Daniel 3

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1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made 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.

2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the satraps, the deputies, and the governors, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

3 Then the satraps, the deputies, and the governors, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

4 Then the herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages,

5 that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up;

6 and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

7 Therefore at that time, when all the peoples heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

8 Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and brought accusation against the Jews.

9 They answered and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king, O king, live for ever.

10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image;

11 and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in [his] rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king.

14 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said unto them, Is it of purpose, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, that ye serve not my god, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?

15 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 music, 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?

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer thee in this matter.

17 If it be [so], our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of thy hand, O king.

18 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.

19 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 seven times more than it was wont to be heated.

20 And he commanded certain mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, [and] to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

21 Then these men were bound in their hosen, their tunics, and their mantles, and their [other] garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

22 Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.

23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

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

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 aspect of the fourth is like a son of the gods.

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace: he 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 out of the midst of the fire.

27 And the satraps, the deputies, and the governors, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, that the fire had no power upon their bodies, nor was the hair of their head singed, neither were their hosen changed, nor had the smell of fire passed on them.

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 have yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

29 Therefore I make a decree, that every people, nation, and language, which speak anything 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 is able to deliver after this sort.

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the province of Babylon.

  
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The Fiery Furnace      

Napsal(a) Rev. Dr. Andrew M. T. Dibb

The third chapter of Daniel follows the same pattern as the first two: Nebuchadnezzar begins by making threats against those who do not bow to his every whim, and ends with his humbly admitting the Lord's power.

The similarities between the dramatic vision of the statue in chapter two and actually building an image in chapter three are not, however, mere repetition. Close attention to the detail in this chapter will show how in its pursuit of domination the selfish side of human nature continues to try to dominate, even though we might consciously submit to the Lord.

This third chapter opens with a huge image created by Nebuchadnezzar. The actual dimensions are important, not because of their physical impact, but because of the spiritual concepts they contain. Similarly, the impossibility of it being made from gold should not interfere with the spiritual exposition of the verse. The literal sense of the story is important only as a means of bringing out the spiritual sense.

This entire image was made of gold. But like the head of the statue in the previous chapter, this is not the gold representing love to the Lord, but self love. Every good correspondence also has an opposite sense.

The statue is described as sixty cubits tall, and six cubits wide. The recurring number "six" takes meaning from its contrast to the number immediately following. "Seven" is a state of fullness and completeness—the Lord rested on the seventh day of creation, clean animals entered the ark in sevens, we should forgive others "up to seventy times seven." As seven contains this sense of completeness, six represents a state of incompleteness.

"Six" is often used to describe the process of regeneration, especially in the creation series, and in the Ten Commandments. In the six days of creation, people are tempted and in a state of conflict, which must be overcome for the person to regenerate (AC 8494, 8539:2, 8888). The conflict illustrated in this chapter is between our sense of selfishness and our emerging conscience.

The number sixty is the fullness of this conflict, as sixty is a six multiplied by ten. If six represents the conflicts of temptation, ten represents completeness (AC 3107, 4638, 8468, 9416), or fullness of that conflict.

Ideally, the states of goodness, truth and their mutual expression should be equal. The shape representing a regenerate person would be a perfect cube, as described by "the Holy City coming down from God out of heaven" (Revelation 21:2).

But Nebuchadnezzar's image vastly different from this ideal: it was tall and narrow — ten times taller than it was wide, and no depth is described. It comes across as one dimensional, disproportionate, its most compelling feature the gold from which it is made.

As in the second chapter, Nebuchadnezzar calls together his advisers: before, it was astrologers and wise men. In this chapter he calls together the governors of his kingdom: the satraps, administrators and so on. When the Word speaks of governors, it speaks of our loves, because we are ruled and governed by loves. The list here gives a hierarchy of loves from the top, or ruling loves, down to the lesser affections we have.
We are shown our state when that ruling love is Nebuchadnezzar: he dominates the scene, his word is law. He controls a vast empire and has absolute control over life and death. Thus Nebuchadnezzar can summon his governors and order them around with the same ease with which he called together the wise men and demanded the impossible from them.

At the sound of music, his whole empire was to fall down and worship the gold image erected by the king. Music is used as a means of summoning the rulers of the land because if those men represent our various loves and affections, so music speaks to our loves.

If Nebuchadnezzar represents our selfishness and love of control, the Chaldeans come into the picture as a confirmation of this selfishness. The essence of profanation—evil pretending to be good—is the misuse of goodness and truth for one's own ends. Any state of genuine good or truth resisting this misuse would come into conflict with it.

Thus the Chaldeans with great enthusiasm name Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego who do not serve the king nor worship his golden image. By using their Babylonian names, they are refusing to recognize truth as coming from the Word. This is the very heart of profanation: to know something is from the Word, even to acknowledge it as such, and yet to deny it—just as those Chaldeans must have known that the three men were Jews, and that their Babylonian names were not truly their own. It is the ultimate denial of their identity, just as profanation is the ultimate denial of the Lord.

Nebuchadnezzar's life is first of military conquest and the expansion of his empire. This conquest comes with the dominion of religious things. Thus it was not out of character for him to command worship. As the love of self progresses, it demands greater and greater things, until it demands to be treated as the Lord Himself (AR 717).

"The evil of the love of self is not, as is generally thought, that external elation which is called pride, but it is hatred against the neighbor, and thence a burning desire for revenge, and delight in cruelty. These are the interiors of the love of self. Its exteriors are contempt for others in comparison with self, and an aversion to those who are in spiritual good, and this sometimes with manifest elation or pride, and sometimes without it. For one who holds the neighbor in such hatred, inwardly loves no one but himself and those whom he regards as making one with himself, thus he loves them in himself, and himself in them for the sole end of self" (AC 4750:5).

Each person in this world is capable of giving freedom to these feelings, and if we do, soon we find ourselves doing what Nebuchadnezzar did: demanding that people see the world through our own personal spectacles, and roundly damning them to hell if they do not.


As we saw earlier, Daniel represents the conscience developing in opposition to our selfish states. Conscience is the activity of truth leading and guiding our minds towards a life in harmony with the Lord's. The conscience, however, must be made up of individual truths, truths applicable to different parts of our lives. We have a set of truths to govern marriage, work ethic, social interaction, and so on.

These individual truths are Daniel's Hebrew companions. Each time we have seen them, they have stood on their belief in God, but each time at Daniel's leadership. This time they stand alone, willing to confront the imperial wrath and face death for their belief.

The consequences were, of course, dire. Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage, demanding that the young men be cast into a fiery furnace, heated to seven times its normal heat. The young men were prepared to accept this punishment rather than retract their belief in the Lord.

Nebuchadnezzar tried to scare the three men by heating the furnace to hotter than normal, which well describes the actions of evil spirits in temptation who,

"act against the affections of truth that make the conscience: as soon as they perceive anything of conscience, of whatever kind, then from the falsities and failings in the man they form to themselves an affection; and by means of this they cast a shade over the light of truth, and so pervert it; or they induce anxiety and torture him" (AC 1820:4).

The time the young men spend in the furnace represents a state of temptation, which occurs for the sake of regeneration (AE 439). Most simply defined, temptation is a battle between two sides within us, where the natural, or selfish side is subdued. Up until then, selfishness is seen as simply being a part of us, the way we are (AC 1820). In temptation, this self-image is changed, and we learn to see ourselves in the light of heaven (AE 439).

The power of the evil spirits is greatly illusory. Just as Nebuchadnezzar fell back after resistance, so the spirits also withdraw when we resist them. The greatest temptation we face is believing the Lord is unable to help us in our times of great need. If we cling to the believe that He can and does give help, then facing our inner selfishness becomes less difficult. The image the men were commanded to worship was, after all, an immobile object of gold, disproportionate and one-dimensional. Our selfishness is like that: seemingly monolithic, and yet devoid of any real life. Its attractions fade when seen in the light of heaven. Spiritual resistance is not so difficult, and the results give strength:

"Victories are attended with the result that the malignant genii and spirits afterward dare not do anything; for their life consists in their being able to destroy, and when they perceive that a man is of such a character that he can resist then at the first onset they flee away, as they are wont to do when they draw near to the first entrance to heaven, for they are at once seized with horror and terror, and hurl themselves backward" AC 1820.

Nebuchadnezzar is brought to awareness and appreciation of the power of the Lord, this time, with his own senses. There is a power in his acquiescence after witnessing the four men in the fiery furnace that is far more dramatic than his incredulity after Daniel foretold the dream in chapter two. This time he actually saw the power of the furnace, so strong that those who cast the three men in were killed by its heat, yet he saw the three men walk out unscathed. This proved the power of God to him more than anything before.

We see something of this process in the final verses of Chapter three, where Nebuchadnezzar praises the Lord, showing a new humility impossible for him before. As a result, the affection of truth begins to rule in place of the former selfish loves. Thus we see Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego promoted in the province of Babylon, presumably in place of the Babylonian satraps, administrators, governors, counselors, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the officials of the province who responded to Nebuchadnezzar's call to worship the gold image.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 1326

The Last Judgement 54

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 174


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Apocalypse Revealed 717

True Christian Religion 754


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 1029

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 37

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Významy biblických slov

nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king of the Babylonian empire. His fiery furnace and his dreams of the great tree and of the great statue are...

image
'An image' signifies falsities from self-derived intelligence.

threescore
'Sixty' means the full time and state of the implantation of truth in our minds.

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...

deputies
‘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...

governors
‘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...

rulers
‘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...

heard
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...

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...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

Full
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

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

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

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

Hot
'Hot' signifies being in spiritual love.

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...

rose up
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...

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

saw
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...

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

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...

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 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

 Fiery Furnace Song Act It Out
Listen to a song and act out the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abegnego in the fiery furnace.
Activity | Ages 3 - 7

 Fiery Furnace Wax Resist Picture
Draw the four men in the furnace with crayons or oil pastels, then use fire-colored watercolor paint to make the flames around them.
Project | All Ages

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

 Four Men in the Fiery Furnace
Make finger puppets and a shoebox stage to retell the story
Project | Ages 7 - 9

 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 Abednego
Open the doors of the furnace to see the three men inside. Then hold the picture up to the light to see the fourth man—the angel sent from the Lord.
Project | Ages 3 - 6

 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 Angel in the Fiery Furnace
Use tissue paper and the included cutouts to make a picture of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego with an angel in the fiery furnace to hang in a window.
Project | Ages 3 - 7

 The Fiery Furnace
Coloring Page | All Ages

 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 Jar
Make the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in a small jar where the angel is revealed when you add an electric tea candle.
Project | Ages 7 - 10

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

 Walking in the Furnace
Reflect on times when feelings of anger or hatred threatened you, and think about who might be willing to “walk with you in the furnace” and help protect you?
Activity | Ages 11 - 18

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As you draw the flames with orange and red crayons, you will reveal the four men in the fiery furnace
Project | Ages 9 - 12


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