Who is the “Son of Man” in Daniel 7:13-14?

Heavenly clouds

In Daniel 7:13-14, Daniel references seeing “one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.”[1] In his vision, Daniel notes that this man will reign over all the world and it will never end[2]. There are three common views as to the identity of the “son of man”.

First, “one like a son of man” could represent the archangel Michael and the “holy ones” (vv. 18. 27) which are his angelic followers on whose behalf he would receive the kingdom[3]. Faithful Jews are commonly associated with “holy ones” as their future includes the rank of angel (12:3), but verse 7:27 identifies the saints as “the people of the Most High and the son of man cannot be an angel[4].

The second view holds that “son of man” is the personification of the Jewish nation based on the argument that because believers receive the kingdom (vv. 18, 22, 27), the son of man must be symbolic of God’s people since he also receives the kingdom[5]. The main problem with this argument is that the son of man will be worshiped and all nations will bow to him, and Scripture clearly states God alone should be the object of man’s worship (cf. Rev 19:10)[6].

The final and correct view sees Jesus as the son of man. This view is backed up in John 12:34 where the crowd identifies Jesus as “the Messiah” and the “Son of Man” interchangeably[7]. Christ identifies himself as the son of man in Mark 14:61-62 when He states that He is the “Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”[8] This claim directly points back to Daniel 7:13-14.

 

[1] NIV.

[2] Daniel 7:14.

[3] Stephen. B. Miller, Daniel: The New American Commentary, 1st ed (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1994): p. 207.

[4] Ibid. pp. 207-208.

[5] Ibid. p. 208.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid. p. 209.

[8] NIV.

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charlestinsley

My name is Charlie Tinsley and I blog about The Bible. In particular, I post my thoughts, commentaries, and Bible Study teachings I have done. I hold a Bachelors Degree in Science in Religion Summa Cum Laude with a Biblical Studies Minor. I am currently studying for a Masters In Divinity at Eastern Mennonite Seminary with PhD ambitions in the study of Theology. I am married and have been for several years and I currently reside in Virginia.

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