Bel and the Dragon 1:1After the death of King Astyages, Cyrus of Persia took over his kingdom.Bel and the Dragon 1:2 Daniel was one of King Cyrus's closest companions, and the king thought more highly of Daniel than of any other of his advisers.
Bel and the Dragon 1:3 The Babylonians had an idol named Bel. Each day the people had to provide Bel with an offering of 400 litres of fine flour, forty sheep, and 200 litres of wine. Bel and the Dragon 1:4 King Cyrus believed that Bel was a god, and each day he used to go and worship it.
But Daniel worshipped his own God.
Bel and the Dragon 1:5 One day the king asked Daniel, “Why don't you worship Bel?” Daniel answered, “I do not worship idols made with human hands. I worship only the living God, who created heaven and earth and is the Lord of all humanity.”
Bel and the Dragon 1:6 “And don't you believe that our god Bel is really alive?” asked the king. “Haven't you seen how much he eats and drinks every day?” Bel and the Dragon 1:7 Daniel laughed and said, “Don't be taken in, Your Majesty.
This god you call Bel is nothing more than clay covered with bronze; it has never eaten or drunk anything.”
Bel and the Dragon 1:8-10 At this the king became angry and called in all seventy of the priests of Bel. He said to them, “I warn you that you will be put to death, unless you can show me that it is Bel who is eating these offerings.
If you prove to me that it is Bel, then I will have Daniel put to death for claiming that Bel is not a god.” Daniel agreed to this proposal.
Bel and the Dragon 1:11.
Then they all went with the king into Bel's temple, where the priests said to the king, “Your Majesty, we will go out and let you place the food on the table and prepare the wine. When you leave, you may lock the door behind you and seal it with the royal seal.