6.0 Cultic Terminology in Daniel 8:9-14

There are a number of expressions in Dn. 8:9-14 that are directly related to the Hebrew cultus or sanctuary worship system. Both Shea(72) and Rodriguez(73) rightly suggest that terms such as ram, goat, sanctuary (miqdash), continuous (tamid), lift up (rum), host (saba’) in 8:12, place (makon) and horn (qeren) inherently possess sanctuary or cultic significance. Whereas Rodriguez argues that many of these terms such as rum, miqdash, tamid, and makon relate directly to the reality of the heavenly sanctuary, it is suggested that all of the terms described thus far exhibit counterfeit cultic significance in Daniel 8.

The key which unlocks Daniel’s use of cultic terminology is the identification of the cultic ram symbol as the pagan power of Medo-Persia and the cultic goat symbol as the pagan power of Greece. From this initial clue, it becomes apparent that Daniel intends that many of his cultic symbols and terms will represent counterfeit cultic applications. The following chart contrasts the true and the counterfeit applications of these terms in the OT with Daniel 8. From the comparisons of cultic symbols and their counterfeit applications, it becomes evident that the primary emphasis of Dn. 8:9-14 concerns the activity of the horn from littleness in a counterfeit cultic setting. This false worship system is ultimately “incorporated” into papal Rome by the lifting up of the continual (tamid) self-exalting behavior (gadal) inherent among pagan nations. The false system of worship includes occupation of the habitation (city of Rome) of pagan Rome’s sanctuary and results in casting truth to the ground and trampling the heavenly sanctuary and the high priestly ministration of Christ. This false system manifests itself by establishing a “daily mass” and interposing a priestcraft between God and His people. A counterfeit worship system equivalent to Baal worship of the OT is established in opposition to the worship of God.


OT Cultic Application Cultic Symbol Term Daniel 8 Counterfeit Cultic Application
Trespass offering (Lv. 5:15) RAM Medo-Persia (8:20)
Trespass offering (Lv. 5:15) GOAT Greece (8:21)
Continual fire (Lv. 6:13) TAMID Continual exalting (8:11-13)
Continual incense (Ex. 30:8)
Fat lifted up (Lv. 4:8, 10, 19) RUM Tamid lifted up (8:11)
God’s earthly Sanctuary (Ex. 25:8) MIQDASH Pagan Sanctuary (8:11)
Habitation of God (Ex. 15:17) MAKON Pagan Habitation: Rome (8:11)
Levite’s work (Num. 4:3) SABA’
(host / army)
Pagan forces (8:12)
God’s army (Ex. 12:41)
Heaven’s host (Dn. 8:11 / Deut. 4:19)
Horns of altar (Ex. 27:2 / Lv. 4:7) HORN Pagan nation (8:3, 5, 9)
True Worship Cycle (Lv. 24:1-4)
`EREB-BOQER False Worship Cycle (8:13-14)

72) W. H. Shea, DARCOM: Vol. 2, pp. 196-198.
73) A. M. Rodriguez, DARCOM: Vol. 2, pp.527-549.


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