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Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible Coke's Commentary
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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Daniel 3". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ tcc/ daniel-3.html. 1801-1803.
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Daniel 3". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://studylight.org/
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Nebuchadnezzar dedicateth a golden image in Dura. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego are accused for not worshipping the image. They, being threatened, make a good confession. God delivereth them out of the furnace. Nebuchadnezzar, seeing the miracle, blesseth God.
Before Christ 587.
THIS chapter contains a history of Nebuchadnezzar's erecting an image of gold of an immense size, as an idol to which he expected all his empire to pay worship. Daniel's three friends, refusing this worship, are cast into a furnace of fire, and by their miraculous delivery thence the king is again brought to an acknowledgment of the one true God.
How soon this image was erected after the dream in his second year is uncertain. Some of the ancient versions begin this chapter with "In the eighteenth year," and Dr. Prideaux agrees with them, though the words are not in the present text: but whether it happened then, or as some think, later, the design of it probably was to frustrate the exposition, and defeat the end of the dream; on which account perhaps the image was made wholly of gold, and not of different metals; to make an ostentatious display of the abundance of his wealth, and to obviate the jealousies of his people on account of his favours to Daniel and his friends. Some or all of these motives might probably influence this haughty and inconstant monarch to desert the true God, whom he had so lately acknowledged, and to yield again to the force of those inveterate habits, from which he had been so miraculously recovered.
This statue is thought to have been hollow within, like the Colossus at Rhodes, whose height exceeded that of the statue by ten cubits: the proportion of the height seems unequal to the breadth, unless the pedestal be included therein on which it was placed. Houbigant, on account of this disparity, thinks it was rather a column or pyramid than of the human form: but Diodorus, lib. 2: sect. 9 tells us, that Xerxes took away an image of gold forty feet long when he demolished the temple of Belus in Babylon, which Prideaux supposes may have been this of Nebuchadnezzar. The statue of Jupiter also made by Lysippus at Tarentum is said to be forty cubits. The plain of Dura where it was erected was probably near a town called by Symmachus Dourau, and by Ptolemy Doraba; "Ammianus Marcellinus mentions Dura as not far from the place where Julian died; and in D'Anville's map of the Tigris and Euphrates it is on the Tigris, under 34½ lat. and in Niebuhr's map of his journey (45 of vol. 2:) is Dor." Michaelis. But Jerom considers it as an inclosed place in Babylon, see chap. Dan 1:2 and the LXX has περιβολον, considering it as an appellative for a sort of circus.
Daniel 3:1. Nebuchadnezzar—made an image of gold— But what did this image or statue represent? Grotius insists that it was the statue of Nabopalassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar, whom this prince chose to rank with the gods. Others think that Nebuchadnezzar erected his own statue, and intended to be adored under this form. But throughout the whole chapter, Nebuchadnezzar, in speaking to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, no where complains of injury done to his person, or statue; but only that the companions of Daniel do not worship his gods, nor the statue erected by his orders. And in chap. Dan 4:8 he says, that the name of Belteshazzar is composed of the name of his god, and Bel was certainly the most celebrated deity of that country. It was to this god, therefore, that the statue in question was certainly consecrated. It was toward the end of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar that this event happened; for in the decree, the beginning of which we read in the end of this chapter, and to which this miracle gave occasion, the prince recounts the dreams which had been explained to him by Daniel. See chap. Daniel 4:4, &c. He there describes in what manner he was reduced to the state of beasts, driven from his palace, and afterwards re-established on his throne; all which happened in the last years of his reign. See Calmet.
Daniel 3:5. Harp— The original word is קיתרס caithros, which seems to be denominated from the citron-tree, the product of Armenia, Media, and Persia; the tree itself might take its name from the ground in which it flourished, or from the round figure of its fruit: for קתר ceter, signifies a rock in the Chaldee (Proverbs 30:26.), and mountainous or rocky places are called cythera, and citharon. Citra is likewise Chaldee for a crown, turban, or diadem of the head, and is the proper name for the Persian diadem, which the Greeks write Κιτταρος [cittaros], Κιδαρις [cidaris], and Κιτταρις [cittaris.] An instrument shaped in the like orbicular form, might for the same reason be called citerus; and this we are told was the original form of the harp; or else, the matter of which it was made gave its name, as it did to many other instruments in all nations. The modern Persian affords us another derivation: Ciar-tar is their name for a lyre; ciar signifying four, and tar a string, from the four chords with which it is strung; and as the ancients made use of such a lyre, so by giving little or no sound to the R it might of old be pronounced like cithara. See Bishop Chandler, Vind. of Def. Colossians 1:0 p. 50.
Sackbut— The Hebrew word is סבכא sabca, whence the Greek word σαμβυκη . Euphorion mentions this instrument as very ancient. The statue of one of the muses, erected at Mitylene in Lesbos, has a sambuca in her hand. It is mentioned as a foreign invention in Aristoxenus and Strabo; is expressly said to be the discovery of the Syrians, and was in use among the Parthians and Troglodytes. The name is Syriac or Chaldee, and comes from סבךֵ sabbach, which signifies to twist or plait: and it is applied to trees which bear thick branches, and to a military battering engine, worked by a variety of ropes; and for the same reason, to a musical instrument made of the wood of such trees, or thickly strung with chords. The sabek-tree is mentioned in the Septuagint version of Gen 22:13 which Vossius takes to be the Syrian or Egyptian jessamin, called zabach and sambach by the Syrians and Arabs to this day. In other parts sambucus is the name of the alder. Of such light and brittle wood musical instruments were composed, and therefore we need search no farther for the original of this name. However, it may be noted, that samma and buc are Indian or Persian words for certain instruments of music; and anciently those tongues were the same with those which were spoken by the Medes and Armenians. See Bishop Chandler, as above, p. 51.
Psaltery— The Hebrew word פסנתרין is psanterin, and the Greek psalterion. They who invented the instrument undoubtedly imposed the name which it bears; for wherever we can trace the one, we may ascribe the other. Now it is acknowledged by the Greeks, that it was more ancient than Terpander; that it was barbarous or foreign; that it abounded with many strings, and was the same with the old magadis, pectys, and trigonum, which were many-stringed, and of a triangular form, of which the Greeks did not assume the invention; and that there was in Persia (in which Media and Armenia are generally included) a pectys and magadis, whose strings hung on both sides of the wood, and which was touched with both hands, as our harps are. Hence we may safely infer, that the invention and name are to be derived from the East. We have such accounts of the splendour and politeness of the Median court, that we may reasonably suppose that both the instrument and its name had their original in that country, and were borrowed of them by the Babylonians and Greeks. This will appear more evident from the termination of the original, psanter, for old Persic substantives commonly end in ter. And as in is added in the modern Persian to heighten the sense of adjectives in the superlative degree; so in is a Syriac or Babylonian plural, which the Chaldees might subjoin to the foreign name of this instrument, the better to express the sounding of the strings of both sides of this instrument at once, with both the hands of the performer. Psanter may be derived from the Chaldee or Syriac פשׁ pesh, or פשׁשׁ peshesh, which signifies beating, impelling, pushing, or touching with the fingers. In the Chaldee, a word which primarily signifies pulsations or beating, is applied to musical instruments in general; and the Jews called neginoth, in the plural, one kind of stringed instruments which was more than ordinarily struck and moved in various parts; and which is therefore rendered by the LXX a psaltery. Psanterin then, if it be not a neutral superlative used substantively in the Persian or Median tongue, to signify an instrument of all others the most touched, may be a Median word, to which in Babylon they added a Syriac plural, to express, as in the form of neginoth, the frequent and double pulsations thereof. Such a root is to be found at present among the Persians. Bishana, or, as it maybe spoken, psana, is the percussion of a harp in Persic, and the verb has the sense of making an impression on the nerves. Bishop Chandler, p. 53, &c.
Dulcimer— The original word is סומפניה sumponiah, and the Greek συμφωνια symphonia; but the signification in the Chaldee and in the Greek is different. The Greek is a compound word, which signifies a concert, or harmony of many instruments; whereas the word here, is a simple name of one single instrument, upon which different parts of music were played: and as the stringed instruments came originally from the East, probably some Grecian might add a greater number of strings or chords, to give a greater compass or variety of music, which being called symphonia in Greek, and introduced into the Chaldean and Persian courts, might possibly have retained its Grecian name; though this is by no means certain. As to the particular instrument intended by the name, we cannot be positive. A pipe perforated with many holes was called a symphony in the Jerusalem tongue; and a bladder with pipes in it (now called a bag-pipe) had the like name in the language of the Moors, which they left behind them in Spain. The Moors in Africa called a little drum, hollow in the middle, and covered on one side with a skin, a symphony; which name might as justly be given to one kind of harp or fiddle, which was made, according to St. Augustin, of a concave piece of wood, like a drum. For all agree that the reason of calling so many things by the same name, seems to be their cavity. The learned Henry Michaelis derives the word from the Hebrew ספן saphan, which signifies to conceal, or to cover in a hollow form. Hence ספינה sephina is put for a ship, Jon 1:5 or the hold, or capacious part of it, agreeable to the translation of the LXX. Symphony might possibly come from ספפ sipap, which carries the idea of cavity to all its derivatives. Thus ףּס saph or suph, (the original of the Greek word scyphus,) signifies a cup or bowl, in the Hebrew or Chaldee. ףּסו Suph is the name of a reed or cane, from the tube in the middle of it; (see Exodus 2:3.) and saph is used for the shank of a candlestick, and for the middle part of pillars, placed before the portal or threshold of great houses, as well as for the entrance or gate itself; for these ornamental pillars were probably hollow, like the two great ones in the porch of Solomon's temple. Now, as simpulum, a cup used in sacrifices, is confessedly derived from the Hebrew suph or saph; so, by the like analogy, symphony, or symphonia, may, when applied to any hollow instrument composed of boards, or of wood otherwise excavated. It is the genius of the eastern tongues to increase syllables at the end of words, as new ideas are added to their primitive significations; and as syllables are increased in words which have two radicals following each other of the same letter, the first letter is commonly dropped, and the last is supplied by a certain mark on the next, which the Chaldees almost constantly change into the letter N, and almost as often liquidate into M, when the compensative N goes before the letters BMP. Thus, instead of siphonia, as the word is written in some copies, Dan 3:10 the Chaldees would sound it sinphonia; but for facility and gracefulness of speaking, they soften it into simphonia; because of the P which immediately follows. See Bishop Chandler, Vind. p. 45 and Dr. Chandler's Defence, p. 15.
Daniel 3:6. The same hour— This is the first place in the Old Testament, where we meet with the division of time into hours. The Greeks ascribe the invention of them to Anaximander, who perhaps received it from the Chaldees. The mode of punishment here mentioned was common among this people. Compare Jeremiah 29:22. It has been said that Abraham was exposed to this punishment before his departure from Chaldea. See Calmet.
Daniel 3:11. Burning fiery furnace— Another cruel method of punishment among the Chaldeans; see Jeremiah 29:22. Burning alive is still inflicted, as Shaw tells us, on Jews and Christians, for capital crimes, at Algiers: see also Psalms 21:9. Mr. Bruce, vol. 1: p. 516 has given us the following narrative: "Phineas, an Arabian prince from Medina, having beat St. Aretas, the governor of Najiran, began to persecute the Christians by a new species of cruelty, by ordering certain furnaces or pits full of fire to be prepared, into which he threw as many of the inhabitants of Najiran as refused to renounce Christianity. Mohammed, in his Koran, mentions this tyrant by the name of the Master of the fiery pits, without either condemning or praising the execution; only saying, the sufferers shall witness against him at the last day."
Daniel 3:12. They serve not thy gods— Gods in general; not one god, represented by the golden statue. The statue, says Houbigant, in agreement with Calmet, was not of a human form, as is plain from its proportions; for it was ten times higher than broad. However, whatever form it had, whether of a column or a pyramid, many gods might possibly be exhibited hieroglyphically.
Daniel 3:13. Then they— And they.
Daniel 3:15. And who is that god, &c.— This is a proof of the inattention and inconstancy of this prince, who had so often proved and known the sovereign power and superiority of the God of the Jews. See chap. Daniel 2:47.
The Jews answer him with great firmness, telling him that in so plain a case, there is no room for deliberation; they had an answer ready at hand, that they ought to obey God rather than man. See Lowth and Calmet.
Daniel 3:17. If it be so— Behold. There is a God whom we worship, who is able to snatch us from the furnace of burning fire, and to deliver us from thy hand, O king. Houbigant. "As we are firmly persuaded of his power to deliver us, so we trust in his mercy and goodness that he will do so." They speak this out of a well-grounded hope, not from a certain foresight of being delivered; for such an absolute certainty would have destroyed the virtue of their faith and constancy in despising the danger which threatened them. See Lowth.
Daniel 3:20. The most mighty men— His guards; whom he employed, according to the ancient custom, to execute criminals.
Daniel 3:21. Their hats— Their turbans. As to the particulars of the dress of these young men, the first word seems to mean their principal garment, which hung loose and flowing down to their ancles, perhaps not unlike the Roman tunick; and Montfaucon in his Antiq. vol. 3: tells us, that the Babylonians, according to Herodotus, wore two tunicks, one linen, which fell down as low as their feet, and the other woollen, which they wore uppermost; upon there they also wore a Chlanidion, or kind of small cloak. The second word signifies a sort of hat or bonnet, which had for the most part brims or margins, but narrower than those of our modern hats. The third term, according to the versions, must mean their hose or high shoes; but I rather think, with some commentators, a hood or cloak may be intended, that hung down from the head over the shoulders, not unlike the Roman pallium, and of which sort probably was our Saviour's cloak, Joh 19:23 which was woven without seam from top to bottom.—Shaw tells us, that the mountain Arabs or Kabyles, who retain the primitive manners, have a cloak called a Burnoose, which seems to answer to this latter; and they have also an upper garment called Hyke, which may not much disagree with the former: "This last garment (he says) was six yards long, and five or six feet broad, and serves for a complete dress in the day, and for a covering at night." The last word, being a general term for vestments of all sorts, may be supposed to comprehend their under garments, and all that are not recited before. Xenophon has given us an actual exhibition in the person of Cyrus of each of the parts of dress here before us, in his eighth book of the Cyropaedia, p. 460. Edit. Hutch.
Daniel 3:22. Therefore because— And forasmuch as.
Daniel 3:23. And these three men—fell down, &c.— Houbigant inserts between the 23rd and 24th verses two verses which are found in the Vulgate to this purpose: "But an angel of the Lord descended to Azariah and his companions into the furnace, and drove the flame of fire from the furnace, and they walked in the midst of the flame, praising and blessing the Lord." The LXX and Arabic read the beginning of the 24th verse thus; Then Nebuchadnezzar heard them singing praise, and was astonished, &c. The Vulgate and several other of the versions, introduce after the 23rd verse, The Song of the Three Children, found in the Apocrypha, which is not found in the Hebrew.
Daniel 3:25. Is like the Son of God— Rather like a Son of God, or of the gods: in agreement with the Hebrew, LXX, and Syriac; that is to say, "Like a divine and glorious person, sent from the powers above to rescue and deliver these men." For, as Nebuchadnezzar was an idolater, it is scarcely to be conceived that he should know any thing concerning the Son of God, the Messiah, and much less of his form and likeness: whereas all the heathens had a notion, which runs through their theology, of the sons of the deities, as powerful beings sent often to the aid and protection of mankind. But though we can scarcely suppose Nebuchadnezzar to have called, or known this person to have been the Son of God, the promised Redeemer; yet it is extremely probable, (and so the best Jewish, as well as Christian commentators have understood it,) that he was indeed The Son of God, who often appeared in our nature, in a human form, before he assumed that nature for our salvation;—the great angel or messenger of the covenant, who under that character frequently revealed himself to the patriarchs of old: and accordingly in the 28th verse he is called the Angel of God; the messenger sent to deliver these servants of the Lord;—the same who afterwards sent to Daniel to preserve him from the rage of the lions. Moreover we may observe, that as angels are often called sons of God, and as most nations had high ideas of their power, perhaps Nebuchadnezzar might only mean an angel, a celestial delegate; and this seems the more probable from his own words, Daniel 3:28. Blessed be God, who hath sent his angel,—that angel or son of God, whom I saw in the furnace, &c.
Daniel 3:27. The fire had no power— The several expressions here used are meant to shew, that not the least injury was received from the fire. The expressions rise in fine order, and the climax is beautiful. The fire not only had no prevailing power over their bodies, but neither was a hair of their head burnt, nor their flowing robes singed, nor even the smell of fire had passed on them. Compare this with Isaiah 43:2.
Daniel 3:30. Then the king promoted Shadrach, &c.— Or, "Restored them to their former places and dignities," according to the force of the original word. The LXX add at the end of the verse, And he advanced them to be governors over all the Jews who were in his kingdom.
REFLECTIONS.—1st, The king had, as we read in the former chapter, made a noble confession of the glory of Daniel's God; but the conviction is soon forgotten, and his attachment to idolatry prevails: and, as we too often see the dog return to his vomit again,
1. He erects a golden image of immense size, thirty yards high or upwards. At what time, or on what occasion, this was done, is not said.
2. A general summons is sent to all the magistrates, governors, and officers, civil, military, and religious, throughout his vast empire, to attend the dedication of this image; who instantly assembled, ready to obey the king's injunction.
3. A proclamation is made to all the vast assembly of the king's pleasure, that the moment they heard the burst of instruments of music collected on that occasion, to celebrate the praises of their deity, they should unanimously prostrate themselves before him, on penalty, in case of refusal, of being cast into a burning fiery furnace. Thus has the devil prepared every engine to seduce or compel the sinner into his service, both the soft blandishments of sense to allure, and fearful punishments threatened to extort a compliance.
4. All testified a ready submission. No sooner was the signal given than the adoring assembly are prostrate on the plain. When it is dangerous to be singular, and pleasure invites, few will hesitate about the consequences of yielding to the temptation.
2nd, We have,
1. The malicious accusation brought against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, for disobedience to the king's command. Instead of complying with such gross idolatry, they had resolved to endure any torments rather than commit so great a crime. Many had, no doubt, envied their advancement, and gladly embraced this occasion to ruin them. They therefore, with warmest wishes for his prosperity, address the king, as his most faithful and loyal subjects, who had the honour of his government most at heart, remind him of the decree that he had issued, and inform him of the disregard paid to it by these three men; a crime, they insinuate, aggravated by their ingratitude herein shewn for the favours which they had received, in being raised from captives to the highest posts of the state, and which, should they be overlooked in this their contempt of the king's commands, would reflect dishonour on his government, be of the worst consequence to the kingdom, and have a bad influence on the people. Daniel is not mentioned: it should seem he was absent, or too high in the king's favour to be meddled with.
2. The king, exasperated at the information, in a rage commands these men to be seized, and brought into his presence. With fury sparkling in his eyes, and terror in his voice, he demands of them an answer to the accusation, whether it was true; or, as the words may be rendered, Is it of purpose that you have done this, contumaciously, in defiance of my authority and in contempt of my gods? Once more he offers to prove them; if they will now comply to worship the golden image, all shall be well; if not, the furnace is ready, and they shall instantly be cast into the flames, from which he defies their God to save them. A dire alternative! to bow or burn. How thankful ought we to be, that we are not driven to this trying proof of our constancy; and that the fires, once kindled by popish idolaters in this land for the like purpose, are now extinguished!
3. With unshaken fortitude and sedateness of mind, they mildly unite in their reply, not reproaching him as tyrannical, but meekly resigning themselves up to God in the way of duty, and with deliberate courage determined to abide by their resolution, whatever the consequence might be. They seek no evasion, ask for no respite; for, where duty is plain, to deliberate is sinful, and to parley the prelude of compliance with the temptation, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. Carnal reason indeed might have suggested a thousand palliatives to excuse the sin; but, where God's commandment was so express, these gracious souls could not hesitate a moment whether they should obey God or man. They want no time to word their answer. They cannot, dare not, do it. Their lives were dear to them; but death, with all its terrors, cannot shake their steady souls: they are content by faith to commit their lives to his care who gave them, and can preserve them, if he pleases, in the burning fiery furnace, or deliver them from it. However, whether God was pleased miraculously to interpose for them or not, their purpose is fixed; they will not serve his gods nor worship his image. Note; (1.) In the way of duty we must never be careful about consequences. (2.) If we have true faith in God, it will cast out enslaving fear, and enable us in the day of trial to commit our all into his hand, confident that he will support us under our sufferings, or deliver us out of them. (3.) The way to be ready for the severest conflicts is daily to deny ourselves. They who first refused to eat of the king's meat, were now enabled to refuse to worship his gods.
3rdly, An answer so firm, and yet withal so sedate, might have been expected to have wrought some relentings in the tyrant's mind, especially after the confessions that himself had made of the glory of that God to whom they so faithfully adhered: but we see that it was quite otherwise.
1. The monarch, exasperated, with fury in his looks, like a fiend of darkness, as if the furnace should be the emblem of the rage with which his bosom burned, commanded it to be heated seven times hotter than usual; which, if his passion would have admitted of deliberation, he must have seen would be a favour, instead of an aggravation of the punishment, and serve but the sooner to dispatch these martyrs for the truth; but God over-ruled the tyrant's rage, to make his own glory more illustrious in their deliverance. In haste they are hurried to the flames, caught up, as they stood, in their clothes, bound by the mightiest men of Nebuchadnezzar's army, and cast into the fiery furnace; which, being so intensely heated, and the urgency of the king's command hurrying the men who bore them too near the mouth, the flame instantly slew them. A righteous judgment, it should seem, upon them who were the ready instruments of this tyrant's cruelty, and probably the very persons who had lodged the accusation against these children of the Most High. Note; (1.) Could men see their own countenances, when rage foams between their lips and flashes from their eyes, they would startle at themselves as devils in a human form. (2.) Terrible was this furnace: we cannot look into it without horror: yet here a moment would end the martyr's sufferings: but there is a fiercer fire kindled for sinners in hell, which tortures eternally, where death brings no relief, but the smoke of the torment ascendeth for ever and ever, and they have no rest day nor night. (3.) Persecutors of God's people may expect that he will avenge their wrongs.
2. God is pleased astonishingly to interpose for the rescue of his faithful servants. Struck with terror and astonishment at the death of his mighty warriors, the king hastily arose; and how great his surprise, when, in the midst of that furnace where the objects of his rage had fallen bound, he beholds four persons loose, walking unhurt in the midst of the flames! He calls his counsellors, asks them concerning the order for the execution of these men, and they declare it was punctually executed. He looks attentively on the sight: three of the persons are well known to him; the fourth he conceived to be like some heavenly messenger, a son of God; either one of the angelic host, or, which possibly he might have heard from Daniel, that uncreated angel of the covenant the Lord Christ, who had of old so often appeared to his people in a human form. Approaching then the mouth of the furnace, with high respect he now addresses those servants of the most high God whom he had treated so cruelly, and invites them by name to come forth: nor did they delay to obey him; and, to the astonishment of all those princes and governors who surrounded the king, walked out of the midst of the fire, with not a hair singed, nor so much as the smell of fire arising from them or their garments. Note; (1.) The afflictions into which God's faithful people are cast, resemble this furnace: far from being able to hurt them, they only consume the cords of corruption which fettered them, and set them more at liberty to walk with God; and the presence of Jesus in the midst of them not only prevents their trials from being painful, but enables them to count them all joy. (2.) They who are enabled confidently to trust in God, often experience wonderful deliverances. (3.) God will make those proud men, who have persecuted his people, bow at their feet, and know that he hath loved them. (4.) Every saved sinner comes into the presence of the eternal King, as these three worthies, a brand plucked out of the burning.
4thly, Struck with deep conviction by what he had beheld,
1. This mighty monarch adores the power and grace of that glorious God, whose wondrous interposition appeared in the deliverance of these his faithful servants. It now was evident, that no other god could deliver as he had done, and that his care and kindness never deserted those who steadily adhered to him in the hour of trial. Thus can God change the voice even of persecutors, and teach blasphemers to bless and praise.
2. He commends the courage and constancy of these three worthies, who dared contradict a king armed with fury, and, with a noble contempt of life, resolved to cleave to their own God, in the face of a fiery furnace, committing themselves with unshaken confidence into his hands. Note; (1.) A steady adherence to the cause of God and truth will often extort approbation even from enemies, while they who meanly desert their principles will only render themselves despicable even in the eyes of those who seduced them. (2.) When sin or death must be the alternative, we may emphatically say, to die is gain. (3.) They who are enabled to trust God, will assuredly prove true to him.
3. He issues an edict, forbidding, on the severest penalties, any of his subjects to speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. As the Chaldeans had taken the Jews captives, they probably thought and spoke contemptuously and blasphemously of their God; which must have grieved exceedingly the faithful in Babylon: but now, though they are not converts to his worship, they are taught to think highly of his glory; since, by the confession of their king, none of their gods, not even their admired Bel, could deliver after this manner. Note; It is a mercy when the lips of adversaries are sealed up with conviction, though their hearts may be as far as ever from true conversion.
4. He highly promoted these three men in the province of Babylon: so that they received a present reward of their fidelity. For sometimes God gives in this world, to those who dare hazard all for his sake, an hundred fold, and in the world to come life everlasting.