In Daniel 8, the prophet Daniel had a vision of which Gabriel told him, “understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end,” (v.17). So the vision told about the coming Persian (v.20) and Greek (v.21) empires, and we know that Daniel personally would survive the fall of the Babylonian empire, and also serve in the government of the Persian empire, which would facilitate the return of some of the Jewish exiles to their homeland in Israel some 70 years after they were initially deported.

The last part of chapter 8 foretells some events that would occur during the Greek empire. It would be a dark time: the horn/leader would “fling truth to the ground,” (v.12). But the last verses of the chapter also seem to have a second fulfillment: (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, p.1359) “the prophecy looks beyond Antiochus to a future person [the Antichrist] of whom Antiochus is only a foreshadowing,” and so this vision also “pertains to the appointed time of the end,” (v.19), something yet future, when an individual will stand against the “Prince of princes,” (v.25), our Messiah and Savior.

The impact of the vision on the prophet Daniel? “Then I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for several days. Afterward I got up and performed my duties for the king, but I was greatly troubled by the vision and could not understand it,” (v.27, NIV). Interesting. We may even share some of those feelings ourselves sometimes when we study these passages. We of course have the benefit of history as some of these prophecies have already been fulfilled.

God gave to us these prophetic Scripture passages, recorded by the prophet Daniel centuries ago, some of which have already been fulfilled and some of which still have a future fulfillment, for our study and edification and encouragement. We can be encouraged that our God has the future in His hands.

by Bob Busenitz, Elder

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