Tag Archives: goats

Visual illustrations for Daniel 8

In Daniel’s vision of a ram and a male goat we are given a glimpse of the two world empires following Babylon — the Medo-Persian Empire and the Alexandrian (or Hellenistic/Grecian) Empire.

Daniel sees a ram.

I raised my eyes and saw, and behold, a ram standing on the bank of the canal. It had two horns, and both horns were high, but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. (Daniel 8:3 ESV)

Ram at Socoh. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

A ram. With horns like that it is easy to see who is boss. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

In apocalyptic literature the visions take liberty with reality. It would require an artist to draw the ram and the male goat exactly as Daniel saw them.

Then Daniel sees a male goat.

As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground. And the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. (Daniel 8:5 ESV)

A male goat in Gilead (modern Jordan). Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

A male goat in Gilead (modern Jordan). Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The interpretation is easier for us than it was for Daniel before Gabriel gave him an understanding of the vision (vs. 15-16).

As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia.  And the goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king.  (Daniel 8:20-21 ESV)

It will not be difficult to find other uses for photos of the ram and the male goat in Bible lessons (e.g., Genesis 15:9; Leviticus 23:19; 16:5)