1During the third year of King Belshazzar’s rule, I, Daniel, saw another vision, which was like the first one. 2In this vision I saw myself in the capital city of Susa, in the area of Elam. I was standing by the Ulai Canal 3when I looked up and saw a male sheep standing beside the canal. It had two long horns, but one horn was longer and newer than the other. 4I watched the sheep charge to the west, the north, and the south. No animal could stand before him, and none could save another animal from his power. He did whatever he wanted and became very powerful.
5While I was watching this, I saw a male goat come from the west. This goat had one large horn between his eyes that was easy to see. He crossed over the whole earth so fast that his feet hardly touched the ground.
6In his anger the goat charged the sheep with the two horns that I had seen standing by the canal. 7I watched the angry goat attack the sheep and break the sheep’s two horns. The sheep was not strong enough to stop it. The goat knocked the sheep to the ground and then walked all over him. No one was able to save the sheep from the goat, 8so the male goat became very great. But when he was strong, his big horn broke off and four horns grew in place of the one big horn. Those four horns pointed in four different directions and were easy to see.
9Then a little horn grew from one of those four horns, and it became very big. It grew to the south, the east, and toward the beautiful land of Judah. 10That little horn grew until it reached to the sky. It even threw some of the army of heaven to the ground and walked on them! 11That little horn set itself up as equal to God, the Commander of heaven’s armies. It stopped the daily sacrifices that were offered to him, and the Temple, the place where people worshiped him, was pulled down. 12Because there was a turning away from God, the people stopped the daily sacrifices. Truth was thrown down to the ground, and the horn was successful in everything it did.
13Then I heard a holy angel speaking. Another holy angel asked the first one, “How long will the things in this vision last—the daily sacrifices, the turning away from God that brings destruction, the Temple being pulled down, and the army of heaven being walked on?”
14The angel said to me, “This will happen for twenty-three hundred evenings and mornings. Then the holy place will be repaired.”
15I, Daniel, saw this vision and tried to understand what it meant. In it I saw someone who looked like a man standing near me. 16And I heard a man’s voice calling from the Ulai Canal: “Gabriel, explain the vision to this man.”
17Gabriel came to where I was standing. When he came close to me, I was very afraid and bowed facedown on the ground. But Gabriel said to me, “Human being, understand that this vision is about the time of the end.”
18While Gabriel was speaking, I fell into a deep sleep with my face on the ground. Then he touched me and lifted me to my feet. 19He said, “Now, I will explain to you what will happen in the time of God’s anger. Your vision was about the set time of the end.
20“You saw a male sheep with two horns, which are the kings of Media and Persia. 21The male goat is the king of Greece, and the big horn between its eyes is the first king. 22The four horns that grew in the place of the broken horn are four kingdoms. Those four kingdoms will come from the nation of the first king, but they will not be as strong as the first king.
23“When the end comes near for those kingdoms, a bold and cruel king who tells lies will come. This will happen when many people have turned against God. 24This king will be very powerful, but his power will not come from himself. He will cause terrible destruction and will be successful in everything he does. He will destroy powerful people and even God’s holy people. 25This king will succeed by using lies and force. He will think that he is very important. He will destroy many people without warning; he will try to fight even the Prince of princes! But that cruel king will be destroyed, and not by human power.
26“The vision that has been shown to you about these evenings and mornings is true. But seal up the vision, because those things won’t happen for a long time.”
27I, Daniel, became very weak and was sick for several days after that vision. Then I got up and went back to work for the king, but I was very upset about the vision. I didn’t understand what it meant.