And there was given him dominion - This also is applied to our Lord Jesus by himself, after his resurrection, Matthew 28:18.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion - Christianity shall increase, and prevail to the end of the world. See the parallel passages in the margin.
And there was given him dominion - That is, by him who is represented as the “Ancient of days.” The fair interpretation of this is, that he received the dominion from him. This is the uniform representation in the New Testament. Compare Matthew 28:18; John 3:35; 1 Corinthians 15:27. The word dominion here means rule or auhority - such as a prince exercises. He was set over a kingdom as a prince or ruler.
And glory - That is the glory or honor appropriate to one at the head of such an empire.
And a kingdom - That is, he would reign. He would have sovereignty. The nature and the extent of this kingdom is immediately designated as one that would be universal and perpetual. What is properly implied in this language as to the question whether it will be literal and visible, will be appropriately considered at the close of the verse. All that is necessary to be noticed here is, that it is everywhere promised in the Old Testament that the Messiah would be a king, and have a kingdom. Compare Psalm 2:1-12; Isaiah 9:6-7.
That all people, nations, and languages should serve him - It would be universal; would embrace all nations. The language here is such as would emphatically denote universality. See the notes at Daniel 3:4; Daniel 4:1. It implies that that kingdom would extend over all the nations of the earth, and we are to look for the fulfillment of this only in such a universal reign of the Messiah.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion - The others, represented by the four beasts, would all pass away, but this would be permanent and eternal. Nothing would destroy it. It would not have, as most kingdoms of the earth have had, any such internal weakness or source of discord as would be the cause of its destruction, nor would there be any external power that would invade or overthrow it. This declaration affirms nothing as to the form in which the kingdom would exist, but merely asserts the fact that it would do so. Respecting the kingdom of the Messiah, to which this undoubtedly alludes, the same thing is repeatedly and uniformly affirmed in the New Testament. Compare Matthew 16:18; Hebrews 12:28; Revelation 11:15. The form and manner in which this will occur is more fully developed in the New Testament; in the vision seen by Daniel the fact only is stated.
The question now arises, What would be a fulfillment of this prediction respecting the kingdom that will be given to the saints? What, from the language used in the vision, should we be legitimately authorized to expect to take place on the earth? In regard to these questions, there are but two views which can be taken, and the interpretation of the passage must sustain the one or the other.
(a) One is what supposes that this will be literally fulfilled in the sense that the Son of God, the Messiah, will reign personally on earth. According to this, he will come to set up a visible and glorious kingdom, making Jerusalem his capital, and swaying his scepter over the world. All nations and people will be subject to him; all authority will be wielded by his people under him.
(b) According to the other view, there will be a spiritual reign of the Son of God over the earth; that is, the principles of his religion will everywhere prevail, and the righteous will rule, and the laws of the Redeemer will be obeyed everywhere. There will be such a prevalence of his gospel on the hearts of all - rulers and people; the gospel will so modify all laws, and control all customs, and remove all abuses, and all the forms of evil; men will be so generally under the influence of that gospel, that it may be said that He reigns on the earth, or that the government actually administered is his.
In regard to these different views, and to the true interpretation of the passage, it may be remarked,
(1) That we are not to look for the literal fulfillment of this; we are not to expect that what is here described will literally occur. The whole is evidently a symbolic representation, and the fulfillment is to be found in something that the symbol would properly denote. No one can pretend that there is to be an actual sitting on the throne, by one in the form of an old man - “the Ancient of days” - or that there is to be a literal coming to him by one “like the Son of man,” to receive a kingdom. But if one part of the representation is not to be literally interpreted, why should the other be? It may be added, that it is nowhere said that this would literally occur.
(2) All that is fairly implied here is found in the latter interpretation. Such a prevalence of the principles of the gospel would meet the force of the language, and every part of the vision would find a real fulfillment in that.
(a) The fact that it proceeds from God - represented as “the Ancient of days.”
(b) The fact that it is given by him, or that the kingdom is made over by him to the Messiah.
(c) The fact that the Messiah would have such a kingdom; that is, that he would reign on the earth, in the hearts and lives of men.
(d) The fact that that kingdom would be universal - extending over all people.
(e) And the fact that it would be perpetual; that is, that it would extend down to the end of time, or the consummation of all things here, and that it would be then eternal in the heavens.
For a very full and ample illustration of this passage - so full and ample as to supersede the necessity of any additional illustration here, see the notes at Daniel 2:44-45.
The Glory Belongs to God—The lesson that the Lord would have all humanity learn from the experience of the king of Babylon is that all who walk in pride He is able to abase. By stern discipline Nebuchadnezzar had to learn the lesson that God, not man, is Ruler, that His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. So man today must learn that God is supreme. When men gain success in the work of the Lord, it is because God has given them this success, not for their own glory, but for God's glory. He who seeks to steal a ray of light from the glory of the Lord will find that he will be punished for his presumption. PM 139.4Read in context »
“I beheld,” says the prophet Daniel, “till thrones were placed, and One that was Ancient of Days did sit: His raiment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool; His throne was fiery flames, and the wheels thereof burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:9, 10, R.V. GC 479.1
Thus was presented to the prophet's vision the great and solemn day when the characters and the lives of men should pass in review before the Judge of all the earth, and to every man should be rendered “according to his works.” The Ancient of Days is God the Father. Says the psalmist: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.” Psalm 90:2. It is He, the source of all being, and the fountain of all law, that is to preside in the judgment. And holy angels as ministers and witnesses, in number “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,” attend this great tribunal. GC 479.2Read in context »
The coming of Christ as our high priest to the most holy place, for the cleansing of the sanctuary, brought to view in Daniel 8:14; the coming of the Son of man to the Ancient of Days, as presented in Daniel 7:13; and the coming of the Lord to His temple, foretold by Malachi, are descriptions of the same event; and this is also represented by the coming of the bridegroom to the marriage, described by Christ in the parable of the ten virgins, of Matthew 25. GC 426.1
In the summer and autumn of 1844 the proclamation, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh,” was given. The two classes represented by the wise and foolish virgins were then developed—one class who looked with joy to the Lord's appearing, and who had been diligently preparing to meet Him; another class that, influenced by fear and acting from impulse, had been satisfied with a theory of the truth, but were destitute of the grace of God. In the parable, when the bridegroom came, “they that were ready went in with him to the marriage.” The coming of the bridegroom, here brought to view, takes place before the marriage. The marriage represents the reception by Christ of His kingdom. The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, which is the capital and representative of the kingdom, is called “the bride, the Lamb's wife.” Said the angel to John: “Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.” “He carried me away in the spirit,” says the prophet, “and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.” Revelation 21:9, 10. Clearly, then, the bride represents the Holy City, and the virgins that go out to meet the bridegroom are a symbol of the church. In the Revelation the people of God are said to be the guests at the marriage supper. Revelation 19:9. If guests, they cannot be represented also as the bride. Christ, as stated by the prophet Daniel, will receive from the Ancient of Days in heaven, “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom;” He will receive the New Jerusalem, the capital of His kingdom, “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Daniel 7:14; Revelation 21:2. Having received the kingdom, He will come in His glory, as King of kings and Lord of lords, for the redemption of His people, who are to “sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob,” at His table in His kingdom (Matthew 8:11; Luke 22:30), to partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb. GC 426.2
The proclamation, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh,” in the summer of 1844, led thousands to expect the immediate advent of the Lord. At the appointed time the Bridegroom came, not to the earth, as the people expected, but to the Ancient of Days in heaven, to the marriage, the reception of His kingdom. “They that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut.” They were not to be present in person at the marriage; for it takes place in heaven, while they are upon the earth. The followers of Christ are to “wait for their Lord, when He will return from the wedding.” Luke 12:36. But they are to understand His work, and to follow Him by faith as He goes in before God. It is in this sense that they are said to go in to the marriage. GC 427.1Read in context »
Both the prophecy of Daniel 8:14, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,” and the first angel's message, “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come,” pointed to Christ's ministration in the most holy place, to the investigative judgment, and not to the coming of Christ for the redemption of His people and the destruction of the wicked. The mistake had not been in the reckoning of the prophetic periods, but in the event to take place at the end of the 2300 days. Through this error the believers had suffered disappointment, yet all that was foretold by the prophecy, and all that they had any Scripture warrant to expect, had been accomplished. At the very time when they were lamenting the failure of their hopes, the event had taken place which was foretold by the message, and which must be fulfilled before the Lord could appear to give reward to His servants. GC 424.1
Christ had come, not to the earth, as they expected, but, as foreshadowed in the type, to the most holy place of the temple of God in heaven. He is represented by the prophet Daniel as coming at this time to the Ancient of Days: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came”—not to the earth, but—“to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.” Daniel 7:13. GC 424.2
This coming is foretold also by the prophet Malachi: “The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:1. The coming of the Lord to His temple was sudden, unexpected, to His people. They were not looking for Him there. They expected Him to come to earth, “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel.” 2 Thessalonians 1:8. GC 424.3Read in context »