Daniel 1:8–21; Daniel 3:8–30; Daniel 6

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Daniel 1:8–21

Daniel’s Faithfulness

But Daniel sresolved that he would not tdefile himself with kthe king’s food, or with lthe wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to tdefile himself. uAnd God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, 10 and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king. 11 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 Test your servants for vten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat kthe king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see. 14 So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate kthe king’s food. 16 wSo the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them xvegetables.

17 As for these four youths, yGod gave them learning and zskill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had aunderstanding in all visions and dreams. 18 At the end of bthe time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore cthey stood before the king. 20 And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all dthe magicians and eenchanters that were in all his kingdom. 21 And Daniel fwas there until the first year of gKing Cyrus.

Daniel 3:8–30

The Fiery Furnace

Therefore at that time certain dChaldeans ecame forward and maliciously accused the Jews. They declared1 to King Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, fhave made a decree, that every man who ghears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, gshall fall down and worship the golden image. 11 And whoever does not fall down and worship cshall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have happointed over the affairs of vthe province of Babylon: iShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, jpay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar kin furious rage commanded that iShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when lyou hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good.2 But if you do not worship, cyou shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And mwho is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?

16 iShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, nour God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.3 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was ofilled with fury, and the expression of his face pwas changed against iShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army qto bind iShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were qbound in their cloaks, their tunics,4 their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. 22 Because the king’s order was rurgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell qbound into the burning fiery furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was tastonished and rose up uin haste. He declared to his vcounselors, Did we not cast three men wbound into the fire? They answered and said to the king, True, O king. 25 He answered and said, But I see four men unbound, xwalking in the midst of the fire, and they yare not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like za son of the gods.

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the aMost High God, come out, and come here! Then sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. 27 And the bsatraps, the prefects, the governors, and vthe king’s counselors gathered together and saw that cthe fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their dcloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. 28 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, Blessed be the God of sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who ehas sent his angel and fdelivered his servants, who gtrusted in him, and set aside5 the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than hserve and worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore iI make a decree: Any jpeople, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego kshall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way. 30 Then the king promoted sShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in lthe province of Babylon.

Daniel 6

Daniel and the Lions’ Den

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom q120 rsatraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; and over them sthree high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these rsatraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. Then this Daniel became tdistinguished above all sthe other high officials and rsatraps, because uan excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned vto set him over the whole kingdom. Then sthe high officials and rthe satraps wsought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, xbut they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, xand no error or fault was found in him. Then these men said, We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.

Then these shigh officials and rsatraps came by agreement1 to the king and said to him, O yKing Darius, live forever! All the shigh officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the zcounselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an ainjunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish athe injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to bthe law of cthe Medes and the Persians, dwhich cannot be revoked. Therefore King Darius signed the document and ainjunction.

10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where ehe had windows in his upper chamber open ftoward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees gthree times a day and prayed and hgave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. 11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. 12 Then they icame near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, O king! Did you not sign jan injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing stands fast, according to the law of cthe Medes and Persians, dwhich cannot be revoked. 13 Then they answered and said before the king, kDaniel, who is one lof the exiles kfrom Judah, mpays no attention to you, O king, or jthe injunction you have signed, but makes his petition gthree times a day.

14 Then nthe king, when he heard these words, nwas much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him. 15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no jinjunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.

16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared2 to Daniel, May oyour God, whom you serve continually, deliver you! 17 pAnd a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, qand the king sealed it rwith his own signet and with the signet of his slords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; tno diversions were brought to him, and usleep fled from him.

19 Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of vthe living God, ohas your God, whom you serve continually, wbeen able to deliver you from the lions? 21 Then Daniel said to the king, xO king, live forever! 22 My God ysent his angel zand shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless abefore him; aand also before you, O king, I have done no harm. 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and bno kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 And the king commanded, and cthose men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lionsthey, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.

25 Then King Darius wrote to all dthe peoples, nations, and languages ethat dwell in all the earth: fPeace be multiplied to you. 26 gI make a decree, that in all my royal dominion hpeople are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,

for ihe is jthe living God,

enduring forever;

his kingdom shall never be destroyed,

jand his dominion shall be kto the end.

27  He delivers and rescues;

he works lsigns and wonders

in heaven and on earth,

he who has msaved Daniel

from the power of the lions.

28 So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and nthe reign of oCyrus the Persian.