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Geneva Study Notes
Daniel Chapter 3

Daniel 3:1
3:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made {a} an image of gold, whose
    height [was] threescore cubits, [and] the breadth thereof
    six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the
    province of Babylon.

    (a) Under pretence of religion, and holiness in making an
        image to his idol Bel, he sought his own ambition and
        vain glory: and this declares that he was not touched
        with the true fear of God before, but that he confessed
        him on a sudden motion, as the wicked when they are
        overcome with the greatness of his works.  The Greek
        interpreters write that this was done eighteen years
        after the dream, and as may appear, the King feared lest
        the Jews by their religion should have altered the state
        of his commonwealth: therefore he meant to bring all to
        one type of religion, and so rather sought his own peace
        than God's glory.

Daniel 3:2
3:2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the
    princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the
    treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the
    rulers of the provinces, to come to the {b} dedication of
    the image which Nebuchadnezzar the {c} king had set up.

    (b) Showing that the idol is not known for an idol as long
        as he is with workmen: but when the ceremonies and
        customs are recited and used, and the consent of the
        people is there, then they think they have made a god
        out of a block.
    (c) This was sufficient with the wicked at all times to
        approve their religion, if the king's authority were
        alleged for the establishment of it, not considering in
        the meantime what God's word allowed.

Daniel 3:4
3:4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O
    people, {d} nations, and languages,

    (d) These are the two dangerous weapons, which Satan used to
        fight against the children of God, the consent of the
        multitude, and the cruelty of the punishment.  For even
        though some feared God, yet the multitude who consented
        to the wickedness persuaded them: and here the King
        required not an inward consent, but an outward gesture,
        that the Jews might by little and little learn to forget
        their true religion.

Daniel 3:12
3:12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs
     of the province of Babylon, {e} 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.

     (e) It seems that they named not Daniel, because he was
         greatly in the king's favour, thinking if these three
         had been destroyed, they might have had better occasion
         to accuse Daniel.  And this declares that this policy
         of erecting this image was invented by the malicious
         flatterers who sought nothing but the destruction of
         the Jews, whom they accused of rebellion and
         ingratitude.

Daniel 3:15
3:15 {f} Now if ye be ready that at 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?

     (f) Signifying that he would receive them to grace if they
         would now obey his decree.

Daniel 3:16
3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the
     king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we {g} [are] not careful to answer
     thee in this matter.

     (g) For they would have done injury to God, if they would
         have doubted in this holy cause, and therefore they say
         that they are resolved to die for God's cause.

Daniel 3:17
3:17 If it be [so], our God whom we serve is {h} able to deliver
     us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver [us]
     out of thine hand, O king.

     (h) They have two points as their foundation: first on the
         power and providence of God over them, and second on
         their cause, which was God's glory, and the testifying
         of his true religion with their blood.  And so they make
         open confession, that they will not so much as
         outwardly consent to idolatry.

Daniel 3:19
3:19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his
     visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego:
     [therefore] he spake, and commanded that they should heat
     the furnace one seven {i} times more than it was wont to be
     heated.

     (i) This declares that the more that tyrants rage, and the
         more crafty they show themselves in inventing strange
         and cruel punishments, the more is God glorified by his
         servants, to whom he gives patience and constancy to
         abide the cruelty of their punishment.  For either he
         delvers them from death, or else for this life gives
         them better.

Daniel 3:25
3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in
     the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form
     of the fourth is like the {k} Son of God.

     (k) For the angels were called the sons of God because of
         their excellency.  Therefore the king called this angel
         whom God sent to comfort his own in these great
         torments, the son of God.

Daniel 3:26
3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning
     fiery furnace, [and] spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach,
     and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth,
     and come [hither]. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
     {l} came forth of the midst of the fire.

     (l) This commends their obedience to God, that they would
         not because of any fear depart out of this furnace
         until the appointed time, as Noah remained in the ark,
         until the Lord called him forth.

Daniel 3:28
3:28 [Then] Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, {m} Blessed [be] the
     God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, 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.

     (m) He was moved by the greatness of the miracle to praise
         God, but his heart was not touched.  And here we see
         that miracles are not sufficient to convert men to God,
         but that doctrine most chiefly be joined with them,
         without which there can be no faith.

Daniel 3:29
3:29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and
     language, which speak {n} any thing amiss against the God
     of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, 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.

     (n) If this heathen king moved by God's Spirit would punish
         blasphemy, and made a law and set a punishment for such
         transgressors, much more ought all they that profess
         religion make sure that such impiety does not happen,
         lest according as their knowledge and responsibility is
         greater, so they suffer double punishment.



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