Daniel 3

The King's Golden Image

1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an 1image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the 2province of Babylon.
2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent word to assemble the 3satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
3 Then the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces were assembled for the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed: "To you the command is given, 4O peoples, nations and men of every language,
5 that at the moment you 5hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up.
6 "But whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be 6cast into the midst of a 7furnace of blazing fire."
7 Therefore * * at that time, when all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and men of every language fell down and worshiped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

Worship of the Image Refused

8 For this reason * at that time certain 8Chaldeans came forward and 9brought charges against the Jews.
9 They responded and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king: "10O king, live forever!
10 "You, O king, have 11made a decree that every man who hears the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe and all kinds of music, is to 12fall down and worship the golden image.
11 "But whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.
12 "There are certain Jews whom you have 13appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded * * * you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up."
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in 14rage and anger gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego; then these men were brought before the king.
14 Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve 15my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up?
15 "Now if you are ready, 16at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be 17cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and 18what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?"
16 19Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter.
17 "If it be so, our 20God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and 21He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
18 "22But even if He does not, 23let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."

Daniel's Friends Protected

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with 24wrath, and his facial expression was altered toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He answered by giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than * it was usually heated.
20 He commanded certain valiant warriors who were in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in order to cast them into the furnace of blazing fire.
21 Then these men were tied up in their 25trousers, their coats, their caps and their other clothes, and were cast into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire.
22 For this reason *, because * the king's command was 26urgent and the furnace had been made extremely hot, the flame of the fire slew those men who carried up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego.
23 But these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, 27fell into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire still tied up.
24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up in haste; he said to his high officials, "Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?" They replied to the king, "Certainly, O king."
25 He said, "Look! I see four men loosed and 28walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the 29gods!"
26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire; he responded and said, "Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the 30Most High God, and come here!" Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego 31came out of the midst of the fire.
27 The 32satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king's high officials gathered around and saw in regard to these men that the 33fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their 34trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them.
28 Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, "Blessed be the 35God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has 36sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their 37trust in Him, violating the king's command, and yielded up their bodies so as 38not to serve or worship any god except their own God.
29 "Therefore I 39make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of 40Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their 41houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch * * as there is 42no other god who is able to deliver in this way."
30 Then the king 43caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon.

Images for Daniel 3

Daniel 3 Commentary

Chapter 3

Nebuchadnezzar's golden image. (1-7) Shadrach and his companions refuse to worship it. (8-18) They are cast into a furnace, but are miraculously preserved. (19-27) Nebuchadnezzar gives glory to Jehovah. (28-30)

Verses 1-7 In the height of the image, about thirty yards, probably is included a pedestal, and most likely it was only covered with plates of gold, not a solid mass of that precious metal. Pride and bigotry cause men to require their subjects to follow their religion, whether right or wrong, and when worldly interest allures, and punishment overawes, few refuse. This is easy to the careless, the sensual, and the infidel, who are the greatest number; and most will go their ways. There is nothing so bad which the careless world will not be drawn to by a concert of music, or driven to by a fiery furnace. By such methods, false worship has been set up and maintained.

Verses 8-18 True devotion calms the spirit, quiets and softens it, but superstition and devotion to false gods inflame men's passions. The matter is put into a little compass, Turn, or burn. Proud men are still ready to say, as Nebuchadnezzar, Who is the Lord, that I should fear his power? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not hesitate whether they should comply or not. Life or death were not to be considered. Those that would avoid sin, must not parley with temptation when that to which we are allured or affrighted is manifestly evil. Stand not to pause about it, but say, as Christ did, Get thee behind me, Satan. They did not contrive an evasive answer, when a direct answer was expected. Those who make their duty their main care, need not be anxious or fearful concerning the event. The faithful servants of God find him able to control and overrule all the powers armed against them. Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst. If He be for us, we need not fear what man can do unto us. God will deliver us, either from death or in death. They must obey God rather than man; they must rather suffer than sin; and must not do evil that good may come. Therefore none of these things moved them. The saving them from sinful compliance, was as great a miracle in the kingdom of grace, as the saving them out of the fiery furnace was in the kingdom of nature. Fear of man and love of the world, especially want of faith, make men yield to temptation, while a firm persuasion of the truth will deliver them from denying Christ, or being ashamed of him. We are to be meek in our replies, but we must be decided that we will obey God rather than man.

Verses 19-27 Let Nebuchadnezzar heat his furnace as hot as he can, a few minutes will finish the torment of those cast into it; but hell-fire tortures, and yet does not kill. Those who worshipped the beast and his image, have no rest, no pause, no moment free from pain, ( revelation 14:10 revelation 14:11 ) . Now was fulfilled in the letter that great promise, ( Isaiah 43:2 ) , When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned. Leaving it to that God who preserved them in the fire, to bring them out, they walked up and down in the midst, supported and encouraged by the presence of the Son of God. Those who suffer for Christ, have his presence in their sufferings, even in the fiery furnace, and in the valley of the shadow of death. Nebuchadnezzar owns them for servants of the most high God; a God able to deliver them out of his hand. It is our God only is the consuming fire, ( Hebrews 12:29 ) . Could we but see into the eternal world, we should behold the persecuted believer safe from the malice of his foes, while they are exposed to the wrath of God, and tormented in unquenchable fires.

Verses 28-30 What God did for these his servants, would help to keep the Jews to their religion while in captivity, and to cure them of idolatry. The miracle brought deep convictions on Nebuchadnezzar. But no abiding change then took place in his conduct. He who preserved these pious Jews in the fiery furnace, is able to uphold us in the hour of temptation, and to keep us from falling into sin.

Cross References 43

  • 1. 1 Kings 12:28; Isaiah 46:6; Jeremiah 16:20; Daniel 2:31; Hosea 2:8; Hosea 8:4; Habakkuk 2:19
  • 2. Daniel 2:48; Daniel 3:30
  • 3. Daniel 3:3, 27; Daniel 6:1-7
  • 4. Daniel 3:7; Daniel 4:1; Daniel 6:25
  • 5. Dan 3:7, 10, 15
  • 6. Dan 3:11, 15, 21; Daniel 6:7
  • 7. Jeremiah 29:22; Ezekiel 22:18-22; Matthew 13:42, 50; Revelation 9:2; Revelation 14:11
  • 8. Daniel 2:2, 10; Daniel 4:7
  • 9. Ezra 4:12-16; Esther 3:8, 9; Daniel 6:12, 13
  • 10. Daniel 2:4; Daniel 5:10; Daniel 6:6, 21
  • 11. Esther 3:12-14; Daniel 3:4-6; Daniel 6:12
  • 12. Dan 3:5, 7, 15
  • 13. Daniel 2:49
  • 14. Daniel 2:12; Daniel 3:19
  • 15. Isaiah 46:1; Jeremiah 50:2; Daniel 3:1; Daniel 4:8
  • 16. Daniel 3:5
  • 17. Daniel 3:6
  • 18. Exodus 5:2; Isaiah 36:18-20; Daniel 2:47
  • 19. Daniel 1:7; Daniel 3:12
  • 20. Job 5:19; Psalms 27:1, 2; Isaiah 26:3, 4; Jeremiah 1:8; Jeremiah 15:20, 21
  • 21. 1 Samuel 17:37; Micah 7:7; 2 Corinthians 1:10
  • 22. Joshua 24:15; 1 Kings 19:14, 18; Isaiah 51:12, 13; Daniel 3:28
  • 23. Hebrews 11:25
  • 24. Esther 7:7; Daniel 3:13
  • 25. Daniel 3:27
  • 26. Exodus 12:33; Daniel 2:15
  • 27. Isaiah 43:2
  • 28. Psalms 91:3-9; Isaiah 43:2
  • 29. Jeremiah 1:8, 19; Jeremiah 15:21
  • 30. Daniel 3:17; Daniel 4:2
  • 31. Deuteronomy 4:20; 1 Kings 8:51; Jeremiah 11:4
  • 32. Daniel 3:2, 3
  • 33. Isaiah 43:2; Hebrews 11:34
  • 34. Daniel 3:21
  • 35. Daniel 2:47; Daniel 3:15-17
  • 36. Psalms 34:7, 8; Isaiah 37:36; Daniel 3:25; Daniel 6:22; Acts 5:19; Acts 12:7
  • 37. Psalms 22:4, 5; Psalms 40:4; Psalms 84:12; Isaiah 12:2; Isaiah 26:3, 4; Isaiah 50:10; Jeremiah 17:7
  • 38. Daniel 3:16-18
  • 39. Daniel 6:26
  • 40. Daniel 1:7, 19; Daniel 2:17, 49; Daniel 3:12
  • 41. Ezra 6:11; Daniel 2:5
  • 42. Daniel 2:47; Daniel 3:15
  • 43. Daniel 2:49; Daniel 3:12

Footnotes 27

Chapter Summary


In this chapter an account is given of a golden image made by Nebuchadnezzar; its size; and where placed, Da 3:1, a summons to all his princes, governors, and officers, to attend the dedication of it, Da 3:2,3, a proclamation commanding men of all nations to fall down and worship it, at hearing the sound of music, Da 3:4-7, an accusation of the Jews to the king, particularly Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, for not worshipping it, Da 3:8-12, the king's sending for them in rage, and threatening to cast them into a fiery furnace if they continued to disobey his will, Da 3:13-15, their answer, which showed an inflexible resolution at all events not to comply with it, Da 3:16-18 the king's order to heat the furnace seven times hotter than usual, and cast them into it, which was executed; the consequence of which was, they that cast them in were destroyed through the vehement heat of the furnace, but the three Jews were unhurt, Da 3:19-23. Nebuchadnezzar's amazement at the sight of four persons, instead of three; and these loose, walking in the midst of the fire without hurt; and one of them like the Son of God, which he observed to his counsellors, Da 3:24,25, upon which he called to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, to come out of the furnace, which they did in the presence of his princes, governors, and officers, having received not the least harm in their persons or clothes, Da 3:26,27 and then the king, praising the God of the Jews, published an edict that none should speak against him on pain of death; and restored the three men to their former dignity, Da 3:28-30.

Daniel 3 Commentaries

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California.  All rights reserved.