Daniel 3:1-29

Daniel 3:1-29
Holy Saturday ABC


1 King Nebuchadnezzar made a goldenA statueB, C whose heightD was sixty cubitsE and whose widthF was six cubits;G

Notes on verse 1a

A “In Daniel 2, the golden head of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream symbolizes Babylon…the statue Nebuchadnezzar now constructs is entirely made of gold, suggesting Nebuchadnezzar’s defiance…[the stories’] current arrangement portrays a king who learns nothing from Daniel’s dream interpretation” ( Pace, Sharon. 2008. Daniel. Macon, Ga: Smyth & Helwys Pub., 89-90)
B “statue” = tselem. 17x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to tselem (image, form, likeness, phantom, vain; from an unused root meaning to shade; a phantom i.e. fig. an illusion, resemblance; hence, a representative figure, especially an idol). Here, image, expression, statue, form; idolatrous figure.
C Perhaps of Marduk, Nebo, or Nebuchadnezzar (Pace, 90)
D “height” = rum. 5x in OT. Aramaic from rum (to rise, elevated, exalt, lift; fig only to lift up, set up, lift up self); Aramaic corresponding to rum (to be high or exalted, rise, bring up, exalt self, extol, give, go up, haughty, heave up; to be high actively, to rise or raise lit or fig). Here height; literally altitude. “The house of God’s height shall be sixty cubits and its width sixty cubits” (Ezra 6:3)
E “cubits” = ammah. 4x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to ammah (an ell, a cubit; also a door base; properly, a mother i.e. unit of measure or the forearm below the elbow; a door base as a bond of the entrance); from the same as em (mother; a mother as the bond of the family; used lit and fig). Cubit is “ancient unit of length that had various definitions according to each of the various cultures that used the unit… typically ranged between…17.48 and 20.83 in” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubit)
F “width” = pethay. 2x in OT. Aramaic from a root corresponding to pathah (allure, to be spacious, wide or open, deceive, enlarge, entice, flatter, persuade; to open i.e. be or make roomy; usually fig. in a mental or moral sense; to be or make simple or in a sinister way to delude). Here, breadth, width. Open i.e. as a noun width.
G Statue approximately 90 ft tall x 9 ft wide. “For the readers of the Persian period, the height would make it the largest statue of the Mediterranean and the Near East at the time, and the width, to be sure, is greatly disproportionate to its height…. The height of the statue is the same as the width of the first temple and is exactly twice the first temple’s height (1 Kings 6:2). In addition, the statue is the same height as the second temple (Ezra 6:3)” (Pace, 90).

he set it up on the plainH of DuraI, J in the province of Babylon. 2 Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent forK the satraps,L the prefects,M

Notes on verses 1b-2a

H “lain” = biqa. 1x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to biqah (valley, plain; properly, a split i.e. a wide level valley between mountains); from baqa (to cleave, break open or through, make a breach, break forth into, in pieces; to cleave; generally to rend, break, or rip open).
I “Dura” = dura. Related to “live” in Daniel 2:38. 1x in OT. Aramaic from dur (to dwell, inhabitants, live; to reside); Aramaic corresponding to dur (to heap up, pile, dwell; properly, to gyrate or move in a circle, i.e. to remain, dwell). Dura – a place near Babylon; circle or dwelling.
J Options for location of Dura = one: “an unidentified place in Babylon” another “a part of the city of Babylon”; another “refers not to a city but is an Akkadian loan-word for ‘wall’; hence the reference is to a region near the famous city wall built by Nebuchadnezzar”; perhaps “the author wishes us to imagine representatives of ‘all peoples, nations, and tongues’ (3:4) gathered to worship the golden image in the plain between the outer wall – the wall par excellence – and the city proper” (Pace, 89)
K 7 types + other officials. “Most of these are Persian terms, pointing to the Diaspora origins of the original story within the Persian Empire. The choice of seven terms indicates comprehensiveness, as this number is frequently used throughout the Hebrew Scriptures to indicate totality or a complete cycle of time…also implies that Nebuchadnezzar’s hegemony is without limit” (Pace, 91)
L “satraps” = achashdarpenin. 9x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to achashdarpan (satraps, lieutenant; a governor of a main province of Persia); from Persian khshatrapavan (protectors of the realm). Here, satrap, prince, regional administrator.
M “prefect” = segan. 5x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to sagan (prefect, ruler, officials; prefect of conquered city or province; from an unused root meaning to superintend; prince, ruler). Here, prefect, governor. Daniel was made a prefect over all the wise men in Daniel 2:48

and the governors,N the counselors,O the treasurers,P the justices,Q the magistrates,R and all the officialsS of the provinces,T to assemble and come to the dedicationU of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 

Notes on verse 2b

N “governors” = pechah. 10x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to pechah (governor, captain, official, deputy; a prefect of a city or small district); from Assyrian bel pa-ati (lord of a district).
O “counselors” = adargazar. 2x in OT. Aramaic from the same as iddar (threshing floor; ample) [from a root corresponding to adar (wide, great, glorious, majestic, noble, honorable; to expand i.e. be great or fig. magnificent)]; + gezar (to cut, determine, quarry, diviner, soothsayer) [Aramaic corresponding to gazar (to cut, divide, decree; to cut down or off; fig to destroy, divide, exclude)]; Aramaic of foreign origin; from a Persian loan-word andarzaghar (perhaps chief diviner or a military title). Here, counselor, judge, chief diviner, astrologer.
P “treasurers” = gedaberayya. 2x in OT. Aramaic of uncertain derivation, perhaps corresponding to gizbar (treasurer). Here, perhaps treasurer or minister.
Q “justices” = dethabar. 2x in OT. Aramaic of foreign origin; loan-word from Persian databara (law-bearer, judge). Here, judge, one skilled in law, counselor.
R “magistrates” = tiphtaye. 2x in OT. Aramaic of uncertain derivation; Aramaic perhaps from shaphat (to judge, govern, avenge, condemn, defend, execute judgment; to judge i.e. pronounce sentence for or against; by implication to vindicate or punish; by extension to govern; passively to litigate literally or figuratively). Here, perhaps magistrates, sheriff. Title of an official; something judicial perhaps as a lawyer or sheriff.
S “officials” = shilton. 2x in OT. Related to “powerful” in Daniel 2:10 & “established as ruler” in Daniel 2:38. Aramaic corresponding to shilton (mastery, authoritative, authority, potentate, power); from shalat (to domineer, be master of, bear, have rule, have dominion; to dominate i.e. govern; by implication to permit). Here, governor, ruler. 
T “The assembly of the various officials to worship the statue underscores that Nebuchadnezzar’s dominion is absolute… Daniel has previously been identified as ‘the chief prefect’ (2:48) over all the wise, and although his three fellow exiles were not given titles, they were, in fact, placed within governmental service” (Pace, 93-4)
U “dedication” = chanukkah. 4x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to chanukkah (dedication, consecration; initiation); from the same as chek (plate, roof of the mouth, gums, lips, mouth, taste; properly, the palate or inside of the mouth; hence, the mouth itself as the organ of speech, taste, and kissing); from chanak (to train up, dedicate; properly to narrow; figuratively to initiate or discipline). Here, dedication, consecration.

3 So the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, assembled for the dedication of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. When they were standing before the statue that Nebuchadnezzar had set up, 4 the heraldV proclaimed aloud,W “You are commanded, O peoples,X nations,Y and languages,Z 

Notes on verses 3-4

V “herald” = karoz. 1x in OT. Aramaic of foreign origin – probably Greek.
W “aloud” = chayil. 7x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to chayil (strength, efficiency, wealth, army, able, activity, soldiers, company, forces, goods; probably a force, whether of people, means, or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength); from chul (bear, whirl, dance, writhe, make to bring forth, make to calve, drive grievously with pain; properly, to twist or whirl in a circular or spiral manner; specifically to dance, to writhe in pain especially of labor or fear; fig. to wait, pervert, hope). Here, power, strength, army, loudly, valiant, aloud, power, mighty.
X “peoples” = am. 15x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to am (people, folk, nation; people as a congregated unit; specifically, a tribe; collectively of troops or attendants; figuratively a flock); from amam (to darken, dim, become dim, hide; to associate; by implication, to overshadow by huddling together). Here, people
Y “nations” = ummah. 8x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to ummah (tribe, people, a collection, i.e. a community of persons); from the same as em (mother; mother as the bond of the family; literal and figurative). Here, nation.
Z “languages” = lishshan. 7x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to lashon (tongue, babbler, evil speaker, language, talker, wedge; the tongue of humans or animals; used literally as the instrument of licking, eating, or speech; and fig. of speech, an ingot, a fork of flame, a cove of water); from lashan (to use the tongue, slander; properly, to lick; to wag the tongue i.e. slander). Here, tongue, language, speech, nation.

that when you hear the soundAA of the horn,BB pipe,CC lyre,DD trigon,EE

Notes on verse 5a

AA “sound” = qal. 7x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to qol (sound, voice, aloud, bleating, crackling, cry out, fame, lightness, lowing, noise; from an unused root meaning to call aloud). Here, sound, voice.
BB “horn” = qeren. 14x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to qeren (horn, hill, might, rays, strength, tusks; a horn as projecting; by imp. A flask, cornet; by resemblance, ivory, corner of the altar, a peak of a mountain, a ray of light; fig power). Here, horn, cornet; horn lit or for sound.
CC “pipe” = mashroqi. 4x in OT. Aramaic from a root corresponding to sharaq (to hiss, whistle, pipe; properly, to be shrill i.e. to whistle or his as a call or in scorn). Here, a musical pipe, flute; a pipe for its whistling sound.
DD “lyre” = qitharos. 4x in OT. Aramaic of foreign origin; loan-word from Greek. Here, lyre, zither.
EE “trigon” = sabbeka. 4x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to sabak (to interweave, tangled, wrap around; to entwine, fold together). Here, trigon, lyre. Trigon is a triangular musical instrument with four strings.

harpFF, drum,GG and entire musicalHH ensemble,II, JJ you are to fall down and worshipKK the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 

Notes on verse 5b

FF “harp” = pesanterin. 4x in OT. Aramaic of foreign origin; a transliteration of the Greek psalterion (psaltery, harp). Here, perhaps a trigon, psaltery. A triangular stringed instrument.
GG “drum” = sumponeyah. 3x in OT. Aramaic of foreign origin; loanword from late Greek symphonia (pipe instrument, dulcimer); from symphonos (agreeing in sound, harmonious); {from sun (with) + phone (sound)}. Here, bagpipe, double pipe, pan’s pipe, dulcimer.
HH “musical” = zemar. 4x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to zamar (to make music, praise, praise in song, sing, sing praise, psalms; to make music in praise of God; properly to touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument i.e. plan upon it; to make music, accompanied by voice; hence, to celebrate in song and music); perhaps related to zamar (to trim, prune). Here, music, instrumental music.
II “ensemble” = zan. 4x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to zan (kind, sort, all manner; properly, nourished or fully developed i.e. form or sort); from zun (to feed; perhaps properly to be plump i.e. to nourish). Here, kind, sort.
JJ “Six instruments that will signify the commencement of the prostration before the statue. Except for the word ‘horn’…these specific instruments are not found elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible, and it is likely that three of the terms, lyre…, trigon…, and drum…, are Mesopotamian or Greek loanwords. In addition the term… pipe may also mean ‘whistle’ and sounds derisive here as potentially inappropriate in a collection of instruments” (Pace, 94-5)
KK “worship” = segid. 12x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to sagad (to prostrate oneself in worship, bow down, fall down). Here, to do homage, worship, worship by prostration.

Whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediatelyLL be thrown intoMM a furnaceNN of blazingOO fire.”PP, QQ  

7 Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshipedRR the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Notes on verses 6-7

LL “immediately” = shaah. 5x in OT. Aramaic from a root corresponding to shaah (to gaze, depart, be dim, be dismayed, look away, regard, have respect, spare, turn; to gaze at or about, properly for help; by implication to inspect, consider, compassionate, be nonplussed as looking around in amazement or bewildered). Here, brief time, moment, immediately, suddenly, while, hour. Properly, a look i.e. a moment.
MM “into” = gav. 13x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to gev (midst, middle, community). Here, midst, middle, within, same, therein, wherein.
NN “furnace” = attun. 10x in OT. Aramaic of uncertain derivation; Aramaic probably corresponding to esh (fire, burning, fiery, flaming hot; fire literal or figurative). Here, furnace or probably a fireplace
OO “blazing” = yeqad. 8x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to yagad (to be kindled, to burn, hearth). Here, to burn, blazing, burning.
PP “fire” = nur. 17x in OT. Aramaic from a root corresponding to the source of ner (lamp, candle, light; properly to glisten; a lamp i.e. the burner or light literal or figurative); related to nir (to break up, freshly till; from root through the idea of the gleam of the fresh furrow). Here fire, fiery. From an unused root meaning to shine.
QQ “in the Hebrew Bible, the image of fire is used of the testing of both the exile and of slavery in Egypt” (Pace, 95)
RR “Bel and Nebo…represented the political, social, military, and economic system that produced successful empires from the days of Hammurabi on. They were symbols of imperial privilege, power, and wealth gained by violent seizure. They were also symbols of arrogance, pride, and unbridled ambition” (Pace, 97)

Accordingly, at this time certain ChaldeansSS came forward and denouncedTT the Jews.UU, VV 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree,WW that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, shall fall down and worship the golden statue, 11 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire. 

Notes on verses 8-11

SS “Chaldeans were not only involved in the religious direction of the nation, but also were part of its government… Throughout the neo-Babylonian Empire, the Chaldeans enjoyed a privileged position as the ruling class, and during the Persian and Hellenistic ages, they continued to be known as sages… reputation of the Babylonian sages, who provided advice and protection for the king based on history, astrology, divination, and magic” (Pace, 96-7)
TT “denounced” = akal + qerats. Akal – 7x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to akal (to eat, burn up, consume, devourer, dine, eater; to eat lit or fig). Generally means to eat devour, brought – here, perhaps the sense of maliciously accused. Qerats – 2x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to qerets (perhaps nipping, horsefly, nipper – of a nipping or stinging insect; destruction; extirpation as if by constriction); from qarats (to nip, pinch, compress, wink, gnaw, form, move; to pinch i.e. partially to bite the lips, blink the eyes as a gesture of malice or fully to squeeze off a piece of clay in order to mold a vessel from it) ; probably borrowed from Assyrian karfe akalu (malign, slander). Here, pieces, charges, maliciously accused. Properly, to eat the morsels of any one i.e. chew them up; fig to slander.
UU “Jews” = Yehudain. 10x in OT. Aramaic from Yehud (Judah, Judea; the southern kingdom, named for the tribe of Judah); Aramaic corresponding to Yehudah (Judah; probably praised, a son of Jacob, the tribe of Judah, the southern kingdom, four Israelites); probably from yadah (to throw, cast, confess, praise, shoot, give thanks; lit to use i.e. hold out the hand; physically to throw a stone or an arrow at or away; especially to revere or worship with extended hands; intensively, to bemoan by wringing the hands).
VV “no qualifier limits the number or names of Jews who are denounced, a narrative gap is created that allows the possibility that all are endangered… if one member of the community is singled out for his or her beliefs, all are at risk…Jews, certain Jews, and finally the three” (Pace, 97-8)
WW “decree” = teem. Same word as “discretion” in Daniel 2:14. Aramaic from teem (to feed, to taste, make to eat); Aramaic corresponding to taam (to taste, perceive, sense; to taste; fig to perceive). Here, taste, judgment, command, chancellor, commandment, decree, regard, wisdom. Properly, flavor; figurative for judgment – both subjectively and objectively.

12 There are certainXX Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.YY These pay no heed to you, O king. They do not serveZZ your godsAAA and they do not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”BBB

Notes on verse 12

XX “certain” = gebar. Used to refer to Daniel in 2:25. Aramaic corresponding to geber (man, every one, warrior, mighty; properly, a valiant man or warrior; generally a person simply); from gabar (to be strong, mighty, exceed, confirm, be great, be mighty, prevail, strengthen; to be strong; by implication, to prevail, act insolently).
YY “Even after it is clear that three individuals alone are threatened, it is still their identities as Jews that is more important than their individuality; the ethnicity and religion of the accused are given before their names. In addition, only their Babylonian names…are used. The readers may conclude that it is their otherness that the Chaldeans find so threatening. The Chaldeans try to link their very identity with their supposed disobedience in civil matters” (Pace, 98)
ZZ “serve” = pelach. 10x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to palach (to cleave, bring forth, pierce through, plow, slice, till, work, shred, strike through; to slice i.e. break open or pierce). Here, to pay reverence to, serve, servant, fear, revere, minister.
AAA “gods” = elah.
BBB “The actions of the three young men of Daniel 3 threaten Nebuchadnezzar himself, for by not serving the deities that sanction his rule, give him prosperity, and protect his very life, they denigrate the king’s royal standing…for Nebuchadnezzar, their refusal is not only a religious act; it is a thoroughly political one – namely disloyalty to the state” (Pace, 100)

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in furiousCCC rageDDD commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought in; so they brought those men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true,EEE O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods and you do not worship the golden statue that I have set up? 15 Now if you are readyFFF when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble to fall down and worship the statue that I have made,GGG well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire, and who is the godHHH that will deliverIII you out of my hands?”

Notes on verses 13-15

CCC “furious” = chema. 2x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to chemah (heat, rage, anger, burning anger, fury, hot displeasure, poison, venom, wrath; heat; fig. anger, poison from its ever); from yacham (to be hot, to conceive, mate; probably to be hot; figuratively, to conceive; usually used of animals). Here, rage, anger, wrath, fury.
DDD “rage” = regaz. 1x in OT. Aramaic from regaz (to enrage, provoke, wrath); Aramaic corresponding to ragaz (to be agitated, quiver, quake, be excited, perturbed, be afraid, stand in awe, disquiet, fall out, fret, move; to quiver with any violent emotion – especially anger or fear). Here, rage, violent anger.
EEE “true” = tseda. 1x in OT. Aramaic from a root corresponding to tsadah (destroy, lie in wait, hunt; to chase; by impliation, to desolate); from an unused root corresponding to tsadah in the sense of intentness. Here, purpose, true; a sinister design.
FFF “ready” = athid. 1x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to athid (ready, prepared, impending things, treasures; things that shall come; prepared; by implication, skillful; the future); from athod (to be ready, destined, make fit, ready to become). Here, ready, prepared.
GGG “made” = abad. Aramaic corresponding to Hebrew abad (to work, serve, keep in bondage). This word to make, do, cut, execute, go on, move, work, prepare.
HHH “god” = elah.
III “deliver” = shezab. 9x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to azab (self, to leave, forsake, loose, be remote, absent, depart, rescue, commit self, fail, fortify, help, leave destitute; to loosen, i.e. relinquish, permit). Here, to deliver, to leave i.e. causatively to free.

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar,JJJ we have no needKKK to present a defenseLLL to you in this matter.MMM 

Notes on verse 16

JJJ “Their solidarity for each other and courage are indicated by their single voice. They even have the temerity to address Nebuchadnezzar disrespectfully, calling him by his name without his title ‘king’; this is the very first time in the book that another addresses Nebuchadnezzar in this way” (Pace, 102)
KKK “need” = chashach. 3x in OT. Aramaic primitive root. A collateral root to one corresponding to chush (haste, to hasten, make haste, ready; to hurry; fig. to be eager with excitement or enjoyment). Here, to need, crave, thing needed; to be necessary from the idea of convenience or trans. to need, careful, have need of.
LLL “present a defense” = tub. Same as “responded” in Daniel 2:14. Aramaic corresponding to shub (to turn back, return; to turn back literally or figuratively – not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point; generally to retreat). Here, to return, answer, reply, restore, desire, to come back; specifically to reply.
MMM “matter” = pithgam. 6x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to pithgam (edict, decree, sentence; a judicial sentence); Persian load-word patigama (come to, arrive); paigam (message). Here, command, word, affair, answer, report, sentence, letter.

17 If our GodNNN whom we serveOOO is ablePPP to deliverQQQ us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. 18 But if not,RRR be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your godsSSS and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”

Notes on verses 17-18

NNN “God” = elah.
OOO “serve” = pelach. Same as “serve” in v12.
PPP “able” = yekel. Same as “can” in Dan 2:10. Aramaic corresponding to yakol (to be able, have power, attain, endure; to be able, lit can could or morally may, might). Here, to be able, can, could, prevail.
QQQ “deliver” = shezab. Same as “deliver” in v15
RRR “For Daniel’s companions, there is no ambiguity as to whether there is a saving God; neither is there any question that they will do the right thing, regardless of how God responds. God’s freedom remains intact (v. 18) while the young men remain firm in their commitment to avoid worshiping Nebuchadnezzar’s god” (Pace, 102)
SSS “gods” = elah

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was so filled with rageTTT against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego thatUUU his faceVVV was distorted.WWW, XXX He ordered the furnace heatedYYY up seven timesZZZ more than was customary,AAAA 

Notes on verse 19

TTT “rage” = chema. Same as “furious” in v13
UUU {untranslated} = tselem. Image, statue, idol
VVV “face” = anaph. Same as “face” in Daniel 2:46 when Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and worshiped Daniel.
WWW “distorted” = shena. Same as “take a turn” in Daniel 2:9. Aramaic corresponding to shana (to change, alter). To change, alter, be diverse.
XXX “his face was distorted” = literally, “the image [statue, idol] of his face changed”
YYY “heated” = aza. 3x in OT. Aramaic primitive root. Here, to make hot, heat, kindle, burn.
ZZZ “times” = chad. Literally “one”
AAAA “customary” = chazah. Same as “see” in Daniel 2:8. To gaze upon, dream, be usual, behold, be wont, have a dream

20 and ordered some of the strongestBBBB guardsCCCC in his armyDDDD to bindEEEE Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire.FFFF 

Notes on verse 20

BBBB “strongest” = chayil. Same as “aloud” in v4.
CCCC “guards” = gibbar. 1x in OT. Aramaic from the same as gebar (man, certain, people); Aramaic corresponding to geber (man, person); from geber (man, boy, everyone, men warrior; probably a valiant man or warrior; generally a person simply); from gabar (to be strong, mighty, conduct self arrogantly, magnified, make firm, prevail, strengthen, surpass; to be strong; by implication, to prevail, act insolently; exceed, confirm). Here, mighty one, warrior, valiant
DDDD “army” = chayil. Same as “loud” in v4 and “strongest” in v20.
EEEE “bind” = kephath. 4x in OT. Aramaic primitive root. Here, to bind, tie, form knots, draw together, fetter.
FFFF “Nebuchadnezzar as a man of obscene excess. His anger and his orders are so outrageous that bystanders are inadvertently killed. Yet, in contrast to his rage, the three proceed without an additional word… ‘Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury and the images of his face changed (v.19)… The word for ‘image’ is the same used for the statue…he constructed, linking his unrestrained rage with his own idolatry. The order to heat the furnace seven times its normal temperature makes him appear maniacal – as though the increased heat would make a difference in the ability of the furnace to torment and kill his intended victims.” (Pace, 102-3)

21 So the men were bound,GGGG still wearing their tunics,HHHH their trousers,IIII their hats,JJJJ and their other garments,KKKK and they were thrown into the furnace of blazing fire. 

Notes on verse 21

GGGG “The author’s frequent use of the root kpt is a short period may be a recollection of the binding of Isaac (Gen 22), the paradigmatic victim who suffers silently to do God’s will…Rabbinic texts also use the root kpt to refer to Isaac’s binding as well as to the binding of sacrificial animals” (Pace, 104)
HHHH “tunics” = sarbal. 2x in OT. Aramaic of foreign origin. Probably a mantle, trousers, perhaps shoes, a cloak, coat.
IIII “trousers” = petash. 1x in OT. Aramaic of uncertain derivation; OR Aramaic from a root corresponding to that of pattiysh (a forge hammer; intensively from an unused rot meaning to pound, a hammer). Here, coat, tunic, leggings, hose; a garment, perhaps leggings; a gown as if hammered out wide.
JJJJ “hats” = karbela. 1x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to karbel (to be mantled, clothed, to gird or clothe, bind round); from the same as kebel (fetter; from an unused root meaning to twine or braid together). Here, helmet, cap, mantle
KKKK “garments” = lebush. 2x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to lebush (garment, clothing, raiment, apparel, armor, attire, robe, vesture; a garment lit or fig; by implication a euphemism for wife); from labash (to put on, wear, clothe, be clothed, array; properly, wrap around; i.e. by implication to put on a garment or cloth oneself or another lit or fig). Here, garment, clothes, vesture.

22 Because the king’s commandLLLL was urgentMMMM and the furnace was soNNNN overheated, the ragingOOOO flames killedPPPP the men who liftedQQQQ Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 But the three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down,RRRR bound, into the furnace of blazing fire.

Notes on verses 22-23

LLLL “command” = millah. Same as “decree” in Daniel 2:5
MMMM “urgent” = chatsaph. Same as “urgent” in Daniel 2:15. 2x in OT. Aramaic primitive root. To show insolence or harshness, urgent. Properly, to shear or cut close; figuratively, to be severe.
NNNN “so” = yattir. Same as “extraordinary” in Daniel 2:31. 8x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to yattir (a city in Judah, Yattir; redundant); from yathar (to remain over, excel, leave a remnant, left behind, too much, make plenteous, preserve; to jut over or exceed; by implication to excel; to remain or be left; to leave; cause to abound, preserve). Here, preeminent, surpassing, extraordinary, extremely, excellent.
OOOO “raging” = shebib. 2x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to shabib (probably a flame; flame as split into tongues, spark); from the same as shabab (probably splinters, broken to pieces, blaze, burn, ray, flesh, blaze up; from an unused root meaning to break up, a fragment i.e. ruin). Here, flame
PPPP “killed” = qetal. Same as “executed” in Daniel 2:13.
QQQQ “lifted” = nesaq. 3x in OT. Aramaic from the same as seleq (to come up, take, turn); Aramaic corresponding to saleq (to ascend, come up; an Aramaic loanword); ALSO corresponding to nasaq (ascent), from the same as saleq (as above). Here, take up.
RRRR “fell down” = nephal. 11x in OT. In Daniel 1-6: Nebuchadnezzar falls on his face and worships Daniel (2:46); decree that those who hear the music must fall down and worship the golden statue (3:5-7, 10-11, 15); Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego fell down into the furnace (3:23), a voice came from heaven “the kingdom has departed from you” (4:31).

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonishedSSSS and rose up quickly.TTTT He said to his counselors,UUUU “Was it not three men that we threw bound into the fire?”

They answered the king, “True,VVVV O king.” 

Notes on verse 24

SSSS “astonished” = tevah. 1x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to tamah (to be astonished or dumbfounded, amazed, look, shocked, wait, wonder; to be in consternation); OR perhaps corresponding to sha’ah (to make a din or crash, crash into ruins, devastated, rumble, rush, turn, make a rushing, lay waste; to rush, by implication to be desolated). Here to be startled or alarmed, astounded; to amaze, take alarm.
TTTT “quickly” = behal. Same as “quickly” in Daniel 2:25. 11x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to bahal (to disturb, terrify, be or make affrighted, amazed, dismayed, thrust out; to tremble inwardly or palpitate i.e. figuratively be or make suddenly alarmed or agitated; by implication to hasten anxiously; give speedily, thrust out, trouble, vex). Here, to alarm, dismay, in haste, trouble, terrify, hasten.
UUUU “counselors” = haddabar. 4x in OT. Aramaic – Persian loan-word. Here, counselor, minister, high official vizier.
VVVVV “true” = yastsiyb. 5x in OT. Same as “certainty” in Daniel 2:8. Aramaic corresponding to yetsab (to make certain, gain certainty, exact meaning, to be firm; hence, to speak surely); Aramaic corresponding to yatsab (to set or station oneself, take one’s stand, present selves, remaining, resort, set selves, be able to; to place any thing so as to stay; reflexively, to station, offer, continue, remain). Here, certain, true, certainty, truth, fixed, sure.

25 He replied, “But I seeWWWW four men unbound,XXXX walking in the middle of the fire, and they are not hurt;YYYY and the fourth hasZZZZ the appearanceAAAAA of a god.”BBBBB, CCCCC 

Notes on verse 25

WWWW “see” = chazah. Same as “see” in Daniel 2:8.
XXXX “unbound” = shera. Same as “dwells” in Daniel 2:22. Aramaic corresponding to sharah (to let loose, set free, direct). Here, to loosen, abide, begin, dissolve, dwell, loose. To free, separate; fig. to unravel, commence; by implication of unloading beasts to reside.
YYYY “hurt” = chabal. 3x in OT. Aramaic from chabal (to destroy, hurt, harm, ruin); Aramaic corresponding to chabal (band, bind, pledge, bring forth, deal corruptly, destroy, offend, spoil; to wind tightly as a rope, i.e.  bind; specifically, by a pledge; figuratively, to pervert, destroy; also to write in pain especially of labor). Here, hurt, injury, damage, harm; harm personal or financial
ZZZZ “has” = demah. 2x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to damah (to be like, resemble, compare, imagine, intend, devise, liken, mean, think, use similitudes; to compare, by implication, to resemble, liken, consider). Here, to be like, resemble
AAAAA “appearance” = rev. Same as “appearance” in Daniel 2:31 regarding the dream statue. Aramaic from a root corresponding to raah (to see, advise, show self, espy, stare, think, view; to see lit or fig; look on, gaze, have experience, enjoy). Here, appearance, aspect, form.
BBBBB “god” = bar + elah. Literally “a son of the gods”
CCCCC Son of the gods, “either in a polytheistic sense, namely, as a divine being of a larger pantheon, or it may refer to an angel…‘son’ means ‘member of the class/group.’… ‘son of God’ refers to a member of the Divine Council, or Heavenly Court wherein God makes judgments concerning the affairs of human beings. These diving beings…may act as God’s messengers or agents.” (Pace, 106)

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most HighDDDDD God, come out!EEEEE Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out fromFFFFF the fire. 27 And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any powerGGGGG over the bodiesHHHHH of those men;

Notes on verses 26-27a

DDDDD “Most High” = Illay. 10x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to illi (upper; high i.e. comparative, upper); from alah (to go up, ascend, climb, arise, cause to ascend, beak the day, bring up, cause to burn; to ascend or mount; literal and figurative). Here, Highest, Most High, supreme; a name of God.
EEEEE “They do not exit the kiln until they are summoned, they continue to belie the Chaldeans’ accusations that they disregard the king’s laws” (Pace, 106-7)
FFFFF [untranslated] = gav. Same as “into” in v6. Middle, midst.
GGGGG “power” = shelet. Same as “established as ruler” in Daniel 2:38
HHHHH “bodies” = geshem. 5x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to geshem (to rain, shower); from gasham (to rain; to shower violently). Here, body

the hairIIIII of their heads was not singed,JJJJJ their tunics were not harmed,KKKKK and not even the smellLLLLL of fire came from them. 

Notes on verse 27b

IIIII “hair” = sear. 3x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to sear (hair, hairy, rough); perhaps from sa’ar (to sweep or whirl away, be afraid, bristle – as with horror, fear, hurl as a storm, be tempestuous, come like a whirlwind). Here, hair.
JJJJJ “singed” = charak. 1x in OT. Aramaic – a root probably corresponding to charar (to be hot or scorched, to burn, be charred, blow fiercely, kindle, glow, parched, be angry; to glow i.e. lit to melt, burn, dry up or fig to show or incite passion). Here, to singe, scorch.
KKKKK “harmed” = shena. Same as “take a turn” in Daniel 2:9 & “distorted” in v19. Aramaic corresponding to shana (to change, alter). To change, alter, be diverse.
LLLLL “smell” = reach. 1x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to reach (scent, odor, aroma, fragrance, smell); from the same as ruach (breath, wind, spirit, air, anger, blast, cool, courage, mind; wind; by resemblance breath i.e. a sensible or violent exhalation; figuratively, life, anger, unsubstantiality; by ext. a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit but only of a rational being); from ruach (accept, smell, touch, make of quick understanding; properly, to blow i.e. breathe; only literally to smell or by implication, perceive; figuratively, to anticipate, enjoy). Here, smell

28 Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the GodMMMMM of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angelNNNNN, OOOOO and deliveredPPPPP his servants who trustedQQQQQ in him.

Notes on verse 28a

MMMMM “God” = elah.
NNNNN “angel” = malak. 2x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to malak (messenger, ambassador, angel, envoy; from an unused rot meaning to dispatch as a deputy; a messenger, specifically of God i.e. an angel; also a prophet, priest or teacher). Here, angel.
OOOOO “Most rabbinic texts identify the angel who rescued the three youths with Gabriel, the same angel who appears in Daniel 8:15-17 and 9:21. According to one tradition, Yorkami, the angel of hail, offered to quench the fire, but Gabriel emphasized that the miracle would be more arresting if he, the angel of fire, would protect the three while simultaneously increasing the heat outside of the furnace” (Pace, 107)
PPPPP “delivered” = shezab. Same as “deliver” in v15.
QQQQQ “trusted” = rechats. 1x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to rachats (to wash, wash off or away, bathe; to lave the whole or a part of a thing). Here, trust. Probably related to Hebrew through the accessory idea of ministering as a servant at the bath; to attend upon, trust

They disobeyedRRRRR the king’s commandSSSSS and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any godTTTTT, UUUUU except their own God. 

Notes on verse 28b

RRRRR “disobeyed” = shena. Same as “take a turn” in Daniel 2:9 & “distorted” in v19 & “harmed” in v27.
SSSSS “command” = millah. Same as “decree” in Daniel 2:5
TTTTT “god” = elah
UUUUU “The gods of Canaan, as Israel saw them, justified a system that valued economic prosperity over all other priorities… Many human injustices and cruelties could be justified in the name of fertility and security… Israel’s commandments taught that the priority of the dispossessed could never be abrogated… Nebuchadnezzar as the head of an empire that was successful by any material, economic, or political standard. He conquered thousands of peoples around him, maintained a disciplined and fearless army, amassed great wealth by imposing tribute, and exiled the most skilled of the conquered peoples to his own land. The conquering, exiling, forced servitude, and crushing of other people’s cultures was justified by Nebuchadnezzar’s gods” (Pace, 110-1)

29 Therefore I make a decree:VVVVV Any people, nation, or language that utters blasphemyWWWWW against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb,XXXXX and their houses laidYYYYY in ruins; for there is no other god who is able to deliverZZZZZ in this way.” 

Notes on verse 29

VVVVV “decree” = teem. Same as “discretion” in Daniel 2:14.
WWWWW “blasphemy” = shalah. 1x in OT. Aramaic see shalu (neglect, remissness, fail, negligence, offensive, fault); Aramaic from a root corresponding to shalah (to be quiet or at ease, deceive, negligent, prosper; be happy, prosper, be in safety; to be tranquil, i.e. secure or successful). Here, thing amiss, a wrong.
XXXXX “limb from limb” = haddam. Same as “limb from limb” in Daniel 2:5
YYYYY “laid” = shvah. 2x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to shavah (avail, agree with, be like, resemble, be even, smooth, avail, behave, bring forth, compare, make equal; properly, to level i.e. equalize; figuratively, to resemble; by implication, to adjust i.e. counterbalance, be suitable, compose, place, yield). Here, like, become like, be set, made to resemble
ZZZZZ “deliver” = netsal. 3x in OT. Aramaic corresponding to natsal (to strip, plunder, deliver oneself, be delivered, snatch away, escape, part, pluck; to snatch away whether in a good or bad sense). Here, to rescue, deliver, extricate.

Image Credit: “The Story of Daniel and the Three Youths in the Fiery Furnace,” mid-18th century icon.

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