Prophecy Of Daniel
Daniel and his companions are taken into the palace of the king of Babylon: they abstain from his meat and wine, and succeed better with pulse and water. Their excellence and wisdom.
1 In the third year of the reign of Joakim king of Juda, Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered into his hands Joakim the king of Juda, and part of the vessels of the house of God: and he carried them away into the land of Sennaar, to the house of his god, and the vessels he brought into the treasure house of his god. 3 And the king spoke to Asphenez the master of the eunuchs, that he should bring in some of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed and of the princes, 4 Children in whom there was no blemish, well favoured, and skillful in all wisdom, acute in knowledge, and instructed in science, and such as might stand in the king's palace, that he might teach them the learning, and the tongue of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed them a daily provision, of his own meat, and of the wine of which he drank himself, that being nourished three years, afterwards they might stand before the king.
2 "His god"... Bel or Belus, the principal idol of the Chaldeans.
6 Now there were among them of the children of Juda, Daniel, Ananias, Misael, and Azarias. 7 And the master of the eunuchs gave them names: to Daniel, Baltassar: to Ananias, Sidrach: to Misael, Misach: and to Azarias, Abdenago. 8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not be defiled with the king's table, nor with the wine which he drank: and he requested the master of the eunuchs that he might not be defiled. 9 And God gave to Daniel grace and mercy in the sight of the prince of the eunuchs. 10 And the prince of the eunuchs said to Daniel: I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed you meat and drink: who if he should see your faces leaner than those of the other youths your equals, you shall endanger my head to the king.
8 "Be defiled"... Viz., either by eating meat forbidden by the law, or which had before been offered to idols.
11 And Daniel said to Malasar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had appointed over Daniel, Ananias, Misael, and Azarias: 12 Try, I beseech thee, thy servants for ten days, and let pulse be given us to eat, and water to drink: 13 And look upon our faces, and the faces of the children that eat of the king's meat: and as thou shalt see, deal with thy servants. 14 And when he had heard these words, he tried them for ten days. 15 And after ten days their faces appeared fairer and fatter than all the children that ate of the king's meat.
12 "Pulse"... That is, pease, beans, and such like.
16 So Malasar took their portions, and the wine that they should drink: and he gave them pulse. 17 And to these children God gave knowledge, and understanding in every book, and wisdom: but to Daniel the understanding also of all visions and dreams. 18 And when the days were ended, after which the king had ordered they should be brought in: the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nabuchodonosor. 19 And when the king had spoken to them, there were not found among them all such as Daniel, Ananias, Misael, and Azarias: and they stood in the king's presence. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the diviners, and wise men, that were in all his kingdom.
21 And Daniel continued even to the first year of king Cyrus.
Daniel, by divine revelation, declares the dream of Nabuchodonosor, and the interpretation of it. He is highly honoured by the king.
1 In the second year of the reign of Nabuchodonosor, Nabuchodonosor had a dream, and his spirit was terrified, and his dream went out of his mind. 2 Then the king commanded to call together the diviners and the wise men, and the magicians, and the Chaldeans: to declare to the king his dreams: so they came and stood before the king. 3 And the king said to them: I saw a dream: and being troubled in mind I know not what I saw. 4 And the Chaldeans answered the king in Syriac: O king, live for ever: tell to thy servants thy dream, and we will declare the interpretation thereof. 5 And the king answering said to the Chaldeans: The thing is gone out of my mind: unless you tell me the dream, and the meaning thereof, you shall be put to death, and your houses shall be confiscated.
1 "The second year"... Viz., from the death of his father Nabopolassar; for he had reigned before as partner with his father in the empire.
2 "The Chaldeans"... That is, the astrologers, that pretended to divine by stars.
6 But if you tell the dream, and the meaning of it, you shall receive of me rewards, and gifts, and great honour: therefore tell me the dream, and the interpretation thereof. 7 They answered again and said: Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will declare the interpretation of it. 8 The king answered, and said: I know for certain that you seek to gain time, since you know that the thing is gone from me. 9 If therefore you tell me not the dream, there is one sentence concerning you, that you have also framed a lying interpretation, and full of deceit, to speak before me till the time pass away. Tell me therefore the dream, that I may know that you also give a true interpretation thereof. 10 Then the Chaldeans answered before the king, and said: There is no man upon earth, that can accomplish thy word, O king, neither doth any king, though great and mighty, ask such a thing of any diviner, or wise man, or Chaldean.
11 For the thing that thou askest, O king, is difficult; nor can any one be found that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose conversation is not with men. 12 Upon hearing this, the king in fury, and in great wrath, commanded that all the wise men of Babylon should be put to death. 13 And the decree being gone forth, the wise men were slain: and Daniel and his companions were sought for, to be put to death. 14 Then Daniel inquired concerning the law and the sentence, of Arioch the general of the king's army, who was gone forth to kill the wise men of Babylon. 15 And he asked him that had received the orders of the king, why so cruel a sentence was gone forth from the face of the king. And when Arioch had told the matter to Daniel,
16 Daniel went in and desired of the king, that he would give him time to resolve the question and declare it to the king. 17 And he went into his house, and told the matter to Ananias, and Misael, and Azarias his companions: 18 To the end that they should ask mercy at the face of the God of heaven concerning this secret, and that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then was the mystery revealed to Daniel by a vision in the night: and Daniel blessed the God of heaven, 20 And speaking he said: Blessed be the name of the Lord from eternity and for evermore: for wisdom and fortitude are his.
21 And he changeth times and ages: taketh away kingdoms and establisheth them, giveth wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that have understanding. 22 He revealeth deep and hidden things, and knoweth what is in darkness: and light is with him. 23 To thee, O God of our fathers, I give thanks, and I praise thee: because thou hast given me wisdom and strength: and now thou hast shewn me what we desired of thee, for thou hast made known to us, the king's discourse. 24 After this Daniel went in to Arioch, to whom the king had given orders to destroy the wise men of Babylon, and he spoke thus to him: Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will tell the solution to the king. 25 Then Arioch in haste brought in Daniel to the king, and said to him: I have found a man of the children of the captivity of Juda, that will resolve the question to the king.
26 The king answered, and said to Daniel, whose name was Baltassar: Thinkest thou indeed that thou canst tell me the dream that I saw, and the interpretation thereof? 27 And Daniel made answer before the king, and said: The secret that the king desireth to know, none of the wise men, or the philosophers, or the diviners, or the soothsayers can declare to the king. 28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth mysteries, who hath shewn to thee, O king Nabuchodonosor, what is to come to pass in the latter times. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these: 29 Thou, O king, didst begin to think in thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth mysteries shewed thee what shall come to pass. 30 To me also this secret is revealed, not by any wisdom that I have more than all men alive: but that the interpretation might be made manifest to the king, and thou mightest know the thoughts of thy mind.
31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold there was as it were a great statue: this statue, which was great and high, tall of stature, stood before thee, and the look thereof was terrible. 32 The head of this statue was of fine gold, but the breast and the arms of silver, and the belly and the thighs of brass: 33 And the legs of iron, the feet part of iron and part of clay. 34 Thus thou sawest, till a stone was cut out of a mountain without hands: and it struck the statue upon the feet thereof that were of iron and of clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of a summer's threshingfloor, and they were carried away by the wind: and there was no place found for them: but the stone that struck the statue, became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
36 This is the dream: we will also tell the interpretation thereof before thee, O king. 37 Thou art a king of kings: and the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, and strength, and power, and glory: 38 And all places wherein the children of men, and the beasts of the field do dwell: he hath also given the birds of the air into thy hand, and hath put all things under thy power: thou therefore art the head of gold. 39 And after thee shall rise up another kingdom, inferior to thee, of silver: and another third kingdom of brass, which shall rule over all the world. 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be as iron. As iron breaketh into pieces, and subdueth all things, so shall that break and destroy all these.
39 "Another kingdom"... Viz., that of the Medes and Persians. Ibid.
39 "Third kingdom"... Viz., that of Alexander the Great.
40 "The fourth kingdom"... Some understand this of the successors of Alexander, the kings of Syria and Egypt, others of the Roman empire, and its civil wars.
41 And whereas thou sawest the feet, and the toes, part of potter's clay, and part of iron: the kingdom shall be divided, but yet it shall take its origin from the iron, according as thou sawest the iron mixed with the miry clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43 And whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall be mingled indeed together with the seed of man, but they shall not stick fast one to another, as iron cannot be mixed with clay. 44 But in the days of those kingdoms the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, and his kingdom shall not be delivered up to another people, and it shall break in pieces, and shall consume all these kingdoms, and itself shall stand for ever. 45 According as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and broke in pieces, the clay, and the iron, and the brass, and the silver, and the gold, the great God hath shewn the king what shall come to pass hereafter, and the dream is true, and the interpretation thereof is faithful.
44 "A kingdom"... Viz., the kingdom of Christ in the Catholic Church which cannot be destroyed.
46 Then king Nabuchodonosor fell on his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer in sacrifice to him victims and incense. 47 And the king spoke to Daniel, and said: Verily your God is the God of gods, and Lord of kings, and a revealer of hidden things: seeing thou couldst discover this secret. 48 Then the king advanced Daniel to a high station, and gave him many and great gifts: and he made him governor over all the provinces of Babylon, and chief of the magistrates over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 And Daniel requested of the king, and he appointed Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago over the works of the province of Babylon: but Daniel himself was in the king's palace.
Nabuchodonosor set up a golden statue; which he commands all to adore: the three children for refusing to do it are cast into the fiery furnace; but are not hurt by the flames. Their prayer and canticle of praise.
1 King Nabuchodonosor made a statue of gold, of sixty cubits high, and six cubits broad, and he set it up in the plain of Dura of the province of Babylon. 2 Then Nabuchodonosor the king sent to call together the nobles, the magistrates, and the judges, the captains, the rulers, and governors, and all the chief men of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up. 3 Then the nobles, the magistrates, and the judges, the captains, and rulers, and the great men that were placed in authority, and all the princes of the provinces, were gathered together to come to the dedication of the statue, which king Nabuchodonosor had set up. And they stood before the statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up. 4 Then a herald cried with a strong voice: To you it is commanded, O nations, tribes, and languages: 5 That in the hour that you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, and of the flute, and of the harp, of the sackbut, and of the psaltery, and of the symphony, and of all kind of music; ye fall down and adore the golden statue which king Nabuchodonosor hath set up.
6 But if any man shall not fall down and adore, he shall the same hour be cast into a furnace of burning fire. 7 Upon this therefore, at the time when all the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the flute, and the harp, of the sackbut, and the psaltery, of the symphony, and of all kind of music: all the nations, tribes, and languages fell down and adored the golden statue which king Nabuchodonosor had set up. 8 And presently at that very time some Chaldeans came and accused the Jews, 9 And said to king Nabuchodonosor: O king, live for ever: 10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree that every man that shall hear the sound of the trumpet, the flute, and the harp, of the sackbut, and the psaltery, of the symphony, and of all kind of music, shall prostrate himself, and adore the golden statue:
11 And that if any man shall not fall down and adore, he should be cast into a furnace of burning fire. 12 Now there are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the works of the province of Babylon, Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago: these men, O king, have slighted thy decree: they worship not thy gods, nor do they adore the golden statue which thou hast set up. 13 Then Nabuchodonosor in fury, and in wrath, commanded that Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago should be brought: who immediately were brought before the king. 14 And Nabuchodonosor the king spoke to them, and said: Is it true, O Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, that you do not worship my gods, nor adore the golden statue that I have set up? 15 Now therefore if you be ready at what hour soever you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, harp, sackbut, and psaltery, and symphony, and of all kind of music, prostrate yourselves, and adore the statue which I have made: but if you do not adore, you shall be cast the same hour into the furnace of burning fire: and who is the God that shall deliver you out of my hand?
16 Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago answered and said to king Nabuchodonosor: We have no occasion to answer thee concerning this matter. 17 For behold our God, whom we worship, is able to save us from the furnace of burning fire, and to deliver us out of thy hands, O king. 18 But if he will not, be it known to thee, O king, that we will not worship thy gods, nor adore the golden statue which thou hast set up. 19 Then was Nabuchodonosor filled with fury: and the countenance of his face was changed against Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, and he commanded that the furnace should be heated seven times more than it had been accustomed to be heated. 20 And he commanded the strongest men that were in his army, to bind the feet of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, and to cast them into the furnace of burning fire.
21 And immediately these men were bound and were cast into the furnace of burning fire, with their coats, and their caps, and their shoes, and their garments. 22 For the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace was heated exceedingly. And the flame of the fire slew those men that had cast in Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago. 23 But these three men, that is, Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, fell down bound in the midst of the furnace of burning fire. 24 And they walked in the midst of the flame, praising God and blessing the Lord. 25 Then Azarias standing up prayed in this manner, and opening his mouth in the midst of the fire, he said:
24 "And they walked"... Here St. Jerome takes notice, that from this verse, to ver. 91, was not in the Hebrew in his time. But as it was in all the Greek Bibles, (which were originally translated from the Hebrew,) it is more than probable that it had been formerly in the Hebrew or rather in the Chaldaic, in which the book of Daniel was written. But this is certain: that it is, and has been of old, received by the church, and read as canonical scripture in her liturgy, and divine offices.
26 Blessed art thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and thy name is worthy of praise, and glorious for ever: 27 For thou art just in all that thou hast done to us, and all thy works are true, and thy ways right, and all thy judgments true. 28 For thou hast executed true judgments in all the things that thou hast brought upon us, and upon Jerusalem the holy city of our fathers: for according to truth and judgment, thou hast brought all these things upon us for our sins. 29 For we have sinned, and committed iniquity, departing from thee: and we have trespassed in all things: 30 And we have not hearkened to thy commandments, nor have we observed nor done as thou hadst commanded us, that it might go well with us.
31 Wherefore all that thou hast brought upon us, and every thing that thou hast done to us, thou hast done in true judgment: 32 And thou hast delivered us into the hands of our enemies that are unjust, and most wicked, and prevaricators, and to a king unjust, and most wicked beyond all that are upon the earth. 33 And now we cannot open our mouths: we are become a shame and reproach to thy servants, and to them that worship thee. 34 Deliver us not up for ever, we beseech thee, for thy name's sake, and abolish not thy covenant. 35 And take not away thy mercy from us for the sake of Abraham thy beloved, and Isaac thy servant, and Israel thy holy one:
36 To whom thou hast spoken, promising that thou wouldst multiply their seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is on the sea shore. 37 For we, O Lord, are diminished more than any nation, and are brought low in all the earth this day for our sins. 38 Neither is there at this time prince, or leader, or prophet, or holocaust, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, or place of firstfruits before thee, 39 That we may find thy mercy: nevertheless in a contrite heart and humble spirit let us be accepted. 40 As in holocausts of rams, and bullocks, and as in thousands of fat lambs: so let our sacrifice be made in thy sight this day, that it may please thee: for there is no confusion to them that trust in thee.
41 And now we follow thee with all our heart, and we fear thee, and seek thy face. 42 Put us not to confusion, but deal. with us according to thy meekness, and according to the multitude of thy mercies. 43 And deliver us according to thy wonderful works, and give glory to thy name, O Lord: 44 And let all them be confounded that shew evils to thy servants, let them be confounded in all thy might, and let their strength be broken. 45 And let them know that thou art the Lord, the only God, and glorious over all the world.
46 Now the king's servants that had cast them in, ceased not to heat the furnace with brimstone, and tow, and pitch, and dry sticks, 47 And the flame mounted up above the furnace nine and forty cubits: 48 And it broke forth, and burnt such of the Chaldeans as it found near the furnace. 49 But the angel of the Lord went down with Azarias and his companions into the furnace: and he drove the flame of the fire out of the furnace, 50 And made the midst of the furnace like the blowing of a wind bringing dew, and the fire touched them not at all, nor troubled them, nor did them any harm.
51 Then these three as with one mouth praised, and glorified, and blessed God in the furnace, saying: 52 Blessed art thou, O Lord the God of our fathers: and worthy to be praised, and glorified, and exalted above all for ever: and blessed is the holy name of thy glory: and worthy to be praised, and exalted above all in all ages. 53 Blessed art thou in the holy temple of thy glory: and exceedingly to be praised, and exceeding glorious for ever. 54 Blessed art thou on the throne of thy kingdom, and exceedingly to be praised, and exalted above all for ever. 55 Blessed art thou, that beholdest the depths, and sittest upon the cherubims: and worthy to be praised and exalted above all for ever.
56 Blessed art thou in the firmament of heaven: and worthy of praise, and glorious for ever. 57 All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 58 O ye angels of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 59 O ye heavens, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 60 O all ye waters that are above the heavens, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all for ever.
61 O all ye powers of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 62 O ye sun and moon, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 63 O ye stars of heaven, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 64 O every shower and dew, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 65 O all ye spirits of God, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
66 O ye fire and heat, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 67 O ye cold and heat, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 68 O ye dews and hoar frosts, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 69 O ye frost and cold, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 70 O ye ice and snow, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
71 O ye nights and days, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 72 O ye light and darkness, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 73 O ye lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 74 O let the earth bless the Lord: let it praise and exalt him above all for ever. 75 O ye mountains and hills, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
76 O all ye things that spring up in the earth, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 77 O ye fountains, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 78 O ye seas and rivers, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 79 O ye whales, and all that move in the waters, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 80 O all ye fowls of the air, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
81 O all ye beasts and cattle, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 82 O ye sons of men, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all for ever. 83 O let Israel bless the Lord: let them praise and exalt him above all for ever. 84 O ye priests of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 85 O ye servants of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
86 O ye spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 87 O ye holy and humble of heart, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. 88 O Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. For he hath delivered us from hell, and saved us out of the hand of death, and delivered us out of the midst of the burning flame, and saved us out of the midst of the fire. 89 O give thanks to the Lord, because he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever and ever. 90 O all ye religious, bless the Lord the God of gods: praise him and give him thanks, because his mercy endureth for ever and ever.
91 Then Nabuchodonosor the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and said to his nobles: Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered the king, and said: True, O king. 92 He answered, and said: Behold I see four men loose, and walking in the midst of the fire, and there is no hurt in them, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. 93 Then Nabuchodonosor came to the door of the burning fiery furnace, and said: Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, ye servants of the most high God, go ye forth, and come. And immediately Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago went out from the midst of the fire. 94 And the nobles, and the magistrates, and the judges, and the great men of the king being gathered together, considered these men, that the fire had no power on their bodies, and that not a hair of their head had been singed, nor their garments altered, nor the smell of the fire had passed on them. 95 Then Nabuchodonosor breaking forth, said: Blessed be the God of them, to wit, of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that believed in him: and they changed the king's word, and delivered up their bodies that they might not serve, nor adore any god, except their own God.
96 By me therefore this decree is made, that every people, tribe, and tongue, which shall speak blasphemy against the God of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, shall be destroyed, and their houses laid waste: for there is no other God that can save in this manner. 97 Then the king promoted Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, in the province of Babylon. 98 Nabuchodonosor the king, to all peoples, nations, and tongues, that dwell in all the earth, peace be multiplied unto you. 99 The most high God hath wrought signs and wonders toward me. It hath seemed good to me therefore to publish 100 His signs, because they are great: and his wonders, because they are mighty: and his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, I and his power to all generations.
98 "Nabuchodonosor"... These last three verses are a kind of preface to the following chapter, which is written in the style of an epistle from the king.
Nabuchodonosor's dream, by which the judgments of God are denounced against him for his pride, is interpreted by Daniel, and verified by the event.
1 I, Nabuchodonosor, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace: 2 I saw a dream that affrighted me: and my thoughts in my bed, and the visions of my head troubled me. 3 Then I set forth a decree, that all the wise men of Babylon should be brought in before me, and that they should shew me the interpretation of the dream. 4 Then came in the diviners, the wise men, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers, and I told the dream before them: but they did not shew me the interpretation thereof: 5 Till their colleague Daniel came in before me, whose name is Baltassar, according to the name of my god, who hath in him the spirit of the holy gods: and I told the dream before him.
5 "Baltassar, according to the name of my god"... He says this, because the name of Baltassar, or Belteshazzar, is derived from the name of Bel, the chief god of the Babylonians.
6 Baltassar, prince of the diviners, because I know that thou hast in thee the spirit of the holy gods, and that no secret is impossible to thee: tell me the visions of my dreams that I have seen, and the interpretation of them. 7 This was the vision of my head in my bed: I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was exceeding great. 8 The tree was great, and strong: and the height thereof reached unto heaven: the sight thereof was even to the ends of all the earth. 9 Its leaves were most beautiful, and its fruit exceeding much: and in it was food for all: under it dwelt cattle, and beasts, and in the branches thereof the fowls of the air had their abode: and all flesh did eat of it. 10 I saw in the vision of my head upon my bed, and behold a watcher, and a holy one came down from heaven.
10 "A watcher"... A vigilant angel, perhaps the guardian of Israel.
11 He cried aloud, and said thus: Cut down the tree, and chop off the branches thereof: shake off its leaves, and scatter its fruits: let the beasts fly away that are under it, and the birds from its branches. 12 Nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, and let it be tied with a band of iron, and of brass, among the grass, that is without, and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let its portion be with the wild beasts in the grass of the earth. 13 Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given him; and let seven times pass over him. 14 This is the decree by the sentence of the watchers, and the word and demand of the holy ones; till the living know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men; and he will give it to whomsoever it shall please him, and he will appoint the basest man over it. 15 I king Nabuchodonosor saw this dream: thou, therefore, O Baltassar, tell me quickly the interpretation: for all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to declare the meaning of it to me: but thou art able, because the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.
13 "Let his heart be changed"... It does not appear by scripture that Nabuchodonosor was changed from human shape; much less that he was changed into an ox; but only that he lost his reason, and became mad; and in this condition remained abroad in the company of beasts, eating grass like an ox, till his hair grew in such manner as to resemble the feathers of eagles, and his nails to be like birds' claws.
16 Then Daniel, whose name was Baltassar, began silently to think within himself for about one hour: and his thoughts troubled him. But the king answering, said: Baltassar, let not the dream and the interpretation thereof trouble thee. Baltassar answered, and said: My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thy enemies. 17 The tree which thou sawest which was high and strong, whose height reached to the skies, and the sight thereof into all the earth: 18 And the branches thereof were most beautiful, and its fruit exceeding much, and in it was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and the birds of the air had their abode in its branches. 19 It is thou, O king, who art grown great and become mighty: for thy greatness hath grown, and hath reached to heaven, and thy power unto the ends of the earth. 20 And whereas the king saw a watcher, and a holy one come down from heaven, and say: Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, and let it be bound with iron and brass among the grass without, and let it be sprinkled with the dew of heaven, and let his feeding be with the wild beasts, till seven times pass over him.
21 This is the interpretation of the sentence of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king. 22 They shall cast thee out from among men, and thy dwelling shall be with cattle and with wild beasts, and thou shalt eat grass as an ox, and shalt be wet with the dew of heaven: and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth over the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. 23 But whereas he commanded, that the stump of the roots thereof, that is, of the tree, should be left: thy kingdom shall remain to thee after thou shalt have known that power is from heaven. 24 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to thee, and redeem thou thy sins with alms, and thy iniquities with works of mercy to the poor: perhaps he will forgive thy offences. 25 All these things came upon king Nabuchodonosor.
26 At the end of twelve months he was walking in the palace of Babylon. 27 And the king answered, and said: Is not this the great Babylon, which I have built to be the seat of the kingdom, by the strength of my power, and in the glory of my excellence? 28 And while the word was yet in the king's mouth, a voice came down from heaven: To thee, O king Nabuchodonosor, it is said: Thy kingdom shall pass from thee, 29 And they shall cast thee out from among men, and thy dwelling shall be with cattle and wild beasts: thou shalt eat grass like an ox, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. 30 The same hour the word was fulfilled upon Nabuchodonosor, and he was driven away from among men, and did eat grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven: till his hairs grew like the feathers of eagles, and his nails like birds' claws.
31 Now at the end of the days, I Nabuchodonosor lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my sense was restored to me: and I blessed the most High, and I praised and glorified him that liveth for ever: for his power is an everlasting power, and his kingdom is to all generations. 32 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing before him: for he doth according to his will, as well with the powers of heaven, as among the inhabitants of the earth: and there is none that can resist his hand, and say to him: Why hast thou done it? 33 At the same time my sense returned to me, and I came to the honour and glory of my kingdom: and my shape returned to me: and my nobles, and my magistrates sought for me, and I was restored to my kingdom: and greater majesty was added to me. 34 Therefore I Nabuchodonosor do now praise, and magnify, and glorify the King of heaven: because all his works are true, and his ways judgments, and them that walk in pride he is able to abase.
34 "I Nabuchodonosor do now"... From this place some commentators infer that this king became a true convert, and dying not long after, was probably saved.
Baltasar's profane banquet: his sentence is denounced by a handwriting on the wall, which Daniel reads and interprets.
1 Baltasar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his nobles: and every one drank according to his age. 2 And being now drunk he commanded that they should bring the vessels of gold and silver which Nabuchodonosor his father had brought away out of the temple, that was in Jerusalem, that the king and his nobles, and his wives and his concubines, might drink in them. 3 Then were the golden and silver vessels brought, which he had brought away out of the temple that was in Jerusalem: and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines, drank in them. 4 They drank wine, and praised their gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, and of wood, and of stone. 5 In the same hour there appeared fingers, as it were of the hand of a man, writing over against the candlestick upon the surface of the wall of the king's palace: and the king beheld the joints of the hand that wrote.
1 "Baltasar"... He is believed to be the same as Nabonydus, the last of the Chaldean kings, grandson to Nabuchodonosor. He is called his son, ver. 2, 11, etc., according to the style of the scriptures, because he was a descendant from him.
6 Then was the king's countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him: and the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees struck one against the other. 7 And the king cried out aloud to bring in the wise men, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spoke, and said to the wise men of Babylon: Whosoever shall read this writing, and shall make known to me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with purple, and shall have a golden chain on his neck, and shall be the third man in my kingdom. 8 Then came in all the king's wise men, but they could neither read the writing, nor declare the interpretation to the king. 9 Wherewith king Baltasar was much troubled, and his countenance was changed: and his nobles also were troubled. 10 Then the queen, on occasion of what had happened to the king, and his nobles, came into the banquet house: and she spoke and said: O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, neither let thy countenance be changed.
10 "The queen"... Not the wife, but the mother of the king.
11 There is a man in thy kingdom that hath the spirit of the holy gods in him: and in the days of thy father knowledge and wisdom were found in him: for king Nabuchodonosor thy father appointed him prince of the wise men, enchanters, Chaldeans, and soothsayers, thy father, I say, O king: 12 Because a greater spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, and interpretation of dreams, and shewing of secrets, and resolving of difficult things, were found in him, that is, in Daniel: whom the king named Baltassar. Now therefore let Daniel be called for, and he will tell the interpretation. 13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. And the king spoke, and said to him: Art thou Daniel of the children of the captivity of Juda, whom my father the king brought out of Judea? 14 I have heard of thee, that thou hast the spirit of the gods, and excellent knowledge, and understanding, and wisdom are found in thee. 15 And now the wise men the magicians have come in before me, to read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof: and they could not declare to me the meaning of this writing.
16 But I have heard of thee, that thou canst interpret obscure things, and resolve difficult things: now if thou art able to read the writing, and to shew me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with purple, and shalt have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third prince in my kingdom. 17 To which Daniel made answer, and said before the king: Thy rewards be to thyself, and the gifts of thy house give to another: but the writing I will read to thee, O king, and shew thee the interpretation thereof. 18 O king, the most high God gave to Nabuchodonosor thy father a kingdom, and greatness, and glory, and honour. 19 And for the greatness that he gave to him, all people, tribes, and languages trembled, and were afraid of him: whom he would, he slew: and whom he would, he destroyed: and whom he would, he set up: and whom he would, he brought down. 20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit hardened unto pride, he was put down from the throne of his kingdom, and his glory was taken away.
21 And he was driven out from the sons of men, and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses, and he did eat grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven: till he knew that the most High ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he will set over it whomsoever it shall please him. 22 Thou also his son, O Baltasar, hast not humbled thy heart, whereas thou knewest all these things: 23 But hast lifted thyself up against the Lord of heaven: and the vessels of his house have been brought before thee: and thou, and thy nobles, and thy wives, and thy concubines have drunk wine in them: and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and of gold, and of brass, of iron, and of wood, and of stone, that neither see, nor hear, nor feel: but the God who hath thy breath in his hand, and all thy ways, thou hast not glorified. 24 Wherefore he hath sent the part of the hand which hath written this that is set down. 25 And this is the writing that is written: MANE, THECEL, PHARES.
26 And this is the interpretation of the word. MANE: God hath numbered thy kingdom, and hath finished it. 27 THECEL: thou art weighed in the balance, and art found wanting. 28 PHARES: thy kingdom is divided, and is given to the Medes and Persians. 29 Then by the king's command Daniel was clothed with purple, and a chain of gold was put about his neck: and it was proclaimed of him that he had power as the third man in the kingdom. 30 The same night Baltasar the Chaldean king was slain.
31 And Darius the Mede succeeded to the kingdom, being threescore and two years old.
31 "Darius"... He is called Cyaxares by the historians; and was the son of Astyages, and uncle to Cyrus.
Daniel is promoted by Darius: his enemies procure a law forbidding prayer; for the transgression of this law Daniel is cast into the lions' den: but miraculously delivered.
1 It seemed good to Darius, and he appointed over the kingdom a hundred and twenty governors to be over his whole kingdom. 2 And three princes over them, of whom Daniel was one: that the governors might give an account to them, and the king might have no trouble. 3 And Daniel excelled all the princes, and governors: because a greater spirit of God was in him. 4 And the king thought to set him over all the kingdom: whereupon the princes, and the governors sought to find occasion against Daniel with regard to the king: and they could find no cause, nor suspicion, because he was faithful, and no fault, nor suspicion was found in him. 5 Then these men said: We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, unless perhaps concerning the law of his God.
6 Then the princes, and the governors craftily suggested to the king, and spoke thus unto him: King Darius, live for ever: 7 All the princes of the kingdom, the magistrates, and governors, the senators, and judges have consulted together, that an imperial decree, and an edict be published: That whosoever shall ask any petition of any god, or man, for thirty days, but of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, therefore, O king, confirm the sentence, and sign the decree: that what is decreed by the Medes and Persians may not be altered, nor any man be allowed to transgress it. 9 So king Darius set forth the decree, and established it. 10 Now when Daniel knew this, that is to say, that the law was made, he went into his house: and opening the windows in his upper chamber towards Jerusalem, he knelt down three times a day, and adored, and gave thanks before his God, as he had been accustomed to do before.
11 Wherefore those men carefully watching him, found Daniel praying and making supplication to his God. 12 And they came and spoke to the king concerning the edict: O king, hast thou not decreed, that every man that should make a request to any of the gods, or men, for thirty days, but to thyself, O king, should be cast into the den of the lions? And the king answered them, saying: The word is true according to the decree of the Medes and Persians, which it is not lawful to violate. 13 Then they answered, and said before the king: Daniel, who is of the children of the captivity of Juda, hath not regarded thy law, nor the decree that thou hast made: but three times a day he maketh his prayer. 14 Now when the king had heard these words, he was very much grieved, and in behalf of Daniel he set his heart to deliver him and even till sunset he laboured to save him. 15 But those men perceiving the king's design, said to him: Know thou, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, that no decree which the king hath made, may be altered.
16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of the lions. And the king said to Daniel: Thy God, whom thou always servest, he will deliver thee. 17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den: which the king sealed with his own ring, and with the ring of his nobles, that nothing should be done against Daniel. 18 And the king went away to his house and laid himself down without taking supper, and meat was not set before him, and even sleep departed from him. 19 Then the king rising very early in the morning, went in haste to the lions' den: 20 And coming near to the den, cried with a lamentable voice to Daniel, and said to him: Daniel, servant of the living God, hath thy God, whom thou servest always, been able, thinkest thou, to deliver thee from the lions?
21 And Daniel answering the king, said: O king, live for ever: 22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut up the mouths of the lions, and they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him justice hath been found in me: yea and before thee, O king, I have done no offence. 23 Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and he commanded that Daniel should be taken out of the den: and Daniel was taken out of the den, and no hurt was found in him, because he believed in his God. 24 And by the king's commandment, those men were brought that had accused Daniel: and they were cast into the lions' den, they and their children, and their wives: and they did not reach the bottom of the den, before the lions caught them, and broke all their bones in pieces. 25 Then king Darius wrote to all people, tribes, and languages, dwelling in the whole earth: PEACE be multiplied unto you.
26 It is decreed by me, that in all my empire and my kingdom all men dread and fear the God of Daniel. For he is the living and eternal God for ever: and his kingdom shall not be destroyed, and his power shall be for ever. 27 He is the deliverer, and saviour, doing signs and wonders in heaven, and in earth: who hath delivered Daniel out of the lions' den. 28 Now Daniel continued unto the reign of Darius, and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
Daniel's vision of the four beasts, signifying four kingdoms: of God sitting on his throne: and of the opposite kingdoms of Christ and Antichrist.
1 In the first year of Baltasar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream: and the vision of his head was upon his bed: and writing the dream, he comprehended it in few words: and relating the sum of it in short, he said: 2 I saw in my vision by night, and behold the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts, different one from another, came up out of the sea. 4 The first was like a lioness, and had the wings of an eagle: I beheld till her wings were plucked off, and she was lifted up from the earth, and stood upon her feet as a man, and the heart of a man was given to her. 5 And behold another beast like a bear stood up on one side: and there were three rows in the mouth thereof, and in the teeth thereof, and thus they said to it: Arise, devour much flesh.
3 "Four great beasts"... Viz., the Chaldean, Persian, Grecian, and Roman empires. But some rather choose to understand the fourth beast of the successors of Alexander the Great, more especially of them that reigned in Asia and Syria.
6 After this I beheld, and lo, another like a leopard, and it had upon it four wings as of a fowl, and the beast had four heads, and power was given to it. 7 After this I beheld in the vision of the night, and lo, a fourth beast, terrible and wonderful, and exceeding strong, it had great iron teeth, eating and breaking in pieces, and treading down the rest with its feet: and it was unlike to the other beasts which I had seen before it, and had ten horns. 8 I considered the horns, and behold another little horn sprung out of the midst of them: and three of the first horns were plucked up at the presence thereof: and behold eyes like the eyes of a man were in this horn, and a mouth speaking great things. 9 I beheld till thrones were placed, and the Ancient of days sat: his garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like clean wool: his throne like flames of fire: the wheels of it like a burning fire. 10 A swift stream of fire issued forth from before him: thousands of thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times a hundred thousand stood before him: the judgment sat, and the books were opened.
7 "Ten horns"... That is, ten kingdoms, (as Apoc. 17. 12,) among which the empire of the fourth beast shall be parcelled. Or ten kings of the number of the successors of Alexander; as figures of such as shall be about the time of Antichrist.
8 "Another little horn"... This is commonly understood of Antichrist. It may also be applied to that great persecutor Antiochus Epiphanes, as a figure of Antichrist.
11 I beheld because of the voice of the great words which that horn spoke: and I saw that the beast was slain, and the body thereof was destroyed, and given to the fire to be burnt: 12 And that the power of the other beasts was taken away: and that times of life were appointed them for a time, and a time. 13 I beheld therefore in the vision of the night, and lo, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and he came even to the Ancient of days: and they presented him before him. 14 And he gave him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes and tongues shall serve him: his power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away: and his kingdom that shall not be destroyed. 15 My spirit trembled, I Daniel was affrighted at these things, and the visions of my head troubled me.
16 I went near to one of them that stood by, and asked the truth of him concerning all these things, and he told me the interpretation of the words, and instructed me: 17 These four great beasts are four kingdoms, which shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the most high God shall take the kingdom: and they shall possess the kingdom for ever and ever. 19 After this I would diligently learn concerning the fourth beast, which was very different from all, and exceeding terrible: his teeth and claws were of iron: he devoured and broke in pieces, and the rest he stamped upon with his feet: 20 And concerning the ten horns that he had on his head: and concerning the other that came up, before which three horns fell: and of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth speaking great things, and was greater than the rest.
21 I beheld, and lo, that horn made war against the saints, and prevailed over them, 22 Till the Ancient of days came and gave judgment to the saints of the most High, and the time came, and the saints obtained the kingdom. 23 And thus he said: The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be greater than all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns of the same kingdom, shall be ten kings: and another shall rise up after them, and he shall be mightier than the former, and he shall bring down three kings. 25 And he shall speak words against the High One, and shall crush the saints of the most High: and he shall think himself able to change times and laws, and they shall be delivered into his hand until a time, and times, and half a time.
25 "A time, and times, and half a time"... That is, three years and a half; which is supposed to be the length of the duration of the persecution of Antichrist.
26 And judgment shall sit, that his power may be taken away, and be broken in pieces, and perish even to the end. 27 And that the kingdom, and power, and the greatness of the kingdom, under the whole heaven, may be given to the people of the saints of the most High: whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all kings shall serve him, and shall obey him. 28 Hitherto is the end of the word. I Daniel was much troubled with my thoughts, and my countenance was changed in me: but I kept the word in my heart.
Daniel's vision of the ram and the he goat interpreted by the angel Gabriel.
1 In the third year of the reign of king Baltasar, a vision appeared to me. I Daniel, after what I had seen in the beginning, 2 Saw in my vision when I was in the castle of Susa, which is in the province of Elam: and I saw in the vision that I was over the gate of Ulai. 3 And I lifted up my eyes, and saw: and behold a ram stood before the water, having two high horns, and one higher than the other, and growing up. 4 Afterward I saw the ram pushing with his horns against the west, and against the north, and against the south: and no beasts could withstand him, nor be delivered out of his hand: and he did according to his own will, and became great. 5 And I understood: and behold a he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and he touched not the ground, and the he goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
3 "A ram"... The empire of the Medes and Persians.
5 "A he goat"... The empire of the Greeks, or Macedonians. Ibid.
5 "He touched not the ground"... He conquered all before him, with so much rapidity, that he seemed rather to fly, than to walk upon the earth.-- Ibid.
5 "A notable horn"... Alexander the Great.
6 And he went up to the ram that had the horns, which I had seen standing before the gate, and he ran towards him in the force of his strength. 7 And when he was come near the ram, he was enraged against him, and struck the ram: and broke his two horns, and the ram could not withstand him: and when he had cast him down on the ground, he stamped upon him, and none could deliver the ram out of his hand. 8 And the he goat became exceeding great: and when he was grown, the great horn was broken, and there came up four horns under it towards the four winds of heaven. 9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn: and it became great against the south, and against the east, and against the strength. 10 And it was magnified even unto the strength of heaven: and it threw down of the strength, and of the stars, and trod upon them.
8 "Four horns"... Seleucus, Antigonus, Philip, and Ptolemeus, the successors of Alexander, who divided his empire among them.
9 "A little horn"... Antiochus Epiphanes, a descendant of Seleucus. He grew against the south, and the east, by his victories over the kings of Egypt and Armenia: and against the strength, that is, against Jerusalem and the people of God.
10 "Unto the strength of heaven"... or, against the strength of heaven. So are here called the army of the Jews, the people of God.
11 And it was magnified even to the prince of the strength: and it took away from him the continual sacrifice, and cast down the place of his sanctuary. 12 And strength was given him against the continual sacrifice, because of sins: and truth shall be cast down on the ground, and he shall do and shall prosper. 13 And I heard one of the saints speaking, and one saint said to another, I know not to whom that was speaking: How long shall be the vision, concerning the continual sacrifice, and the sin of the desolation that is made: and the sanctuary, and the strength be trodden under foot? 14 And he said to him: Unto evening and morning two thousand three hundred days: and the sanctuary shall be cleansed. 15 And it came to pass when I Daniel saw the vision, and sought the meaning, that behold there stood before me as it were the appearance of a man.
14 "Unto evening and morning two thousand three hundred days"... That is, six years and almost four months: which was the whole time from the beginning of the persecution of Antiochus till his death.
16 And I heard the voice of a man between Ulai: and he called, and said: Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. 17 And he came and stood near where I stood: and when he was come, I fell on my face trembling, and he said to me: Understand, O son of man, for in the time of the end the vision shall be fulfilled. 18 And when he spoke to me I fell flat on the ground: and he touched me, and set me upright, 19 And he said to me: I will shew thee what things are to come to pass in the end of the malediction: for the time hath its end. 20 The ram, which thou sawest with horns, is the king of the Medes and Persians.
21 And the he goat, is the king of the Greeks, and the great horn that was between his eyes, the same is the first king. 22 But whereas when that was broken, there arose up four for it: four kings shall rise up of his nation, but not with his strength. 23 And after their reign, when iniquities shall be grown up, there shall arise a king of a shameless face, and understanding dark sentences. 24 And his power shall be strengthened, but not by his own force: and he shall lay all things waste, and shall prosper, and do more than can be believed. And he shall destroy the mighty, and the people of the saints, 25 According to his will, and craft shall be successful in his hand: and his heart shall be puffed up, and in the abundance of all things he shall kill many: and he shall rise up against the prince of princes, and shall be broken without hand.
26 And the vision of the evening and the morning, which was told, is true: thou therefore seal up the vision, because it shall come to pass after many days. 27 And I Daniel languished, and was sick for some days: and when I was risen up, I did the king's business, and I was astonished at the vision, and there was none that could interpret it.
Daniel's confession and prayer: Gabriel informs him concerning the seventy weeks to the coming of Christ.
1 In the first year of Darius the son of Assuerus of the seed of the Medes, who reigned over the kingdom of the Chaldeans: 2 The first year of his reign, I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, concerning which the word of the Lord came to Jeremias the prophet, that seventy years should be accomplished of the desolation of Jerusalem. 3 And I set my face to the Lord my God, to pray and make supplication with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes. 4 And I prayed to the Lord my God, and I made my confession, and said: I beseech thee, O Lord God, great and terrible, who keepest the covenant, and mercy to them that love thee, and keep thy commandments. 5 We have sinned, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly, and have revolted: and we have gone aside from thy commandments, and thy judgments.
6 We have not hearkened to thy servants the prophets, that have spoken in thy name to our kings, to our princes, to our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7 To thee, O Lord, justice: but to us confusion of face, as at this day to the men of Juda, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel to them that are near, and to them that are far off in all the countries whither thou hast driven them, for their iniquities by which they have sinned against thee. 8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our princes, and to our fathers that have sinned. 9 But to thee, the Lord our God, mercy and forgiveness, for we have departed from thee: 10 And we have not hearkened to the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his law, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
11 And all Israel have transgressed thy law, and have turned away from hearing thy voice, and the malediction, and the curse, which is written in the book of Moses the servant of God, is fallen upon us, because we have sinned against him. 12 And he hath confirmed his words which he spoke against us, and against our princes that judged us, that he would bring in upon us a great evil, such as never was under all the heaven, according to that which hath been done in Jerusalem. 13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: and we entreated not thy face, O Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and think on thy truth. 14 And the Lord hath watched upon the evil, and hath brought it upon us: the Lord our God is just in all his works which he hath done: for we have not hearkened to his voice. 15 And now, O Lord our God, who hast brought forth thy people out of the land of Egypt with a strong hand, and hast made thee a name as at this day: we have sinned, we have committed iniquity,
16 O Lord, against all thy justice: let thy wrath and thy indignation be turned away, I beseech thee, from thy city Jerusalem, and from thy holy mountain. For by reason of our sins, and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem, and thy people are a reproach to all that are round about us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the supplication of thy servant, and his prayers: and shew thy face upon thy sanctuary which is desolate, for thy own sake. 18 Incline, O my God, thy ear, and hear: open thy eyes, and see our desolation, and the city upon which thy name is called: for it is not for our justifications that we present our prayers before thy face, but for the multitude of thy tender mercies. 19 O Lord, hear: O Lord, be appeased: hearken and do: delay not for thy own sake, O my God: because thy name is invocated upon thy city, and upon thy people. 20 Now while I was yet speaking, and praying, and confessing my sins, and the sins of my people of Israel, and presenting my supplications in the sight of my God, for the holy mountain of my God:
21 As I was yet speaking in prayer, behold the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, flying swiftly touched me at the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 And he instructed me, and spoke to me, and said: O Daniel, I am now come forth to teach thee, and that thou mightest understand. 23 From the beginning of thy prayers the word came forth: and I am come to shew it to thee, because thou art a man of desires: therefore do thou mark the word, and understand the vision. 24 Seventy weeks are shortened upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, that transgression may be finished, and sin may have an end, and iniquity may be abolished; and everlasting justice may be brought; and vision and prophecy may be fulfilled; and the saint of saints may be anointed. 25 Know thou therefore, and take notice: that from the going forth of the word, to build up Jerusalem again, unto Christ the prince, there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: and the street shall be built again, and the walls in straitness of times.
21 "The man Gabriel"... The angel Gabriel in the shape of a man.
23 "Man of desires"... that is, ardently praying for the Jews then in captivity.
24 "Seventy weeks"... Viz., of years, (or seventy times seven, that is, 490 years,) are shortened; that is, fixed and determined, so that the time shall be no longer.
25 "From the going forth of the word"... That is, from the twentieth year of king Artaxerxes, when by his commandment Nehemias rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, 2 Esd. 2. From which time, according to the best chronology, there were just sixty-nine weeks of years, that is, 483 years to the baptism of Christ, when he first began to preach and execute the office of Messias.-- Ibid.
25 "In straitness of times"... angustia temporum: which may allude both to the difficulties and opposition they met with in building: and to the shortness of the time in which they finished the wall, viz., fifty-two days.
26 And after sixty-two weeks Christ shall be slain: and the people that shall deny him shall not be his. And a people with their leader that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary: and the end thereof shall be waste, and after the end of the war the appointed desolation. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many, in one week: and in the half of the week the victim and the sacrifice shall fall: and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation: and the desolation shall continue even to the consummation, and to the end.
26 "A people with their leader"... The Romans under Titus.
27 "In the half of the week"... or, in the middle of the week, etc. Because Christ preached three years and a half: and then by his sacrifice upon the cross abolished all the sacrifices of the law.-- Ibid.
27 "The abomination of desolation"... Some understand this of the profanation of the temple by the crimes of the Jews, and by the bloody faction of the zealots. Others of the bringing in thither the ensigns and standard of the pagan Romans. Others, in fine, distinguish three different times of desolation: viz., that under Antiochus; that when the temple was destroyed by the Romans; and the last near the end of the world under Antichrist. To all which, as they suppose, this prophecy may have a relation.
Daniel having humbled himself by fasting and penance seeth a vision, with which he is much terrified; but he is comforted by an angel.
1 In the third year of Cyrus king of the Persians, a word was revealed to Daniel surnamed Baltassar, and a true word, and great strength: and he understood the word: for there is need of understanding in a vision. 2 In those days I Daniel mourned the days of three weeks. 3 I ate no desirable bread, and neither flesh, nor wine entered into my mouth, neither was I anointed with ointment: till the days of three weeks were accomplished. 4 And in the four and twentieth day of the first month I was by the great river which is the Tigris. 5 And I lifted up my eyes, and I saw: and behold a man clothed in linen, and his loins were girded with the finest gold:
6 And his body was like the chrysolite, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as a burning lamp: and his arms, and all downward even to the feet, like in appearance to glittering brass: and the voice of his word like the voice of a multitude. 7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw it not: but an exceeding great terror fell upon them, and they fled away, and hid themselves. 8 And I being left alone saw this great vision: and there remained no strength in me, and the appearance of my countenance was changed in me, and I fainted away, and retained no strength. 9 And I heard the voice of his words: and when I heard, I lay in a consternation, upon my face, and my face was close to the ground. 10 And behold a hand touched me, and lifted me up upon my knees, and upon the joints of my hands.
11 And he said to me: Daniel, thou man of desires, understand the words that I speak to thee, and stand upright: for I am sent now to thee. And when he had said this word to me, I stood trembling. 12 And he said to me: Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thy heart to understand, to afflict thyself in the sight of thy God, thy words have been heard: and I am come for thy words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of the Persians resisted me one and twenty days: and behold Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, and I remained there by the king of the Persians. 14 But I am come to teach thee what things shall befall thy people in the latter days, for as yet the vision is for days. 15 And when he was speaking such words to me, I cast down my countenance to the ground, and held my peace.
13 "The prince"... That is, the angel guardian of Persia: who according to his office, seeking the spiritual good of the Persians was desirous that many of the Jews should remain among them.
16 And behold, as it were the likeness of a son of man touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spoke, and said to him that stood before me: O my Lord, at the sight of thee my joints are loosed, and no strength hath remained in me. 17 And how can the servant of my lord speak with my lord? for no strength remaineth in me, moreover my breath is stopped. 18 Therefore he that looked like a man touched me again, and strengthened me. 19 And he said: Fear not, O man of desires, peace be to thee: take courage and be strong. And when he spoke to me, I grew strong: and I said: Speak, O my lord, for thou hast strengthened me. 20 And he said: Dost thou know wherefore I am come to thee? and now I will return, to fight against the prince of the Persians. When I went forth, there appeared the prince of the Greeks coming.
21 But I will tell thee what is set down in the scripture of truth: and none is my helper in all these things, but Michael your prince.
21 "Michael your prince"... The guardian general of the church of God.
The angel declares to Daniel many things to come, with regard to the Persian and Grecian kings: more especially with regard to Antiochus as a figure of Antichrist.
1 And from the first year of Darius the Mede I stood up that he might be strengthened and confirmed. 2 And now I will shew thee the truth. Behold there shall stand yet three kings in Persia, and the fourth shall be enriched exceedingly above them all: and when he shall be grown mighty by his riches, he shall stir up all against the kingdom of Greece. 3 But there shall rise up a strong king, and shall rule with great power: and he shall do what he pleaseth. 4 And when he shall come to his height, his kingdom shall be broken, and it shall be divided towards the four winds of the heaven: but not to his posterity, nor according to his power with which he ruled. For his kingdom shall be rent in pieces, even for strangers, beside these. 5 And the king of the south shall be strengthened, and one of his princes shall prevail over him, and he shall rule with great power: for his dominion shall be great.
2 "Three kings"... Viz., Cambyses, Smerdes Magus, and Darius, the son of Hystaspes.-- Ibid.
2 "The fourth"... Xerxes.
3 "A strong king"... Alexander.
5 "The king of the south"... Ptolemeus the son of Lagus, king of Egypt, which lies south of Jerusalem.-- Ibid.
5 "One of his princes"... that is, one of Alexander's princes, shall prevail over him: that is, shall be stronger than the king of Egypt. He speaks of Seleucus Nicator, king of Asia and Syria, whose successors are here called the kings of the north, because their dominions lay to the north in respect to Jerusalem.
6 And after the end of years they shall be in league together: and the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north to make friendship, but she shall not obtain the strength of the arm, neither shall her seed stand: and she shall be given up, and her young men that brought her, and they that strengthened her in these times. 7 And a plant of the bud of her roots, shall stand up: and he shall come with an army, and shall enter into the province of the king of the north: and he shall abuse them, and shall prevail. 8 And he shall also carry away captive into Egypt their gods, and their graven things, and their precious vessels of gold and silver: he shall prevail against the king of the north. 9 And the king of the south shall enter into the kingdom, and shall return to his own land. 10 And his sons shall be provoked, and they shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and he shall come with haste like a flood: and he shall return and be stirred up, and he shall join battle with his forces.
6 "The daughter of the king of the south"... Viz., Berenice, daughter of Ptolemeus Philadelphus, given in marriage to Antiochus Theos, grandson of Seleucus.
7 "A plant"... Ptolemeus Evergetes, the son of Philadelphus.
8 "The king of the north"... Seleucus Callinicus.
10 "His sons"... Seleucus Ceraunius, and Antiochus the Great, the sons of Callinicus.-- Ibid.
10 "He shall come"... Viz., Antiochus the Great.
11 And the king of the south being provoked shall go forth, and shall fight against the king of the north, and shall prepare an exceeding great multitude, and a multitude shall be given into his hand. 12 And he shall take a multitude, and his heart shall be lifted up, and he shall cast down many thousands: but he shall not prevail. 13 For the king of the north shall return and shall prepare a multitude much greater than before: and in the end of times and years, he shall come in haste with a great army, and much riches. 14 And in those times many shall rise up against the king of the south, and the children of prevaricators of thy people shall lift up themselves to fulfill the vision, and they shall fall. 15 And the king of the north shall come, and shall cast up a mount, and shall take the best fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, and his chosen ones shall rise up to resist, and they shall not have strength.
11 "The king of the south"... Ptolemeus Philopator, son of Evergetes.
16 And he shall come upon him and do according to his pleasure, and there shall be none to stand against his face: and he shall stand in the glorious land, and it shall be consumed by his hand. 17 And he shall set his face to come to possess all his kingdom, and he shall make upright conditions with him: and he shall give him a daughter of women, to overthrow it: and she shall not stand, neither shall she be for him. 18 And he shall turn his face to the islands, and shall take many: and he shall cause the prince of his reproach to cease, and his reproach shall be turned upon him. 19 And he shall turn his face to the empire of his own land, and he shall stumble, and fall, and shall not be found. 20 And there shall stand up in his place, one most vile, and unworthy of kingly honour: and in a few days he shall be destroyed, not in rage nor in battle.
16 "He shall come upon him"... Viz., Antiochus shall come upon the king of the south.-- Ibid.
16 "The glorious land"... Judea.
17 "All his kingdom"... Viz., all the kingdom of Ptolemeus Epiphanes, son of Philopator.-- Ibid.
17 "A daughter of women"... That is, a most beautiful woman, viz., his daughter Cleopatra.-- Ibid.
17 "To overthrow it"... Viz., the kingdom of Epiphanes: but his policy shall not succeed; for Cleopatra shall take more to heart the interest of her husband, than that of her father.
18 "The prince of his reproach"... Seipio the Roman general, called the prince of his reproach, because he overthrew Antiochus, and obliged him to submit to very dishonourable terms, before he would cease from the war.
20 "One most vile"... Seleucus Philopator, who sent Heliodorus to plunder the temple: and was shortly after slain by the same Heliodorus.
21 And there shall stand up in his place one despised, and the kingly honour shall not be given him: and he shall come privately, and shall obtain the kingdom by fraud. 22 And the arms of the fighter shall be overcome before his face, and shall be broken; yea also the prince of the covenant. 23 And after friendships, he will deal deceitfully with him: and he shall go up, and shall overcome with a small people. 24 And he shall enter into rich and plentiful cities: and he shall do that which his fathers never did, nor his fathers' fathers: he shall scatter their spoils, and their prey, and their riches, and shall forecast devices against the best fenced places: and this until a time. 25 And his strength and his heart shall be stirred up against the king of the south with a great army: and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with many and very strong succours: and they shall not stand, for they shall form designs against him.
21 "One despised"... Viz., Antiochus Epiphanes, who at first was despised and not received for king. What is here said of this prince, is accommodated by St. Jerome and others to Antichrist; of whom this Antiochus was a figure.
22 "Of the fighter"... That is, of them that shall oppose him, and shall fight against him.-- Ibid.
22 "The prince of the covenant"... or, of the league. The chief of them that conspired against him: or the king of Egypt his most powerful adversary.
25 "The king"... Ptolemeus Philometor.
26 And they that eat bread with him, shall destroy him, and his army shall be overthrown: and many shall fall down slain. 27 And the heart of the two kings shall be to do evil, and they shall speak lies at one table, and they shall not prosper: because as yet the end is unto another time. 28 And he shall return into his land with much riches: and his heart shall be against the holy covenant, and he shall succeed and shall return into his own land. 29 At the time appointed he shall return, and he shall come to the south, but the latter time shall not be like the former. 30 And the galleys and the Romans shall come upon him, and he shall be struck, and shall return, and shall have indignation against the covenant of the sanctuary, and he shall succeed: and he shall return and shall devise against them that have forsaken the covenant of the sanctuary.
30 "The galleys and the Romans"... Popilius, and the other Roman ambassadors, who came in galleys, and obliged him to depart from Egypt.
31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall defile the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the continual sacrifice, and they shall place there the abomination unto desolation. 32 And such as deal wickedly against the covenant shall deceitfully dissemble: but the people that know their God shall prevail and succeed. 33 And they that are learned among the people shall teach many: and they shall fall by the sword, and by fire, and by captivity, and by spoil for many days. 34 And when they shall have fallen they shall be relieved with a small help: and many shall be joined to them deceitfully. 35 And some of the learned shall fall, that they may be tried, and may be chosen, and made white even to the appointed time, because yet there shall be another time.
31 "They shall place there the abomination"... The idol of Jupiter Olympius, which Antiochus ordered to be set up in the sanctuary of the temple: which is here called the sanctuary of strength, from the Almighty that was worshipped there.
36 And the king shall do according to his will, and he shall be lifted up, and shall magnify himself against every god: and he shall speak great things against the God of gods, and shall prosper, till the wrath be accomplished. For the determination is made. 37 And he shall make no account of the God of his fathers: and he shall follow the lust of women, and he shall not regard any gods: for he shall rise up against all things. 38 But he shall worship the god Maozim in his place: and a god whom his fathers knew not, he shall worship with gold, and silver, and precious stones, and things of great price. 39 And he shall do this to fortify Maozim with a strange god, whom he hath acknowledged, and he shall increase glory and shall give them power over many, and shall divide the land gratis. 40 And at the time prefixed the king of the south shall fight against him, and the king of the north shall come against him like a tempest, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with a great navy, and he shall enter into the countries, and shall destroy, and pass through.
38 "The god Maozim"... That is, the god of forces or strong holds.
39 "And he shall increase glory"... He shall bestow honours, riches and lands, upon them that shall worship his god.
41 And he shall enter into the glorious land, and many shall fall: and these only shall be saved out of his hand, Edom, and Moab, and the principality of the children of Ammon. 42 And he shall lay his hand upon the lands: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 And he shall have power over the treasures of gold, and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt: and he shall pass through Libya, and Ethiopia. 44 And tidings out of the east, and out of the north shall trouble him: and he shall come with a great multitude to destroy and slay many. 45 And he shall fix his tabernacle Apadno between the seas, upon a glorious and holy mountain: and he shall come even to the top thereof, and none shall help him.
45 "Apadno"... Some take it for the proper name of a place: others, from the Hebrew, translate it his palace.
Michael shall stand up for the people of God: with other things relating to Antichrist, and the end of the world.
1 But at that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people: and a time shall come such as never was from the time that nations began even until that time. And at that time shall thy people be saved, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of those that sleep in the dust of the earth, shall awake: some unto life everlasting, and others unto reproach, to see it always. 3 But they that are learned shall shine as the brightness of the firmament: and they that instruct many to justice, as stars for all eternity. 4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time appointed: many shall pass over, and knowledge shall be manifold. 5 And I Daniel looked, and behold as it were two others stood: one on this side upon the bank of the river, and another on that side, on the other bank of the river.
3 "Learned"... Viz., in the law of God and true wisdom, which consists in knowing and loving God.
6 And I said to the man that was clothed in linen, that stood upon the waters of the river: How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? 7 And I heard the man that was clothed in linen, that stood upon the waters of the river: when he had lifted up his right hand, and his left hand to heaven, and had sworn, by him that liveth for ever, that it should be unto a time, and times, and half a time. And when the scattering of the band of the holy people shall be accomplished, all these things shall be finished. 8 And I heard, and understood not. And I said: O my lord, what shall be after these things? 9 And he said: Go, Daniel, because the words are shut up, and sealed until the appointed time. 10 Many shall be chosen, and made white, and shall be tried as fire: and the wicked shall deal wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand, but the learned shall understand.
11 And from the time when the continual sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination unto desolation shall be set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred ninety days, 12 Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh unto a thousand three hundred thirty-five days. 13 But go thou thy ways until the time appointed: and thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot unto the end of the days.
The history of Susanna and the two elders. This history of Susanna, in all the ancient Greek and Latin Bibles, was placed in the beginning of the book of Daniel: till St. Jerome, in his translation, detached it from thence; because he did not find it in the Hebrew: which is also the case of the history of Bel and the Dragon. But both the one and the other are received by the Catholic Church: and were from the very beginning a part of the Christian Bible.
1 Now there was a man that dwelt in Babylon, and his name was Joakim: 2 And he took a wife whose name was Susanna, the daughter of Helcias, a very beautiful woman, and one that feared God. 3 For her parents being just, had instructed their daughter according to the law of Moses. 4 Now Joakim was very rich, and had an orchard near his house: and the Jews resorted to him, because he was the most honourable of them all. 5 And there were two of the ancients of the people appointed judges that year, of whom the Lord said: Iniquity came out from Babylon from the ancient judges, that seemed to govern the people.
6 These men frequented the house of Joakim, and all that had any matters of judgment came to them. 7 And when the people departed away at noon, Susanna went in, and walked in her husband's orchard. 8 And the old men saw her going in every day, and walking: and they were inflamed with lust towards her: 9 And they perverted their own mind and turned away their eyes that they might not look unto heaven, nor remember just judgments. 10 So they were both wounded with the love of her, yet they did not make known their grief one to the other:
11 For they were ashamed to declare to one another their lust, being desirous to have to do with her. 12 And they watched carefully every day to see her. And one said to the other: 13 Let us now go home, for it is dinner time. So going out they departed one from another. 14 And turning back again, they came both to the same place: and asking one another the cause, they acknowledged their lust; and then they agreed upon a time, when they might find her alone. 15 And it fell out, as they watched a fit day, she went in on a time, as yesterday and the day before, with two maids only, and was desirous to wash herself in the orchard: for it was hot weather.
16 And there was nobody there, but the two old men that had hid themselves and were beholding her. 17 So she said to the maids: Bring me oil, and washing balls, and shut the doors of the orchard, that I may wash me. 18 And they did as she bade them: and they shut the doors of the orchard, and went out by a back door to fetch what she had commanded them, and they knew not that the elders were hid within. 19 Now when the maids were gone forth, the two elders arose, and ran to her, and said: 20 Behold the doors of the orchard are shut, and nobody seeth us, and we are in love with thee: wherefore consent to us, and lie with us.
21 But if thou wilt not, we will bear witness against thee, that a young man was with thee, and therefore thou didst send away thy maids from thee. 22 Susanna sighed, and said: I am straitened on every side: for if I do this thing, it is death to me: and if I do it not, I shall not escape your hands. 23 But it is better for me to fall into your hands without doing it, than to sin in the sight of the Lord. 24 With that Susanna cried out with a loud voice: and the elders also cried out against her. 25 And one of them ran to the door of the orchard, and opened it.
26 So when the servants of the house heard the cry in the orchard, they rushed in by the back door to see what was the matter. 27 But after the old men had spoken, the servants were greatly ashamed: for never had there been any such word said of Susanna. And on the next day, 28 When the people were come to Joakim her husband, the two elders also came full of wicked device against Susanna, to put her to death. 29 And they said before the people: Send to Susanna daughter of Helcias the wife of Joakim. And presently they sent. 30 And she came with her parents, and children, and all her kindred.
31 Now Susanna was exceeding delicate, and beautiful to behold. 32 But those wicked men commanded that her face should be uncovered, (for she was covered,) that so at least they might be satisfied with her beauty. 33 Therefore her friends and all her acquaintance wept. 34 But the two elders rising up in the midst of the people, laid their hands upon her head. 35 And she weeping looked up to heaven, for her heart had confidence in the Lord.
36 And the elders said: As we walked in the orchard alone, this woman came in with two maids, and shut the doors of the orchard, and sent away the maids from her. 37 Then a young man that was there hid came to her, and lay with her. 38 But we that were in a corner of the orchard, seeing this wickedness, ran up to them, and we saw them lie together. 39 And him indeed we could not take, because he was stronger than us, and opening the doors he leaped out: 40 But having taken this woman, we asked who the young man was, but she would not tell us: of this thing we are witnesses.
41 The multitude believed them as being the elders and the judges of the people, and they condemned her to death. 42 Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and said: O eternal God, who knowest hidden things, who knowest all things before they come to pass, 43 Thou knowest that they have borne false witness against me: and behold I must die, whereas I have done none of these things, which these men have maliciously forged against me. 44 And the Lord heard her voice. 45 And when she was led to be put to death, the Lord raised up the holy spirit of a young boy, whose name was Daniel.
46 And he cried out with a loud voice I am clear from the blood of this woman. 47 Then all the people turning themselves towards him, said: What meaneth this word that thou hast spoken? 48 But he standing in the midst of them, said: Are ye so foolish, ye children of Israel, that without examination or knowledge of the truth, you have condemned a daughter of Israel? 49 Return to judgment, for they have borne false witness against her. 50 So all the people turned again in haste, and the old men said to him: Come, and sit thou down among us, and shew it us: seeing God hath given thee the honour of old age.
51 And Daniel said to the people: Separate these two far from one another, and I will examine them. 52 So when they were put asunder one from the other, he called one of them, and said to him: O thou that art grown old in evil days, now are thy sins come out, which thou hast committed before: 53 In judging unjust judgments, oppressing the innocent, and letting the guilty to go free, whereas the Lord saith: The innocent and the just thou shalt not kill. 54 Now then, if thou sawest her, tell me under what tree thou sawest them conversing together. He said: Under a mastic tree. 55 And Daniel said: Well hast thou lied against thy own head: for behold the angel of God having received the sentence of him, shall cut thee in two.
56 And having put him aside, he commanded that the other should come, and he said to him: O thou seed of Chanaan, and not of Juda, beauty hath deceived thee, and lust hath perverted thy heart: 57 Thus did you do to the daughters of Israel, and they for fear conversed with you: but a daughter of Juda would not abide your wickedness. 58 Now therefore tell me, under what tree didst thou take them conversing together. And he answered: Under a holm tree. 59 And Daniel said to him: Well hast thou also lied against thy own head: for the angel of the Lord waiteth with a sword to cut thee in two, and to destroy you. 60 With that all the assembly cried out with a loud voice, and they blessed God, who saveth them that trust in him.
61 And they rose up against the two elders, (for Daniel had convicted them of false witness by their own mouth,) and they did to them as they had maliciously dealt against their neighbour, 62 To fulfill the law of Moses: and they put them to death, and innocent blood was saved in that day. 63 But Helcias and his wife praised God, for their daughter Susanna, with Joakim her husband, and all her kindred, because there was no dishonesty found in her. 64 And Daniel became great in the sight of the people from that day, and thenceforward. 65 And king Astyages was gathered to his fathers, and Cyrus the Persian received his kingdom.
The history of Bel, and of the great serpent worshipped by the Babylonians.
1 And Daniel was the king's guest, and was honoured above all his friends. 2 Now the Babylonians had an idol called Bel: and there were spent upon him every day twelve great measures of fine flour, and forty sheep, and sixty vessels of wine. 3 The king also worshipped him, and went every day to adore him: but Daniel adored his God. And the king said to him: Why dost thou not adore Bel? 4 And he answered, and said to him: Because I do not worship idols made with hands, but the living God, that created heaven and earth, and hath power over all flesh. 5 And the king said to him: Doth not Bel seem to thee to be a living god? Seest thou not how much he eateth and drinketh every day?
1 "The king's guest"... It seems most probable, that the king here spoken of was Evilmerodach, the son and successor of Nabuchodonosor, and a great favourer of the Jews.
6 Then Daniel smiled and said: O king, be not deceived: for this is but clay within, and brass without, neither hath he eaten at any time. 7 And the king being angry called for his priests, and said to them: If you tell me not, who it is that eateth up these expenses, you shall die. 8 But if you can shew that Bel eateth these things, Daniel shall die, because he hath blasphemed against Bel. And Daniel said to the king: Be it done according to thy word. 9 Now the priests of Bel were seventy, besides their wives, and little ones, and children. And the king went with Daniel into the temple of Bel. 10 And the priests of Bel said: Behold we go out: and do thou, O king, set on the meats, and make ready the wine, and shut the door fast, and seal it with thy own ring:
11 And when thou comest in the morning, if thou findest not that Bel hath eaten up all, we will suffer death, or else Daniel that hath lied against us. 12 And they little regarded it, because they had made under the table a secret entrance, and they always came in by it, and consumed those things. 13 So it came to pass after they were gone out, the king set the meats before Bel: and Daniel commanded his servants, and they brought ashes, and he sifted them all over the temple before the king: and going forth they shut the door, and having sealed it with the king's ring, they departed. 14 But the priests went in by night, according to their custom, with their wives and their children: and they ate and drank up all. 15 And the king arose early in the morning, and Daniel with him.
16 And the king said: Are the seals whole, Daniel? And he answered: They are whole, O king. 17 And as soon as he had opened the door, the king looked upon the table, and cried out with a loud voice: Great art thou, O Bel, and there is not any deceit with thee. 18 And Daniel laughed: and he held the king that he should not go in: and he said: Behold the pavement, mark whose footsteps these are. 19 And the king said: I see the footsteps of men, and women, and children. And the king was angry. 20 Then he took the priests, and their wives, and their children: and they shewed him the private doors by which they came in, and consumed the things that were on the table.
21 The king therefore put them to death, and delivered Bel into the power of Daniel: who destroyed him, and his temple. 22 And there was a great dragon in that place, and the Babylonians worshipped him. 23 And the king said to Daniel: Behold thou canst not say now, that this is not a living god: adore him therefore. 24 And Daniel said: I adore the Lord my God: for he is the living God: but that is no living god. 25 But give me leave, O king, and I will kill this dragon without sword or club. And the king said: I give thee leave.
26 Then Daniel took pitch, and fat, and hair, and boiled them together: and he made lumps, and put them into the dragon's mouth, and the dragon burst asunder. And he said: Behold him whom you worshipped. 27 And when the Babylonians had heard this, they took great indignation: and being gathered together against the king, they said: The king is become a Jew. He hath destroyed Bel, he hath killed the dragon, and he hath put the priests to death. 28 And they came to the king, and said: Deliver us Daniel, or else we will destroy thee and thy house. 29 And the king saw that they pressed upon him violently: and being constrained by necessity he delivered Daniel to them. 30 And they cast him into the den of lions, and he was there six days.
30 "The den of lions"... Daniel was twice cast into the den of lions; one under Darius the Mede, because he had transgressed the king's edict, by praying three times a day: and another time under Evilmerodach by a sedition of the people. This time he remained six days in the lions' den; the other time only one night.
31 And in the den there were seven lions, and they had given to them two carcasses every day, and two sheep: but then they were not given unto them, that they might devour Daniel. 32 Now there was in Judea a prophet called Habacuc, and he had boiled pottage, and had broken bread in a bowl: and was going into the field, to carry it to the reapers. 33 And the angel of the Lord said to Habacuc: Carry the dinner which thou hast into Babylon to Daniel, who is in the lions' den. 34 And Habacuc said: Lord, I never saw Babylon, nor do I know the den. 35 And the angel of the Lord took him by the top of his head, and carried him by the hair of his head, and set him in Babylon over the den in the force of his spirit.
32 "Habacuc"... The same, as some think whose prophecy is found among the lesser prophets but others believe him to be different.
36 And Habacuc cried, saying: O Daniel, thou servant of God, take the dinner that God hath sent thee. 37 And Daniel said: Thou hast remembered me, O God, and thou hast not forsaken them that love thee. 38 And Daniel arose and ate. And the angel of the Lord presently set Habacuc again in his own place. 39 And upon the seventh day the king came to bewail Daniel: and he came to the den, and looked in, and behold Daniel was sitting in the midst of the lions. 40 And the king cried out with a loud voice, saying: Great art thou, O Lord the God of Daniel. And he drew him out of the lions' den.
41 But those that had been the cause of his destruction, he cast into the den, and they were devoured in a moment before him. 42 Then the king said: Let all the inhabitants of the whole earth fear the God of Daniel: for he is the Saviour, working signs, and wonders in the earth: who hath delivered Daniel out of the lions' den.