Daniel’s Longest Time Prophecy
In Unlock Revelation, we looked briefly at Daniel 8 in this post. We’ll unpack more details over the next few posts regarding this vision.
Daniel 8 begins in the third year of Belshazzar. Remember in Daniel 5 Belshazzar was the last king of Babylon before the Medo-Persians conquered them. The vision begins with Medo-Persia represented by the ram (verse 20) indicating that the time of Babylon was phased out. Following the ram, a rough goat came from the West (Greece is located west of Persia) and conquered the ram. The single horn on the goat represented Alexander the Great, one of the most famous and successful kings/warriors in history. The great horn was replaced by four smaller horns (verse 22). After Alexander the Great died the Grecian kingdom was divided into four smaller kingdoms ruled by Alexander’s generals: Ptolemy, Lysimachus, Cassander, and Seleucus.
The four horns grew out towards the four winds of heaven, and we see later on that a little horn rises out of one of them and becomes very great. This little horn takes up the majority of the chapter, and for good reason. It speaks great words against the most high, took away the sacrifices, cast down truth, and succeeded (verse 11, 12). This horn stood up against the Prince of princes, referring to Jesus. It was the Roman empire that crucified Jesus, so we see that this little horn represents the Roman power. Through history and previous posts (see the one we linked to above) the Roman power is not limited to the political entity but the religious (papal) one as well. When the Roman Empire was in its final stages the emperor transferred authority from the empire to the pope. Thus, this little horn encompasses the political and religious influence of Rome.
Daniel 8:13 ends the vision with Daniel seeing an exchange in heaven. One being asks another how long will all of this last (between Medo Persia and the end of Papal Rome (the religious power). He is told that this will last for 2300 days.
Remember in prophecy a day represents a year (Numbers 14:34, Ezekiel 4:6). So we are talking about 2300 years. But Daniel could not handle anymore. Remember this man of God who had been taken captive from his homeland, suffered through a den of lions and death threats, was seeing the future. However, Daniel 8 is clear about the first part of the vision (ram and goat) but does not explain the last part of the vision. The chapter ends with Daniel fainting and being sick for many days. It took him a while to get back to work. Daniel 9 is still part of Daniel 8 but we see the man of God praying fervently for forgiveness on behalf of his people.
Daniel had been captive in Babylon for much of his life, and while God had blessed him in his career Daniel knew that the stay in Babylon was only temporary. He knew the promise that God gave to bring His people out of captivity. Daniel 9 is an intercessory prayer on behalf of God’s people. He wanted to make sure God had forgiven his people, and that He would not abandon them.
At the end of Daniel’s prayer, God sends Gabriel to help Daniel understand the vision. What was left to make clear was the time prophecy in Daniel 8:14. Even before Daniel finished praying God sent Gabriel to give Daniel skill and understanding. The same God that helped Daniel understand while he was praying is the same God that can help you understand. All you need to do is ask.
To read an in depth analysis of the 2300 day vision, click here.