Daniel 3:12—If Daniel was faithful to God, why did he not refuse to bow to this idol too?

Problem: In the first chapter, Daniel and the three other young men refused to do anything that violated their conscience (cf. Dan. 1:8ff). However, here only the three young men refused to bow to the image. Why didn’t Daniel refuse to perform this idolatrous act also?

Solution: He undoubtedly would have refused, if he had been there. But, there is absolutely no indication that Daniel was present. Since he was a government official (cf. Dan. 1:19), he may have been out of the capital on business at this time. We do know that later (Dan. 6) he stood firm on his spiritual convictions, even under the threat of death. So, had he been present, we can be assured that he would not have engaged in this idolatry either.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.