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
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