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TOM - Why isn't Daniel mentioned in Daniel chapter 3? Where was he when the idol was built? Did he bow down to it? Is that why no one had a problem with him because he wasn't one of the Jews that didn't worship it? I figured that he would have been one that did not bow down and worship it and therefore would have been tossed into the furnace with the other three?

JOEL - Nothing obvious from the scriptures to explain this. There are a few theories.

In the last verse of Chapter 2 we are told:
"Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king." (Dan. 2: 49)

If he was there, it is possible that because of the high status that David held (allowed to sit with the king); almost being equal to the king, perhaps he was not required to bow down with the others. But if he was there how could he stand by and watch his friends be executed? Some have speculated that David simply wasn't there during this great gathering ordered by the king. Perhaps he was away on some kind of government related business trip, so was not involved in the event. The king may have even sent him away on purpose so that he would not be able to intercede for his friends. This would also explain the fact that his name is not mentioned at all in the entire chapter.

Or perhaps he was sick as was the occaision in Chapter 8 verse 27:
"And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days; then I rose and went about the king's business; but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it."

This all speculation.

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