Praise of the Most High God (Dan 4:2-4:3)

“I am pleased

To recount The signs,

The wonders,

That the Most High God

Has worked for me.

How great

Are his signs!

How mighty

His wonders!

His kingdom is

An everlasting kingdom!

His sovereignty is

From generation to generation.”

King Nebuchadnezzar now praised the Most High God that the 3 Judeans had worshipped. This most high God had worked signs and wonders for them and him. He was eager to let everyone know about them. He insisted that God’s signs were great and his wonders were mighty. The Most High God ruled an everlasting kingdom that has and will last for generations. This king almost sounds like one of the prophets in his praise of the Israelite God. This looks like a complete conversion for King Nebuchadnezzar.

The three men should bless God (Dan 3:66-3:66)

“Bless the Lord!

Hananiah!

Azariah!

Mishael!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!

He has rescued us

From Hades.

He has saved us

From the power

Of death.

He has delivered us

From the midst

Of the burning fiery furnace.

From the midst

Of the fire,

He has delivered us.”

Finally, the 3 young men, using their Judean names and not their Babylonian names, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, would bless, praise, and exalt the Lord. However, they had a particular reason to bless God, because he had rescued them from hell or hades. He had saved them from the power of death itself. He had delivered them and kept them safe. Right in the middle of this fiery furnace, God had saved their lives.

Let the souls of the righteous bless God (Dan 3:64-3:65)

“Bless the Lord!

Spirits of the righteous!

Souls of the righteous!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!

Bless the Lord!

You who are holy!

You who are humble in heart!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!”

The 3 men wanted the righteous people to also bless, praise, and exalt the Lord. These were both the spirits and souls of the righteous, since the soul was added to the spirit. This is probably a reference to the deceased ones. Finally, the holy and humble of heart should naturally bless, praise, and exalt the Lord.

Let humans bless God (Dan 3:60-3:63)

“Bless the Lord!

All people on earth!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!

Bless the Lord!

O Israel!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!

Bless the Lord!

You priests of the Lord!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!

Bless the Lord,

You servants of the Lord!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!”

Every human on earth should bless, praise, and exalt the Lord. Three groups get special attention. Of course, there is Israel itself, its priests, and the servants of the Lord. Perhaps these servants are a special group of priests or those who follow the Lord in a special way. All of them should bless, praise, and exalt the Lord, just like everyone else on earth.

Let the earthly waters bless God (Dan 3:55-3:57)

“Bless the Lord!

You springs!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

Seas!

Rivers!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

You whales!

All that swim

In the waters!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!” 

The 3 men continued their hymn of praise. This time, they wanted the earthly waters, and all that live in them, to bless the Lord by praising and exalting him. The division of the waters was into springs, seas, and rivers, since there was never any thought of an ocean. However, the one fish that they do mention is a whale.

The extreme conditions bless God (Dan 3:49-3:51)

“Bless the Lord!

Ice!

Cold!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

Frosts!

Snows!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

Lightning!

Clouds!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!” 

This hymn continued with a blessing of the Lord from the ice, the cold, the frosts, the snows, the lightning, and the clouds. God controlled them, so that they should praise and exalt him forever.

All those with God bless the Lord (Dan 3:35-3:39)

“Bless the Lord!

All you works

Of the Lord!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

You heavens!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

You angels of the Lord!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

All you waters

Above the heaven!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

All you powers

Of the Lord!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!” 

Now the chant turns to a praise from all the works of the Lord. The heavens, the angels, the heavenly waters, and all the powers of the Lord are to bless the Lord. They were to sing praise to him and exalt him forever. The angels and the powers of the Lord were with him in heaven. The heavenly waters were somehow separated from the earthly waters in their cosmology.