Aku's command, the Chaldean name given to Hananiah, one of the Hebrew youths whom Nebuchadnezzar carried captive to Babylon ( Daniel 1:6 Daniel 1:7 ; 3:12-30 ). He and his two companions refused to bow down before the image which Nebuchadnezzar had set up on the plains of Dura. Their conduct filled the king with the greatest fury, and he commanded them to be cast into the burning fiery furnace. Here, amid the fiery flames, they were miraculously preserved from harm. Over them the fire had no power, "neither was a hair of their head singed, neither had the smell of fire passed on them." Thus Nebuchadnezzar learned the greatness of the God of Israel. (See ABEDNEGO .)
(royal , or the great scribe ) the Hebrew, or rather Chaldee, name of Hananiah. The history of Shadrach or Hananiah, as told in Dani 1-3 is well known. After their deliverance from the furnace, we hear no more of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, except in ( Hebrews 11:33 Hebrews 11:34 ) but there are repeated allusions to them in the later apocryphal books, and the martyrs of the Maccabaean period seem to have been much encouraged by their example.
The Babylonian name of one of the so-called Hebrew children. Shadrach is probably the Sumerian form of the Bah Kudurru-Aki, "servant of Sin." It has been suggested by Meinhold that we should read Merodach instead of Shadrach. Since there were no vowels in the original Hebrew or Aramaic, and since "sh" and "m" as well as "r" and "d" are much alike in the old alphabet in which Daniel was written, this change is quite possible.
Shadrach and his two companions were trained along with Daniel at the court of Nebuchadnezzar, who had carried all four captive in the expedition against Jerusalem in the 3rd year of Jehoiakim (Daniel 1:1). They all refused to eat of the food provided by Ashpenaz, the master who had been set over them by the king, but preferred to eat pulse (Daniel 1:12). The effect was much to their advantage, as they appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than those who ate of the king's meat. At the end of the appointed time they passed satisfactory examinations, both as to their physical appearance and their intellectual acquirements, so that none were found like them among all with whom the king communed, and they stood before the king (see Da 1).
When Daniel heard that the wise men of Babylon were to be slain because they could not tell the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, after he had gained a respite from the king, he made the thing known to his three companions that they might unite with him in prayer to the God of heaven that they all might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. After God had heard their prayer and the dream was made known to the king by Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, at Daniel's request, set Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon (Daniel 2). With Meshach and Abed-nego, Shadrach was cast into a fiery furnace, but escaped unhurt (Daniel 3).
See ABED-NEGO; HANANIAH; SONG OF THE THREE CHILDREN.
R. Dick Wilson
These files are public domain.