In our study of Daniel chapter eight, we examine the rise and fall of the Greek empire and see a picture of the coming anti-christ.
"In the third year of King Belshazzar's reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me. In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal." NIV translation
Daniel tells us that this vision was after the dream that we saw in chapter 7 and in fact we see that it was about two years later. He sees himself transported from Babylon to the capitol of the Persian empire which is now the country of Iran.
"I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later." NIV translation
The ram was the national symbol of Persia and we see that this ram had two horns of different lengths. This ram represented the alliance of the Medes and the Persians and the longer horn was Persia while the shorter one was the Medes. This was also shown to Daniel in his dream of the bear raised up on one of its sides in chapter seven.
Throughout the Bible a horn is a symbol of strength and we see that this was a strong alliance but the Persians were the strongest part of the alliance.
"I watched the ram as he charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against him, and none could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great." NIV translation
As we have seen, the Media-Persian empire replaced the Babylonians as the greatest power on the earth. We see that they looked to expand and attacked Babylon, Egypt, and Asia Minor.
"As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between his eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. He came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at him in great rage. I saw him attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering his two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against him; the goat knocked him to the ground and trampled on him, and none could rescue the ram from his power." NIV translation
This passage tells of the rise of the Greek empire under Alexander the Great. They were such a fast moving army that they are described as "without touching the ground".