Decoding Daniel - an in depth Bible study of the book of Daniel

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Daniel 3

Outline and Background

The Creation - Daniel 3:1

The Ceremony and the Command - Daniel 3:2-7

The Conspiracy and the Coercion - Daniel 3:8-15

The Courage - Daniel 3:16-18

The Coolness - Daniel 3:19-27

The Confession - Daniel 3:28

The Canon and the Commission - Daniel 3:29-30

Application and Typical Prophecies

Outline and Background - Daniel 3

Outline of Chapter Three

The Creation, 1
The Ceremony, 2-3
The Command, 4-7
The Conspiracy, 8-12
The Coercion, 13-15
The Courage, 16-18
The Coolness, 19-27
The Confession, 28
The Canon, 29
The Commission, 30


Background of Chapter Three

The Greek Septuagint of the Old Testament (LXX), translated around the third century B.C., places chapter three in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, which corresponds with his final siege of Jerusalem during the years of 587-586 B.C.

The key word of chapter three is “worship,” occurring ten times (5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 28). Worship is not incidental; it is fundamental in the events of this chapter. Here state and religion merge, with terrifying results.

At verse 23, the Septuagint (LXX) inserts sixty-eight extra verses, which are understood to be apocryphal. This appendix includes: (1) a prayer of Azariah; (2) an added heating of the furnace followed by the Angel of the LORD putting out the fire; (3) and a song of praise by the three Jews for their deliverance.

At the time of this chapter, Nebuchadnezzar had hardened his own heart towards Yahweh, but God responded differently to the Babylonian king than He did to the Egyptian Pharaoh, whose heart He hardened (Exodus 8:32; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:8). Yahweh was determined to
reveal to this pagan monarch that He is the God of heaven.

Chapter 1 teaches the king: there is a God in heaven, who makes four teenagers physically and mentally superior.

Chapter 2 teaches the king: there is a God in heaven, who gives dreams and reveals their interpretations, and controls history.

Chapter 3 teaches the king: there is a God in heaven, who works miracles on behalf of His people who obey God rather than men.

Moreover, God’s dealings with Nebuchadnezzar affected Daniel and his three friends.

Chapter 1 involves the test of the unclean foods.

Chapter 2 involves the test of the unfair decree.

Chapter 3 involves the test of bow or burn.

In the first three chapters, it becomes obvious that God works for good in diverse ways in the very same events. While God used these events to test the youths, He also used these events to forecast the future.

In these chapters, Yahweh interacts in the affairs of men for His glory without violating man’s free will. Of their own free will, Daniel and His friends made God-centered choices, which resulted in Yahweh acting on their behalf, and their being elevated to high positions in accordance with God’s purposes. This is the best way to understand the sovereignty of

Bible Studies by Bob Conway

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