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Friday, May 11, 2007

Turner: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the Burning Fiery Furnace

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the Burning Fiery Furnace exhibited 1832
Oil on mahogany
support: 918 x 708 mm
Tate Britain



The Old Testament book of Daniel (Daniel iii, 26), tells how Nebuchadnezzar ordered three men to be cast into a fiery furnace for refusing to worship a golden image. To the king's amazement, God made sure that they were unharmed by the flames:

'Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Mesach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire… The Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him'.

Nebuchadnezzar's idol is visible in the distance.