Daniel was shown things that would happen in the near and distant future. In the near future, he saw that the Median-Persian empire (two-horned ram) which was in power during his lifetime would be overtaken by Greece (goat with a large horn), which was then a small and relatively insignificant military power. But Alexander the Great retaliated with rage against the Persians for attacking the Greek cities and defeated the Median-Persian empire in a few short years, beginning in 334 BC. However, at the height of his power, Alexander was stricken with malaria and died from complications related to his alcoholism in 323 BC, at the age of 32 in Babylon. After his death, the goat's single horn was replaced by four smaller horns. The four horns refer to the four generals who divided the Greek empire into four regions: to the first general Ptolemy was given Egypt and parts of Asia Minor; to second general Cassander was given the territory of Macedonia and Greece; to the third general Lysimachus was given Thrace and parts of Asia Minor (western Bithynia, Phrygia, Mycia, and Lydia); and to the fourth general Seleucus was given the Syria, Israel, and Mesopotamia.
The descendants of Seleucus (the Seleucids) ruled the land of Israel and the "stern-faced king, a master of intrigue" refers to one of the Seleucids, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. He usurped power by murdering his brother who was then on the throne. He then attacked and burned Jerusalem, killing multitudes of Jews. He forbade the Jews from observing the Sabbath, the festivals and sacrifices, including circumcising Jewish children. He even desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem by offering swine on its altar. He died by divine judgement of insanity in 163 BC.
But some parts of Daniel's vision concerning the 2,300 evenings and mornings "is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future." If Daniel's vision concerning the near future has been fulfilled to the letter (regarding the breakup of the Greek Empire and subsequent desecration of the temple in Jerusalem), we can be sure that his vision concerning the distant future would also be fulfilled to the letter.
And the "distant future" is here.
Father, thank You that You have already shown us what will take place soon so that we who believe in the Scriptures are not caught by surprise at the coming world events. Thank You for preparing us for the challenges of the end-time scenarios. Amen.