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Chronicles of Jerahmeel, by M. Gaster [1899], at

LXXIII. (1) The dragon felt the smell of the ashes and of the sacrifice, and he rejoiced to go out and see the offering, and it opened its mouth, according to custom, and they cast it therein. After swallowing it, it raised itself on high, and turned to enter the cave again, when the princes said to the king, ‘Is Daniel also able to destroy this god, which is a living god, just as he destroyed Bel and his priests and his altar, thus putting an end to his worship? Why does he not strive with this god, for, if he does, then we shall be avenged for the destruction of Bel and his temple.

(2) Then said the king to Daniel, ‘Hearken to me, pray, and give ear to what I say. Canst thou lift up thy thoughts also against this great and mighty serpent god, and subdue him as thou didst Bel, in which there was no life? This, however, is mighty and strong, and who would dare rise up against it to do it evil? But Daniel replied, 'Let not the king err also in this, for it is but a beast, and can be subdued by the hand of man. It hath no spirit, and now,

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if my lord the king will permit me to go against this dragon, I shall slay it without either sword or stick or any warlike instrument, for it is but a reptile that crawls upon the earth, and the Lord set the fear of man in every beast, insect, and reptile, for in the image of God did He make man. I shall therefore destroy it just as I destroyed one of the graven images, but do not give power unto thy princes to do me evil.' 'Go thou and do what thou canst,' replied the king. The princes were, however, greatly rejoiced when the king told Daniel to strive with the dragon, for they said, 'Now will Daniel surely perish, for it is impossible for him to make a stand against the dragon.'

(3) Daniel then went from the king, and making iron instruments like wool combs, he joined them together back to back, with the points outward, forming a circle of hard and sharp points. This he rolled in all manner of poisonous fat and grease and other fatty substances, and beneath it he placed pitch and brimstone, until the points of the brass and the other piercing metals were concealed. Then, making it in the shape of an oblation, Daniel cast it into the dragon's mouth. The dragon hastily and greedily swallowed it, and seemed to enjoy it. But when it entered its mouth, and passed on to the entrails of its belly, the fat melted from off the iron prongs, so the sharp spikes pierced its entrails, and gave it such agony that it died on the morrow.

(4) It came to pass, three days after its death, that the Chaldeans and Babylonians came, as was their daily custom, to propitiate the dragon with an oblation, but it was not visible; only a horrible stench issued from the cave. When they searched the cave they found that their god was slain, swollen up, and decaying. They became very grieved and full of wrath against Daniel, and they said, 'Behold what is this Daniel has done to the two gods! for he has destroyed Bel and smitten the dragon. Now if the king deliver him into our hands, he shall surely be slain; and if not, it must be made known to the king that he also shall surely not live.' When it reached the ears

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of the king that the people had made a conspiracy against him, a command was issued to smite the leaders and princes, as well as those that rose up against Daniel, with the edge of the sword.