Daniel 3:13-15

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Daniel 3:13
  • Daniel 3:14
  • Daniel 3:15

King Nebuchadnezzar constructs a 90-foot-tall golden statue. He commands all of the rulers in his kingdom to come and see it, and to worship it when music plays. A furnace of blazing fire has been created to incinerate anyone who does not worship the statue. Daniel’s three Jewish friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego refuse to worshi p the golden image. Their political rivals inform on their disobedience to the king. Nebuchadnezzar is enraged that they disobeyed him, but offers them one more chance to worship his golden statue; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego immediately and absolutely refuse. They declare they only worship their God, and their God is able to rescue them from death. Nebuchadnezzar orders their execution in the fiery furnace, killing some of his own soldiers in the process. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego are thrown into the furnace, but are not killed. Everyone observing the execution, including the king and his high officials, see that an angel sent by the Most High God has emerged in the furnace, keeping the three men alive and unharmed. The king calls Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego out of the fire, and they present themselves perfectly safe and free from injury. Therefore King Nebuchadnezzar makes sure the three men prosper in Babylon, and decrees a new law that says no one may speak offensively against the God of Israel, for He is able to rescue His servants from death. 

Nebuchadnezzar is furious that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego refused to worship his golden statue. He gives them one more chance to bow to the image, and if not, they will be thrown into the fiery furnace.

Although Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego have served Nebuchadnezzar faithfully as their king for years, they refuse to bow down to his golden image. Their political rivals, certain Chaldeans, informed on them to the king about their disobedience. Nebuchadnezzar’s response is predictable of the most powerful king on earth; he shows rage and anger, then he orders the arrest of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego immediately.

They are found and brought to the king. Nebuchadnezzar lists the charges; he asks if it is true that they do not serve Nebuchadnezzar’s gods or worship the golden image he constructed.

And then, to give them one last test of loyalty to him, he offers another round of the signal music to play, the orchestra of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe to let the Jews fall down and worship the image of gold. They could save themselves if they obey. However, if they disobey again, the consequence will be as before, that they will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.

Nebuchadnezzar finishes his tirade by again raising himself up to a godlike level. He says, “and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?” The implication is that no god can rescue them. They do not worship the Babylonian gods, they will not bow down to the idol (likely of the king), so he will destroy them through fire. Nebuchadnezzar believes he commands the fate of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; in his mind, no god can stop his will.

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and anger gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego; then these men were brought before the king.14 Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?”

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