Daniel 3

1King Nebuchadnezzar had a gold idol made. That idol was 60 cubits high and 6 cubits wide. Then he set the idol up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2Then the king called the satraps, the prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, rulers, and all the other officials in his kingdom to come together. The king wanted all those men to come to the dedication ceremony for the idol. 3So all those men came and stood in front of the idol that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 4Then the man that makes the announcements for the king spoke in a loud voice. He said, “All you people from many nations and language groups, ˻listen to me˼. This is what you are commanded to do: 5You must bow down as soon as you hear the sound of all the musical instruments. When you hear the horns, flutes, lyres, sambucas, harps, bagpipes, and all of the other musical instruments, you must worship the gold idol. King Nebuchadnezzar has set this idol up. 6If any person does not bow down and worship this gold idol, then that person will be quickly thrown into a very hot furnace. 7So, as soon as they heard the sound of the horns, flutes, lyres, sambucas, bagpipes, and all of the other musical instruments, they bowed down and worshiped the gold idol. All the peoples, nations, and men of every kind of language there worshiped the gold idol that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 8Then, some of the Chaldean men came up to the king. Those men began speaking against the Jews. 9They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “King, may you live forever! 10King, you gave a command. You said that everyone that hears the sound of the horns, flutes, lyres, sambucas, harps, bagpipes, and all the other musical instruments must bow down and worship the gold idol. 11And you also said that if any person does not bow down and worship the gold idol, then that person will be thrown into a very hot furnace. 12There are some Jews that did not pay attention to your order, king. You made those Jews important officials in the province of Babylon. Their names are Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They don’t worship your gods. And they didn’t bow down and worship the gold idol you set up.” 13Nebuchadnezzar became very angry. He called Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So those men were brought to the king. 14And Nebuchadnezzar said to those men, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, is it true that you don’t worship my gods? And is it true that you didn’t bow down and worship the gold idol I have set up? 15Now, when you hear the sound of the horns, flutes, lyres, sambucas, harps, bagpipes, and all the other musical instruments, you must bow down and worship the gold idol. If you are ready to worship the idol I have made, that will be good. But if you don’t worship it, you will be thrown very quickly into the hot furnace. Then no god will be able to save you from my power!” 16Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, “Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to explain these things to you! 17If you throw us into the hot furnace, then the God we serve can save us. And if he wants to, he can save us from your power. 18But even if God does not save us, we want you to know, king, that we refuse to serve your gods. We won’t worship the gold idol you have set up.” 19Then Nebuchadnezzar was very angry! He looked very mean at Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He gave an order for the oven to be heated seven times hotter that it usually was. 20Then Nebuchadnezzar commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The king told the soldiers to throw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the hot furnace. 21So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were tied up and thrown into the hot furnace. They were wearing their robes, pants, hats, and other clothes. 22The king was very angry when he gave the command, so they quickly made the furnace very hot! The fire was so hot that the flames killed the strong soldiers! They were killed when they went close to the fire and threw in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fell into the fire. They were tied up very tightly. 24Then King Nebuchadnezzar jumped to his feet. He was very surprised and he asked his advisers, “We tied only three men and we threw only three men into the fire! Is that right?” His advisers said, “Yes, king.” 25The king said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire. They are not tied up and they are not burned. The fourth man looks like an angel! 26Then Nebuchadnezzar went to the opening of the hot furnace. He shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, come out! Servants of the Most High God, come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire. 27When they came out, the satraps, prefects, governors, and royal advisers crowded around them. They could see that the fire had not burned Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Their bodies were not burned at all. Their hair was not burned, their robes were not burned, and they didn’t even smell like they had been near fire. 28Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Their God has sent his angel and saved his servants from the fire! These three men trusted their God. They refused to obey my command and were willing to die instead of serving or worshiping any other god. 29So, I now make this law: The people of any nation or of any language that says anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will be cut to pieces. And that person’s house will be destroyed until it is a pile of dirt and ashes. No other god can save his people like this.” 30Then the king gave Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego more important jobs in the province of Babylon.

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