Chapter 3
Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits; he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the satraps, the deputies, and the governors, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image, which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Then the satraps, the deputies, and the governors, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces were gathered together for the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
Then the herald cried aloud, “To you it is commanded, peoples, nations, and languages, that whenever you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of music, you fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up; and whoever doesn’t fall down and worship shall the same hour be cast into the middle of a burning fiery furnace.” Therefore at that time, when all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshiped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near and brought accusation against the Jews. They spoke and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king, “O king, live for ever. 10 You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image; 11 and whoever doesn’t fall down and worship shall be cast into the middle of a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews, whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have disregarded you; they don’t serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.”
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar answered them, “Is it on purpose, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you don’t serve my god, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? 15 If you are now ready, whenever you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image which I have made, it is well. But if you don’t worship, you shall be cast the same hour into the middle of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that god who shall deliver you out of my hands?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, “Nebuchadnezzar, 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. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.”
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the form of his appearance was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Therefore he spoke and commanded that they should heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 He commanded certain mighty men, who were in his army, to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their pants, their tunics, and their mantles, and their other garments, and were cast into the middle of the burning fiery furnace. 22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 These three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the middle of the burning fiery furnace.
24 And they walked in the middle of the fire, praising God and blessing the Lord. 25 Then Azariah stood up and prayed in this way; and opening his mouth in the middle of the fire, he said, 26 “Blessed are you, O Lord God of our fathers; your name is worthy to be praised and glorified for evermore: 27 For you are righteous in all the things which you have done to us; yes, true are all your works, your ways are right, and all your judgments are truth. 28 In all the things which you have brought upon us and upon the holy city of our fathers, even Jerusalem, you have executed true judgment; for according to truth and judgment you brought all these things upon us because of our sins. 29 For we have sinned and committed iniquity, departing from you. 30 In all things have we trespassed and not obeyed your commandments, nor kept them, neither have we done as you have commanded us, so that it might go well with us. 31 Therefore all that you have brought upon us and everything which you have done to us, you have done in true judgment. 32 And you delivered us into the hands of lawless enemies, most hateful forsakers of God, and to an unjust king, the most wicked in all the world. 33 And now we cannot open our mouths; we have become a shame and a reproach to your servants and to those who worship you. 34 Yet do not deliver us up completely, for your name’s sake, nor completely annul your covenant. 35 And do not cause your mercy to depart from us, for your beloved Abraham’s sake, for your servant Isaac’s sake, and for your holy Israel’s sake, 36 to whom you have spoken and promised that you would multiply their seed as the stars of heaven and as the sand which lies upon the seashore. 37 For we, O Lord, have become less than any nation and are oppressed this day in all the world because of our sins. 38 Neither is there at this time any prince, or prophet, or leader, or burnt offering, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, or place, to sacrifice before you in order to find mercy. 39 Nevertheless, with a contrite heart and a humble spirit, let us be accepted. 40 Just as in the burnt offerings of rams and bullocks, and just as in ten thousands of fat lambs, so let it be with our sacrifice in your sight on this day; and grant that we may completely follow you, for those who put their trust in you shall not be confounded. 41 And now we follow you with all our heart; we fear you and seek your face. 42 Do not put us to shame, but deal with us according to your loving kindness and according to the multitude of your mercies. 43 Deliver us also according to your marvelous works and give glory to your name, O Lord; and let all those who do harm to your servants be ashamed; 44 and let them be confounded in all their power and might, and let their strength be broken; 45 and let them know that you are God, the only God, and glorious over the whole world.”
46 And the king’s servants, who put them in, continued to make the oven hot with resin, pitch, tow, and small wood, 47 so that the flame streamed forth above the furnace for forty nine cubits. 48 And it passed through and burned those Chaldeans it found around the furnace. 49 But the angel of the Lord came down into the oven, together with Azariah and his peers, and drove the flame of the fire out of the oven, 50 and made the middle of the furnace like a moist whistling wind, so that the fire didn’t touch them at all and neither hurt nor troubled them. 51 Then the three, as out of one mouth, praised, glorified, and blessed God in the furnace, saying:
52 “Blessed are you, O Lord God of our fathers;
and praised and exalted above all for ever.
And blessed is your glorious and holy name;
and praised and exalted above all for ever.
53 Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory;
and praised and glorified above all for ever.
54 Blessed are you on the glorious throne of your kingdom;
and praised and glorified above all for ever.
55 Blessed are you, who beholds the abyss while sitting upon the cherubims;
and praised and exalted above all for ever.
56 Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven;
and above all praised and glorified for ever.
57 All works of the Lord, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
58 Heavens, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
59 Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
60 All waters above the sky, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
61 All powers of the Lord, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
62 Sun and moon, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
63 Stars of heaven, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
64 Every shower and dew, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
65 All winds, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
66 Fire and heat, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
67 Winter and summer, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
68 Dews and storms of snow, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
69 Ice and cold, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
70 Frost and snow, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
71 Nights and days, bless the Lord;
bless and exalt him above all for ever.
72 Light and darkness, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever. 73 Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
74 Let the earth bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
75 Mountains and little hills, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
76 All things which grow upon the earth, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever. 77 Seas and rivers, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever. 78 Fountains, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever. 79 Whales and all that moves in the waters, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
80 All fowls of the air, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
81 All beasts and cattle, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
82 Children of men, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
83 Israel, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
84 Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
85 Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
86 Spirits and souls of the righteous, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
87 Holy and humble men of heart, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
88 Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
He has delivered us far from hell,
and saved us from the hand of death,
and delivered us out of the middle of the furnace and burning flame;
even out of the middle of the fire he has delivered us. 89 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious,
for his mercy endures for ever.
90 All you who worship the Lord, bless the God of gods,
praise him and give him thanks,
for his mercy endures for ever.”
91 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished and rose up in haste. He spoke and said to his counselors, “Didn’t we cast three men bound into the middle of the fire?” They answered the king, “True, O king.” 92 He answered, “Look, I see four men loose, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are unharmed; and the aspect of the fourth is like a son of god!” 93 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace. He spoke and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the Most High God, come forth and come here. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came forth out of the middle of the fire.”
94 The satraps, the deputies, and the governors, and the king’s counselors, who were gathered together, saw these men, that the fire had no power on their bodies, nor was the hair of their head singed, neither were their pants changed, nor had the smell of fire passed onto them. 95 Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said, “Blessed is the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him and have changed the king’s word and have yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. 96 Therefore I make a decree: that every people, nation, and language, who speaks anything evil against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces and their houses shall be made a dunghill, because there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.” 97 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Public Domain