Daniel’s Vision of the Ram and the Goat

by Mike Ratliff

1 In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Dan-iel, after that which appeared to me at the first. 2 And I saw in the vision; and when I saw, I was in Susa the capital, which is in the province of Elam. And I saw in the vision, and I was at the Ulai canal. 3 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. 4 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. (Daniel 8:1-4 ESV)

Many of the Old Testament prophecies have already been fulfilled. For instance, Jesus Christ fulfilled every one of the prophecies that spoke of His first coming, His torture, His death, His burial, etc. We have now arrived at Daniel Chapter 8. Daniel switches from Aramaic, which he used from 2:4b through 7:28, back to Hebrew starting in 8:1 through the end of His book. In Chapter 8 we will look at some already fulfilled prophecies and also how one of the characters from those that have been fulfilled also prefigures another character that is still future to us.

Daniel has another vision two years after the one from Chapter 7. In this vision Daniel sees himself at the Persian city of Susa. This does not mean that he was physically there. He may have still been in Babylon since the Medo-Persian Empire had not yet come to power. He sees himself at the Ulai canal. Some translations call it a river. He looked and saw a Ram standing on the bank of the canal. It had two horns, one higher than the other. They were both high, but the higher grew taller later. No one could withstand his power.

The first part of Daniel’s vision reveals a Ram that represents the Medo-Persian Empire. The two horns represent the Medes and the Persians. The Persians provided the civilization and the Medes provided the military might. At the beginning of the empire the Medes were more powerful, but the Persians soon dominated after the fall of Babylon. The Medo-Persian Empire became huge. It covered the entire near East and threatened to spread into Europe with invasions into Greece. It did conquer Egypt. The Ram corresponds to the Bear from Daniels vision from Chapter 6 and the silver portion of the image from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream from Chapter 2.

5 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. 6 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. 7 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. 8 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. (Daniel 8:5-8 ESV)

The next part of Daniel’s vision pertains to a male goat with one conspicuous horn that moved so swiftly that it appeared to not touch the ground. The Ram with the two horns falls before the great wrath of the goat. The two horns of the ram are broken and no one could come to his aid. The goat became great and strong, but the great horn became broken. In its place four horns came up towards all directions.

The goat was the Greek Empire under Alexander the Great. This corresponds to the Leopard from Daniel’s vision in Chapter 7 and the Bronze part of the image from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream from Chapter 2. His army was contained 35,000 men. The Persian army was much bigger. However, Alexander’s leadership enabled him to win every battle. However, as soon as the Medo-Persian Empire became his, Alexander died. The empire was split into four parts governed by his four generals. It was split into four sections: Macedonia, Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt.

9 Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land. 10 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. 11 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. 12 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. 13 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?” 14 And he said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.” (Daniel 8:9-14 ESV)

General Seleucus received Syria. His descendants were the Seleucids. The little horn refers to Aniochus Epiphanes, a Seleucid, who came to power in 175 B.C. He was not in line to be king, but took the throne by deceit. The name “Epiphanes” means, “God made manifest.” He sought to force Greek culture on the Jews. He attempted to bring the Jews into line with the rest of the Greek empire through changing their culture. In fact, he was successful in bringing many of the “free-thinking” priesthood into abandoning the Jewish Religion. However, there was a hard-core group of priests and common people who refused to be “assimilated” into Hellenistic cultic religion along with its immoral cultural values. The more he tried to force his will on the Jews the more obstinate the resistance became leading to revolt. Antiochus Epiphanes announced a law requiring all citizens to present themselves four times a year to pay formal homage to him as the senior god of the Seleucids. The day chosen for these periodic submissions was Shabbat, when Jews preferred not to leave their homes, this being their day of prayer. Epiphanes was met by revolt and the setting up of a small state in which the high priest was the central figure. This was the Maccebean revolt which gained the Jews their independence. Antiochus Epiphanes occupied Jerusalem. He entered the temple. In the Holy of Holies he desecrated the sanctuary by offering unclean animals upon the alter of burnt-offerings. Then he polluted the whole building by sprinkling it with water in which flesh had been boiled. Then he dedicated the Temple itself to Jupiter Olympius, and erected the statue of that deity and plundered the temple treasures. This was called the Abomination of Desolation.

In v10 we read of the little horn throwing some of the stars of heaven to the ground and trampling on them. What does this mean? The best commentaries I have read on this verse say it is describing the persecution against the Jewish people in picturesque language. The stars are the Jewish people themselves. Other examples of this in scripture are found in Genesis 12:3, Genesis 15:5, Genesis 22:17, Exodus 12:41 and Deuteronomy 1:10. In v11 we have a description of Antiochus Epiphanes demanding sacrifice and worship. We know that the temple sacrifices ultimately were directed to our Lord, the Prince of Princes. When the little horn demands that those sacrifices be directed to him then he was exalting himself over our Lord Himself. In v13-14 we read of how long this little horn will be able to trample on the Jews and their religion. The answer is 2,300 evenings and mornings. This is describing a period of 6 1/3 years of sacrificing a lamb twice a day on the altar of sacrifice. This shows us how precise this prophecy was because the persecution under Antiochus ran from September 6 171 B.C. to December 25, 165/4 B.C. When he died, the Jews cleansed the temple. This began the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah.

15 When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it. And behold, there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. 16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, and it called, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.” 17 So he came near where I stood. And when he came, I was frightened and fell on my face. But he said to me, “Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end.”
18 And when he had spoken to me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face to the ground. But he touched me and made me stand up. 19 He said, “Behold, I will make known to you what shall be at the latter end of the indignation, for it refers to the appointed time of the end. 20 As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 And the goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king. 22 As for the horn that was broken, in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from his nation, but not with his power. 23 And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise. 24 His power shall be great-but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. 25 By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken-but by no human hand. 26 The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true, but seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now.”
27 And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king’s business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it. (Daniel 8:15-27 ESV)

The “time of the end” from v19 is referring to a time late in the period of time that is in the historical view of this prophecy. In other words, this is the end of the time of the Greek Empire in the form of four kingdoms. The little horn is obviously Antiochus Epiphines (175-164 B.C.) He did persecute the Jews and died of natural causes. Men did not kill him and he did defy God. He prefigures the Antichrist who is yet to come. We see that Antiochus is a pattern for him. We will see more of this when we get to Chapter 11.

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21 thoughts on “Daniel’s Vision of the Ram and the Goat

  1. Pingback: » Daniel’s Vision of the Ram and the Goat

  2. Speaking of prophecy, we’re certainly seeing a growing foreshadowing of the fourth seal in our time.

    Mad cow disease
    Wasting disease
    Avian flu
    extreme drug-resistant TB
    drug resistant staph infections.

    It’s all over the news. One day it’ll be all over the world.


  3. Dear Mike,

    You said ” The little horn is obviously Antiochus Epiphines (175-164 B.C.) He did persecute the Jews and died of natural causes. Men did not kill him and he did defy God.’

    I have the highest respect for you. This study of the final Revelation takes overwhelming study. I am glad you are going back to the prophets. I must respectfully disagree with the view that Antiochus Epiphines was the little horn.

    In chapter 7:8-14 we see the little horn boasting and his body slain and destroyed and thrown into a blazing fire. This did not happen to Antiochus Epiphines as he died of natural causes.

    Also we see in Daniel 2:44 “IN THE TIME OF THOSE KINGS (refering to the ten), the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people it will crush all those kindoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. THIS IS THE MEANING OF THE VISION OF THE ROCK CUT OUT OF A MOUNTAIN,BUT NOT BY HUMAN HANDS–A ROCK THAT BROKE THE IRON, THE BRONZE, THE CLAY, THE SILVER AND THE GOLD TO PIECES.”

    It is not until the TIME OF THOSE KINGS that the Rock or Jesus Christ will crush these kingdoms. This is important in showing that Antiochus Epiphanes was NOT the little horn because in Daniel 7:8 we see “…another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. …” Daniel is very clear that the little horn comes up AMOUNG the other ten horns and uproots three. These ten horns are the same as the ten toes and are destroyed by JESUS when he comes.

    Revelation 13 discusses the Beast out of the Sea. “And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns, and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard (Greece), but had the feet like those of a bear(Medo-Persia )and a mouth like that of a lion (Babylon). The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. Men worshiped the beast and asked, ‘Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?’ The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blashphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blashpheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling plance and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them……..”

    My point of Revelation 13 is that the Beast out of the Sea is the same beast of Daniel. The ten horns will have the little horn come up amoung them. The Rock, Jesus Christ, will crush this final kingdom (4th beast of Daniel) and take away all authority from the other beasts (first 3 beasts of Daniel) according to Daniel 7:12.

    This is all so overwhelming. It is important to clarify that the little horn is the anti-christ and not Antiochus Epiphanes because we may find it very helpful down the road. Looking at Antiochus Epiphanes as a type of anti-christ may prove to be helpful or harmful. We just don’t know. We must rely on descriptions from scripture alone in reguard to who this lawless one is and avoid him. If we attribute some of these characteristics to a seperate ‘little horn’ we may not see something vital. If we look to the example of Antiochus as a type we may look at events that happened at that time and look for similar events to happen in our time that may not happen. We must clearly determine whether or not the little horn is Antiochus Epiphanes and I believe according to scripture he cannot be.

    Jesus clearly said in His own words after Antiochus Epiphanes was long dead “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes deslolation’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel–let the reader understand.” Daniel chapter 8 speaks of a little horn that will cause desolation…..Jesus refers to this little horn that causes desolation as yet to come.

    God bless you for your study in Daniel.

    Love in Christ,


  4. Rachel,

    The little horn in Daniel 8 is A.E, but the little horn spoken of in Daniel 7 is the Beast or the Antichrist. A.E. was a foreshadow of the Antichrist. The reason we know this is that the little horn from Daniel 8 comes out of the Goat (Greece) while the little horn from Daniel 7 comes out of the 4th beast which is Rome. We must understand that not all references to the a little horn are necessarily speaking of the same person. A.E. did all those things that the little horn did in Daniel 8. Daniel 8 is describing that period that A.E. was in power. However, I have no problem with the little horn from Daniel 7 and the other chapters in Daniel speaking of the both.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  5. A. The angel told Daniel in Chapter 8 that the vision is for the time of wrath, the appointed time of the end. This time has not yet come but will and I believe soon.

    B. “He will take his stand against the Prince of princes”. Antiochus blashpemed God the father but did he stand against the son, Jesus Christ, the Prince of princes? The anti-christ will and he will be “destroyed” by the breath of Jesus mouth and the splendour of Jesus coming.

    The commentaries are assuming things like the host being jews of the day and A.E. dying of natural causes meaning he is “destroyed but not by human power”.

    C. Why are the hosts given over to the little horn? Because of the “rebellion”. This is referring to the apostacy or falling away of the end time.

    D. Many people die of natural causes. Daniel 8 says little horn is “destroyed” just like in chapter 7.

    Also if you will research further into the 2300 evenings and mornings you will find that the time of A.E.’s stopping of the sacrifice and the temple being reconsecrated does not actually come out to the exact amount of time. You will see that many scholars have tried to make it fit many different ways, sometimes it is off by about two months, sometimes 45 days depending on how they manipulate the numbers.

    I can go into the beast comments later but these scriptural facts alone should be enough to question these commentaries by men.

    Love in Christ,


  6. Rachel,
    A. The Hebrew in that passage studied grammatically tells us that the time of the “end” is what was being discussed. That was discussing the time of the end of the empires in the vision. Look carefully at what it says. It is talking about the Greek Empire destroying the Persian Empire. A.E. was part of the Greek Empire.
    B. Yes, any stand against the legitimate Hebrew religion at that time was a stand against the Prince of Princes.
    C. The hosts were given over who apostatized. There was a falling away by many Jews who went after Hellenism.
    D. A.E. died horribly but not by the hands of men. His bowels came out. Horrible!
    There is no way to make 2300 evening and mornings come out to more than the 6.whatever number of years. This part of Chapter 8 is discussing A.E. and the horrible things he did which brought about the rebellion of the Jews which restored the temple and its worship after his Abomination of Desolation. No one is trying to make Daniel say that this Abomination is the same one the Little horn of Chapter 7 and later does. All I am saying is that Chapter 8 is about A.E. It is not sound exegesis to make allusions to scripture that don’t exist in the text. What happened historically in that period was predicted exactly in Daniel 8. A.E. did foreshadow the Antichrist and the little horn from the 4th beast. Never forget that the little horn of Daniel 8 comes from the third beast of the Daniel’s earlier vision not the forth beast. The little horn from the fourth beast is the one who has not come yet.
    In Christ
    Mike Ratliff


  7. Mike,

    The dates I have for the desolation come from the maccabees and the time span is much shorter than your time span.

    “Few dates are better established in antiquity than the dates of the interruption of the sacrifice and its restoration.

    I Maccabees 1:54 says:

    “On the 15th day of the 9th month of the 145th year [of the kingdom of the Greeks] king Antiochus set up the abominable idol of desolation upon the altar of God.”

    The termination is established in the same book I Mac. 4:52,53

    “And they arose before the morning of the 25th day of the 9th month of the 148th year, and they offered sacrifices according to the law upon the new altar…”

    It these dates are correct we are looking at 3 years and 10 days which could be anywhere from 1105 days to 1090 days depending on the calendar used. If we read Daniel as saying 2300 DAYS we are way off as A.E.’s ‘desolation’ would be way under the 2300 days. If you are reading Daniel as saying TOTAL SACRIFICES (two a day) which means we would have to double the previous numbers from 1105-1090 to 2210-2180. This is closer but still off from the 2300 by 90-120 days or 3-4 months. So I can’t conclude that A.E. fulfills this propecy of the 2300 days.

    Do you read Daniel as saying DAYS or total sacrifices when you read the passage? I always thought he meant total days.

    Perhaps we both need to research our dates 🙂 The matter of the 2300 days will become important in the last days in reguard to fleeing if the little horn was not A.E. but the future anti-christ.

    Thanks for your research. You definately have me searching out more! Please let me know what you believe the evenings and mornings to be: days total or 1/2 the amount of days based on sacrifices two times a day.

    Love in Christ,


  8. Rachel,

    The text speaks of 2,300 evenings/mornings, with no “and” in between. This would mean 2,300 total units or days. That is about 6.3333 years of sacrificing a lamb twice a day, morning and evening. Antiochus’ persecution of the Jews started on Sept 6, 171 B.C. and ran to December 25, 165 B.C.

    The question being asked to Gabriel is in v13. ‘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?”’ In other words the 2300 days measures the time not only of the abomination of desolation, but also the “liberalization” of the Jewish Priesthood in allowing unbelievers into the sanctuary, and the disruption of the daily sacrifice. Those are three separate things being measured by these days.

    Back to it. I am working on Chapter 9. 🙂

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  9. Mike,

    I agree with you that the 2300 units are indeed days or 6.38888 years. For that reason, you can see why I would believe that (if the macabbees were used as the standard) I would be unable to accept A.E. as fulfilling the prophecy since we would be short many days. In order for me to accept why A.E. fits the prophecy, according to your beginning date of September 6, 171 B.C., (as we obviously agree on the ending date) I would need to understand why that date is used as the beginning. It seems odd that the ceasing of sacrifice, which is well documented would fall on the exact same date of September 6th a few years later.

    Love in Christ,


  10. Rachel,

    I did some date math. I took September 6, 171 BC and added 2300 days. It came out to December 24th 165 B.C.

    Here is what I am going on.

    Antiochus Epiphanes.

    a. He was a Syrian.

    b. He came to the throne in 175 B.C. and ruled until 164 B.C.

    c. He was anti-Semitic to the core. He assaulted Jerusalem, murdering over 40,000 in three days, and selling an equal number into cruel slavery. It is thought that on September 6, 171 B.C., he began his evil actions toward the Temple.

    d. On December 15, 168, his Temple desecration reached its ultimate low, for on that day this idolater sacrificed a giant sow on an idol altar he had made in the Jewish Temple. He then forced the priests to swallow its flesh, made a broth of it, and sprinkled all the Temple. He finally carried off the golden candlesticks, table of shrewbread, altar of incense, various other vessels, and destroyed the sacred books of the Law. A large image of Jupiter was placed in the Holy of Holies. All this was termed by the horrified Jews as “the abomination of desolation,” and is referred to by Jesus in Matthew 24:15 as a springboard to describe the activities of the future antichrist.

    e. All through Palestine altars to Jupiter were set up and the Jews were forced to sacrifice on them. But at a little Jewish town called Modin (seventeen miles northwest of Jerusalem) there lived a Jewish priest named Mattathias, of the House of Hasmon. He had five sons and this brave old man not only refused to worship Antiochus’ idols, but boldly slew the king’s religious ambassador. The Jewish revolt was on. One of his sons was named Judas and he was called the Maccabee (meaning, the hammer).

    For the next few years Judas successfully led an army of Jews against the Syrians. Their brave exploits are described in two Apocrypha books, first and second Maccabees. On December 25, 165 B.C., the Jewish patriots cleansed and rededicated the Temple Antiochus had defiled. This later became a Jewish holiday known as the Feast of Dedication (see Jn. 10:22).

    Note: In 8:14 there is a time period of 2300 days mentioned. This apparently began on September 6, 171 B.C. and ended on December 25, 165 B.C. It was, however, on the basis of this period that William Miller, founder of the modern Seventh Day Adventist movement, went astray. He made the days stand for years and arrived at the date of October 22, 1844, for the return of Christ!

    f. Antiochus died in Babylon in 164 B.C. after being soundly defeated in battle.

    There are two little horns and the second one is much worse. 🙂

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  11. Mike,

    I am amazed at how much energy you have to write on each different topic day! 🙂 Thanks for getting back to me so soon.

    O.K. What I here you saying is:

    “Note: In 8:14 there is a time period of 2300 days mentioned. This APPARENTLY began on September 6, 171 B.C. and ended on December 25, 165 B.C.”

    By “apparently” it sounds like they backed up 2300 days from the date they did know which was December 25, 165 B.C. That only works if everthing really started on that date which they don’t seem to know since they use the word “apparently”. My point is where did they get the date December 25, 165 B.C.? If they got it from the Macabees then why didn’t they get the first date that I wrote about earlier from these same works? Are they trying to make it fit?

    Also stated was

    “It is THOUGHT that on September 6, 171 B.C., he began his evil actions toward the Temple.”

    This seems a little speculative.

    Also stated:

    “All this was termed by the horrified Jews as “the abomination of desolation,” and is referred to by Jesus in Matthew 24:15 as a springboard to describe the activities of the future antichrist.”

    Jesus in no way “referred to this event as the abomination of desolation”. If anything it sounds like Jesus was making a correction by saying (that when we see the abomination that makes desolation referred to by the prophet Daniel) like it had not happened yet at all even though we thought it had.

    I do have some other info on A.E. that makes it seem like he doesn’t fit for other reasons. I will get back to you. Great study huh! Thanks for doing all this work.:-) It is exhaustive! It is so nice to see such dedication to the Lords Word.

    Love in Christ,


  12. Mike,

    I hope I am not sounding nitpicky. I know how writing can come off sometimes. In reality I am very willing to be persuaded to truth and up for correction if I am wrong here. I just want to make sure I know the real truth, thus all the digging and researching 🙂 I get alot of blessings from your posts.

    Love in Christ,


  13. Rachel,

    I’ll continue to research as well. My primary source for this, after the Bible of course, was some commentary by John MacArthur. However, I will continue to look. Perhaps another post on the 2300 days and evenings? We’ll see. 🙂

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  14. Rachel,

    Here is an excerpt from a John MacArthur Sermon on this:

    Lemme tell you something. The antichrist, the Bible says, will only last 1250 days or three-and-a-half years. And in Matthew 24, Jesus said if it lasted any longer, nobody in the world would be saved. If the time wasn’t shortened to three-and-a-half years, the…it would be the end of everybody…1250 days. Antichrist is so much beyond Antiochus, and you can’t even imagine what this man did, but antichrist will be so far worse than this that antichrist time is confined to twelve hundred and fifty days. And Antiochus, who isn’t as severe as antichrist, gets longer than that. Look at verse 14. “And one said unto me…how long?…‘Two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Twenty three hundred days.

    Now, people, when the Bible starts getting that specific, that is really amazing. The Bible says there’ll be 2300 days in which Antiochus will oppress the Jews. Historical data is rather unavailable at this point. We can’t really tell the precise point at which this horrible holocaust began. But, now listen, and this is what’s fascinating. We do know when the closing of the 2300 days came, because it says the closing will be the sanctuary cleansed. On December 25th, 165 BC, under the leadership of one of the Maccabees, Judas Maccabeus, the great leader of that family who led the revolution against Antiochus, came in and cleansed the temple. December 25th, 165 BC.

    Now, listen, this is remarkable. So you start with December 25th, 165 BC, and go backwards how many days? Twenty three hundred days, and you figure back. You wind up at September 6th, 171 BC. September 6th, 171 BC. That, then, would be the date when some event occurred that was sufficient enough to mark the beginning of Antiochus’ anti-Jewish atrocities. Now, September 6th, 171, we don’t have any record of what happened on that day. But I’ll tell you one thing, something did happen, because God knows his numbers. And just to confirm that, listen to this. Though the nature of the event is not known, history is very clear about this. The Jewish atrocities began in 171 BC. That’s very clear from history…Until 171, say the historians, there was peace between Antiochus and the Jews. The pious high priest, a good man by the name of Onias III, was removed from office. Jason…who bribed Antiochus for the position, was put in the place of the true high priest. The anger of the Jews became stirred. That is the righteous Jews, and though the revolution didn’t break out for a while, the thing began to fester that eventually led to that revolution.

    And then 2300 days from September 6th, the temple was cleansed as the Maccabeans won their battle against Antiochus. Now, you get a little idea of the history of this individual by looking at verses 9 to 14. Lemme just give you a couple of other facts, and we’ll move on to a conclusion. Our time is gone. Antiochus was such a maniac that he imprinted on the coins…and by the way, you might be interested to know we found 126 coins. I say “we,” speaking of archeologists. Have found 126 coins with this on them: “Theos Antiochus Theos Epiphenes,” which means Antiochus, God manifest. What a picture of antichrist who comes as the false god. – John MacArthur

    Here is a link to the sermon

    Me again:

    I have read so much garbage about the 2300 days over the last few days that I now see that either we take it as literlly 2300 consecutive days or we end up making huge errors that are only human suppositions. 2300 does not fit the Antichrist unless we do mathematical gymnastics and date tricks. Also, the Antichrist rules only 3.5 years, not seven. Even though A.E. was horrible he was not as bad as the Antichrist will be.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  15. Mike,

    Hello again! May be you will do another post on the 2300 days or chapter 8 again later.

    I so agree about the 2300 days being days total. That is the only way I can read the passage. I am using this as my starting point; 2300 LITERAL DAYS.

    So if these are literal days and we know the ending date which we aquire from the Macabees then:

    a. We back up 2300 days to see if that is when something significant happened. (which we have no record of)

    b. We take the actual date given as the beginning of the desolation in Macabees, which is given pretty close to the passage with the ending date, and find we are short the amount of time needed.

    We now conclude that either:

    a. Something must have happened 2300 days before the ending date so A.E. must be the fullfillment


    b. A.E. did not fulfill the prophecy.

    You said: ” 2300 does not fit the Antichrist unless we do mathematical gymnastics and date tricks. Also, the Antichrist rules only 3.5 years, not seven.”

    O.K., if the prophecy of the little horn in chapter 8 is about the anti-christ, which is what we are determining, then indeed the 2300 days will fit him. This is why we are trying to determine if the 2300 days are significant; do they apply to the time of wrath/last days.

    Also, the bible does not say that “the anti-christ rules only for 3.5 years, not seven”. It says that the saints are handed over to him for 3.5 years. The “great tribulation” is what lasts for 3.5 years, not necessarily anti-christs reign as a general ruler versus his reign as “god”. Remember anti-christ is already in some sort of power position or he would not have been able to CONFIRM a covenant with many for seven years. He is the one putting this covenant in place. He is already in power.

    I love John MacArthur. He is a wonderful expositer of scripture. His ministry has greatly blessed me and I have gained greater understanding of the Word through the Holy Spirit and John’s teaching. (He and Greg Laurie are probably my favorite modern day preachers. Of course you know I love Paul Washer!) However, he does not have a complete grasp yet on eschatology. Most of what he says is right on scripturally up until he starts talking about the rapture. The last time I heard him speak he even sounded a little shaky on it and I thought he might soon come to the truth of post-trib. He started talking about phases of the rapture. This is not biblical. I noticed he stopped using scriptural references once he got to the part about rapture timing. I am praying that he comes to the truth soon so that he may preach the truth to the many christians out there who faithfully listen to this ministry. What an amazing impact his preaching on this subject would have.

    We know that the Word of God is the only truth period. Commentaries are useful and interesting for historical facts. Have you ever used any of the early church fathers for historical research? Early meaning the first couple of centuries? Very interesting indeed! They blatantly state out a post-trib rapture and a physical temple being rebuilt as well as the anti-christ being jewish, etc., etc. John the apostles’ disciple Polycarp has a couple of surviving letters that are very very good. Polycarps disciple Irenaeus has some wonderful letters which talk more about end times. Irenaeus’s disciple, Hippolytus, gives alot of end-time detail. The thing about Hippolytus’ works is that there are some details that are not consistant with what he says in other places, it’s almost like a copyist added a word here and there to “help out” but didn’t really “help”. But Hippolytus’s over all work is saying the same thing as his teacher Irenaeus. (none of it says anything about the 2300 days at least as far as I have read). Let me know if you discover anything from any of their works. After their time period I don’t really trust as much of the writings, as you find more and more mistakes. So sad. How miraculous that Gods Word has indeed survived to be a true lamp for us!!

    We can end this subject if you want, and may be pick it up again later or in private??? So you can concentrate on the rest of your study! Which I am enjoying by the way. 🙂

    Love in Christ,


  16. Rachel,

    The reason I don’t reject this passage as speaking of A.E. based ont the fact we don’t have a concrete event for the beginning of the 2300 days doesn’t necessarily mean it still isn’t him. We have even less of a match with the A.C. because we have no idea when his “time” starts. Also, A.E. was Greek. He came from the Ram not the 4th Beast which is where the A.C. comes from. Let’s do some more research and get back together offline. I may or may not post an article on the 2300 days. It depends on how God leads me in this. 🙂

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  17. My comment will be somewhat choppy. Just do your best to understand. You don’t have to post this since this is just a discussion.

    There are lesser fulfillments when we study prophecy. Antiochus 4 was a lesser fulfillment. Antiochus was an instrument of God’s judgment, just as the future son of perdition will be as well. Assyrian means, “successful” in Hebrew. If we read the scriptures they say that the antichrist will be successful until the time of wrath is finished. God pours out his anger on the rebellious earth through a wicked man who believes that what he is doing is right. The King of Babylon doesn’t know that he is the antichrist as the pre trib rapture writers want you to believe. Yes, he is a destroyer, but God is the one who purposes the judgment.
    The antichrist (King of Babylon) does face opposition from Gog and his forces, and succeeds before he later breaks his alliance with Israel. The antichrist does not break his treaty until later.

    End times Babylon shadows over the nation of Israel by controlling the land up to Euphrates. Isaiah says “Woe to the land shadowing with wings…….” Gog is to the north of both Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the continental US if you go north across the poles.

    In regard to Gog. Gog and Persia both push at the antiChrist, but lose. The Scythians were often portrayed with an image of the grim reaper. Scythe means “sickle”. “Cut off the sower from Babylon, and he who holds the sickle during the time of harvest..” This must be refering to the two opposing kings. The Russians have a new ICBM called, “Topol.” Topol means sickle in Russian.

    Not everybody agrees with this interpretation. There is another part from the OT which proves that the King of Babylon holds a bow but no arrows. Gog and his forces have arrows during this confrontation, so the antichrist cannot be Gog. God uses the sword (through the antchrist) to reign down fire on Gog and Magog. End times Babylon suffers as well. When the antichrist hears news from the east and the north, he sets out in great fury against those nations. Russia, Syria, Iran, and Turkey are all to the east and north of Iraq and Israel.

    Later, probably after a cease fire to ban nuclear weapons (7 years to collect them and dismantle) and dividing Jerusalem, the KIng of Babylon turns against the same Israel that he once defended.

    ( Mike, you don’ have to post this. I would have e-mailed you, but I didn’t feel like going back into my mail account.)


  18. Syria is not to the east and north. But it is to the north of Israel. The antichrist will set up his embassies Israel. He does recieve intelligence which causes him to attack to the east and the north. That can only be in the vicinity of some of Gog’s allies.


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