February 2 Morning Verse of the Day

3:17 The Judeans had no doubts about God’s existence or power to deliver. Their statement, “If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us,” did not suggest any uncertainty on their part about the reality of God; it means only that they were leaving the matter of their deliverance to His sovereign will. The verse may also be rendered “If it happens [that we are thrown into the furnace], our God whom we serve can rescue us.”[1]

3:17 If it is so Even if death is the consequence of noncompliance, they will still hold fast to their religious commitments and trust God for deliverance.

our God A courageous proclamation of faith. God is both able and faithful to deliver His people.[2]

3:17 God … is able: The response of the Jewish young men is a model of confidence in God and submission to His will. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego recognized God’s sovereignty and power.[3]

3:17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us. This cryptic statement is more difficult to translate than most modern translations reflect. Literally, the first clause reads: “If it be so” (KJV, NASB; cf. ESV)—begging the question: “If what be so?” The NLT concurs with the NIV in rendering, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace,” while the NRSV translates, “If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us.” This may be a reference only to the inevitability of their execution, yet the grammar allows for the possibility of their having an understandable moment of doubt. Both renderings find justification in legitimate antecedents in 3:15. The NIV’s rendering of the clause appeals to the threat, “you will be thrown …” and is clearly the more palatable reading.7 Yet the NRSV’s interpretation appeals to the nearer antecedent, “what god will be able?” In context, this intriguing, yet slightly ambiguous, assertion allows readers to identify with the Judeans, setting them up for the second, and more important, conditional statement.[4]

[1] Cabal, T., Brand, C. O., Clendenen, E. R., Copan, P., Moreland, J. P., & Powell, D. (2007). The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (p. 1274). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Da 3:17). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[3] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1011). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[4] Pierce, R. W. (2015). Daniel. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (p. 56). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

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