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World English Bible: Bel and the Dragon

1:1 And king Astyages was gathered to his fathers, and Cyrus of Persia received his kingdom.

1:2 And Daniel conversed with the king and was honored above all his friends.

1:3 Now 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.

1:4 And 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?"

1:5 He 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."

1:6 Then 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?"

1:7 Then 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."

1:8 So 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!

1:9 But, 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."

1:10 Now the priests of Bel were seventy, besides their wives and children. And the king went with Daniel into the temple of Bel.

1:11 So 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;

1:12 And 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."

1:13 And 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.

1:14 So 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.

1:15 Now in the night the priests with their wives and children came, as they were accustomed to do, and they ate and drank it all.

1:16 In the early morning the king arose, and Daniel with him.

1:17 And the king said, "Daniel, are the seals whole?" And he said, "Yes, O king, they are whole."

1:18 And 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!"

1:19 Then 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."

1:20 And the king said, "I see the footsteps of men, women, and children." And then the king was angry,

1:21 and 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.

1:22 Therefore the king slew them, and delivered Bel into Daniel's power, who destroyed him and his temple.

1:23 And in that same place there was a great dragon, which they of Babylon worshipped.

1:24 And 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."

1:25 Then Daniel said to the king, "I will worship the Lord my God; for he is the living God.

1:26 But give me permission, O king, and I shall slay this dragon without sword or staff." The king said, "I give you permission."

1:27 Then 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."

1:28 When 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."

1:29 So they came to the king and said, "Deliver Daniel to us or else we will destroy you and your house."

1:30 Now when the king saw that they pressed him severely, being constrained, he delivered Daniel to them;

1:31 they cast him into the lions' den, where he was for six days.

1:32 And 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.

1:33 Now 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.

1:34 But 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."

1:35 And Habbakuk said, "Lord, I never saw Babylon; neither do I know where the den is."

1:36 Then 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.

1:37 And Habbakuk cried, saying, "O Daniel, Daniel, take the dinner which God has sent you."

1:38 And Daniel said, "You have remembered me, O God; neither have you forsaken those who seek you and love you."

1:39 So Daniel arose and ate; and the angel of the Lord set Habbakuk in his own place again immediately.

1:40 Upon the seventh day the king went to bewail Daniel; and when he came to the den, he looked in, and behold, Daniel was sitting.

1:41 Then the king cried with a loud voice, saying, "Great are you, Lord God of Daniel, and there is no other beside you!"

1:42 And 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.