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
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.”