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Daniel and the Dinosaur

There are few people in the Bible portrayed as being so wise as the Jewish man named Daniel. Solomon, from around 400 years earlier, was wiser, it is true - Solomon was said to be wiser than any who ever came before him, and any who would come after him, though Jesus acknowledged that He had greater wisdom than Solomon. But even Solomon, with all of the glory and greatness God granted him, was prone to sinning greatly in some areas of his life - his weakness for women chief among them, because he allowed his many foreign wives and concubines to erect worship shrines for their false gods right there in the land of Israel, and near Jerusalem itself.  This allowance was tantamount to giving the 'royal thumbs up' to the worship of false gods among the real God's chosen people.  I don't believe Israel was ever really free from the worship of false gods after this, if it had been before.  

But Daniel was just about the total package in terms of human ability, worth, loyalty to God, and holiness. He is given very high points for wisdom, and has the distinction of being one of the only major characters of the Bible whose good characteristics and actions aren't mentioned specifically to be counterbalanced by character flaws or unworthy actions of some type.

He was acknowledged even by his enemies and the kings of foreign lands as a man of exceedingly special managerial skills, talents, intellect, wisdom, and holiness. Yet he put God first, and showed both humility and courage in standing unshakable in his faith at times when others challenged it. He was similar to Jacob's son Joseph in some respects - perhaps even more accomplished, who knows?

Yet during the entire story of Daniel's life, so far as is spoken of in scripture, Daniel was a Hebrew hostage, a man who had physically been made into a eunuch when he was taken captive.  He sank from being young royalty in Israel in the beginning of his life to being almost the lowest and most abject thing you could be - a castrated slave. But from there, by the abilities and aid that God gave him, and the very good spirit he posessed, he rose to become a man of the highest distinction and importance among both the Babylonians, and decades later, among the Medes and Persians who conquered the Babylonians. Daniel was only a man, but he was an especially worthy man in God's eyes.

Before Daniel's life was over, God had used Daniel as a great prophet to his captive fellow Israelites, and as an example of the mighty powers and all-seeing wisdom of God to the peoples who held God's Israelites captive. Truly God was very angry with the Israelites, and He had told them before hand through the prophets - especially Jeremiah - that he was going to punish Judah for 70 years time by the hand of the Babylonians because they had turned away from Him and had become such an evil nation.  And God certainly did do just that. Nearly the whole nation of Israel was either killed or taken to Babylon as captives.

But....God also made very sure that the leaders of both the Babylonians and the Medo/Persian empire knew that the Israelites they held captive were watched over, even in their captivity, by a very protective and frighteningly powerful God. And Daniel was used as a chief instrument by God several times in getting this point across.

So, in summary, Daniel was Hebrew royalty as a young man, during an especially evil time in his nation's history. So evil that God had determined to allow Nebuchadnezzar, the young King of Babylon, to conquer and destroy Jerusalem (starting around 606 B.C. time frame). So when you begin to read the Book of Daniel in the Bible, it begins at the early days of young Daniel's captivity. He was assessed, as were three of his friends, as being Israelites of noteworthy potential. And Nebuchadnezzar found it a wise strategy to train up the best of the best from among those people he conquered to serve as potential advisors to his throne - or whatever other use he might find to put them through.  They were taught their captor's language, and schooled in the other branches of Babylonian knowledge. 

But though Daniel is one of the most interesting books of the Bible, I suggest to everyone that they read it from the Catholic Bible at least once. I'm writing this just to mention, especially to Protestants and non-believers and  undecided people, that Catholic bibles, and Orthodox bibles, and the Bibles of some other faiths as well have sections of the book of Daniel which are missing from most of the Protestant Bibles. And they are pretty interesting sections.

And though these certain sections were judged 'Apochryphal' by some groups, it is interesting to know they exist, and to read them. After all, where else can you read about a famous Bible prophet killing a possible dinosaur, for instance?

In a section of the Apochryphal portion of the 'Book of Daniel' sometimes called 'Bel and the Dragon', you'll find a portion that basically gives the following account:

King Astyages was gathered to his fathers, and then Cyrus of Persia received his kingdom. Daniel conversed with this king, and was honoured above all his friends.

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 six vessels of wine. The king worshipped it and went daily to adore it: but Daniel worshipped his own God. So the king said unto him, "Why don't you worship Bel?"

Daniel answered and said, "Because I can not worship idols made with hands, but only the living God, who created the heaven and the earth, and who is sovereign over all flesh."

So then the king said to him, "Don't you think that Bel is a living God? Don't you see how much he eats and drinks every day?"

Then Daniel smiled, and said, "O king, be not deceived: for this is but clay within, and brass without, and did never eat or drink any thing."

So the king was angry, and called for his priests, and said unto them, "If you don't tell who is eating up all of this food you shall die."

"But if you can prove to me that Bel devoures it, then Daniel shall die: for he has spoken blasphemy against Bel."

And Daniel said unto the king, "Let it be according to thy word."

There were 70 priests of Bel and in addition their wives and children. The king went with Daniel into the temple of Bel. Then Bel's priests said "We will now go out: but you, O king, set out the meat, and the wine, and shut the door well and seal it with your own signet. Tomorrow when you comest in, if you find that Bel has not eaten it all, then we will submit to death. Otherwise let that be the fate of Daniel, that spoke falsely against us.

And they didn't worry, because under the table they had made a secret entrance, whereby they always entered in and consumed those things.

So when they left, the king set meats before Bel. Meanwhile, Daniel had commanded his servants to bring ashes, and those they scattered in a thin layer throughout all the temple in the presence of the king alone: then everyone went out, and shut the door, and sealed it with the king's signet, and everyone departed.

During the night the priests with their wives and children entered like they always did, and ate and drink the food offerings.

Early in the morning the king arose, and Daniel met with him. And the king said, "Daniel, are the seals still intact?"

And he said, "Yes, O king, they are unbroken."

When they had opened the door, the king looked at the table where the food had been, and he cried with a deep voice, "Great art you, O Bel, and there is no deceit going on here."

But then Daniel laughed, and held the king back from entering the room. And Daniel said "Take a look at the floor, and see all the footsteps there."

The king looked down, and said, "I see the footsteps of men, women, and children."

This made the king angry. And so he gathered the priests with their wives and children, and made them show him the secret doors they entered through to get to the food on the table.

So, the king had them slain. And then he let Daniel do whatever he wished to the idol of Bel, and the temple it sat inside of. So, Daniel had both destroyed.

In that same place there was a great dragon, which the people of Babylon worshipped. The king said to Daniel, "Will you say that this is made of brass also? He lives, he eats, and drinks. You have to admit that he is a god that is alive, so then, worship him."

But Daniel to the king, "I will worship the Lord my God, because He is the living God. But give me permission, O king, and I shall slay this dragon without sword or staff."

The king said, "I give you permission."

So Daniel took pitch, and fat, and hair, and mixed them together, and made lumps out of it. Then, he put these in the dragon's mouth. Then, the dragon burst open.

Then Daniel said, "See, these are the gods you worship."


So, this is basically how it goes, and you can read it for yourself if you wish in the Catholic Bible, some Orthodox Bibles, and certain others. And if you search the internet you can find it as well, if you search something like "Daniel Bel Dragon " or "Bel and the Dragon" I think it's an intriguing addition to the Book of Daniel. And some faiths assessed it to be canonical.

But, I believe also that dinosaurs aren't an ancient creature from long ago, but creatures that have become extinct these last 6000 years - some types not too long ago at all.

It's true that 'experts' are divided on whether these sections of the book of Daniel ought to be considered canonical. But, I would certainly venture to say that if this event, set in the time period of about the 530's B.C., is a true event, then the creature that Daniel killed with his explosive Hebrew death-wafers was a large dinosaur of some type.

And it's quite possible that someone previous to Daniel's time had discovered that you could cause the creature's digestive tracks to rupture this way. But, it's certain that God would have known many a way to kill a dinosaur, having designed them himself!! Perhaps He suggested this method to Daniel.

©2017 Daniel Curry & 'Deeds of God' Website