Jesus Before the Sanhedrin #5
He Was Given a Kingdom
He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 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 (Daniel 7:13-14).
I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom (Daniel 7:21-22).
Be sure to read the previous four installments of this series:
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Notice that the bestowal of the kingdom in both 7:13-14 and in v. 21-22 takes place at the time of the judgment of the Little Horn. (That is, unless it can be proven that 7:13-14 are a parenthetical insertion as some former preterists now claim)! But, if the bestowal of the kingdom in 7:21-22 is different from the bestowal in 7:13-14, what is different? Both take place at the judgment of the little horn- in spite of the objections and claims of detractors.
Now, it should be noted that those who identify the Little Horn as Antiochus claim that v. 21f is the judgment of Antiochus in the second century BC (BC 164). They thus posit two “comings” in the text, i.e. the first century Ascension of Jesus in Acts 1, but then, the text of Daniel supposedly reverts back in time two centuries, to the time of Antiochus in v. 21f which is ostensibly the coming of the Ancient of Days in the judgment of Antiochus in BC 164. What this means is that they are saying that in Acts 1, Christ ascended to receive the eternal kingdom, divorced from any judgment context, but, when Antiochus Epiphanes was judged in BC 164, at the coming of the Ancient of Days, that the saints received the eternal kingdom!
It needs to be noted that Christ did ascend to receive the kingdom, and that was foretold in Psalms 110, (See also Luke 19:11f) as Peter taught explicitly in Acts 2. He ascended and sat down at the right hand of the Father, there to await his parousia, when he would return and judge his enemies: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” This is where Luke 19:11 is helpful: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.” We have here the depiction of Psalms 110. But notice, that while the King was gone for his Coronation, that his “citizens” (some of them) rebelled and rejected his rule. It was upon his return that he judged the rebels and entered fully into the full exercise of his reign.
For time consideration, consider Revelation 11:15-18:
Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.
See my Who Is This Babylon for an extensive discussion of Revelation 11.
What is the context here, what is being foretold?
The context is the time of the judgment of the city, “where the Lord was crucified” (11:8f). That judgment came as a direct result of the fact that the city had not only slain the Lord (The Son of Man), but, his prophets as well. This is the persecuting power of Daniel 7.
That judgment of that City was the time when, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” This is Daniel 7:10-12 / 21-23.
It was the time of the resurrection: “Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints.” The inextricable bond and connection between the time of the vindication of the martyrs and the resurrection is sadly overlooked in many commentaries.
Notice that the judgment and arrival of the everlasting kingdom is the time of the vindication of the slain martyrs, and of the Lord, (the Son of Man). But, it is also the time of the vindication and rewarding of the prophets. This hearkens directly back to Daniel 12:13 where Daniel was told : “But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.” That “end of the days” -the final end of the 1335 days – was to be, “when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered” (Daniel 12:7).
The time of the bestowal/ taking of the everlasting kingdom (Daniel 7:21f) is the time of the resurrection and the rewarding of the prophets – the vindication of the martyrs (Revelation 11:15f).
The time of the rewarding of the prophets and the time of the kingdom (Daniel 12:3) is the time of the resurrection (Daniel 12:2), which would be, “when the power of the holy people is completely shattered”– (Daniel 12:7) – the time of the judgment of the city guilty of killing the prophets and Jesus, the Son of Man.
Therefore, the time of the bestowal/ taking of the everlasting kingdom (Daniel 7:21f) the time of the rewarding of the prophets and the time of the kingdom (Daniel 12:3) the time of the resurrection (Daniel 12:2), was “when the power of the holy people is completely shattered”– (Daniel 12:7) – the time of the judgment of the city guilty of killing the prophets and Jesus, the Son of Man.
The direct and unbreakable connection between Daniel 7, Daniel 12 and Revelation 11 assures us that Daniel 7 did not find its ultimate fulfillment in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. This in turn echoes back to Jesus before the Sanhedrin, when Jesus told (warned) that august body that their persecutorial actions would result in their destruction at the coming of the Son of Man – as the Ancient of Days. It tells us that those leaders of Israel had become the Little Horn.
So, what have we seen? We have established several things:
1. The fourth kingdom of Daniel 7 could not have been the Grecian Empire.
2. Daniel 7 is not a series of disjointed, temporally disjunctive visions. Daniel 7:1-14 is the vision, verses 15f are the interpretation of that vision.
3. Since the Little Horn would arise in the days of the Roman Empire- the fourth empire – that means that the Little Horn was not Antiochus Epiphanes.
4. The Son of Man does not come at some unknown time AFTER the Little Horn, as posited by some critical scholars and some former preterists. To suggest such a thing is just another form of the Gap Doctrine of Dispensationalism.
5. We have shown that to divorce Daniel 7:13-14 from the vision of the Little Horn is a violation of Hebraic Hermeneutic, the principle of metalepsis. This principle said that when a writer or speaker cited part of an OT text, they were bringing the entire context of that passage to mind. But, when it is suggested that Daniel 7:13-14 is not the coming of the Son of Man in judgment, but a parenthetical insertion into the vision of the Little Horn, that completely negates and distorts the Hebraic Hermeneutic. And I might add that I have not found a single scholarly source that had provided any proof that Daniel 7:13-14 was a parenthetical insertion into the vision. Not a keystroke!
6. The NT application and interpretation of Daniel 7:13-14 proves definitively that the coming of the Son of Man on the clouds of heaven is a judgment motif; it is NOT a reference to the Ascension. Every NT passage that speaks of Christ, the Son of Man, coming on the clouds of heaven, is a judgment text. It is therefore, a miscarriage of exegesis to make Daniel 7:13-14 refer to anything other than his coming in judgment– the judgment of the Little Horn.
7. The NT references to Jesus coming in judgment, “in the glory of the Father” – in fulfillment of Daniel 7:13-14, proves that Daniel 7 was a judgment text predicting the judgment of the Little Horn. When Jesus predicted his coming on the clouds of heaven, in judgment, in fulfillment of Daniel 7:13-14, that interpretation must guide our understanding of Daniel.
8. Likewise, Jesus’ identification of himself as “the first and the last” and “the Almighty” who was to come in judgment of the persecutors of the saints (those who pierced him) – which is nothing other than Daniel 7 – forces us to see that Jesus, the Son of Man, was coming “AS the Ancient of Days.” He was not coming as a Jewish man in a physical body!
Thus, I believe that I have presented sufficient exegetical evidence that Daniel 7:13-14 did not predict Christ’s ascension, and that it foretold the judgment and destruction of the Little Horn. By honoring Jesus’ application of Daniel 7 to the Sanhedrin, Jesus was powerfully and effectively identifying the Sanhedrin as the Last Days “Little Horn”- the enemy of God, who was about to be judged in AD 70.