Bible Study: Daniel Chapter 3
Man, the Neb is trouble. You'd think after witnessing the awesome power of god to interpret dreams he would have gotten a clue. But now he make a gigantic statue out of pure gold and commands everyone to bow before it. Anyone who doesn't bow will be thrown in a furnace.
Our Jewish friends remain true to their religion and don't bow. The Chaldeans (sorcerers) tattle-tale on the Jews to the king. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego state that god will protect them in the furnace.
This really pisses Neb off and he has the furnace heated to 7 times the normal heat. In fact it's so hot that the men who throw them in die from the heat. But when Neb looks in the furnace he sees 4 men. The fourth he says looks like the Son of God (but you have to wonder how he knows what he looks like - unless he just means some genericly godly figure).
Neb comes close to the fire (w/o getting burned somehow) and calls for them to come out. He decrees that any one caught talking ill of their god will get the house made into a dunghill treatment. Then he gives the 3 of them a raise.
Not bad for a days work.
- one of the notes in the margin mentions that the parameters of the statue make it unlikely that these numbers are correct/possible. There wouldn't have been that much gold in the world (above ground) at that point and certainly not in one place. Does seem like a *lot* of gold, but I wonder how much gold there is in the world right now?
- how do these guys know ahead of time that they won't be burned? Why is it that so many Christian martyrs that come later die by lions or in fires even though their faith is apparently as strong? I can imagine that these guys would have the strength of their convictions, but why assume you will live? Why not assume you are just going to become martyrs?
- Having the men who throw them in die from the heat is another nice touch.
- First the 4th guy is called the Son of God next he is called an angel. I wonder why people think this is Jesus? Says right here that it was an angel.
- It's strange that Neb decrees that no one should speak ill of their god since their god has clearly demonstrated that he doesn't need any help.
- Where is Daniel in all this? Was this story tacked on latter or from a different source?