Introduction: Two years after his first dream, Daniel dreams he is
strolling by the water when suddenly he is face to face with a
powerful sheep with two big horns – and no one is there to rescue
him. It turns out his dream is not so much about danger, or
adventure, but rather about the future. Let’s jump into Daniel’s
dream and see what we can learn about the future!

  1. The Ram

    1. Read Daniel 8:1-3. How would you react if you had this
      dream? Would you be frightened?

      1. Has Daniel had enough animals in his prior dream,
        animals much more frightening than this, that he is
        probably not frightened?

    2. Read Daniel 8:4. Given the context of the past dreams
      which Daniel either interpreted or had, what are your
      thoughts about this ram? (It clearly seems to be a world
      power. An empire that rules other nations.)

  2. The Goat

    1. Read Daniel 8:5-8. What do you think about this goat with
      the broken horn? (This seems to be another world power
      that defeats the “ram” empire.)

  3. Gabriel on the Ram and Goat

    1. Let’s skip down a bit in this chapter. Read Daniel 8:15-16. Why would Daniel write that someone “looked like a
      man?” Why not just say, “A man stood in front of me?”
      (Daniel is telling us that this was not a man. He only
      looked like one.)

      1. Who is standing in front of Daniel? (Gabriel.)

        1. Who is Gabriel? (Read Luke 1:19. He stands in
          God’s presence.)

        2. Other than speaking to Daniel, who what other
          important mission has Gabriel handled? (Read
          Luke 1:26-28. Gabriel brought the message of
          Jesus coming to Mary!)

        3. Daniel 8:16 reports that a “man’s voice” was
          giving Gabriel directions. Who gets to give
          Gabriel directions? (God!)

        4. What does this suggest to you about Gabriel’s
          message to Daniel? (When God has an important
          message, He sends Gabriel. God sent him now to

    2. Read Daniel 8:17. How does Daniel react to Gabriel?

      1. Why? Why is Daniel not afraid of these wild animals,
        but is afraid of Gabriel? (Either he knew who Gabriel
        was, or Gabriel must have looked not simply like a
        man, but like someone from heaven.)

      2. How should we react to Gabriel’s message? Should we
        put great faith in it? (It comes straight from the
        throne of God!)

      3. What does Gabriel say this dream concerns? (The time
        of the end.)

    3. Read Daniel 8:18. What is happening here? Is Daniel still
      dreaming? (Either this is a dream within a dream, or
      Daniel is coming out of his dream state to listen to
      Gabriel’s explanation.)

    4. Read Daniel 8:19-22. What are these two beasts? (Medo-Persia and Greece.)

      1. Have we seen this before? (You bet! We saw these two
        empires symbolized in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of
        Daniel 2 and we saw them in Daniel’s dream in Daniel

        1. Why does God keep repeating the same prophecy?
          (Have you heard that you need to repeat
          something three times for your listener to
          understand? God apparently wants us to
          understand this. In addition, with each new
          dream we seem to have more information. God may
          well be repeating the old information to help us
          get a better grasp on the new information.)

  4. The Horn

    1. Now let’s go back and pick up the rest of the dream. Read
      Daniel 8:9-12. Have we seen a “horn” power before? (Our
      study of Daniel 7 revealed the “little horn”( Daniel 7:8).)

      1. Do you think the horn of Daniel 8 is the same as the
        little horn of Daniel 7?(This puts us in the middle
        of a great debate. Many commentators believe that the
        horn of Daniel 7 and 8 are the same, and that they
        represent Antiochus Epiphanes, a Seleucid king who we
        previously learned reigned for 11 years (175-164
        B.C.). When we studied Daniel 7 (Lesson 7) we found
        that the timing was all wrong for the little horn to
        be Antiochus. Not only was Antiochus 500 years too
        early (coming after the Greek, not the Roman empire),
        but his reign did not stretch to the end of time.)

      2. Is the timing wrong for Antiochus to be the horn of
        Daniel 8:9? (The timing of Antiochus fits a lot
        better in Daniel 8. He came out of the fragmented
        Grecian Empire (which was the reason he could not be
        the “little horn” of Daniel 7 – it came out of the
        fragmented Roman Empire). While I am hardly an expert
        on this, it seems to me that most commentators who
        understand the horn of Daniel 8 to be Antiochus, read
        their interpretation back into Daniel 7 – where
        Antiochus does not fit – and understand him to be the
        “little horn” of Daniel 7).

      3. What if we reverse this, can we read our “little
        horn” understanding of Daniel 7 (that the horn is the
        Papal phase of the Roman Empire) into Daniel 8? Could
        the timing fit for Papal Rome?

        1. Re-read Daniel 8:8-9. Does the horn come up out
          of one of the four winds or one of the four
          horns? (It is not clear. The SDA Bible
          Commentary on this text points out that the
          gender identification in the Hebrew fits better
          with the winds, not the horns. If the horn
          arises out of the winds, then this dream looks
          just like the dreams of Daniel 2 & 7 – that the
          horn is the Roman Empire which follows Medo-Persia and Greece.)

    2. Let’s review again Daniel 8:9-12. Consider the rest of the
      description of this horn. Does it better match Pagan and
      Papal Rome or Antiochus? (The description of the power of
      this horn meets or exceeds the description of the power of
      the ram and the goat. (For example, the ram is called
      (v.4) “great” and the goat is called (v.8) “very great.”
      Most translations (but not the NIV) translate the
      description of the horn (v.9) to be “exceedingly great”
      (NAS, KJV, NKJV, ASV, RSV). Since the horn is described as
      being greater than Medo-Persia and Greece, it hardly seems
      appropriate to conclude the 11 year rule of Antiochus, a
      minor Seleucid king, is comparable to the Persian and the
      Greek empires! On the other hand, the Roman empire (in
      both its pagan and Papal phase, is clearly comparable to
      the Persian and Greek empires.)

      1. Did Rome ( Daniel 8:11) bring low the sanctuary? (The
        Romans destroyed God’s temple in 70 A.D.. Psalms 79:1
        refers to the first destruction of Jerusalem and the
        temple as “defiling” the temple.)

      2. Did Rome ( Daniel 8:10) reach to heaven, throw part of
        heaven’s citizens to the ground and trample on them?

  5. Gabriel on the Horn

    1. Read Daniel 8:23-25. We now turn to Gabriel’s further
      explanation of the horn part of the dream for Daniel. Who
      is the Prince of princes referred to in verse 25? (It must
      be Jesus.)

      1. Did Rome take a stand against Jesus?

      2. How does this fit the reference in Daniel 8:10 to the
        horn reaching to heaven and trampling part of the
        starry hosts? (Rome crucified Jesus. I think this
        fits both the description of trampling heaven’s
        citizens and standing against the Prince of Princes.)

    2. How does the horn end? ( Daniel 8:25 tells us it is
      destroyed by something other than human power.)

      1. What do you think that means? (The logical conclusion
        is that it is destroyed by God.)

    1. I understand the argument of those who conclude that the
      horn power of Daniel 8 is Antiochus Epiphanes, based on
      the timing (when Greece was fragmenting) and the fact that
      he sacrificed a pig on the altar of the sanctuary. On the
      other hand, I believe Rome (in both its pagan and Papal
      phases) fits the prophecy better. First, the horn of
      Daniel 7 clearly fits Papal Rome. The parallels between
      the grand sweep of history in Daniel 2, 7 and 8 make the
      horn of Daniel 8 the parallel of Rome in Daniel 2 and 7.
      That, coupled with the description of the horn in Daniel 8
      as being as great, or greater than Medo-Persia and Greece,
      make the Antiochus Epiphanes identification most doubtful.
      How can a minor king, who ruled for 11 years, be
      considered a world power or compared to the great empires
      of Persia and Rome? Antiochus Epiphanes just does not fit
      the description in the way Rome fits.

  1. The Time

    1. Read Daniel 8:13-14 & 26. How long will this horn have
      power? (2,300 days.)

      1. What time markers do we have in Daniel 8 to better
        understand this time period? For example, when does
        the power of the horn begin and when does it end?
        (Clearly, it begins after the goat (Greek empire) and
        it continues ( Daniel 8:17)until the time of the end.)

      2. Would a literal 2,300 days, or a prophetic 2,300 days
        (a day = a year, see Ezekiel 4:6) better fit this
        time span? (To stretch from the fall of Greece to the
        time of the end would have to be 2,300 years and not

    2. What happens at the end of this 2,300 years? What does it
      mean for the sanctuary to be reconsecrated? Is it the end
      of the world? Is it the beginning of the first judgment in
      heaven that we discussed last week? Daniel 8:26 tells
      Daniel it concerns the distant future – but we will work
      on solving this mystery next week!

    3. Friend, God wants His followers to know that He controls
      kings and kingdoms and he is willing to share this
      knowledge with you. Are you willing to take the time to
      listen and learn?

  2. Next week: The Sanctuary Cleansed.