Robert Whiting In search of awesome

Psalm 8 Son of Man


Is the Son of Man referenced in Psalm 8 about Jesus?


When we were together last week with our group, I’m pretty sure I gave a very distracted and scattered response to your question about the Son of Man reference in Psalm 8. I had just learned about the word Elohim used in verse 5, so for that confusion, I appologize.

So, let’s first define some terms, then I’ll give my opinion.

Son of Man

Son of God is a phrase used throughout scripture to describe spiritual beings, righteous men, Jesus, and followers of Jesus. The phrase stresses the connection to God.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8.14

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and the satan also came among them. Job 1.6

till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; Ephesians 4.13

Son of Man is a phrase used to refer to a human. CS Lewis used the phrase Son of Adam frequently in the Chronicles of Narnia to get this point across. It’s used a lot for spiritual beings talking about humans:

God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there is anyone who understands, who seeks after God. Psalm 53.2

Then He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet that I may speak with you!” Ezekiel 2.1

Then in Daniel, there is a figure called the Son of Man (fully human) who has equal status with God, ruling beside him. This is pointing forward to a human who will pass the test that humans keep failing from Adam onwards and take on the responsibility that humans were made for.

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. And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed. Daniel 7.13+

Then Jesus came along and there were a lot of options for titles: Messiah, Redeemer, Christ, Lord, Son of God, Emmanual, but Jesus deflected most titles (he didn’t deny them though) and primarily referred to himself as the Son of Man.

“But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” Mark 2.10

And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected… Mark 8.31

The Bible Project has a good video & blog on Son of God, and an even more indepth podcast series about it (scroll down to Jan 14, 2019, 8 episodes & a Q&A)


This is the word I ran off on a tangent about. Elohim is the word translated God in “a little lower than God.” I recently learned that the word Elohim is like our lower case god–which can be used to describe angels, demons, pagan gods, or God. Which is why this verse is also translated “a little lower than the angels.” Which is why Yahweh is called God of gods (Elohim of Elohim):

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. Deut 10.17

The Bible Project has a bunch of videos about spiritual beings (including the term Elohim).

Is the Son of Man referenced in Psalm 8 about Jesus?

I don’t think so, not directly at least. David is observing the created order (the heavens & its occupants) and how God created humans below the spiritual beings to rule over the created beings on the earth (sheep, oxen, wild animals), in the heavens (birds), and in the depths (fish). Seeing the humble state of humanity and the great responsibility God has given them to rule alongside God over His creation makes David praise Yahweh.

This verse if quoted in Hebrews, and Paul uses it to say that Jesus was put lower than the angels for a time, and that through Him, the descendants of Abraham (sons of man) are brought back into a right relationship with God (all things under his rule) with Jesus as the high priest. Hebrews 2 (read the whole chapter)

So, yes and no. Sorry that doesn’t exactly clear things up.