“I beheld approaching on the clouds of heaven one like a son of man. He came before the Ancient One and was presented to him. Dominion and glory and kingship were conferred upon him so that all peoples and nations of every language would become his servants.” (Daniel 7:13)
Daniel was the fourth of the Four Major Prophets. The book of Daniel says that he lived in Babylon during the exile (in the 5th century BC). Like Christ, he was both of the tribe of Judah and a descendant of King David (Daniel 1:3-6; cf Isaiah 39:5-7). As a young man, Daniel worked at the court of King Nebuchadnezzar and rose to high office within the Babylonian Empire.
Daniel had a God-given gift of interpreting dreams and visions. One night, he had a heavenly vision of a man who became king of the world. He described it like this: “As the night visions continued, I beheld approaching on the clouds of heaven one like a son of man. He came before the Ancient One and was presented to him. Dominion and glory and kingship were conferred upon him so that all peoples and nations of every language would become his servants. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will never pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14)
During his trial, Christ explained that this passage about a heavenly coronation referred to him as the Messiah. As St Mark’s gospel tells us: “The high priest questioned him, asking, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus replied, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:61-62)
This stained glass window picturing the prophet Daniel is found within Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Cambridge. Designed by the Hardmans firm, it dates to the 1950s. The image forms part of a series of windows representing Old Testament figures whose lives symbolised the Virgin Birth in some way. The caption for the window of Daniel is the ‘stone cut out without hands’, which is a reference to the prophecy of Daniel 2:34. That verse is traditionally considered another cryptic reference to the Virgin Birth.
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