Daniel 3

1King Nebuchadnezzar made a statue of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and he set it up in the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2Then king Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather together the governors, magistrates and judges, generals and sovereigns and commanders, and all the leaders of the regions, to come together for the dedication of the statue, which king Nebuchadnezzar had raised. 3Then the governors, magistrates and judges, generals and sovereigns and nobles, who were appointed to power, and all the leaders of the regions were brought together so as to convene for the dedication of the statue, which king Nebuchadnezzar had raised. And so they stood before the statue that king Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 4And a herald proclaimed loudly, “To you it is said, to you peoples, tribes, and languages, 5that in the hour when you will hear the sound of the trumpet and the pipe and the lute, the harp and the psaltery, and of the symphony and every kind of music, you must fall down and adore the gold statue, which king Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6But if anyone will not bow down and adore, in the same hour he will be cast into a furnace of burning fire.” 7After this, therefore, as soon as all the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the pipe and the lute, the harp and the psaltery, and of the symphony and every kind of music, all the peoples, tribes, and languages fell down and adored the gold statue, which king Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 8And soon, about the same time, some influential Chaldeans came and accused the Jews, 9and they said to king Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever. 10You, O king, have established a decree, so that every man who might hear the sound of the trumpet, the pipe and the lute, the harp and the psaltery, and of the symphony and every kind of music, will prostrate himself and adore the gold statue. 11But if any man will not fall down and adore, he would be cast into a furnace of burning fire. 12Yet there are influential Jews, whom you have appointed over the works of the region of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, have scorned your decree. They do not worship your gods, and they do not adore the gold statue which you have raised up.” 13Then Nebuchadnezzar, in fury and in wrath, commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego should be brought, and so, without delay, they were brought before the king. 14And king Nebuchadnezzar addressed them and said, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not worship my gods, nor adore the gold statue, which I have set up? 15Therefore, if you are prepared now, whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, pipe, lute, harp and psaltery, and of the symphony and every kind of music, prostrate yourselves and adore the statue which I have made. But if you will not adore, in the same hour you will be cast into the furnace of burning fire. And who is the God that will rescue you from my hand?” 16Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to king Nebuchadnezzar, “It is not right for us to obey you in this matter. 17For behold our God, whom we worship, is able to rescue us from the oven of burning fire and to free us from your hands, O king. 18But even if he will not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not worship your gods, nor adore the gold statue, which you have raised up.” 19Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury and the appearance of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and he commanded that the furnace should be heated to seven times its usual fire. 20And he ordered the strongest men of his army to bind the feet of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the furnace of burning fire. 21And immediately these men were bound, and along with their coats, and their hats, and their shoes, and their garments, were cast into the middle of the furnace of burning fire. 22But the king’s order was so urgent that the furnace was heated excessively. As a result, those men who had cast in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were killed by the flame of the fire. 23But these three men, that is, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, having been bound, fell down in the middle of the oven of burning fire. 24And they were walking in the midst of the flame, praising God and blessing the Lord. 25Then Azariah, while standing, prayed in this manner, and opening his mouth in the midst of the fire, he said: 26“Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and your name is praiseworthy and glorious for all ages. 27For you are just in all the things that you have accomplished for us, and all your works are true, and your ways are right, and all your judgments are true. 28For you have made equally true judgments in all the things that you have brought upon us and upon Jerusalem, the holy city of our fathers. For in truth and in judgment, you have brought down all these things because of our sins. 29For we have sinned, and we have committed iniquity in withdrawing from you, and we have offended in all things. 30And we have not listened to your precepts, nor have we observed or done as you have ordered us, so that it might go well with us. 31Therefore, everything that you have brought upon us, and all that you have done for us, you have done in true judgment. 32And you have delivered us into the hands of our enemies: traitors, unjust and most wicked, and to a king, unjust and most wicked, even more so than all others on earth. 33And now we are not able to open our mouths. We have become a shame and a disgrace to your servants and to those who worship you. 34Do not hand us over forever, we ask you, because of your name, and do not abolish your covenant. 35And do not withdraw your mercy from us, because of Abraham, your beloved, and Isaac, your servant, and Israel, your holy one. 36You have spoken with them, promising that you would multiply their offspring like the stars of heaven and like the sand on the seashore. 37For we, O Lord, are diminished more than all other peoples, and we are brought low throughout all the earth, this day, because of our sins. 38Neither is there, at this time, a leader, or a ruler, or a prophet, nor any holocaust, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, or place of first fruits, in your eyes, 39so that we may be able to find your mercy. Nevertheless, with a contrite soul and humble spirit, let us be accepted. 40Just as in the holocausts of rams and bullocks, and as in thousands of fat lambs, so let our sacrifice be in your sight this day, in order to please you. For there is no shame for those who trust in you. 41And now we follow you wholeheartedly, and we fear you, and we seek your face. 42Do not put us to shame, but deal with us in agreement with your clemency and according to the multitude of your mercies. 43And rescue us by your wonders and give glory to your name, O Lord. 44And let all those be confounded who lead your servants towards evil. May they be confounded by all your power and may their strength be crushed. 45And may they know that you are the Lord, the only God, and glorious above the world.” 46And they did not cease, those attendants of the king who had cast them in, to heat the furnace with oil, and flax, and pitch, and brush. 47And the flame streamed forth above the furnace for forty-nine cubits. 48And the fire erupted and burnt those of the Chaldeans within its reach near the furnace. 49But the angel of the Lord descended with Azariah and his companions into the furnace; and he cast the flame of the fire out of the furnace. 50And he made the middle of the furnace like the blowing of a damp wind, and the fire did not touch them, nor afflict them, nor bother them at all. 51Then these three, as if with one voice, praised and glorified and blessed God, in the furnace, saying: 52“Blessed are you, Lord, God of our fathers: praiseworthy, and glorious, and exalted above all forever. And blessed is the holy name of your glory: praiseworthy, and exalted above all, for all ages. 53Blessed are you in the holy temple of your glory: praiseworthy above all and exalted above all forever. 54Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom: praiseworthy above all and exalted above all forever. 55Blessed are you who beholds the abyss and sits upon the cherubims: praiseworthy and exalted above all forever. 56Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven: praiseworthy and glorious forever. 57All works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 58Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 59Heaven, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 60All waters that are above the heavens, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 61All powers of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 62Sun and moon, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 63Stars of heaven, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 64Every rain and dew, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 65Every breath of God, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 66Fire and steam, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 67Cold and heat, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 68Dews and frost, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 69Sleet and winter, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 70Ice and snow, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 71Nights and days, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 72Light and darkness, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 73Lightning and clouds, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 74May the land bless the Lord: and praise and exalt him above all forever. 75Mountains and hills, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 76All things that grow in the land, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 77Fountains, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 78Seas and rivers, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 79Whales and all things that move in the waters, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 80All things that fly in the heavens, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 81All beasts and cattle, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 82Sons of men, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 83May Israel bless the Lord: and praise and exalt him above all forever. 84Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 85Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 86Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 87Those who are holy and humble in heart, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. 88Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all forever. For he has delivered us from the underworld, and saved us from the hand of death, and freed us from the midst of the burning flame, and rescued us from the midst of the fire. 89Give thanks to the Lord because he is good: because his mercy is forever. 90All those who are pious, bless the Lord, the God of gods: praise him and acknowledge him because his mercy is for all generations.” 91Then king Nebuchadnezzar was astonished, and he quickly got up and said to his nobles: “Did we not cast three men shackled into the midst of the fire?” Answering the king, they said, “True, O king.” 92He answered and said, “Behold, I see four men unbound and walking in the midst of the fire, and no harm is in them, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of God.” 93Then Nebuchadnezzar approached the entrance of the furnace of burning fire, and he said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the supreme God, come out and approach.” And immediately Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego went out from the midst of the fire. 94And when the governors, and the magistrates, and the judges, and the powerful of the king had gathered together, they considered these men because the fire had no power against their bodies, and not a hair of their head had been scorched, and their pants had not been affected, and the smell of the fire had not passed onto them. 95Then Nebuchadnezzar, bursting out, said, “Blessed is their God, the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel and rescued his servants who believed in him. And they altered the verdict of the king, and they delivered up their bodies, so that they would not serve or adore any god except their God. 96Therefore, this decree is established by me: that every people, tribe, and language, whenever they have spoken blasphemy against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, will perish and their homes will be destroyed. For there is no other God who is able to save in this way.” 97Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon. 98NEBUCHADNEZZAR, the king, to all peoples, nations, and languages, who dwell in the whole world, may peace be increased with you. 99The supreme God has accomplished signs and wonders with me. Therefore, it has pleased me to proclaim 100his signs, which are great, and his wonders, which are mighty. For his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his power continues from generation to generation.
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