Daniel 7:13
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
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(13) The Son of man.—Hence our Saviour adopts the title which designates Him as Judge (Matthew 24:27, &c.). The title implies one descended from man; but as this Person is spoken of as being “like” one of human descent, it follows that He was not merely a man. The early Jewish and Christian interpretations that this is the Messiah are confirmed by our Saviour’s solemn appropriation of the title to Himself (Matthew 24:30). In this verse the judgment is supposed to have already taken place upon earth, and the Son of man comes in the clouds to claim His kingdom.

Daniel 7:13. I saw in the night visions, &c. — Here is described by what means these changes were to be brought about; behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven — One in the shape and likeness of a man, but clothed with such ensigns of majesty and honour, (signified here by the clouds of heaven,) as showed him to be an extraordinary person, (compare Revelation 1:13; Revelation 14:14,) indeed no less than the Messiah, as the following description of him declares. As the two foregoing verses declare why the fourth beast was destroyed, this part of the vision shows by whom it was done; setting Christ forth in his judicial capacity, and describing him by that title, which, in allusion to this place, he often gave himself, namely, the Son of man. He particularly alludes to this text, Matthew 26:64, where he speaks of his coming in the clouds of heaven; by which expression he acknowledged himself to be the true Messiah here described, and gave a direct answer to the question there proposed to him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the blessed? Compare Mark 14:61-62; Revelation 1:7. Whereupon they condemned him as guilty of blasphemy. A learned prelate, in his Defence of Christianity from the ancient Prophecies, p. 131, observes, that ענני, anani, the clouds, was a known name of the Messiah among the Jewish writers, which shows that they understood this text as spoken of him.

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.I saw in the night visions - Evidently in the same night visions, or on the same occasion, for the visions are connected. See Daniel 7:1, Daniel 7:7. The meaning is, that he continued beholding, or that a new vision passed before him.

And, behold, one like the Son of man ... - It is remarkable that Daniel does not attempt to represent this by any symbol. The representation by symbols ceases with the fourth beast; and now the description assumes a literal form - the setting up of the kingdom of the Messiah and of the saints. Why this change of form occurs is not stated or known, but the sacred writers seem carefully to have avoided any representation of the Messiah by symbols. The phrase "The Son of Man" - אנשׁ בר bar 'ĕnâsh - does not occur elsewhere in the Old Testament in such a connection, and with such a reference as it has here, though it is often found in the New, and is, in fact, the favorite term by which the Saviour designates himself. In Daniel 3:25, we have the phrase "the Son of God" (see the note at that passage), as applicable to one who appeared with the three" children" that were cast into the burning furnace; and in Ezekiel, the phrase "son of man" often occurs as applicable to himself as a prophet, being found more than eighty times in his prophecies, but the expression here used does not elsewhere occur in the Old Testament as applicable to the personage intended. As occurring here, it is important to explain it, not only in view of the events connected with it in the prophecy, but as having done much to mould the language of the New Testament. There are three questions in regard to its meaning: What does it signify? To whom does it refer? And what would be its proper fulfillment?

(1) The phrase is more than a mere Hebrew or Chaldee expression to denote man, but is always used with some peculiar significancy, and with relation to some peculiar characteristic of the person to whom it is applied, or with some special design. To ascertain this design, regard should be had to the expression of the original. "While the words אישׁ 'ı̂ysh and אישׁה 'ı̂iyshâh are used simply as designations of sex, אנושׁ 'ĕnôsh, which is etymologically akin to אישׁ 'ı̂ysh, is employed with constant reference to its original meaning, to be weak, sick; it is the ethical designation of man, but אדם 'âdâm denotes man as to his, physical, natural condition - whence the use of the word in such passages as Psalm 8:4; Job 25:6, and also its connection with בן bên are satisfactorily explained, The emphatic address אדם בן bên 'âdâm - Son of man - is therefore (in Ezekiel) a continued admonition to the prophet to remember that he is a man like all the rest." - Havernick, Com. on, Ezekiel 2:1-2, quoted in the Bibliotheca Sacra, v. 718. The expression used here is בר־אנושׁ bar -'ĕnôsh, and would properly refer to man as weak and feeble, and as liable to be sick, etc. Applied to anyone as "a Son of man," it would be used to denote that he partook of the weakness and infirmities of the race; and, as the phrase "the Son of man" is used in the New Testament when applied by the Saviour to himself, there is an undoubted reference to this fact - that he sustained a peculiar relation to our race; that he was in all respects a man; that he was one of us; that he had so taken our nature on himself that there was a peculiar propriety that a term which would at once designate this should be given to him. The phrase used here by Daniel would denote some one

(a) in the human form;

(b) some one sustaining a peculiar relation to man - as if human nature were embodied in him.

(2) The next inquiry here is, to whom, this refers? Who, in fact, was the one that was thus seen in vision by the prophet? Or who was designed to be set forth by this? This inquiry is not so much, whom did Daniel suppose or understand this to be? as, who was in fact designed to be represented; or in whom would the fulfillment be found? For, on the supposition that this was a heavenly vision, it is clear that it was intended to designate some one in whom the complete fulfillment was to be found. Now, admitting that this was a heavenly vision, and that it was intended to represent what would occur in future times, there are the clearest reasons for supposing that the Messiah was referred to; and indeed this is so plain, that it may be assumed as one of the indisputable things by which to determine the character and design of the prophecy. Among these reasons are the following:

(a) The name itself, as a name assumed by the Lord Jesus - the favorite name by which he chose to designate himself when on the earth. This name he used technically; he used it as one that would be understood to denote the Messiah; he used it as if it needed no explanation as having a reference to the Messiah. But this usage could have been derived only from this passage in Daniel, for there is no other place in the Old Testament where the name could refer with propriety to the Messiah, or would be understood to be applicable to him.

(b) This interpretation has been given to it by the Jewish writers in general, in all ages. I refer to this, not to say that their explanation is authoritative, but to show that it is the natural and obvious meaning; and because, as we shall see, it is what has given shape and form to the language of the New Testament, and is fully sanctioned there. Thus, in the ancient book of Zohar it is said, "In the times of the Messiah, Israel shall be one people to the Lord, and he shall make them one nation in the earth, and they shall rule above and below; as it is written, "Behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven;" this is the King Messiah, of whom it is written, And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, etc." So in the Talmud, and so the majority of the ancient Jewish rabbis. See Gill, Com. in loc. It is true that this interpretation has not been uniform among the Jewish rabbis, but still it has prevailed among them, as it has among Christian interpreters.

(c) A sanction seems to be given to this interpretation by the adoption of the title "Son of man" by the Lord Jesus, as that by which he chose to designate himself. That title was such as would constantly suggest this place in Daniel as referring to himself, and especially as he connected with it the declaration that "the Son of man would come in the clouds of heaven, etc." It was hardly possible that he should use the title in such a connection without suggesting this place in Daniel, or without leaving the impression on the minds of his hearers that he meant to be understood as applying this to himself.

(d) It may be added, that it cannot with propriety be applied to any other. Porphyry, indeed, supposed that Judas Maccabeus was intended; Grotius that it referred to the Roman people; Aben Ezra to the people of Israel; and Cocceius to the people of the Most High (Gill); but all these are unnatural interpretations, and are contrary to what one would obtain by allowing the language of the New Testament to influence his mind. The title - so often used by the Saviour himself; the attending circumstances of the clouds of heaven; the place which the vision occupies - so immediately preceding the setting up of the kingdom of the saints; and the fact that that kingdom can be set up only under the Messiah, all point to him as the personage represented in the vision.

(3) But if it refers to the Messiah, the next inquiry is, What is to be regarded as the proper fulfillment of the vision? To what precisely does it relate? Are we to suppose that there will be a literal appearing of the Son of man - the Messiah - in the clouds of heaven, and a passing over of the kingdom in a public and solemn manner into the hands of the saints? In reply to these questions, it may be remarked

(a) that this cannot be understood as relating to the last judgment, for it is not introduced with reference to at all. The "Son of man" is not here represented as coming with a view to judge the world at the winding-up of human affairs, but for the purpose of setting up a kingdom, or procuring a kingdom for his saints. There is no assembling of the people of the world together; no act of judging the righteous and the wicked; no pronouncing of a sentence on either. It is evident that the world is to continue much longer under the dominion of the saints.

(b) It is not to be taken literally; that is, we are not, from this passage, to expect a literal appearance of the of man in the clouds of heaven, preparatory to the setting up of the kingdom of the saints. For if one portion is to be taken literally, there is no reason why all should not be. Then we are to expect, not merely the appearing of the Son of man in the clouds, but also the following things, as a part of the fulfillment of the vision, to wit: the literal placing of a throne, or seat; the literal streaming forth of flame from his throne; the literal appearing of the "Ancient of days," with a garment of white, and hair as wool; a literal approach of the Son of man to him as seated on his throne to ask of him a kingdom, etc. But no one can believe that all this is to occur; no one does believe that it will.

(c) The proper interpretation is to regard this, as it was seen by Daniel, as a vision - a representation of a state of things in the world as if what is here described would occur. That is, great events were to take place, of which this would be a proper symbolic representation - or as if the Son of man, the Messiah, would thus appear; would approach the "Ancient of days;" would receive a kingdom, and would make it over to the saints. Now, there is no real difficulty in understanding what is here meant to be taught, and what we are to expect; and these points of fact are the following, namely,:


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. One like the Son of man; that is, the Messiah: this is the same with the stone, Da 2; he came with the clouds of heaven, Matthew 24:30, i.e. gloriously, swiftly, and terribly, Jeremiah 4:13.

They brought him near before him: this relates to his ascension, Acts 1:9-11, at which time, though King before, Matthew 2:2, yet now, and not before, he seems to receive his royal investiture for the protection of his church and the curbing of their enemies, which he says he had before, Matthew 28:18 1 Corinthians 15:25 Daniel 2:44.

I saw in the night visions,.... Very probably the same night in which he had the dream and vision of the four beasts; but this that follows, being a new object presented, is introduced and prefaced after this manner; as well as, being something wonderful and worthy of attention, has a "behold" prefixed to it:

and, behold one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven; not Judas Maccabaeus, as Porphyry; nor the Roman people, as Grotius; nor the people of Israel, as Aben Ezra; nor the people of the saints of the most High, as Cocceius; but the Messiah, as most Christian interpreters, and even the Jews themselves, both ancient and modern, allow. In the ancient book of Zohar (u) it is said,

"in the times of the Messiah, Israel shall be one people, to the Lord, and he shall make them one nation in the earth, and they shall rule above and below; as it is written, "behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven"; this is the King Messiah of whom it is written, "and in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven, set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed", &c. Daniel 2:44''

So in the Talmud (w) this prophecy is thus reconciled with another, concerning the Messiah, in Zechariah 9:9, to what R. Alexander said, R. Joshua ben Levi objects what is written,

and, behold, one like to the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven; and it is written, "poor, and riding upon an ass": which is thus adjusted,

"if they (the Israelites) are worthy, he (the Messiah) comes with the clouds of heaven; but if they are not worthy, he comes poor, and riding on an ass;''

and so it is interpreted in their ancient Midrashes (x), or expositions, as well us in more modern ones: Jarchi on the text says,

"he is the Messiah;''

and so R. Saadiah Gaon and Jacchiades, this is Messiah our righteousness; and Aben Ezra observes, that this is the sense R. Jeshua gives, "that one like to the Son of man" is the Messiah; and he adds, it is right, only along with him must be joined the holy people, who are the Israelites: and, with the Jews, Anani, which signifies "clouds", is the name of the Messiah, founded upon this text, in the Targum of 1 Chronicles 3:24, where mention is made of the name of a person, Anani, it is added,

"who is the Messiah that is to be revealed;''

so in an ancient book called Tanchuma (y), speaking of Zerubbabel, it is asked, from whence did he spring? it is answered from David, as it is said, 1 Chronicles 3:10 "and Solomon's son was Rehoboam", &c.; and so all in the line are mentioned unto Anani, Daniel 7:24 and then it is asked, who is this Anani? this is the Messiah, as it is said, Daniel 7:13,

and I saw in the visions of the night, and, behold, one like to the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven. He is said to be "as", or "like the Son of man", in agreement with the style of these visions, Daniel 7:4, or because as yet he was not really incarnate, only appeared in a human form; or this as is not a note of similitude, but of truth and reality, as in John 1:14 or because he was more than a man: and his coming with the clouds of heaven denotes the majesty, visibility, and swiftness, with which he came to take open possession of his kingdom and glory. Saadiah interprets them of the angels of heaven, with which he will be attended:

and came to the Ancient of days; his divine Father, from whom, as man and Mediator, he receives his mediatorial kingdom, is invested with it, and insisted it, to it; see Revelation 5:7 this is not to be understood of his first coming in the flesh, which was from his Father, and not to him; nor of his ascension to heaven, exaltation and session at the right hand of God, when he indeed received the kingdom from the Father, and was made and declared Lord and Christ; but this seems to respect what shall be upon the destruction of the fourth beast, when Christ shall receive and take to himself his great power, and reign, and more visibly appear by his Father's designation and appointment, and his open glory, to be King and Lord over all:

and they brought him near before him; not Elijah the prophet, as Jacchindes; rather the angels, as others; or the saints by their prayers, who hasten to, and hasten thereby, the coming and kingdom of Christ in a more spiritual and glorious manner; or it may be rendered impersonally,


I saw in the night visions, and, behold, {a} one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and {b} came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

(a) Which is meant of Christ, who had not yet taken upon him man's nature, neither was he yet the son of David according to the flesh, as he was afterward: but he appeared then in a figure, and that in the clouds, that is, being separated from the common sort of men by manifest signs of his divinity.

(b) That is, when he ascended into the heavens, and his divine majesty appeared, and all power was given to him, in respect that he was our mediator.

13. and behold there appeared coming with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man] lit. there was coming, &c., the graphic partic. with the finite verb, which is so frequent in Daniel (Theod. LXX. καὶ ἰδοὺ μετὰ [LXX. ἐπὶ] τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ὡς υἱὸς ἀνθρώπου ἐρχόμενος [LXX. ἤρχετο]): though in English ‘was coming’ is too weak to express its force adequately. The rendering of A.V., ‘the Son of man,’ is quite untenable: the expression of the original is indefinite, and denotes simply, in poetical language (cf. Numbers 23:19; Psalm 80:17; Isaiah 51:12; Isaiah 56:2), a figure in human form (comp. Revelation 1:13; Revelation 14:14, R.V.). What the figure is intended to represent can be properly determined only after the explanation in Daniel 7:16 ff. has been considered (see p. 102 ff.). If the terms of Daniel 7:18; Daniel 7:22 b, 27 are to be taken as deciding the question, it would seem that it must describe the ideal and glorified people of Israel.

with the clouds of heaven] in superhuman majesty and state. The passage is the source of the expression in Mark 14:62 (Matthew 26:64 ‘on’); Revelation 1:7, ‘behold, he cometh with the clouds:’ cf. Matthew 24:30 (‘on’) = Mark 13:26 (‘in’) = Luke 21:27 (‘in’); and Revelation 14:14 (‘one sitting on a cloud, like unto a son of man’), 15, 16.

and he came even to the ancient of days] see on Daniel 7:9.

and they brought him near] The subject might be angelic beings; or, which is probably better, it may be indefinite, like the ‘they’ of Daniel 7:5; Daniel 7:12, i.e. and he was brought near (see on Daniel 4:25).

Additional Note on the expression ‘one like unto a son of man’ in Daniel 7:13

The question what this expression in Daniel 7:13 denotes has been much disputed. On the one hand, the current interpretation has, no doubt, been that it denotes the Messiah; on the other hand, there are strong reasons, derived from the text of Daniel itself, for holding that it denotes the glorified and ideal people of Israel.

1. The meaning of the expression[297]. In Hebrew, ‘sons of man’ (or ‘of men’—אדם being a collective term) is a common expression for mankind in general (Psalm 11:4; Psalm 12:1; Psalm 12:8; Psalm 14:2 &c.): the sing. ‘son of man’ also occurs (a) in the address to Ezekiel (בן אדם), Ezekiel 2:1; Ezekiel 2:3; Ezekiel 3:1; Ezekiel 3:3 and more than 90 times besides (so also Daniel 8:17); (b) poetically, here and there, usually in parallelism with איש or אנוש, as Numbers 23:19; Isaiah 51:12; Isaiah 56:2; Jeremiah 49:18 (= 7:33 = Jeremiah 50:40 = (nearly) Jeremiah 51:43); Psalm 8:4; Psalm 80:17; Psalm 146:3 ("" נדיבים ‘nobles’); Job 16:21 ("" גבר)[298], Job 25:6, Job 35:8; cf. Psalm 144:3 בן־אנוש ("" אדם).

[297] Cf. Dalman, Die Worte Jesu, p. 191.

[298] But read here probably וּבֵן אָדָם (‘and between a man,’ &c.).

In Aramaic, bar ’ěnâsh (or, contracted, bar-nâsh) is common in some dialects (but not in others) in prose (and not merely in poetry) in the ordinary sense of man. It does not occur in this sense elsewhere in Bibl. Aramaic, or in the Targum of Onkelos, or in the Targum on the Prophets (except in Isaiah 56:12; Jeremiah 49:18; Jeremiah 49:33; Jeremiah 50:40; Jeremiah 51:43; Micah 5:6 [Heb. בני אדם], where it is suggested directly by the Hebrew): but it is frequent in the somewhat different dialects of the Targums on the Hagiographa (about 7 cent. a.d.)[299], the Palestinian Targums on the Pent.[300], the Palestinian Talmud (3–4 cent. a.d.), the Palestinian Evangeliarium (about 5 cent. a.d.)[301], and Syriac[302].

[299] E.g. Psalm 8:5 (twice), Psalm 56:12, Psa. 60:13, Psalm 115:4, Psalm 118:6; Psalm 118:8, Psalm 119:134.

[300] E.g. Lev. 4:2, 5:1, 2, 4, 21, 7:21, 17:4, 9, 19:8 in the Targ. of ‘Pseudo-Jonathan.’

[301] In both, for instance, often in the expression חד ברנש ‘a certain man’ (did so and so). Numerous examples are quoted by Lietzmann, Der Menschensohn (1896), pp. 32 ff.

[302] E.g. Exodus 13:13; Exodus 13:15 : Leviticus 18:5; Matthew 4:4; Matthew 12:12; Matthew 12:43, &c.

On the strength of the poetical usage in Heb., and the usage which prevailed, at least in later times, in Aramaic, it may be said that ‘son of man’ in Daniel 7:13 does not substantially denote more than a ‘man,’ though it is[303] a choice, semi-poetical expression for the idea. It is, however, a man, as opposed to a brute, humane as well as human—perhaps, also, as Dalman urges (pp. 198 f., 217 f.), only a man, in himself frail and helpless, powerless by his own might to conquer the world, and destined, if he is to become ruler of the world, to ‘receive’ his kingdom at the hands of God.

[303] At least, this is an inference suggested by the fact that the expression does not occur elsewhere in Dan. for ‘man.’

2. The interpretation of the expression. In the Book of Daniel itself there is nothing which lends support to the Messianic interpretation. In the explanation of the vision which follows (Daniel 7:15 ff.) the place occupied by the ‘one like unto a son of man’ is taken, not by the Messiah, but by the ideal people of God: in Daniel 7:14 the ‘one like unto a son of man’ appears when the dominion of the four beasts, and the persecution of the ‘little horn,’ are both over, and receives a universal kingdom which shall never pass away; and in Daniel 7:18; Daniel 7:22; Daniel 7:27, when the dominion of the four kingdoms corresponding to the four beasts is at an end, and the persecution of the king corresponding to the ‘little horn’ has ceased, the ‘saints of the Most High,’ or (Daniel 7:27) the ‘people of the saints of the Most High,’ receive similarly a universal kingdom (Daniel 7:27), and possess it for ever and ever (Daniel 7:18). The parallelism between the vision and the interpretation is complete: the time is the same, the promise of perpetual and universal dominion is the same: and hence a strong presumption arises that the subject is also the same, and that the ‘one like unto a son of man’ in Daniel 7:13 corresponds to, and represents, the ‘saints of the Most High’ of Daniel 7:18, and the ‘people of the saints of the Most High’ of Verse 13. - I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. The version of the Septuagint is different in the last two clauses of this verse, "As the Ancient of days he came, and those standing around were present to him." Although the reading here is supported by Paulus Tellensis, we suspect some error of copyists. Theodotion practically agrees with the Massoretic. The Peshitta renders the last clause, "Those standing before him approached him." These earthly kingdoms having been destroyed, the new kingdom of God is ushered in. "A son of man" (not "the Son of man," as in our Authorized Version) appears in the clouds of heaven. It is a question whether this is the King of the Divine kingdom, the personal Messiah, or the kingdom itself personified. It is agreed that, as the previous kingdoms were represented by a beast, a man would be necessary symmetrically to represent at once the fact that it is an empire as those were, but unlike them in being of a higher class, as man is higher than the beasts. Further, it is brought in line with the image-vision of the second chapter, where the stone cut out of the mountain destroys the image. But we must beware of applying mere logic to apocalyptic. In this vision we see that "a man's heart" really meant weakness as compared with the courage and strength represented by the lion. Further, the point of distinction between this vision and that of Nebuchadnezzar is that this is more dynastic, looking at the monarchs, while the other looks at the powers - the empires as distinct from their personal rulers. Hence, while the Son of man here refers to the Messianic kingdom, it is in the Person of its King. It is to be observed that, while the beasts came up out of the sea, the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven. This indicates the Divine origin of the Messiah. That the writer might not apprehend this is no argument against this being really symbolized. When he comes to the throne of the Ancient of days, he is accompanied to the presence of the Judge by the attendant angels - a scene which might seem to justify the LXX. Version of Deuteronomy 32:43 as applied by the writer of the Hebrews. Daniel 7:13The giving of the kingdom to the Son of Man. - The judgment does not come to an end with the destruction of the world-power in its various embodiments. That is only its first act, which is immediately followed by the second, the erection of the kingdom of God by the Son of man. This act is introduced by the repetition of the formula, I saw in the night-visions (Daniel 7:7 and Daniel 7:2). (One) like a son of man came in the clouds of heaven. ענני עם, with the clouds, i.e., in connection with them, in or on them as the case may be, surrounded by clouds; cf. Revelation 1:7, Mark 13:26, Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:64. He who comes is not named, but is only described according to his appearance like a son of man, i.e., resembling a man (אנשׁ בּר as אדם בן equals אנושׁ or אדם). That this was a man is not implied in these words, but only that he was like a man, and not like a beast or some other creature. Now, as the beasts signify not beasts but kingdoms, so that which appeared in the form of a man may signify something else than a human individuum. Following the example of Aben Ezra, Paulus, and Wegscheider, Hofmann (Schriftbew. ii. 1. 80, and 2, p. 582f.), Hitzig, Weisse, Volkmar, Fries (Jahrbb.f. D. Theol. iv. p. 261), Baxmann, and Herzfeld (Gesch. des V. Isr. ii. p. 381) interpret this appearance in the form of a man not of the Messiah, as the Jewish and Christian interpreters in general do, but of the people of Israel, and adduce in support of this view the fact that, in the explanation of the vision, Daniel 7:27, cf. Daniel 7:24, the kingdom, the dominion, and the power, which according to Daniel 7:14 the son of man received, was given to the people of the saints of the Most High. But Daniel 7:27 affords no valid support to this supposition, for the angel there gives forth his declaration regarding the everlasting kingdom of God, not in the form of an interpretation of Daniel's vision, as in the case of the four beasts in Daniel 7:17 and Daniel 7:23, but he only says that, after the destruction of the horn and its dominion, the kingdom and the power will be given to the people of the saints, because he had before (Daniel 7:26, cf. 22) spoken of the blasphemies of the horn against God, and of its war against the saints of the Most High. But the delivering of the kingdom to the people of God does not, according to the prophetic mode of contemplation, exclude the Messiah as its king, but much rather includes Him, inasmuch as Daniel, like the other prophets, knows nothing of a kingdom without a head, a Messianic kingdom without the King Messiah. But when Hofmann further remarks, that "somewhere it must be seen that by that appearance in the form of a man is meant not the holy congregation of Israel, but an individual, a fifth king, the Messiah," Auberlen and Kranichfeld have, with reference to this, shown that, according to Daniel 7:21, the saints appear in their multiplicity engaged in war when the person who comes in the clouds becomes visible, and thus that the difference between the saints and that person is distinctly manifest. Hence it appears that the "coming with the clouds of heaven" can only be applied to the congregation of Israel, if we agree with Hofmann in the opinion that he who appeared was not carried by the clouds of heaven down to the earth, but from the earth up to heaven, in order that he might there receive the kingdom and the dominion. But this opinion is contradicted by all that the Scriptures teach regarding this matter. In this very chapter before us there is no expression or any intimation whatever that the judgment is held in heaven. No place is named. It is only said that judgment was held over the power of the fourth beast, which came to a head in the horn speaking blasphemies, and that the beast was slain and his body burned. If he who appears as a son of man with the clouds of heaven comes before the Ancient of days executing the judgment on the earth, it is manifest that he could only come from heaven to earth. If the reverse is to be understood, then it ought to have been so expressed, since the coming with the clouds of heaven in opposition to the rising up of the beasts out of the sea very distinctly indicates a coming down from heaven. The clouds are the veil or the "chariot" on which God comes from heaven to execute judgment against His enemies; cf. Psalm 18:10., Psalm 97:2-4; Psalm 104:3, Isaiah 19:1; Nahum 1:3. This passage forms the foundation for the declaration of Christ regarding His future coming, which is described after Daniel 7:13 as a coming of the Son of man with, in, on the clouds of heaven; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:64; Mark 18:26; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 14:14. Against this, Hofmann, in behalf of his explanation, can only adduce 1 Thessalonians 4:17, in total disregard of the preceding context, Daniel 7:16.

(Note: The force of these considerations is also recognised by Hitzig. Since the people of the saints cannot come from heaven, he resorts to the expedient that the Son of man is a "figure for the concrete whole, the kingdom, the saints - this kingdom comes down from heaven." The difficulties of such an idea are very obvious. Fries appears to be of opinion, with Hofmann, that there is an ascension to heaven of the people of the saints; for to him "clear evidence" that the "Son of man" is the people of Israel lies especially in the words, "and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before Him," which necessitates the adoption of the opposite terminus a quo from Matthew 24:30; Mark 14:62; Revelation 1:7; and hence makes the direct parallelism of Daniel 7:13 with the passages named impossible (?).)

With all other interpreters, we must accordingly firmly maintain that he who appears with the clouds of heaven comes from heaven to earth and is a personal existence, and is brought before God, who judges the world, that he may receive dominion, majesty, and a kingdom. But in the words "as a man" it is not meant that he was only a man. He that comes with the clouds of heaven may, as Kranichfeld rightly observes, "be regarded, according to current representations, as the God of Israel coming on the clouds, while yet he who appears takes the outward from of a man." The comparison (כ, as a man) proves accordingly much more, that this heavenly or divine being was in human form. This "Son of man" came near to the Ancient of days, as God appears in the vision of the judgment, Daniel 7:9, and was placed before Him. The subject to הקרבוּהי is undefined; Kran. thinks that it is the clouds just mentioned, others think it is the ministering angels. Analogous passages may be adduced in support of both views: for the first, the νεφέλη ὑπέλαβεν αὐτόν in Acts 1:9; but the parallel passages with intransitive verbs speak more in favour of the impersonal translation, "they brought him" equals he was brought. The words, "dominion, and glory, and a kingdom were given to him," remind us of the expression used of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel 2:37., but they are elevated by the description following to the conception of the everlasting dominion of God. God gave to Nebuchadnezzar, the founder and first bearer of the world-power, a kingdom, and might, and majesty, and dominion over all the inhabitants of the earth, men, and beasts, and birds, that he might govern all nations, and tribes, and tongues (Daniel 5:18-19), but not indeed in such a manner as that all nations and tribes should render him religious homage, nor was his dominion one of everlasting duration. These two things belong only to the kingdom of God. פּלח is used in biblical Chaldee only of the service and homage due to God; cf. Daniel 7:27; Daniel 3:12-13, Daniel 3:17., Ezra 7:19, Ezra 7:24. Thus it indicates here also the religious service, the reverence which belong to God, though in the Targg. it corresponds with the Heb. עבד in all its meanings, colere Deum, terram, laborare. Regarding the expression "nations, tribes, and tongues," see under Daniel 7:3, Daniel 7:4. The eternity of the duration of the dominion is in this book the constant predicate of the kingdom of God and His Anointed, the Messiah; cf. Daniel 3:33; Daniel 4:31; Daniel 2:44. For further remarks regarding the Son of man, see at the close of this chapter.

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