Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury
Nettled at the answer given him; perceiving his threats made no impression on these three men, and that they were resolutely determined at all events not to obey his will: and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and
not only to what it was in times past, when they were his favourites, and he smiled upon them; but with respect to what it was while they were under examination, and he was trying to bring them to his will; when finding it impracticable, fury rose up, and showed itself in the furrows and frowns of his forehead; in the sharpness of his nose; in his sparkling eyes, foaming mouth, and gnashing teeth, and that general redness his face was covered with: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one
seven times more than it was wont to be heated;
this seems to be a furnace for this purpose, and where it was usual to burn malefactors; it being a common punishment with the Chaldeans; see ( Jeremiah 29:22 ) the order was to put seven times more fuel in the furnace, that it might be so much the hotter, and burn so much the fiercer; which order of the king shows indeed the greatness of his wrath and fury, but at the same time that it had transported him out of his sense and judgment; since so fierce a fire was the better for the three men, supposing them to have died as he intended; who would have been the sooner dispatched by it, and so not suffer so much pain and torment as in a slow fire, or less heat; but this was overruled by the providence of God, that so it should be, that the miracle of their walking in it unsinged and unhurt, and their deliverance out of it, might appear the greater.