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“The Bible” episode 3, shown on Sunday evening on The History Channel, spends much of its first half on the history of the Jewish captivity under Nebuchadnezzar II, king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, who destroys the Frist Temple and takes the Jews captive to Babylon.

Although episode 2 ended with the scene of King David telling young Solomon that he will build the temple, “The Bible” skips over the story of Solomon and moves on to the part in Jewish history where the Jewish king is corrupt and the Kingdom of Judah is conquered and its people forced into exile.

The famous Prophet Daniel is among those exiled to Babylon and wins favor with Nebuchadnezzar because of his gift to interpret dreams. In one of the more powerful scenes in episode 3, Nebuchadnezzar builds a giant golden statue and forces the Jews to bow and worship it, but three men refuse to bow down: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Hebraic name: Hananiah, Misha’el, and Azariah). As Nebuchadnezzar sits on his throne and watches the mass of Jews kneel down to the idol, the three men – friends of Daniel – resolutely stand, refusing to worship another god, and pray in unison as they know the punishment of death awaits them.

Nebuchadnezzar, angered by their defiance, orders oil brought, a fire lit and throws the three men into the raging fire. The last words the three men utter before the flame is ignited is: “I call upon the name of the Lord, Lord save me.”

No surprise for most people who have heard this famous Bible story, the Lord appears with the three faithful men in the fire and they are protected from any harm. The show, however, takes the liberty to have Nebuchadnezzar approach the flame curiously and put his hand to the fire to test it, only to pull back his hand in pain and reveal it burned. The three Jewish men walk out and join Daniel in an embrace as the Jewish people who previously bowed to the golden idol are reminded that God is still with them.

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