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Bel & The Dragon-Bel Ve-Hatanin
1 When Melech Astyages was laid to rest with his ancestors, Cyrus the Persian succeeded to his malchut.
2 Daniyel was a companion of the melech and was the most esteemed of all his friends.
3 Now the Babylonians had an idol called Bel, and every yom they provided for it twelve bushels of choice flour and forty sheep and six measures of wine.
4 The melech revered it and went every yom to worship it. But Daniyel worshiped his own Ahlohim. So the melech said to him, Why do you not worship Bel?
5 He answered, Because I do not revere idols made with hands, but the living Ahlohim, who created the shamayim and earth and has dominion over all living creatures.
6 The melech said to him, Do you not think that Bel is a living Ahlohim? Do you not see how much he eats and drinks every yom?
7 And Daniyel laughed and said, Do not be deceived, O melech, for this thing is only clay inside and bronze outside and it never ate or drank anything.
8 Then the melech was angry and called the kohanim of Bel and said to them, If you do not tell me who is eating these provisions, you shall die.
9 But if you can prove that Bel is eating them, Daniyel shall die, because he has spoken blasphemy against Bel. Daniyel said to the melech, Let it be done as you have said.
10 Now there were seventy kohanim of Bel, besides their wives and children. So the melech went with Daniyel into the temple of Bel.
11 The kohanim of Bel said, See, we are now going outside; you yourself, O melech, put out the food and prepare the wine and shut the door and seal it with your signet.
12 When you return in the boker, if you do not find that Bel has eaten it all, we will die; otherwise, Daniyel will, who is telling lies about us.
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.
14 After they had gone out, the melech set out the food for Bel. Then Daniyel ordered his avadim to bring ashes and they scattered them throughout the whole temple in the presence of the melech alone. Then they went out, shut the door and sealed it with the melech’s signet and departed.
15 During the lyla the kohanim came as usual, with their wives and children and they ate and drank everything.
16 Early in the boker the melech rose and came and Daniyel with him.
17 The melech said, Are the seals unbroken, Daniyel? He answered, They are unbroken, O melech.
18 As soon as the doors were opened, the melech looked at the table and shouted in a loud voice, You are great, O Bel and in you there is no deceit at all.
19 But Daniyel laughed and restrained the melech from going in. Look at the floor, he said, And notice whose footprints these are.
20 The melech said, I see the footprints of men and women and children.
21 Then the melech was enraged and he arrested the kohanim and their wives and children. They showed him the secret doors through which they used to enter to consume what was on the table.
22 Therefore the melech put them to death and gave Bel over to Daniyel, who destroyed it and its temple.
23 Now in that place there was also a great dragon, which the Babylonians revered.
24 The melech said to Daniyel, You cannot deny that this is a living Ahlohim; so worship him.
25 Daniyel said, I worship YHUH my Ahlohim only, for He is the emet living Ahlohim.
26 But give me permission, O melech and I will kill the dragon without sword or club. The melech said, I give you permission.
27 Then Daniyel took tar, fat and hair and boiled them together and made cakes, which he fed to the dragon. The dragon ate them and burst open. Then Daniyel said, See what you have been worshiping.
28 When the Babylonians heard about it, they were very indignant and conspired against the melech, saying, The melech has become a Yahudi; he has destroyed Bel and killed the dragon and slaughtered the kohanim.
29 Going to the melech, they said, Hand Daniyel over to us, or else we will kill you and your household.
30 The melech saw that they were pressing him hard and under compulsion he handed Daniyel over to them.
31 They threw Daniyel into the lion’s den and he was there for six yamim.
32 There were seven lions in the den and every yom they had been given two human bodies and two sheep; but now they were given nothing, so that they would devour Daniyel.
33 Now the navi Chabakook was in Yahudah; he had made a stew and had broken lechem into a bowl and was going into the field to take it to the reapers.
34 But the Malach of YHUH said to Chabakook, Take the food that you have to Bavel, to Daniyel, in the lion’s den.
35 Chabakook said, Adon, I have never seen Bavel and I know nothing about the den.
36 Then the Malach of YHUH took him by the keter of his head and carried him by his hair; with the speed of The Ruach he set him down in Bavel, right over the den.
37 Then Chabakook shouted, Daniyel, Daniyel. Take and eat the food that Ahlohim has sent you.
38 Daniyel said, You have remembered me, O YHUH and have not forsaken those who have ahava for You.
39 So Daniyel got up and ate. And the Malach of YHUH immediately returned Chabakook to his own place.
40 On the seventh yom the melech came to mourn for Daniyel. When he came to the den he looked in and there sat Daniyel.
41 The melech shouted with a loud voice, You are great, O Adon YHUH, the Ahlohim of Daniyel and there is none other besides You.
42 Then he pulled Daniyel out and threw into the den those who had attempted his destruction and they were instantly eaten before his very eyes. X
BEL AND THE DRAGON/BEL VeHATANIM
BEL 1:3 Marduk, in Mesopotamian religion, the chief deity of the city of Babylon and the national deity of Babylon; as such, he was eventually called simply Bel, or Lord.
BEL 1:31 This may be the same incident in the Book of Daniel or perhaps a second attempt to kill Daniel, this one lasting longer.
BEL 1:36 This reminds us of other men literally transported like Elijah, Enoch and Phillip in Acts chapter 8.