What does Daniel 3:12 mean?
ESV: There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
NIV: But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon--Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego--who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.'
NASB: There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods, nor do they worship the golden statue which you have set up.'
CSB: There are some Jews you have appointed to manage the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men have ignored you, the king; they do not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up."
NLT: But there are some Jews — Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego — whom you have put in charge of the province of Babylon. They pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They refuse to serve your gods and do not worship the gold statue you have set up.'
KJV: There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
NKJV: There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Verse Commentary:
King Nebuchadnezzar nearly executed all his advisors over a disturbing dream (Daniel 2:8–12). One of the Hebrew captives, Daniel, was given a vision from God which solved the mystery (Daniel 2:17–19). In response, the king elevated the four Jewish men to positions of power (Daniel 2:48–49). This likely made others in the court jealous. Later, Nebuchadnezzar ordered all people to worship his new golden idol (Daniel 3:1–7). The bitter Chaldeans—astrologers from Babylon—used this opportunity to harass the Israelite men (Daniel 3:8–11). Satan was certainly behind the Chaldeans' accusation. Revelation 12:10 identifies the Devil as "the accuser of our brothers," and describes him as accusing them "day and night before God."

These critics accused the three men of failing to serve Nebuchadnezzar's gods and refusing to worship his golden image. In that culture, it was common to believe in many gods. Few people would have been offended at the command to honor one more idol. Nebuchadnezzar's command was probably more a matter of politics, and egotism, than religious piety. Yet the Hebrews believed in the One True God and refused to worship false deities (Exodus 20:3–6).

It is noteworthy that this accusation targets only three men. No mention is made of Daniel, who was notably pious about his faith (Daniel 1:8–16). It's feasible to think he was not accused because the Chaldeans thought he was too powerful, or too popular with the king. It's also possible he was away on official business when the idol was to be worshipped. Then again, the men who make this claim do so out of pure malice (Daniel 3:8). It may have been they simply wanted to harass the Jews, and didn't know that they had, in fact, disobeyed the order.

Also not mentioned are any of the other Jewish captives brought from Judah (Daniel 1:1–5). Perhaps many disobeyed, yet avoided being accused because they were unimportant, or unnoticed. Or, they may have compromised their traditional faith to avoid punishment. Scripture does not say which was the case.
Verse Context:
Daniel 3:8–18 records an accusation, a confrontation, and a confession. Daniel's three friends (Daniel 1:6–7) are reported to the king by jealous advisors who claim the Jewish men refused to worship Nebuchadnezzar's golden image (Daniel 3:1, 4–5). The king offers them an opportunity to disprove the charge, or at least to change their minds. Instead, the three faithful men admit they have not and will not compromise their faith in the One True God. Whether they live or die, they will not worship the false gods of Babylon. This passage is part of the Scriptures recorded in Aramaic (Daniel 2:4—7:28).
Chapter Summary:
Nebuchadnezzar builds a golden idol, possibly inspired by the explanation of his own dream (Daniel 2:36–38). He commands all people to worship it, at a given musical signal, on pain of death. Three Hebrew men openly defy this command and are thrown into a superheated furnace. To his shock, the king sees a supernatural figure with the still-living Israelites. Not only do they survive, but their clothes aren't singed nor even smelling like smoke. The king praises their faith, and their God, commanding that no one speak ill of the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Chapter Context:
The first chapter of Daniel explained how four captive Israelite boys became respected advisors to a Babylonian king. Chapter 2 showed these men praying for divine wisdom to untangle that same king's dream. These events set the stage for this chapter and the famous trio of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The men refuse to bow to an idol and are rescued from fiery death by God. This is the last mention of these men in Scripture, as focus shifts back to Babylon's kings and the prophet Daniel.
Book Summary:
The book of Daniel contains famous Old Testament stories and prophecies. Daniel was taken from the Israelite people and made an advisor for a conquering empire. He demonstrates faithfulness and wisdom during many years serving in this role. Though Daniel does not deliver a public message, Jesus refers to him as a "prophet" (Matthew 24:15). The first portion of the book mostly describes Daniel's interpretations of dreams and other events. The second portion looks ahead to the end times. Daniel is classified in English Bibles as a "major" prophet, meaning the book is relatively long and the content has broad implications. The book of Revelation echoes and expands on many of the same themes.
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