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Does Daniel 7 talk about God in the Flesh?



A verse often quoted by Christian apologists to try and prove the deity of Jesus, comes from the Old Testament, from the Book of Daniel, chapter 7 which says:

“I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed. (13-14)

According to Christian apologists, this verse in the OT was a foretelling of Jesus, and it proves that Jesus would be God in the flesh.

According to the verses the Son of Man would be 1) worshiped and served by all people and nations 2) have a great kingdom that will not be destroyed and never pass.

So do these verses prove that the Son of Man would in fact be God? Well if we read the verses again, we find that this person being called the Son of Man, will be given his kingdom, he will be given the authority, he does not own it. As the verse says:

Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom

So the Son of Man is being given the kingdom, he does not own it. The fact he is being given the kingdom, by God, proves the Son of Man in fact is not God, after all if he was God, then why would he need to be given the kingdom? He’d already own it by virtue of being God, and by virtue of being all-powerful. The fact he is being given the kingdom by God, proves he is not God, and proves that he is in fact subservient to God.

Now what about the claim that the Son of Man will be worshipped? The verse says:

That all peoples, nations, and languages should worship Him. 

So doesn’t that prove he will be God, after all the people are worshipping him. Well as we all know, the OT was written in Hebrew, not English, so to understand the word we need to go to the Hebrew. In the Hebrew, the word that is used here is pĕlach. Now this word has a wide range of meanings which include worship, but other meanings for this word also mean serve, to show respect and so on.

This is why some of the Bible translations will in fact translate this word as serve, and not worship. The translation we gave for example said serve, and not worship. Some Christian apologists though, when they make the argument and quote the verse, will use the word worship.

So the Son of Man is not being worshipped, rather the people are serving him, because he’s the king of the kingdom, so obviously the people are serving him.

In essence these verses are very simple, it talks about a servant of God, the Son of Man, whom God will honor, by giving this man a great kingdom, in which the people will serve this man, and a great kingdom that will not be destroyed.

Another important point here is the historical evidence, as we know the OT was revealed to the Jews, so when the Jews were reading Daniel 7, did they ever believe that the figure known as the Son of Man was to be God in the flesh? The answer is a clear no; there was no Jewish community that ever interpreted Daniel 7 to mean that the Son of Man was God. There was also no Jewish community that were expectant for the appearing of God as the Son of Man.

Rather when we do look at what the Jews (past and present) believe about Daniel 7 and the Son of Man, we find that they believe the Son of Man is a human, a fully human, not a divine being, and certainly not God. They believe the Son of a Man is a great servant of God, and that God is greatly honoring this man by granting him such a kingdom. The fact is, it’s only some Christians that came thousands of years later, and read Daniel 7 to argue that it called the Son of Man God

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