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CHAPTER 3

1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made a golden image; its height was sixty cubits, its breadth six cubits. He erected it on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

2 Then King: Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather together the princes, the satraps, and the magistrates, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the presidents, and all the governors of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had erected.

3 Then the princes, the senators, and the magistrates, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the presidents, and all the governors of the provinces collected together at the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had erected. And when they stood before the image which Nebuchadnezzar had erected,

4 A herald proclaimed in the midst of the multitude, O people, nations, and languages, to you it is spoken:

5 Whenever ye shall hear the sound of the trumpet, harp, pipe, psaltery, sackbut, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye must fall down and worship the golden image which King Nebuchadnezzar has erected.

6 And whosoever shall not bend the knee and adore, shall be instantly cast into the midst of a furnace of burning fire.

7 Therefore at the very same hour, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, harp, pipe, psaltery, sackbut, dulcimer, and all musical instruments, all people, languages, and nations, fell down adoring the golden image which King Nebuchadnezzar had erected.

8 Wherefore the Chaldeans immediately approached and vociferously accused the Jews.

9 They spoke, and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.

10 Thou, O king, hast issued an edict, that as soon as every man shall hear the sound of the trumpet, harp, pipe, psaltery, sackbut, dulcimer, and all musical instruments, he shall fall down and adore the golden image.

11 And he who shall not fall down and adore, shall be east into the midst of a furnace of burning fire.

12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the administration of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: these men have not paid attention to thee, O king: they do not worship thy gods, and they do not adore the image which thou hast erected.

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar, with rage and fury, commanded Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be brought before him: then those men (the Chaldeans) brought them up before the king.

14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, and said to them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that ye do not worship my gods, nor yet adore the image which I have erected?

15 Now, are ye prepared, as soon as ye shall hear the sound of the trumpet, harp, pipe, psaltery, sackbut, dulcimer, and all musical instruments, to fall down and adore the image which I have made? For if ye will not adore it, ye shall be east the stone hour into the midst of a furnace of burning fire: and who is that God who shall deliver you from my hand?

16 Shadrach, Meshaeh, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, we are not anxious about our reply to thee concerning this matter.

17 Behold! our God whom we worship is powerful. He can free us from the furnace of burning fire, and he will deliver us out of thy hand, O king.

18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not worship thy gods, and we will not adore the golden image which thou hast erected.

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the figure of his face was changed towards Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: he spoke and commanded the furnace to be heated seven times more than it was usual to heat it.

20 And he commanded the very strongest of his attendants to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to east them into the furnace of burning fire.

21 Then those men were bound in their mantles, and turbans, and garments, and were east into the furnace of burning fire.

22 Because the king’s order was urgent, and he had commanded the furnace to be made so exceedingly hot, the extremity of the flame slew the men who had taken up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

23 And those three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound in the midst of the furnace of burning fire.

24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was terrified, and rose in haste, and spoke, and said to his counselors, Did we not cast these men bound into the furnace? They answered and said to the king, True, O king!

25 He answered and said, But I see four men loose, walking in the fire, and they have no hurt: and the aspect of the fourth is like the Son of a God.

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar approached the door of the furnace of burning fire; he spoke and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the most High God, come forth and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the midst of the fire.

27 Then the satraps, generals, prefects, and counselors of the king assembled to behold those men, over whose body the fire had no power, and a hair of their head was not burnt, neither were their garments changed, nor had the smell of fire passed over them.

28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and preserved his servants, who have trusted in him and changed the king’s edict, and delivered up their bodies, that they might neither worship nor adorn any god except their own God.

29 Hence I issue a decree, that any nation, people, and tongue, which shall utter a perverse speech against the God of these men, namely, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and his house shall be reduced to a dungheap: because there is no other God who can deliver after this method.

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

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