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Verses 8-12

Daniel 3:8-12. At that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews It is not improbable that these Chaldeans were such as envied these friends of Daniel their preferments, having perhaps themselves expected the places to which they had been advanced. They spake and said, O king, live for ever They approached the king with a great show of loyalty, and concern for his life, honour, and interest. Thou, O king, hast made a decree, &c. They put him in mind of the law he had lately made, that all manner of persons, without exception, should fall down and worship his golden image: they put him in mind also of the penalty which was to be inflicted upon recusants. There are certain Jews, &c. It is likely that Nebuchadnezzar had no particular design to insnare Shadrach and his companions in making this law; for then he would himself have had his eye upon them, and would not have needed this information; but their enemies, who sought an occasion against them, laid hold on this, and were forward to accuse them. To aggravate the matter, and incense the king more against them, they, 1st, Put him in mind of the dignity to which the criminals had been preferred; that though they were Jews, foreigners, captives, and men of a despised nation and religion, yet the king had set them over the affairs of the province of Babylon It was, therefore, they suggested, very ungrateful, and an insufferable piece of insolence in them, to disobey the king’s command, who had shared so much of the king’s favour. And, besides, the high station they were in would give their refusal the greater influence, and render it of the worse consequence. 2d, They suggest, that it was done maliciously, contumaciously, and in contempt of him and his authority. These men, say they, have not regarded thee, they serve not thy gods, &c. Thus princes, who are wont to be incensed enough against innocent people, seldom want those about them who do all they can to excite them to greater wrath. If it be asked here, Where was Daniel on this occasion? It may be answered, He was probably absent, either because the king’s business called him elsewhere, or because he had leave of absence from the king; unless we suppose that he stood so high in the king’s favour that none durst complain of him for his non-compliance. But why did not his companions keep out of the way? Surely, because they would obey the king’s orders as far as they could conscientiously, and wished to be present to bear a public testimony against this gross idolatry. God also, no doubt, inclined them to attend, that they might glorify him by a noble confession, made in face of the most extreme danger; and that he might honour and reward them, by a most extraordinary and wonderful deliverance.

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