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Daniel 8:20

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The ram which thou sagest - See this explained under the vision itself, Daniel 8:3; (note), etc.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The ram which thou sawest … - See the notes at Daniel 8:3. This is one of the instances in the Scriptures in which symbols are explained. There can be no doubt, therefore, as to the meaning.

Uriah Smith
Daniel and the Revelation, 180

Verse 20

As the disciples said to the Lord, so may we here say of the angel who spake to Daniel, “Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.” This is an explanation of the vision in language as plain as need be given. (See on verses 3-8.) The distinguishing feature of the Persian empire, the union of the two nationalities which composed it, is represented by the two horns of the ram. Grecia attained its greatest glory as a unit under the leadership of Alexander the Great, a general as famous as the world has ever seen. This part of her history is represented by the first phase of the goat, during which time the one notable horn symbolized Alexander the Great. Upon his death, the kingdom fell into fragments, but almost immediately consolidated into four grand divisions, represented by the second phase of the goat, when it had four horns which came up in the place of the first, which was broken. These divisions did not stand in his power. None of them possessed the strength of the original kingdom. These great waymarks in history, on which the historian bestows volumes, the inspired penman here gives us in sharp outline, with a few strokes of the pencil and a few dashes of the pen.DAR 180.3

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
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.
Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 547

Honored by men with the responsibilities of state and with the secrets of kingdoms bearing universal sway, Daniel was honored by God as His ambassador, and was given many revelations of the mysteries of ages to come. His wonderful prophecies, as recorded by him in chapters 7 to 12 of the book bearing his name, were not fully understood even by the prophet himself; but before his life labors closed, he was given the blessed assurance that “at the end of the days”—in the closing period of this world's history—he would again be permitted to stand in his lot and place. It was not given him to understand all that God had revealed of the divine purpose. “Shut up the words, and seal the book,” he was directed concerning his prophetic writings; these were to be sealed “even to the time of the end.” “Go thy way, Daniel,” the angel once more directed the faithful messenger of Jehovah; “for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.... Go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Daniel 12:4, 9, 13. PK 547.1

As we near the close of this world's history, the prophecies recorded by Daniel demand our special attention, as they relate to the very time in which we are living. With them should be linked the teachings of the last book of the New Testament Scriptures. Satan has led many to believe that the prophetic portions of the writings of Daniel and of John the revelator cannot be understood. But the promise is plain that special blessing will accompany the study of these prophecies. “The wise shall understand” (verse 10), was spoken of the visions of Daniel that were to be unsealed in the latter days; and of the revelation that Christ gave to His servant John for the guidance of God's people all through the centuries, the promise is, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.” Revelation 1:3. PK 547.2

From the rise and fall of nations as made plain in the books of Daniel and the Revelation, we need to learn how worthless is mere outward and worldly glory. Babylon, with all its power and magnificence, the like of which our world has never since beheld,—power and magnificence which to the people of that day seemed so stable and enduring,—how completely has it passed away! As “the flower of the grass,” it has perished. James 1:10. So perished the Medo-Persian kingdom, and the kingdoms of Grecia and Rome. And so perishes all that has not God for its foundation. Only that which is bound up with His purpose, and expresses His character, can endure. His principles are the only steadfast things our world knows. PK 548.1

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