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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Daniel 3

 

 

Verses 1-30

Saved from the fiery furnace (3:1-30)

Within Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom were people of many races, languages and religions. In a plan to create greater unity among these people, Nebuchadnezzar made a huge image as a national religious symbol, and demanded that all citizens, great and small, bow before it. He set up the image in open plain country where it could be seen from afar, then called all the leading officials from the country areas to a dedication ceremony (3:1-3). He gave instructions concerning the ritual to be followed in worshipping the image, and laid down the penalty for any who disobeyed (4-7).

Some Babylonian officials were jealous of the three Jews who had been recently appointed as provincial administrators. When they saw that the Jews refused to bow to the image, they were pleased to have an opportunity to bring accusations against them before Nebuchadnezzar (8-12). The king found it difficult to believe that people he had recently honoured would be so ungrateful and rebellious. Although he was furious with them, he gave them another chance, warning them that no God could save them once they were thrown into a fiery furnace (13-15).

The three men again refused to obey. They had no doubt that if the sentence against them was carried out, God could save them if he so chose. Whether he would save them, they were not sure. Either way, they were determined not to worship the king's image and were prepared to accept the consequences (16-18).

Nebuchadnezzar, now in a rage, had the men bound and thrown into a fiery furnace (19-23). His rage quickly turned to fear when he saw that God sent his heavenly messenger to save them (24-25). The whole experience humbled Nebuchadnezzar. He praised the Jews' God, and issued a decree that gave the Jews religious freedom and protected them from further persecution. He also gave the three men higher positions in his government (26-30).

 


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Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Daniel 3:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/daniel-3.html. 2005.

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