Holy Saturday ABC
and the governors,N the counselors,O the treasurers,P the justices,Q the magistrates,R and all the officialsS of the provinces,T to assemble and come to the dedicationU of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
3 So the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, assembled for the dedication of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. When they were standing before the statue that Nebuchadnezzar had set up, 4 the heraldV proclaimed aloud,W “You are commanded, O peoples,X nations,Y and languages,Z
6 Whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediatelyLL be thrown intoMM a furnaceNN of blazingOO fire.”PP, QQ
7 Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshipedRR the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
8 Accordingly, at this time certain ChaldeansSS came forward and denouncedTT the Jews.UU, VV 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree,WW that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, shall fall down and worship the golden statue, 11 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire.
12 There are certainXX Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.YY These pay no heed to you, O king. They do not serveZZ your godsAAA and they do not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”BBB
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in furiousCCC rageDDD commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought in; so they brought those men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true,EEE O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods and you do not worship the golden statue that I have set up? 15 Now if you are readyFFF when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble to fall down and worship the statue that I have made,GGG well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire, and who is the godHHH that will deliverIII you out of my hands?”
17 If our GodNNN whom we serveOOO is ablePPP to deliverQQQ us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. 18 But if not,RRR be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your godsSSS and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was so filled with rageTTT against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego thatUUU his faceVVV was distorted.WWW, XXX He ordered the furnace heatedYYY up seven timesZZZ more than was customary,AAAA
22 Because the king’s commandLLLL was urgentMMMM and the furnace was soNNNN overheated, the ragingOOOO flames killedPPPP the men who liftedQQQQ Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 But the three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down,RRRR bound, into the furnace of blazing fire.
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonishedSSSS and rose up quickly.TTTT He said to his counselors,UUUU “Was it not three men that we threw bound into the fire?”
They answered the king, “True,VVVV O king.”
26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most HighDDDDD God, come out!EEEEE Come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out fromFFFFF the fire. 27 And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any powerGGGGG over the bodiesHHHHH of those men;
29 Therefore I make a decree:VVVVV Any people, nation, or language that utters blasphemyWWWWW against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb,XXXXX and their houses laidYYYYY in ruins; for there is no other god who is able to deliverZZZZZ in this way.”
Image Credit: “The Story of Daniel and the Three Youths in the Fiery Furnace,” mid-18th century icon.