The King’s Golden Image

Nebuchadnezzar the king made an (A)image of gold, the height of which was sixty [a]cubits and its width six [b]cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the (B)province of Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent word to assemble the (C)satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Then the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces were assembled for the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then the herald loudly proclaimed: “To you [c]the command is given, (D)O peoples, nations and men of every [d]language, that at the moment you (E)hear the sound of the horn, flute, [e]lyre, [f]trigon, [g]psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up. But whoever does not fall down and worship shall [h]immediately be (F)cast into the midst of a (G)furnace of blazing fire.” Therefore at that time, when all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, [i]lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and men of every [j]language fell down and worshiped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

Worship of the Image Refused

For this reason at that time certain (H)Chaldeans came forward and [k](I)brought charges against the Jews. They responded and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king: “(J)O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have (K)made a decree that every man who hears the sound of the horn, flute, [l]lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe and all kinds of music, is to (L)fall down and worship the golden image. 11 But whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have (M)appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.”

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in (N)rage and anger gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego; then these men were brought before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve (O)my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready, (P)at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, [m]lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will [n]immediately be (Q)cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and (R)what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?”

16 (S)Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. 17 [o]If it be so, our (T)God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; [p]and (U)He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 (V)But even if He does not, (W)let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Daniel’s Friends Protected

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with (X)wrath, and his facial expression was altered toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He answered [q]by giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 He commanded certain valiant warriors who were in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in order to cast them into the furnace of blazing fire. 21 Then these men were tied up in their [r](Y)trousers, their [s]coats, their caps and their other clothes, and were cast into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire. 22 For this reason, because the king’s [t]command was [u](Z)urgent and the furnace had been made extremely hot, the flame of the fire slew those men who carried up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. 23 But these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, (AA)fell into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire still tied up.

24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up in haste; he said to his high officials, “Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Certainly, O king.” 25 He said, “Look! I see four men loosed and (AB)walking about in the midst of the fire [v]without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the (AC)gods!” 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire; he responded and said, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the (AD)Most High God, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego (AE)came out of the midst of the fire. 27 The (AF)satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king’s high officials gathered around and saw in regard to these men that the (AG)fire had no [w]effect on [x]the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their [y](AH)trousers [z]damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them.

28 Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the (AI)God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has (AJ)sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their (AK)trust in Him, [aa]violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as (AL)not to serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I (AM)make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of (AN)Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their (AO)houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is (AP)no other god who is able to deliver in this way.” 30 Then the king (AQ)caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon.

Footnotes

  1. Daniel 3:1 I.e. One cubit equals approx 18 in.
  2. Daniel 3:1 I.e. One cubit equals approx 18 in.
  3. Daniel 3:4 Lit they command
  4. Daniel 3:4 Lit tongue
  5. Daniel 3:5 Or zither
  6. Daniel 3:5 I.e. triangular lyre
  7. Daniel 3:5 Or a type of harp
  8. Daniel 3:6 Or in the same hour
  9. Daniel 3:7 V 5, notes 1, 2, 3
  10. Daniel 3:7 Lit tongue
  11. Daniel 3:8 Lit ate the pieces of
  12. Daniel 3:10 V 5, notes 1, 2, 3
  13. Daniel 3:15 V 5, notes 1, 2, 3
  14. Daniel 3:15 Or in the same hour
  15. Daniel 3:17 Or If our God...is able
  16. Daniel 3:17 Or then
  17. Daniel 3:19 Lit and ordered to
  18. Daniel 3:21 Or leggings
  19. Daniel 3:21 Or cloaks
  20. Daniel 3:22 Lit word
  21. Daniel 3:22 Or harsh
  22. Daniel 3:25 Lit there is no injury in them
  23. Daniel 3:27 Lit power over
  24. Daniel 3:27 Lit their
  25. Daniel 3:27 Or cloaks
  26. Daniel 3:27 Lit changed
  27. Daniel 3:28 Lit and changed the king’s word

The Image of Gold and the Blazing Furnace

King Nebuchadnezzar made an image(A) of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide,[a] and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps,(B) prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials(C) to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.

Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language,(D) this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp,(E) pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image(F) of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.(G) Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”(H)

Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.(I)

At this time some astrologers[b](J) came forward and denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever!(K) 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree(L) that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold,(M) 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego(N)—who pay no attention(O) to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”(P)

13 Furious(Q) with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods(R) or worship the image(S) of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god(T) will be able to rescue(U) you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego(V) replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver(W) us from it, and he will deliver(X) us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.(Y)

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven(Z) times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego(AA) and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego,(AB) 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God,(AC) come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers(AD) crowded around them.(AE) They saw that the fire(AF) had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel(AG) and rescued(AH) his servants! They trusted(AI) in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.(AJ) 29 Therefore I decree(AK) that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble,(AL) for no other god can save(AM) in this way.”

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.(AN)

Footnotes

  1. Daniel 3:1 That is, about 90 feet high and 9 feet wide or about 27 meters high and 2.7 meters wide
  2. Daniel 3:8 Or Chaldeans
  3. Daniel 3:17 Or If the God we serve is able to deliver us, then he will deliver us from the blazing furnace and

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