Bel and the Dragon


Bel and the Dragon 1:1
When king Astyages was laid to rest with his ancestors, Cyrus the Persian succeeded to his kingdom.

Bel and the Dragon 1:2
Daniel was a companion of the king, and was the most honored of all his friends.

Bel and the Dragon 1:3
Now the Babylonians had an idol called Bel, and every day they provided for it twelve bushels of choice flour and forty sheep and six measures of wine.

Bel and the Dragon 1:4
The king revered it and went every day to prostrate to it. But Daniel prostrated to his own God. So the king said to him, "Why do you not prostrate to Bel?"

Bel and the Dragon 1:5
He answered, "Because I do not revere idols made with hands, but the living God, who created heaven and earth and has dominion over all living creatures."

Bel and the Dragon 1:6
The king said to him, "Do you not think that Bel is a living god? Do you not see how much he eats and drinks every day?"

Bel and the Dragon 1:7
And Daniel laughed, and said, "Do not be deceived, O king, for this thing is only clay inside and bronze outside, and it never ate or drank anything."

Bel and the Dragon 1:8
Then the king was angry and called the priests of Bel and said to them, "If you do not tell me who is eating these provisions, you shall die.

Bel and the Dragon 1:9
But if you prove that Bel is eating them, Daniel shall die, because he has spoken blasphemy against Bel." Daniel said to the king, "Let it be done as you have said."

Bel and the Dragon 1:10
Now there were seventy priests of Bel, besides their wives and children. So the king went with Daniel into the temple of Bel.

Bel and the Dragon 1:11
The priests of Bel said, "See, we are now going outside; you yourself, O king, set out the food and prepare the wine, and shut the door and seal it with your signet.

Bel and the Dragon 1:12
When you return in the morning, if you do not find that Bel has eaten it all, we will die; otherwise Daniel will, who is telling lies about us."

Bel and the Dragon 1:13
They were unconcerned, for beneath the table they had made a hidden entrance, through which they used to go in regularly and consume the provisions.

Bel and the Dragon 1:14
After they had gone out, the king set out the food for Bel. Then Daniel ordered his servants to bring ashes, and they scattered them throughout the whole temple in the presence of the king alone. Then they went out, shut the door and sealed it with the king's signet, and departed.

Bel and the Dragon 1:15
During the night the priests came as usual, with their wives and children, and they ate and drank everything.

Bel and the Dragon 1:16
Early in the morning the king rose and came, and Daniel with him.

Bel and the Dragon 1:17
The king said, "Are the seals unbroken, Daniel?" He answered, "They are unbroken, O king."

Bel and the Dragon 1:18
As soon as the doors were opened, the king looked at the table, and shouted in a loud voice, "You are great, O Bel, and in you there is no deceit at all!"

Bel and the Dragon 1:19
But Daniel laughed and restrained the king from going in. "Look at the floor", he said, "and notice whose footprints these are."

Bel and the Dragon 1:20
The king said, "I see the footprints of men and women and children."

Bel and the Dragon 1:21
Then the king was enraged, and he arrested the priests and their wives and children. They showed him the secret doors through which they used to enter to consume what was on the table.

Bel and the Dragon 1:22
Therefore the king put them to death, and gave Bel over to Daniel, who destroyed it and its temple.

Bel and the Dragon 1:23
Now in that place there was a great dragon, which the Babylonians revered.

Bel and the Dragon 1:24
The king said to Daniel, "You cannot deny that this is a living god; so serve him."

Bel and the Dragon 1:25
Daniel said, "I serve the Lord my God, for He is the living God.

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But give me permission, O king, and I will kill the dragon without sword or club." The king said, "I give you permission."

Bel and the Dragon 1:27
Then Daniel took pitch, fat, and hair, and boiled them together and made cakes, which he fed to the dragon. The dragon ate them, and burst open. Then Daniel said, "See what you have been serving!"

Bel and the Dragon 1:28
When the Babylonians heard about it, they were very indignant and conspired against the king, saying, "The king has become a Jew; he has destroyed Bel, and killed the dragon, and slaughtered the priests."

Bel and the Dragon 1:29
Going to the king, they said, "Hand Daniel over to us, or else we will kill you and your household."

Bel and the Dragon 1:30
The king saw that they were pressing him hard, and under compulsion he handed Daniel over to them.

Bel and the Dragon 1:31
They threw Daniel into the lions' den, and he was there for six days.

Bel and the Dragon 1:32
There were seven lions in the den, and every day they had been given two human bodies and two sheep; but now they were given nothing, so that they would devour Daniel.

Bel and the Dragon 1:33
Now the prophet Habakkuk was in Judea; he had made a stew and had broken bread into a bowl, and was going into the field to take it to the reapers.

Bel and the Dragon 1:34
But the angel of the Lord said to Habakkuk, "Take the food that you have to Babylon, to Daniel, in the lions' den."

Bel and the Dragon 1:35
Habakkuk said, "Sir, I have never seen Babylon, and I know nothing about the den."

Bel and the Dragon 1:36
Then the angel of the Lord took him by the crown of his head and carried him by his hair; with the speed of the wind he set him down in Babylon, right over the den.

Bel and the Dragon 1:37
Then Habakkuk shouted, "Daniel, Daniel! Take the food that God has sent you."

Bel and the Dragon 1:38
Daniel said, "You have remembered me, O God, and have not forsaken those who love You."

Bel and the Dragon 1:39
So Daniel got up and ate. And the angel of God immediately returned Habakkuk to his own place.

Bel and the Dragon 1:40
On the seventh day the king came to mourn for Daniel. When he came to the den he looked in, and there sat Daniel!

Bel and the Dragon 1:41
The king shouted with a loud voice, "You are great, O Lord, the God of Daniel, and there is no other besides You!"

Bel and the Dragon 1:42
Then he pulled Daniel out, and threw into the den those who had attempted his destruction, and they were instantly eaten before his eyes.