The Ram And The He Goat

  In this study, we will look at the Ram and the he-goat; gaining more insight into the prophecies of Persia and Greece.


Daniel 8:1-2  “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 first2 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.” 

Daniel receives a vision that specifically came after the vision he received in chapter 7. The idea is that he’s receiving the same vision but in another format, revealing more detail about the little horn who we now know is the Roman church.

Prophecy 1: The two horns of media and Persia

Daniel 8:3 “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.”

What did this ram with the two horns represent?

Daniel 8:20 “The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia”. Media and Persia were a joint empire, however Persian kings took pre-eminence in the empire when it came to the throne. The line of succession from Daniel’s time switched from Median kings to Persian ones for 200 years until Alexander the Great came along and ended Persian Hegemony. 

Daniel notes that the Mede that came before Cyrus was Darius the Mede. Daniel 6:1 “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans”

“A Mede first led [the persians]; the virtues of his son Fix'd firm the empire, for his temperate soul Breathed prudence. Cyrus next, by fortune graced, Adorn'd the throne, and bless'd his grateful friends”. – The Persians by Aeschylus, 472BC.

We believe this son to be Darius the mede. Media and Persia worked together as a joint empire and we find evidence of this even in their architecture. 

Prophecy 2: Medo-Persian empire will go to war in all directions

Daniel 8:4 “ 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.”

Persian and median soldiers

As we see, the Medo-Persian empire was prophesied to start wars on all fronts. They did in fact fulfil this as their territories expanded northwards towards Scythia, west towards Greece, south, and east.

Wars of expansion by Persian:

-Conquest of Lydia

-Conquest of Babylonia

-Conquest of Egypt

-Conquest of India (Indus Valley) 

-European Scythian campaign

-Battle of Cunaxa

-Greco-Persian wars 

In the first Persian war, Persia conquered Macedon and the Cycladic Islands, subjugated Thrace, and established supremacy over the Aegean Sea. They took Boeotia. Thespiae and Plataea were razed. Athens was left to burn. Had it not been for some key battles such as Salamis, Greece may have been made too weak to in turn conquer Persia later in the future. 

“So here is my advice: do not commit the fleet to battle, because at sea your men will be as inferior to the Greeks as women are to men. In any case, why should you have to run the risk of a sea battle? Have you not captured Athens, which was the point of the campaign? Do you not control the rest of Greece? There is no one to stand against you. Everyone who did so has met with the treatment he deserved”. – Herodotus VIII.67-69

“Those Persians who had come up first betook themselves to the gates, which they opened, and slew the suppliants; and when they had laid all the Athenians low, they plundered the temple and burnt the whole of the acropolis”. — Herodotus VIII.53

Prophecies 3 and 4: The first king of a united Greece arises followed by the hegoat of Greece and moves from the west to the east

Daniel 8:5 “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”.

Who is this he-goat and notable horn?

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 king mentioned here is Alexander the great.

The first king to reign over a united Greece was indeed Alexander the Great, his father Phillip II did manage to unite most of Greece under the Macedonians, however, various Greek cities revolted and the city-states pulled away from the Macedonians. He also never invaded the Spartans. To which Plutarch records: “‘The Spartans to Philip: Dionysius in Corinth.’  And again, when Philip wrote to them, ‘If I invade Laconia, I shall turn you out,’ they wrote back, ‘If.’ And when King Demetrius was annoyed and shouted, ‘Have the Spartans sent only one envoy to me?’ the envoy replied undismayed, ‘One to one.’” - Plutarch, De garrulitate, section 17

The Spartans attempted to combat Alexander in 331 BC in the Battle of Megalopolis, in which the Spartans were defeated and their king killed.

Persian-Spartan Alliance was put down by Alexander’s general.

“In Europe, Agis king of Sparta engaged the services of those mercenaries who had escaped from the battle at Issus, eight thousand in number, and sought to change the political situation in Greece in favour of Dareius2 He received from the Persian king ships and money and sailed to Crete, where he captured most of the cities and forced them to take the Persian side.” 

An interesting event occurred in connection with Agis's death. He had fought gloriously and fell with many frontal wounds. As he was being carried by his soldiers back to Sparta, he found himself surrounded by the enemy. Despairing of his own life, he ordered the rest to make their escape with all speed and to save themselves for the service of their country, but he himself armed and rising to his knees defended himself, killed some of the enemy and was himself slain by a javelin cast; he had reigned nine years.” -  Book XVII Bibliotheca Historica by Diodorus Siculus. 

Reading from Bibliotheca Historica concerning the revolt of the Greeks cities. 

“Alexander knew that many of the Greeks were anxious to revolt, and was seriously worried. In Athens, where Demosthenes kept agitating against Macedon, the news of Philip's death was received with rejoicing, and the Athenians were not ready to concede the leading position among the Greeks to Macedon. They communicated secretly with Attalus and arranged to co‑operate with him, and they encouraged many of the cities to strike for their freedom”.

“The Aetolians voted to restore those of the Acarnanians who had experienced exile because of Philip. The Ambraciots were persuaded by one Aristarchus to expel the garrison placed in their city by Philip and to transform their government into a democracy.  Similarly, the Thebans voted to drive out the garrison in the Cadmeia and not to concede to Alexander the leadership of the Greeks. The Arcadians alone of the Greeks had never acknowledged Philip's leadership nor did they now recognize that of Alexander, otherwise in the Peloponnese the Argives and Eleians and Lacedaemonians, with others, moved to recover their independence. Beyond the frontiers of Macedonia, many tribes moved toward revolt and a general feeling of unrest swept through the natives in that quarter”.

“Now that the unrest in Greece had been brought under control, Alexander shifted his field of operations into Thrace. Many of the tribes in this region had risen but, terrified by his appearance, felt constrained to make their submission. Then he swung west to Paeonia and Illyria and the territories that bordered on them. Many of the local tribesmen had revolted, but these he overpowered and established his control over all the natives in the area. This task was not yet finished when messengers reached him reporting that many of the Greeks were in revolt. Many cities had actually taken steps to throw off the Macedonian alliance, the most important of these being Thebes. At this intelligence, the king was roused to return in haste to Macedonia in his anxiety to put an end to the unrest in Greece”.

Alexander then puts down the revolts and begins to turn to Asia.

“…the king returned with his army to Macedonia, assembled his military commanders and his noblest Friends and posed for discussion the plan for crossing over to Asia”.

Book XVII Bibliotheca historica by Diodorus Siculus.

Prophecy 5: Greek conquest of Persians 

Daniel 8:6  “And he [Greece] came to the ram [Persia] that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power7 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 [Persia] 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.” 

Under Alexander the Great, Darius III [the last Persian king] was defeated and Greece became the dominant empire of the region.

“When all this was over, Alexander visited the cities of Persis, capturing some by storm and winning over others by his own fair dealing. Then he set out after Dareius. The Persian king had planned to bring together the armed forces of Bactria and the other satrapies, but Alexander was too quick for him. Dareius directed his flight toward the city of Bactra with thirty thousand Persians and Greek mercenaries, but in the course of this retirement he was seized and murdered by Bessus, the satrap of Bactria”- Book XVII Bibliotheca historica by Diodorus Siculus.

Prophecy 6: Greece becomes great, but their king dies whilst being strong

Daniel 8:8  “Therefore the he goat [Greece] waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn [Alexander] was broken.”

“After the funeral, the king turned to amusements and festivals, but just when it seemed that he was at the peak of his power and good fortune, Fate cut off the time allowed him by nature to remain alive. Straightway heaven also began to foretell his death, and many strange portents and signs occurred”. 

“When he, at length, despaired of life, he took off his ring and handed it to Perdiccas.  His Friends asked: "To whom do you leave the kingdom?" and he replied: "To the strongest." He added, and these were his last words, that all of his leading Friends would stage a vast contest in honour of his funeral. This was how he died after a reign of twelve years and seven months. He accomplished greater deeds than any, not only of the kings who had lived before him but also of those who were to come later down to our time”. - Book XVII Bibliotheca historica by Diodorus Siculus.

Prophecy 7: four kings and kingdoms arise out of Greece 

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 [great horn] being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.” 

Alexander the Great died suddenly and his empire was divided amongst his generals. After a series of wars five men were left considered as kings in their respective territories. However, four of them created an alliance against whom they thought was the strongest. 

For context: Cassander controlled Macedonia (northern Greece), Lysimachus had Thrace, Seleucus, Babylon and Ptolemy, Egypt. 

Siculus relates that: “Cassander, the king of the Macedonians, on seeing that the power of the Greeks was increasing and that the whole war was directed against Macedonia, became much alarmed about the future. 2 He therefore sent envoys into Asia to Antigonus, asking him to come to terms with him. But when Antigonus replied that he recognized only one basis for a settlement — Cassander's surrender of whatever he possessed, — Cassander was alarmed and summoned Lysimachus from Thrace to take concerted action in regard to their highest interests; 3 for it was his invariable custom when facing the most alarming situations to call on Lysimachus for assistance, both because of his personal character and because his kingdom lay next to Macedonia. When these kings had taken counsel together about their common interest, they sent envoys to Ptolemy, the king of Egypt, and to Seleucus, who was ruler of the upper satrapies, revealing the arrogance of Antigonus' answer and showing that the danger arising from the war was common to all” - Book XX Bibliotheca Historica by Diodorus Siculus. 

“Antigonus, king of Asia, made war against a coalition of four kings, Ptolemy, son of Lagus, king of Egypt, Seleucus, king of Babylonia, Lysimachus, king of Thrace, and Cassander, son of Antipater, king of Macedonia. When he engaged them in battle, he was pierced by many missiles, and his body was carried from the field and was buried with royal honours. His son Demetrius, 4 however, joining his mother Stratonicê, who had remained in Cilicia with all their valuables, sailed to Salamis in Cyprus, since it was in his possession. As for Seleucus, after the partition of the kingdom of Antigonus, he took his army and went to Phoenicia, where, in accordance with the terms of the agreement…”  Book XXI Bibliotheca Historica by Diodorus Siculus.

Prophecy 8: The Little horn arises 

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”.

Here the angel skips the time period of imperial Rome to papal Rome and is about to go into prophecies concerning papal Rome. Some confuse this verse to mean the little horn arises out of Greece, however, remember this is a vision Daniel is seeing, he merely sees the horn appear but it doesn’t mean the little horn is Greek. Using knowledge already given in Daniel 7, we see that he’s building on Daniel 7. In fact, the angel tells Daniel that  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.”  That word latter can also mean end according to the Strong’s concordance. This, combined with the previous chapter where we see the little horn defined as the catholic church, means the little horn must arrive AFTER the Greek kingdoms are no more. Therefore, the Little horn cannot be Greek. I say this because some have taken the view that the little horn here is Antiochus Epiphanes IV. However, he was a Seleucid king. There are more reasons it cannot be him laid out in the “Antiochus: the little horn?” study. We cannot ignore Daniel 7 and create a new little horn this would be an inconsistent reading of the prophecies.

Taking the lessons from the previous study on the little horn, we know that the Roman Catholic Church achieved full power in 538 AD. However, it was rising to power centuries earlier. Thus, in the next study, we will focus exclusively on the prophecies of the little horn [The Catholic Church].