DANIEL 8:3B - RAM / LAMB SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE
Updated: Dec 12, 2022
In addition to the Mighty Powers as a theme for Daniel 8, the “Sanctuary” or “Temple of God” and the Hebrew “Day of Atonement” are other umbrella themes of Daniel 8. It is fitting, then, that God used Sanctuary and Day of Atonement symbolism throughout the vision. These symbols clue us into the theme of the Atonement of Christ. As I said in the preface, the Bible teaches that every prophecy should be studied within the framework of at least three contexts: first, the literal fulfilment; secondly, Christ and his sufferings; and finally end time events. In this chapter I would like to explore more about Christ and His sufferings by focusing on the spiritual significance of the Lamb of God as seen by the prophetic symbol of the Ram.
Daniel 8:3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Daniel-Chapter-8/
Using the principle of comparing scripture with scripture from Isaiah 28:10 which says, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” we will learn about the spiritual meaning of the Ram.
The first Biblical story regarding a Ram is found in the following passage. As a test of faith, God sends Abraham to offer Isaac as a burnt offering on Mount Moriah. Isaac unknowingly asks, where is the lamb for a burnt offering? Abraham in faith states that God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering. This test of faith, for Abraham and Isaac, was also an analogy to the sacrifice that God the Father provided in the sacrifice of His Son. Just as Abraham raises the knife to slay his son, God stops his hand, and provides a lamb, being a Ram, caught in a thicket by his horns.
Genesis 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind hima ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
This story is highly significant in that Isaac’s story parallels that of Jesus Christ and Abraham that of the God the Father. Below is a chart study of the parallels between the two stories.
Similarities Between Isaac and Christ
Isaac / Abraham
Christ / Father God
Son of Promise and Covenant Son
Genesis 17:15-21; 18:10-14
Only Son / Beloved
John 3:16; Matthew 3:17
Both Father’s had the choice and power to not offer/give the Son
Place and Type of offering
Mt. Moriah (symbol of altar of burnt offering)
1 Chronicles 21-22:1; 2 Chronicles 3:1
Cross (symbol of altar of burnt offering) Luke 12:49-50
Act of Submission, Worship, Faith
Carried the wood they would be laid on
Power was in the hand of the Father to cut or separate causing death
Genesis 22:6, 10
Provision of Lamb/Ram in the stead of his son
Provision of God: John 6:50,51
Isaac was the son of promise. The promise was that in his seed all the earth should be blessed. Jesus is also the Promised Son. He is the Seed which blessed all the earth. In the passage Isaac is called the only son of Abraham as is Christ the only begotten Son of God. Abraham was tested in that at any moment he had the choice and power not to offer up Isaac as God commanded him. God the Father had the power and choice to keep His Son from the cross. The place for the offering was Mt. Moriah representing the altar of burnt offering as did the cross. For Abraham this obedient sacrifice was an act of submission, worship, and faith. For Christ the cross was an act of submission, worship, and faith. Isaac carried the wood he was to be laid on. Christ carried the cross He would lay His life down on. The knife would separate Isaac from life and his father. Christ became sin for us. Because of our sin, He was forsaken or separated from His Father. This broke his heart and killed Him. As Isaac was bound, Christ was nailed to the cross. In the end a ram was the substitute offered for a burnt offering in place of Isaac. The ram called a lamb, was provided by God in the stead of Isaac.
Jesus is the Lamb (ram) of God which taketh away the sin of the world. See John 1:29. He who knew no sin, became sin for us and sacrificed His pure life for our sin that we might have His righteousness or sinless life as our own. See 2 Corinthians 5:21. The Bible tells us “the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
Exodus 29:15-27 tell us also that in the tabernacle service and Jewish ceremonial law, a Ram was used as a burnt offering of consecration (or sacrifice of inauguration or setting aside to sacerdotal service) for a priest to be consecrated was also a ceremony of perfecting. The sacrificial ram represents Christ who was perfected by His sufferings to be consecrated as our High Priest.
20 Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.
21 And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him.
22 Also thou shalt take of the ram the fat and the rump, and the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and the right shoulder; for it is a ram of consecration:
27 And thou shalt sanctify the breast of the wave offering, and the shoulder of the heave offering, which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of the consecration, even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons:
Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
27Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
28For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Hebrews-Chapter-7/
From the Strong’s Concordance, the Greek New Testament word consecrated means to finish, fulfil, consummate, or perfect.
τελειόω teleióō, tel-i-o'-o; from G5046; to complete, i.e. (literally) accomplish, or (figuratively) consummate (in character):—consecrate, finish, fulfil, make) perfect. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=G5048&t=KJV
Consequently, to be consecrated was also to be made perfect. The Bible tells us that through His sufferings, Christ was made perfect to be inaugurated as our High Priest. This was part of what was finished or completed or perfected or consummated at the cross.
John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/John-Chapter-19/
Hebrews 5: 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
To be perfectly obedient to the law of God is to love. All the law and the prophets are summed up in love to God and to our neighbor. See Matthew 22:37-40. The death of Christ (God the Son) in our place was to demonstrate to us the perfect love of God for us or the perfect obedience of God to His own law. In so doing God would restore His relationship of love with man and rid our hearts of the fear of torment originating with sin (disobedience to the law) due to the result of sin, death. Christ would die for even His enemies.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
On the Day of Atonement, only after the bullock and goat were offered and their blood sprinkled before the mercy seat in atonement, could the High Priest wash his flesh and put on his priestly garments. This tells us that the prior acts on the Day of Atonement as a man clothed in holy garments representing the righteousness of Christ, consecrated the High Priest to offer the burnt offering (Ram) to make atonement for Himself and for the people.
4 He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on.
24 And he shall wash his flesh with water in the holy place, and put on his garments, and come forth, and offer his burnt offering, and the burnt offering of the people, and make an atonement for himself, and for the people.https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Leviticus-Chapter-16/
In summary, Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, offered up Himself in our place, for our sins. In the same way the Ram was the substitute for Isaac, Christ as our substitute and surety, by dying to self and dying in the flesh, took our sins away by His blood. Motivated by perfect love and being obedient unto the law of love even unto death, His sufferings perfected His humanity, consecrating him as our Divine and Human High Priest. As our Human Brother He stands before the throne of God representative and intercessor as High Priest for man.
Reader, I invite you to continue reading and studying to behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.