C K L N 1-6. Command to worship the image. O 7. Obedience. M 8-12. Accusation of the 3. K L N 13-15. Command to worship the image. O 16-18. Refusal. M 19-30. Condemnation of the 3.
1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold (this could not have been an image of a human being. The height and breadth are all out of proportion for this; the former being 1 to 10 instead of 1 to 6. A figure drawn on this scale, will at once be seen to be impossible. Having determined that it is a human figure, tradition the assumes it to have been a proportional figure "on a pedestal", or simply "a bust on a pillar". But there is nothing in the text to suggest this. It would exactly suit an Asherah. The Heb. tzelem denotes something shaped by cutting or carving. Ezek. 16:17, and 23:14, practically make this certain. See Ezek 7:20; and cp. what is said in Num. 33:52.), whose height was sixty cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits (see v.5. 666 also the number of Satan, king of Babylon = confusion. Note the 6 instruments in 5, 7, 10,15. See 1 Sam. 17:4): he set it up in the plain of Dura (= circle, gathering place. 12 miles south-east of Babylon), in the province of Babylon.
2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent (this great Durbar would hardly have taken place till after the campaign referred to in 1:1. It was therefore probably held about 475 B.C., in Daniel's 38th year, 20 years after Nebuchadnezzar's dream of himself, the "head of gold") to gather together (note the 8 technical terms. Well known to Daniel, but difficult for a Judean in Jerusalem 300 years later to enumerate so minutely and accurately) the satraps, the governors (see 2:48), and the pashas (as in Neh. 5:14,18. Hag. 1:14, the 1st 3 governmental), the chief judges (or viziers), the treasurers (these 2 being courtiers), the counselors of State (judges), the lawyers (these 2 being legal), and all the superintendents of the provinces (being functional and general), to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
3 Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together (all political muckity-ducks) to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. (See chapter 11)
4 Then an herald cried aloud, "To you it is commanded, O peoples (or nations), races (or tribes), and tongues,
5 That at what time you hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp (Terpander, a Greek musician [7th century B.C.], the father of Greek music, invented the kithara with 7 strings instead of 4, and one is sculptured on a monument of Assurbanipal), sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, you fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up:
6 And whoso falls not down and worships shall the same hour (hour of temptation. Cp. Mark 13. Rev. 17) be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace."
7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshiped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. (World-wide set up. Perfect example of the end times)
8 Wherefore at that time Chaldeans men (probably grandees) came near, and accused the men of Judah.
9 They spoke and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, "O king, live for ever.
10 You, O king, have made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image: (Image antichrist makes in the end times for the "one world system".)
11 And whoso falls not down and worships, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. (The king's decree.)
12 There are men of Judah whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (they didn't like these, so they set them up); these strong men, O king, have not regarded you: they serve not your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up."
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. (Cp. being delivered up before antichrist.)
14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said to them, "Is it of set purpose, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not you serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? (He loved these boys, but he was hurt and indignant.)
15 Now if you be ready that at what time you hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, you fall down and worship the image which I have made; well [and good]: but if you worship not, you shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?" (He's forgotten about the God of gods, but he's about to be reminded)
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not account it needful to answer you in this matter.
17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. (Boldness. If the antichrist gives you a strict order to worship him are you going to be strong enough to let the Holy Spirit speak through you? Do you believe and trust God that He will protect you?)
18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods (1st of the 10 Commandments), nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."
M h 19. The king charged. i 20,21. The 3 cast into the furnace. k 22. Fire. Power over the executioners. l 23. Deliverance to the fire. Fall. h 24,25. The king amazed. i 26. The 3 called forth from the furnace. k 27. Fire. No power over the 3. l 28-30. Deliverance from the furnace. Promotion.
19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times (7 = spiritual completeness) more than it was wont to be heated.
20 And he commanded the mighty men of strength that were in his army (Satan will have 10 supernatural beings at the hour of temptation when the elect are delivered up) to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
21 Then these men were bound in their cloaks (or mantles), their tunics, and their turbans, and their other garments (Cp. Eph. 6, Gospel Armor), and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
22 Therefore because the king's word was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those very men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spoke, and said to his counselors (or, ministers [standing near] to him; either to his throne or near at the time)>, "Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?" They answered and said to the king, "Truly, O king." (No doubt about it.)
25 He answered and said, "Lo, I see four men loose (they were no longer bound), walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like a Son of God." (i.e. a superhuman being, or an angel. Nebuchadnezzar could know nothing of N.T. revelation, however, when you see Him, you will know.)
26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace, and spoke, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the most high God, come forth, and come here." (He lost his anger. This is what Christ's touch will do.) Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counselors, being gathered together, kept gazing upon these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed (see Luke 21. Do you have faith enough to believe this), neither were their coats changed (or, discolored), nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spoke, and said, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Who has sent His angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in Him, and have changed the king's word (God can do this), and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. (Humbling experience. Nebuchadnezzar was only a type of antichrist. He could be converted. But not Satan. He already has been judged.)
29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which change any fault or error against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (cp. 2 Sam. 6,7, as Nebuchadnezzar himself had done), shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can rescue after this sort." (He has the power over nature and can insulate you from it.)
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon. (They had good days and bad days, but if your with God, it will always be a good day.)