A Son of Man arrives, surrounded by clouds. God gives Him power and glory to rule the earth forever.
Daniel is witnessing a vision. He has watched four beasts rise out of a stormy sea. Each beast represents a kingdom that will rise and fall. The fourth beast grows a horn that is boastful and blasphemous, representing a ruler that opposes the people of God. A courtroom with many thrones appears. On the judge’s throne sits the Ancient of Days, God. His throne is surrounded by fire and shoots fire out from it, representing God as the ultimate judge. He judges the beast with many horns, specifically the boastful horn who opposes His people. God kills the beast, destroys its body, and consumes it in fire. The other beasts are spared, even though their power is taken away.
Now, with all the earthly kings and kingdoms stripped of power or destroyed, God will put a new king and kingdom on the earth. Daniel again records that he continues looking in the night visions. He sees an incredible, wonderful sight. The new king is arriving with the clouds of heaven. This king is like a Son of Man. He walks up to the Ancient of Days, the eternal God on his fiery throne. He is presented before God so that God can examine and evaluate Him. God clearly approves of this Son of Man, because He gives Him dominion, Glory and a kingdom. All rulership, praise, and the entire earth are given to this king.
His subjects are all the peoples, nations and men of every language who will serve Him. This new king is unlike any king who came before Him. While the first three beasts rose and fell in power, this new king will rule over an everlasting dominion which will not pass away. Unlike the fourth beast, which was destroyed, this new King’s kingdom is one which will not be destroyed. This kingdom corresponds to the stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands in Chapter 2 (Daniel 2:34-45). The stone crushed the kingdoms of men represented by the statue and filled the entire earth. This indicates that the seasons of history will pass directly from the Roman era to the Kingdom of God.
The Son of Man is the final king over the earth. His kingdom will last forever. He is, of course, Jesus Christ. Jesus quotes Daniel 7 and applies it to Himself. He does this while on trial, declaring Himself the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One (God), and “the Son of Man,” who will be seen “sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:61-62).
This king will be a son of man (someone in human form) yet arrive with the clouds of heaven (v. 13), attaching heavenliness and deity to Him. This combination of man and God is only found in the person of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God and of Man. Jesus claimed it Himself, and the mirrored imagery between Daniel 7 and Revelation confirm that this is Christ coming into the glory of His kingdom. It is also explained here (“all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints,” v. 27) and elsewhere that believers who suffer for Him will co-rule over the kingdom (2 Timothy 2:12, Romans 8:17, Revelation 3:21).
It is the final kingdom with the final King. It will not pass away. It will be enduring. Unlike the kingdoms that come before it, it will not be destroyed. The kingdom of Jesus will never be conquered, nor crushed.
13 “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.
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