What is…
son of man

This term is used in 3 different ways in the Scripture.

  1. Mankind

    Son of man—meaning MANKIND (descendants of Adam)

    This term refers to humans in general, with special reference to their weakness and frailty (Job 25:6; Psalm 8:4; 144:3; 146:3; Isaiah 51:12, etc.).

  2. Ezekiel

    The prophet Ezekiel was repeatedly addressed by God as “son of man.”

    This is a title was probably to remind him of his human weakness.

    “Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, stand on your feet that I may speak with you!’ As He spoke to me the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet; and I heard Him speaking to me. …Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, I am sending you to the sons of Israel…’” —Ezekiel 2:1-3 NASB

    “And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people…” —Ezekiel 33:1-4 NASB

  3. Jesus Christ

    In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is called the son of man 43 times as a distinctive title. His divine nature is the Son of God, while his human nature is the Son of David or “Son of Man.”

    “…His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord” —Romans 1:1-5 NASB

    In the Old Testament this application is used only in 2 verses (below). It denotes the TRUE HUMANITY of our Lord. He had a true body (Hebrews 2:14; Luke 24:39) and a rational soul. He was perfect man.

    “Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand,
    Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.” —Psalm 80:17 NASB

    “I kept looking in the night visions,
    And behold, with the clouds of heaven
    One like a Son of Man was coming,
    And He came up to the Ancient of Days
    And was presented before Him.” —Daniel 7:13 NASB

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Article Version: March 14, 2019