Friday, March 21, 2008

The Son of Man coming "to" OR "as" the Ancient of Days?

In 1 Enoch 37-71, the Son of Man figure is assimilated to the throne of God. Where did this close association of the Son of Man with the throne, reign, and sovereignty of God come from? Well, one can compare some of the versions of Dan. 7.13-14 in want of an answer.

In Greek versions the Son of Man comes:

heōs tou palaiou hēmerōn (to/as far as the ancient of days) - Theodotion (based on the MT)

ōs palaios hēmerōn (as the ancient of days) - LXX (cf. Rev. 1.13-14 with the description of the Son of Man with characteristics similar to the Ancient of Days).

This is a clear instance of how the textual tradition began to gradually merge together the "one like a son of man" with the "ancient of days".

1 comment:

Michael Barber said...

I was just going to post on this!!!

This is a fascinating variant. It certainly would explain why the high priest reacted with such anger to Jesus' statement that " will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven" (Mark 14:62).

It would also explain the fear of the disciples at the Transfiguration (and much more).

By the way, have you read Leslie Walck's dissertation, "The Son of Man in Matthew and the Similitudes of Enoch"?

I just finished her article in Enoch and the Messiah Son of Man. I suggest you read it if you haven't already.