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Old 02-25-2017, 06:30 PM
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Esaias Esaias is offline
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The Son of Man

The Identity of the Son of Man in Daniel 7



Daniel 7 begins with a vision of several beasts. then we reach the following section:

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
(Daniel 7:9-12 KJV)

So this is a judgment scene, an eschatological vision of the divine Judgment against Israel's enemies by God.

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. 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.
(Daniel 7:13-14 KJV)

Next, he sees a man coming in the clouds of heaven, and being brought near the Ancient of Days. He receives the dominion, glory, and an everlasting universal kingdom.

I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
(Daniel 7:15-16 KJV)

So now we get to see the interpretation of the vision, not only of the beasts, but of the 'son of man' figure.

These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
(Daniel 7:17-18 KJV)

The four beasts are identified as four kings, a metonymy for four kingdoms. The son of man figure is identified as 'the saints of the Most High'. Just as in the vision the son of man receives the kingdom for ever, in the interpretation the saints of God take the kingdom and possess it for ever.

Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
(Daniel 7:19-22 KJV)

Again, Daniel identifies, second time, the son of man figure in verse 13-14 with the the saints of the Most high. Judgment is given to the people of God, and they possess the kingdom.

Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
(Daniel 7:23-27 KJV)

Again, the divinely provided interpretation is given that the son of man figure is a representation of the 'people of the saints of the Most high', ie the people of God. The dominion, the kingdom, and the 'greatness' (the glory) of the kingdom is given to them, as it was to the son of man figure in verses 13-14.

The conclusion then is that in Daniel 7, the 'one like unto the son of man' is a symbol of the saints of God. His appearance represents the eschatological victory of God's people over their enemies, including the fourth beast and the little horn. There is no hint here of any personal, individual son of man character, let alone a divinely pre-existing heavenly being known as 'the son of man'.

What is interesting, is that while Jesus makes numerous references to himself as 'the son of man' in the sense of 'me, a man', He does make a few references to himself as 'the son of man' in a manner that directly invokes Daniel 7 (Matthew 10:23, 13:41, 16:27-28, 19:28, 24:27,30,37,39,44, 25:13, 31, 26:64; Mark 8:38, 13:26, 14:62; Luke 9:26, 12:8(?),40, 17:22,24,40(?), 21:27,36, 22:69; John 1:51(?), 3:13(?), 5:27(?). note: the references in John's gospel are difficult: they seem to refer to an eschatological judgment role of the 'son of man' but there are obvious introductions of ideas not present in Daniel).

This seems to indicate several things:

First, Jesus referred to Himself as 'son of man' as an idiomatic expression meaning 'me or I, a man'. However, He used the third person to speak of Himself this way. Which leads to the next point,

Second, He introduces the ideas in Daniel 7 pertaining to the one like unto the son of man and applies them to Himself, thus indicating He claimed to be involved in fulfilling the same role the son of man figure does in Daniel. that is, He saw Himself as coming in judgment, with the clouds of heaven, to be situated 'at the right hand of power' near the Ancient of Days, to defeat all enemies, to receive an everlasting kingdom and dominion, etc.

Third, in the synoptics we are limited to a son of man motif that is restricted to an eschatological, post resurrection and post ascension victory. But in John we have an added concept of 'pre-existence in heaven'. In John, Christ speaks of the son of man having descended from heaven, and re-ascending to heaven 'where He was before'. This clearly indicates a development of thought or at least of emphasis. The Synoptics were concerned with presenting Jesus as the son of man who is coming in eschatological judgment and glory. John is concerned with presenting Jesus as the son of man who had some kind of divine origin, who descended to earth and ascended back to heaven, who gives eternal life. It is generally recognised that John's gospel was written toward the latter end of the of the first century, and represents a fuller development of Christology and of Christ's doctrines than the Synoptics. So John is interested in emphasising those sayings of Christ which just so happen to directly oppose and refute the Enochian and other Jewish mystical speculations concerning heavenly intercessors/mediators/persons, which also just so happen to develop toward the latter end of the first century.
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:30 PM
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Re: The Son of Man

The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, aka the book of Revelation, also makes use of the 'son of man' phraseology.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
(Revelation 1:10-18 KJV)

Here, Christ is identified as one 'like unto the son of man' - an obvious reference to Daniel 7. But here, this son of man figure is conflated with the Ancient of Days (hair white as snow, the first and last, etc). Thus, now, in the Revelation - generally accepted as being written after the Gospel of John - we have a further development that Christ, the eschatological son of man, is identified with the Ancient of Days.

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
(Revelation 14:14-16 KJV)

Here, immediately after a pronouncement of woe upon anyone who worships the image of the beast etc, we have a vision of one like the son of man on a cloud reaping the harvest of the earth, which is immediately followed by an angel reaping the grapes of wrath. So again we have some Danielic elements here identifying the son of man with judgment, both for the saints of God and immediately leading into a gathering of the wicked for judgment against the enemies of God and His people.

So again we see a development of the son of man concept. In Daniel the son of man is the people of God. In the Gospels the son of man is Jesus, and furthermore Jesus is identified as fulfilling a similar role to the son of man/people of God in Daniel. Also, we find the later developed idea that Christ is the heavenly son of man, that is, the son of man come down from heaven, and ascended back to heaven. And finally, in the Revelation, Christ as the heavenly, ascended, and eschatological son of man is identified in some sense with YHVH/the Ancient of Days himself.

And all of that leads in to the consideration of Christ as the representative Israel, as seen here:

And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
(Matthew 2:15 KJV)

When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
(Hosea 11:1 KJV)

Israel was the son who was called out of Egypt, but this found a Christological fulfillment in Christ's own experiences. Thus, Christ is functioning as a representative of Israel. What is written concerning Israel finds it primary fulfillment in Christ, and applies to Israel by extension, that is, due to Israel's participation in Christ, their identification with Christ. So, Christ is the archetypal Israel. And thus, we can now better understand on what basis the son of man figure in Daniel - representing Israel in a collective sense - is identified with Christ in a personal sense.
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:54 PM
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Re: The Son of Man

I read posts like this and I realize how clueless I am about scripture and it makes me just want to dig deeper and more often.
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:31 PM
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Re: The Son of Man

Quote:
Originally Posted by jediwill83 View Post
I read posts like this and I realize how clueless I am about scripture and it makes me just want to dig deeper and more often.
We all start somewhere! And the longer we study, and the deeper we go, the more we see how little we really know. The Word is infinite, there is no end to growing in the grace and knowledge of God.

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Old 03-02-2017, 11:28 PM
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Re: The Son of Man

Interesting posts, hint, hint
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:59 PM
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Re: The Son of Man

Cross posting from the debate section:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esaias View Post
Well...
The Bible clearly references multiple comings of the Lord, clear back in the Old Testament. Verse 30 (of Matthew ch 24) simply says they shall see the son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven. This makes me think of 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.
(Daniel 7:13)
Here, we see the Son of Man "coming", we see the clouds of heaven, and yet He isn't coming to the earth, he is coming to the Ancient of Days. considering the language similarities between Dan 7:13 and Matthew 24:30, I'd say it's a good chance they are referring to the same thing. In which case Matthew 24:30 is not a "coming BACK" but a coming before the Ancient of Days.
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.
(Daniel 7:14)
So it looks like He was to come before the Ancient of Days to receive a kingdom. So perhaps Matthew 24:30 isn't talking about a coming "back", in apposition to His ascension, but rather it seems like it is talking about His coming into His kingdom.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:00 PM
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Re: The Son of Man

(cont.)
But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
(Matthew 26:63-64)
The word "hereafter" is apo arti, and literally means "from now":

Jesus said to him, You said it. I tell you more. From this time you shall see the Son of Man sitting off the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of the heaven. Psa. 110:1; Dan. 7:13
(Literal Version, Matthew 26:64)
What's fascinating is the Literal Version actually references Daniel 7:13 here!

Anyway, Jesus told the priests gathered against Him that from that point on they would see Jesus at the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Jesus said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven."
(Matthew 26:64 ESV)
So, from the time of His suffering and crucifixion they would see Him seated on the right hand of power and coming in/on (or with) the clouds of heaven. This does not seem to be talking about either a "second advent" or a "coming in judgment against Jerusalem" some 40 years later. This is talking about Messiah coming into His kingdom, just like Daniel 7:13 speaks about.

Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
(Matthew 16:28 KJV)
John Gill makes some interesting remarks on this verse:
till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom; which is not to be understood of his personal coming in his kingdom in the last day, when he will judge quick and dead; for it cannot be thought, that any then present should live to that time, but all tasted of death long before, as they have done; for the story of John's being alive, and to live till then, is fabulous, and grounded on a mistake which John himself has rectified at the close of his Gospel: nor of the glorious transfiguration of Christ, the account of which immediately follows; when he was seen by Peter, James, and John, persons now present; for that, at most, was but an emblem and a pledge of his future glory: rather, of the appearance of his kingdom, in greater glory and power, upon his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension to heaven; when the Spirit was poured down in an extraordinary manner, and the Gospel was preached all over the world; was confirmed by signs and wonders, and made effectual to the conversion and salvation of many souls; which many then present lived to see, and were concerned in: though it seems chiefly to have regard to his coming, to show his regal power and authority in the destruction of the Jews; when those his enemies that would not he should reign over them, were ordered to be brought and slain before him; and this the Apostle John, for one, lived to be a witness of.
Gill of course does tie in the destruction of Jerusalem to it, but it is interesting that he also saw this as largely having to do with Christ coming into His kingdom. The entire period from His death and resurrection, through His ascension, through the outpouring of the Spirit, through the propagation of the gospel, through the conversion of the gentiles, all the way to the destruction of Jerusalem, all of it appears to be the evidences of Jesus Christ "coming" into His Kingdom, having been brought before the Ancient of Days and receiving the dominion and being seated at the right hand of power.

This may shed light on the "sign of the Son of man" appearing. The sign given to that generation was His death, burial, and resurrection. Every thing that happened after His resurrection was a vindication of His Messiahship. The destruction of Jerusalem for the sin of rejecting and killing the Messiah would be final proof or evidence of that "sign of Jonah", sealing the deal so to say. After the tribulation of those days everyone would see "the sign" - that is to say, everyone would then have ample proof that the resurrection of Christ was no fable cooked up by fanatical disciples but was in fact the Truth, as the words of the Prophet of all prophets came to pass.

So then, it seems that the coming in Matthew 24 (and the other passages we just looked at) seem to have reference not to a "coming back" or a "return" but to a coming into His kingdom and power and dominion as Messiah in fulfillment of the Son of Man prophecy in Daniel.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:02 PM
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Re: The Son of Man

(cont.)

The quick version is this: Jesus ascends to the throne, receives the kingdom. The destruction of Jerusalem completes the process of transferring the kingdom from Judean priesthood to Christ. This signifies the "sign of the Son of Man", meaning that Jesus has been verified as the "son of man" of Daniel 7:13. Afterwards, the elect are gathered from the "four winds of heaven" (meaning from wherever they had been previously scattered). This is accomplished throughout the gospel period (and is on going even now, as people are still being gathered together into the new covenant ekklesia of Jesus).

Paul had to correct some who were teaching that the day of Christ was the same as the coming of the Lord before the ancient of Days. We know this because the error was they were saying the "day of Christ is at hand", yet Paul said it was not, and yet again Jesus taught His coming in the clouds/coming in His kingdom would begin during His trial (thus THAT "coming" most certainly was "at hand"). This shows there is a difference between Christ coming in the clouds of heaven to receive His kingdom, and Christ "returning" to destroy the man of sin. As previously noted, the term "coming of the Lord" and similar terms are used in the OT to refer to VARIOUS types of events, not just one singular happening. Therefore the term "coming of the Lord" is a reference to a TYPE of event and NOT to a specific occurrence of an event.

Please re-read that last sentence again, it is key to understanding what I am saying.

The gathering of the elect from the four corners of heaven has reference to the elect being called to Christ and gathered together into His ekklesia once the Judean remnant had been gathered in (which culminated in the destruction of Jerusalem - the gospel was then "freed" from being simply a sect of Judaism and could now go to all the elect). that gethering continues even today, and will culminate in the resurrection of the dead and transformation of the living saints when Christ RETURNS. That return is certainly "a coming" of the Lord, but as previously noted, "the coming of the Lord" is a term referring to a TYPE of event, not a particular event or occurrence.
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:25 PM
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Re: The Son of Man

Spam attack in 5,4,3,2.....
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:24 PM
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Re: The Son of Man

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esaias View Post
Cross posting from the debate section:



The Bible clearly references multiple comings of the Lord, clear back in the Old Testament. Verse 30 (of Matthew ch 24) simply says they shall see the son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven. This makes me think of 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.
(Daniel 7:13)
Here, we see the Son of Man "coming", we see the clouds of heaven, and yet He isn't coming to the earth, he is coming to the Ancient of Days. considering the language similarities between Dan 7:13 and Matthew 24:30, I'd say it's a good chance they are referring to the same thing. In which case Matthew 24:30 is not a "coming BACK" but a coming before the Ancient of Days.
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.
(Daniel 7:14)
So it looks like He was to come before the Ancient of Days to receive a kingdom. So perhaps Matthew 24:30 isn't talking about a coming "back", in apposition to His ascension, but rather it seems like it is talking about His coming into His kingdom.
Isn’t the “Ancient of Days” just another one of God’s titles? Like Melchizedek?
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