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.

Advertisements

The feast of King Belshazzar (Dan 5:1-5:1)

“King Belshazzar

Made a great feast

For a thousand

Of his lords.

He was drinking wine

In the presence

Of the thousand.”

Now there is a switch to King Belshazzar, the grandson of King Nebuchadnezzar. He ruled Babylon from 550-539 BCE, as he reigned with his father, King Nabonidus (556-539 BC), as a co-regent. He apparently was more anti-Jewish than his grandfather. He had this great feast with over 1,000 important people. Obviously, he was drinking wine.

The day of Yahweh’s anger (Lam 2:22-2:22)

Taw

“You invited

My enemies

From all around

As if for a festival day.

On the day

Of the anger

Of Yahweh,

No one escaped.

No one survived.

Those whom I bore,

Those whom I reared,

My enemy destroyed.”

Jerusalem blamed Yahweh for inviting its enemies from all over to come and have a great feast. On the day of Yahweh’s anger, no one escaped or survived from Jerusalem. Now the enemies of Jerusalem have destroyed all the people who were born and raised in Jerusalem. Thus Yahweh’s anger was to blame for all the havoc and death that happened in Jerusalem. This final verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Taw. This acrostic poem ends with the personification of Jerusalem speaking about Yahweh’s day of anger.

David praises God (Ps 63:5-63:8)

“My soul is satisfied

As with a rich feast.

My mouth praises you

With joyful lips.

I think of you

On my bed.

I meditate on you

In the watches of the night.

You have been my help.

In the shadow of your wings

I sing for joy.

My soul clings to you.

Your right hand upholds me.”

David’s soul was satisfied like as if it were at a great feast. His mouth praised God with his joyful lips. At night when he was in bed, he meditated on God. During the 3 night watches, God had been a help to him. Once again, there is allusion to the refuge in the shadow of the wings of God, when in fact God did not have wings. The cherubim in the Holy of Holies had wings. David sang for joy. His soul clung to God because God helped him with his right hand. Once again, God did not have hands. These metaphorical phrases of a thirsty soul and a winged God with a right hand are ways of explaining his trust in God.