Bible Study Guides – The Vision of Daniel 8

October 16, 2004 – October 22, 2004

Memory Verse

“Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end [shall be].” Daniel 8:19.

Suggested Reading: Prophets and Kings, 547.


“The light that Daniel received from God was given especially for these last days. The visions he saw by the banks of the Ulai and the Hiddekel, the great rivers of Shinar, are now in process of fulfillment, and all the events foretold will soon come to pass.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 112, 113.

1 When did Daniel have the vision that is recorded in Daniel 8:1?

note: “This vision was given to Daniel in the third year of the reign of Belshazzar, that being the year when Babylon was overthrown.” International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Company, Oakland, California, January 1, 1904, 13.

2 To what place was Daniel taken in this vision? Daniel 8:2.

note: “Prophets in heavenly vision are often taken to places where the scenes opened up to them are to occur, so that they are living amid the very events predicted by them, even though those events may be thousands of years in the future.” International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Company, Oakland, California, January 1, 1904, 13.

3 What did the ram symbolize? What was symbolized by the two horns and by the higher one coming up last? Daniel 8:3, 20.

note: “In his previous vision the second kingdom had been represented by a bear which raised itself on one side and had three ribs in its mouth. Both symbols apply to the double nature of the kingdom of the Medes and Persians, but the uneven horns of the ram give a more specific description; for while the Median kingdom was the older of the two, the Persian excelled it in strength.” Stephen N. Haskell, Story of Daniel the Prophet (1904), TEACH Services, Inc., Brushton, New York, 1995, 105.

4 In what direction was the Medo-Persian Empire to extend its conquests? To what position did the ram attain? Daniel 8:4.

note: “The Medo-Persian Empire covered much more territory than its predecessor, Babylon. So successful were Persian arms that in the days of Ahasuerus (Esther 1:1) the empire extended from India to Ethiopia, the eastern and southern extremities of the then-known world. A frequent title of the Persian monarch was ‘king of kings’ or ‘king of the countries.’ ” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 840.

5 Of what was the goat a symbol? What was symbolized by the great horn between his eyes? Daniel 8:5, 21.

note: “[The goat is] identified as representing Greece.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 840.

“[The great horn is] a symbol of Alexander the Great, the ‘first king’ of the Greco-Macedonian world empire that was destined to replace the Persian Empire.” Ibid., 845.

6 What was the attitude of this goat toward the ram? What did he do to the two horns of the ram? Daniel 8:7. (Choler means irritation or anger.)

note: “Alexander stands without a rival for the rapidity of his conquests. He was but a young man of twenty when, by the death of his father, Philip of Macedon, he fell heir to a small dominion. He united the Greek states, placed himself at the head of affairs, and led her armies in a series of wonderful victories. In the space of a few short years he was the recognized master of the world.” Haskell, 108.

7 To what position did the goat attain as compared to that of the ram? What happened to the great horn between the eyes of the goat? Daniel 8:8. What came up after this notable horn was broken? What was symbolized by the breaking of the great horn and four others coming up in its place? Verse 22.

note: “It is a fact noted in history that Alexander died in a drunken debauch, at the age of thirty-two years, and at a time when his kingdom was in the very height of its glory and greatness. Thus the kingdom represented by this horn was broken ‘when he was strong.’

“While Alexander lived he made no provision as to who would succeed him in his kingdom. About twenty years after his death it was divided among his four strongest generals. . . . Lysimachus had that portion lying to the north of Palestine, including Thrace, Bithynia, and some smaller provinces of Asia Minor. Ptolemy took that portion to the south, including Egypt, Libya, Arabia, and Palestine. Seleucus took the east,—Syria and all the country to the river Indus. Cassander had Macedon and Greece, lying to the west.” International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Company, Oakland, California, January 1, 1904, 13, 14.

8 What did the prophet behold as coming forth from one of the four horns of the goat? To what position did this little horn power attain? In what directions were the conquests of the little horn power? Daniel 8:9.

note: “In the division under consideration, the prophet sees a little horn coming forth from one of these divisions. Here is brought to his view the power symbolized by the fourth beast of Daniel seven. In his first vision the fourth beast was so terrible and had such a strange appearance that Daniel asked for a clearer explanation of its work. In this second vision the little horn is not named, but its work as a kingdom is still further portrayed. . . . The accumulated forces of the evil of past ages is concentrated in this rising power, which waxed exceeding great.” Haskell, 109.

9 What characteristics are given of this little horn power by which it may be identified? Daniel 8:9, 24, 25.

note: “Rome extended her territory around the Mediterranean; there was no place where her arms were not victorious. Some of the greatest battles which history records were fought by the Roman armies. . . . Cities which dared resist the power of Rome were blotted out of existence. . . . But aside from the strong central government which was built up by Rome, which brought every other nation to her feet, and made slaves of the noblest of races . . . the great arrogance of Rome was displayed when the nation magnified itself against the host of heaven.” Haskell, 110.

10 What power, in the person of its rulers, stood up against “the Prince of princes,” Jesus Christ? Acts 4:27.

note: “Pilate, Herod, the Roman soldiers, were ignorant of Jesus. They knew not that he was the sent of God. They thought by abusing him to please the priests and rulers. They had not the light so abundantly given to the Jewish nation. They were unacquainted with Old-Testament history. Had they known what the Jews knew, they would not have treated Jesus as cruelly as they did.” The Youth’s Instructor, June 14, 1900.

“In the judgment hall of Pilate, the Roman governor, Christ stands bound as a prisoner. About Him are the guard of soldiers, and the hall is fast filling with spectators.” The Desire of Ages, 723.

“When he [Pilate] heard that Christ was from Galilee, he decided to send Him to Herod, the ruler of that province, who was then in Jerusalem. By this course, Pilate thought to shift the responsibility of the trial from himself to Herod. He also thought this a good opportunity to heal an old quarrel between himself and Herod. And so it proved. The two magistrates made friends over the trial of the Saviour.” Ibid., 728.

11 What subject is introduced in this vision, in addition to the ram, he goat, and little horn? Daniel 8:14.

note: “Such subjects as the sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past Advent movement and show what our present position is, establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future. These, I [Ellen White] have frequently seen, were the principal subjects on which the messengers should dwell.” Early Writings, 63.

12 As Daniel sought for the meaning of this vision, who appeared to him and what did he say? Daniel 8:15, 19. Why was Gabriel not able to complete his commission to make Daniel understand the vision? Verse 27.

note: “The angel Gabriel, though commanded to make Daniel understand the vision, gave him only a partial explanation. As the terrible persecution to befall the church was unfolded to the prophet’s vision, physical strength gave way. He could endure no more, and the angel left him for a time. Daniel ‘fainted, and was sick certain days.’ ‘And I was astonished at the vision,’ he says, ‘but none understood it.’ [Daniel 8:27.]” The Great Controversy, 325.

These lessons are adapted from International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Company, Oakland, California, January 1, 1904.