Study Guide

Book of Daniel Chapter 3

Chapter 3

More Problems with Statuary

  • Perhaps taking a leaf out of the disturbing dream vision he just had interpreted, Nebuchadnezzar builds a giant golden statue and sets it up on a plain near Babylon.
  • His reverence for Daniel's God apparently evaporating, Nebuchadnezzar gathers together all the officials and VIPs from throughout the Babylonian Empire and its different nations and languages. He invites them to come to the statue's dedication ceremony.
  • When everyone is assembled, they are ordered to bow down and worship the golden statue when the music strikes up—or else they'll be thrown into a fiery furnace.
  • Apparently, everyone bows down and does as their told.
  • Well… almost everyone. Some Babylonians attack Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego for being disobedient and failing to honor the statue.
  • Nebuchadnezzar flips out—which is mainly what he does—and orders the Jewish trio to be brought in. He asks them if what their accusers say is true.
  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego immediately admit to not worshipping the statue. They say that their God is powerful enough to save them from the fiery furnace. If they can survive, it'll prove that their God is, indeed, pretty powerful.

Nebuchadnezzar, Re-Flummoxed 

  • Snarling with rage, Nebuchadnezzar arranges for them to get tossed into the furnace. He orders the furnace to be extra toasty, warming it up to seven times its normal temperature.
  • Nebuchadnezzar's henchmen prepare to toss the fully clothed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the furnace, but the cronies get burned to death in the process of chucking the trio into the furnace.
  • Nebuchadnezzar is shocked to see that there appear to be more than three people in the fire. There's a fourth person present, who looks like "a song of the gods." And he's walking, alive with the other three.
  • Dazzled and impressed, Nebuchadnezzar calls Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego out of the fire. They emerge completely unscathed—to the surprise of all the king's officials.
  • Learning the same lesson over again, Nebuchadnezzar hails the God of the Jews, saying that he sent an angel to save them in the fire.
  • Nebuchadnezzar then outlaws blasphemy against the Jewish God, saying anyone who breaks this rule will be "torn limb from limb" and their houses will be destroyed. He marvels that only this God could've managed to rescue someone from such certain death.
  • He hands around further promotions to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (good times).