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Βηλ Και Δρακων | בֵּל וְהַתַּנִּין | Bel & the Dragon, according to Theodotion translated into Biblical Hebrew by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

The book of Daniel is one of three books (along with Esther and Jeremiah) which have substantial structural differences between the version found in the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the version of the Greek Septuagint. In Daniel’s case, three sections found in the Greek are missing from the Hebrew and Aramaic: the Story of Susanna (Shoshanah), Bel & the Dragon (Bel v’haTaanin), and the prayer of Azaryah. Here you can find translations of these three fascinating readings into Biblical Hebrew (derived from the Greek translation by Theodotion), with cantillation added.

The story of Bel and the Dragon is really three stories. Daniel, in the court of Cyrus, uses some cunning detective work to disprove the cult of the god Bel worshiped by the Babylonians. He then kills a giant monster worshiped by the Babylonians by feeding it until it exploded. And finally, he’s thrown to the lions yet again, only to be saved by the prophet Ḥabakkuk. Why isn’t this text part of the Hebrew? It’s unclear, but it’s a fun little romp that helps remind us that the best way to fight superstition is with rational thought.

Source (Greek) Translation (Hebrew) Translation (English)

Βηλ Και Δρακων

בל והתנין
Bel and the Dragon

1 Καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἀστυάγης προσετέθη πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας αὐτοῦ, καὶ παρέλαβεν Κῦρος ὁ Πέρσης τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ. 2 καὶ ἦν Δανιηλ συμβιωτὴς τοῦ βασιλέως καὶ ἔνδοξος ὑπὲρ πάντας τοὺς φίλους αὐτοῦ. 3 καὶ ἦν εἴδωλον τοῖς Βαβυλωνίοις, ᾧ ὄνομα Βηλ, καὶ ἐδαπανῶντο εἰς αὐτὸν ἑκάστης ἡμέρας σεμιδάλεως ἀρτάβαι δώδεκα καὶ πρόβατα τεσσαράκοντα καὶ οἴνου μετρηταὶ ἕξ. 4 καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐσέβετο αὐτὸν καὶ ἐπορεύετο καθ’ ἑκάστην ἡμέραν προσκυνεῖν αὐτῷ· Δανιηλ δὲ προσεκύνει τῷ θεῷ αὐτοῦ. 5 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ βασιλεύς Διὰ τί οὐ προσκυνεῖς τῷ Βηλ; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ὅτι οὐ σέβομαι εἴδωλα χειροποίητα, ἀλλὰ τὸν ζῶντα θεὸν τὸν κτίσαντα τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν καὶ ἔχοντα πάσης σαρκὸς κυριείαν. 6 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ βασιλεύς Οὐ δοκεῖ σοι Βηλ εἶναι ζῶν θεός; ἦ οὐχ ὁρᾷς ὅσα ἐσθίει καὶ πίνει καθ’ ἑκάστην ἡμέραν; 7 καὶ εἶπεν Δανιηλ γελάσας Μὴ πλανῶ, βασιλεῦ· οὗτος γὰρ ἔσωθεν μέν ἐστι πηλὸς ἔξωθεν δὲ χαλκὸς καὶ οὐ βέβρωκεν οὐδὲ πέπωκεν πώποτε. 8 καὶ θυμωθεὶς ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐκάλεσεν τοὺς ἱερεῖς αὐτοῦ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἑὰν μὴ εἴπητέ μοι τίς ὁ κατέσθων τὴν δαπάνην ταύτην, ἀποθανεῖσθε· ἐὰν δὲ δείξητε ὅτι Βηλ κατεσθίει αὐτά, ἀποθανεῖται Δανιηλ, ὅτι ἐβλασφήμησεν εἰς τὸν Βηλ. 9 καὶ εἶπεν Δανιηλ τῷ βασιλεῖ Γινέσθω κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου. καὶ ἦσαν ἱερεῖς τοῦ Βηλ ἑβδομήκοντα ἐκτὸς γυναικῶν καὶ τέκνων. 10 καὶ ἦλθεν ὁ βασιλεὺς μετὰ Δανιηλ εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Βηλ. 11 καὶ εἶπαν οἱ ἱερεῖς τοῦ Βηλ Ἰδοὺ ἡμεῖς ἀποτρέχομεν ἔξω, σὺ δέ, βασιλεῦ, παράθες τὰ βρώματα καὶ τὸν οἶνον κεράσας θὲς καὶ ἀπόκλεισον τὴν θύραν καὶ σφράγισον τῷ δακτυλίῳ σου· καὶ ἐλθὼν πρωῒ ἐὰν μὴ εὕρῃς πάντα βεβρωμένα ὑπὸ τοῦ Βηλ, ἀποθανούμεθα ἢ Δανιηλ ὁ ψευδόμενος καθ’ ἡμῶν. 12 αὐτοὶ δὲ κατεφρόνουν, ὅτι πεποιήκεισαν ὑπὸ τὴν τράπεζαν κεκρυμμένην εἴσοδον καὶ δι’ αὐτῆς εἰσεπορεύοντο διόλου καὶ ἀνήλουν αὐτά. 13 καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἐξήλθοσαν ἐκεῖνοι, καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς παρέθηκεν τὰ βρώματα τῷ Βηλ. 14 καὶ ἐπέταξεν Δανιηλ τοῖς παιδαρίοις αὐτοῦ καὶ ἤνεγκαν τέφραν καὶ κατέσησαν ὅλον τὸν ναὸν ἐνώπιον τοῦ βασιλέως μόνου· καὶ ἐξελθόντες ἔκλεισαν τὴν θύραν καὶ ἐσφραγίσαντο ἐν τῷ δακτυλίῳ τοῦ βασιλέως, καὶ ἀπῆλθον. 15 οἱ δὲ ἱερεῖς ἦλθον τὴν νύκτα κατὰ τὸ ἔθος αὐτῶν καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες καὶ τὰ τέκνα αὐτῶν καὶ κατέφαγον πάντα καὶ ἐξέπιον. 16 καὶ ὤρθρισεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τὸ πρωῒ καὶ Δανιηλ μετ’ αὐτοῦ. 17 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεύς Σῷοι αἱ σφραγῖδες, Δανιηλ; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Σῷοι, βασιλεῦ. 18 καὶ ἐγένετο ἅμα τῷ ἀνοῖξαι τὰς θύρας ἐπιβλέψας ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐπὶ τὴν τράπεζαν ἐβόησεν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ Μέγας εἶ, Βηλ, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν παρὰ σοὶ δόλος οὐδὲ εἷς. 19 καὶ ἐγέλασεν Δανιηλ καὶ ἐκράτησεν τὸν βασιλέα τοῦ μὴ εἰσελθεῖν αὐτὸν ἔσω καὶ εἶπεν Ἰδὲ δὴ τὸ ἔδαφος καὶ γνῶθι τίνος τὰ ἴχνη ταῦτα. 20 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεύς Ὁρῶ τὰ ἴχνη ἀνδρῶν καὶ γυναικῶν καὶ παιδίων. 21 καὶ ὀργισθεὶς ὁ βασιλεὺς τότε συνέλαβεν τοὺς ἱερεῖς καὶ τὰς γυναῖκας καὶ τὰ τέκνα αὐτῶν, καὶ ἔδειξαν αὐτῷ τὰς κρυπτὰς θύρας, δι’ ὧν εἰσεπορεύοντο καὶ ἐδαπάνων τὰ ἐπὶ τῇ τραπέζῃ. 22 καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτοὺς ὁ βασιλεὺς καὶ ἔδωκεν τὸν Βηλ ἔκδοτον τῷ Δανιηλ, καὶ κατέστρεψεν αὐτὸν καὶ τὸ ἱερὸν αὐτοῦ.

וַיֵּאָסֶ֛ף הַמֶּ֥לֶךְ אִשְׁתֻּוֶ֖גּוּ אֶל־אֲבֹתָ֑יו וַיְּקַבֵּ֛ל כּוֹרֶ֥שׁ הַפָּרְסִ֖י אֶת־מַלְכוּתֽוֹ׃ וְדָ֣נִיאֵ֔ל הָיָ֖ה יְדִ֣יד הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ וּמְכֻבָּ֖ד מֵעַ֥ל כׇּל־רֵעָֽיו׃ וַיְהִ֗י פֶּ֤סֶל אֶחָד֙ וּשְׁמ֣וֹ בֵּ֔ל וַיִּרְא֥וּ אֹת֖וֹ הַבַּבְלִ֑ים וְכׇל־י֣וֹם וָי֗וֹם הָ֡יוּ שׁוֹקְלִ֣ים עָלָיו֩ שְׁנֵ֨ים עָשָׂ֤ר סְאָה֙ סֹ֔לֶת וּכְבָשִׂ֥ים אַרְבָּעִ֖ים וְיַיִ֥ן שִׁשָּֽׁה׃ וְהַמֶּ֞לֶךְ יָרֵ֣א אוֹת֗וֹ וְכׇל־י֥וֹם קָם֙ לְהִשְׁתַּ֣חֲווֹת ל֔וֹ וְדָנִיאֵ֖ל מִשְׁתַּחֲוֶ֣ה לֵאלֹהָ֑יו וַיֹּ֤אמֶר הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ אֶל־דָנִיאֵ֔ל לָמָּ֛ה לְבֵ֖ל לֹ֥א תִּשְׁתַּחֲוֶֽה׃ וַיַּ֖עַן וַיֹּאמַ֑ר יַ֚עַן לֹ֣א אִירָ֔א מִפְּנֵ֤י פְסִילִים֙ מַעֲשֶׂה֙ יְדֵ֣י אָדָ֔ם אַ֣ךְ ׀ מֵהָאֱלֹהִ֣ים הַחַיִּ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֤ר יָצַר֙ שָׁמַ֣יִם וָאָ֔רֶץ וּמֶמְשַׁלְתּ֖וֹ עַל־כׇּל־בָּשָֽׂר׃ וַיֹּ֨אמֶר הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ אֵלָ֗יו הֲלֹ֧א תֵּדַ֛ע כִּי־בֵּ֖ל הוּא־אֱלֹהִ֣ים חַיִּ֑ים וַהֲלֹ֧א תִּרְאֶ֛ה אֶת־כֹּ֛ל אֲשֶׁר־אוֹכֵ֥ל וְשׁוֹתֶ֖ה כׇּל־י֥וֹם וָיֽוֹם׃ וַיִּצְחָ֨ק דָנִיאֵ֧ל וַיֹּ֛אמֶר אַל־יִפְתֶּ֖ה לְבַ֣ב הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ כִּ֣י ׀ אֵ֣ין בְּתוֹכ֗וֹ כִּי֩ אִם֨ חֶ֤רֶשׁ מִבָּ֙יִת֙ וּנְחֹ֣שֶׁת מִח֔וּץ וְלֹא־אָכַ֥ל וְלֹא־שָׁתָ֖ה מֵעוֹלָֽם׃ וַיִּקְצֹ֤ף הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ מְאֹ֔ד וַיִּקְרָ֥א לְכׇמְרָ֖יו וַיֹּ֣אמֶר לָ֑הֶם אִם־לֹא֙ תַּגִּיד֣וּן אֵלַ֔י מִי־אָכַ֛ל אֶת־הַצֵדָ֥ה הַזֹּא֖ת מ֥וֹת תּוּמְתֽוּ׃ וְאִ֣ם תַּרְא֮וּנִי֮ כִּי־בֵּ֣ל ה֣וּא הָאוֹכֵל֒ כִּ֞י יוּמַ֣ת דָּנִיאֵ֗ל כִּ֕י דִּבֵּ֥ר חֵרְפָ֖ה נֶגֶד־בֵּ֑ל וַיֹּ֤אמֶר דָּנִיאֵל֙ אֵל־הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ יֵעָשֶׂ֖ה כִדְבָרֶֽיךָ׃ וְשִׁבְעִ֤ים כׇּמְרֵי־בֵּל֙ הָ֔יוּ מִלְּבַ֥ד נְשֵׁיהֶ֖ם וְטַפֵּ֑יהֶם וַיֵּ֣לֶךְ הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וְדָּנִיאֵ֥ל עִ֖מּוֹ אֶל־בֵּית־בֵּֽל׃ וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ כׇמְרֵי־בֵּ֔ל הִנֵּ֥ה נֵלֵ֖ךְ מִח֑וּץ וְאַתָּ֣ה הַמֶּ֗לֶךְ הַנֵּ֤חַ אֶת־הַצֵּדָה֙ וְאֶת־הַיַּיִן֙ בַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר מָזַגְתָּ֔הוּ וּסְגֹ֥ר אֶת־הַדֶּ֖לֶת וַחֲתֹמָ֥הּ בְּטַבַּעְתֶּֽךָ׃ וְכַאֲשֶׁ֥ר תָּשׁ֖וּב בַּבֹּ֑קֶר אִם־לֹ֨א תִּמְצָ֤א אֶת־הַכֹּל֙ נֶאֱכָ֔ל נָמ֕וּת א֧וֹ דָּנִיאֵ֛ל הַמְּשַׁקֵּ֖ר נֶגְדֵּֽנוּ׃ וּבְנִ֥י בְּלִיַּ֖עַל הֵ֑מָּה כִּ֨י מִתַּ֤חַת לַשֻּׁלְחָן֙ עֲשׂוּ־פֶ֣תַח בְּסֵ֔תֶר וְהֵ֛ם עוֹבְרִים־בּ֥וֹ תָּמִ֖יד וְאוֹכְלֵיהֶֽם׃ וַיְהִ֣י כִּי־יָצְא֗וּ וַיַּ֣נַּח הַמֶּ֮לֶךְ֮ צֵדַת־בֵּל֒ וַיִּפָּקֵ֣ד דָּנִיאֵ֣ל אֶ֠ת־עֲבָדָ֠יו וַיָּבִ֨יאוּ אֵ֜פֶר וַיִּזְר֗וּ עַל־פְּנֵי֙ כׇּל־הַ֣בָּמָ֔ה מִפְּנֵ֥י הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ לְבָ֑ד וַיֵּצְאוּ֙ וַיִּסְגְּר֣וּ אֶת־הַדֶּ֔לֶת וַיַּחְתְּמ֛וּ בְּטַבַּעַ֥ת הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ וַיֵּלֵֽכוּ׃ וַיָּבֹ֨אוּ הַכֹּמְרִ֤ים בַּלַּ֙יְלָה֙ כְּמִשְׁפָּטָ֔ם וּנְשֵׁיהֶ֥ם וְטַפֵּ֖יהֶם עִמָּ֑ם וַיֹּאכְל֥וּ וַיִּשְׁתּ֖וּ אֶת־הַכֹּֽל׃ וַיַּ֤שְׁכֵּם הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ בַּבֹּ֔קֶר וְהִנֵּ֕ה דָּנִיאֵ֖ל עִמּֽוֹ׃ וַיֹּ֖אמֶר הֲסְגוּרִ֣ים הַחוֹתְמִ֑ים וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ סְגוּרִ֖ים הַמֶּֽלֶךְ׃ וַיְהִ֗י כַּאֲשֶׁר֙ נִפְתָּחִ֣ים הַדְּלָת֔וֹת וַיַּ֥רְא הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ אֶת־הַשֻּׁלְחָ֑ן וַיִּקְרָ֣א בְּקוֹל־רָ֔ם גָּדַ֧לְתָּ בֵּ֛ל וְאֵ֥ין רְמִיָּ֖ה בָֽךְ׃ וַיִּצְחָ֣ק דָּנִיאֵ֔ל וַיֵּעָצֵ֥ר אֶת־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ מִבּ֑וֹא וַיֹּ֗אמֶר רְאֵה־נָא֙ בַּקַּ֣רְקַ֔ע וְהַכֵּר־נָ֕א לְמִ֖י הָעֲקֵב֥וֹת הָאֵֽלֶּה׃ וַיֹּ֥אמֶר הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ רֹאֶ֣ה אָנֹ֑כִי אֶת־עִקְב֛וֹת אֲנָשִׁ֥ים נָשִׂ֖ים וְטַֽף׃ וַיִּקְצֹ֤ף הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ מְאֹ֔ד וַיֵּעָצֵר֙ אֶת־הַכֹּמְרִ֔ים וְאֶת־נְשֵׁיהֶ֖ם וְאֶת־טַפֵּ֑יהֶם וַיַּרְאֵ֗הוּ אֶת־הַדְּלָת֤וֹת הַסְּתָרוֹת֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עֹבְרִ֔ים לֶאֱכֹ֛ל אֶת־כֹּ֥ל אֲשֶׁ֖ר בַּשֻּׁלְחָֽן׃ וַיַּהַרְגֵ֣ם הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וַיִּתֵּ֛ן אֶת־כֹּ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־לְבֵ֖ל בְּיַ֣ד דָּנִיאֵ֑ל וַיַּ֥ךְ אוֹת֖וֹ וְאֶת־הֵיכָלֽוֹ׃
1 And King Astyages was added to his ancestors, and Cyrus the Persian received his kingdom. 2 And Daniel was a companion of the king and was honored beyond all his friends. 3 And the Babylonians had an idol, whose name was Bel, and each day they would spend on him twelve bushels of choice flour and forty sheep and six measures of wine. 4 And the king would revere him and would go every day to do obeisance to him. But Daniel kept doing obeisance to his god. And the king said to him, “Why do you not do obeisance to Bel?” 5 So he answered, “Because I do not revere idols made with hands, but the living Elohim, who created heaven and earth and has dominion over all flesh.” 6 And the king said to him, “Do you not think that Bel is a living god? Or do you not see how much he eats and drinks every day?” 7 And laughing, Daniel said, “Do not be deceived, O king, for this one is only clay inside and bronze outside, and he has never eaten nor drunk anything.” 8 And angered, the king called his priests and said to them, “If you do not tell me who is eating this provision, you shall die. 9 But if you show that Bel is eating them, Daniel shall die, because he has spoken blasphemy against Bel.” And Daniel said to the king, ‘Let it be done according to your word.” 10 And there were seventy priests of Bel, apart from wives and children. And the king went with Daniel into the house of Bel. 11 And the priests of Bel said, “Lo, we are now going outside; so you, O king, set out the food, and place the wine when you have mixed it, and shut the door, and seal it with your signet. 12 And when you return in the morning, if you do not find everything eaten by Bel, we will die, or Daniel, who is telling lies against us.” 13 Now they were contemptuous, for beneath the table they had made a hidden entrance, and they used to go through it regularly and consume them.[1]Lacking in Greek. 14 And it happened as they had gone out, the king also set out the food for Bel. And Daniel ordered his servants, and they brought ashes, and they strewed the whole shrine in the presence of the king alone. And as they went out they shut the door and sealed it with the king’s signet and departed. 15 Then the priests came during the night according to their custom, and their wives and children, and they ate and drank everything. 16 And the king readied early in the morning, and Daniel with him. 17 And he said, “Are the seals unbroken, Daniel?” Then he said, “They are unbroken, O king.” 18 And it happened as soon as the doors opened, when the king looked at the table he shouted in a loud voice, “You are great, O Bel, and there is no deceit in you, not one!” 19 And Daniel laughed and restrained the king so that he could not enter inside and said, “Look now at the floor, and notice whose footprints these are.” 20 And the king said, “I see the footprints of men and women and children.” 21 And enraged, the king then arrested the priests and their wives and children. And they showed him the hidden doors through which they used to enter and consume what was on the table. 22 And the king killed them and gave Bel entirely over to Daniel. And he destroyed him and his temple.

23 Καὶ ἦν δράκων μέγας, καὶ ἐσέβοντο αὐτὸν οἱ Βαβυλώνιοι. 24 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τῷ Δανιηλ Οὐ δύνασαι εἰπεῖν ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν οὗτος θεὸς ζῶν· καὶ προσκύνησον αὐτῷ. 25 καὶ εἶπεν Δανιηλ Κυρίῳ τῷ θεῷ μου προσκυνήσω, ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν θεὸς ζῶν· σὺ δέ, βασιλεῦ, δός μοι ἐξουσίαν, καὶ ἀποκτενῶ τὸν δράκοντα ἄνευ μαχαίρας καὶ ῥάβδου. 26 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεύς Δίδωμί σοι. 27 καὶ ἔλαβεν Δανιηλ πίσσαν καὶ στῆρ καὶ τρίχας καὶ ἥψησεν ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ καὶ ἐποίησεν μάζας καὶ ἔδωκεν εἰς τὸ στόμα τοῦ δράκοντος, καὶ φαγὼν διερράγη ὁ δράκων. καὶ εἶπεν Ἴδετε τὰ σεβάσματα ὑμῶν. 28 καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤκουσαν οἱ Βαβυλώνιοι, ἠγανάκτησαν λίαν καὶ συνεστράφησαν ἐπὶ τὸν βασιλέα καὶ εἶπαν Ιουδαῖος γέγονεν ὁ βασιλεύς· τὸν Βηλ κατέσπασεν καὶ τὸν δράκοντα ἀπέκτεινεν καὶ τοὺς ἱερεῖς κατέσφαξεν. 29 καὶ εἶπαν ἐλθόντες πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα Παράδος ἡμῖν τὸν Δανιηλ· εἰ δὲ μή, ἀποκτενοῦμέν σε καὶ τὸν οἶκόν σου. 30 καὶ εἶδεν ὁ βασιλεὺς ὅτι ἐπείγουσιν αὐτὸν σφόδρα, καὶ ἀναγκασθεὶς παρέδωκεν αὐτοῖς τὸν Δανιηλ. 31 οἱ δὲ ἐνέβαλον αὐτὸν εἰς τὸν λάκκον τῶν λεόντων, καὶ ἦν ἐκεῖ ἡμέρας ἕξ.

וּבַעֵ֣ת הַהִ֔יא תַּנִּ֥ין גָּד֖וֹל הָיָ֑ה וְהַבָּבְלִ֖ים יְרֵאָֽיו׃ וַיֹּאמֶ֨ר הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ אֵל־דָּנִיאֵ֗ל לֹ֚א תּוּכַ֣ל לֵאמֹ֔ר כִּ֥י לֹ֛א אֱלֹהִ֥ים חַיִּ֖ים זֶ֑ה בֹּ֖א הִשְׁתַּ֥חֲוֵה־לֽוֹ׃ וַיֹּאמֶ֖ר דָּנִיאֵ֑ל וַאֲנִ֤י אֶשְׁתַּחֲוֶה֙ לַיהו֣ה אֱלֹהַ֔י כִּי־ה֖וּא אֱלֹהִ֥ים חַיִּֽים׃ וְאַתָּ֤ה הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ תֵּן־נָא־לִ֣י הַדָּבָ֔ר וְאַהַ֧רְגָה אֶת־הַתַּנִּ֛ין בְּלֹא־בַּרְזֵ֖ל וּבְלֹא־מַקֵּ֑ל וַיֹּ֣אמֶר הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ הִנֵּ֖ה נָתַ֥תִּי־לָֽךְ׃ וַיִּקַּ֣ח דָּנִיאֵ֗ל זֶ֨פֶת וְחֵ֤לֶב וְשֵׂעָר֙ וַיּבַשְּׁלֵ֣ם יַחְדָּ֔ו וַיַּ֣עַשׂ עֻג֔וֹת וַיִּתֵּ֖ן בְּפִ֣י הַתַּנִּ֑ין וַיֹּאכְלֵ֤ם הַתַּנִּין֙ וַיִּתְבַּקַּ֔ע וַיֹּאמַ֕ר רְאֵ֖ה כְלֵ֥י יִרְאָתֶֽךָ׃ וַיְהִ֞י כִּי־שָׁמְע֣וּ הַבָּבְלִ֗ים וַיִּחַ֤ר לָהֶם֙ מְאֹ֔ד וַיִּתְנַכְּל֖וּ אֶת־הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ וַיֹּאמר֗וּ הִנֵּ֤ה הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ מִתְיַהֵ֔ד אֶת־בֵּ֤ל הִכָּה֙ וְאֶת־הַתַּנִּ֣ין הָרַ֔ג וַיִּשְׁחַ֖ט אֶת־הַכּוֹמְרִֽים׃ וַיָּבֹ֤אוּ לַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ וַיֹּ֣אמר֔וּ תֵּ֥ן אֶת־דָּנִיאֵ֖ל בְּיָדֵ֑ינוּ וְאִם־אַ֕יִן נַהֲרׇגְךָ֖ וְאֶת־בֵּיתֶֽךָ׃ וַיַּ֣רְא הַמֶּ֗לֶךְ כִּ֚י יִפְצְרוּ־ב֣וֹ מְאֹ֔ד וַיִּשְׁמַ֖ע בְּקוֹלָ֑ם וַיִּתֵּ֥ן אֶת־דָּנִיאֵ֖ל בִּידֵיהֶֽם׃ וַיַּשְׁלִיכ֖וּהוּ גֹּ֣בָה אֲרָי֑וֹת וַיֵּֽשֶׁב־שָׁ֖ם יָמִ֥ים שִׁשָּֽׁה׃
23 And there was a great dragon, and the Babylonians used to revere it. 24 And the king said to Daniel, “You cannot say that this is not a living god; so do obeisance to it.” 25 And Daniel said, “I will do obeisance to YHVH my elo’ah, because he is a living god. 26 But you, O king, give me permission, and I shall kill the dragon without iron or rod.” And the king said, “I give it[2]Lacking in Greek. to you.” 27 And Daniel took pitch and fat and hair and boiled them together and made cakes and gave them[3]Lacking in Greek. into the mouth of the dragon. And after eating the dragon burst open. And he said, “See your objects of reverence!” 28 And it happened when the Babylonians heard, they were very indignant and conspired against the king and said, “The king has become a ludean; he has destroyed Bel and killed the dragon and slaughtered the priests.” 29 And when they came to the king, they said, “Hand Daniel over to us, and if not, we will kill you and your household.” 30 And the king saw that they were pressing him hard, and having been compelled, he handed Daniel over to them. 31 So they threw him into the lions’ pit, and he was there six days.

32 ἦσαν δὲ ἐν τῷ λάκκῳ ἑπτὰ λέοντες, καὶ ἐδίδετο αὐτοῖς τὴν ἡμέραν δύο σώματα καὶ δύο πρόβατα· τότε δὲ οὐκ ἐδόθη αὐτοῖς, ἵνα καταφάγωσιν τὸν Δανιηλ. 33 καὶ ἦν Αμβακουμ ὁ προφήτης ἐν τῇ Ιουδαίᾳ, καὶ αὐτὸς ἥψησεν ἕψεμα καὶ ἐνέθρυψεν ἄρτους εἰς σκάφην καὶ ἐπορεύετο εἰς τὸ πεδίον ἀπενέγκαι τοῖς θερισταῖς. 34 καὶ εἶπεν ἄγγελος κυρίου τῷ Αμβακουμ Ἀπένεγκε τὸ ἄριστον, ὃ ἔχεις, εἰς Βαβυλῶνα τῷ Δανιηλ εἰς τὸν λάκκον τῶν λεόντων. 35 καὶ εἶπεν Αμβακουμ Κύριε, Βαβυλῶνα οὐχ ἑώρακα καὶ τὸν λάκκον οὐ γινώσκω. 36 καὶ ἐπελάβετο ὁ ἄγγελος κυρίου τῆς κορυφῆς αὐτοῦ καὶ βαστάσας τῆς κόμης τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ ἔθηκεν αὐτὸν εἰς Βαβυλῶνα ἐπάνω τοῦ λάκκου ἐν τῷ ῥοίζῳ τοῦ πνεύματος αὐτοῦ. 37 καὶ ἐβόησεν Αμβακουμ λέγων Δανιηλ Δανιηλ, λαβὲ τὸ ἄριστον, ὃ ἀπέστειλέν σοι ὁ θεός. 38 καὶ εἶπεν Δανιηλ Ἑμνήσθης γάρ μου, ὁ θεός, καὶ οὐκ ἐγκατέλιπες τοὺς ἀγαπῶντάς σε. 39 καὶ ἀναστὰς Δανιηλ ἔφαγεν· ὁ δὲ ἄγγελος τοῦ θεοῦ ἀπεκατέστησεν τὸν Αμβακουμ παραχρῆμα εἰς τὸν τόπον αὐτοῦ. 40 ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ἦλθεν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ ἑβδόμῃ πενθῆσαι τὸν Δανιηλ· καὶ ἦλθεν ἐπὶ τὸν λάκκον καὶ ἐνέβλεψεν, καὶ ἰδοὺ Δανιηλ καθήμενος. 41 καὶ ἀναβοήσας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ εἶπεν Μέγας εἶ, κύριε ὁ θεὸς τοῦ Δανιηλ, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν πλὴν σοῦ ἄλλος. 42 καὶ ἀνέσπασεν αὐτόν, τοὺς δὲ αἰτίους τῆς ἀπωλείας αὐτοῦ ἐνέβαλεν εἰς τὸν λάκκον, καὶ κατεβρώθησαν παραχρῆμα ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ.

וַיְהִי֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁ֔י וַחֲבַקּ֣וּק הַנָּבִ֔יא הָיָ֖ה בְּאֶ֣רֶץ יְהוּדָ֑ה וַיָּ֣זֶד נָזִ֗יד וַיְשַׁבֵּר֙ לֶ֣חֶם בַּסֵּ֔פֶל וַיָּ֥קׇם לְקַחְתּ֖וֹ אֵל־הַקּוֹצְרִֽים׃ וְהִנֵּ֕ה מַלְאָ֤ךְ יהוה֙ בָּ֔א וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר אֶל־חֲבַקּ֖וּק לֵאמֹ֑ר קַ֤ח אֶת־הָאֹ֙כֶל֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּיָדֶ֔ךָ וֶהֱבִיא֛וּהוּ לְבָבֶ֥ל לְדָנִיאֵ֖ל בְּגֹ֥ב הָאֲרָיֽוֹת׃ וַיֹּ֖אמֶר חֲבַקּ֑וּק אֲדֹנָ֣י יֱהֹוִ֔ה לֹא־רָאִ֧יתִי אֶת־בָּבֶ֛ל וְלֹא־יָדַ֖עְתִּי אֶת־הַגֹּֽב׃ וַיִּתְפֹּ֨שׂ מַלְאָ֤ךְ יהוה֙ אֶת־קׇדְקֳד֔וֹ וַיֶּאֱחֹ֥ז בִּשְׂעָר֖וֹ וַיִּשָּׂאֵ֣הוּ ר֑וּחַ‎ וַיֹּרִדֻ֧הוּ בָּבֶ֛לָה מֵעַ֖ל הַגֹּֽב׃ וַיִּקְרָ֤א חֲבַקּוּק֙ וַיֹּאמַ֔ר דָּנִיאֵ֖ל ׀ דָּנִיאֵ֑ל קַ֧ח אֶת־הָאֹ֛כֶל אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַ֥ח אֵלֶ֖יךָ אֱלֹהִֽים׃ וַיֹּ֖אמֶר דָּנִיאֵ֑ל אָכֵן֙ זְכַרְתַּ֣נִי אֱלֹהִ֔ים וְלֹ֥א עָזַ֖בְתָּ אֶת־אֹהֲבֶֽיךָ׃ וַיָּ֥קׇם דָּנִיאֵ֖ל וַיֹּאכַ֑ל וַיְמַהֵר֙ מַלְאַ֣ךְ הַאֱלֹהִ֔ים לְהָשִׁ֥יב אֶת־חֲבַקּ֖וּק אֶל־מְקוֹמֽוֹ׃ וַיְהִ֣י ׀ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֗י וַיָּבֹא֙ הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ לִסְפֹּ֥ד לְדָנִיאֵ֖ל וְלִבְכּוֹת֑וֹ וַיָּבֹ֤א אֶל־הַגֹּב֙ וַיַּ֔רְא וְהִנֵּ֖ה יוֹשֵׁ֥ב דָּנִיאֵֽל׃ וַיִּקְרָ֥א בְּקוֹל־גָּד֖וֹל וַיֹּאמַ֑ר גָּדַ֤לְתָּ יהוה֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י דָנִיאֵ֔ל וְאֵין־אֱלֹ֖הַּ זוּלָתֶֽךָ׃ וַיִּמְשֹׁ֥ךְ אֶת־דָּנִיאֵ֖ל מִן־הַגֹּ֑ב וַיַּ֙שְׁלֵךְ֙ אֶת־מְבַקְּשֵׁ֣י רָעָת֔וֹ וַיְמַהֲר֕וּ לְהֵאָכֵ֖ל לְפָנָֽיו׃
32 Now there were seven lions in the pit, and daily two bodies and two sheep were given to them, but then nothing was given to them so that they would devour Daniel. 33 And the prophet Ḥabakkuk[4]McLay’s translation has “Hambakoum.” was in Judea, and he had boiled a stew and broken bread into a bowl, and was on his way to the plain to take it to the reapers. 34 And an angel of YHVH said to Ḥabakkuk, “Take the food that you have to Babylon to Daniel, in the lions’ den.” 35 And Ḥabakkuk said, “Lord, I have not seen Babylon, and I do not know about the pit.” 36 And the angel of YHVH took hold of the crown of his head and, carrying him by the hair of his head, set him down in Babylon above the pit in a rush of his spirit. 37 And Ḥabakkuk shouted, saying, “Daniel, Daniel! Take the food that Elohim has sent you.” 38 And Daniel said, “For you have remembered me, Elohim, and have not forsaken those who love you.” 39 And having risen, Daniel ate. Then the angel of Elohim immediately returned Ḥabakkuk to his place. 40 Now on the seventh day the king came to mourn Daniel. And he came to the pit and looked in, and lo, Daniel was seated! 41 And when he had shouted out with a loud voice, he said, “You are great, YHVH, elo’ah of Daniel, and there is no other besides you!” 42 And he pulled him out but threw into the pit those responsible for attempting his[5]i.e., Daniel’s ruin, and they were immediately devoured before him.

The Greek text of Theodotion’s Bel and the Dragon was provided by the Katapi New Study Bible. The English translation of Theodotion was prepared by R. Timothy McLay from critical texts made by Joseph Ziegler and Oliver Munnrich and offered via the Electronic Edition of NETS. It is shared here under our Fair Use right. I have made minor adjustments to this translation to re-hebraicize hellenized names. –Aharon Varady

 

Notes   [ + ]

  1, 2, 3. Lacking in Greek.
  4. McLay’s translation has “Hambakoum.”
  5. i.e., Daniel’s

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