- Nebuchadnezzar erects a golden image, and requires all his subjects to worship it, verse 1-7.
- He is informed that the Jewish princes refuse to worship it, verse 8-12.
- They resolutely persist in their refusal, verse 13-18.
- They are cast into the fiery furnace, verse 19-23.
- Their preservation and the conviction of the king, verse 24-27.
- The honour which he gave to God, and the favour he shewed to his servants, verse 28-30.
Made an image - Perhaps he did this, that he might seem no ways inclined to the Jews, or their religion, whereof the Chaldeans might be jealous, seeing he had owned their God to be greatest, and had preferred Daniel and his friends to great honours.
Nations and languages - Proclamation was made therefore in several languages.
We are not careful - Heb. We care not: there is no need of any answer in this case for it is in vain for us to debate the matter; the king is resolved to have his will of us, and we are resolved on the contrary.
But if not - It was therefore all one to them, which way God would honour himself; they were resolved to suffer rather than sin, and leave the cause to God. Indeed if God be for us, we need not fear what man can do unto us. Let him do his worst. God will deliver us either from death, or in death.
To bind - What did he think these three men would have refused? Or that their God would defend them from his power, or that if he had, his mighty men could have prevailed? None of all this was the case; for God purposed to shew his power when the king did his worst, and in the thing wherein he dealt proudly, to be above him.
Fell down - All this is exprest with emphasis, to make the power of God more glorious in their preservation; for that shame that slew the executioners, might much more easily have killed them, even before they fell down.
No hurt - See how the God of nature can when he pleases control the powers of nature! The Son of God - Probably he had heard David speak of him. Jesus Christ, the Angel of the covenant, did sometimes appear before his incarnation. Those who suffer for Christ, have his gracious presence with them in their sufferings, even in the fiery furnace, even in the valley of the shadow of death, and therefore need fear no evil.
And spake - With a milder tone than before, God having abated the fire of his fury. Now he could at once acknowledge the true God to be the most high above all gods, and the three worthies to be his faithful servants.