The response of the three men (Dan 3:16-3:18)

“Shadrach,

Meshach,

Abednego,

Answered the king.

‘O King Nebuchadnezzar!

We have no need

To present

A defense

To you

In this matter.

If our God,

Whom we serve,

Is able

To deliver us

From the furnace

Of blazing fire,

As well as out of your hand,

O king!

Let him deliver us!

But if not!

Let it be known to you!

O king!

That we will not serve

Your gods.

We will not worship

The golden statue

That you have set up.’”

The 3 companions of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar clearly and directly. They were not going to present a defense of their actions. If their God was able or not able to get them out of the fiery furnace away from the king, so be it. There was no ambiguity for them. They were not going to serve his gods or worship his golden statue, case closed.

The king spoke to the three men (Dan 3:14-3:15)

“King Nebuchadnezzar

Said to them.

‘Is it true?

O Shadrach!

O Meshach!

O Abednego!

Do you not

Serve my gods?

Do you not worship

The golden statue

That I have set up?

Now if you are ready,

When you hear

The sound of the horn,

The pipe,

The lyre,

The trigon,

The harp,

The drum,

The entire musical ensemble,

To fall down,

To worship,

The statue

That I have made,

Well and good.

But if you do not worship,

You shall immediately

Be thrown

Into a furnace

Of a blazing fire.

Who is the god

That will deliver you

Out of my hands?’”

King Nebuchadnezzar gave the 3 companions of Daniel, the benefit of the doubt. He wanted to know it was really true that they, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, did not serve his gods. Did they not worship the golden statue that he had set up? Did they not respond to the musical instruments of the horn, the pipe, the lyre, the trigon, the harp or the drum? Did they not fall down and worship his golden statue? If they did not worship this statue, then they would be immediately thrown into the blazing furnace. The king then asked them what god would deliver them from his hands.

The three men were brought to the king (Dan 3:13-3:13)

“Then King Nebuchadnezzar,

In a furious rage,

Commanded that

Shadrach,

Meshach,

Abednego,

Be brought in.

Then they brought

those men

Before the king.”

This accusation made King Nebuchadnezzar very angry. He commanded that these 3 men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought in to him. Accordingly, they then brought the 3 men to the king.

The accusations against his Jewish appointees (Dan 3:12-3:12)

“‘There are certain Jews

Whom you have appointed

Over the affairs

Of the province

Of Babylon,

Shadrach,

Meshach,

Abednego.

These pay no heed

To you.

O king!

They do not serve

Your gods.

They do not worship

The golden statue

That you have set up.’”

These Chaldeans were more specific. They accused the 3 companions of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who were in charge of the provinces of Babylon, of not listening to the king. They were not serving the gods of Babylon. They even did not worship the golden statue that the King had set up. Thus, these Babylonian officials, although Jewish, were not following the king’s orders.

The rewards for Daniel and his friends (Dan 2:48-2:49)

“Then the king

Promoted Daniel.

He gave him

Many great gifts.

He made him ruler

Over the whole province

Of Babylon.

He became

The chief prefect

Over all the wise men

Of Babylon.

Daniel made a request

Of the king.

He appointed

Shadrach,

Meshach,

With Abednego,

Over the affairs

Of the province

Of Babylon.

But Daniel remained

At the king’s court.”

Much like Joseph in Egypt in Genesis, chapters 40-41, Daniel received a reward in the government of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar made him the ruler over the whole province of Babylon, as well as the chief prefect in charge of all the wise men in Babylon. In other words, Daniel was running Babylon. He then had his 3 companions, named to the various Babylonian provinces. This was a complete takeover of the Babylonian government by these 4 Judeans. However, they may have lost some of their beliefs, since they now had the 3 Babylonian names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that were given to them, not their Judean names. Notice that Daniel stayed at the king’s court.

The names of the Israelite students (Dan 1:6-1:7)

“Among those chosen were

Daniel,

Hananiah,

Mishael,

Azariah,

From the tribe of Judah.

The palace master

Gave them other names.

Daniel,

He called Belteshazzar.

Hananiah,

He called Shadrach.

Mishael,

He called Meshach.

Azariah

He called Abednego.”

The names of the 4 Israelite students from the tribe of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Obviously, the emphasis will be on Daniel, the name of this book. However, Ashpenaz, the chief of the palace, gave them other names that were more Babylonian, Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. There was an American song written about the 3 young men with Daniel, called “Shadrach,” and later recorded by Louis Armstrong and Brook Benton.  This was another common practice to help integrate them into the Chaldean Babylonian culture.