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Wenstrom Bible Ministries Marion, Iowa Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom www.wenstrom.org. Tuesday July 22, 2013 Daniel: Daniel 8:4-The Ram Butted Westward, Northward and Southward, Overpowering Every Beast and Became Great Lesson # 232. Please turn in your Bibles to Daniel 8:1.
Tuesday July 22, 2013Daniel: Daniel 8:4-The Ram Butted Westward, Northward and Southward, Overpowering Every Beast and Became GreatLesson # 232
Daniel 8:1 During the third year of the reign of Belshazzar, the king, a vision appeared to me, I, Daniel after the one appearing to me previously. 2 Indeed, I was staring because of this vision. Specifically, I myself was in a trance like state staring as I myself was in Susa, the citadel, which was in the province of Elam. Furthermore, I was staring because of this vision as I myself was beside the Ulai Canal.
3 Then, I lifted up my eyes and then I was staring as behold a ram was standing in front of the canal with it possessing two horns. Furthermore, the two horns were long. However, one was longer than the other with the longer one growing up last. (Author’s translation)
Daniel 8:4 I saw the ram butting westward, northward, and southward, and no other beasts could stand before him nor was there anyone to rescue from his power, but he did as he pleased and magnified himself. (NASB95)
Daniel he wants the reader to dwell upon the actions of this ram since it describes in symbolic terms the aggressive nature of the kingdom represented by this ram with regards to other nations.
“I saw” is the verb rā∙ʾā(h) (רָאָה) (raw-aw), which means “to see” in the sense of receiving a prophetic revelation and thus refers to Daniel looking at a prophetic revelatory vision.
“Butting” is the verb nā·ḡǎḥ (נָגַח) (naw-gakh´), which means “to butt” referring to the aggressive nature of this kingdom represented by the ram which Daniel in 8:20 teaches represents Media-Persia.
“And no other beasts could stand before him” is a temporal clause indicating that this ram was continually butting westward, northward and southward “as” no beasts could stand in front of this ram.
“Could stand before him” indicates that all the beasts could by no means stand in front of this ram and denies the ability of any of the beasts to stand in the presence of this ram.
“Nor was there anyone to rescue from his power” is indicating that there were no beasts in existence that could rescue or deliver from the power of the ram.
“But he did as he pleased” is presenting the result of the previous statement that no one could deliver from the power of the ram indicating that none could deliver from the power of this ram so that this ram did as he pleased.
“And magnified himself” presents the implication of none being able to deliver from the power of the ram so that it acted according to its desire, namely that the ram became great.
The ram became great in the sense that it became preeminent over the other beasts because none could deliver from its power so that it acted according to its desire.
Daniel 8:4 I saw this ram continually butting westward as well as northward and in addition southward as all the beasts could by no means stand in front of it. Furthermore, none could deliver out from its power so that it acted according to its desire. Indeed, it became great. (My translation)
As we noted in our study of verse 3, this ram possessed two long horns but one was longer than the other with the longer of the two coming up after the shorter one.
Here in verse 4, Daniel describes this ram as continually butting westward, northward and southward as all the beasts could by no means stand in front of it.
It describes in symbolic terms the aggressive nature of the Medo-Persia Empire in that it overpowered militarily the nations of the Middle East.
History records that the Medo-Persian Empire pushed its borders in three directions since it went westward into Lydia, Ionia, Thrace as well as Macedonia and also went northward in the direction of the Caspian Mountains, the Oxus Valley and Scythia.
Daniel then tells the reader in Daniel 8:4 that none could deliver out from the power of the ram so that the ram acted according to its desire.
This statement describes in symbolic terms that no nation had the capacity or the ability to deliver another nation from the military power of the Medo-Persian Empire.
Lastly, Daniel brings out the implication of this, namely that the ram became great which describes in symbolic terms that the Medo-Persian Empire became preeminent over the nations of the Middle East.
History tells us that Medo-Persia put huge armies into the field of battle and some historians estimate the size of their army at over a million.
When Daniel received this vision in the sixth century B.C. Babylon was still the superpower of the world but through this vision, God is telling Daniel that Medo-Persian will replace Babylon as the superpower of the world.
Therefore, this teaches us that God is sovereign and executes judgments against the nations of the earth, which should comfort the Christian when their government or any government is committing evil of any type.
Daniel chapter eight teaches us that God raises up insignificant nations to be great and humbles great nations by subjugating them to other nations.