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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

The Ram and the Goat Part One

Series: Daniel

Daniel 8:1-4 ESV

Daniel 8:1-4 The Message

Daniel 8:5-14 ESV

Daniel 8:9-14 ESV

Daniel's Vision of the Ram and the Goat was given to him when King Belshazzar was on the throne. Belshazzar was the son of the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. He was the last king of the Babylonian Empire.

We are told in Daniel 8:1-4, “In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first. And I saw in the vision; and when I saw, I was in Susa the citadel, which is in the province of Elam. And I saw in the vision, and I was at the Ulai canal. I raised my eyes and saw, and behold, a ram standing on the bank of the canal. It had two horns, and both horns were high, but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. I saw the ram charging westward and northward and southward. No beast could stand before him, and there was no one who could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great.”

We read the same section of Daniel 8:1-4 from The Message, “In King Belshazzar’s third year as king, another vision came to me, Daniel. This was now the second vision. “In the vision, I saw myself in Susa, the capital city of the province Elam, standing at the Ulai Canal. Looking around, I was surprised to see a ram also standing at the gate. The ram had two huge horns, one bigger than the other, but the bigger horn was the last to appear. I watched as the ram charged: first west, then north, then south. No beast could stand up to him. He did just as he pleased, strutting as if he were king of the beasts.”

We know now in hindsight that Daniel was carried to the gate seeing the entrance of what was to come.

The ram at the gate represented a new era coming.

The time of Babylonian rule was at its end. Daniel was surprised to see the Ram. That could lead us to believe that Daniel had not previously thought that the Babylonian rule would end in his lifetime.

The two big horns Daniel saw show that one horn was bigger than the other. The bigger horn did not appear first, it was the last horn to appear.

In his vision Daniel saw the Ram charging.

Babylon fell to the Persian Empire in 539 B.C. under Cyrus, The Great.

The Prophet Isaiah also foretold of the fall of the Babylonian Empire in Isaiah 47:11:

“But evil shall come upon you,    which you will not know how to charm away;disaster shall fall upon you,    for which you will not be able to atone;and ruin shall come upon you suddenly,    of which you know nothing.”

The two horns Daniel saw were the two parts of the empire that would conquer the Babylonian Empire. The Medes emerged first but the Persians were larger and stronger (

Then we read about what Daniel saw in Daniel 8:5-14. “As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground. And the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. He came to the ram with the two horns, which I had seen standing on the bank of the canal, and he ran at him in his powerful wrath. I saw him come close to the ram, and he was enraged against him and struck the ram and broke his two horns. And the ram had no power to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power. Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.”

And just as the Lord revealed to Daniel a male goat came from the west. Notice Daniel saw the goat came at the Ram with speed and intentionality. The goats feet flew, not touching the ground. When the goat found the ram he was at the river canal as if to say he was grazing. The goat was enraged and he struck the Ram with so much force that he broke the two horns.

We have to remember that a horn to a male animal is vital. The horn is it’s strength, it’s fighting machine.

So, once the goat destroyed the horn of the ram all Hope was gone. The goat knew that. Because the ram was powerless, the goat stomped on him and trampled him. The ram was done for…the ram that was once so powerful no one could stand up to was undone. The Medes and Persians were out.

Then in Daniel 8:9-14, Daniel saw the goat that was exceedingly strong but then, “Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land. It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them. It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown. And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression, and it will throw truth to the ground, and it will act and prosper. Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, “For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?” And he said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.”

The Grecian goat grew great, ‘even as great as the Prince of the host’. The goat challenged the celestial powers (God). The horns of the goat grew faced south and east, and it was so strong that it defiled what was holy.

At this point, Daniel had to wonder who could challenge God and stand?

Daniel knew that power was power only as far as God allows power. Daniel knew the God of Abraham, the God of and Isaac, and the God of Jacob would prevail in the end.

However, at this point in history the most terrifying beast was yet to come!

Spiritual Practice: Holiness

Practice sitting in silence with Holy God. Soak in God’s Holiness.

In God, Deborah


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