The prophet Daniel was given visions concerning the fate of Israel from his own time until the return of Christ. The visions described the kingdoms of men as ‘Beast’ kingdoms, and their military power as ‘horns’ which would dominate Israel.
Israel became like the other Kingdoms, so God let other Kingdoms rule over them. But He promised that in the last days Israel would return to their land, unrestrained by foreign rule – a witness we have seen for over 70 years.
Yet it is prophesied that Israel will come under foreign rule one more time before Jesus returns. Their seemingly miraculous victories over the Arabs will no longer succeed –
I will gather all the nations for battle against Jerusalem, and the city will be captured, the houses looted, and the women ravished. Half of the city will go into captivity, but the rest of the people will not be removed from the city.
Then the LORD will go out to fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives. Zechariah 14:2-4
Israel will suffer defeat a final time before they turn to God who will send Jesus. Let’s see how Daniel describes this time –
A vision appeared to me, Daniel, subsequent to the one that had appeared to me earlier. Dan. 8:1
The previous vision was the one in Chapter 7 which described a little horn that rose among 3 horns and became great –
I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn whose appearance was more imposing than the others, with eyes and with a mouth that spoke words of arrogance. Daniel 7:20
Chapter 8 describes the little horn power that leaves its place and rises in the Promised Land –
And out of one of them came forth one strong horn, and it grew very great toward the south, and toward the host: and it magnified itself to the host of heaven; and there fell to the earth some of the host of heaven and of the stars, and they trampled on them. Daniel 8:9-10 Septuagint version
Daniel 7 concerns the history of the Promised Land and its rule by the Romans. They destroyed the temple, trampled the Jews underfoot and scattered them from Judea in 135CE. There is a GAP in the prophecy while the Jews are scattered until the days of the 10 horns – the horns are given crowns (kingdoms) in the end times. See Days of the Toes
It is during those days that a ‘Little Horn’ rises, and comes among the 10 horns.
The vision of chapter 8 commences with a ram with 2 horns –
Dan. 8:3 I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the: canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later.
The ram is the Medo/Persian Empire which also featured in Daniel 2 and 7. The Persian horn was longer than the Mede’s horn because it became a greater empire and grew up later.
Dan. 8:4 I watched the ram as it charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against it, and none could rescue from its power. It did as it pleased and became great.
The Persian Empire (which morphed from the Median Empire) conquered Babylon in the West, Lydia in the North and Egypt in the South.
Dan. 8:5 As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between its eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. 6 It came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at it in great rage. 7 I saw it attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering its two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against it; the goat knocked it to the ground and trampled on it, and none could rescue the ram from its power. 8 The goat became very great, but at the height of its power the large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven.
The goat is Alexander the Great who defeated the Persians but died at the height of power at age 32. His Kingdom was divided into 4. At this point the prophecy has a GAP and jumps to the days of the end. It talks of the final power – the ‘Little Horn’ which comes out of Elam/Persia/Iran before expanding towards Israel in the End Times. It is the same ‘Little Horn’ of chapter 7.
The same GAP in prophecy occurs with the Daniel 2 prophecy of the Image, and the Daniel 7 prophecy of the foreign rulers of Israel. A Gap while the Jews are scattered and their land lies desolate. The prophecies resume at the END OF DAYS with the regathering of Israel to the Promised Land. Harry Whittaker expresses similar ideas in ‘The Last Days’ Ch. 3 regarding Daniel’s prophecies:
“They are all Messianic—they all find their great climax in the appearance of Messiah the Prince… they all include a long gap or break in the continuity of the fulfilment.” Harry Whittaker
For a fuller explanation of the GAP read ‘Revelation – The Time is at Hand’
Click on chart below until right size for viewing
Dan. 8:10 It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them.
The starry host that is cast down is the same as the 3 horns which are cast down in chapter 7 – falling stars. Iran has ‘trampled’ on Syria, Iraq and Lebanon and risen among them via her proxies. Mark speaks of falling stars (rulers) as an end time sign
‘The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ 26At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. Mark 13:24-26
Iran has fulfilled all the requirements of the prophecy of the ‘Little Horn’. It’s in the area of the Seleucid Empire, one of the four horns of the Daniel 8 prophecy. After Isis dried up it filled the power vacuum and crossed the ‘dried up’ Euphrates as the ‘Kings of the East’ of Revelation 16, and extended its influence in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon – the little horn rising among 3.
Verses 17 & 19 tell us this period belongs to the time of the end. “Understand that the vision concerns the time of the end… the vision concerns the appointed time of the end.” This is the power that will come against Israel and as verse 20 tells us, it also comes against Jesus – “He will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes.”
IRAN IN REVELATION 17
Iran also fulfils the requirements of the 8th head of the Beast in Revelation 17 which attacks the ‘harlot’ – Israel – (See: Revelation a message to Israel)
And there are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen (Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Medo/Persia, Greeks), one is (Rome), the other has not yet come, and when he comes he must remain only a little while (Hitler). The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven (One of the previous 7 – Persia/Iran) and is going to his destruction. Rev 17:9-10
Iran is one of the previous ‘Beast’ kingdoms which had rule over Israel and will do again. It didn’t exist at the time of the Revelation prophecy, the Parthians were in control. It is the ‘Beast’ that was and is not (at the time Revelation was written) but will be.
Just as Daniel 7 depicts the ancient Kingdom of the Medes and Persians as a bear devouring 3 ribs, so the latter day Persians are the little horn that rises among 3 other nations and uproots them, which Iran has done in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.
THE HORN THAT SPEAKS BOASTFULLY
Iran has also spoken out boastfully against Israel –
Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei has referred to Israel as a “cancerous tumor” that should be wiped off the map ( https://honestreporting.com/iran-land-bridge-threat-israel-middle-east/ )
- language reminiscent of Daniel 8 –
“I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgement in favour of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for them to possess the kingdom.”
The 10 horns that the little horn rises among are the nations in the Middle East that surround Israel – See ‘Land of 7 Heads & 10 Horns’
Verse 11 & 12 of Daniel 8 have been translated into English in various confusing ways. It is Israel who are the cause of the abomination of desolation, because of their rebellion against God (See Daniel 11 – Context of the Abomination of Desolation). Whilst there were many foreigners who desecrated the Holy Place -the greatest culprits were Israel, who forsook God and rejected their Messiah! The most logical interpretation of Daniel 8:11-12 seems to me to be –
“It magnified itself to be as great as the Prince of the host from whom the continual (blessing?) was taken away and the place of holiness cast down. Because of the continual transgression of the host it prospered and truth was cast to the ground
Iran acts arrogantly against Israel from whom the continual (blessing?) is removed. The association is with God’s continual covenant to bless Israel if they obeyed Him. But they did not obey and the continual blessing has been removed and the sanctuary thrown down. God’s continual blessing was removed by degrees when they rejected Him. He brought them under foreign rule – the Beast Kingdoms of Daniel. Israel’s sanctuary – Jerusalem – has been thrown down and is desolate – See The Olivet Prophecy
God’s Old Testament prophets said that He no longer accepted their sacrifices.
“Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands. My name is great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings are brought to me, because my name is great among the nations.” Malachi 1:10 -11
Jesus spelt out plainly that the desolation was due to the behaviour of Israel:
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you…Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Matt. 23:37-39
Israel rejected her Messiah. Jesus Himself was sacrificed in Jerusalem and the veil of the temple was torn in two – the Old ways of sacrifices were finished. The temple was further levelled to the ground in AD 70. The curses continued with a further scattering of the Jews after the 135 CE Bar Kochba Rebellion and their scattering culminating in the worst of times during the Holocaust – which also led to their re-gathering. Because of Israel’s rebellion, God allowed the land to lie desolate until the re-gathering of Israel in the Last Days.
Back in the land, Judah & Israel remain the 2 witnesses of Revelation 11 – See 2 Witnesses – Revelation 11 But The time of their victory is about to end. The Beast from the Abyss (Radical Islam empowered by Iran) is about to attack with success, until the intervention of Jesus Himself.
Interpretation of the Vision
Dan. 8:15 While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man. 16 And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.”
17 As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. “Son of man,” he said to me, “understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.”
18 While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet.
19 He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end.
20 The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king. 22 The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.
The prophecy focused on the land of Elam/Persia/Iran now jumps to the ‘latter part of their reign’ – the appointed time of the end.
Dan. 8:23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power…
The ruler of Iran arises. He becomes very strong, but not by his own power. This prophecy is interesting in light of Iran’s trade and military deal with China which will indeed make Iran much stronger.
CALL FOR A HOLY WAR
The book of Joel describes the call for a ‘Holy War’ at the end of days –
‘Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for holy war; rouse the warriors’ Joel 3:9
This war appears to match the trampling underfoot of Israel by the Arab nations headed by Iran. It describes the signs in the sun, moon and stars which Jesus said will immediately precede His coming. It ends with Jerusalem’s final restoration
The LORD will roar from Zion and raise His voice from Jerusalem; Joel 3:16
THE COMING OF JESUS
The ‘Little Horn’ prophecies of Daniel 7 & 8 also terminate with the coming of Jesus –
Dan. 7:8-9 While I was contemplating the horns, suddenly another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like those of a man and a mouth that spoke words of arrogance. As I continued to watch, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took His seat.
Dan. 8:24 cont...He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy (separate) people. 25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.
This is the end time ruler who attacks Israel, defeats them, and then is destroyed by Jesus with all the power of God at His command. A vision for the distant future –
Dan. 8:26 “The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.”
27 I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.
The vision is no longer beyond understanding because we are in the end times and can watch it unfold. The Arabs surrounding Israel empowered by an Iranian leader will head the first victorious assault – America won’t be able to save Israel from the army
God uses as His ‘flashing sword’ of judgement – To read in the news about Iran’s land bridge to arm Israel’s enemies See https://honestreporting.com/iran-land-bridge-threat-israel-middle-east/
After Israel are brought to their knees they turn to God and Jesus.
Then I will pour out on the house of David and on the people of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and prayer, and they will look on Me, the One they have pierced. They will mourn for Him as one mourns an only child, and weep bitterly for Him as one grieves a firstborn son. Zech. 12:10
This passages is more accurately quoted in John 19:37 –
‘And, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”
At the time of Israel’s final defeat they at last recognise their Passover Lamb – who takes away the sins of the world.
2ND WAVE – THE EZEKIEL 38 ATTACK
When Jesus is established on God’s Holy Hill (as per Psalm 2) the nations further out -including Gog and Iran (without the leader who was part of the first attack) launch another attack – they come against a land without walls and bars and gates because Jesus is there. See ‘They Shall Dwell in Security’ by Derek Warr.
But in contrast to the attack on Israel prior to Jesus return, which is motived by the call for a Holy War, the attackers in Ezekiel 38 are motived by ‘spoil’ –
‘Have you come to capture the plunder? Have you assembled your hordes to carry away loot, to make off with silver and gold, to take cattle and goods, to seize great spoil?’ Ezekiel 38:13
It is time to get ready for the Kingdoms of the world to become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever. Rev. 11:15
Of Further Interest
The Book of Enoch also contains a prophecy concerning Iran (Kings of the East) prior to the coming of Jesus.
And in those days, the Angels will gather together, and will throw themselves towards the east, upon the Parthians and Medes (Iran). They will stir up the kings so that a disturbing spirit will come upon them, and they will drive them from their thrones; and they will come out like lions from their lairs, and like hungry wolves in the middle of their flocks. And they will go up and trample on the Land of My Chosen Ones, and the land of my chosen ones will become before them a tramping-ground and a beaten track… In those days shall the mouth of hell be opened, into which they shall be immerged; hell shall destroy and swallow up sinners from the presence of the elect. Enoch 56:5-7,12
See BOOK OF ENOCH – IS IT SCRIPTURE? for fuller context
Jewish writers have some interesting comments on interpreting the future time of redemption and Messiah:
Rab said: All the predestined dates [for redemption] have passed, and the matter [now] depends only on repentance and good deeds.“Sanhedrin 97b,” Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin.
A Sage said: “May the curse of heaven fall upon those who calculate the date of the advent of the Messiah, and thus create political and social unrest among the people.” Sanhedrin, 97b.
For a more Comprehensive explanation of Daniel and Revelation See