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Daniel 3:17

Context
3:17 If 1  our God whom we are serving exists, 2  he is able to rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and he will rescue us, O king, from your power as well.

Daniel 3:28

Context

3:28 Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, 3  “Praised be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent forth his angel 4  and has rescued his servants who trusted in him, ignoring 5  the edict of the king and giving up their bodies rather than 6  serve or pay homage to any god other than their God!

1 tc The ancient versions typically avoid the conditional element of v. 17.

2 tn The Aramaic expression used here is very difficult to interpret. The question concerns the meaning and syntax of אִיתַי (’itay, “is” or “exist”). There are several possibilities. (1) Some interpreters take this word closely with the participle later in the verse יָכִל (yakhil, “able”), understanding the two words to form a periphrastic construction (“if our God is…able”; cf. H. Bauer and P. Leander, Grammatik des Biblisch-Aramäischen, 365, §111b). But the separation of the two elements from one another is not an argument in favor of this understanding. (2) Other interpreters take the first part of v. 17 to mean “If it is so, then our God will deliver us” (cf. KJV, ASV, RSV, NASB). However, the normal sense of itay is existence; on this point see F. Rosenthal, Grammar, 45, §95. The present translation maintains the sense of existence for the verb (“If our God…exists”), even though the statement is admittedly difficult to understand in this light. The statement may be an implicit reference back to Nebuchadnezzar’s comment in v. 15, which denies the existence of a god capable of delivering from the king’s power.

3 tn Aram “answered and said.”

4 sn The king identifies the “son of the gods” (v. 25) as an angel. Comparable Hebrew expressions are used elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible for the members of God’s angelic assembly (see Gen 6:2, 4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Pss 29:1; 89:6). An angel later comes to rescue Daniel from the lions (Dan 6:22).

5 tn Aram “they changed” or “violated.”

6 tn Aram “so that they might not.”



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