(AKA Chananya, Mishael, and Azarya)

The story is that these 3 people did not bow to a golden image. Then they got thrown into a fire. A miracle happened and they survived. The king is so impressed that he declared all people to respect Jewish God. Given that Babylon is a great kingdom, this must have been a very significant event.

That seems to be a very public miracle. Are there any historical record to corroborate this?

  • 1
    Nope, it's not a very improtant Jewish event. Cyrus declaring the rebuilding of the Temple is more important/theologically significant and the Cyrus cylinder attests to it. The fact is, for the past 1500 years, the "pagans" admitted that the "Jewish god" is "real". When that first happened isn't so important. Though it is a good question! :)
    – avi
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 14:29
  • 2
    Re "I am just curious how much Judaism is based on mere faith like Christianity and how much they are based on real evidences. That's actually my main motivation in asking this.": Then that's what you should ask: not "is there external support" but "do we base our belief on external support". Two different questions.
    – msh210
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 15:13
  • 2
    @avi, re "a most obscure story": I wouldn't go that far. I suspect most fifth-grade y'shiva students have heard the story.
    – msh210
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 15:29
  • 1
    Yeah but when a story is important and deeply part of Judaism, we use the names that the Sefer uses. For example, "The father of Banot Tzelofechad" instead of just saying "Tzelofechad"
    – avi
    Commented Oct 26, 2011 at 17:26
  • 1
    @avi: nonetheless, the Gemara and Midrashim consistently use their Hebrew names in reference to this story (Pesachim 117a-b, Kesubos 33b, etc.), so that's probably why it's better known to us Jews in that form.
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 26, 2011 at 23:16

1 Answer 1


I was able to find this PDF which claims that historical evidence gives tangential evidence to the story in Daniel.


He mentions that the names of these three people are found on a 5 sided clay prism from Babylonia, but so far I've only found Christian sites that make reference to this pillar. It seems this story plays a much larger roll in Christian theology than it does in Jewish teachings.

A small comment about "public" stories in Tanach. Not all events that were done before all the people, were infact done before all the people of Israel. For example, there is one story of a man forced to be intimate with a women before all the people on a rooftop. Pure logistics would prove this to be impossible. One might say that such a public act would be written about in many places, but on the other hand, such an act might have just been done in front of select people represetting "all the people of Israel" and not have been widely written about.

  • "forced to be intimate..."? Are you talking about Avshalom and his father's ten concubines (II Sam. 16:22)? If so, then he wasn't "forced" - it was of his own free will (at Achitophel's advice). As for "before the eyes of all Israel," that's pretty much parallel to saying nowadays that something was done "in front of all Americans"; it simply means that anyone who wanted could see it (not necessarily that everyone is actually there, though).
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 26, 2011 at 23:20
  • Curiously why the christians, rather than the jews, are the one more obsessed with proofing judaism?
    – user4951
    Commented Nov 25, 2011 at 3:07
  • @JimThio I don't know how to explain this in a short comment, but the concept of 'proofing Judaism' by supplying evidence that text in a religious documeny is historically accurate is complete nonsense. We look to the text for religious and philosophical guidance, not for academic historical research.
    – avi
    Commented Nov 25, 2011 at 7:28
  • @JimThio Let me put this another way. If we went about trying to prove the historical accuracy of the books of Ketuvim, then we would in turn be destroying and uprooting Hudreds of Midrashim, and thousands of Dvrei torah that surround the stories. These Midrashim are based on a literary reading of the stories, and find puns and nuance to add meaning. If you try to make these stories historically accurate, those puns and nuances lose all meaning.
    – avi
    Commented Nov 25, 2011 at 7:46
  • @JimThio something I just learned over this Shabbat. The Christian bible has 3 additional books/passages regarding this story which the Jewish Tanach does not have. That might also explain their interest.
    – avi
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 19:53

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .