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Daniel Three

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Daniel 3:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

image of gold. The king, taken up with his importance as the golden head of the prophetic image to influence and direct the entire sequence of kingdoms that would come after him, arrogantly constructed his manufactured image entirely of gold, in effect proclaiming himself as destined to be the greatest man in world history.

threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits. An image with a height ten times its width would look more like an obelisk than a statue of a man. Possibly the king was trying to emphasize the long duration of his influence in the world. More probably, the height dimension included a high pedestal on which the statue rested.

Daniel 3:2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

Daniel 3:3 Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Daniel 3:4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,

Daniel 3:5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:

sackbut. A musical instrument like a lyre.

dulcimer. A stringed instrument.

all kinds of musick. This list includes several Greek instruments, identified in the original by their Greek names, and this has served as an excuse for liberals to attribute the book of Daniel to a late date. The fact is, however, that Greek culture was already well developed in Nebuchadnezzar's time and commerce between Greece and Babylon well established, so that such instruments were common in Babylon at this time. The king's proclamation (Daniel 3:4) acknowledged other languages in Babylon.

Daniel 3:6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

Daniel 3:7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

Daniel 3:8 Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.

Daniel 3:9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.

Daniel 3:10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image:

worship the golden image. Nebuchadnezzar's ancient image is a type of the image of the “beast” during the coming great tribulation, and which likewise must be worshipped on pain of death (Revelation 13:15).

Daniel 3:11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

Daniel 3:12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Daniel 3:13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.

Daniel 3:14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?

Daniel 3:15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

Daniel 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

Daniel 3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

not serve thy gods. This is a severe indictment of many modern Christian leaders who will not take a stand against evolutionary gods today—not because of a threatened furnace but because of fear of loss of academic standing.

Daniel 3:19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.

Daniel 3:20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

Daniel 3:21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Daniel 3:22 Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Daniel 3:23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Daniel 3:24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

Daniel 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

the Son of God. God is, indeed, able to “deliver us” (Daniel 3:17), sending “a son of God” (literal reading), one of His mighty angels, to defend and protect His children, if He so wills (note Psalm 34:7). This has often happened, even when they were not aware of his presence. In this special case, this Son of God may even have been the Angel of the Lord, the pre-incarnate Christ.

Daniel 3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.

Daniel 3:27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

Daniel 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

delivered his servants. Nebuchadnezzar came to realize that God not only could reveal secrets but could also deliver those who trusted in Him; nevertheless, he still thought of Him as only “the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.” One must not only acknowledge God as a great God, but as the only true God of creation and as one's personal Redeemer, if he would be saved.

Daniel 3:29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

Daniel 3:30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.