Daniel 8:4 Index
"I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great."
Research Material

"I saw the ram pushing westward..."

  • Cyrus conquered Lydia in 547 B.C. and Babylon in 539. Cambyses extended the conquests south into Egypt and Ethiopia in 525. Darius Hystaspes went north against the Scythians in 513... 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." (4BC 840)
  • As the ram pushed westward, northward, and southward, and no beast could stand before it, so the Medo-Persian empire extended its dominion in these directions. At the fall of Babylon one hundred and twenty provinces recognized the authority of Cyrus and Darius (Daniel 6:1). These were held in subjection, and others added, so that in the time of the Ahasuerus of Esther, the kingdom controlled one hundred and twenty-seven provinces (Esther 1:1), extending from India on the east to the Mediterranean on the west, and from the Caspian Sea to Ethiopia. It was then called a glorious kingdom, and the monarch was spoken of as "his excellent majesty" (Esther 1:4). The same facts are made prominent in Daniel 11:2 where Xerxes, the fourth from Cyrus, stirs up all the Eastern nations to war with Greece: "He did according to his will." (Daniel 11:3) (SNH 121)

"...no beast might stand..."

  • BEAST: Another term, common to symbolic Bible prophecy, is that of "beasts." Nations were effectively cartooned or portrayed by various well-known or unknown beasts, just as some are today: the British lion, the Russian bear, or the American eagle. In Daniel's day a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a fearful monster without an earthly replica appeared in Daniel 7, and the ram and he-goat of Daniel 8 are expressly explained by the prophet as symbols, respectively, of "Media and Persia" and "Grecia" (Daniel 8:20, 21). Similar "beasts" are pictured in the Revelation. These terms are not epithets of derision; they are simply the divine method of cartooning nations and their careers through the centuries. So a prophetic "beast" merely means a kingdom or nation, no more and no less. (Froom 32-33)

"...and became great."

  • Literally, "did great things," "made himself big," or "magnified himself." (4BC 840)