The response of the three men (Dan 3:16-3:18)

“Shadrach,

Meshach,

Abednego,

Answered the king.

‘O King Nebuchadnezzar!

We have no need

To present

A defense

To you

In this matter.

If our God,

Whom we serve,

Is able

To deliver us

From the furnace

Of blazing fire,

As well as out of your hand,

O king!

Let him deliver us!

But if not!

Let it be known to you!

O king!

That we will not serve

Your gods.

We will not worship

The golden statue

That you have set up.’”

The 3 companions of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar clearly and directly. They were not going to present a defense of their actions. If their God was able or not able to get them out of the fiery furnace away from the king, so be it. There was no ambiguity for them. They were not going to serve his gods or worship his golden statue, case closed.

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The king spoke to the three men (Dan 3:14-3:15)

“King Nebuchadnezzar

Said to them.

‘Is it true?

O Shadrach!

O Meshach!

O Abednego!

Do you not

Serve my gods?

Do you not worship

The golden statue

That I have set up?

Now if you are ready,

When you hear

The sound of the horn,

The pipe,

The lyre,

The trigon,

The harp,

The drum,

The entire musical ensemble,

To fall down,

To worship,

The statue

That I have made,

Well and good.

But if you do not worship,

You shall immediately

Be thrown

Into a furnace

Of a blazing fire.

Who is the god

That will deliver you

Out of my hands?’”

King Nebuchadnezzar gave the 3 companions of Daniel, the benefit of the doubt. He wanted to know it was really true that they, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, did not serve his gods. Did they not worship the golden statue that he had set up? Did they not respond to the musical instruments of the horn, the pipe, the lyre, the trigon, the harp or the drum? Did they not fall down and worship his golden statue? If they did not worship this statue, then they would be immediately thrown into the blazing furnace. The king then asked them what god would deliver them from his hands.

The Fall of Jerusalem (Dan 1:1-1:2)

“In the third year

Of the reign

Of King Jehoiakim

In Judah,

King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon

Came to Jerusalem.

He besieged it.

The Lord let

King Jehoiakim

Of Judah

Fall into his power,

As well as some of the vessels

Of the house of God.

Then he brought them

To the land of Shinar,

He placed

The vessels

In the treasury

Of his gods.”

This Book of Daniel starts out on a dire note, the capture of Jerusalem. However, unlike the Book of Ezekiel, there is only a vague date for the siege of Jerusalem, the 3rd year of King Jehoiakim, which would have been 606 BCE.   However, there is no other indication of a siege at that time. Perhaps, this meant 598 BCE when King Jehoiakim was deposed. It is not clear who the author of this work was. However, the Judaean king fell under the power of King Nebuchadnezzar, because the Lord let it happen. Yahweh is not the term used for God in this post-exilic work. Rather the Greek Kyrios was used. The Babylonian king took some of the Temple vessels and treasures with him to Babylon, or Shinar as it is called here. He brought them to the treasury of his gods, which would have been Marduk and Nebo.