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Print Version Main Index : Commentaries : Wesley's Notes : Daniel Index : Chapter 8

Daniel, Chapter 8
Chapter 7 | Chapter 9
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Bible Version
Cross Reference
Matthew Henry
JFB Commentary
Wesley's Notes
Geneva Study Bible
View Daniel 8 in the note window.

This and the following chapters are not writ in Chaldee, but in Hebrew, for the benefit of the Jews. Here is the vision of the ram, and the he - goat, and the little horn, ver. 1 - 14. The interpretation of it, ver. 15 - 27

1: After that - In the other vision he speaks o[ all the four monarchies; here only of the three first; this vision being a comment upon the first.

2: The river of Ulai - Which ran round the city.

3: Two horns - The kingdom of Media and Persia. And the higher - The kingdom of Persia which rose last, in Cyrus, became more eminent than that of the Medes.

4: West - ward - Toward Babylon, Syria, Cappadocia, Asia the less, and Greece, all westward from Media and Persia. North - ward - Against the Armenians, Iberians, Lydians, Colchi Caspians. South - ward - Against Ethiopia, Arabia, Egypt.

5: An he - goat - The Grecian empire. The whole earth - The whole Persian empire. Touched not the ground - Went with incredible swiftness. A horn - This was Alexander the great.

6: The ram - The king of Media and Persia.

8: Was broken - When Alexander was greatest, then was he broken, and that to pieces, for he, his mother, son, brother, and all his kindred were destroyed. The four winds

  1. Antipater got Greece.
  2. Asia was possessed by Antigonus.
  3. Ptolemy got Egypt.
  4. Seleucus had Babylon and Syria.
All these were variously situated; to the east, Babylon and Syria; to the south, Egypt; to the north, Asia the less; to the west, Greece.

9: A little horn - This little horn was Antiochus Epiphanes. The south - Egypt where he besieged and took many places. The east - In Syria, Babylon, Armenia. The pleasant land - Judea, so called because of the temple and people of God in it, and the fruitfulness of it.

10: The host of heaven - The church of God militant, who worship the God of heaven, who are citizens of heaven, whose names are written in heaven; and among these the priests, and champions, who were as stars shining above the rest; these he profaned and slew cruelly.

11: The prince - Not only against the high - priest, but against God himself. Was cast down - He took away the use of the temple as to the holy service and sacrifices.

12: By reason of transgression - Both the transgression of the priests, and of the people.

13: One saint - That is, one holy angel. How long - How long shall Antiochus continue his vexations against the people and prevent the worship of God? This is, the treading down of the sanctuary, and the host.

14: He - That angel. Then - Just so long it was, from the defection of the people, procured by Menelaus, the high - priest, to the cleansing of the sanctuary, and the re - establishment of religion among them.

15: The meaning - A more clear discovery of those things. The appearance of a man - Probably Gabriel.

16: A man's voice - Of him before mentioned, namely, Christ.

17: He came near - That he might speak more familiarly to him, yet Daniel could not bear the glory of it. How much less can we bear the glory of God, and how graciously hath the Lord dealt with us, to teach us by men, and not by angels? O son of man - He calls him son of man, to make him mind his frailty, and not to be lifted up with this great condescension of heaven. At the time - In God's appointed time, in the latter day, but not now in thy life - time.

18: Toward the ground - Being terrified with the splendor and grandeur both of the messenger and message. Set me upright - By one touch only. The power of spirits is incomparably greater than that of the strongest of men.

19: The indignation - God will raise up Antiochus to execute his wrath against the Jews for their sins, yet there shall be an end of that indignation.

23: In the latter time - When they were come to the height, and beginning to decline. When the transgressors - When the Jews were grown to an excess of wickedness, then God suffered Antiochus to persecute them. Dark sentences - Full of subtilty: such all histories declare Antiochus to be.

24: Not by his own power - Not by any heroick deeds, but by making use of the Jewish factions, through the divine commission to punish a backsliding nation; and by means of Eumenes and Attalus, by whose help he got up to this height. Shall destroy - He shall by force, craft, and cruelty, destroy many of God's people.

25: By peace - Under colour of kindness. Against the prince of princes - He fought against God, affronting God's laws, profaning God's worship, and temple, and setting up the image and worship of Jupiter there. Without hand - By a disease whereof he died,(1Macc 6:8).

26: Shut thou up - Lay it up in thy heart. For many days - Three hundred years after this; long after Daniel's days.

27: Was sick - Being overwhelmed by a sense of the calamity that should befall the people of God. Did the king's business - Having recovered strength, he minded his place, duty and trust, and concealed the whole, that they might not see it by his countenance.

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