One of my online endeavours is a website called Historicism.com: a resource for people who want to understand Bible prophecy from the historicist perspective, what has been called, “the old fashioned Protestant view”. For several years, I’ve been receiving requests for help on interpreting some of the details in a difficult passage, Daniel 8. So over the past couple of weeks I finally bit the bullet and carefully worked my way through the passage then wrote up my conclusions in little paper creatively titled, “An Historicist Exposition of Daniel 8”. I decided to also post it on this blog in case it might be helpful to some.
Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:
The prophecy contained in Daniel 8 is a difficult prophecy to make sense of without extremely careful attention to the details of wording and the details of the history which this prophecy describes through the use of symbolism.
The first symbol, occupying verses 3-4, is a ram with two horns. In verse 20, the angel, Gabriel, explains the interpretation of this symbol–that the ram represents the Empire of the Medes and the Persians (Medo-Persia to historians).
The second symbol, in verses 5-8, is a goat with a large, single horn. Subsequently, the horn is broken off and replaced by four horns in its place. In verse 21, Gabriel explains that the goat represents the Empire of the Greeks, and the prominent horn is its first king–known to historians as Alexander the Great. Verse 22 adds that after Alexander, the empire will be split up into four kingdoms. History shows that this was settled after the Battle of Ipsus in 301BC where Seleucus, Ptolemy, Cassander and Lysimachus were the final successors to Alexander’s empire, founding kingdoms of their own.
…Verses 9-12 describe the third important symbol, another horn, which grows out of one of the four kingdoms which succeeded Alexander’s empire. It does not replace one of the kingdoms; it grows out of it. In verse 23, Gabriel explains that this will be another kingdom that emerges “at the latter end” of the kingdoms of Alexander’s four successors.