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Daniel 3:23

ESV And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.
NIV and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
NASB But these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell into the middle of the furnace of blazing fire still tied up.
CSB And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fell, bound, into the furnace of blazing fire.
NLT So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames.
KJV And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

What does Daniel 3:23 mean?

These three men are captive Israelites (Daniel 1:6–7), promoted to high office (Daniel 2:48–49), who refused to obey the king's command to commit idolatry (Daniel 3:16–18). In a rage, the king demanded they be tied up and immediately thrown into a superheated fire (Daniel 3:19–21). The furnace was so hot that it killed the men sent to throw the Hebrews into the flames (Daniel 3:22). Nebuchadnezzar has fulfilled his threat against those who refused to worship his golden image (Daniel 3:1–7). Yet God would soon fulfill His will in the lives of His three faithful servants.

Nebuchadnezzar's era used kilns to process limestone into quicklime: a cheap and useful chemical. A large kiln, or "furnace," might be made of earth or brick, with a large opening at the top and a smaller port on the side. Lime and fuel would be layered from the top, and the shape of the kiln would allow airflow to maintain the fire. That the three Hebrew men "fell into" the fire likely means they were dragged to the top of the kiln and pushed into the open hole. This might also explain why the executioners died: if the furnace was drastically overheated, even the brick might have been dangerous to touch.

This verse repeats nearly the same information found in an earlier verse (Daniel 3:21). Much of Daniel chapter 3 features repetitive phrases. This includes a list of instruments (Daniel 3:5, 7, 10, 15), the execution device (Daniel 3:6, 11, 15, 17, 20, 21, 26) and around a dozen duplications of the phrase "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego." This not only adds poetic flair, but it also mocks the heavy-handed, overbearing nature of Nebuchadnezzar's reign.
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