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Daniel 8


Up to this point, from chapter 2 verse 4, Aramaic was the language used in the book of Daniel. But, from now on to the end of chapter 12, Hebrew was the language employed. Regardless of that, close relationships exist between all the chapters regardless of the language used, and for that matter, regardless of the lapse of time that transpired between the times they were written more than 2500 years ago. Therefore, God is the real author. Daniel was His human instrument who recorded, in his own words, what God showed him.

Verse 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.

According to historians, Belshazzar’s “third year” was 550 B.C.,[1] leaving  eleven more years of his reign before the fateful “night” in which he was “slain” (Daniel 5:30). Interestingly, 550 B.C.[2] was the year when “Cyrus of Anshan overthrows Astyages of the Medes, and establishing the Persian Empire.”[3] Doubtless, Daniel was aware of that event and must have understood that was the kingdom represented by the “bear” of “the first” vision two or three years before who “lifted up itself on one side . . .” (Daniel 7:5).  Its second king, namely Cyrus, indicated by that action, then had arisen on the political horizon. Daniel certainly was familiar with that name, not only because of the rumors that must have been in circulating, but because the name is actually recorded in Isaiah 44:28; 45:1.

Whether or not he was still “troubled” by the “vision . . . which appeared unto” him “at the first” two years before in chapter 7 (see verse 28), the recent development in Persia could have triggered a renewed interest and an intense longing to learn more. As if in answer to the desire of his heart, this other “vision appeared unto” him, which suggests this “vision” could not be understood without considering what “appeared unto [him] . . . at the first,” the “vision” of chapter 7. Therefore, that “vision” furnishes the context or background of our understanding of the “vision” in this chapter two years later in Belshazzar’s “third year.”

By now, some fifty years had elapsed since the time Daniel had explained Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter 2. [4] But, regardless of the lapse of time, we will again find many parallels existing between that dream of chapter 2, the “first” vision of chapter 7 and now, the “vision” of chapter 8.

The first verse of this chapter introduces a not well understood feature of chapter 8 regarding the word “vision.” Of the ten times the word “vision” is found in chapter 8, seven are translated from “chazown” [5] and three from “mar’eh”[6].  Even though there is considerable overlap between them in meaning, Gabriel, handled them differently. Therefore it is important, even crucial for us to understand which Hebrew word (for “vision”) Gabriel used in order to know what he was trying to tell Daniel. Furthermore, we will find that its importance extends throughout the rest of the book of Daniel. As for chapter 8, they actually make up its basic outline. Consequently, since both the  “chazown” and the “mar’eh” are translated using the same word “vision,” use of the concordance is crucial [7] in order to discriminate between them.

To begin with, the word “vision” in verses 1, 2 (twice), 13, 15, 17 and 26 are from “chazown.”  With the exception of verse 15 were “mar’eh”  is translated “appearance,” it is translated “vision”  in verses 16, 26, and 27.  We will find that the “chazown” is inclusive of the entire vision from its beginning (that of Persia) to the very end of time. The “mar’eh,” on the other hand, has the same beginning point as the “chazown,” but stops short of the end of time. It is important to recognize that fact, not only in this chapter but we will find the “mar’eh” and the “chazown” referred to in chapters 9 through 12 as well!

Verse 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 was probably still in Babylon during Belshazzar’s “first year” when he received the vision of chapter 7. Now, we find him two years later in “the palace” “at Shushan . . . in the province of Elam . . . by the river of Ulai” which was more than 200 miles south east of Babylon close to the border of Persia. “There has been considerable discussion as to whether the prophet Daniel was bodily present in Susa, or was present there only in vision. . . [But] if we begin the 1st year of Belshazzar in 553, Elam was probably still a Babylonian province though it went over to Cyrus at some time before he took Babylon. Josephus alleges that the prophet was actually in Susa at the time of the vision,”[8] which to my mind, accords with Daniel’s words in this verse.

The reason for Daniel’s presence at Shushan could be deduced from the fact that Belshazzar’s mother had to remind him who Daniel was 12 years later in 538 B.C. when faced by the specter of the handwriting on the wall of the palace in Babylon (Daniel 5:10-14). Perhaps, before that happened, Belshazzar had exiled him to Sushan or placed him on permanent assignment there and then proceeded to forget about him. But, he must have known about him during his earlier years when Nebuchadnezzar was still living. Nevertheless, Daniel continued doing “the king’s business” (verse 27). Perhaps, this was when Cyrus and Darius heard about Daniel. Their familiarity with the prophet’s reputation might be the reason “it pleased Darius to set over the kingdom . . . three presidents; of whom Daniel was first” (Daniel 6:1, 2).

Daniel continues that he “was by the river of Ulai” which “passed Susa in a southerly and southeasterly direction and entered the river Karun”[9] which today is “Iran’s most effluent, and the only navigable, river.”[10] This is a picture of the archeological remains of what was Shushan in the days of Daniel.

Verse 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 next verse depicts the ram pushing “westward” suggesting Daniel was looking eastward toward the ram and toward the kingdom of Persia where Cyrus the Persian had just overthrown Astyages the Mede.

Its two horns with the “last” one higher than the other certainly reminded him of the lopsided bear who “raised itself up on one side” in chapter 7 and confirming in his mind both animals represented the same kingdom of Medo-Persia, corresponding to the chest and arms of silver of chapter 2.

Some speculate, because of the ram’s frequent use in the sanctuary service as a sin offering (for example see Lev.5:16; 9:2, 4, 18), there must be a deeper significance—that this ram (as well as the “goat”[for example see Lev.4:24; 9:15; 10:16; 16:9, 15]), has something to do with the atonement! But, the angel’s interpretation in verse 20 that “the ram” represents “the kings of Media and Persia” should help us recognize that such an interpretation is specious. If such were the case, we would be compelled to dismiss the notion that the bear of chapter 7 and the silver of chapter 2 were parallels that also represent Medo- Persia.

So, this ram and the goat are not seen playing any part in sanctuary scenario for they represent kingdoms that had nothing to do with the atonement, rather they were part of Satan’s earthly form of government, not God’s. This suggests the importance of context when submitting proposed interpretations. It is well known that sacrificing ram or goat when used in the sanctuary services were parallel to the lamb representing Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. These two animals do not represent a selfless atonement, rather a selfish, greedy expansion of national push for power that is generally represented in Daniel 7:1 where “the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea” of humanity.

Verse 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.

So, the characteristic of its asymmetrical horns and its aggressive behavior accord well with the humped bear who “raise up itself on one side” and told “devour much flesh” (Daniel 7:5) with its “flesh” explained here to be the kingdoms lying toward the west, north and south of its kingdom. Note that an eastward push is not mentioned.

Additional information about the ram kingdom is suggested by the “three ribs in the mouth of” the bear. While there are no ribs depicted here, the ram is shown advancing toward its three main conquests, west toward Babylon, north toward Lydia, and south toward Egypt, countries which loomed large in the historical conquests of Cyrus the Great and his son, Cambyses II who actually conquered Egypt[11] suggesting those three countries, the greatest countries during his time, are probably represented by the “three ribs” in Daniel 7:5.

Verse 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.

While the conquest of Lydia and Babylon occurred during Daniel’s lifetime, Cyrus’s son’s conquest of Egypt took place in the battle of Pelusium, 525 B.C.,[12] sometime after Daniel was laid to rest. Then the onslaught of the “he goat” who suddenly loomed over the horizon to the rear of Daniel’s eastward view represented another development which to Daniel was the history of the future, but to us is the well known ancient history of the Greek nation.

The “notable horn between his eyes” is a very apt representative symbol of one of the most illustrious generals of all time, Alexander the Great. “His conquests included Anatolia, Syria, Phoenicia, Judea, Gaza, Egypt, Bactria and Mesopotamia, and he extended the boundaries of his own empire as far as Punjab, India.”[13] In view of his short twelve year military campaign before his death and the immense extent of his conquests, his movements were exceedingly rapid as suggested by the phrase “touched not the ground”[14] and the “four wings” of the leopard (Daniel 7:6).

Verse 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.

Even though the ram is noted to have “two horns”[15] representing Medo-Persia, by the time Alexander overthrew the Persians, “Cyrus the Great [had] established a unified Iranian empire of the Medes and Persians . . . by defeating his grandfather and overlord, Astyages, king of Media”[16] back in 550 B.C.

Now, more than two hundred years later in 334 B.C., Iran/Persia was still one empire. Its “standing before the river” at the time of the attack by the Greeks was not the Ulai Daniel referred to in verse 2, but the Granicus river where Alexander met the armies of Darius III after crossing the Hellespont between Macedonia and Asia Minor.[17]

The “fury of his power” was demonstrated in that first battle. “Alexander’s second-in-command, Parmenion, suggested crossing the river upstream and attacking at dawn the next day, but Alexander attacked immediately.”[18] This tactic “caught the Persians off guard.” Thus, in spite of being frequently outnumbered his generalship and spur-of-the-moment decision making in addition to his charismatic personality facilitated him in his astonishing successes.

So, even though the ram had two horns, a single horn coupled with speed, was all that the goat needed as we see in the next verse.

Verse 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.

Unlike the ram which was “pushing westward…northward, and southward,” the goat’s thrust was almost wholly eastward extending to the northern extremity of India. The only part of Africa he touched was Egypt with no movement into the nations to the west of Greece.[19]

Alexander’s conquests were complete. They brought into the then-known-world the period of world history known as “Hellenistic civilization” which began “after the conquest of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great” allowing for the establishment of many “Macedonian kingdoms . . . throughout south-west Asia, and north-east Africa.”[20]

Therefore, the transition point between the silver and the brass of the great image of Daniel 2, and the bear and the leopard of Daniel 7 was brought about by the furious conquests of Alexander the Great in 334 B.C., some 216 years after “the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar” (verse 1) when the thing was predicted, something only God could foresee!

But, as astonishingly accurate as it was, that is not nearly the end of the story!

Verse 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 breaking of “the great horn” represents the death of Alexander the Great which actually occurred “June 11, 323 BC” said to be caused by poisoning, malaria, or heavy drinking, perhaps a combination of the latter two.[21]

The adjective “notable” or “conspicuous” imply other, less notable, individuals or kings were actually involved[22] in the shake-up after Alexander’s death. In other words, even though others were contending for supremacy “four” of them became the most conspicuous “horns” or kings, who took Alexander’s place and are parallel to “the four heads” of the “leopard” in chapter 7.

For example: “After Alexander’s untimely death, his half-witted half-brother Philip III was made King, awaiting the birth of Alexander’s posthumous child by Roxane. This child turned out to be a son, Alexander IV. Brother and son were thus the ‘Kings’ in the custody of the Regents. Philip ended up murdered by Alexander’s mother, Olympias, in league with Polyperchon, in 317. She was almost immediately murdered by Cassander. Alexander was murdered, together with Roxane, by Cassander around 310. Alexander IV’s ‘official’ reign, and the fiction of a unified empire, was maintained for five more years, until Antigonus, Demetrius, Lysimachus, Seleucus, Ptolemy, and Cassander (the Diadochi, ‘Successors’) had all proclaimed themselves Kings in their own right.”[23]

So, from that perspective, eight “horns,” namely “Philip III; Alexander IV, Cassander, Antigonus, Demetrius, Lysimachus, Seleucus, Ptolemy” were in contest for the place of the “great horn.”

But, even though more than four individuals were involved initially, not all of them can be considered “notable.” The untimely deaths of Philip III and Alexander IV, narrows the number down to six.

While Antigonus I (382-301 B.C.) “was made governor of Central Phrygia” and “after Alexander’s death Pamphylia and Lycia were added to his province . . . his growing power and the prospect that he might reconstitute the whole of the Macdonian empire under his sole rule, alarmed Ptolemy, Seleucus, Cassander and Lysimachus” who combined “a coalition against him.” Consequently, “at the Battle of Ipsus in 301” he was defeated[24] disqualifying him for being one of the “notable.”

That leaves Demetrius I (337-283 B.C.) who was Antigonus’ son. He “was left by his father to defend Syria against Ptolmy [but] he was totally defeated in [the] Battle of Gazza . . .”[25] omitting him also from being a “notable” which brings the number of notables down to “four notable” horns, the number predicted in Daniel’s vision more than 250 years before it was fulfilled!

As we examine those four remaining names, we find they were, indeed, conspicuous. “Cassander (358-297 B.C.), king of Macedon, [was] one of the chief figures in the wars of the Diadochi.”[26] “Lysimachus (361-281 B.C.) was a member of Alexander’s Companion cavalry who particularly distinguished himself in India. Following Alexander’s death he became governor of Thrace.”[27] “Seleucus won an empire centered on Syria and Iran . . . extended his empire to India.”[28] “Ptolemy [was] founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty” centered in Egypt.[29]

The death of Alexander the Great together with the rule of these kings, began what is known today as the “Hellenistic” period of world history which Gabriel covers in more detail in chapter 11.

Verse 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.

At first glance, the pronoun “them” seems to be clear reference to the four horns of verse 8 which went “toward the four winds of heaven” suggesting the countries ruled by Cassander, the king of Macedon, Lysimachus, governor of Thrace, Seleucus or Syria, Iran and India, or Ptolemy of Egypt.

But, judging by its parallel in chapter 7, the “little horn” originated from Rome in Italy, a country to the west of Alexander’s eastward chain of conquests with Italy lying well to the west of Greece and the various domains of any of Alexander’s successors. Therefore, it seems we must adjust our understanding of the “four winds of heaven” as not representing a country or countries, but simply a general reference to the four points of the compass with “west” being the direction from whence the “little horn” emerged.[30]

Many respected commentators feel that the “little horn represents Rome in both its phases, pagan and papal.”[31] But, “the pre-Millerite interpreters of the historicists school from the 18th and 19th centuries . . . identified the little horn of Dan 7 as the papacy” and “half of them identified the little horn in Dan 8 the same way.” [32] Therefore a significant number of those early interpreters of this vision considered both the little horns of Daniel 7 and 8 to represent the papacy.

One major objection to that interpretation is that in omitting pagan Rome, a huge 700 year time gap would be opened up in the parallels between the “belly/thighs/feet” in chapter 2 and the “leopard/little horn” in chapter 7 with no reference in chapter 8 to the iron legs or the fourth beast. But, since the vision of chapter 8 is obviously an elaboration of the vision of chapter 7, is it really necessary for this vision to repeat every detail of the former?[33]

Furthermore, the origin of the “little horn” of chapter 7 is clearly presented as being a separate power entity from the “fourth beast,” namely pagan Rome. Why should it be any different in chapter 8 regardless of the time gap; especially since both little horns[34] are clear parallels? As we proceed in Daniel’s visions and especially in John’s, we will discover gaps in time sequences to be not at all unusual.

For example, when Daniel, in chapter 7, asked Gabriel “the truth of all this, Gabriel began with the “great beasts, which are four” then moved to the time when “the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom . . .” (Daniel 7:16-18). That left more than a 1500 year time gap (and still counting!)between the fall of pagan Rome in 476 A.D. to the second coming which is still future!

But, the bottom line, so to speak, is the behavior of the “little horn” in this chapter. We will find it to be identical with the addition of more details of the “horn” of the chapter 7.

One of the additional details is that it “waxed . . . great, toward the south . . . east, and toward the pleasant land.” Bear in mind this is another elaboration of the characteristics of the “little horn” in chapter 7 that had “a mouth speaking great things” a “look” that was “more stout than his fellows” and not only wore “out the saints of the most High” but spoke “great words against the most High” Himself (Daniel 7:8, 20, & 25). Here we see the horn exerting itself in a southeasterly direction with special emphasis on “the pleasant land,”[35] namely Palestine.[36] Although “Palestine was incorporated into the Roman Empire in 63 B.C.,”[37] this verse, where the horn only “waxed exceeding great toward the pleasant land, suggests a thrust “toward” Palestine rather than a complete conquest.

With that thought in mind, it would seem the Crusade movement from 1095 to 1270 A.D. is what is being referred to here. They were a series of military campaigns first “launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II” to “reconquer the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land and free the Eastern Christians from Islamic rule.”[38] But, in contrast to the conquest of Palestine by pagan Rome that ruled there hundreds of years, none of the Crusade campaigns were wholly successful in capturing Palestine. That’s why the “little horn” power only “waxed . . . great . . . toward [not in] the pleasant land.”

Verse 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 same thought pertains here. According to the Commentary “The ‘host’ and ‘stars’ obviously represent ‘the mighty and the holy people’ (v.24).”[39] Some believe “the stars” represent the portion of the heavenly angels who were cast down by Satan during the “war in heaven” depicted in Revelation 12:7. But, even though the horn obtained its power from Satan, it is still representative of human activity, not Satan himself. Note elsewhere in the book of Daniel those who “turn many to righteousness” are likened to “the stars” (Daniel 12:3). Therefore, it is reasonable to assume the “stars” represent the same thing here and could be thought of as the leading lights among “the host of heaven” or the “mighty and holy people.”

Although the “fourth beast” of chapter 7 also “devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it” (Daniel 7:7, 20), the “residue” was not specific for the “saints.” Rather it is inclusive of any or all who stood in its way regardless of religious preference whether pagan or heretic. In contrast, the “horn” power is depicted here directing its ire specifically against those it considers heretical, evidence that the “horn” power represents a religious entity in addition to the political behavior we we see in verse 9.

Thus we see another parallel to the horn of chapter 7 who spake “great things . . . . against the most High and [wore] out the saints of the most High, and [thought] to change times and laws: and they [were] given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time” (Daniel 7:8 and 25) from the year 538 to 1798 A.D. during the Dark Age on earth, not in heaven.

Therefore, what we are looking at is figurative of the papacy’s ability to control the conscience and the will by substituting its own “times and laws” in the place of God’s, enforced by the false ministry of an earthly priesthood in the place of Christ’s heavenly ministry. In other words, it redirected man’s worship from God to itself, which is how it afflicted the “host” and the “stars” of “heaven.”

Verse 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.

Although the Commentary correctly interprets “the prince of the host” to be “Christ,” there is reason to question that this verse alludes to His crucifixion[40] which occurred more than 500 years before the horn power rose up.

The verb “magnified” does not imply assassination or execution, rather, it is descriptive of exaggerated arrogance and/or egocentricity, in this case, blasphemy! It corresponds exactly with the behavior of the “little horn” of chapter 7 who speaks “great words against the most High” (Daniel 7:25).

Note also “magnify” in verse 25 to describe one of the characteristics of the “king of fierce countenance,” and in Daniel 11:36, 37, one of the characteristics of the “vile person” suggesting them to be parallel to the horn power.

We come now to a hotly debated point which is “the daily.”[41] Much argument would be laid to rest if all realized that both the “little horn[s]” of chapters 7 and 8 represent papal Rome with pagan Rome having been bypassed in this vision.

Since the word “sacrifice” is italicized, it is perfectly reasonable to eliminate it,[42] thus changing the word “daily” from an adjective to a noun. Although the Hebrew word “tamiyd,”[43] translated “daily,” and used almost exclusively as an adjective, some 103 times in the Old Testament[44], it appears as a noun only in the book of Daniel.[45]

While some believe otherwise, it is my considered opinion that the “daily” must refer “to the continual priestly ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary.”[46]

Even though Christ is all-powerful, no man, or even the devil himself has the power to wrest Christ from His position in the heavenly sanctuary. Yet, Christ’s ministry is vain in behalf of those who have no faith or knowledge in what He is doing, for, “without faith it is impossible to please him” (Heb.11:6). As for the matter of taking away “the place of his sanctuary” and casting it “down,” Satan merely deflected the object of worship from the heavenly to the earthly by means of pope and priest. They claim the power to exclude “dissenters from the fellowship of the church, and passing upon them the sentence of excommunication by which the Roman Church asserted its power of excluding them from all possibility of entering heaven.”[47]

The power to excommunicate “had struck terror to powerful monarchs; it had filled mighty empires with woe and desolation. Those upon whom its condemnation fell were universally regarded with dread and horror; they were cut off from intercourse with their fellows and treated as outlaws, to be hunted to extermination.”[48] So “’the noon of the papacy was the midnight of the world’”[49] that was duped by the little horn’s “mouth speaking great things” (Daniel 7:8). Consequently, the world found itself bogged down for the 1260 years of the Dark Age merely because it was afraid of what the pope might say!

Therefore, it was in that sense that the horn power took away the “daily” and “cast” the “place” of Christ’s ministry in heaven “down” to earth as we see in the next verse. Thus we see the curse affecting the whole world that mentioned by Jeremiah who warned: “cursed be the man that trusted in man, that maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord (Jeremiah 17:5).

Verse 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 word “host” is used five times in chapter 8, three of them in verses 10 and 11 and the last in verse 13. All of them are translated from the same Hebrew word “tasba.”[50] In that case, the context becomes the most important element in deciding what “host” or army was “given” the “horn” power “against the daily.” Since verses 10 and 13 depict “the host” as belonging to “heaven” and were“stamped” or “trodden” down by the horn, and Christ is “the prince” or commander “of the host,” the “host” or army depicted in this verse is entirely different from the “host” pictured in verses 10, 11 and 13.

The “host” of this verse must be the army of those who favor or are intimidated by the horn power and are also “against the daily” or continual ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary choosing (ether inadvertently or advertently) rather to allow pope and priest to substitute for Christ’s ministry. Thus, because of their support, the “horn” power was able to practice[51] and prosper.

Verse 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?

In this verse Daniel is overhearing a conversation between two heavenly beings: Christ (the “one saint speaking” and “that certain saint”[52]) and the angel Gabriel (the other “saint” who asked the question) who is named in verse 16.

The question “How long” and the answer given in the next verse deals with the length of time the “vision”[53] or the “chazown” will last. Daniel already refered to the “vision” or “chazown” twice in verses 1 and 2.

Up to this point, the only time period Daniel heard about, and which “troubled” (Dan.7:28) him for the following three years,[54] was the “time and times and the dividing of time” or the 1260 years during which the “the saints of the most High” would be given into the “hand” of the little horn power (Daniel 7:25).

What he was now about to hear would trouble him even more to the point of making him “sick certain days” (verse 27) possibly because “the sanctuary” he was thinking about was on earth, not heaven.

On the other hand, if he had been following the sequence presented to him “at the first” vision of chapter 7, he would have noted that the “Ancient of days” took His place on the throne in heaven after the horn power appeared (Daniel 7:8, 9, 13). With the question being asked: “how long” will God’s “host” be trampled “under [the] foot” of the horn power? – suggests the same order of events.

But, that would not have made him feel any better because one of those saints was about to tell him something he would rather not know!

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

Interestingly, while Daniel only overheard the short dialogue between Christ and the angel, he did not ask the question himself. Nevertheless, the answer is here directed to him as if he had asked the question. Since it was Gabriel who had asked the question, it would seem here that the pronoun “he” is Christ who now directs His answer to Daniel. This suggests that Jesus was fully aware of the anxiety in his heart when he heard that “the saints of the most High . . . shall be given into [the] hand” of the horn power “until a time and times and the dividing of time” (Daniel 7:25). But now, another even longer period of time would add to his distress. No wonder Jesus waited two more years before sharing the “bad” news!

At this time during the Babylonian captivity, Daniel must have been was looking forward to the fulfillment of the 70 year captivity God revealed to Jeremiah saying: “For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place” (Jeremiah 29:10).

If 550 B.C. was Belshazzar’s “third year,” 15 years[55] yet remained of the 70. Some believe the “two thousand and three hundred days” should be taken for a literal 2300 days. If that were the case, only a little over 6 years[56] of captivity would remain which we assume would have brought Daniel great joy instead of the negative reaction depicted in verse 27. Clearly, he understood in prophetic “day-for-a-year” time as represented in Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6; in other words, 2,300 years of literal time.

Another very important point must be addressed: The word “days” is translated from two Hebrew words “’ereb” and “boqer,”[57] or “evening morning.” This had deep meaning for Daniel who immediately understood the full significance of the 2300 “days” (or “evening morning”) and their relationship to the “daily” “evening morning” ritual worship service in the earthly tabernacle in Jerusalem prior to Israel’s captivity in Babylon. [58]

While it was apparent to him that 2300 “days” represented that amount of literal “years,” how did he know that? Was he just guessing? Judging by his response and what he says later on, He knew exactly what was meant; that the cleansing of “the sanctuary” would not take place for 2,300 years.

Even though the “ereb boqer” or “evening morning” pertained to the “daily” ritual service of the sanctuary on earth, and “the cleansing” or “the day of atonement” (Leviticus 23:25-28; Hebrews 9:7; 10:1-3) took place once a year when all the accumulated sins that had been confessed during the daily service were cleansed from the sanctuary, evidently, Daniel thought it would be another 2,300 years before that service would be re-instituted.

The news that another day of atonement would not be held for another 2,300 years must have completely flabbergasted Daniel. He was looking forward to the reinstitution of the sanctuary service after seventy years after his captivity with only another fifteen years remaining. But, what he evidently failed to realize, at this point, the “sanctuary” was in heaven, not on earth and the cleansing was to take place there, not on earth on what we now call the “antitypical day of atonement.” But, that was something he would learn sometime later. In the meantime, some other things had to be made clear to Daniel.

Verse 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.

This verse suggests a period of time had elapsed after he had seen the vision depicted in verses 1-15 which left him numb and filled with apprehensions and questions he could not answer, but he was still located “by the river Ulai” because he “heard a man’s voice (see verse 16)” “between” its “banks.”

“Daniel ‘sought for the meaning’ of the vision. He could not understand the relation sustained by the seventy years’ captivity to the twenty-three hundred years that were to elapse before the cleansing of God’s sanctuary.”[59] This is additional evidence he thought the “sanctuary” was the one located in Palestine that was now in ruins.

“Many times the bearers of a prophetic message need to study that message themselves in order to discover its meaning.”[60] If they had to study it, how much more should we?!

Evidently, “the appearance of a man,” judging by what we read in verses 17 & 18, was sudden and unexpected. Even though he “heard” two saints “speaking” to each other in verse 13, and another actually spoke to him in verse 14, he was not approached by either one of them until this point.

Verse 16: And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.

So the “man’s voice” that Daniel “heard” must be that of Jesus who had just told him it would be “two thousand and three hundred days” before “the sanctuary” would be “cleansed.” His instruction to Gabriel, the “man” who just approached Daniel, is seemingly, readily understood.

His instruction “make this man to understand the vision” does not at all appear unusual until we understand that the Hebrew noun for “vision” is not the same as those of verses 1, 2, 13 and 15 which are translated from “chazown.”[61] So, after Daniel “had seen the ‘chazown’, and sought for the meaning,” Jesus instructed Gabriel “make this man to understand the ‘MAR’EH’”[62] instead of the “chazown!” That seems very unusual! The question that must have come to Daniel’s mind as well as ours is: “what does the ‘mar’eh” have to do with the “chazown?” And, that is the question Gabriel strives to answer in the next few verses and on into chapter 9.

For starters, check out this diagram. It should be helpful for us to understand, from Daniel’s perspective at the time he was given this vision, that the “2300 days” of verse 14 had to be “indefinite time”  because no beginning point was provided here. That comes later in his next vision of chapter 9 where he was told “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem . . .” (Dan.9:25). Even then, his knowledge would have been incomplete, as we shall see.

Verse 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.

Note the last word in this verse: “vision.” It is from “chazown.” That might seem surprising because Gabriel had just been instructed to explain the “mar’eh” in verse 16.

But, look at the preceding words “for at the time of the end shall be the ‘chazown.'” Since we cannot believe Gabriel had ignored the Lord’s instruction in verse 16, we must allow that Gabriel simply meant that the “mar’eh” was NOT “at the time of the end” in contrast to the “chazown.”

Gabriel’s appearance must have been overwhelming, difficult to imagine even though “When the angel Gabriel came to Daniel to give him skill and understanding, Daniel could not look upon him. The angel had to reveal himself as a man before he could speak with the prophet.”[63] Also, perhaps, to make it easier for Daniel to assimilate what he was about to tell him; things that even few of us have understood.

So, as we just said, Gabriel’s statement to Daniel becomes fully understandable only when we realize that the word “vision,” in this verse, is translated from “chazown.” Knowing what he tells Daniel is related to the instruction Christ just gave him in verse 16 to “make this man to understand the ‘mar’eh,’” his statement complies with Christ’s instruction because it shows the relationship between the “mar’eh” and the “chazown.” Stating that “at the time of the end shall be the ‘chazown’” implies that the “mar’eh” does not extend to the “end.”[64] Therefore, as lengthy as 2,300 year prophecy was, that “vision” (or “chazown”) would extend beyond the “mar’eh!” That must have been truly staggering to Daniel. It may surprise even ourselves because it is little understood.

Verse 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.

It could have been the information Gabriel just gave him or his intimidating presence that caused Daniel to become unconscious, or both. Either way, he needed the strengthening touch of the angel to help him stand up and receive the rest of his message. As our study continues, this od not the last time Daniel was overwhelmed by the revelations that came to him.

Verse 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 phrase “I will make thee know” is translated from a single Hebrew word “yada” meaning “make known” or “declare.”[65] Therefore, this declaration was not intended to be in any way coercive. Gabriel was appealing to Daniel’s understanding and encouraging him to think it through and try to understand the relationship between the “mar’eh” and the “chazown.”

The word “indignation” is from “za’am” meaning: “anger, rage.” It is that attitude of the horn power that drove the stamping down of the “stars” in verse 10, the casting down of the sanctuary in verse 11, the casting down of the truth in verse 12 and the “transgression of desolation” in verse 13.

The words “the last end” are from “‘achariyth” meaning “latter time, last, hindermost.” Evidently, it is indicative of the end of time as we know it. Nothing we are familiar with will succeed that time. Since Gabriel informed Daniel in verse 17 that the “‘chazown’ is for…the time of the end,” we must concluded that the “chazown” is synonomous with “achariyth.” Both refer to the extreme end of time.

Finally, we come to “the time appointed.” It is from the single Hebrew word “mow’ed.” Although I do not have a complete understanding of all its ramifications, we will encounter it again in Daniel 11:27, 29, 35 and amazingly in Daniel 12:7 where it is translated “time, times.” Since that word is in context with “the last end of the indignation,” this is very strong evidence that the “time, times and and half” refer to the very end of time, not history.

Verses 20: The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.

Here, Gabriel digresses back to verse 3 where the “ram” was first presented. This verse substantiates that it belongs to the past when Astyages was king of the Medes and Cyrus king of Persia. It also confirms the recapitulation concept of its parallel to the “bear” of Daniel 7 and the “silver” of chapter 2.

Gabriel’s digression from the “end of time” in verse 19 to a review of the forgoing part of the vision continues to verse 23 where an entirely new symbol, the “king of fierce countenance,” is introduced.

There was one characteristic shared in common with the “bear” and the “ram” that must have caused Daniel to conclude the “bear” and “ram” represented the same nation. It was the lopsidedness of the “bear” which “raised up itself on one side” and horns of the “ram,” one of which was “higher than the other” (Daniel 7:5 & 8:3).

That common characteristic represented some very interesting and important things that had been taking place in the Medo-Persian empire about the time Daniel was residing in Shushan.

As we noted before, 550 B.C.[66] was the year when “Cyrus of Anshan overthrows Astyages of the Medes, establishing the Persian Empire.”[67] According to an “account given by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus . . . Astyages [the first lower ‘horn’ representing the Medes] had a dream in which his daughter, Mandane, gave birth to a son who would destroy his empire. Fearful of the dream’s prophecy, Astyages married her off to Cambyses I of Anan, who had a reputation for being a ‘quiet and thoughtful prince’ and whom Astyages believed to be no threat.

“When a second dream warned Astyages of the dangers of Mandane’s offspring, Astyages sent his general Harpagus to kill the child, who was none other than Cyrus [the later ‘higher’ ‘horn’ representing Persia] himself. Harpagus, unwilling to spill royal blood, gave the infant to a shepherd, Mitridates, whose wife had just given birth to a stillborn child. Cyrus was raised as Mitridates’ own son, and Harpagus presented the stillborn child to Astyages as the dead Cyrus.

“When Cyrus was found alive at age ten, Astyages spared the boy on the advice of his Magi, returning him to his parents in Anshan. Harpagus, however, did not escape punishment, as Astyages is said to have fed him his own son at a banquet.

“Cyrus succeeded his father in 559, and in 553, on the advice of Harpagus, who was eager for revenge for being given the ‘abominable supper,’ Cyrus rebelled against Astyages. After three years of fighting, Astyages’ troops mutinied during the battle of Pasargadae, and Cyrus conquered the Median’s empire.”[68]

Daniel must have been familiar with the story, and, by the time he received this vision, it was already an established fact that Cyrus was the ruler who “came up last” (verse 3) after Astyages. This feature corresponded with the lopsided bear of the vision three years earlier who was summoned to “Arise, devour much flesh” (Daniel 7:5). The “three ribs in” its mouth also correspond well with the ram’s “pushing westward (toward Babylon), and northward (toward Lydia), and southward (toward Egypt).”

That was the way it all worked out. Only three years later, “Cyrus conquered Lydia in 547 B.C. . . .” Although Babylon was overthrown 8 years later in 539 B.C., it was not until 525 B.C. when “Cambyses II extended the conquests south in the Egypt and Ethiopia,”[69] long after Daniel’s time.

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

This animal, paralleled by the “leopard” of chapter 7 and the “brass” of chapter 2, was also called “an he goat” charging “from the west” in this chapter without having the name of its kingdom attached. That it represented Greece is confirmed by Gabriel Himself. But, could it represent the nation we call “Greece” today? Not if all its characteristics are taken into consideration.

How could we possibly reapply the “great horn . . . between his eyes” to any other “king” or ruler who has lived subsequent to Alexander the Great. Even though his father Philip II “had unified most of the city-states of mainland Greece under Macedonian” might be considered “the first king,” the adjective “first,” from the Hebrew “ri’shown,”[70] could also be translated “chief” or “foremost” king. In verse 5 it is called “notable”[71] or “conspicuous.” Philip’s son, Alexander the Great, certainly was the “foremost, chief”” or most “conspicuous” king of Greece.

Verse 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.

In verse 8, Daniel saw that “the great horn was broken” to be substituted by “four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.” But here, Gabriel says nothing about “the four winds,” rather that “four kingdoms” would come “out of the nation” established by the “great horn . . . but not in his power” or not by the authority of Alexander the Great who, as it is well known, died before he could designate a successor June 11, 323 B.C. [72] Therefore, four literal kingdoms can be substituted for the four symbolic winds depicted in verse 8.

As it was, Ptolemy in 323 B.C., was the first to establish his dynasty in Egypt after the death of Alexander, but some 17 years elapsed before Lysimachus was set up on Thrace (Asia Minor) in 306 B.C., followed by Cassander and Seleucus in Macedon, Syria and Iran in 305 B.C.[73]

Verse 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 words “in the latter time” come from what should be a somewhat familiar word “achariyth” we studied in verse in which in that context, referred to the extreme end of time. But, in this case, we must back up from the extreme end to a time sooner when “in the time of the “kingdom” referred to in verse 22, that of Alexander’s successors, was fulfilled.

At this point we come to another problem similar to that encountered in verses 8 and 9 where the emergence of the “little horn” power is depicted. So, the question arises again, is the “king of fierce countenance” parallel to the “little horn” power representative of both pagan and papal Rome, or is he parallel only to papal Rome?  Also, are “the transgressors” inclusive of Alexander’s successors and pagan Rome? In my thinking, such must be the case, because as we examine the characteristics of this “king,” we will find them to be nearly identical to the characteristics of papal Rome alone.

So, here Gabriel comes to the transition point seen in verses 8 and 9 where out of one of “the four winds of heaven . . . came forth a little horn.” The Comentary, as it did in verse 9, maintains this “prophecy applies to Rome in both its pagan and papal forms.”[74] Surprisingly, the strongest evidence for that conclusion is found in Deuteronomy 28:49-55 where Moses predicted that a “nation of fierce countenance” would lay “siege” to Israel’s “fenced walls” and “gates” if they did not “hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God” (Deuteronomy 28:1). That, of course, is exactly what happened in A.D. 70 when pagan Rome besieged Jerusalem and laid it low.

But, an equally strong point for the exclusive application of the “king of fierce countenance” to papal Rome is found in Daniel 7:20 where “the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spake very great things” had a “look [that] was more stout than his fellows.”

While “countenance” and “look” are clearly synonymous, the Hebrew word for “fierce” is from “’az”[75] translated more often as “strong” or “mighty,” less often “fierce.” The Aramaic word for “stout” is “rab”[76] meaning “great” or “master,” similar in meaning to “az.” So, a a strong look and a fierce countenance applies equally well to the little horn power.

From that point on to verse 25 there is very little evidence to equate “the king of fierce countenance” with pagan Rome. To begin with only papal Rome can be logically equated with a kingdom having an “understanding [of] dark sentences” or “’enigmatic statements’ . . . ‘riddles’ . . . or ‘perplexing questions’ . . . Some believe the meaning here is ‘ambiguous speech,’ or ‘double dealing.’”[77] Such deviousness is clearly applicable only to papal Rome. The “fourth beast” of chapter 7 which “had great iron teeth” and “devoured and brake in pieces and stamped the residue with [its] feet” (Daniel 7:7) spent little time analyzing “dark sentences” or deciphering “enigmatic statements” while the “little horn” having a big “mouth” and intelligent “eyes” (Daniel 7:8) coincides admirably with those devious characteristics.

Verse 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.

The last phrase alluding to “the mighty and the holy people,” identifies this “fierce . . . king” who directs his animosity against those who differ with him religiously, as a religious power, while pagan Rome detested Christians because they threatened it politically not necessarily religiously.

Another characteristic depicted here, is very much unlike that of pagan Rome that was probably the most powerful military nation in history and arose by its “own power,” whereas the “king of fierce countenance” did not become “mighty . . . by his own power” but arose by virtue the “power” of other kingdoms who bolstered its rise! The Commentary agrees suggesting “the papacy reduced the civil power to subservience and caused the sword of the state to be wielded on behalf of its religious objectives.”[78] In other words, the papacy operates through the union of church and state.

Its “wonderful” ability to “destroy” has been amply demonstrated during the Dark Age of history when it merely had to announce sentences of “excommunication [which] struck terror [even] to powerful monarchs” and “filled mighty empires with woe and desolation.”[79] [80] Again, the Commentary agrees, without alluding to a pagan Rome feature, saying: “This power persecuted even unto death those who opposed its blasphemous claims, and would have extinguished ‘the holy people’ had not the Lord intervened on their behalf.”[81]

And, Gabriel continues, he “shall prosper, and practise” the same as the “little horn” of verse 12 who also “practised, and prospered.”

Verse 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.

Again, a little word study is revealing. The noun “policy” can be translated “understanding, wisdom, wise” etc., even “cunning”[82] is a possibility. The noun “craft” does not depict this king promoting the building trade, but shows him promoting “deceit.”[83]

His standing “up against the Prince of princes” is “the same being designated ‘the prince of the host’ in v.11, none other than Christ.”[84] Although the Commentary goes on to say this phrase is an allusion to pagan “Roman hands [that] nailed Him to the cross,” this is most likely parallel to the papal little horn power that “magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily . . . was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down” in verse 11 during the Dark Ages.

Ultimately, however, we can all agree that since the “king of fierce countenance” will “be broken without hand,” is implied “that the Lord Himself will eventually destroy this power. The ecclesiastical system represented by this power will continue until destroyed without human hands at the second coming of Christ.”[85] That conclusion obviously discounts pagan Rome which expired 476 A.D.

Therefore, nearly all the characteristics of the “king of fierce countenance” are parallel to the “little horn” power of chapters 7 and 8 representing papal Rome, and find very little (if any) likeness to the characteristics of pagan Rome.

Verse 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.

Note that the word “vision” is used twice in this verse. The first one is from “mar’eh,” and the second is from “chazown.” Therefore, verse 26 presents the clearest distinction between the “mar’eh” and the “chazown” and will be referred to fairly frequently as we proceed in our study. Follow it carefully, word-by-word, and you will see the difference plainly.

The first “vision” (mar’eh[86]) is identified as that of “the evening and the morning” with “evening” being from “‘ereb”[87] and “morning” from “boqer” [88]. Now, go back to verse 14 and look up in the concordance for the derivation of the word “days.” You will find that it is translated from the same two Hebrew words “ereb” and “boqer” or “evening/morning.” Therefore, it should be well understood that the “mar’eh” “of the evening and the morning which was told” is the 2300 “days” of verse 14. Uriah Smith acknowledges that “‘the vision of the evening and the morning’ refers to the period of 2300 days.”  The Commentary likewise states this is “a clear reference to the time prophecy of v.14.”[89] Unfortunately, neither source refer to the second word “vision” from “chazown.”

Now consider the second word “vision” in this verse. It is from “chazown”[90]. Recall that Gabriel in verse 17 already said that “at the time of the end shall be the ‘chazown.'” Here he instructs Daniel to “shut thou up the ‘chazown’ for it shall be for…” At this point lets examine the words “many” and “days.”

The word “many” is from the Hebrew “rab”[91] meaning “much, abounding, more numerous than, greater than.” Obviously, then, the “chazown” was to last  longer (even much longer) than the 2300 day “mar’eh!”

But, before jumping to conclusions, it is equally important to examine the word “days.” It is from the Hebrew “yowm”[92] which is completely different than “days” in verse 14. While “days” in verse 14 is indicative of 2,300 years of prophetic time, “days” in this verse is indicative of literal time because “yowm” when associated with a number (or, as in this case with the qualifier “many”) is always literal. Therefore, all time after 1844 must be calculated in literal time.

This diagram might be helpful:

Verse 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.

So, in spite of Gabriel’s best effort, Daniel still failed to understand “the vision” or the 2,300 day “mar’eh” much less the additional time brought in by “the chazown.” If you or I were in his place anticipating the soon coming release from Babylonian captivity, then having this enormous expansion of time outlined by none other than Gabriel, we too would be “sick” for a few days before we could recover and go on about business as usual!

But, while this exposition of time was disheartening to Daniel, now, more than 2,600 years later, time has lasted many years beyond 1844 at the end of the 2300. Being aware that the “chazown” took that delay into consideration should bring us great hope that God has not forgotten us for He knew way back in Daniel’s time, that His coming would be delayed. We cannot know how long the delay will last, but the delay has not caught the Lord by surprise! It was spelled out more that 2,600 years ago!

Check out this diagram showing the relationship between the “mar’eh” and the “chazown.” The date 457 B.C., which Daniel could not have known, is established in the next chapter. And, it is important to recognize that it was established retrospectively, not prospectively.

So, as we already discussed in Daniel 7:25, and in verse 16 or this chapter where the difference between “definite” and “indefinite” time is explained, it is clear here that from Daniel’s perspective, the 2300 days was “indefinite time” while, from our retrospective position, it has become “definite.”

Picture 5

Summary chapter 8: This chapter cannot be understood properly without comprehending the “first” vision of chapter 7 that comprises its base. Although there is no parallel to the gold head of chapter 2 or the lion of chapter 7, this chapter begins with the ram which parallels the chest and arms of chapter 2 and the bear of chapter 7. Then the goat of this chapter finds clear parallel to the belly and thighs of brass of chapter 2 and the leopard of chapter 7. At that point, we come to the controversial “little horn.” Here is presented evidence favoring it to represent the papacy rather than both pagan and papal Rome. The most important point deals with the 2300 days of verse 14. The angel Gabriel who was instructed to explain the “mar’eh” even though Daniel queried after the “chazown,” states that the “chazown” extends to the end in verse 17 evidencing the fact that the “mar’eh” stops short of the “chazown.” Verse 26 makes it clear that the “mar’eh” is the 2300 days of verse 14 while the “chazown” extends beyond the “mar’eh” for an indefinite length of time.

Check out this diagram showing the most important details that chapter 8 adds to those of  of chapters 7 and 2.


[1] “Cuneiform records have thrown an abundant stream of light on Belshazzar, his office and activities during the years he was coregent with his father. After conferring the kingship upon Belshazar in 553/552 B.C. . . .” (SDA Bible Commentary Vol.4, page 808 [left column]) Therefore, his “third year” must be around 550 B.C. even though, according to Usshurs’ it was 553 B.C.

[2] 550 BC — Cyrus II the Great overthrows Astyages of the Medes, establishing the Persian Empire. (

[3] According to the Wikipedia free encyclopedia. See also Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary page 241 for more detail of that fascinating story.

[4] 603 B.C. – 553 B.C. = 50 years

[5] From Online Computer Lexicon: “chazown” #2377 Nwzx chazown khaw-zone’ from 02372; TWOT – 633a; n m KJV – vision 35; 35. 1) vision; 1a) vision (in ecstatic state); 1b) vision (in night); 1c) vision, oracle, prophecy (divine communication); 1d) vision (as title of book of prophecy)

[6] From Online Computer Lexicon: “#4758 harm mar’eh mar-eh’; from 07200; TWOT – 2095i; n m; KJV – appearance 35, sight 18, countenance 11, vision 11, favoured 7, look upon 4, fair + 02896 2, misc 15; 103. 1) sight, appearance, vision; 1a) sight, phenomenon, spectacle, appearance, vision; 1b) what is seen; 1c) a vision (supernatural); 1d) sight, vision (power of seeing)

[7] This is probably the reason this little known fact has been overlooked. Adding to the problem, the careful student will find a discrepancy between Strong’s concordance and Young’s Analytical Concordance, the Interlinear Bible, the Gensenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, and what I have found in the Online Computer Bible. While Strong’s designates the word “vision” in Daniel 8:17 to be from “mar’eh” and 9:23 to be from “chazown,” the others designate “vision” in Daniel 8:17 to be from “chazown” and Daniel 9:23 from “mar’eh.” I believe Youngs, the Interlinear, the Lexicon, and the Online must be correct, because their designation untangles what would be very confusing were we to accept Strong’s designation. This might seem academic, but when we study further, it will be seen to be enormously important to those who really want to understand what God actually told Daniel.

[8] Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol.4 pages 839, 840 (ellipse & bracket mine) Josephus’ statement from Antiquities x.11. 7. You can also find it in “The works of Josephus Complete and Unabridged” Translatd by Willam Whistone, A. M. page 285.

[9] Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol.4, page 840 (left column under “River of Ulai”)





[14] “touched” is from the qal form of “naga’” (Strong’s#5050) also meaning: “strike, to be stricken” suggesting the relative benevolence Alexander treated the Persians and his attempt to meld together the Greek and Persian cultures

[15] even though “two” is italicized, indicating it to be supplied, “two” in the next verse is not italicized



[18] a good map of this event is found at:

[19] for example see the map of Alexander’s Empire:



[22] “notable” is from: “chazuwth” (Strong’s #2380) meaning conspicuousness in appearance” as well as “vision.”

[23] see



[26] Ibid (bracket mine)



[29] see

[30] “’Out of one of them.’ In the Hebrew this phrase presents confusion of gender. The word for ‘them,’ hem, is masculine. This indicates that, grammatically, the antecedent is ‘winds’ (v.8) and not ‘horns,’ since ‘winds’ may be either masculine or feminine, but ‘horns,’ only feminine. On the other hand the word for ‘one,’ ‘achath, is feminine, suggesting ‘horns’ as the antecedent.. ‘Achath could, of course refer back to the word for ‘winds,’ which occurs most frequently in the feminine. But it is doubtful that the writer would assign two different genders to the same noun in such close contextual relationship.” (Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol.4, pages 840, 841) Since ambiguity still remains as far a language study is concerned, it seems that a practical application should be the mainstay of interpretation.

[31] For example see Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol.4, page 841 (right column under “A little horn.”)

[32] Dr. William H. Shea follows that reasoning in his book Selected Studies on Prophetic Interpretation par.V page 30

[33]Ibid. On pages 30-32 Dr. Shea carries on a very good discussion on this point offering several reasons to support the concept that the little horns of both chapters 7 and 8 are the same representing the papacy.

[34] interestingly, the Aramaic word for “horn” in chapter 7 is “qeren” (Strong’s #7162) and the Hebrew word for “horn” in chapter 8 is also “qeren” (Strong’s #7161) very nearly identical even though the pronunciations may be slightly different.

[35] Even though “land” is italicized, indicating it to be supplied, “pleasant,” from “tseb-ee” (Strong’s #6643), is translated “glorious” in Dan.11:16 & 41 adjective to “land,” and in verse 45 the “holy mountain.” All four references clearly refer to Palestine.

[36] Other southwestern countries are also included, especially Constantinople which was the original capitol city of the papacy established by Constantine. Although most commentators declare this to be pagan Rome’s occupation of Palestine, most ignore the papacy’s thrust in that direction during the time of the Crusades.

[37] Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol.4, page 842 (left column 2nd paragraph)


[39] Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol.4, page 842

[40] see Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol.4, page 842 (left column under “11. Prince of the host.”)

[41] Early Writtings by Ellen G. White page 74: “…the word ‘sacrifice’ was supplied by man’s wisdom, and does not belong to the text . . .”

[42] Ibid

[43] see Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol.4, page 842 (right column under “Daily sacrifice.”)

[44] “tamid” or “tamiyd” (Strong’s #8548) is translated a number of different ways including “continual, continually , always, perpetual, constant” etc.

[45] The Commentary (op cit) seems to contradict that conclusion saying: “In Ch.8:11 tamid has the definite article and is therefore used adjectivally. Furthermore, it stands independently, without a substantive, and must either be understood subjectively as meaning ‘continuance’ or be supplied with a substantive.” Maybe that’s better, but, for what its worth, understanding it as a noun makes it substantive in and of itself.

[46] This is one of the three alternatives suggested in Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol.4, page 843 (left column under ‘3.”

[47] Review and Herald 1-10-93

[48] Great Controversy page 141

[49] Great Controversy page 60 adapted from J.A. Wylie’s History of Protestentism

[50] “host” from “tsaba” (Strong’s #6635) also: “war, army, battle, service, appointed time, warefae, soldiers, company, misc.”

[51] “practiced” is from the qual form of “asah” (Strong’s #6213) meaning to “do, work, deal, act with effect”

[52] Since “saint” is supplied, we are really left with “that certain” from “palmowniy” (Strong’s #6422) meaning: “that certain one.” This is the only place it is used in the entire Bible!

[53] “vision” from “chazown” (Strong’s #2377) “vision , ecstatic state, oracle, prophecy” etc.

[54] from the “first year of Belshazzar” to the “third year of the reign of king Belshazzar (Dan.7:1; 8:1)

[55] if 605 is the “first year” of Daniel’s captivity, 605-550 = 55 years of captivity. 70 – 55 = 15 years remaining

[56] 2300 divided by 360 (the number of days in a year used in Bible prophecy) = 6.4 years.

[57] “days” from: “’ereb” (Strong’s #6153) = “evening” and “boqer” (Strong’s #1242) = “morning”

[58] There are several references in the O.T. using the terms “’ereb” and “boqer” not counting those found in Genesis 1 that show a close relationship between the “daily” [tamiyd] of Daniel 8:13 and the “days” [‘ereb boqer] of Daniel 8:14. Daniel must have understood that “daily” [tamiyd] were pertaining to the “evening/morning” [‘ereb boqer]  worship service in the earthly tabernacle in verse 14. Although he must have understood it immediately, it is not apparent to us without being familiar with the Hebrew words they were translated from. Consider these passages with connect the “daily” with the “days” of Daniel 8:13, 14:

Ex. 27: 20, 21 ¶ “And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always [tamiyd]. In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening [‘ereb] to morning [boqer] before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.”

Ex.29:38, 39 “Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually [tamiyd].  The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning [boqer]; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even [‘ereb]:”

Ex. 29:41, 42 “And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even [‘ereb], and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning [boqer], and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD. This shall be a continual [tamiyd] burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.”

Lev.6:20 “This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer unto the LORD in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meat offering perpetual [tamiyd], half of it in the morning [boqer], and half thereof at night [‘ereb].”

Lev.24:3 “Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening [‘ereb] unto the morning [boqer] before the LORD continually [tamiyd]: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations.”

Num.28:3, 4, 6, 8 “And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual [tamiyd] burnt offering. The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning [boqer], and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even [‘ereb]; It is a continual [tamiyd] burnt offering, which was ordained in mount Sinai for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD. And the other lamb shalt thou offer at even [‘ereb] : as the meat offering of the morning [boqer], and as the drink offering thereof, thou shalt offer it, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

1 Chron.16:40 “To offer burnt offerings unto the LORD upon the altar of the burnt offering continually [tamiyd] morning [boqer] and evening [‘ereb], and to do according to all that is written in the law of the LORD, which he commanded Israel;”

2 Chron.2:4  “Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual [tamiyd] shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning [boqer] and evening [‘ereb], on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.”

Ezra 3:3, 5 “And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD, even burnt offerings morning [boqer] and evening [‘ereb]. And afterward offered the continual [tamiyd] burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD.”

[59] E.G.White in Review and Herald 3-21-07

[60] see Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol.4, page 845 (left column second paragraph)

[61] Strong’s #2377

[62] Strong’s #4758 (capitalized for emphasis)

[63] E.G.White in Youth’s Instructor 2-22-00

[64] “end” from “qets” (Strong’s #7093) “after, extremity, utmost border, time of the end; end of space” etc. In other words, nothing come after it. It’s the “end” of time. Also refer to note #7 to convince yourself that “vision” in verse 17 is from “chazown” not “mar’eh” as it is mistakenly designated in Strong’s concordance.

[65] “I will make thee know” from the Hiphil of “yada’” (Strong’s #3045)

[66] 550 BC — Cyrus II the Great overthrows Astyages of the Medes, establishing the Persian Empire. (

[67] according to the Wikipedia free encyclopedia. See also Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary page 241 for more detail

[68] (brackets supplied)

[69] Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary page 840 (ellipse mine)

[70] “first” from: “ri’shown” (Strong’s #7223) an adjective meaning “first, primary, former, chief”

[71] “notable” from: “chazuwth” (Strong’s #2380) “vision, conspicuousness”


[73] All these dates can be confirmed in wikepedia free encyclopedia or any of many other historys

[74] Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol.4, page 841 (right column, 2nd paragraph) and page 845 (right column bottom) Italics supplied

[75] “’az” from Stong’s #5794 “strong” x 12; “fierce” x 4; “mighty” x3; “power” x1; roughly x1; stronger x1

[76] “rab” from Strong’s #7229 “great” x9; “master” x2; “stout” x1; “chief” x1; “captain” x1; “lord” x1

[77] Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol.4, page 846 (left column, under “Dark sentences.”)

[78] Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol.4, page 846 (left column, under “Not by his own power.”)

[79] The Great Controversy by E.G. White page 14

[80] see also

[81] Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol.4, page 846 (left column bottom to top right)

[82] “policy” from “sekel” (Strong’s #7922) “understanding x7; wisdom x3; prudence x1, knowledge & sense x1

[83] again the Commentary (4BC 846 top right column) agrees saying that “craft” is better translated “deceit.” You can confirm that by Strong’s #4820.

[84] Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol.4, page 846 (right column, under “Prince of princes.”)

[85] Ibid under “Without hand.”

[86] “vision” in the first part of vers 26 is from “mar’eh” Strong’s #4758

[87] “evening” from”ereb” (Strong’s #6153)

[88] “morning” from “boqer” (Strongs #1242)

[89] See The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation by Uriah Smith page 191 and The SDA Bible Commentary Vol.4, page 847.

[90] “vision” from “chazown” (Strong’s #2377)

[91] “many” from “rab” (Strong’s #7227)

[92] “days” from “yowm” (Strong’s #311)