The KJV seems to suggest that judgment was committed to the saints so that they became the judges:

KJV Daniel 7:22 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.

However, it appears that most other English translation see it as a "ruling in the favor of" the saints:

New International Version until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.

New Living Translation until the Ancient One--the Most High--came and judged in favor of his holy people. Then the time arrived for the holy people to take over the kingdom.

English Standard Version 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.

New American Standard Bible until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.

I note that even the ESV goes with the idea of "ruled in the favor of".

The Lexham English Septuagint also has "rendered":

LES This continued until the ancient of days came and rendered judgment for the saints of the most high. And the appointed time arrived and the saints possessed the kingdom.

The NET Bible notes have this to say:

50 tc In the LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate the verb is active, understanding “judgment” to be the object rather than the subject of the verb (i.e., “the Ancient of Days rendered judgment”). This presupposes a different vocalization of the verb (יְהַב [yéhav] rather than the MT יְהִב [yéhiv]).

Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Da 7:22). Biblical Studies Press.

Does the KJV get this one wrong?

See related: In 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 why does Paul seem to expect the Corinthians to know that they will judge angels?

  • 1
    As far as the Aramaic, I suspect it has to do with the interpretation of a single lamed, "-לְ the saints". Judgement rendered for the saints (applied to their case) or for the saints (in their favour)? Incidentally, I don't see the KJV as incompatible with either reading. May 23, 2018 at 14:46
  • Is there any ambiguity as which it is?
    – Ruminator
    May 23, 2018 at 17:19
  • Not sure about the Aramaic nuances. In Hebrew I think it would be ambiguous (taken without context, anyway). May 23, 2018 at 17:56
  • I agree with Luke Sawczak. If there is ambiguity in the original text then it should be preserved in English, which the KJV has done. A footnote giving the options would be helpful. Regardless of how one interprets verse 22, verse 27 makes it abundantly clear the saints are given dominion of the kingdom: "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". Dominion, of course, means they get to call the shots, i.e. exercise judgment.
    – enegue
    May 23, 2018 at 22:36
  • Well, post it as an answer and we'll see if the Hebrew people shoot it down. If not, we have a winner!
    – Ruminator
    May 23, 2018 at 22:50

2 Answers 2


Any ambiguity that may be present in Daniel 7:22, can be resolved by considering this: the judgment of the LORD "rendered in favor of" the saints, is that judgment "be committed" to the saints.

This is precisely what Daniel says at the conclusion to the chapter.

26But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27And 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 7:26-27 (KJV)

"the judgment shall sit", i.e. that dominion be taken from the horn who made war with the saints, and be given to the saints. Dominion (שָׁלְטָן Strong's H7985 - sholtan (Aramaic)) concerns sovereignty -- the responsibility of government, which means judgment of "the kingdom under the whole heaven" will be committed to the saints.

  • Thanks. You might want to answer my question about judging angels as well!
    – Ruminator
    May 24, 2018 at 0:02

There is a Judgment going on now in heaven. God, the Father, is the presiding Judge in this text.

The saints are all the righteous people of all ages. It is a Judgment not to eliminate people from God's coming Kingdom, but to include all those who cling to the Lord and Saviour.

So, the good news about this Judgement is that all who cling to the Saviour will have a victory over sin. Satan, and over death!

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