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Daniel 7:14: Is It Worship or Service Given the Son of Man? 

In 1 Chronicles 29:20, the identical word translated as worship into English is applied as a legitimate act toward God and a human king named David. We read in 1 Chron. 29:20:

“And David said to all the congregation, now bless Yahweh your God. And all the congregation blessed Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped Yahweh and the king.”


The emphasized words are how the Kin James Version also translates the text.

In the book of Daniel, in English translation by the NIV appears "worship" for the king, a son of man ("Son of Adam" literally, meaning "human being").

We read about Daniel's vision in Daniel 7:13-14 that this son of Man is brought before God -- referred to as the Ancient of Days, and then this human being is given "worship" of all nations.

Now we already know that worship of a king does not imply the king is God, based upon 1 Chronicles 29:20. But we shall see the NIV adds in "worship" in Daniel 7:14 seemingly to agree worship is proper for a Son of Man which means a human being -- a Son of Adam in Hebrew. Hence, Daniel 7:14 would be a second proof that worship in the Bible does not mean necessarily worshipping God. (The first example is 1 Chronicles 29:20, as discussed above.)


So in the NIV we read:


"He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." (Dan. 7:14 NIV.)


Then surprisingly, Jeff Durbin construes this means the Son of Man in Daniel is necessarily God. Durbin is apparently ignorant that 1 Chronicles 29:20 allows the concept of "worship" in Daniel 7:14, if truly present, to apply to human kings and God.


In Durbin's How to Explain the Trinity at the 36:00 mark  (see this YouTube) he argues that Daniel 7:14 proves Jesus is God. He claims that use of the word "worship" here necessarily means Jesus is God. Even though a wrong application, Durbin also does not tell you this is only translated this way in Daniel 7:14 by the NIV to look this way. It is not truly a word for worship in Hebrew, as I later learned by research (discussed below).


Moreover, Durbin is not only incorrect, but also such a view drastically ignores the subject of worship is a "son of Man" - meaning literally a human being -- was brought before the "Ancient of Days" -- a clear reference to God distinct from the Son of Man. See Daniel 7:13-14.


Hence, Daniel 7:14, if properly translated, is another proof that a Hebrew word that supposedly can be translated as "worship" equally applies to human kings, and is not necessarily used only in reference to God.


But then I decided to research the Hebrew. Was the NIV trying to help Trinity doctrine by the forseeable error that Jeff Durbin took? Is the word really "worship" or was it rendered this way in Daniel 7:14 by the New International Version obviously to support trinitarianism in talks by those ignorant of 1 Chronicles 29:20? And ignorant that Son of Man means a human being (son of Adam), and Ancient of Days means God?


It turns out that the Hebrew word rendered as "worship" in the NIV is a word that means "to serve." See Hebrew tab at Bible Hub for Daniel 7:14. No secondary meaning of "worship" appears in the definition. The Hebrew word is transliterated as yiplehun.


When you open the Bible.hub tab on its usage, it is shocking what the NIV did. The same word is used in Daniel 3:28 praising Daniel for neither "serving" nor "worshiping" other gods. In that verse, yiplehun is rendered "serving," in contradistinction to a different term meaning "worship" -- the Hebrew word transliterated as yisgedun. So one knows "serving" is not the same as "worshipping" just from reading Daniel 3:28 in the New International Version.

Was this different treatment in Daniel 7:14 then deliberate by the NIV?

Yes, for look at the NIV on how it renders 1 Chronicles 29:20 as "prostrate" rather than "worship" (when "worship" is how the Hebrew word there is translated in the KJV), and does so elsewhere such as in Exodus 32:8; 1 Sam. 1:19, 1 Kings 9:9, etc.  Trinitarians apparently shift words around to remove proof that "worship" in Hebrew is a term that does necessarily apply only to God. 


But Daniel 7:14 is a clear foul. For the word rendered by the NIV as "worship" toward the son of Man does not have even that meaning -- it simply means "serve."


Furthermore, in context, it is quite clear from Daniel 7:13 that the Son of Man appears before the "Ancient of Days" to receive from God something that prior to that time the Son of Man did not have -- all the kingdoms of the earth. Hence, the Son of Man from context cannot be God even if the NIV were correct that the word "worship" is the translation in Daniel 7:14. It can apply to a human king, as it does in 1 Chronicles 29:20.

Regardless, in the end, Durbin was misled by the NIV's clear foul. The true word at issue in Daniel 7:14 is serve, not worship.