Daniel 3

1. King Nebuchadnasser made a great golden figure,* its height six hundred [arm lengths,] and its width six [arm lengths,] and he stood it in the entrance to the town center* in the land of Babylon. 2. And King Nebuchadnasser ordered* that they gather the generals, lords,* governors,* advisors, bankers,* educators, notaries and all the city officials* -- and they came to the feast of the new monument* that King Nebuchadnasser erected.
3. Then, there gathered all the generals, lords, advisors, bankers, educators, notaries, and all the city officials -- and they came to the feast of the new monument that King Nebuchadnasser erected.
4. Then the herald announced loudly* and said, "To you it is commanded, O, nations, motherlands and tongues,
5. "At the hour that you hear the sounds of the horn, the flute, the guitars, the harps, the drums, and every talented singer -- you shall fall down and worship the golden figure that King Nebuchadnasser has erected.
6. "And whoever does not fall down and worship, at that very hour he shall be cast into the burning fiery furnace."
7. And at the hour that the nations heard the sounds of the horn, the flute, the guitars, the harps, the drums, and every talented singer, they fell -- all the nations, motherlands and tongues -- and worshipped the golden figure that King Nebuchadnasser erected.
 
8. And in that very hour the Chaldean men came by and criticized the Jews.
9. They said to King Nebuchadnasser, "O, king, may you live forever!*
10. "You, the king, ordered that every human that heard the sounds of the horn, the flute, the guitar, the harp, the drum, and every talented singer, to fall and worship the golden figure that you erected.
11. "And whoever does not fall and worship in that very hour will be cast into the burning fiery furnace.
12. "There are some Jewish men among us whom you have appointed as spokesmen for the City of Babylon, Shidrach, Mishach and Abednego; these men do not recognize you as king and they do not work for your god, nor do they worship the golden figure you erected."
 
13. Then, King Nebuchadnasser angrily* ordered that they bring Shidrach, Mishach and Abednego, and they brought them in front of the king.
14. King Nebuchadnasser replied and said to them, "Is it true, Shidrach, Mishach and Abednego, that you do not work for my god and that you do not worship the golden figure that I have erected?
15. "Now, if it is your destiny, that in the hour that you hear the sounds of the horn, the flute, the guitars, the harps, the drums, and all the talented singers, you shall fall and worship the golden figure that I erected, and if you do not worship in that very hour, you shall be cast into the burning fiery furnace, and what god of yours will deliver you from my hands?"
16. Shidrach, Mishach and Abednego replied and said to King Nebuchadnasser, "We are not worthy of this manifestation, to explain your assumption.
17. "Because it is God that we work for, he who is capable of delivering us from the burning fiery furnace and buy us out from your hands.
18. "You, however, know this, O, king, that we do not work for your god, nor do we worship the golden figure that you have erected."
 
19. Then, King Nebuchadnasser became full of rage and his countenance changed* toward Shidrach, Mishach and Abednego, and he ordered that the furnace be fired, seven times more than it normally would have been fired.
20. And he ordered some of his most powerful* men to bind Shidrach, Mishach and Abednego and cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
21. Then those men bound them with their pants, underwear, new outer garments, hats and they threw them into the burning fiery furnace.
22. Because the king's order* was so hasty, and the furnace was fired to such excess, the men who had brought the charges* against Shidrach, Mishach and Abednego, were killed by the flames of the burning fire.
23. Nevertheless, all three of those men -- Shidrach, Mishach and Abednego -- fell into the middle of the burning fiery furnace while bound.
 
24. Then, King Nebuchadnasser realized something suddenly and stood up, saying to his governors,* "Did we not cast these men into the burning fiery furnace while bound?" They replied and said to the king, "Yes, truly, O, king."*
25. The king replied and said, "Behold, I saw the men untied, walking about in the fire, and they have suffered no burns,* and the vision of a fourth one resembles the Son of their God."
26. Then, King Nebuchadnasser came close to the door of the burning fiery furnace and replied, saying, "Shidrach, Mishach, Abednego, O, servants of the God in the Highest, get out and come forth." At once, Shidrach, Mishach and Abednego got out of the fiery furnace.
27. Then there gathered all the nations, chief of armies, governors, lords and the greatest kings, and they saw those men upon whose flesh the fires had no effect,* the hair on their heads had not been singed, their pants had not been burned and the smell of fire was not upon them.
28. King Nebuchadnasser responded and said, "Blessed is the God of Shidrach, Mishach and Abednego, who sent his angels to deliver his servants, who relied on him and who denigrated the words of the king and risked their lives* so as not to work for any god except their own God.
29. "And this is what I command, that any nations, motherlands or tongues that blaspheme against Shidrach, Mishach and Abednego's God, shall be immediately* slain and their houses plundered, because there is no other god that can act like this."
30. Thus the king raised the stature of Shidrach, Mishach and Abednego over the country of Babylon.

*3:1.1 Lit. Ar. idiom retained: "Statue."
*3:1.2 Lit. Ar. id.: Or: the main gate.
*3:2.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Sent for."
*3.2.2 Lit. Ar. id.: Or: property owners.
*3:2.3 Lit. Ar. id.: "Authorities."
*3:2.4 Lit. Ar. id.: "Interest collectors."
*3:2.5 Lit. Ar. id.: "Authorized."
*3:2.6 Lit. Ar. id.: "Image," "figure," or "statue."
*3:3.1 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "And the preacher called out with strength."
*3:9 Lit. Ar. id.: Or: "Long live the king!"
*3:13 Lit. Ar. id.: "In anger and passion."
*3:19 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "Then Nebuchadnasser, the king, was filled with heat and the corners of his faces moved asunder."
*3:20 Lit. Ar. idiomatic figure of speech: "Heavily strong."
*3:22.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Manifestation."
*3:22.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Criticized."
*3:24.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "High ones."
*3:24.2 Note: In the New American Bible, the St. Joseph edition of the Catholic Bible, there are sixty-six additional verses after this passage. The footnote explaining this states: "These verses are inspired additions to the Aramaic text of Daniel, translated from the Greek form of the book. They were originally composed in Hebrew or Aramaic, which has not been preserved. The Church has always regarded them as part of the canonical Scriptures." Let's analyze this footnote a little. Are these verses an inspired addition? The Church does not believe that the Ancient Aramaic Scriptures are the authentic Scriptures preserved by the Ancient Church of the East since the Apostolic Age; therefore, they have accepted these additions, which spin a yarn at this point in the Book of Daniel, but they really don't change the story. What's remarkable is that the Church had to declare these additions as "inspired" to overcome the problem of adding to the Bible. The fact that the Greek version has additional passages indicates that the "Greek Original" put a spin on the Ancient Aramaic Scriptures, and there is no telling how many more "inspired" additions the "Greek Original" has incorporated. Then we have the Latin, the German, and the English translations -- how many more "inspired additions" did they contribute?
*3:25 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "And there is no hurt to them."
*3:27 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "The fire had no authority over."
*3:28 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "Gave their bodies."
*3:29 Lit. Ar. id.: "Now, now."

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