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Daniel 3:21-23

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Daniel 3:21
  • Daniel 3:22
  • Daniel 3:23

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego are thrown into the fiery furnace, clothed and bound. The soldiers who escort them are killed by the intense heat of the flames.

For the crime of refusing to bow to a golden statue, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego are condemned to die in a furnace of blazing fire. The fire has been heated seven times as hot, and the king’s strongest warriors are escorting them to be executed. The three (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego) are tied up fully clothed, still wearing their trousers, coats, caps, and other clothes. Perhaps the author mentions this detail to show the haste in which they are being executed; all the events of this story are quite possibly occurring on a single day. The furnace was already burning when the statue dedication began, as a grim motivator to Nebuchadnezzar’s subjects to bow to the statue.

The moment of execution comes. The soldiers cast the three into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire. Due to the urgent command from the king, and because the furnace had been made extremely hot, there are unintended victims in this fit of outrage. For this reason (the fire’s heat and the rushed nature of the execution) the flame of the fire kills the mighty soldiers escorting Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Nebuchadnezzar has just inadvertently destroyed some of his finest warriors due to his rage. The three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego fall into the midst of the furnace still tied up.

21 Then these men were tied up in their trousers, their coats, their caps and their other clothes, and were cast into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire. 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. 23 But these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, fell into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire still tied up.