Shaggy Goat

The United States attack on Iraq might have been the fulfilment of the second part of Daniel's vision of the Ram and the Goat (Dan 8). While watching the Ram (which represents Iran and Iraq) he saw a shaggy goat with a prominent horn. The goat's advance is described in verses 5-8.

As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between his eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground (Dan 8:5).

The two horns of the Ram beside the canal may represent Iran and Iraq (Dan 8:20), which were the strongest nations in the Kingdom of the South. The message of this vision is that when the King of the South has reached the zenith of its power in Iraq, an even more powerful kingdom, the Shaggy Goat will arise. It will come from the West in a sudden attack.

The Goat is called the King of Greece (Dan 8:21), but we know from Daniel 11:3 that the King of Greece is also the King of the North. The King of Greece is not the nation of Greece, but is the civilisation that came out of Greece. Many historians and philosophers consider that Western Civilisation emerged out of ancient Greece. The King of Greece symbolises Western Civilisation centred on the United States.

During the twentieth century, the United States emerged from Europe's shadow to dominate Western Civilisation, both in terms of military power and cultural influence. the prominent horn on the goat in Daniel 8 represents the United States controlling the Western world.

Daniel saw the United States leading its European allies. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Europe has been eclipsed by the United States, so the King of the North is currently working through it. The United States currently dominates Western Civilisation, in terms of military power and cultural influence, so the goat the United States. This explains the irony of the King of the North "coming from the West". The vision of the Goat is a prophecy of the United States and Europe, acting as the King of the North, attacking and defeating a Middle Eastern nation.

The Goat has a single large horn. Daniel says that it was "conspicuous and impressive". This symbolises the self-confidence and overconfidence of the United States. The horn also represents massive military power. The military power of the United States exceeds anything that has ever been known and no nation in the world can match it. The large horn represents the hegemony of the United States.

Daniel saw the United States, as the King of the North, flying into a "great rage" against the King of the South.

He came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at him in great rage Dan 8:6).

Daniel had seen the Ram standing by a canal between the rivers when attacked. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers and their can systems run through Iraq. The Goat was really stirred up against the ruler of Iraq. Prior to the US invasion of Iraq, the entire western world was stirred up about Saddam Hussein and his Weapons of Mass Destruction. The leaders of the United States wound themselves up into a great rage. Even though the Weapons of Mass Destruction eventually proved to be an illusion, US public opinion was turned in favour of the invasion.

The Goat did not attack Ram directly.

I saw him come close beside the ram and he was embittered by it (Dan 8:7).

The Goat came and stood close by the Ram. The Ram is centred on Iran, but the United States did not attack it directly. It invaded Iraq, which is right beside Iran. Although, it attacked Iraq, it was always angry with Iran. Throughout the war, the US military fulminated against Iran for supporting insurgents in Iraq.

Daniel saw the Goat strike the Ram through a massive attack on Iraq.

The goat stuck the ram and smashed its second horn (Dan 8:7).

The goat attacked without "touching the ground". This symbolises an airborne attack. When the United States invaded Iraq with its allies in 2003, it began the war with a massive bombing campaign called Shock and Awe. The infrastructure of the nation was quickly destroyed.

The follow-up invasion reached Bagdad within a month and the Iraqi army collapsed in the face of overwhelming odds.

There was no power in the ram to stand against him. The goat knocked him to the ground and trampled on him (Dan 8:7).

Military and political leaders were powerless and forced to flee. Saddam Hussein was forced into hiding and was eventually find hiding in a hole in the ground. This ties in with Daniels statement that the Ram was "pushed to the ground and trampled on".

None could rescue the ram from his power (Dan 8:7).

The invasion of Iraq was an affront to the leaders of Iran. They should have come to the aid of their Shiite neighbours, but apart from providing shelter for refugees and IEDs for insurgents, there was nothing they could do, but watch and wait. The Prince of Persia was powerless against the superior spiritual power behind the United States (not the Holy Spirit). This situation has continued. When a United States carrier group recently entered the Persian Gulf through the Straits of Hormuz, Iranian surveillance planes and ships tracked them, but they were powerless to prevent them.

However, the Ram was not destroyed by these events. The destruction of the Baathist rulers of Iraq removed a major obstacle to its power. It will continue to be involved with the King of the South in the battles described in Dan 11:14-45.

Note: the fact that an event is prophesied does not mean that it is justified. The United States was not justified in invading Iraq and it would not be justified in invading Iran.

Daniel prophesied that the United States' power would not last.

When the goat became very great, at the height of his power his large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up towards the four winds of heaven (Dan 8:8).
Daniel also warned that the power of the United States will fade for a time after the destruction of Iraq.

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