Daniel’s Vision of a Ram and a Goat
1After that vision,#8:1 After that vision Here, the original language changes from Aramaic (see “Aramaic” in the Word List) back to Hebrew. I, Daniel, saw another vision during the third year that Belshazzar#8:1 the third year … Belshazzar This was about 551 B.C. was king. 2In the vision I saw that I was in the city of Susa.#8:2 Susa The capital city of Persia. Susa was the capital city in the province of Elam. I was standing by the Ulai River. 3I looked up and saw a ram standing at the side of the river. The ram had two long horns. The horns were both long, but one horn was longer than the other horn. The long horn was farther back than the other horn. 4I watched the ram run into things with its horns. I watched the ram run to the west, to the north, and to the south. No animal could stop the ram, and no one could save the other animals. That ram did whatever it wanted, and it became very powerful.
5I thought about the ram. While I was watching, I saw a male goat come from the west. It had one large horn that was easy to see. It ran so fast its feet barely touched the ground.
6The goat came to the ram with the two horns. (This was the ram I had seen standing by the Ulai River.) The goat was very angry and ran at the ram. 7As I watched, the goat ran at the ram and broke both of the ram’s horns. The ram could not stop the goat. The goat knocked it to the ground and walked all over it. There was no one to save the ram from the goat.
8So the goat became very powerful. But after he became strong, his big horn broke off. Then four horns grew in place of the one big horn. Those four horns were easy to see. They pointed in four different directions.
9Then a little horn grew from one of those four horns. It grew and became very big. It grew toward the southeast, toward the Beautiful Land. 10The little horn became very big. It grew until it reached the sky. It even threw some of heaven’s army#8:10 heaven’s army Or “the stars.” Also in verses 11, 13. to the ground and trampled them. 11That little horn became very strong, and it turned against God, the Ruler of heaven’s army. It stopped the daily sacrifices that were offered to the Ruler. And the holy place where people worshiped the Ruler was pulled down. 12Because of this sin, the daily sacrifices were stopped. Truth was thrown down to the ground. The little horn did these things and was very successful.
13Then I heard two holy ones#8:13 holy ones Here, these are probably angels. talking with each other. One of them asked the other one, who had been speaking, “How long will the things in this vision last—the stopping of the daily sacrifices, the sin that destroys, and the trampling down of the holy place and heaven’s army?”
14The other holy one said, “This will last for 2300 days. Then the holy place will be repaired.”
The Vision Is Explained to Daniel
15I, Daniel, saw this vision and tried to understand what it meant. While I was thinking about the vision, someone who looked like a man suddenly stood in front of me. 16Then I heard a man’s voice. This voice came from above the Ulai River. The voice called out, “Gabriel, explain the vision to this man.”
17So Gabriel, the angel who looked like a man, came to me. I was very afraid and fell down to the ground. But Gabriel said to me, “Human,#8:17 Human Literally, “Son of man.” understand that this vision is about the time of the end.”
18While Gabriel was speaking, I fell to the ground and went to sleep. It was a very deep sleep. Then Gabriel touched me and lifted me to my feet. 19He said, “Now, I will explain the vision to you. I will tell you what will happen in the future. Your vision was about the end times.
20“You saw a ram with two horns. The horns are the countries of Media and Persia. 21The goat is the king of Greece. The big horn between its eyes is the first king. 22That horn broke off and four horns grew in its place. The four horns 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 is near for those kingdoms, there will be a very bold and cruel king who will be very tricky. This will happen when many people have turned against God. 24This king will be very powerful, but his power does not come from himself.#8:24 but his power … himself Some ancient versions don’t have these words, so they may have been accidentally copied from verse 22. This king will cause terrible destruction. He will be successful in everything he does. He will destroy powerful people—even God’s holy people.
25“This king will be very smart and tricky. He will use his wisdom and lies to be successful. He will think that he is very important. He will destroy many people, when they least expect it. He will try to fight even the Prince of Princes. But that cruel king’s power will be destroyed, and it will not be a human hand that destroys him.
26“What I said and the vision about those times are true. But seal up the vision, because those things will not happen for a long, long time.”
27I, Daniel, became very weak. I 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 did not understand what it meant.