Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Daniel Chapter 3
Metaphysically Interpreting Daniel 3:1-18
3:1Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.3:2Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the satraps, the deputies, and the governors, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. 3:3Then the satraps, the deputies, and the governors, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 3:4Then the herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, 3:5that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up; 3:6and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 3:7Therefore at that time, when all the peoples heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
3:8Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and brought accusation against the Jews. 3:9They answered and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king, O king, live for ever. 3:10Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image; 3:11and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 3:12There are certain Jews whom thou hast appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
3:13Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king. 3:14Nebuchadnezzar answered and said unto them, Is it of purpose, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, that ye serve not my god, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? 3:15Now 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 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?
3:16Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer thee in this matter. 3:17If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of thy hand, O king. 3:18But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
June 6, 1948: Dan. 3:4-7
Where should our full allegiance be placed? In God, or the highest ideal of Truth that we can grasp. No lesser loyalty should be allowed to supplant this allegiance in our life.
Is expediency in matters of faith ever justifiable? No. Expediency destroys loyalty and sincerity, and no temporary gain in peace and harmony is worth a mental reservation that destroys them.
Do the words of Jesus "He that is not against us is for us" condone a lukewarm allegiance? No. The words are for us to apply to those on whose loyalty we are tempted to pass judgment, or to those whom we would shut out of fellowship with us.
If we hold ourselves to the strictest loyalty to Truth, what should be our requirement of others in this matter? We should leave other persons free to choose whom they will serve. The fiery furnace of condemnation for those with whom we do not agree is a symbol of the cruelty of the sense consciousness.
June 6, 1948: Dan 3:13-18
In this lesson what represents the human will? Nebuchadnezzar ("Nebo the lord of brightness") represents the human will, backing itself up with the human intellect. The combination of these faculties brings about human judgment.
How is human judgment distinguishable from divine judgment? Human judgment is fallible; divine judgment unerring. The latter is justified by events, whereas the former is discredited by them.
Is man's highest loyalty bounded by the limits of his faith? No, it goes beyond even faith. "Our God ... will deliver us out of thy hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image, which thou hast set up."
What is represented by the "golden image"? The golden image represents mammon or the material or worldly thought and belief regarding riches. It represents money, possessions, and wealth, as contrasted with the true inner riches of the mind.
Metaphysically Interpreting Daniel 3:19-30
3:19Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace seven times more than it was wont to be heated. 3:20And he commanded certain mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 3:21Then these men were bound in their hosen, their tunics, and their mantles, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 3:22Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. 3:23And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
3:24Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste: he spake and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. 3:25He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the aspect of the fourth is like a son of the gods.3:26Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace: he spake and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the Most High God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego came forth out of the midst of the fire. 3:27And the satraps, the deputies, and the governors, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, that the fire had no power upon their bodies, nor was the hair of their head singed, neither were their hosen changed, nor had the smell of fire passed on them. 3:28Nebuchadnezzar spake and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and have yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. 3:29Therefore I make a decree, that every people, nation, and language, which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill; because there is no other god that is able to deliver after this sort. 3:30Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the province of Babylon.
September 17, 1911: Dan. 3:13-28
The Book of Daniel has always been presumed to be a history of events that actually occurred about 535 BC, and written by Daniel himself at the time; but there are certain things in the book that make this quite improbable, and the theory most prevalent among scholars is that it was not written earlier than 300 BC, probably under the supervision of Antiochus Epiphanes, BC 168, and that it is not history, but an imaginative story based upon facts. This view is now generally accepted by biblical scholars of the orthodox church. Peloubet says: "Like the story of the Prodigal Son, or Ben Hur, or 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' it was written to impress great lessons of encouragement and hope upon the Jews during their terrible persecutions."
We go further than these and say that the Book of Daniel is a history of every soul in its struggle to free itself from sense. The Hebrew meaning of Shadrach is meekness; Meshach, love; Abednego, light; Nebuchadnezzar, accusing judgment; Babylon, confusion or mixture.
There are times when we find ourselves in the confusion of the sense consciousness, and its thoughts are so strong that they seem to have us in complete captivity. We have so taken up this sense state that we gradually accept its conditions, and like these three Hebrew children, become rulers in Babylon. We accept the testimony of sense in one thing after another, until Human Judgment (Nebuchadnezzar ) sets up the "golden image" and demands that we fall down and worship it. Then it is that we come to ourselves and declare our loyalty to God instead of Mammon. But we are in the realm of "confusion," and it holds sway over us until we demonstrate out of it.
This realm of mind worships gold, and, unless you accept its commercial customs, it will put you in the fiery furnace of persecution. But if you are true to the Highest and refuse to bow down to this idol of the world, and meet its fiery persecutions with meekness, love, and understanding, you will come out unscathed. The fourth man in the fiery furnace, "like the Son of God," is the realization of your I Am in its unity with God. Then Human Judgment recognizes the power of the true God, who is Spirit, and who reinstates Meekness, Love, and Understanding, with greater power than before.
- UNITY magazine
February 27, 1916: Dan. 3:13-28
What is the meaning of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? Shadrach is meekness; Meshach, love; Abednego, light
What does Babylon represent? Confusion, mixed thought.
What is it to be taken captive in Babylon? It is to come under the dominion of sense thoughts.
What is the golden image? Mammon.
What is the fiery furnace? The trial by fire. The testing that proves whether one will follow God or Mammon.
Who was the fourth man in the fiery furnace? The consciousness of spiritual I AM.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 10-23-2013