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The Prophecy of Daniel 8 - Part A1

The Prophetic Geo-Political||Societal History of the World (Daniel 8:1-6, 7, 20-21)

Note: This blog post is continued in Part A2 [=Dan 8:7]  & Part B [=Dan 8:8, 9-14, 15-19. 22, 23-26]

            The following exposition on the prophecy of Daniel 8 parallely covers much of the same historical ground/sweep and theme/issues as the prophecy of Daniel 7 and also Daniel 2. So to get the proper background and foundation about properly interpreting Bible prophecy do first see/read this post for Dan 7 and this one for Dan 2.[1]1
            Also, from the upcoming exegetical and Biblical (i.e. letting the Bible decode/interpret itself) exposition on/of Daniel 8, it will be self-evident&demonstrated that the popular preteristic interpreting & applicational claim that this prophecy was fulfilled by the ca. 2nd century B.C. actions of Antiochus Ephiphanes and the Maccabean Revolt actually, literally comes up way short...both Chronologically as well as Theologically/Biblically/Spiritually.[2]2

            Just the fact that this preteristic view was originally crafted by the 3rd Century AD anti-Christianity sophist&philosopher Porphyry in his attempt to discredit the claim that the Bible had predictive prophecies should ring all kinds of alarm bells in Christian. For a discussion about how that overall “historical critical” claim against the presence of predictive prophecy in the Book of Daniel, (with the claim being that “the book of Daniel was not written in the 6th century B.C., nor by Daniel, but in the 2nd Century B.C., and by someone else, who moreover was not familiar with Sixth Century B.C. history), see the introductory material (such as this presentation) provided at the beginning of the Daniel 2 prophecy. The pertinent, supposed “gross error”, issue of “Darius the Mede” (Dan 6:28; 9:1) is resolved in this chapter on the prophecy of Daniel 9.

            Relatedly, the alternative claim by Christians who have the unBiblical Dispensationalist-Futurists view, and therefore they claim that the “Little Horn” portion of this prophecy applies, -(as is their claim for the similar symbol in Daniel 7), to a still future antiChrist is also disproven in this exposition...Indeed the coming “antiChrist” manifestation that they are expecting from their interpretation of this prophecy is actually not the one that this prophecy is Biblically identifying (i.e. at Dan 8:23-25ff) ...More on that issue later when it comes up...    

Daniel 8:1 - In the third year of the reign of Belshazzar the king a vision appeared to I, Daniel, subsequent to the one which appeared to towards the first.

the third year.... - This is ca. the year 551 B.C.

Belshazzar the king - Belshazzar was actually then installed as a co-regent ruler in Babylon by his father Nabonidus who was then away on a prolonged, ca. 10-year  (i.e. 553-543 BC) absence  “in the oasis of Teima in the northern areas of the Arabian Peninsula”.

Though it is deemed that Belshazzar never officially took the title of King - (see e.g. within: AUSS 20 (1982) 133-149 & AUSS 26 (1988) 1:67-81

to I, Daniel - It is interesting that Daniel here is himself making the statement which introduces his vision account. That is different than usual because for the other 3 visions of Daniel, at Dan 7:1; 9:1; 10:1 we see that it is the (prophecy) arranger [for Chapters 7-12] and (historical) composer [for Chapters 1-6] of the book of Daniel who makes those introductory statement (i.e. they are in the 3rd person), as manifestly the first person opening statement of Daniel himself which occur at Dan 7:2; 9:2; 10:2 were not informatively precise, specific or complete enough. But here in Dan 8:1-2 it is Daniel himself who makes those introductory/setting statements.

towards the first - This is of course referring to previous vision that Daniel had in Daniel 7...which is actually the first vision which Daniel himself originally had had...I.e. compared to the explanation revelation/dream he was granted for the dream of Nebuchaneszzar in Daniel 2. So the vision of Daniel 7 is really the official beginning of Daniel’s own prophetic ministry.
            The Dream of Daniel 2 however was manifestly deliberately (first) given to Nebuchadnezzar to try to soften/influence (=“humanize” -Dan 7:4) his heart towards God (i.e. from that of a beast -Dan 5) all for the wider purpose of safeguarding the captive Israelites in Babylon.

Daniel 8:2 - I looked in the vision, and by looking, I myself came to be in Susa the Citadel, which is in the province of Elam; then I looked in the vision and I myself came to be beside the Ulai Canal.

            Initially I was going to overlook trying to delve deeply in this vision opening verse as, on its surface, it did not seem to have any special significance, but from prior studies of Biblical Prophecies, including those in the SOP, and also from my own experiences (e.g. here [#1] and here [#19]), and pointedly given the seemingly redundant insistence of Daniel in what he relates in this verse, I knew that the Heavenly Intelligence literally does not waste ‘prophetic revelation space’. I.e. there are no ‘throw away’/filler/meaningless content in these given visions. And it is indeed through the principle of 1SM 25.4 that one will come to perceive the meaning of these provided gems. So I here came to highly suspect that this opening visionary content surely did indeed have significance, and Daniel himself seemed to also have noticed this by the way he detailedly relates exactly what he had here seen and experienced. And sure enough, this protracted detailing here is to give a, evidently crucial fundamental setting for this entire vision.

I looked in the vision - This is pretty straight forward. However it does signal that the vision had then begun.

and by looking, I myself came to be  - Daniel here is emphatic that what he was seeing/experiencing here was also in/by him continuing to see/experience this vision. And by emphatically saying “I myself” = “even I” [Heb. ani  #589], an expression he again makes later in this opening verse, he is emphasizing that he sees himself being ‘transported in vision’. Other Bible/Biblical prophets also had such experiences: e.g.:

-Ezekiel (Ezek 8:3ff=Jerusalem; Ezek 40:1-3=city on south side of a high mountain in the land of Israel; Ezek 43:1-3=Eastern Gate)
-Paul (2 Cor 12:1-4=Paradise)
-John (Rev 17:3=wilderness; Rev 21:10=great&high mountain);
-Ellen White (EW 32.2=Heavenly Sanctuary; EW 39.3=other worlds).

            Clearly this is done with the prophet to emphasize the setting of the vision, on that is distinct from the actual physical setting that s/he is presently in. And thus also serves as the foundational/controlling perspective for the vision. So Daniel being made to be in another place than actually the city of Babylon which he most likely physically was in then, is to be understood as being “foundationally/controllingly” crucial to the needed perspective for this vision. Daniel could easily have had the same vision while being shown to be, or not even having to be shown to be, in Babylon, (or wherever he actually physically was). But instead, the Spirit of God transports him elsewhere, and not merely in views, but in a sensorily felt, in person, presence there.

in Susa the Citadel - Because the terms “Citadel” [Heb. birah #1002] and Susa are in apposition, it has been said that it is better rendered as one term: “Citadel Susa”| “Susa the Citadel” (=NKJV, ESV, NJB) (i.e. ‘the Citadel City which is Susa’) rather than: ‘citadel in/of Susa’ (e.g. NASB, NIV, NAB). (i.e. ‘the citadel which is in the city of Susa’). That is the “appositional” way that this location is consistently referred to as in the original Hebrew in the Bible, i.e. throughout the book/story of Esther (=Est 1:2,5; 2:3,5,8; 3:15; 8:14; 9:6,11,12 + Neh 1:1).
            A “citadel” was/has been a defensive measure utilized by Cities/Kingdoms as a last line of defense against an invasion. It is a further fortified inner area (a.k.a. a fortress) of a, typically already fortified city. It is like a safe, or “safe room” in a house. The house of course is itself “fortified” against unwanted intruders, but in the event that this line of protection was breached, a location/room in the house provided a further security.[3]3
            Well it also was the case that entire cities in themselves were defaultly so “further fortified”. And so the entire city in itself was a “Citadel”. And that appears to have been the case with the City of Susa...And that is manifestly why, unlike the kings of Babylon, the rulers of Medo-Persia seemed to also made it a, perhaps principal, seat of power for their achieved Hegemonic Empire. So if the city of Babylon ever was invaded, they could continue to still rule some ca. 250 miles east in the Citadel City Susa.

            So in this vision, Daniel is manifestly made to experience such a shift/expansion in seats of power, i.e. from Babylonian rule in the City of Babylon itself/alone, to the, then still upcoming, Medo-Persian rule now (also) in “Susa the Citadel (City)”.
            It is significant to note that, as sketched here, at the time that Daniel received his vision in ca. 551 B.C. the Persian Palace(s) at Susa (cf. here+here) had not yet been built (which was begun to be done during the reign Darius II (522-486 B.C.))...Indeed the Medo-Persians were then not even occupiers of this city in Daniel’s time. So it is likely that only the Citadel located on the “Acropolis” of this city was present there. Today a subsequently (=1897) built “fortress” is present there, suggesting that it was indeed the proper site to built such a defensive/security structure, or even as a direct replacement of the former/original citdael. So the entire (Royal) City area of Susa, may have been then known for, and thus straightly called as, “Susa the Citadel” by Daniel because it’s main construction/building then was that Citadel/Fortress structure.

            So manifestly, this (future) ‘Medo-Persian rule’ seat/setting policy and establishment was fundamental to this vision of Daniel. Babylon, and Babylon Rule, or even Babylonian Seat of Power, was to become ‘no longer (focally) in the picture’. So the independence, rule and power of the Medo-Persians, -though they would also stepped/settled right into the footprints of the Babylonian Empire, was now to be the “fundamental perspective” through which this vision was to be viewed, thus comprehended.
            That expanding/duplicating relocation to Citadel Susa was actually quite a deliberate move by the Medo-Persians because, not only was the city of Babylon on of the wonders of the world then, the Medo-Persians had actually captured it intact, i.e. “without a battle”. So it was still in its glorious splendor. And surely they now would know how to protect against the sole weakest link provision in Babylon which they had exploited to capture it, namely the (drunkenly) inadvertent non-shutting of the submerged leave-gates which allowed the Euphrates River to flow into and through the city. (cf. Isa 45:1). With that issue surely protected against, the city of Babylon could serve as the perfect sole Capital of the Medo-Persian Empire....But they still chose to also establish themselves, if not principally relocate, to Susa.
            And so with this being fundamentally represented in this vision from God, such a non-sequitur development/move was probably at motivation from God himself who, (as it will be seen in the next verse), had decided plans to come to completely destroyed the City/Kingdom and Legacy of Babylon, and that surely had to include/start with the desolation and destruction of that Capital City.                                                        
            So though a seat of power for the Medo-Persians was also going to continue to be in the capital city of Babylon, they also were going to make the (Entire) City of Susa a seat of its rule...And almost as a “last bastion” resort in the case that the City of Babylon itself ever fell.
            Just to show how this establishment of Susa was indeed a duplication of Babylon, archeologists (see in SDABD p.1076) have discovered remains of a great banquet hall, similar to the one that existed in Babylon (cf. Dan 5:10) was also built in Susa (manifestly where the “banquets” in Esther were held (e.g. Est 1:3,5; perhaps in a distinct location than for a queen’s “palace” banquets Est 1:9; cf. 2:18).

which is in the province of Elam - As seen in the map above, the province of Elam encroached more into the “organic” territory of the Medes and the Persians. So that could have been their own logical/natural motivation for wanting to have a seat of government for their empire in the capital city of this province, Susa. Still God was working his purposes to virtually completely efface Babylon from the Kingdom Scene and World Map.              

then I looked in the vision - This here seems to be an odd, i.e. redundant, restatement by Daniel. He had just said that he had been looking into the vision, meaning that he already had started to be in vision, and had seen that he Spiritually/Visioniarily was in “Susa the Citadel (City)”. So, giving Daniel the benefit of the doubt her that he actually specifically meant what he was here stating, this latest statement, introduced by the versatile waw-conjunction in the Hebrew (= “and”, “then” or “that is”, is then best understood to be a “consecutive waw and so it would be saying/meaning: “then...” So this is speaking of Daniel now ‘further looking into the vision’

and I myself came to be - Daniel manifestly firstly did see, “by looking in the vision”, that he was transported to Susa, but then, as he “then (further) looked in the vision”, ‘he, himself’ was shown to be in a more specific area of the Citadel City.
            Why these two distinct views....Well if, -indeed as per my fundamental principle when interpreting Prophetic Revelations, the Heavenly Intelligence was not wasting visionary resources here, God wanted to make both of the settings depicted here be significant and controlling of the entire vision. The probable meaning of these specification will be present at the end of the commentary of this verse, as all of the points and Spiritual meanings here will be brought together.

beside the Ulai Canal - As summarily/succinctly reflected in its Wikipedia entry, much discussion has been made in attempts to identify this “Ulai Canal/River”. A conclusive original attempt won’t be made here, but a best possible conclusion can actually be arrived at. First of all, it actually can be exegetically ascertained that what Daniel here was speaking about was a “canal” and not a “river”. The Hebrew word he used is ubal #180. There is a distinct and patent Hebrew word for “river” = nahar #5104 (Aramaic: nehar #5103 -Dan 7:10) and Daniel himself knew of it -Dan 10:4. He even used the qualifier “great” there, -in reference to the indeed large Tigris River, to manifestly distinguish it from a smaller river (e.g. a stream)...i.e. instead of calling a smaller river a “canal”.
            Canals, -which are by definition, corridors of water which connect to and/two other bodies of water, commonly a river(s), also are human-made channels, or artificial waterways.
            Furthermore, that Hebrew term for “canal” = ubal comes from the term for “carry, lead, lead/bring forth” yabal #2986. And that is what is a patently done by a “canal” the waters of a main river are “(forcefully) led/brought forth” through an artificial waterway to the desired area.
            So, most straightforwardly, as a “canal” is: (1) clearly what Daniel had in mind here; (2) would either connect to bodies of water, most likely rivers, or actually diverge from and connect back to, the same river after having had been detoured elsewhere, e.g. through a nearby (esp. walled off) city; and (3) as this channel of water is man-made/artificial, then these are the things that should be sought for...in the following Google Earth Satellite Image of the Ancient Susa City site:
 View or Download Larger/Original-Sized Image

            So, from such observable, as well as historical, information, here is the WBSC thesis/proposition about the likely identity/location of Daniel’s Ulai Canal. {Note: [#] citations are references to the markers added onto the satellite image above}:
-The waterway identified as [1] is the (presently named) Karkheh River

-The waterway identified as [2] is the (presently named) Shavur/Shaur River. It is said to have originated from springs.

-(The waterway identified as [7] which mainly runs in between river [1] and [2] is a modern, artificial canal system evidently built in support of the Karkheh Hydro-Electric Dam which is between 17-22 north of the Susa site).

-Location marked as [3] is the earlier mentioned Citadel, and present-day Fortress site on the Acropolis.

-Site [4] is where the, also earlier mentioned Persian Palace first founded by Darius the Great was built.                                                                          

-Perhaps most pertinent,, as seen in the mapping below, a widely accepted (of many claimed) location of the (also Muslim revered) Tomb of the Prophet Daniel is located on the Eastern bank of the [2] Shavur/Shaur River at marker [6] (Cf. this 19th Century engraving of that site)

- As discussed here, the greenish valley trace at [5] is said to have been an ancient “backwater” river bed that was probably no longer a river at/by the time of Medo-Persian occupancy.         It would seem that the similar greenish valley trace at [5A] also had contained the flow of a river....

=So, in summary, could it be that the Shavur River [2] originally actually flowed directly around/along the embankments of the Royal/Citadel Susa City site itself, with the [5] and [5A] river flows meeting again at point [8], but in order to allow for better access to the Susa City, that Shavur/Shaur River was detoured as a “canal” into what is now its present (now reinforced canal), flow course.

            That then would make this “Shavur/Shaur Canal” the “Ulai Canal” of Daniel!! In further fact, that may be the reason why the tomb of Daniel was erected at this very site (at [6]): to also commemorate this vision where he would have been shown to be standing at that very spot!

The Spiritual Meaning of the Vision’s “(Medo-Persian) Canal Setting”
            Now in regards to why this Ulai Canal location was pointedly chosen as the setting for this vision. It is also said about the Karkheh River [=1] that: ‘At some previous time, it may have joined the eastern end of the Shavur/Shaur River [=2].’ It is also said of the Karheh River that, ‘in ancient times it eventually fell into the Tigris River just below its confluence with the Euphrates River.’ So, as seen in the mappings below, this would be South of babylon and just before this now joined “Karkheh + Euphrates&Tigris” River flowed into the Persian Gulf.
            Pertinently enough, when Daniel received his revelation+vision of Dan 10; 11 (interpreted here and here), which occurred in ca. 536 B.C. (Dan 10:1), he is then shown to be, thus placed in the setting of, the “Tigris River” (Dan 10:4). By then, in 536 B.C. Medo-Persia had overthrown the Babylonian Hegemony and had set themselves up in the city of Babylon. This would then involve that, as the vision of Dan 8, given during still the rule of Babylon, is “set” in the future, second capital of the Medo-Persians at the Citadel Susa, but the vision of Dan 10, given during the rule of the Medo-Persians, is set in their first/original capital city at Babylon, then the Vision of Daniel 8 would actually be “set” to be fulfilled/applied “later than” the one of Dan 11. That may explain why Daniel is repeatedly told in this Chapter 8 vision that “it pertained to the time of the end” (Dan 8:17, 19) which is the “end” made mention of at Dan 11:35, 40.

            So putting all of this together, and applying the pertinent prophetic symbology involved: With, (1) as presented in here within its Rev 17:3 section, the rule and ruling policy of Medo-Persia being Spiritually reflected in the Religious (or non-theistic) Tolerance and Freedom endeavored to be diffused throughout the World by the Imperial Rule and World Order of the United States of America (=the Second Beast of Rev 13), and (2) with the (Papal) Roman Catholic Church’s prior, effective “Holy Roman Empire”, Rule and World Order contrarily having been one of Religious Intolerance, Persecution and Totalitarianism (=the First Beast of Rev 13) and thus emulating of, fittingly enough, Ancient Babylon, and (3) with a “river” being the symbol of a “religious grouping of people”, then these “river and canal” setting for these visions of Babylon evidently are having their focus on upcoming flow of pivotal religious developments....revolving around what Medo-Persia would set in motion. Even the setting of the “Tigris” for Dan 10+11 is not actually a Babylon per se setting as, unlike the Euphrates, the Tigris flowed outside of, but near to, the city of Babylon. So that too was more “Medo-Persian” than “Babylonian” (proper). And so, in Spiritual implication, the focal points of the Dan 8 and Dan 11 vision, though they loomingly involve “Babylon proper” developments, i.e. the Roman Catholic Church, their culminating “time of the end” developments are instead within a “Medo-Persian” setting: thus a “(Capitalist) Protestant America” setting.
            Also a “gulf” is being “a large inlet from the ocean into the landmass” thus: the middle/meeting ground point between a river and the ocean. And further applying the “grouping of water” symbology: the sea being symbolic of a national/political grouping (i.e. countries/states); the larger grouping of waters of the “ocean” can itself be understood to be symbolic of a larger political grouping, =one which comprises and/or affect much more people than a sea does), such as seen today in the Continental or even Global political alliances of countries, such as the European Union and the United Nations.
            So just as the Ulai Canal (=Shaur River) of the Citadel Susa had eventually joined up with a river, the Elam (=Persian-leaning region)’s Karhkeh River which had made its way towards the Tigris River, which in turned had confluenced with the Babylon proper River, the Euphrates, and together this mixture of Rivers had flowed into a Gulf (the Persian Gulf), thus the endpoint of the confluence of these rivers into a “gulf” can be understood to be a religious confluence/grouping which ends up flowing into a grouping with is to become a global reaching/affecting alliance of peoples.
            In other (interpretive) words, and as it will indeed be later seen, -despite/notwithstanding a great Roman Catholic Church influence from along its winding course, a “Capitalist Protestant America-led/dominated Global “Babylonian” Coalition, and with much, is depicted as the focal end point of this Daniel 8 prophecy!...And that is indeed what is later more detailedly depicted in Rev 16:12-16; 17&18 (See within here and here). Those “kings from the East” is that upcoming overtaking Medo-Persian rule, with Babylon’s Euphrates River being a “casualty” of this changing of the AntiChrist Hegemonic Leadership&Influence.[4]4 

            So much more than the most faithfully vision-relating prophet Daniel himself, those of us living today in that “time of the end” can, as stipulated in Dan 12:4, 9-10 come to the fullest understanding of all that God represented in this, and other such, prophetic visions.

Daniel 8:3 - Then I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a ram which had two horns was standing in front of the canal. Now the two horns were long, but one was longer than the other, with the longer one coming up last.
Daniel 8:20 - "The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia.

a ram = ‘Media & Persia’ = [no mention of Babylon] - So the Heavenly Intelligence, through the Interpreting Angel Gabriel (Dan 8:16), is quite clear here in Dan 8:20 in explicitly stating/revealing that this symbol of a “ram” represents the kingdom of Medo-Persia....But that comes to present a whole new sector of questioning, namely why, unlike for the vision of Dan 2 and Dan 7 is the Kingdom of Babylon not also here cited/symbolized first??
            A common/popular couple of ways (pointedly in SDA circles) that have been attempted to explain this are:

(1) It is claimed that Babylon was then, in 551 B.C., in the waning years of its rule. So they then were effectively merely an afterthought as it was “passing off the scene of action”. But that actually does not factually/sensically hold up. As Daniel Studies specialist William Shea pointed now a while ago, i.e. since at least 1992, (in DARCOM 1:39-40), with the year here indeed being ca. 551, Babylon was then not only still in its ‘hegemonic superpower’ position (cf. Dan 2:36-38), it actually did not even feel any present or looming threat of being overturned or superceded, i.e. by the Medo-Persians. In fact that prolonged, 10-year, retirement by King Nabonidus, leaving the governing to his eldest son Belshazzar, was manifestly occasioned by him feeling his Kingdom and Empire to be secure. So arguably, the “soon demise” of Babylon was actually not on the historical radar screen then/yet.

(2) With the (correct) SDA understanding that Dan 8:14 refers to events (principally in) the Heavenly Sanctuary and its then Day of Atonement phase, and with a key development in this vision having to do with the actions of the Little Horn Power against such Heavenly Sanctuary entities and services (Dan 8:10-13), it has been claimed that “ram” [Heb. ayil #352a] and “he-|male goat” [Heb. tsaphir #6842] (=“shaggy/hairy (female) goat” = (a buck) [Heb. sair+ez #8163b+#5795] -see Dan 8:21), because they were sanctuary animals. Indeed, as seen in their concordance listings, above, they appear/were used in/for sanctuary sacrifices. (e.g. Exod 29:15-22; Lev 5:16-18 & 2 Chr 29:21; Ezr 8:35, also Num 7 for both).....with the furthering argument being that: ‘the ram and the male goat were also key sacrificial animals in the Day of Atonement services’ (i.e. Lev 16:3-5 & Lev 16:5,9-10,15,18,20-22).

            Well, it factually seems that the “(young) bull” [Heb. par #6499] (= “...son of an ox” Heb. ...ben+baqar #1121+#1241] could easily have similarly been used to represent Babylon as it too was a sacrificial animal (Lev 4:3-5,7-8,11-12,14-16+, Num 7:15,21,27,33,39,45,51+), and also on/for the Day of Atonement services (Lev 16:3,6,11,14-15,18,27). [Incidentally a “ram” is “an intact (i.e. uncastrated) male sheep)”]
            So with neither of these attempts at an explanation actually being convincing, or even fundamentally valid, the actual answer as to why this prophecy starts off as such is found in the same reliable method/principle/approach that was used for understanding the symbolism for the first 3 beasts of Daniel 7. (i.e. See in here at Dan 7:4, 5, 6). On top of sticking to strict exegetical/lexical identification, that approach also allowed the nature/natural narrative about those animals in the context of those alluded to passages to paint the figurative picture which indeed turned out to be why the Heavenly Intelligence had made reference and use of those animals to represent those kingdoms.
            As it was presented in detail in this post at its Dan 7:4, it is seen that, and Biblically exactly why, Babylon was there represented as a “lion”. Well in Jer 51:38 this same identification of Babylon as a lion is continued by the prophet Jeremiah as he then is relating God’s prophetic plan to overturn and completely destroy Babylon. (See full Jer 51 Chapter). In Jer 51:39 itself, God details the way in which Babylon did indeed come to be crucial weakened and thus easily captured (=Dan 5). Interestingly enough in Jer 51:37-38 Babylon (singular, i.e. its people collectively) is, unlike for Dan 7:4, here compared to a “young lions”, “lion’s cubs”. In Dan 7:4 the lion is seen as specifically representing the king of Babylon then Nebuchadnezzar, who, as seen in Dan 4, comes to humble himself before God and literally change form his cursed form of being like an animal (Dan 4:33) to re-becoming a human (Dan 4:36), i.e. having again the mind of a human instead of an animal, with the “heart” being synonymous with the mind/psyche. And, especially in those Monarchial Totalitarian days: ‘as went the king, so went the entire nation’. And so, when King Nebuchadnezzar became humbled before, and converted to, God (Dan 4:34-37) he no doubt then led his people and conducted his national affairs in a way that was honoring to God.
            In fact, back in Dan 2&3 when he had twice experienced the power of God he then had taken measures to have all of his people be influenced by, and even subjected to, the will of the God of the Israelites: In Dan 2, he made Daniel the, effectively “Secretary-General of the then (albeit forcedly) United Nation, and with Daniel’s 3 friends also being, as requested by Daniel, “appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon” (Dan 2:47-49) And then in Dan 3 a then even more “fearful” Nebuchadnezzar went on to pass a law that all the peoples in his realm should respect, reverence and even solely worship God (Dan 3:28-30). So this together all shows how the symbol of a lion/lions for Babylon does come to represent both the king of Babylon himself as well as, derivedly, the collective people he is leading.
            So in Dan 5:1-4, we see exactly just what God had manifestly been looking for in order to overthrow Babylon. Even with the armies of Medo-Persia being in siege right beyond its walls, King Belshazzar and the inhabitants of Babylon indeed became “heated”, -as Jer 31:39 stipulates, “heated” in (over)confidence, and the king decided throw a banquet for 1000 of his noble people. And of course, it is at this banquet that he ordered that the Holy Vessels captured from the Temple of Israel be brought in so that they drink wine from them. So, effectively, as Jer 31:39 also stipulates, God did come to, ‘snaringly’ (Jer 50:24-25; 51:57): ‘serve them the wine in their banquet in order to get them ‘incapacitatedly and doomingly drunk’, all so that God’s specially-selected one, Cyrus (Isa 44:28-45:7) and his armies outside the city could unopposedly enter into the city and overthrow it, indeed even, as history records: “without a battle”. As figuratively depicted in Jer 50:44 God would indeed ‘surprisingly/unforeseenly’, ‘quickly and instantly’, overthrow Babylon, and ‘without any destruction’, and also effectively by its own (negligent/reckless) undoing, as in ‘a lion scaring away it foe’ (cf. Jer 50:17), which in this case is actually also the “lion” Babylon.
            So it is clear here in Jer 51:38-39 that Babylon was indeed still being figuratively compared to a lion. And with Jer 51 prophetically speaking about the downfall days of Babylon, and with the lions in verse 38&39 being “young lions”, i.e., the cubs of lions, it can be validly claimed that this was further specifically representative of Belshazzar, the (some say so-called) “grandson” of Nebuchadnezzar, and effectively really the second/next king of that Neo-Babylonian Empire as Belshazzar was merely filling in, (even if formally as a co-regent), for his absented King Father Nabonidus. So Belshazzar himself was indeed the youthful) ‘lion offspring’ of the initial “lion Babylonian king” of Dan 7:4 =Nebuchadnezzar. So God manifestly did fully expect, and so prophetically foreplan, that an offspring/regnal successor of Nebuchadnezzar would surely go the way that Nebuchadnezzar had twice reverted to in rejecting the worship and even honor, reverence and respect that Babylon had come to give to God....and God foreplanned that when this would again happen, He would then step in, in order to protect/save His People (see Isa 45:4), i.e., as discovered in here about Dan 7:5, through the ‘child-deprived/protective “bear”’ which (better) would be Medo-Persia.
            Well just like it was Biblically discovered/seen that God was using the characteristics of animals to represent the kingdoms in Dan 7, it is likewise Biblically evident that He was also doing the same thing for the symbolizing animal selections in Dan 8. That is seen from the fact that next, in/at Jer 51:40, God then states that this subdued Babylon would then be ‘like a lambs being taken to the slaughter and likewise like rams and male goats. The controlling mention of ‘lambs to the slaughter’ is clearly focusing on how docile and humble lambs are even when/as they are being taken to slaughter. Indeed the Sacrifice of God’s Messiah revolves around this submission theme. (Isa 53:7). And so it is sequiturly and exegetically logical to see that this is also a characteristic that is present with the also mentioned rams and male goats. Manifestly that is why these animals were, as amply substantiated above, were specified by God to serve as sacrificial animals. Sacrificial animals had to be types of His “Anointed One”, His Messiah, and Jesus Christ was indeed fully submissive to His Father’s Will (e.g. Matt 26:39-44). God needed this self-sacrificial submissiveness in those who He chose in order to be able to accomplish His Greater Good.
            Well, interestingly enough, in Cyrus, God did come to find such a “self-sacrificially submissive” one, and so did call and “anoint” him to do His Will (Isa 44:28-45:1ff). Cyrus, manifestly just from being shown the evidence of pre-stated/pre-recorded prophecy, agreed to let Israel go out from being captives to now his realm in Babylon (Ezra 1:1-2ff). Cyrus’ “better” submissiveness is indeed seen by how he did not require the several powerful miracles and demonstrations that Nebuchadnezzar 3 times needed in order for him to truly become submissive to/humble before God. Even a 4th time can be added here with Nebuchadnezzar having, from the very beginning, witnessed/recognized that the God of Israel was to be feared (see Jer 39:11-14)...And God had indeed long forewarned them of their dooming fate if they ever chose to no longer comply to His Will (Jer 51:59-64).
            So the testimony of Jer 51:40 reveals that God would be choosing to work with a ram and a male goat because, just like a lamb, they would be submissive to Him and so not interfere with God’s work to accomplish His World Ordering (cf. Dan 2:21) and Great Controversy, resolving plans. Indeed, as seen in Antiquities 11:8.5 [#337], Alexander the Great and Greece also came to “easily” be submissive to the Will of God in regards to the welfare of His Israel, and also simply from the evidence of pre-stated/pre-recorded prophecy So short of a “lamb” itself (=Jer 51:40a), -which was directly representative of God’s own (i.e. Israelite) Anointed One, a ram and a male goat were evidently God’s next best/alternative choices...and that is evidently why He chose and even supported/empowered (=Isa 13:17; 45:1ff; Jer 51:11, 28 & Dan 10:20) to be the next kingdoms to successively overtake the world’s hegemonic position.
            So, surmisingly, what manifestly seems to have happened here, -and pointedly why Babylon is, unlike in Dan 7 (=553 B.C.), not here mentioned at all even despite this Dan 8 prophecy then being given just a 2 years later (551 B.C), is that soon after having been installed in Babylon as co-regent and effectively the, (at least “acting”) King of the Babylonian Empire, Belshazzar started to revert to the God -rebellious, -arrogant and -defiant ways of Nebchadnezzar (i.e. Dan 2:39ff; hence the Dan 3 defiance), and so God saw that then was the just and due time to cause that, actually long-always planned overthrow/succession of Babylon (=Jer 50:29, 33). This arrogance of Belshazzar may have (openly) begun after the vision of Dan 7 was given, and so now God symbolized in this prophecy this replacement of Babylon by not even mentioning them. And also (self-)sacrificial submissive animals were used, in the ram and the goat, to represent the successively next hegemonic powers of Medo-Persia and Greece. Indeed, as it was pointed out earlier, and if the theme here had merely been to use sacrificial animals, and other than the most-Israelite-like “lamb”, the “bull/oxen” could easily have been used in Dan 8 for Babylon, indeed to replace the lion of Dan 7. And, as seen in e.g. Num 7:17, 23, 29, 35, 41, 47, 53, 59, 65, 71, 77, 83, 89) even the sequential order would have been perfect as the “oxen” (=a mature bull), is always cited first, and then the “ram” and then the male “goat”. Not to mention that only 2 oxen are there always required while 5 rams and 5 goats are effectively its equivalent. That would reflect how God had actually considered Babylon to be a “gold-standard” superior kingdom than the “inferior” ones who would even overthrow, and follow, it. (cf. Dan 2:39).
            Interestingly enough, from those consistent sequential listings in Num 7, which indeed do seem to be representative of the “submissiveness towards Him” that God was going to work with in World Kingdoms, the last sacrificial animal cited there is always a lamb, and one which is “one year old”. Could this be representative of God’s Own Kingdom, i.e. the Kingdom of God. And moreover, with no mention of the Fourth (non-descript, but manifestly “dragon”) Animal/Kingdom = Rome, in between could this be reflective of how, if Israel had been faithful, they would never have become subjugated to a Roman Empire rule...even the Roman Empire itself would never have been allowed to arise to World Hegemonic power....Instead it would be, right after the rule of Greece which, mostly, had maintained Alexander’s “hands off” policy towards Israel. So indeed, succeeding to the male goat = Greece would have been Israel’s lamb kingdom - the Kingdom of God through/at the Advent of His, then fully accepted, Messiah, and that ‘within His very first year’ of preaching/ministering!! (cf. Mark 1:14-15). But Israel became unfaithful, -willfully, “hellenistically”, losing their peculiar way during the hegemonic rule of Grecian Empire (which was indeed, -unlike the forced corrupting of the God-summoned “lion”-Babylon (=Hos 13:7a): ‘like a leopard lying in wait’ to pounce on them =Hos 13:7b), and so God not only made them become subjects to the Roman Empire, who also taxed them, but likely also then allowed for the arising of that Dragon, even “Neo-Babylon” (see 1 Pet 5:13) Beast=Kingdom.

WBSC’s Dan 7&8's 3+1 Animal Kingdom Symbology
            Much more on this chart and its manifest Sacrificial Animals typology and the 4 Phase/Kingdom implications will be made later in this (upcoming) continuing post at Dan 8:9

            So, in summary, it is Biblically quite Theologically/Spiritually robustly evident that the animal selection of a ram and a male goat in/for Dan 8 was all reflective of God’s then activated plans to have submissive and respectful kingdoms, i.e. towards His Israel Nation, ascend to the world’s hegemony. And so that is why Babylon, then under the direct rule of a King, Belshazzar, who manifestly had quite recently decided to no longer be humble before God, was here not mentioned/represented at all, (and eventhough it symbolically, easily could have been, i.e. by a oxen/bull). And if/as this prophecy of Dan 8 is having this ‘God-submissiveness and Israel-respectful’ overarching theme, then that would explain another enigma that comes up later in this prophecy: Why no clear mention of a Fourth Kingdom, i.e. Rome. Manifestly, like Babylon here, it never was deemed worthy of being cited as one of the (superpower) kingdoms (and not “horns” = kings/rulers) which God would be able to work with in regards to leaving His Israel Nation alone, and even being materially supportive of it as Medo-Persia was. Rome indeed caused the greatest national and material harm to Israel, even virtually wiping it out starting in the 70 A.D. Destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple [fulfilling Daniel’s prophecy of: Dan 9:26b -see from here = Dan 9:27b -see from here].... Just like the, here uncited, Babylon Empire had back in the Sixth Century B.C. Clearly those two Powers did not at all come to be factorable in God’s plans to rebuildingly favor His Israel.
            And similarly, the “overarching theme” for the selection of also the first 3 animals in Dan 7, namely the lion (with wings), the bear, the leopard (with wings), was manifestly in regards to God considering the expediency in the “power and speed” of other Kingdom which could (secularly) assist His own ‘Lamb Kingdom Plans’ if those hegemonic kingdoms came to be in favorable disposition to Israel. And so Babylon was, summonedly, supposed to merely effectuate a swift, corrective judgement on Israel (Jer 25:8-11), but manifestly not to the extent that they did (cf. Isa 47:6; Jer 50:11, 28; 51:11; cf. Psa 137:8-9); then God was going to use the power of the Medo-Persia coalition to effectuate the liberating of His people from Babylon who was refusing to comply (Jer 50:33); and the God was going to make use of the various, particularly “speedy” provision from the Greek culture, including a very precise language, to facilitate that spreading of the Gospel of, and thus the establishment of, His Kingdom. (~Jer 50:6-8)  But then came that unwanted rule of the fourth, “dragon-beast”, of Rome which literally recklessly destroyed whatever/whomever dared stand in its way, including. So God’s ideal plan would indeed have realized its purposes during the reign of Greece, before the wildcard of “Babylon-re-effectuating” Rome came on the scene.

            It is worthwhile to consider in this context that God had most pronouncedly, and repeatedly, stated that He was going to utterly and forever destroy Babylon,* clearly because of how it nefariously/detrimentally influenced and materially destroyed His Israel People. And even if traces of Babylon could be salvaged in the future, God had decreed that it would become “the least of the nations” (Jer 50:12). So it is indeed not surprising to see Satan’s desire (ala. Isa 14:3-21ff) and various attempts to try to typologically/Spiritually revive such a “Babylonian” entity: i.e. in Pagan Rome, Papal Rome, Protestant America (=the developments and history in Rev 12); and ultimately culminating in the amalgamated Global Coalition of Rev 17...indeed to try to once again effect such Spiritual and even material damages to God’s (True) Israel.[5]5    

* See Isa 13:1-16; 17-22; 14:22-23; Jer 50:3, 12-13; 39-40; 51:29

two horns = (two) kings of Media & Persia - The meaning of this symbolism is pretty straightforward here, but it is worthwhile, for later reference to see and understand that horns do represent “kings”, i.e. rulers {=“heads of state” in modern geo-politics & terminology}(cf. Dan 7:24; Rev 17:12). It is the “beast”/animal itself on which these horns are found which represents a “kingdom” (cf. Dan 7:23; Rev 17:12) {=“nation/country” in modern geo-politics & terminology}..and even a coalition of the kingdoms of kings (=multiple horns) (=Rev 17:12-13, 16-17).

            Symbolism of “horn(s)” - Clearly the naturalistic reason why a horn represents the king/head of state of a territorial occupying “beast” is because a horn is a “permanent [i.e. unlike antlers] pointed projection on the head of various animals consisting of a covering of keratin and other proteins surrounding a core of live bone.” So, in other words, horns are at the core an externally manifested bone extension of/from the body of an animal at its head. Given their projection, growth and head location, they typically become the first noticed feature of an animal. Then they are in turn, given their strength used to defensively protect or offensively preserve the animal, and is of course wielded by the head.
            They are all indeed characteristics that are found in a king/head of state. As seen with the selection of Israel’s first king Saul, the people wanted some who was physically impressive (“head and shoulders above others”) and who would be their courageous leader in warring matters. Similar characteristics are ideologically sought in the s/election of heads of states/(e.g. Presidents/Prime Ministers today. As also a “bone”, which is also the strongest part of a body, the horn indeed is to constitutionally be of the same makeup of the “body” it is a part of = representing. So the horn is indeed a perfect entity from God’s Nature coding book for the symbol of the leader of a nation.

Now the two horns were long/high - As bones, horns of course “grow” starting from nothing in the animal’s infancy to its fullest capable stage in adulthood. So long horns would represent a long, even ancient, regnal dynasty. In the case here of the two formerly independent kingdoms of the Medes and the Persians, the Median Kingdom|Empire/Dynasty at the time of this “Achaemenid Empire” coalition had been founded when their first King [=horn] Deioces, ruling from ca. 727/726 B.C., gained Median independence from the Assyrians, and then went on to, in 678 BC, unite the Median people’s tribes forming the first Iranian empire.
            On the other side, the founder of their Persian Kingdom/Dynasty then was Achaemenes in ca. 705 B.C. Persia was a province of the greater Median Empire until, due to gruesome actions {related in here in the Dan 7:5  section} in ca. 553|2 B.C. by their then despot king, Cyrus the Great led a revolt for independence which, by 550 B.C. proved to be more than successful as they he had led that Persian Province to take over the rulership of the entire Median Empire.
            So the (Deioces-founded) Median King-dom/Dynasty had been around for 174 years by ca. 553 B.C., while the (Achaemenes-founded) Persian King-dom/Dynasty itself had been around for 152 years.

but one was longer/higher than the other - Since horn (continually) “grow” from an animals birth, it is natural to presume that the “longer” one would be the older one. So it “naturally” was supposed to be the Median Kingdom/Dynasty (i.e. by ca. 22 years of ‘seniority’ over the Persian Kingdom/Dynasty...but, as noted next, that did not turn out to be the case...So the “length” of these horns here is in regards to their appearance at that (albeit subjugated*) coalition’s time by 550 B.C.. The Persians had literally, militaristically manage to gain/take the “upper hand” over the Medes...and so they would indeed appear here, i.e. be shown/represented to be, to be “longer” = older|elder|senior and thus be the leaders of this coalition.

* Indeed the Medes were only a prominent part of this Persian-overtaken and led Empire of the (predominantly) Median People because the Persian honored their former Imperial status and so allowed them a virtually equal share of this new, now Persian-led, Empire.

with the longer/higher one coming up last - “Longer” and/but “coming up last” is quite “naturally”/logically an inherently self-contradicting stipulation. But it is not at all abnormal for “younger horns” to actually grow longer than an older horn....Just like the youngest child in a family can grow up to be the tallest child.
            The “longer horn” i.e. the one in the lead then, thus the Persians, had indeed come up last....both in terms of, as discussed above, their Kingdom/Dynasty founding, as well as in their Hegemonic rise, which was only just recently achieved, or really, as they completed their successful [553|2 B.C.-started] revolt in ca. 550 B.C. and Daniel received this vision in ca. 551 B.C., then the Persian were in still in the course of “coming up” to the leadership of the (soon formerly) Median Empire.
            But evidently (i.e. Isa 45:1-5) the Heavenly intelligence was then in the midst of assuring the success of Cyrus the Great’s ascendency to that leadership and eventual World Hegemony!!

ram...standing in front of the canal - “front” - literally “face” #6440. This is pointing to the foremost, leading, recognizing part of this canal. If, as per WBSC’s thesis/claim made earlier at Dan 8:2, this Ulai Canal was an artificial/man-made conduit built to prevent the flow of the Shaur/Shavur River from naturally going around towards the East Valley side of the Citadel Susa City site, and also to prevent it from naturally flowing into its Western low grounds, thus making this prime, partly naturally/naturalistically-fortified (i.e. on its much of its Western side) by earth embankments, (hence no walling built there), Citadel City hard to be access, then the “front/face of this canal”, i.e. the part of it that is ‘naturally recognized’ as its start would be around where the [2] marker has been placed in the following Satellite Image of this site.
 View or Download Larger/Original-Sized Image

            Was this Ulai Canal built by the Medo-Persians themselves...i.e. in order to allow easier access to this Susa site which they planned to make a fortified seat of their hegemony?? The working thesis here is yes, and this “ram standing at the front/head of this Canal” can be seen to, historically, represent this development.
            But, interestingly enough, the City+Empire of Babylon fell to the Medo-Persians when Cyrus built a canal to divert the Euphrates River flowing into the city. Prophetically that was keyly utilized in the Rev 16:12ff imagery/symbolism which, pertinently enough, represents the fall of the “Old (RCC) Guard” of Babylon (Rev 13:1-10), to make way for the, however still “emulating’, “New (USA) Movement” (Rev 13:11-18).
            So as the Ram is, as seen earlier, likewise representative of the Protestant Capitalist Babylon Era brought on by America, this ram standing at the head of this key canal construction which facilitates the establishing of the distinct and fortified HQ for the new, now American, “Babylon Hegemonic City” (Rev 17:18), is being indicative of this far-reaching prophetic implication. The Medo-Persian overtake and rule of Old Style Babylon is indeed prophetically typological of the overtake of Protestant Capitalist American of the Old World’s Religious Papal Catholicism Order. And another typological parallel: “Babylon America” was likewise set up by settlers fleeing the tyranny of Roman Catholicism and the natural features of the New World’s oceans separated/isolated continent (=Rev 12:15-16) did indeed allow for a “fortified” HQ site for this New Hegemonic Power.

Daniel 8:4 - I saw the ram butting westward, northward, and southward, and no other beasts could stand before him nor was there anyone to deliver from his hand [=power], but he did as he willed/pleased and grew/magnified himself.

butting westward, northward, and southward - While it is plausible to see here, and historically cite, the various conquests of the Medo-Persian Empire. E.g. the SDABC 4:840 has:

West = versus Lydia in 547 B.C. and Babylon in 539 B.C..
South = versus Egypt and Nubia in 525 B.C.
North = versus the Scythians in 513 B.C.

            I would rather see this speaking of generic expansions, and that, in the other 3 cardinal point regions where this Medo-Persians power was not. And since Medo-Persian was from the East of the Hegemonic World region then, the “westward (lit. seaward), northward and southward” directions would indeed be the other 3 regions to which it would be seeking to expand it empire/rule. The Medo-Persian’s “East” originating location pertinently enough harmonizes with the location of the “kings from the East” which come to overthrown “Old Guard” Babylon. (Rev 16:12ff)

butting... - As the horns of a ram are typically curled, its butting with them usually does not produce fatal blows. Fighting rams rather produce head knocking out blows. Hence, for the Hebrew naghach #5055 more “pushing” (see Deut 33:17; Psa 44:5)/ “colliding” (Dan 11:40) than (fatally) “goring” other animals. So just as it was symbologically discovered in here at Dan 7:5 about the Medo-Persia representing “bear with 3 ribs in its mouth”, the conquest and overtakings of Medo-Persia were more in regards to momentarily affect the nations it was seeking to rule over, indeed as with a knocking out which decisively wins a boxing match.

...none could not stand...no one to deliver [i.e. once captured/conquered]....do as he willed/pleased....grew/magnified himself
- But then these Medo-Persian-conquered/subdued nations were allowed to operate according to their own customs and religious but while being under the hegemonic Imperial rule of the Medo-Persians. This was indeed the Hegemonic Imperial Fundamental Policy of Medo-Persia.
            ...All typologically, just like what Neo-Babylon-America’s Imperial (Lone) Superpower rule now effectively is in this World!....

Daniel 8:5 - And I came to cause to be understanding. And behold a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of the whole land without touching (at) the ground; and the buck [= male goat] had a conspicuous horn between his eyes.
Daniel 8:21 - "The shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
And I came to cause to be understanding - From what Daniel had been seeing in vision in Dan 8:3-4, which was about the rise and advances of the Medo-Persia, he actually, (however “accidentally” [=Hebrew Perfect/Suffix tense] =‘surprisingly’, i.e. as no explanation had been given to him then/yet (=Dan 8:20)), perhaps from recalling the explanation of his previous vision (Dan 7:17) and dream (Dan 2:39a), that, at the very least, this charging ram was representative of a formidable world power....Perhaps Daniel assumed/thought it again was “firstly” Babylon...Which would explain why the angel later would specify at Dan 8:20 that, unlike in those prior revelations, the kingdom that leads this prophetically planned succession of Kingdom is not starting with the present World Hegemonic Power: Babylon.

And behold a male goat - The interjectory expression translated as “here” (=Heb. hinneh #2009), with its related form hen #2005, is manifestly the Hebrew equivalent of the Aramaic aru & alu interjections which were encountered and discussed in detail in here at Dan 7:2. Therefore hinneh would be corresponding to the less “striking” expression: alu and mean: “behold!”, while hen would correspond to aru and “more strikingly” mean: “lo and behold!”. So Daniel uses the expression to indicate a less striking sudden/new development/apparition/scene shift in his vision, as if he had been seeing the coming of this male goat all along....But as that male goat manifestly was not in the picture/scene as Daniel was contemplating the ram, it is likely because Daniel was, as he first states, ‘coming to be caused to understand what was going on in this vision’, that he then had already perceived that God was in the process of revealing to him again a view of God’s planned succession of hegemonic kingdom...So Daniel “expected” that another animal would follow after this ram, and so it was not an “out of the blue” surprise to him when this male goat was manifested.

was coming from the west - The Hebrew word here for “west” [maarab/ah #4628] involves the general cardinal point reference [=maarab] and the locational direction where something is/occurs (=“western side”) [=maarabah]. It homonymal relation to the Hebrew for “articles of exchange/merchandise” is manifestly because such ‘trading items’ came to peoples living in the East from West Region living people, via trade routes. Maarab/ah also comes from the same word which is used to speak of ‘where the sun set’ thus marking off the “evening” [=ereb #6153].
            Interestingly enough, it is different from the term used in the preceding verse, Dan 8:4, for “westward”, i.e. the direction towards which the ram was butting/pushing. As noted in passing there, that term [Heb. yam #3220] literally is speaking of the Sea (pointedly the “Great” Mediterranean Sea or the Red Sea). From the limited point of view of people then, especially those living in the area where Israel was located, the waters of the Sea, including the Red Sea in the south, was the easiest reference to use to indicate “the West” (e.g. Num 34:6). But here in Dan 8:5, this Male Goat is being said to come from a “western” region distinct/beyond merely that Sea. It would be coming from the trading regions in the West. As the Medo-Persian Empire extended itself Westward right to the former region controlled by Lydia which was right up against the Aegean Sea then this Male Goat power would have to be existing, and thus come from, beyond that western sea extremity, i.e. from the Macedonia Region = Greece (Dan 8:21).

over the surface of the whole land - The common translation of “whole world”, as in “the whole planet” or “inhabited/known world” here could technically be inaccurate* as the specific Hebrew term for this is tebel #8398. (E.g. job 18:18; 34:13; Psa 24:1; Lam 4:12). And as quite common with the Hebrew term that is acutally used here: erets #776, it also refers more narrowly to a specific territory, i.e. a “land”, which also can be expressed as “whole [Heb. kol #3605] land” (e.g. Exod 10:15; Jos 11:23; 2 Sam 24:8; 2 Kgs 17:5; Isa 10:23; Jer 1:18; 4:27; 25:11; 51:17; Gen 13:9; cf. Gen 2:11, 13). So this is the “land” that this charging goat is ‘over-running’, is the, up to them hegemonic sovereign realm of the Persian Empire.

* Notwithstanding, colloquially speaking, in those days, -and not even factoring in that only part of the now fully-known-about world was discovered/known/inhabited then, or more precisely: advancedly organized beyond a mere tribal level (i.e. to that of a kingdom and/or empire), we see in the writing of Curtius at 4:1.38, while he was there pertinently speaking of warring events around +335 B.C. during the clashing times between, (as discussed later), Medo-Persia and Greece, that people then did consider merely the realms of Europe and Asia [=Middle East] to be the whole world (Latin: “totius orbis” ) as seen in the statement:

“The great war which was being waged by the most powerful kings of Europe and Asia in the hope of getting control of the whole world had set in motion the arms also of Greece and of Crete.”

Discovered/Known/Inhabited World in 335 B.C.
            So it would actually not be “colloquially” inaccurate to contemporarily then understand that Europe and Asia, which were where Greece and Persia respectively resided, was considered as “the whole world” then. So this statement in Dan 8:5, rendered as such would also be validly reflective of that understanding then. However since, hermeneutically speaking, the best way to arrive at the Biblical interpretation, understanding and application of Bible Prophecy is to keep to the chief rule of “Using the Bible to Interpret/Decode Bible Prophecies”, -(see one of many key examples of this here at Rev 6:5,6 {browser search for: “God’s price setting”, in especially its “Note #19”), then it is the Biblical understanding, and its, here geographical application as: “the whole [East] land [=of Persia]” which is to be followed.

without touching (at) the ground - Clearly the speedy movement/advance of this male goat was (prophetically) key. The same feature/capability was part of the symbology for Greece in Dan 7:6 (i.e. a “leopard with 4 bird wings” -discussed in here). As remarked here about the statement in Dan 10:21, which was made in ca. 536 B.C. (Dan 10:20), the development of Greece’s attempt to overthrow Medo-Persia were about to also come, which was indeed the case some 34 years later in 502 B.C. with the start of the Greco-Persian Wars. So for almost 200 years, Greece was actually battling Medo-Persia for world dominance...However when God saw it as the perfect time to have Greece take over the world’s hegemony, as patently specified in His prophesying, it would be in rapid advances and conquest...And, as detailed in here at Dan 7:6, it indeed took Greece led by Alexander the Great ca. 3 years to do so then. So God clearly wanted to see a swift transition of World Hegemony to Greece.
            In fact that transition from Babylon to Medo-Persia was also orchestrated to be swiftly done by God (=Isa 45:1-5) with the city of Babylon falling without a Battle. Tellingly enough, later on the transition from Greece to Rome in ca. 168 B.C. was historically quite uneventful, and almost seamless....and the later the switch from Pagan Rome to Papal Rome was itself literally seamless. Manifestly God’s priority was to have swift and as uneventful as possible transitions of Hegemony for His Prophesied succession of ruling Powers.

and the buck [= male goat] - The “male of female goats” is straightly here referred to in one term: a “buck”.

had a conspicuous horn - First/Foremost of all, the Hebrew word that is rendered here as “conspicuous” is: hazuth #2380]. It is derived from the word for, (as discussed in here): a “prophetic + vision” [=hozeh #2374 + hazon/hazoth #2377]/#2378]. (E.g. Isa 21:2; 29:11) So this can be understood as a “horn” which is being susbtantively, qualitatively characterized as being “visionary”...Even a horn which has entered into a ‘“pactful/binding” vision’ (=Isa 28:18).
            So it can, Spiritually, i.e. due to, as seen below, its location, be seen as more than merely having the external/technical “visible” (cf. Dan 4:12, 20 =Aramaic: hazoth #2379) quality, or, -as per the English meaning of  “conspicuous”, being:

1. “Obvious or easy to notice”; “Obvious to the eye or mind”
2. “Without any attempt at concealment; completely obvious”; Noticeable or attracting attention, especially if unattractive

But instead, as per the loaded Hebrew “visionary” term that is used for it, it had internal qualities which reflected how its presence affected the psyche/mindset of this goat.

            It also appears to be deliberate, and so significant, that the verb “had” is not actually expressed in the original Hebrew. So really “buck” and “conspicuous horn” are in appositional relationship. I.e. “the buck = its conspicuous horn”. This is as if to say and stress that this “buck” [=Greece] was inevitably defined by this “conspicuous horn” which was “the first king” i.e the first king of Greece to successfully begin to overthrow Medo-Persia [=Alexander the Great]. Or reversedly: ‘that horn “embodied” the (entire) buck.’ Alexander the Great was indeed an “obvious/blazing”, thus overshadowing, representative of Greece, to the point that today, he still is the foremost figure which commonly first comes to one’s mind when mentioning the ancient Grecian Empire. And of course: “as goes the king, so goes the entire nation”....

between his eyes - ‘Horns on a goat’ is a natural and common thing...But ‘a horn located in the “space between the eyes” of a goat is quite odd. And this is not actually higher up = in its forehead as genericly done in the following depiction:
As discussed in here about the “eyes” symbology for the “Christlike Personage” of Dan 10:6 (=Rev 1:13), 80% of one’s sensory intake, thus mind-input information which contribute to and affect the thinking and decisions of the person, are acquired through one’s eyes. More over, sight input/observation, is typically the best form of information/evidence. Now with a horn that is, at the very least, -i.e. on top internal qualities, also visibly obvious/noticeable, including by the goat itself, -for merely having grown right between its eyes, literally nothing that this goat “views” is not also impacted/affected by the presence/sight of that horn between its eyes. So, applying the possible symbology here:  the mindful “views” of this goat are also impacted by that horn...which is “the first king”...which was Alexander the Great...
(cf. here)

            So in combining summary of these last two sections here, this horn of power is one which is “pactful” and “visionary” in nature...almost as if it has ‘arisen to power’ in order fulfill ‘a visionary pact’....
            Not surprisingly at all, these are elements that are historically seen/involved in the rise of Alexander to power (=“pact”) and Grecian-hegemony ambition (=“vision”). As seen here:

            ‘During the winter of 338 BC/337 BC, the King of Greece then: Philip II of Macedon, [the 24th king of Greece’s House of Argod = Argead Dynasty (808-310 B.C); and the father of/predecessor to Alexander the Great], (diplomatically and also forcefully) created  a federation of Greek states referred to as the Hellenic League (=“pertaining to Greece and Greeks” {modernly termed as: “The League of Corinth”}) to facilitate the use of military forces in the war of Greece against Persia (who were deemed/called by the Greeks as “barbarians”, -ironically enough, including because they were not a Democracy and did not grant individual freedom....{Clearly, when you don’t want to, as now Alexander was doing, force others to support you to invade and occupy other people, of course: to “liberate” them, then you can afford to let your citizens be independent and live as they choose. [By the way, as with Greece’s bindingly, militarily joining together under its king, the (so-deemed) “great’ Democracy today, the U.S.A., likewise is not democratic, (but “martial”), when it comes to military affairs.]).
            “It was the first time in history that most of the Greek states (with the notable exception of Sparta, which would only later join under Alexander's terms) managed to become part of a single political entity.”

            It is indeed odd today to think of Ancient Greece as having had “kings” given how they are more renown for their direct democracy principles. But that form of governing was actually seen in its decentralized (independent & (relatively) sovereign) City-States system. So it was indeed quite the feat to here bindingly unite the states of Greece into one politico-military body, in order to try to overthrow the hegemony of the Medo-Persians.
            As stated in here: upon his father’s death [by assassination] in 336 B.C., Alexander, age 20, became king of Greece and ‘was (also) democratically (see Plutarch, Life of Alexander 14.1) awarded the (“Hegemon”) =generalship of this political-military “Hellenic League” alliance. He used this authority to launch his father's pan-Hellenic project [=“vision”] to lead the Greeks in the conquest of Persia.’ (Although that whole expedition against Persia was also democratically ratified -{Plutarch, idem.})
            So this “vision”, embodied and implemented by Alexander of arising to World Hegemony, did indeed change the thinking/mind-set/world-view of the Grecian people. And thus Alexander arguably/effectively, became the first actual “king” of Greece by being the first “commander-in-chief” of such a politically+militarily unified Greek States. As seen with Israel itself, a “king like other nations” was, fundamentally, also to be the commander of the tribes of his people when going to war. (1 Sam 8:20; cf. 2 Sam 11:1). So here, and for the motivating purposes of overthrowing Medo-Persia, Greece morphed itself from an (ideologically) more Free/Democratic Republic to this “visionary pact” of a (utilitarian) Kingly Confederation.
            And, of course, as seen in the next verse, Alexander was able to lead the Greek people to accomplishing this (hegemonic) vision...and indeed “most rapidly” so....

Daniel 8:6 - He came up to the ram of those allied two horns, which I had seen standing in front of the canal, and ran towards him in his strong wrath.

the ram of those allied two horns - The Hebrew word rendered as “had” in the NASB is baal #1167 which basically means “owner” “lord”, and comes from its verbal form baal #1166 which basically means “to marry” “rule over”. It is consistently used for ‘marital ownership’ in the sense then of ‘a husband owning the wife he has married’ [cf. Col 3:18; Eph 5:22]. Hence of course why “baal” was also the perfect name for the infamous nemesis, ‘(spiritual adultery) husband’ & ‘overruler’, god that Israel wholly fell to: “Baal#1168a.
            An argumentative exegetical debate can be made about, whether the underlying Hebrew text is saying:

A) “the ram that owned/was the owner of the two horns” = The Medo-Persian kingdom which owned the two kings.
B) “the ram of the/those allied two horns” = Pointing specifically to the “(marital-like) alliance” (cf. Gen 14:13) of two kings, -which indeed was a special way to rule a kingdom then...and like a marriage, fuses the two into “one flesh” = one entity. (Gen 2:24)

C) “the ram being ruled over by the two horns” = Again pointing to the coalition government principle that Medo-Persian was founded on, with the Persians having the upper hand.

            Succinctly said, given the exegetical fact that (1) baal here in Dan 8:6 is said to be in a construct relationship [cf. here] (= “of”); (2) the definite article “the” can function as a relative (=“those”) and (3) a “(binding) alliance” is an attested (in Gen 14:13) understanding/use of “baal”, then Translation “B)” above is the best supported rendering of the Hebrew here.
            Back at Dan 8:3, this historical aspect of the distinct two horns was being detailed, but now, by Dan 8:6, they had long indeed become “maritally” fused as a single ruling entity with either Median or Persian nationals being capable of becoming king of the entire Empire.

            Indeed the focus here/now in verse 6 of this prophecy, (which is occurring ca. 200 years later in history [=i.e. late 330's B.C.] than when that two-horned ram had first come on the historical hegemonic-prominence scene [=i.e. ca. 539 B.C.]), is on the ram (=the Medo-Persian country/kingdom/empire itself), and not on its founding, two-kings, coalition.
            So the prophetic statement here is actually, i.e. by “bodily” referring to the ram entity itself, is speaking of this clash between the goat and the ram to occur at some time in the future, beyond the times of its notable coalition origins, indeed when the “Medo-Persian” empire would naturally be known merely/straightly as the “Persian Empire”, -which is striking enough in itself as the Persian originally had only been a single/smaller (revolting) province/state/people within a sea of Median provinces/people. Cf. in the (expansion) animation below:

which I had seen standing.... - It seems odd for Daniel to be making this specifying reference to the ram, i.e. “standing in front of the canal” as this is just two verses-worth of text since he had first/last mentioned it....He may be making this restating repetition because, in his vision, that ram was, as it was about to be charged at by the male goat, no longer in that position of being “in front of the canal”. I.e. it no longer was being shown to be in the Citadel Susa, which moreover is where Daniel had been Spiritually/visionarily transported to for this vision, -(which as discussed in detail earlier at Daniel 8:2 was in order to provide the controlling setting for this entire vision).
            So the ram now is manifestly standing somewhere else than ‘at the front (=head) of the Ulai Canal in Susa’. This can be seen as being representative of the full establishment of Medo-Persia by then, i.e. ca. late 330's B.C., as the Hegemonic Empire of the “western” World then.

and ran towards him - Goats are renown for their innate rebellious-rambunctiousness (cf. Matt 25:32ff), which is patently manifested/expressed in head butts. But of course, as discussed/shown above at the end of the commentary at Daniel 8:4 it is the ram which is, comparatively, the “king of head butting”. But perhaps it is that indeed physically and also “visionarily” “conspicuous” “first king” horn that this goat had between its eyes, (i.e. the courageous leadership of Alexander) which was manifestly causing it to confidently “run” towards the ram.

in his strong wrath - “Wrath”, in also Biblical understanding, is often associated with (justified) revenge (e.g. Ezek 24:8; 25:14, 17; Mic 5:15; Nah 1:2; Rom 12:19; 13:4; Luke 21:22-23; cf. Rev 14:10). In history, the real impetus for the rise of, the previously both domestically and internationally isolative, City-States Kingdom of Greece was the previous, as per Alexander in his letter {narrated here}: “unprovoked”, attempts by Medo-Persia, in the “Greco-Persian Wars” [490-449 B.C.] (cf. this video) to expand their already quite vast [Asia+Middle East] empire into the [Macedonian/European] realm occupied by Greece. (Alexander had gone on to also cite claims of recent unlawful endeavors by Persia to cause Greek rebellions against the present rule of Alexander.) It is arguably plausible that if Persia had not priorly so encroached on Greece’s sovereignty, Greece would not have taken those counter-ideological measures of “kingly” forcing its City-States to be bindingly militarily joined together for this foreign campaign to overthrown the Persian Empire...So this goat was now returning the “ramming” treatment to this ram...
            And it also is manifestly deliberately representatingly fitting that a goat which has lesser “head-butting/ramming” power than a ram is used to, respectively, represent Greece and Persia because in most of its head-to-head battles against Persia, Alexander and his (traveling) Greek Army were quite famously, significantly outnumbered.
            The emotion of “wrath” in itself, however “strong”, does not at all constitute physical strength/capability. However what “wrath” does constitute is tangibly a “total abandon to one’s (anger) emotion” which produces a quite significant mental strength/capability, as in, a will/courage to fight, which, in sheer obstinacy, i.e. when/where others without it get depressed/demoralized, just give up and retreat/flee, (=‘fight vs. flight’) thus becomes virtually equivalent to a (superior) physical strength capability.
            Well one characteristic that did indeed patently mark the almost always significantly outnumbered and/or structurally disadvantaged Alexander and his army was, (as it is seen in the detailing/referencing later at Dan 8:7 in his various key Battles during this Persian Campaign), this remarkable “wrathful” will to fight, against any odds, which clearly inspired his soldiers. A couple of emblematic cases in point were when: after a couple of early losses to Alexander’s advances, the King of Persia, Darius III (“Codomannus”) [380-330 B.C.] readily/repeatedly, -in 3 letters, made various concessions and volunteered peace terms to Alexander, offering him all of the realm of the Persia Empire west of the Euphrates River ... The summation of that (obstinate and insolent) reply letter from Alexander effectively was: ‘Just as there were not two suns, there can only ever be, and in fact there presently only is, one “king (of kings)’ {at a time}’ (cf. Diodorus 17:54.6)....
            Another example was the formidable 7-month siege/warring of Tyre. It was perhaps Alexander’s “wrathful motivation, -which could easily be contained in, and confused as, “productive” enthusiasm, that not only led him to maintain this assault on a seemingly impregnably walled fortress island city, but which also led him to resolutely come up with a ingenious/revolutionary (structural & military) engineering solutions & strategies (i.e. building, out of mainly ruins debris, a ca. half-mile long causeway over the waters which separated Tyre from the mainland [as per Ezek 26.12]; and also making floating, siege-implement carrying, barges out of ships), thus leading him to succeed where Nebuchadnezzar before him had, despite 13 years of sieging, failed. [Ezek 26: versus Ezek 29:17-18ff]. Fury/Wrath can indeed, pointedly in warfare, be a most determinative emotion and productive characteristic. Indeed many people have/can come to overcome a much bigger/stronger attacker merely out of their sheer abandonment to anger during the struggle where/as virtually “anything that gets the job done goes”....
            In fact, all such “unthink-able” actions by Alexander throughout this Campaign against the Persian Empire led Darius, -in Prep/Pep-talk before their last Major Battle against Greece, to decry in an attempt to demystify Alexander in the minds/psyche of his troops as nothing more than merely a: ‘“rash” “mad”, “unreasonable”, irrational, thus far merely lucky, mortal’ (see Curitus 4:14.18-19)
            Alexander certainly had this “wrathfulness”, pointedly against Persia, and, as later seen, just like God had previously “(resolutely) stirred up the Medes against Babylon” (=Isa 13:17-19ff)  to execute His own “avenging wrath” against their overreaching selves (see details in Dan 8:3 above); He manifestly, as least provided the quasi-supernatural (supra-)confidence of Alexander which caused him to not retreat in front of any obstacle, however seemingly, variously, “naturally” (i.e. normatively/factually) insurmountable....In fact, the only thing that came to stop Alexander in/from his ‘to the ends of the world” conquering ambition, was, while then fighting in/against India, the crippling, now ca. 10+ years, homesickness of his soldiers.


A Deeper (i.e. Exegetically Stricter & Prophetically More Detailing) Interpretation, Understanding and Application
            Now, as it is clearly validly patent by now in the “Historicist-Eschatological” interpretations of Bible Prophecies which have been/are being done in this Theological Views blog, there always seems to be a pivotal point where a priorly Spiritually “deeper” undetected element/understanding of interpretation in the Prophecy is now (capable of being as per the principle of 1SM 25.4) perceived, and which adds to the Theological, as well as Prophetic richness of God’s Prophetic utterance/revelation, all leading to a fuller prophetic interpretation and understanding...And it, confirmingly enough, also goes without failing that this “Deeper” interpretation/understanding of the Prophecy is the one which renders and harmonizes most perfectly the underlying linguistic and exegetical text. I.e. The Exegetically&Historically “Deeper” one studies Bible Prophecy, the more accurate and exact one comes to discover that it actually was.[6]6
            So upon a deeper pondering on the prophetic statements of Dan 8:5-7, which speak of the actions of the “Male Goat with a conspicuous/visionary horn” = Alexander the Great’s Greece, and comparing this with the deeper/specific historical detailing of how this prophecy was fulfilled, the resulting “Theo-Thesis” is that it seems that, (and as it will be substantiated below), in these verses, Dan 8:5-7, God had delineated that militaristic template showing how Alexander and the Macedonians could/would be successful against the (quantitatively) mightier “ram with two horns” = Medo-Persian Empire....And through added, plausible/credible information, -which will be discussed later, it seems that God was also supernaturally/prophetically acting to get Alexander the Great to advance upon Medo-Persia, in ways which would be in keeping with this here ‘success-resulting prophetic template’.

            Now, first of all, it is a quite under appreciated well-attested development that God has, relatively speaking, (i.e. in regards to revealing Himself to, and helping/guiding, pagans), quite copiously indeed revealed Himself and His Will to, pointedly the Rulers/Kings of the (Daniel 2) World Superpowers who would be shaping the course of history & cultural of the World, including in regards to their treatment of God’s Israel which they also ruled over. So it was indeed quite necessary for God to variously intervene in the affairs of these Rulers/Kings in order to keep things on the purposeful (Great Controversy serving) course that He desires to see be laid and followed.
            So we see in Biblical History that [not every specific Bible texts reference will be supplied]:

-Around ca. 605 B.C. God gave a dream to King Nebuchadnezzar about this Prophetic Template Plan for World Hegemonic Rule & Succession (Dan 2)

-By the time that Nebuchadnezzar later went on a campaign, in ca. 586 B.C. against Jerusalem to finally put down that still rebelling city (See e.g. Jer 39; 52), he was quite familiar with the God of Israel, with the miraculous events of Dan 3 likely having also occurred before then. Indeed just the fact that Nebuchadnezzar acted so protectively and favorably towards Jeremiah (Jer 39:11-14) when he, even before going against Jerusalem, had come to know Jeremiah was a prophet of God, who was relating God’s message for Israel to peacefully surrender to Babylon, reveals that by then, Nebuchadnezzar was indeed quite familiar with the power, truth and validity/reality of the God that ‘faithful Israelites (still) obeyed/served/worshiped’ (cf. Dan 3:26, 28).
            Given all of this clear awareness about the God of the Israelites, it would explain the otherwise seemingly “bipolar” statements of God against Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon, where, as shown in detail earlier at Dan 8:3, around the same times that God was “glowingly” speaking of Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon (e.g. Jer 25:9; 27:6; 43:10), He was also speaking of severely and utterly judging and destroying them. (e.g. Jer 50-51; cf. Isa 47 ). That was because, as with Israel whose historical records (i.e. the OT) contains both grand blessings and withering cursings (e.g. Deut 28:1-14; 15-68), Nebuchadnezzar was not an innocent/uninitiated/unaware actor in regards to knowing both the reality and the explicit will of God. So he too would not be left to merely suffer natural law consequences for not doing/ignoring God’s will (cf. Rom 2:12-16), but would be subject to having God Himself act to correspondingly inflict (severe) punishment on him. (=Luke 12:47-48).

-As per the account of Josephus (Ant. 11:1.1-2 [#1-#8]) in ca. 539 B.C. King Cyrus became desirous to do God’s will in regards to the liberation of Jews captive in Babylon, and the rebuilding of their Temple and the returning of its services implements (=Ezra 1:1-2ff)  when he was shown the (actually at most ca. 60 year old[=ca. 599 B.C.], but more likely around the mid 550's B.C.) prophetic statements by (Deutero-)Isaiah (Isa 44:28-45:5ff).

-And, as discussed later, it would be Alexander’s own turn to be (overarchingly) “stirred up”, impelled and influenced by God.

Daniel 8:5 - And I {naturally} came to cause to be understanding. And behold a coming male goat from the west over the surface of the whole land without touching (at) the ground; and the buck [= male goat] had a conspicuous horn between his eyes.

And I {naturally} came to cause to be understanding. - This seems to be a rather convoluted way to rendered what Daniel, prefacingly, says here before speaking about the male goat’s scene in his vision, -and that the NASB’s: “While I was observing” would seem more conveniently satisfactory, but that NASB rendering is not faithful to the various underlying Hebrew nuances. Succinctly:

-The underlying verb “came” [which is not even translated by the NASB], is in the Hebrew perfect tense: It therefore speaks of an “accidental” effectuation rather than a logically/sequiturly derived one. So here, an accidental ‘coming to understand’, e.g. on his own.
            The uncausative Qal verbal form makes it a “natural” effectuation, i.e. “naturally” resulting from what Daniel is about to see here. I.e. what he is seeing here, keeping in mind here that Daniel is of course writing after he has seen the whole vision, and so he can allow/involve such candid “retrospective” statements/explanations where he points out his own reactions and comprehensions about the seen vision that he is now relating.

-“cause to be understanding” is the rendering of the underlying Hebrew causative verbal expression, the [active] Hiphil verbal stem. Daniel is pointing out that his “understanding/discerning” of what he is seeing was “indirectly caused”. So not by an/the interpreting angel later telling him the meaning of what he is seeing, but from his own wit. It manifestly seems that by then, even at this very earlier point in this Dan 8 vision, with Daniel’s prophetic experiences of Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 in the recent past, he can now, already sense that a similar delineating of successive World Hegemonic reigns, contests/conquests and events is likewise being depicted in this verse. So he would be here saying: “I got it now”, i.e. Upon just seeing the ram imagery of Dan 8:4, “I came to cause to be understanding” of what was also being revealed by this rather patent depiction/formula of God. Manifestly Daniel may not have known/understood exactly which kingdoms were being shown here, as the interpreting angel manifestly had to make that clear later (Dan 8:20, 21), but Daniel manifestly “understood” that the ram was representing a (first) kingdom.
            Daniel also uses a Hebrew participle form here for “understanding” which involves that he came to be in a continuous state of understanding/discerning...I.e. he was already “getting” what this, by now customary vision was depicting: an establishment and succession of kingdoms....

“behold” - ...And no sooner had that “ram” kingdom established and “magnified” itself, as manifestly as Daniel himself expected/anticipated by then, “behold” Daniel was seeing the scene of a challenger “male goat” kingdom... As Daniel himself had anticipated this ensuing scene, that is manifestly why he uses the, as discussed before, softer hinneh [#2009] interjection here meaning “lo and behold” as it was not an “unforseen surprise”, especially to him, to now see this male goat challenger.
a coming male goat from the west - Given that the verbal expression “coming” is not merely in a verbal form, but in the more adjectival Hebrew Participle form, this is not actually merely relating the mere action of “coming” by this male goat, from the west, but rather an ‘ongoing/continuous exercise or exhibition of the action of coming’. It is a “coming male goat”, and not merely a “male goat that is coming”..and as next specified that male goat is in a continuous state of coming “over the surface of the whole land” i.e. the entire land/realm of the Persian Empire. So this Grecian male goat had defined itself by this state of it coming to take over the whole land of the Persians.
            So here it is pointedly the forward-looking, ultimately-intending, “objective” of this male goat that is being specified...and manifestly even Daniel himself could readily “understand/discern” that. This male goat was (continuously) “coming:” for the Persian Empire, and it manifestly would not stop “coming” until it had reached its objective: overrunning the “whole land” of the Persian Empire.
without touching (at) the ground - Clearly this specification was made to emphasize and non-normative amount of “speed”...I.e. though this coming male goat was actually running, i.e. rather than flying, so though it would actually be ground-based, it was still managing superior running speed, as indeed possible if the slowing down “friction” with the ground can be avoid. So this would be a speedy, albeit ground-based, “approach”.         

            With the (prophetic) text now exegetically ascertained, it is now time to turn to the records of history to see if/how these Wise Divine Prophetic (template) plans (=Isa 46:9-11) were concretely realized. These are indeed described as “Divine (template) plans” because as discussed in here, it is Biblically seen that prophecy is actually not: ‘God having looked into the future to see how events transpired and so then relating (in encrypting symbols) the future events. Divine Prophecy rather is God setting forth in advance what He wisely knows will be the best way/template/plan to accomplish His purposes, and then, when the time comes in the future for that priorly stipulated prophetic plan to be realized, He seeks, chooses/elects and assists/sustains/empowers which ever human He sees/trusts will best serve in accomplishing this plan....and He can even choose/elect a “far away” foreigner (=Isa 46:11), as was the case with, as stated earlier, Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus....and now Alexander the Great.

Main Historical Sources
            The main historical sources for the account on the hegemonic war between the Macedonian Kingdom and the Medo Persian Empire will be from the 5 extant, main(/detailed) accounts on the life and wars of Alexander the Great. They are by the following:

1. Diodorus (of Sicily)- (Dio|D) [49 BC] = Library of World History: Book 17:4.9; 7.1; 16.1-73.4 ff || [Loeb Ed.] ::{33 pp}                    

2. Quintus Curtius Rufus- (Cur|C) [42 AD] = Histories of Alexander the Great: Book 3:1.1 - 5:13.26 ff || [Loeb Ed.] ::{104 pp}

3. Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus (of Chaeronea)- (Plu|P) [76 AD] = Life of Alexander: Volume 7:14.1-43.7 ff || [Loeb Ed.] ::{21 pp}

4. Marcus Junianus Justinus Frontinus- (Jus|J) [100 AD] = Epitome of the Philippic History of
Pompeius Trogus: Book 11:1-15 ff || [Loeb Ed.] ::{7 pp}

5. Lucius Flavius Arrianus (of Nicomedia)- (Arr|A) [119 AD] = The Campaigns of Alexander: Book 1:11.1 - 3:22.5 ff || [Loeb Ed.] ::{64 pp}

Supplied Info/references explanations:
(a) the (full) name of the ancient historical writers (and, when known, their region of provenance)
(b) (with a given abbreviation(s) that will be used here for future work referencing)

(c) (listing was ordered by) the approximate/likely date when they composed their work,

(d) as well as the pertinent (i.e. here covered/discussed) book-ending references to their works/accounts (English titles); -(i.e. just the chapters/sections covering Alexander the Medo-Persian Realm campaign), including a link to the Harvard University Press’s Loeb Classical Library (LCL) Edition.

(e) and also, as a means of general comparison, the rough amount of manuscript pages that these accounts comprise when their English translation is transcribed into a word processing document, -(just to give a general idea of how much one author wrote compared to the others.)

            Also as a way to facilitate the grasping of the historical events which will actually be rather/more comprehensively than detailedly related here, the following overviewing conquest mapping of Alexander’s campaign is quite helpful...
{The history of this mapping is summarily discussed in this video}

            ...But in our more technological resources advance age, i.e. when one can get even more accurate and detailed mapping depictions from real world satellite imagery, the following Google Earth resources can be used. (See a screen capture below). This real world resource is great as it allows e.g. to zoom in and see the actual regions and terrain that Alexander and his army had to deal with and well as, in many cases, the still visible ancient, now ruins of, the cities that he had to war against and subdue in his campaign. Some of those cities, or at least those sites of those ancient cities, have managed to remain/be occupied to this day, but of course as now modernized, and typically now sprawlingly much larger, cities.
 View or Download Larger/Original-Sized Image
Download its Google Earth (KMZ) Mapping File

            And finally, as more in detailed, pertinent information and resources about the various aspects of this Alexander Campaign come up in these discussions, they will be then supplied/link to. Not every technical/proper/historical term/name will be linked to here, but, if needed, typically more information and details about them can be (introductorily) found by searching for them in Wikipedia.

Dan 8:5b - a coming male goat from the west

            Since the father of Alexander the Great, King Philip II, had set forth the initiative in ca. 336 B.C. of a hegemonic takeover invasion of the Persian Empire and its territory, the Persians had actually been quite aware of it. In fact, Greece had already begun the initial phases of this War Plan by having sent troops into the Westernmost/Coastal parts of Anatolia/“Asia” [=the majority of the modern-day country of Turkey] in order to try to free and win over the predominantly culturally-Greek peoples who lived in the cities and towns there. Persia then was planning a preemptive response in a full attack and invasion of Greece.
            But when King Philip was suddenly assassinated, by his bodyguard, on the eve of him launching the Greece invasion of Persia, and the Grecian war effort seemed to be derailed, the Persians became relieved that their hegemony was no longer being threatened, especially, as they deemed, now the youthful and inexperienced Alexander taking over the kingship of Greece. But soon enough, Alexander’s rapid, crushing and efficient military campaigns in Greece to put down that various civil warring with certain city states which opposed his rule alarmed the Persians that he and the Greeks could become a threat, and fittingly readied himself for such an likelihood. And they also made due diligence to restore control of their westernmost region of Anatolia from the already achieved Greek incursions. (Dio 17:7.1-3).
            By the Spring of 334 A.D., when Greece had then renewed its national commitment to a hegemonic assault on Persian, -which they deemed to be of “defensive/protective” necessity, the Persian were actually readied for them. The (4|6) regional provincial governors (called satraps) of the Anatolia territory of the Persian Empire called a (Cavalries&Grecian Mercenaries-summoning) military council in the town of Zeleia where they discussed how best to ‘contain’ (Greek: peri), and thus neutralize and then expel Alexander once he made his entry into their territory. Oddly enough, they deliberatedly concede the entry of the Greek army into their territory, manifestly at the expressed desire/preference, and thus order/policy, of King Darius himself. Greek writer Justin (Jus 11:6.8-9) states that:

“King Darius, on the other hand, from confidence in his strength, abstained from all artifice in his operations; observing that “clandestine measures were fit only for a stolen victory;” he did not attempt to repel the enemy from his frontiers, but admitted them into the heart of his kingdom, thinking it more honourable to drive war out of his kingdom than not to give it entrance. The first engagement, in consequence, was fought on the plains of Adrastia. [=at Granicus]

            Indeed the crossing of the Hellespont, (in 160+ trireme ships), by Alexander’s Military expedition of “37,100” (professional&veteran) soldiers[7]7 had not at all taken the Persians by surprised. They had indeed gathered at Zeleia in regards to that expected hegemonic confrontation with the Greeks and had “(systemically/strategically) lagged behind” (Greek: hysteresan = English: “hysterisis”) in the execution of their defensive measures, thus, evidently indeed deliberately, allowing for Alexander to fully come onto their shores and into their territory. And it is when they were militarily mustered and planning at Zeleia that the news came to them that Alexander had successfully crossed over.
            That was probably the first of several pivotal mistakes and miscalculations by the Persians against Greece in this war between them. Had the Persians instead decided to send their much larger [i.e. 400 ships vs. ca. 160+) and more powerful/experienced navy against the crossing attempt of Alexander, they probably could have easily neutralized and literally sunk, this Greek expedition. Even if they had let them approach those western shores of Anatolia, the Persian ground forces could have also been successful in preventing the Greeks to invade, especially if, as they easily could/would have, been seconded by the Persian Navy.
            So it really was a bad calculation to allow the Greek army, which greatly depended on its ground warfare (phalanx) formations and strategy (cf. this explaining video & this depicting animation)  to be successful, to get to have that necessary ground/land footing in a war. But King Darius smugly/confidently wanted to be “honourable”....
            This was indeed the inceptive Persian failure which, prophetically speaking, literally allowed this assaulting (“Male Goat”) Greece force to depictively, -and as the saying goes: “hit the ground running”...in fact “hit the ground period”... and would prove to really have been the proverbial: “camel’s nose under the tent” instance for the Persia Empire....
            Plus, knowing that God can effectuate circumstances which instill fear in men, leading them to e.g. flee a warring confrontation that they would easily have been successful in, I can easily see it here as having been the converse case that God instilled, or at the very least, did not disturb, such a reckless feeling of relative peace and confidence in King Darius in the face of this attack and invasion from Alexander and the Greeks....because of course God was working behind the scenes to effectuate His (prophetically) planned strategic removal of the Medo-Persian Empire from the World’s Hegemonic position, to be replaced by a Grecian Empire.
            Once he debarked on the western shores of the realm of the Persian Empire, Alexander clearly either did not that much feel in danger of an immediate Persian counter offensive and/or he was actually so religiously devoted to his Greek mythology beliefs, indeed as copiously seen in the many documented worshipful rituals and acts that he had engaged in leading up to (e.g. at Dios/Dium), and during, this crossing of the Hellespont into Asia, that he left most of his army to be encamped at the town of Arisbe/Arisba so that he can go ca. 24 miles south from there to the remains of the town of Illum where the (likely legendary, or perhaps historical) War of Troy (with its famous Trojan Horse trickery) had taken place, to engage in various “lavish” religious ceremonies, sacrifices and honours in the hope that this would make, e.g., the 12 (Grecian) gods favorable to his military expedition and campaign against Greece. In fact, even before landing on the shores of Anatolia, Alexander had set his mind on first engaging in these dedicatory religious services as he had actually set sailed {in/with “60 ships”} further south downshore on the Hellespont (at the port of Elaeus) from the rest of most of his army {who had sailed [in 160+20 [or 100+20] ships} across at/from Sestus).
            Other than showing that Alexander was clearly quite unmolested in this major, and certainly easily noticeable 160+ ship mass invading-crossing and debarkment into the realm of Persia, what this all keyly and Biblically-pertinently shows about Alexander is that, though the Greek cultural is highly responsible for the humanistic views of history and today, which really effectively paved the way for the humanistic “atheism” & secularism birthed in the French Revolution, the Greeks back then, -and certainly Alexander himself, were highly “religious”, -as is will continued to be quite copiously, and likewise quite abandonly, controlling manifested/exhibited by Alexander throughout the various stages of this campaign against the Persians.[8]8
            Alexander was (psychologically) so needful of such assurances from the gods, -pointedly in regards to his embarked upon expedition, that when he had earlier sought to get the view/endorsement of the Greek-famous/revered “Oracle of Delphi”, which indeed was: “the oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world”, when its prophetess was refusing to see and minister to him given that “he chanced to come on one of the inauspicious days, when it is not lawful to deliver oracles”, and “tried to drag her to the temple, whereupon, as if overcome by his ardour, she said: "Thou art invincible, my son!"”. And “on hearing this, Alexander said he desired no further prophecy, but had from her the oracle which he wanted.” (Plu 14.6-7) [9]9
            In fact, it was when Alexander later “corruptedly” began to deviate from his religious/mythological beliefs, deeming and conducting himself like he himself was also a god, i.e. one who was humanly-conceived/born of the gods, who, like the Persian monarchs, should be given worshipful respect (Cur 4:7.30), that he began to lose the confidence of his soldiers who (more than merely) scoffed at, and patently ‘stubbornly opposed’ (Cur 4:7.31), such (grandiose) notions (cf. Arr 4:9.7-10.5ff; Cur 8:7.12-15ff; Plu 54.1-6ff) ....leading to an almost non-reconciled mutiny (at Opis).
            But once he got all of these religious rites done, Alexander got down to “business”, and upon learning that the Persians (of Anatolia) had mustered their forces around the Zeleia area, perhaps they had already summoned their infantry forces there, Alexander straightly headed in that direction to take them head on...
            The Persians had priorly considered the counter-measure suggestion of a Grecian General in the faithful service of Persia, Memnon from the Persian-controlled, Grecian Island of Rhodes, which was to (a) scorch the entire land masses which the Greek invaders would have to cross, as this would likely cause Alexander to abandon his advances given the basic subsistence hardships that his army would have to overcome, along with (b) launching a Persian counter-offensive against the Greeks back into their own land which was being principally defended by a residual force of only ‘ca. 12,000+1,500 troops+cavalry commanded by Antipater’ (Dio 17:17.5), thus likely further urging Alexander to turn back....but that was deemed by the other satraps and military leaders to be: (a) beneath the dignity of Persians (Dio 17:18.2-4), and (b) also a ruse of Memnon to try to protract this war in an attempt to ingratiate himself to the Persian King (Arr 1:12.10), and so they instead decided to engage Alexander’s invading forces in a heads-on war....The location they chose: the natural, and easily defendable battle line of the Granicus River which was ca. 18 miles due west from their present council’s location of Zeleia. They then summoned ca. 20,000 infantry and 20,000  cavalry (=Arr 1.14.4) to the (supposed to be the single and hegemony-decisive) “War”.
            And “when Alexander learned of the concentration of the Persian forces, he advanced rapidly and encamped opposite the enemy, so that the Granicus flowed between the encampments.” (Dio 17:19.1; -See the itinerary-detailing of this advance in Arr 1:12.6-7)

            So finally, on May 3 of 334 B.C., -(and in what was to be the last time that Persians, with their ca. 40,000 troops here, made the under-/normative-estimating “mistake” of merely matching, if even, the size of Alexander’s 37,100-soldiers army), the Greeks and the Persians met for the first of what would come to be 3 major battles for the (Persian/“(First) World”) Hegemony. This confrontation was indeed surely expected by both sides to be the lone, and decisive-so, Battle in this hegemonic War....But for one thing, King Darius, surely out of over confidence, didn’t bother to show up here, so even a win by the Greek, which of course they went on to obtain, would surely require at least another major confrontation.
            For an interesting & illustrative overview of/on this (First Major) Battle you can see the following Animation and Documentary. Several other such helpful works can be found by searching on Youtube].
            In my restrospecting view, and especially considering the later astounding exploits of this military expedition of Alexander in the other Major Battles, this Battle of Granicus was rather quite a closely fought match up. Perhaps it was a combination of Alexander having boldly (some, like later Darius (see Cur 4:14.18-19), deemed: “b/rashly/madly/insanely”) decided to (immediately) charge at the Persian Battle line through crossing that significant river. As Plutarch records: “most of the Macedonian officers were afraid of the depth of the river, and of the roughness and unevenness of the farther banks, up which they would have to climb while fighting.” (Plu 16.2)...and not to mention: ‘under the raining assault of Persian projectiles’. Likely that did significantly fatigue and psychologically demoralize his troops, and also technically disrupted the required cohesion rigidity of/for his phalanx formation, but given that Alexander’s forces would later be much more damaging to much larger Persian armies, this numerically evenly-matched battling was actually rather close. And Alexander himself almost lost his life here/then,* -were it but for, firstly, his (blow-sufficiently-absorbing) helmet, and then right after, the timely, deathly-blow-(literally)-“cutting-off” intervention of his officer Cleitus “the Black”.** (See A 1:15.8||D 17:20.6-7; P 16.9-11)...But the Greeks did indeed end up pulling off a win....
* The first (really 2) of “9  times” that Alexander almost died during this campaign.

** Spoiler Alert”: Ca. 6 years later, Alexander wantonly murdered him upon a drunken quarrel...ironically enough, perhaps instigated by Alexander’s insistence then to be ‘worshipfully genuflected before’ as was the manner of Persian monarchs...
            Manifestly the Persians here learned the lesson of the: formidable, and surely ‘most devastating-on-a-“level”-battle-field’, (King Philip+Alexander-improved)-Grecian phalanx...because the next time that they would meet, Darius made sure to not only show up himself, but also assemble an army which (credibly) outnumbered Alexander ca. 8-to-1.....

Alexander's Conquest of Anatolia (May 334-Oct 333 B.C.)
Dan 8:5c - over the surface of the whole land
Dan 8:5d - without touching (at) the ground
            Plutarch rightly deemed the Battle of Granicus to be: ‘as it were: the gates of Asia... for entrance and dominion there’ (Plu 16.1), because upon this victory there by the Greeks, they figuratively were literally “off to the races”...Upon this, indeed: “opening of these (flood)gates” (cf. Plu 17.1; Jus 11:6.14), they, as the prophetic stipulation of Dan 8:5d ‘expected planned’, virtually overran this, -now virtually nationally-conceded, entire Western region of the Persian Empire [which was roughly 10-15% of the total of their vast realm].
            As Greece started its town/city by town/city overtaking&control conquest, most readily submitted to their new rule. With the westernmost, priorly, and then quasi-, Greece colonized, towns and cities of Anatolia (i.e. the then: 11 Aeolic and 13 Ionic cities; see this mapping), that was quite a most natural switch to make given that the peoples their were mostly already Greek-leaning, e.g. culturally so...which is why Alexander’s father himself had sought to begin this invading hegemonic overtake of Persia by inciting these towns and city to rebel and come to their side.
            Back at the conquests of the cities of Sardis, and pointedly Ephesus, (which were Alexander’s first couple of major city conquests after the Battle of Granicus), Alexander had been able to first implement, and also ‘“popularly” showcase’ (Arr 1:17.13), the type of Persia-alternative rule that he was intending to “liberate” the people of Anatolia and beyond with. Alexander’s policy would be “to break up the oligarchies everywhere, to set up the democratical form of government, to restore their own laws to each of the cities, and to remit the tribute which they were accustomed to pay to the foreigners.” (Arr 1:18.2).

Decision for (Purely) Overland, and (Firstly) “Practicing+Strengthening”, Campaign
            In these Western Coast conquests, Alexander encountered opposition only at the cities of Miletus and then Halicarnassus, which he therefore had to subdue through sieges, respectively in July 334 BC and then Sept 334 BC. And between these sieges Alexander came to the decision, -for various cumulative reasons (see Arr 1:20.1) to disband his navy (keeping only ca. 20 (heavy/siege-works implements) transport ships at his disposal -Dio 17:22.5), -having also seen that his navy would be no match for the larger and more experienced Persian navy. His (nonetheless gambling) military plan/strategy, -(which he actually saw was the fulfilment of a supposed “omen” of ‘an eagle flying over land’ (see Arr 1:18.6-9)), was to cripple the functional capability of the (actually more powerful) Persian Navy by depriving it of access to ports by overtaking these docking/manning/supplying/debarking facilities through land borne attacks. (cf. Arr 1:24.3). Manifestly his successful harbor blockade during the siege at Miletus had instill this idea of the potential of this land-borne/blocked/based campaigning approach.[10]10

            Thus Alexander now made his expedition against the Persian a purely over land campaign. {Incidently, the Greek navy only once again started to play a direct military part in Alexander’s conquests starting, ca. a year later, with the (later discussed) Siege at the fortified island-city of Tyre (+Jan 332 B.C.).}
            So then, as the mapping below illustrates, Alexander successfully effectuated his ca. 18 major cities/towns and their surrounding regions (cf. in here) conquest of Anatolia itself in a couple of North-South sweeps, totaling roughly ca. 1300 miles of travel/marching; and in the relatively/militarily remarkable “rapid” time of only ca. 16 months [i.e. 1 year 4 months] (=an average of ca. 27 days for each major city/town; or also ca. 21 days/location if the extraordinary, and thus skewing, total of the ca. 5 months for the Sieges of Miletus and Halicarnassus are subtracted; or also ca. 17 days of stay at each of those latter locations (i.e. to subdue, reorganize and control/secure them) if the army’s travel march days are not counted)... -[a “rapid” feat ‘which “has afforded many historians material for bombastic and terrifying [i.e. legendary] description”’ (Plu 17.6ff)]
[As always, see the Google Earth KMZ mapping file for more details of these conquest expeditions].
Alexander’s Strategy = Prophetic Plan
            Certainly the ‘rapid overrunning of the whole land” stipulations in Dan 8:5c+d were being fulfilled by this initial phase of Alexander’s Hegemonic Campaign against Persia. In fact later on, a little after Alexander had completed this Anatolia Campaign phase, when then seeking to take over Tyre, which was quite complex and thus slowed him down, it is most interesting to see/read ancient/contemporary Greek writers describe Alexander’s advance prior to that in terms which virtually exactly echo/reflect what had been prophetically stipulated in Dan 8:5, Curtius (4:4.1) wrote (in Latin):

“At this point Alexander from utter weariness had determined to raise the siege and go to Egypt. For after he had overrun Asia with great speed he was lingering around the walls of a single city, thus losing he opportunity for so many mighty exploits.

            As it will later be historically substantiate, clearly the Heavenly Intelligence also saw that a concrete territorial overtake and holding of Persian territory, i.e. here starting with Anatolia, was key to being able to successfully overthrow Persia, because Alexander later did make leveraging reference and rousing appeal to this, both successful control and rapid conquest, of this (first) part of the Persian realm (See Jus 11:9.2).
            In other words, when it finally came to a head-to-head (i.e. king-to-king) showdown between Persia/Darius vs. Greece/Alexander, the Greek did have something substantial, and variously quite weighty, to put on the “negotiating” table....and telling enough, it was Persia/Darius who would come to want to “negotiate”, while Alexander wanted to keep riding this overrunning momentum.
            Indeed, this first, rapid overrunning part of Alexander’s campaign against Persia provided quite crucial “momentum” which would prove to variously be contributive to the outcome of this hegemonic war. And Alexander himself saw/deemed this overland, Anatolia campaigning, (i.e. rather than immediately making a bee-line for a head-to-head Battle with the Persian King in/near the heart/capital of the Persian Empire), as various advantageous for him. Plutarch (17.2b-3) relates, while Alexander was in the early part of campaign in Anatolia:

“Then he [Alexander] was in doubt as to his future course. Many times he was eager to encounter Dareius and put the whole issue to hazard, and many times he would make up his mind to practice himself first, as it were, and strengthen himself by acquiring the regions along the sea with their resources, and then to go up against that monarch.”

            So again, Alexander was executing a wise military strategy that the even Wiser Heavenly Intelligence itself had long, (i.e. ca. 220 years before, back in 551 B.C. =Dan 8:1), prophetically foreplanly seen would be the best way in which to overtake a vast empire like Persia would (surely/easily) become (i.e.: ‘would be allowed by God to become’ cf. Dan 4:17, 25, 32, 32; 2:21; 5:18).

Dan 8:5e - had a conspicuous horn between his eyes

            Earlier, it was seen what this prophetic stipulation can Biblically “figuratively” applicably mean. I.e. this Horn = Greece’s (Hegemony’s) “First King” (Dan 8:21) would also be a “visionary” leader, one who would lead Greece into this hegemonic aspiration and “vision” for itself. Well it is quite pertinently relatable to see that Alexander was implicatively and/or explicitly said to be: “conspicuous” (on the battle field) (See Plu 16.7 Greek: hen =“see there” and Arr 1:14.4 Greek: delos =“visible, conspicuous”). Those statements of course pointedly speak of/about certain physical traits and/or vestal/armament apparels of Alexander which did make him stand out, indeed as a marked/targeted man, on the battlefield....but really this was only due to the fact that Alexander did not at all shrink for being an effectively “front and center” leader of his soldiers on the battlefield. He seemed to always be right in the middle of the most hazardous dangers of a battle...and most times, because he himself sought to, e.g. aidingly, be there. As Justin (11:14.5) relatedly relates:

“Alexander, meanwhile, made the most hazardous efforts; where he saw the enemy thickest, and fighting most desperately, there he always threw himself, desiring that the peril should be his, and not his soldiers’.”

            Alexander also, when off a battle field, i.e. which traveling and camping with his troops, also conducted himself as just ‘one of the guys’.

            It can easily be seen how this crafted further “conspicuousness” of Alexander was actually quite key to the success of the Greek Military, and thus its Battles and overall Hegemonic Campaign as, if you are a soldier in the Greek Army and you see your “King” not at all afraid, nor shying from, giving his all to this mission, then really, who would you “better” be to not, at the very least, seek to valiantly be doing the very same...Really, that is how you get a naturally seemingly illogical-for-this-foreign-expedition/task “moderate force” of only ca. 40,000 soldiers to fight like they are 2, 3 or 8 times as much....(Cf. Jus 11:9.2)

            ...And pertinently enough, on the flip side, it was, -as it will be seen later, the cowardly and fearful example on the other side, spearheaded by King Darius, which prove to be the undoing, and thus defeat of the Persians.
            So as the “visionary” conspicuousness of this male goat’s horn, as reflected in both Alexander’s outfitted and leadership exhibition, all stemming from the “commonly eyed” grand “vision” of the now united Greek people which Alexander was capably leading towards, came to indeed be a strategic/advantaging aspect for it...and thus, key to the overall success of the Greeks in this hegemonic war...
            ....As the Bible implicates: “where there is no vision [especially prophetic vision], the people [eventually] perish” (Pro 29:18 KJV)!!
Alexander/Greece Advanced by/in 334 B.C.

Daniel 8:6 - He came up to the ram of those allied two horns, which I had seen standing in front of the canal, and ran towards him in his strong wrath.

He came up to the ram of those allied two horns =The “coming male goat” came up to the ram....
            Interestingly enough, though a distinct application of the prophetic stipulations of Dan 8:5 above has been made in regards to Alexander’s Anatolia campaign, sprung froth from his victory at the Battle of Granicus, it can be plausibly argued that the statement made here is what should apply to that earlier campaign as it involves a head-to-head confrontation of the goat and the ram. But, as discussed above, at the Battle of Granicus, the Persian King Darius had not even bothered to personally show up. He left the command of that expedition and the task of now ousting Alexander’s troops from Persian territory in the hands of his Satraps and Generals of Anatolia. Of course they failed in their mission, and so now Darius would come to take on this hegemonic challenge and responsibility in person. Manifestly Darius by then came to believe that he alone could change the present course of ‘bad luck’ by the Persians thus far. Curtius (3:2.1) writes:

“But Darius, when the death of Memnon was announced, being not less anxious than was natural, set aside all other hope, and decided to fight a decisive battle in person; for he condemned everything that had been done through his generals, believing that many of them had been lacking in care, and all in good fortune.”

            However, credibly enough, Diodorus points out that Darius only decided to take on this “in person” responsibility when he could not see/find a more suitable replacement for the slain General Memnon, -“famed for his military competence” (Dio 17:18.2), and thus who Darius was manifestly planning to, yet again, give the chief command for a War/Battle, this time for this Second Major Battle against Greece:

“He searched for a competent general to take over Memnon's command but could find no one, and finally felt constrained to go down himself to take part in the contest for the kingdom.”(Dio 17:30.7)

            Nonetheless, it can be seen that this Second Battle would be the first “official” War/Battle during this campaign between Greece and Persia, and it was expected, and built up to be the decisive (=Final) Battle of this (now, from the Persian perspective: “too long”) War.

            As discussed above, the Heavenly Intelligence had strategically prophetically planned for the overtaking of the Persian Hegemony, that the overrunning/overtaking and control of the Anatolia region of the Persian Empire was firstly key towards a successful overall campaign. Manifestly the Heavenly Intelligence did not “script” for a Major Battle to take place before that Anatolia control campaign was first completed. And even if there was a Battle at the Granicus River, from all of the attending factors that have been presented and discussed above at Dan 8:5, I can become arguably apparent that the Heavenly Intelligence was working behind the scenes to variously tempered the passions of here-involved humans so that a first, Official Major, head-to-head hegemonic Battle between Greece and Persian, i.e., one  led in person by their respective kings, would not take place until Greece had first built up its military momentum by a successful overrunning and control of the Anatolia region.
            Indeed, towards this “Divine tempering” it has been seen (above in Dan 8:5's historical fulfillment) that:

-King Darius and Persia opted for a policy to allow Alexander’s invading expedition to enter into the territory of the Persian Empire, crucially also allowing them to cross the Hellespont unmolested.

-The potent “scorched Earth” tactic plus Greece-ward counter-offensive assault+invasion plan of the Persian General Memnon was not adopted...

-...Then when it was begun to be implemented a few months later, it was suddenly abandoned with the soon death of Memnon...

-Of course, Darius did not show up in Person for that first Battle at the Granicus River.

-Persia manifestly did not see it as wise/necessary to try to significantly outnumber Alexander in that first Battle, as they diligently would in the next two.

            So it can be Theologically claimed that God gave/allowed a spirit of overconfidence to Persia in the early phase of this War so that they would not put up a strong opposition, and if, contrary to the prophetic template here, they actually did. Manifestly God wanted a first/official/major War between Greece and Persia to only take place much later than the start of Alexander’s invasion, and literally much further within the realm of the Persian Empire, as then Alexander and his relatively small forces would come into that war both “practised” and also in control of a significant part of the Persian Empire.
            Indeed by having completely taken this Anatolia “wing” out of the Persian Imperial Defense strategy and power, Alexander did greatly enhance his chances of a successful hegemonic overtake as he then did not fear an assault “from behind” as he marched further westward into the vast Persian Empire, and indeed, in the ensuing make up of his vast army for the next two battles, no troops from the (eastward, than also southward) territories that Alexander had managed to overtake and control up to then were cited as being part of those Persian armies.
            So despite the meet up at Granicus, the prophetic template which called for a first major confrontation to occur later was, for all of the reasons listed above, effectively/essentially still effectuated/maintained.

which I had seen standing in front of the canal, - This statement of course simply is qualifying referring to an identifying aspect for that ram, i.e. that it have been seen before (in Dan 8:3)...but it is quite interesting to observe that the first couple of times that the goat and the ram would meet up in history, Persia (=the ram) made sure that it positioned itself by/behind a “canal”-like body of water. I.e.. at the Granicus River earlier, and now, as seen below, at the Pinarus River.

 and ran towards him in his strong wrath -   As stated earlier, and as well experienced by now
by the Persian Empire, this “strong wrath” move as a signature, even strategic, modus operandi by Alexander himself, and so, by the rank and file of his forces....and it also was not different in this Second Major Confrontation with Persia:

Battle of Issus (Nov 5, 333 BC)                                                                                           
            Speaking of patent/systemic Persian over confidence, and also patent Alexander “strong wrath” courage, upon the Grecian contingent having successfully made their way through Anatolia, which was now generally under their control, they now moved in to what would be Phase 2 of their Persia Conquest Campaign: into the territory which comprised Syria and the Levant, and later Egypt in the south.[11]11

            The minor mix up in the thought-of location of each other by the two armies as they were marching to meet each other in this Battle is an interesting side issue. It is summarized here, as sketched out in the following mapping:

            Succinctly stated here, and as really a mere proposed thesis in order to try to harmonize the various (seemingly conflicting) detailing given by the historical writers here. (Namely at: Arr 2:6.1-7.2ff; Dio 17:32.2b; Plu 20.1-7; Cur 3:7:1-8.23; Jus 11:8):
-It seems that when Alexander, -then stopped at Mallus, got the report that Darius was encamped at/near Sochi/Sochoi in [As]Syria, in a (/the Amuq) plain located just beyond the Amanus Mountain range, Alexander lifted camp the next day and, likely still, as just before, at an expeditious/forced march rate reached the town of Issus, ca. 35 miles away, by the end of that next day.

-After securing that town, Alexander decided to leave his injured soldiers there, and the next morning he set of to get to the Belian Pass which was another 35 miles away intending to cross over to Sochi/Sochoi to engage Darius there.

-On that next day’s March Alexander passed through a (also-called) “Syrian Gate” at about the same level as the “Pillar of Jonah”*, and by the end of the day got near to the Belian Pass, near the town of Myrandrius.

* Which marks the location where it is claimed that the prophet Jonah was thrown up by his great fish.

- But that night “a heavy tempest and a violent storm of wind and rain occurred which detained him in his camp”. So he then did not go through the Belian Pass, and before he would, he then received the shocking news that Darius was actually no longer encamped at/near Sochi/Sochoi, but instead was effectively behind him at Issus.
-“Meanwhile”, Darius on his part had left Sochi/Sochoi incidentally a little before that report about his location had reached Alexander at Mallus.

-And even before Alexander had lifted camp at Mallus, Darius, thinking that Alexander was not only still around Tarsus (which was near Mallus) but actually delaying and cowering there, -even by faking to have been deathly sick, so he decided, contrary to good advice, to, -(‘as if “led by some divine influence”’ (Arr 2:6.6 or: “evil genius” =Greek: daimonion {NT=“demons” #1140}), leave that Amuq plain which was optimally suitable for his vast army, to go after this cowering Alexander at Tarsus.

-Darius had made the ca. 2-day trip Northward on that other side of the Amanus Mountain range to the "Bahce Pass"/"Amanian Gate" reaching it on the same night that Alexander was stopped in Issus.

-So as Alexander would have left Issus that morning and then Darius himself would have arrived at that same town, which was ca. 38 miles, by the next night, that is how Plutarch’s claim that the two armies had missed one another in the night(Plu 20.4-5)... Or, exegetically most accurately here, i.e. given that the Greek word here: dia+martontes = (=lit. through+missing the mark [=NT term for “sin”]) = “missed entirely”, “go quite astray from”, is in the Greek participle form, thus fundamentally indicating a persisting state: ‘the two armies were now in an enduring/ongoing/persisting state of having gone quite astray from one another (i.e. from having entirely missed each other) in the night’. So what Plutarch described is precisely/exactly what transpired there.

-Likewise, i.e. also on a “more or less exactly applicable” leeway, for Curtius’ corroborating statement (at Book 3:8.13): that “It chanced that on the same night Alexander came to the pass by which Syria is entered, and Darius to the place which is known as the Amanican Gates.” Alexander had entered a(nother) “Syrian Gate” leading to Issus on the night that Darius had reached the Amanican Gate where he would have stopped to encamp and spend that night.

            All this to show/suggest that it may not have been, as commonly proposed by modern historical analysts that Darius was, by his circuitous route on the other side of the Amanus Mountains, ‘strategically seeking to get in behind the marching Alexander army and thus also cut off his supply line back towards Greece,’ or even ‘in order to close off any escape routes back to Greece that Alexander would have had’. It sequiturly/straightforwardly/naturally merely rather seems that Darius had indeed become mistaken about the (latest) location of Alexander and also why he was actually staying so long around Tarsus. Darius also had just lost control of, and thus access through, the Belen Pass/“Syrian Gate” as Alexander had sent some troops, under the command of Parmenion, to take and secure it. (Dio 17:32.2b) And so, self-deeming and self-convinced from all of this that Alexander was just too afraid to confront him, he decided to go after him in what he manifestly assumed would be an effective chasing route of Alexander’s forces as they would then scurry to run back to Greece from Tarsus.
            But when Darius arrived at Issus from the Amanican Gate by the night, -intending to go from there the next morning, northwestward towards Tarsus, he shockingly learned that Alexander had just been and left there marching South into Syria (=Polybius 12.17), and then eastwards towards where he thought Darius still was, i.e. at/near Sochi/Sochoi. And interestingly enough, it likely was on that same night, while Alexander was delayed by that sudden wind storm having therefore encamped near the Belian Pass, near Myriandrus, that he, also “shockingly” learned that Darius was behind him, at Issus. So as Plutarch went on to put it: “they both turned back again” (Plu 20.5)
            Darius actually would have been choosing to believe that the just departed Macedonian army was actually fleeing from him, having, in Darius’s view: ‘probably found out that night that he was only ca. 1 day away from them at the nearby Amanican Gate’ So Darius then engaged in chasing after those “scared fugitive”. Meanwhile, Alexander had this new report on the location of Darius at Issus confirmed by scouts dispatched by boat via the coastal sea. And as soon as that news was confirmed, he, ‘enthusiastically rejoicing at this great “Fortune”’, did boldly doubleback towards Issus to engage Darius. Clearly indeed, as prophesied/planned: ‘the male goat was running towards the ram in his strong wrath’
            The news/report of Alexander’s bold approach newly shocked Darius (Cur 3:8.24b), having radically shattered his “scared and cowardly fugitives” motivating premise, an really panicked his camp as they suddenly realized that they were now in quite non-optimal fields for the effective full deploying and functioning of their vast army. So he was now the one scaredly scurrying to find and occupy the best of these bad potential battle locations, and manifestly now fully comprehending the potential peril of a defeat that they were in, despite the much larger army, he also sought to, as done at the Battle of Granicus, to place his camp behind the protective line of a camps-separating river, the Pinarus River. (=modern day Payas River)

Darius’s Army’s Number-ing
            As hinted before, this time around, Darius did not make the mistake of merely matching the ca. 40,000 troop numbers of Alexander, but he made sure to significantly outnumber him. The exact total of Persian troops has been a matter of discussion, really from the earliest days of the written accounts because there are 4 different, and highly/wildly contradicting, claims made by these 5 extant major historical writers of this war, and/or the sources they depended on:

Arrian (2:8.8) [writing in ca. 119 AD] & Plutarch (18.6) [~76AD] claimed:: 600,000
Diodorus (17:31.2) [~49BC] & Justin (11:9.1) [~100AD] estimated:: ca. 400,000+100,000=500,000
Curtius (3:2.2-10) [~42 AD] enumerated what sums up to:: 256,000+56,200=312,200

-(Josephus (11:7.3 [#315]) corroborates that Darius had gathered large army for this battle; so large a “multitude” that ‘most were persuaded [manifestly also Darius himself] that Alexander would not even show up for this Battle.’

            Given these significant/contradictory differences, modern historians have instead, -as cited here, sought to ascertain their own estimates of what the size of the gathered Persian army likely/feasibility/reasonably was for this Battle. However, while I do get this skeptical impulse, and while I would also opt to do likewise instead given indeed these discrediting divergences, I have found that the quite documented and contextualized “enumerated” claim by/in the account of Curtius to be, especially comparatively so, rather quite credible, and thus reliable/trustworthy.
            Unlike the other 4 writers here, Curtius goes through much historical and data details in order to provide the exact numerical make up of the Persian forces gathered at Issus. He recounts in Cur 3:2.2-10 that Darius used the same accurate numbering method that King Xerxes I [486-465 BC] [incidentally: Esther in the Bible became one of his wives] had used many years before to number his infantry troops [which was 1.7 million then, from 47 ethnic groups (see Herodotus 7.60, 61-81ff)] for then a (second) attempted Persian invasion of Greece [480-479 BC]. {The total forces, i.e. with other fighting units, was said to be ca 2,641,610 (=7.185)}. Herodotus describes this counting method at Book 7.60:

“The manner in which the numbering took place was the following. A body of ten thousand men was brought to a certain place, and the men were made to stand as close together as possible; after which a circle was drawn around them, and the men were let go: then where the circle had been, a fence was built about the height of a man's middle; and the enclosure was filled continually with fresh troops, till the whole army had in this way been numbered. When the numbering was over, the troops were drawn up according to their several nations.”

            This is pretty straightforward to understand how it work, but a notable thing to see it that, to ensure the exactness of up to and only ca. 10,000 soldiers in this circle, they went through the trouble of building a ‘belly-button high’ fence upon the drawn circle. So clearly no grouping would accidentally come up short or overflow this circle, thus maintaining the exactitude here.
            Before listing and summing up Curtius’s numbers, it should be mentioned out that, as seen in here, modern historians also dispute the totals (2.6 million) claim of Herodotus to suggests estimates of 200-500 thousand instead. Herodotus goes on to claim, (at 7.186), that “he believes” that the number of non-combatant attendants was around the same ca. 2.6M number...but he clearly states then that this was merely his “belief”.
            Again there, (call me naive), but I am not seeing a valid basis to reject the substantiated tallying of Herodotus in favor of the estimates, really guesstimates, of modern historian. Likewise I am not seeing a valid reason for rejecting Curtius’ tallying for the Battle of Issus, especially since, and more so than what Herodotus supplied, Curtius records the exact number of troops, cavalry and infantry, for/from each of the nations/ethnic group participating in this war on the Persian side. [Herodotus himself, (at History 7.60), had clearly said that he did not have documents containing such detailed/break down information.].
            Here are Curtius’ numbers:

Curtius’ Battle of Issus Troop Strength Tally
            A couple of significant things to note from, and in relation to, these figures.

(1) More than half (51%) of total troops came from the Persian and Media peoples. Most of the rest of the troops (39%) was split from 6+ other nations. And the remaining troops (ca. 10%) were Greek mercenaries.*

* {Which is always an odd group to me: Were they in it for the (better?) money, or for their actually antipathy to their former homeland??}

(2) At Cur 3:2.9 Curtius states that: “However, his [Darius’s] haste prevented the summoning of the [Easternmost satrapies of] Bactriani, the Sogdiani, the Indi, and other dwellers near the Red Sea” These people groups were then located in parts of the present-day regions of, respectively: Afghanistan & Pakistan, Tajikistan & Uzbekistan and India. This absence of them at Issus was/would prove to be quite significant because, later on, in the next major Battle, at Gaugamela, when then Darius had time (and the necessity) to await and receive in time the military contingents from these easternmost Imperial satrapies (see Arrian 3:8.3), the fighters of these nations were lauded as being ‘fearsome’. During the account of that next Battle, Curtius 4:13.5, pertinently for here, writes:

“But in the day time the terrible aspect of the Scythians and the Bactriani would for the first time confront the Macedonians; their faces are shaggy and their hair unshorn, to say nothing of the enormous bulk of their huge bodies. Soldiers are affected more by vain and trivial things than by reasonable causes of fear.”

            And when they then were enjoined into the battle, their distinct and differing forcefulness/fearsomeness momentarily caused ‘overwhelming shock’ to/amongst Alexander’s troops, causing many of them to retreat until Alexander “rebuked his frightened men, encouraged them, and single-handed gave fire to the battle, which had already slackened; and having at last restored their courage, he bade them charge the enemy”. (Cur 4:15.18-19)
            The “shock” to the Greeks from those other nations was probably from the fact that, contrary to themselves of course, they considered (especially) the Persians and Medes (which at Issus were 51% of Darius’s fighting forces) to be rather ‘feeble/lazy’ and “soft/effeminate” (Greek: malakotata). Alexander said as part of his War Pep Speech at Issus:

“Again, of foreigners, the Thracians, Paeonians, Illyrians, and Agrianians, who were the most robust and warlike of men in Europe, were about to be arrayed against the most sluggish and effeminate races of Asia.” (Arrian 2:7.5)

            This was “nurturedly” attributed to their now “long course of luxurious ease” (Arrian 2:7.5) that these people had enjoyed while living in the security of now over 200 years of Persian Hegemony. Interestingly enough, an Alexander-hating, Greece-expelled, Greek mercenary leader Charidemus courageously/sincerely/truthfully warned Darius before the fighting at Issus begun of how much better the Greeks, with their phalanx and their experienced/veteran and brute soldiers were to even this massive military assembly of the Persians, and counseled Darius to seek to hire more mercenaries from Greece. “Of course” Darius ordered: “off with his head”[12]12 ...but after the Persians were defeated in this battle, Darius admitted he had spoken the truth and order that he be given funeral rites. (Curtius 3:2.10-16, 17-19)

            All this to say/show that it likely was a “fortunate” thing that these more rugged soldiers from those Easternmost satrapies/nations of the Persian Empire had not managed to make it in time for the Battle at Issus, as they then could have also, but perhaps here enduringly so: “change the fortune of the battle”.                                          
            And more generally, all this to contextualize/substantiate, that the number of 312,200 total Persian troops detailedly enumerated in Curtius’s account is quite reliable.
            So Alexander credibly was outnumbered ca. 8 to 1 in this Battle.... And yet it was Darius who had, so clearly/self-evidently to all, “become so cowed in spirit” that wherever the demarcating Pinarus River was not “steep and precipitous”; ‘but, in certain places, seemed more easy to ascend”,  he had built a stockade = i.e. “a fence made of a line of stout posts set firmly for defence” (Arr 2:10.1).

            The two armies lined up against each other as follows:
ran towards him in his strong wrath - “Wrath” can literally make you do “unthinkable” things...both in terms of: ‘not (rationally) thinking about what you are doing’ and ‘doing/accomplishing things that are not sensically feasible’. Well that indeed is certainly what characterized Alexander’s bold engagement here. Though clearly now outnumbered, he still did not back down, but, in what would clearly be an advantaging mindset, he, effectively, indeed surely literally, engaged the Persian forces with a greater level of “wrath”.

            Accounts of the Battle’s fighting itself is found in the following extant accounts Jus 11:9.9-10ff; Plu 20.8-10a; Arr 2:10.3b-11; Dio 17:33.3-34.9; Cur 3:11.1-20 , including the attempted corrective (but not always correct) criticism of Polybius (ca. 200-118 B.C.) at his Histories 12:17-22. See the following interesting Animation and Documentary reconstructions of this Second Major Battle.

            ...So, of course, the historical fact is that the Persians (also) lost this (Second) Battle...But one questions that should be engaged, -if one is going to ascribe to the, above discussed figures of Curtius in regards to the size the Persian army of 312,200, (which was actually the lowest total of all of the known/extant claims from ancient sources/accounts), is: How does an army which outnumbers its opponent ca. 8 to 1 still lose a battle? In other words, how does it become “logical” for an army to chose to flee their enemy that they outnumber 8 to 1....Also keeping in mind that most of their ca. 110,000 (mainly infantry) casualties were said to have occurred during their panicked flight, when they had ‘irrationally’ thrown away their weapons to make their escape faster, and thus had become easier routing/killing prey to Greece’s Right Wing (=mountain side) cavalry which they were crossing the path of in their attempt to, literally, ‘run for the hills’. (Cur 3:11.12)... Of course the simple answer to them was: when their King fled, but it actually was not meant to be as simple as that.
            The following is cursory thetical proposition of the probable contributive circumstances and implications of/for this irrational development/denouement:

-It is intriguing to see that even when claiming a vast total for the Persian side, e.g. 600,000 (Arrian), 312,200 (Curtius), they both detailedly cite the ordering of around 100,000 troops in battle lines. Evidently, as Arrian goes on to state:
“The remaining multitude of Darius's light-armed and heavy-armed infantry was marshalled by nations to an unserviceable [i.e. not: helping, aiding, useful, beneficial | advantageous] depth and placed behind the Grecian mercenaries and the Persian army arranged in phalanx.” Arr 2:8.8

-It seemed that Darius was really worried about the capabilities of the Macedonian Phalanx and so literally stacked his forces directly opposed to it, even to that “unserviceable depth”. Manifestly intending that if his initial front line came to be mowed down by Alexander’s phalanx, there would be a back up of 2-3 times that size right behind them that Greece would still have to deal with.     

-(I would have to study/research the advantages that a mounted cavalry soldier would have versus a foot-soldier (at/of that time) (cf. here&here), but it would seem that they indeed would have one, -especially if the horse they were riding was variously vitally protected against sword slashes. An oncoming horse charging at full/high speed, as cavalries would typically initially do, would surely easily run over and through foot soldiers in front of them. And so, it manifestly was rather useless for Darius to set that excess of his infantry soldiers at his wings were the calvaries were set up. Foot soldiers armed with projectiles (e.g. a javelin, bow, sling) could do damage to a mounted cavalier, but manifestly there were not sufficient such arms to equip that excess infantry with.)

-However with a battle field strung out over ca. 3 miles wide, and the two flanks occupied predominantly by cavalries, this infantry middle would somewhat be unaware of how things were developing on these, relatively remote, flanks, -especially on such a not-so-level field...until someone would come and bring them an update. And this middle infantry, throughout all of its depths, i.e. even the “unserviceable/unuseful” ones, probably had orders to remain in their “center/middle lane” in order to continue to try to oppose any breakthrough advance of the Macedonian phalanx.

-But the battlefield-fact is that the rough terrain did not allow the Macedonian phalanx to advance as it wanted to. In fact, most of it barely had sustained success at just making it across the dividing river and up its banks (which also was reinforced by Persia in certain places). So Alexander’s Phalanx was effectively mostly neutralized here (See Arr 2:10.4b-7a), but that actually also resulted in their Persian counteracting opposition also being correspondingly neutralized, as they did not move forward, across the river, to engage them, but only awaited them on their side.

-That would also come to result in their back ups also being neutralized...awaiting any possible breakthrough of the Macedonian Phalanx, which actually never even began to come. And even when they engaged in fighting, it became clear that it would be useless, even self-detrimental, to have additional/extra (Persian) forces crowd in /pile on from behind before/until they could be needed for actual fighting. (See Cur 3:11.4-6). So really, even with this non-action, i.e. not as fully as it was supposed to, the ca. 30,000 Macedonian Phalanx still managed to neutralize the vast infantry opposition of ca. 250,000 that was arrayed in depths against it.

-So the “weakest link” of the Persian vast army, came to be its Cavalry Wings.

-Their Right Wing (=Greece’s Left, =Seaside) was actually doing quite well against the Greeks who were barely hanging on. On Persia’s Left Wing (=Mountain side), it seemed that the presence there of Alexander managed to additionally invigorate his own cavalry, and the Greek ended up routing to Persians there, causing those who could to flee. That then freed up Alexander and that Wing/Cavalry to attack the left flank of the Persian middle/infantry.

-Darius had been positioned in the center, but manifestly upon seeing that Alexander was going against his left wing, he therefore ‘was intending to fight on his Left Wing’ (Cur 3:9.3-4), That is manifestly how he came to be within striking distance of the attacking Alexander

-And it seems that, -(with the Persian lines before him, and to his left side, -including of his own royal body guards, beginning to defeatedly fall back, and become entangled in the bunched up confusion), it was pointedly because Darius lost control of his, (also shaking), horses/chariot, which therefore kept advancing him into that chaotic and perilous/slaughtered melee, that he thought it best to flee to preserve his life, or not even ‘be captured alive by the Greeks’ (Cur 3:11.11).

-I would suggest that this was more out of surreal fear (=irrational spooking/panic) than out of actual on-the-ground logic, -having had had many troubling dreams just before this battle in which he, Darius, saw himself losing to Alexander (Cur 3:3.2-3,4-6), and now having lost control of his horses/chariot which eerily kept advancing him into the slaughter (Dio 17:34.6), this probably triggered him ‘falling into a panic terror’ (Dio 17:34.7a), perhaps now thinking that all of this was some sort of inescapable fate being fulfilled.... (Indeed soon after this battle’s resolution, Darius would state in a diplomatic letter to Alexander that that battle “had been decided as seemed good to someone of the gods” (Arr 2:14.3).

-Perhaps the actual purpose of the second chariot that was brought to Darius should have been used by him to continue leading this Battle, but manifestly his panic then was too great to overcome. So likely not willing to give himself up to the whims of any “Fortune”, -notwithstanding that he claimed to believe in, and trust the judgement of, it, he instead used that second chariot to straightly flee...Perhaps rationalizingly seeing this opportunity to make an escape as a (even merciful?) providence of “Fortune”.

-Darius did not explicitly order a general retreat, perhaps thinking that the rest of his vast army could pull off a victory, in this actually up to then, in total, virtually evenly matched battle, but his flight came to have the, literally, “domino effect”, as successive military units of his, starting with the ones around him, and then down the battle line, became aware of his flight...and, logically, opted to do the same (Dio 17:34.7b), even when in the face of a possible victory in their respective skirmishes (Arr 2:11.2). As Justin summarily put it: The result remained doubtful until Darius fled, when there ensued a great slaughter of the Persians,” (Jus 11:9.10). In fact, most of the Persians who killed died during their flight, both by being routed by the chasing Greeks, but also by being trampled over when they bottlenecked at various lone narrow passages out of the area. (Arr 2:11.3)
Battle of Issus (Prophetic) Summation
            So really this defeat of the Persians in this Battle, can really be attributed to a natural misunderstanding. I.e. Darius only fled to preserve his throne and own life, probably still thinking that his remaining troops could/would pull off a victory....But these remaining troops instead read/saw this as an indication that they too should abandon this fight, and so they fled, not really out of trying to escape a sure lost, but rather in virtually giving up trying to obtain a still possible victory.
            So as involved in the Prophetic Template/Plan of Dan 8:7, for a successful overthrow on Persia, the ram’s “horn” (=kingly leadership) needed to be ‘shattered/broken into pieces”...and in this flight of King Darius, which (involuntarily) caused an unexpected defeat of the Persians in this Battle, an applicable effective, albeit only partial for now, fulfillment of this prophetic stipulation took place....But with Darius still alive, the full fulfillment of this element would still have to be literalistically done.
            Interestingly enough, upon having in this victory, capped his capturing of the “Asia” ‘possessions/territories portion of the Persian Empire’ (Arr 4:1.9b; [cf. Plu 20.11-13]), Alexander then, -(as indeed seen in his later head-to-head, (merely responding), diplomatic correspondence with Darius), deemed himself “lord of the whole of Asia” (Arr 4:1.8), and so formally gave himself the title of “Lead/First [=Supreme] King of Asia” (Arr 4:1.9a; =Greek:"pros basilea tes Asias"). Hence Alexander thus/then considered that the Persian rule/kingship (=Dan 8:7's  “horn”) had, at the very least, been partly broken; shattered into a first  obtained piece.

Additional notes
-It is also significant to note for future reference that the casualties on both sides were said to be, going by the generally “more trustworthy” (albeit manifestly rounded) figures/claim of Curtius (3:11.27) here:

Of the Persians: 100,000 Infantry & 10,000 Cavalry = 110,000 (=35%) {=Plu 20.10}
Of the Greeks: 302 Infantry (“missing”) & 150 Cavalry = 452 (=ca. 1%)
-Also of note for future reference: amongst the captures of Alexander then was the mother, wife and children of King Darius who he had also left behind in his panicked flight.

Alexander/Greece Advanced by/in 333 B.C.

Alexander’s Post-Issus Campaigning
            Following this stunning victory at Issus, Alexander went on to continue his “conquer & hold” strategy against the Persian Empire. So he here added the territory of Syria to his holdings, and then moved south into Phoenicia where all of the cities easily surrendered to him....except for one: the city of Tyre which included its fortified island location. Being such a naval hub location, having Tyre on his side, and even directly controlling it, was, as Alexander himself deemed it, a strategic naval advantage for him lest Persia finds a foothold here to militarily exploit against the Greeks (see Arr 2:17.1ff). But the people of Tyre did offer to become allies Alexander, even sending him as a gift a golden crown to celebrate his triumphs. But they refused to become subjects of Alexander & Greece. (Cur 4:2.2; Jus 11:10.10-11; cf. Arr 2:15.6ff)
            Manifestly in their fear of becoming invaded by the Macedonian army, when Alexander asked to offer sacrifices to their common god “Heracles” in the Temple located on the Island City of Tyre, the Tyrians instead “informed” him that he (just as well) could offer such sacrifices at their adjacent mainland Temple. That refusal angered Alexander, but it was the “outrageous” murder of his envoys into Tyre seeking a peaceful resolution which really “angered” him and so he “resolved” to take over this highly/formidably fortified (e.g. 150-feet high walls) Island city (Cur 4:2.15) ....And then he said he saw a vision of Heracles position on top of the walls of the city, extending his hand to him, which his soothsayer interpreted as a confirming sign that he would be successful, -but [obviously] with much toil, in this siege of Tyre and entering it. (Arr 2:18.1||Cur 4:2.17||Plu 20.5)

            What the followed, indeed over the next 7 months, is arguably one of the greatest human-physical feats in military-warring history...Long/Protracted story short: as Tyre was (then) indeed an Island City located ca. 3,300 feet offshore, Alexander came to have his soldiers build, including rebuild, a mole/causeway from the shore out to the island.
            The following Animation, Full Documentary (6-parts) , and History Channel segment, (cf. this historian’s account) on this siege present this military episode in great/interesting details. (See also this topic resource page)

            After, during this prolonged siege, twice rethinking whether he had made the right decision in regards to trying to take Tyre as this was greatly delaying his overall, and otherwise quite “speedy” Persia-overtake campaigning (see Cur 4:3.11 & 4:4.1), but not wanting to leave such a testament/tangible monument that he could be militarily defeated (Cur 4:4.2), Alexander did see this endeavor to its end, and came out totally victorious against Tyre.
            Now, what is further pertinent here from this episode in regards to both: Bible Prophecy in general, and the Divine “prophetic template” of Dan 8:5-7 given about the (best) way in which Greece could be successful in overtaking Persia, is that, in Ezek 26 God had similarly stipulated a wise plan for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to successfully besiege the city of Tyre, both its mainland city and also its Island refuge/extension. However upon a 13-year siege (585-573 BC), Nebuchadnezzar still came up short, not having managed to also conquer the Island city.
            A detailed exposition on this prophecy and the history of that earlier siege on Tyre is not done here (however see this great, 1941, skeptics*-rebuttal, scholarly article**), but a working thesis for a likely future detailed (i.e. exegetical and historical) examination could revolve around the fact that Nebuchadnezzar failed to fully follow the prophetic template for success that God had laid out in Ezek 26.

* Nowadays e.g.: here, here and here.

** See other, recent, Biblical rebuttals/defenses e.g. here, here, here, clip|here, here and video.

            Namely in Ezek 26:12, God had stipulated that the materials from the sacked and ruined city of Tyre, which firstly was from the sacking of the mainland city, would (=should) be “laid/place/set down” (Heb. sum/sim #7760 =i.e. ‘the (intentional) laying down of a foundation’) into the water (not: “throw”).....Evidently Nebuchadnezzar did not follow this directive...And I indeed say “follow” here as it is also a working thesis of that future exposition that by then, in 585ff, after the events of Dan 2, and the Dan 3 (ca. 606+ B.C.) and the sacking of Jerusalem (586 B.C.) as the prophet Jeremiah had been documentedly prophesying, -which even King Nebuchadnezzar had heard about and of, and so, he indeed knew to, treat him well as a prophet of the God of Israel (Jer 39:11-14), who Nebuchadnezzar now knew, understood and professed was the True, Living and Only/Chief God (Dan 2:47; Dan 3:29), and also with the prophet Ezekiel then residing in Babylon with the other exiles from the Babylonian Captivity (e.g. Ezek 11:14-15ff), that the prophet Ezekiel had likely made the effectively converted King Nebuchadnezzar aware of this Ezekiel 26 prophecy=mandate of God in regards for him to take over Tyre. But Nebuchadnezzar, as amply seen before, was likely to try to not fully value the prophetic pronouncements of God and seek to do things his way, and so, he would have opted to not lay a foundation in the water from the debris of the sacked mainland city, and that is how and why he came up short in his attempt to sack the Island part of the city of Tyre.
            Alexander on the other hand did exactly such a debris foundation laying in the water for his mole/causeway, and that is pointedly the reason why he himself was successful in his siege....and thus served to, as one of the “many nations” which would seek to overthrown Tyre (Ezek 26:3), complete the fulfilment of this Prophecy.
            But the wider Theological Truth is manifested here. Again, Bible Prophecy Biblically is God pre-declaring and stipulating an All-Wise Plan for future actions that He will undertake. (=Isa 46:9-11) But at times, when the fulfilling agents of the prophecy are pagan entities, God then does not have a sure and direct Spiritual connection with such people/nations in order to guide them for an accurate, full and/or even timely (e.g. with atheistic France for Rev 11) accomplishment of these prophetic plans. When God is working with people who believe in Him and obey him then, as later seen with prophetic-timed elements of Dan 8:14 below, God then can guide His (there more than less) faithful people to a much more accurate fulfillment of His prophecies. But when having to depend entirely on pagan entities for a prophetic fulfillment. Then God has to try to do the best possible with such defaultly non-cooperative entities.
            So that would be how Ezek 26 was not fully fulfilled by King Nebuchadnezzar himself. And likewise, that is how the template/plan of Dan 8:5-7 was not technically precisely effectuated, as God had to depend entirely on the (steeply) pagan entities/agents of Greece and Persia to make these stipulations accurately come to pass ....though, as seen and presented later, these were overall, effectively/comprehensively fulfilled...

Visit to Jerusalem (Aug 332)           
            Another Biblically/Prophetically significant and pertinent episode from Alexander’s expeditions here is his visit to Jerusalem in ca. August 332 B.C. Jewish historian Flavius Josephus give a full account of the episode at Antiquities Book 11 Chapter 8 Section 3-7 [#313-#347] (cf. text in here). It is summarily presented in the picto-animation below. As the discussion focus here will be on addressing various (skeptical) issues about this episode, do see those text and depiction links to get familiar with those story&historical details.

            So a first major/common objection by skeptics to this story is that they claim that only Josephus has written about it in history. So they claim that it is a fabrication.

1. More Concerning/Pertinent Troubles Back In Europe/Greece
-First of all, as seen in the account of Diodorus (17:47.6) at this time as the siege in Tyre had ended, there were major civil warring issues taking place back in Greece. So it is quite natural for these matters to be more pertinent and important to Greek writers and their intended readers, rather than a matter that turned out to be uneventful at Jerusalem.

2. Gaza besieged before Jerusalem Visited
-Josephus is matter-of-factly clear that Alexander went to Jerusalem after he had besieged and conquered the city of Gaza. (Since, as per Plutarch 25.4, Gaza was considered “the principal city of Syria”, -so not Jerusalem, it is fitting that, despite his quasi-personal spite with the Jews now, Alexander would seek to bring this ‘more important city’ of Gaza under his control before making that move against Jerusalem.) Since the Gaza siege started around early August 332 and lasted “2 months” (=Dio 17:48.7), it ended then by the end of Sept./early Oct. 332 B.C.). Then after Jerusalem, Josephus says [11:345] Alexander then went on his campaign in Egypt, so starting in December 332 B.C. So Alexander would have been in Jerusalem sometime in October or November 332 B.C.
            With a siege/campaign at the larger city of Jerusalem being much more involved than one at Gaza, and with Gaza being virtually a sea coastal city which could be used by the Persians and/or their supporters (since the ports of Tyre were now lost to them), it all would make perfect strategic military sense for Alexander to seek to subdue the city of Gaza first...and then go and ‘punish’ Jerusalem.

3. Embarrassing Story For Alexander & Greek Mythology
-This story of King Alexander, who, especially since his death, in Greek mythology, was believed to be then deified, effectively worshiping another God, and the priest of that God, moreover a God who was not in the mythological pantheon of the Greeks and other nations sharing in this mythology, is quite embarrassing to make public and widely known. As seen in the account of Josephus, those who were with Alexander then were most embarrassed by how he was paying quasi-worshipful reverence, deference/effective submission to the Jewish High Priest, to the point where they “supposed him to be disordered in his mind” [11:332]. As later critical in Alexander’s Persian campaign, his own soldiers saw it as (religiously) offensive and humiliating to give Alexander himself such worship honor.* So that all caused them to delay as long as bearable until, “the General Parmenion alone”, ventured to go up to him and ask him why he was so, effectively, abasing/humiliating himself before this priest and the Jews with these acts of worship. [11:333] So it is understandable that Greek historians would opt to skip over this variously embarrassing episode.

            Moreover as discussed later, it really is an account which shows how Israel’s God was superior to all other claims of god/divination/omens in this campaign. So it would additionally be embarrassing for Greeks to make this publicly known.
            Josephus makes a similar point when he cites various frivolous/vexatious reasons why most Greek authors avoided writing about or mentioning the Jewish people in their writings. He says in Contra/Against Apion 1.23 [#214]:

“Now that some writers have omitted to mention our nation, not because they knew nothing of us; but because they envied us, or for some other unjustifiable reasons, I think I can demonstrate by particular instances. For Hieronymus who wrote the History of [Alexander’s] successors, lived at the same time with Hecateus; and was a friend of King Antigonus’s, and president of Syria. Now ’tis plain that Hecateus wrote an entire book concerning us: while Hieronymus never mentions us in his history: although he was bred up very near to the places where we live. Thus different from one another are the inclinations of men. While the one thought we deserved to be carefully remembered; as some ill disposed passion blinded the other’s mind so entirely, that he could not discern the truth.”

4. Subjectively Selective Historical Writing
-Writing a history, especially in those days of limited writing supply resources, is patently a selective/discretional thing. Indeed just from the extant writers of Alexander it is seen that they choose to expound upon or not, or outrightly include or exclude, certain episodes, based on how they fit their overall writing narrative theme/purposes. So it is indeed not surprising that Greek, -and also Roman, historians here decided not to include this episode dealing with a Jewish matter.
            And conversely, it is naturally expected to see Jewish historian Josephus himself include this episode, and in detail, for the purposes of his Jewish history account.

5. Potentially/Possibly Mentioned in Historiography of Alexander
-An overlooked, but quite significant “historiographical” point is that: just from the cited known historical works about Alexander cited in this page, (see also in here), an amazing total of at least 72 historical authors and their works of various degrees/scopes is seen to have been composed, but of course, only 5 are now extant. Now can it be declared with surety that not one of these 72 authors ever also made mention of this visit of Alexander to Jerusalem. Such a definite claim of course cannot be (objectively) made. So it very well could be that if those works had survived, there would exist corroboration of Josephus’s episode.

            Josephus cites, and (repeatedly) quotes from, a Greek writer, Hecataeus of Abdera,* who wrote a book “On The Jews”, including in regards to their relations with Alexander (See Contra|Against Apion 2.4 [#43ff] {Brill comm}; 1.22 [#183-#204] {comm}; cf. 1.23 [#214] {comm}). Diodorus Siculus also made reference/use of the writings of Hecataeus for Jewish History. (See Dio 40:3.1-8). See this journal article which defends Josephus’ sourcing here as valid/original/genuine. (Reading the “Jewish Histories” from a Greek Historian, (likewise for the Egyptian Priest/Historian cited&quoted by Josephus: Manetho [in Contra Apion 1.14 [#73-#91] {comm}; 1.15-16 [#93-#105] {comm}; 1.26-27 [#227-#252] {comm}]) it indeed is expected that a foreigner back then writing about Ancient Jewish History, -such as their Exodus from Egypt, would not get the story 100% correct in the detailing, but the general storyline would be very close.)

* He is not to be confused with a later Hecataeus of Eretria (b. 300 B.C.) who is cited/listed in the historiography of Alexander. Since Josephus relates that Hecataeus of Abdera did write about Alexander then he should be included as a 73rd author/work of this historiography.

6. Supplements of Curtius Missing Books
-Books 1 & 2 of the account of Curtius have been lost. And the writing which today appear as summaries of those works, but are composed as if Curtius himself had written them, -and make mention of Alexander’s visit to Jerusalem, are commonly believed to actually be the work of later supplying writers starting from at least the 15th Century A.D. (See this journal article which presents the origin/history of these compositions).
            The available evidence today may not be able to support the following thesis, but could it be that those “supplying composers” had knowledge of a (circulating) oral tradition which spoke of what Curtius had written about in those first two books, including a mention of Alexander’s visit to Jerusalem, and so they did include a mention of it in their supplying composition.
            Writing what is clear to all merely a succinct, epitomic, summary of what those books supposedly originally fully spoke about, as if it is the original writer’s composition, is an odd way of going about this, unless perhaps if one is sure, i.e. from a known oral tradition, that the original author did indeed mention in detail these things in those books.
            But of course, the available evidence can only lead to the conclusion that these supplied summaries are entirely the fabrication of those later supplementing writers.

7. Two Corroboration in Jewish Writings
-But the account of Josephus does have historical, -and on its face, independent, corroboration: in other Jewish writings. In the the Babylonian Talmud, at Yoma 69a:9-13, in the wider context of  how sacredly the various parts of the vestments of the priest must be treated, the question arises of whether or not it is lawful for the priest to wear the ministry vestments outside of the Temple. The convoluted answer comes to be “yes”. First a statement from the ca. First Century A.D. “Scroll of Fasts” (the Megillat Taanit), -(which lists memorable days in Jewish history, which were kept as special days in the calendar, when fasting was not permitted), is referred to. It is the [9.3] entry (see here|here) at the date of the 21st of (the Hebrew month) of Kislev (=Nov-Dec) is declared to be “the day of Mount Gerizim (on which it is not allowed to mourn)”. Of course as that entry does not give the answer why, an elucidation is made in the Talmud (Yoma 69a:9-13). The claim is that on that date, -or actually interestingly enough on what is rather said to be on the 25th of Tevet (=Dec-Jan), the Samaritans had sought permission from Alexander the Great to destroy the Jewish Temple, and he, while besieging Tyre, being angered at the Jews then, for still siding with Darius instead of him, granted it to them.
            According to Josephus’s account [11:321-324], the Samaritans, led then by their Governor Sanballat (II), had also obtain permission from Alexander to build a Temple of their own, on Mount Gerizim. First of all I am not sure why the Samaritans would need Alexander’s permission to build a Temple. Likely it was in order to have formal authorization papers to prevent the Jews for hindering them from doing so. Manifestly Sanballat took advantage of the fact that Alexander was intending to destroy Jerusalem, and thus also its Temple, to ask permission for the Samaritans to build, what would effectively be, a replacement Temple. So perhaps the full implication here is that Samaritans then told Alexander that if he really wanted to punish the Jews, he had to make sure to destroy their Temple....and that they would build a replacement Temple in Samaria. Perhaps the Samaritans even volunteered their forces, e.g. the 8000 [not “seven thousand”; Greek: oktakischil√≠ous] soldiers they had made available to Alexander’s army, to do that destruction of the Temple. So that would specifically be how ‘they got permission to destroy the Jewish Temple’; and that would harmonize this part of the accounts of Josephus and the Talmud thus far.
            Then when the time came for Alexander to execute that punishment on Jerusalem, (i.e. after the siege at Gaza had been completed, he, along with those 8000 Samaritans soldiers marched to Jerusalem...and that is when, as the Talmud’s account now also states, he was met by the High Priest and other Levites outside of the city. The High Priest was fully donned in his Sacred Vestment, just as God had instructed him in a dream. Then of course Alexander said, as the Talmud also states [Yoma 69.9:11], to explain why he was being now so deferential and submissive to the Jews, that:

“the image of this man’s face is victorious before me on my battlefields,” i.e., “when I fight I see his image going before me as a sign of victory, and therefore I know that he has supreme sanctity.”

Josephus’s account [11:334] had stated:

“I saw this very person in a dream, in this very habit, when I was at Dion in Macedonia, who, when I was considering with myself how I might obtain the dominion of Asia, exhorted me to make no delay, but boldly to pass over the sea thither, for that he would conduct my army, and would give me the dominion over the Persians;”

As Josephus’s account had said that Alexander had said that this image/apparition’s personage  would conduct his army’, then that harmonizes with the statement in the Talmud that ‘Alexander saw that image going before him on his battlefields, (always) leading him on to victory’.
            So the two accounts, though not identical in what details they relate about this story, [which, as seen here from former Police Detective and now Christian Apologist J. Warner Wallace in regards to the Four Gospels, is a sign to Police investigators that ‘the witnesses of an event are being (candidly) truthful, and not rehearsed or collusive’], certainly, thus far do not contradict each other, and so lend to the belief that this is a true account, that Josephus and these Jewish “Gemara” writers (writing sometime between ca. 200-500 A.D.) independently knew of.
            Now where those two accounts seem to differ, and that radically so, thus seemingly contradictorily so, which manifestly has led to the assumption by historians that this whole story is probably merely a (self-serving) Jewish legend (i.e. against the Samaritans), is that Josephus ended his account [11:340-345] by saying that the Samaritans asked Alexander, (when he soon afterwards, also made a stop in Samaria), to pay the same honor to their Temple in Samaria, which, according to Josephus, that had manage to already build (i.e. within ca. 11-12 months =Jan-Dec 332 BC). They also asked Alexander to grant them the same 7th year exemption that he had granted to the Jews, claiming themselves to also be Jewish (which they ultimately were...but (Jeroboam-schism-“apostates” [1 Kgs 12:20, 25-33]) said that he would first be look into their request and become informed about their claims, and would state his decision when he returns.
            On the other hand, the Talmud account [Yoma 69.9:12-13] states that the Jews then made Alexander aware that the Samaritans had been trying to trick him into destroying their Temple (thus the Temple of the God which had been guiding him to victories in this Persian Campaign), and so Alexander gave them permission to seize these Samaritans and do with them whatever they wanted. So the Jews promptly seized them, hooked them by their heels and dragged them behind horses until Samaria, and when they got there they destroy the Samaritan Temple.
            So clearly these are two completely differing endings...but what if they actually are not contradictory, but rather the Jewish Talmudic writers simply misremembered, and thus misplaced and confused, the time when such a judgement of the Samaritans had occurred. In other words, Josephus’s storyline is firstly correct, and Alexander did make that promise to the Samaritians and then departed for his (easy) conquests in Egypt, But then, while he was then spending some (winter season) leisure travel time in that region (Cur 4:8.3-4), while specifically on a trip on the Nile river, he got the “news of the death of Andromachus, to whom he had given the charge of Syria; the Samaritans had burned him alive.” (Cur 4:8.9b) And “to avenge his murder, he hastened to the spot with all possible speed, and on his arrival those who had been guilty of so great a crime were delivered to him.” (Cur 4:8.10) He “executed those who had slain his general.” and ‘had certain Samaritan tyrants handed over to their own subjects, who put them to death by torture because of their outrages.’ (Cur 4:8.11)
            Could it be that the Talmudic writers honestly misremembered, and thus confused, this subsequent incident as a punishment of Alexander that had occurred before. So then, that torturous death would have been thought to be what the Jews torturously did to the Samaritans who were said to have tried to trick Alexander. Interestingly enough, Alexander himself is said to have used the (quite torturous) ‘death by horse dragging’ method when punishing the governor of Gaza, Batis, for having resisted him leading to the siege of that city. (Arr 2:25.4; Cur 4:6.29)
            So Alexander would have allowed the execution of major punishment, by others, against certain (likewise, treachery ring-leading) Samaritans..although the Greek author here may (easily) have confused/conflated Jews as Samaritans. Also, the non-mention of the destruction of a Temple in that account of Curtius may be because it was either not significant to the Greek writers, or, since it would have been done by others, i.e. “Samaritans”, -but likely Jews, and so, not by Alexander himself, and as it would also be insignificant to the Greek writers, and their audience, (hence why the whole episode of Alexander’s visit to, and self-humbling at, Jerusalem would have been omitted by them), then they likewise didn’t see it as important to relate this story.
            So, in summary, as possible reconciliation of the accounts of Josephus and the Babylonian Talmud is that Josephus mentioned the building of the Samaritan Temple, while the Talmud mentioned its destruction soon after, but mistaken confused the timing of that event as something that occurred immediately, rather than a little later, and as part of a permitted punishment by Alexander on Samaria for the murder of one of his generals.

            Also, Josephus is writing his Antiquities to, in general, try to impress his Roman audience about the Jews...So it would seem logical that he would avoid, whenever possible, such stories of Jewish committed (moreover torturous) atrocities and destruction. That would not paint the Jews in the best light possible for his account. The Babylonian Talmud of course has no such issue, and so included (albeit chronologically mistakenly) those punishment and destruction details.
            It could also be that Alexander had already gotten the additional information about the Samaritans that he was needing from Jewish informers, -pertinently given that the Samaritans were then ‘opportunistically professing to also be Jews’ (11:8.6 #340b-#341). And so then, in his march to Samaria to punish the Samaritans, he, passing by Jerusalem, told them that they had his permission to do away with this now adjudged people, and their rival, pseudo-Jewish, usurping religion/temple...which the Jews went on to do shortly later, perhaps after Alexander had already left Samaria.
            It would also be at that time that, as claimed in the Talmudic account/version (at Yoma 69a.12), Alexander ‘turned over the Samaritans who were before him’ {= ‘[standing before/for him] in his (military) train’}’ (i.e. those ca. 8000 soldiers that Sanballat had supportingly brought to Greece’s campaign service) to also be punished. Having now know what he had wanted to know about the Samaritans, and in the light of this (murderous) treachery and rebellion by their country mates, Alexander probably felt that these Samaritan soldiers could not be trusted, and that, to either be in his inner/military circle, or be left in Samaria where they could lead/staff another, and not armed/militaristic rebellion.

            Now, not only does Josephus does not at all mention in his account of Alexander’s visit to Jerusalem a punishment of the Samaritans nor a destruction of their temple, at Ant 11:8.7 [#346] he, rather quite oddly, actually mentions a continued presence of the Samaritan temple. He says:

“Now when Alexander was dead, the government was parted among his successors, but the temple upon Mount Gerizzim remained.”

            It is “odd” that he would make such a statement which, by using the contrasting particle“but” (Greekde) he seems to be, really “out of the blue”, pitting the existence/survival of the Samaritan Temple against the reign of the now dead Alexander, and then, the divided kingdom reign of his successors...And that contrast would even be seen even given the fact that two other Greek “de” uses occur start those prior sentences speaking about Alexander and then his successors, and which both, can be translationally rendered as: “now”, or actually “Now (that)” (~“And so”): I.e.:

 Now (that) Alexander...now (that) the government....now the temple upon Mount Gerizim...’

            A final point that would need to be reconciled in the Talmudic version is their, discussed later/below at Point #8, dating of this event at Mount Gerizim. They claim that this Jewish vengeful action upon Mount Gerizim occurred in what works out to be on ca. December 6 (in 332 B.C.). Well if, as the above reconciliation attempt for a conflation error posits the Jews only did their avenging action upon Alexander’s own avenging return to Samaria from Egypt, coincidentally sometime around the earliest sign of the start of Spring (in 331 B.C.), thus either late February or early March, then it can be reconcilingly claimed that the writers in the Talmud were actually reckoning their date for the avenging action on Mount Gerizim “when it was asked” by the Jews, thus at the time of Alexander’s visit on ca. December 6 332 B.C. This would correspondingly/similarly be just like they had reckoned the date of the initially authorized prospective Samaritan attack against their own temple when Sanballat had asked for it (=ca. January 9, 332 B.C.)

WBSC (Provisional) Thesis:
            ...At this point, all things surveyedly considered, the following WBSC thesis is being made about Josephus mentions of the Samaritan temple....He actually deliberately avoided mentioning, -(in this his “Antiquities” writings to a Roman audience, which was suppose to favoringly introduce the Jewish people/nation to Roman Empire leaders after their 70 A.D. War and their ongoing antipathy), that the Jews had either acted tortorously towards the Samaritans or destroyed their temple. It seems like Josephus was trying to present the Jews in the best light possible to these Romans readers.
            Later on, when Josephus writes (starting at Ant 13:9.1 [#254ff]) of the destruction of Samaria by Jews in ca. 112|111 B.C. [not, as commonly mistaken, in 129|128 B.C.[13]13] Josephus actually does not explicitly mention that the Jews had actually destroyed the Samaritan temple then, -although he does say at Ant 13:10.3 [#281]) that the Jewish leader then, John Hyrcanus, ‘demolished the city of Samaria entirely’. But no actual explicit/distinct/specific mention of the destruction of the Samaritan Temple. And back at Ant 13:9.1 [#256]), when Josephus was anticipating his later mention of the Jewish destructions of Samaria, what Josephus had then actually said was that: ‘the Samaritan temple was “deserted” 200 years after it had been built’. That (Greek) word (rightly) rendered as “deserted” is eremos and does indeed mean: ‘a vacating, desertion, emptying’, and is distinct in meaning from a “(physical) destruction”. (See a discussion on this distinction in here&here (i.e. about Dan 9:26b, 27b = Matt 23:38)). So Josephus had actually merely said that the Samaritan temple had become abandoned in ca. 112 B.C., which he says was 200 years after it was built.
            Assuming that Josephus is not making a rounded year numbering, and he was quite familiar with when the Samaritan temple had been built, as seen with his engaged account of it pertinently in relation to his account of Alexander’s visit to Jerusalem....So, in other words, Josephus was most likely making a specific years reference of “200 years”, then that would involve that the Samaritan temple had been built in ca. 312 B.C....but his earlier account of its building is of the year 332 B.C. The year 312 B.C. is during the prolonged “War of Succession” of Alexander’s rival generals.
            So the WBSC thesis here is that: since Josephus had deliberately avoided mentioning that the Jews had executed a destruction, authorized by Alexander, of the Samaritan Temple in ca. 332 B.C., his “odd” mention of “but/so the temple remained” would “contrastingly” be ‘as opposed’ to the prevailing policy of the Greeks then. I.e. Alexander himself had punitively authorized the destruction of the Samaritan temple, but upon his death, and while his successors, (who (tacitly) would have been supposed to be continuing this banning policy), were busy/distracted with fighting one another, the Samaritan had, around 312 B.C. rebuilt their temple, and probably that “fog of civil war” had caused the ensuing Greek rulers to forget about Alexander’s opposing policy against a Samaritan temple...and ‘so it remained’.
            And then, ‘“200 years” later’, in then ca. 112 B.C. when Josephus is again supposed to mention the destruction of the Samaritan temple by the Jews, he again carefully/craftily does not, but merely says that it had now become “desolate/abandoned”.
            That would all mean that, even though Josephus himself did not mention a punishment of the Samaritans by the Jews as the later Talmudic Rabbis would, although manifestly conflatingly, mistakenly in direct relation to Alexander’s visit to Jerusalem, that did not actually mean that this episode did not happen.[14]14 It possibly did happen, and/but it was just the Talmudic Rabbis who were confused about when exactly it happen...i.e. after Alexander had gone Egypt. His then would be ‘passing by permission’ to Jews to go ahead and so deal with the Samaritans who had plotted to have their Temple in Jerusalem destroyed would be in enjoining punishment with his own execution of punitive judgement on the Samaritans who had murdered his general. In fact, Alexander’s permission then to the Jews could have been from a priorly denied, or merely suspended, decision by Alexander, who first wanted to weigh if it was warranted, and if the Samaritans were (rather) worthy of their temple-honoring request that they had made. So as Alexander’s decision now to allow the Jews to exact their vengeance on the treacherous Samaritans was actually subject-wise directly connected to the Jerusalem City &Temple visit episode, then that would be how and why the Talmudic Rabbis would “conflate”, or rather sequiturly, connect those two events...But Josephus himself was rather deliberately avoiding the mention of this punishment episode entirely.
Most likely reality/explanation/understanding: That all plausibly said about, pointedly in regards to attempting to reconcile Josephus’s vs. the Talmud’s accounts, upon closer pondering, it actually is likely that the writers in the Talmud never understood, nor meant, that back around Alexander’s visit to Jerusalem, the Jews did not actually ever engage in physically destroying the then built & standing Samaritan temple. They just, as the Hebrew of that Talmudic text (simply) says [the text in square brackets “[...]” is (explanatorily) supplied by translators]:

“When they arrived at Mount Gerizim, [where the Samaritans had their temple], they plowed it over and seeded the area with leeks, [a symbol of total destruction.]”

            Meaning that all that those Jews would have done was: “plow over” the (unbuilt) land on Mount Gerizim, i.e. all over that mountain but also merely around the Samaritan Temple itself, and seeded that area with leeks, all to merely ‘symbolize a total destruction’, without actually having physically done one to the standing Temple on that mount. That would then explain why Josephus did not bother to mention a destruction of the Samaritan Temple in his account, because it was not actually ever done then.
            It could also be that the Jews did not actually have permission from Alexander to destroy the then standing Samaritan Temple, and so, the most that they could “destructively” do when the reached Mount Gerizim was this “symbolic destruction” of plowing the unbuilt area of the Mount and seeding it with leeks, which, since it is an edible crop, meant that they Jews did not actually do here any “unauthorized” damage to the Samaritans....especially if the Samaritans would then have chosen to engage in leeks agriculture/trade....

            Nonetheless, the spooked Samaritans, -“spooked” by this, a prior, overall Divine-sanctioned turn-of-favor, may have, pointedly upon Alexander’s later judgements in Samaria,  refrained from attending, and making use of, their Temple then, i.e. while Alexander was still ruling/alive, as he would have been the one to authorize this “desolation”-causing judgement action by the Jews. But, as likewise posited earlier, ‘despite’ his here manifested opposition to the Samaritan claim of a distinct and valid religion, and then because his successors were distracted in their civil war for the chief rule, “the Samaritan temple remained”, -(and its religious system/services would have been resumed [see Ant 11:8.7 #346b-#347]).[15]15 The bolded term “despite” above would be the equivalent “contrast” translation for Josephus’, earlier pointed out: “odd” Greek “de” [lit. “but”] particle.

            So if, as likely, no physical destruction of the Samaritan Temple was ever done by the Jews in connection with Alexander’s visit and ensuing change of mind of them vs. the Samaritans, then the theory that a destruction was done after Alexander had returned from his Egypt-area campaign and stay, and at the start of the Spring (in 331 B.C.), does not have to still be proposed/held. Josephus would just have omitted mentioning that the Jews had executed immediate judgement on those Samaritans who had sought the destruction of the Jewish Temple by horse-dragging them to Mount Gerizim, again, (a form of torturous capital punishment that Alexander himself also just/recently made use of at Gaza), and likewise to, here/now, Samaritans “traitors”....So it could have been Alexander’s order, or precedence/example, which inspired/authorized the Jews to also resort to this form of striking capital punishment.

            -As for Josephus’ statement, discussed above, of ‘200 years since the Temple was built’ Ant 13:9.1 [#256], it would have actually been a (really oddly) rounded number since the Temple was built in 331 B.C. and was actually physically destroyed in 112|111 B.C. (=220/19 years later). But since Josephus had made that years statement in the context of events taken place in ca. 129|128 B.C., perhaps he was reckoning those years as per that date, and so his rounding would not have been that odd (=great) as it would be for 202/3 exact years. Perhaps the Samaritan temple had actually become “deserted/vacated”, i.e. unused, underused and/or neglected by 129|128 B.C., so even before its physical destruction some ca. 18 years later.

             The overall latest conclusion/understanding here would also come to involve that Alexander would have not so treated the 8000 Samaritan soldiers that Sanballat had given to his services at Tyre, as Alexander then had them follow him to Egypt, and in order to honor/reward them with gifts of land. [Ant. 11:8.6 #345]. Perhaps Alexander deemed that they themselves (i.e. the troops) were just acting in obedience to orders, unlike the other Samaritans, who had come from Samaria to meet up with Alexander, and who were surely various leading/leader of the Samaritans, and thus the ring-leaders in this attempt bring physical destruction on the Jews and their Temple. And so he distinctly held them responsible as leaders and judge them as such. And the chief ring-leader of this plot, the Samaritan governor Sanballat II, had died by then. And of course, soldiers were much more important/valuable to Alexander’s military purposes than mere local “political” leaders, so it was in his interest to seek to spare/preserve them.

8. Calender Dating of the Alexander Visit and Related Events
            That all concluded and reconciled above: I.e. that, as the Talmud’s account also states: The Jews were authorized by Alexander to effectuate an avenging punishment on the Samaritan plot ring leaders, and Josephus himself just chose to omit that detail....and there was actually no physical destruction to the Samaritan Temple itself, -it was just the Mount Gerizim where the Temple was built, that was “symbolizingly” transformed into a leeks farmland, the dating given in the Talmudic accounts is quite interesting, in that they further corroborate the truthfulness of these historical claims.
            As documentedly cited earlier/above at the beginning of this section, the Fasts Scroll had given the Jewish Calender date of “the 21st of Kislev” as the date for “the day of Mount Gerizim” (when it is not allowed to mourn)”. Manifestly in full awareness of that given date, the expounding Talmudic statement actually give a date of “the 25th of Tevet” which is said to be the day when “the Samaritans requested the House of our Lord from Alexander the Macedonian in order to destroy it, and he gave it to them, i.e., he gave them permission to destroy it.”.
            Well it can readily be seen that the difference of date here is because different parts of this episode are being cited, and each have their own date. Simply said, the date of “the 25th of Tevet” was when the permission for destruction was sought by the Samaritans and the date of  “the 21st of Kislev” was when the Jews exacted their Alexander-authorized vengeance on the Samaritans and their holy Mount Gerizim. This dual-events and dual-dates understanding has the advantage that it perfectly dovetails with a plausible historical chronology of these events.

            First of all, for the Samaritan’s “destruction request” date of “the 25th of Tevet”, as already pointed out, the (10th) Hebrew month of Tevet falls usually roughly between the Gregorian Calender’s dates of ca. mid-Dec. to mid-Jan. So the “25th day” of that month would roughly be around January 9. And that would be the date when the Samaritans requested their destruction permission. Well in Josephus’s own account, he precisely states that the Samaritans went to Alexander, at Tyre, to seek such a permission, ‘when he was in the beginnings of the siege of Tyre’ (Ant 11:8.4 [#321]). As seen before, it is known that the siege Tyre ended in late July/early August (Arr 2:24.6)) [Alexander was said to have fiatly declared that the month of July was to be extended by 3 days so that the Fall of Tyre would occur in that month as recently (laughably) “prophesied” by his soothsayer Aristander (see Plu 25.1b-2)]. The siege was said to have lasted 7 months (Dio 17:46.5; Plu 24.5; Cur 4:4.19)...So that means it had started in the month of January. So in early January 332 B.C., Alexander would indeed have been ‘in the beginnings of his siege at Tyre’. And so the dating in the Talmud, and datum info in the account of Josephus, for when that visit and request by the Samaritans took place both perfectly harmonize with the events dating of Greek Historical accounts.
            Then secondly, for the Jews“avenging punishment execution” date of “the 21st of Kislev”, as also already pointed out, the (9th) Hebrew month of Kislev falls usually roughly between the Gregorian Calender’s dates of ca. mid-Nov. to mid-Dec. So the “21st day” of that month would roughly be around December 6. So that would, comprehensively, mean the visit of Alexander to Jerusalem and his authorized avenging punishment to the Jews on the Samaritans and their temple Mount would have occurred on/around that December 6 and also in they year 332 B.C.[16]16                                                                

            With the Siege of Tyre having been completed at the end of July/early August, and following Josephus, here validated timeline that Alexander’s “2 month” siege of Gaza occurred before he made his visit to Jerusalem, a date of December 6 for that Jerusalem visit can indeed be plausibly arrived at if certain days/weeks are reasonably also factored in for Alexander to “settle the (political/military/municipal) affairs at, first Tyre and then Gaza once, i.e. after, his siege of them had been successfully completed.  So if, “reasonably”

-ca. 4 weeks are added for Alexander to settle the affairs of Tyre, which I presume would involve a military-rebuilding of the various damages to the basic defenses and city infrastructures from his siege’s assault. And included, -(in what probably took in total a week in itself to set up and carry out), Alexander:

+Carrying out magnificent sacrifices to Heracles (Dio 17:46.6a),
-with fully armed military, ships and temple-dedicated military engines (Arr 2:24.6a)
+Giving a lavish funeral for his own dead  (Dio 17:46.6b)
+Selecting a new/different king (Dio 17:46.6c-47.6)
+Holding a gymnastic contest in the temple, and celebrated a torch race (Arr 2:24.6b)
 and then

-ca. 3 weeks is likewise added for the ‘rehabilitating’ of Gaza,

-and in between ca. 2 weeks is added for Alexander to plan for, and move his army to, Gaza.

Then the following timeline can be seen as reasonable/acceptable, showing that the date of ca. December 6, 332 B.C. for Alexander’s visit to Jerusalem and the “day of Mount Gerizim” is quite plausible.

Alexander Campaign Timeline from Tyre-Gaza-Jerusalem
9. Enhanced Timeline = Commonly Claimed/Accepted Egypt Entry Date
            This timeline, thus with its added “reasonable interval times” for the settling of affairs at Tyre and Gaza after they were conquered, comes to dovetail with the widely/generally claimed/accepted date of Alexander’s [also winterizing] entry into Egypt, at Pelusium, of December 332 B.C. (See e.g. in: here, here, here, here(“331” error/typo), here and here; see a varying lead-up chronology  argument here). If those assumed and supplied “reasonable interval times” totaling ca. 66 days are removed from this timeline then Alexander would have entered Egypt over 2 months before, thus around early October 332 B.C.
            So this common/accepted dating here of December 332 B.C. is in perfect harmony with the Talmudic dating for Alexander’s visit to Jerusalem.

10. “6+1 Days” of Travel From Gaza to [Jerusalem] to Pelusium
            Another historical detail which supports a visit of Alexander at Jerusalem between his campaigns at Gaza and Egypt is seen in the time reported in his historical writers that it took him to go from Gaza to Egypt. Curtius (4:7.2-3) says that it took Alexander 6 days to go from Gaza to a “a part of Egypt now called Alexander’s Camp”. Then Arrian (3:1.1) adds that on a 7th  Alexander arrived at Pelusium, -a city at the first mouth at which the Nile debouches into the sea. (Dio 16:46.6), “where the road /“avenues” come/s into Egypt” (=Herodotus 2:141.4+Josephus War 1:8.7 [#175])), thus: “the eastern gateway to Egypt”. Much has indeed been (locationally) said/described about this strategic city of “Pelusium” that its location can reliably plotted/mapped, as also done/seen here:
            Alexander is said to have found his pre-sent ships moored at Pelusium (Arr 3:1.1), and he would indeed find there a waterway that would connect to the Nile, where he would go on to sail to Memphis (Cur 4:7.3-4).
            The exact locations of “Alexander’s Camp” itself is not known, but it would need to be before, thus eastward of Pelusium since Alexander reached there first, and also be ca. 1 day’s journey from Pelusium.

            Now, as seen earlier, both the armies of Alexander and Darius, in their march to the battle of Isis had demonstrated that their armies were capable of consistently covering ca. 35 miles per day in marching. And as it was said that Alexander was “hastening to go to Egypt” from Gaza (Cur 4:6.30)  then he surely had his army marching at the 35 mi/day pace. The issue is that the distance from Gaza to Pelusium was around 124 miles and it would only take ca. 3.5 days (at a “hastened” pace of 35 mi/day) for Alexander and his troops to cover that distance. So almost 3.5 days would be unaccounted for here in this period which manifestly was only occupied by marching/traveling.

Expedition Around Jerusalem
            In Ant 11:8.6 [#340] Josephus states that after settling the affairs at Jerusalem, Alexander then went to neighboring cities, who all peacefully/celebratorily received him/accepted his rule. Among these cities was the capital city of the Samaritans: Shechem (present day Nablus).
            Chronologically speaking, later on in the military expedition of Alexander, it is related how he “captured/subdued 5 walled and hostile cities in 2 days’ (Arrian 4:2). At one point, he actually sent his calvary ahead to the two remaining cities in order to keep the inhabitants who would have become aware of his successful assaulting approach to flee. (Arr 4:2.5)
            Using that feat, even approach, as a benchmark and template, it can be easy to see how his expedition here to the neighboring cities in the area, -all of which did not resist, with Shechem likely being the furthest one away (=32 miles north of Jerusalem); and which may not have involved more than 5 (i.e. significant/major) cities, that the time that it took Alexander to complete this circuit, and then head for Gaza towards Egypt, would not have been much more than the time it took for him to cover the travel distance here.
            Perhaps Alexander even expected the peaceful/welcoming surrender of these cities and may have gone ahead with his much faster calvary, -who could travel at e.g 10-20 mile per hour versus ca. 3 mph/35 miles-per-day for the full army, ahead to complete this circuit. Jerusalem may have been the toughest battle that Alexander expected in this brief excursion into Judea and Samaria.

            Based on all of this, as the following tabulating shows, if Alexander actually also marched with his foot-soldiers to complete this neighboring cities circuit, then he would have reached Pelusium, Egypt in about 8 days after leaving Jerusalem. But if he sent his calvary ahead to complete this cities circuit segment, then he would have achieved this total trip in about 7 days (6.8 days to be exact, thus leaving some time [ca. 3-6 total hours] for each of those [5?] cities to receive/celebrate Alexander)!!

Tabulating of Alexander’s Travels from Gaza to Pelusium
            So here also a visit of Alexander to Jerusalem again her more than less perfectly fits into, -even necessarily complements, the known historical dates of Alexander’s military movements around that time!!

Summary of: Alexander’s Visit to Jerusalem
            So all of this detailing shows that the overall claim that Alexander made a visit to Jerusalem is, -and as corroborated by 2 independent and corroborating Jewish accounts, credible/historical. Of course non-believer have sought to disclaim/discredit it because of the Biblical, Supernatural element involved in it, namely of Alexander stating that he had been seeing visions of a figure dressed just like the High Priest who had been guided him to victories in his Persian Campaign. In fact, Alexander seem to suggest (See in Ant 11:8.5 [#334]) that it was this vision/being who convinced him to engage in this quite formidable task of seeking to overthrow the Persian Empire. That pointedly was when Alexander was at Dium/Dios in Macedonia, when it was said that he was seeing many favoring signs about his prospective Hegemonic Campaign (Plu 14.8-9; Arr 1:11.1; cf. Dio 17:16.3-4), but manifestly, it was this sign/revelation from, (the one and only true God =cf. Isa 46:9-11) that ‘exhortingly’ convinced Alexander to “boldly” go ahead. Interestingly enough, having received such a convincing sign from God at Dios, that would be how/why Dios, -though ca. 350 marching miles (10 days) from the crossing ports of the Hellespont, was deemed the ‘eve of his departure to Asia (i.e. for this Campaign)’....
            Interestingly enough the main reason why many (skeptics) have been quick to dismiss this claim of a Visit of Alexander to Jerusalem, was because of the mention that, as Josephus relates at 11:8.5 [#337] that Alexander was shown the prophecies in the book Daniel concerning the prophesied take over of Medo-Persia by Greece, thus potentially/likely: Dan 2:32, 39 (discussed in here); Dan 7:6 (see in here) and, of course, the one here being exegetically & historically expounded in the current at Dan 8:3-8, 20-22. And Alexander “supposed that he himself was the person intended”.[17]17
            Got to love the unbelieving atheists’||antitheists’||skeptics’ circular and smug dismissal as: ‘Josephus’ claim here can’t be true because the book of Daniel was written after the fact, thus after Alexander’s time’. Well as already shown in the introduction section of this post, such “Higher-Criticism claims are actually an house-of-cards set of assumptions which have been scholarly debunk....And if one is spooked to suspicious disbelief by accuracy of the prophecies of Daniel, and pertinently of Dan 8 thus far, it continues to get even more accurate in its upcoming statements!

Alexander/Greece Advanced by/in 332 B.C.

God = Alexander’s Boldness??!
            ...And could it be that, just as God has priorly ‘stirred up the Medes in order to overthrow the Babylonians’ (Isa 13:17; cf. in here at Dan 7:5), God was directly responsible for fostering the patent ‘insanely bold and lucky’ (as, as stated earlier, King Darius had decryingly deemed it) courage of Alexander manifested throughout this Persia Campaign??!!! (e.g. Plu 16.4, 16.7). Of course Alexander of himself innately had that “bold courage”...-which he himself characterized as: ‘my own eagerness for encountering danger” (Arr 1:13.7) (or Loeb: “my swift dealing with danger”), but that would be precisely why God would have ‘elected’ him (=Isa 46:11a) to lead this “Divinely prophetically planned” (Is 46:11b) ‘Greece hegemonic overthrowing of Persia’, -which as discussed here about Dan 10:20 (given in ca. 536 B.C.) manifestly would be a long time in the attempted endeavorings by God (Isa 46:10)...until, ca. 200 years later, here/now, with Alexander (b. 356 B.C.), He finally found in Macedonia His eligible man for Greece in this “innately brash & bold” Greek (prince-)king (=military leader)...with, as shown here&here much credit given to Alexander’s gather, King Philip II, whose idea indeed it decidedly was for this invasion and overthrow of Persia, for laying and cultivating the various required, especially militaristically, foundations/infrastructures/logistics for a successful hegemonic campaign.
            ...And in regards to the “luck” aspect...Did God have Alexander’s “back”??!! (cf. Isa 58:8b) And so: Was God overmasteringly also responsible for variously turning those wars where Alexander was impossibly outnumbered in favor of Alexander...e.g. causing Darius to become terror-panic stricken and flee???!!!!....All so that God’s Prophetic, World Hegemonic Ordering Chief/Master Plan would come to pass....
            Just as God had purposefully (Isa 13:17) sustained Cyrus in his commissioned overthrowing mission against Babylon (=Isa 45:1-5ff), a Divine Intelligence, Hand, Shield and “Rear Guard” was surely looking after Alexander now. God had even so advanced&sustained the King of Babylon himself when he was effectively executing God’s desired will in World Ordering (Jer 27:5-8; e.g. Jer 43:8-13), plus Israel-punishing (Jer 25:8-9), affairs, but God’s (GC) Plans for this World’s History were to keep moving forward, and now was that time for (the relative) Human/Religious Rights Granting Medo-Persia to cede the hegemonic lead to Democracy Introducing Greece.

            For the God&Bible Believer, that is all certainly to best, indeed Biblically-corroborated/attested, explanations and understandings of what astoundingly developed in these warring matters!!

Note: This Part A1 (=Dan 8:1-6, 20-21) section is continued in Part A2 [=Dan 8:7]
[See also its ensuig Part B (=Dan 8:8, 9-14, 15-19, 22, 23-26)]


2. [2] For a detailed refuting of the Preteristic interpretation and Historical-Critical Claims see the following expositions & presentations:

Specific Studies                                 

-Post Script:  Surprisingly to me, in a 2016 journal article (MSJ 27.1:33-44), The Master’s Seminary (TMS) published a view on the little horn of Daniel 8 which quite detailedly shows how it cannot at all apply to Antiochus IV Epihanes. They commendingly also make references to the above cited Historicist/SDA scholarly studies/research/works on this issue. TMS however, Biblically, greatly errs by also claiming, -(and, tellingly enough, without the detailed and exegetical refutations as was done for the (strict) Preterist View of Antiochus IV), that the little horn of Daniel 8 also cannot at all apply to “Rome” as Historicists/SDA claim. [Point of, actually significant, correction: Historicists/SDA do not say that the little horn of Dan 8 (and Daniel 7) is “Rome” per se, but the Papacy = the AntiChrist. I.e. the Papal power which came up to civil prominence and power ca. 706 years after the rise and establishment of the (Pagan) Roman Empire. [Now if the TMS did not at all catch that significant distinction between Rome (=the Fourth Beast/Kingdom) and the/its Little Horn Power, then that would explain how they are not seeing, as best shown in detail in this dedicated post, how the Papacy easily, fully and Biblically/Theologically fulfills the Little Horn prophecy.] Daniel 8, at verse 9ff,  actually does not go into detail about the Secular Roman Kingdom, but fast forwards to the time when it would be religiously (effectively) overtaken by the great influence that its empowered Papal Authority would wield in its realm.
            The TMS goes on to claim in that article (pp. 41-44), that the Little Horn power is an antichrist that is still to come in the future. That claim is mainly (circularly) supported by an appeal to their interpretation of Dan 9:26-27 and the (more ambiguous) prophecy of Daniel 11. Well, as exegetically well demonstrated and conclusively proven here and here (summarized in here), the prophetic statements of Dan 9:26-27 are purely Messianic, so they do strictly apply to, and were completely fulfilled by, Jesus Christ, the “Prince who is to come”; =Dan 8:11's “Prince/Commander of the host [of (ministering) angels]”.
            So the TMS was correct in seeing that the Little Horn of Daniel 8 exegetically/historically was not fulfilled by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, but greatly erred in claiming applications to a (still) future antichrist character; =virtually completely glossing over the clear and most accurate fulfillment in, as Protestant Reformers patently (see e.g. here, here & here) also clearly perceived and preached, the Papal Power of Church History.
3. [3] Interestingly enough, and perhaps out of Spiritual beliefs (See Jer 7), the Israelites patently considered their Temple, -which no doubt was physically, solidly built, to be their “fortress” =citadel” (see 1 Chr 29:1, 29; Neh 2:8; cf. Neh 7:2*). Which explains why, as discussed in here, during the Roman destruction of 70 A.D. under Titus, they, as a last resort turned their Temple into a last bastion, which is what forcedly (i.e. greatly against Titus’ intention/will) led to its complete destruction.

* That would validate an accusation by the jealous and rebuilding-excluded Samaritans who made, in ca. 520 B.C., a complaint to the Persian ruler then, Darius Hystaspes [521-486 B.C.] (=Ezra 5:5-17; 6:1-15), and also said, -according to the account of Josephus (Ant. 11:4.6 [#97]), that ‘the Jews were rebuilding their Temple more like a citadel than a temple.’
4. [4] It was fitting that the vision of Daniel 7 had its setting, not in a “river” (=religious grouping/setting) but in the “sea” (Dan 7:2, 3ff) (=political grouping/setting) because, as discussed in detail in this dedicated post the Heavenly Intelligence was there, right to/through its very end, actually principally focusing on the various political developments which would be coming upon the world...right through/to (e.g. Dan 7:12, 14, 18, 22, 27) the establishment of God’s own temporal national/political entity in this world, His 144,000 Kingdom!!
            But this vision of Daniel 8 indeed principally focuses on the historical and “legacy” religious affectations and development of that “time of the end” movement which thus seeks to “flow” into a “gulf” for an “oceanic”, =Global, Religio-Political “Babylon”=AntiChrist Coalition. (=Rev 17:11-13, 14)
5. [5] Compare to Medo-Persia and Greece, Babylon has indeed tangibly disappeared from the scene of World History. I.e. it can be validly seen that Medo-Persia/Persia came to be continued in e.g. the ensuing Parthian Empire (247 BC–224 AD) and Sasanian Empire (224-651 AD) (a.k.a. “Neo-Persian”) which is now the Iranian People and Nation. Greece is easily readily still seen as having remained alive as a people and nation right through the current country and people of Greece. Can a similar “continuity”/survival claim can be made about Babylon....e.g. by claiming Iraq/Iraqi today? While that may be technically applicable, it is certainly true that the prior World-dominating Kingdom of Babylon, moreover headquartered in the City of Babylon, has certainly neither continued nor survived. That city has indeed become the perpetual desolation that God decreed that it would be.

            Heads up: God has similar decreed a similar, perpetual, future fate for the present, Satan-realized, Spiritual-reestablishment of Babylon: The United States of America (Rev 13:11-18) See: Isa 47 = Rev 18; Jer 51:63-64 = Rev 18:21-24; Jer 50:29a = Rev 18:6
6. [6] A couple examples of this are with the prophecy of The Two Witnesses (Rev 11) at Rev 11:8; and the King of (Israel’s) North vs. South prophecy of Daniel 11 at Dan 11:5ff.
7. [7] Alexander’s army was indeed “professional” army in that they were all highly trained. But it was deliberately also a veteran army as explained by Justin (11:6.4-6):

“When he selected his troops for so hazardous a warfare, he did not choose robust young men, or men in the flower of their age, but veterans, most of whom had even passed their term of service, and who had fought under his father and his uncles; so that he might be thought to have chosen, not soldiers, but masters in war. No one was made an officer who was not sixty years of age; so that he who saw the captains assembled at head-quarters, would have declared that he saw the senate of some ancient republic. None, on the field of battle, thought of flight, but every one of victory; none trusted in his feet, but every one in his arms.”

            Such an approach of selecting older men for war has always made sense to me.....Especially in modern history (i.e. WWII+), ‘Youth has been wasted by War’. Why make up you military of mainly of young people 18-22 years old, instead of older people (e.g. 40 years+) who typically themselves have already really lived and established their life/progenity and factually have much less life ahead of them than a just-turned-adult young person. And then, if your country gets routed in the war and the casualties were mainly young people, you then further compound the rebuilding of your nation as then you have a country predominantly made up of older and aging people, without sufficient youth to variously support and relieve them. (Was that a not fully regarded issue with Europe after WWII??)
            Especially in our day and age when the demands of the military and war is less dependent of physical strength and power should it indeed be people 40 years and older who are predominantly enlisted in militaries.
8. [8] My own Theological View on this is that, seeing how similarly “systemically religious” OT Israel’s own religion was, {e.g. with Joshua building a memorial for Israel’s dry crossing of the Jordan miracle in their preparation for the assault on Jericho (Josh 4)}, I deem it that Satan was trying to keep the pagan nations distracted by, and steep in, their mythology so that they would not come to be impressed even merely by the outward forms of the Jewish Religious Economy. And that religiously rivalry from the pagan systems served as an attraction to the Jewish People.
            Satan is still involved in similarly trying to coopt the religion and principles of God to keep unbelievers tied up in their own adaptations. The Unbelieving World has its own version of e.g. Origins claims, Biblical socialism, “Love” (1 John 4:5-14ff), Social Justice, etc.
9. [9] And that was a prime example of the self-exposingly non-truthfulness of Grecian mythology itself, for, as later similarly seen throughout the campaign, Alexander, the Greeks and their soothsayers literally twisted whatever omen they claimed to be encountering in whatever favorable way they could plausibly make it seem....and while opponents of theirs who claimed the same omens came to exactly opposite interpretation, which of course was favorable to them and against their enemies.
            Contrary to all of these, the “oracles”, i.e. (historical) prophecies, of God in the Bible which ‘prove His existence and power’ (E.g. Isa 44:6-8; 45:21; 41:21-23, 26; 42:8-9), such as here in Daniel 8, are rooted in the verifiable bases of exegesis and history, which when properly done, (as throughout this blog), actually only and consistently point to one concrete line, theme and Spirit of Truth. And in Christian circles, which claim various interpretations of these prophecies, such as with Futurism and Preterism, these are easily proven to be erroneous by how they are not concretely supported by either proper exegesis and clearly fulfilling history, and all stemming from the violations of basic Biblical interpretation principles as well as Biblical teachings, doctrines and Truth, by these (relatively new/counter-reformation-borne) methods of interpretations.
10. [10] Interestingly enough, ca. 6 months later, in January 333 B.C., Alexander ordered that his navy be reconstituted in order to meet the Greece-ward opposition that was been implemented by the Persians. (See Cur 3:1.19-21; Arr 2:2.3). The Persians had finally come to see the strategic value of Memnon’s earlier counter-offensive plans (See Dio 17:18.2b-3), and had allowed him to lead this naval-borne assault of ca. 300 ships upon the Grecian homeland, starting with a conquering of the Greek Islands in the Aegean Sea. (See Dio 17:29.1-2ff; Arr 2:1.1ff)
            But during those offensives, in ca. August 333 BC, Memnon was “fortunately” killed (some say in a roadside ambush), in Greece....and “oddly” this entire, and quite potent, counter-offensive assault also “died” with him...To the great relief of Alexander, -who then had just subdued the regions of Paphlagonia and Cappadocia, as he now could once again fully focus his attention, efforts and resources towards continuing ot overtake the territorial realm of the Persian Empire. As Plutarch (18.5) states:

“and on hearing of the death of Memnon, one of the commanders of Dareius on the sea-board, who was thought likely to give Alexander abundant trouble and infinite annoyance, he was all the more encouraged for his expedition into the interior.”
11. [11] It is pertinent and noteworthy that at this time, Alexander had just recovered from a nearly fatal paralysis shock fever which he had gotten from having dove while hot and sweating into a unusually cool river, -further cooled by melting snow. Alexander recovered by, quite dramatically, trustingly drinking the medicine from his physician which some highly suspected of trying to assassinate Alexander by poisoning him, as Darius was then secretively trying to incite amongst the Greeks....But that of course proved to not be case. Read&See the accounts of this melodramatic episode at: Dio 17:31.4-6; Jus 11:8; Arr 2:4.7-11; Plu 19.1-10; Cur 3:5.1-6.20; exploring blog post; video clip.
12. [12] Actually this reaction by Darius was contrary to a quasi-policy that he would enunciate a little later in regards to somewhat also controversial advise that had been given him by some Greek mercenaries about how best to ‘dividingly and reservingly’ use this vast army against Alexander. Darius then said that executing (so many of) these Greek mercenaries who had ventured to give candid such advice would be detrimental to the Persian willingness to strategically accept and include mercenaries from enemy nations in their own ranks. (See Curtius 3:8.1-9ff)....
            ...I guess Charidemus himself should not have had “become angry and made free with slurs on Persian lack of manliness” (Dio 17:30.4).
13. [13] This mistake is from the misunderstood statements of Josephus. At Ant 13:9.1 [#254] he mentions death of “Antiochus the Pious” (or the Benefactor) (see Ant 13:8.2 [#243-244]) = Antiochus VII Sidetes [???-138-129 B.C.]. But then, at Ant 13:9.1 [#255-256], Josephus mentions the taking, (ca. 6 months later), by Judean ruler John Hyrcanus (164-134-104 B.C], of major Samaritan centers/communities of: “Shechem and Gerizim and the nation of the Cutheans”. And later (Ant 13:10.3 [#281]) he mentions that the siege of Samaria took 1 year before it was successful. So some have “straightly” assumed that Samaria and its temple were destroyed around 1.5 years after the death of Antiochus the Pious, so by/around 128 B.C. However Josephus was at Ant 13:9.1 [#254] merely prolepsisly speaking of the future campaigning of John Hyrcanus against Samaria, and that is an account that Josephus relates at Ant 13:10.2 [#275-#281]. This took place during the reign of the Seleucid Empire’s ruler Antiochus IX Cyzicenus (who reigned from 116|114-96 B.C) and while he was in a warring quarrel with his regnal-rival brother Antiochus VIII Grypus (reign: 125-123/121-96 B.C). So the subduing of Samaria is said to be around 112|111 B.C.
14. [14] Pertinent case in point, when speaking of Alexander ending his Egypt visit and stay to return in/around Syria towards another Battle with Darius, Arrian (3:6.1) says absolutely nothing about the episode of Alexander’s general having been murdered by Samaritans as the cause and impetus for Alexander’s departure from the Egypt region then (=Cur 4:8.10)...He merely implies that Alexander had been awaiting for the ‘the spring season to begin to appear’....(Similarly Diodorus (17:52.7) only states that Alexander left Egypt ‘when all his affairs there had been settled’)... .But that does not mean that this incident with Alexander’s general did not happen...
            ...Nor are those 3 statements necessarily in contradiction to each other, i.e.:

-Alexander manifestly had already completed settling all of his affairs in Egypt, hence why he was now taking some leisure travel/visiting time in the region.

-The murder of Alexander’s general, which caused his immediate departure, could have occurred at the time when the Spring season was beginning to appear.
15. [15] By the way, unlike Jews, (religious) Samaritans to this day, and despite not having a standing/functional Temple edifice, continue to practice actual/physical/literal (=OT Biblical), mandated sacrificial religious rites & ceremonies on Mount Gerizim. See e.g. here, here|here|here & video....
            ...Which all goes to prove that, as stated in here, despite God having clearly told Israelites (of old) that He did not need a Temple for His (OT) worship services , and that He was perfectly well served by the mobile, tent-structure tabernacle (e.g. 2 Sam 7:4-7; Isa 66:1-2; cf. Acts 7:46-50), that “Israelites” (Rom 2:28-29), to this day continue to have an idolatrous and worshipful view/mindset of the Temple Building/Edifice itself (e.g. Jer 7)....
16. [16] It would be great if finding the Gregorian Calender equivalent dates for Jewish Calender dates was as simple/simplistic as plugging them into a Calender converter, such as this one online [which actually calculates before 1601 A.D. and before 1 A.D.]..But the technical fact of the matter is that in prior times, certainly in the ancient times of the 330's B.C., the Jews used to, as explained here, empirically reckon their calender, i.e. according to the combination of various controlling visual observations. So, unless such observations are available to be verified today, it is virtually impossible to claim for sure what the Jewish Calender exactly was back then in those days of an empirically reckoned calender. So such formulaically systematized Calender Converters at best give a probable date, but not actually the exact date.
            So, as a demonstration, plugging in the Hebrew Calender dates of the “25th of Tevet” and the “21st of Kislev” in that online converter would give the following plausible dating:

N16. {Online Jewish Calender Converter Dates}

Meaning that:             
-the date when the Samaritans made their request was in December 28 of 333 B.C. (Jewish year 3428). That would indeed be close to the “beginning of the siege of Tyre” which started in January of 332 B.C. That is close/similar to the ‘(rough) estimate’s’ date of Jan 9, 332 B.C.

-the date when the Samaritans were judged by the Jews, and their Temple Mount transformed to leeks farmland, and thus the date of Alexander’s visit to Jerusalem, would be on December 12 of 332 BC (“J-Year” 3429). That too is close/similar to the ‘(rough) estimate’s’ date of Dec. 6, 332 B.C.
17. [17] Plutarch uniquely relates/includes in his account (see Plu 17.4-5) that while in the region Lycia, the following experience occurred to Alexander:
“Now, there is in Lycia, near the city of Xanthus, a spring, which at this time, as we are told, was of its own motion upheaved from its depths, and overflowed, and cast forth a bronze tablet bearing the prints of ancient letters, in which it was made known that the empire of the Persians would one day be destroyed by the Greeks and come to an end.” 

Encouraged by this prophecy, Alexander hastened to clear up the sea-coast as far as Cilicia and Phoenicia.”

            The following is mere thethical/exploratory speculating, but since it is said that the

“that the Lycian alphabet seems to be a variety of the Graeco-Phoenician or Graeco-Semitic character”


(A) Phoenicia being a neighbor of the land of Israel (cf. Acts 11:19; 15;3; 21.2 =just north of “Galilee” by NT times), and also an ancient-Semitic-speaking civilization.

(B) and the people of that Israel-neighboring region [which encompassed ‘Tyre & Sidon’ (Cur 4:2.1; cf. Matt 11:21-22)] were well (religiously) acquainted with the Jewish Religious Economy, having priorly been active, willing and generous participants in the establishing of its Temple (e.g. 1 Kgs 5:1; 7:13-14; 9:11-12; cf. Matt 15:21-28/Mar 7:24-30||DA 399.1-403.3; Mar 7:31ff);

(C) with the Lycian alphabet being influenced by Phoenician and Semitic (which includes Hebrew) language,

It plausibly could be that the ancient letters of this tablet was Hebrew, and the bronze material for the tablet had antiquity ties with something which had been forged./inscribed in Phoenicia (cf. 1Kgs 7:14)                                                                    

So it possibly could be that the prophecy that impelled Alexander here to go forward with his, as discussed earlier, critical/pivotal land-based approach and assault of the Persian realm, was this prophecy/ies in the book of Daniel which indeed (variously) did show that Greece would overtake Medo-Persia (e.g. Dan 2:38,39; 7:5,6; 8:3, 4-8; 11:2-4).
            But it could instead merely have been that this Phoenician “prophecy” was based on the knowledge of the Daniel prophecies, and these non-Jews had deliberately, biasedly or just inadvertently slightly altered the original/Hebrew text of this prophecy so that it made the same prophetic claim, but in slightly different ways, -which would be why Alexander would then not have recognized the (original/authentic) prophecy text that the Jews showed/read to him while he was at Jerusalem.

            As for the possibly supernatural claim made in this account of Plutarch, i.e. that the spring “cough up” this tablet, and manifestly at/around the time when Alexander was passing through, or possibly some time before, it easily could not actually have been “supernatural” at all, but just a “natural” dredging up of a priorly sunk and buried/lodged metallic tablet that had somehow been cast in this body of water....And/But, if it was a supernatural development...which God Himself accomplished in order to produce one of the manifest many/various signs that He used to guide the pagan Alexander on this (unwitting) Pivotal Planned-Prophetic Purpose (=Isa 46:10-11).... it wouldn’t be the first time that God made a chunk of metal float in water: 2 Kgs 6:4-7!!

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