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5. THE PROPHECIES OF DANIEL EIGHT AND OUR PRESENT AGE
In Daniel chapter eight, the same prophetic fulfilment date of about A.D. 2000+ again becomes apparent. In yet another vision, Daniel then looked out of the palace in Shushan by the Ulai River in the Babylonian province of Elam.201
This was in the third year of the reign of Belshazzar, around 540 B.C. Looking out over the countryside, Daniel saw a big he-goat suddenly hurtle across the face of the Earth from the West – and destroy a large ram in the East that was itself pushing westward and northward and southward.202
The two-horned ram in the East was identified with the twin Medo-Persian Empire — for the Median Empire had become absorbed into the Persian Empire as the twin Medo-Persian Empire in about 549 B.C.203 And that Medo-Persian ram was still expanding westward and northward and southward — for it would soon absorb the remnants of the previous Babylonian Empire, as from 538 B.C.
The conquering he-goat from the West was identified with the as-then-still-future Grecian Empire.204 It would itself last from B.C. 336 through to B.C. 64.
By implication, the he-goat also represented the still-more-Western and still-more-future Roman Empire too. For the Roman Empire would itself begin to expand even from the time of the Samnite and Latin Wars onward (beginning in 338 B.C. almost simultaneously with the Grecian Empire).
Just before 301 B.C., the Grecian Empire broke up into four parts – the northern and the western and the southern (or Ptolemaic), and the eastern (or Seleucidic) kingdoms.205 And from the West, the Roman Empire would later absorb the (northern) Macedonian Greek Empire into itself — almost simultaneously with the successful Israelitic revolt of the Maccabees against Antiochus Epiphanes and his (eastern) Greek Seleucids.206
The Maccabeans got Roman aid against the Greeks, in 167 B.C.207 And the rest of the Greek Empire would finally be amalgamated into the Roman Empire, just after 64 B.C.208
Daniel, then, prophesied that the Grecian he-goat with the one and only notable horn would destroy the two-horned Medo-Persian ram at the Battle of Issus in 333 B.C. Thereafter, continued Daniel, the Grecian he-goat would wax very great.
For Macedonian Greece would then expand with lightning rapidity westward into what later became Yugoslavia. Then northward into what is now the Ukraine; eastward into what is now Persia and India; and southward, deep into Egypt.
Indeed, this Grecian expansion would continue until the notable horn (of the kingdom of Alexander the Great) would itself get broken off of the head of the he-goat. At Alexander's sudden death, in 323 B.C.
This broken-off notable horn would soon be replaced, however, by four other notable though lesser (Hellenistic) horns — which would then grow out of the head of the Grecian he-goat. This occurred when the Grecian Empire was divided up among the deceased Alexander's Generals — into the eastern kingdom of Seleucus, the southern kingdom of Ptolemy, the northern kingdom of Antigonus Cyclops, and the western kingdom of Lysimachus and Cassander.209 This happened prior to the Battle of Ipsus in B.C. 301, when the Greek Empire broke up "toward the four winds of the sky."210
Then, at a later stage, apparently not out of one of the four Hellenistic horns but rather from out of the west wind as one of 'the four winds' — yes, out of the west wind (from Rome) — there 'came forth a little horn which grew exceedingly great.'211 It ultimately dominated all of the other winds (of the north and south and east), and then replaced all four of the hellenistic horns.212