The explanation given in Daniel 8:18-24 truly fits into 1 Maccabees 1:1-10. The time period of Daniel extends from BC 603 to BC 522. A crucial period where Babylonian Captivity started, fall of Babylonian empire to Persians who supported and ordered reconstruction of God’s temple at Jerusalem. God made Daniel in key positions in both Babylonian and Persian empires.
There are many prophecies in the book of Daniel.
- Dream of Nebuchadnezzar in chapter 2,
- four beasts and son of man in chapter 7,
- Ram and he-goat in chapter 8,
- Egypt and Syria in chapter 11
Purpose of the prophecy:
After the heart breaking offering, that Abraham was ready to make, God promised Abraham “And in your offspring, all the nations of the earth will be blessed, because you obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22:18)
Clarity was lacking regarding the time period for accomplishment of this promise, Hope was almost lost when the sons of Jacob became slaves in Egypt. But, the rise of Moses, with divine intervention changed history. It was just the first step towards the preparation for the final revelation as told in Deuteronomy 18:18, 19
- “I will raise up a prophet for them, from the midst of their brothers, similar to you. And I will place my words in his mouth, and he will speak to them all the things that I will instruct him. But against anyone who is not willing to listen to his words, which he will speak in my name, I will stand forth as the avenger.”
Years later, when Israelites started enjoying their life in the Promised Land under the king ship of David final accomplishment has not yet come as revealed through prophet Nathan, 2 Samuel 7:12-17
- I will raise up your offspring after you, who will go forth from your loins, and I will make firm his kingdom. He himself shall build a house to my name. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom, even forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.…….And your house shall be faithful and your kingdom shall be before your face, for eternity, and your throne shall be secure continuously.”
Certainty regarding time was lacking, leading to confusion that Solomon has accomplished this prophecy. But, the destruction of the temple, gives utter hopelessness and despair, in spite of prophecies from Amos to Jeremiah.
Now God gives fixed outline towards the time of accomplishment of this prophecy, through Daniel.
Daniel 8:1-12(550 B.C),
In the third year of the reign of Belshazzar the king, a vision appeared to me. After that which I had seen in the beginning, I, Daniel, saw in my vision, that I was in the capital city of Susa, which is in the region of Elam, yet I saw in the vision that I was over the gate of Ulai.
- And I lifted up my eyes and saw, and behold, a single ram stood before the marsh, having two high horns, and one was higher than the other and growing higher still. After this, I saw the ram brandishing his horns against the West, and against the North, and against the Meridian, and all the beasts could not withstand him, nor be freed from his hand, and he did according to his own will, and he became great. And I understood, and behold,
- a he-goat among she-goats came from the West above the face of the entire earth, and he did not touch the ground. Furthermore, the he-goat had a preeminent horn between his eyes. And he went all the way to the ram that had the horns, which I had seen standing before the gate, and he ran towards him in the force of his strength. And when he approached near to the ram, he was enraged against him, and he struck the ram, and broke his two horns, and the ram could not withstand him, and when he had cast him down on the ground, he trampled him, and no one was able to free the ram from his hand. But the he-goat among she-goats became exceedingly great, and when he had prospered, the great horn was shattered, and
- four horns were rising up beneath it by means of the four winds of heaven. But from one of them came forth one little horn, and it became great against the Meridian, and against the East, and against the strength. And it was magnified even towards the strength of heaven, and it threw down those of the strength and of the stars, and it trampled them. And it was magnified, even to the leader of the strength, and it took away from him the continual sacrifice, and cast down the place of his sanctuary. And the advantage was given to him against the continual sacrifice, because of the sins, and truth will be struck
Daniel 8:18-27(550 B.C),
I fell on my face, trembling, and he said to me, “Understand, son of man, for in the time of the end the vision will be fulfilled.” And when he spoke to me, I fell forward onto the ground, and so he touched me and stood me upright. And he said to me, “I will reveal to you what the future things are in the earlier tribulation, for the time has its end.
- The ram, which you saw to have horns, is the king of the Medes and Persians. Furthermore,
- the he-goat among she-goats is the king of the Greeks, and the great horn, which was between his eyes, is the same one, the first king. And since, having been shattered,
- there grew four in its place, four kings will rise up from his people, but not in his strength. And after their reign, when iniquities will be increased,
- there will arise a king of shameless face and understanding negotiations. And his advantage will be strengthened, but not by his kind of force, and other than what he will be able to trust, everything will be eradicated, and he will prosper, and he will act.
- And he will execute the successful and the people of the saints, according to his will, and treachery will be guided by his hand. And his heart will be inflated, and by the abundance of everything he will kill many, and he will rise up against the Lord of lords, and he will be knocked down without a hand.
1 Maccabees 1:1-10(332 B.C – 195B.C)
And it happened afterwards that
- Alexander, the son of Philip the Macedonian, who first reigned in Greece having come from the land of Kittim, struck
- Darius the king of the Persians and the Medes. He appointed many battles, and he took hold of all the fortifications, and he executed the kings of the earth. And he passed through even to the ends of the earth. And he received the spoils of many nations. And the earth was silenced in his sight. And he gathered together power, and an exceedingly strong army. And he was exalted, and his heart was lifted up. And he captured the regions of nations and of sovereign leaders, and they became tributaries to him. And after these things, he fell down on his bed, and he knew that he would die. And he called his servants, nobles who were raised with him from his youth.
- And he divided his kingdom to them, while he was still alive. And Alexander reigned twelve years, and then he died. And his servants obtained his kingdom, each one in his place. And they all put diadems on themselves after his death, and their sons after them, for many years; and evils were multiplied on the earth.
Babylonian period succeeded by Persians succeeded by Greek period and then Roman Empire and finally the prophecy materialized through Jesus Christ.
The prophecy of Daniel 8 occurs in the 3rd year of reign of King Belshazzar (550 B.C), Maccabees 1:1-10 occurring 332 BC till 195 BC. This is a best historical link that expands on both sides to place our faith in the timeline of history.