CHAPTER 3 | Verses 1 - 19

Faithfulness to the God of Israel and faithfulness to the Messiah -Yeshua, the Son of God – can cause us to be put to death. This is going to become a reality, throughout this world, in the last days.

Verse 1: “King Nebuchadnezzar made a golden image whose height was sixty cubits and whose width was six cubits. And he set it up in the plains of Dura, in the province of Babylon.”

King Nebuchadnezzar: In the same way that we have typologies of Messiah throughout the Old Testament so to do we have typologies of the antichrist. Nebuchadnezzar is a typology of an antichrist. Nebuchadnezzar was a wicked man, but God called him His servant (Jeremiah 43:10- 13). Pharoah, another antichrist type, was also raised up by God for a purpose (Romans 9:17). It
is important to note that the final antichrist will also be raised up by God for a purpose.

Plains: Could also be translated “valley”.

Note: At the end of chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar concluded (after the revelation that God knows the secret things and how to interpret them) that the God of Israel is the only true God. No sooner had he acknowledged God then he began to violate the law of God. It could be argued that he is not Jewish, but what the Book of Daniel so clearly teaches us is that God’s Word and commandments are for all people. Although we are not saved by the commandments, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit we can live in a way that fulfils the righteous of the law (Romans 7:6).

Sixty…and…six: The number six, Biblically, relates to grace. Here, Nebuchadnezzar is testing God’s grace.

Verse 2: “And King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather up all the government officials, those who were rulers, the governors, the judges, those involved in the treasury, those who had counsel for judgment, the magistrates and all those who were in the administration of the country on account that they should come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.”

Sent to gather up all: All the leaders of the government were expected to go to the dedication of this image that Nebuchadnezzar should not have made.

Verse 3: “And behold the government officials, the rulers, the governors, the judges, those involved in the treasury, the counsellors, the magistrates and all those who were in the regime were gathered for the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.”

Were gathered: Nebuchadnezzar gave the word, and they all came to this dedication.

Verse 4: “And the announcer proclaimed in a great voice: ‘This is the commandment given unto you – all the people, nations and languages.”

Announcer: Herald. One who proclaims or announces.

A great voice: Loudly

This is the commandment: The purpose for this image, and its dedication, is beginning to be revealed. We are given commandments (good and bad) from the time we are born until the time we die. Throughout our lives we are going to be choosing which ones we obey and which ones we disobey. This commandment is against the things of God.

Verse 5: “When you hear the sound of the horn, the flute, the lyre, the harp, the piano, the (bag pipes) and the rest of all the instruments you are to fall down upon the ground and worship the image of gold which King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.”

Note: A list of instruments is given in this verse. Their exact names are debatable, but their purpose remains the same – they are all instruments that make music. Music plays a significant role in what is happening here.

Image: This image is a composite that represents the different kingdoms (empires) that rule over this world. All of these empires have something in common – they are satanic in nature.

An empire is going to rise up in the last days, and it is going to be related to worship. The real battle is going to be around the outworking of this question: Who are we going to worship?

Verse 6: “Whoever does not fall down and worship will be cast immediately into the midst of a furnace that burns with fire.”

Fall down and worship: If you can control how someone worships you can control them.

Cast… into the midst of a furnace: There will also be a consequence for not obeying the command of the final antichrist (Revelation 13:9-10 and v15)

 Verse 7: “Therefore, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, the flute, the lyre, the harp,the piano and the rest of the instruments the peoples, nations and languages fell upon their faces, and they worshipped the golden image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.”

The people heard…(and) fell: The world went along with the program. Likened to mouldable clay, they did not question the origin or nature of this image. They did not want to be judged by Nebuchadnezzar, and thrown into the fiery furnace, so they complied and worshipped this image.

Verse 8: “At that time, men from the Chaldeans approached in order to accuse the Jews.”

At that time: These words introduce a change. Up until this time Nebuchadnezzar’s plans had been going very well, but something changed.

Accuse the Jews: satan’s plan always involves a desire to exterminate the Jewish race. This is going to be repeated in the last days.

Verse 9: “They answered and said to King Nebuchadnezzar: “O king, live forever!”

Verse 10: “You, O king, have commanded that when every man hears the sound of the horn, the flute, the lyre, the piano, the other type of flute and the rest of the instruments he is to fall on his face to the ground and worship the golden image.”

Verse 11: “And whoever does not fall upon his face, and does not worship, he should be cast into the midst of the furnace that burns with fire.”

Nebuchadnezzar knows that what they have said is true.

Verse 12: “There are Jewish men who you have appointed over the command of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego. These men do not pay attention to you, O king, nor to your gods. They do not bow down to the golden image that you have set up.”

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego: It is possible that Daniel was not mentioned with these three men because the accusers maybe thought he was too powerful, or perhaps they had forgotten about Daniel as he was in the courtyard of the king and not leading them, directly, in the province.

Do not bow down: They do not worship.

Verse 13: “Then Nebuchadnezzar, with anger and wrath, commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego. These men were brought before the king.”

Verse 14: “Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them: ‘True is this matter that my god you do not worship, and the image of gold that I have set up you do not bow down to?”

Nebuchadnezzar: It is unusual for the name of Nebuchadnezzar to appear in this form – usually it is accompanied by ‘The king’ or just ‘king’. The reason for the absence of ‘king’ in front of his name is to reveal to us that he is not the true king. Nebuchadnezzar is in a position of temporary authority. He is not the ultimate judge.

Them: Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego

Verse 15: “Now if you are ready to fall down on your face to the ground and worship the image which I have set up, as you hear the sound of the horn, the flute, the lyre, the harp, the piano, the (bagpipe) and the rest of the instruments, this will be good. But if you do not worship you shall be cast into the midst of the furnace that burns with fire, and who is the God that is able to save you from my hand?”

Now if you are ready: Nebuchadnezzar is ready to forgive them and act as if this never happened.

Who is the G-d that is able to save you: Nebuchadnezzar has forgotten the true G-d, the G-d who knows, and who is able to do, all things.

Note: There is a battle going on here as to who is really king – Nebuchadnezzar or God.

Verse 16: “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego answered, and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, there is no need that we should return to you.”

There is no need that we should return to you: Nebuchadnezzar knows who they are, and he knows how they behave. For these reasons, he should know that they are not going to give him the answer that he desires to hear.

Verse 17: “For behold our God, it is Him that we serve. He is able to deliver us from that furnace that burns with fire. And from your hand He will save us O king.”

Note: They are displaying their unwavering confidence in God. This is reminiscent of the same boldness that Peter and John had when they were brought before the government officials for speaking in the name of Yeshua, Jesus (Acts 5:29)

Verse 18: “Also, if He does not do this still you are to know, O king, that your god we will not serve, and the golden image, which you have set up, we will not bow down to.”

Also: They are revealing to Nebuchadnezzar that God could save them from death. However, if He did not save them from death they were going to remain true to God rather than obey Nebuchadnezzar.

Note: These men obeyed God in the small things (not eating the king’s food – Daniel 1:8-15), so they were prepared to obey God in the big things (those things in regard to right worship – Luke 16:10). From a Jewish perspective there is a connection between eating food and worship (Deuteronomy 8: 10). In the book of Daniel there is a connection between chapter 1 and chapter
3. In this chapter it is revealed to us that these men do not compromise their faith in regard to the little or big things.

Verse 19: “Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of anger, and the expression of his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego. And he answered and said to heat up the furnace seven times.”

Then: As a consequence of what the men had said to Nebuchadnezzar.

Seven times: Seven is the number of purpose. To heat up the furnace to that temperature was going to take some time. Nebuchadnezzar was giving these men time to submit to him and obey. However, this extra time was not going to make any difference in the lives of these men, because the L-rd God Almighty was in charge of their lives and not Nebuchadnezzar.


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