Many years had passed and many events had transpired since Daniel had lived. His later prophecies foretold kingdoms that would rule after the Jewish exiles had returned from their captivity in Babylon.
Daniel was an interpreter of king’s dreams, but also saw highly figurative visions in his own dreams. In one such dream, he saw four beasts come up from the sea. They were in the form of a lion, bear, leopard and an unnamed creature. Those beasts were unusual in that they had various other body parts such as wings, multiple heads, iron teeth and horns. As with a previous dream of Nebuchadnezzar, each beast represented a different empire. It is thought that the lion represented Babylon and the bear depicted the Medo-Persian Empire that conquered Babylon. About 332 B.C. the Grecian Empire represented by the leopard led by Alexander the Great began conquering a vast number of nations. Rome was established about 753 B.C., but did not become the world power for approximately another six hundred years.
God was called the Ancient of Days and was pictured on His awesome throne. Jesus, the Son of Man would be given an everlasting dominion of saints which would never be destroyed. That everlasting kingdom would be severely persecuted by the fourth beast, but in the end the greatness of the kingdoms of earth would be given to, “the saints of the Most High.”
Two years after his previous vision, Daniel saw in another vision a vicious ram with two high horns with one being higher than the other. With his horns located as they were, no animal from either direction could withstand him. He was able to get whatever he wanted. However, a male goat with a notable/large horn between his eyes came at him with great power and broke both of the ram’s horns leaving him powerless. As the male goat grew in power, his horn broke and in its place four other horns grew. A smaller horn grew out of one of the four horns and it exerted much power.
As Daniel was pondering the meaning of the things that he had seen, the angel Gabriel appeared next to him and gave him the explanation. The horns of the ram represented the kings of the Medes and Persians. They had taken many nations, including Babylon. The male goat was the Grecian empire with the large horn representing Alexander the Great. After his death at only thirty-three years of age, four of his generals represented by the four horns ruled in different kingdoms of the empire. The little horn depicted the evil Antiochus, who took over Palestine among other territories. He assumed the name Epiphanes which meant God Manifest and among other evils, desecrated the temple. The ram and goat represented the second and third empires that Daniel had seen in his previous vision.
Following the revelation of all of the evil that would befall God’s people and the house of God, Daniel fainted and was sick for a period of days. People today should react with godly emotion over the evil that is taking place in the world.