Daniel 3:29
Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.
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(29) Anything amiss.—The marginal version is to be preferred.

Daniel 3:29. Therefore, I make a decree, &c. — He issues a royal edict, strictly forbidding any to speak evil of the God of Israel. We have reason to think that both the sins and the troubles of Israel had given great, though no just occasion to the Chaldeans to blaspheme the God of Israel, and it is likely Nebuchadnezzar himself had encouraged them to do it; but now, though he is no true convert, nor is influenced to worship him, yet he resolves never to speak evil of him again, nor to suffer others to do so. If any should presume to do it, he decrees that they should be counted the worst of malefactors, and should be dealt with accordingly. The miracle now wrought by the power of this God, in defence of his worshippers, and that publicly, in the sight of the thousands of Babylon, was a sufficient justification of this edict. And it would contribute much to the ease of the Jews in their captivity, to be, by this law, screened from the fiery darts of reproach and blasphemy, with which, otherwise, they would have been continually annoyed. Observe, reader, it is a great mercy to the church, and a good point gained, when its enemies, though they have not their hearts turned, yet have their mouths stopped, and their tongues tied. If a heathen prince laid such a restraint upon the proud lips of blasphemers, how much more should Christian princes do it. Nay, in this thing, one would suppose that men should be a law to themselves; and that those who have so little love to God that they care not to speak well of him, yet should never find in their hearts, for we are sure they can never find cause, to speak any thing amiss of him.

3:28-30 What God did for these his servants, would help to keep the Jews to their religion while in captivity, and to cure them of idolatry. The miracle brought deep convictions on Nebuchadnezzar. But no abiding change then took place in his conduct. He who preserved these pious Jews in the fiery furnace, is able to uphold us in the hour of temptation, and to keep us from falling into sin.Therefore I make a decree - Margin, "A decree is made by me." Chaldee, "And from me a decree is laid down," or enacted. This Chaldee word (טעם ṭe‛êm) means, properly, "taste, flavor;" then "judgment," the power of "discerning" - apparently as of one who can judge of "wine," etc., by the taste; then the sentence, the decree which is consequent on an act of judging - always retaining the idea that the determination or decree is based on a conception of the true merits of the case. The decree in this case was not designed to be regarded as arbitrary, but as being founded on what was right and proper. He had seen evidence that the God whom these three youths worshipped was a true God, and was able to protect those who trusted in him; and regarding him as a real God, he made this proclamation, that respect should be shown to him throughout his extended realm.

That every people, nation, and language - This decree is in accordance with the usual style of an Oriental monarch. It was, however, a fact that the empire of Nebuchadnezzar extended over nearly all of the then known world.

Which speak any thing amiss - Margin, "error." The Chaldee word (שׁלה shâluh) means "error, wrong," and it refers here to anything that would be fitted to lead the minds of men astray in regard to the true character of the God whom these persons worshipped. The Vulgate renders it "blasphemy." So also it is rendered in the Greek, βλασφημίαν blasphēmian. The intention was, that their God was to be acknowledged as a God of eminent power and rank. It does not appear that Nebuchadnezzar meant that he should be regarded as the "only" true God, but he was willing, in accordance with the prevailing notions of idolatry, that he should take his place among the gods, and a most honored place.

Shall be cut in pieces - Margin, "made." This was a species of punishment that was common in many ancient nations. - Gesenius.

And their houses shall be made a dunghill - Compare 2 Kings 10:27. The idea is, that the utmost possible dishonor and contempt should be placed on their houses, by devoting them to the most vile and offensive uses.

Because there is no other god that can deliver after this sort - He does not say that there was no other god at all, for his mind had not yet reached this conclusion, but there was no other one who had equal power with the God of the Hebrews. He had seen a manifestation of his power in the preservation of the three Hebrews such as no other god had ever exhibited, and he was willing to admit that in this respect he surpassed all other divinities.

29. This decree promulgated throughout the vast empire of Nebuchadnezzar must have tended much to keep the Jews from idolatry in the captivity and thenceforth (Ps 76:10). Observe here, that though he doth not resolve to worship the true God, nor command others to do it, yet he would not allow the God of the Jews to be evil spoken of; this was all that he came up to. He was resolved to hold fast to the religion established, his own idols; nay, the great golden idol, which had been slurred and slighted by these three worthies, he would not take down and relinquish: this was the best quarter the true God could get among them, not to be spoken amiss of under great penalty; though he confessed no god else could deliver after that strange sort. Bel could not preserve his men out of the furnace, God preserves his servants in the furnace. All was one for that, Bel should be his god still.

Therefore I make a decree,.... Or, a "decree is made by me" (w); which is as follows:

that every people, nation, and language, which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; anything indecent, blasphemous, or by way of contempt: he does not give orders that their God should be worshipped or signify that he would worship him himself, and quit his false deities; no, only that he should not be spoken against, as very probably before this time he was, to the great grief of these good men; and to whom, therefore such an edict would be grateful, though no more could be obtained; by which it was enacted, that any such person, so blaspheming and reproaching,

shall be cut to pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill; See Gill on Daniel 2:5;

because there is no other god that can deliver after this manner; no, not even Bel himself, as was plain; for he could not deliver the men at the mouth of the furnace, that cast in these three, for they were destroyed by the force of the flame and smoke that came out; but the true God delivered the three men cast in, even in the midst of it; this was beyond all contradiction, and therefore he could not but own it.

(w) "a me proponitur edictum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Broughtonus; "a me positum decretum", Montanus, Cocceius, Michaelis.

Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak {n} any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

(n) If this heathen king moved by God's Spirit would punish blasphemy, and made a law and set a punishment for such transgressors, much more ought all they that profess religion make sure that such impiety does not happen, lest according as their knowledge and responsibility is greater, so they suffer double punishment.

29. I make a decree] the same phrase (lit. a decree is made by me), in Daniel 4:6 (cf. Daniel 6:26); Ezra 4:11 (at the end), 19, Daniel 5:17, Daniel 6:8; Daniel 6:11, Daniel 7:13; Daniel 7:21.

people, nation, and language] Daniel 3:4; Daniel 3:7.

any thing amiss] lit. any neglect or error: cf. the same word in Daniel 6:4; Ezra 4:22; Ezra 6:9 (‘fail’). In the Targums it stands for the Heb. shegâgâh, or mishgeh, oversight, inadvertence, Genesis 43:12; Leviticus 4:2; Leviticus 5:18.

cut in pieces, and … made a dunghill] see on Daniel 2:5. The terms of the edict, it will be noticed, are inexact: ‘every people, nation, and language’ must stand for ‘every one belonging to any people, nation, and language.’ (‘Their houses’ is in the Aram. his house.)

Verse 29. #NAME? The versions agree with the Massoretic text here, only that all put the crime, "speaking anything amiss," more strongly than we find it in the Massoretic recension, שׁלה is amended by the Massoretes to שׁלוּ, "erroneous," whereas the Septuagint renders, ὅς ἄν βλασφημήσῃ. Theodotion, (agreeing with γλῶσσα) ἐάν εἴπη βλασφημίαν. The Peshitta renders ," to blaspheme." Hitzig has suggested that the K'thib here is to be preferred to the Q'ri, maintaining that שׁלה means "word," while שׁלוּ really means "inadvertence." Certainly, if we were sure that the meaning he gives to שׁלה is correct, and the versions all support it, we would give the preference to it. It has, however, to be borne in mind that, in the notions of heathenism, intentional disrespect was not taken into consideration in regard to the gods. The intention of the worshipper was of very little moment in such a matter; he might even desire to be specially respectful to the deity he worshipped; but if, by inadvertence, he omitted something, or did something which was not according to rule, all the good will and respect in his mind was nothing - the wrath of the insulted deity was poured out in full measure, unless some other deity regarded the action in question as specially honouring to him. It was the external action - the mere form of words - that was the important matter with the polytheist. Idolatry is by its very nature a mental and moral disease; it is as absurd to expect logically concatenated actions from an idol-worshipper in regard to his deities, as to expect the same from a madman in regard to his craze. We must guard against imagining that the decree was against blasphemy as a crime against Jehovah. Primarily it was against words that, by exciting the wrath of Jehovah, might bring down damage on the empire. Nebuchadnezzar was not jealous for the honour of Jehovah, but for the safety of the Babylonian supremacy. The punishment threatened, it may be observed, is the same as that decreed against the wise men because of their failure to tell the dream and its interpretation. In regard to this, in Daniel 2:5 the Septuagint renders the phrase, "Ye shall be made an example of, and your goods shall be escheat to the king's treasury." This change, as we maintained, was due to a difference of reading, not to any objection to the harshness of the phrase. The object of the punishment here was to remove utterly from the earth the wrong-doer and every remembrance of him, so that the offended deity might have no excuse for visiting the kingdom of Babylon with judgments. The reason, "because there is no other god that can deliver after this sort," is not to be stretched too far. All that is asserted is that no other god has been able to deliver his worshippers out of the very realm of the god of fire, and therefore it is to be argued that his power of offence is as great; hence all are to avoid enraging him; but there is no worship enjoined. The Lagid princes, when Jerusalem was in their hands, ordered sacrifices to be offered on their behalf daffy. Nebuchadnezzar does nothing of this sort; his decree is simply negative Daniel 3:29Regarding the collocation of the words עם אמּה ו, see under Daniel 3:4; and regarding the Nymid@fha and the threatened punishment, see under Daniel 2:5. כּדּנה we regard, with the lxx, Theodot., Vulg., and old interpreters, as a fem. adverbial: οὕτως, ita, as it occurs in Daniel 2:10; Ezra 5:7, and Jeremiah 10:11. The interpreting it as masculine, as this God, does not correspond with the heathen consciousness of God, to which a God perceptible by sight was more appropriate than a God invisible (Kran.). The history concludes (Daniel 3:30) with the remark that Nebuchadnezzar now regarded the three men with the greatest favour. In what way he manifested his regard for them is not stated, inasmuch as this is not necessary to the object of the narrative. הצלח with ל, to give to any one happiness, prosperity, to cause him to be fortunate.

If we attentively consider the import of this narrative in its bearing on the history of the kingdom of God, we learn how the true worshippers of the Lord under the dominion of the world-power could and would come into difficulties, imperilling life, between the demands of the lords of this world and the duties they owe to God. But we also learn, that if in these circumstances they remain faithful to their God, they will in a wonderful manner be protected by Him; while He will reveal His omnipotence so gloriously, that even the heathen world-rulers will be constrained to recognise their God and to give Him glory.

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