Lesson 3 w/AnswersDaniel 3
We continue our study of Daniel with a look at Daniel Chapter 3 and an example of what it means to have complete faith in God. In our last lesson, we saw Daniel put his complete trust in God so that he could interpret the dream of Nebuchadnezzar. In lesson, his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego demonstrate their faith in God.
Read Daniel 3:1-30, and consider the following:
- Following Daniel’s prophetic interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, which had a statue with a head of gold, the King actually builds an image of gold and requires that it be worshipped by all. What was the size of this image in feet?
- ANSWER: It was ninety feet high and nine feet wide.
- Given the above dimensions, what did the image likely look like?
- ANSWER 1: It probably looked like something along the lines of an Egyptian obelisk; as it was very tall, roughly the height of an eight-story building, but very slender at only nine feet wide. It may have displayed all of the Babylonian conquests, depicting just how great both the Babylonian empire and its glorified king were.
- ANSWER 2: Since we are not told exactly what it looked like, it could have been a statue of the King placed high atop a pedestal as well.
- Where was the image set up?
- ANSWER: The scripture passage in Daniel tells us that it was set up on the "plain of Dura". It is speculated that this was a location close to the city of Babylon.
- The King ordered eight classes of officials to attend the dedication. What positions did each of these eight classes hold within the empire?
- ANSWER 1: Satraps – the chief representatives of the king
- ANSWER 2: Prefects – the military commanders
- ANSWER 3: Governors – the civil administrators
- ANSWER 4: Advisers – the counselors to those in governmental authority
- ANSWER 5: Treasurers – the administrators of the funds of the kingdom
- ANSWER 6: Judges – the administrators of the law
- ANSWER 7: Magistrates – those who passed judgment in keeping the law; they administered the sentences from the Judges
- ANSWER 8: Other provincial officials – these were probably subordinates of the Satraps, or were cabinet-type chairmen
- What can we infer about King Nebuchadnezzar from his command to "fall down and worship the image"?
- ANSWER: This indicates that the king didn’t just want their allegiance, but he wanted to be worshipped as well, setting himself up as both a political and a religious leader.
- What is described in Daniel 3:8? Why was it specifically cited that the three who did not fall down and worship were "the Jews"?
- ANSWER: The Jews were held in low regard, being recent captives brought to Babylon, and the astrologers were obviously jealous and trying to indicate to the the king that they had bowed down, but "the Jews" had not.
- Did Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego understand the importance of what the king wanted them to do, and what would happen if they did not do it? (see Dan. 3:13-15)
- ANSWER: Yes, they surely understood the consequences. Nebuchadnezzar made it clear to them, in-person and face-to-face.
- What was Nebuchadnezzar quoted as saying in Daniel: 3:15 which indicates he thought that he was above all the gods, including the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?
- ANSWER: Even after witnessing all that God did through Daniel in Chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar asks Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego "What god will be able to rescue you from my hand?".
- What was the response of the three to Nebuchadnezzar?
- ANSWER: They knew that God would save them; but even if He allowed the fire to take their lives, they were willing to die to demonstrate their faith in God. How awesome, what a statement of faith!
- Nebuchadnezzar ordered that the fire be fed and stoked to a temperature seven times hotter then normal. Why do you suppose that he ordered it to be that hot?
- ANSWER: He wanted their deaths to be instant and immediate, in order to reinforce his order to the rest of the crowd. He did not want to risk a slow, painful death, drawn out over time in the temperature of a normal furnace heat.
- What happened to the men who threw them into the fire, and what happened to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?
- ANSWER: The fire was so hot that even getting close to it brought death to the guards; but in spite of the intense heat, nothing happened to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. In fact, nothing happened to their clothing, their hair, not one thing around them, and not even the smell of smoke was attached to them.
- How many men did the King see walking around in the fire?
- ANSWER: He saw four, one of which he referred to as "a son of the gods". This was the pre-incarnate Christ. He then called Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego "servants of the Most High God", but he himself never acknowledged God as the one and only God.
- King Nebuchadnezzar himself proclaimed the gospel, but never actually accepted God as his God. What is Nebuchadnezzar quoted as saying in Daniel 3:29?
- ANSWER: The king asserted that "no other god can save in this way".
So just as with Abraham, who was asked to sacrifice his only son, so too these three, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego remained strong in their faith in God, not hesitant in the face of certain death. Correspondingly, the Bible tells us that " What is impossible with men is possible with God." (Luke 18:27) We see how remarkable their faith was, and we see that truly nothing is impossible with God.
Thanks again for studying with us. Have a great week everyone!