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Daniel 3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The King’s Golden Image

Nebuchadnezzar the king made an 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 province of Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent word to assemble the 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, O peoples, nations and men of every [d]language, that at the moment you 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 cast into the midst of a 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 Chaldeans came forward and [k]brought charges against the Jews. They responded and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king: “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have 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 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 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 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 my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready, 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 cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?”

16 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 God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; [p]and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But even if He does not, 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 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]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]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, 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 walking about in the midst of the fire [v]without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the 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 Most High God, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire. 27 The satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king’s high officials gathered around and saw in regard to these men that the fire had no [w]effect on [x]the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their [y]trousers [z]damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them.

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

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Daniel 3 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Golden Image

King Nebuchadnezzar made a golden statue whose height was sixty cubits and whose width was six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent for the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to assemble and come to the dedication of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. So the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, assembled for the dedication of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. When they were standing before the statue that Nebuchadnezzar had set up, the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, you are to fall down and worship the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire.” Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Accordingly, at this time certain Chaldeans came forward and denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, shall fall down and worship the golden statue, 11 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These pay no heed to you, O king. They do not serve your gods and they do not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought in; so they brought those men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods and you do not worship the golden statue that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble to fall down and worship the statue that I have made, well and good.[a] But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire, and who is the god that will deliver you out of my hands?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to present a defense to you in this matter. 17 If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us.[b] 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”

The Fiery Furnace

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was so filled with rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face was distorted. He ordered the furnace heated up seven times more than was customary, 20 and ordered some of the strongest guards in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. 21 So the men were bound, still wearing their tunics,[c] their trousers,[d] their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the furnace of blazing fire. 22 Because the king’s command was urgent and the furnace was so overheated, the raging flames killed the men who lifted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 But the three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down, bound, into the furnace of blazing fire.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up quickly. He said to his counselors, “Was it not three men that we threw bound into the fire?” They answered the king, “True, O king.” 25 He replied, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the fourth has the appearance of a god.”[e] 26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. 27 And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men; the hair of their heads was not singed, their tunics[f] were not harmed, and not even the smell of fire came from them. 28 Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him. They disobeyed the king’s command and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that utters blasphemy against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins; for there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.” 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 3:15 Aram lacks well and good
  2. Daniel 3:17 Or If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us, he will deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king.
  3. Daniel 3:21 Meaning of Aram word uncertain
  4. Daniel 3:21 Meaning of Aram word uncertain
  5. Daniel 3:25 Aram a son of the gods
  6. Daniel 3:27 Meaning of Aram word uncertain
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Daniel 3 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

King Nabuchodonosor made a statue of gold, of sixty cubits high, and six cubits broad, and he set it up in the plain of Dura of the province of Babylon.

Then Nabuchodonosor the king sent to call together the nobles, the magistrates, and the judges, the captains, the rulers, and governors, and all the chief men of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up.

Then the nobles, the magistrates, and the judges, the captains, and rulers, and the great men that were placed in authority, and all the princes of the provinces, were gathered together to come to the dedication of the statue, which king Nabuchodonosor had set up. And they stood before the statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up.

Then a herald cried with a strong voice: To you it is commanded, O nations, tribes, and languages:

That in the hour that you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, and of the flute, and of the harp, of the sackbut, and of the psaltery, and of the symphony, and of all kind of music; ye fall down and adore the golden statue which king Nabuchodonosor hath set up.

But if any man shall not fall down and adore, he shall the same hour be cast into a furnace of burning fire.

Upon this therefore, at the time when all the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the flute, and the harp, of the sackbut, and the psaltery, of the symphony, and of all kind of music: all the nations, tribes, and languages fell down and adored the golden statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up.

And presently at that very time some Chaldeans came and accused the Jews,

And said to king Nabuchodonosor: O king, live for ever:

10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree that every man that shall hear the sound of the trumpet, the flute, and the harp, of the sackbut, and the psaltery, of the symphony, and of all kind of music, shall prostrate himself, and adore the golden statue:

11 And that if any man shall not fall down and adore, he should be cast into a furnace of burning fire.

12 Now there are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the works of the province of Babylon, Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago: these men, O king, have slighted thy decree: they worship not thy gods, nor do they adore the golden statue which thou hast set up.

13 Then Nabuchodonosor in fury, and in wrath, commanded that Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago should be brought: who immediately were brought before the king.

14 And Nabuchodonosor the king spoke to them, and said: Is it true, O Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, that you do not worship my gods, nor adore the golden statue that I have set up?

15 Now therefore if you be ready at what hour soever you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, harp, sackbut, and psaltery, and symphony, and of all kind of music, prostrate yourselves, and adore the statue which I have made: but if you do not adore, you shall be cast the same hour into the furnace of burning fire: and who is the God that shall deliver you out of my hand?

16 Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago answered and said to king Nabuchodonosor: We have no occasion to answer thee concerning this matter.

17 For behold our God, whom we worship, is able to save us from the furnace of burning fire, and to deliver us out of thy hands, O king.

18 But if he will not, be it known to thee, O king, that we will not worship thy gods, nor adore the golden statue which thou hast set up.

19 Then was Nabuchodonosor filled with fury: and the countenance of his face was changed against Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, and he commanded that the furnace should be heated seven times more than it had been accustomed to be heated.

20 And he commanded the strongest men that were in his army, to bind the feet of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, and to cast them into the furnace of burning fire.

21 And immediately these men were bound and were cast into the furnace of burning fire, with their coats, and their caps, and their shoes, and their garments.

22 For the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace was heated exceedingly. And the flame of the fire slew those men that had cast in Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago.

23 But these three men, that is, Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, fell down bound in the midst of the furnace of burning fire.

24 And they walked in the midst of the flame, praising God and blessing the Lord.

25 Then Azarias standing up prayed in this manner, and opening his mouth in the midst of the fire, he said:

26 Blessed art thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and thy name is worthy of praise, and glorious for ever:

27 For thou art just in all that thou hast done to us, and all thy works are true, and thy ways right, and all thy judgments true.

28 For thou hast executed true judgments in all the things that thou hast brought upon us, and upon Jerusalem the holy city of our fathers: for according to truth and judgment, thou hast brought all these things upon us for our sins.

29 For we have sinned, and committed iniquity, departing from thee: and we have trespassed in all things:

30 And we have not hearkened to thy commandments, nor have we observed nor done as thou hadst commanded us, that it might go well with us.

31 Wherefore all that thou hast brought upon us, and every thing that thou hast done to us, thou hast done in true judgment:

32 And thou hast delivered us into the hands of our enemies that are unjust, and most wicked, and prevaricators, and to a king unjust, and most wicked beyond all that are upon the earth.

33 And now we cannot open our mouths: we are become a shame and reproach to thy servants, and to them that worship thee.

34 Deliver us not up for ever, we beseech thee, for thy name's sake, and abolish not thy covenant.

35 And take not away thy mercy from us for the sake of Abraham thy beloved, and Isaac thy servant, and Israel thy holy one:

36 To whom thou hast spoken, promising that thou wouldst multiply their seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is on the sea shore.

37 For we, O Lord, are diminished more than any nation, and are brought low in all the earth this day for our sins.

38 Neither is there at this time prince, or leader, or prophet, or holocaust, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, or place of firstfruits before thee,

39 That we may find thy mercy: nevertheless in a contrite heart and humble spirit let us be accepted.

40 As in holocausts of rams, and bullocks, and as in thousands of fat lambs: so let our sacrifice be made in thy sight this day, that it may please thee: for there is no confusion to them that trust in thee.

41 And now we follow thee with all our heart, and we fear thee, and seek thy face.

42 Put us not to confusion, but deal. with us according to thy meekness, and according to the multitude of thy mercies.

43 And deliver us according to thy wonderful works, and give glory to thy name, O Lord:

44 And let all them be confounded that shew evils to thy servants, let them be confounded in all thy might, and let their strength be broken.

45 And let them know that thou art the Lord, the only God, and glorious over all the world.

46 Now the king's servants that had cast them in, ceased not to heat the furnace with brimstone, and tow, and pitch, and dry sticks,

47 And the flame mounted up above the furnace nine and forty cubits:

48 And it broke forth, and burnt such of the Chaldeans as it found near the furnace.

49 But the angel of the Lord went down with Azarias and his companions into the furnace: and he drove the flame of the fire out of the furnace,

50 And made the midst of the furnace like the blowing of a wind bringing dew, and the fire touched them not at all, nor troubled them, nor did them any harm.

51 Then these three as with one mouth praised, and glorified, and blessed God in the furnace, saying:

52 Blessed art thou, O Lord the God of our fathers: and worthy to be praised, and glorified, and exalted above all for ever: and blessed is the holy name of thy glory: and worthy to be praised, and exalted above all in all ages.

53 Blessed art thou in the holy temple of thy glory: and exceedingly to be praised, and exceeding glorious for ever.

54 Blessed art thou on the throne of thy kingdom, and exceedingly to be praised, and exalted above all for ever.

55 Blessed art thou, that beholdest the depths, and sittest upon the cherubims: and worthy to be praised and exalted above all for ever.

56 Blessed art thou in the firmament of heaven: and worthy of praise, and glorious for ever.

57 All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

58 O ye angels of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

59 O ye heavens, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

60 O all ye waters that are above the heavens, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all for ever.

61 O all ye powers of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

62 O ye sun and moon, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

63 O ye stars of heaven, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

64 O every shower and dew, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

65 O all ye spirits of God, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

66 O ye fire and heat, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

67 O ye cold and heat, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

68 O ye dews and hoar frosts, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

69 O ye frost and cold, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

70 O ye ice and snow, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

71 O ye nights and days, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

72 O ye light and darkness, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

73 O ye lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

74 O let the earth bless the Lord: let it praise and exalt him above all for ever.

75 O ye mountains and hills, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

76 O all ye things that spring up in the earth, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

77 O ye fountains, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

78 O ye seas and rivers, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

79 O ye whales, and all that move in the waters, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

80 O all ye fowls of the air, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

81 O all ye beasts and cattle, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

82 O ye sons of men, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all for ever.

83 O let Israel bless the Lord: let them praise and exalt him above all for ever.

84 O ye priests of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

85 O ye servants of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

86 O ye spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

87 O ye holy and humble of heart, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

88 O Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. For he hath delivered us from hell, and saved us out of the hand of death, and delivered us out of the midst of the burning flame, and saved us out of the midst of the fire.

89 O give thanks to the Lord, because he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever and ever.

90 O all ye religious, bless the Lord the God of gods: praise him and give him thanks, because his mercy endureth for ever and ever.

91 Then Nabuchodonosor the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and said to his nobles: Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered the king, and said: True, O king.

92 He answered, and said: Behold I see four men loose, and walking in the midst of the fire, and there is no hurt in them, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

93 Then Nabuchodonosor came to the door of the burning fiery furnace, and said: Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, ye servants of the most high God, go ye forth, and come. And immediately Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago went out from the midst of the fire.

94 And the nobles, and the magistrates, and the judges, and the great men of the king being gathered together, considered these men, that the fire had no power on their bodies, and that not a hair of their head had been singed, nor their garments altered, nor the smell of the fire had passed on them.

95 Then Nabuchodonosor breaking forth, said: Blessed be the God of them, to wit, of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that believed in him: and they changed the king's word, and delivered up their bodies that they might not serve, nor adore any god, except their own God.

96 By me therefore this decree is made, that every people, tribe, and tongue, which shall speak blasphemy against the God of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, shall be destroyed, and their houses laid waste: for there is no other God that can save in this manner.

97 Then the king promoted Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, in the province of Babylon.

98 Nabuchodonosor the king, to all peoples, nations, and tongues, that dwell in all the earth, peace be multiplied unto you.

99 The most high God hath wrought signs and wonders toward me. It hath seemed good to me therefore to publish

100 His signs, because they are great: and his wonders, because they are mighty: and his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, I and his power to all generations.

Daniel 3 The Message (MSG)

Four Men in the Furnace

1-3 King Nebuchadnezzar built a gold statue, ninety feet high and nine feet thick. He set it up on the Dura plain in the province of Babylon. He then ordered all the important leaders in the province, everybody who was anybody, to the dedication ceremony of the statue. They all came for the dedication, all the important people, and took their places before the statue that Nebuchadnezzar had erected.

4-6 A herald then proclaimed in a loud voice: “Attention, everyone! Every race, color, and creed, listen! When you hear the band strike up—all the trumpets and trombones, the tubas and baritones, the drums and cymbals—fall to your knees and worship the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Anyone who does not kneel and worship shall be thrown immediately into a roaring furnace.”

The band started to play, a huge band equipped with all the musical instruments of Babylon, and everyone—every race, color, and creed—fell to their knees and worshiped the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

8-12 Just then, some Babylonian fortunetellers stepped up and accused the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “Long live the king! You gave strict orders, O king, that when the big band started playing, everyone had to fall to their knees and worship the gold statue, and whoever did not go to their knees and worship it had to be pitched into a roaring furnace. Well, there are some Jews here—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—whom you have placed in high positions in the province of Babylon. These men are ignoring you, O king. They don’t respect your gods and they won’t worship the gold statue you set up.”

13-15 Furious, King Nebuchadnezzar ordered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be brought in. When the men were brought in, Nebuchadnezzar asked, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you don’t respect my gods and refuse to worship the gold statue that I have set up? I’m giving you a second chance—but from now on, when the big band strikes up you must go to your knees and worship the statue I have made. If you don’t worship it, you will be pitched into a roaring furnace, no questions asked. Who is the god who can rescue you from my power?”

16-18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. But even if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.”

19-23 Nebuchadnezzar, his face purple with anger, cut off Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace fired up seven times hotter than usual. He ordered some strong men from the army to tie them up, hands and feet, and throw them into the roaring furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, bound hand and foot, fully dressed from head to toe, were pitched into the roaring fire. Because the king was in such a hurry and the furnace was so hot, flames from the furnace killed the men who carried Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to it, while the fire raged around Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

24 Suddenly King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in alarm and said, “Didn’t we throw three men, bound hand and foot, into the fire?”

“That’s right, O king,” they said.

25 “But look!” he said. “I see four men, walking around freely in the fire, completely unharmed! And the fourth man looks like a son of the gods!”

26 Nebuchadnezzar went to the door of the roaring furnace and called in, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the High God, come out here!”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked out of the fire.

27 All the important people, the government leaders and king’s counselors, gathered around to examine them and discovered that the fire hadn’t so much as touched the three men—not a hair singed, not a scorch mark on their clothes, not even the smell of fire on them!

28 Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel and rescued his servants who trusted in him! They ignored the king’s orders and laid their bodies on the line rather than serve or worship any god but their own.

29 “Therefore I issue this decree: Anyone anywhere, of any race, color, or creed, who says anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will be ripped to pieces, limb from limb, and their houses torn down. There has never been a god who can pull off a rescue like this.”

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

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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