Bel and the Dragon 1
World English Bible
1And king Astyages was gathered to his fathers, and Cyrus of Persia received his kingdom.

2And Daniel conversed with the king and was honored above all his friends.

3Now the Babylons had an idol, called Bel, and every day twelve great measures of fine flour and forty sheep and six vessels of wine were spent upon him.

4And the king worshipped it and went daily to adore it; but Daniel worshipped his own God. And the king said to him, "Why do you not worship Bel?"

5He answered and said, "Because I may not worship idols made with hands, but only the living God, who has created the heaven and the earth and has sovereignty over all flesh."

6Then the king said to him, "Do you not think that Bel is a living God? Do you not see how much he eats and drinks every day?"

7Then Daniel smiled and said, "O king, be not deceived; for this is only clay within and brass without, and did never eat or drink anything."

8So the king was angry and called for his priests, and said to them, "If you do not tell me who it is that devours these expenses, you shall die!

9But, if you can prove to me that Bel devours them, then Daniel shall die, for he has spoken blasphemy against Bel." And Daniel said to the king, "Let it be according to your word."

10Now the priests of Bel were seventy, besides their wives and children. And the king went with Daniel into the temple of Bel.

11So Bel's priests said, "Lo, we go out; but you, O king, set out the meat and prepare the wine, and shut the door fast and seal it with your own signet;

12And tomorrow when you come in, if you do not find that Bel has eaten all, we will suffer death, or else Daniel, who speaks falsely against us."

13And they had little concern about it because under the table they had made a private entrance, whereby they entered in continually and consumed those things.

14So when they had gone, the king set out the meats before Bel. Now Daniel had commanded his servants to bring ashes, and those they strewed throughout the entire temple in the presence of the king alone; then they went out and shut the door, and sealed it with the king's signet, and so departed.

15Now in the night the priests with their wives and children came, as they were accustomed to do, and they ate and drank it all.

16In the early morning the king arose, and Daniel with him.

17And the king said, "Daniel, are the seals whole?" And he said, "Yes, O king, they are whole."

18And as soon as he had opened the door, the king looked upon the table and cried with a loud voice, "Great you are, O Bel, and with you is no deceit at all!"

19Then Daniel laughed, and held the king back so that he would not go in, and he said, "Behold now the pavement, and mark well whose footsteps these are."

20And the king said, "I see the footsteps of men, women, and children." And then the king was angry,

21and he took the priests with their wives and children, who showed him the private doors where they came in and consumed such things as were on the table.

22Therefore the king slew them, and delivered Bel into Daniel's power, who destroyed him and his temple.

23And in that same place there was a great dragon, which they of Babylon worshipped.

24And the king said to Daniel, "Will you also say that this is of brass? Lo, he lives, he eats and drinks; you cannot say that he is no living god; therefore, worship him."

25Then Daniel said to the king, "I will worship the Lord my God; for he is the living God.

26But give me permission, O king, and I shall slay this dragon without sword or staff." The king said, "I give you permission."

27Then Daniel took pitch and fat and hair, and boiled them together, and made lumps thereof; this he put in the dragon's mouth, and so the dragon burst apart; and Daniel said, "Lo, these are the gods you worship."

28When they of Babylon heard this, they took great indignation and conspired against the king, saying, "The king has become a Jew and he has destroyed Bel; he has slain the dragon and put the priests to death."

29So they came to the king and said, "Deliver Daniel to us or else we will destroy you and your house."

30Now when the king saw that they pressed him severely, being constrained, he delivered Daniel to them;

31they cast him into the lions' den, where he was for six days.

32And in the den there were seven lions, and they had given them every day two carcasses and two sheep, which then were not given to them, to the intent that they might devour Daniel.

33Now there was among the Jews a prophet, called Habbakuk, who had made pottage and had broken bread in a bowl, and was going into the field, to bring it to the reapers.

34But the angel of the Lord said to Habbakuk, "Go, carry the dinner that you have into Babylon to Daniel, who is in the lions' den."

35And Habbakuk said, "Lord, I never saw Babylon; neither do I know where the den is."

36Then the angel of the Lord took him by the crown, and carried him by the hair of his head, and through the vehemence of his spirit set him in Babylon over the den.

37And Habbakuk cried, saying, "O Daniel, Daniel, take the dinner which God has sent you."

38And Daniel said, "You have remembered me, O God; neither have you forsaken those who seek you and love you."

39So Daniel arose and ate; and the angel of the Lord set Habbakuk in his own place again immediately.

40Upon the seventh day the king went to bewail Daniel; and when he came to the den, he looked in, and behold, Daniel was sitting.

41Then the king cried with a loud voice, saying, "Great are you, Lord God of Daniel, and there is no other beside you!"

42And he drew him out, and cast those who were the cause of his destruction into the den; and they were devoured in a moment before his face.

Susanna 1
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