Was this furnace a deep pit? A walk-in oven like furnace?
NLT - 22 And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in.
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Daniel 3 does not contain a detailed description of the furnace itself. However, from the narrative given, I have always conceived of it as an open pit deeper than the height of a man that was ignited by fuel being placed into it and lit, with additional fuel then thrown in to produce greater flame or heat. This would seem to be supported by Daniel 3:23, which says that, after Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were bound, they "fell into the blazing furnace" (which suggests a drop of some kind, as into a pit), and also by Daniel 3:22, which speaks of the flames of the fire (not just the heat from it) killing the men who threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the furnace (which, to me, would be indicative of an area (again, such as a pit) that was not completely enclosed, and that would have exposed them to the flames, rather than being a contained structure or device). In addition, if the furnace had been an enclosed structure, I have difficulty picturing how King Nebuchadnezzar would have been able to see the men walking in the flames in Daniel 3:25. Finally, an open pit also would have made it possible for the men to hear the king when he called to them, and for the men to walk out of the flames (perhaps by a ramp or steps leading into the pit, which could have been what is described as the "mouth" of the furnace), as stated in Daniel 3:26.
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