SONG OF THE THREE CHILDREN AND THE PRAYER OF AZARIAH, an apocryphal addition to the ancient versions (Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Arabic) of the canonical text of the Book of Daniel, inserted between 3:23 and 3:24. The interpolation, which may have been composed in Hebrew in the second or first century B.C.E., is in three sections: (a) the Prayer of Azariah (1–22), praising God, confessing Israel's sins, and imploring divine deliverance; details concerning the heating of the fiery furnace (23–27); and (c) the Song of the Three Children (28–68). The last is in two parts: the opening liturgy addressed to God (29–34) and a series of exhortations addressed to all creatures, animate and inanimate, to praise the Lord (35–68). The unknown author of the addition derived much of his inspiration from the antiphonal liturgies in Psalms 136 and 148. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: See Bibliography in susanna and the elders . (Bruce M. Metzger)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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