The Antichrist, and the Fourth King(dom)
In Daniel 8, the “four Kings” mentioned in Daniel 7:17, are personified by their leaders.
In Daniel 8:1-8, the first three kingdoms were personified by Darius, the Mede; Cyrus, the Great; Alexander, the Great; and the four Generals, that arose from Alexander’s kingdom.
In Daniel 8:15-27, the ruler of the fourth King(dom) is personified as Satan.
The Apostle John described Satan’s kingdom as having two parts, the Red Dragon (Political Rome) in Revelation 12:4, and “the Beast” (Religious Rome) in Revelation 13:1. But Daniel described Rome as the fourth beast, as ONE King, because that “King” is personified as Satan here in this Chapter.
15 It happened, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, that I sought to understand it; and, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.
the appearance of a man – an angel as we shall see. This is likely the Angel of YHVH, the Commander of the Army of YHVH, who “commands” Gabriel to give understanding of the vision. These are likely the same two Angels by the river in Daniel 12:5.
16 I heard a man’s voice between [the banks of] the Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.
Gabriel – who is the Angel Gabriel that appears to Mary in Luke 1:26.
17 So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I was frightened, and fell on my face: but he said to me, Understand, son of man; for the vision belongs to the time of the end.
this vision refers to the time of the end – this expression is used 4 times in Daniel. It is also used in Daniel 11:35, 40; 12:9. All of these instances refer to the very end of man’s existence. The reason this vision relates to “the time of the end,” is that the 2,300 years goes until “the time of the end.”
18 Now as he was speaking with me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face toward the ground; but he touched me, and set me upright.19 He said, Behold, I will make you know what shall be in the latter time of the indignation; for it belongs to the appointed time of the end.
in the latter time of the indignation – meaning “when the transgressors have reached their fullness” (Dan 8:23).
20 The ram which you saw, that had the two horns, they are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The rough male goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22 As for that which was broken, in the place whereof four stood up, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not with his power.
(as explained in Daniel 8:1-8).
23 In the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce face, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
in the latter time of their kingdom – the latter time of the four kingdoms in verse 22, the four horns of Greece.
when the transgressors have reached their fullness – as described in Dan 7:23-25, and Dan 8:1-9.
A king shall arise – the fourth kingdom, which is called a “King” in Daniel 7:17. Daniel was able to name the second, and third King(dom) as Media-Persia, and Greece, because these kingdoms already existed, and had names, when Daniel wrote this prophecy. But, the Latin-Roman Kingdom did not arise until the latter time of the four horns, or “heads” of Greece. The Latins conquered the Greek Empires from 145 to 31 BC.
having fierce features – being “exceedingly dreadful” (Dan 7:19).
who understand sinister schemes – this is Satan, acting through the fourth King.
24 His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper and do [his pleasure]; and he shall destroy the mighty ones and the holy people.
but not by his own power – Satan uses his lies to motivate men to use their power. He deceived the Romans to use their military power against Christ, and His disciples; and he used the Bishop of Rome to control the Ten Kings of Europe.
he shall destroy fearfully – through his lies.
And shall prosper and thrive – Dan 7:21.
He shall destroy…the holy people – Dan 12:7.
25 Through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and in [their] security shall he destroy many: he shall also stand up against the prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
he shall cause deceit to prosper – Satan deceived the nations, perverted the truth, and overpowered the saints, as explained in Daniel 12:7. The saints were no longer allowed to read the Bible, and the corruption of the truth had no opponents.
and shall exalt himself in his heart – Satan through the Beast, the fourth King, would desire to be as high as the Most High (Isa 14:14).
against the Prince of princes – this should read “captain of captains.” Captain and prince are the same Hebrew word “sar” [שַׂר־]. Throughout Daniel, captain should have been used for this word, which was first used in Daniel 8:11: the Captain of the host, being YHVH of the armies who appeared to Joshua, who became as “the Captain of captains” – “the Archangel” when Christ was made Lord of heaven and earth.
he shall be broken without human means – see Daniel 2:34, “a stone cut without human hands.” The work of Satan was “broken without human means,” when “the Stone” (of Christ) hit the statue (of the beast) (Daniel 2:35), and Satan was bound for 1,000 years.
26 The vision of the evenings and mornings which has been told is true: but seal up the vision; for it belongs to many days [to come].
seal up the vision – the understanding of the 2,300 years is not understood until the last days.