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1 Nebuchad-nezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and þe breadth thereof sixe cubites: he set it vp in the plaine of Dura, in the prouince of Babylon.

2 Then Nebuchad-nezzar the king sent to gather together the Princes, the Gouernours, and the Captaines, the Iudges, the Treasurers, the Counsellers, the Sherifes, and all the rulers of the Prouinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchad-nezzar the King had set vp.

3 Then the Princes, the Gouernours and Captaines, the Iudges, the Treasurers, the Counsellers, the Sherifes, and all the rulers of the Prouinces were gathered together vnto the dedicatiō of the image, that Nebuchadnezzar the King had set vp, and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set vp.

4 Then an herauld cryed aloud, To you it is commaunded, O people, nations, and languages,

5 That at what time yee heare the sound of the cornet, flute, harpe, sackbut, psalterie, dulcimer, and all kinds of musicke, yee fall downe, and worship the golden image that Nebuchad-nezzar the King hath set vp:

6 And who so falleth not down and worshippeth, shall the same houre bee cast into the middest of a burning fierie furnace.

7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harpe, sackbut, psalterie, and all kindes of musicke, all the people, the nations, and the languages fell downe and worshipped the golden image, that Nebuchad-nezzar the King had set vp.

8 Wherefore at that time certaine Caldeans came neere, and accused the Iewes.

9 They spake and sayd to the King Nebuchad-nezzar, O King, liue for euer.

10 Thou, O King, hast made a decree, that euery man that shal heare the sound of the cornet, flute, harpe, sackbut, psalterie, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musicke, shall fall downe and worship the golden image:

11 And who so falleth not downe & worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fierie furnace.

12 There are certain Iewes whom thou hast set ouer the affaires of the prouince of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: these men, O King, haue not regarded thee, they serue not thy gods, nor worship the golden image, which thou hast set vp.

13 Then Nebuchad-nezzar in his rage and furie commaunded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: then they brought these men before the King.

14 Nebuchad-nezzar spake and said vnto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? doe not yee serue my gods, nor worship the golden image which I haue set vp?

15 Now if ye be ready that at what time yee heare the sound of the cornet, flute, harpe, sackbut, psalterie, and dulcimer, and all kindes of musicke, ye fall downe, and worship the image which I haue made, well: but if yee worship not, ye shall be cast the same houre into the midst of a fierie furnace, and who is that God that shall deliuer you out of my handes?

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king; O Nebuchad-nezzar, we are not carefull to answere thee in this matter.

17 If it be so, our God whom wee serue, is able to deliuer vs from the burning fierie furnace, and he will deliuer vs out of thine hand, O king.

18 But if not, bee it knowen vnto thee, O king, that we will not serue thy gods, nor worship thy golden image, which thou hast set vp.

19 Then was Nebuchad-nezzar full of furie, and the forme of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: therefore he spake and commanded, that they should heat the furnace one seuen times more then it was wont to be heat.

20 And hee commaunded the most mighty men that were in his armie, to binde Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fierie furnace.

21 Then these men were bound in their coates, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fierie furnace.

22 Therefore because the Kings commandement was vrgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that tooke vp Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell downe bound into the midst of the burning fierie furnace.

24 Then Nebuchad-nezzar the king was astonied, and rose vp in haste, and spake and said vnto his counsellers, Did not wee cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said vnto the king; True, O king.

25 He answered and said, Loe, I see foure men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they haue no hurt, and the forme of the fourth is like the sonne of God.

26 Then Nebuchad-nezzar came neere to the mouth of the burning fierie furnace, and spake and said, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, ye seruants of the most High God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came forth of the midst of the fire.

27 And the princes, gouernours, and captaines, and the kings counsellers, being gathered together, saw these men, vpon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an haire of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

28 Then Nebuchad-nezzar spake and said; Blessed bee the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his Angel, and deliuered his seruants that trusted in him, and haue changed the Kings word, and yeelded their bodies, that they might not serue nor worship any God, except their owne God.

29 Therefore I make a decree, That euery people, nation, and language, which speake any thing amisse 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 deliuer after this sort.

30 Then the King promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the prouince of Babylon.

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Commentary for Daniel 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)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.

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.

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, #Re 14:10,11|. Now was fulfilled in the letter that great promise, #Isa 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, #Heb 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.

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.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Daniel 3

  • Zakhar
    It appears Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and all the mighty men were rendered invulnerable to the immense heat causing the mighty men to march right into the heat without realizing how abnormally close they were to it and as they threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego the mighty men were judged right as they released their grip on them and were no longer invulnerable to the heat and were consumed.
  • Patty Tozi
    BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD. PSALM 46:10. When was the last time you sat with your God and listened? Thank you Father for your strength. Help me see what l can do through you today. The strength of Christ reaches right down into our turmoil and pain. It's there, that we can truly do "ALL THINGS." God always equips us with the armor we need, to stand firm. God will PROTECT ME ALWAYS!
  • Mr Godwin Okon
    Nebucanessar had the spirit of God i n him though God wanted to used him tp proved to the whole world that he is the suprine God of the unviverse.
  • Lauren
    JP: I think it was the mighty men in verse 20 who were binding Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that died. Somehow the flames got too close to them while trying to toss the three into it in haste and they died.
  • JP
    Who died? those men who believed in Nebuchadnezzer vs. 22.
  • Obbie Beal
    the question was bow down and worship the idol or die trussing Jehovah / GOD !

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