The Large Horn: Three Conspicuous Considerations // Daniel 8

The Middle-Eastern nation of Turkey has been steadily moving away from democratic rule toward Sharia rule for years, and with the recent referendum giving Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dictatorial powers, students of Bible prophecy believe this may be the beginning of the rise of the goat’s conspicuous/prominent/large horn of Daniel 8 and that Erdogan, himself, may very well be that “first king” [8:21], the first Sultan of a new Islamic caliphate.

Like the ram that yields to the goat in Daniel 8, the historical interpretation of this chapter as having been fulfilled completely in history has been yielding ground for some years to a consistent-futurist interpretation (h/t Mark DavidsonJoel Richardson) that places the fulfillment of the entire chapter at the time of the end.

You are encouraged to read the entire chapter before continuing.

 The ram and the goat
Shush (Susa), Iran

click to enlarge

Daniel’s vision in chapter 8 is of a ram and a goat fighting over an area of land. It also includes an interpretation of the vision by the angel Gabriel who identifies the two animals as well as where and when this confrontation takes place.

Daniel was beside the Ulai Canal in Susa which is modern-day Shush (Susa) in Iran. As he was watching, he saw a ram invading from the east:

I looked up and saw a ram with two horns standing at the canal. Its two horns were both long, but one was longer than the other. The longer one was coming up after the shorter one. I saw that the ram was butting westward, northward, and southward. No animal was able to stand before it, and there was none who could deliver from its power. It did as it pleased and acted arrogantly. // Daniel 8:3-4 NET

Gabriel tells him the identity of the ram.

The ram that you saw with the two horns stands for the kings of Media and Persia. // Daniel 8:20 NET

In the historical view, the ram is the Medo-Persian Empire. In the consistent-futurist view, it is Iran.

After this, Daniel saw a goat challenging, and conquering the ram from the west.

While I was contemplating all this, a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of all the land without touching the ground. This goat had a conspicuous horn between its eyes. It came to the two-horned ram that I had seen standing beside the canal and rushed against it with raging strength. I saw it approaching the ram. It went into a fit of rage against the ram and struck it and broke off its two horns. The ram had no ability to resist it. The goat hurled the ram to the ground and trampled it. No one could deliver the ram from its power. // Daniel 8:5-7 NET

Gabriel tells him the identity of the goat.

The male goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king. // Daniel 8:21 NET

In the historical view, the goat is the Greek Empire. In the consistent-futurist view, it is Turkey.

The historical interpretation of the confrontation between the ram and the goat is that it has been fulfilled in history by the Medo-Persian invasion of the Middle East followed by the Greek counter-invasion.

The consistent-futurist interpretation suggests it has yet to be fulfilled by an Iranian (Medo-Persian) invasion of the Middle East followed by an eventual Turkish (Greek/Javanian) counter-invasion.

Chapters and books have been written about these things. I only want to focus on three considerations that strike me. This is by no means meant to be comprehensive.

Three conspicuous considerations

One:  “Javan,” sometimes “Yavan,” the original word Gabriel uses to identify the goat, includes the western area of modern-day Turkey.

Two: Alexander the Great was not the “first king” of Greece per Daniel 8:21.

Three: Gabriel tells Daniel that the vision “pertains to the time of the end.”

One: Javan/Yavan

Though the text of most Bibles gives the identity of the goat as “Greece,” this is an unfortunate translation of the original word “Javan/Yavan,” which is an area that includes a western portion of modern-day Turkey, extends outward across the Aegean Sea and into the Balkan Peninsula (some translations use the word “Javan” in the text). This is evident in a map of the Genesis 10 Table of Nations as well as a number of Bible atlases.


The Reformation Study Bible – click to enlarge

Version 2

Javan – The Reformation Study Bible


The Founders’ Bible – click to enlarge

Version 2

Javan – The Founders’ Bible

You can also download a Hi-Res Genesis 10 Table of Nations map from this page. And, here’s one from the Moody Bible Institute. Some additional Bible maps showing Javan can be seen by scrolling through this article about the location of Magog. Most of the scholarly Bible atlases showing Magog also show Javan.

Even though the modern-day nation of Greece is included in the Balkans, the point lost is that Daniel is referring to an area of land that existed at the time of his writing and that this area of land included a part of modern-day Turkey. Therefore, based on geography alone, a leader of Turkey falls within the qualifying, geographic boundaries of Javan from where the “large horn” comes.

Two: the first king

As we see in the latter half of Daniel 8:21, Gabriel tells Daniel that the “large horn” is the “first king” of this counter-invading goat nation.

The male goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king. // Daniel 8:21 NET

This is significant because it seems to be a requirement of fulfillment that the “large horn” is the “first king” of this counter-invading goat nation.

The historical interpretation says this “first king” was Alexander the Great, but Alexander was not the first ruler of Greece as there were 27 before him. Even an abridged list of rulers from just the Hellenistic Age when Alexander ruled lists eight others before him.

In contrast, Erdogan does seem to be emerging as the “first king” of a new kingdom, a new Turkish caliphate.

Three: the time of the end

This is something that I, personally, have a hard time getting around. Twice, Gabriel tells Daniel that his vision “pertains to the time of the end.”

So he approached the place where I was standing. As he came, I felt terrified and fell flat on the ground. Then he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision pertains to the time of the end.” // Daniel 8:17 NET

Then he said, “I am going to inform you about what will happen in the latter time of wrath, for the vision pertains to the appointed time of the end. // Daniel 8:19 NET

He also says it takes place “in the latter time of wrath” as well as goes on to describe the infamous “little horn” or “small horn” [8:9], or “rash and deceitful king” [8:23], or “bold” king, or “insolent” king of “fierce countenance” (depending on your translation) who enters the scene during the end of these events [8:23]. It’s generally agreed upon that this is the Antichrist.

When you come across phrases such as “end time” or “end of time” in other parts of Daniel (or in Jude 1:18 or Ezekiel 35:5 depending on your translation), have you ever thought they meant anything but the end time? Not to mention, the prophecies in the book have been sealed up and concealed from understanding until the end time, which I would argue is now since it is beginning to be understood.

“But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.” // Daniel 12:4 NET

He [the angel] said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. // Daniel 12:9 NET

Iran in Iraq and Syria

click to enlarge

Again, the historical interpretation of the confrontation between the ram and the goat is that it has been fulfilled in history by the Medo-Persian invasion of the Middle East followed by the Greek counter-invasion.

The consistent-futurist interpretation suggests it has yet to be fulfilled by an Iranian (Medo-Persian) invasion of the Middle East followed by an eventual Turkish (Greek/Javanian) counter-invasion.

While Iran’s current presence in these areas may or may not represent things to come, Iran already has a sizable force inside the borders of Iraq and also Syria because of current, geopolitical struggles.

Consider, the military might behind this region making such a move against an invading Iran rests with Turkey having the 8th most powerful military in the world (see here for the others’ rankings). Turkey would more than likely be the nation to initiate and lead, especially considering they’re already fighting a proxy war with each other through ISIS (supported by Turkey) and Syria (supported by Iran).

Furthermore, of those nations that fit entirely within the Balkan Peninsula, many have a significant Muslim population, some a majority. Aligning with their Turkish neighbor in such a scenario is plausible. It’s also worth noting that Turkey has been threatening to flood Europe with even more refugees, and while ISIS has stated publicly they are using the refugee crisis to infiltrate the West, a recall of these fighters as a response to an Iranian invasion of the Middle East is, again, plausible.

There’s also the very real threat of the European Union breaking up as nationalist rebellions against the globalist, political establishment grow. Suppose it splits up and the Balkan countries align themselves with Turkey for stability in the face of an encroaching Russia? Then again, it might only be Turkey mounting a military response. The geography in the text allows for it.

Then there’s the so-called Iran deal. If Iran were to launch an invasion, it would be in a much better position to do so with nuclear capabilities, which is what it seems this deal enables it to have in about a decade — providing it survives the current American administration. Then again, we may be fast-approaching a point when future Iranian nuclear capabilities may not be dependent upon any kind of deal at all.

While I don’t hesitate to label these last things as conjecture, none of them are beyond reason in today’s turbulent world.

Whether or not you would agree with the consistent-futurist interpretation of Daniel 8, perhaps you would agree it’s time to look a little closer at the text?

The Underground Ep 69: Could the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan be the Antichrist? Or is he another prophetic figure? Find out in this timely and informative episode.

Additional resources:

Categories: Prophecy Being Fulfilled?, Prophetic Geography, The Timeline of the EndTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Hi Joel I’ve bought all your books and I agree with almost everything your saying I have seen the same things in the scriptures as you have seen for 12 years or more. and I was wondering what are your thoughts on Al Assad. The scriptures do also say that the antichrist is Assyrian and Al Assad’s name prior to leadership His father ruled and His last name meant the Beast and He changed his name to Al Assad which means the Lion. check out the son of perdition please let me know what you think?

  2. Great website, but having trouble with modern day Turkey the Goat and Iran the Ram colliding in the near future. Who are the four notable horns on the goat if these nations represent a future war between the two? Really stuck on this:( Help!!!!!!!!!:)

  3. I’m hesitant to say we’re on the brink, as we’ve constantly thought so since shortly after Christ was crucified, but the evidence you present is compelling. Even if it takes quite a few more generations for the events to transpire, I think you’re right on the money on how it will happen (and is happening).

    The whole ‘refugee’ topic is infuriating to me. Reading/watching some of your other posts just reinforced how bad it actually is. So thankful I live in a place where I can protect my family, but my blood boils thinking of all the innocents that are/will be harmed due to Satan’s gradual increase in power.

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