Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Son of Man as the Son of David

Examining the OT Evidence for
The Messianic Identity of Daniel’s Heavenly Figure

Sam Shamoun

Sometime in the sixth century BC the prophet Daniel received visions concerning future events, and in one of those visions he saw a heavenly Being in the likeness of a man coming to rule forever and representing the saints of God who would also share in that dominion:

“As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language worshiped him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14

What makes this supernatural revelation so astonishing is that even though this entity whose appearance was that of a man, having a human form, is personally distinct from God (depicted here as the Ancient of Days) he is nonetheless a fully Divine Being.

Note the points of similarity between this Son of Man and Yahweh God. According to the Hebrew Scriptures Yahweh is worshiped and reigns over all creation forever,

“But in the end, the holy people of the Most High will be given the kingdom, and they will rule forever and ever… until the Ancient of Days—the Most High—came and judged in favor of his holy people. Then the time arrived for the holy people to take over the kingdom.… Then the sovereignty, power, and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will last forever, and all rulers will serve and obey him.” Daniel 7:18, 22, 27


“Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—riding on a donkey’s colt. I will remove the battle chariots from Israel and the warhorses from Jerusalem. I will destroy all the weapons used in battle, and your king will bring peace to the nations. His realm will stretch from sea to sea and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth. Because of the covenant I made with you, sealed with blood, I will free your prisoners from death in a waterless dungeon… Yahweh will appear above his people; his arrows will fly like lightning! The Sovereign Yahweh will sound the ram’s horn and attack like a whirlwind from the southern desert. Yahweh of hosts will protect his people, and they will defeat their enemies by hurling great stones. They will shout in battle as though drunk with wine. They will be filled with blood like a bowl, drenched with blood like the corners of the altar. On that day Yahweh their God will rescue his people, just as a shepherd rescues his sheep. They will sparkle in his land.” Zechariah 9:9-11, 14-16


And Yahweh will be king over all the earth. On that day there will be one Yahweh — his name the only one… In the end, the enemies of Jerusalem who survive the plague will go up to Jerusalem each year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to celebrate the Festival of Shelters. Any nation in the world that refuses to come to Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, will have no rain.” Zechariah 14:9, 16-17

Yahweh is also the One who rides the clouds:

“Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds. His name is Yahweh — rejoice in his presence!” Psalm 68:4

“Let all that I am praise Yahweh. O Yahweh my God, how great you are! You are robed with honor and majesty. You are dressed in a robe of light. You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens; you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds. You make the clouds your chariot; you ride upon the wings of the wind.” Psalm 104:1-3

“This message came to me concerning Egypt: Look! Yahweh is advancing against Egypt, riding on a swift cloud. The idols of Egypt tremble. The hearts of the Egyptians melt with fear.” Isaiah 19:1

Thus, Daniel’s Son of Man rides the clouds like Yahweh, rules over all creation forever like Yahweh, and is worshiped by all the nations like Yahweh!

The early Jewish and Christian interpretation of Daniel’s Son of Man

From the very beginning the Son of Man of Daniel was identified as the Messiah. In fact this has been the traditional orthodox interpretation, one held by the majority of both Jews and Christians for over seventeen hundred years, as even noted critical liberal Biblical scholars and commentators admit:

“IV. Traditional Interpretations. The earliest interpretations and adaptations of the ‘one like a human being,’ Jewish and Christian alike, assume that the phrase refers to an individual and is not a symbol for a collective entity.263 In the Similitudes of Enoch (1En 46:1), the white-headed ‘head of days’ is accompanied by one ‘whose face had the appearance of a man, and his face [was] full of grace, like one of the holy angels.’ He is explicitly called ‘messiah,’ or anointed one, in 48:10; 52:4, and ‘his name was named’ before creation (48:3). In 4 Ezra 13 the man who rises from the sea and flies with the clouds of heaven is also a messianic figure, but like ‘that Son of Man’ in the Similitudes, he is a preexistent, supernatural figure (13:26; ‘This is he whom the Most High has been keeping for many ages’). The messianic interpretation prevails in rabbinic literature264 and remains the majority of opinion among the medieval Jewish commentators. The tradition is not entirely uniform. In some circles the two figures in Dan 7:9-14 were taken as two manifestations of God, apparently in reaction to the heretical view that they represented two powers in heaven. The collective interpretation is not clearly attested in Jewish circles until the Middle Ages… In summary, the traditional interpretations of the ‘one like a human being’ in the first millennium overwhelmingly favor the understanding of this figure as an individual, not as a collective symbol. The most usual identification was the messiah, but in the earliest adaptations of the vision (the Similitudes, 4 Ezra, the Gospels) the figure in question had a distinctly supernatural character.” (Hermeneia – A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible, A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, by John J. Collins with an essay, “The Influence of Daniel on the New Testament,” by Adela Yarbro Collins, edited by Frank Moore Cross [Fortress Press, Minneapolis 1993], pp. 306-308; underline emphasis ours)

And the footnotes state:

263… Montgomery (320), who argues for the collective interpretation, nonetheless writes, “It must be admitted that the earliest interpretation of ‘the Son of Man’ is Messianic.” See also Vermes, Jesus the Jew, 170-172; and the list of passages in H. L. Strack and P. Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch (Munich: Beck, 1922) 1.486.

264. Undisputed examples include b. Sanh. 98a; Num. Rab. 13:14; ‘Aggadat Ber’esit 14:3; 23:1 (Casey, Son of Man, 80). It is probably implied in Akiba’s explanation of the plural “thrones” as one for God and one for David, which we noted at v. 9, above (so, e.g., Montgomery, 321). Casey (Son of Man, 87) points out that it is not a necessary inference in the case of Akiba, but his arguments do not lessen its probability… (Pp. 306-307; underline emphasis ours)

Collins writes elsewhere:

“The four-kingdom schema is taken up again in Daniel 7, with much greater eschatological urgency, in a passage that would play a prominent part in later messianic expectation. This is Daniel’s famous vision of ‘one like a son of man’ who comes on the clouds (Dan 7:13). For much of Jewish and Christian history, this figure was interpreted as the messiahthe earliest adaptations of this vision, in the Similitudes of Enoch and 4 Ezra 13, use messianic language with reference to the ‘Son of Man’ figure, even though he is a transcendent figure rather than an earthly king. Rabbi Akiba is said to have explained the plural ‘thrones’ in Dan 7:9 as ‘one for Him, and one for David.’ The messianic interpretation remained standard in both Jewish and Christian traditions down to the Enlightenment but is rarely defended in recent times. There are, to be sure, elements in the vision that lend themselves to a messianic interpretation and provided the basis for the traditional understanding…” (Collins, The Scepter and the Star—The Messiahs of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Ancient Literature [Doubleday: 1995], Chapter 2. The Fallen Booth of David: Messianism And The Hebrew Bible, p. 36; underline emphasis ours)

Conservative Biblical scholar Stephen R. Miller concurs:

“Third, only one person may properly be identified as the ‘son of man’ and that person is Jesus Christ as the New Testament apostles and Christ himself confirmed. Montgomery acknowledges that the messianic view is ‘the eldest and, in past Jewish and Christian exegesis, the prevailing opinion.’ For example, over fifteen hundred years ago Jerome was espousing this view. Slotki notes that rabbinical exegesis interpreted this person to be the Messiah, and Jeffrey points out that the Talmud (Sanhedrin 98a) accepted this interpretation.

“Though Hartman declares that this figure has ‘no messianic meaning,’ A. Bentzen argues that the Gospels, Acts, Revelation, 1 Enoch, and 4 Ezra 13 could not all have been incorrect in seeing a messianic individual in Dan 7. For example, John 12:34 states: ‘The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ [the Messiah] will remain forever, so how can you say ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’?”’ In this passage the term ‘the Christ’ [the Messiah] and ‘the Son of Man’ are used interchangeably. It may be inferred that the people of Jesus’ day already had come to identify the Danielic ‘Son of Man’ as the Messiah.” (Stephen R. Miller, The New American Commentary An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture – Daniel [Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994], Volume 18, Daniel, p. 209; underline emphasis ours)

The questions that lie before us are the following: What would have caused the Jews to believe that Daniel’s Son of Man was actually the Messiah? Why would they think that this heavenly figure was the Anointed One who would come to fulfill God’s promises to King David? More importantly, were they correct?

A careful analysis of the Hebrew Bible provides the answers.

The OT Evidence for the Messianic Interpretation of Daniel 7:13-14

The Jews knew from the holy and inspired Scriptures that God had given mankind dominion over his physical creation. The following Psalm recounts this favor and blessing that God has given man in general:

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.” Psalm 8:3-8

In this Psalm, the words man and son of man are simply two ways of speaking of humanity, terms that are often used interchangeably to refer to mankind in general or to a specific human person. The Psalmist is recalling the Genesis account of creation where God gave male and female authority to rule the earth and over all his creatures:

“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” Genesis 1:26-28

These passages basically show that God has appointed the son of man, i.e. mankind in general, to reign over his creation. This promise was then transferred over to the kings of Israel, specifically to David and his descendents. God chose David and his seed to represent mankind in ruling the earth.

“Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against Yahweh and against his anointed one (Messiah/Christ). ‘Let us break their chains,’ they cry, ‘and free ourselves from slavery to God.’ But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. Then in anger he rebukes them, terrifying them with his fierce fury. For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.’ I will proclaim Yahweh decree. He said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father (or, ‘begotten you’). Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession. You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.” Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! Serve Yahweh with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss/submit to the son, lest he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities—for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!” Psalm 2:1-12


“A psalm of Solomon. Give your love of justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king’s son… May they fear you as long as the sun shines, as long as the moon remains in the sky. Yes, forever!May he reign from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth. Desert nomads will bow before him; his enemies will fall before him in the dust. The western kings of Tarshish and other distant lands will bring him tribute. The eastern kings of Sheba and Seba will bring him gifts. All kings will bow before him, and all nations will serve him... Long may he live, may gold of Sheba be given to him! May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all the day!... May his name endure for ever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May men bless themselves by him, all nations call him blessed!” Psalm 72:1, 5, 8-11, 17


“Long ago you spoke in a vision to your faithful people. You said, ‘I have raised up a warrior. I have selected him from the common people to be king. I have found my servant David. I have anointed him with my holy oil. With whom My hand will be established; My arm also will strengthen him. His enemies will not defeat him, nor will the wicked overpower him. I will beat down his adversaries before him and destroy those who hate him. My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him, and by my authority he will grow in power. I will extend his rule over the sea, his dominion over the rivers. And he will call out to me, “You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.” I will make him my firstborn son, the mightiest king on earth. I will love him and be kind to him forever; my covenant with him will never end. I will preserve an heir for him; his throne will be as endless as the days of heaven. But if his descendants forsake my instructions and fail to obey my regulations, if they do not obey my decrees and fail to keep my commands, then I will punish their sin with the rod, and their disobedience with beating. But I will never stop loving him nor fail to keep my promise to him. No, I will not break my covenant; I will not take back a single word I said. I have sworn an oath to David, and in my holiness I cannot lie: His dynasty will go on forever; his kingdom will endure as the sun. It will be as eternal as the moon, my faithful witness in the sky!’” Psalm 89:19-37

Notice that, much like the Son of Man in Daniel, the Davidic King not only rules all the nations forever he also receives homage or obeisance.

In fact, the King of Israel whom God makes strong is elsewhere called the son of man:

Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.” Psalm 80:17

Later in the Psalms the man of God’s right hand is identified as David’s very own Lord who sits enthroned next to Yahweh:

“The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’ The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours. The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.’ The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth. He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head.” Psalm 110:1-7

Here we see a further allusion to Psalm 8, specifically the part where it says that God has placed all things under the feet of the man/son of man,

“You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,” Psalm 8:6

This reinforces the fact that the dominion that God gave to mankind is now/shall be realized and fulfilled in the reign of the Davidic King, specifically the Messiah.

Moreover, the Hebrew Bible testifies that there will only be one King ruling over God’s people, that being the Davidic King:

“When your countrymen ask you, ‘Won't you tell us what you mean by this?’ say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph—which is in Ephraim's hand—and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah's stick, making them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.’ Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be ONE KING over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.”’” Ezekiel 37:18-28

In light of such passages it is not hard to see why the Jews interpreted Daniel 7:13-14 messianically. They knew from their reading of the Hebrew Bible that God had promised David that one of his heirs would reign forever, a descendent who would be the man seated at his right hand, the son of man whom God would empower. The Jews must have reasoned that for God to decree that the Son of Man whom Daniel saw would reign forever while still being faithful to his promise to David this heavenly Divine Being must therefore be the Messiah, the Son of David.

The Deity of the Messiah in the Hebrew Scriptures

Yet this explanation would imply that the Messiah is a preexistent Divine figure who comes to be born as a human being in order to become a descendent of David. This would also mean that we shouldn’t be surprised to discover specific OT passages where the Messiah is said to be God, or a fully Divine Person.

Lo and behold this is precisely what the inspired prophets of Yahweh taught concerning David’s royal Son!

According to the prophet Isaiah, David’s descendent is the Mighty God and Everlasting Father who would be born to reign forever:

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of David from that time and for all eternity. The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will make this happen!” Isaiah 9:6-7

This child is further called the Root of Jesse, David’s father, and the Servant of Yahweh who would be highly exalted and lifted up after he offers his life as a sacrifice for sins:

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD - and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked… In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.” Isaiah 11:1-4, 10

“See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him — his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness— so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.” Isaiah 52:13-15

“Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous Servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:1-12

The Servant’s exaltation is described in the same way that the prophet speaks of Yahweh’s exaltation and enthronement:

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. ‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.’ Isaiah 6:1-5

“For this is what the high and lofty One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15; cf. 2:11-17; 33:5

This means that not only will the child reign forever he will actually be ruling from the very throne of Yahweh himself!

There were other inspired writers who spoke of the Messiah’s Divinity. The prophet Jeremiah stated that the name of the Branch or descendant of David would be Yahweh our righteousness!

“‘For the time is coming,’ says Yahweh, ‘when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch (descendant). He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety. And this will be his name: “Yahweh Is Our Righteousness.”’” Jeremiah 23:5-6

Another inspired author refers to the eternal origins of Yahweh’s Ruler, that he is a King whose origins stem from eternity, from ancient times:

“Marshal your troops, O city of troops, for a siege is laid against us. They will strike Israel's ruler on the cheek with a rod. But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose goings out/origins are from of old, from days of eternity/ancient times. Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd HIS flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.” Micah 5:1-4

With passages such as these it only makes perfect sense that the Son of Man would be identified with the Messiah seeing that the Hebrew Scriptures describe them in a similar manner, i.e. both these figures are said to be the incarnation and/or human appearance of a fully Divine Being coming to reign forever.

The Messiah as the Son of Man in the inspired Christian Greek Scriptures

As far as the NT writings are concerned the Son of Man and the Messiah are one and the same individual. The inspired NT authors depict Jesus as the Danielic Son of Man who became the Messiah at his birth from the blessed virgin Mary. In fact, Jesus often referred to himself as the Son of Man whom Daniel saw just as the following passages amply attest:

“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Matthew 16:27-28

“Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’” Matthew 19:28

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.’” Matthew 25:31-34

“At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send HIS angels and gather HIS elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.” Mark 13:26-27

“Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, ‘Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?’ But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ ‘I am,’ said Jesus. ‘And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.’ The high priest tore his clothes. ‘Why do we need any more witnesses?’ he asked. ‘You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?’” Mark 14:60-64

Here, Christ combines the language of Daniel 7:13-14 and Psalm 110:1 together, thereby affirming that David’s Lord is none other than Daniel’s Son of Man. This isn’t the only time that Christ made reference to Psalm 110:

“While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, ‘How is it that the teachers of the law say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: ‘The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ David himself calls him “Lord.” How then can he be his son?’ The large crowd listened to him with delight.” Mark 12:35-37

Thus, the Jews were right in viewing the Son of Man as the Messiah. They knew that, being the inspired Word of God, the Hebrew Scriptures presented a consistent, harmonious picture of God, Messiah, sin, redemption, end time events etc. On the basis of that assumption they knew that the Son of Man had to be the Messiah since they knew that God wouldn’t break his promise to David by having someone else rule forever, one who wasn’t from David’s line. Moreover, the prophet Daniel would have also known God’s promise since he was a man well versed in the Holy Scriptures:

“In the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom- in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed… ‘All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you… You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing upon us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us, yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. The LORD did not hesitate to bring the disaster upon us, for the LORD our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.’” Daniel 9:1-4, 11-14

Therefore, the Jews must have reasoned (correctly we might add) that since the holy God cannot lie this means that the Son of Man and the Messiah must be one and the same Person. And according to the NT witness the glorious and immortal Lord Jesus happens to be that Person!

Amen! Come Lord Jesus, come! We confess that you are the heavenly Messianic Son of Man, the eternal Son of God who reigns forever, and who shall receive the praise and worship of all the nations since that is your due! We love you, O Risen Lord and King of glory! Amen.

Further Reading