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.

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This true vision (Dan 8:26-8:26)

“The vision

Of the evenings,

Of the mornings,

That has been told,

Is true.

As for you,

Seal up the vision!

It refers to many days

From now.

Gabriel indicated that this vision about the evenings and mornings of desolation in the Temple was true. He wanted Daniel to seal this vision for future reference, since it pertained to days in the future.

The new covenant (Neh 9:38-9:38)

“Because of all this we make a firm agreement in writing. On that sealed document are inscribed the names of our officials, our Levites, and our priests.”

Apparently Nehemiah came up with the idea of a new written covenant, which is nothing more than a renewal of the old covenant, after this great prayer of Ezra. He wanted all the officials, Levites, and priests to sign it or put their seal on it. Actually King Josiah (640-609 BCE), before the Exile, had a renewal of the covenant but it was only an oral one, not written. We shall see how this written covenant works out.