Summary: All religious books claim to be the word of God, but prophecy sets the Bible apart as having God’s seal of authentication. This section looks at the reliability of Daniel and the prophecies of Daniel.
Ram With Two Horns (Part 2 of 6)
Chapter 8 of Daniel describes a powerful ram with two horns that is soon defeated by a male goat with one powerful horn. Any time you see a horn mentioned in the Bible it is referring to power or exaltation. Daniel 8:3 says:
Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns, and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last.
The second horn will have more glory that the first horn. I will paraphrase the vision, but I also recommend reading the entire chapter. In Daniel’s vision, he saw a great ram that pushed north, south and west. He did as he willed and no one was able to stop him from becoming great. Suddenly a male goat with a large horn attacked the ram, broke his horns off and trampled him down. He became great and once established, the large horn was broken and four smaller horns replaced it. One of the horns grew and became great and exalted himself as the ‘Prince of the host’. In other words, he will set himself up to be God. He will be an evil transgressor that will cast down truth and put a stop to the daily sacrifices in the sanctuary (or temple). With desolation will pollute the temple for 2300 days and then the temple will be cleansed (Daniel 8:14).
The Bible gives the interpretation of this dream in the second half of Daniel 8. The ram with two horns was the kingdom of Media and Persia and Greece is the male goat that defeated this kingdom. We know this to be Alexander the Great (the stomach and thighs of bronze in the image of the first vision). The desolation that polluted the temple was Antiochus Epiphanes. In 171b.c. Antiochus overthrew the priest and made himself to be God in the temple. He called for and sacrificed a pig on the altar in the temple. This abomination caused the Maccabean revolt. On December 25th, 164b.c., 2,300 days after Antiochus overthrew the priest, the temple was re-consecrated. History documents an exact fulfillment of this prophecy down to the day.
Reliability of Daniel
Let’s stop for a moment and address another criticism that targets the book of Daniel. Critics argue that Daniel was written well after the events which enabled him to predict events with such accuracy. Some also claim that the book of Daniel must have been altered to appear as though it predicted an event that has already happened. It is understandable as to why skeptics are determined to discredit Daniel. Repeatedly, Daniel predicts precise events down to the exact day. As we will study later, even the Messiah was predicted to the exact day in the book of Daniel. Daniel is either an indisputable testimony to God’s plan and sovereign power to execute His declared plan, or it is a complete fraud.
Antiochus’ desecration of the temple was during the ‘400 silent years’ of the Bible. For four centuries, there were no prophets in Israel and no Divine revelations. However, as we can see through world events, in truth God was not silent at all.