DANIEL 7:13, MARK 9:1, AND ESCHATOLOGY (3)

PMW 2019-019 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am engaged in a short series on the use of Daniel 7:13 by Jesus in Mark, particularly regarding its influence on Jesus’ statement in Mark 9:1.

In the first article I focused on the meaning of Daniel 7:13, which is widely misunderstood among evangelicals today. It is an enthronement vision that shows Christ entering into heaven to receive his kingdom. It does not refer to Jesus’ Second Coming to earth, as so many believe. The language itself will not allow it, for it says the Son of Man “came up to the Acient of Days / And was presented before Him.”

In my second article I dealt with the use of Daniel 7:13 in three key eschatological texts in Mark’s record of Christ’s teaching. Those verses include Mark 13:26 (in the Olivet Discourse) and 14:62 (Jesus’ statement before the high priest during his trial).

I also made an argument for Daniel 7:13 being behind Jesus’ statement in Mark 9:1. Though Jesus does not directly quote from Daniel in Mark 9:1, there is clear evidence that it is in his mind as he speaks. Like the other verses in Mark, this verse in its context links with them through: the reference to divine kingship, the mention of the Son of Man, and the temporal expectation (which I only mentioned in that article, but will elaborate on in this one).


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In this article I continue this series. Let’s get started (breakfast is almost ready and I can smell the bacon frying).

IV. The Expectation of Daniel 7:13 by Jesus

If it were not for Daniel’s declaration that the Son of Man was entering into heaven, the glory and “coming” language of his vision could easily apply to his Second Advent. As is recognized by most scholars, the Second Advent is theologically related to and anticipated by earlier “day of the Lord” events in both testaments (Isa 13:6, 9; Eze 30:3; Joel 1:15; 2:1; Am 5:18–20; Zep 1:14; Mal 4:5). Though Scripture speaks of only a singular “day” of the Lord, we know that there are many. But all of these point to the last, great Day of the Lord that occurs at the Second Coming and Final Judgment, where all men and nations will be just rather than just one nation at a time (as in the OT). In an earlier article I demonstrated that the AD 70 destruction of the temple was a distant adumbration of the Second Coming/Final Judgment episode that ends history.

But now in Christ’s use of Daniel 7:13 in Mark’s Gospel (and the other Synoptics), we discover that his eschatological pronouncements that employ Daniel 7:13 were to occur within the first century. Let us see how this is so in each of the three Daniel-influenced eschatological texts.

Mark 13:26

Mark 13:26 records Jesus as declaring: “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.” We have already seen that Daniel 7:13 lies behind this statement (in the first article in this series). Now we must note that very quickly after making this statement Jesus adds: “Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place” (Mark 13:29–30). This ties the passage to the first century.

Note only so, but Mark 13 is prompted by Jesus’ warning: “Do you see these great buildings [of the temple, v. 1]? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down” (Mark 13:2). Though he will also mention his distant Second Coming in this Discourse (cf. Mark 13:32-36), he must first answer the disciples’ specific question (v. 1). Matthew 24:3 gives us a fuller report of their question, showing that they thought the temple’s destruction required the end of the world and his Second Advent (see PMW articles). So he will correct their misunderstanding about the circumstances of the Second Advent — but only after answering their question by informing them of the time of the destruction of the temple and the signs of its approach.


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Mark 14:62

In Mark 14, Jesus has been put under oath by the high priest, which requires that he answer the primary question put to him. (Matthew’s version shows that he is being put under oath at this point, Matt. 26:63). Mark records his reluctance in answering the question: “He kept silent and did not answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, ‘Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ (Mark 14:61).

Then we read of Jesus’ answer to the high priest: “And Jesus said, ‘I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven’” (Mark 14:62). Here we may discern the historical expectation involved in the dramatic demonstration of the theological significance of Daniel 7:13. Christ speaks directly to the high priest and the Sanhedrin assembled at his trial and says: “you shall see.”

In his answer, Jesus is referring to his judgment-coming against the temple, which is the dramatic, public demonstration that he has been enthroned by God and vested with universal power (as per Dan. 7:13–14; see first article in this series). Thus, once again we see that the event is expected soon — in the life time of those assembled as his judges. This fits well with the Mark 13:26 statement that it will occur in “this generation.”

Mark 9:1

Having already shown that Mark 9:1 also picks up on Daniel 7:13 (see previous article), we will note its same expectation of a near-term application of Daniel 7:13. As Jesus speaks to his disciples regarding their coming suffering (Mark 8:34–37), he promises them that they, like all who follow him throughout history, will be vindicated in the end, i.e., at the Second Advent (Mark 8:38). He then adds a confirmatory and encouraging proof of this, which they may take to heart: they will witness his judgment-coming in power in their lifetimes:

Mark 9:1 read: “And Jesus was saying to them, ‘Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.’”

Thus, we see in all three of the Marcan passages that have Daniel 7:13 behind them that they expect fulfillment in the first century: in “this generation” (Mark 13:26), within the life spans of the high priest and Sanhedrin (Mark 14:62), and while some of his disciples are still alive (Mark 9:1).

I will conclude this series in my next article.


Click on the following images for more information on these studies:


Beast ID

Before Jerusalem Fell

He Shall Have Dominion

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One thought on “DANIEL 7:13, MARK 9:1, AND ESCHATOLOGY (3)

  1. Tyler March 6, 2019 at 7:17 am

    Thank you! I am currently preaching through Mark and am in Mark 8:34-38 this week and enter chapter 9 next week! Perfect timing! It was predestined…..

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