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BEL AND THE DRAGON / ΒΗΛ ΚΑΙ ΔΡΑΚΩΝ

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1 From a prophecy of Hambakoum the son of Iesous of the tribe of Levi. 2 There was a certain person, a priest, whose name was Daniel, son of Habal, a companion of the king of Babylon. 3 And there was an idol, Bel, which the Babylonians would revere. Now, every day they were squandering on it twelve bushels of choice flour and four sheep and six measures of oil. 4 And the king would revere him, and the king would go every day and would do obeisance to him. But Daniel would pray to the Lord. And the king said to Daniel, “Why do you not do obeisance to Bel?” 5 And Daniel said to the king, “I revere no one except the Lord God, who created heaven and earth.” 6 So the king said to him, “Is this one, then, not a god? Do you not see how much is spent for him every day?” 7 And Daniel said to him, “Not at all! Do not let anyone mislead you, for this one is only of clay inside and bronze outside. Moreover, I swear to you by the Lord God of the gods that this one has never eaten anything.” 8 And angered, the king called the leaders of the temple and said to them, “Produce the one who eats the things prepared for Bel. But if not, you shall die, 9 or Daniel, who says they are not being eaten by him.” But they said, “It is Bel himself who eats them.” Then Daniel said to the king, “Let it be so. Unless I prove that Bel is not eating them, I shall die, and all those with me.” 10 Now there were seventy priests of Bel, not counting wives and children. So he brought the king into the idol’s temple. 11 And the food was set out in the presence of the king and Daniel, and the mixed wine was brought in and set out before Bel. And Daniel said, “You, yourself, see, O king, that these things are set down. You, then, seal the bolts of the shrine when it is closed.” Now the word pleased the king. 14 Now Daniel commanded those with him, after everyone departed from the temple, to strew the whole shrine with ashes, though no one else except him knew. And then, as he sealed the shrine, he commanded that it be sealed with the king’s signet and with the signets of certain illustrious priests. And so it happened. 15-17 And it happened on the next day that they went to the place. (But the priests of Bel, after entering through false doors, had eaten everything laid out for Bel and had drunk the wine.) And Daniel said, “men, priests, examine your seals, whether they remain. And you also, O king, observe carefully lest anything be out of order to you.” And they found the seal as it was, and they broke the seal. 18 And when they opened the doors, they saw everything that had been set out consumed and the tables empty. And the king was thrilled and said to Daniel, “Bel is great, and there is no deceit in him!” 19 And Daniel laughed exceedingly and said to the king, “Come, see the deceit of the priests.” And Daniel said, “O king, these footprints, whose are they?” 20 And the king said, “Of men and women and children.” 21 And he went to the house where the priests were staying, and they found Bel’s food and the wine. And Daniel showed the king the false doors through which the priests would enter and consume what was set out for Bel. 22 And the king brought them out of Bel’s temple and handed them over to Daniel. And he gave the provision that was for him to Daniel, but he destroyed Bel. 23 And there was a dragon in that same place, and the Babylonians would revere it. 24 And the king said to Daniel, “Surely you shall not also say about this one, that he is bronze! Look, he loves and eats and drinks! Do obeisance to him.” 26 And Daniel said, “O king, give me permission, and I will slay the dragon without iron or club.” And the king agreed with him and said, “I have given it to you.” 27 And taking thirty minas of pitch and fat and hair, Daniel boiled them together, and having made a cake, he threw it into the mouth of the dragon. And after eating, it burst open. And he showed it to the king, saying, “Aren’t these the things you revere, O king?” 28 And all those from the country assembled against Daniel and said, “The king has just now become a Judaean. He has destroyed Bel and killed the dragon.” 30 And when the king saw that the crowd from the country had united against him, he called his companions and said, “I am giving Daniel over for destruction.” 31-2 Now, there was a pit in which seven lions would be fed, to which the conspirators of the king would be delivered. And every day two bodies condemned to death would be provided for them. And the crowd threw Daniel into that pit so that he might be devoured and not even have the good fortune of a burial. And Daniel was in the pit six days. 33 And it happened on the sixth day, and Hambakoum was having bread broken in a bowl of boiled soup and a jar of mixed wine and was on his way to the plain to the reapers. 34 And an angel of the Lord spoke to Hambakoum, saying, “This is what God says to you: the food that you have, take it to Daniel, the one of Baltasar [=Belshazzar], in the lion’s pit in Babylon.” 35 And Hambakoum said, “Lord God, I have not seen Babylon, and I do not know where the pit is.” 36 And when the angel of the Lord had taken Hambakoum by the hair of his head, he set him down above the pit that was in Babylon. 37 And Hambakoum said to Daniel, “Rise! Eat the food that God has sent you.” 38 And Daniel said, “For the Lord God who does not forsake those who love him has remembered me.” 39 And Daniel ate. Then the angel of the Lord put Hambakoum whence he took him on that same day. 40 Now after these things the king came out mourning Daniel. And when he stooped down into the pit, he saw him seated! 41 And when had shouted out the king said, “The Lord God is great, and there is no other besides him!” 42 And the king brought Daniel out from the pit and threw into the pit those responsible for his ruin before Daniel, and they were devoured. Ἐκ προφητείας Αμβακουμ υἱοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἐκ τῆς φυλῆς Λευι. 2 Ἄνθρωπός τις ἦν ἱερεύς, ᾧ ὄνομα Δανιηλ υἱὸς Αβαλ, συμβιωτὴς τοῦ βασιλέως Βαβυλῶνος. 3 καὶ ἦν εἴδωλον, Βηλ, ὃ ἐσέβοντο οἱ Βαβυλώνιοι· ἀνηλίσκετο δὲ αὐτῷ καθ’ ἑκάστην ἡμέραν σεμιδάλεως ἀρτάβαι δέκα δύο καὶ πρόβατα τέσσαρα καὶ ἐλαίου μετρηταὶ ἕξ. 4 καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐσέβετο αὐτόν, καὶ ἐπορεύετο ὁ βασιλεὺς καθ’ ἑκάστην ἡμέραν καὶ προσεκύνει αὐτῷ· Δανιηλ δὲ προσηύχετο πρὸς κύριον. 5 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τῷ Δανιηλ Διὰ τί οὐ προσκυνεῖς τῷ Βηλ; καὶ εἶπε Δανιηλ πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα Οὐδένα σέβομαι ἐγὼ εἰ μὴ κύριον τὸν θεὸν τὸν κτίσαντα τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν καὶ ἔχοντα πάσης σαρκὸς κυρ[ι]είαν. 6 εἶπεν δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς αὐτῷ Οὗτος οὖν οὐκ ἔστι θεός; οὐχ ὁρᾷς ὅσα εἰς αὐτὸν δαπανᾶται καθ’ ἑκάστην ἡμέραν; 7 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Δανιηλ Μηδαμῶς· μηδείς σε παραλογιζέσθω· οὗτος γὰρ ἔσωθεν μὲν πήλινός ἐστιν, ἔξωθεν δὲ χαλκοῦς· ὀμνύω δέ σοι κύριον τὸν θεὸν τῶν θεῶν, ὅτι οὐθὲν βέβρωκε πώποτε οὗτος. 8 καὶ θυμωθεὶς ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐκάλεσε τοὺς προεστηκότας τοῦ ἱεροῦ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Παραδείξατε τὸν ἐσθίοντα τὰ παρασκευαζόμενα τῷ Βηλ· εἰ δὲ μή γε, ἀποθανεῖσθε ἢ Δανιηλ ὁ φάσκων μὴ ἐσθίεσθαι αὐτὰ ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ. οἱ δὲ εἶπαν Αὐτὸς ὁ Βηλ ἐστὶν ὁ κατεσθίων αὐτά. 9 εἶπε δὲ Δανιηλ πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα Γινέσθω οὕτως· ἐὰν μὴ παραδείξω ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ Βηλ ὁ κατεσθίων ταῦτα, ἀποθανοῦμαι καὶ πάντες οἱ παρ’ ἐμοῦ. ἦσαν δὲ τῷ Βηλ ἱερεῖς ἑβδομήκοντα χωρὶς γυναικῶν καὶ τέκνων. 10 ἤγαγον δέ τὸν βασιλέα εἰς τὸ εἰδώλιον. 11 καὶ παρετέθη τὰ βρώματα ἐνώπιον τοῦ βασιλέως καὶ τοῦ Δανιηλ, καὶ οἶνος κερασθεὶς εἰσηνέχθη καὶ παρετέθη τῷ Βηλ. καὶ εἶπεν Δανιηλ Σὺ αὐτὸς ὁρᾷς ὅτι κεῖται ταῦτα, βασιλεῦ· σὺ οὖν ἐπισφράγισαι τὰς κλεῖδας τοῦ ναοῦ, ἐπὰν κλεισθῇ. 13 ἤρεσε δὲ ὁ λόγος τῷ βασιλεῖ. 14 ὁ δὲ Δανιηλ ἐκέλευσε τοὺς παρ’ αὐτοῦ ἐκβαλόντας πάντας ἐκ τοῦ ναοῦ κατασῆσαι ὅλον τὸν ναὸν σποδῷ οὐθενὸς τῶν ἐκτὸς αὐτοῦ εἰδότος. καὶ τότε τὸν ναὸν ἐκέλευσε σφραγίσαι τῷ τοῦ βασιλέως δακτυλίῳ καὶ τοῖς δακτυλίοις τινῶν ἐνδόξων ἱερέων· καὶ ἐγένετο οὕτως. 15-17 καὶ ἐγένετο τῇ ἐπαύριον παρεγένοντο ἐπὶ τὸν τόπον· οἱ δὲ ἱερεῖς τοῦ Βηλ διὰ ψευδοθυρίδων εἰσελθόντες κατεφάγοσαν πάντα τὰ παρακείμενα τῷ Βηλ καὶ ἐξέπιον τὸν οἶνον. καὶ εἶπεν Δανιηλ Ἐπίδετε τὰς σφραγῖδας ὑμῶν εἰ μένουσιν, ἄνδρες ἱερεῖς· καὶ σὺ δέ, βασιλεῦ, σκέψαι μή τί σοι ἀσύμφωνον γεγένηται. καὶ εὗρον, ὡς ἦν ἡ σφραγίς, καὶ ἀπέβαλον τὴν σφραγῖδα. 18 καὶ ἀνοίξαντες τὰς θύρας εἴδοσαν δεδαπανημένα πάντα τὰ παρατεθέντα καὶ τὰς τραπέζας κενάς· καὶ ἐχάρη ὁ βασιλεὺς καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν Δανιηλ Μέγας ἐστὶν ὁ Βηλ, καὶ οὐκ ἔστι παρ’ αὐτῷ δόλος. 19 καὶ ἐγέλασε Δανιηλ σφόδρα καὶ εἶπεν τῷ βασιλεῖ Δεῦρο ἰδὲ τὸν δόλον τῶν ἱερέων. καὶ εἶπεν Δανιηλ Βασιλεῦ, ταῦτα τὰ ἴχνη τίνος ἐστί; 20 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεύς Ἀνδρῶν καὶ γυναικῶν καὶ παιδίων. 21 καὶ ἐπῆλθεν ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον, ἐν ᾧ ἦσαν οἱ ἱερεῖς καταγινόμενοι, καὶ εὗρε τὰ βρώματα τοῦ Βηλ καὶ τὸν οἶνον· καὶ ἐπέδειξε Δανιηλ τῷ βασιλεῖ τὰ ψευδοθύρια, δι’ ὧν εἰσπορευόμενοι οἱ ἱερεῖς ἐδαπάνων τὰ παρατιθέμενα τῷ Βηλ. 22 καὶ ἐξήγαγεν αὐτοὺς ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐκ τοῦ Βηλίου καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς τῷ Δανιηλ· καὶ τὴν δαπάνην τὴν εἰς αὐτὸν ἔδωκε τῷ Δανιηλ, τὸν δὲ Βηλ κατέστρεψε. 23 Καὶ ἦν δράκων ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ τόπῳ, καὶ ἐσέβοντο αὐτὸν οἱ Βαβυλώνιοι. 24 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τῷ Δανιηλ Μὴ καὶ τοῦτον ἐρεῖς ὅτι χαλκοῦς ἐστιν; ἰδοὺ ζῇ καὶ ἐσθίει καὶ πίνει· προσκύνησον αὐτῷ. 25 καὶ εἶπεν Δανιηλ Βασιλεῦ, δός μοι τὴν ἐξουσίαν, καὶ ἀνελῶ τὸν δράκοντα ἄνευ σιδήρου καὶ ῥάβδου. 26 καὶ συνεχώρησεν αὐτῷ ὁ βασιλεὺς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Δέδοταί σοι. 27 καὶ λαβὼν ὁ Δανιηλ πίσσης μνᾶς τριάκοντα καὶ στέαρ καὶ τρίχας ἥψησεν ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ καὶ ἐποίησε μάζαν καὶ ἐνέβαλεν εἰς τὸ στόμα τοῦ δράκοντος, καὶ φαγὼν διερράγη. καὶ ἔδειξεν αὐτὸν τῷ βασιλεῖ λέγων Οὐ ταῦτα σέβεσθε, βασιλεῦ; 28 καὶ συνήχθησαν οἱ ἀπὸ τῆς χώρας πάντες ἐπὶ τὸν Δανιηλ καὶ εἶπαν Ιουδαῖος γέγονεν ὁ βασιλεύς· τὸν Βηλ κατέστρεψε καὶ τὸν δράκοντα ἀπέκτεινε. 30 καὶ ἰδὼν ὁ βασιλεὺς ὅτι ἐπισυνήχθη ὁ ὄχλος τῆς χώρας ἐπ’ αὐτόν, ἐκάλεσε τοὺς συμβιωτὰς αὐτοῦ καὶ εἶπεν Δίδωμι τὸν Δανιηλ εἰς ἀπώλειαν. 31-32 ἦν δὲ λάκκος ἐν ᾧ ἐτρέφοντο λέοντες ἑπτά, οἷς παρεδίδοντο οἱ ἐπίβουλοι τοῦ βασιλέως, καὶ ἐχορηγεῖτο αὐτοῖς καθ’ ἑκάστην ἡμέραν τῶν ἐπιθανατίων σώματα δύο. καὶ ἐνεβάλοσαν τὸν Δανιηλ οἱ ὄχλοι εἰς ἐκεῖνον τὸν λάκκον, ἵνα καταβρωθῇ καὶ μηδὲ ταφῆς τύχῃ. καὶ ἦν ἐν τῷ λάκκῳ Δανιηλ ἡμέρας ἕξ. 33 καὶ ἐγένετο τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ ἕκτῃ καὶ ἦν Αμβακουμ ἔχων ἄρτους ἐντεθρυμμένους ἐν σκάφῃ ἐν ἑψήματι καὶ στάμνον οἴνου κεκερασμένου καὶ ἐπορεύετο εἰς τὸ πεδίον πρὸς τοὺς θεριστάς. 34 καὶ ἐλάλησεν ἄγγελος κυρίου πρὸς Αμβακουμ λέγων Τάδε λέγει σοι κύριος ὁ θεός Τὸ ἄριστον, ὃ ἔχεις, ἀπένεγκε Δανιηλ εἰς τὸν λάκκον τῶν λεόντων ἐν Βαβυλῶνι. 35 καὶ εἶπεν Αμβακουμ Κύριε ὁ θεός, οὐχ ἑώρακα τὴν Βαβυλῶνα καὶ τὸν λάκκον οὐ γινώσκω ποῦ ἐστι. 36 καὶ ἐπιλαβόμενος αὐτοῦ ὁ ἄγγελος κυρίου τοῦ Αμβακουμ τῆς κόμης αὐτοῦ τῆς κεφαλῆς ἔθηκεν αὐτὸν ἐπάνω τοῦ λάκκου τοῦ ἐν Βαβυλῶνι. 37 καὶ εἶπεν Αμβακουμ πρὸς Δανιηλ Ἀναστὰς φάγε τὸ ἄριστον, ὃ ἀπέστειλέ σοι κύριος ὁ θεός. 38 καὶ εἶπε Δανιηλ Ἐμνήσθη γάρ μου κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ μὴ ἐγκαταλείπων τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας αὐτόν. 39 καὶ ἔφαγε Δανιηλ· ὁ δὲ ἄγγελος κυρίου κατέστησε τὸν Αμβακουμ ὅθεν αὐτὸν ἔλαβε τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ. ὁ δὲ κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἐμνήσθη τοῦ Δανιηλ. 40 ἐξῆλθε δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς μετὰ ταῦτα πενθῶν τὸν Δανιηλ καὶ ἐγκύψας εἰς τὸν λάκκον ὁρᾷ αὐτὸν καθήμενον. 41 καὶ ἀναβοήσας εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεύς Μέγας ἐστὶ κύριος ὁ θεός, καὶ οὐκ ἔστι πλὴν αὐτοῦ ἄλλος. 42 καὶ ἐξήγαγεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τὸν Δανιηλ ἐκ τοῦ λάκκου· καὶ τοὺς αἰτίους τῆς ἀπωλείας αὐτοῦ ἐνέβαλεν εἰς τὸν λάκκον ἐνώπιον τοῦ Δανιηλ, καὶ κατεβρώθησαν.

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  BEL AND THE DRAGON / ΒΗΛ ΚΑΙ ΔΡΑΚΩΝ  

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