The King’s Golden Image

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

Worship of the Image Refused

For this reason at that time certain (H)Chaldeans came forward and [j](I)brought charges against the Jews. They began to speak and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king: “(J)O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have (K)made a decree that every person who hears the sound of the horn, flute, [k]lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe, and all kinds of musical instruments, is to (L)fall down and worship the golden statue. 11 But whoever does not fall down and worship shall be thrown into the middle 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, nor do they worship the golden statue 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 began speaking and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, that you do not serve (O)my gods, nor worship the golden statue that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready, (P)at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, [l]lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe, and all kinds of musical instruments, to fall down and worship the statue that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will [m]immediately be (Q)thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and (R)what god is there who can rescue you from my hands?”

16 (S)Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego replied to the king, “Nebuchadnezzar, we are not in need of an answer to give you concerning this matter. 17 If it be so, our (T)God whom we serve is able to rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire; [n]and (U)He will rescue us from 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 nor worship the golden statue that you have set up.”

Daniel’s Friends Protected

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with (X)wrath, and his facial expression was changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. He answered [o]by giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he ordered certain valiant warriors who were in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in order to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. 21 Then these men were tied up in their (Y)trousers, their [p]coats, their caps, and their other clothes, and were thrown into the middle of the furnace of blazing fire. 22 For this reason, because the king’s [q]command was (Z)harsh and the furnace had been made extremely hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. 23 But these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, (AA)fell into the middle of the furnace of blazing fire still tied up.

24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up quickly; he said to his counselors, “Was it not three men that we threw bound into the middle of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Absolutely, O king.” 25 He responded, “Look! I see four men untied and (AB)walking about in the middle of the fire [r]unharmed, 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 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 middle of the fire. 27 The (AF)satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the (AG)fire had no [s]effect on [t]the bodies of these men, nor was the hair of their heads singed, nor were their [u](AH)trousers [v]damaged, nor had even the smell of fire touched them.

28 Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the (AI)God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who has (AJ)sent His angel and rescued His servants who put their (AK)trust in Him, [w]violating the king’s command, and surrendered their bodies (AL)rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I (AM)make a decree that any people, nation, or population of any language that speaks anything offensive against the God of (AN)Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their (AO)houses made a rubbish heap, because there is (AP)no other god who is able to save in this way.” 30 Then the king (AQ)made Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego prosperous in the province of Babylon.

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Footnotes

  1. Daniel 3:1 About 90 ft. high and 9 ft. wide or 27 m and 2.7 m
  2. Daniel 3:4 Lit they command
  3. Daniel 3:4 Lit tongues
  4. Daniel 3:5 Or zither
  5. Daniel 3:5 I.e., triangular lyre
  6. Daniel 3:5 Or a type of harp
  7. Daniel 3:7 See notes v 5
  8. Daniel 3:7 MT omits bagpipe
  9. Daniel 3:7 Lit tongues
  10. Daniel 3:8 Lit ate the pieces of
  11. Daniel 3:10 See notes v 5
  12. Daniel 3:15 See notes 1, 2, 3 v 5
  13. Daniel 3:15 Or in the same hour
  14. Daniel 3:17 Or then
  15. Daniel 3:19 Lit and ordered to
  16. Daniel 3:21 Or cloaks
  17. Daniel 3:22 Lit word
  18. Daniel 3:25 Lit there is no injury in them
  19. Daniel 3:27 Lit power over
  20. Daniel 3:27 Lit their
  21. Daniel 3:27 Or coats
  22. Daniel 3:27 Lit changed
  23. Daniel 3:28 Lit and changed the king’s word