The Ram and the Goat
In this vision of a Ram and a Goat, Daniel prophesies the coming of Alexander the Great, and the division of his Kingdom into four kingdoms.
after that one that appeared to me the first time – Daniel is referring to the vision of Chapter 7. The little horn which came out of the “four Spirits of heaven” in Dan 7:2, is going to be explained a bit more here in Chapter 8.
in Shushan, the citadel – the same place of Nehemiah, in Nehemiah 1:1.
by the River Ulai – where he will see this vision, as with his eyes.
a ram with two horns – explained as the kings of Media and Persia (Dan 8:20). The kings who conquered Babylon in Dan 5:30-31.
one higher than the other – King Cyrus the Persian, was the higher horn.
the higher one came up last – it appears that Darius the Mede, originally had more influence but Cyrus eventually took over.
the ram pushing northward, westward and southward – the Greek Septuagint includes all four directions. The conquest of the Persians to the west was Babylon, Syria, Asia, and part of Greece; to the north was Iberia, Albania, Armenia, Scythia, Colchis, and the Caspian sea; to the south was Arabia, Ethiopia, Egypt, and India. Cyrus himself came from the East direction.
This movement from one direction towards the other three is repeated in verse 9.
a male goat – explained as the kingdom of Greece in Dan 8:21.
a notable horn – the first King, Alexander the Great, as explained in Dan 8:21.
no power in the Ram to withstand him – he conquered the Persian Empire in 5 years with little resistance.
the large horn was broken – Alexander the Great died unexpectedly.
in place of it, four notable ones – described in Dan 8:22 as “four kingdoms…but not with its power.”
In Dan 7:6, we saw Alexander’s Kingdom was divided to his four generals: Macedonia under Antipater; Egypt under Ptolemy; Syria under Seleucus; and Asia under Antigonus.
came up toward the four winds of heaven – see also Dan 11:4: meaning four directions, and also up to the Spiritual world, see Zechariah 6:5-8. As we mentioned, wind and spirit are the same Hebrew word, and used metaphorically to demonstrate the interaction with the Spiritual world.
In Dan 11:4-30, we will see that Satan, through Antiochus, of the Seleucus line of kings (in yellow below) shall be moved against the holy covenant. This is the meaning of the interaction of these four kingdoms with the spiritual world.
Dan 11:31 goes on to say that, after Antiochus, Satan will then work through the Romans, “the people of the Ruler to come” (Daniel 9:26), who shall “destroy the City and the Sanctuary.” And “bring an end to sacrifice and offering.”