Title: Rider on the Clouds


This chapter focuses on the Yahweh epithet referenced in the title and, ultimately, on Daniel 7. As such, it touches on (but doesn’t really discuss) issues like the meaning of the “son of man” title; whether that title in Daniel 7 is merely Davidic (and not a proof for divinity); and whether Michael is to be identified as the second power in heaven (and, so, Jesus). My answers to these questions are:


  • The “son of man” is a divine title in Daniel 7, not merely a label for the Davidic king.
  • “Son of man” in the New Testament is most often not an indication of divinity (i.e., most of the time it doesn’t hearken back to Daniel 7 but, as in other Old Testament passages, means “human being”). However, there are passages that do reference Daniel 7 and the use of the title there of Jesus is intended to portray him as divine.
  • Michael is not the second Yahweh figure; therefore, Michael and Jesus are not to be identified with each other.


The additional bibliography below addresses these points. The most expedient summary of numbers 1 and 3 above is Chapter 7 from my dissertation. While I list the dissertation under the additional bibliography, I have also included a distillation of the dissertation that I used to write the original draft for this book and produce a paper for a meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (title: The Baal Cycle as Backdrop to Daniel 7: An Old Testament Rationale for Jewish Binitarianism,” Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Atlanta, GA; November, 2003). I can’t find the actual paper, so this “chapter document paper draft” will have to do. With respect to this draft, when it makes chapter references in its footnotes, those refer to either dissertation chapters or chapters in the original draft of this book—not chapters in the present Unseen World. Both the dissertation and the draft of course include further bibliography.


Bibliography included in the book


Alan F. Segal, Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism (reprint, Baylor University Press, 2012)


Daniel Boyarin, “The Gospel of the Memra: Jewish Binitarianism and the Prologue to John,” Harvard Theological Review 94:3 (July, 2001), 243-284


W. Hermann, “Rider Upon the Clouds,” DDD


Additional Bibliography


Michael S. Heiser, “The Divine Council in Late Canonical and Non-Canonical Second Temple Jewish Literature.” PhD diss., UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON, 2004

  • Chapter 7 (distillation) from the above dissertation)


Christopher Rowland, “The Visions of God in Apocalyptic Literature,” Journal for the Study of Judaism 10 (1979): 137-154


Matthew Black, “The Throne-Theophany Prophetic Commission and the ‘Son of Man’,” in Jews, Greeks, and Christians: Essays in Honor of W.D. Davies (ed. Robert Hamerton-Kelly and Robin Scroggs; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1976): 57-73


J. A. Emerton, “The Origin of the Son of Man Imagery,” Journal of Theological Studies 9:2 (October, 1958): 227-242


P. Mosca, “Ugarit and Daniel 7: A Missing Link,” Biblica 67 (1986): 496-517


John Joseph Collins and Frank Moore Cross, Daniel: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel (Hermeneia 27; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1993); see esp. 280-294 for a defense of the Ugaritic / Canaanite provenance of the imagery of Daniel 7


Helge S. Kvanvig, Roots of Apocalyptic: The Mesopotamian Background of the Enoch Figure and the Son of Man (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1988)


N. Wyatt, “The Titles of the Ugaritic Storm-God,” Ugarit Forschungen 24 (1992): 417-419


R. B. Y. Scott, “Behold He Cometh with Clouds,” New Testament Studies (1959): 127-132


L. L. Grabbe, “Hebrew paʿal / Ugaritic bʿl and the Supposed b / p Interchange,” Ugarit Forschungen 11 (1979): 307-314


S. Mowinckel, “Drive and / or Ride in the Old Testament,” Vetus Testamentum 12 (1962): 278-299


Delbert Burkett, The Son of Man Debate: A History and Evaluation (SNTSMS 107; Cambridge University Press, 2007)


Andrew Angel, Chaos and the Son of Man: the Hebrew Chaoskampf Tradition in the Period 515 BCE to 200 CE. (LSTS 60; Bloomsbury Publishing, 2006)


John W. Pryor, “The Johannine Son of Man and the Descent-Ascent Motif,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 34, no. 3 (1991): 341-351


I. H. Marshall, “Son of Man,” Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (ed. Joel B. Green and Scot McKnight; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992)