Daniel 8:1 Index
"In the third year of the reign of Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first."
Research Material

"In the third year..."

  • Two years after the prophecy of Daniel 7 foretold that the great empire of Babylon would fall, Daniel saw it happen. By the time of Daniel 8, Babylon as a world power was becoming history rather than prophecy. Thus, Daniel 8 begins with the second world power. (KC 95)
  • Beginning with Daniel 8, Daniel reverts to the Hebrew language which is used from here to the end of the Book of Daniel. (4BC 839)
  • A period of two years had passed since the vision recorded in Daniel 7. The prophet's mind had dwelt often upon the scenes which his eye then beheld, and the subject of the judgment had been pondered again and again. He kept the matter in his heart (Daniel 7:28), he himself says, for in the days of Daniel, as at the present time time, only the few could comprehend and appreciate spiritual topics (1 Corinthians 2:14). Many changes of a material nature had taken place during those two years. Wickedness had increased in the kingdom of Babylon, and no reverence whatever was shown for God or His people. This saddened the heart of Daniel. he who for years had been the chief counselor in the empire, now no longer dwelt in the capital, but had his residence in the palace at Shushan (Daniel 8:2). Shushan was the capital of Elam, which was formerly a subject province of the kingdom of Babylon (Jeremiah 49:39), but as that empire began to weaken, and the strength of Cyrus, the Persian general, was recognized, Elam, under Abradates, the viceroy or prince, had revolted from Babylon, and joined the forces of the Persians. Years before this, the prophet Isaiah had said that Elam and Media would join forces in the conquest of Babylon (Isaiah 13:17). As Daniel lived in the palace of Shushan, he saw the opening for the fulfillment of this prophecy (Isaiah 21:1-3). If Babylon was not already undergoing a siege at the hands of Cyrus and Darius, her downfall was so imminent that in this vision the history of nations begins with the rising kingdom of the Medes and Persians. (SNH 119-120)
  • "We now come once more," says Adam Clarke, "to the Hebrew, the Chaldee part of the book being finished. As the Chaldeans had a particular interest both in the history and prophecies from Daniel 2:4 to Daniel 7:28, the whole is written in Chaldee; but as the prophecies which remain concern times posterior to the Chaldean monarchy, and principally relate to the church and people of God generally, they are written in the Hebrew language, this being the tongue in which God chose to reveal all His counsels given under the Old Testament relative to the New. (Adam Clark; Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. IV; page 598; note on Daniel 8:1) (US 149)
  • One prominent characteristic of the sacred writings which should forever shield them from the charge of being works of fiction, is the frankness and freedom with which the writers state all the circumstances connected with events which they record. Here [Daniel 8:1] states the time when this vision was given to Daniel. The first year of Belshazzar was 540 B.C. His third year, in which this vision was given, would consequently be 538 B.C. Since Daniel was probably about twenty years of age when he was carried to Babylon in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar in [605 B.C.], he was at this time about eighty-eight years of age. The vision he refers to as the one which appeared unto him at the first, is doubtless the vision of the Daniel 7, which he had in the first year of Belshazzar's reign. (US 149)

"...which appeared unto me at the first."

  • Doubtless a reference to the vision of Daniel 7. (4BC 839)