The Ascension of the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13-14)
"And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45 "Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true, and its interpretation is trustworthy.” Daniel 2:44
“I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. 14 “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed. Daniel 7:13–14
The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hands, Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” 2 The Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, “Rule in the midst of Your enemies.” Psalm 110:1-2
The Context - Dan. 7:13-14 is the “night vision” of Daniel which predicts unfolding events in world history. Daniel’s vision of the Four Beasts (7:1-8) was given in about 553 BC. “The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle” v4. The Lion and eagle were symbols of Babylon. The “second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth” v 5. This is the Medo-Persian empire, with three ribs of Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon. The third is “like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird v 6. The leopard is Greece who quickly conquered conquered in 334-330 BC. The “fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet” v 7. This mongrel beast with iron teeth is Rome, bringing us to the time of the birth of Messiah. The “ten horns” seem to be Roman emperors or Roman districts. If emperors, they would stretch from Julius Caesar to Vespasian. The “little horn” of Daniel 7:8ff seems to be the Herodonian dynasty and those powers aligned with it, such as the apostate Jews and Herodians. This dynasty is predicted in Daniel 7 and 11, as well as perhaps some allusions in Revelation. The three horns that were “uprooted” by Herod probably indicate that by persuasive words, the Herods ruled as the face of Rome in Judea under/in place of three Caesars: Herod the Great ruled Judea under Augustus. As for his evil, Herod sought to kill the infant Jesus (Mt. 2). Herod Antipas ruled under Tiberius and killed John the Baptism and plotted in killing Jesus. Herod Agrippa I killed James, brother of John, and tried to kill Peter. God’s judgment came to him: “the voice of a god and not of a man!” And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died” (Acts 12:22–23).
The Coronation - In fulfilling vv 13-14, “with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him” - Christ predicted His ascension at His trial, in fulfillment of Messianic prophecies in both the Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13. “Jesus said to him, 'You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven’" (Mt 26:64). Christ's good confession alludes to two passages, Psalm 110:1b and Daniel 7:13-14. Daniel prophetically speaks of ascension and Great Commission motifs. Christ brings together Psalm 110:1b (“right hand”) and Daniel 7:13 (“Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven”). Matthew and Mark bring the two Messianic images together, and Luke, in the parallel passage simply says the Son of Man will be “seated at the right hand of the power of God.” This sitting is “reigning” from the right hand of the Father (Ps. 110:1). Moreover, it was precisely at the ascension (Act 1:9) that Christ commissions his ambassadors to “make disciples of all the nations,” since He has been given "all authority...in heaven and on earth" (Mt 28:18-20). Christ “wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth” (Rev 5:9b-10). It would seem that the New<
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more