Codex Junius 11

Author: Caedmon


(ll. 224-241) Then the fierce king was moved to anger, and bade them kindle a furnace to torture the youths to death, because they withstood his will. The furnace was heated, as fiercely as might be, with cruel flames of fire. And the lord of Babylon, savage and grim, assembled the people, and bade his servants bind the prophets of God, and cast the young men in the flames. But He was ready who wrought them help! Though the prince so fiercely thrust them into the heart of the flame, yet a mighty messenger of God preserved their lives, and brought them help from heaven, as many learned. From heaven above the Gracious Lord of men sent unto them His Holy Spirit. An angel passed within the furnace, wherein they suffered torment, and covered the noble youths with sheltering arms under the roof of fire. And the heat of the quivering flame could not mar their beauty; but God preserved them.

(ll. 242-250) Then the heart of the heathen prince was hardened; he bade them quickly be burned with fire. The flame rose high, the furnace was heated; through and through the iron glowed. Many a slave cast wood therein according to command. Brands they bore to the ruddy blaze. The ruthless king would fain have built an iron wall about those righteous men, but the flame passed over them, beloved of God, and with joy slew more than was meet.

(ll. 251-268) The flame passed by the holy men and fell upon their heathen foes. The youths were blithe of heart! Round about the furnace burned the slaves; the fire took hold upon those evil men to their hurt, and the prince of Babylon beheld it. Blithe were the Hebrew earls, praying to God with zeal and gladness in the furnace, offering their accustomed praise, because their lives were spared. With joyful hearts they worshipped God, in whose protection the fierce heat of the flame was turned away. The noble youths were sheltered from the flames’ assault, and suffered naught of evil. The roaring furnace was no more grievous unto them than the shining of the sun. The fire harmed them not, but in their hour of danger the flames passed over them, and fell on those who did them evil. The heathen slaves departed from the holy youths. And the beauty of those cursed men was lessened, whoso had rejoiced in that work!

(ll. 269-278) Now when the haughty king beheld how in that torture a miracle was come to pass, and believed his senses, it seemed to him a wondrous thing. The righteous men, all three, were walking unharmed in the fiery furnace, and one was seen there walking with them, an angel of Almighty God. No whit of harm had come upon them, but within the furnace it was most like as when in the summer season the sun shineth, and the dewfall cometh at dawn, scattered by the wind. It was the God of glory who saved them from that peril.

(ll. 279-282) Then in the hot flame the holy Azariah, eager-hearted, sang an inspired hymn. The sinless man praised God and spake this word:

(ll. 283-295) "O Lord of all! Thy might is strong to save! Excellent is Thy name in all the earth, sublime and great in glory! Thy laws are always sure and just and mighty, even as Thou art mighty. Wise and righteous is Thy will, O Lord of heaven! O God of spirits, grant us help and favour! Save us, O Holy Lord! Wrapped in flame, we pray Thee for Thy mercy on our woe, our thraldom and humiliation.

(ll. 295-308) "As we have wrought, so hath it come to pass. Our fathers also, city-dwellers, in pride have sinned, and broken Thy commandments, and scorned a holy life. We are scattered over all the spacious earth and driven asunder, cast out from grace. In many lands and under many peoples our life is infamous and vile, and we are subject to the worst of earthly kings, and captive to grim-hearted men; in heathen lands we suffer thraldom.

(ll. 309-332) "Thanks be to Thee, O Lord of hosts! that Thou hast laid this punishment upon us. Forsake us not, O Lord Eternal, for Thy mercy’s sake which men attribute unto Thee, and for the covenant, O Lord of glory, Shaper of spirits, Saviour of men! which Thou didst give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Thou didst promise them in days of old that Thou wouldest bless their seed, and that a mighty nation should be born of them, a race to be exalted as the stars of heaven that trace their wandering courses even to the strand of ocean, and the sands of the sea-shore that form the foundations of the deep throughout the salt sea; even so should they be numberless for untold years. Fulfil Thine ancient promise now, though few are living! Show forth Thy glory and Thy word upon us! Make known Thy strength and power, that the Chaldean race and many nations living heathen lives may learn Thy glory under heaven, and know Thou only art Eternal God, Wielder of victory, Lord of hosts and all creation, the Righteous God."

(ll. 333-344) So the holy men praised the loving-kindness of the Lord, rehearsing the strength of His might. Then was a gleaming angel sent from heaven above, with shining face and clothed in glory, who came to comfort and deliver them with loving favour. Holy and heavenly bright, he cast aside the blaze of the hot flame; with mighty strength he swept away and quenched the flame of fire so that their bodies were not harmed a whir. But in his wrath he hurled the fire upon their foes, because of their deeds of evil.

(ll. 345-361) Then in the furnace, when the angel came, the air was cool and pleasant, most like the weather in the summer season, when rain falleth during the day and warm showers from the clouds. As is the best of weather, so was it in the furnace for their comfort through the holy might of God. The burning flame was quenched and scattered where Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, with brave hearts, were walking in the furnace, and the angel with them who preserved their lives, who was the fourth. Devout of heart, the three youths praised the Lord, and called upon the sons of Israel and all created things of earth to bless the Everlasting God, the Lord of nations. With understanding hearts they spake with one accord:


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Chicago: Caedmon, "LII," Codex Junius 11, trans. Elwes, R. H. M. (Robert Harvey Monro), 1853- in Codex Junius 11 Original Sources, accessed March 2, 2024,

MLA: Caedmon. "LII." Codex Junius 11, translted by Elwes, R. H. M. (Robert Harvey Monro), 1853-, in Codex Junius 11, Original Sources. 2 Mar. 2024.

Harvard: Caedmon, 'LII' in Codex Junius 11, trans. . cited in , Codex Junius 11. Original Sources, retrieved 2 March 2024, from