I’ll tell you up front why Daniel 8 is so important:
Daniel 8 seems to identify the general location from where the false messiah (AKA The Antichrist) comes from – somewhere in Alexander’s empire, or more specifically one of the four areas of that empire ruled by Alexander’s generals. Whoever this nasty person is, he comes from there.
Yeah. It’s THAT intense.
Now, I should point out here that just because this guy has antichrist characteristics… that doesn’t mean that he IS the Antichrist. He could be just another in a long line of nasty types who’ve done impressive evil. My gut feeling is that this IS the antichrist, but that shouldn’t persuade you.
But, back to Alexander.
Here is a map Alexander’s conquests:
You can see a bigger version here.
So, what we’re saying is that our Bad Guy is going to come from one of the following countries:
And, if you’re willing to stretch a bit, you could maybe throw in some of the ‘stans’ like Turkmenistan and maybe Bulgaria and Macedonia.
But, that’s pretty much it.
The Antichrist, False Messiah, Bad Dude From Outta Town – call him what you will – is going to come from one of the above countries. That, of course, makes you want to wrack your brains for a name, any name, that might fit. Nothing much seems to come up.
How about you?
But, I’m jumping ahead of myself. Let’s jump into Daniel 8 and read what it says. Verses 1-18 are the vision itself, so let me add it here without comment:
1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me, Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
2 And I saw in the vision; now it was so, that when I saw, I was in Shushan the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision, and I was by the river Ulai.
3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; and no beasts could stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and magnified himself.
5 And as I was considering, behold, a he-goat came from the west over the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
6 And he came to the ram that had the two horns, which I saw standing before the river, and ran upon him in the fury of his power.
7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with anger against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns; and there was no power in the ram to stand before him; but he cast him down to the ground, and trampled upon him; and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
8 And the he-goat magnified himself exceedingly: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and instead of it there came up four notable horns toward the four winds of heaven.
9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the glorious land.
10 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and some of the host and of the stars it cast down to the ground, and trampled upon them.
11 Yea, it magnified itself, even to the prince of the host; and it took away from him the continual burnt-offering, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
12 And the host was given over to it together with the continual burnt-offering through transgression; and it cast down truth to the ground, and it did its pleasure and prospered.
13 Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said unto that certain one who spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the continual burnt-offering, and the transgression that maketh desolate, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
15 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, that I sought to understand it; and, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.
16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.
17 So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I was affrighted, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man; for the vision belongeth to the time of the end.
18 Now as he was speaking with me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face toward the ground; but he touched me, and set me upright.
Daniel doesn’t have a clue as to what has just transpired in his dream. But, God speaks to Gabriel to teach Daniel what the dream means. Here’s what Gabriel has to say in the last few verses of Daniel 8:
19 And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the latter time of the indignation; for it belongeth to the appointed time of the end.
20 The ram which thou sawest, that had the two horns, they are the kings of Media and Persia.
21 And the rough he-goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
22 And as for that which was broken, in the place whereof four stood up, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not with his power.
The four generals that replaced Alexander the Great really did try to expand on what Alexander did, but they were never successful. They just didn’t have Alexander’s brilliance.
23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper and do his pleasure; and he shall destroy the mighty ones and the holy people.
And, he might be short? Because he’s a little horn?
And, he’s going to have this really intense face – in Hebrew, an az pinim – which is also ‘goat face’. (This guy will have the face of a goat?)
And… he won’t have direct, personal power. His power will come from someone (or something) else.
Sorta like this guy:
That’s right, our boy Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He’s EXTREMELY mystical. And, he does not – I repeat, NOT – have power in Iran. (And, just LOOK at that face.)
Ahmadinejad gets his power from this guy:
Ali Khamenei, who does NOT have the face of a goat.
Now, is Mahmoud the guy described in Daniel 8?
Is the guy described in Daniel 8 the Antichrist?
I think so, but it actually doesn’t have to be the Antichrist. He could just be a Bad Dude from Outta Town.
But, if that’s the case, why would God devote an entire chapter to this?
Whoever this guy is, Antichrist or not, he is someone to look out for and be wary of.
The interesting thing is that when I originally wrote this in December 2011, I had not thought to nominate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the position of ‘az-pinim‘. In fact, it wasn’t until I was most of the way through the article that it started to occur to me that there was one man who fits all the criteria for az-pinim.
That doesn’t mean that he IS the az-pinim. But, it does mean that any other candidate for az-pinim must be like him.
There’s also a problem. The idea of our boy Mahmoud being the az-pinim sounds completely absurd. If it wasn’t for the fact that the REAL dude will share the same characteristics, I’d completely discount the possibility.
25 And through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and in their security shall he destroy many: he shall also stand up against the prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
Remember that Mahmoud is a mystic. Seriously looney tunes mystic. AND, he has the capacity to take down an awful lot of the world with that EMP weapon he’s building.
26 And the vision of the evenings and mornings which hath been told is true: but shut thou up the vision; for it belongeth to many days to come.
27 And I, Daniel, fainted, and was sick certain days; then I rose up, and did the king’s business: and I wondered at the vision, but none understood it.
I guess we have to throw Mahmoud Ahmadinejad into the running for the title of az-pinim (or, even Anti-Christ) because he really is a short dude with the face of a goat.
Got a better candidate?
Whoever this guy is, he’s going to be a lot like Mahmoud ‘Goat Face’ Ahmadinejad.