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Daniel 3:11

ESV And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace.
NIV and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace.
NASB But whoever does not fall down and worship shall be thrown into the middle of a furnace of blazing fire.
CSB Whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire.
NLT That decree also states that those who refuse to obey must be thrown into a blazing furnace.
KJV And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

What does Daniel 3:11 mean?

When Nebuchadnezzar's astrologers failed to uncover the secret of his dream, he ordered them all killed (Daniel 2:8–12). Yet Daniel, one of the Hebrew captives, was able to solve the riddle and end the threat (Daniel 2:17–19). In response, the king promoted Daniel and his three Jewish friends to high authority (Daniel 2:48–49). This seems to have made other advisors jealous. They will accuse—with pure malice (Daniel 3:8, 12)—that three of the men refused to worship the king's golden idol (Daniel 3:1–7). The accusers reminded Nebuchadnezzar of the penalty he decreed: being burnt alive.

The world has always included those who don't merely want to punish God's people, but to wipe them from the face of the earth. Hebrews chapter 11 mentions believers who were killed for their faith. They were "stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword" (Hebrews 11:37). The Devil who opposes God and God's people lurks behind vicious persecutors. When the risen Lord addressed the church in Smyrna, He predicted, "Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10).

An earlier verse noted that the men's accusation was malicious and slanderous (Daniel 3:8). Their intent was not honorable, regardless of whether it was true. In fact, their claim may have been invented: they may have had no idea whether the Jews worshipped the statue, but simply wanted to bully them. And yet, the accused Hebrews will openly refuse to bow to a pagan idol (Daniel 3:16–18).
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