Daniel 3 (GOD'S WORD Translation)

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1 King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue 90 feet high and 9 feet wide. He set it up in a recessed area in the wall in the province of Babylon. 2 King Nebuchadnezzar sent messengers to assemble the satraps, governors, mayors, military advisers, treasurers, judges, officers, and all the other provincial officials to dedicate the statue he had set up. 3 Then the satraps, governors, mayors, military advisers, treasurers, judges, officers, and all the other provincial officials assembled to dedicate the statue King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. They stood in front of the statue. 4 The herald called out loudly, "People of every province, nation, and language! 5 When you hear the sound of rams' horns, flutes, lyres, harps, and three-stringed harps playing at the same time with all other kinds of instruments, bow down and worship the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 Whoever doesn't bow down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace." 7 As soon as they heard the sound of rams' horns, flutes, lyres, harps, and three-stringed harps with all other kinds of instruments, all the people from every province, nation, and language bowed down and worshiped the gold statue King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 8 After that happened, some astrologers came forward and brought charges against the Jews. 9 They addressed King Nebuchadnezzar, "Your Majesty, may you live forever! 10 Your Majesty, you gave an order that everyone who hears the sound of rams' horns, flutes, lyres, harps, and three-stringed harps playing at the same time with all other kinds of instruments should bow down and worship the gold statue. 11 [Your order said that] whoever doesn't bow down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you appointed to govern the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men didn't obey your order, Your Majesty. They don't honor your gods or worship the statue that you set up." 13 Then, in a fit of rage and anger, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Immediately, they were brought to the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar asked them, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, is it true that you don't honor my gods or worship the gold statue that I set up? 15 When you hear the sound of the rams' horns, flutes, lyres, harps, and three-stringed harps playing at the same time with all other kinds of instruments, will you bow down and worship the gold statue I made? If you don't worship it, you will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace. What god can save you from my power then?" 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, "We don't need to answer your last question. 17 If our God, whom we honor, can save us from a blazing furnace and from your power, he will, Your Majesty. 18 But if he doesn't, you should know, Your Majesty, we'll never honor your gods or worship the gold statue that you set up." 19 Nebuchadnezzar was so filled with anger toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face turned red. He ordered that the furnace should be heated seven times hotter than normal. 20 He told some soldiers from his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego so that they could be thrown into the blazing furnace. 21 Then the three men were thrown into the blazing furnace. They were wearing their clothes, hats, and other clothing. 22 The king's order was so urgent and the furnace was so extremely hot that the men who carried Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were killed by the flames from the fire. 23 So these three men--Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego--fell into the blazing furnace. They were still tied up. 24 Then Nebuchadnezzar was startled. He sprang to his feet. He asked his advisers, "Didn't we throw three men into the fire?" "That's true, Your Majesty," they answered. 25 The king replied, "But look, I see four men. They're untied, walking in the middle of the fire, and unharmed. The fourth one looks like a son of the gods." 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went to the door of the blazing furnace and said, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego--servants of the Most High God--come out here." Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire. 27 The king's satraps, governors, mayors, and advisers gathered around the three men. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies. The hair on their heads wasn't singed, their clothes weren't burned, and they didn't smell of smoke. 28 Nebuchadnezzar said, "Praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He sent his angel and saved his servants, who trusted him. They disobeyed the king and risked their lives so that they would not have to honor or worship any god except their own God. 29 So I order that people from every province, nation, or language who say anything slanderous about the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will be torn limb from limb. Their houses will be turned into piles of rubble. No other god can rescue like this." 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to higher positions in the province of Babylon.
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