"Shadrach, Meshach, and
( This is a Christian play based on the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from Daniel in the Holy Bible.)
by Melineze Logan Hite
Narrator: In the plain of Duran, in the province of Babylon the great and mighty King Nebuchadnezzar built an image of gold. He sent for the princes, the governors, the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces to come to celebrate the dedication of this great, golden image.
The Herald: Hear ye, hear ye. O people, nations, and languages, that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye shall fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up. And whosoever falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.( The fiery furnace will be placed stage left, slightly off stage. Much light must come from it, building brighter and brighter.)
Narrator: The people, great and small, obeyed for fear of their lives.
Then, the Chaldeans, the king's advisers, come before the king and announce:
Chaldeans: ( Happy, jealous, evil, and proud to announce this betrayal) Thou, O king, hast made a decree that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image. And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. ( They try to almost whisper the last of the news to the king. )
Nebuchadnezzar: ( Angrily) Bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego before me, now.
(The king's soldiers bow before the king and march out stage right quickly. )
Narrator: The king orders that his soldiers deliver these three men to him , so that he can discover the truth. They are soon brought before the king. ( Enter from stage right the king's men, accompanied by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The accused are not treated as criminals.)
King: ( Speaking softly, not attacking or acccusing ) O men who are set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, placed in your position by your king who sits before you. I have heard that you follow not the royal command. I shall believe or not believe only if I hear of yea or nay from your very own lips. I put the question before you simply. Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you whom I brought to live in the king's palace, as certain children of Israel with no blemish, but well favoured and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, you whom I gave a daily provision of the king's meat and of the wine which I drank, you whom was named from birth Hananiah, which we changed to Shadrach, you whom was named from birth Mishael, which we changed to Meshach, and you whom was named from birth Azariah, which we changed to Abednego, you whom was found to be ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all the king's realm, and you whom I promoted ministers over the affairs of the province of Babylon, is it true, you do not serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? ( The king, slowly getting angry, gives them his undivided attention, leaning forward on his throne. He studies them, one by one. ( Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will step forward individually, showing respect, when the king remembers how they were each renamed after coming to live in the palace.)
Shadrach: ( Answering boldly, quickly, and without any fear )We are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
King: Be careful, men, ye can be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And what God shall deliver you out of my hands? ( The king smiles
wickedly, as if he is daring them to tell the truth. He knows he has great power to take the life of any person in his kingdom.)
Meshach: 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.
Abednego: ( With great defiance) 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.
King: ( Furious, hitting the arm of the chair, and yelling) Fiery furnace attendants, heat the furnace, seven times hotter!
The fiery furnace attendants: Yes, your highness. As you have commanded. ( They begin to place huge wooden logs into the large furnace. The atttendants try to cover their faces to avoid the extreme heat. The heat is blinding and extremely dangerous to be near.)
King: ( Calling to his soldiers) Soldiers, bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. ( The soldiers take ropes from around their waists and begin to tie the men up very roughly. They push them toward the fiery furnace.) Now, cast them into the burning fiery furnace!
Soldiers: Yes, my lord! ( Three soldiers push the men closer to the furnace. Each soldier will pick up a man, one at a time, and throw him into the hot furnace. As each man is picked up and thrown, the soldier yells.)
1st Soldier: I DIE!
2nd Soldier: I DIE!
3rd Soldier: I DIE! The flame of the fire has slain me!
King: ( Standing up from his throne, astonished, talking to his subjects, and pointing): Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?
King's subjects: ( Looking frightened and confused) True, O king.
King: Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. ( The king slowly speaks these words, in unbelief.)
Narrator: Nebuchadnezzar goes near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace himself, the great and powerful king of Babylon, who laid seige on Jerusalem, ruled by Jehoiakim, king of Judah.
King: ( Somewhat fearful, yet commanding) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither.
Shadrach, Messhach, and Abednego: ( Calmly stepping out of the fiery furnace, unharmed ) We come, King Nebuchadnezzar.
King's subjects: (Standing in shock. Some encircle the men. Some stare at the men. All point at the men.) The fire had no power upon them! Not a hair on their heads have been singed! Their coats have not been changed! The smell of the fire has not passed on them!
King Nebuchadnezzar: ( Totally convinced of the reality of this God ) Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship thy god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, that every people, nation, and language, which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.
Narrator: Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.
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