vision. First, Daniel is definitely told that the vision looks on to the time of the end. Daniel, who is overcome by the vision of that which will happen to his people in the latter times, is strengthened to face the truth.

(V:19). He is told that the vision speaks of the events that will terminate the "indignation," and that whatever sorrows intervene they will have a definite end- "at the time appointed the end shall be." The term "indignation" is a well known expression in prophecy setting forth the time during which God"s indignation is aroused against His people on account of their idolatry (See Isaiah 5:25; Isaiah 9:19; Isaiah 10:5; Isaiah 10:25).

(Vv20-22). Then follows the definite application of the vision to the second and third world empires- Persia and Greece, and the division of the Grecian Empire into four kingdoms.

(Vv23-24). Further details are then given as to the little horn. He will be a person characterised by boldness and knowledge of occult mysteries. His activities will be great and yet not by his own power. Apparently, he will have the support of some other power, being himself the instrument of foreign policy. He will attack and destroy the godly of those days, the saints of God- "the mighty and the holy people."

(V:25). Apparently, his triumph over the people of God will not be by force of arms, but by craft, and his policy will seem to secure peace by corrupting many of the professing people of God. In his daring he will stand up against the Prince of princes. This defiance of Christ will be his ruin. Christ will destroy this wicked man "without hand," or apart from human means.

(Vv26, 27). Daniel is told that the vision is true, but that its fulfilment will not be for many days to come. It is possible that the future actions of this king of the north have been foreshadowed in the history of the vile Antiochus Epiphanes who, in his day, attacked the people of God by craft and corruption, desecrated the temple, and set aside the law. Nevertheless, for the fulfilment of the prophecy we must, according to the word of Gabriel, wait for the time of the end.

The effect of these visions upon Daniel was such that he fainted and was sick certain days. In spite of the interpretation, none but Daniel appeared to understand the vision.

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Hamilton Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hsw/daniel-8.html. 1832.

Ironside's Notes on Selected Books

Chapter Eight The Grecian Little Horn

In beginning this chapter I call your attention to a most interesting fact regarding the structure of the book of Daniel. It was originally written in two languages. The first chapter and verses 1-3 of chapter 2 are in Hebrew. But from 2:4 to the end of chapter 7, the language employed is Chaldean, or Aramaic. The balance of the book is in Hebrew. There seems to be a very simple and yet significant reason for this. The first section was for the special help and encouragement of the faithful among the scattered Jews, so it was written in their own language. But in the second section, God is tracing out the course of the times of the Gentiles. He led Daniel to write the record of it in the popular language of the day so the Chaldeans might read it and profit from it.

The portion of the book of Daniel beginning with the eighth chapter and going on to the end concerns the Jews in a very special way, so it was written in Hebrew, as was the first part. It is of importance to see the different applications of each of these sections. God has nothing to say about the course of the church of this dispensation either in Daniel or elsewhere in the prophetic books. He is giving us the truth both in regard to Judah and Israel and to the Gentiles as such. If we fail to observe this our apprehension of Scripture will be in confusion. The principle is a simple one, but if kept in mind will aid greatly to a proper understanding of the Word of God. When in the prophetic books we read of Judah, or Zion, or Jerusalem, we are not to suppose the church is meant. Judah means Judah, Zion means Zion, Jerusalem means Jerusalem, Israel means Israel, and the Gentiles have no part in what is written concerning these. The church, which is the body of Christ, is something very different. There are three, not merely two, classes of people in the world today-all contemplated in Scripture. “Give none offence,” says the apostle Paul, “neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God” (1 Corinthians 10:32). These are the three classes. If the various passages of Scripture referring to each are rightly divided and not all mixed up together in the mind of the reader, he will get a proper understanding of what is commonly called dispensational truth. It is nothing more nor less than giving to each dispensation, or period of God’s special dealings with men, the portions that apply particularly to each.

In studying the Chaldean part of Daniel (2:4-7:28) we have noticed how the omniscient God has traced for us the course of the great empires of this world. We have had outlined for our learning their rise, progress, decline, and fall, emphasizing the truth that “righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). All this was written in the language spoken by the Gentiles at that time. But now we are to be largely occupied with that race long-despised and hated, but ever watched over by Jehovah-His covenant people of old, beloved for the fathers’ sakes, no matter how great their failure and sin. That is why the last part of the book is written in Hebrew. It is true that we will still read of some of these world powers (we are largely occupied with two of them in this chapter), but this is only to clear the ground for better understanding of God’s plan for the future of the Jewish nation.

A careful study of the book of Revelation will show you that it is very similar in structure to the book of Daniel. The first part (Revelation 1-3) is devoted to the prophetic history of the church. From chapter 4 to 11:18 we see the judgments that are to fall on apostate Christendom and the powers connected with it. Their history is traced right on down to the end, closing with “the time of the dead that they should be judged.” But the Lord had said to John, “Thou must prophesy again” (10:11), so he begins to take things up once more from the 12th chapter on, but it is all connected with God’s earthly people, the nation of Israel. Thus the first part of Revelation has chiefly to do with the course of the world as such; it turns the divine searchlight on the great movements among the nations. But the second half has to do with the same people (the Jews) that we have before us in the last part of Daniel. As remarked in the previous chapter, the one book dovetails into the other. Daniel cannot be understood apart from the book of the Revelation; and Revelation itself is in many places only intelligible because of what had previously been made known to the prophet in Babylon. Let us remember then that our present chapter is the first of the Hebrew section; the previous chapters were in Aramaic and especially concerned the Gentiles.

Daniel 8:1 shows us that two years elapsed between the visions of chapter 7 and 8. In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar Daniel was given the vision of the ram and the he-goat. Either physically, or in spirit, he was in the palace in the province of Elam by the river Ulai. Elam was the ancient name of the highlands east of Babylon, stretching from India to the Persian Gulf. It was in this very region that Cyrus was to obtain his first great victories. It was fitting that in his vision Daniel should be in the land soon to be completely dominated by the Persians because that which he saw had largely to do with Persia in her early triumphs and subsequent defeat.

He tells us that he lifted up his 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. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great (3-4).

In verse 15 we have the interpreting angel drawing near, whose mission it was to explain the meaning of the vision. We will notice each part separately, connecting it with the interpretation given. In verses 19-20, the angel says: “Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.” Thus we are not left to form our own judgment as to what the ram might represent. We are distinctly told by the angel that the ram stands for the same dominion as the breast and arms of silver in Nebuchadnezzar’s great image and the bear that was lifted up on one side in the previous vision. It is as though God would give us symbol after symbol to impress on our minds the events to follow one another on the earth prior to the establishment of the kingdom of His Son. The fact that we are given three symbolic images to teach us this lesson reminds us that “a three-fold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Remember that when Daniel had the vision Babylon was still the supreme power, though already in its decline. But Daniel was given this revelation as to the ram of Persia when no human mind could possibly have predicted the place it was to take in the affairs of men. It is rather interesting to know that, according to standard authorities, the ram was the symbol of Persia; a picture of one was carried on her banners before her armies. The two horns, the higher of which came up last, clearly connect with the bear lifting itself up on one side. They illustrate the fact that the Medo-Persian empire was composed of two nations-the ancient and venerable kingdom of Media and the then modern kingdom of Persia. Later, after the confederation, Persia became by far the more powerful of the two; thus the horn that came up last was higher. Daniel saw this ram pushing westward, northward, and southward; this indicates exactly the course of Persian conquest. The armies of Cyrus did not turn eastward to conquer those barbarous tribes, but pressed toward the Mediterranean and Black seas, and the Persian Gulf. They continued their conquests until all western Asia and Egypt were subject to them.

While Daniel was considering what the ram could mean, he saw a he-goat come from the west and cross the face of the whole earth. It ran so swiftly that it did not touch the ground. This goat had a notable horn between his eyes. He came to the ram that had the two horns and charged him in the fury of his power. Daniel vividly described the terrific onslaught:

And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake 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 none that could deliver the ram out of his hand (7).

Again we do not need to try to discern the meaning of the vision; God Himself has revealed it through His angel. The interpretation is given in verse 21: “The rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.”

At the time that Daniel prophesied, Greece consisted of a number of independent and often warring states, yet bound together by ancestral ties. It remained for Alexander in, commonly called the Great, the remarkably gifted son of Philip of Macedon, to consolidate these separate kingdoms into one loyal, united power destined to rule the world for a season. The vision in Daniel 8, as all those in the book, exactly agrees with later history. I do not want to occupy you too much with history; a knowledge of human records is certainly not necessary to enable one to understand the Word of God. On the other hand nothing is gained by ignorance; faith is confirmed and God is glorified when we see how the wonderful exactness of His holy Word is witnessed to by the annals of uninspired men.

The first thing of note I would have you observe is this: the he-goat came from the west. According to history, we know that an altogether new thing appeared in the rise and progress of Alexander the Great. Previous to that time, power had always risen up in the east and reached out toward the west. The East was the cradle of the human race, and the most ancient civilizations existed there. The nations of the East thought of all the rest of the world, especially the distant lands of the west, as “barbarians,” for whom they entertained a haughty contempt. But the he-goat came from the despised west with great anger. In great passion, he did not touch the ground in the swiftness and the fury of his onslaught. This is a fitting symbol of the whirlwind campaign of the army of the west headed by its intrepid commander. The overrunning of Asia by Alexander was not merely to gratify his ambition for world empire; it was also to pay off old scores. The Greeks had never forgotten the disgrace and shame of earlier Persian conquests. Nor could they forgive the Persians for their unsuccessful attack, under Xerxes, on the Hellenic states. For years they had brooded over these things and had nursed the desire for a bloody and triumphant revenge; at last they realized that the time had come to gratify their passion. Therefore, it was with more than usual alacrity that they sprang to arms at Alexander’s beck and call. They rushed on the Persian hosts in angry mood, eager to settle up these old scores and execute vengeance on their ancient enemies. So Daniel saw the he-goat moved with anger, and charging the ram in the fury of his power. By this terrific attack, the ram was cast to the ground and his two horns broken. All this was fulfilled when Alexander met the armies of the last Darius and completely defeated them. By this he became ruler of the world.

But Daniel continued: “The he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven” (8). In the interpretation, the angel explained that the great horn was the first king of Grecia; then he says: “Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power” (22). Alexander’s day of power was brief; his early death testified to his inability to control his appetites and passions. Thus the great horn was broken.

None of his own house succeeded Alexander. After his untimely decease, his dominions were divided among his four leading generals: Ptolemy, who was acknowledged as king of Egypt and the adjacent countries; Seleucas, who took Syria and Asia Minor; Lysimachus, who had the sovereignty of Thrace (modern-day Turkey) and the contiguous territory; and Cassander, to whom fell Macedonia and all Greece. Thus was the empire divided and there was never again a masterhand commanding until the Roman conquest in the last century before Christ.

Two of these divisions occupy a large place in prophecy; but Scripture never again deals with Thrace, and only once directly with Greece (Zechariah 9:13). But Syria and Egypt are the powers known in the book of Daniel as the “king of the north” and the “king of the south.” Unless otherwise specified, directions in Scripture are always to be understood as having Jerusalem as a center; so, when the Bible speaks of the north and the south, it is north or south of Jerusalem. Unless this is kept in mind, one may easily become confused. Up until fifty years before the coming of the Lord Jesus, Syria and Egypt existed as independent powers, with the land of Palestine between them. The Holy Land thus became a veritable battleground for the opposing armies, and was torn by dissension for over two hundred years. The wretched history of those two centuries of horror is given us prophetically in Daniel 11. We will take them up in detail when we come to consider that portion of the book.

The chief reason for introducing all this was that we might be enlightened in regard to one who is to play a very important part in the time of the end; he is destined to arise out of the Syrian division of Alexander’s empire. For the present and ever since the Roman conquest, the goat with the four horns has been apparently destroyed. But just as the Roman empire is to be revived in the last days, so we learn that two of the four horns of the divided Grecian dominion will reappear on the prophetic map in that time of trial. Out of one of them that little horn will arise who will be the bitter enemy of the returned Jews in that day.

And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed 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. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised and prospered (8:9-12).

I do not question for a moment that all this has had a fulfillment in the atrocities of that monster of wickedness, Antiochus Epiphanes. His persecutions of the Jews and desecration of the temple are described in these verses. But a comparison with the interpretation of the vision makes it equally clear to my mind that there remains another and more complete fulfillment yet to take place.

Many confuse the little horn here spoken of with the little horn of chapter seven. But we have already noticed that he who rises up in the western ten-horned kingdom is the same as the beast of Revelation 13 and 17. He is a Roman, not a Grecian offshoot. In this chapter of Daniel we see one arising out of the old kingdom of Seleucas-a king of the north, not of the west. Antiochus in his bloodthirsty career was the type of one who will be Jerusalem’s bitter enemy in the time of the Lord’s indignation. For centuries the Turks were in possession of the lands once dominated by Seleucas. The future king of the north will in all likelihood be the fierce leader of whatever power controls Turkey in Asia at that time.

The Roman little horn will be an apostate Christian in league with the personal antichrist; he will take unbelieving Israel under his wing so long as it suits his purposes. The Grecian little horn is likely an utter infidel, the successor to Mohammed, motivated by inveterate hatred to the Jews, and probably the bitter foe of the future emperor of the west. The angel tells Daniel:

In the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and 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 without hand (8:23-25).

It is evident that much that is written in these verses cannot possibly apply to Antiochus. He answers quite fully to the vision, but he does not meet the requirements of the interpretation. In the first place, the prophecy is to have its complete accomplishment “when the transgressors are come to the full.” This expression might refer to the ripening of iniquity in ancient Syria except that the kingdom was not destroyed on the death of Epiphanes; it would have been if its sins had reached the limit set by the moral Governor of the universe. It seems far more likely that the expression refers to the time of the end, when the whole world will be ripe for the judgment of God.

This interpretation also agrees with the angel’s words, “I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation” (19); this is undoubtedly the end of the times of the Gentiles. In that time, then, this predicted little horn will stand as a man of great intelligence and diplomacy; but we read that “his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power” (24). Now these words could hardly be applied to the “little horn” of the past; he reigned as an independent monarch, prosecuting his purposes as his own will dictated, until in measure thwarted by the interference of Rome. But there is a leader who occupies a large place in prophecy; he is called “the Assyrian” by Isaiah and will be Israel’s enemy in the last days. He will be destroyed by the personal appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ. Isaiah connects Israel’s blessing and restoration with his downfall. He seems clearly to be the same as the little horn depicted here, for he too apparently relies on some other ally. The power that will back him is prophesied of in Ezekiel 38. Then again the little horn is to stand up against the Prince of princes and be broken without hands. The Prince of princes can be none other than the Messiah; consequently these words were not fulfilled in the life and death of Antiochus. But they point us on to the time of the end, when Messiah Himself will appear in person on behalf of oppressed Israel and will overthrow the Assyrian.

What is said of the little horn as an individual is largely applicable to the Ottoman empire as a whole. Fierce and relentless, it has ever been the enemy of Judaism, and has existed for centuries, not because of any inherent power of its own, but because of the jealousies of the nations of Europe. Were the Turk driven out of Constantinople, all Europe would be thrown into war, each great power anxious to possess the dominions over which the Crescent now floats. Hence the abominable horrors of Armenian and Jewish massacres are permitted by civilized and so-called Christian nations because they do not dare to interfere, lest by so doing they jeopardize the peace of the world. (Editor’s note: This was written before World War I began. See the Preface.) It is said of the little horn that he shall cause craft to prosper, and by peace shall destroy many. This too has been characteristic of the “unspeakable Turk,” especially in his dealings with the Jews. The monotheism of Islam naturally appeals to the Jew; and the false prophet himself made marked advances to the seed of Israel, hoping thereby to win them over to Islam. But behind all the fair words and goodly promises of the sultans, the poison and the sword have ever lurked. The little horn of the latter times will embody in himself the spirit of the Ottoman empire.

But we have not yet finished with the vision. Daniel said:

Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed (13-14).

The word for days is really “evening-mornings” and refers, not to lengthened periods, but clearly and distinctly to twenty-four-hour days. It is a time-prophecy that has to do with the defilement of the temple by Antiochus. From the time that he polluted the sanctuary by sacrificing a sow on the altar and setting up a statue of Jupiter in the holiest of all, twenty-three hundred literal days elapsed until it was again purified and dedicated to the service of Jehovah. As if to warn us of the danger of allegorizing this period, the angel said to Daniel, “The vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days” (26).

It was the failure to apprehend this that led the Millerites into their great blunder in the early part of the last century. The same error has blinded their successors, the Seventh-Day Adventists and resulted in the blasphemous sanctuary-theory which they hold. According to them, the Lord Jesus never entered the holiest until a.d. 1844, being twenty-three hundred year-days from the time when Cyrus issued the decree to build the temple. But it is all utterly unsupported by Scripture. The twenty-three hundred days have long since been fulfilled in the history of Daniel’s people, the Jews. It was literally fulfilled after the desecration of the holy places by the Syrian tyrant. There is no hint that there remains another twenty-three hundred days to be fulfilled in the future, though the characters of the little horn of the vision and the last great Assyrian of Isaiah 14:24-27, are so very much alike. The latter will undoubtedly be a man of great ability, but cunning, crafty, and deceitful-a worthy successor to the Ottoman rulers of the past. But he is to be broken in Immanuel’s land, and all his army will be destroyed on the mountains of Israel, when he dares to stand up against the Prince of princes. This Prince will come forth in glorious majesty for the deliverance of the faithful remnant whose hearts will cling to Jehovah in that dreadful time of Jacob’s trouble. Already we can see events shaping themselves for the fulfillment of these things. The end cannot be far off. “Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (Revelation 16:15).

The effect of the vision on Daniel was that he fainted and was sick several days. “Afterward,” he said, “I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it” (27). The centuries since have borne witness to the truth of much of it, and the days to come will demonstrate the rest. May our hearts be so impressed by these things that we too are deeply exercised before God about them. May we be found in a very real sense doing the King’s business while we wait for His personal return from Heaven!

Nor would I close without once more warning the Christless to flee from the wrath to come. The black and ominous clouds of doom are gathering over this poor world. Soon the lightning of wrath, the thunder of judgment, and the storm of vengeance will break forth. How unspeakably sad will be your condition if exposed to the full fury of the tempest of divine indignation without Christ and without refuge! Trust Him now while grace is offered to each sinful soul; else “What wilt thou say when he shall punish thee?” (Jeremiah 13:21)

 

 

 

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Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/isn/daniel-8.html. 1914.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

unto me — The answer is to Daniel, not to the inquirer, for the latter had asked in Daniel‘s name; as vice versa the saint or angel (Job 15:15; Psalm 89:6, Psalm 89:7) speaks of the vision granted to Daniel, as if it had been granted to himself. For holy men are in Scripture represented as having attendant angels, with whom they are in a way identified in interests. If the conversation had been limited to the angels, it could have been of no use to us. But God conveys it to prophetical men, for our good, through the ministry of angels.

two thousand  …  three hundred days — literally, “mornings and evenings,” specified in connection with the morning and evening sacrifice. Compare Genesis 1:5. Six years and a hundred ten days. This includes not only the three and a half years during which the daily sacrifice was forbidden by Antiochus [Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 1:1.1], but the whole series of events whereby it was practically interrupted: beginning with the “little horn waxing great toward the pleasant land,” and “casting down some of the host” (Daniel 8:9, Daniel 8:10); namely, when in 171 b.c., or the month Sivan in the year 142 of the era of the Seleucidae, the sacrifices began to be neglected, owing to the high priest Jason introducing at Jerusalem Grecian customs and amusements, the palaestra and gymnasium; ending with the death of Antiochus, 165 b.c., or the month Shebath, in the year 148 of the Seleucid era. Compare 1 Maccabees 1:11-15; 2 Maccabees 4:9, etc. The reason for the greater minuteness of historical facts and dates, given in Daniel‘s prophecies, than in those of the New Testament, is that Israel, not having yet the clear views which Christians have of immortality and the heavenly inheritance, could only be directed to the earthly future: for it was on earth the looked-for Messiah was to appear, and the sum and subject of Old Testament prophecy was the kingdom of God upon earth. The minuteness of the revelation of Israel‘s earthly destiny was to compensate for the absence, in the Old Testament, of views of heavenly glory. Thus, in Daniel 9:24-27, the times of Messiah are foretold to the very year; in Daniel 8:14 the times of Antiochus, even to the day; and in Daniel 11:5-20 the Syro-Egyptian struggles in most minute detail. Tregelles thinks the twenty-three hundred “days” answer to the week of years (Daniel 9:27), during which the destroying prince (Daniel 9:26) makes a covenant, which he breaks in the midst of the week (namely, at the end of three and a half years). The seven years exceed the twenty-three hundred days by considerably more than a half year. This period of the seven years‘ excess above the twenty-three hundred days may be allotted to the preparations needed for setting up the temple-worship, with Antichrist‘s permission to the restored Jews, according to his “covenant” with them; and the twenty-three hundred days may date from the actual setting up of the worship. But, says Auberlen, the more accurate to a day the dates as to Antiochus are given, the less should we say the 1290, or 1335 days (Daniel 12:11, Daniel 12:12) correspond to the half week (roughly), and the twenty-three hundred to the whole. The event, however, may, in the case of Antichrist, show a correspondence between the days here given and Daniel 9:27, such as is not yet discernible. The term of twenty-three hundred days cannot refer twenty-three hundred years of the treading down of Christianity by Mohammedanism, as this would leave the greater portion of the time yet future; whereas, Mohammedanism is fast waning. If the twenty-three hundred days mean years, dating from Alexander‘s conquests, 334 b.c. to 323, we should arrive at about the close of the sixth thousand years of the world, just as the 1260 years (Daniel 7:25) from Justinian‘s decree arrive at the same terminus. The Jews‘ tradition represents the seventh thousand as the millennium. Cumming remarks, 480 b.c. is the date of the waning of the Persian empire before Greece; deducting 480 from 2300, we have 1820; and in 1821, Turkey, the successor of the Greek empire, began to wane, and Greece became a separate kingdom. See on Daniel 12:11.

cleansed — literally, “justified,” vindicated from profanation. Judas Maccabeus celebrated the feast of dedication after the cleansing, on the twenty-fifth of the ninth month, Kisleu (1 Maccabees 4:51-58; 2 Maccabees 10:1-7; John 10:22). As to the antitypical dedication of the new temple, see Ezekiel 43:1-27, etc.; also Amos 9:11, Amos 9:12.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/daniel-8.html. 1871-8.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

And he said unto me - the answer is to Daniel, not to the inquirer, for the latter had asked in Daniel's name, as vice versa the saint or angel (so "saint" is used for angel, Job 15:15; Psalms 89:6-7) speaks of the vision granted to Daniel as if it had been granted to himself. For holy men are in Scripture represented as having attendant angels, with whom they are in a way identified in interests. If the conversation had been limited to the angels it could have been of no use to us. But God conveys it to prophetic men, for our good, through the ministry of angels.

Unto two thousand and three hundred days - literally, mornings and evenings, specified in connection with the morning and evenlug sacrifice. Compare Genesis 1:5. Six years and 110 days. This includes not only the three and a half years during which the daily sacrifice was forbidden by Antiochus (Josephus, 'Bellum Judaicum,' 1: 1, sec. 1), but the whole series of events whereby it was practically interrupted: beginning with the "little horn waxing great toward the plesant land," and "casting some of the host" (Daniel 8:9-10); namely, when in 171 BC, or the month Sivan in the year 142 of the era of the Seleucidae, the sacrifices began to be neglected, owing to the high priest Jason introducing at Jerusalem Grecian customs and amusements-the palaestra and gymnasium; ending with the death of Antiochus, 165 BC, or the month Shebath in the year 148 of the Seleucid era. Compare 1 Maccabees 1:11-15; 2 Maccabees 4:7-14, 'After the death of Seleucus, when Antiochus called Epiphanes took the kingdom, Jason, the brother of Onias, laboured underhand to be high priest, promising unto the king, by intercession, three hundred and threescore talents of silver, etc., if he might have license to set him up a place for exercise, and, for the training up of youth in the fashions of the pagan, and to write them of Jerusalem by the name of Antiochians: which, when the king had granted, and he had gotten into his hand the rule, he forthwith brought his own nation to the Greekish fashion-he brought up new customs against the law-and made them wear a hat.

Now, such was the height of Greek fashions and increase of paganish manners, through the exceeding profaneness of Jason-that ungodly wretch and no high priest-that the priests had no courage anymore to serve at the altar, but despising the temple and neglecting the sacrifices, hastened to be partakers of the unlawful allowance in the place of exercise, after the game of Discus called them forth, not setting by the honours of their fathers, but liking the glory of the Grecians best of all. By reason whereof sore calamity came upon them: for they had them to be their enemies and avengers whose custom they followed so earnestly, and, unto whom they desired to be like in all things.'

The reason for the greater minuteness of historical facts and dates given in Daniel's prophecies than in those of the New Testament is, that Israel, not having yet the clear views which Christians have of immortality and the heavenly inheritance, could only be directed to the earthly future; because it was on earth the looked-for Messiah was to appear, and the sum and subject of Old Testament prophesy was the kingdom of God upon earth. The minuteness of the revelation of Israel's earthly destiny was to compensate for the absence, in the Old Testament, of views of heavenly glory.

Thus, in , the times of Messiah are foretold to the very year; in Daniel 8:1-27, the times of Antiochus, even to the day; and in Daniel 11:1-45, the Syro-Egyptian struggles in most minute detail. Tregelles thinks the 2,300 days answer to the week of years (Daniel 9:27) during which the destroying prince (Daniel 9:26) makes a covenant, which he breaks in the midst of the week (namely, at the end of three and a half years). The seven years exceed the 2,300 days by considerably more than a half year. This period of the seven years' excess above the 2,300 days may be allotted to the preparations needed for setting up the temple worship, with Antichrist's permission to the restored Jews, according to his "covenant" with them; and the 2,300 days may date from the actual setting up of the worship.

But, says Auberlen, the more accurate to a day the dates as to Antiochus are given the less should we say the 1,290, or 1,335 days () correspond to the half week (roughly), and the 2,300 to the whole. The event, however, may, in the case of Antichrist, show a correspondence between the days here given and Daniel 9:27, such as is not yet discernible. The term of 2,300 days cannot refer to 2,300 years of the treading down of Christianity by Mohammedanism, as this would leave the greater portion of the time yet future; whereas Mohammedanism is fast waning. If the 2,300 days mean years, dating from Alexander's conquests, 334 to 323

B.C., we should arrive at about the close of the 6,000th year of the world, just as the 1,260 years (Daniel 7:25) from Justinian's decree arrive at the same terminus. The Jews' tradition represents the seventh thousand as the millennium. Cumming remarks, 480 BC is the date of the waning of the Persian empire before Greece; deducting 480 from 2,300, we have 1,820, and in 1821 Turkey, the successor of the Greek empire, began to wane, and Greece became a separate kingdom (see note, Daniel 12:11).

Then shall the sanctuary be cleansed - literally justified, vindicated from profanation. Judas Maccabeus celebrated the feast of dedication, after the cleansing and kindling of the holy fire for sacrifice by lighting, on the twenty-fifth of the ninth month, Casleu or Kisleu (; 2 Maccabees 10:1-7; this is "the feast of the dedication" in the winter, apparently kept by the Lord Jesus as recorded in John 10:22). As to the antitypical dedication of the new temple, see Ezekiel 43:13-27, etc.; also Amos 9:11-12.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/daniel-8.html. 1871-8.

James Gray's Concise Bible Commentary

THE RAM AND THE HE-GOAT

How much later was this vision than the preceding? Where was it revealed to Daniel (Daniel 8:2)? It is important to keep in mind that it covers the same ground as the preceding, except that the story begins, not with Babylon’s supremacy, but that of the Medes and Persians represented by the ram (Daniel 8:3), though in the former vision by the bear. The higher horn of the ram is the Persian half of the empire. The united empire made conquests west, north and south, but in its western campaigns it awakened the triumphing opposition of the Greeks represented by the “he-goat,” whose “notable horn” was Alexander the Great (Daniel 8:5-7). In the former vision this empire was represented by the leopard.

Verse 8 foreshadows the death of Alexander, and the division of the Grecian empire into four parts Syria, Egypt, Macedonia, Asia Minor, under the rule respectively of four of Alexander’s generals, Cassander, Lysimachus, Seleucus and Ptolemy.

ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES (Daniel 8:9-14)

“A little horn,” as in the preceding vision, comes out from these four (Daniel 8:9), whose power developed towards the south and east, and especially “the pleasant land,” the land of Israel. The “little horn” is the eighth of the dynasty of Seleucus on the Syrian throne, whose name was Antiochus Epiphanes, although he was sometimes called Epimanes, or the “madman,” because of his life and deeds.

As an oppressor of the Jews he fulfilled the prophecy in Daniel 8:10-12, as will be seen by the book of Maccabees. “The host of heaven” and “the stars” are types of Israel, especially their leaders the princes, priests, rabbis of the period, which was about 171 B.C.

“The prince of the host” (Daniel 8:11) is doubtless the Lord Himself, from whom the daily sacrifice was taken away, and whose sanctuary was polluted. Indeed, when Antiochus conquered Jerusalem he caused a sow to be sacrificed on the altar, and its broth sprinkled over the entire temple. He changed the feast of tabernacles into the feast of Bacchus, and greatly corrupted the Jewish youth who were spared from the sword, one hundred thousand of whom were massacred.

The time during which this continued is revealed by a conversation between two angels which Daniel in vision hears (Daniel 8:13-14). The 2,300 days is sometimes identified by going back from the time of Judas Maccabees’ victory, or rather the date when he cleansed the sanctuary from its abomination, about December 25, 165 B.C. to 171 B.C., the date of the interference of Antiochus. This Antiochus is a forerunner, or an approximate fulfillment of that “little horn” spoken of in the preceding vision, and again in the closing part of the present one.

THE INSPIRED INTERPRETATION (Daniel 8:15-27)

The angel Gabriel here appears for the first time, and in the likeness of a man (Daniel 8:15-16), but it is evident that the interpretation he is to give refers not so much to Antiochus and his deeds as to the greater than he who shall arise “at the time of the end” (5:17), the same one possibly, and the same period as are referred to in the preceding vision. “The time of the end” is identified in Daniel 8:19 as “the last end of the indignation,” an expression frequently met with in the Old Testament, and meaning God’s indignation against Israel on account of her disobedience and apostasy, an indignation which will be poured out upon her at the end of this age.

This being of whom Antiochus is the forerunner or approximate fulfillment, and who is possibly the same as in the preceding vision, is further described in Daniel 8:23-25. What language in Daniel 8:23 shows that he appears at the end of the age? How are his spirit and character described in the same verse? How does the next verse suggest superhuman agency in his case? And his animus towards Israel? Express the deceitfulness indicated in Daniel 8:25, in your own words. What language in this verse shows his opposition to the Messiah personally? How is his destruction expressed? (Compare 2 Thessalonians 2:8.) It may be objected that this being cannot be the same as the “little horn” of the preceding vision, because that is seen to come up out of the ten horns; in other words, out of the Roman Empire or the last form of Gentile dominion on the earth, while this comes up out of the four, or the Grecian Empire, which is next to the last. But a simple answer is that he may come up out of that part of the Roman Empire which was originally the Grecian; in other words, that his rise may be expected in that quarter of the world and from such antecedents.

Nevertheless some think the “little horn” of this chapter, who shall arise at the end, is a different person from the one in chapter 7. They hold that he of chapter 7 will be the head of the revived Roman Empire, but that he of chapter 8 is another king of the north, who is to be the foe of Israel, and at the same time the enemy of the head of the revived Roman Empire. This may be true, and we would not dogmatize in a matter of such uncertainty, but we think the view suggested here of the identity of the two is the simpler and more practical one to hold awaiting light.

QUESTIONS

1. How far is the scope of this vision identical with the preceding?

2. Name the geographic divisions of the Grecian Empire and their respective rulers.

3. Historically, who is meant by the “little horn”?

4. Give as much as you can of the history of Antiochus Epiphanes.

5. Of whom is he a type or forerunner?

6. What is meant by “the time of the end”?

7. What objection might be raised as to the identity of the “little horn” in chapter 7 with that of chapter 8?

8. How might it be met?

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Gray, James. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". The James Gray's Concise Bible Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jgc/daniel-8.html. 1897-1910.

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Daniel 8:2. At Shushan in the palace. Some think that Daniel was now ambassador at the Persian court. The Ulai or Eulæus, is a great and navigable river which watered Ecbatana, capital of Media, and then, after a course of two hundred and fifty miles, washed Shushan, or the lily, so called from the beauty of the country. Daniel’s residence here may farther account for Belshazzar’s imperfect knowledge of him. But was not Shushan at this time subject to Babylon; and Persepolis capital of the Persian kingdom? Daniel was here in office on the king’s business, as in Daniel 8:26.

Daniel 8:3. A ram which had two horns. Spanheim, a very learned protestant divine of Geneva, a friend of archbishop Usher’s, has observed, that keren signifies horn, crown, power, and splendour. He quotes Grotius also to say, that the horn is everywhere put for a kingdom, or for kings, in the old testament. He took the idea from the Chaldaic paraphrase which reads, kingdom.—A ram, we are told, was the ensign of Persia; and a ram, says Sir John Chardin, was placed on the pillars of Persepolis with two horns, the one higher than the other. We find also that the prophetic style generally employs the ensigns and emblems used by the nations of which it speaks. But our enlightened Joseph Mede conjectures that if the letter gnain be sounded as aleph, Allam for Elam, it gives the ancient name of Persia. Isaiah 21:2. It sounds like aries, or ram, and is derived from the same root.

Daniel 8:4. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward. This ram with two unequal horns designates the unequal kingdoms of Persia and ELamentations The fall of Babylon, and the march of Cyrus from Ecbatana to Lidya, has already been noticed in Isaiah 13:14., and Ezra 1. Afterwards the kings of Persia became masters of all western Asia, Egypt, and the isles of Greece; and their wars were coëval with their power.

Daniel 8:5-6. Behold, a he-goat came from the west. Alexander the great, in full career of conquest, came to the Persian ram, standing by the river Granicus, and smote him in three successive battles, and finally pursued him to the city of Arbela in Palestine. After that, the hero met with little obstruction till he had planted his standard on the walls of Babylon. It is calculated that six hundred thousand Persians fell in those wars, fighting against little more than thirty thousand Greeks.

Daniel 8:8. When he was strong the great horn was broken. Alexander died on the consummation of his conquests at Babylon, either by poison or by the visitation of God. Afterwards came up four notable ones, the horns of the four kingdoms into which the Greek empire was divided on his death, as stated in Daniel 6:6.

Daniel 8:13. How long shall be the vision. How long shall the sanctuary and the host be trodden underfoot? Host, or the army, as Montanus reads. Both here and at Daniel 8:9, it is rendered dynasty, by Theodotian; that is, the supreme government. The Vulgate reads, fortitude; but the English, following Munster, read pleasant land. Hence this little horn was to tread down the sanctuary, and the government, or power, or land of Israel, for the space of the days mentioned in the next verse.

Daniel 8:14. Unto two thousand and three hundred days, or till evening and morning days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. The Vatican, the Alexandrine, the Complute, and Aldus’s copy of the Greek, read two thousand three hundred days; but Theodotian reads two thousand four hundred. In the Hebrew, as the very learned Joseph Scaliger remarks, the points are neglected in Montanus, who reads, elphim one thousand, instead of alphagim two thousand. All antiquity is against Montanus’s reading as erroneous. Jerome reads, two thousand three hundred; but he mentions some copies which read two thousand two hundred days. Perhaps there was a providence in these variations of the reading to hide from us the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary, and the holy land. This little horn was applied by many of the ancients to Antiochus king of Syria, called Epiphanes, who took Jerusalem, profaned the temple, put forty thousand, or some say, eighty thousand jews to the sword, and made forty thousand of them slaves. This monster of cruelty and lasciviousness set up the image of Jupiter Olympus in the Lord’s house, and forced the jews by all kinds of tortures to live as the gentiles, and to sacrifice to the idols. Hence the Greeks ceased to call him Epiphanes, which signifies illustrious, and called him Epimanes; that is, furious, or mad.

This man, having run his course, was, as is usual, infatuated to destruction. He heard of the treasures in the temple of Diana at Elymais in Persia, and thought to make himself master of them; but his army was defeated. On his return he heard of the defeat of his generals by Mattathias and his sons, the Maccabees. So excessive was his grief that he died on the road, in all the horrors which can possibly seize a guilty mind. Thus Judas Maccabeus purified the temple, and restored the principality till the time of Herod the Ascalonite. The end of this unhappy man may teach civil governments not to meddle with religion. Bishop Newton has proved by many arguments, and decisive ones indeed, that though Josephus, and many jews and christians assert Antiochus to be the little horn, that Jerome is right in supposing him to be merely a type of antichrist; for he did not in any sense oppress the jews two thousand three hundred days, and he fought by his own power as king of Syria; but the kings of the earth were to give their power and strength to antichrist or the beast. Revelation 17:13.

This little horn magnified himself against the prince of the host. Now, Antiochus only profaned the temple, and twice sold the high priesthood; but the Romans utterly destroyed the temple, and under Adrian sought to annihilate the jews, after having aided in the crucifixion of the Lord Christ. Besides, it is said, Daniel 7:26, “they shall take away his dominion, to consume, and to destroy it unto the end.” Though therefore the affairs of Antiochus came to a gloomy close, yet his crown passed to his heirs; nor was it removed till the Romans fully took possession of the country by force of arms; but the antichrist was to be broken without hands: Daniel 8:25. Hence the great body of protestants do most seriously regard the papal hierarchy, which sprang as a horn out of the Roman power, as the antichrist, or the armillium improbum, the wicked one who was so revealed, sitting in the temple of God, and speaking as though he was a god. See notes on Isaiah 11:4, 2Th_2:3. The papal hierarchy of dignified clergymen have magnified themselves above all, and impiously taken both heaven and earth into their own hands.

Daniel 8:16. Gabriel, that is, the great power of God, make this man to understand the vision. See on Luke 1:19.

Daniel 8:26. Shut up the vision, for it shall be for many days. These words, many days, refer to our own times, to which the two thousand three hundred or two thousand four hundred days or years refer. Therefore the vision must be shut up in the bosom of the church, as a reserve of consolation in the latter day. God has begun already his great work of cleansing the sanctuary. Luther removed idols from the protestant world, and the keen satires of an infidel philosophy are chasing them, with a cloud of superstitions, from the papists. The bible is obtaining its rank as the light of the world, and christian powers are suppressing simony in the sanctuary, that the church may be filled with holy men.—This subject is resumed in another vision, chapter the twelfth.

REFLECTIONS.

When God has any great work to do in the earth, he takes peculiar delight in calling his friends to attest his providence and grace. The measure of Babylon was full; yea, the wickedness overflowed, and God was about to give the world into the hands of other lords. Hence that certain Saint, that Holy One, for whom no name that mortals can give is worthy, awaited Daniel in devotion and solitude, to show him in miniature a grand scheme of providence to the end of the ages of wickedness. He who said, shall I hide from Abraham the thing that I do, still delights to interest the attention of the church, that man may be happy in the contemplation of his glorious works. He enshrouded the soul of the venerable prophet with the skirts of his glory, that wrapped in the spirit, he might glance on futurity in the light of the Lord. While Belshazzar, giddy with a crown, and intoxicated with pride, wantoned in crimes and in the nightly opiates of pleasure, not aware of the gathering stolen, Daniel saw the young Cyrus as a ram uniting on his head the two horns of Persia and Media. He pushed westward, and arranged the Armenians in close alliance, and was accompanied by Tygranes and twenty four thousand men to the war. He pushed northward towards the Black sea, and thence southward to Sardis, where he found all the treasures which Crœsus had hoarded, as on purpose to accelerate the fall of Babylon.

Next, Daniel saw the he-goat, or Alexander the great, come from Greece, skipping, running, and leaping against the descendants of the ram, after the Persian empire had flourished about two hundred and twenty eight years. This furious goat smote the ram, and brake his two horns, and cast him to the ground.

Next, not in Alexander’s time, but out of the western part of his empire, sprung up the little horn at Rome, a weak kingdom at first, but afterwards it became lord of the world. Likewise, out of the same Rome, arose the more dangerous horn of the spiritual antichrist, or empire within the ten kingdoms of Europe. Both these powers have magnified themselves against the prince of the host; and temporal Rome has magnified itself against the pleasant land, and the people of the Most High, whose country remains a desolation to the present day. We may lastly observe, that the study of the visions and prophecies concerning the empires of the earth and the kingdom of Christ, are of the greatest advantage and benefit to the church. They show us the care of providence. God’s perfect foresight and knowledge of his own affairs, and the confidence which the faithful may repose in his providence and grace. Why then should we be terrified at war and political tempests. God rides on the storm, and holds the winds in his fist; he is doing his great work; he is causing the wicked to punish one another, to purify his church, and to protect the faithful. Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! Hence also the study of prophecy is often of peculiar advantage to the church. The venerable Daniel, who kept his house during the carnage in Babylon, lived to show Cyrus the prophecies of Isaiah respecting himself, where he was mentioned by name, and to procure the emancipation of the jews with great presents. Isaiah 44, 45. In like manner, Jaddua, highpriest of Jerusalem, met Alexander coming against the city; but on showing this prophecy of the he-goat, he pacified his anger, and obtained the mildest treatment for the jews.

Lastly, our Saviour’s resumption of this prophecy, saved the christians from perishing in Jerusalem. He had warned his disciples, when they saw the abomination which maketh desolate standing in the holy place; not the temple only, but the pleasant land, as in Daniel 8:9; and the same word is translated elsewhere a goodly heritage, a goodly portion; he had warned them, I say, that they should flee to the mountains. May we therefore wait in confidence for the cleansing of the sanctuary, and not be too presuming on prophetic calculations. In due time the Lord will fill the whole earth with his glory, and put all his enemies under his feet.

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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/daniel-8.html. 1835.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Daniel 8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

Ver. 14. And he said unto me.] Not to the angel, but to me, who should have proposed the question; the holy angel did it for me.

Unto two thousand and three hundred days.] Heb., To the evening and morning two thousand and three hundred - i.e., to so many natural days consisting of twenty-four hours, which in all do make up six years, three months, and twenty days. This point of skill Daniel here learneth of the wonderful numberer Christ, who hath all secrets in numerato, and will put a timely period to his people’s afflictions. Not full seven years did they suffer here, much less seventy, as once in Babylon. How he moderateth the matter., see on Revelation 2:10; how this prophecy was fulfilled, see 1 Maccabees 1:12-14, 2 Maccabees 4:12-16 cf. 1 Maccabees 4:52-45.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/daniel-8.html. 1865-1868.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

In Daniel 8:13 תּת ( to give ) is more closely defined by מרמס ( something trodden under foot ); but in these passages in Ezekiel above referred to, it [the verb נתן ] is connected with an actual object. Construed with the accus. pers. and על, נתן means “to place one over anything.” This conception in its different shades is not so much derived from the words of the text as from a reference to the history; for it is supposed (cf. Grotius, Wies.) that because the matter spoken of is the wickedness of Antiochus, the entrance of the Syrian army into Jerusalem and its proceedings (1 Macc. 1:29ff.) must be set forth. צבא, notwithstanding the want of the article, and notwithstanding the feminine construction, cannot properly be otherwise understood in Daniel 8:12 than in Daniel 8:10, Daniel 8:13, not of the host of the Syrians, but only of the people of Israel. The article is wanting also in Daniel 8:13, where yet, because of its being taken in connection with קדשׁ, it can only refer to Israel. Besides this passage, the fem. construction is found also only in Isaiah 40:2, where it signifies the service of war or vassalage. But this meaning here, where weighty reasons oppose it, this construction does not require us to adopt, for such a construction is not infrequent. It is found not merely with names of nations and races, so far as land and people are nearly related ideas, but also with other words, such as even עם, people, fem., Exodus 5:16; 1 Kings 18:7; Jeremiah 8:5; המון, a multitude, Job 31:34; זרע, seed, i.e., descendants, Deuteronomy 31:21; cf. Ewald's Lehr . §174. But the want of the article in צבא in Daniel 8:12 and in Daniel 8:13 has its reason in this, that that which is said does not concern the whole host, but only one part of it, since, according to Daniel 8:10, the hostile horn will cast only some הצבא מן ( of the host ) to the earth. If, therefore, there is no sufficient ground for rejecting the application of the צבא to the people of Israel, it follows that this interpretation is decidedly required not only by the connection, chiefly by Daniel 8:13, but also by that which is said of צבא in Daniel 8:12 .

“Since in Daniel 8:13 the inquirer resumes the contents of Daniel 8:10-12, and along with the sanctuary names also the 'host' as the object of the 'treading down,' it is not credible that this 'host' should be different from that mentioned in Daniel 8:12” (Klief.). Moreover, תּנּתן can have in this passage only the meaning of to be given up . התּמיד על can then only be translated because of the permanent sacrifice, if בּפשׁע ( by reason of transgression ) is united as object with תּנּתן in the sense: “was delivered up in transgression.” But apart from this, that נתן in the sense of to give up is construed with בּיד, and there are wanting certain parallels for its construction with ב merely, this interpretation, “the host (= Israel) is given up in wickedness on account of the continual sacrifice,” presents an idea not to be tolerated. We agree, therefore, in general with the interpretation of Daniel B. Michaelis, Hävernick, v. Lengerke, Maurer, Kranichfeld, and Kliefoth, and explain the words thus: “and (an) host shall be given up together with the daily sacrifice, because of transgression.” צבא, an host, i.e., a great company of the host, the people of Israel. ב before פּשׁע ( transgression ) in the meaning of ב pretii, on account of ( um ), or because of, cf. Genesis 18:28. פּשׁע is the apostasy of the Israelites from God, the wickedness proceeding from the פּשׁעים ( transgressors ), Daniel 8:23. The objection that this interpretation is not appropriate, because פּשׁע is repeated in Daniel 8:13 in union with שׁמם ( desolation ), and therefore a wickedness devoted to destruction is characterized (Klief.), avails nothing, because it in no way follows from this that the “transgression” must be wickedness seating itself in the place of the “daily sacrifice,” idolatrous worship supplanting the true worship. But “the transgression” cannot be that which sets itself in the place of the “daily sacrifice,” because התּמיד is not the subject of the sentence, but is only co-ordinated to the subject. If ב in בּפשׁע is regarded as the ב pretii, then פשׁע can only be that which would be put in the place of the צבא . The preposition על before התּמיד means thereon, after that, also at the same time, or together with, as in Amos 3:15; Hosea 10:14, etc. תּמיד, as in Daniel 8:11, is not merely the daily sacrifice, but all that had continuance in the Mosaic worship. Finally, the jussive forms תּנּתן and תּשׁלך d ( to be trodden ) are to be observed, since, according to the just observation of Kran., they are not simply identical with the future, as Ewald (§343) thinks, but here, as in Daniel 11:4, Daniel 11:10,Daniel 11:16, modify the conception of time by the presentation of the divine pre-determination or the decree, and thus express a should, may, or a faculty, a being able, in consequence of the divine counsel. To the verbs of the second half of the verse קרן ( horn ) is easily supplied from the foregoing context as the subject; and the passage closes with the thought: thus must the horn throw the truth to the ground, and he shall succeed in this.

(Note: ” Successus Antiochi potuit pios omnes turbare, acsi tyrannus ille esset Deo superior. Ergo oportuit etiam hoc praedici, ne quid novum vel inopinatum constingeret fidelibus.” - Calvin.)

אמת, the objective truth, the word of God, so far as it is embodied in the worship. As to this matter cf. 1 Macc. 1:43-52, 56, 60.

Daniel 8:13-14

In addition to what has been already seen and communicated in the vision, a further vision unfolds itself, by which there is conveyed to the prophet disclosures regarding the duration of the oppression of the people of God by the little horn. Daniel hears a holy one, i.e., an angel (see under Daniel 4:10), talking. What he said is not recorded. But while he is talking, another angel interrupts him with the question as to the duration of the affliction, and this is done that Daniel may hear the answer. Therefore the first angel immediately turns himself to Daniel, and, addressing him, makes known to him the information that was desired.

The אלי ( to me ), Daniel 8:14, is not, according to the old versions, to be changed into אליו ( to him ). What Hitzig says in justification of אליו is of no weight; cf. Kran. The angel that talked is designated by פּלמוני, quidam, nescio quis , as not being more particularly definable. The question condenses the contents of Daniel 8:10-12 : Till how long is the vision, etc.?” החזון is not the action, but the contents of the vision, the thing seen . The contents of the vision are arranged in the form of appositions: that which is continual and the desolating wickedness, for: the vision of that which is continual and of the desolation. The meaning of this apposition is more particularly defined by the further passage following asyndetos : to give up the sanctuary as well as the host to destruction. שׁמם after the definite noun without the article, which is sometimes wanting (Jeremiah 2:21; Ezekiel 39:27; cf. Ew. §293), does not mean being benumbed, confounded, but laid waste, fallen into ruin; thus the wickedness which consists in laying waste. שׁמם cannot be understood transitively, since שׁמם and משׁמם are placed over against each other in Daniel 9:27.

In the answer, עד is to be interpreted as in the question: till 2300 evening-mornings have been, or have passed, thus: 2300 evening-mornings long, so (=then) the sanctuary is brought into its right state. צדק primarily means to be just, whence the meaning is derived to justify, which is not here suitable, for it must be followed by, from the defilement of the desolation. The restoration of the temple to its right condition is, it is true, at the same time a justification of it from its desolation, and it includes in it the restoration of the permanent worship.

The interpretation of the period of time, 2300 evening-mornings, named by the angel is beset with difficulty. And first the verbal import of בּקר ערב is doubtful. Among recent interpreters, Berth., Häv., v. Leng., Maur., and Horm. ( Weiss. u. Erf. p. 295) understand by its days consisting of morning and evening (twenty-four hours); others, as Bleek, Kirmss, Ewald, Hitzig, Wieseler (who, however, in his treatise, Die 70 Wochen, u.s.w., p. 115ff., defends the first explanation), Kran., and Delitzsch, are of opinion that evening-morning is particularly reckoned with reference to the offering of a morning and an evening sacrifice each day, so that 2300 evening-mornings make only 1150 whole days. But there is no exegetical foundation for this latter opinion. It is derived only from a comparison, or rather an identification, of this passage with Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:11., and Daniel 9:27; and therewith it is proved that, according to 1 Macc. 1:54, 59, cf. 4:52, the desolation of the sanctuary by the worship of idols under Antiochus Epiphanes lasted not longer than three years and ten days, and that from Daniel 12:11 it extends only to 1290 days. But these arguments rest on assertions which must first be justified. The passages Daniel 7:25 and Daniel 9:27 cannot be here taken into account, because they do not speak of Antiochus Epiphanes, and the 1290 days (1335 days, Daniel 12:11.) do not give 2300 evening-mornings, that we can and may at once identify these statements with this before us. In Daniel 12:11 the terminus a quo of the 1290 days is unquestionably the putting away or the removal of the תּמיד ( daily sacrifice ), and the giving (placing, raising up) of the abomination that maketh desolate (i.e., the altar of idol-worship); but in this verse (Daniel 8:14), on the contrary, the continuance not only of the taking away of the תּמיד, but also of the delivering up of the saints and the people to be trodden under foot, is fixed to 2300 evening-mornings. This oppression continued longer than the removal of the appointed daily sacrifice. According to 1 Macc. 1:10ff., the violent assaults of Antiochus against the temple and the Jews who remained faithful to the law began in the 143rd year of the era of the Seleucidae, but the abomination that maketh desolate, i.e., the idol-altar, was first erected on Jehovah's altar of burnt-offering, according to 1 Macc. 1:54, in the 145th year of the Seleucidae, and the purification of the temple from this abomination, and its re-consecration, took place on the 25th day of Kisleu (9th month) of the year of the Seleucidae 148. According to this, from the beginning of the desecration of the temple by the plundering of its vessels and its golden ornaments (1 Macc. 1:20ff.) to its restoration to its right condition, more than five years passed. The fulfilment, or the historical reference, of this prophecy accordingly affords, as is sufficiently manifest, no proper means of ascertaining the import of the “evening-morning.” This must rather be exegetically decided. It occurs only here, and corresponds to νυχθήμερον, 2 Corinthians 11:25. But the choice of so unusual a measure of time, derived from the two chief parts of the day, instead of the simple measure of time by days, probably originates with reference to the morning and evening sacrifice, by which the day was to be consecrated to the Lord, after Genesis 1:5, Genesis 1:8,Genesis 1:13, etc., where the days of the creation week are named and reckoned according to the succession of evening and morning. This separation of the expression into evening and morning, so that to number them separately and add them together would make 2300 evening-mornings = 1150 days, is shown to be inadmissible, both by the asyndeton evening-morning and the usages of the Hebrew language. That in Daniel 8:26 והבּקר הערב ( the evening and the morning ) stands for it, does not prove that the evening ad morning are reckoned separately, but only that evening-morning is a period of time consisting of evening and morning. When the Hebrews wish to express separately day and night, the component parts of a day of a week, then the number of both is expressed. They say, e.g., forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7:4, Genesis 7:12; Exodus 24:18; 1 Kings 19:8), and three days and three nights (Jonah 2:1; Matthew 12:40), but not eighty or six days-and-nights, when they wish to speak of forty or three full days. A Hebrew reader could not possibly understand the period of time 2300 evening-mornings of 2300 half days or 1150 whole days, because evening and morning at the creation constituted not the half but the whole day. Still less, in the designation of time, “till 2300 evening-mornings,” could “evening-mornings” be understood of the evening and morning sacrifices, and the words be regarded as meaning, that till 1150 evening sacrifices and 1150 morning sacrifices are discontinued. We must therefore take the words as they are, i.e., understand them of 2300 whole days.

This exegetical resolution of the matter is not made doubtful by the remark, that an increasing of the period of oppression to 2300 days, over against the duration of the oppression limited in Daniel 7:25 to only three and a half times, or to 1290 (or 1335 days, Daniel 12:11-12), is very unlikely, since there is in no respect any reason for this increase over against these statements (Kran. p. 298). This remark can only be valid as proof if, on the one side, the three and a half times in Daniel 7:25 are equal to three and a half civil years, for which the proof fails, and, on the other side, if the 1290 or the 1335 days in Daniel 12:11. indicate the whole duration of the oppression of Israel by Antiochus. But if these periods, on the contrary, refer only to the time of the greatest oppression, the erection of the idol-altar in the temple, this time cannot be made the measure for the duration of the whole period of tribulation.

The objection also, that it is more difficult to prove historically an oppression of the people of God for 2300 days by Antiochus than the 1150 days' duration of this oppression, need not move us to depart from the exegetically ascertained meaning of the words. The opponents of this view are indeed at one in this, that the consecration of the temple after its purification, and after the altar of Jehovah was restored, on the 25th Kisleu of the 148th year of the Seleucidae, formed the termination of the period named, but they are at variance as to the commencement of the period. Delitzsch reckons from the erection of the idol-altar in the temple on 15th Kisleu in the 145th year of the Sel., and thus makes it only three years and ten days, or 1090 to 1105 days. Hitzig reckons from the taking away of the daily sacrifice, which would take place somewhat earlier than the setting up of the idol-altar, but has not furnished proof that this happened tow months earlier. Bleek and Kirmss reckon from the taking of Jerusalem by Apollonius in the year of the Sel . 145 (1 Macc. 1:30ff.; 2 Macc. 5:24ff.), misplacing this in the first month of the year named, but without having any other proof for it than the agreement of the reckoning.

To this is to be added, that the adoption of the consecration of the temple as the terminus ad quem is not so well grounded as is supposed. The words of the text, קדשׁ ונצדּק (“thus is the sanctuary placed in the right state”), comprehend more than the purification and re-consecration of the temple. In Daniel 8:11, also Daniel 9:17 and Daniel 11:31, Daniel uses the word מקדּשׁ for temple, while on the other hand קדשׁ means all that is holy. Was, then, the sanctuary, in this comprehensive meaning of the word, placed in its right state with the consecration of the temple, when after this occurrence “they that were in the tower (Acra) shut up the Israelites round about the sanctuary,” sought to hinder access to the temple, and, when Judas Maccabaeus had begun to besiege the tower, the Syrians approached with a reinforced army, besieged the sanctuary for many days, and on their departure demolished its strongholds (1 Macc. 6:18ff., 51, 62)? - when, again, under Demetrius Soter of Bacchides, the high priest Menelaus was deposed, and Alcimus, who was not descended from the family of a high priest, was advanced to his place, who cruelly persecuted the pious in Israel? - when the Syrian general Nicanor mocked the priests who showed to him the burnt-offering for the king, and defiled and threatened to burn the temple (1 Macc. 7)? And did the trampling upon Israel cease with the consecration of the temple, when at the building up of the altar and the restoration of the temple the heathen around became so furious, that they resolved to destroy all who were of the race of Jacob amongst them, and began to murder them (1 Macc. 5:1ff.)? Hävernick therefore, with Bertholdt, places the terminus ad quem of the 2300 days in the victory over Nicanor, by which the power of the Syrians over Judea was first broken, and the land enjoyed rest, so that it was resolved to celebrate annually this victory as well as the consecration of the temple (1 Macc. 7:48-50), according to which the terminus a quo of the period named would be shortly before the erection of the abomination of idolatry in the temple.

If we now, however, turn from this supposition, since the text speaks further of it, to seek the end of the oppression in the restoration of the legal temple-worship, or in the overthrow of Antiochus Epiphanes, which the angel brings to view in the interpretation of the vision (Daniel 8:26), so also in these cases the 2300 days are to be calculated. C. v. Leng., Maur., and Wiesel., who regard the death of Antiochus as the termination, place the beginning of the 2300 days one year before the beginning of violence with which Antiochus, after his return from the expedition into Egypt in the year 143 Sel ., went forth to destroy (1 Macc. 1:20) the Mosaic worship and law. Only a few weeks or months earlier, in the middle of the year 142 Sel ., the point of commencement must be placed, if the consecration of the temple is held to be the termination. In the year 142 not only was the pious high priest Onias removed from his office by the godless Jason, but also Jason himself was forced from the place he had usurped by Menelaus, who gave Antiochus a greater bribe than he did, and gave away as presents and sold to the heathen the golden utensils of the temple, and commanded Onias, who denounced his wickedness, to be deceitfully murdered (2 Macc. 2:4). Hence we need not, with Hofmann, regard the deposition of Onias, the date of which cannot be accurately fixed, but which, 2 Macc. 4:7ff., is brought into connection with the commencement of the reign of Antiochus, and which probably took place before the year 142, as the date of the commencement of the 2300 days, although the laying waste of the sanctuary may be dated from it; since Jason by royal authority set up a heathen γυμνάσιον with an ἐφηβεῖον, and by the wickedness of the profane and unpriestly conduct of this man Greek customs and the adoption of heathenish manners so prevailed, that the priests ceased to concern themselves about the service of the altar, but, despising the temple and forgetting the sacrifice, they hastened to witness the spectacles in the palaestra, which were contrary to the law; cf. 2 Macc. 4:13ff. with 1 Macc. 1:11-15. The 2300 days are thus, as well as the 1150 days, historically authenticated.

But it is on the whole questionable whether the number given by the angel is to be reckoned as an historico-chronological period of time, or is not rather to be interpreted as symbolical. The analogy of the other prophetic numbers speaks decidedly for the symbolical interpretation. The 2300 cannot, it is true, be directly a symbolical number, such as 7, 10, 40, 70, and other numbers are, but yet it can stand in such a relation to the number seven as to receive a symbolical meaning. The longer periods of time are usually reckoned not by days, but by weeks, months, or years; if, therefore, as to the question of the duration of the 2300 days, we reduce the days to weeks, months, and years, we shall find six years, three or four months, and some days, and discover that the oppression of the people by the little horn was to continue not fully a period of seven years. But the times of God's visitations, trials, and judgments are so often measured by the number seven, that this number came to bear stamped on it this signification; see under Daniel 4:13; Daniel 7:25. The number of seven years is used in the symbolical meaning when, not to mention the cases in Genesis 29:18, Genesis 29:27; Genesis 41:26., and Judges 6:1, seven years' famine were laid upon the land as a punishment for David's sin in numbering the people (2 Samuel 24:13), and when in Elisha's time Israel was visited with seven years' famine (2 Kings 8:1). Thus the answer of the angel has this meaning: The time of the predicted oppression of Israel, and of the desolation of the sanctuary by Antiochus, the little horn, shall not reach the full duration of a period of divine judgment, shall not last so long as the severe oppression of Israel by the Midianites, Judges 6:1, or as the famine which fell upon Israel in the time of Elisha, and shall not reach to a tenth part of the time of trial and of sorrow endured by the exiles, and under the weight of which Israel then mourned.

But if this is the meaning of the angel's message, why does not the divine messenger use a pure symbolical expression, such as “not full seven times?” and why does he not simply say, “not quite seven years?” As to the first of these questions, we answer that the expression “times” is too indefinite; for the duration of this period of sorrow must be given more minutely. As to the second question, we know no other answer that can be given than this, that, on the one side, only the positive determination of the length of time, measured by days, can afford full confidence that the domination and the tyranny of the oppressor shall not continue one day longer than God has before fixed; but, on the other side, by the measuring of this period by a number defined according to thousands and hundreds, both the long duration of the affliction is shown, and the symbolical character of the period named is indicated. While by the period “evening-morning” every ambiguity of the expression, and every uncertainty thence arising regarding the actual length of the time of affliction, is excluded, yet the number 2300 shows that the period must be defined in round numbers, measuring only nearly the actual time, in conformity with all genuine prophecy, which never passes over into the mantic prediction of historico-chronological data.

If we compare with this the designation of time in Daniel 7:25, instead of the general idea there expressed, of “time, times, and half a time,” which is not to be computed as to its duration, we have here a very definite space of time mentioned. This difference corresponds to the contents of the two prophecies. The oppression prophesied of in this chapter would visit the people of Israel at not too distant a time; and its commencement as well as its termination, announced by God beforehand, was fitted to strengthen believers in the faith of the truth and fidelity of God for the time of the great tribulation of the end, the duration of which God the Lord indeed determined accurately and firmly beforehand, but according to a measure of time whose extent men cannot calculate in advance. In this respect the designation of the time of the affliction which the horn growing up out of the third world-kingdom will bring upon God's people, becomes a type for the duration of the oppression of the last enemy of the church of the Lord at the end of the days.

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The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
Bibliographical Information
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/daniel-8.html. 1854-1889.

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

How Long?

After Daniel has seen the performance of the goat and especially that of the little horn, he hears "a holy one" speak. This turns out to be "that particular one". It seems that we have to do with the Lord Jesus again here. We are not told what He has said. Then we hear another holy one, probably an angel, asking Him a question. The question is "how long" the devastating activities of the little horn will last. The angel repeats the activities mentioned in the previous verses. This question is asked because of the suffering that the saints endure because the service to God has been taken away. How long will the regular sacrifice remain taken away, how long will God not receive His daily sacrifice? How long will the apostasy last?

Remarkably, the answer is not given to the angel, but to Daniel. It is therefore the answer to the question of his heart. He is the type of the faithful remnant of Israel that will ask that question in the end times if they resist the oppression that the antichrist, of whom Antiochus is in certain respects a picture, brings upon them.

The duration of the taken away sacrifice is not given in days – 1150 days – but in evenings and mornings. This has to do with the daily morning and evening burnt offering (Exo 29:38-41), whose fragrance must constantly rise to God and on the basis of which He can dwell among His people. God counts according to the sacrifices that are withheld from Him. The 2300 evenings and mornings mean as many burnt offerings are withheld from God.

God counts the time of trial of His people in days. Thus the Lord Jesus, when He speaks of a great tribulation, speaks of "those days" (Mt 24:21-22; cf. Rev 2:10). However, those days are coming to an end. After its expiry, the holy temple will be cleansed and the people will be able to bring the prescribed sacrifices again. Although God in His righteousness can allow His sanctuary to be desecrated for a time, He will also ensure that His sanctuary is sanctified in His time.

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Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Daniel 8:14". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kng/daniel-8.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

The Vision Itself

v. 1. In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar, two years after Daniel had had the vision of the four monarchies, a vision appeared unto me, even unto me, Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first, that is, in addition to that other important prophetic vision which he had recorded in the previous chapter. It is evident that this vision did not come to Daniel in a dream, but that he was awake and conscious while this information came to him.

v. 2. And I saw in a vision, in a state of ecstasy; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan, or Susa, in the palace, which is in the province of Elam, for Susa was the capital of this province during the Babylonian supremacy, while under Persian reign it was located in the satrapy of Susiana; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai, or Eulaeus, on which Susa was situated. Daniel evidently, in his capacity as one of the foremost officials of the empire, visited the various provinces from time to time, or he may even have had a winter home in this city.

v. 3. Then I lifted up mine eyes and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river, probably to the east of it, a ram, not in a flock, but alone, which had two horns; and the two horns were high, both of them expressive of royalty and power, but one was higher than the other, and the higher, the one possessing the greater power, came up last, it was later in point of time.

v. 4. I saw the ram pushing westward and northward and southward, to subdue all the countries located in these directions, so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand, his power, for the time being, was absolute; but he did according to his will and became great, so that the empire which he represented became a world power.

v. 5. And as I was considering, observing very closely everything that transpired, behold, an he-goat came from the west, from Europe, across Asia Minor, on the face of the whole earth, sweeping along over all the intervening countries, and touched not the ground, that is, his advance was so rapid that it was like a flight; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes, in the midst of his forehead, so that his whole force was behind it.

v. 6. And he came to the ram that had two horns, not stopping for any consideration, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power, in irresistible, mighty rage.

v. 7. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, with sudden, explosive anger, and smote the ram, in a fierce overthrow, and brake 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, so that the complete overthrow of the ram was speedily accomplished; and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand, all the resources that he commanded availing him nothing.

v. 8. Therefore the he-goat waxed very great, his power developed mightily; and when he was strong, just as he reached the highest point of his might, the great horn was broken, the unity of the attacking power was disrupted with the death of its leader: and for it came up four notable ones, four leaders, who divided the power among themselves, toward the four winds of heaven.

v. 9. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, sprouting in a diminutive manner, like the branches in the prongs of an antelope, which waxed exceeding great toward the south and toward the east and toward the pleasant land, Judea, the glorious land, the land of God's chosen people.

v. 10. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven, to the congregation of the Lord's people, for the Jews were at that time representatives of the Lord's Church on earth; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground and stamped upon them, presuming, in its pride, to wage warfare even against the kingdom of the Lord.

v. 11. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, placing himself on a level with the most high God, with the King of kings and the Lord of lords, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, that is, he interfered with the worship of the true God as then carried on in the Temple, and the place of His Sanctuary was cast down, profaned with blasphemous behavior.

v. 12. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, that is, "warfare was inaugurated against the daily sacrifice with outrage," with idolatrous worship by the heathen ruler represented by the last horn, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced and prospered, it accomplished this much, it was successful by divine permission: God permitted the profaning to go on for some time.

v. 13. Then I heard one saint, one of the Lord's angels, speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, as they were conversing, the interruption being made in the interest of Daniel, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, that is, how long would the subject of this vision, the destruction of the Lord's worship, continue, and the transgression of desolation, the horrible transgression which had just been described, to give both the Sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? so that the Church of God, then represented by the nation of the Jews returned from Babylon, would be made desolate and be hindered from spreading.

v. 14. And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days, literally, "evening-mornings"; then shall the Sanctuary be cleansed, or "justified," which may mean deconsecrated. The figures in the vision are strangely interwoven with direct statements, which anticipate, in a measure, the interpretation given in the second part of the chapter.

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Bibliographical Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/daniel-8.html. 1921-23.

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and Homiletical

             2. The vision of the two world-kingdoms and their fall

Daniel 8:1-27

1In the third year of[FN1] the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me [I] Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first. 2And I saw in a vision (and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at [in] Shushan in the palace [or, citadel], which is in the province of Elam); and I saw in a vision, and I was by [upon] the river of Ulai.

3Then [And] I lifted up mine eyes and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a [single] ram which [and he] had two horns, and the two horns were high; but [the] one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last 4 I saw the ram pushing[FN2] westward [sea-ward], and northward, and southward; so that [and] no beasts might [could] stand before him, neither was there any that could. deliver out of his hand; but [and] he did according to his will, and became great.[FN3]

5And as I was considering [then], behold, a Hebrews -goat[FN4] came from the west,[FN5] on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground [earth]: and the goat had a notable [sightly] horn between his eyes 6 And he came to the ram that had [master of the] two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power 7 And I saw him come close unto[FN6] the ram, and he was moved with choler[FN7] against [towards] him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns; and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground [earth], and stamped upon [trampled] him: and there was none that could deliver[FN8] the ram out of his hand.

8Therefore [And] the Hebrews -goat 4 waxed [became] very[FN9] great:3 and when [as] he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable9[sightly] ones,[FN10] toward the four winds of heaven [the heavens]. And out of [the] one of them came forth a [single] little[FN11] horn which waxed [and it became exceeding great,3toward the south, and toward the east and toward the pleasant land.[FN12] 10And it waxed [became] great,3 even to the host of heaven [the heavens]; and it cast down[FN13] some of the host and of the stars to the ground [earth], and 11 stamped upon [trampled] them. Yea [And] he magnified himself3 even to the prince of the host, and by [from] him the daily [continual] sacrifice was taken 12 away,[FN14] and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And a host was [would be] given him against the daily [continual] sacrifice by reason of [in] transgression, and it [would] cast down the truth to the ground [earth]; and it practised [did], and prospered.

13Then [And] I [quite] heard one saint [holy one] speaking, and another saint [one holy one] said unto that certain saint which spake [to Song of Solomon -and-so the one speaking], How long shall be the vision concerning [of] the daily [continual] sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation [desolating or astounding transgression], to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 14And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days [evening-mornings];[FN15] then [and] shall the sanctuary be cleansed [sanctified].

15And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning [understanding], then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man [person]. 16And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which [and he] called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the 17 vision [appearance]. So [And] he came near where I stood;[FN16] and when he came, I was afraid, and fell [quite] upon my face: but [and] he said unto me, Understand, O son of man; for [that] at [to] the time of the end shall be the 18 vision. Now [And], as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep [stunned] on my face toward the ground [earth]: but [and] he touched me, and set me [made me stand] upright.[FN17] 19And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be [it is to the time of the end].

20The ram which thou sawest[FN18] having [master of the] two horns are the kings of Media and Persia 21 And the rough goat[FN19] is the king of Græcia [Javan]; and the great horn that is between his eyes [, that] is the first king 22 Now that being broken, whereas [And the broken one, and] four stood up for it, four kingdoms 23 shall stand up out of the nation, but [and] not in his power. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when [as] the transgressors are come to the full [have completed], a king of fierce countenance [strong (bold) of face], and understanding dark sentences [stratagems], shall stand up. 24And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy [or, corrupt] wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise [do], and shall destroy [or, corrupt] the 25 mighty [ones] and the holy people [people of the holy ones]. And through [upon] his policy also [and] he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself3in his heart, and by peace [in security] shall destroy [or, corrupt] many: he shall also [and he will] stand up against the Prince of 26 princes; but [and] he shall be broken without[FN20] hand. And the vision [appearance] of the evening and the morning20 which was told is true [, it is truth]: wherefore [and thou] shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.

27And I Daniel fainted,[FN21] and was sick certain days: afterward [and] I rose up, and did the king’s business [work]; and I was astonished at the vision [appearance], but [and] none understood it.

EXEGETICAL REMARKS

Daniel 8:1-2. Time and place of the vision. In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar; hence, shortly before the end of this king, who reigned but little more than two years (cf. Introd, § 8, note3), and therefore not long after the incident recorded in chap5, which revealed the Medo-Persian kingdom already rising with a threatening light above the political horizon of the Chaldæan empire, as the heiress of Babylonia. Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the image and that of the four beasts and the Son of man (seen perhaps two years before the present date), as well as the vision of the Medo-Persian ram and the Græcian goat, described in the following verses, had already prepared Daniel, before he interpreted the mysterious writing on the wall of Belshazzar’s banquethall, to see Medo-Persia standing on the arena of history as the leading world-power instead of Babylonia in the not distant future The extent, however, to which recent political events, such as successes achieved by the Medes, or, what is more probable, the rise of the youthful Persian prince Cyrus and his victory over Astyages (B. C559, and therefore two years after the death of Nebuchadnezzar in561, and shortly after the overthrow of his successor Belshazzar-Evilmerodach), may have been influential in inciting the prophet to the politico-religious meditations from which originated the vision of this chapter, cannot be positively decided, in view of the silence of the book with regard to such externally conditioning circumstances. The political situation must certainly not be apprehended as if the fall of the Babylonian empire were immediately impending, and the approach of the Medes under Darius were looked for shortly. Against this view, which is based on the familiar but incorrect interpretation of Daniel 5:29 et seq, and which is still advocated by Hitzig, Ewald, etc, see supra, on that passage.[FN22]A vision appeared unto me … Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first; i.e., “after having seen, somewhat earlier, an important prophetic vision, another of a similar character appeared to me.” This new vision, however, is not called a “dream” or a dreamvision, like that in Daniel 7:1, but simply a חָזוֹן, “’ vision, what has been seen;” cf. Daniel 8:15; Daniel 8:26, and also מַרְאֶח ( Daniel 8:16; Daniel 8:27; Daniel 10:7; also Exodus 3:3; Ezekiel 43:3), which is often substituted for חָזֹון. It is evident that the prophet was awake and conscious during this vision, from the language of the verses at the beginning and end of the section ( Daniel 8:2; Daniel 8:27), and also from a comparison with the vision in chap10, which is analogous in form (see especially Daniel 8:7-10).—הנִּרְאָה, instead of הֶחָזוֹן אֲשֶׁר נִרְאָה. On this apparently relative use of the article, cf. Ewald, Lehrb., § 335 a.—בַּתְּהִלָּה, properly, “in the beginning,” is here and in Daniel 9:21 equivalent to “formerly, before,” and therefore:=בָּרִאשֹׁנָה, Isaiah 1:26; Genesis 13:3-4 (in both passages the two terms are employed as synonyms). The expression refers back to chap7, and especially to7:28.

Daniel 8:2. And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, וַיְהִי בִּוְאֹתִי indicates that he was merely visionally present at Shushan, or that in spirit he was transported to that Persian metropolis; but in the following words he describes its situation and locality in so realizing and exact a manner that his actual presence in or near that city becomes exceedingly probable. During his long official and semi-official service under Nebuchadnezzar he may have visited that region more than once (cf. supra, on3:12,4:6). Like Josephus, a majority of the older translators, Luther, Grotius, etc, Bertholdt and Gesenius advocate the view that the words beginning with ויִהִי are in parenthesis; but this is contrary to the Heb. usage and to the expression of the author, and consequently the view adopted by nearly all the modern expositors, which finds only a presence of Daniel ἑν πνεύματι at Shushan indicated by this language, is preferable. This destroys all foundation for the charge of Bertholdt, that the writer is guilty of anachronism in this instance, since Shushan was no longer subject to the Babylonian empire in the reign of Belshazzar, i.e., Nabonidus. Even prior to the fall of the Chaldæan world-power Daniel was able to speak of the palace (or castle) of Shushan (with regard to בִּירָּה, Pers. bâru, “a castle,” Sanscr. bura, Gr. βάρις, cf. Gesenius and Dietrich, s. v) as a centre of Persian power, and even, in a measure, as the heart of the Medo-Persian world-monarchy, because the city of Susa (Old-Pers. probably Shuza, now Shush—see Lassen, Zeitschr. für Kunde des Morgenl., VI:47), together with its well-fortified castle, was, from the earliest times, a principal feature in the province of Elymaïs (which is indicated by the terms applied to it by Herodotus, e.g., Μεμνόνιον ἀστυ, Σοῦσα τὰ Μεμνό-νια etc.; see Herod, V:53, 54; VII:151; cf. Strabo, XV:52 et seq.; Pausan, IV:31, 5), and because the prominent and all-controlling part which that city would take under the direction of a native Persian prince could readily be foreseen, even before cyrus should have solemnly declared it the capital of his empire, and before Darius Hystaspis should have enlarged and splendidly ornamented it as such (cf. Hävernick, on this passage).—Which is in the province of Elam. Kranichfeld observes correctly that “if this book had been written subsequent to the exile, Shushan would not have been located in Elam, but in Susiana” (cf. Füller, p190); for Elam (Gr. Ἐλυμαΐς Sept. Αἰλάμ) is the old-Heb. designation of the countries situated east of Babylon and the lower Tigris, which were inhabited from the earliest times by Shemites (see Genesis 10:22; Genesis 14:19; cf. Isaiah 11:11; Isaiah 21:2; Isaiah 22:6; Jeremiah 25:25, etc.), and it was not till the period of the Persian supremacy that the extended province of Elam was limited to the narrow strip between the Tigris and the Eulæus, or between the Persian satrapies of Babylonia and Susiana, by which arrangement the river Eulæus (see the notes immediately following) became the boundary between Elymaïs and Susiana, and the city of Susa was assigned to the latter province. Cf. Strabo, XV:3, 12; XVI:1, 17; Pliny, II, N, VI:27: “susianam ab Elymaide disterminat omnis Eulœus.” The expression עֵילָם הַמְּדִינָה, “the province of Elam,” does not by any means convey the idea of a Chaldœan province of that name, whose capital was Susa, because the author conforms entirely to the ancient Heb. usage. Cf. Niebuhr, Gesch. Assurs und Babels, p198 et seq.; Vaihinger, in Herzog’s Real-Encykl., Art. Elam.And I was by the river of Ulai, i.e., on the banks of the Eulæus, which flowed on one side of the city of Susa, while the Choaspes (on which river the classics, as Herod, I:188; V:49, 52; Strab, XV. p728, etc, locate that town) probably bounded it on the other. Corresponding with this, the representation of a large city, lying between two rivers, on a bas-relief of Kuyunjik copied by Layard (Nineveh and Babylon, p452), was probably designed for Susa. The explorations of Loftus in the region of Shush in 1851 make it probable that the Eulæus itself was merely a fork or branch of the ancient Choaspes or modern Kerkhah, and that the latter stream was also occasionally called Eulæus (see Rödiger, Zeitschr. f. Kunde des Morgenl., 13:715 et seq.; Rüetschi, in Herzog’s Real-Encykl., art. Susa). The peculiar name אוּבָל, stream, water-course,” which is applied to the Ulai in this place and in Daniel 8:3; Daniel 8:6; Daniel 8:16, appears likewise to indicate that it was not so much a single river as a stream which divided into two forks. The same idea was probably intended by the expression “between the Ulai,” Daniel 8:16 (see on that passage).[FN23]

Daniel 8:3-4. The first leading feature of the vision: the Persian ram. And behold there stood before the river a ram. “Before it,” i.e., probably, eastward from it, in case the branch of the river which flowed to the west of Susa is intended; for if Daniel did not stand in the castle of Shushan, he was at any rate close beside it, and therefore on the eastern bank of that branch of the stream. If from this position he saw the ram standing before the river, the latter must likewise have been on the eastern bank. [“Daniel first sees one ram, אַיּל standing by the river. The אֶחָד (one) does not here stand for the indefinite article, but is a numeral in contradistinction to the two horns which the one ram has” (Keil). Rather it indicates a solitary ram, and not a member of a flock, as is usual with these gregarious animals. For every ram has of course two horns.] The vision symbolizes the Persian monarchy as a ram (and afterward the Græcian empire as a he goat), in harmony with that mode of representation—which prevailed generally in the figurative language of O.–T. prophecy and accorded with Oriental modes of conception in general—by which princes, national sovereigns, or military leaders were typified under similar figures; cf. Isaiah 14:9 (“all the great goats of the earth”), and as parallel with it, “all the kings of the heathen,” Jeremiah 1:8; Ezekiel 34:17; Zechariah 10:3. From extra-Biblical sources, cf. Zendav., part II, p 273 et seq, in Kleuker (Ized Behram appears “like a ram with clean feet and sharp-pointed horns”); Hamasa, p482, ed. Shultens; also the Iliad, 13:491–493; Cicero, de divinat., i22, 14; Plutarch, Sulla, c27.[FN24] It is especially significant that Persia is represented as a male sheep, while the Macedonian-Greek empire is symbolized as a Hebrews -goat, in view of the contrast between the solid prosperity and even abundant wealth of the Persian monarchy, and the combative, rampant, and warlike nature of Macedon. With similar propriety the preceding vision ( Daniel 7:5 et seq.) employed the bear to represent the slow, clumsy, but enormous power of Medo-Persia, and the four-winged leopard to illustrate the fleetness and warlike spirit of the Macedonians. It is also possible that an indirect allusion to the ethical contrast between Medo-Persia, as a power which in a religious point of view approximated somewhat towards Shemitism and the Theocracy, and maintained friendly relations with them, and the Græcian empire, as being thoroughly heathen and fundamentally opposed to all monotheism, was implied in this representation; for the parallel descriptions in chapters2,7 likewise describe the succeeding world-kingdoms as in every case more degraded and abominable, in a religious and ethical light, than their predecessors (see Eth-fund. principles, etc, on chap 2 No3, a and b). Hebrews -goats serve elsewhere also as symbols of a violent, savage, and obstinately hostile disposition, while sheep (and consequently rams also) are distinguished by being more governable, and by evincing a more peaceful and mild nature, and thus are better adapted to typify what is ethically good and attractive. See Matthew 25:31-46, and cf. Lange on that passage, who observes against Meyer, and certainly with justice, that in this description of the last judgment, Christ does not represent the wicked under the symbol of goats because of the inferior value of that animal ( Luke 15:29), but because of its “incorrigible obstinacy” and ungovernable temper (Vol. I. of the New-Test portion of this Bible work). Cf. also Piper, Christus der Weltrichter in the evangel. Kalender, 1853, p25.—Which had two horns; and the horns were high. The ram was therefore not impotent and defenceless, since the tall horns which he bore are symbols of great power, being the natural weapons of rams, both for offence and defence; cf. on Daniel 7:7; Daniel 7:24.—But one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. The vision therefore represents the horns as still growing, and fixes the prophet’s attention on the fact that the horn which comes up last excels the other in its powerful growth—a striking illustration of the well-known process of development by which the Persian nation became the head of the Medo-Persian world-empire after the time of Cyrus, as being the more powerful element in the confederacy, and thus able to compel the Median branch, though older, to assume the second place in power and dignity. Theodoret thinks that this passage refers to the expulsion of the dynasty of Cyrus by the later, but more powerful family of Darius Hystaspis; the ram, however, does not represent Persia only, but the combined Medo-Persia, as the angel expressly states in the interpretation Daniel 8:20, and as the parallel visions in Daniel 2:39; Daniel 7:5, when properly conceived and understood, compel us to suppose (see on that passage).

Daniel 8:4. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward. The “pushing” can only be intended to signify the assertion and extension of its power in a warlike manner; cf. Daniel 11:40; Psalm 44:6; Deuteronomy 33:17; 1 Kings 22:11. In this place the pushing westward denotes more particularly the victories of Medo-Persia over Babylonia and the Lydian kingdom of Asia Minor; that toward the north, the expeditions for the conquest of Scythia, led by Cyrus and Darius; and that towards the south, the conquest of Egypt and Libya by Cambyses. The ram does not push eastward, because the east already belonged to the Medo-Persian empire, and no farther extension in that direction was to be expected. Hitzig remarks, with incredible absurdity: “The fourth quarter of the earth is here unnoticed. While the ram turns his head to the right or left, he may, without changing his position, push northward and southward, but not backwards; in that direction, moreover, he would assail Daniel himself, and afterward Susa”—as if there could have been any difficulty in the matter of changing the position of the ram, in case it became necessary to represent an extension of its power eastward, by the symbol of pushing in that direction![FN25]So that no beasts might stand before him; literally, “and all beasts—they stood not before him.” The imperfect לֹא רַעַמְדוּ expresses here, as often, the sense of “not being able to resist” (cf. Gesen, Lehrgeb., p 772 et seq.). The verb in this place is masculine (unlike Daniel 8:22), because the writer has in his mind the kingdoms or monarchs symbolized by the חַיּוֹת. Cf. the similar enallage gen. in Job 15:6; Hosea 14:1.—But he did according to his will and became great. וְהִגְדִּיל properly, “and he made great,” namely, his power, i.e., he became strong, mighty. Not “and he pretended to be great, gave himself boastful airs”(de Wette, van Ess, Ewald, etc.); for, as Daniel 8:25 shows, הִגְדִּיל never expresses the sense of boasting or conceited superciliousness when standing alone, as it does here and in Daniel 8:8, but only when joined with the particularizing בִּלְבָבוֹ.[FN26] With regard to Daniel 8:10-11 cf. infra, on those passages.

Daniel 8:5-7. The Græcian Hebrews -goat and its victory over the Persian ram. And as I was considering, behold, a Hebrews -goat, etc. “Considering,” מֵבִין, as in Daniel 8:27. The Hebrews -goat with a single notable horn between the eyes—hence in its general appearance resembling one of the unicorns which are prominent in the drawings on the monuments of Nineveh, Babylon, and Persepolis—symbolizes the Macedonian-Hellenistic world-monarchy founded by Alexander the Great (whom the single great horn more directly represents, see Daniel 8:21), and at the same time the kingdoms of the Diadochi which emanated from it, as Daniel 8:8 indicates with all possible clearness by the growth of four new horns in the place of the great horn which was broken. This comprehensive animal symbol accordingly includes all that had been characterized separately in the two former visions of the world-monarchies, chapters2,7, at-first by the figure of two different parts of the body of the colossus, and afterward by the symbol of two beasts appearing in succession. This departure from the former mode of representation involves no questionable features whatever, inasmuch as this chapter follows a different train of ideas in many other respects as well, and the advocates of the interpretation of the fourth beast in chap7 (and of the legs of clay and iron intermingled, in chap2), which differs from ours, must not be permitted to urge their view to the exclusion of our own, because they also are compelled to acknowledge that the present vision combines in one two features which are there found separately, so that the one Medo-Persian ram in this place corresponds to the two beasts in the former vision, which, in their judgment, represent Media and Persia (cf. supra).—Came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground; therefore, with great swiftness, as if flying, or as if borne on the wings of the storm. Cf. the description of the leopard in Daniel 7:6, and the statement respecting Alexander the Great, in 1 Maccabees 1:3 διῆλθεν έως ἀκρων τῆς γῆς; also Isaiah 41:2 et seq.; Hosea 13:7; Habakkuk 1:6; Habakkuk 1:8, and other descriptions relating to conquerors of earlier times.—And the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. קֶרֶן חָזוּת does not signify a “horn of vision” (Hofmann, Weiss und Erfüllung, I:292), but rather a “notable horn,” as the parallel גְּדוֹלָה in Daniel 8:8; Daniel 8:21 shows, and as the ancient versions already declare (Theod.: κέρας θεωρητόν; Vulg.: cornu insigne, etc.); cf. אִישׁ מַרְאָה, 2 Samuel 23:21; also Targ, Esther 2:2; Genesis 12:11.

Daniel 8:6. And he came to the ram that had two horns. The Arabs term Alexander the Great “the two-horned one,” because he was represented on coins, etc, as the son of Jupiter Amnion, wearing two horns on his head. The fact that on the contrary, the Medo-Persian empire which he conquered is represented as a double-horned ram, indicates with sufficient clearness that the symbolic visions of this chapter did not originate with a pseudo- Daniel, who prophesied subsequent to the event. Cf. Kranichfeld on this passage, where he justly rejects Hitzig’s opinion that we have here merely an “accidental analogy” to the Arabian idea.—And ran unto him in the fury of his power; properly, in the heat of his power, i.e., in the irresistible rage (חמח) of which he was capable by reason of his mighty power. Hävernick is not exactly correct when he reads “full of a fierce desire for battle;” nor are De Wette, Von Lengerke, etc, in their version, “in his mighty rage.”

Daniel 8:7. And I saw him come close unto the ram. The manner in which Alexander the Great, at the head of the Macedonian forces, put an end to the Medo-Persian empire, corresponds in the main with this description of the assault by the goat upon the ram, which resulted in the breaking of the two horns of the latter (i.e., the power of Media and of Persia), but still not so exactly as to suggest a sketching ex eventu of that event. The figurative description is especially defective in not containing any tolerably clear indication of the fact that several vigorous blows by the ram, which were inflicted at different points (the first at Granicus, the next at Issus, and the final one in the neighborhood of Susa and the Eulæus river), were required to break and destroy the Persian power. A Maccabæan pseudo-Daniel would hardly have escaped the temptation to introduce more tangible allusions to these features.

Daniel 8:8-12. The little horn which grew from the goat, and its violence against the Most High and His sanctuary. And the goat waxed very great. Here again חִגְּדִּיל does not signify “to pretend to greatness,” but “to become great, to develop mightily.”[FN27] עַר מְאֹד, “unto excess,” as in Genesis 27:33; 1 Kings 1:4; Isaiah 64:8.—And when he was (or, “had become”) strong, the great horn was broken. כְּעָצְמוֹ, when the height of his “becoming great” was reached, when his power was at its climax. Think of Alexander’s expeditions to Bactria, Sogdiana, and India, which were soon followed by his death. The “breaking of the great horn,” however, does not refer simply to Alexander’s death, but also to the division of the dominion and disruption of the unity of the realm immediately consequent on the decease of that monarch.—And for it came up four notable ones. חָזוּת is properly in apposition with אַרְבַּע, “conspicuousness, four,” or also an adverbial accusative, “in conspicuousness, in a notable manner;” cf. supra, on Daniel 8:5. Each of the separate powers is therefore still important, although each receives but a fourth of the power and greatness of the original collective empire.—Toward the four winds of heaven. This addition alludes to the centrifugal principle, tending to division and separation, which after Alexander’s death (not after the battle of Ipsus, as Hitzig prefers) seized on the Macedonian-Hellenistic world-monarchy, in which the centralizing principle had hitherto prevailed. The number of the horns appears to be based on the number of the winds, and to be a standing symbolic expression which is found in other writers also (cf. Jeremiah 49:36; Zechariah 2:10; Zechariah 6:5; Job 1:19). It is at any rate of symbolic significance, referring to the separation and parting of the empire toward all quarters of the world; and it is therefore not admissible to seek four particular kingdoms which should be denoted by the four horns growing towards the four quarters of the earth, as those of Cassander (Macedon), Lysimachus (Thrace and Asia Minor), Seleucus (Syria, Babylonia, and Persia), and Ptolemy (Egypt),[FN28] Both the opponents and the advocates of the genuineness of this book, since Porphyry and Jerome, are agreed in this specializing interpretation of the four horns, by which the kingdoms of the four Diadochi, who have been mentioned, are obtained (cf. in addition Hävernick, Hitzig, Ewald, and Kamphausen, on the passage). But they do not consider (1) that not the battle of Ipsus, but the death of Alexander, the monarch who founded the empire, is given as the terminus a quo at which the growth of the “four horns” begins; (2) that in point of fact the number of the great empires of the Diadochi Cassander, Lysimachus, etc, was limited to four during a period even more brief than that during which the empire was a unit under Alexander; (3) that the enumeration of four such empires even immediately subsequent to the battle of Ipsus might be assailed as being inexact, inasmuch as Demetrius, the son of Antigonus whom those kings had conquered, stood upon the scene of action (as ruler of the sea, and lord of Phœnicia, Cyprus, Athens, etc.), as well as the independent rulers of the Achæmenidæ who governed Pontus, Armenia, and Cappadocia; (4) that the parallel visions in chap2,7 appear to indicate a division of the original empire into two kingdoms (the “two legs” of the colossus, Daniel 2:33; Daniel 2:40 et seq.), or into ten (cf. Bleek’s interpretation of the ten horns, Daniel 7:7) instead of four. Among modern expositors Kranichfeld advocates the correct view by laying the principal stress on the symbolic idea of a “dispersion to the four winds,” and contenting himself with observing in relation to the bearing of this prophecy upon the four empires of the Diadochi in question, that “the prophetic idea is verified formally also, by events suggesting its fulfilment which were connected with the four kingdoms of the Diadochi in the Macedonian realm.”

Daniel 8:9. And out of one of them came forth a little horn. מִצְּעִירָה, literally, “out of littleness, in a small way,” an adverbial conception of similar formation as מִן יַצִּיב,מִן קְשׁוֹט in Daniel 2:8; Daniel 2:47 (see on those passages). On the masculine forms מֵהֶם and יָצָא cf. the similar constructions ad sensum in Daniel 8:4 (יַעַמְדוּ) and Daniel 8:11 (הִגְדִּיל).—The horn from which the horn “sprouting in a diminutive manner” comes forth has its historical counterpart in the kingdom of the Seleucidæ; the little horn which sprouts or branches forth from it—after the manner of the prongs in the antlers of a deer—finds, like that in Daniel 7:8, its most pregnant historical illustration in the most godless offspring of that dynasty, Antiochus Epiphanes. The little horn, however, was certainly not intended to represent Epiphanes only and exclusively, as the description shows that immediately follows, which relates to the predecessors of Epiphanes also, especially to Antiochus the Great, and perhaps even suggests a reference to Seleucus Nicator and his expeditions to Persia and India in search of conquest.—Which waxed exceeding great toward the south and toward the east. It is usual to apply this to the wars of Ant. Epiphanes against Egypt ( 1 Maccabees 1:18 et seq.; cf. infra, Daniel 11:22 et seq.), against the countries beyond the Euphrates, Armenia and Elymaïs ( 1 Maccabees 1:31; 1 Maccabees 1:37; 1 Maccabees 6:1 et seq.; cf. Appian, Syr., c45, 66), and against the Jews under the leadership of the Asmonæans. But Syria derived no “exceeding greatness under that tyrant from these wars; the וְתִגְדַּל־יֶתֶר may be far more appropriately applied to the former extensions of the power of the Seleucidæ under Sel. Nicator and Antiochus the Great (whose conquests toward the west are not noticed, probably because of their transient character). Moreover in case the reference to the undertakings of Epiphanes that have been mentioned could be established, the prophecy would be so direct in its application, that it would be hardly possible to defend its origin during the captivity with Daniel.[FN29] It is better, therefore, to be content with the more general, and, so to speak, collective or genealogical interpretation of the “little horn,” by which it signifies, more immediately, the antitheocratic or anti-Christian governing power in the empire of the Seleucidæ merely, the power of the “transgressors,” who are clearly distinguished in like manner in Daniel 8:23 from Ant. Epiphanes as the most concentrated expression of the anti-theistic principle (see on that passage). Cf. also Kranichfeld, who, while assenting to this general idea of the little horn, seeks to explain the circumstance that the growth of this horn toward the west is not mentioned, by assuming that “the Græcian horn as such is conceived as being in the west and as operating from thence,” and that therefore the author “would naturally describe it as asserting its power only in the regions which lay southward and eastward from Javan.”—And toward the pleasant land. הצְבִי, properly, “the ornament;” here equivalent to אֶרֶץ הַצְבִי ( Daniel 11:16; Daniel 11:41), i.e., the valued, precious land, the blessed land, the land of Israel; cf. Jeremiah 3:19; Ezekiel 20:6; Ezekiel 20:15; Zechariah 7:14; Psalm 106:24. “Palestine is here noticed as a third land between the south and the east, as, in a different connection, in Isaiah 19:23 et seq, it is located between the once hostile Egypt and Assyria,”[FN30]

Daniel 8:10. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven. The “becoming great” is here no longer to be taken in the strict and proper objective sense, but is subjective, an impious presumption, a conceited pride whose greatness reached to the host of heaven; cf. Daniel 8:25. The “host of heaven,” however, is doubtless a figurative expression, referring in strong eulogistic phrase to Israel, the community of saints, who contsitute “the Lord’s host” on earth, even as the glittering stars form His host in the sky; cf. Genesis 15:5; Genesis 22:17; Numbers 24:17; also Exodus 7:4; Exodus 12:41; and further, the name Jehovah Sabaoth, which probably designates God in a two-fold sense, namely, as the “Lord of hosts,” with reference to the starry host, and also to people of Israel, the host of His earthly servants and elect ones. The figurative designation of Israel as the “host of heaven” was probably caused by the designed assonance between צָבָא and צָבִי, the latter of which had just been employed to characterize the land of Israel.[FN31]And it cast down (some) of the host and of the stars to the ground. The copula before הַכּוֹכָבִיםמִן is explicative (=namely), and serves to introduce an explanatory clause, intended to sustain the force of the figure presented in the preceding sentence while applying the term צָבָא—which is not metaphorical in itself—to the host of Israel, and thus to strengthen the conception of the impious character of the attempt.—And stamped upon them, namely, the members of the people of God; cf. Daniel 8:13 and Daniel 7:21; Daniel 7:25. The manner in which this part of the prophetic vision was fulfilled under Ant. Epiphanes is recorded in 1 Maccabees 1:24; 1 Maccabees 1:30; 1 Maccabees 1:37; 1 Maccabees 2:38. Cf. the reference expressly to this prophecy in 2 Maccabees 9:10.

Daniel 8:11. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host. The masculine הִגְדִּיל is used because the foe who is typified by the horn is intended; cf11:36.—The “prince of the host” is of course not identical with him who is mentioned in Joshua 5:14 (who is probably identical with Michael, Daniel 10:13), but the Most High God Himself, to whom Daniel 8:25 refers as the “Prince of princes.” Cf. Daniel 7:8; Daniel 7:20; Daniel 7:25; Daniel 11:36.—And by him the daily sacrifice was taken away. The enemy of God’s people, who is symbolized by the horn, must be regarded as the agent of the two passive verbs הוּרָם and הֻשְׁלָךְ (for which Hitzig, following the Keri and the versions, unnecessarily desires to substitute the actives הֵרִום and וְהַשְׁלֵךְ, הַתָּמִיד “the daily” (Gr. ἐνδελεχισμός), designates, as is shown by the mention of “the place of his sanctuary” immediately afterward, the daily service in the temple, and more particularly, probably the daily morning and evening sacrifices, the תָמִידעוֹלָה, Numbers 28:3; 1 Chronicles 16:40; 2 Chronicles 29:7. Cf. the rabbinical usage which expresses, this idea also by הִתמיד simply; cf. also infra, on Daniel 8:14.—The events in the history of the theocracy immediately prior to the Christian æra, which fulfilled this prophecy in a measure, are narrated in 1 Maccabees 1:39; 1 Maccabees 1:45 et seq.; 3:45.

Daniel 8:12. And a host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression; rather, “and war is raised against the daily sacrifice, with outrage.” The imperf. verbs תִּנָתֵן and תַּשְׁלֵךְ are not, indeed, præterites (Hitzig), but they are not used in a strictly future sense (Ewald, Lehrb., p829 et seq.). They denote, rather, the idea that the predicted course of conduct accords with the Divine decree, or that it is ordained or permitted by God, thus corresponding to Daniel 7:14; Daniel 7:17, or supra, Daniel 8:4. This sense is most readily expressed in the English by the present tense.—צָבָא תִּנָּתֵן does not signify “the host is given up, or devoted to ruin” (De Wette, Von Lengerke, Hävernick, Kranichfeld, etc.), but, “a war is carried on, a warlike expedition is begun, a campaign is undertaken” (cf. Isaiah 40:2). The correct view was already entertained by Jerome, Luther, etc, and among moderns by Hitzig, Kamphausen, and Ewald, the latter of whom justly notices the contrast between צָבָא here and the same word in Daniel 8:10, where it stands in a different sense, and therefore translates, “and the compulsion of a host is imposed on the daily. His idea is that compulsion is employed for the purpose of introducing idolatrous worship in place of the service of the true God, and particularly, compulsion to service in the host, so that “host stands opposed to host, serfdom to the true service (of God), coercion to freedom.”—In imitation of Theodotion (καὶ ἐδόθη ἐπὶ τὴν θνσίαν ἁμαρτία), Bertholdt makes the very uncalled-for proposition of rejecting וְצָבָא from the text, and then reading בְּפֶשַׁעהַפֶּשַׁע unquestionably indicates the method of making war upon the daily sacrifice; it stands sensu objectivo, to designate the outrageous heathen idolatry or sacrificial service, which superseded the worship belonging to the true faith. The same feature occurs in Daniel 8:13, where שֹׁמֵם is added, to strengthen the idea.[FN32]And it cast (“casts”) down the truth to the ground. The subject of וְתַשְׁלֵךְ (for which Hitzig, following the Septuagint, Theodot, and Syr, prefers to read וְתֻשְׁלַךְ) is the קֶרֶן, which is last mentioned in Daniel 8:10, and which forms the principal feature of the entire description before us. The “truth” (אֱמֶת Theodot, διλαιοσύνη) to be cast down by this “horn” is the true religion, the objective truth of God, which is revealed in the law and the prophets (cf. Psalm 19:10; Psalm 30:10; also Daniel 9:13). Daniel 8:14 shows that its being cast down, like that of the daily sacrifice, shall continue but for a brief period.—And it practised and prospered; rather, “and it accomplishes this, and prospers,” namely, because of the Divine permission. The words, and indeed the verse as a whole, serve to recapitulate and gather together the preceding statements.

Daniel 8:13-14. A question concerning the duration of the oppression of the truth, and the answer to this question. Then I heard one saint speaking. This speaking angel (for קָדֹושׁ here signifies an angel, cf. קַדִּישׁ, Daniel 4:10, and also Deuteronomy 33:2; Job 5:1; Job 15:5; Psalm 89:6; Psalm 89:8; Zechariah 14:1) enters into the vision here described without previous notice, because the prophet conceives of the whole scene as surrounded by angels, similar to Daniel 7:10; cf. Daniel 8:16, and analogous features (perhaps in imitation of this passage) in the night visions of Zechariah, e.g., Zechariah 1:9 et seq, 13et seq.; 2:2, 5, 7; 3:1 et seq.; 4:1 et seq. The prophet does not state what the angel, who is introduced in this mysterious and dream-like manner, said at first, evidently because he does not know, i.e., because, although he has heard him speak, he has not understood his words. He saw, therefore, two angels, who were engaged in conversing with each other, and heard one of them say something which he failed to understand; the question, however, which the other addressed to the first speaker was so clearly apprehended by the prophet that he was able to repeat it in the latter half of this verse. Ewald puts it, correctly: “Thus, at the first moment of silence after that speech, he suddenly hears one angel ask another, with whom he is conversing,” etc. Hitzig, Kamphausen, etc, on the other hand, are arbitrary: “The second angel addressed the speaker, by directing an inquiry in the interest of Daniel to him ( Daniel 8:13 b), by replying to which the other angel became for the first time speaker.” According to this the greater part of Daniel 8:13 would be a logical parenthesis, and the words “and he said unto me” at the beginning of Daniel 8:14 would serve simply to resume the introductory words of Daniel 8:13; the language of the writer, however, does not accord with this view. His evident aim is to repeat what he has overheard of a conversation between two angels; otherwise the most simple course for him would have been to address the inquiry concerning the duration of the tribulation to the angel in person, as in Daniel 7:16, which Isaiah, in other respects, an analogous case.—How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice. “The vision,” i.e., the subject of the vision, which is here more specially indicated by the two genitives that follow, viz.: הַתָּמַיד and וְהַפֶּשַׁע שֹׁמֵם. The anxious question as to “how long?” (cf. Isaiah 6:11) is caused by the fearful and alarming character of the profanation and destruction, as seen in the vision of the prophet.—And the transgression of desolation; rather, “and the horrible transgression.” שֹׁמֵם, the partic. of שָׁמֵם, “to be astonished,” and then “to be desolate or laid waste,” certainly expresses the idea of the “horrible or monstrous” (Lat. horrendus), whether the intransitive sense of “being astounded,” or, in accord with Ezekiel 36:3, the less general transitive sense of “laying waste,” be regarded as the radical meaning; cf. on Daniel 9:27. In the latter case it would probably be necessary to translate the participle as a substantive in apposition; “and (of) the transgressor, the destroyer;”[FN33] but in the former case also, where the adjective sense “’ horrible” (Ewald) or “astounding” (Kranichfeld) is chosen, the participle must be regarded as a kind of appositional supplement to פֶּשַׁע, to which it is therefore added without the article (as in Ezekiel 39:27). The expression שׁמֵם הַפֶּשַׁע, instead of which פֶּשַׁע הַשֹׁמֵם might have been expected (cf11:31), produces a solemn emphasis, which warrants the urgent question that is proposed.—To give both the sanctuary (rather, “the most sacred thing”) and the host to be trodden under foot, i.e., to give both the holy sacrifice (the central point of worship) and the community of the saints of the Most High (cf7:18, 22, 27), the partakers of the theocratic covenant, to be trodden under foot (thus Ewald, correctly). [The grammatical construction of the latter clause of the verse seems to be that תֵּת and קֹדָשׁ and צָבָא are all in dependence upon חָזוֹן, like תָּמִיד and פֶּשַׁע preceding. “How long shall be.… (the) giving, and (the) sanctuary, and (the) host (to be) trampled.” מִרְמָס thus qualifies all the last three nouns, the latter two directly as an adj, and the former as an equivalent for the infin.] “The expression adds nothing that is new to the former statements, but simply repeats the comprehensive estimate of the condition of the Jewish religion referred to, and the outrage committed against it, in the light of the idea that they are permitted by a superior Providence; and, in point of fact, the only object of the question is to recapitulate what has already been said. The asyndetic connection accords with the abrupt conciseness of the description, and the disjunctive וְ before קֹדֶשׁ and צָבָא, added to the lack of conjunctions, is suited to its poetic character (note also the omission of articles!. Consequently, everything that Hitzig regards as objectionable in this place, and that he urges against the traditional pointing for the purpose of removing תֵּת to the preceding clause, arises naturally from the subject itself. Moreover, the explanation of נָתַן by Hitzig, ‘to permit the horrible transgression to go on,’ has no parallel, neither in Daniel 8:12. nor in Isaiah 10:6, where, like the synonymous שׂים, ‘to make into something,’ it is joined to a double accusative; and when Hitzig takes נָתַן at first in the sense of ‘ to permit,’ and immediately afterward makes it signify ‘ to make into something,’ the artificial zeugma certainly does not diminish the imaginary difficulty which, in view of the disjunctive vav, he discovers in the vav that is not prefixed to תֵּת,” (Kranichfeld.)

Daniel 8:14. And he said unto me. Thus all the MSS, which read אֵלַי, while the ancient translators, and among modern expositors, Bertholdt. Dereser, Hitzig, Ewald, etc, prefer אֵלָיו. The latter form certainly seems to accord better with the contents of Daniel 8:13, since it is supposed that the פַּלְמֹנִי הַמְּדַבֵּר (cf. Ruth 4:1) who says what follows, would address it to the other angel, who inquires of him; but it is conceivable, on both logical and psychological grounds, that the witness to the conversation of the angels would represent the information conveyed in the reply to the angel’s question as imparted to himself, because he was still more interested in that information than was the inquirer. Accordingly, he substitutes himself for the angel, because the interest felt by him in equal measure justifies him in identifying himself to some extent with the questioner.—Unto two-thousand and three-hundred days (“evening-mornings”); then shall the sanctuary be cleansed (rather, “justified”). The “justifying of the sanctuary” is the Revelation -consecration of the desecrated sanctuary and its services (which were permitted to be trodden under foot), which is accomplished by the renewal of the daily sacrifices. וְנּצְדּק consequently denotes a being justified by that work, and, in its position at the head of the apodosis to the antecedent clause beginning with the connective עַד, expresses to some extent the sense of the fut. exactum. The material justification or renewal of the perfection of the host, according to Daniel 8:13, the second of the objects exposed to being “trodden under foot,” is conceived of as essentially coincident with that of the sanctuary, or as immediately involved in it, and for that reason is not expressly mentioned. The neglect to mention the host does not warrant the conclusion reached by Hitzig, under reference to 1 Maccabees 5:2 et seq, that the author intended to point out that its state of being trodden under foot was to be more protracted, while that of the sanctuary was to cease at an earlier date.—The duration of the period which is to precede the Revelation -dedication of the sanctuary, is again indicated by a mystically indefinite and equivocal limitation of time, as in Daniel 7:25. The2,300 evening-mornings (עֶרֶב בּקֶר) cannot be intended to signify so many days (as Bertholdt, Hävernick, v. Lengerke, etc, assume), for although the several days are, in Genesis 1:5 et seq, divided into the two parts which represent them, עֶרֶב and בּקֶר, they are not numbered accordingly; and the Gr. νυχθήμερον, which is often adduced in comparison, is the less adapted to serve as an analogy or ground of probability for the signification of evening-morning as synonymous with “day,” as עֶרֶב בֹּקֶר can hardly be regarded as a compound word (on the analogy of מַסִגֵר), but Isaiah, on the contrary, an asyndeton, arising from the poetic brevity of expression in this section (similar to הַפֶּשַׁע שֹׁמֵם in Daniel 8:13), which, so far from being a “current phrase” or “stereotyped formula,” occurs only in this place as a designation of time. The limitation of the expression in this sense to this passage indicates, with an almost absolute certainty, that ערב and בקר do not signify the corresponding periods of the day, but rather the sacrifices required to be offered in them. The whole prophecy relates principally to the תָּמִיד, to which the passage under consideration assigns an especially prominent position; but as, according to Exodus 29:41 (cf. infra, Daniel 9:21), this consists of a מִנְחַת־עֶרֶב and a מ׳־בקר, the terms “evening” and “morning” in this place clearly denote the evening and morning sacrifices, or, if it be preferred, the times at which they were offered. “Morning” and “evening” are therefore to be counted separately;[FN34] and thus the period indicated by the author covers1,150 days instead of2,300. This period is nearly equivalent to the three and a half years in Daniel 7:25, while, on the other hand, the later numbers of1,290,1,335 days ( Daniel 12:11 et seq.) exceed the medium of three and a half years but little. How this discrepancy in the limits assigned to the duration of the time of anti-Christian persecution and oppression is to be explained, and, in particular, how the number in this place is to be interpreted, is of course very uncertain, and must always remain undecided. In general, those expositors of the truth who always come nearest to the sense of the prophetic author, will regard the present number1,150 as a designed narrowing, and the Numbers 1,290,1,335 as a designed extension or overstepping of the limit of three and a half years, and seek to establish a conformity to law both in the narrowing and the extension of that period. If it is assumed that this book limits the year to360 days (or to twelve months of thirty days each) besides five intercalated days, amounting in all to365 days, it will be found (1) that the whole number of1,277 days, which are necessary to cover the period of three and a half years, is decreased by127 days, or something more than four months, by the number1,150; (2) that the number1,290 adds twelve days or about half a month to1,277 days or three and a half years; and (3) that the number1,335 adds fifty-eight days, or nearly two months, to the period of three and a half years. A certain conformity to law is evident from these figures, inasmuch as the two months by which the three and a half years are extended in the last number, are added to the shorter period of three years in the first (i.e., to1,095 days); or, in other words, in the one case the prophet regards the period of three and a half years as extended by two months, in the other (in the present passage) as shortened by four months. These prophetic limitations of time correspond generally to the events of the primary historical fulfilment of this vision in the Maccabæan æra of oppression and revolt, without being chronologically covered by them. It has already been shown, on Daniel 7:25, that the interval between the abrogation of the daily sacrifices by Epiphanes ( 1 Maccabees 1:54) and the reconsecration of the sanctuary by Judas Maccabæus (ibid4:52) amounted to three years and ten days, or1,105 days, thus covering forty-five days or one and a half months less than1,150 days, as here stated. But if, on the other hand, the arrival in Judæa of Appollonius, the commissioner of tribute ( 1 Maccabees 1:29), is taken as the starting-point of the calculation (as Hitzig does), a result of three and a quarter years to the rededication of the temple is obtained, with tolerable exactness, which amounts at least to from one to one and a half months more than1,150 days. A comparison of the larger periods of1,290,1,335 days with the circumstances of the æra of the religious persecution by Antiochus, as recorded in the books of Maccabæs, leads to still more unsatisfactory results (cf. infra, on Daniel 12:11 et seq.). Hence, nothing more definite than a general or approximate correspondence between the predicted periods and their historical counterparts can be looked for; or, what amounts to the same thing, the prophetically-ideal value of the numbers in question must be recognized. Cf. the remarks in the Eth-fund. principles, etc, No1, respecting the necessity that the predictions of any prophet which involve numbers should be only approximately fulfilled.—All the expositors of this passage, whether upholding or denying the composition of Daniel’s prophecies during the captivity, are in the end obliged to assume a merely approximate correspondence of the number1,150 to the periods of the Maccabæan æra of persecution. Among the former class, the view we have presented comes nearest to that of Delitzsch (p280), who holds that, “for reasons which our knowledge of history does not permit us to recognize,” the prophet’s estimate of the period of something more than three years, from the 15 th Chisleu145 æ. Sel. to the 25 th Chisleu148, is “somewhat inadequate;” and also to that of Kranichfeld (p300 et seq.), who diverges from us on the mode of estimating the duration of the years in question, but is wholly agreed on the general principle. His opinion is that here, as well as elsewhere in the book, Daniel estimated the year at twelve months of thirty days each, intercalating a month of thirty days every third year. This results in exactly1,290 days for3½ years, but leaves a discrepancy of forty days between1,150 days and three years or1,110 days. With regard to this difference he then observes: “It is equally in harmony with the very general employment of the number forty in theocratic representations of times of severe trial and sifting (e.g., Genesis 7:4; Genesis 7:12; Genesis 7:17; Numbers 14:33-34; Ezekiel 4:6; Ezekiel 29:11 et seq.; 1 Kings 19:8; Matthew 6:1 et seq.), and with the author’s general usage which employs numbers in an ideal sense (cf. on4:13; 7:25), as well as with the context more especially, that precisely this number should be found in combination with the final half-time. Consequently the amount1,110 + 40 results as substantially identical with the more direct measurement of the three and a half times in Daniel 12:11; and this discrepancy within the book itself becomes no more strange than that for instance, which represents the same kingdom at one time as divided into two parts, at another as falling into ten, and again (see supra, on Daniel 8:8) as separating into four, in all of which descriptions the same fundamental idea prevails, although presented under different forms.” We cannot adopt this estimate of the1,150 days, by which they are made to consist of1,110 + 40 days, because it seems too artificial upon the whole, and because the opinion on which it rests, that Daniel added an intercalary month of thirty days to every third year of360 days, seems to be untenable, and to conflict with the1, 260 days or forty-two months of the Apocalypse, which, beyond all question, are synonymous with the three and a half years of this book (cf. Auberlen, Daniel, etc, pp185, 286 et seq.).—Among those who deny the genuineness of this book, Ewald approaches our method of reckoning, upon the whole, inasmuch as he supposes that the author constantly assigns365 days to the year; and he consequently extends the1,290 days over three and a half years + one-half month, and the1,335 days over three and a half years + two months; but he departs from our view in arbitrarily reducing the number2,300 to2,230, so as to obtain only1,115 days, or three years + one month, instead of1,150 (p468). In opposition to such critical violence, Hilgenfeld, Kamphausen, etc, retain the reading2,300 in the text, reckon the1,150 days backwards from the dedication of the temple on the 25 th Chisleu148, and accept some unknown event as marking the beginning of the1,150 days, since they exceed the period to the 15 th Chisleu145 by forty days. Hitzig thinks that only1,105 days elapsed between the 15 th Chisleu145 and the 25 th Chisleu148, instead of1,110, and therefore forty-five less than2,300 evening-mornings, and that this difference of one and a half months “belongs to the interval between the abrogation of the תָּמִיד ( 1 Maccabees 1:45) and the introduction of the βδέλυγμα ἐρημώσεως (ibid8:54).” A hasty glance at the description of these incidents in 1 Maccabæs will be sufficient to show that this interval of exactly forty-five days between the interdict of the daily sacrifices and the erection of the statue of Zeus in the temple is wholly imaginary. Moreover, the critic contradicts himself, since he employs all his acuteness to prove, on Daniel 7:25, that the Antiochian persecution began at least a quarter of a year, or more than three months, before the 15 th Chisleu145, while he finds it proper in this place to place the abrogation of the תָּמִיד, or the beginning of the same period of oppression, only one and a half months earlier than this date.—While the representatives of the opinion that the2,300 evening-mornings are but half as many days, fail to establish an exact correspondence between the prophecy and its fulfilment, those expositors who regard the language as designating2,300 days succeed no better. Bertholdt and Hävernick go three years beyond the time of Antiochus, to the defeat of Nicanor ( 1 Maccabees 7:43; 1 Maccabees 7:49), and assign to that period2,271days; the29 days which, accordingly, are still lacking, are placed by Bertholdt at the close of the period, as an interval between that victory and the consequent celebration of the triumph, while Hävernick would prefer to assign them to the beginning, prior to the 15 th Chisleu145 (in opposition to both, see Hitzig, p136). On the other hand, Dereser. Von Lengerke, Wieseler (Die 70 Jahrwochen, etc, p110 et seq.), and Von Hofmann (Weissagung und Erfüllung, I, 295 et seq.) go back to the year142 æ. Sel. in reckoning the entire period of about six years—Dereser and Hofmann calculating from the 25 th Chisleu148 (the day of the dedication of the temple), and Von Lengerke and Wieseler from the death of Ant. Epiphanes in the month of Shebat148. The former are thus carried back to the summer of the year 142 in fixing the date of the beginning of the apostasy of the Jews who were seduced by Antiochus, Von Lengerke to Sivan, or the third month, and Wieseler only to the feast of tabernacles in the same year, 142. Wieseler himself afterwards recognized the untenable character of this method of reckoning, and therefore acknowledged his conversion to the exegetically more correct view entertained by a majority of moderns, which estimates only1,150 days, in his subsequent essay in the Gött. Gelehrten-Anzeigen, 1846.[FN35] [The author, it will be perceived, ignores that class of interpreters, quite common in this country and Great Britain, but comparatively rare in Germany, who understand by the days in question so many years, and generally apply the prophecy to the continuance of the papal supremacy. There Isaiah, however, a great discrepancy among these interpreters as to the point of time from which to date the period spoken of as well as some diversity as to its length, whether2,300 years or only1,150 years, although the majority prefer the latter. It would be a tedious, and, in our opinion, a bootless task, to follow them into all the details of their historical investigations, computations, and comparisons. Others, adopting the same substitution of years for “days,” apply the prophecy to the rise and sway of Mohammedanism, and make out the requisite dates as best they can. It is an adequate answer to all these interpretations to say that such a meaning of the word day has no sufficient—if any—warrant in Scripture use, and certainly is not hinted at in this entire passage. A calm but fundamental refutation of the theory in question is given by Tregelles, Remarks on Daniel (Lond, 1864, 5th ed.), p110 et seq. It is also abundantly met by Stuart in his Commentary on the Apocalypse, II:459 seq. Elliott, the strongest advocate of this theory, admits (Horæ Apocalypticæ, II:965) that it was unknown till the close of the fourteenth century, when it was first broached by Walter Brute. It came into vogue with the Reformation, and owes its prevalence, not to any sound exegetical support, but to the polemical spirit of the times, which has seized upon it as a popular weapon against papacy.]

Daniel 8:15-19. Preparatory to the interpretation of the vision of the ram and the Hebrews -goat. And … when I … sought for the meaning, namely, of the entire vision that was seen. The seeking was purely subjective, and not expressed in the form of a question addressed to the angel (Von Leng.), nor in a silent prayer to God (Hävernick).—Behold, there stood before me (one), as the appearance of a man, i.e., appearing like a man. The expression “behold, there stood,” etc, indicates the startling and extraordinary character of the apparition, which argued something terrible and superhuman (cf. Job 4:16); the כְּמַרְאֵה גֶבֶר then follows to denote the encouraging effect produced on the seer by the manlike appearance of the form. The term גֶּבֶר is employed instead of אָדָם or אֱנוֹשׁ, doubtless in allusion to the name of the angel, which is given below, in Daniel 8:16; see on that passage, and cf. Daniel 9:21, where the same angel is designated as “the man Gabriel,” but where his super-human nature is also very clearly implied (in his “flying”).

Daniel 8:16. And I heard a man’s voice between (the) Ulai, i.e., between the two branches of the Eulæus; cf. supra, on Daniel 8:2. בֵּין does not stand for מִבֵּין, as if the voice only, and not also the listener, were stationed between the Ulai; nor does בֵּין אוּלַי signify “between the banks of the Ulai” (against Von Lengerke, Hitzig, etc.).—Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. גַּבְרִיאֵל, i.e., “man of God,” or also “ Prayer of Manasseh -god” (according to Ewald, “a God who kindly condescends to man”), is the name of one of the principal angels or angel-princes (cf. Luke 1:19), one of the ἀρχάγγελοι or שָׂרִים ( Daniel 10:13 et seq.), whose number is fixed at seven in Revelation 8:2 (οἱ ἑπτὰ ἀγγελοι, οῖ ἐνώπιον τοῦ νεοῦ ἑστήκασι), equal to that of the amshaspands, who stand beside Ormuzd as a divine council, according to the ancient religious books of Parseeism. The Scriptural archangels, however, of whom another, Michael, is mentioned hereafter in this book, are not to be regarded as identical with the Amêshaspentas of Parseeism; for (1) the number seven in the latter case is obtained only by adding Ormuzd himself to six others; (2) they are not represented as angels or servants of God, but as being themselves divine, and as governing determined portions of creation in that character, e.g, Bohumano (Bohman) governs the sky, Ardihesht the fire, Sapandomad the earth, etc; (3) the names of the amshaspands are as thoroughly Persian or Aryan in their character as those of the Scriptural archangel, so far as they occur in the Holy Bible (namely, Gabriel and Michael, and Raphael in the Apocrypha, Tobit 3:25; 12:12 et seq.) are specifically Shemitic, and bear, by virtue of the ending אֵל in each case, a thoroughly monotheistic character; (4) the attempts to establish the identity of individual amshaspands with individual archangels of the Bible must be regarded, without exception, as failures; e.g., the supposed recognition of Chordad (Haurvatat) in the Apocalyptic “angel of the waters,” Revelation 16:5 (Hitzig; also Hilgenfeld, Das Judenthum im pers. Zeitalter, in the Zeitschr. wissenschaftl. Theologie, 1866, No4), the proposed identifying of Gabriel with Craosha and of Michael with Bohman (by Alex. Kohut, Ueber die jüdische Angelologie und Dämonologie in ihrer Abhängigkeit vom Parsismus,” in Abhandlungen der Deutsch. Morgenl. Gesellschaft, vol. IV. No3). Cf. Haneberg, in Reusch’s Theolog. Literaturbl., 1837, No3, p72; also Döllinger, Heidenthum und Judenthum, p361; M. Haug. Essays on the sacred language, writings, and religion of the Parsees, Bombay; 1862.—Ewald appears inclined to regard Gabriel not as one of the superior angels, but as occupying an intermediate or inferior rank, since he designates the “man’s voice” which calls to him as that of a still higher angel. This assumption, however, is unnecessary; it is conceivable that an angel of equal rank may have given him this direction, or, if this should not be preferred, that God Himself, giving a human. sound to His voice that He might be heard by Daniel, addressed the angel.—It must remain undecided whether the “man’s voice” is to be considered as belonging to the former of the קְדשִׁים who were speaking together in Daniel 8:13, while Gabriel is to be identified with the questioner in that place (as Hitzig supposes), since the author has not definitely indicated such an identity.

Daniel 8:17. So he came near where I stood; literally, “beside my standing” (cf. Daniel 8:18). Luther renders it, “and he came hard by me.”—And when (or “as”) he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face. Cf. Daniel 10:9; Ezekiel 1:28; Ezekiel 43:3; Revelation 1:17.—Understand, O son of man (—this address is probably modelled after Ezekiel—); for at the time of the end shall be the vision; rather, “for the vision is for the final time,” i.e., it refers to the final period of earthly history; cf. Daniel 8:19 b, 26. [But these verses do not warrant this interpretation. See below.] The words are not designed to comfort, but to direct attention to the impressive and alarming nature of the prophecy, in which, according to the following context, they are successful.

Daniel 8:18. Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground; rather, “and while he was speaking with me, I fell stunned upon my face to the ground.” Not until this repeated falling down in terror did the “benumbing” or Divine ἔκστασις, take place, as the immediate presence of God for the purpose of imparting to the prophet a highly important Revelation, was not realized until then. Cf. the case of Moses ( Exodus 33:20), Isaiah ( Isaiah 6:5), Peter, John, and James, on the mount of transfiguration ( Luke 9:32), Paul and his companions near Damascus ( Acts 9:4; Acts 22:7; Acts 26:12), etc.—But he touched me, and set me upright. Cf10:10 et seq.; Nehemiah 9:3, etc.

Daniel 8:19. Behold.… what shall be in the last end or the indignation, namely, of the Divine indignation upon the godless world (the ὀργὴ μεγαλη, 1 Maccabees 1:64; cf. Romans 2:5; Isaiah 10:5; Isaiah 10:25; Isaiah 26:20; Jeremiah 1:5), which naturally will be manifested most strongly toward the close of human history, when the tares of wickedness shall flourish most luxuriantly (see Daniel 8:23 and Matthew 13:30; Matthew 13:39; cf. Matthew 24:9 et seq.). For this reason the last times shall constitute a period of great tribulation and woes (θλίψεις, ὠδινες—, Matthew 24:7 et seq.).—For at the time appointed the end shall be; rather, “for it relates to the point of time of the end.” The subject here, as in Daniel 8:17 b, is the vision (הָלָזוֹן), or rather its contents, which, according to this assurance from the angel, refers to the מוֹעֵד קֵץ, the determined point of time of the end.”[FN36]

Daniel 8:20-26. The interpretation of the vision. On Daniel 8:20, cf. supra, on Daniel 8:3; concerning Daniel 8:21, on Daniel 8:5.—The king of Græcia; properly, of Javan (יָוָן). By this term the Hebrews designated all the Hellenic lands and peoples, because the Ionians (Homer, Ἰάονες) dwelt in the eastern portions of Hellas, and through their colonies in Asia Minor were the first to become acquainted with the Asiatics. The Egyptians, ancient Persians, and Indians appear likewise to have constantly denominated the whole body of Græcian nations as Ionians or Jaonians; Æschylus and Aristophanes, at least, introduce Persians as employing the term Ἰάονες instead of Ἐλληνες. Cf. generally, Knobel, Völkertafel, p78 et seq.

Daniel 8:22. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it; rather, “and that which was broken, and in whose stead four stood up.” It should have read, properly, “and concerning this, that it (the great horn) was broken, and that in its stead four stood up;” but instead of this, וְהַנִּשְׁבֶרֶת stands abruptly at the beginning (cf7:17), and the ecbactic וַתַּעֲמֹדְּנָה וגו׳, “and four stood up,” etc, is subordinate to that term in its absolute position.—Four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation; יַעֲמֹדְנָה, an archaism ( Genesis 30:38; 1 Samuel 6:12), that here seems to be renewed under the influence of the Chaldee element.—But not in his power. The suffix in בְּכֹהוֹ does not refer back to מִגּוֹי, but to הַמֶּלֶך in Daniel 8:21 b. The power of the first great Græcian conqueror shall not descend to the kingdoms which spring from his empire; they shall not equal him, neither singly, nor all taken together.

Daniel 8:23. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, namely, of the measure of their wicked plans and actions; cf. the same elliptic usage of חֵתֵם in Daniel 9:24 Keri, and in addition Genesis 15:16; 2 Maccabees 6:14; Matthew 23:32; 1 Thessalonians 2:16. The פּשְׁעִים who are here charged with “filling the measure of their sins” are not the Israelites who have forsaken Jehovah and His law (Dereser, Von Lengerke, Kranichfeld), but, without doubt, the enemies of God’s people, the heathen oppressors of the saints of the Most High; for the term פּשְׁצים alludes with sufficient clearness to פֵּשַׁע in Daniel 8:6; Daniel 8:12-13. For the opinion that this does not probably refer to the servants and abettors of Antiochus Epiphanes, but rather to his predecessors, see supra, on Daniel 8:9.[FN37]A king of fierce (rather, “insolent”) countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. עַז פָּנִים, properly, “of hard countenance” (cf. Deuteronomy 28:50; Isaiah 19:4). The predicate probably refers chiefly to the blasphemous sayings of the tyrant, see Daniel 7:3 et seq. The following predicate, מֵבִין חִידוֹת, “versed in riddles,” denotes his art of cunning dissimulation, by which he is able to conceal his purposes from both friend and foe; cf. Daniel 8:25; Daniel 11:21; Daniel 11:27.

Daniel 8:24. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power. The implied thought Isaiah, “but by Divine permission;” cf. Daniel 8:12-13, and also Isaiah 10:5 et seq.; 1 Samuel 2:9, etc.—It is incorrect to supply, with Dereser, Von Lengerke, etc, an antithesis to “not by his own power,” so that it will read “but by his cunning.לֹא בִּכֹחו is a litotes, which, exactly similar to the expression “without hand” ( Daniel 2:34 and infra, Daniel 8:25), alludes to the superhuman providence of God as compared to human power, which is never more than impotence.—And he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper; נִפְלָאוֹת, an adverb, as in Job 37:5. For what remains, cf. supra, Daniel 8:12 b.And shall destroy the mighty (ones) and the holy people. The וְ in וְהִשְׁחִית is explicative; it is designed to denote more particularly the respects in which the king shall prosper. The “mighty ones” are the warlike enemies over whom he shall triumph, and to them are added, by way of contrast, the “nation of saints” (cf7:18, 22), as unwarlike opponents. In the opinion of Hitzig, Ewald, etc, the עַצוּמִים are the three pretenders to the crown whom Epiphanes was compelled to depose; but not one of these deserved to be called a mighty one, not even the usurper Heliodorus; see supra, on Daniel 7:8; Daniel 7:25.[FN38]

Daniel 8:25. And through (rather, “according to”) his policy he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand. עַל־שִׁכְלוֹ is probably not “by reason of,” but “according to his cunning;” cf. Psalm 110:4; Esther 9:26, etc. This expression, in an absolute position at the beginning, is connected with the principal sentence which follows by an emphatic וְ; cf. Gesenius, Thesaur., p396 a. הִצְלִיחַ is not transitive (Hitzig, et al.), as if the following מִרְמָח were its accusative, but probably intransitive, despite the fem. מִרְמָה; cf. Isaiah 53:10.—“In (or with) his hand” (cf. Isaiah 44:20), considered as the outward sphere of action, seems intended to form an antithesis to the following “in his heart.” Concerning בִּלְבָבוֹ and the signification of יַגְדִּיל which results from it, cf. supra, on Daniel 8:4.—And by peace shall destroy many; rather, “and unawares shall destroy many.” וּבְשַׁלְוָה does not exactly signify “in the midst of profound peace” ( Job 15:21), but more indefinitely, “with suddenness, by a malignant surprise.” an illustration of the malice and dissimulation practised by this tyrant, which were already mentioned in Daniel 8:23. The circumstance that it is recorded of Antiochus Epiphanes, in 1 Maccabees 1:30, καὶ ἐπέπεσεν ἐπὶ την πολιν ἐξάπινα, proves nothing in favor of a vatic. ex eventu, beyond the fact that malignant and sudden surprises are necessarily practised by every warlike foe of cruel disposition. [“In the רַבִּים (many) are comprehended ‘the mighty (one) and the holy people’ ( Daniel 8:24).”—Keil.]—He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes, etc. Cf. Daniel 8:11, and with regard to the being “broken without hand,” cf. Daniel 2:34; also Job 34:20 and Lamentations 4:6. It is not necessary to seek a definite reference to the death of Epiphanes by sickness or extraordinary accident in this passage, instead of permitting him to fall on the battle-field, or by the hand of a murderer (against Bertholdt, Von Lengerke, Hävernick, etc.).[FN39]

Daniel 8:26. And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told, namely, in Daniel 8:14. Since the observation in that place respecting the2,300 evening-mornings was really a מִשְׁמַע, and not a מַרְאֶה the words אֲשֶׁר נֶאֱמַר seem to refer back to the genitive הָעֶיֶב וגו׳, instead of to the Stat. constr. (thus Hitzig). Words and things told, however, form the subject of visions in other cases also (cf. Isaiah 2:1; Amos 1:1; Habakkuk 2:1, etc.); and the remark concerning the2,300 evening-mornings may consequently be termed a “vision” in this instance.—Is true (rather “truth”), i.e., it is correct, deserves to be credited, inasmuch as2,300 evening-mornings must elapse before the end of the period of affliction. That period is thus determined as an extended one, which shall not soon reach its close. On אֶמֶת, cf. Daniel 10:1; Daniel 11:2; also12:7; Jeremiah 26:15; Jeremiah 28:9; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6.—Wherefore shut thou up the vision; rather, “and thou, conceal the vision,” i.e., do not publish it, do not be anxious to spread a report concerning it. ססם is not equivalent to חרּם “to seal up” (Theodotion, Hävernick, Von Lengerke); for “sealing” is added to the mere “concealing” in Daniel 12:4, as a strengthening term.—For it shall be for many days, i.e., it (the vision) shall retain its prophetic value for a long period, it does not relate to a near, but to a distant future; cf. Daniel 12:4; Daniel 12:9. As the direction to conceal the vision is here based on the consideration that a long period must elapse before it shall be fulfilled, Song of Solomon, on the contrary, the prophet is directed, in Revelation 22:10, not to seal what has been revealed to him, because the time of its fulfilment is near. Notice the difference between the Old-Testament seer, who is far removed from the final future, and only sees it primarily in types (e.g., instead of beholding the antichrist he only sees his forerunner Epiphanes), and the New-Testament prophet, who beholds the events of the last times in the history of the world much nearer at hand, and is therefore not obliged to conceal the prophecies relating to them, especially since he addresses a communnity composed exclusively of νεοδιδακτοί ( Isaiah 54:3; John 6:45; cf. 1 John 2:20; 1 John 2:27).

Daniel 8:27. The effect of the vision upon the prophet. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick (certain) days. Cf7:28, and especially Daniel 2:1, in relation to נִחְיֵיתִי.—Afterward I rose up, namely, from the sick-bed. This formal statement by the prophet cannot be regarded as extraordinary, since not only the vision as such (i.e., by reason of its startling character), but also the fasting which preceded it (cf. Daniel 9:3; Daniel 10:2 et seq.), comes under consideration as the cause of the complete exhaustion which followed.—And did the king’s business. Concerning the extent to which Daniel might have transacted official business for the king in the reign of Belshazzar, without being personally known to him, see on Daniel 5:7.—And was astonished at (rather, “dumb concerning”) the vision, but (“and”) none understood (rather, “became aware of”) it; usually rendered, “none understood it,” or, “and to me there was no understanding, I did not understand it” (thus Maurer, Hitzig, Kranichfeld, Kamphausen, etc, under comparison with Daniel 12:8). Since, however, the obvious design is to state what Daniel did “to conceal” the vision, the signification of “not noticing, not learning” seems to be the only logical and suitable one for לֹא הֵבִין in this passage; cf. on this interpretation, Daniel 8:5; Daniel 8:17; Job 28:23; Isaiah 28:19, etc.

Ethico-fundamental Principles Related To The History Of Salvation, Apologetical Remarks, And Homiletical Suggestions

1. The principal difficulty to be met with in this section relates to the concrete number of1150 days or2300 evening-mornings, in Daniel 8:14, and in its failure to agree with the three and a half years of the preceding vision ( Daniel 7:25). If simply the idea was to be expressed that the period of tribulation should expire in something less than three and a half years, why did the author not permit the angel to say, “even before three and a half years shall have passed,” etc.? Or why did he not select really a round number, as1200 days (to denote1277, which amount exactly to three and a half years)? Or why did he not pursue the course adopted by the New-Test. apocalyptist, who substituted forty-two months for forty-two and a half, and hence1260 days for1277 (see Revelation 11:2; Revelation 12:6; Revelation 13:5)?—This strange feature admits of a correct explanation, only when it is remembered that prophecies relating to time are necessarily and unavoidably of a symbolic-concrete character, and that for this reason, no exact correspondence, or mechanically precise agreement of the prophetic numbers with the extent of the periods in which they are realized, can be expected. Neither the seventy years of being forgotten and of ruin which Isaiah predicted for the Tyrians ( Isaiah 25:15–18), nor the seventy years of captivity in Babylon, which Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 25:11, et seq.; Jeremiah 29:10 et seq.) foretold to the Israelites of his time, were fulfilled with literal exactness[FN40] (cf. infra. on chap9); and as the “two days” (יֹמַיִם) during which Israel’s state of death or the period of its affliction was to continue, according to Hosea 6:2, have primarily an ideal-symbolic value only, so the “three days and three nights,” which were to be spent by the prophet in the belly of the great fish, according to Jonah 2:1, were, in like manner, not an exact number, amounting to precisely seventy-two hours (cf. Kleinert on that passage)—and yet tooth these prophetic numbers were designed to foretell the resurrection of the Saviour on the third day, i.e., after two whole nights and one entire day.[FN41] The prophets are accustomed to employ concrete conceptions of time, and to clothe them in definite form. This form might arise from any incident or event, most of which can no longer be discovered; but their relation to the duration of the events which fulfil the prophecy must as certainly be a merely approximate agreement, and not mathematically exact, as the manner in which God secures the fulfilment of the prophecies uttered by holy men through the Spirit, is in nowise a matter entrusted to Prayer of Manasseh, but belongs only to the God who brings the predictions to pass (cf. 2 Peter 1:20 et seq.)[FN42] The predictions of the prophets in the Church during the Middle Ages and in modern times (e.g., St. Hildegard, Joachim, the Parisian professor Nicholas Oresmius, who, in1364, foretold the great papal schism, which actually broke out in1378; Huss and Savonarola, who predicted the Reformation; the Lutheran Michael Stiefel of Jena († 1567); the astrologer Nostradamus († 1566); and finally J. A. Benzel and Jung-Stilling) might be substantially treated in the same manner, so far as they assume a numerically exact, or definitely chronological form.[FN43] The partial non-agreement of their predictions with the points of time or periods of the future in which they were to be realized does not destroy their character as genuine prophets, or disprove that they were employed in a superior and heavenly calling; but the approximate agreement or partial coincidence of their vaticinations with the facts of fulfilment and their chronological relations, does not warrant a suspicion that they were forged subsequently to the beginning of their fulfilment, any more than the approximate agreement of either the1150 days or the three and a half years, etc, in the prophecy before us, with the epochs of the Maccabæan history will justify the pseudo-Daniel tendency-hypothesis.

2. While the slight difference between the prophetic number and the events connected with its realization, discussed above, belongs undoubtedly to the category of those “slight discrepancies” which, according to M. v. Niebuhr, “must excite our awe, instead of begetting a doubt of the truth of the prophecy, or shaking our confidence in the chronology of ancient history” (Geschichte Assurs und Babels, p90), the relation between the character of the history of nations and kingdoms as described in the vision under consideration, and the condition of Israel during the æra of oppression and revolt in the Maccabæan age, which corresponds to it as a primary historical fulfilment, is such, that it unconditionally forbids the idea that the vision is a prophecy ex eventu, and was composed to favor a tendency. There is no complete and thorough correspondence between prophecy and fulfilment, that could favor the suspicion of its composition under such circumstances and for such a purpose; on the contrary, the discrepancies are so numerous, that to trace historical facts which shall correspond in every case to the particular features of the prophetic vision, involves the greatest uncertainty and difficulty. Bertholdt and v. Lengerke assume that the chapter was written shortly after the death of Antiochus Epiphanes; Hitzig, that it was composed shortly before that event; Bleek (Jahrb. für deutsche Theologie, 1860, No1, p57), that it was framed at least about that time. “According to this, the section was at any rate composed at a time when the Jews had already demonstrated their superiority in arms over the troops of the tyrant. At the same time, these bloody feats of arms, which formed the basis of all the hopes that animated the newly-awakened national consciousness of the Jews, are not mentioned with a single word. As in chap7 the heathen oppressor triumphs in battle over the holy people to the end of the three and a half times, so in this selection the host and sanctuary are represented as being trodden under foot until the close of the period mentioned in Daniel 8:14. Even the restoration of the sanctuary ( Daniel 8:14), which might at least indirectly be interpreted as consequent on a warlike triumph of the Jews, Isaiah, in Daniel 8:25, referred only to a theocratic judgment imposed directly by God, and not to a national victory. The latter, indeed, is directly excluded. The great deeds of the oppressor only are spoken of, and his overthrow בְּאֶפֶס יָד is immediately connected with them. Every real foundation for the opinion that this section originated at that juncture which was marked by the triumphs over Apollonius and Seron, over Gorgias and Lysius, dearly bought as they were with the blood of the people, is thus taken away, since the situation described in the chapter, testifies only to defeat down to the time of restoring the temple, and denotes a disposition which looked for help only from a supernatural agency” (Kranichfeld, p286 et seq.).—Remarkable as is this total silence respecting the national revolt, which was so successfully introduced, when the author is regarded as a Maccabæan pseudo- Daniel, it is no less difficult to understand why, if the vision was recorded soon after the death of Antiochus, the Messianic hopes which must have been connected with that death, should not be mentioned with a single word. The only tolerable explanation of this fact is that the death of the oppressor (his “being broken without hand,” Daniel 8:25) was future to the writer, as much so as everything else. Even the restoration of the temple-service, which had been abolished, is clearly placed in the future by the description in Daniel 8:14, and does not appear as an incident in the past experience of the prophet. The only comfort offered by him in the entire section has no relation to the sufferings of the present or the past, but to tribulations belonging to the far-distant future.

3. The only circumstance which seems seriously to favor the theory of a Maccabæan composition is the express mention of Juvan in Daniel 8:21, as the world-power from which the impious oppressor of Israel should come forth (preceded, however, by a number of anti-theistic kingdoms 5:22] and wicked sovereigns 5:23]). But this circumstance also loses its apparent character, as disproving the origin of the chapter during the captivity, and becomes decidedly more intelligible, as soon as we remember the frequent contact of the orientals with Hellenic civilization and culture, as well as with Græcian military art and bravery, which began even before the time of Nebuchadnezzar (see Introd. § 7, Note2). Let it also be remembered that the ancient prophecy by Balaam ( Numbers 24), which threatened destruction to the Assyrians and Hebrews through “ships from Chittim,” i.e., through Greek invasions from the sea (cf. supra, on chap2), must have been known to Daniel, even if it had originated as late as the age of Shalmaneser and Sennacherib, and afterward been incorporated with the early history in the Pentateuch. There is no lack of natural indications arising from the events of current history, which might suggest to a seer of the period of the exile, that precisely the distant nation of the Greeks would become a threatening rival, and eventually, a victorious opponent of the Persian power and greatness, and which might also awaken in him a presentiment of the internally divided and disunited, and therefore transient character of the future empire of the Greeks. The definite character of the predictions respecting the development of that Javanic empire is certainly marvellous and inexplicable, unless referred to the Divine Spirit of prophecy; but it is scarcely more wonderful than the equally definite character of Balaam’s prophecy, which likewise related to the Greeks, or than the surprising clearness and confidence with which Amos foretold that the Israel of his day should “go into captivity beyond Damascus” ( Daniel 5:27), or Isaiah was able to predict that the successors of Hezekiah should be led into captivity at Babylon ( Isaiah 39:6 et seq.; 2 Kings 20:17 et seq.), or Jeremiah could describe to his contemporaries the overthrow of Babylon by the Medo-Persians! Cf. also Kranichfeld, p128 et seq.

4. The real and fundamental Messianic feature of this section, and, at the same time, the thought which is pre-eminently adapted to practical homiletical treatment, is that already noticed in the exegesis of Daniel 8:19; Daniel 8:23, according to which the moral degradation and the wickedness of the world-power in its hostility to God becomes more excessive with each stage through which that power passes in its development, until it reaches its climax, when God interferes to judge and deliver—thus bringing it, in its character as an oppressive, pseudo-prophetic antichristianity, into the strongest contrast with the transparent light and holiness of the Messiah and the community of His saints, who are born of God. This thought is also presented by the Saviour in the parable which describes the tares as growing together with the good seed in the field, and as ripening for the harvest at the judgment ( Matthew 13:30 et seq.); it is the same Messianic truth and necessity to which he refers in the former half of his oratio eschatologica in thoroughly prophetic language ( Matthew 24:5 et seq.); it is the fundamental thought of all apocalyptic prophecy, of all prophecy relating to the future history of empires, as the analogous sections in 2 Thess. and the book of Revelation show with sufficient clearness. The goats triumph over the more harmless rams in the last times; the place of the weaker horns that arise against the Lord is supplied by others who succeed each other in constantly increasing strength. The “great power” of the enemy is reinforced by “great cunning,” which increases with the lapse of time; and his insolence is joined to craft which steadily develops, and to malignant dissimulation (cf. Daniel 8:23-25), until, through the instigation of the great arch-enemy, who is ever the same, nation rises against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. To increase the need and oppression of the righteous, many false prophets arise and practice their deceitful arts, and because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold ( Matthew 24:7 et seq, 11et seq.).—If all this, considered as the real fundamental idea of the visional representation, be duly regarded, the jejune character of this section, which at first sight seems to offer nothing that possesses practical value, or that is available for homiletical purposes, will speedily disappear; and as the danger of feeling that only unimportant features, such as the animal-symbols ( Daniel 8:3-7) or the doctrine of angels ( Daniel 8:13-18), are here presented, becomes less, the preacher will find the energetic warning and promise by the Saviour, “But he that endureth to the end shall be saved,” available as an encouraging and hortatory theme that covers the ground of the whole chapter. This forms the pregnant and solemn expression of the New Testament, which marks the consoling and elevating Messianic back-ground in which the discouraging and stormy scene of the chapter is laid, but which here appears but for a brief moment in the concluding words of Daniel 8:19, like the cheering sun at evening against the border of the stormy cloud.

5. Special homiletical suggestions relating to separate passages:

On Daniel 8:3 et seq, Melancthon: “Aliquoties dictum Esther, ad quid prosit tenere prædictiones de serie monarchiarum et omnium temporum usque ad extremum judicium? Est Ecclesiæ hac doctrina et consolatione opus, ne inter tot afflictiones et scandala desperet. Est etiam admonitione opus, ut causas cogitemus afflictionum.… Hæ atroces comminationes exsuscitent nos, ut simus diligentiores in conservanda puritate doctrinæ et in vita, ne Deus sinat exoriri majores tenebras.”—The Tübing. Bib.: “How uncertain is the glory and majesty of the kingdoms of earth! Even when they have attained the highest prosperity they must yet be humbled, fall, and pass away, like every other earthly good and honor. The kingdom of heaven alone is immutable, and forms the hope of every believer,” Psalm 145:13.

On Daniel 8:10 et seq, the Tüb. Bib.: “Nothing is more dangerous than pride, which leads man even to war against God, His Church, and the true worship. This must inevitably be followed by heavy judgments from God.”—Starke: “An earthly ruler will not permit rebellion against his authority to pass unpunished. How shall he escape, who revolts against the Prince over the host of God ( Isaiah 10:13)?”

On Daniel 8:14, Cramer: “The persecution and rage of the godless is a storm that sweeps over us; God fixes its limits, results, and measure.”—Starke: “God has indeed revealed something in relation to the hope of Christ’s Church for better times on the earth, in order that no doubt may be entertained concerning the fact itself; but to seek to ascertain the particular time, would be fool-hardiness and useless trouble ( Acts 1:7).”

On Daniel 8:17 et seq, Jerome: “Et Ezechiel et Daniel Authenticity Of The Booket Zacharias, quia sæpe inter angelos esse se cernunt, ne eleventur in superbiam et angelicæ vel naturæ vel dignitatis se esse credant, admonentur fragilitatis suæ, et filii hominum appellantur, ut homines se esse noverint.”—Geier: “If the presence of a holy angel was so insupportable to Daniel, how terrible will be the experience of the wicked when they shall behold the Lord of angels and Judge of the whole world, Jesus Christ Himself ( Revelation 6:15 et seq.)!”

On Daniel 8:24, Osiander: “God sometimes permits the plans of the wicked to succeed, in order that the saints may be tried.”—Starke: “God requires no great preparation or mighty instruments to cast down a tyrant; He can adapt the most insignificant means to that end ( Acts 12:23).”

Footnotes:

FN#1 - To.

FN#2 - מְנַגֵּחַ, butting, as rams are fond of doing.

FN#3 - הִגְדִּיל, acted proudly.

FN#4 - Literally, a leaper of the goats.

FN#5 - מַעֲרָב, a different term from that used in Daniel 8:4, יָמ, the sea, i.e., Mediterranean, which here might have been misunderstood as being literally the place of origin, whereas the idea of direction only is intended.

FN#6 - Literally, touching the side of.

FN#7 - Literally, imbittered himself, i.e., was exasperated.

FN#8 - Literally, no deliverer for.

FN#9 - Literally, till exceedingly.

FN#10 - Literally, a sight of four.

FN#11 - מצעירה, diminution; the order too is emphatic, one horn—a petty one.

FN#12 - הַצֶבִי, the beauty of lands.

FN#13 - Caused to fall.

FN#14 - According to the text הֵרִים, one took away.

FN#15 - The original is exceedingly laconic and obscure, תֵּת וִקדֶֹשׁ וְצָבָא מִרְמָס, literally, a giving and the sanctuary and the host a treading.

FN#16 - The original is very peculiar, Till an evening-morning, 2300.

FN#17 - Literally, to the side of my standing.

FN#18 - Literally, upon my standing.

FN#19 - Literally, hairy leaper.

FN#20 - Literally, with a cessation of.

FN#21 - נִהְיֵיתִי, q.d., “Was done up,” was overcome.]

FN#22 - If, however, Rawlinson’s identification of Belshazzar with Nabonned’s son and viceroy be correct, the Medo-Persian army was at this very time besieging Babylon, though with apparently little prospect of success; and the fall of the city must have followed shortly after this vision. Hence the first monarchy, the Chaldæan, is here kept out of view, as if already a thing of the past.]

FN#23 - “But why such a locality? Because the prophet’s present vision begins with the Medo-Persian empire, and Shushan was to be its capital. And why on the river’s bank? Not because the Jews were wont to build prayer-houses in such places, Acts 16:13; nor because Ezekiel had visions on the Chaboras, 1:1, 3; 3:15, 25 al. (Leng.); nor because of the solitude of the place (Maurer); but simply, as I understand it, because the castle (בִּירָה) stood on the banks of the river. The mention of the river, however, would still be in a measure superfluous, were not this mention a preparation for what is said in Daniel 8:16.”—Stuart.]

FN#24 - Iliad, 1. c.:

Οί οἰ ἁμ̓ ἡγεμόςες Τρώων ἔσαν αὐταρ ἔπειτα

Ααοὶ ἕπονθ, ὼσεὶ τε μετὰ κτίου ἕσπετο μῆλα

Πιόμεν ἐκ βοτάνης γάνυται δ̓ ἄρα τε φρἐνα ποιμήν

Cf. the prophetic dream relating to the murder of a brother of Brutus by Tarquin Superbus, and to the vengeance inflicted by Brutus for that deed, as narrated by Tarquin in Cicero, de divin., l.c.

Visus’t in somnis pastor ad me adpellere

Pecus lanigerum exinda pulchritudine,

Duo consanguineos arietes inde eligi

Prœclarioremque alterum immolare me;

Deinde ejus germanum cornibus connitier

In me arietare, toque ictu me ad casum dari.

In Plutarch’s Sylla the following is related, and treated as an omen of the defeat of the younger Marius and the consul Norbanus, which occurred soon afterwards: ἐν Καμπανίο πεπὶ τὸ Ἥφαιον (? read Τίφατον instead) ὅρος ἡμέρας ὥφθησαν δύο τράγοι μεγάλοι συμφερόμενοι, καὶ πάντα δρῶςτες καὶ πάσχοντες, συμβαίνει μαχομένοις ἀςθρώποις—Cf. additional extracts from the classics and from the oriental liter ature which bear on this point in Hävernick.

FN#25 - “He did push toward the east—not because. … the Medo-Persians themselves came from the east (Von Leng, Kran.): nor yet because the conquests of the Persians did not stretch toward the east (Häv.), for Cyrus and Darius subdued nations to the east of Persia, even as far as to the Indus, but because, for the unfolding of the Medo-Persian monarchy as a world-power, its conquests in the east were subordinate, and therefore are not mentioned. The pushing toward the three world-regions corresponds to the three ribs of the bear, Daniel 7:5, and intimates that the Medo-Persian world-kingdom, in spite of the irresistibility of its arms, did not extend its power into all the regions of the world.”—Keil.]

FN#26 - Yet “the idea of insolence or arrogance is not absent from הִגְדִּיל used thus absolutely, see Sam1:9; Zephaniah 2:8. Flushed with success, we know from all quarters that the Persians assumed a haughty position; so Crœsus (in Herod, 1:89), Πέρσαιὑβρισταί and so Æschylus (Pers. 795) ὑπέρκομποι ἅγαν.“—Stuart.]

FN#27 - The necessity for this limitation of the meaning of הִגְדִּיל here is not clear; it seems better to take it in the same sense of arrogance as the result of success which it bears in the remainder of the chapter.]

FN#28 - Yet Daniel says explicitly that the four horns are four kingdoms ( Daniel 8:22), and the coincidence is too striking and minute to be accidental. There were indeed originally five of the Diadochi, but they so soon resolved themselves into four that this temporary pentarchy is disregarded.]

FN#29 - The force of these arguments, especially the last, for extending the import of “the little horn” beyond Antiochus Epiphanes, it is very difficult for those who are wholly untinged with rationalistic sentiments to appreciate.]

FN#30 - A later Rabbinical interpretation conceives צְבִי the sense of “gazelle,” and refers this designation partly to its beauty, and partly to its peculiarity to extend its borders when inhabited, like the skin of a gazelle, but to shrink when uninhabited (Taanith, 69 a).

FN#31 - “The comparison of the saints to the host of heaven has its root in this, that God, the king of Israel, is called the God of hosts, and by the צְבָאוֹת (hosts) are generally to be understood the stars or angels; but the tribes of Israel also, who were led by God out of Egypt, are called ‘the hosts of Jehovah’ ( Exodus 7:4; Exodus 12:41).”—Keil.]

FN#32 - Keil thus reviews the various interpretations proposed of this difficult clause: “We must altogether reject the interpretation of the Vulgate, ‘ Robur autem datum est contra juge sacriflcium propter peccata,’ which is reproduced in Luther’s translation, ‘There was given to him such strength against the daily sacrifice on account of sin;’ or Calvin’s, ‘Et tempus datum est super jugi sacrificio in scelere,” whereby, after Rashi’s example, צָבָא is interpreted of the statio militaris, and thence the interpretation tempus or intervallum is derived. For צָבָא means neither robur nor tempus, nor statio militaris, but only military service, and perhaps military forces. Add to this that צָבָא both in Daniel 8:10; Daniel 8:13 means host. If we maintain this, with the majority of interpreters, only two explanations are admissible, according as we understand צָבָא of the host of heaven, i.e., of Israel, or of some other host. The latter interpretation is apparently supported partly by the absence of the article in צָבָא partly by the construction of the word as fem. (תנתן). Accordingly, Hitzig says that a Hebrew reader could not understand the words otherwise than as meaning, ‘and a warlike expedition was made or conducted against the daily sacrifice with wickedness’ (i.e., the impure service of idols): while others translate, ‘and a host placed against the daily sacrifice on account of sin’ (Syr, Grot, Harenb, J. D. Michaelis); or, ‘a host is given against the daily sacrifice in wickedness’ (Wieseler): or, ‘given against that which was continual with the service of idols,’ i.e., so that, in the place of the ‘continual’ wickedness, the worship of idols is appointed (Hofmann); or, ‘the power of an army is given to it (the horn) against the daily sacrifice through wickedness,’ i.e., by the evil higher dæmons (Ebrard). But the latter interpretation is to be rejected on account of the arbitrary insertion of לֹו (to it); and against all the others it is to be remarked that there is no proof either from Daniel 8:13, or from Ezekiel 32:23, or36:8, that נתן means to lead out, to bring forward, to give contrary to or against.” Keil concludes by translating: “And (a) host shall be given up together with the daily sacrifice, because of transgression. “Stuart renders,” And a host was placed over the daily sacrifice by wickedness,” and remarks: “Put or place is a very common meaning of נָתַן, as also the kindred signification to appoint, constitute: see Lex.—עַל, over, in a hostile sense, implying that the daily sacrifice was subjected to oppression and impious supervision.—בְּפֶשַׁע, by the rebel. Hence, in the N. Test, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, ἀποστασία (an exact version of פֶּשַׁע), also ὁἄνθρωπος τῆς ἁμαρτίας and in Daniel 8:8 (ib.), ἄνομος; expressions having their basis, as I apprehend, in the verse before us, and applied by Paul to some personage of a character similar to that of Antiochus1”]

FN#33 - Stuart, on the other hand, strongly contends for the passive sense of שֹׁמֵם here, “equivalent to which ought to be laid waste or destroyed” as being sustained not only by the intransitive force of the root, but by the distinctive use of the transitive מְשֹׁמֵם in Daniel 9:27. Keil takes substantially the same view.]

FN#34 - This conclusion, however, is by no means certain, as the following considerations will serve to show: “עָרָב בֹּקֶר have no copula or conjunction between them; it would therefore seem to be a popular mode of compound expression, like that of the Greek νυχθήμερον ( 2 Corinthians 11:25), in order to designate the whole of a day. Compare Genesis 1, where the evening and morning constitute respectively day the first, day the second, etc.; for it seems plain that the phraseology before us is derived from this source. In other words, בֹּקֶר עָרָב, as here employed, may be admitted to contain an allusion to the morning and evening sacrifices, and thus the phrase virtually becomes a kind of substitution for תָּמִיד, which is generic, and includes both the morning and the evening sacrifice.”—Stuart. “That in Daniel 8:26 יְהַבֹּקָר הִעָרָב (the evening and the morning) stands for the phrase in question, does not prove that the evening and morning are reckoned separately, but only that evening-morning is a period of time consisting of evening and morning. When the Hebrews wish to express separately day and night, the component parts of a day of a week, then the number of both is expressed. Thus they say, e.g., forty days and forty nights ( Genesis 7:4; Genesis 7:12; Exodus 24:18; 1 Kings 19:8), or three days and three nights ( Jonah 2:1; Matthew 12:40), but not eighty or six days and nights, when, they wish to speak of forty or three full days.’—Keil.]

FN#35 - These difficulties in the way of the literal exactness of the period in question as applicable to the history of the persecution by Antiochus Epiphanes, are drawn out in detail by Keil p 302 et seq, who does not, however, add anything of importance to what the author adduces. They seem to us to be fairly met by the following explanation of Stuart in his Commentary, p238 et seq.: “And then shall that which is holy be vindicated, וְנִעְדַּק, shall have justice done, i.e., the rights of the sanctuary shall be effectually restored, its claims shall be vindicated. This was done when Judas Maccabæus, after the three and a half years in which all temple rites had been suspended, and heathen sacrifices had been offered there, made a thorough expurgation of everything pertaining to the temple, and restored its entire services. This was on the 25 th of Dec, 165 B. C, just three years from the time when swine’s flesh was first offered there by Antiochus. We have then the terminus ad quem of the2,300 days; and it is not difficult, therefore, to find the terminus a quo. These days, at thirty in a month (which is clearly the prophetic mode of reckoning), make six years, four months, and twenty days. Dec 25 th of 171 makes six years, and the four months and twenty days will bring the time to the latter half of July in the same year, i.e., 171 B. C. During this year, Menelaus, the high-priest appointed by Antiochus on the ground of a proffered bribe, rifled the temple of many of the treasures to pay that bribe, and in this transaction he was assisted by his brother Lysimachus. The regular and lawful high-priest, Onias III, who had been removed, severely reproved this sacrilege committed by his brethren; and afterward, through fear of them, fled for refuge to Daphne, an asylum near Antioch, in Syria. Thence he was allured by the false promises of Menelaus, and perfidiously murdered by the king’s lieutenant, Andronicus. See the whole story in 2 Maccabees 4:27 seq. The Jews at Jerusalem, incensed by the violent death of their lawful high-priest, and by the sacrilegious robberies of Menelaus and Lysimachus, became tumultuous, and a severe contest took place between them and the adherents of those who committed the robbery, in which the patriotic Jews at last gained the victory, and Lysimachus was slain at the treasury. This was the first contest that took place between the friends of Antiochus and the adherents to the Hebrew laws and usages. The whole of it was occasioned by the baseness of Antiochus in accepting bribes for bestowing the office of high-priest on those who had no just claim to it. The payment of the bribes occasioned the robbing of the temple and the sacrilege-committed there; and this was the commencement of that long series of oppression, persecution, and bloodshed which took place in the sequel under Antiochus.

“We have, indeed, no data in ancient history by which the very day, or even month, connected with the transactions above related can be exactly ascertained. But the year is certain; and, as the time seems to be definite in our text, the fair presumption Isaiah, that the outbreak of the populace and the battle that followed constitutes the terminus a quo of the2,300 days. See Frœlich, Annates Reg. Syr., p46; and also Usher’s Chronol. … As to the difference between the time here, viz, 2,300 days, and the three and a half years in7:25, if the reader narrowly inspects the latter, he will perceive that the time there specified has relation to the period during which Antiochus entirely prohibited the Jewish religion in every shape. This period, as is well known, corresponds with historical facts. In the passage before us a more extensive series of events is comprised, as Daniel 8:10-12 indicate. They begin with assaults on the priesthood (which we have seen to be matter of fact, as stated above), and end with the desecration and prostration of all that is sacred and holy. It is unnecessary to show that each of the things described belongs to each and every part of the2,300 days. Enough that the events are successive, and spread over the time specified in our text. The trampling down or degradation of the priesthood and the sanctuary commenced the whole series of oppression and persecution, and this, with most aggravated acts of sacrilege and blasphemy, was also the consummation of the tyrant’s outrages.” Cowles gives a similar explanation in detail, Commentary, p378 et seq.]

FN#36 - Keil, however, justly remarks: “But עֵת־קֵץ, the time of the end, and מוֹעֵד קֵץ, the appointed time of the end, is not the absolute end of all things, the time of the setting up of the regnum gloriæ, and the time of the tribulation preceding the return of the Lord; but the time of the judgment of the world-kingdom and the setting up of the everlasting kingdom of God by the appearance of the Messiah, the end of αἰὼν οὒτος and the commencement of the αἰὼν μέλλων, the time of the אַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים ( Daniel 9:14), which an apostle calls ( 1 Corinthians 10:11) τὰ τέλη τῶν αἰώνων, and speaks of as having then already come.” Stuart still more correctly says: “End of what? Of Antiochus? or of a troublous state of things? or end of the world? Not merely of Antiochus; for his importance, as exhibited in the book of Daniel, arises principally from his power to annoy the people of God. Not the end of the world; for in chap8 no Messianic period is developed at the close of its predictions, and yet the Messianic reign is itself the end or last time of the world. Daniel 8:19 gives us perhaps more light; בְּאַהֲרִית הַוָּעַם, in the latter time of the indignation, i.e., the latter time of afflictions permitted to be brought upon Israel, because of the divine indignation against their sins. The vision itself in fact reaches only to the end of those special afflictions that are to come on the people of the Jews before the Messianic period, and which are made the subject of prophecy because of their importance. The warning to mark well or consider the vision, because it discloses these afflictions, connects itself of course with a supposed importance attached to the knowledge of the final special troubles of the Jews before the coming of the Messiah. The Rabbins call these troubles מָשִׁיחַ חַבְלֵי.” In other words, as Keil presently says more distinctly, “הַזָּעַם is the wrath of God against Israel, the punishment which God hung over them on account of their sins, as in Isaiah 10:5; Jeremiah 25:11; Ezekiel 22:24, etc, and here the sufferings of punishment and discipline which the little horn shall bring over Israel.”]

FN#37 - Stuart and Keil, on the contrary, strongly maintain that “the transgressors” here are not the heathen, but the apostate Jews, whose sin will be visited by the indignation of God; and this seems to be more appropriate to the whole connection.]

FN#38 - “עֲצוּמִים does not here signify many, numerous, many individual Israelites (Von Leng, Maurer, Kliefoth [Stuart]), partly because in Daniel 8:25 רַבִּים stands for that partly because of the עַם קְדשִׁים, by which we are to understand the people of Israel”—Keil.]

FN#39 - “The language is adapted to the symbol, namely, the little horn. The meaning Isaiah, totally destroyed. Facts correspond. According to history, Antiochus, after marching into Persia, and robbing the temple at Elymais, was driven away by popular tumult; and on his return back towards Syria, he was met with the news of the total defeat of his army in Judæa. and of the restoration of the temple services there. Polybius (31:11) says of him, that ‘he fell mad (δαιμονήσας) and died;’ 1 Maccabees 6:8 relates that he fell sick of grief for his losses; Appian (De reb. Syr., 66) says simply: oiívwv ereyeutrjoe. Various shades are given to the picture by the different writers; e.g., in 1 Maccabees 6:8 seq, which narrates his penitent confessions. But these have a strong tinge of Jewish coloring. So much is undoubtedly true, viz, that he perished suddenly by a violent sickness, during which he probably fell into a state of mania. He died, therefore, without violence by the hand of Prayer of Manasseh, and so as to make a deep impression of perishing by a peculiar visitation of God.”—Stuart.]

FN#40 - With regard to the latter point at least the author concedes too much, for the Babylonian captivity was exactly seventy years in length, namely, from the fourth year of Jehoiakim, B. C606, to the edict of Cyrus, B.C536. See Browne’s Ordo Sædorum, Daniel 3sec1. §§ 161et seq. Had we the data extant we might doubtless prove the truth of the other periods named in Scripture prophecy with equal precision.]

FN#41 - The “three days and three nights” in question are an exact expression according to Hebrew usage, which includes both extremes in all such periods.]

FN#42 - Cf. Tholuck Die Propheten und ihre Weissagungen; eine apologetisch-hermeneutiche Studie (Gotha, 1860), p 113 et seq, where the remark is made concerning the seventy years of Jeremiah, considered as being a designation of time that agreed, generally at least, with the duration of the captivity. “Can any means of escaping this conclusion be discovered? Only that one, which, among others, Ewald has not despised, viz, to regard the number seventy as a round number, and therefore=‘a long time.’ … . Is then, round number really=long time in the Oriental use of language? The master of Old-Test. language will certainly not attempt to deny that it rather denotes an ‘approximate limitation of time!’ … . Such numbers are clearly approximate, e.g., in Amos 2:4, where it is said, ‘For three transgressions of Judah and for four, I will not turn away,’ etc; Micah 5:5, ‘Then shall we raise against him seven shepherds and eight principal men;’ cf. Hosea 6:2. In like manner a desolation of forty years is predicted for Egypt, by Ezekiel, in Ezekiel 29:11-12, which Isaiah, indeed, a round number of probable reckoning, but Isaiah, at the same time, an approximate number, namely, 36 or37,” etc. [But these conventional numbers in a general statement are very different from those obviously given as chronological data.]

FN#43 - In relation to the prophets of the Christian æra, above referred to, and also with regard to several others, cf. the interesting statements in Splittgerber, Schlaf und Tod, etc. (Halle1866), p235–253. [But sound theologians—indeed, accurate observers merely—would certainly place all these pseudo-predictions on a very different level from those of the prophets of Scripture.]

Copyright Statement
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Bibliographical Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/daniel-8.html. 1857-84.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

The Vision of the Ram and Goat. B. C. 553.

1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto 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, and I was by the river of Ulai. 3 Then I lifted up mine 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 pushing westward, and northward, and southward so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand but he did according to his will, and became great. 5 And as I was considering, behold, a he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not 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 unto him in the fury of his power. 7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake 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 none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. 8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. 9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. 10 And it waxed 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 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. 12 And a host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground and it practised, and prospered. 13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision 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 unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

Here is, I. The date of this vision, Daniel 8:1. It was in the third year of the reign of Belshazzar, which proved to be his last year, as many reckon so that this chapter also should be, in order of time, before the fifth. That Daniel might not be surprised at the destruction of Babylon, now at hand, God gives him a foresight of the destruction of other kingdoms hereafter, which in their day had been as potent as that of Babylon. Could we foresee the changes that shall be hereafter, when we are gone, we should the less admire, and be less affected with, the changes in our own day for that which is done is that which shall be done, Ecclesiastes 1:9. Then it was that a vision appeared to me, even to me, Daniel. Here he solemnly attests the truth of it: it was to him, even to him, that the vision was shown he was the eye-witness of it. And this vision puts him in mind of a former vision which appeared to him at the first, in the first year of this reign, which he makes mention of because this vision was an explication and confirmation of that, and points at many of the same events. That seems to have been a dream, a vision in his sleep this seems to have been when he was awake.

II. The scene of this vision. The place where that was laid was in Shushan the palace, one of the royal seats of the kings of Persia, situated on the banks of the river Ulai, which surrounded the city it was in the province of Elam, that part of Persia which lay next to Babylon. Daniel was not there in person, for he was now in Babylon, a captive, in some employment under Belshazzar, and might not go to such a distant country, especially being now an enemy's country. But he was there in vision as Ezekiel, when a captive in Babylon, was often brought, in the spirit, to the land of Israel. Note, The soul may be a liberty when the body is in captivity for, when we are bound, the Spirit of the Lord is not bound. The vision related to that country, and therefore there he was made to fancy himself to be as strongly as if he had really been there.

III. The vision itself and the process of it.

1. He saw a ram with two horns, Daniel 8:3. This was the second monarchy, of which the kingdoms of Media and Persia were the two horns. The horns were very high but that which came up last was the higher, and got the start of the former. So the last shall be first, and the first last. The kingdom of Persia, which rose last, in Cyrus, became more eminent than that of the Medes.

2. He saw this ram pushing all about him with his horns (Daniel 8:4), westward (towards Babylon, Syria, Greece, and Asia the less), northward (towards the Lydians, Armenians, and Scythians), and southward (towards Arabia, Ethiopia, and Egypt), for all these nations did the Persian empire, one time or other, make attempts upon for the enlarging of their dominion. And at last he became so powerful that no beasts might stand before him. This ram, though of a species of animal often preyed upon, became formidable even to the beasts of prey themselves, so that there was no standing before him, no escaping him, none that could deliver out of his hand, but all must yield to him: the kings of Persia did according to their will, prospered in all their ways abroad, had an uncontrollable power at home, and became great. He thought himself great because he did what he would but to do good is that which makes men truly great.

3. He saw this ram overcome by a he-goat. He was considering the ram (wondering that so weak an animal should come to be so prevalent) and thinking what would be the issue and, behold, a he-goat came, Daniel 8:5. This was Alexander the Great, the son of Philip king of Macedonia. He came from the west, from Greece, which lay west from Persia. He fetched a great compass with his army: he came upon the face of the whole earth he did in effect conquer the world, and then sat down and wept because there was not another world to be conquered. Unus Pellæ o juveni non sufficit orbis--One world was too little for the youth of Pellæ . This he-goat (a creature famed for comeliness in going, Proverbs 30:31) went on with incredible swiftness, so that he touched not the ground, so lightly did he move he rather seemed to fly above the ground than to go upon the ground or none touched him in the earth, that is, he met with little or no opposition. This he-goat, or buck, had a notable horn between his eyes, like a unicorn. He had strength, and knew his own strength he saw himself a match for all his neighbours. Alexander pushed his conquests on so fast, and with so much fury, that none of the kingdoms he attacked had courage to make a stand, or give check to the progress of his victorious arms. In six years he made himself master of the greatest part of the then known world. Well might he be called a notable horn, for his name still lives in history as the name of one of the most celebrated commanders in war that ever the world knew. Alexander's victories and achievements are still the entertainment of the ingenious. This he-goat came to the ram that had two horns, Daniel 8:6. Alexander with his victorious army attacked the kingdom of Persia, an army consisting of no more than 30,000 foot and 5000 horse. He ran unto him, to surprise him ere he could get intelligence of his motions, in the fury of his power. He came close to the ram. Alexander with his army came up with Darius Codomannus, then emperor of Persia, being moved with choler against him, Daniel 8:7. It was with the greatest violence that Alexander pushed on his war against Darius, who, though he brought vast numbers into the field, yet, for want of skill, was an unequal match for him, so that Alexander was too hard for him whenever he engaged him, smote him, cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him, which three expressions, some think, refer to the three famous victories that Alexander obtained over Darius, at Granicus, at Issus, and at Arbela, by which he was at length totally routed, having, in the last battle, had 600,000 men killed, so that Alexander became absolute master of all the Persian empire, broke his two horns, the kingdoms of Media and Persia. The ram that had destroyed all before him (Daniel 8:4) now is himself destroyed Darius has no power to stand before Alexander, not has he any friends or allies to help to deliver him out of his hand. Note, Those kingdoms which, when they had power, abused it, and, because none could oppose them, withheld not themselves from the doing of any wrong, may expect to have their power at length taken from them, and to be served in their own kind, Isaiah 33:1.

4. He saw the he-goat made hereby very considerable but the great horn, that had done all this execution, was broken, Daniel 8:8. Alexander was about twenty years old when he began his wars. When he was about twenty-six he conquered Darius, and became master of the whole Persian empire but when he was about thirty-two or thirty-three years of age, when he was strong, in his full strength, he was broken. He was not killed in war, in the bed of honour, but died of a drunken surfeit, or, as some suspect, by poison and left no child living behind him to enjoy that which he had endlessly laboured for, but left a lasting monument of the vanity of worldly pomp and power, and their insufficiency to make a man happy.

5. He saw this kingdom divided into four parts, and that instead of that one great horn there came up four notable ones, Alexander's four captains, to whom he bequeathed his conquests and he had so much that, when it was divided among four, they had each of them enough for any one man. These four notable horns were towards the four winds of heaven, the same with the four heads of the leopard (Daniel 7:6), the kingdoms of Syria and Egypt, Asia and Greece-Syria lying to the east, Greece to the west, Asia Minor to the north, and Egypt to the south. Note, Those that heap up riches know not who shall gather them, nor whose all those things shall be which they have provided.

6. He saw a little horn which became a great persecutor of the church and people of God and this was the principal thing that was intended to be shown to him in this vision, as afterwards, Daniel 11:30, &c. All agree that this was Antiochus Epiphanes (so he called himself)--the illustrious, but others called him Antiochus Epimanes--Antiochus the furious. He is called here (as before, Daniel 7:8), a little horn, because he was in his original contemptible there were others between him and the kingdom, and he was of a base servile disposition, had nothing in him of princely qualities, and had been for some time a hostage and prisoner at Rome, whence he made his escape, and, though, the youngest brother, and his elder living, got the kingdom. He waxed exceedingly great towards the south, for he seized upon Egypt, and towards the east, for he invaded Persia and Armenia. But that which is here especially taken notice of is the mischief that he did to the people of the Jews. They are not expressly named, or prophecies must not be too plain but they are here so described that it would be easy for those who understood scripture-language to know who were meant and the Jews, having notice of this before, might be awakened to prepare themselves and their children beforehand for these suffering trying times. (1.) He set himself against the pleasant land, the land of Israel, so called because it was the glory of all lands, for fruitfulness and all the delights of human life, but especially for the tokens of God's presence in it, and its being blessed with divine revelations and institutions it was Mount Zion that was beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, Psalm 48:2. The pleasantness of that land was that there the Messiah was to be born, who would be both the consolation and the glory of his people Israel. Note, We have reason to reckon that a pleasant place which is a holy place, in which God dwells, and where we may have opportunity of communing with him. Surely, It is good to be here. (2.) He fought against the host of heaven, that is, the people of God, the church, which is the kingdom of heaven, the church-militant here on earth. The saints, being born from above, and citizens of heaven, and doing the will of God, by his grace, in some measure, as the angels of heaven do it, may be well called a heavenly host. Or the priests and Levites, who were employed in the service of the tabernacle, and there warred a good warfare, were this host of heaven. These Antiochus set himself against he waxed great to the host of heaven, in opposition to them and in defiance of them. (3.) He cast down some of the host (that is, of the stars, for they are called the host of heaven) to the ground, and stamped upon them. Some of those that were most eminent both in church and state, that were burning and shining lights in their generation, he either forced to comply with his idolatries or put them to death he got them into his hands, and then trampled upon them and triumphed over them as good old Eleazar, and the seven brethren, whom he put to death with cruel tortures, because they would not eat swine's flesh, 2Mac. vi. 7. He gloried in it that herein he insulted Heaven itself and exalted his throne above the stars of God, Isaiah 14:13. (4.) He magnified himself even to the prince of the host. He set himself against the high priest, Onias, whom he deprived of his dignity, or rather against God himself, who was Israel's King of old, who reigns for ever Zion's King, who himself heads his own host that fight his battles. Against him Antiochus magnified himself as Pharaoh, when he said, Who is the Lord? Note, Those who persecute the people of God persecute God himself. (5.) He took away the daily sacrifice. The morning and evening lamb, which God appointed to be offered every day upon his altar to his honour, Antiochus forbade and restrained the offering of. No doubt he took away all other sacrifices, but only the daily sacrifice is mentioned, because that was the greatest loss of all, for in that they kept up their constant communion with God, which they preferred before that which is only occasional. God's people reckon their daily sacrifices, their morning and evening exercises of devotion, the most needful of their daily business and the most delightful of their daily comforts, and would not for all the world part with them. (6.) He cast down the place of his sanctuary. He did not burn and demolish the temple, but he cast it down, when he profaned it, made it the temple of Jupiter Olympius, and set up his image in it. He also cast down the truth to the ground, trampled upon the book of the law, that word of truth, tore it, and burnt it, and did what he could to destroy it quite, that it might be lost and forgotten for ever. These were the projects of that wicked prince. In these he practised. And (would you think it?) in these he prospered. He carried the matter very far, seemed to have gained his point, and went near to extirpate that holy religion which God's right hand had planted. But lest he or any other should triumph, as if herein he had prevailed against God himself and been too hard for him, the matter is here explained and set in a true light. [1.] He could not have done this if God had not permitted him to do it, could have had no power against Israel unless it had been given him from above. God put this power into his hand, and gave him a host against the daily sacrifice. God's providence put that sword into his hand by which he was enabled thus to bear down all before him. Note, We ought to eye and own the hand of God in all the enterprises and all the successes of the church's enemies against the church. They are but the rod in God's hand. [2.] God would not have permitted it if his people had not provoked him to do so. It is by reason of transgression, the transgression of Israel, to correct them for that, that Antiochus is employed to give them all this trouble. Note, When the pleasant land and all its pleasant things are laid waste, it must be acknowledged that sin is the procuring cause of all the desolation. Who gave Jacob to the spoil? Did not the Lord, he against whom we have sinned? Isaiah 42:24. The great transgression of the Jews after the captivity (when they were cured of idolatry) was a contempt and profanation of the holy things, snuffing at the service of God, bringing the torn and the lame for sacrifice, as if the table of the Lord were a contemptible thing (so we find Malachi 1:7,8, &c., and that the priests were guilty of this Malachi 2:1,8), and therefore God sent Antiochus to take away the daily sacrifice and cast down the place of his sanctuary. Note, It is just with God to deprive those of the privileges of his house who despise and profane them, and to make those know the worth of ordinances by the want of them who would not know it by the enjoyment of them.

7. He heard the time of this calamity limited and determined, not the time when it should come (that is not here fixed, because God would have his people always prepared for it), but how long it should last, that, when they had no more any prophets to tell them how long (Psalm 74:9, which psalm seems to have been calculated for this dark and doleful day), they might have this prophecy to give them a prospect of deliverance in due time. Now concerning this we have here,

(1.) The question asked concerning it, Daniel 8:13. Observe [1.] By whom the question was put: I heard one saint speaking to this purport, and then another saint seconded him. "O that we knew how long this trouble will last!" The angels here are called saints, for they are holy ones (Daniel 4:13), the holy myriads, Jude 1:14. The angels concern themselves in the affairs of the church, and enquire concerning them, if, as here, concerning its temporal salvations, much more do they desire to look into the great salvation, 1 Peter 1:12. One saint spoke of the thing, and another enquired concerning it. Thus John, who lay in Christ's bosom, was beckoned to by Peter to ask Christ a question, John 13:23,24. [2.] To whom the question was put. He said unto Palmoni that spoke. Some make this certain saint to be a superior angel who understood more than the rest, to whom therefore they came with their enquiries. Others make it to be the eternal Word, the Son of God. He is the unknown One. Palmoni seems to be compounded of Peloni Almoni, which is used (Ruth 4:1) for Ho, such a one, and (2 Kings 6:8) for such a place. Christ was yet the nameless One. Wherefore asked thou after my name, seeing it is secret? Judges 13:18. He is the numberer of secrets (as some translate it), for from him there is nothing hidden--the wonderful numberer, so others his name is called Wonderful. Note, If we would know the mind of God, we must apply to Jesus Christ, who lay in the bosom of the Father, and in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, not hidden from us, but hidden for us. [3.] The question itself that was asked: "How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice? How long shall the prohibition of it continue? How long shall the pleasant land be made unpleasant by that severe interdict? How long shall the transgression of desolation (the image of Jupiter), that great transgression which makes all our sacred things desolate, how long shall that stand in the temple? How long shall the sanctuary and the host, the holy place and the holy persons that minister in it, be trodden under foot by the oppressor?" Note, Angels are concerned for the prosperity of the church on earth and desirous to see an end of its desolations. The angels asked, for the satisfaction of Daniel, not doubting but he was desirous to know, how long these calamities should last? The question takes it for granted that they should not last always. The rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous, though it may come upon their lot. Christ comforted himself in his sufferings with this, The things concerning me have an end (Luke 22:37), and so may the church in hers. But it is desirable to know how long they shall last, that we may provide accordingly.

(2.) The answer given to this question, Daniel 8:14. Christ gives instruction to the holy angels, for they are our fellow-servants but here the answer was given to Daniel, because for his sake the question was asked: He said unto me. God sometimes gives in great favours to his people, in answer to the enquiries and requests of their friends for them. Now, [1.] Christ assures him that the trouble shall end it shall continue 2300 days and no longer, so many evenings and mornings (so the word is), so many nychthemerai, so many natural days, reckoned, as in the beginning of Genesis, by the evenings and mornings, because it was the evening and the morning sacrifice that they most lamented the loss of, and thought the time passed very slowly while they were deprived of them. Some make the morning and the evening, in this number, to stand for two, and then 2300 evenings and as many mornings will make but 1150 days and about so many days it was that the daily sacrifice was interrupted: and this comes nearer to the computation (Daniel 7:25) of a time, times, and the dividing of a time. But it is less forced to understand them of so many natural days 2300 days make six years and three months, and about eighteen days and just so long they reckon from the defection of the people, procured by Menelaus the high priest in the 142nd year of the kingdom of the Seleucidæ, the sixth month of that year, and the 6th day of the month (so Josephus dates it), to the cleansing of the sanctuary, and the reestablishment of religion among them, which was in the 148th year, the 9th month, and the 25th day of the month, 1Mac. iv. 52. God reckons the time of his people's afflictions he is afflicted. Revelation 2:10, Thou shalt have tribulation ten days. [2.] He assures him that they shall see better days afterwards: Then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. Note, The cleansing of the sanctuary is a happy token for good to any people when they begin to be reformed they will soon be relieved. Though the righteous God may, for the correction of his people, suffer his sanctuary to be profaned for a while, yet the jealous God will, for his own glory, see to the cleansing of it in due time. Christ died to cleanse his church, and he will so cleanse it as at length to present it blameless to himself.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/daniel-8.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

God gives Daniel a foresight of the destruction of other kingdoms, which in their day were as powerful as that of Babylon. Could we foresee the changes that shall be when we are gone, we should be less affected with changes in our own day. The ram with two horns was the second empire, that of Media and Persia. He saw this ram overcome by a he-goat. This was Alexander the Great. Alexander, when about thirty-three years of age, and in his full strength, died, and showed the vanity of worldly pomp and power, and that they cannot make a man happy. While men dispute, as in the case of Alexander, respecting the death of some prosperous warrior, it is plain that the great First Cause of all had no more of his plan for him to execute, and therefore cut him off. Instead of that one great horn, there came up four notable ones, Alexander's four chief captains. A little horn became a great persecutor of the church and people of God. It seems that the Mohammedan delusion is here pointed out. It prospered, and at one time nearly destroyed the holy religion God's right hand had planted. It is just with God to deprive those of the privileges of his house who despise and profane them; and to make those know the worth of ordinances by the want of them, who would not know it by the enjoyment of them. Daniel heard the time of this calamity limited and determined; but not the time when it should come. If we would know the mind of God, we must apply to Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; not hid from us, but hid for us. There is much difficulty as to the precise time here stated, but the end of it cannot be very distant. God will, for his own glory, see to the cleansing of the church in due time. Christ died to cleanse his church; and he will so cleanse it as to present it blameless to himself.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/daniel-8.html. 1706.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He said unto me, i.e. that angel unnamed. Why did he speak to Daniel, and not to the angel that asked him? Because Daniel, and the church to which he related and was to communicate the answer, was most concerned in it, and the angel that asked the question did it upon their account. Unto two thousand and three hundred days: this seems to many learned men a very difficult place, i.e. where to begin and where to end these days.

1. Some explain it thus: A year contains three hundred and sixty-five days; then two thousand three hundred make six years, three months, and eighteen days, reckoning in two days of the leap years gained from the supernumerary hours and minutes. Now this time begins at the first entrance of Antiochus into Judea, when he profaned the priesthood; and takes in also his second coming in, when he interdicted their worship, set up an idol in the temple, and interrupted the daily sacrifice.

2. Others count the two thousand three hundred days from the people’s revolt, which was procured by Menelaus, which began in the year 141 of the reign of the Seleucidae, /APC 1Mac 1; but Antiochus did not act his impieties till the next year after, viz. 142, in the 6th month and the 6th day; from whence if we reckon to the 25th day of the 9th month of the year 148, there will fall out precisely six years, three months, and eighteen days.

3. Others reckon a little otherwise, from the beginning of Antiochus’s profanations to his death; from 143 to 148, taking in both years to the number. For though Judas Maccabeus recovered the city and cleansed the temple in 148, yet Antiochus was not dead till 149, till when the work was not finished.

4. Others make it to, begin in the year of the Seleneidea 145, and to end anne 151, two years after Antiochus’s death, for the abomination of desolation was set up in the month Chisleu, /APC 1 Maccabees 1:57, for not till two years after Antiochus’s death was Nicanor overthrown with all his army. Thus Jacob Capell, and L’Empereur.

5. Others reckon not days, but sacrifices, (at two every day,) and restrain the time to fewer years, out of Maccabees. Josephus.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/daniel-8.html. 1685.

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Daniel 8. The Vision of the Ram and the He-goat.—This chapter gives an account of another vision which came to Daniel in Shushan. Near the river Ulai a ram with two horns is seen pushing invincibly westward and northward and southward. Suddenly from the W. a he-goat appears, attacks the ram, and breaks his horns. Then, the he-goat "magnified himself exceedingly." The "notable horn" between his eyes is broken and four other horns spring up to take its place. Out of these four horns proceeded another, a little horn, which moved towards the E. and the S. and attacked the land of Palestine, exalting itself against God, desecrating the Temple, and abolishing the sacrifices for 2300 days.

The interpretation of the vision which is given by Gabriel to Daniel is exceptionally clear, and leaves no manner of doubt that it refers to the events of the Maccabean age. The ram with the two horns represents the two kingdoms of Media and Persia. The he-goat is the Greek Empire, the first horn representing Alexander the Great, and the four later horns the four kingdoms into which the empire subsequently split up. The little horn is Antiochus Epiphanes, "a king of fierce countenance and understanding dark sentences." The attack on the Jewish religion is clearly described, and the promise given that God will deliver His people.

Daniel 8:1. Belshazzar: Daniel 5:1*.—at the first: refers to the vision of the four beasts in Daniel 7, which is dated two years previously.

Daniel 8:2. Shushan the palace: the citadel of Susa (Nehemiah 1:1, Esther 1:2; Esther 1:5). Susa was the capital of Elam, and was situated on the river Eulæus, directly N. of the head of the Persian Gulf. It is described by Xenophon as the "winter residence of the Persian kings." Its citadel was renowned for its strength. As the city was destroyed in the reign of Assurbanipal (668-626 B.C.) and not restored till the time of Darius Hystaspis (521-485 B.C.) there is some doubt as to whether the citadel was in existence at the date implied by this chapter.—Elam: the province or district E. of the lower Tigris and N. of the Persian Gulf (Jeremiah 49:34-39*).—Ulai: Eulæus (modern Karûn), one of the three rivers which flows into the Persian Gulf from the mountains on the N. Driver, however, thinks it was probably a large artificial canal connecting two of these rivers.

Daniel 8:3. the ram: a symbol of power and energy (Ezekiel 39:18). Of the two horns the lower represents the Median Empire, the higher which "came up last" the Persian.

Daniel 8:5. he-goaf: used metaphorically to describe a ruler or leader (Isaiah 14:9 (mg.), Isaiah 34:6; Ezekiel 39:18), representing here the Greek Empire.—over the face: an exaggerated but pointed description of Alexander's conquests.—touched not the ground: such was the speed of the he-goat that he seemed to be flying without touching the ground, a reference to the rapidity of Alexander's triumphant progress.—notable horn: Alexander the Great.

Daniel 8:7 describes the downfall of the Persian Empire before Alexander.

Daniel 8:8. great horn was broken: refers to Alexander's tragic death at the summit of his power in 323 B.C.—four notable horns: i.e. the four kingdoms into which the Greek Empire was divided: (a) Egypt, (b) Asia Minor, (c) Syria and Babylonia, (d) Macedonia and Greece (cf. Daniel 11:4).

Daniel 8:9. a little horn: Antiochus Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.) whose oppression caused the Maccabean rising.—glorious land: Palestine (cf. Daniel 11:16; Daniel 11:41).

Daniel 8:10. the host of heaven: the stars. This attack on the heavenly bodies is a symbolical way of describing Antiochus' attempt to destroy the Jewish religion.

Daniel 8:11. the prince of the host: i.e. God.—burnt offering: refers to Antiochus' desecration of the Temple and the suppression of the sacrifices.

Daniel 8:12. and the host was given: the meaning of this clause is very uncertain. Driver renders, "A host was appointed against the continual burnt offering with transgression," and explains it thus: "Antiochus had recourse to violence and set up an armed garrison to suppress the sacred rites of the Jews." RV means, "A host (i.e. an army of Israelites) was given over to it (the horn, i.e. Antiochus) together with the burnt offering through transgression" (i.e. the apostasy of the disloyal Jews).

Daniel 8:14. two thousand three hundred: 1150 days. The desecration of the altar lasted from the 15th of Chislew 168 B.C. to the 25th of Chislew 165 B.C., or 3 years and 10 days. The number of days reckoned in a Jewish year at this time is uncertain, but the range of possibilities for this period lies between 1090 and 1132 days, and in any case the number falls short of the prophesied 1150. Some scholars think that the 1150 days is reckoned not from the actual destruction of the altar, but from the date of the edict of Antiochus. Others hold that the Book was written within this period, and that the 1150 days or 3 years was, therefore, a genuine prediction, which was only approximately fulfilled.

Daniel 8:17. the vision belongeth to the end: to the writer the events of the Maccabean rising were to be followed by the end of the world.

Daniel 8:19. in the latter time of the indignation: when the wrath of God shall be manifest at the end of time.

. Daniel 8:3-9*.

Daniel 8:23. understanding dark sentences: "a master of dissimulation, able to conceal his meaning under ambiguous words" (Driver).

Daniel 8:24. not by his own power: i.e. either (a) by the permission of God, or (b) by his intrigues.

Daniel 8:25. broken without hand: by act of God.

Daniel 8:26. shut up the vision: keep it secret.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/daniel-8.html. 1919.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

HOMILETICS

SECT. XXVIII.—ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES, OR THE SYRIAN LITTLE HORN (Chap. Dan )

The vision now given is that of the Ram and the He-goat, representing respectively the Persian and the Grecian empires. It connects itself both with Nebuchadnezzar's great image and Daniel's four beasts, the ram being the silver breast and arms of the image and the bear of Daniel's vision, while the he-goat corresponds with the brazen belly and thighs of the former and the four horned leopards of the latter. The vision thus brings up before us the second and third of the four great monarchies.

II. His character. The notes given of him by Gabriel are:—

1. Pride. "He magnified himself even to (or against) the prince of the host," i.e., God Himself or the Messiah, called also the Prince of princes: "He shall magnify himself in his heart, and shall stand up against the Prince of princes" (Dan ; Dan 8:25). The author of the second Book of Maccabees says, in like manner, that "he thought he might command the waves of the sea and weigh the high mountains in a balance; so proud was he beyond the condition of men." The same book relates that when humbled in his last hours by the hand of God so heavily laid upon him, conscious of his past pride, he said, "It is meet to be subject unto God; and a man that is mortal should not proudly think of himself as if he were God." Pride, and especially pride in relation to God, always a prominent feature in the description of Antichrist.

2. Fierceness. "A king of fierce countenance" (Dan ). This feature in his character sufficiently verified by his doings as related in the first Book of Maccabees. When he first came against Jerusalem, under the impression that the Jews had revolted, "removing from Egypt in a furious mind, he took the city by force of arms, and commanded his men of war not to spare such as they met, and to slay such as went up upon the houses." Even with his last sickness upon him, he is said to have been still filled with pride, and to have breathed out fire in his rage against the Jews. This enemy was to be daring and shameless, without fear either of God or man.

V. His end (Dan ). "He shall be broken without hand." Neither in battle, nor by the hand of the assassin, nor any other human instrumentality, but by the secret operation and mighty power of God, was this oppressor of His people and His cause to meet with his end. Prophecy was fulfilled in his death as truly as in his life. History relates that having gone to Elymais, in Persia, in quest of gold to pay the Roman tribute, he left the place in great heaviness to return to Babylon. "There came to him," however, says the author of 1st Maccabees, "one who brought him tidings into Persia that his armies, which went against the land of Judea, were put to flight," and that the people "had pulled down the abomination which he had set up upon the altar in Jerusalem." When the king heard this "he was astonished and sore moved; whereupon he laid him down upon his bed and fell sick for grief, because it had not befallen him as he had looked for; and there he continued many days, his grief always increasing, and he made account that he should die." Then calling his friends together, he is said to have addressed them in the following terms: "I now remember the evils that I did at Jerusalem, and that I took all the vessels of gold and silver that were therein, and sent to destroy the inhabitants of Judea without a cause. I perceive, therefore, that for this cause these troubles are come upon me, and behold, I perish through great grief in a strange land" (1Ma 6:4-16). The second Book of Maccabees further relates that, fleeing from Persepolis, where he had attempted to rob the temple, and coming to Ecbatana, he received the tidings of the defeat of his generals, Nicanor and Timotheus, in Judea, and that upon this he resolved to hasten his return to Jerusalem, threatening to make it a common burying place of the Jews; but that as soon as he uttered the words, "he was smitten with an incurable and invisible plague, being seized with severe pains in his bowels," aggravated by a sore fall from his chariot while driving violently in haste for revenge; while, "along with his extreme pain, the worms rose up out of his body, his flesh fell away, and the noisomeness of the smell that issued from him was such that no one could endure to carry him, and that he himself was unable to bear it."

From the whole chapter we may notice—

1. The reality of fulfilled prophecy. The proof of the predictions contained in this chapter being true prophecy and not history, as well as of their actual fulfilment, such as to be sufficient to convince any but those who will not believe either in prophecy or miracle on any evidence whatever. The fulfilment of the prophecy in this section so exact that writers of the Rationalistic school have employed all their ingenuity to disprove the genuineness of the book and to make it to be a forgery of later times. Our comfort to know that as God possesses the knowledge of future events, so He has given to His people a proof of His concern for their welfare by communicating to them through His servants, centuries beforehand, events that shall surely come to pass.

2. The interest taken by angelic beings in the affairs of the Church and the world. This interest exhibited here by two celestial personages, one of whom at least is a created angel. Their interest in the vision and its interpretation an example worthy of our imitation, for whose benefit both were given. If an angel inquired with concern of Him who is the revealer of secrets, "How long shall be the vision?" well may those do so who have a personal interest in the events foretold.

3. The duty of inquiring into the meaning of the word of prophecy. This taught by the example of the prophet himself. Daniel, not satisfied with receiving the vision, earnestly sought its meaning. If the prophets themselves "inquired diligently what, and what manner of time, the Spirit that was in them did signify, when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow," how much more ought we to do so for whom they ministered? (1Pe ).

4. Jesus the Author both of the prophecies and their interpretation. Little doubt but that here and in chap. 9. He is the person who is introduced as communicating with Daniel through a created angel. So the New Testament prophecies are called "the revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto Him," and which "He sent and signified by His angel unto His servant John" (Rev ). So in chap. Rev 22:16 : "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches." "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." A sufficient reason surely for studying the prophetic Word, as well as a sweet encouragement to look for divine help in understanding its meaning. The prophetic office of Jesus never to be forgotten.

5. The instrumentality of others employed by the Head of the Church in communicating knowledge. The interpretation of the vision not given to Daniel directly, but through the medium of an angel. "Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision." So Philip was sent to expound to the eunuch the prophecy he was reading: "How can I understand except some man should guide me?" (Act ).

6. The tendency of the heart to backslide from God. Within four centuries after the return of the Jews from Babylon, they are found to have departed so far from God, and to have adopted so much the ways of the heathen, that fresh and still greater calamities were made to overtake them, almost to their entire extinction as a people. Only too much ground for the warning, "Take heed lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God."

7. The danger to true religion from the influence of the world around us, and the necessity of guarding against it. The danger to Israel after their return to their own land was that they were surrounded by the heathen and brought into close contact with them. "They were mixed with the heathen and learned their ways." The danger from conformity to the world, the rock against which the Church of God needs constantly to be warned. "Evil communications corrupt good manners." Hence the exhortation, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord" (2Co ).

8. God's patience and long-suffering. Not till "the transgressors had come to the full" did He employ the scourge of the Syrian oppression for their correction. Sentence against an evil work not speedily executed. The long-suffering of God to be accounted salvation. God not willing that any should perish. His goodness intended to lead to repentance. Only when that fails goodness is exchanged for severity.

9. The mercy of divine chastisement. "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth." Better for Israel to have Antiochus let loose upon them than to continue to learn and practise the ways of the heathen and sink into apostasy. Better smart for sin in time than suffer for it in eternity. The case of Israel and Antiochus is given as an example of the use of persecution to discipline the Church of God and His ministers, and to prepare the way for the Saviour.

10. The wretched depravity of the human heart. In Antiochus Epiphanes, as in millions more, we have an example of the madness that is in men's hearts while they live without God and are strangers to His grace. The tendency of the heart to increase in depravity as its desires are indulged. No height of pride or depth of wickedness to which a man may not arrive when left to himself and the enemy of souls. One prayed to be kept from that most hideous of sights, a human heart. Better the saying of the heathen philosopher, "Know thyself."

11. Oppressors and persecutors still in God's hand. To Antiochus, as to others, He says, "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed." The tyrant and oppressor employed as His scourge as long as He sees necessary, and then arrested in his madness, either in mercy or in judgment. Saul, breathing out slaughter against God's saints, is awakened and saved; Antiochus perseveres in his cruelty till he is "broken without hand."

12. Timely help and deliverance provided for God's persecuted people. While Antiochus is prepared as a scourge for backsliding Israel, Mattathias and his sons are raised up as means for their deliverance. So with the Jews and Sennacherib. "The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold," &c. Herod Agrippa stretches out his hand to vex certain of the Church, and he is smitten with an unseen hand and eaten up of worms. Queen Mary dies while Bernard Gilpin is on his way to a martyr's death. Persecutors seldom allowed to be long livers, and when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. Where Satan raises up a Pharaoh, God in His time prepares a Moses.

13. Religious privileges and ordinances not sufficient to keep the Church from backsliding from God, nor to save it from punishment when it does so. The abuse of such privileges among a nation's greatest sins, and the cause of its sorest chastisements. The sin which brought Antiochus against the Jews and Mahomet against the Christians. The ark of God no safety to unfaithful Israel from the hand of the Philistines. "Take away her battlements, for they are not the Lord's." England's greatest danger from despised mercies and abused privileges. Britain's highest privilege the abundance of her Bibles and the freeness of her Gospel. The present a time, however, for all the lovers of their country to cry mightily to God to save her from the sin of a refused Bible and a rejected Saviour.

HOMILETICS

SECT. XXIX.—THE MOSLEM ANTICHRIST (Chap. Dan )

I. The rise of their power. The Saracen power, like Mahomet himself, arose in Arabia, while that of the Turks had its origin in Parthia, near the Oxus, both being within the territory of the he-goat or Grecian Empire, and indeed that part of it from which the Little Horn was to spring, and of which Antiochus was the ruler. Like the founder of the religion which bears his name, the Turkish Empire was "little" in its beginning, commencing with Togrul Beg, a Turcoman shepherd, the petty chief of a petty clan. Togrul, by marrying the Caliph's daughter, from being, as Dr. Cumming remarks, "a petty and contemptible chief, became the loyal and all but irresistible propagandist of Mahometan fanaticism."

II. Its character. Pride obviously belonged to one who claimed to be the supreme prophet of God, whose teachings and revelations were to supersede those both of Moses and of Christ, and to a people that believe themselves to be alone the faithful and the favourites of the Almighty, and despise all others as dogs and infidels. Fierceness is the well-known characteristic both of Saracens and Turks, a people, according to one of their own chiefs, whose "delight is in war rather than in peace," and who, in the language of Gibbon speaking of the Turkish nations, "still breathe the fierceness of the desert." The singular and somewhat obscure feature of "understanding dark sentences" may not unnaturally be applied to one who pretended to receive the Koran, with all its mysterious and dark sentences, from the mouth of the Angel Gabriel, a book which has been the study of many of his followers in relation to the most abstruse theological subjects, while many others have entered as profoundly into the various branches of mathematical and scientific knowledge,—Mahomet's successor, Ali, uniting, as Gibbon remarks, "the qualifications of a poet, a soldier, and a saint."

By policy and craft Mahomet is known to have made the progress he did, acting as a worldly ruler while pretending to be the prophet of God and the organ of divine communications to mankind. "In the exercise of political government," says the historian just quoted, "Mahomet was compelled to abate the stern rigour of fanaticism, to comply with the prejudices and passions of his followers, and to employ even the vices of mankind as the instruments of their salvation. The use of fraud and perfidy, of cruelty and injustice, was often subservient to the propagation of the faith." He is believed to have worn the mask of sanctity and mortification only the better to extend his imposture in the world; while his craft appears in pretending new and contradictory communications from Heaven to meet emergencies and requirements as they arose.

The effect of the vision upon Daniel himself, noted in the end of the chapter. "I, Daniel, fainted, and was sick certain days" (Dan ). The mere circumstances of the vision might have thus operated on Daniel's physical system. Communication with angelic beings in the present state probably too much for the human frame to endure without considerable derangement. It is likely, however, that the nature of the communication made had the principal share in producing this effect. The prospect of so much misery in store for his people after their restoration to their own land, and that, too, as the consequence of their own multiplied and matured transgressions, especially their abandonment of Jehovah's worship, was too much for the sensitive and beloved prophet. Daniel felt as a patriot, a prophet, and a man of God. From this, the concluding part of the chapter, we may note—

1. It is the part of sin to blunt, but of grace to intensify, natural feelings. The more that our nature is refined and purified, the more shall we be affected by the sins and sorrows of others, especially those of our own kindred and country. The more we are made to resemble the Sinless One, the more readily shall we with Him mingle our tears with the bereaved and weep over a city that rejects its God and Saviour. The same grace drew from the tender-hearted prophet the exclamation, "Oh, that my head were waters and mine eyes fountains of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughters of my people;" and caused the manly, courageous Apostle to write, "I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh" (Jer ; Rom 9:23).

2. The feelings and affections moved by realised truth according to its nature. The effect of truth, cordially received and realised, as in the case of the prophet, is to produce either joy or sorrow, hope or fear, love or aversion. The depth and power of the emotion according to the character of the truth and the intensity with which it is realised. The proper effect of Gospel truth to produce not only love to the revealed Saviour, but to fill the soul with joy (1Pe ). Believed and realised prediction of divine visitation for sin naturally productive of deep concern. The mark of the godly to tremble at God's word (Isa 66:2). "When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble" (Hab 3:16). It is the nature of sin to harden the heart against divine threatenings (Heb 3:7; Heb 4:7). While Paul reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled. His ruin was that he resisted his convictions, silenced his fears, and hardened his heart by a return to his sins.

3. Religious concern no hindrance to daily duty. Daniel's sickness disabled him for duty while it lasted, which was only for "certain days." So soon as it was over he "rose up and did the king's business" (Dan ). Daniel's well-balanced mind knew how to be "diligent in business" while "fervent in spirit." One form, fruit, and evidence of serving God faithfully is the faithful discharge of relative duties. Daniel was faithful and diligent in serving the king because he was faithful and diligent in serving God. His diligence and fidelity as well as his wisdom the source and secret of his influence at the Babylonian and Persian courts. "Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings, and shall not stand before mean men."

4. God's dealings often dark and mysterious. Daniel "was astonished at the vision" (Dan ). Events in providence often very different from our anticipation. Daniel expected a long period of peace and prosperity to his people on their settlement in their own land, according to the glowing descriptions of Isaiah and other prophets; while Israel, taught by bitter experience, would henceforth walk in the ways of the Lord. Both of these expectations were contradicted by the vision. Messiah was not yet to appear. The people were to suffer more than ever, and their suffering was to be the chastisement of their apostasy and sin. "His way is in the sea, and His path on the great waters." Patience is to have her perfect work. "Though the vision tarry, wait for it." One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. God is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness. If He delay to fulfil His promise, it is because delay is better than despatch. "My ways are not your ways, neither are my thoughts your thoughts, saith the Lord."

5. Knowledge of prophetic truth not in all cases vouchsafed. "None understood the vision" (Dan ). Daniel was to "shut up the vision" (Dan 8:27). It was true, and therefore to be carefully preserved; but its fulfilment was distant, "for many days." As the time of fulfilment drew nigh it would be pondered and better understood. "At the end it shall speak, and not lie" (Hab 2:3). The time would come when many should run to and fro, or carefully investigate its meaning, and the knowledge of it should be increased (chap. Dan 12:4). That time much nearer now in these last days. "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand" (Rev 1:3).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/daniel-8.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

There is somewhat interesting in this short account; short as it is, of what the Prophet over-heard of this conversation. It shows how attentive ministering spirits are in their office, who are sent forth to minister unto them who are heirs of salvation. Depend upon it, Reader! we are never less alone than when alone! Various have been the calculations of curious persons, concerning this period of two thousand and three hundred days. But the subject is left just where men find it. No one hath been taught of God the Spirit the method of ascertaining it with exactness. And to me, I confess, it borders on presumption to attempt being wise above what is written. When the thing predicted is accomplished, the end is then seen. But how should unenlightened, unawakened men, who were never taught of God, be competent to discover secret things which belong to the Lord.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/daniel-8.html. 1828.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Daniel 8:13-14. Then I heard one saint speaking — The word saint here is equivalent to angel: see Daniel 4:13. What this saint or angel said, is not expressed; no more than the words spoken by that illustrious person who appeared to Daniel 10:5, are recorded. And another saint said to that certain saint which spake — Several angels are introduced in Daniel’s visions, and so in Zechariah’s. This appears to be spoken of one of a higher rank, as being able to unfold those secrets which were hid from the other angels; and is therefore justly supposed to mean the Son of God, called the Wonderful Counsellor, Isaiah 9:6, as being acquainted with all God’s purposes and designs. How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice? &c. — The words, says Lowth, may be translated more agreeably to the Hebrew thus: For how long a time shall the vision last, the daily sacrifice be taken away, and the transgression of desolation continue? Since, however, there are no words in the Hebrew for taken away and continue, Mr. Wintle rather thinks the inquiry respects only the duration of the vision, and that the other words are by way of explaining what the vision is, namely, “of the daily sacrifice, and of the transgression of desolation, and of the sanctuary and host,” or its attendant ministers, “being suppressed and trampled on.” He therefore translates the clause thus: How long will be the term of the vision of the daily sacrifice, and the transgression that maketh desolate, exposing both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled on? The plain meaning of the verse is, that one of the angels asked the superior personage, distinguished here by the title of that certain saint, How long the evils signified in this vision, and particularly the taking away, or interruption, of the daily sacrifice, &c., should last. By the transgression of desolation seems to be meant the harassing and ravaging of the city by the garrison of Antiochus, setting up an idol to be worshipped in God’s temple, and, by that and other heathenish superstitions, profaning it, and also the host, or the Levites; persuading them, either by threats or enticements, to quit the worship of Jehovah, the true God, or to mix it with the worship of idols, contrary to the divine law. And he said, Unto two thousand and three hundred days — Hebrew, Until the evening [and] morning two thousand and three hundred. This signifies a space of about six years, and is to be taken from the first invasion of Judea by Antiochus, when he profaned the priesthood, and includes his second coming into that country, when he forbade the worship of God in the temple, and set up an idol there. After this time of two thousand three hundred days, or about six years from the first coming of Antiochus, it is here declared that the temple should be purged, or cleansed from the polluted or unclean things which Antiochus had brought into it, or from those things in it which he had defiled, by using them for idolatrous rites: see 1 Maccabees 4. It must, however, be remembered, that many interpreters understand these days in the same sense in which days are generally understood by this prophet, namely, for years; and thus refer the prophecy to antichrist, of whom Antiochus was a type. This will carry us on to a still distant time in the church of God, to the completion of that opposition to the church of Christ which has been wished for long since, when the sanctuary will be perfectly cleansed, and to which the twelve hundred ninety and thirteen hundred thirty-five years of chap. 12. must have a reference. Sir Isaac Newton, Obs., chap. 9., not only reckons the days to be years, but will have the horn to be Rome, and does not refer it at all to Antiochus; and in this he is followed, in a great measure, by Bishop Newton, who makes the years commence from the time of Alexander’s invading Asia, three hundred thirty-four years before Christ, and thus to end with near the sixth millennium of the world. With this interpretation of Bishop Newton, Mr. Faber (a late writer) finds great fault, and endeavours to prove that the Mohammedan delusion, and not that of the Papacy, is intended here by the little horn. His reasonings, calculations, and quotations on this subject, cannot possibly be inserted here, nor even an abstract of them. The reader that wishes to be acquainted with his scheme, must necessarily be referred to the book itself. There seems, however, to be one insuperable objection, both to Bishop Newton’s and this interpretation, and that is, that they are utterly irreconcileable with Daniel 8:9, where it is expressly said, that this little horn came forth from one of the four notable horns, or kingdoms, into which Alexander’s empire was divided. Now it cannot be said that either the Papacy, which arose in the west of Europe, or Mohammedanism, which had its rise and first prevailed in Arabia, sprang from any of the four branches of the Macedonian empire.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/daniel-8.html. 1857.

The Biblical Illustrator

Daniel 8:1-27

Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns.

The World-powers and Israel

A glance at the particulars in this vision is enough to satisfy us that we have to do with some of the same powers brought to view in the preceding chapter, and in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. What, at first glance, we might be disposed to regard as mere repetitions are not such in reality. There is something connected with the repetition to adapt it to some altered position, end, or intent. In the two preceding visions we behold the pictures of the powers of the world as a whole, without regard to any distinction between Jew and Gentile. It is human dominion in its broadest view, in the entirety of its history--first as outwardly considered, and then as spiritually considered, and finally superseded by the Kingdom of God. The vision now in hand is given, not in Chaldee, but in Hebrew. What Daniel is shown of these world-power manifestations he sees and hears not only as a spiritual man of God, but more particularly as a Jewish prophet, and as mainly concerning the Jewish people. Hence the dominion of Babylon is left out entirely, for it was now on the eve of its downfall, and nothing more was to come of it to the Jews. It is still the same world-power in its various forms which constitutes the subject of this vision, but with the emphasis now on what particularly concerns the Jewish prophet, and with all else touched but lightly, or not at all. To little purpose do we read the Book of Daniel not to find in it a solemn warning to the Church of our time, and for all the days yet to come, to beware of the fascinating flatteries and secularising expedients and compliances which, in the self-idolising spirit of spurious charity, specious liberality, mad heartless scepticism, would tempt her to forget her Dirge origin and Heavenly destiny. There is a spirit abroad which would have the Church rescind her sacred charter, cancel her authentic commission, and assimilate herself to a mere political or conventional institution. Men call it a liberalising spirit, a spirit of improvement, which would change our Christian schools and colleges into mere secular gymnasiums and scientific museums or artistic studios and literary athenaeums but it is a spirit which is prone to treat holy Scriptures as mere human lucubrations of worthy men before the ages of better light, rationalise away all the definite doctrines of the authourised creed into mere scholastic or philosophical theorems, dissolve the sacraments into picturesque symbolisms and visionary shadows without life or power, and dismantle the ministry and services of the Church as if they never had a solid right to be regarded as the appointment of very God for conveying and imparting to lost men the regenerating, sanctifying and only restorative gifts of Jehovah’s grace. It is the spirit of Antichrist. Many of the so-called churches, and the leaders of the prevailing religious sentiment of our day, are sewing for a harvest of miseries of which they but little dream. Daniel was greatly affected by these visions, and the explanations made of them, as he well might be. (Joseph A. Seiss, D.D.)

Vision of the -Ram and the He-Goat

Learn:

1. The strength of one evil habit may overcome even the mightiest conqueror. Alexander the Great died as the victim of his own excesses at the early age of thirty-three. He could conquer the world by his armies, yet intemperance was his master and destroyer. How many there are among us who have made similar conquests, and been themselves similarly overcome. Think of Lord Byron and Robert Burns, the two poets. To no purpose shall we gain other crowns if we are our- selves the slaves of appetite. It is easier to acquire a habit than it is to break it off.

2. Conformity to the world is fraught with great danger to the people of God. If we have been right in conjecturing that the evils which came upon the Jews in the days of Anticchus were designed as chastisements for their unfaithfulness to the covenant, the history over which we have come is, in this regard, full of most salutary warning. Nor does it stand alone. The tendency of these days is to minimize the difference between the Christian and other men. So it happens that the Church of Christ is invaded by the unbelieving, and its power to resist and overcome the world is thereby sadly weakened. That which gives salt its value is its saltness, and when that quality is lost by it, men cast it from them and trample it underfoot. Our peculiarities as Christians are the very elements of our power. By these it is that the Church has its aggressive force and purifying influence upon the world.

3. Learn, in conclusion, the limited power of the enemies of God’s people. The spoliation of Jerusalem by Antiochus was to be only for a season. The world-tyrant could only go a certain length. God is stronger than the mightiest man; and so to the people of God who continue faithful unto Him there is a limit to calamity. The longest night is followed by the dawn. As the proverb has it, “Time and the hour run through the roughest day.”

Then be patient, be uncompromising, be courageous. (William M. Taylor, D.D.)

Vision of the Ram and the He-Goat

This second vision of Daniel came to him in the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar. If the first year of

Belshazzar, during which Daniel had his first vision, corresponded with the seventh year of his father Nabonidus, the year following that in which

Media was conquered by Cyrus the third year of Belshazzar would be the tenth year of Nabonidus, and so about 646 B.C. The scene of the vision was

Shushan, or Susa, the capital of Elam, and afterwards one of the chief residences of the Persian kings. Shushan, which means a lily, may have been so called from the many white lilies which grew in its neighbourhood.

The language of Daniel leaves it doubtful whether, when he received the vision, he was present at Shushan in the body or only in the spirit, like to

Ezekiel when he was removed to Jerusalem to see the causes of his impending doom (Ezekiel 8:1-18). As Elam, which lay to the east of Babylonia, seems to have become a tributary province of the empire in the days of

Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel as the prime minister would sometimes probably visit Shushan its capital: but as the history of Elam during this period is very obscure, it would be hazardous to affirm that he was actually present in Shushan when he received the vision, although it seems to me that he might. The likelihood seems to be that Cyrus would leave Elam untouched, not only until after the conquest of Media, Lydia, and Persia, but also until after he had made adequate preparations for the more formidable task of conquering the great Babylonian empire. In that case Daniel might be in

Shushan in the tenth year of Nabonidus, which we have supposed to be the third year of his son Belshazzar, in connection with the mustering of the forces of Elam against Cyrus; and his actual presence there for the purposes of defence would give peculiar point and significance to the vision.. The first thing in the vision which met the eye of the ecstatic Daniel was a ram with two horns (v. 3, 4). The river Ulai (the Eulaeus of the

Greeks) before which the ram stood, apparently on the opposite side of the stream, seems to have been “a large artificial canal, some nine hundred feet broad, though it is now dry, which left the Choaspes at Pat Pul, about twenty miles north-west of Susa, passed close by the town of Susa on the north or north-east, and afterwards joined the Coprates” (Driver). In connection with the ram there is in the original, the numeral one, to bring into relief the fact that the ram had two horns. The ram is the symbol of the

Medo-Persian empire, as the angel Gabriel said to Daniel: “The ram which thou sawest that had two horns, they are the kings of Media and Persia.” This symbol corresponds with that of the arms and breast of silver in the image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, and with that of the bear raised up on one side in the first vision of Daniel. The two horns, which represent the kingdoms of Media and Persia, were both high or conspicuous horns, while the horn which was higher than the other, and which came up after it, represents the kingdom of Persia, which until the time of Cyrus was but a tributary of Media, but which grew and became the more powerful and conspicuous member of the united kingdom. This is seen in the fact that at the first, as in this book, the empire is spoken of as that of the Medes and Persians, but afterwards, as in the book of Esther, as that of the Persians and the Medes (Esther 1:3; Esther 1:14; Esther 1:18-19). As the symbol of the ram with the two horns here represents the Medo-Persian empire, it is strange that anyone should explain the symbol of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and that of Daniel’s first vision to mean the Medes alone. The idea of a Median empire succeeding the Babylonian is, as the higher critics admit, a gross historical blunder; but then they ascribe the blunder, which they themselves have created, to the ignorance of the author, and apply to their own workmanship the well-sounding name of scientific criticism. As Daniel looked at the ram with the two horns on the other side of the Ulai, he saw it pushing or butting westward, and northward and southward, and overthrowing all the beasts which came in its way, and glorying in its crushing and victorious power. This is a striking description of the conquests and spirit of the Medo-Persian empire. In the west it vanquished Babylon and Syria; in the north Lydia, Armenia, and the Scythian nations; and in the south part of Arabia, Egypt, and Ethiopia. It was more of a world-empire than Babylon, and for a time resistless in its conquering career, and became in an eminent degree a despotic and vainglorious power. The next part of the vision relates to the he-goat (v. 5, 8). This is the interpretation given by Gabriel to Daniel: “And the rough he-goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. And as for that which was broken, in the place whereof four stood up, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not with his power.” The he-goat with its one great horn at the first, and afterwards with its four notable horns, the symbol of the Graeco-Macedonian empire, corresponds with the belly and thighs of brass of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, and with the four-winged leopard with four heads in Daniel’s first vision. There is a likeness of a he-goat with one notable horn between its eyes still to be seen in the sculptures at Persepolis. The first king of the GraceMacedonian empire, symbolised by the one great horn between the eyes, is Alexander the Great. This remarkable man, who at thirteen became for three years the pupil of the famous Aristotle, was born in 356 B.C., and ascended the throne of Macedonia in 336 B.C., when he was twenty years of age. Within two years after his coronation he had made himself the recognised leader of the Grecian peoples; and in 334 B.C., he crossed the Hellespont to overthrow the Medo-Persian empire with not more perhaps than 30,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry, and began the struggle by completely routing the Persians in battle at the Granicus. He then overran and subdued a large part of Asia Minor, and in 333 B.C. dealt a crushing blow to the immense army of Darius at Issus in Cilicia. Instead of pursuing the beaten Darius the youthful conqueror marched southward through Syria and Palestine, taking Tyre after a siege of seven months, and Gaza after a siege of two, and entered Egypt, where he not only overthrew the Persian rule, but founded the city of Alexandria for his new kingdom. In 331 B.C. he left Egypt and hastened with all speed through Palestine and Syria to Thapsacus, where he crossed the Euphrates, and then onwards to the Tigris, below Nineveh, which he crossed without opposition. Some days after Alexander encountered the army of Darius, said to be more than a million in number, posted on a broad plain stretching from Guagamela to Arbela, and completely routed it, and thus practically ended the Medo-Persian empire, which had lasted for a period of 218 years. In the following year, 330 B.C., Darius, after he had fled to Susa, then to Persepolis (Pasargadae), and then to Ecbatana, three of the royal residences of the Persian kings, made his escape into Bactria, where he was assassinated. In three years the little king of Macedonia had made himself master of the vast Medo-Persian empire. The rapidity of his movements is aptly likened to that of a four-winged leopard in the first vision, and in this to that of a he-goat bounding along without touching the ground. His attacks on the armies of Darius were like those of the he-goat on the ram with the two horns. Darius, like the ram, had no power to resist him; and Alexander, like the he-goat, “cast him down to the ground, and trampled upon him; and there was none to deliver the ram out of his hand.” Alexander, too, like the he-goat, “magnified himself exceedingly.” His extraordinary successes impressed him with the idea that he must be more than human; and, to settle the matter, when he was in Egypt, he sent to enquire of the oracle of Ammon, which, knowing what would please the vainglorious conqueror, gave the answer that he was the son, not of Philip, but of Zeus. Hence, to the disgust of many of his followers, he claimed to be divine, and expected to be worshipped with divine honours. And he, like the great horn, was “broken in his strength.” He was cut off at Babylon by fever, aggravated by intemperance, when in the midst of his successes, and not yet thirty-three years of age. After the breaking of the great horn the four notable horns, which came up towards the four winds of Heaven, are explained by Gabriel to be four kingdoms that would stand up out of the nation, but not with his power. The four horns of the-he-goat correspond with the four heads of the leopard in the first vision. Alexander the Great died in 323 B.C.; and for twenty-two years after the empire was in a condition of conflict and confusion; but in 301 B.C. it was divided into four kingdoms, all of which were weaker than the original empire. Seleucus got what may be called the eastern kingdom of Syria, Babylonia, and the countries as far as India; Cassander, the western kingdom of Macedonia and Greece; Lysimachus, the northern kingdom of Thrace and Bithynia; and Ptolemy, the southern kingdom of Egypt, Palestine, and Arabia Petrea. These four kingdoms were towards the four winds of Heaven. The little horn is admitted on all hands to be Antiochus Epiphanes, who seized the throne of Syria in 175 B.C., in the absence of his nephew Demetrius, the rightful heir. He might be called a little horn, partly from the depressed state of the kingdom of Syria at the time, and partly from his own depressed state, as he had been hostage at Rome for the seven preceding years. In the eyes of the world such a king would be very insignificant. The period in which he would arise is said to be “in the latter time of the kingdom (the Graeco-Macedonian empire), when the transgressors are come to the full,” that is, when the Jewish people had filled up the cup of their iniquity. Many of the Jews with their high priest apostatised in the early days of Antiochus, and adopted the heathen customs of the Greeks. The period of the little horn is also said to belong to the time of the end. Gabriel said to Daniel 5:17 : “Understand O son of man; for the vision belongeth to the time of the end”; and again, v.19: “Behold I will make thee know what shall be in the latter time of theindignation; for it belongeth to the appointed time of the end.” The time of the end seems to refer to the end of the present age, as distinguished from the future age of the Messiah. The appearance of the little horn, which would be in the latter time of God’s indignation against His chosen people, would show that men were living in the last stage of the old order of things, and that a new order of things was about to arise. Antiochus Epiphanes, the little horn which was to arise in the time of the end, is minutely and accurately described. He was “a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,” noted for his hard-hearted cruelty and crafty dissimulation. Though a little horn at the first, “he waxed exceeding great toward the glorious land.” The south refers to Egypt, against which he undertook several campaigns, and would have made a complete conquest of it, had it not been for the interference of the Romans; the east refers to his military expeditions into Armenia, Bactria, and Elymais; and the glorious land, “the glory of all lands” in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 20:6), refers to Palestine which he so grievously oppressed. His success was due, not so much to inherent ability as to the favouring providence of God and the practice of dissimulation. The one cause is pointed out in the words, “And his power shall be mighty; but not by his own power”; and the other in the words, “And through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand.” And in his successful career, “he shall destroy the mighty ones and the holy people,” that is, powerful foes in the world and the chosen people of Israel. The destructive power of the little horn is especially noted in reference to the holy people. We read: “And it waxed great even to the host of heaven: and some of the host and of the stars it cast down to the ground and trampled upon them.” The host of Heaven and the stars refer to the same, and not to different persons; and the stars here symbolise, not the angels but the chosen people, partly because the seed of Abraham had been likened to the stars for multitude (Genesis 15:5), but mainly because they are sometimes called the Lord’s host (Exodus 7:4; Exodus 12:41). This was fulfilled in his two captures of Jerusalem, when many of the inhabitants were slain, and in his persecution of those who refused to abandon their religion (Jos. Ant. 12:3, 4). “Yes,” continues Daniel, “it magnified itself, oven to the prince of the host; and it took away from him the continual burnt offering and the pines of his sanctuary was cut down. And the host was given over to it, together with the continual burnt offering through transgression; and it cast down truth to the ground, and it did its pleasure and prospered.” This describes the attempt of Antiochus to extinguish the religion of the Jews. The arch-persecutor was opposed not only to the host but to the prince of the host. His aim was to blast the glory, and overthrow the power of the Most High. He plundered His temple, and caused the daily sacrifice to cease, and transformed the altar of Jehovah into an altar dedicated to the worship of idols. And because of the transgressions of the host Antiochus, like Nebuchadnezzar in reference to the destruction of Solomon’s temple, was permitted to do his pleasure and prosper. (T. Kirk.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Daniel 8:14". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/daniel-8.html. 1905-1909. New York.

The Biblical Illustrator

Daniel 8:1-27

Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns.

The World-powers and Israel

A glance at the particulars in this vision is enough to satisfy us that we have to do with some of the same powers brought to view in the preceding chapter, and in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. What, at first glance, we might be disposed to regard as mere repetitions are not such in reality. There is something connected with the repetition to adapt it to some altered position, end, or intent. In the two preceding visions we behold the pictures of the powers of the world as a whole, without regard to any distinction between Jew and Gentile. It is human dominion in its broadest view, in the entirety of its history--first as outwardly considered, and then as spiritually considered, and finally superseded by the Kingdom of God. The vision now in hand is given, not in Chaldee, but in Hebrew. What Daniel is shown of these world-power manifestations he sees and hears not only as a spiritual man of God, but more particularly as a Jewish prophet, and as mainly concerning the Jewish people. Hence the dominion of Babylon is left out entirely, for it was now on the eve of its downfall, and nothing more was to come of it to the Jews. It is still the same world-power in its various forms which constitutes the subject of this vision, but with the emphasis now on what particularly concerns the Jewish prophet, and with all else touched but lightly, or not at all. To little purpose do we read the Book of Daniel not to find in it a solemn warning to the Church of our time, and for all the days yet to come, to beware of the fascinating flatteries and secularising expedients and compliances which, in the self-idolising spirit of spurious charity, specious liberality, mad heartless scepticism, would tempt her to forget her Dirge origin and Heavenly destiny. There is a spirit abroad which would have the Church rescind her sacred charter, cancel her authentic commission, and assimilate herself to a mere political or conventional institution. Men call it a liberalising spirit, a spirit of improvement, which would change our Christian schools and colleges into mere secular gymnasiums and scientific museums or artistic studios and literary athenaeums but it is a spirit which is prone to treat holy Scriptures as mere human lucubrations of worthy men before the ages of better light, rationalise away all the definite doctrines of the authourised creed into mere scholastic or philosophical theorems, dissolve the sacraments into picturesque symbolisms and visionary shadows without life or power, and dismantle the ministry and services of the Church as if they never had a solid right to be regarded as the appointment of very God for conveying and imparting to lost men the regenerating, sanctifying and only restorative gifts of Jehovah’s grace. It is the spirit of Antichrist. Many of the so-called churches, and the leaders of the prevailing religious sentiment of our day, are sewing for a harvest of miseries of which they but little dream. Daniel was greatly affected by these visions, and the explanations made of them, as he well might be. (Joseph A. Seiss, D.D.)

Vision of the -Ram and the He-Goat

Learn:

1. The strength of one evil habit may overcome even the mightiest conqueror. Alexander the Great died as the victim of his own excesses at the early age of thirty-three. He could conquer the world by his armies, yet intemperance was his master and destroyer. How many there are among us who have made similar conquests, and been themselves similarly overcome. Think of Lord Byron and Robert Burns, the two poets. To no purpose shall we gain other crowns if we are our- selves the slaves of appetite. It is easier to acquire a habit than it is to break it off.

2. Conformity to the world is fraught with great danger to the people of God. If we have been right in conjecturing that the evils which came upon the Jews in the days of Anticchus were designed as chastisements for their unfaithfulness to the covenant, the history over which we have come is, in this regard, full of most salutary warning. Nor does it stand alone. The tendency of these days is to minimize the difference between the Christian and other men. So it happens that the Church of Christ is invaded by the unbelieving, and its power to resist and overcome the world is thereby sadly weakened. That which gives salt its value is its saltness, and when that quality is lost by it, men cast it from them and trample it underfoot. Our peculiarities as Christians are the very elements of our power. By these it is that the Church has its aggressive force and purifying influence upon the world.

3. Learn, in conclusion, the limited power of the enemies of God’s people. The spoliation of Jerusalem by Antiochus was to be only for a season. The world-tyrant could only go a certain length. God is stronger than the mightiest man; and so to the people of God who continue faithful unto Him there is a limit to calamity. The longest night is followed by the dawn. As the proverb has it, “Time and the hour run through the roughest day.”

Then be patient, be uncompromising, be courageous. (William M. Taylor, D.D.)

Vision of the Ram and the He-Goat

This second vision of Daniel came to him in the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar. If the first year of

Belshazzar, during which Daniel had his first vision, corresponded with the seventh year of his father Nabonidus, the year following that in which

Media was conquered by Cyrus the third year of Belshazzar would be the tenth year of Nabonidus, and so about 646 B.C. The scene of the vision was

Shushan, or Susa, the capital of Elam, and afterwards one of the chief residences of the Persian kings. Shushan, which means a lily, may have been so called from the many white lilies which grew in its neighbourhood.

The language of Daniel leaves it doubtful whether, when he received the vision, he was present at Shushan in the body or only in the spirit, like to

Ezekiel when he was removed to Jerusalem to see the causes of his impending doom (Ezekiel 8:1-18). As Elam, which lay to the east of Babylonia, seems to have become a tributary province of the empire in the days of

Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel as the prime minister would sometimes probably visit Shushan its capital: but as the history of Elam during this period is very obscure, it would be hazardous to affirm that he was actually present in Shushan when he received the vision, although it seems to me that he might. The likelihood seems to be that Cyrus would leave Elam untouched, not only until after the conquest of Media, Lydia, and Persia, but also until after he had made adequate preparations for the more formidable task of conquering the great Babylonian empire. In that case Daniel might be in

Shushan in the tenth year of Nabonidus, which we have supposed to be the third year of his son Belshazzar, in connection with the mustering of the forces of Elam against Cyrus; and his actual presence there for the purposes of defence would give peculiar point and significance to the vision.. The first thing in the vision which met the eye of the ecstatic Daniel was a ram with two horns (v. 3, 4). The river Ulai (the Eulaeus of the

Greeks) before which the ram stood, apparently on the opposite side of the stream, seems to have been “a large artificial canal, some nine hundred feet broad, though it is now dry, which left the Choaspes at Pat Pul, about twenty miles north-west of Susa, passed close by the town of Susa on the north or north-east, and afterwards joined the Coprates” (Driver). In connection with the ram there is in the original, the numeral one, to bring into relief the fact that the ram had two horns. The ram is the symbol of the

Medo-Persian empire, as the angel Gabriel said to Daniel: “The ram which thou sawest that had two horns, they are the kings of Media and Persia.” This symbol corresponds with that of the arms and breast of silver in the image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, and with that of the bear raised up on one side in the first vision of Daniel. The two horns, which represent the kingdoms of Media and Persia, were both high or conspicuous horns, while the horn which was higher than the other, and which came up after it, represents the kingdom of Persia, which until the time of Cyrus was but a tributary of Media, but which grew and became the more powerful and conspicuous member of the united kingdom. This is seen in the fact that at the first, as in this book, the empire is spoken of as that of the Medes and Persians, but afterwards, as in the book of Esther, as that of the Persians and the Medes (Esther 1:3; Esther 1:14; Esther 1:18-19). As the symbol of the ram with the two horns here represents the Medo-Persian empire, it is strange that anyone should explain the symbol of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and that of Daniel’s first vision to mean the Medes alone. The idea of a Median empire succeeding the Babylonian is, as the higher critics admit, a gross historical blunder; but then they ascribe the blunder, which they themselves have created, to the ignorance of the author, and apply to their own workmanship the well-sounding name of scientific criticism. As Daniel looked at the ram with the two horns on the other side of the Ulai, he saw it pushing or butting westward, and northward and southward, and overthrowing all the beasts which came in its way, and glorying in its crushing and victorious power. This is a striking description of the conquests and spirit of the Medo-Persian empire. In the west it vanquished Babylon and Syria; in the north Lydia, Armenia, and the Scythian nations; and in the south part of Arabia, Egypt, and Ethiopia. It was more of a world-empire than Babylon, and for a time resistless in its conquering career, and became in an eminent degree a despotic and vainglorious power. The next part of the vision relates to the he-goat (v. 5, 8). This is the interpretation given by Gabriel to Daniel: “And the rough he-goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. And as for that which was broken, in the place whereof four stood up, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not with his power.” The he-goat with its one great horn at the first, and afterwards with its four notable horns, the symbol of the Graeco-Macedonian empire, corresponds with the belly and thighs of brass of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, and with the four-winged leopard with four heads in Daniel’s first vision. There is a likeness of a he-goat with one notable horn between its eyes still to be seen in the sculptures at Persepolis. The first king of the GraceMacedonian empire, symbolised by the one great horn between the eyes, is Alexander the Great. This remarkable man, who at thirteen became for three years the pupil of the famous Aristotle, was born in 356 B.C., and ascended the throne of Macedonia in 336 B.C., when he was twenty years of age. Within two years after his coronation he had made himself the recognised leader of the Grecian peoples; and in 334 B.C., he crossed the Hellespont to overthrow the Medo-Persian empire with not more perhaps than 30,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry, and began the struggle by completely routing the Persians in battle at the Granicus. He then overran and subdued a large part of Asia Minor, and in 333 B.C. dealt a crushing blow to the immense army of Darius at Issus in Cilicia. Instead of pursuing the beaten Darius the youthful conqueror marched southward through Syria and Palestine, taking Tyre after a siege of seven months, and Gaza after a siege of two, and entered Egypt, where he not only overthrew the Persian rule, but founded the city of Alexandria for his new kingdom. In 331 B.C. he left Egypt and hastened with all speed through Palestine and Syria to Thapsacus, where he crossed the Euphrates, and then onwards to the Tigris, below Nineveh, which he crossed without opposition. Some days after Alexander encountered the army of Darius, said to be more than a million in number, posted on a broad plain stretching from Guagamela to Arbela, and completely routed it, and thus practically ended the Medo-Persian empire, which had lasted for a period of 218 years. In the following year, 330 B.C., Darius, after he had fled to Susa, then to Persepolis (Pasargadae), and then to Ecbatana, three of the royal residences of the Persian kings, made his escape into Bactria, where he was assassinated. In three years the little king of Macedonia had made himself master of the vast Medo-Persian empire. The rapidity of his movements is aptly likened to that of a four-winged leopard in the first vision, and in this to that of a he-goat bounding along without touching the ground. His attacks on the armies of Darius were like those of the he-goat on the ram with the two horns. Darius, like the ram, had no power to resist him; and Alexander, like the he-goat, “cast him down to the ground, and trampled upon him; and there was none to deliver the ram out of his hand.” Alexander, too, like the he-goat, “magnified himself exceedingly.” His extraordinary successes impressed him with the idea that he must be more than human; and, to settle the matter, when he was in Egypt, he sent to enquire of the oracle of Ammon, which, knowing what would please the vainglorious conqueror, gave the answer that he was the son, not of Philip, but of Zeus. Hence, to the disgust of many of his followers, he claimed to be divine, and expected to be worshipped with divine honours. And he, like the great horn, was “broken in his strength.” He was cut off at Babylon by fever, aggravated by intemperance, when in the midst of his successes, and not yet thirty-three years of age. After the breaking of the great horn the four notable horns, which came up towards the four winds of Heaven, are explained by Gabriel to be four kingdoms that would stand up out of the nation, but not with his power. The four horns of the-he-goat correspond with the four heads of the leopard in the first vision. Alexander the Great died in 323 B.C.; and for twenty-two years after the empire was in a condition of conflict and confusion; but in 301 B.C. it was divided into four kingdoms, all of which were weaker than the original empire. Seleucus got what may be called the eastern kingdom of Syria, Babylonia, and the countries as far as India; Cassander, the western kingdom of Macedonia and Greece; Lysimachus, the northern kingdom of Thrace and Bithynia; and Ptolemy, the southern kingdom of Egypt, Palestine, and Arabia Petrea. These four kingdoms were towards the four winds of Heaven. The little horn is admitted on all hands to be Antiochus Epiphanes, who seized the throne of Syria in 175 B.C., in the absence of his nephew Demetrius, the rightful heir. He might be called a little horn, partly from the depressed state of the kingdom of Syria at the time, and partly from his own depressed state, as he had been hostage at Rome for the seven preceding years. In the eyes of the world such a king would be very insignificant. The period in which he would arise is said to be “in the latter time of the kingdom (the Graeco-Macedonian empire), when the transgressors are come to the full,” that is, when the Jewish people had filled up the cup of their iniquity. Many of the Jews with their high priest apostatised in the early days of Antiochus, and adopted the heathen customs of the Greeks. The period of the little horn is also said to belong to the time of the end. Gabriel said to Daniel 5:17 : “Understand O son of man; for the vision belongeth to the time of the end”; and again, v.19: “Behold I will make thee know what shall be in the latter time of theindignation; for it belongeth to the appointed time of the end.” The time of the end seems to refer to the end of the present age, as distinguished from the future age of the Messiah. The appearance of the little horn, which would be in the latter time of God’s indignation against His chosen people, would show that men were living in the last stage of the old order of things, and that a new order of things was about to arise. Antiochus Epiphanes, the little horn which was to arise in the time of the end, is minutely and accurately described. He was “a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,” noted for his hard-hearted cruelty and crafty dissimulation. Though a little horn at the first, “he waxed exceeding great toward the glorious land.” The south refers to Egypt, against which he undertook several campaigns, and would have made a complete conquest of it, had it not been for the interference of the Romans; the east refers to his military expeditions into Armenia, Bactria, and Elymais; and the glorious land, “the glory of all lands” in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 20:6), refers to Palestine which he so grievously oppressed. His success was due, not so much to inherent ability as to the favouring providence of God and the practice of dissimulation. The one cause is pointed out in the words, “And his power shall be mighty; but not by his own power”; and the other in the words, “And through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand.” And in his successful career, “he shall destroy the mighty ones and the holy people,” that is, powerful foes in the world and the chosen people of Israel. The destructive power of the little horn is especially noted in reference to the holy people. We read: “And it waxed great even to the host of heaven: and some of the host and of the stars it cast down to the ground and trampled upon them.” The host of Heaven and the stars refer to the same, and not to different persons; and the stars here symbolise, not the angels but the chosen people, partly because the seed of Abraham had been likened to the stars for multitude (Genesis 15:5), but mainly because they are sometimes called the Lord’s host (Exodus 7:4; Exodus 12:41). This was fulfilled in his two captures of Jerusalem, when many of the inhabitants were slain, and in his persecution of those who refused to abandon their religion (Jos. Ant. 12:3, 4). “Yes,” continues Daniel, “it magnified itself, oven to the prince of the host; and it took away from him the continual burnt offering and the pines of his sanctuary was cut down. And the host was given over to it, together with the continual burnt offering through transgression; and it cast down truth to the ground, and it did its pleasure and prospered.” This describes the attempt of Antiochus to extinguish the religion of the Jews. The arch-persecutor was opposed not only to the host but to the prince of the host. His aim was to blast the glory, and overthrow the power of the Most High. He plundered His temple, and caused the daily sacrifice to cease, and transformed the altar of Jehovah into an altar dedicated to the worship of idols. And because of the transgressions of the host Antiochus, like Nebuchadnezzar in reference to the destruction of Solomon’s temple, was permitted to do his pleasure and prosper. (T. Kirk.)

Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Daniel 8:14". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/daniel-8.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Daniel 8:14. Unto two thousand and three hundred days In the original, Unto two thousand and three hundred mornings and evenings; an evening and a morning being the Hebrew notation of time for a day. See Daniel 8:26. Now these 2300 days can by no computation be accommodated to the times of Antiochus Epiphanes, even though the days be taken for natural days. The days, without doubt, are to be taken, agreeably to the style of Daniel in other places, not for natural, but for prophetic days or years; and as the question was asked, not only how long the daily sacrifices should be taken away, and the transgression of desolation continue, but also how long the vision should last; so the answer is to be understood: and these 2300 days denote the whole time from the beginning of the vision to the cleansing of the sanctuary. The sanctuary is not yet cleansed, and consequently these years are not expired. It is difficult to fix the precise time when the prophetic dates begin and end, till the prophesies are fulfilled: but it appears to me that the 2300 days should be computed from the vision of the he-goat, or Alexander's invading Asia. Alexander invaded Asia in the year of the world 3670 (according to the common calculation, which may in some degree be erroneous), and before Christ 334. Two thousand and three hundred years from that time will draw towards the conclusion of the sixth millennium of the world. See Bishop Newton. But I shall speak more on this subject when we come to the Revelation.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/daniel-8.html. 1801-1803.

Expositor's Bible Commentary

THE RAM AND THE HE-GOAT

This vision is dated as having occurred in the third year of Belshazzar; but it is not easy to see the significance of the date, since it is almost exclusively occupied with the establishment of the Greek Empire, its dissolution into the kingdoms of the Diadochi, and the godless despotism of King Antiochus Epiphanes.

The seer imagines himself to be in the palace of Shushan: "As I beheld I was in the castle of Shushan." It has been supposed by some that Daniel was really there upon some business connected with the kingdom of Babylon. But this view creates a needless difficulty. Shushan, which the Greeks called Susa, and the Persians Shush (now Shushter), "the city of the lily," was "the palace" or fortress (birah) of the Achaemenid kings of Persia. and it is most unlikely that a chief officer of the kingdom of Babylon should have been there in the third year of the imaginary King Belshazzar, just when Cyrus was on the eve of capturing Babylon without a blow. If Belshazzar is some dim reflection of the son of Nabunaid (though he never reigned), Shushan was not then subject to the King of Babylonia. But the ideal presence of the prophet there, in vision, is analogous to the presence of the exile Ezekiel in Jerusalem; [Ezekiel 40:1] and these transferences of the prophets to the scenes of their operation were sometimes even regarded as bodily, as in the legend of Habakkuk taken to the lions’ den to support Daniel.

Shushan is described as being in the province of Elam or Elymais, which may be here used as a general designation of the district in which Susa was included. The prophet imagines himself as standing by the river-basin of the Ulai, which shows that we must take the words "in the castle of Shushan" in an ideal sense; for, as Ewald says, "it is only in a dream that images and places are changed so rapidly." The Ulai is the river called by the Greeks the Eulaens, now the Karun.

Shushan is said by Pliny and Arrian to have been on the river Eulaens, and by Herodotus to have been on the banks of

"Choaspes, amber stream, The drink of none but kings."

It seems now to have been proved that the Ulai was merely a branch of the Choaspes or Kerkhah.

Lifting up his eyes, Daniel sees a ram standing eastward of the river-basin. It has two lofty horns, the loftier of the two being the later in origin. It butts westward, northward, and southward, and does great things. But in the midst of its successes a he-goat, with a conspicuous horn between its eyes, comes from the West so swiftly over the face of all the earth that it scarcely seems even to touch the ground, and runs upon the ram in the fury of his strength, conquering and trampling upon him, and smashing in pieces his two horns. But his impetuosity was shortlived, for the great horn was speedily broken, and four others rose in its place towards the four winds of heaven. Out of these four horns shot up a puny horn, which grew exceedingly great towards the South, and towards the East, and towards the "Glory," i.e., towards the Holy Land. It became great even to the host of heaven, and cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and trampled on them. He even behaved proudly against the prince of the host, took away from him "the daily" (sacrifice), polluted the dismantled sanctuary with sacrilegious arms, and cast the truth to the ground and prospered. Then "one holy one called to another and asked, For how long is the vision of the daily [sacrifice], and the horrible sacrilege, that thus both the sanctuary and host are surrendered to be trampled underfoot?" And the answer is, "Until two thousand three hundred ‘erebh-boqer, ‘evening-morning’; then will the sanctuary be justified."

Daniel sought to understand the vision, and immediately there stood before him one in the semblance of a man, and he hears the distant voice of some standing between the Ulai- i.e. , between its two banks, or perhaps between its two branches the Eulaeus and the Choaspes-who called aloud to "Gabriel." The archangel Gabriel is here first mentioned in Scripture. "Gabriel," cried the voice, "explain to him what he has seen." So Gabriel came and stood beside him; but he was terrified, and fell on his face. "Observe, thou son of man," said the angel to him; "for unto the time of the end is the vision." But since Daniel still lay prostrate on his face, and sank into a swoon, the angel touched him, and raised him up, and said that the great wrath was only for a fixed time, and he would tell him what would happen at the end of it.

The two-horned ram, he said, the Baalkeranaim, or "lord of two horns," represents the King of Media and Persia; the shaggy goat is the Empire of Greece; and the great horn is its first king-Alexander the Great.

The four horns rising out of the broken great horn are four inferior kingdoms. In one of these, sacrilege would culminate in the person of a king of bold face, and skilled in cunning, who would become powerful, though not by his own strength. He would prosper and destroy mighty men and the people of the holy ones, and deceit would succeed by his double-dealing. He would contend against the Prince of princes and yet without a hand would he be broken in pieces.

Such is the vision and its interpretation; and though there is here and there a difficulty in the details and translation, and though there is a necessary crudeness in the emblematic imagery, the general significance of the whole is perfectly clear.

The scene of the vision is ideally placed in Shushan, because the Jews regarded it as the royal capital of the Persian dominion, and the dream begins with the overthrow of the Medo-Persian Empire. The ram is a natural symbol of power and strength, as in Isaiah 60:7. The two horns represent the two divisions of the empire, of which the later-the Persian - is the loftier and the stronger. It is regarded as being already the lord of the East, but it extends its conquests by butting westward over the Tigris into Europe, and southwards to Egypt and Africa, and northwards towards Scythia, with magnificent success.

The he-goat is Greece. Its one great horn represents "the great Emathian conqueror." So swift was the career of Alexander’s conquests, that the goat seems to speed along without so much as touching the ground. [Isaiah 5:26-29 Comp. #/RAPC 1 Maccabees 1:3] With irresistible fury, in the great battles of the Granicus (B.C. 334), Issus (B.C. 333), and Arbela (B.C. 331), he stamps to pieces the power of Persia and of its king, Darius Codomannus. In this short space of time Alexander conquers Syria, Phoenicia, Cyprus, Tyre, Gaza, Egypt, Babylonia, Persia, Media, Hyrcania, Aria, and Arachosia. In B.C. 330 Darius was murdered by Bessus, and Alexander became lord of his kingdom. In B.C. 329 the Greek King conquered Bactria, crossed the Oxus and Jaxartes, and defeated the Scythians. In B.C. 328 he conquered Sogdiana. In B.C. 327 and 326 he crossed the Indus, Hydaspes, and Akesines, subdued Northern and Western India, and-compelled by the discontent of his troops to pause in his career of victory-sailed down the Hydaspes and Indus to the Ocean.

He then returned by land through Gedrosia, Karmania, Persia, and Susiana to Babylon.

There the great horn is suddenly broken without hand. {#/RAPC 1 Maccabees 6:1-16, 2 Maccabees 9:9, Job 7:6, Proverbs 26:20} Alexander in B.C. 323, after a reign of twelve years and eight months, died as a fool dieth, of a fever brought on by fatigue, exposure, drunkenness, and debauchery. He was only thirty-two years old.

The dismemberment of his empire immediately followed. In B.C. 322 its vast extent was divided among his principal generals. Twenty-two years of war ensued; and in B.C. 301, after the defeat of Antigonus and his son Demetrius at the Battle of Ipsus, four horns are visible in the place of one. The battle was won by the confederacy of Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus, and they founded four kingdoms. Cassander ruled in Greece and Macedonia; Lysimachus in Asia Minor; Ptolemy in Egypt, Coele-Syria, and Palestine; Seleucus in Upper Asia.

With one only of the four kingdoms, and with one only of its kings, is the vision further concerned-with the kingdom of the Seleueidae, and with the eighth king of the Dynasty, Antiochus Epiphanes. In this chapter, however, a brief sketch only of him is furnished. Many details of the minutest kind are subsequently added.

He is called "a puny horn," because, in his youth, no one could have anticipated his future greatness. He was only a younger son of Antiochus III (the Great). When Antiochus III was defeated in the Battle of Magnesia under Mount Sipylus (B.C. 190), his loss was terrible. Fifty thousand foot and four thousand horse were slain on the battlefield, and fourteen hundred were taken prisoners. He was forced to make peace with the Romans, and to give them hostages, one of whom was Antiochus the Younger, brother of Seleucus, who was heir to the throne. Antiochus for thirteen years languished miserably as a hostage at Rome. His father, Antiochus the Great, was either slain in B.C. 187 by the people of Elymais, after his sacrilegious plundering of the Temple of Jupiter-Belus; or murdered by some of his own attendants whom he had beaten during a fit of drunkenness. Seleucus Philopator succeeded him, and after having reigned for thirteen years, wished to see his brother Antiochus again. He therefore sent his son Demetrius in exchange for him, perhaps desiring that the boy, who was then twelve years old, should enjoy the advantage of a Roman education, or thinking that Antiochus would be of more use to him in his designs against Ptolemy Philometor, the child-king of Egypt. When Demetrius was on his way to Rome, and Antiochus had not yet reached Antioch, Heliodorus, the treasurer, seized the opportunity to poison Seleucus and usurp the crown.

The chances, therefore, of Antiochus seemed very forlorn. But he was a man of ability, though with a taint of folly and madness in his veins. By allying himself with Eumenes, King of Pergamum, as we shall see hereafter, he suppressed Heliodorus, secured the kingdom, and "becoming very great," though only by fraud, cruelty, and stratagem, assumed the title of Epiphanes "the Illustrious." He extended his power "towards the South" by intriguing and warring against Egypt and his young nephew, Ptolemy Philometor; and "towards the Sun-rising" by his successes in the direction of Media and Persia; {See #/RAPC 1 Maccabees 3:29-37} and towards "the Glory" or "Ornament" (hatstsebi) - i.e., the Holy Land. Inflated with insolence, he now set himself against the stars, the host of heaven- i.e., against the chosen people of God and their leaders. He cast down and trampled on them, and defined the Prince of the host; for he

"Not e’en against the Holy One of heaven Refrained his tongue blasphemous."

His chief enormity was the abolition of "the daily" (tamid) - i.e., the sacrifice daily offered in the Temple; and the desecration of the sanctuary itself by violence and sacrilege, which will be more fully set forth in the next chapters. He also seized and destroyed the sacred books of the Jews. As he forbade the reading of the Law-of which the daily lesson was called the Parashah -there began from this time the custom of selecting a lesson from the Prophets, which was called the Haphtarah.

It was natural to make one of the holy ones, who are supposed to witness this horrible iniquity, inquire how long it was to be permitted. The enigmatic answer is, "Until an evening-morning two thousand three hundred."

In the further explanation given to Daniel by Gabriel a few more touches are added.

Antiochus Epiphanes is described as a king "bold of visage, and skilled in enigmas." His boldness is sufficiently illustrated by his many campaigns and battles, and his braggart insolence has been already alluded to in Daniel 7:8. His skill in enigmas is illustrated by his dark and tortuous diplomacy, which was exhibited in all his proceedings, {Comp. Daniel 11:21} and especially in the whole of his dealings with Egypt, in which country he desired to usurp the throne from his young nephew Ptolemy Philometor. The statement that "he will have mighty strength, but not by his own strength," may either mean that his transient prosperity was due only to the permission of God, or that his successes were won rather by cunning than by prowess. After an allusion to his cruel persecution of the holy people, Gabriel adds that "without a hand shall he be broken in pieces"; in other words, his retribution and destruction shall be due to no human intervention, but will come from God Himself.

Daniel is bidden to hide the vision for many days-a sentence which is due to the literary plan of the Book; and he is assured that the vision concerning the "evening-morning" was true. He adds that the vision exhausted and almost annihilated him; but, afterwards, he arose and did the king’s business. He was silent about the vision, for neither he nor any one else understood it. Of course, had the real date of the chapter been in the reign of Belshazzar, it was wholly impossible that either the seer or any one else should have been able to attach any significance to it.

Emphasis is evidently attached to the "two thousand three hundred evening-morning" during which the desolation of the sanctuary is to continue.

What does the phrase "evening-morning" (‘erebh-boqer) mean?

In Daniel 8:26 it is called "the vision concerning the evening and the morning."

Does "evening-morning" mean a whole day, or half a day? The expression is doubly perplexing. If the writer meant "days," why does he not say " days," as in Daniel 12:11-12? And why, in any case, does he here use the solecism ‘erebh-boqer (Abendmorgen), and not, as in Daniel 8:26, "evening and morning?" Does the expression mean two thousand three hundred days? or eleven hundred and fifty days?

It is a natural supposition that the time is meant to correspond with the three years and a half ("a time, two times, and half a time") of Daniel 7:25. But here again all certainty of detail is precluded by our ignorance as to the exact length of years by which the writer reckoned; and how he treated the month Veadar, a month of thirty days, which was intercalated once in every six years.

Supposing that he allowed an intercalary fifteen days for three and a half years, and took the Babylonian reckoning of twelve months of thirty days, then three and a half years gives us twelve hundred and seventy-five days, or, omitting any allowance for intercalation, twelve hundred and sixty days.

If, then, "two thousand three hundred evening-morning" means two thousand three hundred half days, we have one hundred and ten days too many for the three and a half years.

And if the phrase means two thousand three hundred full days, that gives us (counting thirty intercalary days for Veadar ) too little for seven years by two hundred and fifty days. Some see in this a mystic intimation that the period of chastisement shall for the elect’s sake be shortened. [Matthew 24:22] Some commentators reckon seven years roughly, from the elevation of Menelaus to the high-priesthood (Kisleu, B.C. 1682 Macc. 5:11) to the victory of Judas Maccabaeus over Nicanor at Adasa, March, B.C. 161. {#/RAPC 1 Maccabees 7:25-50, 2 Maccabees 15:20-35}

In neither case do the calculations agree with the twelve hundred and ninety or the thirteen hundred and thirty-five days of Daniel 12:12-13.

Entire volumes of tedious and wholly inconclusive comment have been written on these combinations, but by no reasonable supposition can we arrive at close accuracy. Strict chronological accuracy was difficult of attainment in those days, and was never a matter about which the Jews, in particular, greatly troubled themselves. We do not know either the terminus a quo from which or the terminus ad quem to which the writer reckoned. All that can be said is that it is perfectly impossible for us to identify or exactly equiparate the three and a half years, [Daniel 7:25] the "two thousand three hundred evening-morning," [Daniel 8:14] the seventy-two weeks, [Daniel 9:26] and the twelve hundred and ninety. [Daniel 12:11] Yet all those dates have this point of resemblance about them, that they very roughly indicate a space of about three and a half years (more or less) as the time during which the daily sacrifice should cease, and the Temple be polluted and desolate.

Turning now to the dates, we know that Judas the Maccabee cleansed {#/RAPC 1 Maccabees 4:41-56, 2 Maccabees 10:1-5} ("justified" or "vindicated," Daniel 8:14) the Temple on Kisleu 25 (December 25th, B.C. 165). If we reckon back two thousand three hundred full days from this date, it brings us to B.C. 171, in which Menelaus, who bribed Antiochus to appoint him high priest, robbed the Temple of some of its treasures, and procured the murder of the high priest Onias III. In this year Antiochus sacrificed a great sow on the altar of burnt offerings, and sprinkled its broth over the sacred building. These crimes provoked the revolt of the Jews in which they killed Lysimachus, governor of Syria, and brought on themselves a heavy retribution.

If we reckon back two thousand three hundred half- days, eleven hundred and fifty whole days, we must go back three years and seventy days, but we cannot tell what exact event the writer had in mind as the starting-point of his calculations. The actual time which elapsed from the final defilement of the Temple by Apollonius, the general of Antiochus, in B.C. 168, till its re-purification was roughly three years. Perhaps, however-for all is uncertain-the writer reckoned from the earliest steps taken, or contemplated, by Antiochus for the suppression of Judaism. The purification of the Temple did not end the time of persecution, which was to continue, first, for one hundred and forty days longer, and then forty-five days more. [Daniel 12:11-12] It is clear from this that the writer reckoned the beginning and the end of troubles from different epochs which we have no longer sufficient data to discover.

It must, however, be borne in mind that no minute certainty about the exact dates is attainable. Many authorities, from Prideaux down to Schurer, place the desecration of the Temple towards the close of B.C. 168. Kuenen sees reason to place it a year later. Our authorities for this period of history are numerous, but they are fragmentary, abbreviated, and often inexact. Fortunately, so far as we are able to see, no very important lesson is lost by our inability to furnish an undoubted or a rigidly scientific explanation of the minuter details.

APPROXIMATE DATES AS INFERRED BY CORNILL AND OTHERS

Jeremiah’s prophecy in Jeremiah 25:12-38

Jeremiah’s "prophecy" in Jeremiah 29:10-32

Destruction of the Temple-586 or 588

Return of the Jewish exiles.-537

Decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus [Ezra 7:1] -458

Second decree [Nehemiah 2:1] -445

Accession of Antiochus Epiphanes (August, Clinton)-175

Usurpation of the high-priesthood by Jason-175

Jason displaced by Menelaus-172 (?)

Murder of Onias III (June)-171

Apollonius defiles the Temple-168

War of Independence-166

Purification of the Temple by Judas the Maccabee-(Dec.) 165

Death of Antiochus-163

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Expositor's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/teb/daniel-8.html.

The Pulpit Commentaries

EXPOSITION

Daniel 8:1-27

THE RAM AND THE HE-GOAT

This chapter marks the change from Aramaic to Hebrew. The character of the chapter is like that which immediately precedes it. It consists, like it, of the account of a vision, and the interpretation of it. The subject of this vision is the overthrow of the Persian monarchy by Alexander the Great, the division of his empire, and the oppression of Israel by Epiphanes.

Daniel 8:1

In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first. The text of the Septuagint does not differ greatly from the Hebrew, but avoids the strange anarthrous position of anu, "I." The Septuagint renders this verse as a title to the chapter, thus: "A vision which I Daniel saw in the third year of the reign of Belshazzar (Beltasar), after that I saw formerly ( πρώτην)." The Septuagint reading seems to have been asher r'oeh anee. Theodotion and the Peshitta are in verbal agreement with the Massoretic text. The third year of the reign of King Belshazzar. We learn now that Belshazzar did not reign independently; but that for at least five years he exercised all the functions of government. If Daniel's investiture with the position of third man in the kingdom took place on the occasion of Belshazzar's inauguration of his vice-regal reign, Daniel may have remained in the royal service continuously till the overthrow of the Babylonian monarchy. After that which appeared ,into me at the first. The former vision referred to is clearly the vision of the preceding chapter.

Daniel 8:2

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, and I was by the river of Ulai. The LXX. presents several slight differences, "And I saw in the vision of my dream, when I was in the city Susa, which is in the province Elymais, and I seemed in my vision to be at the gate Ailam." Theodotion renders more briefly, "And I was in Susa the palace ( σούσοις τῇ βάρει), in the province Ailam, and I was on the Ubal." The Syriac is in close agreement with the Massoretic. even to the transcription of the doubtful word Ubal. The transcription is carried so far that medeenatha, "a city," is used to translate medeena, "a province." Jerome renders m deena, cicitas, and uval, portam, and beera, castrum. The word אוּבַל ('oobal) is nearly a hapax legomenon, absolutely so if we do not admit joobal, in Jeremiah 17:8, to be the same word. There is, as will have been seen above, great differences among the versions. The LXX. and Jerome seem to have read אולם (oolam), "porch" or "gate," instead of oobal. Ewald would make the word mean "river-basin," Stromgebeit—a view supported also by Zöckler. In many respects "marsh" might be a more suitable rendering. To the south-west of the present ruins of Susa there is an extensive marsh, which may have been of old date. The preposition liphnee, which occurs in Jeremiah 17:3, is all but meaningless applied to a river, if we use it in its ordinary meaning, "before." If we take it as meaning "eastward," the ram would be "westward" from Shushan, ie. between Shushan and the river; but as Daniel was in Shushan, he would naturally state the position of the "ram" in relation to it rather than to the river. The preposition עַל (‛al) is nearly as meaningless with regard to a river, unless a bridge or a boat is intended. We are inclined to read oolam as "porch." At the same time, we know that there was the river Ulai (Eulaeus) near Shushan. It is mentioned in one of the inscriptions of Asshurbanipal in connection with Shushan. The palace. Beera really seems to mean "fortress." It occurs ten times in Esther, and always as the appellation of Shushan. In Nehemiah it is once used with this connotation, but twice in regard to some building in Jerusalem, probably the temple; in Chronicles it is used for the temple. In Ezra 6:2 it is used of Achmetha, equivalent to Ecbatana. From the fact that the LXX. translates πόλις, it might be reasoned that the translator had עיר before him, but the translation probably was due to ignorance of the precise meaning of the word. In Esther this word is rendered πόλις. In Nehemiah it is once rendered πόλις, once it is rendered ἄβιρα, and once βίρα. The derivation of the word seems to be from the Assyrian birtu. It really means "citadel" or "fortress," and thus may be compared with the Carthaginian byrsa. Jerome's translation, castrum, suits this. It is not necessary to maintain that at this time Daniel was in Shushan. All that is implied is that in his dream he was there. Shushan is first referred to in the inscriptions of Asshur-bani-pal as the capital of Elam. In the history of that monarch there is an inscription of his given in which he says, "Shushan, the great city, the seat of their gods, the place of their oracle, I captured." Then follows a description of the plunder he took from it. We do not know when it recovered from that overthrow. The name is said to be derived from the number of lilies growing in the neighbourhood; but shushan, "a lily," is a Shemitie word, and the Elamites are usually regarded as an Aryan people. The association of Babylon with Elam and Media must have been intimate, if any credit is to be placed on the Greek accounts of the marriage of Nebuchadnezzar. Hence, even if Elam was not, at the date specified, a province of the Babylonian Empire, perhaps never was, yet the Babylonian. court might well have envoys visiting the court of Elam. We find from the well-known inscription of Nabunahid, that he regarded Cyrus at first as a friend and deliverer from the formidable Astyages, King of Umman-Manda. Daniel may have been sent to Elam, although there is no necessity for maintaining that this was the case. It was not until he had conquered Astyages that Cyrus held possession of Shushan.

Daniel 8:3

Then I lifted up mine 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. The rendering of the LXX. does not differ essentially from the Massoretic Version, save in the last clause, which is rendered, "and the higher ascended ( ἀνέβαινε)." As in the former verse, oobal is translated "gate." Certainly, as before remarked, "before a river" is an awkward combination; "before" or "over against a gate" is intelligible. "Eastward," which liphnee also means, will not suit the geographical circumstances, as Shushan itself stood on the east bank of the river Eulaeus, or Shapur. If, further, oobal means a "marsh," as Jerome renders it, then "eastward" would not suit. for the existing marsh is to the south-west of Shushan. Theodotion is in closer agreement with the Massoretic text, but does not translate

. The Peshitta renders "westward," not by yammah, but by the term for "west" that became common in Exilic and post-Exilic Hebrew, ma‛arab—the word that is used in the next verse. Ezekiel uses yammah for "west," when in vision he places himself in Palestine, otherwise it is not used for "west" by Exilic and post-Exilic writers. If we take the statement of the next verse as fixing what was "the west" to the author of Daniel, where would "seaward" be? If we draw a line from Tress, where Alexander landed, and continue it through Babylon, it reaches the Persian Gulf. "Seaward" would mean consequently "eastward," or approximately so, to one writing in Babylon. A great number of suggestions have been offered to explain the singular omission of "eastward" from the direction in which the ram pushes with his horns, Havernick, and following him Moses Stuart, assert that "eastward" is not mentioned because the Persians made no conquests to the east until the days of Darius Hystaspis, and then not permanent ones. Against this is the fact that Elam and Media were mainly east of Ansan. Further, the picture here given of the Persian Empire is not restricted to the days of Cyrus and Cambyses, but all through its course. As to the permanence of these Eastern conquests, the territories of Darius Codomannus east of Arbela embraced modern Persia and other territories to the confines of India. Keil assumes that the ram stands on the western bank of the Shapur, so, if he pushed eastward, it would be against his own capital; but if oobal means "a river," then the only meaning possible for liphnee is "eastward." He would then be butting towards the river across which the enemy was likely to come, moreover, against his own capital, unless the ram is supposed to be between the river and the city—an unlikely supposition, as Shushan was on the river Eulaeus. He further maintains that the unfolding of the power of Persia was towards these three named directions, and not towards the last, whatever that may mean. Ewald declares the ram does not butt towards the east, because that already belongs to him. As a matter of fact, and, as exhibited by the Book of Esther, welt known to the Jews, the Persian Empire did conquer towards the east. Behrmann says, "The ram does not push towards the east, because he comes from the east—a delicacy the Septuagint overlooked." In point of fact, there is no word in the vision of the ram coming from anywhere—this delicacy (feinheit) Professor Behrmann has overlooked. Kranich-fold and Zöckler follow this. The view of Bishop Newton, followed by Archdeacon Rose, is that the east had no importance to the Jews; but north and south had just a little. Jephet-ihn-Ali and several modern commentators think the three directions, as the three ribs, imply the limitation of the Persian Empire. It certainly was recognized by the Jews to be little, if at all, less than that of Alexander the Great Hitzig propounds in all gravity an absurd view; he assumes that the ram was standing on the west bank of the river, and faced west, and argues that he did not butt eastward because he could not butt backwards. His preliminary assumption is groundless, as we have seen, and rams can change their position. The true explanation is that a direction has dropped out. While "seaward" had ceased to mean "west" to the Jews in Babylon, it did not take long residence in Palestine to recover this name for "west."£ A copyist living in Palestine, finding yammah, in the first place would translate it "westward;" then after "northward" he would, in the third place, come upon ma‛arab, which also meant "west;" so naturally he dropped the second of what seemed to him synonymous terms. If we are correct in our supposition, we have here demonstrative proof that Daniel was written by one living in Babylon Are beasts might stand before him. All the powers round Persia had to submit to him. And be became great affords proof, if proof were needed, that the vision applies to the whole of the history of Persia. There is little necessity for Moses Stuart's translation, "became haughty."

Daniel 8:5

And as I was considering, behold, an he-goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched net the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. The Septuagint, when completed from Paulus Tellensis, agrees in the main with the Massoretic, omitting only "whole" before "earth." The Christian MS. omits the clause, "and touched the ground," but it is in Paulus Tellensis. As I was considering. "Was" is here used much as an auxiliary verb—an Aramaic usage. "Considering" really suggests "meditating on." He-goat. The word here used does not elsewhere occur in the Hebrew Scriptures. It is really an Aramaic word, though vocalized here after the analogy of Hebrew. On the face of the whole earth. The writer had probably in his mind the negative idea expressed in the next verse; hence the word kol. A notable horn; "a horn of sight;" a horn that no one could fail to remark upon. No symbol could express in a more graphic way the rapidity of the conquests of Alexander the Great than this of the goat that flew over the ground. One can parallel with this the four wings of the leopard in Daniel 7:1-28. It is singular that Alexander should generally on his coins be figured as horned. Had this vision been due to a knowledge of this—which could not have escaped a Jew of the days of the Maccabees—the writer would certainly have made Alexander not a goat, but a ram. as it is a ram's horn that is intended to be figured on the portraits of Alexander. As everybody knows, this refers to the fable that he was the son of Jupiter Ammon, the ram-horned. It is difficult to assign a reason why the goat was chosen as the symbol of the Grecian power, save that, as compared with the Persian power, the Greek was the more agile.

Daniel 8:6

And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. The differences of the Septuagint from the received text are slight here. Oobal is still translated πύλη; it renders, "fury of his rage" rather than "fury of his power." The Massoretic, as the less obvious collocation, is the better reading. Theodotion and the Peshitta leave oobal untranslated. The latter omits the last clause of the Massoretic. In the Hebrew the ram is called Baal-karnayeem, "lord of two horns." Alexander's war against Persia was one of simple aggression.

Daniel 8:7

And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake 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 none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. The two Greek versions, though differing very much in the Greek words chosen as equivalent to the Hebrew, yet both represent a text practically identical with that of the Massoretes. The Peshitta omits the introductory "behold," but otherwise can scarcely be said to differ essentially from the received text, though there are some peculiarities due to mistaken reading, but unimportant. The word yithmormar, "he was emhittered," is a word that occurs here and in the eleventh chapter. The root, however, as might be guessed from its meaning, is not uncommon, being found in Genesis Exodus, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Ruth, Job, and Zechariah. How Professor Bevan can class this with "words or roots which occur nowhere else in the Old Testament" it is difficult to see. If this part of the verb occurs in later Jewish literature, it is singular that neither Buxtorf nor Levy chronicles the fact. It does not occur in Western Aramaic, but does in Eastern (comp. Peshitta 2 Samuel 18:33; Acts 17:16). It is quite such a word as a man writing among those who spoke Eastern Aramaic might use. Alexander advanced always against Darius; he would not even speak of treating with him. After the passage of the Granicus, he pushed on to Cilicia, overthrew Darius at Issus, b.c. 333; then, after the conquest of Egypt, advanced against him again at Arbela, and once more inflicted on him an overwhelming defeat. When Darius fled from the field, Alexander pursued him to the shores of the Caspian and into Bactria and Sogdiana, till Darius fell a victim to the treachery of Bessus. Certainly relentlessness was the most marked character of Alexander's pursuit of Darius. The horns of the Persian power were broken, thrown to the earth, and trodden underfoot.

Daniel 8:8

Therefore the he-goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. The two Greek versions differ from the Massoretic only in this—that the four horns are not mentioned as notable horns, but simply ἕτερα, "other." The Peshitta agrees closely with the Massoretic. The Greek versions indicate that the reading they had before them was '"haroth instead of hazooth; hazooth has been borrowed from the fifth verse. The empire of Alexander had reached its greatest extent when the young conqueror fell a victim to what seems malarial fever, aggravated by his drinking. His life was broken off before its legitimate conclusion. At his death there was great confusion. Perdiccas assumed the guardianship of the children of the conqueror, and attempted to succeed him in the empire. After his death Antigonus in turn attempted to secure the imperial power, but was defeated and slain at the battle of Ipsus. The empire of Alexander was then divided into four main portions—Macedonia and Greece, under Cassander; Asia Minor, under Lysimachus; Syria and all the East, under Seleucus; and Cyrene, under Ptolemy. In the two first of these there were several revolutions, but finally the Antigonids established themselves in Macedon, and the Attalids in Asia Minor.

Daniel 8:9

And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east. and toward the pleasant land. The Greek versions here differ considerably from the Massoretic text. The LXX. is as follows: "And out of one there sprang a strong horn, and it prevailed and smote toward the south, toward the south-west ( ἐπὶ νότον), and toward the east, and toward the north." In this case, ἐπὶ νότον is clearly a doublet—an alternative rendering that has got into the text from the margin. ἐπὶ βοῤῥὰν results from reading tzephonah ( צְפוֹנָה) instead of tzebee ( צֶבִי). Theodotion renders, "From one of them went forth a strong horn, and was magnified exceedingly to the south and to the power"—reading צָבָא (tzaba), "host," for tzebee. It is to be observed that both translate mitztze‛eeroth as "strong" ( ἰσχυρός) instead of "little." The reason of this is that they have taken מְ as equivalent to ex, therefore equivalent to a negative. The Peshitta agrees with the Authorized in reading mitztze‛eroth as "little," but leaves out the difficult final word rendered "the pleasant land" in our Authorized Version. Jerome translates mitztze'eeroth by modicum, and tzebee by fortitudinem—a combination of Theodotion and the Massoretic; he must have had tzaba in his text instead of tzebee,this may have been due to the fact that tzaba occurs in the next verse. The reference is sufficiently obvious to Antiochus. The description is accurate; he sprang from one of the four horns or dynasties that succeeded the great conqueror. He carried his arms to the east, but mainly to the south against Egypt. The great difficulties are in the two Hebrew words mitztze‛eeroth and tzebee. As to the first word, the fact that the two Greek versions have read it are conclusive against the suggestion of Gratz and Hitzig, supported by Bevan, that we should omit מִן. (min). Jephet-ibn-Ali takes min as denoting the origin of the horn, "from a little one." The further suggestion of Gratz, that we should adopt the reading of the LXX; is rightly combatted by Professor Bevan. The readings alike of the LXX. and Theodotion could have sprung from the Massoretic reading, whereas neither of these could so readily be the original reading. It was necessary that Israel should be prominent in this part of the prophecy; it all leads up to the persecution the Jews endured at the hands of Epiphanes. It is necessary, then, to hold that this word, whatever reading we adopt, and whatever immediate meaning we assign to it, must refer to Palestine. Ewald renders it "ornament;" Bevan, "glory."

Daniel 8:10

And it waxed 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. The reading of the LXX. is very different after the first clause, "And it was exalted to the stars of heaven, and it was shattered to the earth by thestars, and by them trampled down." The verb תַּסֵּל (tappayl) translated "cast down," has been read as if it had been תֻּפַּל (tooppal). So too the last verb has evidently been read וַירְמְסוּהוּ (vāyyir'msoohoo) instead of וַתִּרְמְסֵם (vattir'msaym), due to the resemblance which there was between yod and tan in the older script. Theodotion differs hardly less from the Massoretic, "And it was magnified to the power of heaven, and it fell to the earth from the power of heaven and from the stars, and they trode them down." The verb translated "fell" is evidently read with a vocalization different from both the Massoretic and the LXX The sense of Theodotion is more in accordance with the Septuagint than with the Massoretic. The Peshitta and the Vulgate agree with the Massoretic. The question of which reading is to be preferred can scarcely be settled without regarding the meaning of the terms here used. The crucial point is—What is the meaning of the "host of heaven"? The general consensus of interpreters is that this refers to Israel. Some maintain that the best of heaven is Israel, and the stars their leaders (Glassins); the stars are the Levites (Grotius). Moses Stuart would hold the host to be the priests, and the stars the teachers. Kliefoth is right in commencing first with the picture, and requiring that it be realized in thought. The horn grows and grows before Daniel's gaze, until it seems to touch the stars, that is, the host of heaven. As to what is meant by the stars, we must look elsewhere for an explanation. Have we any right to take "the host of heaven" as meaning the people of God? The phrase, "host of heaven," occurs elsewhere in Scripture nearly a score of times, and it rover means anything else than the stars or the angels. Therefore all interpretations that make this mean either the people of God or the Levites, must be thrown aside. It may, however, mean the people of God mediately. A quite elaborate line of deduction has been brought forward—the promise to Abraham (Genesis 15:5), to Isaac (Genesis 26:4), that their seed should be as the stars of heaven, is brought into connection with the use of the word "hosts" in regard to Israel (Numbers 1:52, etc.)—and the title given to God as the God of Israel, "Jehovah of hosts." This is very ingenious, but it has no support from scriptural usage or from the usage in apocalyptic writings. In the Book of Enoch, which, since it is modelled on this book, furnishes us with the earliest commentary on it, we find the stars are invariably the symbol of the angels. When we pass to the Book of Revelation, we find the same thing. We find when we pass on to the tenth chapter of this book, that all the nations are regarded as under the rule of some special angel We must apply, so far as we can, rules of interpretation which the author himself supplies us with. Using this guide, we see next that, when a nation was defeated and oppressed, its angel or star was regarded as thrown to the earth and trodden underfoot. The treatment Epiphanes meted out to Egypt and Palestine seems specially referred to. If we take the reading of the LXX; then the reference will be to the humiliation Epiphanes received at the hands of the Romans first, and then the Jews, and lastly the Elamites, whose temple he attempted to plunder.

Daniel 8:11

Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. This is said by Bevan to be the most difficult verse in this whole book. There is a difference here between the Q'ri and the K'thib. The latter reads הרים, the hiphil of רום, while the former reads הרם, the hophal of the same verb At first sight the difficulty is not lessened by consideration of the versions. The Septuagint as it at present stands is utterly unintelligible, "Until the leader of the host shall save the captivity, and by him everlasting mountains were broken down, and their place and sacrifice taken away, and he placed it in the very ground, and he prospered [reading with Syriac] and was, and the holy place shall be laid waste." This confusion is due to confluence of readings, and is not difficult to disentangle with the help of the Massoretic text. Up to the last two words the Septuagint is a translation of a text differing from the Massoretic simply by intelligible variations and repetitions not uncommon in the Septuagint. The first clause of the LXX. originally was probably, "Till the prince shall deliver the captivity," reading שְׁבִי (shebee) instead of צַבָא (tzaba)—a scribe, finding צבא in his Hebrew, then added the translation of it to the margin of his Greek copy, from which it got into the text. The original of the LXX. had also יַחִּיּל (yatztzeel) instead of הִגְדִיל ‛hig'deel)—a confusion easily made in the elder script, in which יand הwere like. We learn from the Talmud that גwas liable to be mistaken by scribes for . צ Moreover, "captivity" would naturally suggest נצל, "to deliver." The second clause is, "By him the everlasting mountains were broken down." Here hayreem has been read with the K'thib, and vocalized as if it were hareem, and tameed, "continual," translated as equivalent to עולם (‛olam), "everlasting." The next clause reveals the other meaning of tameed, "sacrifice," which probably had been written on the margin, and then dropped into the text. The latter part of the Septuagint verse appears to be confused with the latter part of the following verse according to the Massoretes. Theodotion is even less intelligible than the Septuagint, "Until the leader of the host shall save the captivity, and through him the sacrifice was broken down, and he prospered, and the holy place shall be made desolate." It is to be noticed that the first clause here agrees with the LXX. It is possible that "and he prospered" is a doublet, הִצְלִיַח being read for חֻשְׁלַד in some copy. The Peshitta differs from beth the Greek versions, "Until it arrive to the chiefs of the host, and by it was set up in perpetuity, and preparing he strengthened the sanctuary," and while it is difficult to understand the origin of the variation in the first clause, it is clear that in the second clause the translator must have read hishleem for hooshlak. The one thing that seems clear is that the reading of the K'thib is to be preferred. We should read hayreem, not hooram. Only the first of these could be read "mountains." If we translate the words as they stand, we shall certainly be removed out of the region of all the commentators. It is assumed that "the little horn" is the subject of this sentence; but "horn" is feminine in Hebrew, and the verbs here are in the masculine; this is against it being the nominative. The "prince of the host," then, must be the nominative of the verbs and subject of the sentence. The rendering of the first clause ought to be, then, "Until the prince of the host magnify himself (1 Samuel 12:24), and by himself he shall offer the daily sacrifice. And he shall cast down the foundation of his holy place," reading hishlayk instead of hooshlak. We should feel strongly in. clined to transfer the first "and" to hayreem, and, changing the punctuation, read, "Until the prince of the host shall make himself greater than he"—viz, the tyrant represented by "the little horn"—"and shall offer the daily sacrifice." If we might read hishleem with the Peshitta instead of hooshlak, we get a satisfactory meaning to the last clause, in which case we should render, "He shall complete the place of his sanctuary." We would understand by "complete," "to perfectly purify." Taking the Massoretic text thus with little modification, we have a description of the successes of Judas Maccabseus, who was prince of the host, and as such became stronger than Epiphanes, and then cleansed the temple, and offered the continual daily sacrifice. We give, as a curiosity, the note of Saadiah Gaon: "The King of Ishmael was more powerful than the kings of Rome who had Jerusalem, and he took Jerusalem from them by force."

Daniel 8:12

And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered. The renderings of the LXX. and Theodotion are closely related, and both differ from the Massoretic text. The first is, "And the sins were upon the sacrifice, and righteousness was fallen to the earth, and he (or, it) did, and prospered." Theodotion renders, "And sin was placed (given) upon the sacrifice, and righteousness is fallen to the earth, and he (it) did and prospered." The Peshitta is nearer the Massoretic text, but better in accordance with the Authorized Version, "A host was given against the perpetuity, in transgression the holy place was thrown to the ground, and he did and prospered." From the fact that צָבָא (tzaba) is omitted from the two Greek versions, we venture to omit it also; it has probably been inserted from the verse above. Both versions also omit the preposition before" transgression;" we omit it also. We would thus render, "And transgression was upon the sacrifice, and," reading תַּשְׁלַךְ, "truth was cast to the ground, and it did and prospered." After Judas Maccabaeus had cleansed the temple and offered sacrifices, sin mingled with it. We know that the stricter Hasidim, objected to the foreign alliances into which the Maccabees were inclined to enter; the battle of Beth-zecharias was largely lost by the abstention of the stricter party. After that, Lysias, representing really the same movement as Epiphanes, advanced to the capture of Bethshur. Thus it might be said of the little horn, that "it did and prospered." Were it not that there is no authority for it in the versions, we should read תַּשֵׁלִם instead of תַּשְׁלַךְ. In that ease we should render, "And transgression was upon the sacrifice"—regarding this sacrifice as the atonement for the transgression (Le 16:21)—"and truth shall make peace in the land, and do and prosper."

Daniel 8:13

Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? Our Authorized rendering is clearly mistaken; it ought not to be "saint," but "holy one," as in the Revised Version. The versions leave palmoni, "a certain one," untranslated. Fust's suggestion, held also by Behrmann, is that this is a contraction for paloni almoni. The renderings of the versions are worthy of note. The LXX; "And I heard one holy one speaking, and another holy one said to Phehnouni who spoke, How long shall the vision stand, and the removed sacrifice, and the sin of desolation given, and the holy place be desolate to be trodden underfoot ( εἰς καταπάτημα)?" Here the word στήσεται, "shall stand," is supposed by Professor Bevan to be an addition by one who did not fully comprehend the sentence. Following Gratz, Professor Bevan suggests a word, מוּרָם (mooram), "removed," to explain the presence of ἡ ἀρθεῖσαa suggestion that appears well-founded. His further suggestion, that sin ( שִׂם), "to set up," has been read instead of shomaym ( שֹׁמֵם), must be due to inattention to the Greek. In it there is nothing about "set up," unless he transfers στήσεται from its place in the beginning of the sentence to the middle, and changes it to the active voice. Equally extraordinary is the suggestion that the translators read יצבא, instead of וצבא. The truth is, the introduction of ἐρημωθήσεται is probably due to a gloss or a confluence of readings. Theodotion is in close agreement with the Septuagint, save in the last clause, which he renders, "And the sanctuary and the power be trodden underfoot." The Peshitta is closer to the Massoretic, "And I heard a holy one who spake, and a holy one said to palmoni, who spake, When shall the vision of the perpetuity (daily sacrifice?), and of sin and of corruption be completed, and the holy place and the host be trodden underfoot?" The translators must have read shahata instead of shomaym. "Completed," neshtlem, may have been added, as στήσεται in the Greek, but the fact that all the versions have a word not represented in the Massoretic would indicate the probability that something has dropped out. Some part of the verb שׂוּם is suggested by the Greek Version, whereas some portion of שָׁלַם is suggested by the Peshitta. Daniel hears one of those watching angels who desire to look into the evolution of the Divine purpose concerning man and his salvation, asking another, "How long shall be the desolation of Jerusalem under Epiphanes?" The irregular construction here suggests corruption. We would render the speech of the angel, "How long—the vision, the sacrifice—the sin of desolation to give the sanctuary and the service to be trodden underfoot?" as if Daniel had only heard snatches of what was said; we would, we may say, omit the "and" before "sanctuary." The Septuagint translators may have omitted צָבָא (tzaba), thinking only of its ordinary meaning, "host," forgetful of the fact that it is used of the temple service in Numbers 4:23. These angels are most interested in the length of time that the sanctuary shall remain desolate. This may indicate that it was evident, from the vision, that the period of desolation was a limited one. The scene presented to the imagination is striking. The seer, as he gazes on the vision appearing to him over the marsh at Susa, hears angelic voices that direct attention to what was most important to him and to his people. To the Israelites of the period of the Maccabees, the length of time that the temple service would be in abeyance was of the highest importance. It was well that they should know that the time was shortened for the elect's sake.

Daniel 8:14

And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. The Massoretic reading is here clearly corrupt. "Unto me" ought to be "unto him," as proved by the versions and necessitated by sense. The LXX. is somewhat violent in construction, but means, "And he said to him, Until evenings and mornings are two thousand three hundred days, and the sanctuary shall be purified." Theodotion agrees closely with the LXX; only he has "five hundred" instead of "three hundred." The Peshitta agrees with the Massoretic, save as above mentioned—"him" instead of "me," and the last clause, which ought naturally to rendered "and the sacrifice be purified." The Hebrew phrase for this clause is an unnatural one—it might be rendered, "And holiness (or, 'holy thing,' 'offering') shall be justified." The want of the article is not an objection, as the manner of the author is to use the article sparingly. The word translated "cleansed" really means "justified;" it is the only example of this part of the verb. All the versions translate as if the word had been some derivative of טָהַר (tahar). The period referred to is that between the desolation inflicted on the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes and its cleansing by Judas Maccabaeus. It is somewhat difficult to fix the exact space of time intended by these two thousand three hundred evening-mornings. Does it mean two thousand three hundred days? For this may be urged that this succession. "evening and morning," not "morning and evening," resembles Genesis 1:1-31. If this resemblance is intentional, then "evening-morning" means a space of twenty-four hours. If the days are literal days, then the space of time would amount to nearly six years and a half, if' we take the year here as three hundred and sixty days. Another view is that day and night are separated and each reckoned; hence the number of days involved would be eleven hundred and fifty—fifty-five days more than three average years, and seventy days more than three years of three hundred and sixty days each. If, however, the year be the lunar year of three hundred and fifty-four days, it closely approximates to three years and a quarter. The period that one would naturally think of is that between the setting up of the abomination of desolation (1 Macc. 1:54), on the fifteenth day of Casleu, in the hundred and forty-fifth year of the Seleucid era to the rededication of the temple on the twenty-fifth of Casleu, in the hundred and forty-eighth year, but that is only three years and ten days. If the first and last of these years were respectively the fifth and seventh of a metonic cycle, in each of which there were intercalary months, then there is only a difference of eighteen days between the interval given above and the actual historical interval. If, however, we are to believe Maerobius ('Satur.,' Genesis 1:13, § 9), and hold that the intercalations were supplied by adding the three months in one year, if one of the years in question was the year in the cycle in which this took place, then the interval would be twelve days too much. In either case the difference is very small. The attempt to take the interval as two thousand three hundred days leads to very arbitrary results. Behrmann takes the victory of Adasa, which Judas gained over Nicanor, as the termination of the period—a purely arbitrary date, and reckons back to the displacement of Onias, another date that, so far as can be seen, was not regarded as of importance by the Jews, however important it has become in the eye of critics.

Daniel 8:15

And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. The versions here are unimportant. Daniel desires to understand the meaning of this vision. From this we see that, at the time when this book was written, it was understood that prophets might be ignorant of the meaning of the revelations made to them. This is at variance with the assumption of even believing critics, that if a prophecy were given to a prophet, he must have understood the reference of the message. On the accuracy of this assumption, they found the rejection of any interpretation of a prophecy which sees more in it than the prophet could have seen. This latest critical date of Daniel is separated by approximately two centuries and a half from prophecy in actual existence in Malachi. The tradition of the conditions of the phenomenon would still be vital. The phrase before us probably means that Daniel applied the various Babylonian formulae to the dream, to find the interpretation, but, suspicious of them, he still continued his search. In answer to Daniel's search, there stood before him one having "the appearance of a man (gaber)"—an angelic being in human form. The H,.brew word translated "man" is gaber, which suggests the name given to the angel, "Gabriel."

Daniel 8:16

And I heard a man's voice between the hanks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. The Septuagint has an addition, "And the man called out, saying, To that purpose is the vision." This seems to be a gloss. Theodotion and the Peshita agree with the Massoretic, only that Theodotion does not indicate the difference of the word used for "man" in this verse from that in Daniel 8:15, and renders Ulai "Oubeh" "Between Ulai" is a singular phrase. The versions do not attempt any solution. The preposition bayin means usually "between." If we assume that the river Ulai is here meant, and that it divided into two branches, the thing is explicable. Only it would have been more in accordance with usage to have put "Ulai" in the plural. It may, perhaps refer to the marsh, in which case it might be between the citadel and the marsh. Daniel had seen the appearance of a man; now he hears a voice addressing the man, and naming him Gabriel, "Hero of God." It is to be noted that this is the earliest instance of the naming of angels in Scripture. In the tenth chapter Michael is also named. These are the only angelic names in the whole of Scripture. These two names, and these alone, recur in the New Testament, the first of them in the first chapter of Luke, and the second in Revelation 12:7 and Jude. The Book of Tobit added another angelic name on the same lines, Raphael. When we pass to the Books of Enoch, we have moat elaborate hierarchies of angels, in all of which, however much they may otherwise differ, occur the two angels mentioned here and Raphael. The difference in atmosphere between the elaborate angelology of Enoch and the reticent accounts in the book before us is great. It is hardly possible to imagine so great a difference between the works of men that were all but contemporaries. The function assigned to Gabriel here is in accordance with that he fulfils in the New Testament—he is to make Daniel "understand the vision."

Daniel 8:17

So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. The versions are here in close agreement with the Massoretic text. On Gabriel's approach Daniel fell on his face, overwhelmed at contact with the spiritual. It is mentioned as if this were the natural result of such an interview as that vouchsafed to Daniel. At first sight this contradicts Daniel 7:16, where Daniel interrogates one of the angelic bystanders. In the first place, Daniel 7:15 shows that Daniel had been grieved and disturbed before he ventured on the question; and, next, Gabriel was one of the great angels that stood before God. Gabriel addressed Daniel by the title so often given to Ezekiel, "son of man," ben-adam. Professor Fuller, and also Kranichfeld, remark on the contrast between Gabriel, "Hero of God," and ben-adam, "son of man" The time of the end does not mean the end of the world, or of the appearance of the Messiah, for in this vision there is no reference to either of these. It is rather to be rendered, after the analogy of Jeremiah 1:1-19 :26, where miqqetz means "from the utmost border," and reaches to a far-off time.

Daniel 8:18

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. The LXX. joins the opening words of the next verse to this. I was in a deep sleep suggests the case of the three apostles, Peter, James, and John, on the Mount of Transfiguration (Luke 9:1-62 :82). The numbing effect of the presence of the supernatural produces a state analogous to sleep, yet "the eyes are open" (Numbers 24:4) the senses are ready to convey impressions to the mind. The angel, however, touched Daniel, and set him upright.

Daniel 8:19

And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. The Septuagint here inserts a clause after "indignation." It reads, "on the children of thy people." It may have been inserted from Daniel 12:1, only it is used in such a different sense that that does not seem very likely. It may have been in the original text, and dropped out not unlikely by homoioteleuton. The missing clause would be עַל בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ, the last word of which is like two. On the other hand, its omission from Theodotion and the Peshitta is not so easily intelligible. Theodotion is in close agreement with the Massoretic text. The Peshitta is more brief, practically omitting the last clause. We have here the reference to the end, as in verse 17 it is not the end of the world that is in the mind of the writer, but the "end of the indignation." The Jews, while maintaining their gallant struggle against Epiphanes, have need of being assured that the battle will have an end, and one determined before by God, The angel has to make Daniel know the end of the indignation. It may be said that the present time, when Israel has neither country nor city, is one of indignation; but the immediate reference is to the persecution against the Jews inaugurated by Epiphanes.

Daniel 8:20

The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. All the versions—the Septuagint, Theodotion, the Peshitta, and the Vulgate—have read, not מַלְכֵי, as we find in the Massoretic text, but מֶלֶד The ancient construct case in Hebrew was formed by adding יto the root. Possibly this may be a survival of that usage. In this case the change is due to scribal blunder. When we turn to Jeremiah 25:25 and Jeremiah 51:11, Jeremiah 51:58, we have the same phrases used as here: this is probably the origin of the blunder. For any one to ground an argument, as does Professor Bevan, on this, and maintain that it proves the writer to have held that there were two separate empires—one of Media, and the other of Persia—is absurd. When the true reading is adopted, this passage proves the very reverse of that for which Professor Bevan contends. The reasoning of Kliefoth, that the distinction between plural and singular points to the fact that, while several kings reigned ever the Persian Empire, only one ruled over the Greek, is very ingenious, but, unfortunately, it has no foundation in fact. "King," it may be observed, stands for dynasty, only that in the crisis of history, when the two powers encountered, each was ruled and represented by one king—Persia by Darius Codomannus, and Greece by Alexander.

Daniel 8:21

And the rough goat is the King of Grecia; and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Again all the versions agree in omitting the word "rough," and in inserting "of the goats," as in the fifth verse. The authority of these is much too great to be resisted. The Massoretic reading is probably due to a confluence of readings, as the word translated "rough" also means "goats." The omission of the word "of the goats" is probably due to the inclusion of שָׂעִיר (sa‛eer). Here, as in the previous case, "king" stands for dynasty; and this is proved by the fact that there is implied a series of kings, of whom the great horn is the first.

Daniel 8:22

Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. The LXX; if we take the reading of the Roman edition, agrees with the Masso-retie, save in the last clause, where it reads, "their power" instead of "his power." In this variation we find also Theodotion and the Peshitta agreeing. Jerome has "ejus." It is difficult to decide what is the true reading here. In the reading of the older versions the meaning is that these kings which should succeed Alexander should not be mighty. The reading of the Massoretic and Jerome implies a direct and natural comparison with Alexander the Great. As for the Greek versions, ου is easily mistaken for ω in uncial manuscripts. As for the Syriac, see Syriac character, is apt to be added to, see Syriac character, of the third person, and produce the difference we find. While the Greek versions and Jerome render, "his nation" instead of "the nation," as in the Massoretic, the Peshitta follows the Massoretic, which is wrong here. The point of the contrast is that the kings that succeeded Alexander were not of his family. Certainly none of the successors of Alexander had an empire nearly so extensive as his. The only one that really even comes into comparison with the empire of Alexander is that of Seleucus Nicator. But not only had he neither European nor African dominions, he did not possess, save for a little while. Asia Minor, nor Palestine, nor India beyond the Indus at all. The Parthian Empire seen sprang up, and wrested from the Solenoid a large portion of their possessions east of the Euphrates. It can well be said, even of the empire of Seleucus, that it had not the power of that of Alexander the Great.

Daniel 8:23

And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. The versions here are, on the whole, in agreement with the Massoretic. The Greek versions read, "their sins," as if it were the iniquities of the successors of Alexander that had become full, and thus afforded the occasion of the appearance of Epiphanes. The Peshitta and Jerome have "iniquities" generally, without reference to the kings, but with probable reference to the Jewish people. The probability is decidedly in favour of the Massoretic reading; it was an easy suggestion that the iniquities to be punished were those of the heathen kings. The whole analogy of Scripture leads us to look at the iniquity of the people of God being the cause of evil befalling them. Certainly immediately before the persecution inflicted on the Jews by Antiochus, the progress of the unbelieving Hellenizing party had been very great, as we see by 1 Macc. 1:13-16. It was "like people, like priest;" the people devoted themselves to Grecian games with all their heathen associations, and strove to hide their Hebrew origin and the covenant of their faith, and high priests were ready to abet their practices. A king of fierce countenance; "strong of countenance." This refers to courage and success in war. Thus Amaziah (2 Kings 14:8), when he wishes to challenge Joash King of Israel, desires to "look in his face." Epiphanes' countenance was one that could successfully stand a hostile meeting. The Greek versions render עַץ (‛az) by ἀναιδής, "reckless." Understanding dark sentences. There may be some reference to incantations and superstitious observances; it may mean that he was well acquainted with omens, and how to benefit by them. Regardlessness in the matter of religion was a prominent characteristic of Antiochus; but it is quite a possible thing that, like most irreligious men, he was superstitious. He certainly was very keen-sighted in observing the political signs of the times, and very adroit at availing himself of what made for his own advantage. This last is the interpretation of Ewald. Zöckler and Hitzig think it means that the king here pictured "will be cunning to hide his own designs from friend and foe." Yet more common is the view of Keil, Behrmann, Stuart, and Bevan, that it refers generally to his mastery in the use of artifice. The main difficulty in regard to this view is that usage, does not support assigning such a meaning to heedoth. On the other hand, when we bear in mind that here we have the language of symbol and prophecy, so tricks of strategy and chicane of policy may all be symbolized by "dark sayings," without necessary reference to sentences such as those with which the Queen of Sheba tested the wisdom of Solomon.

Daniel 8:24

And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. This verse involves many difficulties, grammatical and exegetical. These difficulties may be said to be present in all the versions of this passage. The LXX. renders, "And his power shall be confirmed, and not in his strength, and he shall destroy marvellously, and prosper and do, and shall destroy the rulers and people of the saints." Theodotion is so far slavishly close to the Massoretic text; but he seems to have read qodesh, an adjective agreeing with "people," instead of qedosheem, "saints;" and he omits the negative clause. The Peshitta is very close to the Massoretic. It emphasizes the negative clause by adding denaphsho, and translates "wonders" instead of "wonderfully." Jerome, more intent on expressing what is his own interpretation of the passage than on representing- the original, translates the first heel ("power") by fortitude, and the second by viribus suis. That the power of Epiphanes was great—greater than that of his brother and immediate predecessor—is undoubted. It is also the ease that lie was confirmed in Iris place by the Romans, though, if we are to receive the account of Appian, the direct means of his elevation to the throne was the intervention of Eumenes of Pergamus on his behalf. Thus the reference of the phrase, "not by his own power," may be to this. Little as he might brook the thought, he was but a subject-ally of the great republic. The other interpretations are

All of these have something to favour them, but also something against them. There is against the first that there is no reference in the context to the fact, true though it was, that Antiochus was raised up by God for his own purposes. Against the second is the pronominal suffix, which would be needless if the contrast were between force and fraud. Of course, Hitzig's combination falls with this. Against the view advocated by Calvin and Ewald is the fact that it seems a long time to hold the reference to Alexander in abeyance. Still, it may be urged that the vision was before the prophet; on the other hand, the relative strength of Epiphanes and Alexander does not seem to be of importance. We still think that the real reference is to the fact that he did not attain the throne either by inheritance or by his own prowess, but by the help and authority of others, namely, Eumencs and Rome. And he shall destroy wonderfully. Gratz thinks yasheeth, "destroy," suspicious, and Professor Bevan suggests יַשִׂיח, (yaseeḥ), and would render, "He shall utter monstrous things;" but, unfortunately for his view, there is no hint in the versions of any difficulty as to the reading, and, further, שׂוּח (sooḥ) does not mean "utter," but "meditate." We must take the words as they stand (comp. 13:19), and translate, "He shall destroy portentously." Certainly Epiphanes was to the Jews a portent of destruction; there had not been his like—not Nebuchadnezzar, who burned the temple, was to be compared to him who endeavoured to blot out the worship of Jehovah altogether: not any other of the Greek monarchs. He was unique in his enmity against God and his worship. He shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. The rendering of the Revised Version better conveys the sense of the original, "He shall destroy the mighty ones." There has been discussion as to the distinction involved here. Ewald regards the mighty as the three other horns of the ten (Daniel 7:8)—an interpretation which proceeds in the false identification of the fourth beast with the Greek Empire. Rashi imagines the star-worshippers; this seems the height of caprice. Jephet-ibn-Ali, who identifies the little horn with Mahommed, holds the "mighty" to be the Romans. Keil and Fuller hold it to be the heathen rulers generally. Von Lengerke, Kliefoth, and others maintain it refers to the rich of the holy people, while עַם (‛am) are the poor. Hitzig refers it to the three claimants for the crown, whom Antiochus is alleged, on somewhat insufficient evidence, to have overthrown; Behrmann and Zöckler, to the political and warlike enemies of Epiphanes, in contrast to the holy people, who were unwarlike. Kranichfeld refers it to the rulers of Israel, as distinct from the people; Calvin to "neighbouring nations." Moses Stuart would render, "great numbers, even the people of the saints;" while Professor Bevan thinks there is an interpolation here, and adopts a reading of Gratz from the LXX. for the beginning of the following verse. On the whole, this seems the best solution of the difficulty. After Epiphanes had destroyed the "mighty," that is to say, the political enemies he had, the Egyptians, etc; he directed his mind the "people of the saints."

Daniel 8:25

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and 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 without hand. The versions here are at variance with each other and. with the Massoretic recension. The LXX. renders, "And against the saints shall his purpose be"—evidently reading, as suggested by Gratz, v‛al qedosheem siklo—"and craft shall prosper in his hands, and his heart shall be lifted up, and by treachery he shall destroy many, and for the destruction of men shall he stand, and he shall make a gathering of power, and shall sell (it)." Theodotion is, in regard to the first clause, considerably more at variance with the Massorctic, "And the yoke of his collar (or chain) shall prosper." Evidently Theodotion had read עֹל (‛ol), "yoke," instead of עַל (‛al), "upon," and probably סִבְלוֹ (sib'lo), "his burden," instead of שִׂכְלוֹ (sik'lo), "his thought." "And in his heart he shall be magnified, and by treachery shall he corrupt many. and for the destruction of many. shall he stand, and as eggs shall he crush (them) in his hand," reading kebaytzeem beyad yishbar instead of be'eseph yad yishahabayr. The Peshitta has several points of peculiarity, "And in his might he shall prosper: he shall restrain with his hand, and his heart shall be lifted up, and by treachery shall he corrupt many. and against the Ruler of rulers shall he rise up, and with grasp of the hand shall be taken." Even Jerome,. who is usually in close agreement with the Massoretic text, translates at variance with their pointing. He begins this verse really with the last clause of the previous one, "And he shall slay strong ones and the people of the saints according to his will, and treachery shall be directed in his hand, and in plenty of all things he shall slay many, and against the Prince of princes shall he rise, and without hand shall be broken." The most singular thing is the omission by both the Greek versions of the phrase sar sareem, which both appear to have read yishhat rabbeem a variation of reading difficult to understand. On the whole, these varying versions seem to have sprung from a text originally not differing much from the Massoretic, save in the opening clause, in which the Septuagint appears to suit the succession of thought better. The return of Antiochus from his expedition to Egypt was the signal for his persecution of the saints; then his "purpose, was against the holy people." Craft shall prosper in his hand. The account we have in the First Book of the Maccabees shows the perpetual exercise by Antiochus and those under him of treachery. At first, at all events, his craft prospered (1 Macc. 1:30). And he shall magnify himself in his heart. Bevan thinks this hardly accurate, as the hiphil is ordinarily causative. Only Zephaniah 2:8 has this verb used in hiphil as reflexive. The sense, however, seems to be, not that he shall become proud, but that he has many great projects in his mind one (1 Macc. 1:42) being to unify all the various peoples that were under his sceptre, so that they should be one in religion and law. He further had the design of conquering Egypt and uniting it to his empire, and would have done so had the Romans not intervened. And by peace shall destroy many. The word translated "peace" means also "suddenly." The Greek versions both render it by δόλῳ. Schleusner suggests that the word was derived from another root. There dues not seem such a root in Levy. The probability is that the meaning passed from "tranquillity" to the notion of "treachery." The meaning assigned to the word by Jerome is inexplicable, copia rerum. It happens that both the meaning attached to the word shalvah by the Greek versions here, and that found in other passages, harmonize. The treachery of the chief collector of tribute lay in feigning peace, and then slaying the people (1 Macc. 1:29). He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes. The Greek versions, as above observed, have instead of this, ἐπὶ ἀπωλείας ἀνδρῶν στήσεται—a phrase that might be a rendering of לשחת רבבים. The Massoretic text here seems the preferable. Antiochus had certainly risen up against God, the "Prince of princes," or, as the Peshitta renders, "Ruler of rulers." He shall be broken without hand. The fact of Antiochus dying immediately after an ineffectual attempt to rob a temple in Elymais, and dying, not from the effect of wounds received, but from chagrin, is symbolized by this statement. The figure of a horn pushing in this direction and in that is resumed; hence Epiphanes is said to be broken. And that he was not overthrown in battle by any rival for the crown is shown by the statement that it was without hands that he was so broken. The Romans resisted his attempt to take possession of Egypt, so he was baulked in his pursuit after one object. He desired to unite his whole multifarious empire, so that it should be homogeneous; that was baulked by the victorious revolt of the Jews under Judas Maccabaeus. If he could have made his empire homogeneous, he might have expected to be able to defy the Romans. The defeat of his army by Judas might easily be remedied if he had money to pay his troops, so he attempted the plunder of the temple in Elymais, said to be that of Artemis. The inhabitants resisted so vehemently, that he had to retire baffled. This it was that caused his death. Polybius hints at madness inflicted by a Divine hand.

Daniel 8:26

And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. The rendering of the LXX. here is, "The vision of the evening and morning was found true, and tile vision has been secured for many days." אֲשַׁר נֶאֶמֲר (asher ne‛emar) has been read נמצא על, although it is difficult to see the genesis of such a reading from the Massoretic, or vice versa. The LXX. rendering of סתם ought to be observed—not "shut up," in the sense of being "sealed," but "defended from interference by being secured as with a hedge." Theodotion and the Peshitta agree with the Massoretic text, but have חתם, construct of סתם. The vision of the evening and the morning refers to Daniel 8:14. The phrase used. here differs by the insertion of the definite article: but this merely intimates a reference. This statement does not mean that the period indicated by the two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings would end with the death of Antiochus. Certainly, his death occurred in the year following the cleansing of the temple (1 Macc. 6:16). If the writer reckons the beginning of the year according to the Macedonian Calendar, almost a year must have elapsed between the temple-cleansing and the death of Antiochus; but it is the cleansing that is the terminus ad quem, not the death of Antiochus. The pollution of the temple was the event that, of all others, would be trying to the faith and patience of Jewish believers; therefore attention is directed to this. As the beginning of this season of trial is the point to which the whole history of the Greek Empire travels, so the termination of this desecration is the end contemplated. Shut thou up the vision. Certainly the verb satham means sometimes "to hide;" and it is also certain that it is a characteristic of apocalyptic literature to contain, in the text, elaborate directions fur hiding the vision; e.g. the Apocalypse of Moses. It has been argued that this is a preparation for the publication of Daniel in the age of the Maccabees, so long after the date at which it purports to be written. But there is no description of how the book is to be hidden, as in the Assumption of Moses. Moreover, the translators of the LXX. did not understand satham as "hide." If it had been hidden, and had been discovered, he would have known and translated accordingly. Then when we turn to the next verse, we find that Daniel himself did not understand the command as meaning that he was to keep the vision secret from his contemporaries; so far from that being the case, one at' his reasons for distress is that no one understood the vision. The vision shall be far many days. That is to say, that a long interval divided the time when the revelation was made from the time of its fulfilment (Ezekiel 12:27); the vision he sees is for many days to come. Before the beginning of the history revealed to Daniel, certainly not many years intervened; but between the days of Belshazzar and those of Antiochus was an interval of approximately four centuries. The Persian Empire rose and fell, and the Macedonian Empire rose and was approaching its fall. At the end of the period, the light of the vision fell most clearly. It was not necessary that Daniel should know the events portrayed to foretell them truly, any more than it was needful that the Second Isaiah should know the exact historical events portrayed so clearly in his fifty-third chapter. Daniel could not fail to know of Persia, and it even did not require more than a knowledge of the past, and ordinary powers of political forecast, to see that Cyrus might, and probably would, found a world-empire. He knew of the Greeks: there were Greeks in the army of Nebuchadnezzar. Moreover, we learn from Herodotus (1.77) that Nabu-nahid Labynetus had made an alliance with Croesus, in order to check the advance of Cyrus. We know from Herodotus (1:26, 27) that Croesus subdued all the Greek cities in Asia Minor. To Daniel, who possibly had favoured this alliance with the Western monarch, the King of Javan would mean, not Alexander the Great, as it means to us, but Croesus. But his hopes that Babylon will be delivered by the help of Croesus are shown to be groundless, by the intimation that it will be "for many days." The intimation that he had made to Belshazzar, of the interpretation of the inscription on the palace wall, did not necessarily, in his mind, militate against the hope that repentance might lead to respite. Daniel may have made use of political expedients to help in the result he wished.

Daniel 8:27

And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it. The Septuagint omits "fainted," but otherwise agrees with the above. Theodotion evidently has lind the Massoretic text before him; but he has not understood, and has slavishly rendered it word for word. The Peshitta represents also a text practically identical with that of the Massoretes. Jerome also agrees with the received text; he renders the last clause, non erat qui interpretaretur. That Daniel should faint, and remain sick for days—"many days," says the LXX.—is quite in accordance with what we might imagine to be the natural effect of intercourse with the spiritual world. The mental strain and the intense excitement incident upon such an occurrence would necessarily produce a reaction. Afterward I rose up, and did the king's business. We have no distinct evidence of what the business was that took Daniel to Susa, if he was there in reality, and not merely in vision; but we may surmise that it was about the advance of Cyrus Elam and Media were both embraced in the dominion of Cyrus very early. Cyrus had overthrown the Umman-Manda, and delivered Babylon. At that time there seems to have been somewhat of a rapprochement between Nabu-nahid and Cyrus; but at the time before us, Cyrus must have begun to realize his destiny, and possibly would not be easy to on. at with. Daniel may have been plenipotentiary of Babylon at the court of Cyrus, endeavouring to secure a treaty. At the same time, aware that Croesus, the rival of Cyrus, might be called in, he continues the negotiation. I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it. The idea of the word translated "astonished" is "benumbed;" it may be exegetic of the first clause, explaining the cause of the fainting and subsequent sickness. It is clear that Daniel did not regard the command "to guard סתם (satham) the vision" as implying that he should keep it secret. We see, as we said above, that his complaint is that no one understood the vision. Behrmann maintains that מֵבִין (maybeen), "to understand," ought to be translated "marked," "observed," but יָדַע would be the natural verb to use in such a connection, not בַין. Hitzig explains this by saying, "He had imparted the vision to no one." If Daniel had indulged in statements of float kind, the word before us would not have inaugurated a new form of literature. Professor Bevan's interpretation is as farfetched, "And I was no understander thereof." The example he brings forward of verse 5 is not to the purpose, because the distinction between the first person and the third is too great. Moses Stuart has the same view.

HOMILETICS

Daniel 8:1-14

The triumph of evil.

I. THE DARK SIDE OF THE TRIUMPH OF EVIL. Evil is sometimes not only powerful, but ascendant and dominant, apparently sweeping all before it.

1. Evil is destructive. Kingdoms under the sway of evil become mutually destructive. The successive visions of the world-empires represent them with increasingly destructive characteristics. The first brings before us a monstrous image of incongruous elements, but with a certain unity and peaceful relation of parts (Daniel 2:1-49.). The second shows us a series of ravenous beasts, which, however, are not represented as all fighting one with another (Daniel 7:1-28.). The third introduces us to animals, by nature peaceful, in fierce mutually destructive conflict. Thus as the knowledge of the evil kingdoms grows, they are seen to be more destructive, even in their most peaceful relations. The more we see of evil the more shall we feel its essentially destructive character (James 1:15).

2. The world without God deteriorates. These kingdoms get worse and worse. The moral progress of mankind is dependent on our relation to God—on our submission to his redemptive and educational influence. When these are discarded, morality declines.

3. When evil triumphs in the state, the exercise of religious ordinances is endangered (Daniel 8:11). Persecution usually has a moral cause. The protest of pure public worship is regarded as a danger to the sway of wickedness.

4. Evil is inimical to truth, and when it triumphs truth suffers. Evil is darkness; it is essentially a lie (John 8:44). Truth is a protest against evil, therefore evil "casts truth to the ground" (Daniel 8:12; see 2 Thessalonians 2:11).

5. Evil gains power from its prosperity. It "practices and prospers." When it flourishes it puts on an imposing appearance and grows by popularity. Thus the more it prospers the more it tends to prosper.

II. THE LIGHT SIDE OF THE TRIUMPH OF EVIL. I. It is fores, on and predicted. Therefore it should not surprise us. It was foreknown by God from the Creation. It was known when the promises of Divine blessing were given. All the plans of Providence were made in view of it. Yet they are bright and hopeful (Romans 8:19-23).

2. It is converted into a chastisement for sin and a means of purifying those who suffer by it. Though wicked men may only intend harm to God's people, the wrong they do may be the means of the highest good.

3. Its duration is limited. A period is named for the termination of its sway (Daniel 8:13, Daniel 8:14). Evil is but for a time, and this is short compared with eternity. God holds power over it and fixes its limitations.

4. Ultimately evil shall be entirely cast out. Then the triumph of goodness will be the greater by its contrast with the sway of evil. The glory of Christ in redeeming from sin and restoring the world to God is only possible after evil has had an opportunity of asserting its power (2 Thessalonians 2:7, 2 Thessalonians 2:8).

Daniel 8:23-25

Subtle sin.

We have here a description of a terrible evil power which, in manner and appearance, is deceptively harmless, and yet which is really most destructive and wicked and destined to detection and overthrow.

I. EVIL WORKS MOST EFFECTIVELY WHEN IT HIDES ITS TRUE CHARACTER.

1. It works under a fair show. The king has "an insolent countenance" and "magnifies himself in his heart." There is a bold self-assertion and an apparent frankness which sometimes blind men to the falsehood beneath.

2. It works by craft, as much as by force. The king "understands dark stratagems" and "craft prospers under his band." The tempter is more successful when he appears as the subtle serpent than when he comes as a raging lion. Transformed into an angel of light, he persuades by deceit. Intellect is a more dangerous weapon in the hands of a bad man than mere brute force.

3. It turns peaceful prosperity into a means of harm. Warfare and persecution are less dangerous than the insidious temptations of luxurious vices and flattering indolence.

II. THOUGH EVIL MAY BE OBSCURE TO US, ITS CHARACTER AND DESTINY ARE NOT CHANGED.

1. It is still destructive. This crafty and peace-loving king is really as destructive as the old warlike monarch. Sin is not the less fated because it wears a fair mask.

2. It is still only the abuse of Divine gifts. The king is mighty, "but not by his own power." All sin is only possible by the abuse of talents lent us by God. The boldness of self-assertion is no proof of independence and liberty to pursue our own course.

3. It is still defiance of the will of God. "He shall stand up against the Prince of princes." We may rebel against God with a smile as much as with a frown. Guilt is not measured by manners, but by motives. Crafty treachery is not less guilty than open rebellion.

4. It is still destined to judgment and overthrow. We may deceive men; we cannot deceive God (Romans 2:16). God also "understands the dark stratagems" of subtle wickedness. They will be detected and defeated. The punishment of sins of subtlety and craft is as certain as that of sins of open and confessed guilt.

HOMILIES BY H.T. ROBJOHNS

Daniel 8:2, Daniel 8:13, Daniel 8:15

Modes of supersensual vision.

"I saw in a vision" (Daniel 8:2); "Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint" (Daniel 8:13); "Behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man" (Daniel 8:15). Of the next vision, the time should be noted—two years after the last, Belshazzar still living; and the place, viz. Shushan. Daniel seems not to have been there in reality, but only in vision. So Ezekiel from Babylon was "brought in the visions of God to Jerusalem." This vision concerned the overthrow of Persia, and so the prophet was placed at the centre of the empire, whence he might see the desolation coming. This vision develops dramatically:

1. We have symbols. (Verses 1-12.) Then:

2. Answering voices. (Verses 13, 14.)

3. Communication from God through Gabriel. (Verses 15-27.) This may suggest discourse on some modes of coming to the vision of supersensual truth. By—

I. CONTEMPLATING PICTURES IN THE WORLD OF SENSE. Daniel was brought first into contact with symbol—picture of power and action, the ram, the goat; destruction of the ram; certain transformations of the goat. So man's first lesson now comes through the sense-pictures of the world. This depends, as a fact, on the truth that the world is one transparency, through which is ever shining supersensual truth. Behind all phenomena of space and time lie luminous eternal truths. Consider how much we can see in and learn from:

1. Our present home of the material world

2. The life-forms with which it is crowded.

3. Common employment.

4. Social relations. How much of spiritual truth may be seen, e.g; in paternity, the family, civil constitution, law, etc.!

5. Our training through the successive incidents of life.

II. LISTENING TO ANSWERING VOICES. "Then I heard one saint," etc. (verse 13). Here we pass to a higher realm than that of sense-pictures, into the arena of pure intelligence. An angel-voice addressed Daniel, or was about to address him, when another, interrupting, requested the first angel to afford Daniel definite information on certain points; which he did. We may learn much:

1. From the colloquy of the angels. True, we cannot hear this; but much of angel-discourse is recorded in the book. Think of Stier's 'Words of the Angels.'

2. From the controversies of the Church. Present and past. What have they been but contentions, out of which truth has come with a clearer definition and more resplendent aspect'?

3. From the assaults of unbelief. The indebtedness of the Church to disbelief, misbelief, and non-belief can never be accurately reckoned. Scepticism often has:

We may go a step further:

4. From the continuities of infidelities among themselves.

III. DEVOUT ATTENTION TO MAN INFORMED BY GOD. (Verse 15.) Daniel looking on the vision, behold, the apparition of a man! Gabriel—the man (the vir. not the homo) of God. To Gabriel a voice—not that of the genius of the river Ulai, but of God. Here we have intimated another way in which supersensual truth may be uncovered to man; i.e. by man, but by man informed by God. We use the word "informed" in two senses:

1. Through manhood. Through man at his highest, noblest, best. Through holiness unfallen, as in the case of Gabriel. Or through holiness restored, as in the case of a man. Through power, virility, genius sanctified.

2. Vitalized by God. Filled with God.

3. Spoken to by God. (Verse 16.) Note: The Divine voice has a human tone in it. We may take, as examples of this mode of revelation, the case of the text, Gabriel; any real prophet; Christ, the Divine Man; the true preacher of modern times. The first effect of Divine revelation, as with Daniel, may be consternation (verse 17); but that effect may be relieved and softened by sympathy (verse 18): "but he touched me." Think of Christ's healing touch.—R.

Daniel 8:3-8, Daniel 8:20-22

Two world-empires.

"The ram which thou sawest," etc. (Daniel 8:20, Daniel 8:21). The only way in which the substance of the vision can be legitimately treated seems to us the expository. But be it remembered that the exposition of a chapter like this is really an explication of the gradual unfolding of a part of the history of the kingdom of God antecedent to the Incarnation. We set up here simply directing-posts to mark the way. Note particularly the partial character of this vision—it is not now of the four world-empires and of the everlasting kingdom, but only of two—Persia, Greece—and the development of Greece. And mark, the symbols are authoritatively interpreted (Daniel 8:21, Daniel 8:22). Here we have a key wherewith to unlock the secrets of the rest of the book.

I. PERSIA. In the symbol we have:

1. Its unity. "A ram."

2. Its duality "Two horns." Media and Persia.

3. Its inequality. One horn the higher; and came up last.

4. The direction of its aggression. (Daniel 8:4.) Babylon; Lydia; Egypt.

5. Its temporary irresistibility. (Daniel 8:4.)

6. Complete overthrow. (Daniel 8:7.) Compare throughout with the bear of Daniel 7:1-28.

II. GREECE. Here should be opened out:

1. The fitness of the goat as a symbol; e.g. Greece abounded in goats; several municipalities adopted it as a symbol, and struck its image on their coins, etc. See detailed Expositions.

2. Its ubiquity. "On the face of the whole earth."

3. Celerity. "Touched not the ground."

4. The concentration of its genius. "A notable horn." Alexander (Daniel 7:21).

5. Its victory.

6. Its subsequent growth.

7. Sudden break-down.

III. GREECE DIVINED.

1. Into four. Greece; Asia Minor; Syria; Egypt.

2. At the zenith of power; i.e. under Alexander (Daniel 7:8).

3. With instant collapse. (Daniel 7:22.) "Not in his power."—R.

Daniel 8:9-12, Daniel 8:23-25

The scourge of Israel.

"He shall stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand" (Daniel 8:25). As in the previous homily, we give a mere directive outline, for the help of those who may care to make the antichrist of the later Hebrew time the subject of treatment. The sketch given by the prophet undoubtedly applies to Antiochus Epiphanes. The only question has been raised by those who wish to throw discredit on the supernatural in prophecy, and who, struck by the marvellous minuteness of Daniel's description, have tried to show that it must have been written after the event, and therefore not by Daniel at all. Observe:

1. The general description. Out of one of the four kingdoms into which Alexander's empire was divided, came forth a new kingdom—at least a new king, with special characteristics, and with special antagonistic relations to the kingdom of God.

2. The notes of time—very remarkable. The date of the rise of Antiochus is given. "In the latter time" of the dominion of the four kingdoms "a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up." These kingdoms were gradually absorbed into the Roman empire, but may be considered to have commenced with the defeat of Perseus at the battle of Pydna, b.c. 168. Another note: "When the transgressions are come to the full." We understand that to be said of the state of thing,s in Judaea. There affairs were in a frightful state. We can imagine the condition when men fought for the high priesthood, and obtained it often by bribery or murder. "The sacred writers often speak of iniquity as being full—of the cup of iniquity as being full—as if there was a certain limit or capacity beyond which it could not be allowed to go. When that arrives, God interferes, and cuts off the guilty by some heavy judgment." Such a state of things existed at Jerusalem, when Antiochus ascended the throne of Syria.

I. HIS CHARACTER was marked by:

1. Shameless audacity. "Of fierce countenance;" i.e. "hardy of countenance" (verse 23). Destitute of shame. Most conquerors respected the religion of the conquered; this man forced on the Jews his own.

2. Deceitful subtlety. Master of deceitful wiles. "Understanding dark sentences" (verse 23).

3. Power. But such advantage as he gained against Israel was "not by his own power." By whose .9 By God's. In what sense? The eternal law of righteousness made him its instrument, as against the iniquity of Israel.

4. Practical genius. "He shall practise" (verse 24); i.e. "he shall do;" i.e. the man was to be no mere dreamer. What he professed he would perform.

5. Destructiveness. (Verse 24.) The activity should be malicious.

II. HIS ACTION.

1. He practised deceit. (Verse 25.) "And though … by peace shall destroy many." He would destroy a people resting in an unreal security.

2. He disliked the ecclesiastical rulers in Israel. (Verse 10.) Read, The horn "waxed great against the host," etc.

3. He acted so that the whole Hebrew commonwealth was at his mercy. (Verse 12.) Read, "A host was given [him] with the daily sacrifice, by reason of transgression."

4. He abolished the daily sacrifice. (Verse 11.) Read, "And by him was taken away the perpetual, and was cast down the place of his sanctuary." No doubt the daily sacrifice is principally intended, but there is given to it grandeur by designating it "the perpetual," i.e. the everlasting changeless element in the Hebrew ritual. The undying testimony to the atonement of the Lord (Exodus 29:35-44; Le Exodus 6:13). Against the Redeemer's own memorial did Antiochus lift up his hand. That struck down, the sanctuary was desolate. (See terrible description, 1 Macc. 1. Note the heroic fidelity of some, verses 63, 64.)

5. He struck at the truth. (Verse 12.)

6. He sets himself against God. "He magnified himself against the Prince of the hosts;" "He stood up against the Prince of princes" (verses 11, 25).

7. He attained to a certain sort and measure of prosperity. (Verse 9.) The reference is to Egypt, to what remained of Persia, and to Judaea.

III. THE DOOM. How sublime the prophecy! "He shall be broken without hand." How terrible the fulfilment! He fell by an invisible blow from the King of kings. He died of grief and remorse at Babylon (1Ma Daniel 1:16; 2Ma 9.).—R.

Daniel 8:13, Daniel 8:14, Daniel 8:26

Prophecy's sure fulfilments.

"Unto evenings and mornings, two thousand and three hundred; The vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true" (Daniel 8:14, Daniel 8:26). Two thousand three hundred days, that is, six years and a hundred and ten days. Whence reckoned? To what time? The cleansing of the sanctuary took place under Judas Maccabaeus, December 25, b.c. 165. Reckoning back two thousand three hundred days, we come to August 1, b.c. 171. Up to this latter date the relations between Antiochus and the Jewish people had been peaceful; then began a series of aggressions, which ended only with his death. (For account of the new dedication of the temple, see 1 Macc. 4:36-61.) We suggest a homily on The certainty of the fulfilment of the Divine Word.

I. THE DEFINITENESS OF THE END. Here "the cleansing of the sanctuary."

II.. THE EXACT MEASUREMENT OF ALL INTERMEDIATE SECOND CAUSES. The number, force, combination, duration of their action.

III. CONSEQUENT LIMIT OF TIME. In the Divine mind. Not necessarily revealed to us; though the exact number of the days was so in this case.

IV. OUR MORAL ATTITUDE. Belief in the word. Confidence in the Word-giver. Obedience, active and passive. The entertainment of a great hope. Let the sunshine of the assured future light the present.—R.

Daniel 8:27

The effects of visions Divine.

"And I Daniel fainted," etc. We have here the effects of visions Divine—

I. ON THE BODY. Even the prophets were but men like ourselves. Daniel was utterly prostrated by this overpowering vision. Became ill for a long time. In our present state we can only bear so much.

II. ON THE MIND. "I was astonished at the vision …. Arid there was none who understood it."

1. Fulfilled prophecy is an open book.

2. Unfulfilled, a book only partly open. There should, then, be:

Even a prophet, who had with his own eyes seen the glory, had to grope along the path of daily duty, with only the common dim and partial light.

III. ON THE LIFE. "I rose up, and did the king's business." These grand disclosures of things heavenly, of things future, of things Divine, to his soul; the high enjoyments of religion; only disposed him to be more faithful in meeting present obligations. There is no proper separation between deepest spirituality and the faithful plodding on the path of duty, which so much becomes us. "He who has been favoured with the clearest views of Divine things will be none the less prepared to discharge with faithfulness the duties of this life. He who is permitted and enabled to look into the future will be none the less likely to be diligent, faithful, laborious in meeting the responsibilities of the present moment. If a man could see all that there is in heaven, it would only serve to inspire him with a deeper conviction of his obligations in every relation. If he could see all that there is to come in the vast eternity before him, it would only inspire him with a profounder sense of the consequences which may follow from the discharge of the present duty."—R.

HOMILIES BY J.D. DAVIES

Daniel 8:1-12

The temporary triumph of violence.

The good use of God's revelation leads to the impartation of further and clearer revelation. "To those who have, it shall be given." The former vision had well exercised Daniel's mind; now a more minute vision is vouchsafed. In the improvement of character is piety's reward.

I. GOD'S GOOD GIFTS ARE DESPISED BY THE CARNAL AMBITION OF MEN. Lands, cities, palaces, extensive provinces, all fail to satisfy the man in whose breast vulgar ambition dwells. The possessor of the great kingdom of Persia did not conduct himself as a man, but as a silly ram. He was supreme master of these things; but since he did not extract advantage or enjoyment from them, he could not be said to possess them. His one thought was how to acquire more. Instead of cherishing a grateful disposition that God had given him so much, and afforded him such fine opportunities for useful service, his dominant passion was to dispossess others of their dominion. Nor did the fact afflict his soul, that in the career of violence, much innocent blood would be shed, men would be diverted from occupations of husbandry, and misery would be widely sown. The palace in which vain Ambition hatches her plots is no better than a pest-house. And the monarch who is prodigal with human blood is no other than a murderer. Like Satan, the destroyer, "he also goeth about seeking whom he may devour."

II. MILITARY CONQUESTS SOW DEEPLY THE SEEDS OF DEADLY REVENGE. The arbiter of war settles nothing. The victor to-day is the vanquished to-morrow. The memories of the conquered people hold, with a deathless tenacity, purposes of revenge; and if the conqueror himself does not live to see his military fortune reversed, his successors feel the blow with accumulated fury. The ram, with his two unequal horns, pushed westward, northward, and southward, and for a moment was accounted great. But ere tong the goat with one strong horn assailed him with uncontrollable rage, smote him to the ground, and trod him underfoot. The arm of muscular strength soon decays. If a monarch has nothing better to depend upon than an arm of flesh, his glory will soon fade. It is surprising how that, generation after generation, monarchs still rely upon human battalions rather than on the living God. So ingrained in their imperial nature is ambitions pride, that they need to be bruised and pulverized in a mortar before the pride can be extracted.

III. THE MILITARY POWER OF A KINGDOM IS EASILY BROKEN. Very significantly is it said respecting this he-goat, that "when he was strong, the great horn was broken." Alexander, surnamed by flatterers "the Great," was to the kingdom of Macedon merely a horn—a weapon of offence. Can there be a more humiliating statement? If God has given to the inferior animals natural horns, they are intended to serve as defensive weapons. If the animal has any native sagacity, it will reserve its horns for fitting occasions of danger; for if it should rush into needless hostilities, its horns may be broken, and in the hour of peril the animal will become a helpless prey. How often does God snap the horn of human power in the hour of boastful triumph! Herod was drinking the sweet potion of profane flattery, when an angel smote him, and he was eaten up of worms. Nebuchadnezzar was feasting on the pride of his great success, when his reason forsook him, and he was degraded to a place among the cattle. Alexander sat down to weep, because there seemed no further scope for his ambition; but God's shaft of disease pierced him, and left him a corpse.

IV. TRANSIENT SUCCESS MAKES MONARCHS INSOLENT AND PROFANE. If God takes away, he also gives. Where the one strong horn had been broken off, four other horns came up instead. The vital energy which could produce this is the direct gift of God. Whoever is meant by this "little horn," he ought to have learnt, as the very first lesson of his life, that he had been raised up by God to replace one who had been removed by death, But instead of learning lessons of humility and pious trust from the patent scenes of human mortality, men, for the most part, become more presumptuous and profane. No outward events permanently impress the soul. Nothing but the mysterious grace of God can soften and purify man's heart. This "little horn" ventures to assail the very stars of heaven. As high as the stars are above the earth—as bright and as useful—so are God's saints compared with earthly and sensual men. Against these this proud ruler arrays his hostile forces—yea against the Prince of heaven. He corrupts the priesthood, defiles God's sanctuary, interrupts the daily sacrifice. This is a sin of sins—a crime of blackest dye. Herein we see what is the natural effect of military conquest upon the victor himself. It hardens the feelings, stupefies the conscience, makes the man a demon, and hurries him along to the brink of self-destruction.

V. PRESENT TRIUMPHS OVER THE RIGHTEOUS ARE DIVINELY PERMITTED, IN' ORDER TO SECURE HIGHER GOOD. Although the leaders among the Jews were vastly superior to the invading hordes of Antiochus—superior in virtue and morality—nevertheless they were far from perfect. A strange intermingling of good and evil—of light and darkness—appeared in their nature. So great was God's regard for his chosen peep]e, that he made adversity to serve as moral medicine. Military disaster may serve as moral triumph. The armies of proud monarchs God used as his instruments of chastisement. The wicked are his hand—his sword. The victorious army usually boasts that, by their own might, they have conquered. They can see no other result or end than their own fame. But God sees other and remoter results. In this case it was not simply because Syria's army was mightier than the Jewish force, that the former triumphed, and made the daily sacrifice to cease. The real cause was that transgression was found in Israel; and if God's remedy was severe, it was not more severe than needful. Israel was smitten before the Canaanites, because a spirit el mercenary selfishness was found in Achan. The cause of righteousness may be arrested, impeded, dishonoured, if some flagrant sin be found in its leaders. The kingdom of righteousness can only be advanced by righteous methods. It is true that God bad promised to shield his people Israel from their foes, but there was a condition, tacit or expressed, viz. that they should honour his commands. An army is defeated; the temple desecrated; access to God interrupted; because transgression was found in Israel.—D.

Daniel 8:13-27

The place of angelic ministration.

Angels appear upon Daniel's visionary scene, and indicate the manifold services they discharge for men. In all probability they have individual and special qualifications for different kinds of service. The utmost variety of gift is consistent with wisdom, happiness, and purity.

I. OBSERVE THEIR HOLY CHARACTER. They are denominated "saints," i.e. "holy ones." Our Lord distinctly styles them by this epithet, "the holy angels." They are capable of sin; have been exposed to temptation; and yet have preserved their original purity. This is their high distinction, their crown of excellence. So far they are models for our imitation.

II. THEIR PREVAILING DISPOSITION. They are not absorbed in thinking ant planning about themselves. The very reverse. Their chief concern is the honour and majesty of God—about the well-being of man. They are represented as inquiring of each other respecting the cessation of symbolic sacrifice, the desolations of God's temple, and the unhappy prospects of mankind. Into the great problems of atonement and redemption "the angels desire to look." So absorbed are their minds in these momentous themes, that all time appears to them but as a season of atonement. "Days" are described as "evening-morning." They are the subjects of hope, even as are men; and they encourage the faith of the godly by announcing the brevity of the disaster. It stirs their joy to anticipate the termination of the transient eclipse, and to see beforehand the brightness of Messiah's reign.

III. THEIR SUBMISSION TO THE GOD-MAN. The Son of God is Lord of angels, as well as Lord of saints. Without doubt this was a pre-incarnate visit of Christ to our earth. Daniel was staggered by the vision, and stood in an attitude of reverent inquiry. He was knocking at the gate of truth, and lo! Incarnate Truth himself stood before him. To his rapt vision there was "the appearance of a man." His organ of hearing caught the sounds of a human voice. Yet this voice was not addressed directly to Daniel Gabriel was summoned to intervene as mediator and instructor. Immediately Gabriel undertakes the office, and proceeds to instruct the trembling prophet. The obedience of angels is prompt, hearty, and complete.

IV. THE SUPERIORITY IN KNOWLEDGE OF ANGELS TO MEN. They are said in the Book of Psalms to "excel in strength." We know that they excel in purity; here we learn that they excel also in wisdom and knowledge. Without doubt, they have clearer and larger vision of the kingdom of God, as it extends through the entire universe. As man possesses, through God's goodness, a gift of memory; so it is possible theft the unfallen angels are endowed with a measure of foreknowledge. In this case Gabriel certainly knew the precise import of the vision, end knew the order of events which were about to occur in the Eastern empires. Such prescience may be an assistance to their loyal service; it would be mainly a hindrance in the discharge of human duty. But the case of Daniel was exceptional. So much of humility and patient trust had he that he would not run counter to the revealed will of God. This was a manifest reward of his piety, and was a banquet of peace for his soul. A large accession was made to his knowledge through the friendly interest of Gabriel.

V. THEIR DESIRE THAT MEN, LIKE ANGELS, SHOULD DO ALL THE WILL OF GOD. Having certified to the veracity of the vision and to the certainty of approaching events, Gabriel enjoins Daniel to fulfil his part, viz. to seal up the vision. For the present it must be concealed from the common eye, and be carefully preserved for the future confirmation of human faith. To many men there would be a subtle temptation to publish abroad what they knew touching the march of events. This would serve to swell their self-importance. But Daniel was a wiser man. Fully to obey his God was his first principle in creed and life. To disclose these things prematurely might have injured the existing prospects of the captive Hebrews—might, in some measure, have turned the history of the world into another channel. To wait is at times as plain a duty as to act Patiently to endure is one of the most heroic virtues the world has seen.—D.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S; Spence-Jones, Henry Donald Maurice. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". The Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tpc/daniel-8.html. 1897.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
Unto
7:25; 12:7,11; Revelation 11:2,3; 12:14; 13:5
two thousand
That is, 2,300 years, which reckoned from the time Alexander invaded Asia, B.C. 334, will be A.D. 1966.
days
Heb. evening, morning.
26; Genesis 1:5
then
Isaiah 1:27; Romans 11:26,27; Revelation 11:15
cleansed
Heb. justified.
Isaiah 45:25; Galatians 3:8
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/daniel-8.html.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

He — That angel.

Then — Just so long it was, from the defection of the people, procured by Menelaus, the high-priest, to the cleansing of the sanctuary, and the re-establishment of religion among them.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/daniel-8.html. 1765.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

14.Days — Literally, evenings-mornings; that is, successive evenings and mornings. Since it is a question of the suspension of the daily sacrifice the verse alludes, no doubt, to the evening oblation (Daniel 9:21) and the morning oblation (note Daniel 9:26; Exodus 29:41). There have been libraries of discussion over the meaning and application of these words, but they most probably refer to the fact that there should be twenty-three hundred omissions of the daily sacrifices, covering a period of some eleven hundred and fifty days. This most naturally applies to the “three years and six months” during which time Josephus says Antiochus “put a stop to the daily offerings” (Wars, I, 1, i). There is no need to suppose that Josephus’s reckoning of three and a half years (twelve hundred and sixty days) is exact to the day. Daniel calculates one period of this temple defilement to be twelve hundred and ninety days (Daniel 12:11) and another period — to the complete triumph of righteousness — thirteen hundred and thirty-five days (Daniel 12:12); while here a certain section of this persecution is computed at twenty-three hundred evenings-mornings. This might possibly mean twenty-three hundred full days (Genesis 1:5); but since there is no period of six and a half years known to us which would offer a natural explanation of the use of such a time reckoning, it is probably better to consider it as eleven hundred and fifty days, and explain it as above — though there can be no doubt that the persecutions of Antiochus covered a period of six years and longer. We are as yet not sufficiently acquainted with the daily history of the Jews during this awful time of trouble to understand in all cases what these numbers mean. Indeed it may be possible that Dr. Terry is right in his suggestion that this difference of enumeration, referring to the same general period, was to enforce the truth that the “time, times, and dividing of a time” (Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7) could not be reckoned with mathematical accuracy. (Compare Acts 1:7.) Since, however, these figures are not made up of the usual symbolic numbers of Scripture we prefer to accept them as referring to events well known then, although hidden from us.

Then shall the sanctuary be cleansed — Or, “justified” (R.V., margin). “The justification of the sanctuary is the vindication of the cause; for so long as it is polluted it lies under condemnation.” — Bevan.

 

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Daniel 8:14". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/daniel-8.html. 1874-1909.