Daniel 8
The Horn Power Against, Prince, Host, and Sanctuary

Text Comments
.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, [the second] and the higher came up last.
  1 - Vision Translated here and in verse 2 from the Hebrew word, chazon. See note for v1.
   2  - Shushan The modern name of this Persian city is Susa. Daniel was there in his vision and may have been physically there, too. See Esther 1:1-3 es01 and ne0101.
   2 - Citadel The Hebrew word may also mean "palace," "castle," or "temple."  Why would Daniel's presence in the capital city (or palace) be mentioned? It seems that the mention would be for more than the historical record. At that place he saw the ram and the goat on or near the ground, but the horn power grows up to interfere with the peace of heaven v10. Thus, in our study through the chapter, we move from the earthly palace to the heavenly sanctuary. The political nature of the ram Daniel saw is emphasized from his perspective of being in the temple city of Elam. In v13 we see the temple of heaven.
.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.    Stood In power or reigning. We see Michael stand up when he assumes power after the fall of the wicked king of the preceding verse da1201. Also da1102.
   Ram Identified in v20.
   One was higher ... last At the fall of Babylon under Belshazzar, Darius the Mede took the throne but was soon replaced by Cyrus da0530. The Medes were under the Persians, the stronger power. The two unequal horns were earlier represented by a different symbol. da0705. Also in the image, da0232.
.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.    According to his will Historians picture Xerxes es0101 as more interested in pleasure than government. "His will" as opposed to God's will.
   Became great Literally "made himself big."
.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.
 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.
   5 - Goat ... touched not the ground Greece v21. Alexander moved rapidly to conquer the significant part of the world of his day. Compare da0706.
 7  And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler (anger) 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.
   8 - Goat waxed very great The ram had become only "great" v4.
   8 - Horn was broken Alexander died in Babylon at the end of his conquest of the Persian empire at 32 or 33 years of age. 323 B.C. The empire was divided among his four generals.. da1104.

Text Comments
.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.  9 - Out of one of them The Hebrew grammar indicates that the pronoun, them, stands for the winds (gender has to match). Compare 7:8 da0708. A wind is a direction je4936.
 9 - Little horn Better translated, "horn which started small." (NIV). On the identity of this horn and for comments on the grammar, see Note for v9 which is too long to conveniently fit here. See chart D11 for other descriptions of this power.
.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.  10 - Host of heaven From this verse we wonder if Satan might be this new horn. He fought against God in heaven and seduced a third of the angels re1204a. But this doesn't fit with the "winds" idea and the action occurs long after the dragon was cast out of heaven. The horn's attack was against God's people da0725wear, and against nations it removed when it came to power. We may see the nations here as "stars." da0724. On stars as kings or kingdoms, see ge3706-9. Some see both host and stars as faithful people. See the note on this verse.
  10 - Of heaven The persecuted saints were on earth but their home was in heaven, not with the horn power. See re1306a-bl. Compare mt2501.
.11a  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.
- - - - - - - -
  He Changed from "it" in the previous verse. Apparently because the symbol of a human, rather than a horn now more clearly depicts the arrogance in relating to Christ. We may see the change to represent the development of pagan Rome into papal Rome. Human characteristics appear at the corresponding point in the previous vision da0708.
 11a - Magnified himself The new religious power operating from Rome had assumed responsibilities which were God's: the forgiveness of sin and, probably the most notable, the practice of the Eucharist re1408f. He had aspired to receive worship due only to the Creator. 2th0204. In the Eucharist a sinful human priest presumes to create the very body of Christ, the Creator!
 11a - Prince of the host This would be Christ; Messiah the Prince da0925 elsewhere called Michael re1207b, da1201.
 11a - Host We may see this "army" or people as the host of heaven, v10 above.
.11b 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.
- - - - - - - -
  By him Better translated, "because of him." Action on the "daily" is because of the influence of the horn.
 11 - Daily The Hebrew word is tamide and does not express a periodic quality. It is more accurately translated, "continuance" or "continuation." This continuation (daily) here represents what the papal power adopted from the pagan governments which composed the "Holy Roman Empire." 
   See the first note for v11.
 11 - Sacrifice The word was added by translators and gives a wrong meaning to the text. See the note.
 11 - His sanctuary In the notes we identify the owner of the sanctuary as paganism.
  Might the "daily" or continuation represent the ministry of Christ? See note d.
.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.
   Or literally "An army was given over [to the horn] with the continuence in rebellion (or "transgression"). And it [the horn] cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced and prospered."
   Host Or "army."
   Given God permits persecution. See on "given" at da0725.
   Against the daily ... of transgression  The Hebrew phrase is: ha-tamid be-pesha which, following the Hebrew word order, may translate as "the continuation in rebellion." See literal translation of the verse at the left.
   This interpretation is consistent with the explanation of the vision:  When the transgressors have reached their fullness a king shall arise. . . .  He shall destroy the mighty [kingdoms]. –verses 23, 24. See parallel table.
   Did the dominant church of the middle ages used the force of arms to realize compliance with the continuation of pagan worship practices? Yes, by enlisting military and police support from the pagan nations. It is also seen in the Inquisition and the Crusades. On this army, see the verse 12 note.
   On continual, tamide, oppression and blasphemy see is5204,5.
   Truth See jn1717., is2913,4, ro1617.

The papacy crowned kings. It "practiced and prospered." This picture is apparently the crowning of Charlemagne, King of the Franks and "emperor" of the Holy Roman Empire 768-814.
Image © Corel
.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?
- - - - - - - -
   Saint Literally "holy one." We see heavenly beings here rather than holy people. Compare da1205 and ex2518.
   How long? Literally "until when"? See ps074. Here, the trampling will be until the king/horn is broken without hand v25. Also compare da1205. In other words, the time span represented by the vision is until the continuation (daily) and the desolating transgression and the trampling stop. This will be when the sanctuary cleansing is complete – at the close of probation before the coming of Jesus.
   Vision Chazon as in v1. See v1 note. The vision about the time shown to the prophet has just ended because it is being discussed. Also the two were "heard" in contrast to the ram in v2 which was seen.
   Daily ... transgression Notice that these two evil forces trample two objects: sanctuary and host. We see the transgression as pagan practice, active in Babylon where Daniel lived and seen later in this chapter. The daily would be the papal system which followed it. The transition to the "daily" or "continuation" occurs at v23. See on le1616.
   Both the sanctuary and the host These are Christ (in His ministry ps06302) and His people. We may see this trampling also in chapter 7 da0707-n7.
.14  And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
- - - - - - - -
   And he said ... [2300] days We expect here the answer to how long the sanctuary and host will be trampled, assuming correctly that it would be for the duration of the vision, but the response is indirect. See v14 note a. For the beginning and ending times, see on re1305b.
  Days Literally "evenings and mornings." v14 note b.
  Then ... sanctuary  be cleansed The sanctuary here is the one in heaven, v14 note c.
  14 - Cleansed Was it contaminated? In a sense, yes le1616. Forgiveness and cleansing had been promised but depended on the sacrifice at Calvary and the demonstration of Christ's cleansing power in the characters of His people. Would any actually accept His grace and apply it to their lives? The preadvent judgment looks at His work in us. It clarifies to the universe that we have been changed by His redemptive power and that He is right in granting forgiveness. When this is clear, He comes to take us home. We are His children. He then becomes our king da0710,14! See also v14 note d.
.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.
.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.
.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.
.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.
   15 - Appearance of a man Compare "one like a son of man" in chapter 7 da0713. Jesus applied this term to himself mt2028. The one like a man here, however is not Christ. The voice of authority in the next verse would be Christ (prince of the host in v11). Thus the one who appeared and was commanded was Gabriel. The glory of an angel would be too bright so he appeared as a man.
   16 - Man's voice ... make this man understand Thus we have the man of verse 15 who was the Messiah who would become a man. Then the angel Gabriel was to instruct "this man," Daniel. This is heaven's personal touch with us.
   17 - Time of the end The culmination of the vision would be during this final probationary period. On "time of the end," see da1204.
   18 - Deep sleep Representing the long ages of darkness before Daniel would again stand in his allotted place da1213. This wait is played out in chapter 10 da10.

.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.
 19, NASB ". . . what will occur at the final period of the indignation for it pertains to the appointed time of the end."
   Know ... last end of the indignation Gabriel will give us some clues about how the indignation problem will end is2620..
   Time appointed Several times are specified in Daniel's book. The most serious is in this chapter. The sanctuary cleansing begins after 2300 symbolic days v14. This is during the "time of the end." See the time chart.
.20  The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.
.21  And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
 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.
   20 - The ram ... Gabriel begins again at the starting point for the vision this time identifying the ram and the goat.
We begin another description of papal Rome using new symbols. The chapter has two parallel accounts

.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.

   Latter time ... king acharyth May also be translated "posterity" as in 11:4. There we concluded that Alexander's kingdom was not left to his blood posterity da1104, So what might be that posterity? The latter-time or posterity successor of the four generals (four horns) was pagan (or imperial) Rome. Also see acharyth in ps10913. See chart for other descriptions of this power.
   Transgressors When pagan Rome had fully demonstrated their satanic religion, Papal Rome assumed power.
   Come to the full This recalls the time for taking over the land of Canaan ge1516.
.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.    Not by his own power During the Dark Ages the secular governments generally carried out the will of the church.
   Mighty We have been reading about kingdoms (v23). Here we may see the "mighty" as "mighty nations" drawing imagery from Joel jl0311. This is also seen in the uprooting of the three horns da0708.
.25  And through his policy also he shall cause craft [deceit] 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.    By peace shall destroy [corrupt] many The phrase may be translated several ways. Here is the NASB which harmonizes with ez3814 and the self-confidence of the last church re0317. "He will destroy/corrupt many while they are at ease." Or "by peace." The church of the middle ages promised to provide salvation giving the people a false assurance re1408eu. Forgiveness was offered by human priests. The people were forbidden to have Bibles when they became available. Earlier, Scripture manuscripts were only in monasteries and the church decided what they meant. In the Protestant Reformation, many Bible truths were brought to light – truths that showed the errors of the church which presumed to stand in God's place 2th0204.
   Broken without hand The final end of the oppressive king (horn) will not be a product of human effort da1145b, re1920.
.26  And the vision [mareh] of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision [chazon]; for it shall be for many days.
  Possible meaning: "The explanation is true. Therefore seal the vision. It will happen for many days."
   Vision ... vision The words are two different Hebrew words. See the note for v1.
   Evenings and mornings  The same Hebrew words were translated "days" in v14.
   True  Why would truthfulness be emphasized?  Certainly Gabriel was not implying that Daniel would doubt the revelation God had given. Compare da1021.
   Many Days The ordinary Hebrew word for days. See on the next 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.    Fainted ... sick The significance of the vision was dreadful. 2300 literal days is more than six years. As 2300 prophetic days (literal years), the implications are awesome. Review note for v14a.
   None understood This perplexity is never really resolved for the prophet although, according to remarks in chapter 12, we who live in the last days may understand da1211. See re1002. The Lord had also given Jeremiah a vision which was to be explained later je2404.
Parallel prophecies of ch.8
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