THE CHILDREN'S BIBLE - complete online book

Selections From The Old And New Testaments in Simple English.

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THE TEST BY FIRE
163
god nor worship the golden image which I have set up ? If you are now ready, as soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lute, harp, bagpipe, and all kinds of musical instruments, to fall down and worship the image which I have made, well; but if you do not worship, you shall at once be thrown into a burning, fiery furnace. Where is there a god who can deliver you out of my hands?" Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, "O king, there is no need of our answering you about this. Our God whom we serve is able to save us from the burning, fiery furnace; he will save us out of your hand, O king. But if not, know, O king, that we will not serve your gods nor worship the golden image which you have set up."
Then Nebuchadrezzar was very angry and the appearance of his face changed, as he looked at Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered that the furnace should be heated seven times hotter than usual. He also commanded certain strong men who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and throw them into the burning, fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their robes, and their other garments, and were thrown into the burning, fiery furnace. As the king's com­mand was urgent and the furnace very hot, the flames destroyed the men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. But Sha­drach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down, bound, into the midst of the burning, fiery furnace.
Nebuchadrezzar, the king, was so astonished that he rose up hastily and said to his counsellors, "Did we not throw three men, bound, into the fire?" They answered, "True, O king." He said, "Now I see four men, unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are unhurt, and the fourth looks like an angel."
Then Nebuchadrezzar went near the door of the burning, fiery furnace and said, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out." Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire. And the officers, governors, and counsellors who were there saw that the fire had no power over the bodies of these men, and that the hair of their heads was not singed and that their cloaks were not harmed, and that there was no smell of fire. And Nebuchadrezzar said, "Blessed be the God of Sha­drach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel to save his servants who trusted in him and refused to obey the king's command and have offered their bodies, that they might not serve nor wor­ship any god except their own. Therefore I command that every
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