I want to discuss parts of Daniel 8. The first item is Gabriel’s response to Daniel regarding the vision Daniel had. In particular, Verse 23 is of interest to me.
I want to start by saying that I am aware that many believe that the defilement of the temple was committed by Antiochus the fourth. To some extent it was. However, there is no mention of exactly how long he tormented the Jews and defiled their sanctuary. If he was the one being spoken of in Daniel 8, then I would dare say that there would be an accurate accounting of this defilement that was exactly 2300 days that the statue stood in the temple.
What we have to understand is that Satan has tried to establish an anti-Christ since the beginning of time. He tried to eliminate all pure and perfect humans as made by God; he tried to unite the world under one ruler multiple times and use that ruler to destroy the Jews and eventually Christians. Satan is always trying to fulfill prophecy according to his terms and not according to the terms that the prophets have set before us in the collection of books we now know as the Bible.
I have read that many believe that Daniel 8 is pertaining to events that have already come to pass. However, I believe I can dispel this belief with one word from Daniel 8:23. The verse reads, "In the latter part of their reign when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise.” The word used in this verse for the latter part is ubeaharit. This word is used to mean the end of days or the end of times.
Gabriel makes a similar mention about these events by saying, “And the vision of the evenings and mornings which was told is true; therefore, seal up the vision, for it refers to many days in the future.”
I don’t have to translate this into its literal translation because this current translation does the job quite well. Gabriel makes a clear reference to the end of a day and the beginning of a day. The Hebraic understanding of days was that the days began at night and ended at night. However, their workdays didn’t begin until the sun came up in most cases, just as our days (depending on the person) don’t start until the sun is up. We consider a new day when the sun rises. Because Gabriel used this very distinct expression, we see that he was indicating the end of the day.
Even though we know that the new day technically begins at 00:00 (midnight) we still consider the metaphorical beginning of our day to be when the sun rises (again, that’s barring the brave few that work night shift).
To better illustrate this, I would again refer you to the picture in your mind a bookend labeled end of the day (sunset), and the beginning of the day (sunrise), and the rest of the day in between those two bookends. This represents the beginning and end of the day, or to more clearly say it, the ends of the day (end of days). We don’t count evenings and mornings as new days, we count them as the same day. They are simply different ends of the same day.
One could argue, well, the Hebrews believed that days began at sunset. Yes, that’s correct. The emphasis on these words is that they represent sunrise and sunset, dusk till dawn, or daybreak to days end. In the same token, this is a reference to as it was at the beginning of the days, so shall it be at the end of the days. Now that we have established that is referring to end times prophecy, let’s discuss another little tidbit that is overlooked.
The four rams mentioned at the beginning of the chapter have something in common with both the book of revelation and chapter 7 of the book of Daniel. In Daniel 7:2 we see that four winds or spirits, depending on which translation you read, stirred up the sea. In English, it says they strove upon the sea. What is says in Hebrew is that they broke forth the Great sea and up from it came the four beasts.
It’s important to note that the revelation that john was given was not given to him in chronological order. God exists outside of time and therefore heaven is outside of the confines of time as well. The evidence of this book not being in chronological order is that he starts by giving a now word to the churches. Then John is called up into Heaven.
He starts to describe what he sees in the throne room of God. In chapter 5 the four horsemen and the coming of the Lord, then the next chapter God seals the Jews, raptures the church after the tribulation, and up until chapter 11 speaks of what will happen. Then Suddenly John jumps back to when Jesus was born, even though he had just said a few chapters back the lamb that was slain for us was already in Heaven. After this, he then starts to speak about the beast that rises out of the sea again. That being said, let’s try to piece together what Daniel saw and get a better understanding of what is going on in Revelation.
In Revelation, the four winds were held back and prevented from harming the earth, the sea, or the trees. In the book of Daniel, four beasts rise up from the sea and each one is representative of a kingdom. The reason this stands out to me is that the word for spirit, wind, and breath is the word Ruach in Hebrew. In Greek, we typically see the word Pneumati used to describe a spirit, but in the case of Genesis 7, we see John Refer to the spirits as winds. The Greek word used here is anemos. This word derives from the word ane meaning to breathe, or wind. I can’t help but notice the partial similarity between this word and the word Ruach in Hebrew.
With this perspective, it is quite easy to see that the four winds, or spirits that were being held back are the same spirits in Daniel and Revelation. Then we see later in Revelation 9 the four angels are released and John mentions that they have a specific number of troops which is twice 10,000 times 10,000. I’m not sure exactly what that means or if I am correct, but 10,000 times 10,000 is 100,000,000. Multiplied by two is 200,000,000 million soldiers. These same soldiers that are apparently under the command of the four winds (apparently spirits) kill 1/3 of the population, which (if this happened today) would be approximately 2.3 billion people.
Another similarity that I see is that the beasts mentioned in Daniel’s prophecies and the beasts mentioned in Revelation are never called humans. They are always called beasts. It is some scholars conjecture that this signifies that they have beastly nature, meaning they are wild and act like metaphorical animals.
The word used for beast in Greek is therion. This word is only ever used to describe wild creatures and dangerous animals every time that it is used in the new testament. In the same sense, the word that Daniel uses to describe the beasts is chevah. This particular variant of the word is used twenty times, only in the book of Daniel, and only means beast or wild animal.
The next word in Daniel 8:23 that I want to talk about is the word we translate as, ‘having fierce features.’ I’m not sure exactly how they came to this meaning as the standard definition. Given what I am about to share with you, I believe probably because they couldn’t fathom what this could mean.
The word I am referring to is panim. This word is still used today by certain people and it still means face, even though in Hebrew, which is where this word comes from, it is plural. We see this word translated in Exodus 25:30 as presence in reference to the bread of the presence. The problem with this is that the word itself actually means faces. The bread of the presence was the bread of the faces. This was an indication of the fact that the bread was brought before the face of the lord. However, the proper translation would be the bread of the faces. This of itself is indicating that Moses had the revelation of the trinity the same way he did when he called God Elohim in Genesis. ‘Im’ at the end of any word in Hebrew makes it plural. Technically, Moses said, in the beginning, the Gods created.
In the case of the beast though, which we know he is not simply three kings, Gabriel is careful to point out that the final beast is a king that rises out of one of the four beast kingdoms on the Earth at the end of days. This beast apparently has ‘faces.’ This probably seems like poppycock to you at this point but if you continue reading you will see how this is possible.