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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Daniel 3

 

 

Verses 1-30

Daniel 3. The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace.—Nebuchadnezzar made a colossal image of gold and commanded the people to worship it. The three friends of Daniel refused to comply with the order. The king thereupon had them thrown into a burning fiery furnace "heated seven times hotter" than usual. But the fire had no power to consume them, and there appeared walking by the side of the three men in the midst of the furnace a fourth whose aspect was like "a son of the gods." The message of this chapter to the men of the Maccabean age is obvious. The devotion and fidelity of the three heroes who faced the fiery furnace rather than prove traitors to their God is held up as an example to those whom Antiochus Epiphanes was tempting to betray their Lord, and their marvellous rescue is held up as a Divine deliverance, and an illustration of the fulfilment of the prophecy of Deutero-Isaiah: "When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned: neither shall the fire kindle upon thee" (Isaiah 43:2).

Daniel 3:1. image of gold: this phrase does not necessarily mean that the statue was made of solid gold. Probably it was composed of another material coated or overlaid with gold.—threescore cubits: 90 feet.—six cubits: 9 feet, a cubit being l½ feet.—the plain of Dura: it is impossible to identify this plain. The best suggestion is that it was connected with a small river, named the Dura, which entered the Euphrates some six miles S. of Babylon. Near this river many mounds have been discovered, one of which, a rectangular brick structure, may possibly have been the foundation on which the statue was placed. But this, of course, is pure conjecture (see Driver, CB).

Daniel 3:2. The particular functions of the different officials cannot be easily distinguished. Some of the words, e.g. "satrap," belong to the later Persian period, and are therefore plainly an anachronism.

Daniel 3:5. sackbut: "trigon," a triangular four-stringed instrument of the nature of a harp. The term "sackbut" is misleading, for a "sackbut" is a wind instrument resembling a trombone, while there is little doubt that the word used here denotes a stringed instrument.—psaltery: also a stringed instrument resembling an inverted triangle in shape.—dulcimer: the character of this instrument is probably better described by the mg. "bagpipe."

Daniel 3:8. Chaldeans: whether the term is used here in its technical sense of "wise men" or "magicians," or in its ethnic sense cannot be determined (see on Daniel 1:4).

Daniel 3:14. Is it of purpose: both Driver and Charles prefer the AV, "Is it true?"

Daniel 3:17. If it be so: there is general agreement that this translation is wrong; but opinions differ as to what should be substituted for it. Driver, following mg.2, reads, "If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us, He will deliver us." But Charles objects that this rendering suggests that doubts had entered into the minds of the three young men. He proposes therefore to follow the Versions, For there is a God, whom we serve, who is able to deliver us."

Daniel 3:21. hosen . . . tunics . . . mantles: translate, "mantles . . . trousers . . . hats."

Daniel 3:23 f. Between these two verses the LXX inserts the Apocryphal "Song of the Three Children."

Daniel 3:25. a son of the gods: the AV translation, "the son of God," is wrong. The phrase simply means a heavenly being or angel.

Daniel 3:27. hosen: mantles, as in Daniel 3:21.

Daniel 3:28. changed: frustrated.

Daniel 3:30. promoted: prospered.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Daniel 3:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/daniel-3.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, August 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20
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