Daniel Episode 9: The Vision of the Ram and the Goat
February 07, 2024 | Andy Davis
Daniel has a vision, astonishing in its specificity, of the future destruction of the Medo-Persian empire by the Greeks under Alexander the Great.
- PODCAST TRANSCRIPT -
Welcome to the Two Journeys Bible Study podcast. This podcast is just one of the many resources available to you for free from Two Journeys Ministry. If you're interested in learning more, just head over to twojourneys.org. Now, on to today's episode. This is episode 9 in our Daniel Bible Study podcast. This episode is entitled The Vision of the Ram and the Goat, where we'll discuss Daniel 8:1-27. I'm Wes Treadway, and I'm here with Pastor Andy Davis.
Andy, what are we going to see in these verses that we're looking at today?
Well, Daniel 8 is a remarkable chapter of prophecy about one of the most famous figures from antiquity, Alexander the Great, and therefore, it is a clear prediction that can be marked by common knowledge of ancient history and a clear display of God's ability to predict the future. It is one of the many reasons that we say that the Bible is a supernatural book. But in it, it also depicts the career of Alexander the Great, the empire that followed him, and the rise of a little horn that symbolized Antiochus Epiphanes who ruled in the second century B.C. and who is a type or a prefigure of the Antichrist that will rule at the end of the world. And so, we have a lot of fascinating verses to walk through today.
Well, let me go ahead and read Daniel 8:1-27.
In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first. And I saw in the vision; and when I saw, I was in Susa the citadel, which is in the province of Elam. And I saw in the vision; and I was at the Ulai Canal. I raised my eyes and saw, and behold, a ram standing on the bank of the canal. It had two horns, and both horns were high, but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. I saw the ram charging westward and northward and southward. No beast could stand before him, and there was no one who could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great.
As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west across the face of the whole earth without touching the ground. And the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. He came to the ram with the two horns, which I had seen standing on the bank of the canal, and he ran at him in his powerful wrath. I saw him come close to the ram, and he was enraged against him and struck the ram and broke his two horns. And the ram had no power to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power. Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.
Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land. It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars, it threw down to the ground and trampled on them. It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown. And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression, and it will throw truth to the ground, and it will act and prosper. Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, 'For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?' And he said to me, 'For 2300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.'
When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it. And behold, there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. And I heard a man's voice between the banks of the Ulai, and it called, 'Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.' So, he came near where I stood. And when he came, I was frightened and fell on my face. But he said to me, 'Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end.'
And when he had spoken to me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face to the ground. But he touched me and made me stand up. He said, 'Behold, I will make known to you what shall be at the latter end of the indignation for it refers to the appointed time of the end. As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia. And the goat is the king of Greece, and the great horn between his eyes is the first king. As for the horn that was broken in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from his nation, but not with his power. And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise. His power shall be great- but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. By his cunning, he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken- but by no human hand. The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true, but seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now.'
And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king's business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it.
Andy, what's the significance of the timing of this vision, and where does Daniel see himself in the vision in verses one and two?
It's identified as the third year of King Belshazzar's reign. We know from Daniel 5 that Belshazzar was the last king of Babylon, and his reign lasted about 15 years. So, this is toward the beginning of Belshazzar's reign, but it's the final king of Babylon. And the empire was toppled by the Medo-Persian Empire after Belshazzar. And Daniel in his vision sees himself by the Ulai Canal in Susa, the citadel of Susa, the province of Elam. At that time, the city was just a minor regional capital, but it would later become the capital of the Medo-Persian Empire.
And so, the story of Esther was set in the citadel of Susa, and also, Nehemiah was cupbearer to the king in Susa as well. So, it's a major future city, and Daniel sees himself in the vision there at Susa.
What is the significance of the symbolism of using animals, a ram, and a goat, to represent human empires, and what was noteworthy about the ram's horn and what they represented?
Right. I can only guess that the first question of why animals and why animals are used in Daniel 7 and again in Daniel 8 to represent empires, but I think it's because we especially see with the bear representing the Medo-Persian Empire, a mindless savagery, nature, red in tooth and claw, this sense of a mindless destructive power. And what it means is there's no compassion for human victims of empires. Empires cannot have compassion on their victims. They're not looking to do anything except expand their own domination, and they do it by crushing and literally killing people and slaughtering people.
And so, they're mindless like a great white shark doesn't have any compassion on a seal or on a human swimmer. It just eats. And so, I think that's why animals are used, and also because they have greater physical power generally than humans do. Eagles move faster. They go fast. Leopards run faster than humans do. Bears are stronger than humans. So, it's a great expansion of human ability. I think that's why animals are used.
What was noteworthy about the ram's horns and what they represent?
The horn represents a center of power, and so symbolic language with horns generally represents kings, so individuals with great power. And so, these animals represent empires, and the horns that grow up represent specific kings that rule over those empires.
What do we learn about the ram from verse four, and what's the theological significance of the phrase, "He did as he pleased?"
So, the ram represents the Medo-Persian Empire, and he has two horns, but one is longer than the other, though it grew up later. So, there's these details that are given. And so, again, if they represent kings, the kings of the Medes initially were more powerful than the kings of the Persians. But as the Medo-Persian Empire developed, the Persians gained dominance. So, we generally think much more of the Persian Empire than we think of the Mede Empire, the Empire, the Medes. And so, this horn represents the king of Persia, which was in fact the Persian king that Alexander the Great defeated.
And when it says that the ram grew very great in power and did as he pleased, I think that's just the nature that human beings have. They want to rule over themselves. They want autonomy. They want to do whatever they want to do whenever they want to do it, and no one can restrain them. No one can hold them back or stop them from doing what they want. And so, that's really that soaring pride that made up the Tower of Babylon and that desire to make a great name for yourself. So, that thing. It's that soaring human pride and self-rule autonomy.
"That's just the nature that human beings have. They want to rule over themselves. They want autonomy. They want to do whatever they want to do whenever they want to do it, and no one can restrain them. …It's that soaring human pride and self-rule autonomy."
In verse five, we are introduced to this second animal, a goat. How is the goat's movement and appearance described?
Yeah, so it's interesting. You think of a goat generally less powerful than a ram, but in this case, it's absolutely not the case. And what's really important is the movement of the goat. It's got one prominent horn, not two horns, but one, in the center of its eyes. The focus is on that one great king, and that must represent Alexander the Great because we're openly told that this is the kingdom of Greece, and the horn was the first king. So, historically, who can that be, but Alexander the Great. So, the word Greece is very specific. We don't have to wonder. It comes from the west.
But specifically what's noted here with this goat is how it moves across the entire earth. So, the span of the earth without touching the ground. It's like it's flying. So, just like the vision of the animal with four wings, the leopard with four wings, you get a sense of agility and rapid movement. So, also, in this, in Daniel 8 now, we get the sense of incredible rapidity. And so, when we go jump ahead to fulfillment, Alexander the Great conquered the entire world in about 14 years.
And so, the speed of conquest is absolutely stunning given its scope, and even more significant is he had smashed the entire Medo-Persian Empire within three years. So, the whole thing happened lightning quick. Back then, things changed very slowly. The Roman Empire lasted centuries upon centuries. Things just didn't change much. But this is lightning quick, and so there's that sense of rapid movement.
Also, one more thing, the way Alexander fought his battles, cavalry was a very important part of his strategy. And so, he would have his Greek hoplites in the center, and they were great foot soldiers. But then, suddenly in would come the cavalry coming from the side or from the back at an unexpected angle that wins the day.
Also, Alexander the Great himself moved with great rapidity with his foot soldiers and cavalry, and they would sometimes travel 36 miles in a day to suddenly strike enemies when they had no thought that they were anywhere nearby. So, there was a sense of constant speed with Alexander.
What do we learn from verses six and seven about the attitude of the goat as he attacks the ram? And what's the significance of the statement, "None could rescue the ram from his power?"
Okay, so the goat is portrayed as striking the ram with rage, with a great rage. There's a tremendous anger here, and it has to do, I think, with the history between the Greeks and the Persians. It's a long-standing antipathy between those two great nations and it continued. You think about the Trojans and the Spartans and all that thing. And then, in the centuries that followed, there would just be constant invasion from the east to the west going across, where it's modern-day Istanbul, or Constantinople, and they would cross across there and sweep down and attack the Greeks. And they would slaughter them. And there was tremendous rage built up among Greek-speaking people.
And so, when they finally came the other way from the west to the east, he strikes the ram with great rage, great power. And then, concerning the statement, "None could rescue the ram from his power," it's just like he's finished, he's done. There was no ally coming from some other place to rescue him when he was left alone to face Alexander the Great. And he was destroyed. There was no one that could rescue him.
Daniel 8:8, together with its explanation later in verses 21 and 22 is one of the most spectacular prophecies in the book of Daniel, verifiable by secular history more than most biblical prophecies. What did these verses teach us?
Right. Well, Alexander was a literary figure. He was educated by Aristotle, and he was spreading Hellenism, which was Greek philosophy, Greek arts, Greek poetry, Greek writing. And so, he spread the Greek language. And so, he was a very careful and accurate historian of his own achievements. And so, there are many histories. And so, we know a lot about the Greek empire under Alexander. And what we find is that at the height of his power, Alexander was cut off. He was a young man. He was maybe 33 years old.
And at the height of his power when he was just settling into reign, his massive empire, which was 3200 miles east to west, I mean the size of continental US, tremendous conquests. So, he's going to Babylon to reign over it. And at the height of his power, he dies. Now, there's a lot of theories about his death, but one of the stories is that he died from alcohol poisoning, that he took this massive cup called the Hercules Cup, filled it with wine. No one could drink it straight through, but he drank it to the bottom.
And apparently, it was five liters of liquid, which you think about a two-liter bottle and then another one, and then half beyond that. I mean who could ever drink that much? But the next day, he was struck with severe back pain, which must've been his kidneys and his liver rebelling against what had happened, and he died with a fever. And that was that. And so, at the height of his power for him to be cut off is predicted there in verse eight. And then, what happened after that is predicted as well.
He had no heir, he had no son, nobody to pass the empire to. So, who's going to get this empire? And so, his four generals stepped up and each of them took a slice of the empire. The number four is the specificity of the prediction as well as the height of his power, the great horn was cut off. And the four empires, which are told later are four kingdoms that go in four directions have less power, less influence than the one empire together.
All of that specificity is what is easy to line up with history and say, "Hey, how in the world did they get that so accurately?" We would not say that the predictions in Daniel 8 are the most significant predictions in the Old Testament, but they're the ones that are clearest in terms of being able to line up with secular history and prove it so much so that skeptics believe that the whole book of Daniel itself was written after the fact. Because they say, "Look, there's no way that these predictions could ever have been made ahead of time."
What happened after the four horns grew up, and how is the little horn described?
So, the four horns take over. They're four empires. And the most significant for us are the Ptolemies and the Seleucids, and we need to keep those in mind for Daniel 11. This is going to be very important. It's basically the entire chapter of Daniel 11 is the two Greek subkingdoms, miniature Greek empires. The Ptolemies and Seleucids fight each other back and forth as Greeks tended to do over the Promised Land. And so, those are going to be two of the four. But out of one of them comes another horn, a king, which started small but grew in power to the south and the east and toward the beautiful land being Palestine, being the Promised Land.
And so, we're going to follow the career of this individual, and this career is important because he's a type or an acted-out prophecy of the Antichrist who will reign on earth right up until the time Jesus returns and destroys him with the breath of his power and the splendor of his coming. So, this is a type of an sntichrist or of the Antichrist but is not obviously the final Antichrist.
Now, you mentioned that we'll trace out the career of this little horn. We really get that in verses 10 through 12, and then some explanation that follows on behind. What evil things does the little horn do in verses 10 through 12? What does the starry host represent in these verses, and what effect does the horn have on the stars, the host, and even the daily sacrifice?
All right, so this little horn, let's just go ahead and identify him. It's Antiochus IV Epiphanes. So, he was the fourth king, Greek king of the name Antiochus IV, and he was given the name or took it to himself, Epiphanes, meaning the manifest one. He believed himself to be an incarnation of Zeus just as Alexander did. Alexander believed that he was the incarnation of Zeus-Ammon. And so, they believed this thing. The Greeks and Romans both believed in incarnations all the time. They said that the gods and goddesses took on human form and got in all kinds of mischief and did all troublesome things and caused difficulties and had human children.
You have great heroes that come from the gods mating with human women and all this stuff. These are part of the Greek myths, but they believe them. And so, Antiochus thought he was a god in human form, an incarnation. And so, that's part of his blasphemy. He believed in self-worship. And he grew to be great in power. He was a dominant king, and he was reigning in Palestine. It says he reached the host of heavens. I think this is in his own estimation. He saw himself as divine. So, I think that's the essence of blasphemy.
And it says he threw down some of the starry hosts to the earth and trampled on them. Well, that could either be rhetoric or in his imagination, or it could refer to the Jews. And remember how God told Abraham in Genesis 15, "Look up to the stars and count them if you can, so shall your offspring be." And so, the descendants of Abraham are like the stars of heaven. So, the idea here would be, in verse 10, that he persecutes and kills many Jews. And that just really makes sense.
And so, he sets himself up as if he is as great as God, as the Prince of the host, as great as God himself. And he took away the daily sacrifice from God, and the place of his sanctuary, God's sanctuary, was defiled. It was laid low. And so, this is a prediction of what Antiochus IV Epiphanes did, which was to take over the priesthood, make himself priest though he was Greek, and to enter the Holy of Holies himself, which only the high priest could go and that only once a year, and never without blood the author of Hebrews tells us.
Well, this king went in whenever he pleased. And he took an unclean animal, a pig, and sacrificed pig's blood and used it to worship himself and the Greek gods and to defile the Holy of Holies. He's doing it as a direct affront to the God of the Jews. And so, this is a blasphemy here, which I think is a precursor to the abomination of desolation that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 24, concerning the end of the world.
What's the significance of one holy one speaking to another and asking for information? What information does he seek and what answer is he given?
All right, so the holy ones are angels, and we're going to see this again in chapter 12 where one angel asks another, "How long will it be," which is beautiful because Peter tells us, "Even angels long to look into these things," which tells us something about angels. They're not omniscient, they can learn. And that was foundational insight also in my heaven book that we'll be in heaven, perfected and holy, but still able to learn. And so, angels are precursors of that. They don't know what's going on. They're looking into this. And some angels have more information than other angels, and they can give information to them. One holy one was speaking and another one told him what to do.
So, we have that authority, an archangel, like a ruler angel, tell the other angel, "Hey, explain to this man what is going on." He says, "How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled?" And by the way, that's exactly the question the angel asks in chapter 12. How long? It's a how-long question, and we'll get a similar answer in chapter 12. So, how long will it be until this vision is going to be fulfilled or how long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled?
The vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation. That's that phrase that Jesus gives is abomination of desolation and the surrender of the sanctuary. The host will be trampled underfoot. So, how long? What's the timeframe? And the answer is given, 2300 evenings and mornings. And then, after that, the sanctuary will be reconsecrated or reclaimed or reestablished.
In verse 15, we move to the interpretation of the vision. What do verses 15 through 18 teach us about angels and about the spiritual realm in which they operate?
Well, Daniel frequently doesn't understand his visions. This is a recurring theme in the book of Daniel. He sees his vision, he writes it down, but he's like, "I don't get it. I don't know what this is about." Fundamentally, what we have is God does know the future. We don't know the future. We know as much as God wants to tell us and without God interpreting it to us, we'll never understand it. And so, fundamentally, those are some of the basic lessons of the visions of Daniel. And so, we have that concept that with God are the secrets of the future, and he's going to share them.
Now, angels we're told in Hebrews 1 are ministering spirits sent to serve those will inherit salvation. So, when angels come down and intersect with people like Daniel, they're doing it to serve the rest of us under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is assigned the task within the Trinity of communicating God's saving purpose to the entire human race. And he does that predominantly through the scripture. And so, the Holy Spirit inspires the writings, but sometimes we have angelic messengers that bring messages down.
We're going to see this in Daniel 10 as the angel comes down to give Daniel information, or again, Daniel 9, the 70 weeks were given by an angel to Daniel. And so, the word angel is just the English form of angelos, which means messenger. So, these messengers come, and they are told to give messages to the prophet Daniel. And so, that's what the angel comes to do.
Why is the angel so specific about the vision concerning the time of the end?
Well, that's important for us, and we do believe that even at the end of Daniel, again Daniel 12, we have some things that have not happened yet, like the resurrection of the righteous and the wicked, the righteous shining forever, which Jesus quotes about the new heaven, new earth. The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Those things haven't happened yet. The second coming hasn't happened yet. So, that is the end. And some of Daniel's prophecies I firmly believe have not yet been fulfilled. They're still waiting.
The abomination of desolation fulfillment is not just with the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70, but I think it's going to happen in 2 Thessalonians 2. It's going to happen right before the second coming of Christ. And the man of sin, the Antichrist who is the fulfillment of this horn in Daniel 8, also the horn in Daniel 7, all these little horn images, the Antichrist images is fulfilled in one final Antichrist. 1 John 2:18 says, "You have heard that antichrist is coming and even now many antichrists have come."
So, Antiochus IV Epiphanes was an antichrist, but the whole thing concerns the time of the end. And so, for Daniel, everything's in the future. For us, a lot of this stuff, the visionary stuff is in the past, but the ultimate fulfillment here is still for us in the future, the time of the end.
What insight does the angel give Daniel concerning the ram, the goat, and the horn between the eyes in verses 20 and 21?
Well, it gives us those specifics that I've already cited in explaining when the vision was described. I jumped ahead, and we already know what it is. And so, in verse 20, it says, "The two horn ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia." So, there it is, we don't have to guess. And then, 21, "The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes is the first king." I would think of it this way, the shaggy goat is the kingdom or the empire of the Greeks. And then, the large horn is the first king coming from that empire.
And then, the four horns that replaced the one that fell or that was broken off represent four kingdoms that come from its nation but will not have the same power. They're Greeks. They're all from that same culture, but they don't have the same power as Alexander.
You just alluded to it. But we really do get some insight in verse 22 into the relative strengths of the four kingdoms that follow Alexander's, that they are inferior, they're not of the same splendor and glory as the empire under Alexander's reign.
So, we're going to get the reason for that in chapter 11. And if you didn't know anything about Greek history before Philip Alexander's father, and by the way, Philip II, Alexander's father, it was for him that Philippi, the Philippians, the epistle to the Philippians was named, but the Greeks were a bunch of city-states that were constantly fighting each other. They had a shared language and culture, but nothing else. And so, they're just constantly warring until Philip began to unify them, and Alexander completed the unification. He really was, Alexander really was the first true king of the Greeks. But after he dies, what do they do, but revert to their nature.
They're going to go back to city-states warring against each other. And Daniel 11 is an entire chapter devoted to an internecine battle between one Greek king, one set of Greek kings and the others. They fought each other. So, no wonder they weren't as powerful, like God said with the Tower of Babel. "If as one people speaking one language, they begin to do this, nothing they desire to do will be restrained from them."
Well, that's basically what Alexander did for the Greeks. He pulled them together and made them one nation, one language going in one direction, incredibly powerful. But once he dies, that thing starts floating apart. So, they are fighting each other, and they're not as powerful.
What do verses 23 through 25 teach us about the little horn and what will his end be?
Right. So, the little horn, again, is a type or a picture of the Antichrist. And so, let's look at his attributes, and we're going to see it again in chapter 11. "In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise." That's my translation. You say he's expert at riddles. He's good at riddles. So, he's devious, he's tricky, he's deceptive. You're going to see the same things in chapter 11. He's tricky. He's not what he appears to be. He becomes strong, but not by his own power. So, I don't know what that means.
It could refer to God that God raises him up like God said to Pharaoh, "I raised you up for this very purpose..." But it could also be that he has a sponsor, a kingmaker, this thing. There's some political intrigue. And so, I think this is all part of what we should learn about the final Antichrist. You got an individual who's very good at politics. He's a political genius. You look at Adolf Hitler, for example. He was not a great military commander. He was a great politician and a great national leader, a great orator. He was able to unify the Germans.
And he is able to gauge the Brits and the Poles and the Russians and the French and other European nations and know what they would put up with, take advantage, know when to back off and when to attack. And he was a politician. He took the measure of people. He's very devious and deceptive and then grew way too powerful to be dealt with by any but military means. And I think the Antichrist, final Antichrist, would be like that, rising to power through talking and through schmoozing and through intrigue and through subtle treachery, this kind of thing. We'll see that in chapter 11 as well. So, that's what this guy is like.
And it says he'll cause astounding devastation, will succeed at whatever he does. He's successful. He's good at what he does. He's powerful. He will destroy mighty men and the holy people being the Jews, I think. So, he's going to win victories and battles, and he will gain a dominant local role. And it says he'll cause deceit to prosper. Ultimately, he's a liar. But the greatest deceit is self-worship. He's going to demand worship and people will do it to save their lives. So, that's the blasphemy and the prospering of the lie of deceit. Same thing with the final Antichrist.
And he will consider himself superior. The final Antichrist will consider himself God. He will declare himself to be God. And so, finally, when people feel secure, he'll destroy many and take a stand. We're going to see that also in chapter 11. He'll give people a false sense of security by making treaties with them, and then he'll break them. He'll bring them into his confidence and then have them killed.
"The final Antichrist will consider himself God. …He'll give people a false sense of security by making treaties with them, and then he'll break them. He'll bring them into his confidence and then have them killed."
This is the kind of thing, the deceptiveness and the treachery that we have here with this individual is very, very great. He's a satanic individual. He will also take his stand against the Prince of princes, ultimately against Almighty God, against King Jesus. So, you see that fulfilled when it comes to the Antichrist. He's going to know about Jesus because it's yet in the future, and he'll defy him. He'll stand directly against Jesus Christ and the church and against his people and openly tried to trample them and kill them. And it is because he's warring against, directly against the followers of Jesus Christ, that Jesus will come from heaven to earth to destroy him. So, at any rate, Antiochus was a miniature version of that, yet he'll be destroyed, but not by human power.
What does the angel tell Daniel to do with this vision, and what final thoughts do you have for us on this passage and the effect it had on Daniel?
Well, he's told, first of all, the vision is true. It's going to happen, but it concerns the distant future. So, for Daniel, it's several centuries later. For us, however, the fulfillment, the ultimate fulfillment of the type, we believe that the whole Antiochus stuff was done in the year 175 to 165 BC. So, that's all done too. But yet, the fulfillment of it, the ultimate Antichrist, Jesus is going to destroy by a second coming. So, that hasn't happened yet. It concerns the distant future. So, it's told, sealed up.
Now, one of the basic principles I have on eschatology, especially information coming from Daniel is, that true insight, total insight, accurate insight is given on a need-to-know basis, and it's corroborated with current events. So, as things start happening, they'll come a specific clarity to those that are living through those events that then the words of Daniel will come alive and line up with in ways that we really can't understand. So, seal it up until the time of the end means, if you need to know, you'll know. If not, it'll be a mystery to you.
Finally, Daniel, when he is done with this whole thing is exhausted. It says he lay ill for several days, and then he got back to his job. But he was appalled by the vision. It was beyond understanding, and so it was devastating for him. It was overwhelming. One little detail. It's interesting when he comes in to interpret the writing on the wall, Belshazzar doesn't know who he is. And yet in this verse, it says he went about the king's business. So, he had some minor role at this point. He's not a well-known figure in Belshazzar's court because Belshazzar really had never heard of him. And so, I find this interesting, but Daniel's still faithful to do his job for the government where he could, but he was overwhelmed by this vision. We're going to see this again in chapter 10 where he literally can't breathe because of the power of the truth here.
One final thing, Wes, I'd come across a comparison between Alexander the Great and Jesus, and I did some of the thinking on that theme myself. It is really remarkable as you look at these two great leaders and compare and contrast. Alexander crushed his enemies, leaving them shattered and poverty-stricken. Jesus saved his enemies, leaving them eternally blessed and wealthy. Alexander boasted and exalted himself, but Jesus was meek and lowly of heart and laid his majestic glory down in order to save us.
Alexander claimed to be the son of Zeus. Jesus was the son of God. Alexander wept that there were no more peoples to conquer. Jesus wept when Jerusalem would not believe in him. Alexander died in his early 30s in a drunken feast of pride and dissipation. Jesus died in his early 30s on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for sins. Alexander's body rotted in the grave. Jesus's body rose from the dead on the third day.
Alexander's soul was eternally judged for his sins. Jesus is Alexander's judge. Alexander built a worldwide empire and all that remains of that is the reputation. Christ is still building his worldwide empire, and it will last for all eternity.
"Christ is still building his worldwide empire, and it will last for all eternity."
Well, this has been episode 9 in our Daniel Bible Study podcast. We want to invite you to join us next time for episode 10, entitled Daniel's Passionate Prayer for Israel, where we'll discuss Daniel 9:1-19. Thank you for listening to the Two Journeys podcast and may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.