|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:1-14 God gives Daniel a foresight of the destruction of other kingdoms, which in their day were as powerful as that of Babylon. Could we foresee the changes that shall be when we are gone, we should be less affected with changes in our own day. The ram with two horns was the second empire, that of Media and Persia. He saw this ram overcome by a he-goat. This was Alexander the Great. Alexander, when about thirty-three years of age, and in his full strength, died, and showed the vanity of worldly pomp and power, and that they cannot make a man happy. While men dispute, as in the case of Alexander, respecting the death of some prosperous warrior, it is plain that the great First Cause of all had no more of his plan for him to execute, and therefore cut him off. Instead of that one great horn, there came up four notable ones, Alexander's four chief captains. A little horn became a great persecutor of the church and people of God. It seems that the Mohammedan delusion is here pointed out. It prospered, and at one time nearly destroyed the holy religion God's right hand had planted. It is just with God to deprive those of the privileges of his house who despise and profane them; and to make those know the worth of ordinances by the want of them, who would not know it by the enjoyment of them. Daniel heard the time of this calamity limited and determined; but not the time when it should come. If we would know the mind of God, we must apply to Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; not hid from us, but hid for us. There is much difficulty as to the precise time here stated, but the end of it cannot be very distant. God will, for his own glory, see to the cleansing of the church in due time. Christ died to cleanse his church; and he will so cleanse it as to present it blameless to himself.
Verse 6. - And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. The differences of the Septuagint from the received text are slight here. Oobal is still translated πύλη; it renders, "fury of his rage" rather than "fury of his power." The Massoretic, as the less obvious collocation, is the better reading. Theodotion and the Peshitta leave oobal untranslated. The latter omits the last clause of the Massoretic. In the Hebrew the ram is called Baal-karnayeem, "lord of two horns." Alexander's war against Persia was one of simple aggression.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he came to the ram that had two horns,.... Alexander being chosen and made by the states of Greece captain general of all Greece against the Persians, marched from thence with his army, passed the Hellespont, and entered into the kingdom of the Medes and Persians, signified by the ram with two horns, and came up to Darius Codomannus, possessed of this large monarchy, and at the head of a numerous army:
which I had seen standing before the river; the river Ulai, near to Shushan, the royal seat of the kings of Persia; here Darius stood in his royal majesty and dignity, as the defender of his empire, and unconcerned at the attempt of Alexander, having nothing to fear, as he thought, from such a puny adversary:
and ran unto him in the fury of his power; or, "heat of his power" (b); which denotes the haste Alexander made with his army into Asia; his eager desire, and the fervour of his mind to engage with the Persians: the historian says, that he passed the Hellespont into Asia, "incredibli ardore mentis accensus"; fired with an incredible ardour of mind: and a little after, having conquered the rebels of Pisidia, he marched against Darius, "summo mentis ardore"; with the greatest ardour of mind, and with no less alacrity (c); which exactly agrees with the sacred text. The running of the he goat to the ram in a hostile way is described in allusion to the manner of those creatures when they fight with one another, or attack an enemy.
(b) "fervore virtutis suae", Munster; "cum ardore virium suarum", Cocceius; "in aestu robaris sui", Michaelis. (c) Supplem. in Curt. l. 2. p. 26, 28.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
8:6 The ram - The king of Media and Persia.
Daniel 8:6 Parallel Commentaries
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