“Then from one of the prominent horns came a small horn whose power grew very great. It extended toward the south and the east and toward the glorious land of Israel. Its power reached to the heavens, where it attacked the heavenly army, throwing some of the heavenly beings and some of the stars to the ground and trampling them. It even challenged the Commander of heaven’s army by canceling the daily sacrifices offered to him and by destroying his Temple. The army of heaven was restrained from responding to this rebellion. So the daily sacrifice was halted, and truth was overthrown. The horn succeeded in everything it did. Then I heard two holy ones talking to each other. One of them asked, “How long will the events of this vision last? How long will the rebellion that causes desecration stop the daily sacrifices? How long will the Temple and heaven’s army be trampled on?” The other replied, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the Temple will be made right again.” Daniel 8:9-14
Antiochus Epiphanes is what this vision is about. He is an example of the Antichrist. The Antichrist will try to destroy the Jews. While there were other Empires in the world of that day, the Holy Spirit, through Daniel, only deals with that which will affect Israel, and in fact, the entirety of the future. We need to realize that the future of the world is all about what happens to Israel. This is because Israel is God’s people and God is in control of the world.
After Antiochus Epiphanes tried to conquer the world and being stopped by the Roman Armies, he turned his fury on Jerusalem and sacked the city. He killed some eighty thousand Jews and sold another forty thousand into slavery. To kill the Jews was one thing, but to destroy their faith was another. This is what the antichrist will try to do and this is what Satan is trying to do today. Antiochus decided to substitute Greek worship and culture for the Jewish religion. Instead of the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles, he brought into the temple the Feast of Bacchanalia, worshipping Bacchus, the god of pleasure and wine. He forbade the observance of the Sabbath and reading of the Scripture, even burning every copy of the Torah he could find. The Jews in the city were forbidden to practice anything Jewish on penalty of death. Antiochus even desecrated the temple by walking into the temple with a pig and sacrificing it on the altar spraying the temple with the pig’s blood. There was nothing more horrible to the Jews than to have their sacred place profaned by the blood of an unclean animal. As a Jew, Daniel wanted to know jut how long this was going to go on before God put a stop to it. God answered Daniel, 2,300 evenings and mornings. I wrote on Antiochus Epiphanes in an earlier devotion on the Antichrist.