To get what Daniel 3:16 means based on its source text, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity.

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.”

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Popularity relative to other verses in Daniel chapter 3 using average monthly Google searches.

Daniel 3:16 Translation & Meaning

What does this verse really mean? Use this table to get a word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew Scripture. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. Follow the buttons in the right-hand column for detailed definitions and verses that use the same root words. Use this reference information to gain deeper insight into the Bible and enrich your understanding. Information based on Strong's Exhaustive Concordance[1].

KJV Verse Original Hebrew Meaning/ Definition
This is a simplified translation of the original Hebrew word. Follow the buttons on the right to get more detail.
Use the buttons below to get details on the Hebrew word and view related Bible verses that use the same root word.
Shadrach, שַׁדְרַ֤ךְ Shadrak, the Babylonian name of one of Daniel's companions Shadrach
Meshach, מֵישַׁךְ֙ Meshak, the Babylonian Meshach
and Abed-nego, נְג֔וֹ Abed-Nego, the name of Azariah Abednego
answered עֲנ֗וֹ Properly, to eye or (generally) to heed, i.e., pay attention; by implication, to respond; by extension to begin to speak; specifically to sing, shout, testify, announce answered
and said וְאָמְרִ֖ין To speak, to command said
to the king, לְמַלְכָּ֑א A king king
O Nebuchadnezzar, נְבֽוּכַדְנֶצַּ֔ר Nebukadnetstsar (or Nebukadretsts(-ar, or)), king of Babylon O Nebuchadnezzar
we אֲנַ֧חְנָא We we
are (No Hebrew definition. English implied.)
not לָֽא No, not not
careful חַשְׁחִ֨ין To be necessary (from the idea of convenience) or (transitively) to need careful
to answer לַהֲתָבוּתָֽךְ׃ Specifically (transitive and ellip.) to reply answer
thee in עַל Above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications thee in
this דְּנָ֛ה This this
matter. פִּתְגָ֖ם A word, answer, letter or decree matter

Verse Context

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  • 14  Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?

  • 15  Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

  • 16  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

  • 17  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.

  • 18  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.


The King James Bible (1611) and Strong's Concordance (1890) with Hebrew and Greek dictionaries are sourced from the BibleForgeDB database (https://github.com/bibleforge) within the BibleForge project (http://bibleforge.com). Popularity rankings are based on search volume data from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

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