~ Part 2B (Gabriel Explains the Vision) ~
20 As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia.
21 And the goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king.
22 As for the horn that was broken, in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from his nation, but not with his power.
We have already expounded on this passage, so no need to repeat here, except to say once again that the precise information given here evidences the fact that Daniel’s connection to the Celestial Realm was no longer indirect through dreams and prophecies, but now he is interacting directly with the Heavenly messenger, Gabriel. In addition, this accurate and remarkable prediction – with the names of the two upcoming empires, about the speed of the Greek conquest, the death of Alexander, and the fourfold fracturing of his empire – leaves us with a confidence about the rest of the vision (about the more distant future) that it also is accurate information.
23 And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise.
24 His power shall be great—but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints.
25 By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand.
This passage about the Little Horn demagogue mirrors to a large extent Daniel’s own description in verses 9-12 but differs in a couple of important ways: 1) Gabriel has made it clear that the ultimate and final fulfillment of the vision would happen in the End of the Age; Daniel’s viewpoint, however, had been focused on the fortunes of the Jewish people of his time which, as far as Gabriel was concerned, wasn’t where the main focus should be. And Gabriel seems eager to make sure he understands that (judging by what is said in verses 17 and 19). 2) Gabriel foretells the fall of the Little Horn king, which seems to be an event that did not appear in the original vision.
As mentioned before, one of the striking features about this revelation in chapter 8 lies in the fact that it straddles two historical events. We understand the principle that history repeats itself. And from the perspective of those in the Celestial Realm, for them the widely time-separated events in our realm are viewed in a sort of concentrated form, as if they were the same event. In our realm, however, the events of history are more diluted, that is, spread out over centuries of time. But for them time is experienced in a different way that is difficult for us to comprehend.
So here in chapter 8, we are getting in one description a view of two Antichrist-like persons who would enter the stage of history at different times – one about 400 years after Daniel received this vision and the other figure (not yet come) more than 2,500 years after Daniel.
The same type of dual symbolism had appeared in Daniel’s revelation of two years earlier. In it the “fourth beast” (7:7) represented both the ancient Roman empire and the final empire of the Antichrist. The Roman empire acted as the “jumping off” point into the modern era. And the modern version of the “fourth beast” became the main focus of that revelation (and the main reason why the “fourth beast” appeared to Daniel as “different from all the beasts that were before it” – 7:7). The revelation here in chapter 8 has a different “jumping off” point: the Seleucid empire under Antiochus Epiphanes.
Or, to put it another way, in chapter 7, the Roman empire, and in chapter 8, Antiochus Epiphanes, serve as lenses through which the prophetic telescope could focus on the distant future (which is appearing now before our eyes, by the way). Chapter 8 dwells more on the person of this anti-God ruler, whereas chapter 7 dwells more on the nature of his empire. (To further explore this mystery of how the account of an ancient monarch relates to the Time of the End, see in Appendix 5 what learned Cambridge professor John Lennox has to say on the subject.)
And now at this point, when Daniel “sought to understand it” (8:15), Gabriel makes a dramatic entrance and clarifies that it is the End-of-the-Age version of this ruler who is the main focus of the vision. And he brings to light certain aspects that were not made prominent enough in Daniel’s description of the vision.
Daniel’s outlook was limited probably and didn’t go much further than what was to become of his own people, the Jewish nation. But Gabriel, as an archangel, was able to see much further ahead and apply it to what would happen in the End of the Age when God’s people were to be found in every nation of the world. And his emphasis agrees well with the previous revelation given to Daniel with its description of the Little Horn who “shall devour the whole earth”. (7:23) The entire world has become the stage of activity, not just the nation of Israel and a nearby Mediterranean superpower.
Gabriel’s explanation of the vision offers a summary of features that would characterize this world’s final anti-God demagogue:
1) And at the latter end of their kingdom… (8:23)
In Daniel’s version of the vision, no mention was made about it taking place “at the latter end”. The Hebrew word used here means the extreme or final end of something, and Gabriel has already made it clear that the vision pertains to the “appointed time of the end… at the latter end of the indignation”. (8:19,17) Therefore, this Little Horn, or at least its final manifestation, will appear in the End of the Age era.
2) When the transgressors have reached their limit… a king shall arise (8:23)
In the ancient time Antiochus Epiphanes had leeway to afflict the Jewish people “because of transgression” – the Israeli nation’s sins of falling away into Greek customs and religious beliefs. (8:12) In this modern day again we see the Israeli nation (gathered together after many years). And again there is “transgression”. It does not take a great deal of insight to see it – the oppression of the Palestinian people with whom Israel was supposed to share the land, the belligerence towards her Arab neighbors. (See here and here for further explanation.)
But Israel is not alone. Linked closely to Israel is the American nation. This once godly nation has become what is described in Revelation 17-18: a Harlot, a title that once was given to Israel in ancient times when she wandered off into corruption and disobedience to the ways and worship of her God. Gabriel alludes to this feature about “the latter end” that humankind would reach that final stage “when the transgressors have reached their limit.”
The capacity of human society to destroy itself and God’s creation has, in our day and age, gone about as far as God will allow it to go. And sad to say, the greatest instruments of that destruction over the last several decades have arisen from the policies and activities of the American empire, which is attached closely to the nation of Israel. To catalogue all that has gone wrong with the American empire would be too great an undertaking here, but the subject is covered in the series of Posts on Revelation 17-18.
3) A king of bold face (8:23)
Another translation, which seems to better convey the original meaning, calls him “a king of fierce countenance” (KJV). This final ruler will be rough and ruthless. In the Book of Revelation, it is said of him, “Who is able to make war with him?” (13:4, KJV) He and his empire are likened to a “beast” in that chapter, and in Daniel 7 also, the “beast” is described as “terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong” with “great iron teeth” and “devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet.” (7:7) If this is the kind of empire of which he will be the head, then certainly he himself will have to be of a “fierce countenance”.
4) Who understands riddles (8:23)
Other translations, which seem to better convey the meaning, word it like this: he “understands sinister schemes” (NKJV) or has “understanding of dark sentences” (KJV). The future ruler will possess a great deal of insight and wisdom from the realm of Darkness. And it seems that because he has “understanding of dark sentences”, all this devilish wisdom, the result is that…
5) His power shall be great—but not by his own power (8:24)
In Revelation 13:2-7 we learn that the Beast is given his power and authority; it doesn’t come from him. This peculiar feature is stated no less than six times in that passage:
- “To it [the Beast] the dragon GAVE his power and his throne and great authority.” (13:2)
- “They worshiped the dragon for he had GIVEN his authority to the beast” (13:4)
- “The beast was GIVEN a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous things” (13:5)
- “He was GIVEN authority to continue for forty-two months” (13:5, NKJV)
- “It was GRANTED to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them” (13:7, NKJV)
- “Authority was GIVEN it [the Beast] over every tribe and people and language and nation” (13:7)
So the final Beast’s power originates in the realm of Darkness. Of course, it is God who allows him to rise up, in order that he might serve as His chastisement on the western, capitalist nations (because of their greed and warmongering). But we learn elsewhere that the Beast “ascends out of the bottomless pit [or Abyss]” – that is, from the realm of spiritual Darkness. (11:7, 17:8)
And finally, we are given the picture in chapter 12 of the Dragon who is named as “that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world”. And his appearance (with seven heads and ten horns) matches that of the Beast who is described in the following chapter as having seven heads and ten horns. So it is clear that, although the Beast’s “power shall be great”, it shall not come “by his own power”. It is the power of the Dragon (the Devil) that will be working in and through the Beast.
Conclusion: The Antichrist Little Horn will launch forth with unrelenting and overwhelming power because the legions of demonic forces are rallying behind him in that final era when their ruler Satan is about to make his last-ditch attempt to rule planet Earth. But it is only because of the corrupt and violent policies of the Harlot empire, the western capitalist nations, that he is allowed to do so.
6) He shall cause fearful destruction (8:24)
The phrase “cause fearful destruction” is also translated as “destroy wonderfully” (KJV). In other words, it carries the idea of extraordinary events taking place. This sounds like an allusion to modern means of warfare – with airplanes, drones, armoured tanks, rockets and missiles, submarines, battleships, and nuclear weapons. Such means of destruction are extraordinary compared to how warfare was fought in ancient times. And if it includes nuclear devastation, how much more fearful and extraordinary.
A look at some other translations of this phrase conveys that sense of extraordinary power, available only in recent history through modern weaponry: “astounding devastation” (NIV, GW), “terrible destruction” (BSB, HCSB, CEV, GNT, NET), “destroy to an extraordinary degree” (NASB), “destroy in an astonishing manner” (AMP), “outrageous destruction” (CSB), “remarkably destructive” (ISV), “fearful destruction” (ESV, NRSV), “shall lay all things waste” (Douay-Rheims), “shocking amount of destruction” (NLT).
7) And shall succeed in what he does (8:24)
This reminds us of the Persian empire “ram” who, since “there was no one who could rescue from his power… did as he pleased and became great.” (8:4) The ancient empire became over-confident and fell to the rising power of Greece. In a similar manner, the Little Horn will cause “a shocking amount of destruction and succeed in everything he does… and will become arrogant.” And this will be his undoing, for he shall foolishly think to “take on the Prince of princes in battle.” (8:24-25, NLT)
8) Destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints (8:24)
Another translation puts it like this: “He will destroy powerful leaders and devastate the holy people.” (NLT) The Little Horn destroys powerful rulers who oppose him (“the mighty“) and persecutes the “saints”. Daniel had earlier described them as “stars” and “host”. (8:10) These were ancient Hebrew terms for the godly society that ancient Israel had been for at least some of her history. Gabriel on the other hand, explaining the same vision but with the more long-distance view, describes them as “mighty men” and “the people who are the saints.”
“The mighty men” likely refers to powerful leaders in government or religious circles who will resist the rise of the Antichrist regime and will end up getting devastated, along with the followers of Christ (“the people who are the saints”). “Saint” comes from the Hebrew words qadosh and am, which mean “sacred, set-apart, dedicated-to-God people”.
In the Old Testament the Israelites were the “holy people” of those days by virtue of the fact that God had chosen them. In the New Testament era this honor belongs now to the followers of Christ, those who have chosen to follow the Light of God. As Paul explained, “For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly… But a Jew is one inwardly… by the Spirit… His praise is not from man but from God.” “For God does not show favoritism.” (Romans 2:28–29 and 2:11, NLT).
God’s people now are not a military-political nation as in the days of the Old Testament. In this Age they are the people whose hearts have been transformed by the Holy Spirit and their faith in Christ. Their “nation” is the entire world, of which they will be the rulers after the Second Coming.
Contrary to what some might like to think, God’s people are still around during this time of persecution at the End of the Age. This agrees with what is written in several other passages of Scripture. Christ’s followers will not be translated into the Heavenly Sphere to escape those final years of what is known as the Great Tribulation and the regime of the Antichrist and False Prophet.
This had already been made plain in Daniel’s previous revelation: “this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them… and shall wear out the saints of the Most High.” (7:21,25) But even though there is intense persecution of believers, its time span will be limited (as was noted earlier in the comments about the 2,300 days’ persecution in ancient times).
And at the Second Coming multitudes of Christ’s followers will rise in the First Resurrection to join their Heavenly Father in the Celestial Realm. They “are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” (Revelation 19:9, 20:5-6) And they will escape what follows: a tumultuous period known as the Wrath of God (as outlined in Revelation 16) when the reign of evil in the Earth will be brought to a complete end.
9) By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand (8:25)
Or, “he will be a master of deception.” (NLT) Daniel has already described this aspect about the Little Horn that “it will throw truth to the ground.” (8:12) And Gabriel said much the same already in verse 23 that he will have “understanding of dark sentences”. The Revelation Book elaborates on how the final regime will allow deceptive cunning to prosper through the activities of the False Prophet Beast (from the “earth”), who works with the Antichrist Beast (from the “sea”) and “deceives those who dwell on the earth.” (13:14)
Jesus made it clear that, along with being “a murderer from the beginning”, the Devil is also “a liar and the father of lies”. (John 8:44) Deceit prospers, referring probably to a lot of political and other chicanery that the Antichrist and his cohorts engage in. In addition, propaganda influence and glorification of the Antichrist and False Prophet and their new utopia, via the media, will be very difficult to overcome in those days.
On the geo-political scene, the Little Horn will engage subtly and fraudulently with other nations. Evidence of his skill in deception and double-dealing appears in Daniel 9:27, where we learn that the Antichrist “prince” confirms a covenant with many, then breaks it 3½ years later. Or in Daniel 11:23 – “And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully.”
10) And in his own mind he shall become great. (8:25)
Or in another version, “he… will become arrogant.” (NLT) This phrase echoes what Daniel already said in verse 11: “it [the Little Horn] became great, even as great as the Prince of the host.” Like so many conquerors of the past, once they became powerful, seldom were they able to avoid the pitfall of arrogance. The classic example was Daniel’s experience with king Nebuchadnezzar (See chapter 4.) For Nebuchadnezzar it took seven years of humility training, thinking and acting like a beast, before he recovered his sanity and was ready to resume his kingly duties. And there are many other stories in the Old Testament of Israel’s various kings who fell into disgrace because of pride and over-confidence.
11) Without warning he shall destroy many (8:25)
Other translations put it this way: “He shall destroy many in their prosperity.” (NKJV) “He will destroy many while they are at ease.” (NASB) “When they feel secure, he will destroy many.” (NIV) This fits well with what chapter 18 in the Book of Revelation tells us about the Harlot empire:
As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, since in her heart she says, “I sit as a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see.” For this reason her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her. (18:7-8)
Without getting into all the details, this passage in Revelation foretells sudden destruction (“without warning”) for the Harlot empire. This modern empire, centered in America, would certainly qualify as a people who dwell “in their prosperity” who feel “secure” and “at ease”.
They are like the ancient Laodicean church of whom the Lord said, “I will spit you out of My mouth.” Modern western nations think in the same way as did the Laodicean church: “I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing” and don’t realize that they “are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” (Revelation 3:16-17)
America has become a violent and corrupted empire whose judgment is long overdue. (This is a strong indictment, yes, and a full explanation is needful, for which see the series of posts, Revelation 17-18.)
12) And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes (8:25)
One translation states, “He will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes.” (NIV) That is to say, his “success” in “destroying many” will lead the final Antichrist to suppose, like Pharaoh of old, that he is powerful enough to resist God’s plan, and to “rise up against the Prince of princes.” This final self-exaltation of a demagogue, one who is opposed to the authority of God in a modern secular society, is foretold elsewhere in the Scriptures:
He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God. (2Thessalonians 2:4, NLT; also Daniel 11:36-37)
It [the Beast] opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. (Revelation 13:6-7)
And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him [Christ] who was sitting on the horse and against his army. (Revelation 19:19).
13) And he shall be broken—but by no human hand (8:25)
Earlier in the chapter, at the end of Daniel’s description of the vision, we were left hanging: the Little Horn “will act and prosper”. (8:12) And that was it. It seemed as if evil had conquered. But here Gabriel adds an important bit of information: the Little Horn “shall be broken”.
And very peculiar, this will happen, not by any “human hand”, but by supernatural means. This echoes the scenario pictured in the image vision of chapter 2: “a stone was cut out by NO HUMAN HAND, and it struck the image on its feet [End of the Age] of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.” (2:34) The same is suggested in chapter 11: “he shall come to his end, with none to help him.” (11:45)
At this extreme end point in history, the Little Horn has just brought about the destruction of the Harlot empire and has become the world’s supreme ruler. Perhaps he will reason, “Why should I have to share my supremacy with the Most High?” Incredible as it seems now, he will deceive himself into thinking he can out-smart God. In spite of miraculous signs and troubles, he and the False Prophet will, like Pharaoh of old, fight on to the bitter end.
The supernatural manner of their defeat is described in the Book of Revelation, chapter 19, verses 11 to 21. At the Battle of Armageddon Christ will descend from Heaven with His armies to conquer the Earth, which results in the Antichrist and False Prophet being sent to their celestial prison known as the Lake of Fire.
And then the way will be clear to establish God’s Kingdom on Earth!
“The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true, but seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now.” (8:26)
Daniel had been “told” by the two “holy ones” about the time span of “2,300 evenings and mornings”. (8:13-14) After Gabriel’s assertion about the vision being for the Time of the End, Daniel may have wondered if his understanding of the vision, as affirmed by the side-revelation of the two “holy ones” in verses 13-14, was still “true”. Gabriel’s closing statement here affirms that, yes, that aspect of the revelation regarding ancient Israel “is true” – even though it differed from Gabriel’s explanation in verses 19-25, and even though the 2,300 days was not part of the original vision.
In the infinite wisdom and understanding of God, it was not an “either/or” interpretation (with one version right and the other wrong), but in this case at least, it was a “both/and” interpretation (both versions correct). What grand, marvellous, multi-faceted comprehension is packed away in any vision or revelation, emanating from the Halls of Heaven! And how difficult sometimes to stretch the boundaries of understanding to fully grasp them.
In the previous revelations of chapters 2 and 7, the events foretold in them were expressed in fairly symbolic terms and were to happen in a rather distant future. Compared to them, this revelation in chapter 8 is more specific and draws attention to persecution coming to the Hebrew nation. Looking at the historical situation of his day, Daniel may have had difficulty trying to imagine how the Medo-Persian and Greek empires could rise to power. And probably, he felt uncomfortable with the revelation about his people having to suffer persecution. And that may be why Gabriel added this extra confirmation – to reassure Daniel that the future persecution would be limited to 2,300 days.
Nevertheless, although the revelation applied specifically to nations and peoples known to the people of those days, Gabriel assures Daniel that he can “seal up the vision, for it refers to many days in the future.” (8:26) The revelation wasn’t meant for him personally nor for the Jewish people of his time. It only needed to be sealed up – not hidden but preserved in the Hebrew chronicles for a future day when it would be needed. It was only meant for the Jewish people of a later time, 400 years later, and for the followers of Christ some 2,500+ years later – for us in this day and age.
As for the revelation about the rise and fall of empires, that was a matter of lesser concern for Daniel. However, that was the only aspect of the revelation of which Daniel saw the fulfillment. For about ten years later, Medo-Persia rose to power after conquering the ruling empire of Babylon in 539 B.C.
And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king’s business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it. (8:27)
Spiritual experiences can be quite taxing on the physical body. Daniel noted earlier that “when he [Gabriel] had spoken to me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face to the ground.” (8:18) And it seems that the cumulative effect of this experience in the spiritual realm left Daniel “sick for some days”.
Then he “rose and went about the king’s business.” Although he was greatly attuned to the voice of God and the spirit realm, Daniel still had his feet planted firmly on the ground and was faithful to carry out his duties of administration in the Babylonian kingdom.
And he was “appalled by the vision” – that is, in the sense of being disturbed or “troubled” (NLT). Other translations say that Daniel was “astonished” or “astounded at the vision” (KJV, NKJV, NAS). In his previous revelation Daniel had a similar reaction afterwards, saying, “My thoughts greatly alarmed me.” (7:28)
Not knowing what to make of such unusual revelations, or what upheavals might come, would be disturbing for anyone. The simple fact, though, was he “did not understand it.” It just wasn’t meant for him, but for a generation to come… in the distant future, our generation in fact.
We are the ones, or our children are the ones, the last generation, to whom this revelation provides guidance. The fact that the revelation came from so long ago – revealed to someone who had almost no idea what it meant – reassures us that the revelation came from God. The world will be wondering, confused and in turmoil. But God does not want His people to be surprised or caught off guard, and thus, long ago He gave this revelation so we could be informed ahead of time as we behold God’s plan unfolding.
It has taken many many generations, but now is the time when at last we see these events, pictured from so long ago, starting to come to pass!
Armed with this prophetic wisdom from ancient times, we understand that God is in control from behind the scenes. And in the midst of turbulence and turmoil, this will be a great reassurance and comfort – not only to ourselves, but to the many who will be wondering what is going on and if there is a plan in the midst of all the confusion and chaos. They will be seeking for some indication that there is a God who knows what’s going on in those days, and does He plan to do something about it?
For the sake of those who will be seeking for answers, it will certainly be helpful for teachers and leaders to have a good understanding of what was written long ago – not only in the Book of Daniel, but also the Book of Revelation, the Book of Ezekiel, and several other prophetic passages in the Bible.
~ THE END ~
Appendix 5: Quote from Against the Flow – The Inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism by John C. Lennox, pgs. 259-260
“How can the description of a Seleucid king in the second century BC possibly relate to the time of the end? The answer is, surely, that the figure of Antiochus and the horrors he perpetrated throw long shadows into the future. At the time of the end another leader like Antiochus will arise, who will do similar things. In Antiochus there were the seeds of an evil that will gestate and come to its fearful fruition in a time yet to come. Antiochus and the events of his time, therefore, form a prototype or thought model of the future, which will help Daniel and us imagine what is to come – and to be aware of similar tendencies in our own day. Indeed, as we read the explanation given to Daniel by Gabriel, it is hard to resist the impression that something much more distant and much more sinister than Antiochus is in view. Speaking of the four kingdoms, Gabriel says:
And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold countenance, one who understands riddles, shall arise. His power shall be great – but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken – but by no human hand. (Daniel 8: 23– 25.)
“As we read this passage it is almost as if we are looking through the contours of Antiochus and his time to a much bigger and, sadly, more terrible scenario in the future, when a bold and fierce king who is like Antiochus in his deceit, cunning, and power rises up against the Prince of princes and is destroyed by supernatural power.
“This description links conceptually with another passage…”
[Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there comes a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God… And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (2Thessalonians 2:1-10)]
“The parallels are striking. Both the bold king in Daniel’s vision and the man of lawlessness get their power from a dark source. They exalt themselves against God; they fight against Christ who is the Prince of princes; and they are killed by the supernatural power of God.
“Therefore the prophecies of Daniel 2, 7, and 8 (and also, as we shall see, 9 and 11) all home in on this final manifestation of evil government that shall be destroyed by the coming of Christ. This means that we have several perspectives on that time – much as we have four Gospels in the New Testament that give us four perspectives on the historical events that underlie the Christian faith. Or we could think of the way in which astrophotographers take three separate monotone pictures of a galaxy through red, green, and blue filters, and then combine them to form a stunning colour photograph. In Daniel’s visions we are presented with separate images, and by collecting them together we can get a composite idea of the whole. Antiochus is but one prototype of what shall happen in the future.”