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ESV — Daniel 3

Nebuchadnezzar's Golden Image

King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits1 and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on uthe plain of Dura, in vthe province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather wthe satraps, the prefects, and xthe governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then wthe satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And the herald yproclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O zpeoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the asound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you bare to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately cbe 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 zthe peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

The Fiery Furnace

Therefore at that time certain dChaldeans ecame forward and maliciously accused the Jews. They declared2 to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, fhave made a decree, that every man who ghears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, gshall fall down and worship the golden image. 11 And whoever does not fall down and worship cshall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have happointed over the affairs of vthe province of Babylon: iShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, jpay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar kin furious rage commanded that iShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when lyou hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good.3 But if you do not worship, cyou shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And mwho is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”

16 iShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, nour 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.4 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was ofilled with fury, and the expression of his face pwas changed against iShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army qto bind iShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were qbound in their cloaks, their tunics,5 their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. 22 Because the king's order was rurgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell qbound into the burning fiery furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was tastonished and rose up uin haste. He declared to his vcounselors, “Did we not cast three men wbound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, xwalking in the midst of the fire, and they yare not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like za son of the gods.”

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, s“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the aMost High God, come out, and come here!” Then sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. 27 And the bsatraps, the prefects, the governors, and vthe king's counselors gathered together and saw that cthe fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their dcloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. 28 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who ehas sent his angel and fdelivered his servants, who gtrusted in him, and set aside6 the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than hserve and worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore iI make a decree: Any jpeople, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego kshall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” 30 Then the king promoted sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in lthe province of Babylon.

Footnotes

[1] 3:1 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
[2] 3:9 Aramaic answered and said; also verses 24, 26
[3] 3:15 Aramaic lacks well and good
[4] 3:17 Or If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us, he will deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and out of your hand, O king
[5] 3:21 The meaning of the Aramaic words rendered cloaks and tunics is uncertain; also verse 27
[6] 3:28 Aramaic and changed