Bible: Daniel 3

3:1

Daniel’s Friends Are Tested

1 

King Nebuchadnezzar had a golden 2  statue made. 3  It was ninety feet 4  tall and nine feet 5  wide. He erected it on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 3:2 Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent out a summons to assemble the satraps, prefects, governors, counselors, treasurers, judges, magistrates, 6  and all the other authorities of the province to attend the dedication of the statue that he 7  had erected. 3:3 So the satraps, prefects, governors, counselors, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the other provincial authorities assembled for the dedication of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected. They were standing in front of the statue that Nebuchadnezzar had erected. 8 

3:4 Then the herald 9  made a loud 10  proclamation: “To you, O peoples, nations, and language groups, the following command is given: 11  3:5 When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, 12  trigon, harp, pipes, and all kinds of music, you must 13  bow down and pay homage to the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has erected. 3:6 Whoever does not bow down and pay homage will immediately 14  be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire! 3:7 Therefore when they all 15  heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, trigon, harp, pipes, 16  and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations, and language groups began bowing down and paying homage to the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected.

3:8 Now 17  at that time certain 18  Chaldeans came forward and brought malicious accusations against 19  the Jews. 3:9 They said 20  to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 21  3:10 You have issued an edict, O king, that everyone must bow down and pay homage to the golden statue when they hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, trigon, harp, pipes, and all kinds of music. 3:11 And whoever does not bow down and pay homage must be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire. 3:12 But there are Jewish men whom you appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – and these men 22  have not shown proper respect to you, O king. They don’t serve your gods and they don’t pay homage to the golden statue that you have erected.”

3:13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in a fit of rage 23  demanded that they bring 24  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego before him. So they brought them 25  before the king. 3:14 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you don’t serve my gods and that you don’t pay homage to the golden statue that I erected? 3:15 Now if you are ready, when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, trigon, harp, pipes, and all kinds of music, you must bow down and pay homage to the statue that I had made. If you don’t pay homage to it, you will immediately be thrown into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire. Now, who is that god who can rescue you from my power? 26  3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to King Nebuchadnezzar, 27 We do not need to give you a reply 28  concerning this. 3:17 If 29  our God whom we are serving exists, 30  he is able to rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and he will rescue us, O king, from your power as well. 3:18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we don’t serve your gods, and we will not pay homage to the golden statue that you have erected.”

3:19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage, and his disposition changed 31  toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He gave orders 32  to heat the furnace seven times hotter than it was normally heated. 3:20 He ordered strong 33  soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. 3:21 So those men were tied up while still wearing their cloaks, trousers, turbans, and other clothes, 34  and were thrown into the furnace 35  of blazing fire. 3:22 But since the king’s command was so urgent, and the furnace was so excessively hot, the men who escorted 36  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were killed 37  by the leaping flames. 38  3:23 But those three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell into the furnace 39  of blazing fire while still securely bound. 40 

God Delivers His Servants

3:24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was startled and quickly got up. He said to his ministers, “Wasn’t it three men that we tied up and threw 41  into 42  the fire?” They replied to the king, “For sure, O king.” 3:25 He answered, “But I see four men, untied and walking around in the midst of the fire! No harm has come to them! And the appearance of the fourth is like that of a god! 43  3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire. He called out, 44 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the most high God, come out! Come here!”

Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego emerged from the fire. 45  3:27 Once the satraps, prefects, governors, and ministers of the king had gathered around, they saw that those men were physically 46  unharmed by the fire. 47  The hair of their heads was not singed, nor were their trousers damaged. Not even the smell of fire was to be found on them!

3:28 Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, 48 Praised be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent forth his angel 49  and has rescued his servants who trusted in him, ignoring 50  the edict of the king and giving up their bodies rather than 51  serve or pay homage to any god other than their God! 3:29 I hereby decree 52  that any people, nation, or language group that blasphemes 53  the god of Shadrach, Meshach, or Abednego will be dismembered and his home reduced to rubble! For there exists no other god who can deliver in this way.” 3:30 Then Nebuchadnezzar 54  promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

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