The “man” here (v. 15) is identified as the angel “Gabriel” (v. 16 cf. Lu. 1:26), and “the man’s voice” must have be-longed to God, for only He can order angels around. But here we have a dispensational difference. Under God’s program for Israel, He taught His truth to angels and used them to teach the people of Israel, as Gabriel is about to do here. Under grace, He teaches us His truth through His Word, then uses us to teach angels (Eph. 3:10).
Now the reason God used a man’s voice is that His own voice thunders (II Sam. 22:14; Job 37:4, 5; 40:9, etc.), and thunder can be scary. And God knew Daniel was about to be frightened by the mere presence of Gabriel (cf. v. 17). Angels usually say “Fear not” when someone sees them (Mt. 28:5; Lu. 1:13, 30; 2:10) because they are so awesome looking! If someone tells you they saw an angel, and doesn’t mention fear, you know he didn’t see one. We have Paul’s word on it that they are “not seen” in this dispensation (Col. 2:18).
People in the Bible always fall on their face when they see an angel or the Lord (v. 17). Only God’s enemies fall backward in the Bible (Isa. 28:13; John 18:3-6), yet they often fall backward when touched by modern “healers”!
Evidently Daniel fell on his face because he fainted (v. 18). That means he couldn’t hear what Gabriel said! He could tell us what he said, for he wrote by the Spirit, and the Spirit heard Gabriel. That’s one of the many proofs we have that the Spirit wrote the Bible. Gabriel could lift him with just a touch because of his great strength (v. 18 cf. 10:10). He then repeated what he said when Daniel was passed out (v. 19).
“Indignation” is anger caused by something someone did that you find extremely offensive (Mark 14:3-8; Lu. 13:14). Antichrist will do something extremely offensive to God (v. 19) when he speaks against Him (Dan. 11:36) by claiming to be God (II Thes. 2:3, 4), making God righteously indignant.
The ram Daniel saw in 8:1-3 is here identified as Media-Persia (8:20), and the goat he saw in 8:5-7 is identified as Greece (8:1). “The first king” of Greece, Alexander, was “broken” when he died drunk (cf. Jer. 23:9). So he didn’t give His “four” generals (8:22) his kingdom “in his power,” but rather in his weakness.
That’s when the antichrist was supposed to rise (8:23), and transgressions were to have “come to the full” in the Tribulation. When that happened, God was supposed to judge Israel (Mt. 23:35, 36) in the Tribulation. “Understanding dark sentences” probably means he’ll be something of a genius.
Antichrist was supposed to rise out of “one” of those four kingdoms (Dan. 8:8, 9, 11), but the mystery interrupted things. But after the mystery ends at the Rapture, he will rise out of the Syrian branch to the north, for he is often called “the Assyrian” (Ezek. 31:3-7; Micah 5:2-6). The “dragon” (Rev. 20:2) will give him his power (8:24 cf. Rev. 13:1, 2).
The mighty and holy people he’ll destroy (8:24) is Israel. They’re called mighty because God multiplied them (cf. Ex. 1:7) and holy because He set them apart from the world. Antichrist will “prosper” by all the things his church in Babylon will buy and sell (Rev. 18), including the “craft” (8:24) of idolatry (cf. Deut. 27:15; Hos. 13:2; Acts 19:24-27).
The beast will also destroy many by peace (8:25), because in the beginning he’ll be a peacemaker (11:21). But when they say “peace and safety” the “sudden destruction” of the last half of Daniel’s 70th week will fall on them (I Thes. 5:3), followed by the Lord’s “sudden” coming (Mal. 3:1,2). But he’ll be broken “without hands” (v. 25), i.e., without human instrumentality (cf. Col. 2:11). The Lord won’t need human help to defeat the Antichrist and his armies (Isa. 63:1-4).
That all sounds pretty unbelievable, so Gabriel told Daniel it’s all “true” (8:26). He mentions that Daniel had an evening and morning vision because “the evening and the morning” were the first day, etc. (Gen. 1), and his vision was about the dawn of a new day—the day of the Lord. But it wouldn’t be “for many days” (8:26 cf. 10:14). Finally, after seeing such stupendous things, Daniel just went back to work (8:27), just as we must after seeing them in Scripture.