Dan 3.1-30 tells us about a huge gold statue Nebuchadnezzar made. This may have been an attempt to contradict the image of his dream and to say his kingdom will never fall. He orders his people to be in subjection to him by worshiping this image. This story is also a picture of the birth-pains where Nebuchadnezzar is a type of the False Messiah who will also command the people to worship his image. Daniel’s three friends are a picture of the believers in the birth-pains who are going to have to make a choice. Daniel is absent and he is a type of the believers who have been taken in the natzal (rapture) and is gone during the birth-pains.
v 1…Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold (in the form of a human, probably to show his defiance to God’s prediction about Babylon’s downfall), the height of which was sixty cubits, and its width six cubits (90 feet by 9 feet approximately); he set it up on the plain of Dura (which was level and had room for vast numbers of people) in the province of Babylon.
v 2…Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent word to assemble the satraps (princes), the prefects (nobles) and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up (this alludes to the apostate religions gathering around the False Messiah in the birth-pains-Rev 17.1-5).
v 3…Then the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces were assembled for the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up (stood and viewed it, ready to take part in the dedication).
v 4…Then the herald loudly proclaimed (with might raising his voice): To you the command is given, O peoples, nations and languages,
v 5…that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon (a stringed instrument), psaltery, bagpipe, and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image the Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up (music was a part of a coronation ceremony, and media is used today to promote idolatry; this is prophetic of the media that will be used b the False Messiah to worship him).
v 6…But whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire (prophetic of the afflictions Israel and the believers will face in the birth-pains).”
v 7…Therefore at that time, when all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and men of every language fell down and worshiped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
v 8…For this reason at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and brought charges against the Jews (slandered them).
v 9…They responded and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king, “O king, live forever!
v 10…You yourself, O king, have made a decree that every man who hears the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe, and all kinds of music, is to fall down and worship the golden image.
v 11…But whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.
v 12…There are certain Jews (a type of the believing remnant in the birth-pains) whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up (notice Daniel is not mentioned).”
v 13…Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and anger (like the False Messiah will react) gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; then these men were brought before the king.
v 14…Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up (he promoted them and he is going to regret doing this)?
v 15…Now if you are ready at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, an bagpipe, and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you will not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire, and what god is there who will deliver you out of my hands (he forgot what he himself has said about Yehovah in Dan 2.47; he is attempting to break their confidence)?”
v 16…Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego answered and said to the king (respectfully because he was the king, not insulting him), “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this.
v 17…If it be (Yehovah’s will), our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
v 18…But if he does not (see fit to exert his power), let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
v 19…Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath (they were not moved by his threats), and his facial expression was altered toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He answered by giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated (this was by God’s design so that the miracle would be that much greater; Yehovah is also pointing towards the seven years of the birth-pains).
v 20…And he commanded certain valiant warriors who were in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, in order to cast them into the furnace of blazing fire.
v 21…And these men were tied up (bound) in their trousers, their coats, their caps and their other clothes, and were cast into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire.
v 22…For this reason, because the king’s command was urgent and the furnace had been made extremely hot, the flame of the fire slew those men who carried up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego (by the sweeping blast; Yehovah will avenge the righteous and unbelievers will die in the birth-pains).
v 23…But these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, fell into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire tied up (they fell in by themselves as soon as the executioners lost their lives)-1 Pet 1.6-7).
v 24…Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up in haste (from where he was to see what would happen); he responded and said to his high officials (who had advised him to do what he did), “Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “Certainly, O king.”
v 25…He answered and said, “Look! I see four men loosed (not bound as before) and walking in the midst of the fire without harm (waiting to be let out according to Yehovah’s timing), and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods (Aramaic “levar elahin”-an angel to protect them-a type of the remnant that will be preserved through the fire of the birth-pains).
v 26…Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire (which was opened by his command); he responded and said, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the most high God (Yehovah received glory because of their obedience), and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire (so will Israel after the birth-pains).
v 27…And the satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king’s high officials gathered around and saw in regard to these men that the fire had no effect on their bodies of these men nor was the hair of their heads singed, nor were their trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire come upon them (you could not even tell they had even come near to the fire).
v 28…Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent forth his angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in him, violating (disobeying) the king’s command, and yielded (offered) up their bodies so as to not serve or worship any god except their own God.
v 29…Therefore (as a result), I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver this way (Bel couldn’t save the men who had cast the three into the fire).”
v 30…Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon (this alludes to the supremacy of Israel in the Messianic Kingdom).