In my last column we looked briefly at the goat and ram in Daniel chapter 8. Daniel explains exactly what these beasts represent in prophecy. As in the previous chapter, the animals represent kingdoms. Remember, we must always let the Bible explain itself, and in this case there can be no misunderstanding.
Daniel tells us in Daniel 8:20-22, “The ram with the two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. … The male goat is the kingdom of Greece. And its large horn is its first king.”
History tells us that the first king was Alexander the Great. When he died, his kingdom divided into four parts by his generals. They were Cassander, Ptomoly, Lysicimus and Seleucus.
You will have noticed that there strong parallels in chapter 8 with chapters 2 and 7. But there are differences.
The vision in chapter 8 starts with the Medo-Persian empire because the Babylonian empire was almost over. The animals are ones used in the sanctuary services, emphasizing the major role that the sanctuary and worship has in the vision.
In chapter 8, the vision jumps from the Greek empire to the little horn power and the vision, and just like the preceding two visions, reaches all the way from Daniel’s time to the end of the world. This fourth power, Rome, continues on, in one form or another, until the very end of time!
In other words, both the beast in this chapter and its horn have the same characteristics and continue to persecute God through His people until end of time. Both do the work of antichrist.
Keep in mind as you study prophecy that the word “antichrist” can mean “against” or “in place of”.
God uses the same symbol, the little horn power, in chapters 7 and 8 but in this prophecy the horn represents both phases, the pagan and religious aspects, of the fourth world power, Rome, up to the time of its destruction.
This horn power is “fierce,” “mighty” and destroys “many”. And, like the horn of Daniel chapter 7, becomes great, magnifies himself and persecutes the saints of the Most High (God).
Ian Cotton is the retired pastor of the Creston Seventh-day Adventist Church.