Daniel 3

1 King Nabuchodonosor made a statue of gold, of sixty cubits high, and six cubits broad, and he set it up in the plain of Dura, of the province of Babylon.
2 Then Nabuchodonosor, the king, sent to call together the nobles, the magistrates, and the judges, the captains, the rulers, and governors, and all the chief men of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up.
3 Then the nobles, the magistrates, and the judges, the captains, and rulers, and the great men that were placed in authority, and all the princes of the provinces, were gathered together to come to the dedication of the statue, which king Nabuchodonosor had set up. And they stood before the statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up.
4 Then a herald cried with a strong voice: To you it is commanded, O nations, tribes and languages:
5 That in the hour that you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, and of the flute, and of the harp, of the sackbut, and of the psaltery, and of the symphony, and of all kind of music, ye fall down and adore the golden statue which king Nabuchodonosor hath set up.
6 But if any man shall not fall down and adore, he shall the same hour be cast into a furnace of burning fire.
7 Upon this, therefore, at the time when all the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the flute, and the harp, of the sackbut, and the psaltery, of the symphony, and of all kind of music, all the nations, tribes, and languages fell down and adored the golden statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up.
8 And presently at that very time some Chaldeans came and accused the Jews,
9 And said to king Nabuchodonosor: O king, live for ever:
10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the trumpet, the flute, and the harp, of the sackbut, and the psaltery, of the symphony, and of all kind of music, shall prostrate himself, and adore the golden statue:
11 And that if any man shall not fall down and adore, he should be cast into a furnace of burning fire.
12 Now there are certain Jews, whom thou hast set over the works of the province of Babylon, Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago: these men, O king, have slighted thy decree: they worship not thy gods, nor do they adore the golden statue which thou hast set up.
13 Then Nabuchodonosor in fury, and in wrath, commanded that Sidrach, Misach, ad Abdenago should be brought: who immediately were brought before the king.
14 And Nabuchodonosor, the king, spoke to them, and said: Is it true, O Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, that you do not worship my gods, nor adore the golden statue that I have set up?
15 Now, therefore, if you be ready, at what hour soever, you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, harp, sackbut, and psaltery, and symphony, and of all kind of music, prostrate yourselves, and adore the statue which I have made: but if you do not adore, you shall be cast the same hour into the furnace of burning fire: and who is the God that shall deliver you out of my hand?\par
16 Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, answered, and said to king Nabuchodonosor: We have no occasion to answer thee concerning this matter.
17 For behold our God, whom we worship, is able to save us from the furnace of burning fire, and to deliver us out of thy hands, O king.
18 But if he will not, be it known to thee, O king, that we will not worship thy gods, nor adore the golden statue which thou hast set up.
19 Then was Nabuchodonosor filled with fury: and the countenance of his face was changed against Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, and he commanded that the furnace should be heated seven times more than it had been accustomed to be heated.
20 And he commanded the strongest men that were in his army, to bind the feet of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, and to cast them into the furnace of burning fire.
21 And immediately these men were bound, and were cast into the furnace of burning fire, with their coats, and their caps, and their shoes, and their garments.
22 For the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace was heated exceedingly. And the flame of the fire slew those men that had cast in Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago.
23 But these three men, that is, Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, fell down bound in the midst of the furnace of burning fire.
24 (3-91) Then Nabuchodonosor, the king, was astonished, and rose up in haste, and said to his nobles: Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered the king, and said: True, O king.
25 (3-92) He answered, and said: Behold, I see four men loose, and walking in the midst of the fire, and there is no hurt in them, and the form of the fourth is like the son of God.
26 (3-93) Then Nabuchodonosor came to the door of the burning fiery furnace, and said: Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, ye servants of the most high God, go ye forth, and come. And immediately Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, went out from the midst of the fire.
27 (3-94) And the nobles, and the magistrates, and the judges, and the great men of the king, being gathered together, considered these men, that the fire had no power on their bodies, and that not a hair of their head had been singed, nor their garments altered, nor the smell of the fire had passed on them.
28 (3-95) Then Nabuchodonosor breaking forth, said: Blessed be the God of them, to wit, of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that believed in him: and they changed the king’s word, and delivered up their bodies, that they might not serve nor adore any god except their own God.
29 (3-96) By me, therefore, this decree is made: That every people, tribe, and tongue, which shall speak blasphemy against the God of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, shall be destroyed, and their houses laid waste: for there is no other God that can save in this manner.
30 (3-97) Then the king promoted Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, 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.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO DANIEL 3

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