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Daniel 3:4

ESV And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages,
NIV Then the herald loudly proclaimed, 'Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do:
NASB Then the herald loudly proclaimed: 'To you the command is given, you peoples, nations, and populations of all languages,
CSB A herald loudly proclaimed, "People of every nation and language, you are commanded:
NLT Then a herald shouted out, 'People of all races and nations and languages, listen to the king’s command!
KJV Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,

What does Daniel 3:4 mean?

King Nebuchadnezzar learned that his dream (Daniel 2:1–3) included a representation of Babylon as a golden head (Daniel 2:36–38). Perhaps out of pride, or to reiterate his commitment to Babylonian religion, he has ordered construction of a large golden idol (Daniel 3:1–3). Officials from all over the kingdom have been summoned; they will be ordered to bow before this object on command. The signal for worship will be the sound of many instruments (Daniel 3:5).

The purpose of this meeting, and the idol, is to prove that Babylon rules over all the entire middle east. So, the king's command is directed, poetically, at "peoples, nations, and languages." A similar meaning is contained in the use of a long list of musical objects in the following verse. The instruments themselves come from a wide variety of ancient middle eastern regions and cultures.

A "herald" in the ancient world served something of the same role as a modern broadcaster or spokesman. He would announce important news and events in a public place so many people would hear him. Heralds were fast runners and loud talkers. The apostle Paul might be considered a herald because he proclaimed the gospel clearly wherever he went (see Acts 20:25; 1 Thessalonians 2:9). Today, Christians act as heralds by proclaiming the gospel to others (Romans 10:14–15).

Nebuchadnezzar set up his image at the beginning of what is often called "the times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24). The false prophet of Revelation chapter 13 will set up the image to the beast at the completion of this era, in the end times. Both Nebuchadnezzar and the false prophet of the tribulation period demand that everyone worship their image. The worship of Nebuchadnezzar's image was not optional (Daniel 3:6).
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