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Daniel 3Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

The Golden Image

King Nebuchadnez′zar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnez′zar sent to assemble the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnez′zar had set up. Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, were assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnez′zar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnez′zar had set up. And 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, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnez′zar has set up; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image which King Nebuchadnez′zar had set up.

Therefore at that time certain Chalde′ans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnez′zar, “O king, live for ever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image; 11 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed′nego. These men, O king, pay no heed to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.”

13 Then Nebuchadnez′zar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed′nego be brought. Then they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnez′zar said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed′nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image which I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image which I have made, well and good; but if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace; and who is the god that will deliver you out of my hands?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed′nego answered the king, “O Nebuchadnez′zar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.[a] 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.”

The Fiery Furnace

19 Then Nebuchadnez′zar was full of fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed′nego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated. 20 And he ordered certain mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed′nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their mantles,[b] their tunics,[c] their hats, and their other garments, and they were cast into the burning fiery furnace. 22 Because the king’s order was strict and the furnace very hot, the flame of the fire slew those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed′nego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed′nego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.[d]

The Prayer of Azariah in the Furnace

And they walked about in the midst of the flames, singing hymns to God and blessing the Lord. Then Azari′ah stood and offered this prayer; in the midst of the fire he opened his mouth and said:

“Blessed art thou, O Lord, God of our fathers, and worthy of praise;
    and thy name is glorified for ever.
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 are truth.
Thou hast executed true judgments in all that thou hast brought upon us
    and upon Jerusalem, the holy city of our fathers,
    for in truth and justice thou hast brought all this upon us because of our sins.
For we have sinfully and lawlessly departed from thee,
    and have sinned in all things and have not obeyed thy commandments;
we have not observed them or done them,
    as thou hast commanded us that it might go well with us.
So all that thou hast brought upon us,
    and all that thou hast done to us,
    thou hast done in true judgment.
Thou hast given us into the hands of lawless enemies, most hateful rebels,
    and to an unjust king, the most wicked in all the world.
10  And now we cannot open our mouths;
    shame and disgrace have befallen thy servants and worshipers.
11  For thy name’s sake do not give us up utterly,
    and do not break thy covenant,
12      and do not withdraw thy mercy from us,
for the sake of Abraham thy beloved
    and for the sake of Isaac thy servant
    and Israel thy holy one,
13  to whom thou didst promise
    to make their descendants as many as the stars of heaven
    and as the sand on the shore of the sea.
14  For we, O Lord, have become fewer than any nation,
    and are brought low this day in all the world because of our sins.
15  And at this time there is no prince, or prophet, or leader,
    no burnt offering, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense,
    no place to make an offering before thee or to find mercy.
16  Yet with a contrite heart and a humble spirit may we be accepted,
    as though it were with burnt offerings of rams and bulls,
    and with tens of thousands of fat lambs;
17      such may our sacrifice be in thy sight this day,
    and may we wholly follow thee,
    for there will be no shame for those who trust in thee.
18  And now with all our heart we follow thee,
    we fear thee and seek thy face.
19  Do not put us to shame,
    but deal with us in thy forbearance
    and in thy abundant mercy.
20  Deliver us in accordance with thy marvelous works,
    and give glory to thy name, O Lord!
Let all who do harm to thy servants be put to shame;
21      let them be disgraced and deprived of all power and dominion,
    and let their strength be broken.
22  Let them know that thou art the Lord, the only God,
    glorious over the whole world.”

The Song of the Three Jews

23 Now the king’s servants who threw them in did not cease feeding the furnace fires with naphtha, pitch, tow, and brush. 24 And the flame streamed out above the furnace forty-nine cubits, 25 and it broke through and burned those of the Chalde′ans whom it caught about the furnace. 26 But the angel of the Lord came down into the furnace to be with Azari′ah and his companions, and drove the fiery flame out of the furnace, 27 and made the midst of the furnace like a moist whistling wind, so that the fire did not touch them at all or hurt or trouble them.

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

29  “Blessed art thou, O Lord, God of our fathers,
    and to be praised and highly exalted for ever;
30  And blessed is thy glorious, holy name
    and to be highly praised and highly exalted for ever;
31  Blessed art thou in the temple of thy holy glory
    and to be extolled and highly glorified for ever.
32  Blessed art thou, who sittest upon cherubim and lookest upon the deeps,
    and to be praised and highly exalted for ever.
33  Blessed art thou upon the throne of thy kingdom
    and to be extolled and highly exalted for ever.
34  Blessed art thou in the firmament of heaven
    and to be sung and glorified for ever.

35  “Bless the Lord, all works of the Lord,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
36  Bless the Lord, you heavens,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
37  Bless the Lord, you angels of the Lord,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
38  Bless the Lord, all waters above the heaven,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
39  Bless the Lord, all powers,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
40  Bless the Lord, sun and moon,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
41  Bless the Lord, stars of heaven,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
42  Bless the Lord, all rain and dew,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
43  Bless the Lord, all winds,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
44  Bless the Lord, fire and heat,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
45  Bless the Lord, winter cold and summer heat,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
46  Bless the Lord, dews and snows,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
47  Bless the Lord, nights and days,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
48  Bless the Lord, light and darkness,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
49  Bless the Lord, ice and cold,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
50  Bless the Lord, frosts and snows,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
51  Bless the Lord, lightnings and clouds,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
52  Let the earth bless the Lord;
    let it sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
53  Bless the Lord, mountains and hills,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
54  Bless the Lord, all things that grow on the earth,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
55  Bless the Lord, you springs,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
56  Bless the Lord, seas and rivers,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
57  Bless the Lord, you whales and all creatures that move in the waters,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
58  Bless the Lord, all birds of the air,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
59  Bless the Lord, all beasts and cattle,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
60  Bless the Lord, you sons of men,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
61  Bless the Lord, O Israel,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
62  Bless the Lord, you priests of the Lord,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
63  Bless the Lord, you servants of the Lord,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
64  Bless the Lord, spirits and souls of the righteous,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
65  Bless the Lord, you who are holy and humble in heart,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
66  Bless the Lord, Hanani′ah, Azari′ah, and Mish′ael,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever;
for he has rescued us from Hades and saved us from the hand of death,
    and delivered us from the midst of the burning fiery furnace;
    from the midst of the fire he has delivered us.
67  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his mercy endures for ever.
68  Bless him, all who worship the Lord, the God of gods,
    sing praise to him and give thanks to him,
    for his mercy endures for ever.”[e]

24 Then King Nebuchadnez′zar was astonished and rose up in haste. He said to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered the king, “True, O king.” 25 He answered, “But I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

26 Then Nebuchadnez′zar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed′nego, servants of the Most High God, come forth, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed′nego 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 mantles[f] were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. 28 Nebuchadnez′zar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed′nego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set at nought 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 speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed′nego 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 Abed′nego in the province of Babylon.

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 3:17 Or Behold, our God . . . king. Or If our God is able to deliver us, he will deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and out of your hand, O king.
  2. Daniel 3:21 The meaning of the Aramaic word is uncertain
  3. Daniel 3:21 The meaning of the Aramaic word is uncertain
  4. 3.23 After this verse the section (sixty-eight verses) printed in italics is contained only in the Greek. It is here translated from Theodotion’s version. Concordance of verse numberings:
    RSVVulgateRSVVulgate
    1-2824-513659
    29-30523758
    315338-4560-67
    32554668-69
    33544771
    34564872
    355749-5070
    51-6873-90
  5. 3.68 The reader will notice that the roman figures used for the remaining verses of this chapter take up again the numbering of the protocanonical text. Verses 24-30 are numbered 91-97 in the Greek and Vulgate; they are written in Aramaic, not Hebrew.
  6. Daniel 3:27 The meaning of the Aramaic word is uncertain
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 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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