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Daniel’s Vision of a Ram and Goat

“In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar, a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after the one that had appeared to me earlier. In the vision I saw myself in the citadel[a] of Shushan[b], which is in the province of Elam. In the vision I saw that I was beside the Ulai Canal. I lifted up my eyes and looked up, behold, a ram with two horns was standing in front of the canal. The two horns were long but one was longer than the other, but the longer one grew up last. I saw the ram charging toward the west and north and south. No animal could stand against him—none could deliver from his hand. So he did as he pleased and magnified himself.

“While I was contemplating this, behold, a male goat came from the west crossing the face of the whole earth without touching the ground! Now the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. He came up to the two-horn ram that I had seen standing beside the canal, and charged it with raging strength. I saw him attacking the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering his two horns. Now the ram was not strong enough to stand against him, so he knocked the ram to the ground and trampled him. No one could rescue the ram from his power.

“The male goat became exceedingly great, but as soon as he became mighty, the large horn was broken, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven.

“Out of one of them came forth a small horn, which grew extremely large to the south and the east, and toward the beautiful land. 10 It grew as high as the host of heaven and hurled some of the host and the stars down to the earth and trampled them. 11 It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host. It took away from him the daily offering and the place of his sanctuary was thrown down. 12 The host was given over along with the daily sacrifice, in the course of its rebellion. It will hurl truth to the ground and prosper in what it does.

13 “Then I heard a holy one speaking and another holy one said to the one who was speaking, ‘How long will the vision last, the daily sacrifice be forsaken because of rebellion, the sanctuary be surrendered and the host be trampled?’ 14 Then he said to me: ‘For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be vindicated.’

Interpretation of Vision: Persian Ram and Greek Goat

15 “Now it happened that while I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, behold, standing before me was one with the appearance of a man. 16 Then I heard a human voice coming from between the banks of the Ulai, calling out saying, ‘Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.’

17 “He came near to where I was standing, and as he approached I was terrified and fell on my face. But he said to me, ‘Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end.’

18 “While he was speaking to me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face to the ground. But he touched me and stood me up, 19 and said: ‘Behold, I am going to inform you about what will happen later in the time of wrath, for the vision pertains to the appointed time of the end. 20 The ram that you saw with the two horns stands for the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The buck, the male goat, is the king of Greece; and the large horn between his eyes is the first king. [c] 22 The four horns that replaced the one that was broken represent four kingdoms that will arise from this nation, though not with its power.

23 “‘Now toward the end of their reign, when the measure of transgressions is completed, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 His power will be mighty, but it will not be by his strength alone. He will cause extraordinary devastation, and succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy both the powerful and the holy people. 25 By his cunning he will cause deceit to prosper under his hand and he will consider himself superior. He will destroy many, taking them unaware. He will even stand up against the Prince of princes, yet he will be broken, but not by human


26 “‘Now the vision of the evenings and mornings that has been told to you is true, but seal up the vision for it concerns many days from now.’

27 “Then I, Daniel, was stricken and languished for days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business, but I was astounded at the vision and no one could explain it.


  1. Daniel 8:2 Narrative from 8:1 switches from Aram. back to Heb.
  2. Daniel 8:2 Or, Susa.
  3. Daniel 8:22 Alexander the Great.