(Daniel 2:38; 7:1-8; 8:1-17)
The four beasts in Daniel 7 were described as “four Kingdoms”1Dan 7:23 and “four Kings.”2Dan 7:17 The identities of the first three kings are well known, but the fourth is more mysterious.
The first beast was Babylon, and its king was Nebuchadnezzar the Great. In Chapter 2, Daniel said that he was the image of gold.
The identities of the next three kings were revealed in Chapter 8.
First, Daniel saw a ram with two horns. In Verse 20, these two horns were identified as the kings of the Medes and Persians. One horn was greater than the other. The greater horn represented the power of Cyrus the Great and the lessor horn represented the power of Darius the Mede. Daniel said that the ram became “great.”3Dan 8:4
Then a goat appeared and rushed at the Ram in the fury of its power. The goat became “very great.”4Dan 8:8 Its large horn was broken and replaced by four other notable ones. In Verse 21, we are told that the goat was the kingdom of Greece. We know that the large horn represented the power of Alexander the Great and the four horns that replaced it represented the power of his four generals, who set up four kingdoms. These four horns went up to the four winds of heaven.
From the four winds or spirits of heaven came a little horn. It caused the stars to fall to the Earth. Daniel said that this little horn “became exceedingly great.”5Dan 8:9 From the Book of Revelation, we understand that this little horn was the power of Satan, who swept away a third of the stars with his tail.6Rev 12:4 But why would the power of Satan be described as a “little horn?” Simply because Satan’s power is only the power to lie. Verse 24 tells us, “His power shall be mighty but not by his own power.”
This little horn made the place of God’s sanctuary desolate when it exalted itself as high as the Captain of the Armies, as high as Christ.7Dan 8:11 In Verse 17, an angel told us that this vision relates the time of the end, which he described as 2,300 days.