“He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
Was the fourth person in the fire an angel, a visible manifestation of God (theophany), or Jesus the Son of God?
(We will not elaborate on arguments in this section, we only mention them to bring attention that various arguments exist)
There are several biblical passages which tend to indicate that the phrase “sons of God”, at times, were used to refer to Angels:
(Job 1:6) Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
(Job 2:1) Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.
(Job 38:7) When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
A point of contention is that the King James Version translated “בר” as “Son” with a capital letter, which makes it seem as though the king was referring to Jesus Christ (Daniel 3:25 ).
The King James Version of Daniel is the only version that says “Son of God”. This version tends to create confusion in understanding the reading of this text but this is easily remedied.
Later, Nebuchadnezzar says: “Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.” Daniel 3:28 (Italics added)
In this instance, the King clearly refers to the fourth man as an angel.
Therefore, one could argue strongly that the word “angel” and the phrase “Son of God” (even when spoken in the singular) was at times (in the O.T.) used interchangeably.
I am not a Bible language scholar nor do I read Aramaic, (Daniel was written in Aramaic) but in regards to this matter I tend to believe that it was God who saved the Hebrew children, sending his angel to protect them from the fire. Here are the reasons based on what we just went over:
- At times, the “sons of God” appears to be used to refer to angels in the Bible
- King Nebuchadnezzar calls the fourth figure an “angel” after the experience was over
- King Nebuchadnezzar said “like unto” the Son of God in the KJV, not “was the Son of God”.