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of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded 13 to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spake 14 and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at 15 what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands ? Shadrach, Meshach, 16 and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from

If 17


chadnezzar's edict, in order to represent them as ungrateful and disloyal to their royal master. regarded) The Aram. phrase, which is peculiar, recurs in vi. 13 (14);

Is it true] Probably this is right (cf. Theod. ei álnows; Pesh. in truth), though it requires a slight change in the text (87187 [see ii. 5, 8] for $7807). R.V. (with Ges.) of purpose (Hitz., Keil, of malicious purpose): upon this view the word would be a Hebraism?, from the rare root found ir. 1 Sam. xxiv. 11; Ex. xxi. 13; Num. xxxv. 20, 222 : this however rather means to lie in wait (see R.V. of the passages quoted), being used of one aiming at the life of another, and the word found here would not be derived correctly even from this verb.

15. sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer] trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe.

well] an aposiopesis, as e.g. Gen. xxx. 27, Êx. xxxii. 32, Luke xiii. 9; Il. i. 135 f. (von Lengerke).

who is the God] The sense is not appreciably affected ; but 'that' is not philologically correct (comp. on ii. 38). The question is a defiant challenge, like those of Sennacherib, and the Rab-shakeh, Is. xxxvi. 19 f., xxxvii. 11 f.

16. are not careful] have no need (R.V.).

17. If it be so, &c.] If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us, he will deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and out of thine

1 The Syr. verb çdā with derivatives, cited by Ges. in his Thes., is not recognized by Payne Smith (who has only sedad, from which the word found here could not be derived).

Levy, NHWB. iv. 170, quotes also three examples in the sense of lying in wait, or capturing) from Talmud and Midrash (cf. Chald. Wörterb. i. 316).


the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine 18 hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king,

that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they

should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was 20 wont to be heat. And he commanded the most mighty men

that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed21 nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then

these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their

hand, o king, i.e. we shall be harmed neither by the fire, nor by any other punishment which the king may decree.

18. But even if He cannot, or will not, do this, still we can never fall down and worship thy gods. The three men shew the same courage, the same unflinching determination not to compromise their faith, which were shewn by the loyal Jews in the age of the Maccabees (1 Macc. i. 62, 63 ; 2 Macc. vi. 18 ff., vii. &c.).

19--27. The three youths delivered from the flames.

19. full of] filled (A.V. marg.) with would be both more accurate and more forcible.

than it was wont, &c.] than it was proper-or, the rule?— for it to be heated.

20. the most] certain (lit. men : cf. in Heb. Dt. xiii. 13 (14); Jud. xix. 22; 1 Ki. xi. 17).

21. coats] The meaning of the Aram. sarbāl (only here and v. 27) is uncertain (see the very full discussion in Ges. Thesaurus) ; but on the whole mantles is the most probable. This is the sense which the word has in the Talmud?, in which it occurs frequently (Ges. p. 971; Levy, NHWB, s.v.), so that it has ancient usage in its favour. On the other hand, Aq. and Theod. (oapáßapa), LXX. in v. 27 (94), Symm. (åvažupldes), Pesh., express the meaning trousers (though of a looser kind than those worn by us),-an article of dress known independently (from Herod., and other authorities) to have been worn at least by the ancient Scythians and Persians, and to have been called by them oapáßapa. The word, in the same sense, passed into Arabic, in the form sirwal (e.g. in Saadyah's version of Lev. vi. 3), as well as into several of the Romance languages. In both these senses the word may be originally Persian: in that of mantle, meaning properly (according to Andreas) a head-covering (* sarabāra), for which in Persia the peasants often use their mantle; in that of trousers, corresponding to the Mod. Pers.

1 See in Onkelos Lev. v. 10, ix. 16, Num. xxix. 6, 21 (for Heb. paups); and the Targ. of Jer. xxii. 13, xxxii. II.

2 And so also, as a loan-word from the Aram., the Arabic sirbāl: see Fränkel, Aram. Fremdwörter im Arab. (1886), p. 47.

hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore because the king's 22

. commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. And these three men, Shadrach, 23 Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up 24 in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellers, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They


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shalwār, under-breeches.' The Sy sac form of oapáßapa has however a different sibilant from the one which is here used ; and, as Mr Stanley A. Cook remarks?, 'mantles, long flowing robes, and therefore extremely liable to catch the flames,' are more likely to be specially mentioned in the present connexion than trousers, or (R. V.) hosen.

their hosen] Another uncertain word (Aram. pațțish). Sept. and Theod. render trápal, 'turbans’; Pesh. uses the same word, which, however, seems otherwise to be known only to the Syriac lexicographers, who explain it sometimes as a 'tunic,' sometimes as “trousers,' sometimes as a kind of 'gaiter' (Payne Smith, Thes. Syr. col. 3098). R.V. tunics; marg. 'Or, turbans.'

hats] The rendering hats (or caps) is supported by the fact that the same word karbāl (in the fem.) seems in post-Bibl. Hebrew (Levy, s.v.) to denote some kind of covering for the head, and means certainly, both in the Talmud and in Syriac (P.S. 1810), the comb of a cock. Others, comparing what is apparently the cognate verb in i Ch. xv. 27, render mantle; but the text of the passage quoted is uncertain. 22. urgent] rather, sharp (ii. 15).

was astonied] 'astonied' is the old, and more correct, form of astonished (Old Eng. astony, astonie, from Old Fr. estonner, Lat. *extonare). Here, however, the meaning is rather, was alarmed, the Aram. těwah being used in the Targums for Heb. words signifying to fear, as Gen. xxvii. 33 ; 1 Ki. i. 49.

rose up] from the seat, from which he had been watching the preparations at the furnace.

spake] properly answered, as v. 9. So vv. 26, 28. counsellers) ministers (“counseller' is used-rightly-for an entirely different word in Ezr. vii. 14, 15, 2 Sam. xv. 12, al.), a word (haddābar) peculiar to Dan. (v. 27, iv. 36, vi. 7), and of uncertain meaning. The termination bar shews that it is of Persian origin (cf. dethābar, 'lawbearer,' gizbar, 'treasurer'), but the sense of the first part of the word is not clear (Andreas). The explanation associate-judge' is questionable, as it implies a contracted, modern form of thābar, ‘judge,' viz. dāwar.


1 'On the articles of dress mentioned in Dan. iii. 21,' in the Fourn. of Philology, XXVI. (1899), p. 306 ff.

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25 answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

swered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the

midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of 26 the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar

came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, came forth of

25. loose] the fire had burnt away the fetters, but left the bodies of the three youths untouched.

form) aspect, appearance, as ii. 31.

is like the Son of God] is like a son of (the) gods, i.e. a heavenly being or angel: cf. the 'sons of God' (or, of the gods) in Gen. vi. 2; Job i. 6 (where see Davidson's note), xxxviii. 7. The rendering 'the Son of God' cannot stand : 'ēlõhim is, indeed, used with a singular force in Hebrew, but the Aram. 'ělāhīn is always a true plural (ii. II, 47, iii. 12, 18, iv. 8, 9, 18, v. 4, 11, 14, 23), ‘God' being in the Aram. of Ezra and Dan. denoted regularly by the sing. 'ělāh. The meaning is simply that Nebuchadnezzar saw an angelic figure (LXX, òuolwua årgélov Ocoû) beside the three youths (cf. v. 28, his angel').

Between v. 23 and v. 24 LXX, and Theodotion, and following them the Vulgate (but with notes prefixed and added to the effect that Jerome did not find the passage in the Heb. text, but translated it from Theodotion), have a long insertion (vv. 24-90), which, after describing how the three youths walked in the midst of the fire, praising God (v. 24), narrates the confession and prayer of Azarias (vv. 25-45), and then, after another short descriptive passage (vv. 46—50), represents the three as uttering a doxology (vv. 52–56), which leads on into the hymn known familiarly as the Benedicite (vv. 57—90). This insertion constitutes the Apocryphal book called the Song of the Three Children.'

26. mouth] Aram. door.

God Most High] so iv. 2, v. 18, 21 : without 'God,' iv. 17, 24, 25, 32, 34, vii. 25 (first time); and with the adj. in a more Hebraistic form, vii. 18, 22, 25 (second time), 27. The title is found in Hebrew, Gen. xiv. 18, 19, 20, 22 (of the deity of Melchizedek, identified by the narrator with Jehovah); elsewhere only in poetry, especially in the Psalms, as lvii. 2, though usually without ‘God,' as ix. 3, xviii. 13: as applied to Jehovah, it is a title of dignity and respect, denoting Him as one who is supreme, whether over the earth, as ruler and governor of the world (e.g. Ps. xlvii. 2), or over other gods (e.g. Ps. xcv. 3: cf. Cheyne on Ps. vii

. 18). It occurs not unfrequently with the same force in the Apocrypha, being used sometimes by Israelites (cf. Luke i. 32, 35, 76), and sometimes (as here and iv. 2, 34, cf. Is. xiv. 14) placed in the mouth of heathen speakers (1 Esdr. ii. 3, vi. 31, viii. 19, 21, al.: cf. Mark v. 7, Acts. xvi. 17): it is also common (as a title, without 'God') in the Book of Enoch, and in Jubilees (see Charles on xxxvi. 16). See more fully the art. Most High in Hastings' Dict. of the Bible.

the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and 27 captains, and the king's counsellers, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was a hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then 28 Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, 29 and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill : because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort. the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, in the province of Babylon.

Then 30


27. princes, governors, and captains] satraps, praefects, and gover

See on v. 2. counsellers] ministers (v. 24).

upon whose bodies, &c.] that the fire had no power upon their bodies, nor was the hair, &c.

coats] either mantles, or trousers (v. 21).

changed] viz. for the worse, a sense which the word often has in Aramaic. Cf. v. 6.

28—29. Nebuchadnezzar's doxology, and edict of toleration.
28. spake] answered.
Blessed, &c.] cf. the confessions in i Ki. x. 9; 2 Ch. ii. 12.
sent his angel] cf. Gen. xxiv. 7, 40; Ex. xxxiii. 2; Numb. xx. 16.

changed) i.e. frustrated : cf. Ezr. vi. II, 12 (“alter'); and Ps. lxxxix. 39 in the Targ., “thou hast altered the covenant.'

29. I make a decree] the same phrase (lit. a decree is made by me), in iv. 6 (cf. vi. 26); Ezr. iv. 11 (at the end), 19, v. 17, vi. 8, 11, vii. 13, 21.

people, nation, and language] vv. 4, 7.

any thing amiss] lit. any neglect or error : cf. the same word in vi. 4; Ezr. iv. 22, vi. 9 ('fail'). In the Targums it stands for the Heb. shegāgāh, or mishgeh, oversight, inadvertence, Gen. xliii. 12 ; Lev. iv. 2, V. 18.

cut in pieces, and...made a dunghill] see on ii. 5. The terms of the edict, it will be noticed, are inexact : 'every people, nation, and language' must stand for every one belonging to any people, nation, and language.' (“Their houses' is in the Aram. his house.)

30. promoted] made to prosper (cf. vi. 28), i.e. supported them in different ways in the discharge of their office, and so ensured their success (ii. 49).

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