Chapter 3: Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego
Nebuchadnezzar creates a large golden statue and commands all men in the region to worship it, when they hear “…the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music…” (Daniel 3:5). Those who choose not to worship the golden statue that was made by Nebuchadnezzar “…be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” (Daniel 3:6). A few Chaldeans came down to Nebuchanezzar and accused some of the Jews of not worshiping the statue, mainly Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.
Nebuchadnezzar was furious and commanded that the men come before him and he asked them; “…Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?” (Daniel 3:14)
The three men responded to King Nebuchadnezzar; “… O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Daniel 3:16-17)
This enraged Nebuchadnezzar and commanded that all three men be placed in the midst of the fiery furnace. Now because Nebuchadnezzar rushed them to the furnace, they did not have time to cool the furnace enough to get the men into the furnace safely without hurting the guards. The furnace however was so hot that upon shoving the men into the furnace one of the guards died from the heat! All three men (Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego) fell into the midst of the furnace, but to everyone’s astonishment, they were still alive and walking around the furnace!
“…Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no urt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” (Daniel 3:24-25)
Nebuchadnezzar commands that the men be taken out of the furnace and again to everyones surprise there was not burnt clothing, burnt smell, or even singed hair! They were perfectly fine… Nebuchadnezzar promoted the men in the land of Babylon and commands anyone who says anything against the God of these men, to be put to death.
Chapter 4: Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream
Nebuchadnezzar’s decree: “How great are his [God’s] signs! and how mighty are his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.” (Daniel 4:3) Nebuchadnezzar recounts a dream of a mighty tree, which a watcher from heaven orders to be chopped down, and its stump bound with a band of iron and bronze. It is to be made wet with dew, and be with grazing beasts. Daniel interprets this dream: Nebuchadnezzar will be humbled, and eat grass like oxen. Daniel’s interpretation if fulfilled that very hour: Nebuchadnezzar is driven from men and eats grass. His hair grows like eagle’s feathers, and his nails like bird’s claws. He falls into madness, but learns that the Most High rules and sets the rules of men over earthly kingdoms. Nebuchadnezzar is finally restored to power, and praises God.