The Meaning of Daniel 7:9 Explained

Daniel 7:9

KJV: 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.

YLT: I was seeing till that thrones have been thrown down, and the Ancient of Days is seated, His garment as snow is white, and the hair of his head is as pure wool, His throne flames of fire, its wheels burning fire.

Darby: I beheld till thrones were set, and the Ancient of days did sit: his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was flames of fire, and its wheels burning fire.

ASV: I beheld till thrones were placed, and one that was ancient of days did sit: his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and the wheels thereof burning fire.

What does Daniel 7:9 Mean?

Verse Meaning

In some English versions, this verse and some that follow ( Daniel 7:10; Daniel 7:13-14) are in poetic form. This indicates a difference in the original language (Aramaic), which sets these verses off as distinct and more elevated in literary style, in the opinion of the translators. From what Daniel recorded, it seems clear that now he saw something happening in the courts of heaven. He saw thrones set up. The AV translation "thrones were cast down" is inaccurate. The Apostle John later saw thrones in heaven too ( Revelation 1:4; Revelation 4:4; Revelation 20:4; et al.). The "Ancient of Days" seems to refer to God the Father (cf. Daniel 7:13; Daniel 7:22; Isaiah 43:13; Isaiah 57:15), whereas in Daniel 7:13, God the Son is in view. Gaebelein took "the Ancient of Days" as a reference to Jesus Christ here (cf. John 5:22; Revelation 1:12-14), but this seems less likely (cf. Daniel 7:13). [1] Daniel then saw God take His seat on His heavenly throne.
The title "Ancient of Days" stresses God"s eternality. His pure white clothing pictures His purity and holiness, and His pure woolly hair suggests His mature judgment. Daniel saw His throne blazing with fire (lit. a burning flame), symbolic of knowledge, purity, and judgment in Scripture (cf. Exodus 3:2; Deuteronomy 4:24; 1 Timothy 6:16; Hebrews 12:29; Revelation 1:14-15). The wheels probably imply that the throne and God can go in any direction, that He can do anything He pleases (cf. Ezekiel 1:13-21). [2]

Context Summary

Daniel 7:1-14 - God's Everlasting Dominion
This chapter enumerates the succession of world-empires and rulers which bridge the gulf of centuries from the Captivity to the Second Advent. The lion represents Babylon, whose cruel and mighty kingdom was animated by marvelous intelligence; the bear, Persia; the leopard, Greece under Alexander the Great; and the fourth beast, with great iron teeth, Rome. The ten horns are ten kings, and these probably represent great European kingdoms which have succeeded, or may yet succeed, to the heritage of the Roman empire. The Ancient of Days is sitting today upon His throne, His snow-white raiment betokening His purity, the fire of His throne bespeaking His antagonism to all things that offend and work iniquity. The government of the world is on shoulders which are well able to carry it, and He will cause all things to work out His purpose, which is to promote and assure the glory of Christ. [source]

Chapter Summary: Daniel 7

1  Daniel's vision of the four beasts,
9  and of God's kingdom
15  The interpretation thereof

What do the individual words in Daniel 7:9 mean?

Watched I until till thrones were put in place and the Ancient of Days was seated His garment [was] as snow white and the hair of His head [was] like wool Pure His throne [was] a flame the fiery fiery Its wheels a fire burning
חָזֵ֣ה הֲוֵ֗ית עַ֣ד דִּ֤י כָרְסָוָן֙ רְמִ֔יו וְעַתִּ֥יק יוֹמִ֖ין יְתִ֑ב לְבוּשֵׁ֣הּ ׀ כִּתְלַ֣ג חִוָּ֗ר וּשְׂעַ֤ר רֵאשֵׁהּ֙ כַּעֲמַ֣ר נְקֵ֔א כָּרְסְיֵהּ֙ שְׁבִיבִ֣ין דִּי־ נ֔וּר גַּלְגִּלּ֖וֹהִי נ֥וּר דָּלִֽק

חָזֵ֣ה  Watched 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine singular
Root: חֲזָה  
Sense: to see, behold.
עַ֣ד  until 
Parse: Preposition
Root: עַד  
Sense: even to, until, up to, during conj.
דִּ֤י  till 
Parse: Pronoun, relative
Root: דִּי  
Sense: who, which, that mark of genitive.
כָרְסָוָן֙  thrones 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: כָּרְסֵא  
Sense: throne, royal chair.
רְמִ֔יו  were  put  in  place 
Parse: Verb, Nifal, Perfect, third person masculine plural
Root: רְמָה  
Sense: to cast, throw.
וְעַתִּ֥יק  and  the  Ancient 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Adjective, masculine singular construct
Root: עַתִּיק  
Sense: ancient, advanced, aged, old, taken away.
יוֹמִ֖ין  of  Days 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: יׄום  
Sense: day.
יְתִ֑ב  was  seated 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: יְתִב  
Sense: to sit, dwell.
לְבוּשֵׁ֣הּ ׀  His  garment  [was] 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: לְבוּשׁ  
Sense: garment, clothing.
כִּתְלַ֣ג  as  snow 
Parse: Preposition-k, Noun, masculine singular
Root: תְּלַג  
Sense: snow.
חִוָּ֗ר  white 
Parse: Adjective, masculine singular
Root: חִוָּר  
Sense: white.
וּשְׂעַ֤ר  and  the  hair 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: שְׂעַר  
Sense: hair (of head).
רֵאשֵׁהּ֙  of  His  head 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: רֵאשׁ  
Sense: chief, head.
כַּעֲמַ֣ר  [was]  like  wool 
Parse: Preposition-k, Noun, masculine singular
Root: עֲמַר  
Sense: wool.
נְקֵ֔א  Pure 
Parse: Adjective, masculine singular
Root: נְקֵא  
Sense: clean, pure.
כָּרְסְיֵהּ֙  His  throne  [was] 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: כָּרְסֵא  
Sense: throne, royal chair.
שְׁבִיבִ֣ין  a  flame 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: שְׁבִיב  
Sense: flame.
דִּי־  the  fiery 
Parse: Pronoun, relative
Root: דִּי  
Sense: who, which, that mark of genitive.
נ֔וּר  fiery 
Parse: Noun, common singular
Root: נוּר  
Sense: fire.
גַּלְגִּלּ֖וֹהִי  Its  wheels 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct, third person masculine singular
Root: גַּלְגַּל  
Sense: wheel.
נ֥וּר  a  fire 
Parse: Noun, common singular
Root: נוּר  
Sense: fire.
דָּלִֽק  burning 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine singular
Root: דְּלַק  
Sense: (P’al) to burn.