If you are a student of the biblical study of end time prophecy, you will know that many of the conventional experts in this field claim that the first event that introduces the end times is the invasion of Israel by Russia (referred to as Magog) as described in the book of Ezekiel, chapter thirty-three. Russia will be accompanied by Iran, Ethiopia and Libya as well as many unspecified European nations. Russia and its allies will be miraculously defeated and this event will mark the beginning of the seven year tribulational period that is described in the book of Revelations. However is this the first event that introduces the end times? Does the Bible describe events that happen prior to this?
Many people consider the events we are presently enduring, the U.S. confrontation with Iran and the record-breaking escalation of oil prices for example, as indicators that we are presently living in the end times. If this is true, where in the Bible are these events described? Consider the book of Daniel, chapter eight, which describes a vision that the prophet Daniel sees, a vision of a goat and a ram.
Theologians believe the vision of the goat and the ram describes the rise of Alexander the Great and the defeat of the Persian Empire at his hands. What if Daniel's vision isn't about Alexander the Great but rather about a Greek leader that has not come to power yet? What if we are living in the age of the ram and the goat? Let's look at this vision with a new perspective, as if it hasn't happened yet.
The first part of Daniel's vision describes a ram with two horn, each horn representing a different nation. The ram was seen at the Ulai River, the modern day Karun River in Iran. The two horns are described in verse twenty, they are the kings of Media and Persia., so in modern day terms who are these two countries? Persia is easy, that is Iran. Who is Media? They are a group of people that claim to be a nation yet have no land of their own. They live in Turkey, Iraq and Iran and have been persecuted in all three of these nations. They are the people of Kurdistan, the Kurds. Therefore the ram is an alliance of Iran and the Kurds.
So is the ram in place today? Not quite. Ahmadinejad, the present leader of Iran as of this writing, is no friend to the Kurds living in Iran. The situation will have to change on the Iranian political scene for the Kurds to be considered allies of Iran. However, change may be on the horizon. There are signs of vast discontent in Iran, mostly associated with Ahmadinejad's mishandling of Iran's economy and the yearning of Iran's people for political freedom. A democratic movement is gaining momentum in Iran and one of the chief political forces behind the movement is the Kurds. Therefore I believe the ram will not be in place until political upheaval dislodges Ahmadinejad from power and Iran adopts democracry as its new form of government.
What will the ram do? According to verse three the ram will invade westward, then northward and southward. This implies Iran will first conquer Iraq then move north to Turkey and finally southward to Saudi Arabia. This will put them in the powerful economic position of controlling two-thirds of the world's oil supply. So where is the United States when all this is occurring? I believe this means that the United States will have little if no military presence in the region when this occurs. Therefore we should expect that the United States will withdraw much of its forces from Iraq in the not too distant future. This would be an unusual event since the United States has a history of leaving a military presence in the areas of the world that it has been involved in conflicts; we have had soldiers in Europe since World War II.
Enter the Goat
According to verse five, a goat comes from the west from the face of the whole earth. This goat comes from the west and this goat represents a multi-national force since it comes from the face of the whole earth. The goat is a symbol of the United Nations. Therefore don't think of this goat as a unicorn, having only one horn. This goat has as many horns as the number of nations in the United Nations. Verse five continues on and says that the goat doesn't touch the ground. Theologians assert that this was a use of poetic language to describe the lightning quick military campaign of Alexander the Great and they explain that the idea is that he moved so quick he didn't touch the ground! What if this is not a poetic reference. What if this is a description of an invasion by the U.N. (and consequently the U.S.) that comes from the air and by the sea? Verse five ends by saying that the goat had a notable (conspicuous in some translations) horn between its eyes. I believe this means that there was a horn, symbolic of a nation, that was much more powerful than the other nations so that is notable in its power. I believe this is a reference to the nation that is in control of the U.N. at that time, the nation that the Secretary General of the U.N. represents. This nation is Greece since the angel that translates the vision to Daniel points out that the goat symbolizes the nation of Greece. Note in verse six that the goat runs at the ram in the fury of his power. Since the goat is running at the ram, the air and sea invasion has transitioned into a ground assault (maybe an amphibious assault).
We see that the goat conquers the ram in verse seven and in verse eight that the ruler of Greece, the Secretary General of the U.N. becomes very powerful for a time. How likely is it that Greece could be the nation that provides the next Secretary General of the United Nations? Eastern Europe is the only region within the U.N. that has never had a Secretary General represent the U.N. In fact, President Bush advocated that the present Secretary General come from Eastern Europe but his attempts were overturned when China became interested in the Secretary General coming from Asia. Since South Korea was an ally of the United States, China was agreeable to the Secretary General coming from South Korea. It is very possible that the next Secretary General comes from Greece since Greece is among the nations of Eastern Europe.
Darren Thompson is a chemical engineer that has worked in the rocket propulsion industry for over 15 years. He holds 10 patents and am the author of over 20 papers in rocket propellant development. He has written two books, "The Fourth Day: Why the Bible is Historically Accurate" and "Why the Bible is Historically Accurate (2nd Edition)" which are available at amazon.com or lulu.com. I am in the process of writing a third book on prophecy. You can check out my book website at The Fourth Day