Last Updated on : November 23, 2014

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Development Of The Little Horn of The Goat (Daniel 8)


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While chapter 7 concentrates on the Western portion of the Greco-Roman Empire, chapter 8 emphasizes the Eastern portion of the same empire until its destruction by Christ.

Daniel witnessed a fierce conflict between a ram and a he-goat. The ram represented the Medo-Persian dominion (8:20) with its horns symbolizing the twin dynasties which pushed its conquests westwards towards Greece, northwards towards Armenia and southwards towards Egypt. The he-goat represented the Greek Empire and its notable horn Alexander the Great (v. 21). It was with great fury that the Greeks broke the Medo-Persian grip on the world, but following Alexander's untimely demise, the Greek dominion was divided into the following four kingdoms (v. 8, 22; 7:6; 11:2-3).

  • Egypt, Libya, Palestine (under Ptolemy)
  • Asia Minor, Syria, Persia (under Seleucus)
  • Thrace, Bithynia, Pergamum (under Lysimachus)
  • Macedonia, Greece (under Cassander)


Out of one of these horn powers came along another Little Horn (v. 9) which was described as a "king of fierce countenance" coming to power in the latter time of the four Greek Kingdoms (v. 23). This was the Greco-Roman Empire which was responsible for the crucifixion of Messiah and the destruction of the Jewish State (v. 10-12). Although the Romans subdued all four Greek dominions, prophetically the Little Horn arose out of the Seleucid horn because it is seen as expanding to the east and to the south, implying that it had already conquered the northern and western horns. This occurred in BC 65 when Rome conquered Syria. Verse 25 indicates, however, that this Little Horn of the Goat will once more arise and be destroyed "without hands" by Messiah himself. This will be fulfilled when Russia absorbs the territory of the Greco-Roman Empire, controls the Seleucid horn once more and invades Israel. Further details of this power are outlined in chapter 11:36-45.

See also The Exposition of Daniel