In Daniel 7, we have reference to a divine Son of Man figure:

““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. 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.” ‭‭Daniel‬ ‭7‬:‭13‬-‭14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Jesus himself alludes to his being the Son of Man, and Him coming on the clouds of heaven (Matt 24:30).

However, in the following verses, it speaks of the holy people of God receiving this sovereignty and power:

“And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’” ‭‭Daniel‬ ‭7‬:‭27‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Given that the power and authority goes to God’s people, does this remove the view that Jesus is the Son of Man when the power is given to the remnant?

How does a christological interpretation of the Son of Man fit in with verse 27?

4 Answers 4


Both are correct. We observe that in Dan 7 we have:

  • V13, 14 prophesies that the kingship and dominion will be given to the Son of Man
  • V27b, "His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will serve and obey Him.’

Note that a king is not a king without a kingdom. The saved, according to V27a is given to "the people, the saints of the Most High". The nV27b says that the Son of Man will rule over them.

This is a simple description of the place that the saved will occupy - rulers in the kingdom of God whose king is the Son of Man. This quite consistent with the following verses:

  • Rev 11:15 - Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and loud voices called out in heaven: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.”
  • Rev 12:10 - And I heard a loud voice in heaven saying: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ.
  • Rev 14:14-16 - And I looked and saw a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was One like the Son of Man, with a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. Then another angel came out of the temple, crying out in a loud voice to the One seated on the cloud, “Swing Your sickle and reap, because the time has come to harvest; for the crop of the earth is ripe.” So the One seated on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
  • Rev 20:4, 6 - Then I saw the thrones, and those seated on them had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image, and had not received its mark on their foreheads or hands. And they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. ... Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection! The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

The figure of the Son of the Man can be regarded as a metaphor for God's people? Perhaps this is one of the plausible interpretations, but only one of the plausible interpretations among other no less plausible ones. Even, the following verses you mention do not necessarily entail that the Son of the Man is identified with the plurality of saints of God and His people, but it is possible that this plurality has the mentioned dominion through the one and a singular person of the Son of the Man. The Lord gives to this term exactly this interpretation and regards the Son of the Man as a concrete personal spiritual being, whom He also identifies with His own Person.

Also the Isaiah 42:4, the Lord interprets the Messianic Ruler not as any sort of a collective chosen nation of Israel, in whom other, heathen nations will put their hope, but a concrete Person - Himself.

I guess, the Lord's interpretation has an upper hand over all other interpretations, for He, being the Logos, is the very epistemological Principle of doing any interpretation, Himself needing no other Principle for that.

  • Synecdoche There was a tendency for some Jewish scholars in Intertestament Judaism to interpret "the suffering Servant" and "the Son" verses as a "collective" representing Israel as a whole. A use of synecdoche in interpretation. `(Isaiah 53, Daniel 7) When one interjects the word Israel, however, the passages don't make normal sense. And as is noted, Jesus interpreted these passage quite personally. He lived them out to the fullest in spectacular fulfilment. ( J.J. Scott, Jr., Jewish Backgrounds of the N.T., p. 315)
    – ray grant
    Commented Aug 18, 2023 at 21:33

Son of Man and Son of God: One is spiritual, one is flesh. He came as God in the flesh;(son of man), to claim his earthly kingdom now he abides in his heavenly kingdom. Man is also known as a son of man and sons of God; one is flesh, one is spiritual.

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    – Community Bot
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 13:04

No Contradiction Indeed, Jesus is the Son of Man spoken of in Daniel 7:13-14. Jesus self-described Himself with this phrase over 80 times during His ministry in the first century. (Examples: Matthew 12:32, 40, Luke 12:40, et al.)

And Jesus did receive a Kingdom with dominion and glory...which is an everlasting Kingdom. Jesus declared as such in His final speech to the disciples (Matthew 28:18). This Messianic Kingdom in Daniel 7 is the same one prophesied in chapter 2. Both were to be established during the Roman Empire age. (See Matthew 4:17, Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (near). But note Paul's definition of the Kingdom: righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.)

In fact, the expectation of this fifth Kingdom was so rife among the Jews in the first century, that the ancient Roman historians, Seutonius and Tacitus, wrote about it. Of course they mocked the idea that a lowly Judaean nation could ever supplant the mighty Roman Empire, and set up another Kingdom!

The Saints' Kingdom? But what about the saints obtaining this Messianic Kingdom? The answer is recorded in the New Testament, and comes from the mouth of the Messiah Himself:

I (Jesus) confer on you a kingdom, just as Mt Father conferred one on me...so that you may...sit on thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel. (Luke 22:29)

Do not be afraid, little flock, for the Father has been pleased to give you the Kingdom. (Luke 12:32)

Notice that this did not mean that the "saints" supplanted Jesus or took over His Kingdom, leaving Jesus as a "King without a kingdom". The Apostles gave us insight and understanding about this in their epistles:

God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus...(Ephesians 2:6)

Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of Light, for He has...brought un into the Kingdom of the Son He loves...(Colossians 1:12)

To Him...who has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father...(Revelation 1:6; 5:210, 12:10)

Jesus has indeed been given a majestic Kingdom (ala Davidic throne). And he has been given the power to delegate saints to be His ambassadors in this kingdom...as well as priests to intercede for the nations...as well as judging. Verse 27 of Daniel is fulfilled to the letter, by all the amazing events of the Messiah's ministry in the first century, as well as the beneficent gifting of God.

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