“And There Was Given Unto Him …”

“… dominion and glory and a kingdom that all the peoples and nations and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion which never shall pass away and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:13). These words were written of him who was “like unto a son of man” who, in the night visions, had come unto him who was the Ancient of Days. Who was this “son of man”? Where had he come from? What had he done to receive such honor from the Ancient of Days?

Clearly this “son of man” is the one of whom Isaiah had written, “Unto us, a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end and upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of Jehovah of Hosts shall accomplish this” (Isa. 9:6-7).

Notice that the “son of man” of Dan. 7 and the child born and “given to us” in Isa. 9 both have an everlasting kingdom that was God-given (Dan 7:14, Isa. 9:10). The kingdom of both not only originated with God but both the kingdom of “one like unto a son of man” and that of the “child born unto us and given to us” was an everlasting one (Dan. 7:14; Isa. 9:7). The kingdom that was symbolized by a “great mountain” in Dan. 2 was that of which the prophet had said, “In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed” (Dan. 2:44). God has one kingdom: the kingdoms of Dan. 2:44, Isa. 9:6-7, and Dan. 7:13 are one and the same.

While the “king” of Isa. 9:6 is described as “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father,” that King was also said to be a child born and given to us, so He is like unto a son of man. We have seen that the “child born unto and given unto us” (Isa. 9:6) is identical with the “son of man” of Dan. 7:13. Just so, the one who was the born child of Isa. 9 who was called “Mighty God, Everlasting Father” is to be identified with Him who was “like unto a son of man” (Dan. 7:13). These two are the same Being, described by Paul as God’s Son “who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was declared to be the Son of God with power … by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:1-4).

Where had this one come from who “came with the clouds of heaven to the ancient of days” in Daniel 7:13? He had come from earth where His Father had sent Him. He was returning to the Father, having accomplished the work His Father had given Him to do (John 17:4). Dan. 7 is heaven’s view of this One’s return to God; Acts 1 is earth’s view of the same event. The one like “unto a son of man” returned to the Father. He had been crucified, risen from the grave, and instructed His apostles of the work they were to accomplish for Him, and which men were allowed the privilege to see Him ascend into heaven where a cloud received him out of their sight (Acts 1:9).

What had this “one like unto a son of man” (as well as the child born and “given to us”) done to be so honored as He was honored with dominion, glory, power, and a kingdom? The Philippian writer tells us: “Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea the death of the cross …” (Phil. 2:5-8). Why did He do that? “Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath put him to grief. When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand” (Isa. 53:10). Paul continued in Philippians the following: “Wherefore also (because he humbled himself by robbing himself with flesh and had poured out his soul unto death) God hath highly exalted him and given unto him the name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:9).

When God welcomed His Son home from the work He gave Him to do on earth, He said, “Sit thou on my right hand, till I make all thy enemies the footstool of thy feet” (Psa. 110:1; Acts 2:33-36). This victory is hinted at by Daniel when he wrote that a stone, cut without hands from a mountain, smote the image on his feet (Dan. 2:34, 45). It was described more specifically when Daniel wrote that by the verdict of the Ancient of Days, justice was given to the people of God and the persecuting and blasphemous “little horn” was destroyed and his flesh burned (Dan. 7:11). And finally, the victory is specifically said to have been performed by Christ. John wrote, “These shall war against the Lamb and the Lamb shall overcome them for he is King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Rev. 17:14). How wonderful and how comforting are the prophet’s words accompanying this overcoming Lamb when he added “… and they also shall overcome that are with him, called and chosen and faithful” (Rev. 17:14).

Jim McDonald