Now if ye be ready that at what time ye shall hear
The meaning is, that if they were disposed in mind, which the king was very desirous they should, both for his own honour, and for their safety, for whom he had a regard; and were willing to comply with his orders, and readily yield obedience to his will, and worship his idol; the following would be a signal to them, and all would be well with them: or it may be rendered, "when now ye shall be, that at what time ye shall hear" F17; for the word signifies future, as well as "ready", and is by some so translated; and the sense is, when it shall be, or for the future, that they should hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer,
and all kinds of music;
which was played not once only, but perhaps at certain times every day, and designed to be continued: ye fall down and worship the image which I have made;
it is well; so doing the king's wrath would be appeased, their lives would be preserved, and they continued in his favour, and in their honourable posts: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of
a burning fiery furnace;
immediately, without any delay; no reprieve will be granted, and much less a pardon: and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
he knew their confidence in the God of Israel, which he attempts to break and remove; he foresaw the objection they would make, which he endeavours to anticipate by this proud and vain boast, forgetting what he himself had said, ( Daniel 2:47 ) .