Daniel 3:27

27. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counselors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

27. Et congregati sunt satrapae, duces, praefecti, et consiliarii regis 1 ad conspiciendos viros illos, quod non dominatus esset ignis corporibus eorum, et pilus capitis eorum non adustus esset, et vestibus eorum non esset mutatus, et odor ignis non pervasisset, vel, non, penetrasset, ad eos. 2


Daniel relates how the satraps were gathered together with the leaders, prefects, and councilors of the king. The gathering was simply a collection of numbers, and if they deliberated about anything of importance, they all agreed. And this confirms the miracle, since if they had been stupefied, how could the great power of God be proposed to the eyes of the blind? Although they were so astonished, they were not altogether foolish, And Daniel implies this by saying, they were assembled together. After they had discussed the matter, he says, they came to behold that specimen of the incredible power of God. Then he enumerates many reasons, which clearly shew these three men not to have been preserved by any other means than God's singular good will. He says, The fire had no power over their bodies then, a hair of their head was not burnt thirdly, their garments were unchanged lastly, the smell of fire had not penetrated to themselves or their garments. He expresses more by the word smell than if he had simply said, -- the fire had not penetrated. For fire must naturally consume and burn up whatever is submitted to it; but when not even the smell of fire has passed over any substance, the miracle is more conspicuous. Now, we understand the Prophet's intention. On the whole, he shews how the benefit of freedom was no, small one, since Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego came out of the furnace. Besides, these satraps, prefects, and. governors, were witnesses of the power of God. Their testimony would be the more valuable, as all the Jews were, spectators of this grace of God, which even they scarcely believed. But since these men were clearly and professedly enemies to true piety, they would willingly have concealed the miracle, had it been in their power. But God draws them against their wills, and compels them to be eye-witnesses, and they are thus obliged to confess what cannot be in the slightest degree doubtful. It follows-

1 Some translate the last "prefects," but badly: it properly signifies either counselors or familiar friends, as appears from many passages. -- Calvin.

2 Or," to them," for the relative may apply either to their persons or their clothing, and it is of little consequence to which. -- Calvin.