Daniel 3

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Douay-Rheims         

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1 King Nabuchodonosor made a statue of gold, of sixty cubits high, and six cubits broad, and he set it up in the plain of Dura of the province of Babylon.

2 Then Nabuchodonosor the king sent to call together the nobles, the magistrates, and the judges, the captains, the rulers, and governors, and all the chief men of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up.

3 Then the nobles, the magistrates, and the judges, the captains, and rulers, and the great men that were placed in authority, and all the princes of the provinces, were gathered together to come to the dedication of the statue, which king Nabuchodonosor had set up. And they stood before the statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up.

4 Then a herald cried with a strong voice: To you it is commanded, O nations, tribes, and languages:

5 That in the hour that you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, and of the flute, and of the harp, of the sackbut, and of the psaltery, and of the symphony, and of all kind of music; ye fall down and adore the golden statue which king Nabuchodonosor hath set up.

6 But if any man shall not fall down and adore, he shall the same hour be cast into a furnace of burning fire.

7 Upon this therefore, at the time when all the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the flute, and the harp, of the sackbut, and the psaltery, of the symphony, and of all kind of music: all the nations, tribes, and languages fell down and adored the golden statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up.

8 And presently at that very time some Chaldeans came and accused the Jews,

9 And said to king Nabuchodonosor: O king, live for ever:

10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree that every man that shall bear the sound of the trumpet, the flute, and the harp, of the sackbut, and the psaltery, of the symphony, and of all kind of music, shall prostrate himself, and adore the golden statue:

11 And that if any man shall not fall down and adore, he should be cast into a furnace of burning fire.

12 Now there are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the works of the province of Babylon, Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago: these men, O king, have slighted thy decree: they worship not thy gods, nor do they adore the golden statue which thou hast set up.

13 Then Nabuchodonosor in fury, and in wrath, commanded that Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago should be brought: who immediately were brought before the king.

14 And Nabuchodonosor the king spoke to them, and said: Is it true, O Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, that you do not worship my gods, nor adore the golden statue that I have set up?

15 Now therefore if you be ready at what hour soever you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, harp, sackbut, and psaltery, and symphony, and of all kind of music, prostrate yourselves, and adore the statue which I have made: but if you do not adore, you shall be cast the same hour into the furnace of burning fire: and who is the God that shall deliver you out of my hand?

16 Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago answered and said to king Nabuchodonosor: We have no occasion to answer thee concerning this matter.

17 For behold our God, whom we worship, is able to save us from the furnace of burning fire, and to deliver us out of thy hands, O king.

18 But if he will not, be it known to thee, O king, that we will not worship thy gods, nor adore the golden statue which thou hast set up.

19 Then was Nabuchodonosor filled with fury: and the countenance of his face was changed against Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, and he commanded that the furnace should be heated seven times more than it had been accustomed to be heated.

20 And he commanded the strongest men that were in his army, to bind the feet of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, and to cast them into the furnace of burning fire.

21 And immediately these men were bound and were cast into the furnace of burning fire, with their coats, and their caps, and their shoes, and their garments.

22 For the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace was heated exceedingly. And the flame of the fire slew those men that had cast in Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago.

23 But these three men, that is, Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, fell down bound in the midst of the furnace of burning fire.

24 Then Nabuchodonosor the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and said to his nobles: Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered the king, and said: True, O king.

25 He answered, and said: Behold I see four men loose, and walking in the midst of the fire, and there is no hurt in them, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

26 Then Nabuchodonosor came to the door of the burning fiery furnace, and said: Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, ye servants of the most high God, go ye forth, and come. And immediately Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago went out from the midst of the fire.

27 And the nobles, and the magistrates, and the judges, and the great men of the king being gathered together, considered these men, that the fire had no power on their bodies, and that not a hair of their head had been singed, nor their garments altered, nor the smell of the fire had passed on them.

28 Then Nabuchodonosor breaking forth, said: Blessed be the God of them, to wit, of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that believed in him: and they changed the king's word, and delivered up their bodies that they might not serve, nor adore any god, except their own God.

29 By me therefore this decree is made, that every people, tribe, and tongue, which shall speak blasphemy against the God of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, shall be destroyed, and their houses laid waste: for there is no other God that can save in this manner.

30 Then the king promoted Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, in the province of Babylon.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Arcana Coelestia 1326

The Last Judgment 54

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 174


Other references to this chapter:

Apocalypse Revealed 717

True Christian Religion 754


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 1029

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 37

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Bible Study Videos:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 20:3, 5

2 Kings 18:35

Esther 3:5

Job 5:19

Psalms 22:5, 34:8, 37:39, 66:12, 115:4

Isaiah 43:2

Jeremiah 29:22

Daniel 2:4, 5, 49, 6:13, 14, 21, 23, 28

Matthew 10:18, 28

Acts of the Apostles 4:19, 5:33, 12:11

Hebrews 11:34

2 Peter 2:9

Revelation 12:11, 13:15

Word/Phrase Explanations

Statue
'A statue' signifies worship from the truths of faith, but in the opposite sense, worship from falsities, and so, idolatrous worship.

six
Like most numbers in the Bible, "six" can have various meanings depending on context, but has a couple that are primary. When used in relation...

sixty
'Sixty' means the full time and state of the implantation of truth.

High
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

chief
‘Governors,’ as in Genesis 41:34, signify common or general things, because they govern over particular things. ‘Governors of Israel,’ as in Judges 5:9, signify the...

hear
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

garments
Soft raiment,' as in Matthew 11:9, represents the internal sense of the Word.

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

rose
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

walking
To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...

Might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

serve
Generally speaking, those who are at lower levels of an organization serve those at higher levels. Bosses boss and their employees serve; coaches devise strategy...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

speak
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Blessings: Worship of the Heart
Blessings to say at mealtime.
Activity | Ages over 7

 Correspondences of Fire
Illustration of three stories in the Word that relate to fire. (Quotations are the King James translation.)
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Faith Conversations
Daniel stood up for his beliefs while captive in Babylon. Can you be true to your beliefs when talking to others about your faith?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Fiery Furnace
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Fiery Furnace Diorama
Use an oatmeal box and clay figures to make a diorama of the fiery furnace. 
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Four in the Fiery Furnace
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Nebuchadnezzar, the Golden Statue, and the Fiery Furnace
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Overview of Daniel: A Man of Conscience for ages 3-14
Overview of a series of scripted lessons for the first six chapters of the book of Daniel. Suitable for Sunday schools, families and classrooms. Levels A, B and C provide materials for ages 3-14.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 14

 Quotes: Worship of the Heart
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego in the Fiery Furnace
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Fiery Furnace
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Fiery Furnace
Family lessons provide a worship talk and a variety of activities for children and teens..
Religion Lesson | Ages 4 - 17

 The Fiery Furnace
Worship Talk | Ages 4 - 6

 The Fiery Furnace
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 The Fiery Furnace (3-5 years)
Use crayons to make a picture of the four men in the furnace, then use fire-colored watercolor paint to make the flames around them. 
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Fiery Furnace (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Fiery Furnace (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Fiery Furnace (sheet music)
Song | Ages 4 - 14


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