The Armenian Apostolic Church on Tuesday pays tribute to Prophet Daniel and his companions Sts. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Qahana.am reports.
Prophet Daniel is one of the four great prophets of the Old Testament. Nearly all that is known concerning the Prophet is derived from the book ascribed to him, which dates back to the VII-VI centuries B.C.
Daniel, a young man who had been captured during the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah was taken to Babylon. There, he receives his education in Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s royal court. Soon after, due to his intellect and talents, he is given a high-ranking position in the king’s chancellery.
Daniel becomes famous when he rescues an innocent woman from the unfounded slander of two men. Having gained greater notoriety, Daniel interprets a dream had by King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel’s successes arise the envy of the other servants in the royal court. They accuse him of worshipping false gods and demand that the King imprison the prophet. Daniel is thrown into a den of lions. The following day, the king approaches the pit to mourn the death of his devoted and wise servant. He is surprised to hear the Prophet Daniel responding to his cries of sorrow. Daniel tells the king that God sealed the mouths of the lions to protect him from harm. Daniel continues, saying that he is innocent, and has not wronged the king by his worship of God. The king is overjoyed, and orders that Daniel be released from the lions’ den.
Three young men and companions of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, were also taken to Babylon. Upon their arrival they received new names, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and were raised and educated in the royal court together with the prophet and protected their faith. Once, during a solemn festival, as everyone worshipped King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down before it. The king orders the three men thrown into a blazing furnace for the disobedience. Instead of burning, however, they continue to render glory to God and are protected by an angel of heaven. Witnessing the miracle, the king releases the three young men, blesses them, and worships God as well.