The Bible Says Commentary on the Book of Daniel
In this chapter, Daniel sees a vision of kingdoms that are to come.
Babylon is still the world power, but not for long. Belshazzar, grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, is in his third year of ruling. Daniel journeys to Susa, the capital of Elam, and sees a vision beside a canal.
A ram appears with uneven horns lashing out at all animals west, north, and south, doing whatever it wants and acting proudly.
A goat flies from the west. It has a huge horn between it eyes. It attacks the ram with rage, breaking its horns, and trampling it to death. The goat glorifies itself, but its horn breaks, and four other horns grow from its head.
Another horn grows from the four horns on the goat’s head. This horn grows enormous, reaching up into heaven and knocking stars from the sky, trampling them. It glorifies itself as equal with God. It puts itself in the Temple of God and prevents the Jewish people from making sacrifices. Daniel hears an angel tell another angel that this evil time will last for 2,300 days and nights, before the temple is rescued.
Daniel tries to understand the vision. He sees an angel in front of him, and a voice over the water of the canal commands this angel to interpret the dream for Daniel. Daniel is afraid and faints. The angel awakens Daniel and explains that the vision pertains to the end times.
The ram represents the Medo-Persians, who will conquer the Babylonian Empire. The goat represents the Greeks, who will conquer the Medo-Persians. A great Greek king will lead this conquest, but will die, and four other less powerful kings will divide his kingdom.
A king will come from one of these Greek kingdoms. He will be deceptive, crafty, powerful, and will destroy many men, including many Israelites. He will defy God and glorify himself as God. The prophecy is true which states that he will halt the temple sacrifices, but he will ultimately be killed, though not by human hands. This is both a glimpse at the wicked king Antiochus Epiphanes’ persecution of Israel, as well as a foreshadow of the antichrist in the end times.
Daniel is sick for many days, and still does not fully understand what he saw.