Read the complete passage online.
Insights from the Text
It seems that King Nebuchadnezzar was impressed by Daniel’s prophecy of the statue in his dream that his kingdom was gold, the most valuable of all the metals. The statue of gold apparently was all Nebuchadnezzar remembered of Daniel’s prophecy. So he had a large statue of gold made and commanded all in his kingdom to worship it.
The three Judeans—note the story uses their Babylonian names—refused to worship the statue. So, the King throws them into a burning fiery furnace.
When the King looks inside the furnace, he not only sees the three men still alive and only the ropes tying them up burned off, but he also sees a fourth man.
Nebuchadnezzar brings the three men out and praises the God who saved them. The King then further promotes these three men.
Things to Think About
- What does this story tell us about the pride of King Nebuchadnezzar?
- Notice how the story uses the Babylonian names of the three men again and again. How are we to understand this emphasis?
- What does the fact that the servants of the King were killed putting the three Judeans into the fire tell us about the King’s regard for human life?
- Who was the fourth man in the fiery furnace? Why didn’t he come out with the three Hebrews?
- Notice that Nebuchadnezzar does not order people worship the Hebrew God but only not to slander him. Is this a step in the right direction for the King?
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