0 The fiery furnace (Daniel 3)

Episode 211: The fiery furnace

Daniel 3

Nebuchadnezzar's golden image

3 1 Nebuchadnezzar made a gold image sixty cubits high and six cubits wide.

2 He told everyone to come to its dedication ceremony.

3-4 So everyone came, and an official cried out:

5 When you hear the music, fall down and worship the golden image.

6 Whoever fails to do so, will be cast into a fiery furnace.

7 So when the people heard the music, they fell down and worshiped the image.

The fiery furnace

8 But some people went to the king and said to him,

12 Some of the Jews, specifically Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refuse to worship the golden image.

13 King Nebuchadnezzar was angry and commanded Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be brought to him.

14 When they arrived, the king said to them,

Do you refuse to worship the golden image?

15 If so, I'll cast you into the fiery furnace.

16 They answered,

17 Our God will protect us from the fiery furnace.

18 But even if he doesn't, we won't worship your gods.

19-20 This made the king even more angry. He commanded that the furnace be made seven times as hot, and that they be thrown into it.

21-22 So they were cast into the furnace, but because the furnace was so hot, the men who cast them in burned in the flames of the fire.

24 The king said to his men,

Didn't we cast those three men into the fire?

His men answered, "Yes, we did."

25 The king said,

Then why do I see four men walking around in the fire without being burned?

And one of them looks like the Son of God!

26 Then he walked over to the edge of the fiery furnace and said,

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, come here.

27 So they came out of the furnace. Not a single hair was burned, neither were their coats. They didn't even smell smokey.

Nebuchadnezzar coverts to Judaism (again)

28 The king said,

Blessed be the god of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent an angel to save them.

29 From now on, whoever says anything bad about the god of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will be cut into pieces and their house will become a dunghill. Because their god is the best.

30 And the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

A few more words about this episode

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to worship the golden image. (3:12)
The fact that Daniel isn't mentioned in this story suggests to some scholars that it may have been written independently of the other chapters.
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