Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. Dan 8:9-11
And the rough goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Dan 8:21
The angel’s explanation of Daniel’s visions introduce a puzzle. Daniel saw a goat, and out of that goat a great horn grew up. The goat is the king of Greece, and the great horn is its first king. Historically, the kings mentioned by the angel are Alexander the Great, the first king; the four kings of the four kingdoms that came after him: Lysimachus, Cassander, Ptolemy, and Seleucus I Nicator; and the little horn which waxed great, Antiochus Epiphanes, a type of antichrist to come.
The angel tells of two kings of Greece who exist concurrently: the rough goat, and the great horn of Alexander. Moreover, the rough goat exists concurrently with other kings of Greece following Alexander, covering a period of multiple generations. How can this be when history records only one king of Greece at the time of Alexander: Alexander himself?
The biblical answer is, that there is a spiritual king, and a natural king. The rough goat is the spiritual king of Greece, and the great horn between his eyes is the natural or human king, Alexander.
Then he said to me: Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to chasten yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I am come for your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Dan 10:12-13
Daniel had fasted and prayed for twenty-one days concerning his people, for the seventy years of their captivity in Babylon, prophesied by the prophet Jeremiah, was coming to a close. At the end of twenty-one days the angel appeared to him and spoke these words. He was delayed by the prince of Persia, but the archangel Michael, the spiritual warrior overseeing Israel, came and helped him, and even though they remained in warfare with the kings of Persia, after twenty-one days he was released to continue his errand to Daniel.
Obviously these kings of Persia could not be human kings. How could a human king of Persia withstand an angel, and not only a single angel, but an angel with the help of the archangel Michael as well? The king of Persia mentioned here is another example in Scripture of a spiritual king.
In the Greek Testament, Paul refers to them as principalities:
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 8:38-39
He raised Christ from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. Eph 1:20-21
Now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: Eph 3:10-11
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph 6:12
For by Him all things were created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him. Col 1:6
And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. Col 2:10
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the list of our transgressions of the Law that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; and having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a mockery of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Col 2:13-15
Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work. Titus 3:1
A principality, according to Webster’s, is “the state, office, or authority of a prince.” And even though in Titus Paul refers to human principalities, in Eph 6:12 he defines a principality as a ruler of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places.
I believe that all political or national states and territories are and have been governed by spiritual principalities. The adversary could offer all the kingdoms of the world to Yeshua at His temptation because he owned them (Mat 4:8-9). The human kings then operate under the spiritual kings. They are linked, which is how the king of Greece – the spiritual principality – could operate in the same sphere as the human kings the angel mentioned – Alexander through Antiochus.
In ancient times, this linkage was not only known, it was proclaimed as the norm. The Egyptian pharaoh was believed to be the embodiment of the sun god Ra; the throne name of Antiochus Epiphanes means, “god incarnate.”
Of course, into this normal course God interjects His people, like Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel, Cyrus, and so many others who “upset the apple cart,” who rule according to His ordination, and who accomplish His will and purpose in nations and history …