Daniel 8:21
And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
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8:15-27 The eternal Son of God stood before the prophet in the appearance of a man, and directed the angel Gabriel to explain the vision. Daniel's fainting and astonishment at the prospect of evils he saw coming on his people and the church, confirm the opinion that long-continued calamities were foretold. The vision being ended, a charge was given to Daniel to keep it private for the present. He kept it to himself, and went on to do the duty of his place. As long as we live in this world we must have something to do in it; and even those whom God has most honoured, must not think themselves above their business. Nor must the pleasure of communion with God take us from the duties of our callings, but we must in them abide with God. All who are intrusted with public business must discharge their trust uprightly; and, amidst all doubts and discouragements, they may, if true believers, look forward to a happy issue. Thus should we endeavour to compose our minds for attending to the duties to which each is appointed, in the church and in the world.And the rough goat - See the notes at Daniel 8:5. In Daniel 8:5 he is called a he-goat. Here the word rough or hairy - שׂעיר s'â‛ı̂yr - is applied to it. This appellation is often given to a goat Leviticus 4:24; Leviticus 16:9; Genesis 37:31. It would seem that either term - a he-goat, or a hairy-goat - would serve to designate the animal, and it is probable that the terms were used indiscriminately.

Is the king of Grecia - Represents the king of Greece. The word here rendered Grecia (יון yâvân) denotes usually and properly Ionia, the western part of Asia Minor; but this name was extended so as to embrace the whole of Greece. See Aristoph. Acharn. 504, ibique Schol.; AEschyl. Pers. 176, 561; Gesenius, Lexicon Latin Vulgate and Theodotion, here render it "the king of the Grecians," and there can be no doubt that the royal power among the Greeks is here referred to. See the notes at Daniel 8:5.

And the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king - Alexander the Great. The first that consolidated the whole power, and that was known in the East as the king of Greece. So he is expressly called in 1 Macc. 1:1: "The first over Greece." Philip, his father, was opposed in his attempts to conquer Greece, and was defeated. Alexander invaded Greece, burned Thebes, compelled the Athenians to submit, and was declared generalissimo of the Grecian forces against the Persians.

21. the first king—Philip was king of Macedon before Alexander, but the latter was the first who, as a generalissimo of Greece, subdued the Persian empire. The king of Grecia; of Javan, or Ion, or Joan, which properly is Asia the Less, which was inhabited by Javan, Genesis 10:2, but spread over all Greece, and all spake Greek, and the sea was thence called the Ionian Sea, See more in Bochart.

The first king, i.e. Alexander the Great; called the Great from his great power, success, and possessions; and the

first king, i.e. in Asia, and by his exploits and victories over the Persian monarchy; for else there were other kings of Greece before him, but none of them in the sense aforesaid. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia,.... Including all the kings of it, from Alexander to the end of the Grecian monarchy; or rather the kingdom of Greece, which began in him, and continued until it was destroyed by the Romans: this was signified by the rough or hairy goat, especially when Alexander was at the head of it, for his strength and prowess, his swiftness in his marches over rocks and mountains, his majesty and grandeur, and also his lust and uncleanness; See Gill on Daniel 8:5,

and the great host that is between his eyes is the first king; this is Alexander, who, though he was not the first king of Macedon, his father Philip, and others, were kings before him; yet was the first king of the Grecian monarchy, which took place on the Persian monarchy being destroyed by him.

And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
21. the rough he-goat] Daniel 8:5. The word rendering ‘rough’ (sâ‘îr), treated as a subst., is the usual old Hebrew word for a he-goat (Genesis 37:31, &c.): the word here rendered ‘he-goat’ (ṣâphîr) being properly the Aramaic word for the same animal (Ezra 6:17, and in the Targums), and being found in Heb. only in late passages (Daniel 8:5; Daniel 8:8; 2 Chronicles 29:21; Ezra 8:35). Perhaps, therefore, sâ‘îr is not intended here to be an adj., but is simply the old Heb. synonym of ṣâphîr, added by way of explanation; and the whole expression should be rendered simply the he-goat.

Grecia] or, as we should now say, Greece. So Daniel 10:20; Daniel 11:2 (but Zechariah 9:13 ‘Greece’); and similarly Grecians for Greeks, Joel 3:6, Acts 6:1 al. The Heb. (both here and elsewhere) is Yavan, Genesis 10:2; Genesis 10:4 = 1 Chronicles 1:5; 1 Chronicles 1:7; Isaiah 66:19; Ezekiel 27:13; Ezekiel 27:19 (?), i.e. Ἰάϝων, Ἰάϝον-ες, the name by which the ‘Greeks’ were known also to the Assyrians and Egyptians. The reason is to be found in the fact that the ‘Ionians’ on the west coast of Asia Minor were that branch of the Greeks which was the earliest to develope civilization, and to engage extensively in commerce; it was thus the first to become generally known in the Eastern world.

the first king] i.e. Alexander the Great.Verse 21. - And the rough goat is the King of Grecia; and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Again all the versions agree in omitting the word "rough," and in inserting "of the goats," as in the fifth verse. The authority of these is much too great to be resisted. The Massoretic reading is probably due to a confluence of readings, as the word translated "rough" also means "goats." The omission of the word "of the goats" is probably due to the inclusion of שָׂעִיר (sa'eer). Here, as in the previous case, "king" stands for dynasty; and this is proved by the fact that there is implied a series of kings, of whom the great horn is the first. The king, who sat watching the issue of the matter, looked through the door into the furnace, and observed that the three who had been cast into it bound, walked about freed from their bonds and unhurt; and, in truth, he saw not the three only, but also a fourth, "like to a son of the gods," beside them. At this sight he was astonished and terrified. He hastily stood up; and having assured himself by a consultation with his counsellors that three men had indeed been cast bound into the furnace, while he saw four walking in the midst of it, he approached the mouth of the furnace and cried to the three to come forth. They immediately came out, and were inspected by the assembled officers of state, and found to be wholly uninjured as to their bodies, their clothes being unharmed also, and without even the smell of fire upon them. הדּברין refers, without doubt, to the officers of the kingdom, ministers or counselors of state standing very near the king, since they are named in Daniel 3:27 and Daniel 6:8 (Daniel 6:7) along with the first three ranks of officers, and (Daniel 4:23 [26]) during Nebuchadnezzar's madness they conducted the affairs of government. The literal meaning of the word, however, is not quite obvious. Its derivation from the Chald. דּברין, duces, with the Hebr. article (Gesen.), which can only be supported by מדברא, Proverbs 11:14 (Targ.), is decidedly opposed by the absence of all analogies of the blending into one word of the article with a noun in the Semitic language. The Alkoran offers no corresponding analogues, since this word with the article is found only in the more modern dialects. But the meaning which P. v. Bohlen (Symbolae ad interp. s. Codicis ex ling. pers. p. 26) has sought from the Persian word which is translated by simul judex, i.e., socius in judicio, is opposed not only by the fact that the compensation of the Mim by the Dagesch, but also the composition and the meaning, has very little probability.

The fourth whom Nebuchadnezzar saw in the furnace was like in his appearance, i.e., as commanding veneration, to a son of the gods, i.e., to one of the race of the gods. In Daniel 3:28 the same personage is called an angel of God, Nebuchadnezzar there following the religious conceptions of the Jews, in consequence of the conversation which no doubt he had with the three who were saved. Here, on the other hand, he speaks in the spirit and meaning of the Babylonian doctrine of the gods, according to the theogonic representation of the συζυγία of the gods peculiar to all Oriental religions, whose existence among the Babylonians the female divinity Mylitta associated with Bel places beyond a doubt; cf. Hgst. Beitr. i. p. 159, and Hv., Kran., and Klief. in loc.

Acting on this assumption, which did not call in question the deliverance of the accused by the miraculous interposition of the Deity, Nebuchadnezzar approached the door of the furnace and cried to the three men to come out, addressing them as the servants (worshippers) of the most high God. This address does not go beyond the circle of heathen ideas. He does not call the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego the only true God, but only the most high God, the chief of the gods, just as the Greeks called their Zeus ὁ ὕψιστος θεός. The Kethiv עלּיא (in Syr. ̀elāyā̀, to preserve) is here and everywhere in Daniel (v. 32; Daniel 4:14, Daniel 4:21, etc.) pointed by the Masoretes according to the form עילאה (with )ה prevailing in the Targg. The forms גשׁם, גּשׁמא, are peculiar to Daniel (v. 27f., Daniel 4:30; Daniel 5:21; Daniel 7:11). The Targg. have גּוּשׁמא instead of it.

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