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Daniel 3:16

ESV Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
NIV Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, 'King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.
NASB Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego replied to the king, 'Nebuchadnezzar, we are not in need of an answer to give you concerning this matter.
CSB Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, "Nebuchadnezzar, we don't need to give you an answer to this question.
NLT Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you.
KJV Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

What does Daniel 3:16 mean?

When an accused person is brought to court, they are offered the chance to make a plea: a response to the charges against them. When Nebuchadnezzar summoned three Hebrews (Daniel 3:8, 13) accused of defying his command to worship an idol (Daniel 3:1–7), he gave them a choice: bow to the idol at the next command or be burnt alive (Daniel 3:14–15). The Hebrew men's response is the equivalent of pleading guilty; they note there is no reason for them to "answer" or defend themselves. They did not, and will not, worship a false god. They make no attempt to explain or justify their faith. They simply refuse to follow the king's command and accept the consequences (Daniel 3:17–18).

Also worth noting is that the three Jews did not ask Nebuchadnezzar to pardon them or ignore their crime. They knew the law, and knew the consequences, but were determined to obey God instead of men (Acts 5:29). When Paul was undergoing a court trial that would decide whether he would be released from prison or experience capital punishment, he did not flinch. He was prepared for either result. Writing to the Philippians, he testifies: "As it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death" (Philippians 1:20).
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