I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days…
Daniel had this vision some fifty years after Nebuchadnezzar had the Vision of the composite image: but his vision harmonizes with it, and is descriptive of the same great kings and monarchies. The kingdom given to the Son of Man is the kingdom which was symbolized by the stone cut out without hands, which grew into a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
I. WHEN THIS KINGDOM WAS GIVEN TO OUR LORD.
1. Our Lord is described as coming with clouds in the day of judgment. But the coming of Christ to the universal judgment is not the coming of Christ spoken of in the text. The coming of Christ to judge the world will be the end of all things; but the coming of Christ in the text must be during the time of the fourth or Roman empire. The coming of Christ to the universal judgment will be to reward or punish mankind; but the coming of Christ in the text is to receive a kingdom for Himself. The coming of Christ to the last judgment will be to utter the final sentence and to fix the eternal state of all the righteous and the wicked; but the coming of Christ in the text refers to temporal events, and to temporal kingdoms.
2. What can the coming be but His coming from earth to Heaven at the triune of His ascension. The prophet does not represent "the Son of Man" as coming in the clouds from Heaven to earth, but as coming with the clouds of Heaven from His former residence on earth towards the Ancient of Days on his fiery throne. The description of Christ's ascension by the Evangelist is the best explanation of this part of the vision of the prophet. Again the prophet says, "And they brought him near before him," i.e., they brought the Son of Man near before the Ancient of Days on His throne. Again, "There was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom." In His hand was put the sceptre of everlasting empire. When, therefore, our Lord ascended on high, and sat down on the right hand of God, then He received His kingdom and glory.
II. THE NATURE OF HIS KINGDOM.
1. It is Divine. It is altogether of God; it is given to the Son of Man by the Ancient of Days; it is set up on earth by the God of Heaven; it is not of this world, it is a spiritual kingdom. As God alone could set up this kingdom in the world, so God alone can make men its willing subjects.
2. It is universal. From the first the greatest opposition was made to the establishment of this kingdom. But in the course of three centuries all opposition was overcome, and Christianity became the religion of the world.
3. It is everlasting. "Of his kingdom there shall be no end." The subject is instructive, alarming, and consolatory.
(1) It teaches the magnificence of the scheme of salvation by Christ crucified. It teaches who in times past has shed, like water, the blood of the saints. It teaches the folly or the impropriety of attempting to change Popery, or to conciliate Antichrist. Popery cannot be changed. Antichrist cannot be conciliated.
(2) The subject is alarming. It is full of terrors to all who live in sin, and oppose the Kingdom of God.
Parallel VersesKJV: I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.