Daniel 8:8 Prophecy

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.
-Daniel 8:8

The vision of Daniel concerning the ram and the goat was an event that came to pass almost three centuries later, when the son of Philip II of Macedonia came to power. Alexander the Great was one of the world's famous figure who was known for his conquest throughout the regions of Asia which later became a vast empire of the Greeks. He was numbered as one of history's greatest military genius for his conquest against the almost invulnerable Medo-Persian Empire. Nevertheless, Alexander's rapid rise to power was suddenly quenched by his untimely death.

The Ram and the Goat

The prophetic mystery of the ram and the goat was revealed to Daniel by the angel Gabriel (Daniel 8:16-17). The ram symbolizes the king of the Medo-Persian Empire (Daniel 8:20) whose power stretched from Indus River to the east and Nile River to the south. While the goat symbolizes Alexander the Great who became the king of the fastest rising power of that time, the Greek Empire (Daniel 8:21).

The Goat Waxed Very Great

After the assassination of his father, Philip II, Alexander succeeded him as the king of Macedonia and by execution, he began to disposed all the conspirators who surrounded him. He then settled internal dissensions and was successful in reestablishing his power when he was elected again by the congress in Corinth.

In 335 B.C. , Alexander began the campaign originally planned by his father against the Persians. With an army of only 35,000 men, he crossed the Hellespont (modern day Dardanelles) and started his war against Darius III, king of Persia. According to ancient tradition, Darius has a large army assembled that numbered about 500,000 men. Indeed, a war waged with a very little chance of winning for the Greeks. Nevertheless, Alexander's sophisticated military genius whom he probably learned from his mentor, the Greek philosopher Aristotle, made him a formidable foe to deal with in the battlefield. Despite the discrepancy of number to win the war, Alexander was able to defeat the Persian army in the Battle of Gaugamela. Later, Darius who tried to flee to Issus was killed by his own satraps.

After he captured Persipolis, the Persian capital, Alexander began to start another conquest. This time, however, he planned to conquer the western part of India, which was once included in the Medo-Persian Empire. He crossed the Indus River in 326 B.C. and invaded some parts of the region. However, the Macedonians rebelled and refused to go any further. Later, shortages of food and water became the cause of great losses among his troops, that eventually forced him to abort his conquest and returned to Babylon.

The Ram and the Goat
Daniel's vision of the ram and the goat.

When He was Strong the Great Horn was Broken

Aside from being identified as the goat in the vision of Daniel, Alexander the Great was also the great horn who became the first king of Greece (Daniel 8:21). As shown in the vision, the horn waxed great but suddenly broken. This illustrates the rapid rise of power that was abruptly broken by his sudden death in Babylon at the tender age of 33. His death was caused by a fever he probably got from his earlier expedition in India.

The Four Notable Ones Towards the Four Winds

Failed to recognize an immediate successor to his throne, Alexander's death left an unsettled issue that caused a great division among his people. Out of his vast army, came four great generals who divided his empire into four. They were called as the Diadochi, which literally means as "successors". These four generals were the four notable ones who replaced the great horn. The four winds, on the other hand, symbolizes the whole Greek Empire that was divided into four smaller kingdoms.

One of the Diadochi was Antipater I, who was left sole charge of Macedonia when Alexander started his conquest against the Persians. In the south, Ptolemy I started the long line of Ptolemaic dynasty who ruled Egypt. To prevent internal contentions among his people over religious and political struggles, he made himself the patron of the cult of Serapis which was revered by both Greeks and Egyptians as the god of healing and fertility. Another general was Antigonus I, who secured the larger part of the empire which stretched forth from Greece, Syria and Persia. He died, however, by trying to unite all the parts of the empire by making himself as the sole successor of the Hellenistic world. Lastly, Seleucus I, he became the ruler of Babylon and established the Seleucid dynasty. Together with Lysimachus, he defeated Antigonus I and extended his realm to Syria. He was known to have built numerous cities including Antioch and several cities named after him (Seleucia).

Prophecy Status: Fulfilled

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