Lesson 20 – A Struggle for Power

Lesson 20 – A Struggle for Power2016-11-27T17:36:53+00:00

Sabbath, May 14, 2011

“… I lifted up mine eyes, and,… behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns:… And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west…: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.… And when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones…. And out of one of them came forth a little horn,…” Daniel 8:3, 5, 8, 9.

1. What happened two years after Daniel received the vision described in chapter 7? What did the prophet see first? What power did this represent?
Daniel 8:1-4 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first. And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai. Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
Daniel 8:20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.

“In verse 20 an interpretation of this symbol is given in plain language: ‘The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.’ We have only therefore to consider how well the power answers to the symbol in question. The two horns represented the two nationalities of which the empire was composed. The higher came up last. This symbolized Persia, which at first was simply an ally of the Medes, but later came to be the leading division of the empire. The directions in which the ram pushed denote the directions in which the Medes and Persians carried their conquests.” –The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, p. 150.

“The light that Daniel received direct from God was given especially for these last days. The visions he saw by the banks of the Ulai and the Hiddekel, the great rivers of Shinar, are now in process of fulfillment, and all the events foretold will soon have come to pass.” –(Letter 57, 1896) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p. 1166.

2. What did the second beast look like, and what did it do? What power is represented by this symbol, and what was the name of its first king?
Daniel 8:5-7 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
Daniel 8:21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

“The ‘goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth.’ That is, Greece lay west of Persia and attacked from that direction. The Greek army swept everything on the face of the earth before it.

“The goat ‘touched not the ground.’ Such was the marvelous celerity of his movements that he seemed to fly from point to point with the swiftness of the wind. The same characteristic of speed is indicated by the four wings of the leopard in the vision of Daniel 7, representing the same nation.” –The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, p. 152.

3. What happened to this horn symbolically and thus to this great empire in reality?
Daniel 8:8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
Daniel 8:22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.

“The ram, Medo-Persia, became ‘great;’ the goat, Greece, became ‘very great.’ ‘When he was strong, the great horn was broken.’ Human foresight and speculation would have said, When he becomes weak, his kingdom torn by rebellion, or weakened by luxury, then the horn will be broken, and the kingdom shattered. But Daniel saw it broken in the prime of its strength, at the height of its power, when every beholder would have exclaimed, Surely, the kingdom is established, and nothing can overthrow it. Thus it is often with the wicked. The horn of their strength is broken when they think they stand most firm….

“Four notable horns were to come up toward the four winds of heaven in place of the great horn that was broken. These were Cassander, who had Greece and the neighboring countries; Lysimachus, who had Asia Minor; Seleucus, who had Syria and Babylon, and from whom came the line of kings known as the ‘Seleucidae,’ so famous in history; and Ptolemy, son of Lagus, who had Egypt, and from whom sprang the ‘Lagidae.’ These held dominion toward the four winds of heaven. Cassander had the western parts, Lysimachus the northern regions, Seleucus the eastern countries, and Ptolemy the southern portion of the empire. These four horns may therefore be named Macedonia, Thrace (which then included Asia Minor, and those parts lying on the Hellespont and the Bosphorus), Syria, and Egypt.” –The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, pp. 153, 155.

4. What did Daniel see emerge from one of these horns, or states, and what was said about it? How early in history was this nation “of fierce countenance” prophesied, and what did it represent?
Daniel 8:9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
Daniel 8:23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
Deuteronomy 28:49, 50 The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young.

“A third power is here introduced into the prophecy. In the explanation given to Daniel by the angel this symbol is not described as definitely as are Medo-Persia and Greece….

“It has been an easy matter to show that the little horn does not denote Antiochus Epiphanes. It will be as easy to show that it does denote Rome….

“The little horn waxed great toward the south. This was true of Rome….

“The little horn waxed great toward the east. This also was true of Rome.” –The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, pp. 156, 158, 159.

5. Who was to feel the force of this power? Whom did the stars represent?
Daniel 8:10 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.
Revelation 12:4, first part And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth.
Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

“The little horn ‘waxed great, even to

[against, margin] the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground.’ Rome did this also. In this expression two figures are introduced, ‘the host’ and ‘the stars.’ When used in a symbolic sense concerning events taking place on earth, these figures refer almost always to the people of God and their leaders.” –The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, p. 159.

6. Even whom did pagan Rome attack? Who was this Prince?
Daniel 8:11, first part Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host,…
Matthew 27:11 And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.
Daniel 27:26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

“The little horn ‘magnified himself even to the Prince of the host.’ Rome alone did this. In the interpretation (verse 25) the little horn is said to ‘stand up against the Prince of princes.’ This is clearly an allusion to the crucifixion of our Lord under the jurisdiction of the Romans.” –The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, p. 159.

7. What else was to be destroyed by this power? Who spoke about the fate of Jerusalem and the temple?
Daniel 8:11, last part … And by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
Luke 19:41-44 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

“The little horn waxed great toward the pleasant land. So did Rome. Judea is called ‘the pleasant land’ in many scriptures. The Romans made it a province of their empire in 63 B.C., and eventually destroyed the city and the temple, and scattered the Jews throughout the earth.” –The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, p. 159.

“For nearly forty years after the doom of Jerusalem had been pronounced by Christ Himself, the Lord delayed His judgments upon the city and the nation. Wonderful was the long-suffering of God toward the rejectors of His gospel and the murderers of His Son….

“The longsuffering of God toward Jerusalem only confirmed the Jews in their stubborn impenitence. In their hatred and cruelty toward the disciples of Jesus they rejected the last offer of mercy. Then God withdrew His protection from them….” –The Great Controversy, pp. 27, 28.

For personal study

• Matthew 24:15-20.

• Mark 13:14-18.

• Luke 21:20-24.

The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, pp. 149-159.

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