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, as 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? Daniel had some pretty frightening animals in his
      prior dream, do you think he is frightened now?

    2. Read Daniel 8:4. Given the context of the past dreams,
      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 the 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, what other
          important mission has Gabriel handled? (Read
          Luke 1:26-28. Gabriel brought the message of
          Jesus’ coming to Mary!)

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

        1. What does this suggest to you about Gabriel’s
          message to Daniel? (When God has an important
          message, He sends Gabriel.)

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

      1. 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. Gabriel says for a second time that this
      concerns the time of the end. What conclusion do you draw
      from Gabriel calling it “the appointed” time of the end?
      (God has a specific time in mind and at least some of the
      details are being shared with Daniel.)

    5. Read Daniel 8:20-22. 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 again in Daniel’s dream in
        Daniel 7.)

      2. 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 message. 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. Let’s go back and pick up the rest of the dream. Read
      Daniel 8:8-12. Now let’s hear what Gabriel says about
      this. Read Daniel 8:22-23. Have we seen a “horn” power
      before? (Our study of Daniel 7 revealed the “little
      horn”( Daniel 7:8). Gabriel says that this horn is “a
      fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue.”)

    2. Do you think the “small” horn of Daniel 8 is the same as
      the little horn of Daniel 7? (This puts us in the middle
      of a great historic debate. Many commentators believe that
      these horns 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 8) 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.)

      1. Is the timing wrong for Antiochus to be the horn of
        Daniel 8:9? (The timing for 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). 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).

      2. 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. One view is that one
          of these four horns is the Roman Empire which
          follows Medo-Persia and Greece, and the Papal
          phase of Rome arises out of that horn. That
          makes this more like Daniel 7.)

    3. 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 that the 11 year rule of
      Antiochus, a minor Seleucid king, is greater than 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. Last night I was reading the comments of my friend,
        the late William H. Shea, on the little horn of
        Daniel 8. Bill Shea is a world expert on Daniel 8. He
        concludes that this little horn is not Antiochus, but
        rather Pagan and Papal Rome. Bill wrote that prior to
        the “Millerite Movement” (a huge theological movement
        of the early 19th century that focused on Daniel)
        Christian scholars were generally agreed that the
        little horn of Daniel 7 was Rome, but were evenly
        split on whether the little horn of Daniel 8 was the
        same as in Daniel 7 or represented “Mohammedanism.”)

      2. Did Rome ( Daniel 8:11) throw down the sanctuary and
        end the daily sacrifice? (The Romans destroyed God’s
        temple in 70 A.D.)

    4. Let’s re-read what Gabriel says in Daniel 8:23-25. Who is
      the Prince of princes referred to in verse 25? (It must be

      1. Did Rome take a stand against Jesus?

      2. Did Rome ( Daniel 8:10) reach to heaven, throw part of
        heaven’s citizens to the ground and trample on them?
        (Rome crucified Jesus. I think this roughly fits both
        the description of trampling heaven’s citizens and
        standing against the Prince of Princes.)

  5. The Sanctuary

    1. Read Daniel 8:13. What event is being described? (The last
      part of Daniel’s dream that describes the destruction of
      the sanctuary. We are twice told that this dream is about
      the end of time.)

    2. Read Daniel 8:14 and Daniel 8:25-26. How long is “2,300”
      evenings and mornings?” (If it means literal days, it
      would be slightly more than six years. If it is prophetic,
      where a day equals a year (see Ezekiel 4:6), that would
      better fit something describing the destruction of the
      sanctuary and then its re-consecration.)

      1. What happens at the end of this time – what does the
        re-consecration of the sanctuary mean? (The Millerite
        Movement that I mentioned earlier thought it meant
        the Second Coming of Jesus. They ran the numbers (see
        our lesson next week) and arrived at 1843-44. Had I
        lived then, I would have agreed because the parallel
        visions of Daniel 2 and 7 end with the Second Coming.
        Obviously, I would have been wrong.)

      2. The temple in Jerusalem has never been rebuilt after
        70 A.D., thus never re-consecrated. However, Hebrews
        8 tells us specifically that there is a sanctuary in
        heaven. Is that what Gabriel meant?

    3. Friend, God has important prophetic messages for us. Will
      you continue to study with us to better understand God’s
      message about the end?

  6. Next week: From Confession to Consolation.