Doctrine of the son of man


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Romans 1:1-4

Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Concerning his Son - This is connected with the first verse, with the word "gospel." The gospel of God concerning his Son. The design of the gospel was to make a communication relative to his Son Jesus Christ. This is the whole of it. There is no "good news" to man respecting salvation except what comes by Jesus Christ.

Which was made - The word translated "was made" means usually "to be," or "to become." It is used, however, in the sense of being born. Thus, Galatians 4:4, "God sent forth his Son made of a woman," born of a woman. John 8:58, "before Abraham was (born), I am." In this sense it seems to be used here, who was born, or descended from the seed of David.

Of the seed of David - Of the posterity or lineage of David. He was a descendant of David. David was perhaps the most illustrious of the kings of Israel. The promise to him was that there should not fail a man to sit on this throne; 1 Kings 2:4; 1 Kings 8:25; 1 Kings 9:5; 2 Chronicles 6:16. This ancient promise was understood as referring to the Messiah, and hence, in the New Testament he is called the descendant of David, and so much pains is taken to show that he was of his line; Luke 1:27; Matthew 9:27; Matthew 15:22; Matthew 12:23; Matthew 21:9, Matthew 21:15; Matthew 22:42, Matthew 22:45; John 7:42; 2 Timothy 2:8. As the Jews universally believed that the Messiah would be descended from David John 7:42, it was of great importance for the sacred writers to make it out clearly that Jesus of Nazareth was of that line and family. Hence, it happened, that though our Saviour was humble, and poor, and obscure, yet he had that on which no small part of the world have been accustomed so much to pride themselves, an illustrious ancestry. To a Jew there could be scarcely any honor so high as to be descended from the best of their kings; and it shows how little the Lord Jesus esteemed the honors of this world, that he could always evince his deep humility in circumstances where people are usually proud; and that when he spoke of the honors of this world, and told how little they were worth, he was not denouncing what was not within his reach.

According to the flesh - The word "flesh," σάρξ sarx, is used in the Scriptures in a great variety of significations.

(1) it denotes, as with us, the flesh literally of any living being; Luke 24:39, "A spirit hath not flesh and bones," etc.

(2) the animal system, the body, including flesh and bones, the visible part of man, in distinction from the invisible, or the soul; Acts 2:31, "Neither did his flesh (his body) "see corruption." 1 Corinthians 5:5; 1 Corinthians 15:39.

(3) the man, the whole animated system, body and soul; Romans 8:3, "In the likeness of sinful flesh. 1 Corinthians 15:50; Matthew 16:17; Luke 3:6.

(4) human nature. As a man. Thus, Acts 2:30, "God hath sworn with an oath that of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh, that is, in his human nature, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne." Romans 9:5, "whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever." The same is its meaning here. He was a descendant of David in his human nature, or as a man. This implies, of course, that he had another nature besides his human, or that while he was a man he was also something else; that there was a nature in which he was not descended from David.

That this is its meaning will still further appear by the following observations.

(1) the apostle expressly makes a contrast between his condition according to the flesh, and that according to the spirit of holiness.

(2) the expression "according to the flesh" is applied to no other one in the New Testament but to Jesus Christ. Though the word "flesh" often occurs, and is often used to denote man, yet the special expression, "according to the flesh" occurs in no other connection.

In all the Scriptures it is never said of any prophet or apostle, any lawgiver or king, or any man in any capacity, that he came in the flesh, or that he was descended from certain ancestors according to the flesh. Nor is such an expression ever used any where else. If it were applied to a mere man, we should instantly ask in what other way could he come than in the flesh? Has he a higher nature? Is he an angel, or a seraph? The expression would be unmeaningful. And when, therefore, it is applied to Jesus Christ, it implies, if language has any meaning, that there was a sense in which Jesus was not descended from David. What that was, appears in the next verse.

Lets examine some of Jesus declarations about being the son of man (adam, humanity, a human being). He used this term describing His death, burial and Resurrection from the dead. He also used this phrase about His future Kingdom, Reign and Judgment at the end of the age. This would mean that Jesus not only considered Himself to be human while He walked this earth but also in the future at His 2nd Coming in Judgment. He also describes Himself at the right hand of God as a human post Resurrection/ Ascension.

"Son of man" is a common term in the Psalms, used to accentuate the difference between God and human beings. As in Ps. viii. 4 (A. V. 5), the phrase implies "mortality," "impotence," "transientness,"as against the omnipotence and eternality of God. Yhwh looks down from His throne in heaven upon the "children," or "sons," of "man" (Ps. xi. 4, xxxiii. 13). The faithful fail among them (Ps. xii. 2 [A. V. 1]); the seed of Yhwh's enemies will not abide among the "children of men" (Ps. xxi. 10). "Children of men" is thus equivalent to "mankind" (Ps. xxxvi. 8 [A. V. 7], lxvi. 5).
"Sons of men," or "children of men," designates also the slanderers and evil-doers in contrast to the righteous, that is, Israel (Ps. lvii. 5 [A. V. 4], lviii. 2 [A. V. 1]). It occurs most frequently, however, as a synonym for "mankind," "the human race" (Ps. xc. 3, cvii. 8, cxv. 16, cxlv. 12); it has this sense also in the passage in which wisdom is said to delight with the "sons of men" (Prov. viii. 31). Job(xvi. 21) employs the expression in the passionate plea for his rights while he is contending against God and against his neighbors. But Bildad insists that the "son of man," who is a mere worm, can not be justified with God (Job xxv. 4-6). In the same spirit the prophet (Isa. li. 12) censures Israel for being afraid of "the son of man which shall be made as grass" when Yhwh is their Comforter; but in Isa. lvi. 2-3 the Sabbath is extolled as making the "son of man" (i.e., any man, regardless of birth) blessed; indeed, God has His eyes "open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways" (Jer. xxxii. 19). Jewish Encyclopedia

Son of man

Daniel 7:13

Jesus speaks of Himself as the Son of man, He means thereby not merely to say that He was the Messiah, but He wishes to designate Himself as the Messiah of Daniel's prophecy, i.e., as the Son of man coming to the earth in the clouds of heaven. He thereby lays claim at once to a divine original, or a divine pre-existence, as well as to affirm true humanity of His person, and seeks to represent Himself, according to John's expression, as the Logos becoming flesh.

From the use of the expression "the Son of man" by Jesus (not only where He refers to His supernatural greatness or His divine pre-existence, but also where He places His human lowliness in contrast with His divine nature), it follows that even in those passages which treat of His coming to judgment, connected with the description, borrowed from Dan 7:13, of His coming in the clouds of heaven, He seeks to prove not so much His appearance for judgment, as rather only the divine power and glory which the Father gave Him, or to indicate from the Scriptures that the Father gave Him dominion over all people, and that He will come to reveal this dominion by the judgment of the world and the completion of His kingdom. The power to execute judgment over the living and the dead, the Father, i.e., God as the Lord of the world, has given to His Son, to Christ, because He is the Son of man (John 5:27), i.e., because He as man is at the same time of a divine nature, by virtue of which He is of one essence with the Father. This truth is manifested in the vision, Dan 7:13-14, in this, that the Ancient of days gives glory and the kingdom to Him who appears before Him in the form of a man coming in the clouds of heaven, that all people and nations might honour Him. Therewith He gave Him also implicite the power to execute judgment over all peoples; for the judgment is only a disclosure of the sovereignty given to Him.

(from Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.)


Others are "sons of men" (Job 25:6; Ps 144:3; 146:3; Isa 51:12; 56:2). God addresses Daniel (Dan 8:17) once, Ezekiel so about 80 times, to remind him of his human lowliness and frailty, as "man lower than the angels," though privileged to enjoy visions of the cherubim and of God Himself, "lest he should be exalted through the abundance of the revelations" (2 Cor 12:7). The divine Son appeared to him "as the appearance of a man above upon the throne" (Ezek 1:26). As others are "sons of God," but He "the Son of God," so others are "sons of man" (Ezek 2:1,3) but He "the Son of man" (Matt 16:13), being the embodied representative of humanity and the whole human race; as on the other hand He is the bodily representative of "all the fullness of the Godhead" (Col 2:9). Ezekiel, as type of "the Son of man" whose manifestation he records, is appropriately designated "son of man." The title "the Son of man" implies at once Messiah's lowliness and His exaltation in His manifestations as THE REPRESENTATIVE MAN respectively at His first and second comings; His humiliation on the one hand (Ps 8:4-8; Matt 16:13; 20:18,28) and His exaltation on the other hand, just "because He is the Son of man": Dan 7:13-14, Hebrew not Ben °iysh or °Adam, son of a hero or of man generically viewed, but

He comes again as man to reinstate man in his original glory, never to be dispossessed of it. He is now set down on the throne of God as the Son of God. That is a throne which His saints cannot share; therefore He shall assume another throne, made "His" in order that they may sit down on it with Him (Rev 3:21). The kingdom shall be "under the whole heaven," on earth (Dan 7:18,27); He shall reign with them as the Son of man, Head of the new creation, and Restorer of man's lost inheritance. Because as man He established His and the saints' title to the kingdom at the cost of His own blood, as man He shall judge and reign. It is fit that He who as the Son of man was judged by the world should judge the world. Rev 5:9-10; Ps 8:4-8; Heb 2:6-8; 1 Cor 15:21-28,45,47. The title "the Son of man" in the New Testament Jesus alone uses, and of Himself, except Stephen in dying, "I see the Son of man standing on the right hand of God," referring not to His humiliation on earth but to His heavenly exaltation (compare John 12:23,34; 6:62; 3:13; Acts 7:56); standing to assist, plead for (Ps 109:31), and receive the dying martyr.

Stephen speaking "full of the Holy Spirit" repeats Jesus' prophecy before the council, foretelling His exaltation as the Son of man; only there it is "sitting on the right hand of power," because there majestic repose, here rising to His servant's help, is the thought. Stephen's assertion stirred their rage, that Jesus who had been crucified for claiming to be "the Son of God" stands at God's right hand as being "the Son of man." Another exception is John so calls Him in apocalyptic vision (Rev 1:13; 14:14), corresponding to the Old Testament apocalypse (Dan 7:13). The Son of God in eternity became the Son of man in time, whose manhood shall be glorified with His Godhead to eternity. The two titles together declare the whole truth as to His one Person, "whom do men say that I, the Son of man, am? ... Thou art the Christ, the Son of God. ... Blessed art thou, Bar-Jona" (son of Jonah), etc.

As truly as thou art son of Jonah I am at once "the Son of man" and "the Son of God" (Matt 16:18). The two are again combined in Caiaphas' question as to His being the Son of God, and His affirmative answer and further revelation, "nevertheless, besides ... ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power," etc. (Matt 26:63-64; 24:30; 25:31-32; Mark 14:61-62). As the Son of man He was Lord of the Sabbath, "for the Sabbath was made for man" whose Representative Head He is (Mark 2:28). As the Son of man He suffered for sin (Matt 17:12), and as the Son of man He hath power on earth to forgive sins (Matt 9:6). As the Son of man He had not where to lay His head (Matt 8:20); as the Son of man "He hath on His head a golden crown" (Rev 14:14). Every eye shall see Him (Rev 1:7), but only "the pure in heart shall see God" (Matt 5:8). "The Son of God became the Son of man that you who were sons of men might be made sons of God" (Augustine, Serm. 121). Jesus is one of our race, yet above the whole race, the One Man in whom mankind finds its unity, the turning point of history at the close of the old and the beginning of the new era. His absolute relation to mankind requires an absolute relation to God. He could be the Son of man only because He is the Son of God. He alone fully realizes the ideal of man, as well as that of God, combining too in His manhood all the exquisite graces of woman with the powers of man.

(from Fausset's Bible Dictionary, Electronic Database Copyright © 1998, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)



§ 1. The incongruities of human nature illustrated by the Hebrew names of man,—§ 2. Meaning and usage of the word Adam.—§ 3. The title 'Son of Man:— § 4. The visions of glorified human nature in Ezekiel and Daniel.—§ 5. The promise of a human Seed from on High made to David.—§ 6. The origin and meaning of the word Ish.—§ 7. Varions ways in which it is used.—§ 8. The apple of the eye.—§ 9. General usage of the word Enosh.—§ 10. Examination of various passages in which it occurs.—§ 11. Its probable etymology.—§ 12. Why it is not applied to the Messiah.—§ 13. Meaning and usage of the word Gever.—§ 14. Instances of its occurrence in the Poetical and Prophetical Books.—§ 15. Words cognate with Gever.—§ 16. Rephaim and Nephilim.

§ 1. IF it is strange that man, gifted though he is with great intelligence, should yet need a revelation of the nature and character of his Maker; still more surprising is it that he should have to learn from the pages of Holy Writ the story of his own origin and destiny. We know by our natural instincts neither whence we come, nor whither we are going. But the Book which unfolds to us the manifold aspects of the Divine existence has not failed to supply this further lack; it furnishes us with a number of vivid scenes from human life, tracing it from its dawn in Paradise to its final and sublime reconstitution in the Great Day of 'the manifestation of the sons of God.' These pictures set forth the ways of man both in his relationship with God and in his domestic, social, and national capacities; and they are perpetually bringing into prominence the extraordinary anomalies which exist in his dispositions, aims, or actions. In consonance with our every-day experience, the Divine Artist, in pourtraying human nature, has depicted a series of incongruities which illustrate at once the greatness and the littleness of man, his nearness to God, and his fellowship with the dust.

The very names of man used by the Hebrew writers indicate the anomalies of his condition, for the principal words which are used represent him in four apparently inconsistent aspects:—as Adam, he is of the earth, earthy; as Ish, he is endued with immaterial and personal existence; as Enosh, he is weak or incurable; and as Gever, he is mighty and noble.

§ 2. Beginning the discussion of these names with the word Adam , it is noticeable the root signifies to be red or ruddy, and is the ordinary word used for that purpose. It designates Esau's red lentil pottage, and gives him his name, Edom (Gen 25:30). It is used of the rams' skins dyed red in Ex 25:5; 26:14; 35:7,23; 36:19, and 39:34. It marks the colour of the red heifer in Num 19:2, and of the red horses in Zech 1:8, and 6:2. It is the word used of the sardius stone or ruby in Ex 28:17; 39:10, and Ezek 28:13; and of the ruddy tint of the flesh of the human being in Gen 25:25; 1 Sam 16:12; 17:42, and Song 5:10. In 2 Kings 3:22, it is applied to the water which was as red as blood; and in Isa 63:2, to the red garments which He wore who came from Edom. Nor should we omit to notice that the ordinary Hebrew word for blood (Dam) is manifestly connected with the same root, and is perhaps its real origin. Thus the relationship between man and blood is shown even in the very name.

(from Synonyms of the Old Testament. PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2013 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Section 3. Adam used for Human nature or the Human race generallyChapter 3: The Names of ManSection 4. Visions of Glorified Human Nature

The word Adam is used throughout the Hebrew Old Testament to signify human nature or the human race generally, as contrasted with God above, or with the brute creation below. Thus it is used with great fitness in Ex 33:20, 'There shall no man see me and live,' and in Mal 3:8, 'Will a man rob God?' It is the word ordinarily used in the expression 'children of men' (e.g. in Gen 11:5; Ps 11:4; 12:1; 14:2). It is also found in the title 'son of man,' which occurs 57 times in Ezekiel and once in Daniel (8:17), where it may have been intended to indicate that the heavenly visions vouchsafed to these prophets were set forth through an earthly medium; compare also Ps 8:4, Job 25:6; 35:8, and some other passages in the Psalms and Proverbs in which the expression is used. In all such passages special stress is laid upon the fact that the person thus designated is a child of Adam by descent, one of the great family of man, with a body framed of earthy material. In this sense would the expression be understood by all Jews; and doubtless our Lord frequently used it with respect to Himself in order to teach His disciples that though He 'came down from heaven,' and was 'sent from God,' yet He was in very deed and truth a man. Hence it is that He adopts the title just at the very points at which it was needful that this belief should be kept clearly in the mind of His hearers, viz. when speaking of His incarnation, His mission, His death, His resurrection, His ascension, and His second coming.

§ 4. A few passages in which the word Adam is used for man deserve to be specially pointed out. In Dan 10:16,18, we read of 'one like the similitude or appearance of a man'—like an Adam, and yet not an Adam, because not vet incarnate. In Ezek 1:5,8,10, and 10:8,14, we meet with a description of living creatures with 'the likeness of a man,' with 'the hands of a man,' and with 'the face of a man;' and 'upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as of the appearance of a in an above upon it;' and this we are told was 'the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD' (Ezek 1:26,28; see also chaps. 3:23, and 10:4). It may be inferred that the Being whom Ezekiel thus saw in his vision was represented in human form but clothed with Divine attributes—not yet 'a son of Adam,' but 'One like a son of Adam'—One whose glory might be manifested in human nature if He chose to take up His abode in an earthly tabernacle.

These remarkable passages teach us that human nature is intended to occupy a very high position in the scale of Creation, and that man was so constituted as to be capable of becoming the dwelling-place of the Most High. They also naturally prepare our minds for the truth set forth by the Evangelist St. John, who thus wrote of Christ:—'The Word was made flesh, and dwelt (or tabernacled) among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.' What Ezekiel saw in vision John saw in reality; his eyes looked upon and his hands handled the Word of Life.

(from Synonyms of the Old Testament. PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2013 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Son of man
— (1.) Denotes mankind generally, with special reference to their weakness and frailty (Job 25:6; Ps 8:4; 144:3; 146:3; Isa 51:12, etc.).

(2.) It is a title frequently given to the prophet Ezekiel, probably to remind him of his human weakness.

(3.) In the New Testament it is used forty-three times as a distinctive title of the Saviour. In the Old Testament it is used only in Ps 80:17 and Dan 7:13 with this application. It denotes the true humanity of our Lord. He had a true body (Heb 2:14; Luke 24:39) and a rational soul. He was perfect man.

(from Easton's Bible Dictionary, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Matt 12:40
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Matt 13:40-41
"As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.

Matt 16:27
For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.

Matt 17:9
As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, "Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."

Matt 24:27-31
For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
29 "Immediately after the distress of those days
"'the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Matt 24:44
So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Matt 25:31-33
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Matt 26:64-66
"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. 66 What do you think?"
"He is worthy of death," they answered.

Acts 7:54-60
When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Rev 14:14
And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head, and a sharp sickle in His hand.


hope this helps!!!
Which was made - The word translated "was made" means usually "to be," or "to become." It is used, however, in the sense of being born. Thus, Galatians 4:4, "God sent forth his Son made of a woman," born of a woman. John 8:58, "before Abraham was (born), I am." In this sense it seems to be used here, who was born, or descended from the seed of David.
son of Man is not born, and not even of this world. the son of God is BORN.... flesh bone and blood. son of Man is Spirit.

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