Daniel 3:1-18 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
A Gold Statue and a Blazing Furnace
3 King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue. It was 90 feet tall and 9 feet wide. He set it up on the plain of Dura near the city of Babylon. 2 Then the king sent for the royal rulers, high officials and governors. He sent for the advisers, treasurers, judges and court officers. And he sent for all the other officials of Babylon. He asked them to come to a special gathering to honor the statue he had set up. 3 So the royal rulers, high officials and governors came together. So did the advisers, treasurers, judges and court officers. All the other officials joined them. They came to honor the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. They stood in front of it.
4 Then a messenger called out loudly, “Listen, you people who come from every nation! Pay attention, you who speak other languages! Here is what the king commands you to do. 5 You will soon hear the sound of horns and flutes. You will hear zithers, lyres, harps and pipes. In fact, you will hear all kinds of music. When you do, you must fall down and worship the gold statue. That is the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 If you don’t, you will be thrown into a blazing furnace right away.”
7 All the people heard the sound of the horns and flutes. They heard the zithers, lyres, harps and other musical instruments. As soon as they did, they fell down and worshiped Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue. They were people from all nations no matter what language they spoke.
8 At this time some people who studied the heavens came forward. They spoke against the Jews. 9 They said, “King Nebuchadnezzar, may you live forever! 10 Your Majesty has commanded everyone to fall down and worship the gold statue. You told them to do it when they heard the horns, flutes, zithers, lyres, harps, pipes and other musical instruments. 11 If they didn’t, they would be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But you have appointed some Jews to help Daniel govern Babylon and the towns around it. Their names are Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They don’t pay any attention to you, King Nebuchadnezzar. They don’t serve your gods. And they refuse to worship the gold statue you have set up.”
13 Nebuchadnezzar was very angry. He sent for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So they were brought to him. 14 The king said to them, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, is what I heard about you true? Don’t you serve my gods? Don’t you worship the gold statue I set up? 15 You will hear the horns, flutes, zithers, lyres, harps, pipes and other musical instruments. When you do, fall down and worship the statue I made. If you will, that’s very good. But if you won’t, you will be thrown at once into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to save you from my power?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him. They said, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to talk about this anymore. 17 We might be thrown into the blazing furnace. But the God we serve is able to bring us out of it alive. He will save us from your power. 18 But we want you to know this, Your Majesty. Even if we knew that our God wouldn’t save us, we still wouldn’t serve your gods. We wouldn’t worship the gold statue you set up.”
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