time later, Nebuchadnezzar made a huge image of gold and set it up
outside the city. Then he sent for all the princes and governors,
the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the
sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces to come to the
dedication of the image.
when they and all the people were
gathered together, a
herald cried aloud, "To you it is commanded that when you
shall hear the sound of music, you shall all fall down and worship
the golden image. Whosoever does not, shall in the same hour be
cast into a fiery furnace."
When the people
heard the music, they all bowed down and worshiped the image - all
except Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego, the three friends of
Daniel. They were brought before the king, but they still refused
to worship his golden image.
enraged, ordered that the furnace be heated seven times hotter
than usual and that they be bound and thrown in. It was so hot
that the flames which shot out the door burned to death those men
who had cast them into the fire.
Then the king was
filled with wonder, for on looking into the furnace, he saw that
the bonds of the prisoners were loose, that they were walking
about unhurt, and that an angel seemed to be with them. So he
called to them, and they came out. Not even a hair of their heads
had been singed, nor had their clothes been scorched.
blessed their God and made a decree: That all who spoke against
the God of the Hebrews should be cut in pieces and their houses
destroyed, for there was no other god who could deliver his people
in such a way. Then he promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to
high offices in the province of Babylon.