I spent time in prayer, entreating the Lord to give me insight into the passage and that the Lord would make my heart ready to hear the teaching of this text and apply it to my own walk with the Lord.
This section will analyze some key features of the syntactical, lexical, context, and background elements of Daniel 7:13-14 so as to properly identify each element and explain the exegetical importance of each element in preparation for preaching the text. The focus of this section will not be on exposition but will rather focus on a discussion about each of the elements which are exegetically significant as well as word studies, and any historical background that will add to the understanding of the text.
Before continuing in this section of research is it important to note that, “no detailed syntax of Biblical Aramaic has been produced.” And therefore, the following is an effort to produce, and collate as much information on the syntax of this passage as possible with the limited resources that are currently available.
חָזֵה הֲוֵית Active participle of חֲזָה and first person singular perfect of הֲוָה both in the peal. הֲוָה by itself in the peal means “come to be” or “become” but with the participle becomes a simple copula in the periphrastic conjugations. The periphrastic gives emphasis to the continual and undivided attention that Daniel was giving to these visions, in continual succession of each other, as confirmed by the context (this phrase (חָזֵה הֲוֵית) is used eight times in Daniel 7 starting in verse 2). In dream narrative the finite verb follows the participle. Therefore emphasis is placed on the continual looking, so the translation of the NASB is good, “I kept looking.”
בְּחֶזְוֵי לֵֽילְיָא “in the night visions” modifies the participial phrase adverbially telling us when, and what Daniel was looking at. It also seems to be a breaker of some sort when used with the participial phrase, occurring also in verse 2 and 7. It signals a change in what is occurring in the vision. It indicates a change of focus, or an entry of something new, something previously unseen in the vision. The phrase also builds with the next phrase וַאֲרוּ
וַאֲרוּ indicates that description will follow, implying transition, emphasis or attention.
עִם־עֲנָנֵי שְׁמַיָּא preposition (עִם) meaning “with” implying the object is in the same location. Possibly “among” would be a clearer translation.
כְּבַר אֱנָשׁ Particle of comparison (כְּ), telling us that the one coming is “like, as” or “comparable to” a son of man (בַר אֱנָשׁ). אֱנָשׁ modifies בַר adjectivally, telling us what type of son the one is like, mainly, a son of man.
אָתֵה הֲוָה peal participle masculine singular absolute “to come”, and הֲוָה peal perfect third masculine singular which, by itself in the peal means “come to be” or “become” but with the participle becomes a simple copula in the periphrastic conjugations. The periphrastic gives emphasis to the idea of duration of the coming of the one like a son of man.
וְעַד־עַתִּיק יֽוֹמַיָּא מְטָה Coordinating conjunction (וְ) followed by preposition (עַד) although rarely occurring to indicate local direction, in this case it does, “to the ancient of days he came.” עַתִּיק adjective in construct with יֽוֹמַיָּא masculine plural noun. This phrase is used in the Bible only for God the Father. This phrase is followed by a peal perfect third person singular (מְטָה) which with the preposition (עַד) means to “come upon,” or “to arrive.” The subject of the verb is “he” or more precisely the, “one like a son of man” being that it matches in person, gender and number (as opposed to the “Ancient of Days” which does not match).
וּקְדָמוֹהִי הַקְרְבֽוּהִי Coordinating conjunction (וּ) and preposition (קֳדָם), meaning “before” with a third person masculine singular suffix (וֹהִי). The suffix points to the “Ancient of Days,” being God the Father, and the preposition serves adverbially to the hafel perfect third person masculine plural verb (קְרֵב) with a singular masculine third person suffix (הִי), which serves as the direct object, telling where he, pointing back to the “one like a son of man,” was being brought by an unidentified party (them); mainly before, or into the presence of the Ancient of Days.
וְלֵהּ יְהִיב coordinating conjunction (וְ) followed by a preposition (לֵ) with a third person, masculine, singular suffix (הּ) subsequent to a piel (with “י” in its form and therefore passive) perfect, third person, masculine, singular (יְהִיב). The preposition serves as the subject marker of the passive verb (יְהִיב see also Dan. 2:16), with emphasis on the subject, the “one like a son of man,” because the personal pronoun provided in the suffix (הּ) of the preposition (לֵ) is redundant in the verb (it is already third person, masculine, singular), and therefore adds emphasis on the subject, or the one who receives the action from the verb (being that it is passive).
Three singular masculine nouns linked together by two coordinating conjunctions serve as the direct objects of the verb (יְהִיב) being what was given to the “one like a son of man.”
וְכֹל עַֽמְמַיָּא אֻמַיָּא וְלִשָּׁנַיָּא לֵהּ יִפְלְחוּן coordinating conjunction (וְ) introduces additional information as to the result of that which was given to the “one like a son of man.” Translation of coordinating conjunctions is based on context. The וְ is best translated as “that” or “so that’ because the verb (יִפְלְחוּן) is logically dependent on the preceding principal verb (יְהִיב), therefore expresses design.
A particle follows (כֹל) denoting “all” of the following nouns (עַֽמְמַיָּא אֻמַיָּא לִשָּׁנַיָּא) which are linked together, not only by the particle, but also by the ending coordinating conjunction (וְ) and because they serve as the subject of the third person plural verb (יִפְלְחוּן) which in the context means they will “pay reverence to” the “one like a son of man.” The preposition (לֵ) serves as the direct object marker, making it clear “he,” mainly the “one like a son of man” receives the reverence of the peoples, nations and tongues.
שָׁלְטָנֵהּ שָׁלְטָן עָלַם דִּֽי־לָא יֶעְדֵּה Masculine singular noun (שָׁלְטָנֵ) with a masculine, third person, singular suffix, (הּ) meaning “his dominion.” The masculine singular noun (עָלַם) serves as an adjective to the masculine singular noun that precedes it (שָׁלְטָן), explaining that it is an “everlasting” dominion. The subordinating conjunction (דִּֽי) translated as “that” referring to the previous “dominion.” לָא is used to denote negative statements, and therefore negates the following peal imperfect, third person, masculine, singular verb (יֶעְדֵּה), “that will not pass away.”
וּמַלְכוּתֵהּ דִּי־לָא תִתְחַבַּֽל coordinating conjunction (וּ) followed by a feminine singular noun (מַלְכוּתֵ) with a third person, masculine, singular suffix (הּ) showing possession “his kingdom.” The subordinating conjunction (דִּֽי) translated as “that” referring to the previous noun, “kingdom.” לָא is used to denote negation, and therefore negates the following hitpaal, imperfect, third person, feminine, singular verb (תִתְחַבַּֽל), “that will not be destroyed.”
There are two words among many that are essential to the understanding of this passage. The first is חֶזְוֵ and the second is עֲנָן.
Word Study of חֶזְוֵ
The actual root of this word is currently unknown; it is most likely either חָזוּ, or חֵזוּ, being related to the word חזה, meaning “to see.” The word is found only in the book of Daniel, being that it is Aramaic, and relates to visions, apparitions, or appearances. When referring to a vision, it is often used in correlation with the phrase, בְּחֶזְוֵי לֵֽילְיָא (“in the night visions”). The word can also be used to speak of appearance, such as the case in Daniel 7:20 where the “appearance” of a horn is explained in one of Daniel’s visions.
Word Study of עֲנָן
This word occurs only once in the whole Bible, and needs to be studied in order to help gain an understanding of who the “one like a son of man” is. The word appears only in construct (עֲנָנֵי) and means “cloud.” Clouds were many times associated with deity in the ancient world. And throughout the Bible clouds do carry with them this very association. The Hebrew word for cloud is עָנָן (as you can see, very similar to the Aramaic), and occurs 87 times in the Old Testament. The first association with deity is in Exodus 13:21, where the LORD is said to have gone before Israel as “a pillar of cloud by day.” God’s presence was revealed in “the cloud” at the dedication of Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 8:10). “Clouds and thick darkness” are said to surround God (Psalm 97:2). But the most convincing or telling usage of clouds in relation to deity is when Jesus Himself quotes this verse and proclaims that in the end all the tribes of the earth will see, “the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). In multiple other passages, Jesus is seen to be this one who comes with the clouds, and therefore in this passage, in the use of this word, it is clearly seen that clouds brings with it association with deity (Matt. 26:64; Mark 13:26; 14:62; Luke 21:27; Rev. 14:14).
It is necessary to explore the various contexts of Daniel 7:13-14 in order to better understand the passage and to give insight into its meaning, as well as to protect against error in exposition. In this section the immediate and far contexts will be investigated.
Daniel 7:13-14 in the Immediate Context
In order to better understand the passage that has been chosen, it is important to look at the immediate context. Daniel 7:13-14 is a smaller part of a whole vision that begins in the beginning of chapter seven. Verse one begins, setting up the time of the vision to around 553 B. C. when Daniel was about sixty-seven years old (if you put Daniel at 15 years old when taken into captivity in 605 B.C.). Therefore, chronologically, the visions of chapter seven occurred before the events of chapters five and six. And so it begins. The four winds churn up the great sea (v. 2) and four great beasts emerge from that sea (v. 3). The first beast resembled a lion, but with wings (v. 4), the second looked like a bear (v. 5), the third was like a leopard with four wings (v. 6), and the fourth was unlike any animal known to man; “terrible,” and “frightening” (vv. 7-8). The Ancient of Days is then seen, and the fourth beast destroyed (vv. 9-12). There is contrast seen between the beast uttering blasphemies, while the Ancient of Days is seen calmly sitting upon His throne, waiting, “calmly preparing for the day of judgment.” Verses 13-14 contains the “final moment of consummation of the scene;” it is the “climax of the vision.” Four kingdoms were previously introduced, and now another kingdom, the kingdom of God is revealed. Contrasted with the beasts, “one like a son of man” is given a kingdom and authority.
The interpretation of the vision is contained in verses 15-27, but it must be noted here, that the interpretation given does not reveal every little detail of the future, but rather reveals that which the Lord desired to reveal, for His purposes. Daniel is troubled by this vision and desires to know what it means, and therefore asked “one of those standing there,” most likely an angel, for the interpretation. The four beasts are identified as four kingdoms (vv. 17-18), then details about the fourth beast are given (vv. 19-26). The main point is given at the end of verse 26, “…his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.” The kingdom of God is then explained – it is “everlasting” (v. 27). The vision then ends, leaving Daniel “deeply troubled” (v. 28).
Daniel 7:13-14 in the Context to the Whole of Daniel
Most modern commentators agree that chapter seven is, “the most important chapter in the Book of Daniel.” Chapter seven marks the literary turning point of the book from historical to visions. Yet at the same time, the chapter is bound to those preceding historical accounts because of the use of the Aramaic language and by its own affinity with chapter two, as well as bound to the following chapters containing visions because of subject matter. So chapter seven really joins the two parts of this amazing book together as a whole. Another feature that is brought to bear in chapter seven is the fact that after verse two, it is all in the first person (except for 10:1), emphasizing the fact that it was Daniel himself who had these visions. Much more detail is given in regards to prediction in chapter seven and following than in the rest of the book. For while chapter two did contain prediction regarding the four world empires, as well as the return of Christ, chapter seven and following hone in on the specifics of the events to come. Truly, the book of Daniel would be of great encouragement to the Jews that read it, for through this book, God assured Israel that they would endure, and that the nation would continue to have a place in history – their Messiah would come. But as the language shift indicates, these prophecies would not just affect Israel, but also the whole world. There is a stark “gentile” nature that flows out of the use of the Aramaic language, being that it was the “lingua franca” of the time. If anyone in Israel thought their Messiah was for their nation only, this book would stare them right in the face with the contrary. It is not just Israel, it has never been, for His dominion includes all peoples, nations and languages (Dan. 7:14).
Daniel 7:13-14 in the Context of the Old Testament
Moving outward yet again in the discussion of the context of Daniel 7:13-14, the book itself falls into a time where the anger of God was against the people of Israel, just as Moses warned the people if they forsook the Lord (Deut. 31:17). But despite these warnings the people consistently rebelled against the Lord and so they were taken into exile. And so this book shows Israel, and the world, that “the God of Israel was the true and living God, who possessed objective metaphysical existence, before Whom the gods of the heaven were vain, empty delusions, not having objective reality.” This would serve as a great encouragement to Israel, and to Daniel himself, because their situation looked hopeless, but God would not forsake them ultimately, but would one day bring His kingdom, and it would never end. Daniel answers the people who say in Jeremiah 33:24, “The two families which the Lord chose, He has rejected them.”
The book of Daniel adds to the theology of the end times, giving specifics to promises to Israel – for just as the four kingdoms of the world were actual kingdoms, the kingdom of God also will be real, and Israel will receive the promises, even though they have been unfaithful – God is faithful (as seen also in the book of Esther). Daniel was written after all the major prophets, and appears in this order in the English Bible, but actually in the Hebrew Old Testament it was included in the Writings not the Prophets. It appears this is so, because although Daniel did have a prophetic ministry, his ministry was different in character from the other major prophets and therefore was never called a prophet, but rather a seer and wise man. Isaiah 46:9-10 says: “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure.’” The book of Daniel is a prime example of this God whom we serve – He alone is God, there is no other.
Daniel 7:13-14 in the Context of the New Testament
Daniel 7:13-14 is quoted or alluded to eleven times in the New Testament (Matt. 24:30; 28:18; Mark 13:26; Luke 1:33; John 12:34; Rev. 1:7, 13; 10:11; 11:15; 14:14; 19:6). God gave Daniel a revelation of God’s plan culminating in the second advent, and therefore the content of Daniel is key to understanding the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24-25) as well as the book of Revelation, which really is “to the New Testament what Daniel was to the Old.” The theology of the messianic kingdom comes partially from Daniel as Jesus reveals himself to be that “son of man” revealed in Daniel (Matt. 26:63-64). Jesus’ favorite term for himself is “the Son of Man,” and this quote from Daniel plays a huge part in his claim to deity.
The traditional view is that Daniel wrote the book of Daniel, and this writer holds that view. Daniel’s existence is affirmed by Ezekiel’s three references to Daniel in his own book (Ez. 14:14, 20; 28:3), verifying the time that Daniel lived (Ezekiel’s ministry began around 593 B.C.). Even though Daniel does not speak of himself in the first person until chapter seven, his authorship is assumed and mentioned specifically in 12:4. Even those against Danielian authorship grant that, “the simplest view…is that the bilingual composer passed easily from his Heb. Introduction into the Aram.” Jesus himself explicitly speaks of Daniel as having predicted the abomination of desolation (Matt. 24:15), and at other times the Lord cites the prophecies of Daniel, and therefore shows the content to have originated from Daniel. Also, “the literary unity of the book has been widely acknowledged by scholars of all schools of thought.” The Daniel presented at the beginning of the book, is the Daniel presented at the end. Therefore there is not enough evidence to overthrow the classical understanding of the authorship of Daniel.
I. One Like the Son of Man Comes (v. 13)
II. One Like the Son of Man Reigns (v. 14)
Daniel recorded this vision to give Israel hope in the midst of their exile.
Our hope in the midst of this life comes from the future King and Kingdom
Two reasons to take hope in the midst of this life
I. The King Will Come
II. The Kingdom Will Never End
 William D Barrick, Syntactical Studies in Biblical Aramaic, ed. William D Barrick (Sun Valley, CA: The Master’s Seminary, 1997), Preface.
 Francis Brown, Samuel Rolles Driver and Charles Augustus Briggs, Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, Strong’s, TWOT, and GK References Copyright 2000 by Logos Research Systems, Inc., electronic ed. (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 2000), 1089.
 William D Barrick, ed., Syntactical Studies in Biblical Aramaic, ed. William D Barrick (Sun Valley, CA: The Master’s Seminary, 1997), 2.
 Kent Dresdow, Analysis of the Periphrastic Participle Data in Daniel 2:4-7:28, ed. William D Barrick, Studies in Biblical Aramaic Grammar & Syntax: OT 872, Spring Semester 2001 (Sun Valley, CA: The Master’s Seminary, 2001), 8.
 James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains : Aramaic (Old Testament), electronic ed. (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), DBLA 10067.
 Ibid., 10554.
 Franz Rosenthal, A Grammar of Biblical Aramaic, 6th ed. (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1995), 38.78.
 William Lee Holladay, Ludwig Köhler and Ludwig Köhler, A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. (Leiden: Brill, 1971), 408.
 Ibid., 398.
 Francis Brown, Samuel Hebrew and English Lexicon, 1089.
 William D Barrick, ed., Syntactical Studies in Biblical Aramaic, 2.
 Franz Rosenthal, A Grammar of Biblical Aramaic, 39.81.
 Francis Brown Hebrew and English Lexicon, 1108.
 R. Laird Harris, Robert Laird Harris, Gleason Leonard Archer and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, electronic ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999, c1980), 1056.
 Ludwig Koehler, Walter Baumgartner, M. E. J. Richardson and Johann Jakob Stamm, vol. 5, The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament : Volume 5: Aramaic, Aramaic. Supplementary Bibliography / Translated and Edited Under the Supervision of M.E.J. Richardson., electronic ed., Logos Library System; The Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament (Leiden; New York: E.J. Brill, 1994-2000), 1914.
 William Lee Holladay, Ludwig Hebrew and Aramaic, 411.
 Ibid., 419.
 Franz Rosenthal, A Grammar of Biblical Aramaic, 6th ed., 41.84.
 Ludwig Koehler, Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament : Volume 5: Aramaic, 1973.
 Franz Rosenthal, A Grammar of Biblical Aramaic, 6th ed., 66.
 Francis Brown, Hebrew and English Lexicon, 1095.
 Ludwig Koehler, Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 1905.
 H. Neil Richardson, A Practical Handbook for the Study of Biblical Aramaic (Boston: Boston University Bookstore, 1965), 36.
 Otto Zockler, Daniel, trans. James Strong, vol. 7, 12 vols., Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1960), 158.
 Francis Brown, Hebrew and English Lexicon, 1097.
 Ibid., 1108.
 Franz Rosenthal, A Grammar of Biblical Aramaic, 6th ed., 39.79.
 William Lee Holladay, A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 423.
 Ludwig Koehler, Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 1949.
 Franz Rosenthal, A Grammar of Biblical Aramaic, 6th ed., 42.86.
 Ibid., 43.87.
 Ibid., 42.86.
 Ibid., 43.87.
 William Lee Holladay, A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 405.
 Ludwig Koehler, Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 1872.
 James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages, 10255.
 William Lee Holladay, A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 405.
 Ludwig Koehler, Hebrew and Aramaic, 1872.
 William Lee Holladay, A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic, 405.
 Ludwig Koehler, Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 1952.
 Stephen R Miller, Daniel, vol. 18, 31 vols., The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1994), 207.
 Ibid., 194.
 James A. Montgomery, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Daniel (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1927), 282.
 Stephen R Miller, Daniel, vol. 18, 31 vols., The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1994), 204.
 James A. Montgomery, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Daniel (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1927), 303.
 John F Walvoord, Daniel, the Key to Prophetic Revelation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1971), 167.
 W. Sibley Towner, Daniel, Interpretation, a Bible commentary for teaching and preaching (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1984), 91.
 Stephen R Miller, Daniel, vol. 18, 31 vols., The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1994), 191.
 John Joseph Collins, Daniel : with an introduction to apocalyptic literature, The Forms of the Old Testament literature, v. 20 (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1984), 80.
 Stephen R Miller, Daniel, vol. 18, 31 vols., The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1994), 192.
 Ibid., 48.
 Edward J Young, The Prophecy of Daniel: A Commentary (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 1949), 18.
 John F Walvoord, Daniel, the Key to Prophetic Revelation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1971), 13.
 Ibid., 12.
 Kurt Aland et al., eds., The Greek New Testament, 4th rev. ed. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2005), 899.
 John F Walvoord, Daniel, the Key to Prophetic Revelation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1971), 13.
 Norman L Geisler, Systematic Theology, vol. 4, 4 vols. (Minneapolis, MI: Bethany House, 2002), 472.
 Stephen R Miller, Daniel, vol. 18, 31 vols., The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1994), 48.
 Ibid., 42.
 John F Walvoord, Daniel, the Key to Prophetic Revelation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1971), 11.
 James A. Montgomery, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Daniel (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1927), 91.
 Edward J Young, The Prophecy of Daniel: A Commentary (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 1949), 20.
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—. “The Coming Kingdom of Christ, Part 2 :: Grace to You.” http://www.gty.org/Resources/transcripts/27-16.
—. “The Coming Kingdom of Christ, Part 3 :: Grace to You.” http://www.gty.org/Resources/transcripts/27-17.
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