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

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,(A)
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,(B)
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,(C)
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.(D)

19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;(E)
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.(F)

For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.

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The Wise and Foolish Builders(A)

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice(B) is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

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Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel

12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[a] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[b] and to everyone else that I am in chains(A) for Christ. 14 And because of my chains,(B) most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.(C)

15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.(D) 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition,(E) not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.(F) 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,

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Footnotes

  1. Philippians 1:12 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verse 14; and in 3:1, 13, 17; 4:1, 8, 21.
  2. Philippians 1:13 Or whole palace

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