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  Discovery Box

Daniel 3:20-25

Context
3:20 He ordered strong 1  soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. 3:21 So those men were tied up while still wearing their cloaks, trousers, turbans, and other clothes, 2  and were thrown into the furnace 3  of blazing fire. 3:22 But since the king’s command was so urgent, and the furnace was so excessively hot, the men who escorted 4  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were killed 5  by the leaping flames. 6  3:23 But those three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell into the furnace 7  of blazing fire while still securely bound. 8 

God Delivers His Servants

3:24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was startled and quickly got up. He said to his ministers, “Wasn’t it three men that we tied up and threw 9  into 10  the fire?” They replied to the king, “For sure, O king.” 3:25 He answered, “But I see four men, untied and walking around in the midst of the fire! No harm has come to them! And the appearance of the fourth is like that of a god!” 11 

1 tn This is sometimes taken as a comparative: “[some of the] strongest.”

2 sn There is a great deal of uncertainty with regard to the specific nature of these items of clothing.

3 tn Aram “into the midst of the furnace.” For stylistic reasons the words “the midst of” have been left untranslated.

4 tn Aram “caused to go up.”

5 tn The Aramaic verb is active.

6 tn Aram “the flame of the fire” (so KJV, ASV, NASB); NRSV “the raging flames.”

7 tn Aram “into the midst of the furnace.” For stylistic reasons the words “the midst of” have been left untranslated.

8 sn The deuterocanonical writings known as The Prayer of Azariah and The Song of the Three present at this point a confession and petition for God’s forgiveness and a celebration of God’s grace for the three Jewish youths in the fiery furnace. Though not found in the Hebrew/Aramaic text of Daniel, these compositions do appear in the ancient Greek versions.

9 tn Aram “we threw…bound.”

10 tn Aram “into the midst of.”

11 sn The phrase like that of a god is in Aramaic “like that of a son of the gods.” Many patristic writers understood this phrase in a christological sense (i.e., “the Son of God”). But it should be remembered that these are words spoken by a pagan who is seeking to explain things from his own polytheistic frame of reference; for him the phrase “like a son of the gods” is equivalent to “like a divine being.”



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