Daniel 3:6 Index
"And whoso falleth not down and worshipped shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace."
Research Material

"...whoso falleth not down..."

  • The king and his counselors, apparently expecting instances of refusal, threatened with the most cruel punishment any who refused to obey the command. Exclusive of the Jews, whose religious convictions prohibited their bowing down before any image (Exodus 20:5), ancient peoples did not object to worshipping idols. Hence the refusal to bow down before Nebuchadnezzar's image would be regarded as proof of hostility toward Nebuchadnezzar and his government. (4BC 782)
  • “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:14). And this whole chapter will, if the heart is receptive, be as precious a lesson as we can learn. To bow down when in prayer to God is the proper attitude to occupy. This act of worship was required of the three Hebrew captives in Babylon.... But such an act was homage to be rendered to God alone—the Sovereign of the world, the Ruler of the universe; and these three Hebrews refused to give such honor to any idol even though composed of pure gold. In doing so, they would, to all intents and purposes, be bowing to the king of Babylon. Refusing to do as the king had commanded, they suffered the penalty, and were cast into the burning fiery furnace. But Christ came in person and walked with them through the fire, and they received no harm.... Both in public and private worship it is our duty to bow down upon our knees before God when we offer our petitions to Him. This act shows our dependence upon God. (2SM 312)
  • Today, as in the days of Babylon, the accuser of the brethren is working through human agencies to hurt and destroy those who are dear to the Lord. Men in power do not realize that they can not in justice control the minds of their fellow-men, and Satan works through them to corrupt right dealing. Those who try to keep the commandments of God, will meet with much opposition. Satanic attributes will take possession of the hearts of men, making them as hard as steel; and all who depart from evil will make themselves a prey to the hatred of those that refuse to obey the law of God.... But when the State forms laws directly opposed to the laws of Jehovah, and thus strives to compel men to obey them, it is following the example set by the king of Babylon. When it takes the guardianship of the religious interests of the nation, a spirit of intolerance is manifested if men seek to practise the truth, which, by earnest study, they have found in God's Word. Those who are actuated by such a spirit of oppression can not understand what religious liberty means.... Every man has a right to worship God according to his own convictions; no one is called upon to obey laws that are opposed to the laws of God; and the only position the State can take, and have the approval of God, is to guard the rights of every individual, permitting no oppression to come upon any one because of religious belief. (The Signs of the Times article "We Ought to Obey God Rather than Men" May 13, 1897)
  • Through the apostles, God gave the Jewish people a last opportunity to repent. But they turned away from every entreaty. In the arrest, the trial, and the imprisonment of his witnesses, God manifested himself. He gave them words to speak, and a tongue and voice with which to vindicate the truth and acknowledge him as the Son of God. They were men of whom the world was not worthy, yet their judges pronounced on them the death sentence. They were not allowed to live and serve their God. By killing them, the Jews crucified afresh the Son of God.... So it will be again. But it is over the seventh-day Sabbath that the battle will be fought. The authorities of this world will rise up in their pride and power to make laws to restrict religious liberty. They will assume a right that is God's alone, and, like Nebuchadnezzar, will think that they can force the conscience, which only God can control. Even now they are making a beginning, and this they will carry forward till they reach a boundary over which they can not step. Then God will interpose in behalf of his loyal, commandment-keeping people. (The Review and Herald article "Words of Warning - No.2" December 20, 1898)
  • This scheme, devised in the counsel of Satan, was made in order to compel the three Hebrew children to obey human laws in direct opposition to the laws of Jehovah. The most learned of the nation, men who were noted for their aptness and educational advantages, thus worked to form a confederacy that would exalt the king of Babylon and excite enmity against the Hebrew captives. They prevailed upon the king to enact certain laws which these youth could not consent to respect. (The Signs of the Times article "A Lesson from the Three Hebrew Children" September 2, 1897)

"...fiery furnace."

  • The fiery furnace was probably a brick kiln... These kilns are ordinarily cone-shaped structures build of bricks. The unbaked bricks to be fired line the inner walls. an opening on one side of the wall permits fuel to be thrown into the interior. Fuel consists of a mixture of crude oil and chaff. A tremendous heat is thus produced, and through the opening the observer can see the fired bricks heated to a white glow. (4BC 782-783)
  • While it was in harmony with worldly government, it was not, however, according to the principles of the heavenly government. Hence it is that again, in the person of the Babylonian king, Satan is challenging the government of God. When Lucifer and his angels refused to bow before the throne of God, the Father did not then destroy them. They were permitted to live until death should come as a result of the course they pursued. The Babylonian king, however, threatened utter destruction to all who refused to worship his golden image. The motive power in the heavenly government is love; human power, when exercised, becomes tyranny. All tyranny is a repetition of the Babylonian principles. We sometimes call it papal; it is likewise Babylonian. When the civil power enforces worship of any sort, be that worship true or false in itself, to obey is idolatry. The command must be backed by some form of punishment, -- a fiery furnace, -- and conscience of man is no longer free. From a civil standpoint, such legislation is tyranny; looked at from a religious point of view, it is persecution. (SNH 45-46)
  • The dedication of this image was made a great occasion, for the chief men of the kingdom were called together. To such pains and expense will men go in sustaining idolatrous and heathen systems of worship. Alas, that those who have the true religion should be so far outdone in these respects by the upholders of the false and counterfeit! The worship was accompanied with music; and whoever failed to participate therein was threatened with being thrown into a fiery furnace. Such are ever the strongest motives in impel men in any direction -- pleasure on the one hand, pain on the other. (US 71-72)
  • An idol sabbath has been set up, as the golden image was set up in the plains of Dura. And as Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, issued a decree that all who would not bow down and worship this image should be killed, so a proclamation will be made that all who will not reverence the Sunday institution will be punished with imprisonment and death. Thus the Sabbath of the Lord is trampled underfoot. But the Lord has declared, “Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and write grievousness which they have prescribed” [Isaiah 10:1]. [Zephaniah 1:14-182:1-3] (14MR 91)
  • The vainglory and oppression seen in the course pursued by the heathen king, Nebuchadnezzar, is being and will continue to be manifested in our day. History will repeat itself. In this age the test will be on the point of Sabbath observance. The heavenly universe behold men trampling upon the law of Jehovah, making the memorial of God, the sign between him and his commandment-keeping people, a thing of naught, something to be despised, while a rival sabbath is exalted as was the great golden image in the plain of Dura. Men claiming to be Christians will call upon the world to observe this spurious sabbath that they have made. All who refuse will be placed under oppressive laws. This is the mystery of iniquity, the devising of satanic agencies, carried into effect by the man of sin. (The Youth's Instructor article "The Life of Daniel - The Sabbath Test" July 12, 1904)