HILE Babylon was still strong and prosperous, God gave Daniel a vision of the next 2 world empires, as well as a view of the final hurrah of the kingdoms of this world. There is no interpretation needed for the ram & the goat in this vision of Daniel. God literally revealed to Daniel the actual names of these empires long before they became significant (Daniel 8:20-21). The ram from the east in Daniel 8 is the same as the breast & arms of silver in Daniel 2 & the bear with 3 ribs in its mouth in Daniel 7 - this kingdom is Medo-Persia. The goat from the west in Daniel 8 is the same as the belly & thighs of brass in Daniel 2 & the leopard with four heads & four wings in Daniel 7 - this is Greece.
One might wonder why many of the world empires are totally ignored in this chapter, especially Rome! As the dream unravels, it seems obvious that while it describes an actual king from antiquity (specifically, Antiochus Epiphanes of the Seleucid Empire), it is equally apparent that something and someone of even greater importance is the ultimate target of the vision. Especially as we move on into the remainder of the book of Daniel, there is no question (in my mind) that Daniel was given much information about the last antichrist (1st John 2:18). Therefore, it seems that the very precise prophecies about Persia and Greece were given to Daniel in order to confirm, validate and verify the authenticity of Daniel's prophetic office. In other words, if the first part of Daniel 8 was fulfilled exactly as Daniel said, then we can expect the last part to come to be as well. As such, this chapter serves well as a transition into the remainder of the book of Daniel. Much (but not all) of what we have read so far in the book of Daniel has been history and prophecies that have already been fulfilled. The remainder of the book will be aimed primarily at the end of time.