*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Daniel 3:13-15 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Daniel 3:13
  • Daniel 3:14
  • Daniel 3:15

Nebuchadnezzar is furious that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego refused to worship his golden statue. He gives them one more chance to bow to the image, and if not, they will be thrown into the fiery furnace.

Although Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego have served Nebuchadnezzar faithfully as their king for years, they refuse to bow down to his golden image. Their political rivals, certain Chaldeans, informed on them to the king about their disobedience. Nebuchadnezzar’s response is predictable of the most powerful king on earth; he shows rage and anger, then he orders the arrest of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego immediately.

They are found and brought to the king. Nebuchadnezzar lists the charges; he asks if it is true that they do not serve Nebuchadnezzar’s gods or worship the golden image he constructed.

And then, to give them one last test of loyalty to him, he offers another round of the signal music to play, the orchestra of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe to let the Jews fall down and worship the image of gold. They could save themselves if they obey. However, if they disobey again, the consequence will be as before, that they will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.

Nebuchadnezzar finishes his tirade by again raising himself up to a godlike level. He says, “and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?” The implication is that no god can rescue them. They do not worship the Babylonian gods, they will not bow down to the idol (likely of the king), so he will destroy them through fire. Nebuchadnezzar believes he commands the fate of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; in his mind, no god can stop his will.

Biblical Text

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and anger gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego; then these men were brought before the king.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? 15 Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?”

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