Daniel 3:19 Index
"Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated."
Research Material

"...the form of his visage was changed..."

  • Nebuchadnezzar was not entirely free from the faults and follies into which an absolute monarch so easily runs. Intoxicated with unlimited power, he could not brook disobedience or contradiction. Let his expressed authority be resisted on however good grounds, and he exhibits the weakness common to our fallen humanity under like circumstances, and flies into a passion of rage. Ruler of the world, he was not equal to that still harder task of ruling his own spirit. Even the form of his visage was changed. Instead of the calm, dignified, self-possessed ruler that he should have appeared, he betrayed himself in look and act as the slave of ungovernable passion. (US 74)
  • When the king saw that his will was not received as the will of God, he was “full of fury,” and the form of his visage was changed against these men. Satanic attributes made his countenance appear as the countenance of a demon; and with all the force he could command, he ordered that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than its wont, and commanded the most mighty men to bind the youth, and cast them into the furnace. He felt that it required more than ordinary power to deal with these noble men. His mind was strongly impressed that something unusual would interpose in their behalf, and his strongest men were ordered to deal with them. (The Signs of the Times article "God's Care for His Children" May 6, 1897)
  • It is a fearful thing for any soul to place himself on Satan's side of the question; for as soon as he does this, a change passes over him, as it is said of the king of Babylon, that his visage changed toward the three faithful Hebrews. Past history will be repeated. Men will reject the Holy Spirit's working, and open the door of the mind to Satanic attributes that separate them from God. They will turn against the very messengers through whom God sends the messages of warning. (STE 212)

"...should heat the furnace one seven times more..."

  • The increased heat in the furnace was probably produced by an extraordinary supply of chaff and crude oil. The oil would be obtained from the many open oil wells of Mesopotamia, which, from ancient times, have lavishly furnished this product, and with which modern brick kilns in the area are fired. The purpose of this extraordinary command was probably not to increase the punishment. An increase of heat in the furnace would not have increased the torture of the victims. The king intended to forestall any possible intervention. (4BC 784)
  • The king was angry. His proud spirit could not tolerate this refusal to obey his decree. He ordered that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual, and that the most mighty men of his army bind these three Hebrews and throw them into the fire. This was done, but God in this act began to vindicate His faithful children. The furnace was so exceedingly hot that the mighty men who cast the Hebrews into the fire were themselves destroyed by the intense heat. (SNH 49)
  • The furnace was heated seven times hotter than usual; in other words, to its utmost capacity. The king overreached himself in this for even if the superheated furnace had the expected effect upon the ones he cast into it, the victims would only have been destroyed the sooner. The king would have gained nothing by his fury. But seeing they were delivered from it, much was gained on the part of the cause of God and His truth; for the more intense the heat, the greater and more impressive the miracle when the young men were delivered form it. (US 74)
  • The king's wrath knew no limits. In the very height of his power and glory, to be thus defied by the representatives of a despised and captive race was an insult which his proud spirit could not endure. The fiery furnace had been heated seven times more than it was wont, and into it were cast the Hebrew exiles. So furious were the flames, that the men who cast them in were burned to death. (SL 38)
  • The last resort of the king of Babylon was force, and he put his terrible threat into execution. Filled with fury against these men for thus defying him, he commanded that the furnace should be heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated. (The Signs of the Times article "A Lesson from the Three Hebrew Children" September 2, 1897)