Illustration Showing THE FIERY FURNACE, from The Bible (Old Testament) - drawing by Gustave Dore - 050th.jpg (32K)

Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, andaccused the Jews. They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar,O king, live forever. There are certain Jews whom thou hast setover the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach,and Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: theyserve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hastset up.

Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bringShadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these menbefore the king.

Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, OShadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego? do not ye serve my gods, norworship the golden image which I have set up? Now if ye be readythat at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp,sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye falldown and worship the image which I have made; well: but if yeworship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of aburning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver youout of my hands?

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to theking, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in thismatter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver usfrom the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out ofthine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king,that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden imagewhich thou hast set up.

Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of hisvisage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego:therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat thefurnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. Andhe commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bindShadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and to cast them into theburning fiery furnace.

Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, andtheir hats, and their other garments, and were cast into themidst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore because the king'scommandment was urgent and the furnace exceeding hot, the flameof the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, andAbed-nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-negofell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up inhaste, and spake, and said unto his counselors, Did not we castthree men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered, andsaid unto the king, True, O king.

He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in themidst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of thefourth is like the Son of God.

Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burningfiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, andAbed-nego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth and comehither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, came forth of themidst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains, andthe king's counselors, being gathered together, saw these men,upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was a hair of theirhead singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell offire had passed on them.—Daniel iii, 8, 9, 12-27.

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