Daniel 3:15
Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) Well.—The word is not in the Chaldee, where an aposiopesis is to be observed, as in Exodus 32:32. Comp. Luke 13:9.

Who is that God?—Nebuchadnezzar has so little belief in his own gods that he ranks himself as far above them as above Jehovah. He defies all supernatural powers. Very different is the boast of Sennacherib (Isaiah 36:18-20), who pits his own god Assur against Jehovah.

3:8-18 True devotion calms the spirit, quiets and softens it, but superstition and devotion to false gods inflame men's passions. The matter is put into a little compass, Turn, or burn. Proud men are still ready to say, as Nebuchadnezzar, Who is the Lord, that I should fear his power? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not hesitate whether they should comply or not. Life or death were not to be considered. Those that would avoid sin, must not parley with temptation when that to which we are allured or affrighted is manifestly evil. Stand not to pause about it, but say, as Christ did, Get thee behind me, Satan. They did not contrive an evasive answer, when a direct answer was expected. Those who make their duty their main care, need not be anxious or fearful concerning the event. The faithful servants of God find him able to control and overrule all the powers armed against them. Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst. If He be for us, we need not fear what man can do unto us. God will deliver us, either from death or in death. They must obey God rather than man; they must rather suffer than sin; and must not do evil that good may come. Therefore none of these things moved them. The saving them from sinful compliance, was as great a miracle in the kingdom of grace, as the saving them out of the fiery furnace was in the kingdom of nature. Fear of man and love of the world, especially want of faith, make men yield to temptation, while a firm persuasion of the truth will deliver them from denying Christ, or being ashamed of him. We are to be meek in our replies, but we must be decided that we will obey God rather than man.Now, if ye be ready, that at what time ... - At the very time; on the very instant. It would seem probable from this that the ceremonies of the consecration of the image were prolonged for a considerable period, so that there was still an opportunity for them to unite in the service if they would. The supposition that such services would be continued through several days is altogether probable, and accords with what was usual on festival occasions. It is remarkable that the king was willing to give them another trial, to see whether they were disposed or not to worship the golden image. To this he might have been led by the apprehension that they had not understood the order, or that they had not duly considered the subject; and possibly by respect for them as faithful officers, and for their countryman Daniel. There seems, moreover, to have been in the bosom of this monarch, with all his pride and passion, a readiness to do justice, and to furnish an opportunity of a fair trial before he proceeded to extremities. See Daniel 2:16, Daniel 2:26, Daniel 2:46-47,

And who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? - That is, he either supposed that the God whom they worshipped would not be "able" to deliver them, or that he would not be "disposed" to do it. It was a boast of Sennacherib, when he warred against the Jews, that none of the gods of the nations which he had conquered had been able to rescue the lands over which they presided, and he argued from these premises that the God whom the Hebrews worshipped would not be able to defend their country: "Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath, and of Arphad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?" Isaiah 36:18-20. Nebuchadnezzar seems to have reasoned in a similar manner, and with a degree of vain boasting that strongly resembled this, calling their attention to the certain destruction which awaited them if they did not comply with his demand.

15. who is that God—so Sennacherib's taunt (2Ki 18:35), and Pharaoh's (Ex 5:2). Prodigious pride and blasphemy! for he doth not only insult over all gods in general, but particularly against the only true God, whom he lately confessed, Daniel 2:47, to be

a God of gods, and a Lord of kings. So the king of Assyria, 2 Kings 18:30,33. Thus all the tyrants of the East, Turk, Mogul, Kham, whose very titles are blasphemy. It is a wonder why these men worship any god, seeing they set up themselves above all. Reason of state makes them set up somewhat to keep the people in awe; they themselves are exempt, and care for none. The root of Nebuchadnezzar’s arrogance lay chiefly here, he had burnt the temple of the Jews’ God, and made slaves of his people, and he did not deliver either, and therefore thought he could not; and so presumes the same now; but God will make him quickly of another mind.

Now if ye be ready that at what time ye shall hear,.... The meaning is, that if they were disposed in mind, which the king was very desirous they should, both for his own honour, and for their safety, for whom he had a regard; and were willing to comply with his orders, and readily yield obedience to his will, and worship his idol; the following would be a signal to them, and all would be well with them: or it may be rendered, "when now ye shall be, that at what time ye shall hear" (q); for the word signifies future, as well as "ready", and is by some so translated; and the sense is, when it shall be, or for the future, that they should hear

the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music; which was played not once only, but perhaps at certain times every day, and designed to be continued:

ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; it is well; so doing the king's wrath would be appeased, their lives would be preserved, and they continued in his favour, and in their honourable posts:

but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; immediately, without any delay; no reprieve will be granted, and much less a pardon:

and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? he knew their confidence in the God of Israel, which he attempts to break and remove; he foresaw the objection they would make, which he endeavours to anticipate by this proud and vain boast, forgetting what he himself had said, Daniel 2:47.

(q) "si futuri estis", Gejerus.

{f} Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

(f) Signifying that he would receive them to grace if they would now obey his decree.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer] trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe.

well] an aposiopesis, as e.g. Genesis 30:27, Exodus 32:32, Luke 13:9; Il. i. 135 f. (von Lengerke).

who is the God] The sense is not appreciably affected; but ‘that’ is not philologically correct (comp. on Daniel 2:38). The question is a defiant challenge, like those of Sennacherib, and the Rab-shakeh, Isaiah 36:19 f., Isaiah 37:11 f.

Verse 15. - Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be east the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? The differences between the Septuagint and the Massoretic text are not great. The last clause is rendered," but if not, know." It inserts the epithet "golden" after "image." The insertion of "know ye" makes the sentence run more easily, but it is not to be accepted. Here, as before, "midst" is omitted. Theodotion is very close to the Massoretic, but agrees with the Septuagint in its omission of "midst" and its insertion of "golden." The Peshitta is in yet closer agreement with the Massoretic text, save in regard to the musical instruments - p'santerin, as in the other cases, being omitted. It seems clear from this that the festival of the dedication of this new idol of the Babylonian king occupied several days. Nebuchadnezzar, willing to save those Jews, is ready to condone their first failure to obey his command if, probably at the sunrise of the following day, they were willing when they heard the sound of the musical instruments to fall down and worship this golden image which he had set up to the honour of his god. The latter clause does not seem in perfect harmony with the tone of the earlier part of the verse. There has been no reference in the conversation as reported to any other god to explain Nebuchadnezzar's demand, "Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?" Moreover, there is in the beginning a desire apparent to give these Jewish officials a way of escape, but in the last clause there is contempt as well as anger expressed. The fact is that while the simple structure of Shemitic lends itself to direct narration, the reader is not to suppose that, though speeches are reported in the oratio recta, they any more record or claim to record the ipsissima verba than if the speeches had been recorded in the oratio obliqua of more Western tongues. The presumption is that merely the main heads of the conversation are recorded. These very jolts and leaps are in themselves indirect evidences of the truth of the document with which we have to do. It would have been easy to insert a question and answer to bridge over the hiatus. Only one recording facts would be regardless of this. The attitude of mind expressed by these last words of Nebuchadnezzar are natural to a heathen, and especially to monarchs of the Assyrian type. Sennacherib's words of defiance (2 Kings 18:33) are quite in the same line, "Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the King of Assyria?" The capture of Jerusalem by his arms was regarded by Nebuchadnezzar as a demonstration that the God of Israel was inferior to the gods of Babylonia. To Nebuchadnezzar this belief would not in the slightest degree contradict his previous declaration (Daniel 2:47), that this same God was "a God of gods, and a Lord of kings." He might be great as a Revealer of secrets, but not in might to deliver - in that he was clearly inferior to the gods of Babylon, as the events of recent campaigns had abundantly proved. It is this declaration, with the idea behind it of the ]imitation of Jehovah, that gives the event narrated in this chapter its importance. Excursus on the Musical Instruments in this Chapter. The names of the musical instruments which occur in the fifth, seventh, tenth, and fifteenth verses of this chapter are supposed to afford a demonstrative proof of the late date of Daniel. Thus Canon Driver, by no means an extreme critic, declares that, while "the Hebrew and Aramaic permit" a late date, these Greek words "demand" that the date of Daniel be placed as late as the period of the Syrian power. The words in question are - qathros, pesanterin, sum-phonya. The first of these, קַתְרוס (qath'ros), appears to be transferred from the Greek κίθαρις (κιθὰρα), from its resemblance to the older form, κίθαρις, which occurs in Homer: we may deduce that the word, if borrowed from the Greek, was borrowed at an early period. Canon Driver would not, in view of the intercourse between Greece and Babylon, press this word as proof of the recent date of Daniel. The intercourse between Babylon and Greece was sufficiently great to have rendered the conveyance of this name at least not impossible. It has been shown, moreover, by Professor Whitehouse, that the word is probably derived from the East; indeed, he fixes on Phoenicia as its source. It must be observed that he maintains that, while originally Phoenician, the form it assumes in Daniel proves it to have come to the author of Daniel from Greek The word may have been modified from its more ancient to its more recent form, for the sake of readers. One of the suggestions of those who oppose the antiquity of the Book of Daniel is that כִּלֺנּר (kinnor) is the word that would have been used by a genuine Aramaic writer of Daniel's period, as kinder and qitharos (or qathros) represent one and the same instrument; but, unfortunately for this, in the Peshitta we have both terms, the one after the other. The other words, סוּמפונְיָא, συμφωνία, and פְסַנְתֵּרִים (pesanterin), supposed to be equivalent to ψαλτηρίον, are on a different footing. In the first place, any one who has studied the apocalyptic writings, must see how peculiarly liable they are to interpolation. There is hardly one that is not largely and obviously interpolated. No one can deny that this has taken place with. Daniel. The apocryphal additions are too well known for any one to maintain the opposite opinion. When, moreover, one begins to compare the Massoretic text with the more ancient versions, the Septuagint, the Peshitta, and that of Theodotion, we at once see that the changes which the text has undergone have not been confined to large interpolations, but all through there are words and phrases where the versions differ from the Massoretic text and from each other. The text especially from which the Septuagint translation has been made, must have presented many and important verbal differences from that adopted by the Massoretes. Even Theodotion, though his version agrees more closely with the Massoretic text than does the Septuagint, differs from it in ways and in a degree than can at times be explained only on the supposition that the text before him was not identical with that adopted by the Massoretes. The supposition that Theodotion has been altered from the Septuagint has been hazarded, and in a few cases it may have some semblance of probability, but in other cases it is destitute of every shadow of likelihood. The Peshitta is another source of various readings. Its variations are independent of either of the other two versions. In some chapters these variations are more marked than in others, but in every case they are numerous enough to make any stress on individual words highly hazardous. While these variations are known and chronicled, there is no security that no variations occurred even before the types of the text separated from each other. In such a case as this, although it would be unscientific, on the ground of this uncertainty, to proceed to change the text to what seems to make better sense, it is equally unscientific to lay any evidential weight on single words. But, further, no words are, in one respect, less evidential than musical terms. They are changed and modified with a freedom applied to few other things. Thus we have "cornet-a-piston" figuring also as "cornopean," two words like each other in sound, of the same meaning, but of widely different derivation. They pass from country to country with greater freedom than most other terms. To infer, then, that the writer of Daniel wrote under Greek domination, because certain Greek musical terms occur in the present Massoretic text, is rash in the extreme, and would, it seems to us, be universally regarded so, were there not an object to be gained by assuming that evidence drawn from them was liable to no doubt. New Testament critics have taught us to suspect what are called tendenz documents, i.e. documents that have an overweening bias towards one side of a controversy: there is such a thing as a tendenz judgment. The judgment of the critics in regard to the evidential value of these musical terms is a tendenz judgment, which we should say is even more to be suspected than the contents of a tendenz document. The history of the argument from the alleged presence of Greek terms in Daniel is also instructive. The number of Greek terms that Hitzig and some earlier critics saw was large. Gradually they had to abandon all but those coming in the list of musical instruments here. Of these only four could be claimed as really Greek. However, one of these had soon to go, שַׂבְכָא; it was maintained to be derived from the σαμβύκη. It was found that this Greek word was really derived from an Eastern, probably an Assyrian, source. Next, it has been acknowledged by Canon Driver, as above stated, that much stress cannot be laid on קַתְדֹס (κιθὰρα), seeing it is an instrument of such ancient date in Greece, that it might easily have drifted eastward, name and thing, to Babylon. The matter is further complicated by the fact that the word, in all probability, is not Greek, to begin with, but Eastern, probably Phoenician. In regard to the remaining words - sumphonya and pesanterin - it is argued that they are of Greek origin, and that, while Babylonian intercourse with Greece is not denied, the origin of these words is maintained to be late, at all events, in the sense in which they appear in this passage. Thus, pesanterin is declared to be the Greek ψαλτηρίον, and it is further said that ψαλτηρίον is not a term applied to musical instruments till late, Aristotle and Theophrastus being the earliest authors that use the word. That this word pesanterin is derived from ψαλτηρίον is supposed to be proved by an argument which shows that the Greek letter ψ is resolved, in passing into Aramaic, into פ and ס; second, that ל may be changed into נ, and that -ιον becomes not infrequently ־ין Even though all these points be admitted, it does not follow that pesanterin is derived from psalterion; as fair a case might be made out for deriving "mystery" from "mist" While ־ין sometimes represents -ιον, it much more frequently is simply the sign of the plural; and while פְ may be at times the first half of ψ resolved, it also does represent at times the Coptic article πε. While it is not impossible that santer may represent the remaining letters of the name of the Greek instrument, σαπτωρε has a meaning in Coptic also; it may mean a chorus - "those singing to an instrument." This, then, would show that pesanter,'n might mean those singing in accompaniment to the previously named instruments. Confirmatory of this is the fact that in Lower Egypt, at the present day, there is a musical instrument called the santeer. When one remembers the great intercourse that existed between Assyria and Egypt when Esarhaddon and Asshur-bani-pal held possession of Egypt - the former of whom frequently held his court in Babylon - that Egyptian words should come into Babylon would not be extraordinary. We admit readily that possibility is not proof of actuality, yet it weakens the force of the other argument, which also is merely from possibility. A prior question has to be settled before we deduce anything from the origin of this word pesanteria. Is it really part of the original text? There are in this third chapter of Daniel four distinct lists of what purport to be musical instruments. And these are arranged in such a way that the reader expects them to be identical. Each of these may thus be regarded as separate manuscripts. We have further three old versions, as already mentioned, as well as the Massoretic text: the Septuagint dated about B.C. 200; Theodotion and the Peshitta, dated about A.D. ; the Massoretic text, being fixed somewhere about A.D. , and represented by manuscripts, the earliest of which is of the tenth century - the Qri and K'thib represent two forms of reading. Of these authorities the latest is the Massoretic text. To begin with the Massoretic text, the first thing that meets us is that, while in the fifth, tenth, and fifteenth verses, the word is פסנתרין, in the seventh verse it is פסנמרין. This is not so insignificant as at first sight seems, for ת and ט do not appear to have been pronounced in the same way originally, any more than the Greek θ and τ. But further, it is an acknowledged canon of criticism that when a passage has many variations of reading in different manuscripts, that itself raises a suspicion that it has come from the margin into the text. This variation of ט and ת in a word is an instance similar to that of varying words in the case of a passage; a varying letter is, in the case of a word, a note conveying suspicion. When we turn to the versions, we find that while the Greek - the Septuagint and Theodotion - have it, the word is quite omitted from the Syriac Peshitta. If it had dropped into the text from the margin, it would be most likely to do so in the Greek versions first, and then find its way into the Massoretic text afterwards. Hence the positive value of the evidence of the Greek versions is comparatively small, although their negative value is considerable. On the other hand, the word is not present at all in the Peshitta, which originated beyond the sphere of Greek domination. That being the state of the matter, we venture to maintain that the word pesanterin does not belong to the genuine text of Daniel. The case against סומפניא is yet stronger. In regard to this word there is a divergence between the Q'ri and the K'thib. Hence we may regard this as a case in which we have twenty manuscripts. If we now examine the evidence supplied by these, we shall find that the evidence for the presence of סומפביא in the original text is very weak. In the K'thib, which represents in general the better text, we have sumphonya only in two cases, in one case we have siphonya, in the fourth case nothing at all. In the Q'ri we have three cases of sumpboaya. When we turn to the Greek texts, we find that symphonia occurs in the Septuagint in two cases, in Theodotion only in one case. When we turn to the Peshitta, we have no case of sumphonia, but we have in all cases tsiphoaia, a form akin to what we find in the tenth verse in the Massoretic text. If, then, we take these various cases together, and sum them up, we lind eight cases of symphonia, five cases of siphonia, and seven cases of nothing at all. As the word as we have it now is distinctly Greek, the evidence of the Greek versions, while strong negatively, is weak positively. We mean by this that a Greek word put on the margin might easily slip into the text of the Septuagint, and thence into the Palestinian recension - the Massoretic. Moreover, the case against sumphonya is strengthened when we compare the instances in which it occurs with those in which it does not occur. If we looked at the matter apriori, the cases where a word would most likely be dropped is in a conversational repetition of such a list of instruments. But the best supported case of the occurrence of this word is in the offer made by Nebuchadnezzar, that if even yet they would yield, they would be forgiven. The word in question occurs here in the two texts represented by the Massoretic in the Septuagint and Theodotion. It does not appear in the Peshitta - its place being represented by tzipbonia, as we said above. On the other hand, the place where we might most readily find a marginal note like sumphonia is precisely the last occurrence of a frequently recurring list. But, again, the place where we should most certainly expect to find every word of such a list given with scrupulous exaetness, is what purports to be the record of a proclamation. But in Theodotion the word in question is not present in his record of the proclamation. In the seventh verse, where the proclamation is repeated to show the obedience it received, the word sumphonya is absent in the Massoretic text and the versions. Further, next to the record of a proclamation in likelihood for an accurate repetition of all the words of such a list, is, where a case is being founded on this proclamation. This, again, is a case in which sumphonya does not occur save in the Q'ri. When those who are about to accuse to Nebuchadnezzar the three Hebrews, repeat to him his proclamation, according to the Greek versions they leave out the word before us altogether, according to the K'thib and Peshitta they insert another word altogether. To us the argument seems conclusive that the word in question was not part of the original text of Daniel. We cannot leave this question without adverting to some other aspects of it. The intercourse between the Hellenic peoples and Assyria seems to have been considerable We know from Strabo, 13:2. 3, under the title of Lesbos, that Antimenidas, the brother of the poet Alcaeus, was in the Babylonian army at the time when Nebuchadnezzar was king. Strabo quotes Alcaeus, Ἀντιμενιδαν ὅν φησίν Ἀλκαῖος Βαβυλωνὶοις συμμαχοῖντα ( "fought along with the Babylonians as their ally." The Assyrians possessed Cyprus - another source of Hellenic influence. The later Sargonids, Esarhaddon and Asshur-bani-pal, those who had the closest relationship with Babylon, had also the supremacy in Egypt, and now we know from Flinders Petrie and others, in the accounts they have given us of their explorations at Dapine, that there was, before the time of the Babylonian power, a Greek colony of old standing. To meet this contention it is urged that the words in question are much later than the time of Nebuchadnezzar. Certainly we shall admit that the earliest instance of ψαλτηρίον is in Aristotle, but the date of the word is not to be limited by its occurrence in Aristotle (Arist., 'Problem.,' 19:23. 2). It occurs in a definition of a trigon as a triangular psaltery - a mode of speech which implies that "psaltery" was already relatively a common designation. We could not define a "trichord" as a piano in which each note was produced by three wires of the same length stretched to the same degree of tension - unless pianos were comparatvely common. That it does not occur earlier is probably due to the word beginning possibly as a localism, and then becoming common in literature. Thus many of the phrases denounced as recent Americanisms are proved by more careful investigation to be old provincialisms that have attained literary rank, or at all events semi-literary rank, in a new country. Hence, even though it were proved that psanterin is of Greek origin, and that it belongs to the original text of Daniel, which is more than doubtful, it would yet be no great strain to imagine the name and the instrument had passed over to Babylon before the traditional date of Daniel. The case for sumphonya is even weaker. Even should it be granted to be in the text of Daniel, and further that it is a Greek word, it is not an instrument until at all events a much later date than any one pretends Daniel to have been written. Yet Canon Driver lays the main stress of his argument on the fact that in the passage before us it means an instrument, and in this view he is supported by Mr. Bevan. The whole stress of this statement really depends on a passage in Polybius (Polyb., 26:10), in which it is alleged the word in question means a musical instrument of some sort. The view that the word before us in the passage means a musical instrument can only be maintained on reading the word preceding συμφωνία as κεράτιον, not κεράμιον, and on the further assumption that κεράνιον means a musical instrument, of which there is no proof. It is true that κέρας means not only the horn of an animal, but also a musical horn; it is also true that κεράτιον is the diminutive from κέρας; but it is not to be assumed that all the senses of the original word are retained by the diminutive. A "lance" is the name given both to a medical instrument and to a weapon used by cavalry: it does not follow from this that since "a lancet" is a medical instrument, it is also a military weapon. There is certainly no instance to support the assertion t,,at there ever was such a usage. As naturally it might be used of a drinking-horn. If the reading κεραμίον is adopted, the meaning assigned to συμφωνία loses even the limited plausibility it had. This view was presented years ago by Dr. Pusey, yet Canon Driver and Professor Bevan have repeated their exploded statements without the faintest attempt at answering the counter-arguments. Were any defender of Daniel to be guilty of anything similar, his ignorance would be sneered at, and his arguments hustled out of court. But there is a further question - Is siphonia the same word as συμφωνία? That the m (μ) might disappear and the upsilon of the Greek might be represented by yod in Aramaic, is not impossible, but the fact that, on the one side, there is the Greek word σίφων, on the other there is the Eastern Aramaic word tzgphonia, throws grave doubt on this. With regard to צ, Strack ('Lehrbuch,' p. 15) declares that it is interchanged צ with ס before t sounds, and at the end of words; from this we deduce that tziphonia cannot be derived etymologie-ally from sumphonya. On the other hand, siphonya may readily be the product of tzi-phonia, through the intervention of the Greek σίφων, and perhaps the Hebrew סוּפ (suph), "a reed." Changes otherwise impossible are rendered possible when they lead to a word with an intelligible sound. There is a verb סוּפ, both Chaldee and Hebrew, which, however, does not seem to have any close connection with סוּפ, "a reed," or to have any musical meaning. It is used in Biblical Chaldee for the fulfilment of a prophecy (Daniel 4:30), in Targumic Chaldee "to have an end," "to cease" (Onkelos, Leviticus 26:20). The same verb with the same meaning occurs in Syriac (Luke 9:54). This is an additional evidence that tziphonia is the original form of the word. In transferring the word to Chaldee, they gave it a form intelligible to those who used that tongue. If Syriac were the language in which Daniel was written, then the meaning of the word in that language is important. Castelli - on what authority we know not - gives the meaning of tzephonya, a word all but identical with that before us, as tibia, tuba. Altogether, not only is the genuineness of the word extremely doubtful, but even were it granted that there was a word there, it is not at all certain that it was a word connected with the Greek συμφωνία. As the assailants of the authenticity of Daniel have laid the great stress of their argument on these words, and, as we have seen, these words afford but dubious evidence, we may consider ourselves to have a right to demand from them to abandon their opposition, or show reason why they do not. Daniel 3:15עתידין taken with the following clause, תּפּלוּן ... דּי, is not a circumlocution for the future (according to Winer, Chald. Gram. 45, 2). This does not follow from the use of the simple future in contrast, but it retains its peculiar meaning ready. The conclusion to the first clause is omitted, because it is self-evident from the conclusion of the second, opposed passage: then ye will not be cast into the fiery furnace. Similar omissions are found in Exodus 32:32; Luke 13:9. For the purpose of giving strength to his threatening, Nebuchadnezzar adds that no god would deliver them out of his hand. In this Hitz. is not justified in supposing there is included a blaspheming of Jehovah like that of Sennacherib, Isaiah 37:10. The case is different. Sennacherib raised his gods above Jehovah, the God of the Jews; Nebuchadnezzar only declares that deliverance out of the fiery furnace is a work which no god can accomplish, and in this he only indirectly likens the God of the Jews to the gods of the heathen.
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