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181

THE HISTORY OF BEL AND THE DRAGON.

ANALYSIS.

vv.
1, 2. Introduces Cyrus and Daniel.
3. How Bel was worshipped by the Babylonians.
4–7.

Discussion as to Bel’s worship6161In each case it is not clear from the text that the ‘worship’ consisted in anything else than supplying food. between the King and Daniel.

8, 9. The King enquires of Bel’s priests, and says that they or Daniel must die.
10–14. The test agreed upon to prove whether Bel partook of the offerings or no.
15–22.

Decided in the negative by discovery of the Priests’ trick, who are slain and their idol destroyed.

23. Introduces the other object of worship, the Dragon.
24–27.

Conversation as to its divinity between the King and Daniel, who, with the former’s permission, ingeniously slays it.

28, 29. Anger of the Babylonians with them both.
30–32. They cause Daniel to be cast into the lions’ den.
33–40. He is miraculously saved by Habakkuk.
40, 42. The King acknowledges the Lord, sets Daniel free, and delivers his persecutors to the fate intended for the prophet.

N.B.—It is unaccountable why the ‘heading’ in A. V. begins with v. 19. Cf. Sus. for a similar peculiarity.


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