BA`AL AND THE DRAGON (BEL AND THE DRAGON)
1 AND king Astyages was gathered to his fathers, and Koresh of Persia received his kingdom.
2 And Daniy’el conversed with the king, and was honoured above all his friends.
3 Now the inhabitants of Babel had an idol, called Ba`al, and there were spent upon him every day twelve great measures of fine flour, and forty sheep, and six vessels of wine.
4 And the king worshipped it and went daily to adore it: but Daniy’el worshipped his own ELOHIYM. And the king said unto him, Why do not you worship Ba`al?
5 He answered and said, Because I may not worship idols made with hands, but the living ELOHIYM, who has created the heavens and the earth, and has sovereignty over all flesh.
6 Then said the king unto him, Do you not think that Ba`al is a living elohiym? do you not see how much he eats and drinks every day?
7 Then Daniy’el smiled, and said, O king, be not deceived: for this is but clay within, and brass without, and did never eat or drink anything.
8 So the king was wroth, and called for his priests, and said unto them, If ye tell me not who this is that devours these expences, ye shall die.
9 But if ye can certify me that Ba`al devours them, then Daniy’el shall die: for he has spoken blasphemy against Ba`al. And Daniy’el said unto the king, Let it be according to your word.
10 Now the priests of Ba`al were threescore and ten, beside their women and children. And the king went with Daniy’el into the temple of Ba`al.
11 So Ba`al’s priests said, Lo, we go out: but you, O king, set on the meat, and make ready the wine, and shut the door fast and seal it with your own signet;
12 And tomorrow when you come in, if you find not that Ba`al has eaten up all, we will suffer death: or else Daniy’el, that speaks falsely against us.
13 And they little regarded it: for under the table they had made a privy entrance, whereby they entered in continually, and consumed those things.
14 So when they were gone forth, the king set meats before Ba`al. Now Daniy’el had commanded his servants to bring ashes, and those they strewed throughout all the temple in the presence of the king alone: then went they out, and shut the door, and sealed it with the king’s signet, and so departed.
15 Now in the night came the priests with their women and children, as they were wont to do, and did eat and drink up all.
16 In the morning early the king arose, and Daniy’el with him.
17 And the king said, Daniy’el, are the seals whole? And he said, Yea, O king, they be whole.
18 And as soon as he had opened the door, the king looked upon the table, and cried with a loud voice, Great are you, O Ba`al, and with you is no deceit at all.
19 Then laughed Daniy’el, and held the king that he should not go in, and said, Behold now the pavement, and mark well whose footsteps are these.
20 And the king said, I see the footsteps of men, women, and children. And then the king was angry,
21 And took the priests with their women and children, who showed him the privy doors, where they came in, and consumed such things as were upon the table.
22 Therefore the king slew them, and delivered Ba`al into Daniy’el’s power, who destroyed him and his temple.
23 And in that same place there was a great dragon, which they of Babel worshipped.
24 And the king said unto Daniy’el, Will you also say that this is of brass? lo, he lives, he eats and drinks; you cannot say that he is no living elohiym: therefore worship him.
25 Then said Daniy’el unto the king, I will worship YAHUAH ELOHAI: for he is the living ELOHIYM.
26 But give me leave, O king, and I shall slay this dragon without sword or staff. The king said, I give you leave.
27’Then Daniy’el took pitch, and fat, and hair, and did seethe them together, and made lumps thereof: this he put in the dragon’s mouth, and so the dragon burst in sunder: and Daniy’el said, Lo, these are the elohiym ye worship.
28 When they of Babel heard that, they took great indignation, and conspired against the king, saying, The king is become a Yahudiy, and he has destroyedBa`al, he has slain the dragon, and put the priests to death.
29 So they came to the king, and said, Deliver us Daniy’el, or else we will destroy you and your house.
30 Now when the king saw that they pressed him sore, being constrained, he delivered Daniy’el unto them:
31 Who cast him into the lions’ den: where he was six days.
32 And in the den there were seven lions, and they had given them every day two carcases, and two sheep: which then were not given to them, to the intent they might devour Daniy’el.
33 Now there was in Yahudah a prophet, called Chabaqquq, who had made pottage, and had broken bread in a bowl, and was going into the field, for to bring it to the reapers.
34 But the angel of YAHUAH said unto Chabaqquq, Go, carry the dinner that you have into Babel unto Daniy’el, who is in the lions’ den.
35 And Chabaqquq said, ADONAI, I never saw Babel; neither do I know where the den is.
36 Then the angel of YAHUAH took him by the crown, and bore him by the hair of his head, and through the vehemency of his ruach set him in Babel over the den.
37 And Chabaqquq cried, saying, O Daniy’el, Daniy’el, take the dinner which ELOHIYM has sent you.
38 And Daniy’el said, You have remembered me, O ELOHIYM: neither have you forsaken them that seek you and love you.
39 So Daniy’el arose, and did eat: and the angel of YAHUAH set Chabaqquq in his own place again immediately.
40 Upon the seventh day the king went to bewail Daniy’el: and when he came to the den, he looked in, and behold, Daniy’el was sitting.
41 Then cried the king with a loud voice, saying, Great is YAHUAH ELOHIYM of Daniy’el, and there is none other beside you.
42 And he drew him out, and cast those that were the cause of his destruction into the den: and they were devoured in a moment before his face.