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.

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The priests of Bel (Dan 14:10-14:13)

“Now there were seventy priests

Of Bel,

Besides their wives,

With their children.

The king went

With Daniel

Into the temple

Of Bel.

The priests Of Bel said.

‘See!

We are going outside.

You!

Yourself!

O king!

Set out the food!

Prepare the wine!

Shut the door!

Seal it with your signet!

When you return

In the morning,

If you do not find

That Bel has eaten it all,

We will die.

Otherwise,

Daniel will die.

He is telling lies

About us.’

They were unconcerned,

Because beneath the table,

They had made

A hidden entrance,

Through which

They used to go in regularly.

They would consume

The provisions.”

There were 70 priests of Bel, with their wives and children. The king went with Daniel into the Bel temple. The priests then said to them that they were going outside. They wanted the king to set out the food and the wine. Then he should shut and seal the door with his signet. If the next morning he returned, and the god Bel had not eaten the provisions, they should be killed. However, if the god Bel had eaten the food, then Daniel, who had lied against them, should be killed. They were unconcerned, because beneath the table they had made a hidden entrance. They used this secret passageway to regularly consume the provisions set out for the idol god Bel.

The Bel priests versus Daniel (Dan 14:8-14:9)

“Then the king

Was angry.

He called the priests

Of Bel.

He said to them.

‘If you do not tell me

Who is eating

These provisions,

You shall die.

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.’”

Then King Cyrus became angry at Daniel. He called in the priests of the idol god Bel. He told them to tell him who was eating the provisions that were set out for this god Bel. If they did not tell him, they would die. However, if they could prove that Bel was eating these provisions, then Daniel would die. One way or other, someone was going to die. The king accused Daniel of blasphemy with his statements about Bel. Daniel agreed to this proposition, death for him or the Bel priests.