SPECIAL TOPIC: SON OF MAN (from Daniel 7:13)

The Aramaic phrase ("ben enosh," BDB 1085 construct and 1081) "son of man" is different from the similar Hebrew phrase ("ben adam") found in Psalms and Ezekiel.  Both phrases are used in parallel in Job 25:6; Ps. 8:4; 90:3; 144:3; Isa. 13:12.  This obviously refers to the Messiah and it links his humanity (cf. Dan. 8:17; Job 25:6; Ps. 8:4; Ezek. 2:1 [and many more] in Ezekiel), which is the meaning of the Aramaic and Hebrew phrases, "son of man," with his deity because the clouds are the transportation of deity (cf. Dan. 7:13; Matt. 24:30; 26:64; Mark 13:26; 14:62; Rev. 1:7; 14:14).

Jesus uses the phrase to refer to Himself in the NT.  It was not used of the Messiah in rabbinical Judaism.  It had no exclusivistic, nationalistic, militaristic connotations. It uniquely describes the Messiah as fully human and fully God (cf. 1 John 4:1-3).  Daniel's usage is the first which focuses on its divine aspect!

Jesus used the phrase for Himself in three senses.

1. His suffering and death (e.g., Mark 8:31; 10:45; 14:21; Luke 9:22,44)

2. His coming as Judge (e.g., Matt. 16:27; 25:31; John 5:27)

3. His coming in glory to set up His kingdom (e.g., Matt. 16:28; 19:28; Mark 13:26-27; 14:62)


From The Jewish Study Bible, p. 1657 (also see George E. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament, pp. 136-139), the later Jewish traditions about this text in Daniel are listed.

1. This context is Messianic (cf. I Enoch 46:1; 48:10; 4 Ezra [2 Esdras] chapter 13; b. Sanh. 98a)

2. All predictions in this context are already fulfilled (cf. b. Sanh. 97b)

3. This context does not refer to the end-time (cf. Gen. Rab. 98:2)

4. This context represents Israel (cf. Ibn Ezra and Rashi)


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