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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Eliphaz describes God (Job 22:12-22:20)

“Is not God high in the heavens?

See the highest stars!

How lofty they are!

Therefore you say.

‘What does God know?

Can he judge through the deep darkness?

Thick clouds enwrap him.

Thus he does not see.

He walks on the vault of heaven.’

Will you keep to the old way?

Will you tread the path of wicked men?

They were snatched away before their time.

Their foundation was washed away by a flood.

They said to God.

‘Leave us alone.

What can the Almighty Shaddai do to us?’

Yet he filled their houses with good things.

The plans of the wicked are repugnant to me.

The righteous see it.

The righteous are glad.

The innocent laugh them to scorn, saying.

‘Surely our adversaries are cut off.

What they have left,

The fire has consumed.’”

Eliphaz described God as a distant unknowable God. He was high in heaven above the stars. How then can this faraway God know and judge what is going on here on earth with all the dark clouds around him? Once again, he referred to the wicked as wanting to be left alone by God. Why would they want the almighty Shaddai since they had everything they wanted? However, the righteous see that the wicked fill their houses with good things. The righteous think that bad things will happen to the wicked. The distant God seemed unconcerned about what was happening here on earth.