The angel takes Habakkuk to Babylon (Dan 14:35-14:36)

“Habakkuk said.

‘Sir!

I have never seen Babylon.

I know nothing

About the den.’

Then the angel

Of the Lord

Took him

By the crown

Of his head.

He carried him

By his hair,

With the speed

Of the wind.

He set him down

In Babylon,

Right over the den.”

This prophet Habakkuk rightly said that he knew nothing about Babylon or any lion’s den. He had no idea of where he was to go. The angel of the Lord had a quick answer. He took Habakkuk by the hair on the crown of his head. He carried him away with the speed of the wind to Babylon, right over the lion’s den where Daniel was. That was a simple solution to a big transportation problem.

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The prophet Habakkuk (Dan 14:33-14:34)

“Now the prophet Habakkuk

Was in Judea.

He had made a stew.

He had broken bread

Into a bowl.

He was going

Into the field

To take it

To the reapers.

But the angel

Of the Lord

Said to Habakkuk.

‘Take the dinner

That you have

To Babylon,

To Daniel,

In the lions’ den.’”

Who is this prophet Habakkuk? It is not clear whether he was one of the minor prophets with the same name. Here, he is a prophet in Judea. Since the minor prophets were already known, this may be an attempt to connect the two prophets, Habakkuk and Daniel together. Anyway, he had some stew and bread that he was bringing to the workers reaping in the field, when an angel of the Lord appeared to him. This unnamed angel told Habakkuk to bring his dinner to Daniel in the lion’s den in Babylon. That would be quite a task since foot travel was the normal form of transportation between Judea and Babylon. Once again, there is an emphasis on eating. I would; think that the last thing that Daniel was worried about in the lion’s den would be food.

Daniel in the lion’s den (Dan 14:31-14:32)

“They threw Daniel

Into the lions’ den.

He was there

For six days.

There were seven lions

In the den.

Every day,

They had been given

Two human bodies,

With two sheep.

But now

They were given nothing.

Thus,

They would devour Daniel.”

Once again, Daniel is in the lion’s den as in chapter 6 of this book. This time, the duration is 6 days, instead of one night. There was an explicit mention of 7 lions in the den, instead of the earlier vague den of lions. Normally, these lions feasted on 2 human bodies and 2 sheep each day. During the time that Daniel was there, they were not given their normal diet, so that they might want to eat Daniel.

The Babylonians want Daniel killed (Dan 14:29-14:30)

“Going to the king,

They said.

‘Hand Daniel

Over to us!

Otherwise,

We will kill you!

We will kill

Your household!’

The king saw

That they were

Pressing him hard.

Under compulsion,

He handed Daniel

Over to them.”

These conspirators against the king wanted Daniel put to death. His influence was seen as the main reason for the king’s actions. In fact, they told the king, either hand over Daniel or they would kill him and his household. Given that simple choice of his death or that of Daniel, the king handed Daniel over to them.

The king was becoming Jewish (Dan 14:28-14:28)

“When the Babylonians

Heard about the dragon,

They were very indignant.

They conspired

Against the king.

They said.

‘The king

Has become a Jew.

He has destroyed Bel.

He has killed the dragon.

He has slaughtered the priests.’”

The Babylonians were upset at the king, after they heard what Daniel had done to the dragon. They were indignant. Thus, they conspired against the king. They were saying the king was becoming Jewish. He had destroyed their idol god Bel and the mysterious dragon god that they had worshipped. Besides that, the king had killed all the priests of the Bel temple. They were concerned about the Jewish influence of Daniel on their king.

Daniel feeds the dragon (Dan 14:27-14:27)

“Then Daniel took

Pitch,

Fat,

With hair.

He boiled them together.

He made cakes.

Then he fed them

To the dragon.

The dragon ate them.

The dragon

Burst open.

Then Daniel said.

‘See!

What you have been worshiping!’”

Once again, the theme of food appeared. First, Daniel would not eat the royal food in chapter 1. Then there was the great feast where they drank out of sacred vessels in chapter 5. Earlier in this chapter, there was the problem of the idol god Bel or his priests eating the sacrificial food. Now here, Daniel prepares a meal for the dragon that will make him burst open. Once again, Daniel put down and destroyed an object of pagan worship. This time, it was this mysterious dragon.

The dragon and Daniel (Dan 14:23-14:26)

“Now in that place,

There was a great dragon

That the Babylonians revered.

The king said

To Daniel.

‘You cannot deny

That this is a living god.

So,

Worship him!’

Daniel said.

‘I will worship

The Lord,

My God.

He is the living God.

But give me permission!

O king!

I will kill the dragon

Without a sword,

Without a club.’

The king said.

‘I give you permission.’”

Daniel now will take on the great nameless dragon god, that the king and the Babylonians revered. The king pointed out that this dragon was surely a living god worthy of worship. Daniel once again announced that he was only going to worship the Lord, his living God. However, he wanted permission from the king to kill the dragon, without using a club or a sword. The king then gave him permission to do so.