Online Bible Commentary
With the Clouds of Heaven
Daniel 7:9 "I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; 10 A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened. 11 "I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. 13 "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. 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. (NKJV)
Daniel is about seventy years old. Babylon has not yet been overthrown. The Jews, including Daniel, are still being held captive in Babylon. The year is 550 B.C., the first year of King Belshazzar’s reign.
Daniel has had a dream with visions. The first part of the dream was based on the dream that Daniel interpreted for Nebuchadnezzar, some 52 years earlier (Da. 2:31-45). Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was that of a large statue divided from head to toe into four parts, with each part representing a different empire which succeeded the previous empires. The four empires, in order of succession, were Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman.
The second part of this dream is cited in this passage. It is of the end times, beginning with the revived Roman Empire. In his vision Daniel saw that “thrones were put in place” (v. 9a).
On one of the thrones was seated God the Father, “the Ancient of Days” (v. 9b). “His garment was white as snow” and His hair “was like pure wool” (v. 9c). The throne He sat on “was a fiery flame” and had wheels like “a burning fire” (v. 9d). “A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him” (v. 10a).
A million angels (Rev. 5:11) “ministered to Him”, while another hundred million angels “stood before Him” (v. 10b). “The court was seated, And the books were opened” (v. 10c). The court was made up of saints (Rev. 20:4) and the books were those of the great white throne judgment of unbelievers (Rev. 20:11-12).
The “pompous words which the horn was speaking” (v. 11a) represents the revived Roman Empire of the end times. The horn is the Anti-Christ and the pompous words come from the beast, the false prophet (Rev. 19:20). They represent the revived Roman Empire that is “destroyed and given to the burning flame” (v.11b). The other kingdoms continued to exist as a people “for a season and a time”, but without their earlier dominance (v. 12).
Next Daniel sees Jesus Christ, “the son of man”, come ”with the clouds of Heaven” (v. 13a). He came to the Father, and was brought near to Him (v. 13b). Then, Christ was given “dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him” (v. 14a). His dominion is “everlasting” (v. 14b) It will never “pass away” (v.14c) and will never be “destroyed” (v. 14d).
Chapter seven of the book of Daniel is the beginning of the prophetic last half of the book. This second part of Daniel’s dream was largely a prophetic pronouncement of the end times. In the next passage Daniel will interpret this dream in more detail.
For now, we see that, as always, the good guys win in the end. God’s kingdom can never be destroyed. It wins in the end.
We may take our lumps while on this earth, but we will win in the end. It is our job to remain faithful no matter the circumstances. The ending has already been written and made known, so only a fool would not remain faithful. Christ will come “with the clouds of Heaven” proclaiming the victory!