Daniel 7:14
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Serve him.—In Biblical Chaldee this word is only used of rendering Divine service or worship. The “Son of man” is therefore here spoken of as God.

Daniel 7:14. There was given him dominion, &c. — “All these kingdoms shall in their turns be destroyed, but the kingdom of the Messiah shall stand for ever. It was in allusion to this prophecy that the angel said of Jesus, before he was conceived in the womb, Luke 1:33, He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end. After what manner these great changes will be effected, we cannot pretend to say, as God hath not been pleased to reveal it. We see the remains of the ten horns which arose out of the Roman empire. We see the little horn still subsisting, though not in full strength and vigour, but as we hope upon the decline, and tending toward a dissolution. And having seen so many of these particulars accomplished, we can have no reason to doubt that the rest also will be fulfilled in due season; though we cannot frame any conception how Christ will be manifested in glory; how the little horn, with the body of the fourth beast, will be given to the burning flame; or how the saints will take the kingdom, and possess it for ever and ever. It is the nature of such prophecies, not to be perfectly understood till they are fulfilled. The best comment upon them will be their completion.” — Bishop Newton.7:9-14 These verses are for the comfort and support of the people of God, in reference to the persecutions that would come upon them. Many New Testament predictions of the judgment to come, have plain allusion to this vision; especially Re 20:11,12. The Messiah is here called the Son of man; he was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, and was found in fashion as a man, but he is the Son of God. The great event foretold in this passage, is Christ's glorious coming, to destroy every antichristian power, and to render his own kingdom universal upon earth. But ere the solemn time arrives, for manifesting the glory of God to all worlds in his dealings with his creatures, we may expect that the doom of each of us will be determined at the hour of our death; and before the end shall come, the Father will openly give to his incarnate Son, our Mediator and Judge, the inheritance of the nations as his willing subjects.And there was given him dominion - That is, by him who is represented as the "Ancient of days." The fair interpretation of this is, that he received the dominion from him. This is the uniform representation in the New Testament. Compare Matthew 28:18; John 3:35; 1 Corinthians 15:27. The word dominion here means rule or auhority - such as a prince exercises. He was set over a kingdom as a prince or ruler.

And glory - That is the glory or honor appropriate to one at the head of such an empire.

And a kingdom - That is, he would reign. He would have sovereignty. The nature and the extent of this kingdom is immediately designated as one that would be universal and perpetual. What is properly implied in this language as to the question whether it will be literal and visible, will be appropriately considered at the close of the verse. All that is necessary to be noticed here is, that it is everywhere promised in the Old Testament that the Messiah would be a king, and have a kingdom. Compare Psalm 2:1-12; Isaiah 9:6-7.

That all people, nations, and languages should serve him - It would be universal; would embrace all nations. The language here is such as would emphatically denote universality. See the notes at Daniel 3:4; Daniel 4:1. It implies that that kingdom would extend over all the nations of the earth, and we are to look for the fulfillment of this only in such a universal reign of the Messiah.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion ... - The others, represented by the four beasts, would all pass away, but this would be permanent and eternal. Nothing would destroy it. It would not have, as most kingdoms of the earth have had, any such internal weakness or source of discord as would be the cause of its destruction, nor would there be any external power that would invade or overthrow it. This declaration affirms nothing as to the form in which the kingdom would exist, but merely asserts the fact that it would do so. Respecting the kingdom of the Messiah, to which this undoubtedly alludes, the same thing is repeatedly and uniformly affirmed in the New Testament. Compare Matthew 16:18; Hebrews 12:28; Revelation 11:15. The form and manner in which this will occur is more fully developed in the New Testament; in the vision seen by Daniel the fact only is stated.

The question now arises, What would be a fulfillment of this prediction respecting the kingdom that will be given to the saints? What, from the language used in the vision, should we be legitimately authorized to expect to take place on the earth? In regard to these questions, there are but two views which can be taken, and the interpretation of the passage must sustain the one or the other.

(a) One is what supposes that this will be literally fulfilled in the sense that the Son of God, the Messiah, will reign personally on earth. According to this, he will come to set up a visible and glorious kingdom, making Jerusalem his capital, and swaying his scepter over the world. All nations and people will be subject to him; all authority will be wielded by his people under him.

(b) According to the other view, there will be a spiritual reign of the Son of God over the earth; that is, the principles of his religion will everywhere prevail, and the righteous will rule, and the laws of the Redeemer will be obeyed everywhere. There will be such a prevalence of his gospel on the hearts of all - rulers and people; the gospel will so modify all laws, and control all customs, and remove all abuses, and all the forms of evil; men will be so generally under the influence of that gospel, that it may be said that He reigns on the earth, or that the government actually administered is his.

In regard to these different views, and to the true interpretation of the passage, it may be remarked,

(1) That we are not to look for the literal fulfillment of this; we are not to expect that what is here described will literally occur. The whole is evidently a symbolic representation, and the fulfillment is to be found in something that the symbol would properly denote. No one can pretend that there is to be an actual sitting on the throne, by one in the form of an old man - "the Ancient of days" - or that there is to be a literal coming to him by one "like the Son of man," to receive a kingdom. But if one part of the representation is not to be literally interpreted, why should the other be? It may be added, that it is nowhere said that this would literally occur.

(2) All that is fairly implied here is found in the latter interpretation. Such a prevalence of the principles of the gospel would meet the force of the language, and every part of the vision would find a real fulfillment in that.

(a) The fact that it proceeds from God - represented as "the Ancient of days."

(b) The fact that it is given by him, or that the kingdom is made over by him to the Messiah.

(c) The fact that the Messiah would have such a kingdom; that is, that he would reign on the earth, in the hearts and lives of men.

continued...

13. Son of man—(See on [1093]Eze 2:1). Not merely Son of David, and King of Israel, but Head of restored humanity (corresponding to the world-wide horizon of Daniel's prophecy); the seed of the woman, crushing Antichrist, the seed of the serpent, according to the Prot-evangel in Paradise (Ge 3:15). The Representative Man shall then realize the original destiny of man as Head of the creation (Ge 1:26, 28); the center of unity to Israel and the Gentiles. The beast, which taken conjointly represents the four beasts, ascends from the sea (Da 7:2; Re 13:1); the Son of man descends from "heaven." Satan, as the serpent, is the representative head of all that bestial; man, by following the serpent, has become bestial. God must, therefore, become man, so that man may cease to be beast-like. Whoever rejects the incarnate God will be judged by the Son of man just because He is the Son of man (Joh 5:27). This title is always associated with His coming again, because the kingdom that then awaits Him in that which belongs to Him as the Saviour of man, the Restorer of the lost inheritance. "Son of man" expresses His VISIBLE state formerly in his humiliation hereafter in His exaltation. He "comes to the Ancient of days" to be invested with the kingdom. Compare Ps 110:2: "The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength (Messiah) out of Zion." This investiture was at His ascension "with the clouds of heaven" (Ac 1:9; 2:33, 34; Ps 2:6-9; Mt 28:18), which is a pledge of His return "in like manner" in the clouds" (Ac 1:11; Mt 26:64), and "with clouds" (Re 1:7). The kingdom then was given to Him in title and invisible exercise; at His second coming it shall be in visible administration. He will vindicate it from the misrule of those who received it to hold for and under God, but who ignored His supremacy. The Father will assert His right by the Son, the heir, who will hold it for Him (Eze 1:27; Heb 1:2; Re 19:13-16). Tregelles thinks the investiture here immediately precedes Christ's coming forth; because He sits at God's right hand until His enemies are made His footstool, then the kingdom is given to the Son in actual investiture, and He comes to crush His so prepared footstool under His feet. But the words, "with the clouds," and the universal power actually, though invisibly, given Him then (Eph 1:20-22), agree best with His investiture at the ascension, which, in the prophetic view that overleaps the interval of ages, is the precursor of His coming visibly to reign; no event of equal moment taking place in the interval. No text from Poole on this verse. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom,.... That is, a large, powerful, and glorious kingdom; not but that he had a kingdom before, but now it will be more extensive, and appear in greater glory: this will be fulfilled when the kingdoms of this world shall become his, and all nations shall serve and worship him, Revelation 11:15, as follows:

that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him; embrace his Gospel, submit to his ordinances serve and worship him in every religious duty; every people, of all nations, and of every language under heaven; which will be the case when the everlasting Gospel will be preached to them all with success, Revelation 14:6,

his dominion is an everlasting dominion; it shall never have an end, as the rest of the monarchies, signified by the four beasts, have had, or will have; see Psalm 14:6,

which shall not pass away; or be removed from one to another, like the above monarchies:

and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed; or "corrupted" (z) abolished and brought to nothing, as the said monarchies were one by another; and, at last, all of them by the stone cut out of the mountain; see Daniel 2:44.

(z) "corrumpetur", Pagninus, Montanus; "corrumpitur", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Coccceus.

And there was given him {c} dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

(c) This is meant of the beginning of Christ's kingdom, when God the Father gave unto him all dominion, as the the Mediator, with the intent that he would continually govern his Church which is here on earth, until the time that he brought them to eternal life.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. A universal and never-ending dominion is given to him. The expressions in the first half of the verse resemble in part those used in Daniel 5:18-19 of Nebuchadnezzar. Serve does not necessarily mean worship: like the word which has the same meaning in Heb. (עבד), it may be used of obedience to either God (Daniel 3:12; Daniel 3:14 al.) or a human ruler (Daniel 7:27; and the Targ. of Jeremiah 27:6-8, &c.). With the second half of the verse comp. Daniel 2:44, and especially Daniel 4:3 b, 34 b (of the kingdom of God). All peoples, nations, &c., as Daniel 3:4.Verse 14. - And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. The versions differ only slightly and verbally from this. The personal element is here made prominent. Compare with this Revelation 5:12, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." The Messianic kingdom, and with it the Messiah, was to be everlasting. The resemblance is great, as might be expected, between this statement and that in Daniel 2:44, "A kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and the kingdom shall not be left to other people." It is to be noted that even his dominion is bestowed upon him. The Ancient of days, whose sentence has deprived the other dynasties of theft empire, bestows boundless empire on the Messiah (Comp. Psalm 2. and 72.). Jeremiah's account of the state of matters on the return from the Captivity (Jeremiah 30:21)is compared to this by Hitzig; but there it is not a king who is to come near before God, it is simply "governor" (mashal). In Jeremiah we have to do with a subject-people living in the fear of the Lord, but under the yoke of a foreign power. Ecursus on "The Son of Man." The title given here to the Messiah for the first time, appears prominently in the Book of Enoch, and becomes consecrated to us in the lips of our Lord, as the favourite title by which he designated himself as the Messiah. The phrase, "son of man," ben-adam, is used of man as contrasted with God: Numbers 23:19, "God is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent;" of man as weak: Isaiah 51:12, "Who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as the grass?" (so Job 25:6; Psalm 144:3). Again, it is used simply as equivalent to "man:" Jeremiah 49:18, "No man shall abide there, neither shall son of man dwell in it" (see also Jeremiah 51:43). The contrast, so far as there is a contrast, is between אִישׁ and בֶּן־אָדָם. In the Psalms we have benee adam and benee ish contrasted: Psalm 62:9, "Surely men of low degree (benee adam) are vanity, and men of high degree (benee ish) are a lie." This distinction does not apply to Aramaic, in which enush is the only generally used word for "man." In the prophecies of Ezekiel the phrase becomes determinative of the prophet. The question is complicated, however, by the fact that in Eastern Aramaic barnesh, a contraction for bar-enasho, is used very generally for "men," as col-bar-nesh, "everybody." It also occurs in this sense in Targumic, though more rarely, as Job 5:7. The title here, then, simply declares that one, having the appearance of a man, was seen coming in the clouds of heaven. The phrase in the Peshitta for "the Son of man" is batch d'nosh. It is implied that this mysterious Being had the form of a man, but further, it is implied that he was other than man. In the Book of Enoch the phrase has ceased to be descriptive merely, and has become an appellation. Thus Enoch 46.:

(1) And there I saw one who had a head of days, and his head was white like wool, and with him was another being, whose countenance had the appearance of a man, and his face was full of graciousness like one of the holy angels.

(2) And I asked the angel who went with me and showed me all the hidden things concerning that Son of man, who he was, and why he went with the Head of days.

(3) And he answered and said unto me, This is the Son of man, who hath righteousness, with whom dwelleth righteousness, and who reveals all the treasures of that which is hidden, because the Lord of spirits hath chosen him, and his lot before the Lord of spirits hath surpassed everything in uprightness for ever. This is clearly borrowed from the chapter before us. Elsewhere we have endeavoured to fix the date of this part of the Book of Enoch, as B.C. 210. Of course, in this view the Maccabean origin of Daniel is definitely set aside. If, however, we take the date assigned to this part by Mr. Charles, then we have a choice between approximately B.C. 90 and B.C. 70. Even then the date seems too near the critical date of Daniel to explain the rapid development the idea has undergone. In Daniel the person "like a son of man" may be a personification of Israel, though not naturally so; here in Enoch we have to do with a super-angelic being. As to the question of the reference of the title, it has been doubted whether it is to be held as applying to the Messiah, the Messianic kingdom, or to the people of Israel. The last view is that of Hitzig and many other critics of his school. It practically involves a denial of the truth of the idea that the Jews ever had Messianic hopes. In the present case there is nothing to indicate any reference to Israel personified. While there might be some plausibility in arguing from each of the four beasts representing empires that this "Son of man" should represent an empire also; it must be observed that in all the other cases there is a peculiarity which marks off the animal as merely a symbol: the lion has wings; the bear has three ribs in its teeth; the leopard has four heads and four wings; and the last, unnamed, beast has ten heads and iron teeth. Further, this "Son of man" is brought to the Ancient of days, and does not merely appear as do the "beasts." He has thus many of the characteristics of a person. The other view, that the "Son of man" indicates the Messianic kingdom, thus comes into line with the view of Hitzig. The view that it is the Messiah who is meant by the "Son of man" was held practically by all interpreters, Jewish and Christian, until the middle of last century. If we look at the phenomenon of prophetism, we shall find ourselves open to another view of the matter. From 1 Peter 1:10 we see that prophets did not necessarily know the meaning of their own prophecies. It might well be, then, that to Daniel the distinction between the Messianic King and the Messianic kingdom was not one clearly apprehended. We see in the prophecies of the second Isaiah that the "servant of the Lord" is first the holy people, then the prophetic order, and latterly a person. There probably was a similar uncertainty here. If we grant this indeffiniteness, the next question that rises is - What is the special aspect of the Messianic kingdom that is intended to be portrayed when this title is given to its King? If we are guided by what is incomparably the oldest interpretation, that of the second Book of Enoch, this title implies an incalculable dignity. When we come to our Lord's use of it in the Gospels, there is nothing to oppose this. Thus John 5:22, "And hath committed all judgment unto him, because he is the Son of man;" so Matthew 9:6, "The Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins." This is not contradicted by Matthew 8:20, "The foxes have holes,... but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." The emphasis of the statement lies in the contrast between the inexpressible dignity of the Person and the poverty of his earthly circumstances. It is because the ideas of superhuman dignity had been associated with the title that our Lord had, in foretelling his approaching crucifixion,. to bring the two facts into close connection, "The Son of man must be lifted up." So after Peter's confession, "The Son of man must suffer many things." We see that the multitude of the Jews understood the title to have this lofty meaning, for they demand (John 12:34), "How sayest thou, The Sen of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?" The attempts to make it imply something humiliating by dwelling on the fact that not adam or ish is the word for "man," but 'enosh, are beside the question, for these deductions apply to the Hebrew words, not to the Aramaic. And in Aramaic neither ish nor adam is in common use as equivalent for "man." It is as much beside the point as if one, knowing the difference between man and mann in German, should lay stress on the fact that in this phrase in English "man" has only one n. The connection of this surpassing dignity with humanity has probably deep roots in human nature. The late Professor Fuller saw reference here to the function occupied by Silik-mooloo-Khi as mediator between Hea and mankind, and to the further development of this in the Zoroastrian doctrine of a sosiosh, or redeemer. The fall investigation of this is beside our present purpose. The interpretation of the fourth component part of the image, the legs and feet, which represent a fourth world-kingdom, is more extended. That kingdom, corresponding to the legs of iron, shall be hard, firm like iron. Because iron breaks all things in pieces, so shall this kingdom, which is like to iron, break in pieces and destroy all these kingdoms.

Daniel 2:40-41

Instead of רביציא, which is formed after the analogy of the Syriac language, the Keri has the usual Chaldee form רביעאה, which shall correspond to the preceding תליתאה, Daniel 2:39. See the same Keri Daniel 3:25; Daniel 7:7, Daniel 7:23. דּי כּל־קבל does not mean just as (Ges., v. Leng., Maur., Hitz.), but because, and the passage introduced by this particle contains the ground on which this kingdom is designated as hard like iron. חשׁל, breaks in pieces, in Syriac to forge, i.e., to break by the hammer, cf. חוּשׁלא, bruised grain, and thus separated from the husks. כּל־אלּין is referred by Kran., in conformity with the accents, to the relative clause, "because by its union with the following verbal idea a blending of the image with the thing indicated must first be assumed; also nowhere else, neither here nor in Daniel 7, does the non-natural meaning appear, e.g., that by the fourth kingdom only the first and second kingdoms shall be destroyed; and finally, in the similar expression, Daniel 7:7, Daniel 7:19, the הדּק stands likewise without an object." But all the three reasons do not prove much. A mixing of the figure with the thing signified does not lie in the passage: "the fourth (kingdom) shall, like crushing iron, crush to pieces all these" (kingdoms). But the "non-natural meaning," that by the fourth kingdom not only the third, but also the second and the first, would be destroyed, is not set aside by our referring כּל־אלּין to the before-named metals, because the metals indeed characterize and represent kingdoms. Finally, the expressions in Daniel 7:7, Daniel 7:19 are not analogous to those before us. The words in question cannot indeed be so understood as if the fourth kingdom would find the three previous kingdoms existing together, and would dash them one against another; for, according to the text, the first kingdom is destroyed by the second, and the second by the third; but the materials of the first two kingdoms were comprehended in the third. "The elements out of which the Babylonian world-kingdom was constituted, the countries, people, and civilisation comprehended in it, as its external form, would be destroyed by the Medo-Persia kingdom, and carried forward with it, so as to be constituted into a new external form. Such, too, was the relation between the Medo-Persian and the Macedonian world-kingdom, that the latter assumed the elements and component parts not only of the Medo-Persian, but also therewith at the same time of the Babylonian kingdom" (Klief.). In such a way shall the fourth world-kingdom crush "all these" past kingdoms as iron, i.e., will not assume the nations and civilisations comprehended in the earlier world-kingdoms as organized formations, but will destroy and break them to atoms with iron strength. Yet will this world-kingdom not throughout possess and manifest the iron hardness. Only the legs of the image are of iron (Daniel 2:41), but the feet and toes which grow out of the legs are partly of clay and partly of iron.

Regarding מנהון, see under Daniel 2:33. חסף means clay, a piece of clay, then an earthly vessel, 2 Samuel 5:20. פּחר in the Targums means potter, also potter's earth, potsherds. The פּחר דּי serves to strengthen the חסף, as in the following the addition of טינא, clay, in order the more to heighten the idea of brittleness. This twofold material denotes that it will be a divided or severed kingdom, not because it separates into several (two to ten) kingdoms, for this is denoted by the duality of the feet and by the number of the toes of the feet, but inwardly divided; for פּלג always in Hebr., and often in Chald., signifies the unnatural or violent division arising from inner disharmony or discord; cf. Genesis 10:25; Psalm 55:10; Job 38:25; and Levy, chald. Worterb. s. v. Notwithstanding this inner division, there will yet be in it the firmness of iron. נצבּא, firmness, related to יצב, Pa. to make fast, but in Chald. generally plantatio, properly a slip, a plant.

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