(Dan 8:1) In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first. (Dan 8:2) And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai. (Note: Shushan and the river to the east of it, the Ulai, appear to be in the state known as Iran today.) (Dan 8:3) Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. (Dan 8:4) I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great. (Dan 8:5) And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. (Dan 8:6) And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. (ASV) The visions and prophecies of this chapter look only and entirely at the events that were then shortly to come to pass in the monarchies of Persia and Greece, and seem not to have any further reference at all. Nothing is here said of the Chaldean monarchy, for that was now just at its period; and therefore this chapter is written not in Chaldee, as the six foregoing chapters were, for the benefit of the Chaldeans, but in Hebrew, and so are the rest of the chapters to the end of the book, for the service of the Jews, that they might know what troubles were before them and what the issue of them would be, and might provide accordingly. In this chapter we have, I. The vision itself of the ram, and the he-goat, and the little horn that should fight and prevail against the people of God, for a certain limited time, ver. 1-14. (MHC) Matthew Henry's of the opinion is that the prophecies of this chapter applied only to the Jewish people and I try not to argue lame points but I must ask myself, “Why would God include these passages in the Word He has preserved for the Christian?” There can be no reason except that we learn a lesson or some lessons from the passage. We absolutely must remember that it is God that seats and unseats the rulers over us. (Romans 13:1-6 & Dan, 2: 21) This is not a popular statement of truth, even in some Church Circles but it is essential in understanding the Bible and it's application to our daily lives. There is a life application to this passage that is, almost, never applied to this scripture. This is not about the period of time (As they would have measured it) they were living, right then. Rather, it is about their near future. God was giving them notice of what was to come and I submit to you that our LORD has and is doing that, exact, same thing today, for us. As can be seen from a careful study of all scripture, but let's deal with Obidiah, prophecy can, and, oft does, apply more than once. In the small, single chapter, book of Obidiah we find that Edom, the nation that held the symbol of the Eagle, nesting in the bed of stars, was both Edom and Rome. I will even go so far as to submit, to you, that this prophecy pictures the United States and what has, since WW II, been happening to us. And with this being so, we must ask ourselves, “Do these writings, preserved by God, Himself, maybe, apply to us, in some manor? If nothing else, we ought to be looking forward, as we study the books of prophecy. God has shown us, through His recorded Word that He is faithful to never strike us without warning, so... (Dan 8:7) And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. (Dan 8:8) Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. Here, we have seen Alexander, The Great, as he is called, rise up, commit suicide, and be replaced by four of his commanders. Did any Jew understand what we can see from this passage? I submit to you, that, no, they did not but, sadly, neither did they watch their future closely, either, and there is a strong, strong, life application for the Christian, today. In the, early, “60's I was a lost man and a loyal soldier of the United States and, while in Germany, I came to the conclusion, from my studies, that we were never going to “duke it out” with the USSR but that, rather, we needed to begin to practice and to engage in War Games to fight Islam. I was told that I was nuts, we and the Russians would blow the World to pieces before the Arabs ever had a chance to come to power. So, as a World, where are we today? And as a Christian, where must we focus our attention? (Dan 8:9) And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. (Dan 8:10) And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. (Dan 8:11) Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. (Dan 8:12) And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered. It has been many years since I studied the Roman Empire and the Jew of this time period never knew what was coming, because they did not study. I'm not telling anyone that the Jew of 1BC knew, for a fact, that Rome would invade and rule over them but I am telling everyone that they were warned, just as we, today, have been. But they, like we, were not watching! Life application: God, the Father, never punishes without a warning, first. So, are you watching and praying? (Dan 8:13) Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? (Dan 8:14) And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. With an attentive eye, the period for this event, 70AD, could have been measured to put the nation on alert but I tell you, The All Knowing God, knew they would not, even though He wanted to walk with them, just as He wishes for us today. And there is another of those, mysterious, life applications. (Dan 8:15) And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. (Dan 8:16) And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. This is one hard chapter to read... it is full of lessons for the Believer. So... have you ever heard the voice of God? No answer required! But, have you ever gone off into a wilderness and separated yourself to God? Have you ever locked the bedroom door and forbade anyone to disturb you, short of the house burning down? I will tell you that the first time I heard that still, quiet voice, it scared the Devil right out of me. I can see Daniel shaking right here but he did seek God... didn't he? (Dan 8:17) So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. Remember, the Temple was desecrated but is that the only end? Remember, the prophecies of Obidiah have been fulfilled twice in Biblical times and I believe they are being fulfilled again... right now. (Dan 8:18) Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. (Dan 8:19) And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. Daniel was asleep but Gabriel touched him and awakened him, this part is not a vision. (Dan 8:20) The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. (Dan 8:21) And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. (Dan 8:22) Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. (Dan 8:23) And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. (Dan 8:24) And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. (Dan 8:25) And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. (Dan 8:26) And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. (Dan 8:27) And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it. There are millions of False Prophets today and there are billions of seekers that follow them. I have and I always shall teach the scriptures interpret themselves and need not I, nor any “man” to interpret them. Such is folly and, sadly, many are caught in that trap. I forbid any to follow my words for my words are not scripture. Neither are the words of any man, alive, today! My writings and teachings are to interest others into searching the scriptures to see if that, nut, Bill Taylor, knows what hew is talking about. If there is no other lesson for the Christ Follower to learn from this chapter, we must learn to seek after God that we might hear from and to walk with Him.