In Daniel 8
, Daniel sought after the meaning of his vision, and a man appeared before him.
He heard a loud voice from the water commanding Gabriel to give Daniel the interpretation. When Gabriel came near, Daniel was afraid and on the ground with his face hidden. Gabriel told Daniel to understand the vision, for at the end time the things he had seen would come to pass.
As Gabriel spoke a deep sleep fell upon Daniel. As Gabriel touched Daniel, he rose and sat upright. Gabriel told him that the end would come at the time appointed, and that he would tell Daniel how it would come to pass.
Gabriel told Daniel that the ram with two horns were the kings of Media and Persia. Biblical Media was the northern part of what is Iran today who spoke the "Median" language. Persia also is Iranian, the lower part. The "ram" is now combined, both Media and Persia into what is now the Republic of Iran. It is interesting that the ram was the royal ensign of the Persians, and their kings wore a diadem of gold in the shape of a ram's head.
Gabriel went on to say that the rough goat was the King of Grecia, and the horn between his eyes is the first king of Grecia. Though there were kings and monarchs before him, Alexander the Great was the first king of the Grecian monarchy. Alexander is said to have had a goat's horn on his helmet, and to have used purple horns in his feasts and celebrations.
Gabriel said that horn was broken, four kingdoms stood up for that nation, and four kingdoms will stand for it in the end time, but not under the power of Greece. Alexander, the horn, became great and mighty during his day, conquering the Persian empire and the Indies. His ambition was to conquer the world, but died before that could happen. The horn was broken, and his kingdom was divided into Egypt, Greece, Asia, and Syria, but were no longer under a central power.
Those four kingdoms were going to fall according to Gabriel's interpretation. When their transgression had become great, a fierce king understanding riddles would rise. It is believed that this is Antiochus Epiphanes, who was the son of Antiochus the king who had been hostage at Rome. Many of the Jews during his reign were filled with their religion and turned into heathens, even some of the priests.
Antiochus was considered to be a man of "hard face", with no shame or fear within him for God or man. He was very cunning in "dark sentences" or riddles, even to the point that he used his deceit and cunning nature to take the kingdom from his nephew. He used this trickery to seduce many of the Jews to give up their religion and embrace heathenism.
Gabriel described this king that would rise as one mighty with power, but not by his own power. He would destroy and prosper wonderfully, and eventually destroy the holy people.
He would not destroy with the strength of his hands, though. Gabriel said that through his policy he would magnify himself. Instead of arms, he would destroy many with peace. He would stand up against the Prince of princes, but he would be broken.
When Daniel heard these things, he fainted. He was sick for several days. After regaining strength, he went about his business astonished at what he had just learned from Gabriel, but none of his day could understand.
As Christians, we should ask ourselves: Do we think that the enemy fight us with only evil that is easily discovered? Or do we realize that he can also come against us with peace and trickery? How many ministers of the past have taken these scriptures out of context to trick the people into believing this was political struggles of their day? After that day has come and gone, do we still look backwards to it? Have we been deceived by peace of the enemy?