Daniel 7-9 Ancient of Days, the son of man and the saints of the Most High

From Daniel 7-9

Daniel Lions denDaniel now experiences a series of visions. The first is quite interesting. Daniel in his vision describes four beasts. Who is the ‘Son of Man’ coming on the clouds?

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

We will learn who or what they are later, but for now the important part of Daniel’s vision is;

9 “As I looked,

thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; 

his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool;

his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire.

10 A stream of fire issued and came out from before him;

a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him;

the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. (Da 7.9-10)

I’m going to ask questions and give answers regarding who the figures in these visions are. Who is the ‘Ancient of Days’? He seems quite important having ‘ten thousand times ten thousand’ standing before him. I assume the ‘Ancient of Days’ is God, the LORD of heaven and earth.

13 “I saw in the night visions,

and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man,

and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.

14 And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, 

that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; 

his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. (Da 7.13-14)

Now Daniels vision progresses and describes one who comes with the clouds of heaven. Who is the one like a ‘son of man’ who comes to the ‘Ancient of Days’? To the one ‘like a son of man’ is given an everlasting dominion. He seems quite important.

Daniel has his vision interpreted.

15 “As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me. I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things. ‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. (Da 7.15-17)

Here are the four beasts, they represent four kings of four kingdoms. We have been reading a bit about a succession of kingdoms in Daniel. The interpretation continues.

18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’ (Da 7.18)

So this is who the ‘one like a son of man’ is. This single person represents, according to the interpretation Daniel is given, the ‘saints of the Most High’. The ‘son of man’ = ‘saints of the Most High’ because it is the ‘saints of the Most High’ who receive and possess the Kingdom forever. Daniel continues.

“Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet, and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions. (Da 7.19-20)

Daniel wants to learn more about the fourth beast. Because of the following;

21 As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom. (Da 7.21-22)

The last beast made war with the saints (son of man) and prevailed, but then the Ancient of Days (the LORD) came and judged in favour of the saints, resulting in the saints possessing the Kingdom.

Story of Israel

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

It was quite easy for the Jewish people to believe this is what would happen to them. They believed of themselves that they were the saints of the Most High. But things never really worked out this way for them. The Kingdom of God never really fell into their hands.

Story of Jesus

It wasn’t until Jesus came that we see this vision of Daniel quoted again. Jesus has been brought into the Jewish court for questioning. They want to find an excuse to kill him. Jesus says;

60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”

And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. (Mk 14.60-64)

The deep irony here is that the Christ represents the all the saints of the Most High. They wrongly believed they were the saints and did not believe Jesus was the Christ, who represents and stands in for all the saints.

In doing so they delivered Jesus up to be crucified = made war with the saints (Christ) and prevailed.

But then God raised Jesus from the dead = Judgement was given for the saints (Christ), and Jesus inaugurated his kingdom and his saints now enter = saints given possession of the everlasting kingdom.

Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2015. All Rights Reserved.