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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

Commentary The Prayer of Azariah

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1–22 : The prayer of Azariah.

1 :

They refers to Daniel's three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, as named in Dan 1.6–7; 3.22–23 .

2 :

Azariah, named Abednego by Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 1.7 ); the Babylonian names do not appear in these Additions.

5 :

True judgments, Neh 9.33; Lam 1.18 ; Tobit, and other texts attribute the Babylonian exile to the community's sin

6–8 :

The confession of sin resembles Dan 9.5,15; Ezra 9.6; Neh 9.26

9 :

The unjust king in the context of the book of Daniel is Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 3.19 ), but the vague reference makes the statement applicable to other tyrants, such as Antiochus IV Epiphanes (see 1 Macc 1 and notes to Dan 10–12 ); rebels may refer to Jews who supported Antiochus and the Hellenization of Jerusalem (1 Macc 1.11–15,41–60 )

10 :

Shame and a reproach, see Dan 9.12

11 :

Covenant, see Gen 15.18; 17.7–8

12 :

Abraham is identified as beloved of God in Isa 41.8; 2 Chr 20.7; Jas 2.23 , as well as the Qur'an ( 4.125 ). Isaac is called servant in Gen 24.14 . Holy one is more typically used for heavenly beings (Dan 4.10,20; 8.13 )

13 :

On the promise, see Gen 15.5; 22.17; Ex 32.13; Jer 33.22

15 :

No leader, when read in the context of Dan 3 , may refer to Nebuchadnezzar's blinding and exiling the Judean king (2 Kings 24.15 ); the lament is more generally expressed in Lam 2.9; Hos 3.4 . No prophet is exaggerated for the Babylonian context, but it may fit the later postexilic period, such as the time of Antiochus IV (see Zech 13.3–6 ). No burnt offering, cessation of proper sacrifices occurred both when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Temple and when Antiochus IV profaned it

16 :

Contrition and humility substitute for sacrifice (1 Sam 15.22; Ps 51.16–17; 141.2; Hos 6.6 ); the context of the prayer, the impending martyrdom of the three, makes the point acute

21 :

Put to shame, in the context of the book of Daniel, anticipates Nebuchadnezzar's madness in Dan 4 (see Sir 36.9 on the hope for the enemy's demise).

23–27 : Protection in the furnace.

23 :

Naphtha is a type of petroleum (see 2 Macc 1.20–22,30–36 )

24 :

Fortynine cubits is 22 m (71 ft); the multiple of seven suggests Dan 3.19 , in which Nebuchadnezzar orders the furnace heated to seven times its usual temperature.

25 :

Burned those Chaldeans is noted in Dan 3.22 ; the king's agents die from the flames.

26 :

The protecting angel is an increasingly common figure in Second Temple literature (Tobit; Sus 44–45 in the Old Greek; 1 Enoch); this verse makes the angelic presence, implicit in the reference to a “fourth man” in Dan 3 , explicit.

27 :

The verse is evoked in 3 Macc 6.6 .

28–34 : Song of thanksgiving.

29 :

The song begins with direct address to God. Vv. 29–30 resemble Tob 8.5 .

31 :

Temple may refer to the heavenly, not the Jerusalem, sanctuary, as in Ps 11.4; Hab 2.20

32 :

Cherubim are winged creatures who serve as the divine throne (Ex 25.18–20; 2 Sam 6.2; 22.11; Ps 18.10 ).

35–66 : The litany of praise.

30 :

Glorious, holy name, see Ps 29.2; 66.2; 79.9; etc.

31 :

Temple of your… glory may indicate the heavenly temple, or that the earthly one is functioning

35 :

The song shifts to exhortations to creation and thereby recalls both the refrain of Ps 136 and the exhortations of Ps 148 .

38 :

Waters above, see Gen 1.7; Ps 148.4

39 :

Powers suggests the heavenly host (see Ps 148.2–3 )

57 :

Whales, or sea monsters, suggest Leviathan (Isa 27.1; Ps 104.26; Job 41 )

62 :

Priests may imply a Temple setting for the Song's original performance.

63 :

Servants could, given biblical literature's use of parallelism, refer to priests or other Temple functionaries.

66 :

The friends are identified by their Hebrew names, as in Dan 1.6; 1 Macc 2.59 . Hananiah means “Yahweh is gracious”; Azariah is “Yahweh has helped” (in the book of Tobit, this is the name the disguised angel Raphael assumes); and Mishael is “who is like God?” Hades, the abode of the dead in Greek, equivalent to Hebrew Sheol (Ps 16.10 ).

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