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.
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 11:21-30, Antiochus of the Seleucus line of kings (in yellow below), makes a covenant with Satan, see Daniel 11:23, and is moved against the holy Covenant, see Daniel 11:28. This is the interaction 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.”