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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

Bel and the Dragon (Chapter 14 of the Greek Version of Daniel) - Introduction

Bel and the Dragon appears at the end of the Greek and Latin versions of Daniel, as ch. 13 in Theodotion and as ch. 14 in the Septuagint * and Vulgate. * It is part of the Roman Catholic book of Daniel and the Apocrypha * of Protestant Bibles, but it does not appear in Jewish Bibles. It appears to be a combination of two originally separate satirical narratives * concerning Bel (vv. 1–22) and the Dragon or Serpent (vv. 23–42). It appears to draw upon the narratives concerning Nebuchadnezzar's statue in Dan 3 and Daniel in the lions' den in Dan 6 , but its primary intention is to parody idol worship (see Isa 44.9–20 ).

Both narratives seem to presuppose a Hebrew or Aramaic * original that was later translated into Greek. The sympathetic portrayal of Cyrus and the lampooning of the Babylonian cult suggests that the narratives * were composed in the early second century BCE, prior to the suppression of Judaism by Antiochus IV.

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