43 Rescue us in accordance with your wonderful deeds and win fresh glory for your name, O Lord.


44 Confusion seize all who ill-treat your servants: may they be covered with shame, deprived of all their power, and may their strength be broken.


45 Let them learn that you alone are God and Lord, glorious over the whole world.


46 All this time, the king's servants, who had thrown them into the furnace, had been stoking it with crude oil, pitch, tow and brushwood


47 until the flames rose forty-nine cubits above the furnace


48 and, leaping out, burnt those Chaldaeans to death who were standing round it.


49 But the angel of the Lord came down into the furnace beside Azariah and his companions; he drove the flames of the fire outwards from the furnace


50 and, in the heart of the furnace, wafted a coolness to them as of the breeze and dew, so that the fire did not touch them at all and caused them no pain or distress.


51 Then all three in unison began to sing, glorifying and blessing God in the furnace, with the words:


52 May you be blessed, Lord, God of our ancestors, be praised and extolled for ever. Blessed be your glorious and holy name, praised and extolled for ever…


85 Bless the Lord, his servants, praise and glorify him for ever!


86 Bless the Lord, spirits and souls of the upright, praise and glorify him for ever!


87 Bless the Lord, faithful, humble-hearted people, praise and glorify him for ever!


88 Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael, bless the Lord, praise and glorify him for ever!-For he has rescued us from the Underworld, he has saved us from the hand of Death, he has snatched us from the burning fiery furnace, he has drawn us from the heart of the flame!


89 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his love is everlasting.


90 Bless the Lord, the God of gods, all who fear him, give praise and thanks to him, for his love is everlasting!


91 King Nebuchadnezzar sprang to his feet in amazement. He said to his advisers, 'Did we not have these three men thrown bound into the fire?' They answered the king, 'Certainly, Your Majesty'.


92 'But', he went on, 'I can see four men walking free in the heart of the fire and quite unharmed! And the fourth looks like a child of the gods!'


93 Nebuchadnezzar approached the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and said, 'Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, servants of God Most High, come out, come here!' And from the heart of the fire out came Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego.


94 The satraps, magistrates, governors, and advisers of the king crowded round the three men to examine them: the fire had had no effect on their bodies: not a hair of their heads had been singed, their cloaks were not scorched, no smell of burning hung about them. Nebuchadnezzar said,


95 'Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego: he has sent his angel to rescue his servants who, putting their trust in him, defied the order of the king, and preferred to forfeit their bodies rather than serve or worship any god but their God.


96 I therefore decree as follows, "Peoples, nations, and languages! Let any of you speak disrespectfully of the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, and I shall have him torn limb from limb and his house turned into a dunghill; for there is no other god who can save like this."'


97 The king then showered favours on Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.


98 'King Nebuchadnezzar, to all peoples, nations and languages dwelling throughout the world: may you prosper more and more!


99 'It is my pleasure to make known the signs and wonders with which the Most High God has favoured me.


100 How great his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, his empire endures age after age!'

The Plot Against Daniel- Extracted from Daniel, Chapter 6:


1 and Darius the Mede received the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.


2 It pleased Darius to appoint a hundred and twenty satraps over his kingdom for the various parts,


3 and over them three presidents - of whom Daniel was one - to whom the satraps were to be responsible. This was to safeguard the king's interests.


4 This Daniel, by virtue of the marvelous spirit residing in him, was so evidently superior to the other presidents and satraps that the king considered appointing him to rule the whole kingdom.


5 The presidents and satraps, in consequence, started hunting for some affair of state by which they could discredit Daniel; but they could find nothing to his discredit, and no case of negligence; he was so punctilious that they could not find a single instance of mal-administration or neglect.


6 These men then thought, 'We shall never find a way of discrediting Daniel unless we try something to do with the law of his God.'


7 The presidents and satraps then went in a body to the king. 'King Darius,' they said, 'live for ever!


8 We are all agreed, presidents of the realm, magistrates, satraps, councilors and governors, that the king should issue an edict enforcing the following regulation: Whoever within the next thirty days prays to anyone, divine or human, other than to yourself, Your Majesty, is to be thrown into the lions' den.


9 Your Majesty, ratify the edict at once by signing this document, making it unalterable, as befits the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.'


10 King Darius accordingly signed the document embodying the edict.


11 When Daniel heard that the document had been signed, he retired to his house. The windows of his upstairs room faced towards Jerusalem. Three times each day, he went down on his knees, praying and giving praise to God as he had always done.


12 These men came along in a body and found Daniel praying and pleading with God.

13 They then went to the king and reminded him of the royal edict, 'Have you not signed an edict forbidding anyone for the next thirty days to pray to anyone, divine or human, other than to yourself, Your Majesty, on pain of being thrown into the lions' den?' 'The decision stands' the king replied, ' as befits the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.'


14 They then said to the king, 'Your Majesty, this man Daniel, one of the exiles from Judah, disregards both you and the edict which you have signed: he is at his prayers three times each day.'


15 When the king heard these words he was deeply distressed and determined to save Daniel; he racked his brains until sunset to find some way to save him.


16 But the men kept pressing the king, 'Your Majesty, remember that in conformity with the law of the Medes and the Persians, no edict or decree can be altered when once issued by the king.'


17 The king then ordered Daniel to be brought and thrown into the lion pit. The king said to Daniel, 'Your God, whom you have served so faithfully, will have to save you.'


18 A stone was then brought and laid over the mouth of the pit; and the king sealed it with his own signet and with that of his noblemen, so that there could be no going back on the original decision about Daniel.


19 The king returned to his palace, spent the night in fasting and refused to receive any of his concubines. Sleep eluded him,


20 and at the first sign of dawn he got up and hurried to the lion pit.


21 As he approached the pit he called in anguished tones to Daniel, 'Daniel, servant of the living God! Has your God, whom you serve so faithfully, been able to save you from the lions?'


22 Daniel answered the king, 'May Your Majesty live for ever!


23 My God sent his angel who sealed the lions' jaws; they did me no harm, since in his sight I am blameless; neither have I ever done you any wrong, Your Majesty.'


24 The king was overjoyed and ordered Daniel to be released from the pit. Daniel was released from the pit and found to be quite unhurt, because he had trusted in his God.


25 The king then sent for the men who had accused Daniel and had them thrown into the lion pit, and their wives and children too; and before they reached the floor of the pit the lions had seized them and crushed their bones to pieces.


26 King Darius then wrote to all nations, peoples and languages dwelling throughout the world: 'May you prosper more and more!


27 This is my decree: Throughout every dominion of my realm, let all tremble with fear before the God of Daniel: He is the living God, he endures for ever, his kingdom will never be destroyed and his empire never come to an end.


28 He saves, sets free, and works signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth; he has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.'


29 This Daniel flourished in the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.




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