A Fresh Look at Daniel - Part 6

Posted in: 2008
By Tom L. Ballinger
Jul 3, 2008 - 10:34:28 AM


Part VI

In our look at Daniel and his dreams and visions, we have pursued the course as a strict constructionist - that is to say, we stick to the document of Daniel, itself. We have refused to be a revisionist of this sacred text as most other students and teachers of the Word have done. By doing so, we get an unsullied look at the Book of Daniel.

We will continue in Chapter Eight. We will depart from our previous presentations and will not quote the entire chapter. We urge you to read the chapter in its entirety. So, you will understand what is set forth.

Daniel is now eighty-seven years old when he has the vision of the Ram and the He Goat. Daniel is transported, mentally, in time and place, to the palace in Shushan which was in the province of Elam, and he was by the river Ulai (V. 2).

The Vision

He looked up and saw a ram with two horns; one was higher than the other (V. 3). The ram was pushing westward, northward, and southward, and no beasts (kings) could stand against him (V. 4). Indicating, he was ruthlessly engaged in warfare, and nothing could cause the deliverance from the ram. He did as he pleased and became very great (V. 4).

While Daniel was pondering about the ram, suddenly, there came from the west a he goat with a prominent horn between his eyes, and it crossed the whole earth without touching the ground (V. 5). The goat (a king) charged against the ram with “the fury of his power” (V. 6).

Verse Seven is hard to understand as it is written in the KJV, but the NIV makes it plainer; “I saw him (the he goat) attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering his two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against him; the goat knocked him to the ground and trampled on him, and none could rescue the ram from his power.”

As a result, the goat grew strong, but at the height of his power, the great horn was broken off (see Verse 21) and was replaced by four “notable” horns, and they grew toward the four winds of heaven (V. 8). These four horns represent four future kings.

Out of them came forth a little horn [i] which started out small but grew in power to the south and the east and toward the pleasant (Beautiful) land (V. 9). The “Beautiful Land” is probably the Promised Land.

This is a vision of future things to come. The “little horn” grew strong, even until it reached the host of heaven[ii] and cast down some of the host and stars[iii] to the earth and trampled on them (V. 10). This will, probably, not be visible to the naked eye at the time this occurs - an invisible warfare between the powers of darkness and powers of Light.

He, the satanic king, sets himself up to be as great as the prince of the host[iv], and he was allowed to take away the daily sacrifice[v] from Michael, the Prince of the host, and his sanctuary[vi] is brought low, or cast down (V. 11).

Verse Twelve is another difficult verse to fully comprehend. Because of rebellion (i.e., transgressions), a host was given over to him. “An host,” part of heaven’s army, is given over to him, as well as, the daily sacrifice. The Horn prospered in everything he did, and truth was thrown to the ground (V. 12).

Then, Daniel heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled-the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, and the surrender of the sanctuary and of the host that will be trampled underfoot?” (V.13).

Then, the holy one said to Daniel, "It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be cleansed (i.e., re-consecrated)" (V. 14). So, Michael will be out of his sanctuary for three-and-a-half years, that is, if time can be counted in heaven, but the point is symbolic of what will transpire on earth in, and around, Jerusalem in the concluding days of the Kingdom of God.

All of the vision will be mirrored on earth in the “latter days” when their human counterparts act out, on earth, what Daniel saw in his heavenly vision.

The next Plainer Words will consider the interpretation of the vision.


[i] The “little horn” of Verse Nine is not Antiochus Epiphanes, who desecrates the Temple in Jerusalem, about 170 B.C. This little horn is the Antichrist (see Verse 11) who shows up in the “latter days” of the Kingdom of God.

[ii] The “host of heaven” are multitudes of angelic beings prepared for war. Strong’s OT Number 6635: “a mass of persons (or figuratively, things), especially reg. organized for war (an army); by implication, a campaign.”

[iii] “Stars” are the princes of the heavenly hosts. See Strong’s OT Number 3556. This can be checked out by reading Revelation 1:20 where stars are angels.

[iv] The “prince of the host” would seem to be Michael, the Archangel, who is the chief angelic guardian of the people of Daniel. See Daniel 10:13, 10:21, 12:1.

[v] The “sacrifice” mentioned here is very significant, inasmuch as it is some kind of spiritual rite performed, or observed in heaven, either by, or for, the heavenly hosts and Michael. None of the concordances I looked at have a definition for this word. Strong’s Number is 9999 which means there is no definition. It certainly isn’t a Temple sacrifice. The “Praise of God” is called a “sacrifice of praise” in Hebrews 13:15. So, whatever this rite of sacrifice is, in heaven, it is taken away from Michael. In this vision, what Daniel sees is a heavenly enactment of the Antichrist’s causing the sacrifice and oblation to cease on the Temple grounds in Jerusalem in the “latter days” (See Daniel 9:27).

[vi] Michael’s sanctuary, a consecrated, or holy place in heaven in which the Archangel operates out of, was brought low. It is as if Michael, for a time, will not be able to work out of his heavenly headquarters.

Tom L. Ballinger