Who is The Ancient of Days?

Regarding this question, most would regard as having an obvious answer. In fact, the passage presents details that warrant a much closer look. What revealing information does this prophecy in Daniel offer?

  © Rich Traver,  81520-1411,  1-24-03  [ 4 ]    www.goldensheaves.org 


Only one book in the Bible, the prophetic Book of Daniel, and only one chapter in that book, makes reference to “The Ancient of Days”.  Most regard this name as being another name for God.  In fact, there are only three places where this specific name is used in the entirety of scriptures.  All are found in Daniel, Chapter 7, in Verses 9, 13 and 22.    The context of all three mentions, present a specific prophecy of the final end-time Beast which arises at the end of the age, just prior to Christ’s return.

So, there are three mentions of this Being.  That Being is God.  Why should this raise any question?

But, Who Is Being Referred To?

The Jewish concept of God regards Him as just one single Being.  The Christian concept of God holds, rather, that there is more than one Personality in the Godhead.  The Jewish theologian anciently or presently, would never have asked, or thought to ask, the question posed in this article.   It is the Christian concept that creates the question.   That question more specifically is this:  Is the term, the “Ancient of Days” referring to the Being we know as God the Father, or is it referring to the Son?   Few have ever paused to consider.

Contained with this mention is a startling truth, not obvious to the casual reader.  That truth becomes apparent only when we answer, to whom is the “Ancient of Days” referring?   Is that name applied to the Being we’ve known as the Father, or to the One we know as the Son?

Considering Each Mention.

Even to this point, many will wonder what difference the answer would make.   That will become very apparent as we examine the scriptures.    

First, we need to review each of the three places this term is used:

The First mention: Daniel 7:9&10.  “I watched until 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; 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”  (New King James version)

Now, let’s ask, Who is this referring to?

The Second mention:  Dan.7:13&14  “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.  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.”  (NKJ)

Now, who is this referring to?   Do you begin to see the problem?

The Third mention:   Daniel 7:21&22   “I was watching;  and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.”  (NKJ)

Again, the same question, who is this referring to? Are all three passages making reference to the same individual?  In fact, a case could be made for it being either the Father OR the Son,  depending on which passage one chooses to use!   Both the first and last passages are reiterations of the same vision that came to Daniel during the night.  These clearly refer to the coming Christ.   The language and the situations described are unmistakable.

It’s the second passage that raises the question.  It’s here where we see a Being, referred to as the “Son of Man” being brought before another Being, here referred to as “The Ancient of Days”.    In this reference, we are compelled to identify the “Son of Man as being the One we know as Jesus Christ, with “the Ancient of Days” being God the Father!

So, in the first and last references, we see the returning Christ being called the Ancient of Days, but in the second reference, He is clearly the Son of Man, being BROUGHT BEFORE the Ancient of Days.   This is perplexing, to put it mildly!   How do we answer this obvious question?

What Are These Telling Us?

Let’s consider other scriptures that relate similar information to Daniel’s narratives.

In the First mention: Daniel 7:9&10. “I watched until thrones were put in place [1] , and the Ancient of Days was seated; This time refers to the setting-up of the Millennial Kingdom under Christ.  See Rev. 20:4  “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed unto them…And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” “His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool.  Compare this with Rev.1:14  “His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire.” “His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; This sounding very similar to the vision of the throne of God, found in Ezekiel 1.  “A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him; A thousand thousands (millions) ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand (100 millions) stood before Him.   Rev.5:10&11   “And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth. Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,…” “The court was seated, And the books were opened” Compare this to Rev.20:12  “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened….”

In the Third mention:   Daniel 7:21&22   “I was watching;  and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment[2] was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.” Compare Rev.17:14   “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen and faithful.”  (They having passed judgment!

All of these references clearly apply to Christ!

Now, the problem is in the SECOND reference.  We see one called the “Son of Man” being brought in and presented before the “Ancient of Days”.

In The Second mention:  Dan.7:13&14  “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man[3] , Coming with the clouds of heaven!  This “Son of Man” is someone born of mankind, a term only applicable to Christ!  John 5:26 & 27 says,  “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.”  “ He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him.”

Now, this is a key statement!  The Son of Man (one Being) is brought before the Ancient of Days (another Being).   We will see later that this is a definitive moment in time.  Here, the Son of Man is presented as ‘inferior to’ the Ancient of Days, thus it is necessary for Him to be brought in and officially presented by others.   Here, we have Christ being presented before God the Father.  Why this occasion?   Why and when did this event ever occur?   The answer is surprising!

But first, the point, that here we see the Father being referred to as the Ancient of Days, where in both other places, the Ancient of Days is clearly referring to the One we know as the Son!

Let’s continue with Daniel’s account:

“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.”  These compare with Hebrews 1:2,  “God…has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;” and Ephesians 1:20, “His mighty power… which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”  and Isa.9:6&7,  “Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever.”

Too Distracted to Notice?

The “HE” whose kingdom is here being spoken of, is the Son of Man, the Christ (Anointed of God).  This account by Daniel of his night vision, though presenting a prophecy of a most significant future event, is at the same time giving us a glimpse into something else, that we are usually too distracted, by his riveting end-time prophecy, to notice.

We are being given a glimpse into the investiture ceremony at which Christ was formally given title to the Kingdom.   When exactly did this happen?  It was prophetic when it was written, but it is historic now.  There was a moment in time when this presentation and investment ceremony took place.   We can know when it was by considering the evidence given in Daniel’s accounts.

THEY Brought Him Near Before Him!

We see the Son of Man coming up through the clouds, coming to the Ancient of Days.  This suggests coming up from the earth.  Secondly, we see others bringing Him near before Him, in that He is an inferior Being at this moment in time, needing to be formally presented by the officials (plural) of the court of heaven, and needing to be accepted.  So, when was the Son ever ‘inferior’ to the Father?  Well, Philippians 2:6-9 explains this very clearly’ “Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be (or to again become) equal with God, but (for a time) made Himself of no reputation, taking on the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.  Therefore, God has also highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name,…”

So, we see here that there was a prior time, when the TWO God Beings were fully co-equals, but one of the two divested Himself of His former glorified state, taking on an inferior state of being.  For 34 ¼ years Christ existed of flesh, after which He gave His life, was resurrected, and was restored to His former Glorified state.  For those 34 ¼ years, these two Beings were separated.  (From conception to ascension).   As Christ prayed at His final earthly Passover, “Jesus spoke these words , lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: ‘Father, the hour has come.  Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may Glorify You,…I have glorified You on earth, I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”  John 17:5

In this passage in Daniel 7, we are given a glimpse into a very profound moment in history.  We can even know exactly when that moment was!  The morning of His resurrection, Christ said, “Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to My Father.” John 20:17.  Then He said, “Go to my brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God’.” Yet before His final ascension, He said,  “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth...”  Mt.28:18. This was something that was not the case before. It was something new, something that happened at a point in time, some time after His resurrection.

When Was It?

At some point before His ascension, this event took place.  The language in the latter half of John.20:17  “I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to My God and your God,” suggests He was the FIRST of a generation.  The twice repeated, “My and your” suggests both had come into the same relationship with God!  In fact, He was the first of the Firstfruits unto God!  (This was the Wavesheaf Day, remember.)   The morrow after the Sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread!  The evidence suggests the Son of Man being presented up before the Ancient of Days, mid-day on Abib 18, 30 AD.  While Mary was off telling the disciples that He was ascending to the Father, this event that Daniel describes was taking place in heaven!

The True Wavesheaf.

So, though the focus in Daniel 7 is on the end-time events, we see subliminally in the narrative, a reference to that ceremony in which the ascended Son of God, His Christ, is formally restored back to His pre-incarnate Glorified existence, being re-invested with all power in heaven and in earth.    We see a Being, having been separated from God the Father for 34 ¼ years, accepted back to His former Glory, restored to His full pre-physical equality, and set at God’s right hand to serve as our High Priest before God’s Throne.  This event happened ON Wave-sheaf Day!  He was our Wavesheaf Offering!    Daniel’s account shows Christ first being the Ancient of Days, then NOT the Ancient of Days, rather, as the Son of Man, then finally, again as the Ancient of Days.  This illustrates the pointed Truth stated in Philippians 2:6-9. Upon acceptance before the Father (the Ancient of Days),  He was restored to being the Ancient of Days also!  Both were fully equal before the world was [4], and are once again.  So, to answer the original question, BOTH are rightfully called the Ancient of Days!, except that for a short time, one of the two left the Spirit realm for a physical existence, and during that interval, was known as the Son of Man!

A Second Confirmation!

Now, all of this is interesting in itself, but the fact is, there is a second account of this ceremony in which Christ was restored to His Glorified state!  That account, written by David, some 500 years earlier than Daniel, went on to become one of the most provocative and most often quoted Old Testament passages found in the New Testament!  It is a passage that is quoted or referenced at least twenty times.   It is the verse that got Christ killed,  it got Stephen stoned,  and it was even alluded to at Christ’s dedication at the Temple as an infant of 40 days old!  Christ slapped the Pharisees and lawyers senseless with this reference, after which none of them dared ask Him any more questions!  (Mt.22: 46)    Paul quoted it often.  (Rom.8:34,  Eph.1:20, Col.3:1,  Heb.1:3,  8:1,  10:12,  12:2,  etc.)

Christ Himself attested to the inspiration of this passage.  He said in Matthew 24:43, “How then does David, in the Spirit, call Him LORD”?...

Sit Thou At My Right Hand.

This other passage of relevance is found in Psalm 110, verses 1 & 5.   They are quoted and referenced in the New Testament no less than twenty times, attesting to the profound importance of its content.  It shows up at the most exquisite moments, such as those given above.   Quoted in the presence of the religious establishment, it always drew a very volatile reaction.    Not without good reason.

The passage that the Jews were so uncomfortable with was,  “The LORD said unto my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, ‘Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’ This is verse 1.  Verse 5 reflects that, saying,  “The LORD[5] at Your right hand; He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath.”  NKJ

What we see here is one “LORD” talking to an-other “Lord”.   Yahweh talking to Adonai.   But in verse 5, we see that Adonai is also Yahweh! This ‘did not compute’ under Jewish theology, so they changed it!   (See footnote 5 below)   When we understand the scene and the fact that there are two Beings in the Godhead, it makes perfect sense.

Christ made that point at His trial, Stephen also at his!

In verse 1, a lesser Lord is in the presence of the greater LORD, and the greater instructs the lesser to sit at His right hand.  He had not occupied that position before!  This was a totally new institution.  Now, after this was accomplished, then that lesser Lord, now having been seated, is referred to as LORD!  Unlike Daniel 7, this chapter, Psalm 110, does not make reference to the former state of the lesser Lord (Adonai), but it does address itself to the same situation, of one being elevated to full personal equality, though serving in a subordinate office.   David, under Christ-affirmed inspiration [6] shows that there are (and originally were) TWO Beings in the Godhead, BOTH called “Yahweh”, just as both are called “the Ancient of Days”!

With Restoration, a Name Change.

Here, in Psalm 110, we see Christ being elevated to full power and authority, which He did not have up to that moment in time, and His being installed at God’s right hand.  Upon being seated, He then is also referred to as “Yahweh”.    Philippians 2:9 says,  “Therefore, God has also highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name[7],..” (Not to say that He didn’t rightfully have that name before His temporary divestiture.)

The Wavesheaf Ceremony.

So, what do we see here?  Actually, when the full implication of these two passages, Daniel 7 and Psalm 110, is realized, we can see that in Daniel 7 we have an account of the Wavesheaf Ceremony, and in Psalm 110, we have an account of the dialog that took place at it.  This was the formal ceremony in which the True Wavesheaf, the first of the First-fruits unto God, was offered-up before God by the heavenly priesthood and was accepted for us!

The Son of Man ascends up through the clouds, He is brought-into the presence of the Ancient of Days and is accepted.   He then is restored to His former power and authority, and except for a brief 40-day hiatus on earth, is instructed to take up position, being seated at the right hand of God, the Ancient of Days, Yahweh, being thereafter legitimately called by those same names Himself!

Implicit in all of this is a powerful confirmation of the fact of there being TWO Beings in the God-head.   One of which, for a time, divested Himself of His former position and Glory, to become composed of flesh, rather than of Eternal Spirit, drawing His continuing existence of the physical / material dimension.    1John 4:2&3 goes so far to indicate that a non-acceptance of this fundamental truth as being the doctrine / spirit of antichrist!

With this understood, these events and personal identities in Daniel 7 and Psalm 110 both become clear.   There are TWO co-equals!   Hebrews 1:1-4   



[1] The KJV has here “thrown down”, the NKJ rather has “put in place”. this being more consistent with corresponding passages in Revelation, and is corroborated by Jamison, Faucet & Brown Commentary, Vol.2, on Dan.7:9.  This rendering is also consistent with Dan.7:22.

[2] The KJV has “judgment was given” indicative of rulership, rather than a favorable legal verdict.  On Dan.7:22 JF&Brown says, “Judgment includes rule…” consistent with being given dominion and rule as in Dan.7:14.

[3] All thru the NT accounts, Christ is referred to as the “Son of Man”, a name never applied to the Father.

[4] John 17:5

[5] In the KJV and NKJ “LORD” is rendered “Lord”, with lower case letters, rather than using all upper case.  Where “LORD” is used, it indicates the original text contained the Tetragrammeton (YHWH), “Yahweh”, as opposed to “Lord” indicating the original text used “Adonai”.  IN THIS PLACE, the Sopherim before the second century BC had deliberately changed “YHWH” to “Adonai” to suit their religious objections to the potent implications of what the passage indicated.  Christ knew what they’d done, and they knew that He knew, that’s why, when He quoted this verse to them,  suggesting He was that Yahweh, they had to kill Him!   This matter is explained at length in my article on “The 134 Emendations”. I won’t take the space to do that here.

[6] Matthew 22:43,   Mark 12:36,  “…David said…by the Holy Spirit…”, quoting Christ!

[7] Notice, it’s THIS Name (YHVH) the Jews regard as being too sacred to pronounce, not Elohim!