Turkey, Iran and the coming war
Will the countries of Turkey and Iran face off against each other in a struggle for power in the Middle East? Will one of them crush the other and then claim control over the entire Middle East region? The verses we are about to consider indicate that might be true. They are at peace and even cooperating with each other, but that will likely change.
No Filler Added
There isn’t any fluff in the Bible. Nothing is placed in any book, chapter, or verse intended to fill space or “move the story along.” That’s a phrase many writers are familiar with. In the middle of the story, authors will add ‘backstory’ content or interesting tidbits about the characters to keep readers interested before they get to the good conflict at the end of the book.
There is none of that in the Bible.
On the contrary, every word, verb, and story all point in one direction and each has a meaning significant to the overall message. This passage like everything else in the Bible points to one end. That ending was written about several thousand years ago. History is heading toward the exciting conflict resolution at the end. Get your seatbelts on.
Historical and Prophetic
This passage has a historical fulfillment. It reads as history but was written before the events took place. That is one of the primary reasons the Book of Daniel has been attacked so strongly by critics. (see here.) The critics argue that he could not possibly have known these details about future conflicts so many years prior to fulfillment.
When reading prophetic passages we should first look from the author’s point of view. Then we look for any possible connection to historical events. Then we look further down history’s timeline to anticipate any future fulfillment. Not all prophecy and visions point to the end, but this one does. This prophecy, like many others, has the common two-fold fulfillment. It happened once in history and it will happen again. An angel tells Daniel twice that what he is seeing is related to end times events.
…16And I heard the voice of a man between the banks of Ulai, and he called out and said, “Gabriel, give this man an understanding of the vision.” 17So he came near to where I was standing, and when he came I was frightened and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end.” 18Now while he was talking with me, I sank into a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me and made me stand upright.…
The Tale of Two Powers
Daniel chapter eight gives an account of two regional powers at war with each other in the Middle East. (Medo-Persia and Greece.) In the struggle, weaker nations also got swallowed up in the fight. The two powers fight for supremacy until one remains standing. It already happened. Greece won over Medo-Persia. Daniel saw it in a vision while Babylon was still the reigning power in the Middle East. Historians record that it took place. The angel adds important details–The vision pertains to the time of the end.
Daniel has a vision
In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me; to me, Daniel; after the one that appeared to me the first time. I saw in the vision, and it so happened while I was looking, that I was in Shushan, the citadel, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision that I was by the River Ulai.
The province of Elam is Iran:
Daniel had a vision. The vision came to him while he was in the province of Elam. Elam was a long-lasting ancient civilization just to the east of Mesopotamia. It was centered in the southwest of what is modern-day Iran. When Daniel saw the vision and then went on to write it, his message was to the people of his day. Based on what the angel told Daniel I believe it’s probable that his message has relevance for us today.
The conflicts we see in the Middle East mirror historical conflicts. Just as Daniel was able to see a few years into the future, we can do the same. I trust what the angel told the prophet. Two regions will face off in the near future. If we could place money on this, someone might get rich. The angel, a messenger of the Lord said it pertains to the end.
Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns, and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward so that no animal could withstand him; nor was there any that could deliver from his hand, but he did according to his will and became great.
A ram which had two horns:
Daniel saw a ram with two horns. The ram represents an empire, the horns two divisions of power within the empire. Today we see something very similar. Two nations in the same region have combined their militaries. Iran and Iraq fight as one in the Middle East. Iran is the stronger or taller horn.
Later in this chapter in Daniel 8:20, the ram is identified as the Medo-Persian Empire. They succeeded the Babylonian Empire as predicted by earlier visions of Daniel in chapter two. The symbol of a ram for this empire would make sense according to historians.
Daniel saw it before it happened, wrote it down, and historians record the accuracy of his words. Now we wait to see if there will be a final fulfillment as the angel appears to have said.
One was higher than the other:
The vision of the ram revealed an animal with two out of proportion horns– one was higher than the other. This accurately predicted the relationship between the Medes and the Persians. The Persians were the larger and stronger of the two. They rose up after the Medes as the passage indicates. History confirms these facts. But is this also a foreshadowing of future events yet to unfold in the Middle East? I believe it is.
Click the link here to see what another author has found in his research.
Pushing westward, northward, and southward:
After the Medes and Persians joined forces, the Medo-Persian Empire was created. Confident in their greater power, they began to exert their will on weaker nations. Their armies marched in three directions in an effort to expand their empire. to the north, south, and west. The empire expanded just as the Bible predicted. Will that happen again? Well, it has already begun. As of this writing, the Iranian and Iraqi forces have pushed west and north as far as they can. They are in Syria and Lebanon. Iran has been pushing south for years. They are the in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia in the country of Yemen. They will continue to push.
And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power. And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him, and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand. Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven.
A challenge to the ram:
As the vision develops Daniel sees a goat come into the picture. The ram, The Medo-Persian Empire pushed too far. Another power begins to push back. As with the identity of the ram we also get clarity later in the chapter, Daniel 8:21-22. The male goat is identified as Greece. The horns are identified as the leaders of the Grecian Empire. Historical records allow us to compare what the prophet wrote with the actual events. Only God can give the kind of detail and precision we see here. If Daniel was correct once, will he be correct again so many years further into the future? I’m betting he will.
In Daniel’s time, and centuries afterward, the area known as Greece was what we call Turkey today. Daniel saw a strong military force come from that region to confront the Medo-Persian Empire. It happened in history, will it play out one more time? Looks like it will. Turkey and Iran have a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ to work together. Neither country is run by gentlemen, so when Iran pushes too far, Turkey will push back.
The current economic condition in Iran reveals there are huge problems. Turkey is much stronger than Iran and has a broader base of support.
Across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground:
This description of the male goat provides an accurate but brief summary of the history of the Grecian Empire. The Greeks, led by Alexander the Great, pushed back against the Medo-Persian Empire. They rose from the west, came suddenly with great speed, had a notable horn or leader, and challenged the Medo-Persians. The two powers hated one another and fought some of history’s fiercest battles. The western power eventually broke into four bases of power after the untimely death of Alexander the Great.
It’s very important for us to note that when Daniel stood at the River Ulai and looked west, he was looking at the region that is today the country of Turkey. The same country is also a key geographical focal point when the Apostle John begins the book of Revelation. If Daniel’s vision has a modern equivalent, then we might expect to see a clash between Iran and Turkey in the future
More from Daniel
http://thewritelife.tech/daniel-71-8-what-are-the-four-beast-kingdoms-in-daniels-vision/Daniel sees a vision of the beasts.