Daniel 8:3 Index
"Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last."
Research Material

"Then... I saw... a ram..."

  • Daniel 8:20 leaves no doubt as to who the Ram represents. "The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia." The two horns portray the joining of these two powers. The larger horn represents Persia, which came into the federation last but became the strongest of the two. The Medo-Persian Empire extended its border all the way from India to Ethiopia as prophesied. It pushed westward, northward and southward. The Persian monarch referred to himself as the "King of Kings." The countries of Egypt, Lydia and Babylon fell to the conquest of Medo-Persia. (KC 96)
  • Daniel was transported to the river Ulai, by the side of which stood a ram having two horns, one higher than the other, and the higher came up last. 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, and its position in history must be attributed to the line of Persian kings which began with Cyrus the Great. The definiteness with which this symbol is interpreted is an illustration of the fact that the Scriptures are their own best commentaries. Said the angel, "The ram which thou sawest having two horns and the kings of Media and Persia" (Daniel 8:20). (SNH 120-121)
  • In Daniel 8:20 an interpretation of this symbol is given in plain language: "The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia." We have only therefore to consider how well the power answers to the symbol in question. The two horns represented the two nationalities of which the empire was composed. The higher came up last. This symbolized Persia, which at first was simply an ally of the Medes, but later came to be the leading division of the empire. The directions in which the ram pushed denote the directions in which the Medes and Persians carried their conquests. No earthly powers could stand before them as they marched toward the exalted position to which the providence of God had summoned them. So successful were their conquests that in the days of Ahasuerus (Ester 1:1) the Medo-Persian kingdom, consisting of one hundred twenty-seven provinces, extended from India to Ethiopia, the boundaries of the then-known world. (US 150-151)

"...a ram which had two horns..."

  • HORNS: "Horns" is frequently used to symbolize divisions, or nations, that develop out of a great parent kingdom. Thus the ten horns appearing on the fourth beast of Daniel 7 (compare the paralleling beasts of Revelation 13 and Revelation 17) are expressly stated to be ten kingdoms; or divisions, that would arise out of the territory of the fourth world kingdom. (Froom 33)
  • The angel later identifies this symbol as representing the kings of Media and Persia (Daniel 8:20). (4BC 840)

"...one was higher than the other..."

  • Although it rose later than Media, Persia became the dominant power when Cyrus defeated Astyages of Media in 553 or 550. The Medes, however, were not treated as inferiors or as a subjugated people, but rather as confederates. (Daniel 2:39). (4BC 840)