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Daniel 3:25

ESV He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”
NIV He said, 'Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.'
NASB He responded, 'Look! I see four men untied and walking about in the middle of the fire unharmed, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!'
CSB He exclaimed, "Look! I see four men, not tied, walking around in the fire unharmed; and the fourth looks like a son of the gods."
NLT Look!' Nebuchadnezzar shouted. 'I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god !'
KJV He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

What does Daniel 3:25 mean?

Babylon's king, Nebuchadnezzar, hatefully ordered that three men (Daniel 1:6–7) who defied his command to worship an idol (Daniel 3:1–7, 12) be tied up and thrown into a superheated furnace (Daniel 3:19–23). Some commentators suggest that what he sees now was a spiritual vision, implying that the king was reacting to spiritual insight, rather than looking into the flames. And yet, his words and actions suggest he was indeed watching, probably out of the same spite that caused him to order the execution (Daniel 3:24).

This fire is probably part of a "furnace," or an ancient lime kiln, which had openings on both the top and the side. Through the lower gap, the king perhaps expected to see the remains of three Hebrew captives. Instead, he sees four figures, untied, and moving. Hebrews 11:34 alludes to this miracle by remarking that by faith believers "quenched the power of fire." The word "quenched" as used in those contexts most literally means "made ineffective." The fire was not extinguished, but it had no power over the men inside.

One of the four figures is described as "like a son of the gods." It's possible this was a preincarnate appearance of Jesus, or it may have simply been an angelic being such as Michael the Archangel (Daniel 10:13; 12:1). Some translations suggest Nebuchadnezzar referred to this person as "like the Son of God." This would be an incredibly precise reference to Jesus. However, the pagan king had no knowledge of Hebrew prophecy, nor a worldview including God the Son as described by the Bible. Rather, what the king saw was a fourth figure of unmistakably supernatural power.

Before their ordeal, the three Hebrew men confidently told the king they would not worship his idol. They were confident that God could save them, despite Nebuchadnezzar's arrogance (Daniel 3:15). They were prepared to die for their faith, knowing God was not obligated to rescue them, but trusting that the Lord would do what was best (Daniel 3:16–18). Here, their faith is validated.
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