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Daniel 3New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

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 counsellors, 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 counsellors, 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 worshipped 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 for ever! 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 defence 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 to be 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.

The Prayer of Azariah in the Furnace

24 They walked around in the midst of the flames, singing hymns to God and blessing the Lord. 25 Then Azariah stood still in the fire and prayed aloud:

26 ‘Blessed are you, O Lord, God of our ancestors, and worthy of praise;
    and glorious is your name for ever!
27 For you are just in all you have done;
    all your works are true and your ways right,
    and all your judgements are true.
28 You have executed true judgements in all you have brought upon us
    and upon Jerusalem, the holy city of our ancestors;
    by a true judgement you have brought all this upon us because of our sins.
29 For we have sinned and broken your law in turning away from you;
    in all matters we have sinned grievously.
30 We have not obeyed your commandments,
    we have not kept them or done what you have commanded us for our own good.
31 So all that you have brought upon us,
    and all that you have done to us,
    you have done by a true judgement.
32 You have handed us over to our enemies, lawless and hateful rebels,
    and to an unjust king, the most wicked in all the world.
33 And now we cannot open our mouths;
    we, your servants who worship you, have become a shame and a reproach.
34 For your name’s sake do not give us up for ever,
    and do not annul your covenant.
35     Do not withdraw your mercy from us,
for the sake of Abraham your beloved
    and for the sake of your servant Isaac
    and Israel your holy one,
36 to whom you promised
    to multiply their descendants like the stars of heaven
    and like the sand on the shore of the sea.
37 For we, O Lord, have become fewer than any other nation,
    and are brought low this day in all the world because of our sins.
38 In our day we have no ruler, or prophet, or leader,
    no burnt-offering, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense,
    no place to make an offering before you and to find mercy.
39 Yet with a contrite heart and a humble spirit may we be accepted,
40     as though it were with burnt-offerings of rams and bulls,
    or with tens of thousands of fat lambs;
    such may our sacrifice be in your sight today,
    and may we unreservedly follow you,[e]
    for no shame will come to those who trust in you.
41 And now with all our heart we follow you;
    we fear you and seek your presence.
42 Do not put us to shame,
    but deal with us in your patience
    and in your abundant mercy.
43 Deliver us in accordance with your marvellous works,
    and bring glory to your name, O Lord.
44 Let all who do harm to your servants be put to shame;
    let them be disgraced and deprived of all power,
    and let their strength be broken.
45 Let them know that you alone are the Lord God,
    glorious over the whole world.’

The Song of the Three Jews

46 Now the king’s servants who threw them in kept stoking the furnace with naphtha, pitch, tow, and brushwood. 47 And the flames poured out above the furnace forty-nine cubits, 48 and spread out and burned those Chaldeans who were caught near the furnace. 49 But the angel of the Lord came down into the furnace to be with Azariah and his companions, and drove the fiery flame out of the furnace, 50 and made the inside of the furnace as though a moist wind were whistling through it. The fire did not touch them at all and caused them no pain or distress.

51 Then the three with one voice praised and glorified and blessed God in the furnace:

52 ‘Blessed are you, O Lord, God of our ancestors,
    and to be praised and highly exalted for ever;
And blessed is your glorious, holy name,
    and to be highly praised and highly exalted for ever.
53 Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
    and to be extolled and highly glorified for ever.
54 Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne on the cherubim,
    and to be praised and highly exalted for ever.
55 Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
    and to be extolled and highly exalted for ever.
56 Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
    and to be sung and glorified for ever.

57 ‘Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
58 Bless the Lord, you heavens;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
59 Bless the Lord, you angels of the Lord;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
60 Bless the Lord, all you waters above the heavens;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
61 Bless the Lord, all you powers of the Lord;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
62 Bless the Lord, sun and moon;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
63 Bless the Lord, stars of heaven;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.

64 ‘Bless the Lord, all rain and dew;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
65 Bless the Lord, all you winds;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
66 Bless the Lord, fire and heat;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
67 Bless the Lord, winter cold and summer heat;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
68 Bless the Lord, dews and falling snow;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
69 Bless the Lord, ice and cold;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
70 Bless the Lord, frosts and snows;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
71 Bless the Lord, nights and days;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
72 Bless the Lord, light and darkness;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
73 Bless the Lord, lightnings and clouds;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.

74 ‘Let the earth bless the Lord;
    let it sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
75 Bless the Lord, mountains and hills;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
76 Bless the Lord, all that grows in the ground;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
77 Bless the Lord, you springs;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
78 Bless the Lord, seas and rivers;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
79 Bless the Lord, you whales and all that swim in the waters;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
80 Bless the Lord, all birds of the air;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
81 Bless the Lord, all wild animals and cattle;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.

82 ‘Bless the Lord, all people on earth;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
83 Bless the Lord, O Israel;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
84 Bless the Lord, you priests of the Lord;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
85 Bless the Lord, you servants of the Lord;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
86 Bless the Lord, spirits and souls of the righteous;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
87 Bless the Lord, you who are holy and humble in heart;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.

88 ‘Bless the Lord, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
For he has rescued us from Hades and saved us from the power[f] of death,
    and delivered us from the midst of the burning fiery furnace;
    from the midst of the fire he has delivered us.
89 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his mercy endures for ever.
90 All who worship the Lord, bless the God of gods,
    sing praise to him and give thanks to him,
    for his mercy endures for ever.’

91 Hearing them sing, and amazed at seeing them alive, King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up quickly. He said to his counsellors, ‘Was it not three men that we threw bound into the fire?’ They answered the king, ‘True, O king.’ 92 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.’[g] 93 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. 94 And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counsellors 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[h] were not harmed, and not even the smell of fire came from them. 95 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. 96 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.’ 97 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 3:40 Meaning of Gk uncertain
  6. Daniel 3:88 Gk hand
  7. Daniel 3:92 Aram a son of the gods
  8. Daniel 3:94 Meaning of Aram word uncertain
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, 1995 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.

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