1. And so, “Then the boys, after being bound with their garments and cloaks, were cast into the burning furnace of fire according to the proclamation of the king.”3
2. Tell me, Nebuchadnezzar, on what account do you order these boys to be bound and cast into the fire? Lest they flee? Or being released they quench the fire with their feet? But you are not the one who does these things, but another in you, who works these things.
3. And on account of this Scripture says, “Then the form of the king was changed.”4 For there was another person there and Nebuchadnezzar5 became another person. For the king was a man who in the beginning feared God. Then, having been lifted up against God6 he changed, mimicking the works of the devil.
4. And on account of this Scripture beautifully predicts, saying, “I am God and I will not change,”1 so that God may be shown as being unmoved and unchangeable. The form of the king was changed so that he may be easily perceived as being a man and so that the deceiver who recklessly operates in him, may be recognized, who at all times mimics the works of God and wishes to beguile man in various ways.
5. For Scripture says, “In the eighteenth year, Nebuchadnezzar the king made a golden image, its height was sixty cubits, and its breadth was six cubits, and he set it in the plain of Deira in the country of Babylon.”2
6. And so through3 eighteen years he imitated Jesus the son of God, who was present in the world, who also raised his own human image from the dead and showed this image, which was pure and blameless as gold, to his disciples.
7. Through the height of sixty cubits, there are sixty patriarchs, through whom the image of God according to the flesh, that is the Word, is molded and fashioned and is exulted on behalf of all the patriarchs.
8. Through the breadth of six cubits this recalls the six days of creation4. For on the sixth day man, having been molded from dust, came to be.
9. And so the gold which Nebuchadnezzar molded into the representative5 image which he made, he set it up on the plain plain of Deira, in the country of Babylon, indicating the plain to be the world, and Babylon the great city.
10. And at that time Nebuchadnezzar made only one image, but now the deceiver devises6 greater7
things in the world, so that through the many spectacles he may delude8 all all men, some being carried about in one direction or another1, some worshiping golden idols, others silver, others bronze, some that which is composed from ivory2, many revering clay and stone. They all, abandoning the heavenly God, submit to empty and lifeless and useless idols, not wishing to look up to the height of heaven, nor wishing to apprehend the beauty of heaven, so that they, who do not recognize the God of this heaven, are not able to be saved.
11. These things are the handiwork of the devil. He worked not only long ago in Babylon, but also now he does the same things and endeavors more reckless3 things against the the slaves of God. Having prepared the furnace of fire beforehand, so that through it he might frighten men, who do not see the eternal punishment through fire which is prepared for the devil4 by God.