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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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Commentary on The Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three

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1–27 : Azariah prays.

1 :

They: Daniel's friends; see Dan. 3.23 .

2 :

Azariah: Abed-nego's Heb. name; see Dan. 1.7 .

3–4 :

Many OT passages declare that God was just in punishing Israel by the Babylonian Exile; see Neh. 9.33; Lam. 1.18 .

9 :

The wicked king in Dan. is Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 3.19 ); in the writer's day, however, Antiochus IV Epiphanes was the vilest because he sacked Jerusalem and profaned the temple; see 1 Macc. 1.41–60 .

11 :

For the sake of your honour: compare Ezek. 36.22 .

13 :

You promised: see Gen. 15.5; 22.17 .

14–15 :

Judah, deprived of its ruler, was the most abject because God's covenant with the Davidic dynasty seemed to be broken. See 2 Sam. 7.13–16; Lam. 2.9; Hos. 3.4 .

16–18 :

Be accepted: a technical cult term applied to sacrifices pleasing to God. Qualities of the spirit are seen as the cultic equivalents of animal sacrifices; compare 1 Sam. 15.22; Ps. 51.16–17; Hos. 6.6 .

20–21 :

God's name would be glorified by ending the power of Babylon and granting Israel deliverance from captivity as God had done at the time of the Exodus from Egypt.

23 :

Naphtha: a natural petroleum substance. Brushwood: bundles of sticks.

25 :

See Dan. 3.22 .

26 :

The angel of the Lord in the OT is often God in angelic form; see Gen. 16.7–14 .

27 :

In Israel, when a moist wind blows from the Mediterranean it brings refreshing coolness, in contrast to the hot wind which blows from the eastern desert.

28–68 : A song of exaltation.

The constant refrain recalls Ps. 136 .

32 :

Cherubim: winged heavenly creatures on which God rode; see 2 Sam. 22.11; Ps. 18.10 .

35 :

Let…creation bless: after addressing the Lord (vv. 29–34; see Ps. 104 ), the song exhorts the whole creation, part by part (vv. 35–59 ), person by person (vv. 60–68 ), to bless the Lord, i.e. to praise God (compare Ps. 148 ).

38 :

Waters…heavens: see Gen. 1.7; Ps. 148.4 .

39 :

Hosts: compare Ps. 148.2–3 .

44–51 :

See Ps. 148.8 .

50 :

Rime: a type of frost.

53 :

See Ps. 148.9 .

58–65 :

Compare Ps. 148.10–12 .

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