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The term "The Ancient of Days" appears three times in the Book of Daniel and is used in the sense of God being eternal.

"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire." (Daniel 7:9)

"I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One and was presented before him. To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14)

The Jewish sages understand "Daniel 7:13" as the coming of the Messiah:

Rashi on Daniel 7:13

"one like a man was coming That is the King Messiah."

Sanhedrin 98a

"Rabbi Alexandri says: Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi raises a contradiction between two depictions of the coming of the Messiah. It is written: “There came with the clouds of heaven, one like unto a son of man…and there was given him dominion and glory and a kingdom…his dominion is an everlasting dominion” (Daniel 7:13–14). And it is written: “Behold, your king will come to you; he is just and victorious; lowly and riding upon a donkey and upon a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). Rabbi Alexandri explains: If the Jewish people merit redemption, the Messiah will come in a miraculous manner with the clouds of heaven. If they do not merit redemption, the Messiah will come lowly and riding upon a donkey."

Both Rabbi Alexandri and Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi interpreted (Daniel 7:13–14) as a reference to a possible miraculous coming of the messiah to the Jewish people...

How can such interpretation be reconciled with the text of Daniel itself that describes "one like a son of man" (the messiah, who will be born and live on earth according to the Jewish sages) coming on a cloud to God who is sitting on his throne in heaven a scene which suggests the Messiah's ascension to heaven and not the opposite (the Messiah will come to the Jewish people in a miraculous manner with the clouds of heaven)?

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    You are using the phraseology of a different religion to ask about the Jewish viewpoint. The Messiah is a regular human being and Daniel is speaking about the Jewish people not some ascension. Feb 24 at 21:16
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/31735/170
    – msh210
    Feb 24 at 21:43
  • thank you for the links ,though I read them before, and they don't answer my question..
    – capri reds
    Feb 24 at 21:50
  • the sages interpreted the text as a miraculous coming of the messiah to the Jewish people on clouds (descending)' the text (if literal as they suggest)suggests the human earthly messiah ascending to God..
    – capri reds
    Feb 24 at 21:54
  • that doesn't mean that I believe the text to be literal.... just the sages seem to interpret it so? isn't it?
    – capri reds
    Feb 24 at 21:56
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The verses describe the Mashiach coming before God for an audience. What happens after that audience is not written in the text, nor why he came for an audience in the first place. The sages explain that post-the-audience, the Mashiach will come to redeem the Nation of Israel. Rabbi Yesha'ayahu of Trani in his commentary on Daniel, fills in the other gap and explains that the reason that the Mashiach came to God before commencing with the redemption process is:

"...זהו מלך המשיח...וזה שאמר עם ענני שמיא, כלומר, שמן השמים יהיה מלך ולא לכבוש מלכויות."

Translation: "...this is the King Mashiach...and that it said "with clouds of heaven", meaning, that from the heavens he will be [ordained] king and not out of conquering by force." (Daniel 7:14)

So the Mashiach came before God to be ordained as king of Israel on earth, and from there, as explained by our sages, would come [back] down to earth to begin the redemption process.

Malbim differs slightly, or perhaps, adds to this interpretation and explains that this audience before God symbolizes the high spiritual level the Mashiach will attain through keeping the commandments of God, thus making him close to God, and for this he shall merit to be ordained king of Israel on earth.

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  • thank you .. so according to Rabbi Yesha'ayahu of Trani's commentary on the verses of he sages:" the messiah will come before God (ascend from earth to heaven) to be ordained as king of Israel on earth, and from there, would come [back] down to earth to begin the redemption process. And not out of conquering by force" CONTRARY to the metaphorical comment by Malbim "messiah coming close to God, through keeping his commandments "
    – capri reds
    Mar 6 at 17:45
  • still the text says that the coming, talking about here ,is the coming of the messiah to the people of Israel ,not his coming to God : "If the Jewish people merit redemption, the Messiah will come [to Israeli] in a miraculous manner with the clouds of heaven. If they do not merit redemption, the Messiah will come [to Israeli] lowly and riding upon a donkey."
    – capri reds
    Mar 6 at 17:52
  • @resarcher You said "contrary". I said the opinion might slightly differ, or they may actually be completing one another. About your second comment, as I explained, the sages are explaining what happens after the audience, while Daniel is explaining both why the audience happened in the first place and what happened during the audience.
    – Harel13
    Mar 6 at 18:25
  • 1- please pardon my ignorance, but How could both the opinions be completing one another, if one of them understanding the coming of he messiah to God ,as a metaphor refers to "the blessed messiah coming close to God, through keeping his commandments ". but the other understanding is literal "the messiah will come before God (ascending from earth to heaven) to be ordained as king of Israel on earth, and from there, would come [back] down to earth to begin the redemption process? !
    – capri reds
    Mar 6 at 19:43
  • @resarcher I see, good question. The RID (Rabbi Yesha'ayahu of Trani) never stated what such an audience would be like. This is all very abstract: What would a meeting between God, a purely spiritual, infinite entity, and the Mashiach, a human - half physical and half spiritual - be like? In fact, save for Kabbalistic texts of which I have little to no knowledge of and even less an understanding of, I don't think it's properly explained anywhere what it means to ascend into heaven and interact with spiritual entities.
    – Harel13
    Mar 6 at 19:51

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