At this time some astrologersa1 came forward and denounced the Jews.
They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, "O king, live forever!210
You have issued a decree,3 O king, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold,411
and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace.
But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon--Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego5--who pay no attention6 to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up."713
Furious8 with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king,
and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods9 or worship the image10 of gold I have set up?
Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god11 will be able to rescue12 you from my hand?"
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego13 replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save14 us from it, and he will rescue15 us from your hand, O king.
But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.16"
Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven17 times hotter than usual
and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego18 and throw them into the blazing furnace.
So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.
The king's command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego,1923
and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, "Weren't there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?" They replied, "Certainly, O king."
He said, "Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods."