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In Daniel 7:13-18, he asks the angel for the interpretation of the vision he just saw involving the son of man. The angel responds that, "the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever". Some have taken this as meaning that the angel is identifying the son of man as merely a figure representing the people of Israel, though the majority of interpretations I've read see this as the son of man being an individual king representing the people of Israel who receive the kingdom through him, which would fit with each beast representing a king who represents his own nation. I was wondering if anyone could show with a good degree of certainty which interpretation is most likely and whether anyone knows of any resources that address this?

Edit: To try to make my question more clear, v. 13-14 describe the son of man receiving the kingdom, after describing the 4 beasts, then in verse 16, Daniel asks for the interpretation of the vision, where the angel responds that each beast represents a king (v. 17) and then says that the "saint of the Most High receive the kingdom" (18). So because the "son of man" receives the kingdom and then the angel gives the interpretation as "the saints of the Most High receive the kingdom", some have taken it to mean the son of man is merely allegorical for Israel.

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  • Hi brandon corley, welcome! Can you include the exact verses you're referring to? Feb 16 at 8:12
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    Sure, v. 13-14 describe the son of man receiving the kingdom, after describing the 4 beasts, then in verse 16, Daniel asks for the interpretation of the vision, where the angel responds that each beast represents a king (v. 17) and then says that the "saint of the Most High receive the kingdom" (18). So because the "son of man" receives the kingdom and then the angel gives the interpretation as "the saints of the Most High receive the kingdom", some have taken it to mean the son of man is merely allegorical for Israel. Feb 17 at 0:48
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That is an interpretation novel to me; however, Meyer appears to lend weight to this view. The usual understanding of this prophecy of Dan 7 is that it clearly Messianic as interpreted by the NT. Let us examine the elements of Dan 7:13 & 14.

In my vision in the night I continued to watch, and I saw One like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into His presence. And He was given dominion, glory, and kingship, that the people of every nation and language should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

1. "Son of Man" is a title taken up by Jesus in the NT

Ellicott comments as follows:

(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.

Similarly, Bensos says this:

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.

Barnes:

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.

See also Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary, Matthew Poole, Gill, Geneva study Bible, etc.

In the NT "Son of man" is one of Jesus' favorite tiles for Himself.

2. "Coming in the Clouds"

Jesus takes this prophecy from Daniel and applies it to Himself in Matthew 24:30, Matthew 26:64, Mark 13:26, Mark 14:62, Luke 21:27, Revelation 1:13, and Revelation 14:14.

3. "given dominion, glory, and kingship, that the people of every nation and language should serve Him."

Again, this is the language of the NT and the eternal kingdom of Heaven whose king is none other than Messiah Himself. See Luke 1:33, John 1:49, Acts 13:23, Rev 11:15, Matt 3:2, 4:17, 23, 5:3, 10, 19, etc.

4. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

The eternal kingdom of Heaven ruled by Messiah as king is an eternal kingdom -

  • Rev 11:15 - “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.”
  • Acts 10:36 - Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.
  • Rev 17:14 - They will make war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will triumph over them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and He will be accompanied by His called and chosen and faithful ones.”
  • Rev 19:16 - And He has a name written on His robe and on His thigh: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

CONCLUSION

Thus, Dan 7:13, 14 is a prophecy about the inauguration of the Kingdom of heaven and Jesus, as Messiah, taking His throne as king to rule over the saints for ever and ever.

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