(Please to see the image presentation click on the above subtitle of this Post until you see the PDF file)
Dan 3:1-7 LITV
(1) Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold whose height was sixty cubits; its breadth, six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
(2) Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges and the justices. And all the officials of the provinces were ordered to come to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
(3) Then were gathered the satraps, the prefects, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the justices, and all the officials of the provinces, to 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 cried with strength: To you it is commanded O peoples, nations, and languages,
(5) at the time you hear the sound of the horn, the pipe, zither, the lyre, harp, bagpipe, and all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up.
(6) And whoever does not fall down and worship, at that moment they will be thrown into the middle of a burning, fiery furnace.
(7) Then at that time when all the people heard the sound of the horn, the pipe, zither, the lyre, harp, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, the nations, and the languages fell down, worshiping the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
During this time, in the events of Chapter three, Daniel and the Jews were for quite sometime in the region and kingdom of Babylon. Please remember the events that took place during chapter two, in were king Nebuchadnezzar had the dream if the image that only Daniel was capable to interpret by the power of GOD. There is no explanation of why the king acted this way, and created this image and ordered to be idolized by the people of his kingdom. We had not being told either by the Bible, the formation the image had, we might speculate, but nothing to concrete about it. All we know is what the Bible is telling us about the event that took place that day. Many time over in our own personal lives this also is repeated, and let me be very clear about this comment and that is, that in many occasions in our lives God does not need to reveal all the details of our challenging moment, difficult trail, nor circumstances as long as we are in the hand of the Lord and under his will, all that we must do is to be still and know that He is GOD, read below:
Psa_46:10 Be still and know that I am God! I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.
King Nebuchadnezzar order to all of the members of his cabinet in government in a meeting, we must imagine how important was the event. Throughout history all men of power, even those that have or start with good intentions, the greed and feeling of power and control over others, make them feel overwhelmed, to the point in were their wisdom and understanding get distorted. For those that goes thru such moments reality is no longer part of a normal behavior, because they themselves do not consider themselves normal, but above everyone else. No exception was king Nebuchadnezzar (lets remember as examples of this human behavior king David, king Solomon, the judge Samson and others). The difference is how, we react in front of God and if we recognized our sins and repent from them, as king David did, making him (king David) a man after God’s own heart.
Just imagine, all the people of the kingdom of Babylon, due to the imperial order of the king Nebuchadnezzar, gather at once to worship this image created by the king.
Interesting enough there is a factor implemented in this narrative, which consist of the sounds of the musical instruments. This reminded me, in the Book of Revelation how at the sound of the trumpet of God, He Himself will come from Heaven, please read:
1Th_4:16 Because the Lord Himself shall come down from Heaven with a commanding shout of an archangel’s voice, and with God’s trumpet. And the dead in Christ will rise again first.
Rev_10:7 but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, whenever he is about to trumpet, was even ended the mystery of God, as He preached to His slaves, the prophets.
So looking to this event, tells me how the devil had tried over and over through human history, replicating the Only Living God’s actions without a victory.
In the verse 6 is remarkable to see how the devil uses the human spirit of fear to make them to tremble and panic. The opposite of God and the Lord our Savior, that not only tells us that the spirit of fear is not from God, but also that He Himself is love, read below:
1Jn_4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God, and everyone who loves has been generated from God, and knows God.
1Jn_4:8 The one who does not love has not known God, because God is love.
Hag_2:5 with the Word by whom I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit stands among you; do not fear.
Rom_8:15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery again to fear, but you received a Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba! Father!
What a concept, a God that is love and does not like to put His people thru fear.
The great difference between Israel and their GOD, from any other nation and their idols was that God was a God with no image, no temple, not to be feared by His people and a God of love. It was inconceivable for other nations to understand that there was no image to worship, nor to fear, nor touch or see in a physical world.
You as a follower of the Lord must understand this important concept, God, The Lord Jesus our Savior and the Holy Spirit are ONE and They are without image to be worship in a physical world, is a God of love, and does not reside in a physical temple but in your heart. Wherever you go, He is with you, never leave you nor forsake you… Never Ever…
In verse 7 is indicated how all the nations of the kingdom felt to worship the idol at the moment of the sound of the music. Just imagine the noise and the incredible multitude.
The dimensions of the image created by Nebuchadnezzar are very explicit in the narrative in verse 1, let’s reviewed such dimensions;
Dan 3:1 LITV
(1) Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold whose height was sixty cubits; its breadth, six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
It is believed that this measurement varied on the nation and people that you were referring to, but it is also believed the normal cubit in the Babylonian era was around 18 inches long. So if we calculate such measurements of the image we can see that it was 90 feet tall by 9 feet long (for the purpose of this study, we will be assuming that the width was equal to the length) by 9 feet width (I am including an image that will give you a visual example of the physical attributes and magnitude of this idol on perspective to the Statue of Liberty of the United State of America. The idol was approximately one third of the Statue of Liberty. Click on the image title for you to see it in a PDF file format). Let me be clear, in no moment the Bible says what kind of image was, whether it was an “obelisk” as many are saying in their stories or not, does not have importance for the purpose of God and God’s glory, so I will be limiting myself to express what the Bible is also saying.
On today’s standards the size of this image will not be that intimidating, but for the time in were was constructed it was very intimidating. Imagine a normal size man of 6 feet on the side of an image completely built in gold of 90 feet tall, quite impressive image.
Dan 3:8-12 LITV
(8) Then at that time men, Chaldeans, came near and slandered the Jews.
(9) They answered and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live forever!
(10) You, O king, have made a decree that every man who shall hear the sound of the horn, the pipe, zither, the lyre, harp, and the bagpipe, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image.
(11) And whoever does not fall down and worship, he should be thrown into the middle of a burning, fiery furnace.
(12) There are men, Jews, whom you have set over the business of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, do not pay attention to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.
Observe how the Bible state in verse 8, “… Chaldeans, …”.
You must placed yourself in their place, as Chaldeans, they were the ones belongs to the land, to have every and any privilege, even more when those not citizens from your land are put above you as leaders of the land. That was exactly what happened to them. They Slandered the Jews; by definition of slandering someone is the following;
SLA’NDERED, pp. Defamed; injured in good name by false and malicious reports.
Nothing new under the sun as the Bible says.
During this period of time and under the Babylonian Law, which ever law was established by the king would not, can not, must not be revoked by anyone under any circumstances, so Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could neither do so in accordance with the Chaldeans. Very important for you to noticed that during this narrative the Bible does not mention Daniel to be present, it is presumable that Daniel was, as a high ranking in command in the kingdom (read below in Dan 2:48), in a mission from the king Nebuchadnezzar out of the Land at the time of this event (but this is an hypothetical expression).
Dan 2:48 LITV
(48) Then the king made Daniel great and gave many great gifts to him. And he made him ruler over all the province of Babylon, and chief of the prefects over all the wise men of Babylon.
Also noticed how the names of the Jews men were the ones given by the Chaldeans and not their native land names. Making them a property of the state by birth and not Jew citizens, to the fact that the law was over them in a more restricted manner.
Dan 3:13-18 LITV
(13) Then Nebuchadnezzar in anger and wrath commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.
(14) Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said to them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that you are not serving my gods, nor worshiping the golden image which I have set up?
(15) Now if you are ready, at the time you hear the sound of the horn, the pipe, zither, the lyre, harp, and bagpipe, and all kinds of music, fall down and worship the image which I have made. But if you do not worship, in that moment you shall be thrown into the middle of a burning, fiery furnace. And who is that god who shall deliver you out of my hand?
(16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to return a word to you on this matter.
(17) If it is so that our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning, fiery furnace, then He will deliver out of your hand, O king.
(18) And if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.
There is nothing more serious to a leader than someone whose challenge him in public, and so they (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) did. To make sure the word was understood by the men brought to him (king Nebuchadnezzar), He repeated the command to them (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego), and once again they did not felt intimidated by the king command. Fear does not exist in a Christian heart.
The king trying his hardest to make them to react to the command he has proclaim, insisted once again, but they did not moved in any way. Please looked at the way the king expressed himself in regard to God, “… And who is that god who shall deliver you out of my hand?..” This is the same man that saw how the God of Daniel revealed to him the meaning of a dream that no one else could.
The king used the word “god” as is specified by the narrative in the Word of God, making very clear how ignorant is the man that does not know God and neither have a real knowledge of Him, as the Word says;
Psa_56:13 For You have delivered my soul from death. Do You not keep my feet from falling, so that I may walk before God in the light of the living?
Jer_23:36 And you shall not mention the burden of Jehovah again, for each man’s word shall be his burden. But you have perverted the Words of the living God, of Jehovah of Hosts, our God.
In this verse 15, the word used is god, which is dedicated to idols and not to the Only Living God. Since the beginning of time the name of our God has always being respected and utilized with a unique way used even when the language tell otherwise to be use. The position of God in every way, language, and during any time since creation had, has and will be for ever place as the Only Living God, our Lord Jesus the Savior, the Holy Spirit and no one else to take His place.
The answered from the young Jews was unexpected from the king or the witness to the king. Many situations we must stand alone, but we must stand as men of God. Their answer was that, one-way or the other, their knees would not bow down to the image.
It is remarkable how these younger men, in a stranger land, under a leadership position, and placed in a critical moment, in front of the highest authority in their government, they decided to stand in what they believed and not reject their relationship with God, to the point of loosing their lives. Today under the Grace we can count on the Word of God to guide us and instruct us as we go thru those difficult moments, but they could not do so. They only count with the Torah and the writings, that was only if they memorized them. Now do you see how remarkable this action was?
Psa_4:5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness and trust in Jehovah.
Psa_5:11 But let all who put their trust in You rejoice; let them shout for joy forever, because You cover them. And let those who love Your name be joyful in You.
Psa_9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Jehovah, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Dan 3:19-23 LITV
(19) Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath, and the form of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He spoke and commanded to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usual to heat it.
(20) And he commanded mighty men of valor in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to throw them into the burning, fiery furnace.
(21) Then these men were tied up in their slippers, their tunics, and their mantles, and their other clothes, and were thrown into the middle of the burning, fiery furnace.
(22) Then, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
(23) And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the middle of the burning, fiery furnace.
Now, you expect from a king that is adjust to judge and deal with difficult situations to be able to deal with this moment in a wise and diligent manner, but in the opposite to what it was expected, the king indulged in violence, full of anger and in a repulsive feeling, order to “…mighty men of valor in his army…” to tie up these youngsters and to throw them up to the fiery furnace burning seven times more than normal. When a man of God is taken to be tie up by the adversary, is always the used of a human strength the one that the enemy use, but as the Word of God tells us, that there is no human strength, not by sword or armies but by the Word of God that we have the power from the Spirit of the Lord. They were thrown to the furnace, which was seven times hotter than before, and as you know the number seven means “completion”, and so God was giving total complete victory to the youngsters with an incredible revealing moment of truth that was going to be preserved throughout history.
Dan 3:24-27 LITV
(24) Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was amazed. And he rose up in haste; he spoke and said to his royal officials, Did we not throw three men bound into the middle of the fire? They replied and said to the king, True, O king.
(25) He answered and said, Behold! I see four men loose, walking in the middle of the fire, and there is no harm among them. And the form of the fourth is like a son of the gods.
(26) Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning, fiery furnace. He answered and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out and come here. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the middle of the fire.
(27) And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s officials assembled. And they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power, and the hair of their head was not scorched, nor were their slippers changed, nor had the smell of fire clung on them.
The image that I have of this event is the king Nebuchadnezzar sitting on his mobile seat, being carried by the servants of him, and seeing how the three youngsters that were thrown to the fury furnace of fire, the one that burn the mighty ones selected by him (king Nebuchadnezzar), are not even tie up, nor burn in any way, nor suffering in any form, and more intriguing there are no more three but four of them. Noticed also how the king himself expressed about the fourth member in the furnace, “…And the form of the fourth is like a son of the gods…”. It is my believe that the one with them was our Lord Jesus, please remember that this is at the time in where was no knowledge of Jesus our Lord, and if it was, was with the attribute of a future coming as a Messiah. More remarkable is the fact that Nebuchadnezzar express himself the way he did. He (king Nebuchadnezzar) stand up from his place, approach the ventilator of the furnace and to his amazed images ask for approval of his observations from the rest of the court. And here is where it takes a wonderful turning point, look how king Nebuchadnezzar said “…servants of the Most High God, come out and come here…”. He called them servants of the Most High God; today the followers of the Lord are also called servants of the Lord, so it is use a term very familiar to us today and with which we should not feel ashamed. More importantly is the term that the king used when the king referred to God as the Most High God, and this term was always used by the gentiles’ people to make distinction of the God of the Jews versus their idols. So once again king Nebuchadnezzar recognized the position of the Only Living God in the human chain.
We all know that God is not a God of confusion nor of half way things done, but a certain, concrete, truthful and clear without any doubts God. The court advisers started to see if any harm or even smell came out of the three youngsters, but nothing at all.
Dan 3:28-30 LITV
(28) Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent His Angel and has delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and have changed the king’s words, and have given their bodies that they might not serve nor worship any god except their own God.
(29) And a decree is set out by me, that every people, nation, and language who speak anything amiss about the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, he will be made into mere members and his house shall be made an outhouse. Because there is no other God who is able to deliver like this.
(30) Then the king made Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego prosper in the province of Babylon.
It is remarkable, once again, to see how a gentile king is moved to recognize the Only Living God, the way he could only do it. See also how Nebuchadnezzar used the word “…Angel…”, in the middle of the sentence this word is used in capital letter, why?
Let see the root of the word thru the strong numbers;
Part of Speech: noun masculine
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: corresponding to H4397
Same Word by TWOT Number: 2827
1) messenger, representative
1c) the theophanic angel
Part of Speech: noun masculine
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from an unused root meaning to despatch as a deputy
Same Word by TWOT Number: 1068a
It is my humble opinion that this Messenger sent by God was none other than His Son our Lord. What an incredible experience these youngsters went thru. I only could hope, I could have the blessing to be able to see Him in the moment of his Glory and second coming. Praise For Ever is His name, Amen…