New American Standard Bible
He said, "Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!"
King James Bible
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 Son of God.
Darby Bible Translation
He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of God.
World English Bible
He answered, Look, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are unharmed; and the aspect of the fourth is like a son of the gods.
Young's Literal Translation
He answered and hath said, 'Lo, I am seeing four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like to a son of the gods.'
Daniel 3:25 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose - From the fact that he saw these men now loose, and that this filled him with so much surprise, it may be presumed that they had been bound with something that was not combustible - with some sort of fetters or chains. In that case it would be a matter of surprise that they should be "loose," even though they could survive the action of the fire. The "fourth" personage now so mysteriously added to their number, it is evident, assumed the appearance of a "man," and not the appearance of a celestial being, though it was the aspect of a man so noble and majestic that he deserved to be called a son of God.
Walking in the midst of the fire - The furnace, therefore, was large, so that those who were in it could walk about. The vision must have been sublime; and it is a beautiful image of the children of God often walking unhurt amidst dangers, safe beneath the Divine protection.
And they have no hurt - Margin, "There is no hurt in them." They walk unharmed amidst the flames. Of course, the king judged in this only from appearances, but the result Daniel 3:27 showed that it was really so.
And the form of the fourth - Chaldee, (רוה rēvēh) - "his appearance" (from ראה râ'âh - "to see"); that is, he "seemed" to be a son of God; he "looked" like a son of God. The word does not refer to anything special or peculiar in his "form" or "figure," but it may be supposed to denote something that was noble or majestic in his mien; something in his countenance and demeanour that declared him to be of heavenly origin.
Like the son of God - There are two inquiries which arise in regard to this expression: one is, what was the idea denoted by the phrase as used by the king, or who did he take this personage to be? the other, who he actually was? In regard to the former inquiry, it may be observed, that there is no evidence that the king referred to him to whom this title is so frequently applied in the New Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is clear
(1) because there is no reason to believe that the king had "any" knowledge whatever that there would be on earth one to whom this title might be appropriately given;
(2) there is no evidence that the title was then commonly given to the Messiah by the Jews, or, if it was, that the king of Babylon was so versed in Jewish theology as to be acquainted with it; and
(3) the language which he uses does not necessarily imply that, even "if" he were acquainted with the fact that there was a prevailing expectation that such a being would appear on the earth, he designed so to use it.
The insertion of the article "the," which is not in the Chaldee, gives a different impression from what the original would if literally interpreted. There is nothing in the Chaldee to limit it to "any" "son of God," or to designate anyone to whom that term could be applied as peculiarly intended. It would seem probable that our translators meant to convey the idea that ""the" Son of God" peculiarly was intended, and doubtless they regarded this as one of his appearances to men before his incarnation; but it is clear that no such conception entered into the mind of the king of Babylon. The Chaldee is simply, לבר־אלחין דמה dâmēh lebar 'ĕlâhı̂yn - "like to A son of God," or to a son of the gods - since the word אלחין 'ĕlâhı̂yn (Chaldee), or אלהים 'ĕlohı̂ym (Hebrew), though often, and indeed usually applied to the true God, is in the plural number, and in the mouth of a pagan would properly be used to denote the gods that he worshipped.
The article is not prefixed to the word "son," and the language would apply to anyone who might properly be called a son of God. The Vulgate has literally rendered it, "like to A son of God" - similis filio Dei; the Greek in the same way - ὁμοία ὑιῷ θεοῦ homoia huiō theou; the Syriac is like the Chaldee; Castellio renders it, quartus formam habet Deo nati similem - "the fourth has a form resembling one born of God;" Coverdale "the fourth is like an angel to look upon;" Luther, more definitely, und der vierte ist gleich, als ware er ein Sohn der Gotter - "and the fourth as if he might be "a" son of the gods." It is clear that the authors of none of the other versions had the idea which our translators supposed to be conveyed by the text, and which implies that the Babylonian monarch "supposed" that the person whom he saw was the one who afterward became incarnate for our redemption.
In accordance with the common well-known usage of the word "son" in the Hebrew and Chaldee languages, it would denote anyone who had a "resemblance" to another, and would be applied to any being who was of a majestic or dignified appearance, and who seemed worthy to be ranked among the gods. It was usual among the pagan to suppose that the gods often appeared in a human form, and probably Nebuchadnezzar regarded this as some such celestial appearance. If it be supposed that he regarded it as some manifestation connected with the "Hebrew" form of religion, the most that would probably occur to him would be, that it was some "angelic" being appearing now for the protection of these worshippers of Jehovah. But a second inquiry, and one that is not so easily answered, in regard to this mysterious personage, arises. Who in fact "was" this being that appeared in the furnace for the protection of these three persecuted men?
Was it an angel, or was it the second person of the Trinity, "the" Son of God? That this was the Son of God - the second person of the Trinity, who afterward became incarnate, has been quite a common opinion of expositors. So it was held by Tertullian, by Augustine, and by Hilary, among the fathers; and so it has been held by Gill, Clarius, and others, among the moderns. Of those who have maintained that it was Christ, some have supposed that Nebuchadnezzar had been made acquainted with the belief of the Hebrews in regard to the Messiah; others, that he spoke under the influence of the Holy Spirit, without being fully aware of what his words imported, as Caiaphas, Saul, Pilate, and others have done. - Poole's "Synopsis." The Jewish writers Jarchi, Saadias, and Jacchiades suppose that it was an angel, called a son of God, in accordance with the usual custom in the Scriptures. That this latter is the correct opinion, will appear evident, though there cannot be exact certainty, from the following considerations:
(1) The language used implies necessarily nothing more. Though it "might" indeed be applicable to the Messiah - the second person of the Trinity, if it could be determined from other sources that it was he, yet there is nothing in the language which necessarily suggests this.
(2) In the explanation of the matter by Nebuchadnezzar himself Daniel 3:28, he understood it to be an angel - "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, etc., "who hath sent his angel,"" etc. This shows that he had had no other view of the subject, and that he had no higher knowledge in the case than to suppose that he was an angel of God. The knowledge of the existence of angels was so common among the ancients, that there is no improbability in supposing that Nebuchadnezzar was sufficiently instructed on this point to know that they were sent for the protection of the good.
LibraryThree Names High on the Muster-Roll
IF YOU READ the second chapter of the Book of Daniel, you will think that Nebuchadnezzar was not far from the kingdom. His dream had troubled him; but Daniel had explained it. Then the king made this confession to Daniel, "Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret." He acknowledged that Jehovah, the God of the Jews, was the greatest of gods, and was a great interpreter of secrets; and yet in a short time …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891
The Lord Coming to his Temple
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence.
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.
"Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you," declares the LORD.
"They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you," declares the LORD.
"So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent."
Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up in haste; he said to his high officials, "Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?" They replied to the king, "Certainly, O king."
Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king's command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God.
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