“The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing you couldest reveal this secret. 48 Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.”
Daniel Chapter 8
The Little Horn and the Sanctuary Cleansed
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 first. 2 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.”
King Belshazzar only reigned for three years, and if you remember back to chapter five it was during his rulership that the Babylonian empire crumbled under the hands of the Medes and Persians. So we find this vision coming to Daniel in the final year of the reign of Belshazzar and the Babylonian empire. Also this vision is two years after the one that appeared unto Daniel at the first in chapter seven.
Daniel was located in the palace at Shushan, which was the metropolis of the province of Elam, near the river Ulai. The king of Babylon had a palace situated there which would not make it a strange occurrence for Daniel to be there. For with the position that Daniel held in the kingdom, it would easily indicate that he was there fulfilling the kings business. Abradates was prince of the province of Elam which lies east of Babylon. He later revolted and sided with Cyrus the Persian, thus Elam becoming a province of Persia, who linked up with the Medes to conquer Babylon.
NOTE: Elam's involvement was prophesied of by Isaiah. (Isaiah 21:2)
Daniel 8:3-4 “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. 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.”
A Ram - The first power introduced to us in this chapter is symbolized by a ram. There is no guessing who this is, for in verse 20 we are told that it is the kingdom of the Medes and Persians. So unlike chapters 2 and 7, this vision starts without the kingdom of Babylon. The reason being that Babylon was at the end of its reign of world dominance. It was passing off the scene.
Which had two horns - Again in verse 20 we are told that the two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.
One was higher than the other...higher came up last - The Medes, under Darius, and the Persians, under Cyrus, untied together to bring about the downfall of the Babylonian empire. When they succeeded, as seen in chapter 5, Cyrus, the nephew of Darius the Mede, allowed Darius to take the throne and rule the empire, out of respect for his uncle. Darius ruled for only two years and then died at the age of 64. Persia now took the throne through Cyrus. But why is this referred to as the higher coming up last? It is because, out of the two nations, the Medes were the weaker and thus the higher or stronger, which were the Persians, came up last. The kingdom eventually was known as the Persian kingdom.
Pushed westward, northward and southward - When looking at the word ‘pushed’ here, and the way it is used in this verse, it is easy to see that it is referring to the conquests of the Medo-Persian Empire.
The Medes and Persians conquered Lydia to the west 547 B.C. and Babylon 539 B.C., Egypt and Nubia in the south 525 B.C., and the Scythians in the north in 513 B.C. The entire number of provinces were 127 (Esther 1:1) from India to Ethiopia.
No beast might stand before him - That is, no nation could stand before the Medo-Persian Empire.
Did according to his will - No-one could stand in the way of, nor be delivered out of the hand of this conquering power which did according to his will and became great.
Daniel 8:5-8 “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. 6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. 7 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 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. 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.”
As I was considering - As Daniel was watching the ram.
Behold an he goat - Daniel is now introduced to the next power whilst watching the ram, thus showing that these are consecutive kingdoms.
Once again there is no guessing who this is, for we are told in verse 21 that the he goat is the kingdom of Grecia or Greece, under the rulership of Alexander the Great.
Came from the west - Greece was to the west.
On the face of the whole earth - Thus showing that Greece was to be a world dominating power.
Touched not the ground - Greece was to cover the face of the whole earth in a short space of time, hence the wording touched not the ground. Under Alexander they did this in 12 short years, conquering everything from Macedonia to India and south to Egypt, marching his army over 8364 km during the 12 years.
Notable horn between his eyes - From verse 21 we see that this notable horn is the first king. History tells us that this was Alexander the Great.
Came to the ram...fury of his power...moved with choler - The Bible describes the goat as coming to the ram in the fury of his power and being moved with choler against him, why ? Here is a comment from Adam Clarks Commentary on Daniel to show the reason;
Speaking of Alexander he says, “Subdued Persia and Media; sacked and burnt the royal city of Persepolis, the capital of the Persian Empire, and, even in its ruins, it is one of the wonders of the world to the present day. This he did because ‘he was moved with choler’ against Darius, who had endeavoured to draw off his captains with bribes, and had laboured to induce some of his friends to assassinate him. Alexander, finding this, would listen to no proposals of peace; and was determined never to rest till he had destroyed Darius and his whole empire. In Media, Darius was seized and made prisoner by some of his own treacherous subjects, and afterwards basely murdered.” Adam Clarks Commentary on Daniel, pg. 597 1823/24.
We also find that, when an official entourage appealed for conciliation they were handed the famous reply "Heaven cannot support two suns, nor the earth two masters."
From the rest of verse 7 it is easy to see that Alexander utterly destroyed the Medo-Persian empire, for the Bible says that he, ”smote the ram...brake his two horns...no power in the ram...cast him down...stamped upon him...none that could deliver the ram”. Alexander’s empire covered Greece and Macedonia in the west, and east through to almost the Indus River, then south through Syria, Palestine, and Egypt.
Therefore the he goat waxed very great - Because Alexander’s kingdom covered a greater territory than the Medes and Persians, and the fact that he conquered them, Greece is regarded as waxing very great.
When he was strong...horn was broken - When the empire was at its peak in strength, Alexander died in a drunken debauch at about the age of 31. Just before his death, he was asked to whom the kingdom would go. The reply came back that it would go to the strongest.
For it came up four notable ones - In verse 22 we see that these four notable horns are four kings/kingdoms. They were not to stand up in the power of Alexander, that is, they did not have to conquer land that was unconquered to extend their territory, and not one man was to rule all.
Initially the entire kingdom went to Alexander’s natural brother Phillip Aridaeus, and then to his two infant sons Alexander Aegus, and Hercules. Within a very short time these were all killed so there was no natural heir to the throne, and the battle ensued between the 36 generals for control of the kingdom. Eventually it was divided between four— exactly as the prophecy stated. These were Cassander who had Macedonia and Greece in the west, Lysimachus who had Thrace and a large part of Asia Minor in the north, Ptolemy who had Egypt and a part of Syria in the south, Seleucus who had the bulk of the Persian Empire from Syria eastward.
Towards the four winds of heaven - That is, towards the four points of the compass, north, south, east, and west. (Jeremiah 49:36)
Daniel 8:9-11 “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. 10 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. 11 Yes, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.”
Let’s have a look at some of the identifying marks of this little horn;
It came out of one of the four winds not the four horns. So this power was not going to arise out of the Grecian empire.
Waxed exceeding great. Medo-Persia was great, Greece was very great, but this little horn was to be exceeding great which is greater than all the other powers before it.
Toward the south (Egypt), toward the east (Syria), and toward the pleasant land (Jeremiah 3 speaks of Israel and Judah in idolatry, and the Lord asks them, in verse 19, how can He give them the pleasant land which was Palestine).
Even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground. Verse 24 reads mighty and holy people. Obviously God’s people are being stamped upon. Stars in Revelation 1:20 are referred to as the angels/messenger’s to the churches which are the leaders of the churches. So not only did this power stamp upon God’s people but also upon some of His leaders.
Magnified himself even to the prince of the host/Prince of princes in verse 25. This power was to even crucify Christ the Prince of God’s people.
From verse 23 we see the following: Toward the end of the reign of the four kingdoms/kings, another nation was to stand up, or take control. Notice the identifying marks, king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences. In Deuteronomy 28:47-51, Moses is giving a prophecy of the nation that would finally destroy Israel. In it we see the same identifying marks plus a couple more: Put a yoke of iron upon their neck, whose tongue thou shalt not understand, and a nation of fierce countenance.
Also we need to focus on the principle of repeat and enlarge as seen in chapters 2 and 7.
So what power arose from outside of the Grecian empire? Rome, as it was not part of Alexander’s kingdom. Waxed exceeding great/greater than all the powers before it? Rome had a greater dominion than any other kingdom prior to it. Rome conquered Egypt in the south in 30 B.C., Syria in the east in 65 B.C., and Palestine in 63 B.C.
Who cast down some of God’s people and His leaders to the ground? This refers to the persecution and attacks made by Rome on the Jews. We also see a reference to Revelation 12:4 where the great red dragon, a symbol of Rome, cast a third of the stars of heaven to the ground. This was a reference to the taking away of one third of the power of self rulership from the Jewish Nation, the one third of which was the royalty, leaving the Sanhedrin and the Priesthood. Did Rome crucify Christ? Psalms 2:1-2 and Acts 4:25-27 show that, even though the Jews plotted and orchestrated Christ’s death, they still had to gain the authority from Pilate/Herod to carry out the crucifixion.
Also it was the iron monarchy of Rome that put a heavy yoke about Israel’s neck until the time that they destroyed them. Plus the Romans spoke Latin, which was a language that was not known or familiar to them as Greek, Hebrew, and Chaldean were most common.
And from looking back at chapters 2 and 7 we can see that it was Rome that succeeded the Grecian kingdom. And thus this little horn is Rome.
But we need to remember from chapter 7 that Rome has two phases, pagan and papal. And this little horn is broken without hand in verse 25, which is a clear reference to the Second coming.
By him the daily (sacrifice) was taken away - Here we now have the transfer from Pagan Rome to Papal Rome. So the text will read, ’by Papal Rome the daily (sacrifice) was taken away’.
The words ’taken away’ come from the Hebrew word ruwm, which means bring up, raise, lift up, set up, and exalt. In Daniel 4:37 it is translated as ’extol’, 5:19, 23 set up and lifted up, 11:36 exalt. So this taking away of the daily is not a destruction of it, but an exaltation of it.
If you look in your Bible, the word sacrifice is in italics which indicates that it is wholly a supplied word by the translators. It is not there in the original text. In the Hebrew, the word means ’perpetual or continual’, and found to be in the noun form; which means that it is a naming word. From verse 13 it is easily seen that the daily is paganism (see comments there for more information).
The Papacy took paganism into itself and exalted it under the garb of Christianity. You will find the Papacy riddled with pagan ceremonies that have been given a Christian name.
So by the papal form of Rome the pagan form was taken away. Pagan Rome was remodelled into papal Rome.
This is why we only see one little horn to describe the 2 powers, for in reality one is just the continuation of the other. Notice the following quote;
“Whatever Roman elements the barbarians and Arians left … were … put under the protection of the Bishop of Rome, who was the chief person there after the Emperor’s disappearance. … The Roman Church in this way privily pushed itself into the place of the Roman World-Empire, of which it is the actual continuation; the empire has not perished, but has only undergone a transformation. … That is no mere ‘clever remark,’ but the recognition of the true state of the matter historically, and the most appropriate and fruitful way of describing the character of this Church. It still governs the nations. … It is a political creation, and as imposing as a World-Empire, because the continuation of the Roman Empire. The Pope, who calls himself ‘King’ and ‘Pontifex Maximus,’ is Caesar’s successor” Adolf Harnack, What Is Christianity? [New York; G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1903], pp. 269, 270, italics in the original.
Place of his sanctuary was cast down - The word ‘his’ refers to the daily/pagan Rome.
It is interesting to note that the word for sanctuary, miqdash, can refer to a holy place of worship or an evil one, which is not uncommon as we see the use of this word to define an evil sanctuary in Isaiah 16:12 and Ezekiel 28:18. (The significance of this word will be shown in verse 13).
Pagan Rome’s place of worship, the Pantheon and Rome itself, lost its eminence when Constantine moved the seat/government of Rome to Constantinople in the East in 330 A.D. Romulus Augustus, or the Diminutive Augustus, was the last of the emperors in the West until he moved the seat to Constantinople in 476 A.D. Rome and the Pantheon (the place of Pagan Rome’s worship) faded into the background as Papal Rome absorbed the pagan idols and traditions, exalting them through so called Christianity. This same transaction is recorded and brought to light in Revelation 13:2, where the dragon (Pagan Rome) gave the beast (Papal Rome) its seat (the city of Rome).
Daniel 8:12 “And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.”
An host was given him against the daily - The word ‘host’ means a mass of persons. A mass of persons was given to the papacy against the daily/paganism. This came in the form of Clovis, king of the Franks. He was converted to Catholicism in 496 A.D., and then went about converting the other pagan nations of Western Europe. This was done through war and capitulations. By 508 A.D. Clovis and his military strength, exercised on behalf of the papacy, had finished their work in success.
Daniel 8:13-14 “Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spoke, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”
Two thousand three hundred days: This is dealing with prophetic time, and thus would represent 2300 literal years. (Ezekiel 4:6)
Sanctuary cleansed: The question must be asked, what is the Sanctuary? Let us look at a few texts to see what we are talking about.
The Lord instructed Moses to build a Sanctuary from the free will offerings of the children of Israel, so He could dwell amongst them, and it was to be made according to the pattern that was shown him on Mount Sinai. (Exodus 25:1-9) This is the earthly Sanctuary. Now if you turn to Hebrews 8:1-2 you will notice that there is a tabernacle which is in heaven. This tabernacle was pitched by God and not by man's hands, and in this tabernacle is a High Priest who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven. So it is clear to see that there is a Sanctuary in heaven and this is the true tabernacle. Verse 5 of the same chapter tells us that the earthly was patterned after the heavenly, and this was the pattern that was shown to Moses in the mount. We find a relationship between the two Sanctuaries as type and antitype. To understand the true/heavenly or antitype we need to look to the pattern, which is the visible/earthly, the symbolic which is a type of the true.
The earthly had two apartments known as the holy place and the most holy place, and in the most holy was the ark of the testimony/covenant. (Exodus 26:33-34) God's presence was to dwell in the most holy above the mercy seat, and from here He would commune with the people through the High Priest. (Exodus 25:21-22) But the heavenly Sanctuary was not open until the close of the earthly when Christ was crucified, and then He entered into the holy place with His own blood. (Matthew 27:50-51, Hebrews 9:8-12) We also see in verse 11 and 12 of Hebrews 9, the contrast between the ministration of the earthly where the priests would sacrifice goats and calves etc. on a daily basis, verse 6, whereas Christ made one sacrifice once and for all, He does not need to be sacrificed over and over again as the animals did in the earthly system.
Now that we have seen that there is a Sanctuary on earth and in heaven, and both have services performed in them, first the earthly then the heavenly, we need to see if there is a service that deals with the cleansing of the earthly Sanctuary. Also what does it need to be cleansed from? The fact that this cleansing is done by blood shows us that it cannot be cleansing from physical impurity as blood would not accomplish this. Thus it is not some physical impurity in heaven that needs to be cleansed. The reason assigned why this cleansing is performed with blood is that without the shedding of blood there is no remission or forgiveness of sin. (Hebrews 9:22) So we conclude that the work to be done is the remission of sin. The work of cleansing the Sanctuary is not a physical work, such as a janitor would do, but a cleansing from sin.
But how did sin come to be in the Sanctuary anyway? If we turn to Leviticus 4:1-7 we shall see the process of the sin offering. There was provision made for all to be able to bring a sacrifice as outlined in chapter 1 of the same book, so in substitute of the bullock we shall place a lamb as it is the most easily recognized and applied to Christ. So if you had sinned through ignorance, you were to bring a lamb without blemish to the north side of the altar. (Leviticus 1:10-11) You were to then lay your hands upon its head thus confessing your sin upon the innocent victim and transferring it to the animal who now becomes your substitute. (Leviticus 4:4) After doing this you were to take a knife and cut its throat, thus the innocent dying for the guilty and the claims of the law are met (law requires the death of the sinner). The priest was to catch the blood in a bowl and take it into the Sanctuary and sprinkle it seven times before the veil of the most holy place with his finger. Then the priest would take some of the blood and put it the horns of the altar of incense which is also before the veil of the most holy place. The sin of the individual was thus, by his confession, by the slaying of the victim, and by the ministry of the priest, transferred from himself to the sanctuary. Victim after victim and day after day this went on. (Hebrews 9:6) So the sanctuary continually became the receptacle for the sins of the congregation. This is how sin came into the sanctuary.
The sanctuary now needs to be cleansed of this accumulation of sin, so let us look at how this was done. This was done by the yearly service or the day of atonement, which was to cleanse the people and the sanctuary and upon everything which is the taint of sin. (Leviticus 16:30; 33-34) So the day of atonement dealt with the cleansing of the sanctuary. Upon this day a special service was performed by the High Priest. (Hebrews 9:7) The High Priest was to cast lots upon 2 goats, one for the Lord and one for the scapegoat/Satan. (Leviticus 16:8) Then he would offer the Lord’s goat as a sin offering and take of the blood into the most holy place and sprinkle it on the mercy seat, verse 15. After this he would come out into the holy place and apply the blood to the horns of the altar of incense where the record of sin is, thus cleansing it, verse 18. Then he would come out to the live goat/scapegoat and confess all the sins of Israel upon the head of it, thus the transference of sin from the sanctuary to the priest to the scapegoat, and the scapegoat was to bear the confessed sins of Israel until death in a place uninhabited, verse 20-22. So the sanctuary has now been cleansed. This day was an important day where the people were to afflict their souls before God or they would be cut off from His people. (Leviticus 23:28-29)
It was necessary to cleanse the earthly sanctuary with the blood of bulls and goats, but also in the heavenly it must also be cleansed but with the blood of Christ. (Hebrews 9:22-23, 12) Thus the ministration of the earthly is seen in the ministration of the heavenly.
A distinction must be drawn here between the type and the antitype. Whereas the priests of the earthly sanctuary ministered this entire service each year, in the heavenly our great High Priest “ever liveth to make intercession for us.” Hebrews 7:25. Thus the work of the heavenly sanctuary instead of being a yearly work, is done once for all. Instead of being repeated year after year, one grand cycle is allotted to it, in which it is done and finished forever.
One year’s round of service in the earthly sanctuary represented the entire work of the sanctuary above. In the type, the cleansing of the sanctuary was the brief closing work of the year's service. In the antitype, the cleansing of the sanctuary must be the closing work of Christ, our great High Priest, in the tabernacle in heaven. In the type, to cleanse the sanctuary the high priest entered into the most holy place to minister in the presence of God before the ark of the testament. In the antitype, when the time comes for the cleansing of the true sanctuary our High Priest, in like manner, enters into the most holy place once for all to make a final end of His intercessory work in behalf of mankind.
So the 2300 day prophecy is designed to show us the starting date of the great work of cleansing the heavenly sanctuary of sin. In Daniel 7:9-10 we see a judgment scene in the temple in heaven, where the ministration is before the throne of the Almighty God Himself. In chapter 8 we find this phase described as the cleansing of the sanctuary, which enlarges for us the process and method of the judgment in, Daniel 7. Thus this work of cleansing the sanctuary is in reality the final judgment, to determine the lost and the saved of all the earth and to make up the kingdom of Christ, eternally.
Daniel 8:15-18 “And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. 16 And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. 17 So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. 18 Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.”
Sought for the meaning of the vision – This shows that Daniel was not in full understanding of what the vision meant. In saying so, he did not just give up on trying to gain an understanding of the vision, but sought for one. It would be interesting to note what the meaning of the word ‘sought’ is. It means to search out specifically in worship or prayer, strive after, ask, beg, beseech, and desire. So we can see that Daniel was diligent in his search for the understanding of the vision.
Gabriel – Gabriel is the angel that stands in the presence of God. (Luke 1:19) He was sent to give understanding of the vision to Daniel.
I was afraid, fell upon my face, deep sleep on my face – We will touch on Daniel’s reaction, of when he is in the presence of a holy being, more fully in chapter 10.
At the time of the end shall the vision be – We will look at what the time of the end is in chapters 11 and 12. The vision was not to be in Daniel’s time.
Daniel 8:19 “And he said, Behold, I will make you know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.”
This describes the events foretold in the vision that involved an indignation or affront to God, that was to last a specific period of time and then it would come to its end. This phrasing also reveals that the “indignation” would cover a period of time, not just a moment of time. This involves not only those who oppose God from without but also those who oppose God from within his covenant people. For most of the history outlined in this prophecy deals with the people of God, because of their apostasy they were in captivity and subjection to foreign powers. But the time would come when God would deal with this indignation or affront to His power to save. This is seen in the cleansing of the sanctuary when all will be judged. Thus this indignation will come to an end in God’s appointed time.
Daniel 8:20-22 “The ram which you sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.”
These verses coincide with verses 4 through 8.
Ram – The Ram with two horns is symbolic of the Medo-Persian Empire.
Rough goat – This is symbolic of the Grecian Empire with the notable horn being the first king, Alexander the Great. When he was broken off/died, his four generals took over the Grecian kingdom dividing it into four. They did not do this in the same power as Alexander, for they did not conquer new territory as did Alexander, they only divided the kingdom.
Daniel 8:23-25 “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. 24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. 25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.”
These verses coincide with verses 9 through 12.
Latter time of their kingdom - That is, towards the end of the careers of the four divisions which arose out of Alexander’s Kingdom.
Transgressors are come to the full - This is a reference to the fact outlined in Daniel 2 that God sets up and removes kings. All powers are given an opportunity to acknowledge and serve the Living God, but when they fill up their cup of disobedience they are removed and others are put in their place. This also refers to the fact that God's people who were constantly coming under divine retribution for their sins and apostasy were never more corrupt as when they came under the control of the Roman Power. Thus this transgression could also refer to the Jews.
A king of fierce countenance - This applies to Rome as seen in verse 9. In Deuteronomy 28:45-57 we see a prophecy dealing with the ultimate end of the Jews for their apostasy if they do not repent and return in heart to the Lord. Moses here describes a “nation of fierce countenance” that would come to destroy their city and take their lives.
Understanding dark sentences - He also mentions that they would not understand the language, and this is true of the Latin that enveloped the Hellenistic world under the Roman conquests. The Greek, Persian and Chaldean languages were all known in Palestine, but Latin was unheard of until the Roman legions started dictating world affairs.
Mighty but not by his own power - This is true of Papal Rome, which we have seen gained control when the Barbarian Tribes became her defender and propagator, as seen in verse 12. The Catholic Church itself has no army, but those who convert to her doctrines become her army to “defend” and uplift the Papal Power.
Shall destroy wonderfully - This is a view of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies, but also the persecution of God's faithful people that would occur under both pagan and papal Rome.
Through policy shall cause craft to prosper - Rome has been distinguished above all other powers for a policy of craft, that is a policy of deceit or fraud, by which it has brought much of the world under its control. This is true of both pagan and papal forms.
By peace he shall destroy many – Many of the nations that became provinces under the Roman Empire did so by treaty, alliance and bequeathment. Thus by peace many were destroyed.
Also the Papacy, through the ecumenical movement, has successfully destroyed many a denomination.
Against the Prince of Princes - This applies both to pagan Rome in the actual crucifixion of Christ, and to papal Rome in their blasphemous claims for their popes and priests. (2 Thessalonians 2:4)
But he shall be broken without hands - A reference to the final destruction of the wicked at the coming of Christ which will put an end to all who oppose God and his people. This parallels to Daniel 2:34, where the stone cut out without hands will destroy the last earthly kingdom and establish the eternal kingdom of Christ.
Daniel 8:26 “And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut you up the vision; for it shall be for many days.”
Vision of the evening and morning – This is a reference to the 2300 day prophecy. It is seen that there is no further information given to Daniel of any sought of starting date. But the vision is true; it will surely come to pass.
Shut thou up the vision – Daniel was instructed to seal up the vision, for the fulfilment of certain details of the vision of this chapter would extend into the distant future. And when understood correctly, we see that it was the vision of the 2300 days that was shut up as it is not until after the time of the end.
Daniel 8:27 “And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.”
Daniel was overcome by the enormity of what he had seen and heard, and Gabriel had to stop before interpreting the vision of the 2300 days, as Daniel had received all that he could take at this time. Further instruction, specifically on its starting point, was therefore deferred to a future time.