Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael

September 18, 2016

This was an article I wrote back in 1995. It was published in "The Faith" magazine. I recently found the magazine while cleaning out a closet. I hope you enjoy.

By Mark Matheny

   Many people today, when asked, will say they have either heard or read the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, but few have heard the story of Azariah,Hananiah, and Mishael, which is the same story. I have checked many bible story indexes and they all seem to rafer the story of the three men by the names Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego.

These Names however, were not the original names of the three men which survived the fiery furnace of Daniel 3. Let's look at some points in the Scripture to find out the purpose behind the Chaldeans (Babylon) in changing these men's names.

In Daniel 1:1-4, we see that the tribe of Judah was taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar. Keep in mind that Nebuchadnezzar was King of Babylon at this time. He picked certain men of the captivity of Judah to be taught the ways of the Chaldeans (Babylon) concerning language and literature to become the king's counselors.

Verse 6 says "Now from among the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah". These were the given Hebrew names. First of all, let's get an understanding of each of their names.

Daniel means "My Judge is El". Hananiah means "Yahweh has been gracious". Mishael means "El has heard". Azariah means "Yahweh has helped".

Certainly these four men knew the Creator they served by His original Name "YAHWEH".

Verse 7 says "Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names; for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar, and to Hananiah [the name of] Shadrach, and to Mishael [the name ] of Meshach, and to Azariah [the name] of  Abed-nego." Now let's understand the names given by the prince.

Belteshazzar means "Bel (Ba'al) protect his life". Shadrach means "Command of Aku (moon god)". Meshach means "Shadow of the prince". Abed-nego means "servant of Nego" (probably referring to "Nebo" the god of writing.) See Smith's Bible Dictionary under Abed-nego.

We can see the intent of the Chaldeans (Babylon) and the king Nebuchaddnezzar to take away the identity of these Hebrew men which had Hebrew names. He wanted them to forget the Creator they worshipped for false idols, "and changed the glory(esteeem) of the incorruptible Elohim into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things". Romans 1:23

There is a great contrast in the Hebrew names and the Chaldean (Babylon) given names. Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael and Daniel all identify who they serve - YAHWEH, Elohim.

Shadrach, Meshach,Abed-nego and Belteshazzar all represent or identify with heathenism and false worship.

The same thing is happening today! the king(satan) of Babylon (confusion) today is causing many to accept the heathen given titles of (L-rd) Ba'al, (G-d) Gad meaning good fortune and Ie-sous (Jes-s) or IeZeus.

Notice in verse 5 how the king wanted to feed them with rich meats and good wine. Verse 8 shows however that .... "Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's food...". Proverbs 22:1 says " a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches..." I am sure Daniel did not accept the pagan name just as he refused the king's dainties, (however ch-rches accept jes-s, G-d and L-rd today because of the dainties of the Roman Ch-rch). Verse 8 continues ...."nor with the wine which he (the king) drank"... Daniel did not defile himself with the king's wine either. Proverbs 20:1 says "wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." Daniel was wise!

Proverbs 23:1-3 says " When thou sittest to eat with a ruler , consider diligently what is before thee: and put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties; for they are deceitful meat". Daniel understood the intention of the king was to conform him and his Hebrew brethren to a system of false worship, and was wise not to partake in the king's dainties.

Today we are to be diligent in considering what dainties (doctrine) are being set before us in the ch-rchianity of today. We are to refuse man-made doctrines (meats-dainties) of Babylon ( nominal religion)  and serve only Yahweh.

Revelation 17:2 says "With whom the kings have committed fornication (corruption-lawlessness), and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk (blinded) with the wine of her (Babylon) fornication".

People today in nominal Chr-stianity have not considered diligently what is being put before them and have become drunk with Babylon's false and misguided teachings. When one is drunk he is most likely to stumble. Isaiah 28:7 says "But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the PRIEST and the PROPHET have erred through strong drink; they err in prophetic vision, they stumble in judgement".

We as servants of the Most High Elohim must stand firm holding fast our identity in Yahweh through Yahshua the Messiah ...... "from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named". Ephesians 3:15

II Corinthians 6:16-18 says it plainly "And what agreement hath the temple of Yahweh with idols? For ye are the temple of the Living Elohim; As Yahweh hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith Yahweh, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, saith YAHWEH the Almighty."

Sons and daughters, rejoice in the Wonderful Name of YAHWEH!

"Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth;

Say ye, YAHWEH hath redeemed His servant Ya'aqob." Isaiah 48:20

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