Daniel 8:1-22

Talks for Growing Christians

The Medo-Persian and Greek Empires

Daniel 8:1-22

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Lesson Number 8

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The ram of Daniel 8 represents the Medo-Persian Empire.
  2. The goat of Daniel 8 represents the Greek Empire.
  3. The little horn of Daniel 8 represents Antiochus IV of the Seleucid Kingdom.

Practical Application

  1. Seek and you will find.


  1. When and where did this vision of Daniel occur?
  2. What animals did Daniel see in this vision, and what did they represent?
  3. Where else do we see the angel Gabriel serving as a messenger for God?
  4. Why were the horns of the ram unequal in size (verse 3)?
  5. How were the horns of the goat prophetic of the Greek Empire?


  1. Daniel received this vision from the Lord in the third year of King Belshazzar, about twelve years before the Babylonian Empire fell to the Medes and the Persians. Daniel had the vision while he was in Babylon, but the setting of the vision was Susa, which would later become the capital of the Persian Empire.
  2. Daniel saw a ram with two horns and a male goat with a large horn. They represented the Medo-Persian Empire and the Greek Empire, respectively.
  3. He brought messages to Zacharias and Mary in Luke 1.
  4. In the Medo-Persian Empire, the Persians became dominant over the Medes.
  5. The large horn represented Alexander the Great, who completely overwhelmed the Persian Empire. Alexander magnified himself, but was broken by God. The Greek Empire was divided into four separate kingdoms, represented by the four horns.


  1. Review the prophecy of the little horn in Daniel 8:9-14. Discuss how Antiochus IV of the Seleucid Empire was a fulfillment of this prophecy.
  2. What should you do when you want to understand the meaning of some Scripture? Refer to Matthew 7:7-8 and Daniel 8:15.


  1. Alexander the Great is never called great in the Bible. Do you have a good reputation among men, that is not a good reputation before God?

Key Verses

  • “And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land.” Daniel 8:9
  • “The ram which you saw, having the two horns – they are the kings of Media and Persia. And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king.” Daniel 8:20-21

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