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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Daniel 3

 

 

Verses 1-30

CHAPTER 3 The Image of Gold

1. The image of gold (Daniel 3:1-7)

2. The faithful three (Daniel 3:8-18)

3. The miraculous deliverance (Daniel 3:19-25)

4. The worshipping king (Daniel 3:26-30)

Daniel 3:1-7. He had an immense statue of gold made, the image of a man, no doubt, and he set it up in the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. It was idolatry and the deification of man. Idolatry and the deification of man are then the first moral characteristics mentioned which are to prevail during the times of the Gentiles. The times of the Gentiles produce a religion which is opposed to the God of heaven. The image was sixty cubits high and six broad. Seven is the divine number and six is the number of man. Sixty cubits and six reminds us of that familiar passage in the book of Revelation, where we have the number of a man given, that mysterious number “six hundred three-score and six,” that is 666. The image then represents man, but the climax of man was not yet reached. However, the beginning foreshadows the end of the times of the Gentiles. That end is described in chapter 13 of Revelation.

The civil power tried to force this universal religion upon the people. The great governors, judges, captains and rulers had to appear for the dedication of the image. But then the whole thing had a religious aspect. Listen, after looking at this great awe-inspiring image of gold-- the sweetest music--the cornet, the flute, the harp, the sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer and all kinds of music sounds forth. No doubt the Chaldean priests approached chanting some sweet Babylonian song. Why all this? To stir up the religious emotions and aid in this way the worship of an idol. It is intensely interesting that the ancient Babylonian worship, with its ceremonials and chanting is reproduced in Rome, which is called in Revelation, Babylon. (The book by Alexander Hyslop, The Two Babylons, gives reliable and important information on this fact.)

Daniel 3:8-18. The companions of Daniel refused to worship the image and were cast into the fiery furnace. Notice their wonderful trust in God.

Daniel 3:19-25. The very men who cast them down were consumed by the flames. But when the king looked towards the furnace he beheld to his great astonishment not three men bound and burning up, but four men loose and actually walking in the fire. “They have no hurt and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” And when they brought up from the fiery furnace, no smell of fire was about them, not even a hair was singed, only the bands which had bound them were burned off. The fire had set them free but it could not touch them. But did the king speak true when he beheld the fourth like the Son of God? Little did he know what he said or what it meant, but assuredly he saw in that fire the Son of God, Jehovah, for He had promised His people, “When thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle on thee.” The faithful Lord kept His promise to His trusting servants.

And has not all this been repeated throughout the times of the Gentiles especially during the Roman Empire? Pagan Rome persecuted the true worshippers of God and in great persecutions multitudes suffered martyrdom. But think of what is worse, Papal Rome, that Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots. There we find the images and the sweet music, the prostrations and political power enforcing unity of worship. The fiery furnaces were there, the stake, the most awful tortures for those who were faithful to God and to their Lord. Think of the story of the Waldensians and Huguenots. And while for these noble martyrs, for whom there is a martyr’s crown in the coming day of Christ, there came no deliverance and their bodies were consumed by the fire, yet the Son of God was with them and with praising hearts and a song upon their lips, He carried them through the fire.

And during the great tribulation will a faithful remnant of Jews suffer under the man of sin, as these three Hebrews suffered; but they will likewise be delivered.

Daniel 3:26-30. Once more Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged God and made a decree that severe punishment should be the lot of all who say anything amiss against the God of Daniel’s companions.

 


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Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Daniel 3:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/daniel-3.html. 1913-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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