Daniel sees another vision
1 In the third year that King Belshazzar ruled Babylonia, I, Daniel, had another vision. That was after the vision that I had seen before.
8:1This happened about two years after the vision that we read about in chapter 7.
2 In this vision, I saw that I was in the strong city of Susa, in Elam region. I was standing near the Ulai river. 3 I looked up and I saw a male sheep that had two long horns. It was standing beside the river. One of its horns was longer than the other one. The longer horn came up later than the shorter horn. 4 The sheep ran towards the west, the north and the south. He used his horns to push away all other animals. No other animal could stop him. Nobody could save them from his power. He did whatever he wanted to do. He boasted about his great strength.
8:2This was a river that people had dug to carry water. We call it a ‘canal’.
5 While I was thinking about this, I saw a male goat that was coming from the west. It ran quickly across the earth. Its feet did not even touch the ground. The goat had a large horn between its eyes. 6 It came towards the male sheep that had two horns. I had seen that sheep as it stood beside the river. The goat was very angry. It ran to attack the sheep with all its strength. 7 I saw it as it attacked the sheep. It was so angry that it hit the sheep very hard. It broke off the sheep's two horns. The sheep had no power to stop the goat. The goat knocked the sheep down to the ground and it stamped on the sheep. Nobody could save the sheep from the power of the goat.
8 The male goat boasted even more about its power. Its large horn became very strong. But then the horn broke. Four other large horns came up in its place. Each of these horns pointed in a different direction. 9 Then a little horn grew out of one of these large horns. It grew to become very big. Its power reached towards the south, towards the east and towards the Beautiful Land. 10 Its power became so great that it reached up into heaven. It attacked heaven's army and the stars in the sky. It threw some of them down to the ground and it stamped on them. 11 It boasted that it was more powerful than the Captain of heaven's army. It stopped people from offering their sacrifices to God each day. It destroyed God's temple. 12 God's people accepted the rule of the horn, because they had turned against God. They offered their sacrifices to the horn, instead of to God. The horn stopped people from believing the truth. It was able to do everything that it wanted to do.
8:9The Beautiful Land was the land that God had given to his people, the Israelites.
13 Then I heard two angels as they talked to each other. One angel asked, ‘How long will the things in this vision continue to happen? How long will this disgusting thing stop the sacrifices each day? How long will it stand against God and stamp on his temple and his army?’ 14 The other angel answered, ‘It will continue for 2,300 evenings and mornings. After that, God's temple will be clean again.’
An angel explains Daniel's vision
15 When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I tried to understand it. Then someone came to stand in front of me. He seemed like a man. 16 I heard a person's voice. It was coming across the Ulai river. The voice said, ‘Gabriel, help this man to understand the vision.’ 17 So Gabriel came towards me, where I was standing. I was very afraid and I fell down onto the ground. He said to me, ‘You, as a human, need to understand that the vision is about the end of time.’
18 While Gabriel spoke to me I was lying with my face on the ground. I was asleep. But he touched me and he caused me to stand up. 19 Then he said to me, ‘I will tell you what will happen at the end of time. It will be a time when God is very angry. The vision shows what will happen at the time that God has chosen. That will be the time for everything to finish.
20 You saw a male sheep with two horns. Those horns mean the kingdoms of Media and Persia. 21 The male goat means the kingdom of Greece. The large horn between its eyes means the first king of Greece. 22 When that large horn broke, four horns grew in its place. Those horns show that the nation of Greece will become four separate kingdoms. But they will not be as powerful as the first kingdom.
23 Near the end of the time when those kings rule, the people will be completely wicked. Then a proud, cruel king will appear. He will deceive people. 24 He will become very strong, but this will not be a result of his own power. He will completely destroy many things. He will be successful in everything that he does. He will destroy powerful leaders and the holy people who belong to God. 25 Because he is clever, he will completely deceive people. He will boast about his power. People will think that they are safe, but he will kill many of them. He will stand against the Ruler of all rulers. But God will destroy him, without human help.
26 This vision about the evenings and the mornings is true. I have told you what it means. But keep the vision as a secret now. It will be a long time before these things happen.’
27 After I, Daniel, saw this vision, I became very weak. I was sick for many days. Then I got up. I returned to my work to serve the king. The vision caused me to be very upset. I could not understand it.