Some time later, Nebuchadnezzar had a giant golden statue erected on the plain of Dura. At the dedication ceremony, he decreed, Anytime music plays, you will fall on your face and worship the statue. Anyone who fails to do so will be thrown into a furnace! Then he cued the band. Everyone present fell on their faces and worshiped.
But later, some astrologers went to Nebuchadnezzar and were all, Those Jews you put in charge of the province, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? They DO NOT fall on their faces to worship the statue when music plays.
This enraged Nebuchadnezzar, and he had Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego arrested and dragged before him, and was all, Is it true? You do not worship when music plays? If you don’t I will have you thrown into the palace furnace!
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were all, Whatever. God will protect us. Continue reading “Daniel 3: The fiery furnace”
Some time later, Nebuchadnezzar had a bad dream. So he called all of his enchanters, magicians, astrologers, and other psychics to tell him what it meant. They were all, Tell us the dream, o king, and we will interpret it for you.
But Nebuchadnezzar was all, No. You tell me the dream and tell me what it means.
The wise men were all, Surely the king is joking. Tell us the dream, sire, and we will tell its meaning.
Nebuchadnezzar was all, You guys are a bunch of fakes! If you’re really psychic, then you could tell me the dream and its meaning.
The wise men were all, With all due respect, no one can do what you’re asking.
This really pissed Nebuchadnezzar off, so he decreed that all magicians, wizards, astrologers, enchanters or interpreters of dreams should be executed immediately. Continue reading “Daniel 2: Dream reader”
In 597 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar deposed Jehoiakim, took the Jewish nobility hostage, and looted the Temple.
But Nebuchadnezzar was a generous man and believed that the barbarian Jews might be civilized, so he ordered his chief of staff to select all the likely Jewish lads for a three-year education program in which they would be taught the language and literature of Babylon. He even condescended that these Jewish scholars should be fed with the leftovers from his own royal table.
Among those chose were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, who were renamed Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, respectively. These boys were particularly devout and were revolted at the thought of not keeping kosher meals. So they begged the chief of staff to allow them eat vegetarian. Continue reading “Daniel 1: About those Jewish boys”