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Daniel 7-9, Psalm 84

Daniel’s visions in chapters 7-9 are the stuff of end times conferences, eschatological musings, and prophecy study Bibles. Parsing the details of all the particulars in Daniel is worth the effort, but all conclusions about what particular kingdoms Daniel’s visions refer to must remain tentative, unless we are specifically told in the text (like with the Media-Persian empire). However, what is certain from our reading is that identity of the figure like a son of man in Daniel 613-14 who would reign over the nations became the source of major theological discussion in second Temple Judaism. Of course, many believed that this character would be the messiah, but others wondered why this figure is called “one like a son of man”, for doesn’t that imply that this person simply appears to be human? Into the sorts of questions Jewish leaders had about the son of man approaching the Ancient of days, Jesus in his fateful mock hearing before the Jewish leaders on the night he was betrayed answered the question if he was the messiah with a rattling response. Jesus said, “ “I am….And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:62) Like Daniel’s vision of the ancient of Days is a guarantee that the nations will bow to the true King one day, Jesus is warning those trying Him for blasphemy that they will see God’s vindication of Jesus, the Son of man the nations will worship. Years before Jesus, Daniel’s dreams disturbed him as he could not make sense of it all. Today, we are better positioned to put the pieces together, and when we all see the son of man coming on the clouds, we will finally know the meanings of all these visions. Until then, the big point stands, God reigns over all, and God has handed the nations over to this Son of man to rule, so let us worship the one that will come on the clouds.
 

Jeremiah Vaught