In Daniel 1:7, Nebuchadnezzar changed the names of Daniel and his friends because he wanted to make them Babylonian in their own eyes and in the eyes of the Babylonian people. New names would help them assimilate into the culture. Although their names were changed, Daniel and his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah never forgot who they were.

1. Daniel means “God is my Judge” in Hebrew; his name was changed to Belteshazzar meaning “Bel, protect his life!” (Bel also called Marduk, was the chief Babylonian god.)

2. Hananiah means “the Lord shows grace”; his new name, Shadrach, probably means “under the command of Aku” (the moon god).

3. Mishael means “who is like God?”; his new name, Meshach, probably means “who is like Aku?”

4. Azariah means “the LORD helps”; his new name, Abednego, means

“servant of Nego/Nebo” (or Nabu, the god of learning and writing).

God used the same principle when we got saved. He changed our names and nature so that we could assimilate into the Christian culture. We used to be called “sinners” but now in Christ, the Bible says that we are “saints, a holy priesthood, a holy nation, children of God.”

When Daniel was accused falsely, he remembered his name, “God is my Judge.” When his three friends were delivered out of the fiery furnace, they discovered first hand that “the Lord shows grace, the Lord helps and who is like God?” 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away, behold, new things have come.” Don’t forget who you are!