In the third year of King Belshazzar's reign I, Daniel, saw another vision after the one I had seen previously. 2
In my vision I looked around and saw I was in the castle at Susa in the province of Elam. In the vision I was beside the River Ulai. 3
I looked around and saw a ram standing beside the river. It had two long horns, one longer than the other, even though the longer one had grown last. 4
I watched the ram charging west, north, and south. No animal could stand up to it—nor was there any chance of rescue from its power. It did whatever it wanted*
and grew powerful.
5 As I was thinking about what I'd seen, a male goat came in from the west, racing in across the surface of the earth so fast it didn't touch the ground. It had a large, prominent horn between its eyes. 6 It approached the ram with the two horns which I had seen standing beside the river, rushing in to attack in a furious rage. 7 I watched as the goat charged furiously at the ram, hitting it and breaking off its two horns. The ram did not have the strength to resist the goat's attack. The goat threw the ram to the ground, trampling on it, and there was no possibility of rescuing it from the goat's power.
The goat grew very powerful, but at the height of its power its large horn was broken off. In its place four large horns came up, pointing to the four winds of heaven.† 9
A little horn came up from one of them, and grew extremely powerful to the south and to the east and to the Beautiful Land.‡ 10
It grew in power until it reached the heavenly army, throwing some of them and some of the stars down to the earth and trampled on them. 11
It even tried to make itself as great as the Prince of the heavenly army—it removed the continual service,§
and the place of his sanctuary was destroyed. 12
An army of people*
and the continual service were handed over to it because of rebellion,†
and it overthrew truth, and it was successful in everything it did.
Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one asked the one who was speaking, “How long is this vision for—the removal of the continual service, the rebellion that causes devastation, the handing over of the sanctuary and the army of people to be trampled down?” 14
He replied, “For two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings, then the sanctuary will be cleansed.”‡
15 As I, Daniel, tried to work out what this vision meant suddenly I saw someone who looked like a man standing in front of me. 16 I also heard a human voice calling from the River Ulai, “Gabriel, explain to this man the meaning of the vision.” 17 As he approached me, I was terrified and fell face down before him. “Son of man,” he told me, “You need to understand that this vision refers to the time of the end.”
18 As he spoke to me I lost consciousness as I laid face down on the ground. But he took hold of me and helped me to my feet. 19 He told me, “Pay attention! I'm going to explain to you what's going to happen during the time of anger, which refers to the appointed time of the end. 20 The ram with two horns that you saw symbolizes the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The male goat is the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is its first king. 22 The four horns that came up in place of the large horn that was broken represent the four kingdoms that arose from that nation, but not as powerful as the first.
When those kingdoms come to an end, when their sins have reached their fullest extent, a ferocious and treacherous kingdom§
will rise to power. 24
It will become very powerful but not by its own power. It will be terribly destructive, and will succeed in everything it does. It will destroy great leaders and God's dedicated people. 25
Through its deviousness, its lies will be convincing and successful. It shows its arrogance both in thought and action, destroying those who thought they were perfectly safe. It even fights in opposition against the Prince of princes, but it will be defeated, though not by any human power.
26 The vision about the evenings and mornings that has been explained to you is true, but for now seal up this vision because it refers to the distant future.”
27 After this, I, Daniel, became exhausted, and I was sick for days. Then I got up and went back to working for the king, but I was devastated at what I'd seen in vision and I couldn't understand it.