Vision of the Ram and Goat

In the third year of the reign of Belshazzar the king a vision appeared to me, [a]Daniel, subsequent to the one which appeared to me [b]previously. I (A)looked in the vision, and while I was looking I was in the citadel of (B)Susa, which is in the province of (C)Elam; and I looked in the vision and I myself was beside the Ulai [c]Canal. Then I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a (D)ram which had two horns was standing in front of the [d]canal. Now the two horns were [e]long, but one was [f]longer than the other, with the [g]longer one coming up last. I saw the ram (E)butting westward, northward, and southward, and no other beasts could stand before him nor was there anyone to rescue from his [h]power, but (F)he did as he pleased and magnified himself.

While I was observing, behold, a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of the whole earth without touching the ground; and the [i]goat had a (G)conspicuous horn between his eyes. He came up to the ram that had the two horns, which I had seen standing in front of the [j]canal, and rushed at him in his mighty wrath. I saw him come beside the ram, and he was enraged at him; and he struck the ram and shattered his two horns, and the ram had no strength to withstand him. So he hurled him to the ground and trampled on him, and there was none to rescue the ram from his [k]power. Then the male goat magnified himself exceedingly. But as soon as (H)he was mighty, the (I)large horn was broken; and in its place there came up four conspicuous horns toward the (J)four winds of heaven.

The Little Horn

Out of one of them came forth a rather (K)small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the [l](L)Beautiful Land. 10 It grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the (M)stars to fall to the earth, and it (N)trampled them down. 11 It even (O)magnified itself [m]to be equal with the [n]Commander of the host; and it removed the (P)regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down. 12 And on account of transgression the host will be given over to the horn along with the regular sacrifice; and it will (Q)fling truth to the ground and perform its will and prosper. 13 Then I heard a (R)holy one speaking, and another holy one said to that particular one who was speaking, “(S)How long will the vision about the regular sacrifice apply, [o]while the transgression causes horror, so as to allow both the holy place and the host [p]to be (T)trampled?” 14 He said to me, “For (U)2,300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be [q]properly restored.”

Interpretation of the Vision

15 When (V)I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought [r]to understand it; and behold, standing before me was one [s]who looked like a (W)man. 16 And I heard the voice of a man between the banks of Ulai, and he called out and said, “(X)Gabriel, give this man an understanding of the vision.” 17 So he came near to where I was standing, and when he came I was frightened and (Y)fell on my face; but he said to me, “Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the (Z)time of the end.”

18 Now while he was talking with me, I (AA)sank into a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he (AB)touched me and made me stand [t]upright. 19 He said, “Behold, I am going to (AC)let you know what will occur at the final period of the indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end.

The Ram’s Identity

20 The (AD)ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia.

The Goat

21 The shaggy [u]goat represents the [v]kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22 The (AE)broken horn and the four horns that arose in its place represent four kingdoms which will arise from his nation, although not with his power.

23 “In the latter period of their [w]rule,
When the transgressors have [x]run their course,
A king will arise,
[y]Insolent and skilled in [z]intrigue.
24 “His power will be mighty, but not by his own power,
And he will [aa](AF)destroy to an extraordinary degree
And prosper and perform his will;
He will [ab]destroy mighty men and [ac]the holy people.
25 “And through his shrewdness
He will cause deceit to succeed by his [ad]influence;
And he will magnify himself in his heart,
And he will [ae]destroy many while they are [af]at ease.
He will even [ag](AG)oppose the Prince of princes,
But he will be broken (AH)without [ah]human agency.
26 “The vision of the evenings and mornings
Which has been told is (AI)true;
But (AJ)keep the vision secret,
For it pertains to many (AK)days in the future.”

27 Then I, Daniel, was [ai](AL)exhausted and sick for days. Then I got up again and (AM)carried on the king’s business; but I was astounded at the vision, and there was none to [aj]explain it.


  1. Daniel 8:1 Lit I, Daniel
  2. Daniel 8:1 Lit at the beginning
  3. Daniel 8:2 Or river
  4. Daniel 8:3 Or river
  5. Daniel 8:3 Lit high(er)
  6. Daniel 8:3 Lit high(er)
  7. Daniel 8:3 Lit high(er)
  8. Daniel 8:4 Lit hand
  9. Daniel 8:5 Lit buck
  10. Daniel 8:6 Or river
  11. Daniel 8:7 Lit hand
  12. Daniel 8:9 I.e. Palestine
  13. Daniel 8:11 Lit up to the
  14. Daniel 8:11 Or Prince
  15. Daniel 8:13 Or possibly and the transgression that horrifies
  16. Daniel 8:13 Lit as a trampling
  17. Daniel 8:14 Lit vindicated
  18. Daniel 8:15 Lit understanding
  19. Daniel 8:15 Lit like the appearance of a man
  20. Daniel 8:18 Lit on my standing
  21. Daniel 8:21 Lit buck
  22. Daniel 8:21 Lit king
  23. Daniel 8:23 Or kingdom
  24. Daniel 8:23 Lit finished
  25. Daniel 8:23 Lit Strong of face
  26. Daniel 8:23 Or ambiguous speech
  27. Daniel 8:24 Or corrupt
  28. Daniel 8:24 Or corrupt
  29. Daniel 8:24 Lit people of the saints
  30. Daniel 8:25 Lit hand
  31. Daniel 8:25 Or corrupt
  32. Daniel 8:25 Or secure
  33. Daniel 8:25 Lit stand against
  34. Daniel 8:25 Lit hand
  35. Daniel 8:27 Or done in
  36. Daniel 8:27 Lit make me understand

Daniel’s Vision of a Ram and a Goat

In the third year of King Belshazzar’s(A) reign, I, Daniel, had a vision,(B) after the one that had already appeared to me. In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa(C) in the province of Elam;(D) in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. I looked up,(E) and there before me was a ram(F) with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. I watched the ram as it charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against it, and none could rescue from its power.(G) It did as it pleased(H) and became great.

As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between its eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. It came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at it in great rage. I saw it attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering its two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against it; the goat knocked it to the ground and trampled on it,(I) and none could rescue the ram from its power.(J) The goat became very great, but at the height of its power the large horn was broken off,(K) and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven.(L)

Out of one of them came another horn, which started small(M) but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land.(N) 10 It grew until it reached(O) the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth(P) and trampled(Q) on them. 11 It set itself up to be as great as the commander(R) of the army of the Lord;(S) it took away the daily sacrifice(T) from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down.(U) 12 Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people[a] and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.(V)

13 Then I heard a holy one(W) speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled(X)—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot(Y) of the Lord’s people?”

14 He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.”(Z)

The Interpretation of the Vision

15 While I, Daniel, was watching the vision(AA) and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man.(AB) 16 And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai(AC) calling, “Gabriel,(AD) tell this man the meaning of the vision.”(AE)

17 As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate.(AF) “Son of man,”[b] he said to me, “understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.”(AG)

18 While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground.(AH) Then he touched me and raised me to my feet.(AI)

19 He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath,(AJ) because the vision concerns the appointed time(AK) of the end.[c](AL) 20 The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia.(AM) 21 The shaggy goat is the king of Greece,(AN) and the large horn between its eyes is the first king.(AO) 22 The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.

23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people.(AP) 25 He will cause deceit(AQ) to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes.(AR) Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.(AS)

26 “The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true,(AT) but seal(AU) up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.”(AV)

27 I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted(AW) for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business.(AX) I was appalled(AY) by the vision; it was beyond understanding.


  1. Daniel 8:12 Or rebellion, the armies
  2. Daniel 8:17 The Hebrew phrase ben adam means human being. The phrase son of man is retained as a form of address here because of its possible association with “Son of Man” in the New Testament.
  3. Daniel 8:19 Or because the end will be at the appointed time