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Daniel

The vision of the ram & the goat.  Dn.8.1-14

1 (1-2) Here the Hebrew text resumes (see note at 2.4) In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar, while I was in Susa the capital city of the province of Elam, a vision appeared to me, Daniel, similar to my former vision. In this vision I was watching beside the stream of the Ulai. 2 3I raised my eyes and there I saw a ram with two horns standing between me and the stream. The two horns were long, the one longer than the other, growing up behind. 4I watched the ram butting west and north and south. No beasts could stand before it, no one could rescue from its power. It did what it liked, making a display of its strength. 5While I pondered this, suddenly a he-goat came from the west skimming over the whole earth without touching the ground; it had a prominent horn between its eyes. 6It approached the two-horned ram which I had seen standing between me and the stream and rushed at it with impetuous force. 7I saw it advance on the ram, working itself into a fury against it, then strike the ram and break its two horns; the ram had no strength to resist. The he-goat flung it to the ground and trampled on it, and there was no one to save the ram.

8Then the he-goat made a great display of its strength. Powerful as it was, its great horn snapped and in its place there sprang out towards the four quarters of heaven four prominent horns. 9Out of one of them there issued one small horn, which made a prodigious show of strength south and east and towards the fairest of all lands. 10It aspired to be as great as the host of heaven, and it cast down to the earth some of the host and some of the stars and trod them underfoot. 11It aspired to be as great as the Prince of the host, suppressed his regular offering and even threw down his sanctuary. 12The heavenly hosts were delivered up, and it raised itself and it raised itself: prob. rdg, Heb omitted impiously against the regular offering and threw true religion to the ground; in all that it did it succeeded. 13I heard a holy one speaking and another holy one answering him, whoever he was. The one said, 'For how long will the period of this vision last? How long will the regular offering be suppressed, how long will impiety cause desolation will impiety cause desolation: prob. rdg, Heb obscure, and both the Holy Place and the fairest of all lands fairest of all lands: prob. rdg, cp v9; Heb host be given over to be trodden down?' 14The answer came, 'For two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings; then the Holy Place shall emerge victorious.'

The vision explained.  Dn.8.15-27

15All the while that I, Daniel, was seeing the vision, I was trying to understand it. Suddenly I saw standing before me one with the semblance of a man; 16at the same time I heard a human voice calling to him across the bend of the Ulai, 'Gabriel, explain the vision to this man.' 17He came up to where I was standing; I was seized with terror at his approach and threw myself on my face. But he said to me, 'Understand, O man: the vision points to the time of the end.' 18When he spoke to me, I fell to the ground in a trance; but he grasped me and made me stand up where I was. 19And he said, 'I shall make known to you what is to happen at the end of the wrath; for there is an end to the appointed time. 20The two-horned ram which you saw signifies the kings of Media and Persia, 21the he-goat is the kingdom prob. rdg, Heb king of the Greeks and the great horn on his forehead is the first king. 22As for the horn which was snapped off and replaced by four horns: four kingdoms shall rise out of that nation, but not with power comparable to his.

27As for me, Daniel, my strength failed me and I lay sick for a while. Then I rose and attended to the king's business. But I was perplexed by the revelation and no one could explain it.


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