Daniel: Chapter 8 Timeline
The writing of this chapter now reverts back to Hebrew from the Aramaic language that represented the Gentile nations. The scenes presented in this and the following chapters’ shifts from a general description of the latter days with respect to the Gentile nations, to events of great interest and importance to the children of Israel. This chapter provides information on two nations who were in power when Israel again possessed their land after being in Babylonian captivity. This chapter also illustrates the violent transfer of power from the Persian Empire to the Alexandrian Empire. It then goes on to show the segmentation of Alexander’s empire into four kingdoms, divided among his four generals. The chapter ends by recording the tragic events surrounding the little horn that arises from one of the four notable horns. This little horn represented the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, a brutal and malevolent man whom God judged. Just as in the last chapter of Daniel where there appeared to be dual applications in the prophetic passages, the same occurs here with the little horn.
The focus of this chapter is on the 2nd and 3rd kingdoms described in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the multi-metallic image as seen in the timeline above. In the previous chapter, the focus was on the fourth beast and the little horn, though other beasts were presented. This vision took place two years after the first vision in Daniel 7:1-28, while King Belshazzar was still reigning. There is no indication that the visions and dreams in these two chapters are connected, only that they occurred sequentially. Therefore they are being treated independently, examined in context, and with the entire Bible.