Ancient of Days

The book of Daniel shows us a scene in heaven with God sitting on the throne. Daniel sees God in a vision and gives a very specific description: a garment as white as snow, hair like pure wool, a throne like fire, and wheels burning like fire. Daniel also sees one like the son of man coming to the Ancient of Days. Who is this sitting on the throne in heaven and who is the one like the son of man?

The key verses in the passage of Daniel 7:9-28 are 9, 13, and 22.

Daniel 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

Daniel 7:22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

The Ancient of Days has a very familiar description. This description can be seen again in the book of Revelation.

Revelation 1:12-18 12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;  13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.  14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;  15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.  16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.  17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:  18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

In the book of Revelation Jesus is given the very same description as the Ancient of Days in the book of Daniel.

In Daniel, the Ancient of Days is described as the judge. In the New Testament, Jesus is the judge.

Matthew 25:31-32 31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:  32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

John 5:27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

Romans 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

In Revelation, Jesus is the one seen sitting on the throne.

Revelation 21:5-7 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.  6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Compare with Revelation 1:8, 17, 18.

Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Revelation 1:17-18 17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:  18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Daniel shows that the antichrist makes war until the arrival of the Ancient of Days.

Daniel 7:21-22 21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;  22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

In Revelation we see that it is Jesus that arrives to fight the antichrist.

Revelation 19:11-21 11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.  17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;  18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.  19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.  20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.  21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

It is clear from these comparisons that Jesus is the Ancient of Days in the book of Daniel.

If Jesus is the Ancient of Days, then who is the son of man?

The Son of Man, the human manifestation of Jesus, didn’t exist until he was born in Bethlehem. Furthermore, Daniel does not say ‘the Son of Man”.

Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

This verse describes ‘one like the son of man’. The NIV says ‘a son of man’.

Daniel 7:13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. NIV

There is nothing in this passage that suggests this is anything other than a human representative of mankind. In the Old Testament the phrase ‘son of man’ was used to refer to either an individual or mankind in general.

Ezekiel 2:1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.

Psalm 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

Psalm 80:17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.

Psalm 146:3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

Isaiah 51:12 I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;

The phrase ‘son of man’ in Daniel 7 could be referring to the church. If this passage is referring to Jesus, then it is referring to Jesus prophetically in his redeeming role as the lamb slain from the foundation of the world, just as we see in Revelation.

Revelation 5:6-7 6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.  7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

The phrase ‘son of man’ in Daniel 7 could refer to the church, or prophetically to the redeeming role of Jesus as the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Regardless of the interpretation of the ‘son of man’, Jesus is the Ancient of Days. We see clearly from comparing the descriptions of the Ancient of Days in Daniel and Jesus in Revelation that they are one in the same. Jesus is the Ancient of Days, the one on the throne, our judge, our redeemer.

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