New Defender's Study Bible Notes
8:1 In the third year. At this point in his book, Daniel returns again to using the Hebrew language rather than Aramaic, presumably because by this time (the third year of Belshazzar), his influence with the leaders of Babylon had become minimal and he was writing mainly for his own people of Judah. However, his later experience in the lion’s den during the reign of Darius, as recorded in Daniel 6, was again written in Aramaic, probably as a testimony to Darius and his Persian nobles, as well as to the Babylonians remaining in the city. The Persians were probably fluent in the language of the Chaldeans. It is noteworthy that Daniel’s visions as recorded in chapters 7, 8 and 9, and probably those in 10, 11 and 12 as well, were given and probably recorded before the history account in chapter 6.
8:2 Shushan. Daniel was translated in his vision to the capital of Persia even before the Persians had conquered Babylon. Furthermore, his vision then prophesied the eventual defeat of Persia by Greece, as well as the still more distant break-up of the Grecian empire. It is not surprising that those who deny supernatural divine inspiration must try to assign the book of Daniel to a later period.
8:3 two horns. The ram is Medo-Persia, with the higher horn representing Persia and the lower Media (Daniel 8:20).
8:4 no beasts might stand. When this was written, Babylonia was still dominant, but the Medo-Persians were rising, and Daniel saw that, eventually, not even Babylon could stand against them.
8:5 he goat. This “he-goat” represents the Greek empire (Daniel 8:21), which Daniel prophesied would eventually conquer the Medo-Persian empire, just as he had prophesied the latter would conquer the Babylonian empire. These events, of course, came to pass as predicted. The fact that the ram is Medo-Persia and the goat is Greece provides further indication that the bear and leopard in Daniel 7 were not these two kingdoms, as many take them to be, but rather two great kingdoms of the end-times.
8:5 notable horn. This “notable horn” on the goat is said to be the “first king” of the future conquering Greek empire (Daniel 8:21)—none other than the famous Alexander the Great, whose conquests were so swift that it seemed like his legions “touched not the ground” as they advanced.
8:8 great horn was broken. Alexander, fully as arrogant as Nebuchadnezzar had been, boasted of his exploits and complained that there were no more worlds to conquer, then soon died as a dissolute young man.
8:8 four notable ones. This unlikely prophecy was fulfilled when Alexander’s four generals divided up his kingdom after his death. Ptolemy took over the southern parts of his empire, Lysimachus the northern, Cassander the western, and Seleucus the eastern.
8:9 little horn. This “little horn” is evidently the same as the “little horn” of Daniel 7:8, the Beast of the end-times, also known as the Antichrist. He cannot be (as some expositors believe) Antiochus Epiphanes, one of the Syrian kings in the dynasty established by Seleucus. Although he did manifest the character of an antichrist, Antiochus did not become as great as “the host of heaven” (Daniel 8:10) or do the other things described in Daniel 8:10-14 and Daniel 8:22-25. When Gabriel interpreted the vision to Daniel, he said specifically that it was “the time of the end” (Daniel 8:17).
8:11 the daily sacrifice. The statements of this passage could only be literally applied to Satan, who brought down many of the angelic “stars” with him when he “magnified himself” against God. Further, he will (through his possessed “son”) take away the daily sacrifice in the restored temple during the tribulation period (see Daniel 9:27; 11:31; Matthew 24:15).
8:14 two thousand and three hundred days. According to the interchange between the two “saints” (Daniel 8:13), who were evidently two holy angels, the sanctuary which was desolated by the replacement of the daily sacrifice by the image of the beast (Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11) will be purged and cleansed 2300 days later. But also see Daniel 12:11,12. There are many things that must happen in that seven-year period, at the very climax of history.
8:23 dark sentences. This dark king, learned in occultism and lying wonders, possessed and controlled by the devil, will arise “in the latter time.” There have been many antichrists, but the great Antichrist has not yet arisen.
8:24 destroy the mighty and holy people. He will not only stop Jewish sacrifices but will attempt genocide on the entire chosen people.
8:25 shall be broken. When He finally confronts Christ, he will quickly be “broken without hand,” simply by “the breath of His lips” (Isaiah 11:4).