The Enthronement of Christ
Daniel 7:13, 14
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…

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man (ver. 13). Either after, or more probably in connection with, the destruction of the fourth world-power, universal empire was given to Christ - the Messiah of Hebrew expectation. We assume, for the present, that it is he who is described in the next paragraph. That the assumption is well-founded will immediately appear.

I. THE KING. We read ver. 13 thus: "I continued looking in the visions of the night, and behold I with the clouds of heaven like unto a Son of man was advancing, and to the Ancient of days to come, and before him they caused him to approach."

1. The Personage was Divine. Advancing, girt with clouds, marks the Divine. Clouds hide the glory behind and beyond. They symbolize the veil that dims the glory of God. Many are the scriptural passages to illustrate. Select a few, and we shall see how the same idea starts up in successive ages of the Church (Exodus 13:21; Exodus 14:24). If these describe the action of the Angel-God, they are all the more pertinent as illustrations of this passage in Daniel (Exodus 16:10; Exodus 40:34; Leviticus 16:2; 2 Chronicles 5:13, 14; Psalm 97:2). Christ takes up these representations, and applies them to himself (Matthew 26:64). (In this last passage, note "the Son of maul" so again in Matthew 25:31.) Similar, though not identical, is the imagery of 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 1:7. Holy Scripture is consistent in applying such descriptions only to God, and to God in Christ. See the charge against one enemy of the Church in olden time (Isaiah 14:13, 14). These intimations of the Divine in Christ of the Old Testament are like the grey that precedes the dawn. If Daniel anticipated that the Messianic Deliverer would be one of the race, it is clear, and will be clearer, that he had a glimpse of the truth that he would be Divine.

2. The personage was also human. "A Son of man." The phrase is used in the Old Testament:

(1) For man simply (Numbers 23:19).

(2) To remind the gifted and inspired of their oneness with the race. So eighty times in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 3:10, 11, 17, et passim). So here the advancing one was partaker of the infirmity (innocent) of the race. With "clouds," the engirdlement of the Divine, he might come; so also like "a Son of man." Of none other can this double affirmation be made - of none save the Lord Jesus. That the phrase here denotes the Messiah is clear:

(1) From a general consensus of rabbinical opinion.

(2) From the Lord's own assumption of the name. Christ calls himself "the Son of man," though others call him "the Son of God." What is its significance? Answering, we do not limit ourselves to Daniel's standpoint.

(1) The Christ was to be of the human race. The humanity is Christologically as important as the Divinity, and each is indispensable to the mediatorial office. See the Athanasian Creed, "For the right faith... rose again the third day from the dead."

(2) In the name is an intimation of the universality of the Saviour's mission. An implied protest against Jewish exclusiveness. "Son of David points to the throne of Israel. Christ's right to it, albeit the sway spiritual. Son of man to his relation to the race; Son of God" to his relation to the Eternal.

(3) Of world-wide dominion. "The Son of man" was to be no ordinary mortal, but King of the race, and King for the race (romp. Psalm 8:4 8 with Hebrews 2:5-9). (A most impressive missionary sermon might be preached from the words, "Now we see not yet all things put under him [man]; but we see Jesus!" i.e. on the way surely to universal empire.) [Note in this connection the wide horizon of Daniel's prophetic vision. It is no longer merely Israel, but the whole world, that is in view. In keeping with the prophet's historical position. His watch-tower is no longer Jerusalem, but Babylon. His look is across the Assyrian plain, at the great world-powers, their developments in relation to the everlasting rule.


1. The King came from the heavenly world. Out of it, and down from it. He "came with the clouds of heaven." This empire is not like those that arose out of "the sea," from the turbulences of men.

2. He received the kingdom from the Eternal. Abundant illustration will be found in Matthew 28:18; John 3:35; John 13:3; John 5:22; John 17:2; 1 Corinthians 15:27.

3. The enthronement has no relation to the categories of time or space. We are not to suppose that at some place, at some moment, there was to be some literal fulfilment; that the Eternal under venerable form, would sit on a throne; that the Christ would come to sue for empire, etc. This is the rock on which many interpreters are wrecked. Nor is there reference to the last judgment, for then Christ himself is on the throne. Broad views, free from mere literalism, on such matters are best.

4. And yet there are the pomp and circumstance of an indefinite and multitudinous accompanying of the King "They caused him to approach." A sort of grand indefiniteness in the expression. Not alone does Jesus come to reign.


1. Supernatural in origin. "There was given him."

2. Spiritual in character. Invisible rule over souls. We speak of the empire of mind; we see in vision matter at the footstool of intellect. But what shall we say of the empire of religion, of Christianity, of Christ? Mind at the feet of Jesus, and, as a consequence, all below mind! Imaginations cast down, etc. (2 Corinthians 10:5).

3. Universal in extent. "All people," etc,

4. Everlasting. "Shall not pass away," etc. - R.

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: I saw in the night visions, and behold, there came with the clouds of the sky one like a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

Messiah's Kingdom
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