Daniel 3 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Daniel 3)

Verse 1

[1] Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

Made an image — Perhaps he did this, that he might seem no ways inclined to the Jews, or their religion, whereof the Chaldeans might be jealous, seeing he had owned their God to be greatest, and had preferred Daniel and his friends to great honours.

Verse 4

[4] Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,

Nations and languages — Proclamation was made therefore in several languages.

Verse 16

[16] Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

We are not careful — Heb. We care not: there is no need of any answer in this case for it is in vain for us to debate the matter; the king is resolved to have his will of us, and we are resolved on the contrary.

Verse 18

[18] But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

But if not — It was therefore all one to them, which way God would honour himself; they were resolved to suffer rather than sin, and leave the cause to God. Indeed if God be for us, we need not fear what man can do unto us. Let him do his worst. God will deliver us either from death, or in death.

Verse 20

[20] And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

To bind — What did he think these three men would have refused? Or that their God would defend them from his power, or that if he had, his mighty men could have prevailed? None of all this was the case; for God purposed to shew his power when the king did his worst, and in the thing wherein he dealt proudly, to be above him.

Verse 23

[23] And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Fell down — All this is exprest with emphasis, to make the power of God more glorious in their preservation; for that shame that slew the executioners, might much more easily have killed them, even before they fell down.

Verse 25

[25] He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

No hurt — See how the God of nature can when he pleases control the powers of nature! The Son of God - Probably he had heard David speak of him. Jesus Christ, the Angel of the covenant, did sometimes appear before his incarnation. Those who suffer for Christ, have his gracious presence with them in their sufferings, even in the fiery furnace, even in the valley of the shadow of death, and therefore need fear no evil.

Verse 26

[26] Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.

And spake — With a milder tone than before, God having abated the fire of his fury. Now he could at once acknowledge the true God to be the most high above all gods, and the three worthies to be his faithful servants.