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Daniel 3:19-28

Context

3:19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage, and his disposition changed 1  toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He gave orders 2  to heat the furnace seven times hotter than it was normally heated. 3:20 He ordered strong 3  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, 4  and were thrown into the furnace 5  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 6  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were killed 7  by the leaping flames. 8  3:23 But those three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell into the furnace 9  of blazing fire while still securely bound. 10 

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 11  into 12  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!” 13  3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire. He called out, 14  “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the most high God, come out! Come here!”

Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego emerged from the fire. 15  3:27 Once the satraps, prefects, governors, and ministers of the king had gathered around, they saw that those men were physically 16  unharmed by the fire. 17  The hair of their heads was not singed, nor were their trousers damaged. Not even the smell of fire was to be found on them!

3:28 Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, 18  “Praised be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent forth his angel 19  and has rescued his servants who trusted in him, ignoring 20  the edict of the king and giving up their bodies rather than 21  serve or pay homage to any god other than their God!

1 tn Aram “the appearance of his face was altered”; cf. NLT “his face became distorted with rage”; NAB “[his] face became livid with utter rage.”

2 tn Aram “he answered and said.”

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

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

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

6 tn Aram “caused to go up.”

7 tn The Aramaic verb is active.

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

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

10 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.

11 tn Aram “we threw…bound.”

12 tn Aram “into the midst of.”

13 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.”

14 tn Aram “answered and said.”

15 tn Aram “from the midst of the fire.” For stylistic reasons the words “the midst of” have been left untranslated.

16 tn Aram “in their bodies.”

17 tn Aram “the fire did not have power.”

18 tn Aram “answered and said.”

19 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).

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

21 tn Aram “so that they might not.”



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