Bel and the Dragon Reader: Part 4

by | Mar 20, 2020 | Bel and the Dragon Greek Reader, Septuagint, Uncategorized

Series Introduction

I’m facilitating an online Koine Greek reading group and we’re working through the short and apocryphal book of Bel and the Dragon. The text we’re using is the Old Greek (OG) version from Henry Barclay Swete’s 1909 edition of The Old Testament in Greek: According to the Septuagint. I will be posting the text here each week with accompanying vocabulary glosses for words that appear fewer than fifty times in the Greek New Testament. I will also try to throw in some brief commentary and illustrations.

6 εἶπεν δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς αὐτῷ Οὗτος οὖν οὐκ ἔστι θεός; οὐχ ὁρᾷς ὅσα εἰς αὐτὸν δαπανᾶται καθʼ ἑκάστην ἡμέραν;

7 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Δανιήλ Μηδαμῶς, μηδείς σε παραλογιζέσθω· οὗτος γὰρ ἔσωθεν μὲν πήλινός ἐστιν, ἔξωθεν δὲ χαλκοῦς· ὀμνύω δέ σοι Κύριον τὸν θεὸν τῶν θεῶν, ὅτι οὐθὲν βέβρωκε πώποτε οὗτος.

Verse 6

δαπανάω, to spend

Verse 7

βιβρώσκω, to eat

Δανιηλ, Daniel

ἔσωθεν, from within, inside

ἔξωθεν, from outside, outside

μηδαμῶς, by no means, certainly not

ὀμνύω, to swear

οὐθείς, nothing, no one

παραλογίζομαι, to deceive

πήλινος, made of clay

πώποτε, ever, at any time

χαλκοῦς, made of copper/brass/bronze

Translation and Commentary

6 And the king said to him, “Now is this not a god? Do you not see how much is being spent on him each day?”

7 And Daniel said to him, “By no means! Let no one deceive you. For this one inside is made of clay, but outside made of bronze. And I swear to you by the Lord God of gods that this one has never eaten nothing.

μηδαμῶς appears only twice in the New Testament (Acts 10:14; 11:8), both referring to the same event. Louw and Nida call this word a marker of strongly emphatic negation (665). The paired or correlative conjunctions μὲν and δὲ have the sense of “one the one hand…but on the other hand.” According to Wallace, the connection suggests a “contrast in balance” (672). It can be left untranslated for smoother reading. 

Want to read more? Continue to Bel and the Dragon Part 5

For more resources on Bel and the Dragon try the following:

Bel and the Dragon in A New English Translation of the Septuagint

An Introduction to the Apocrypha by Bruce M. Metzger

Daniel, Esther, and Jeremiah: The Additions by Carey A. Moore

Daniel: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel by John J. Collins

Brent Niedergall

Pastor, Grammarian, Runner

Brent Niedergall, MDiv, is Chief Editor at Positive Action for Christ in Whitakers, North Carolina. He’s gone to war in Afghanistan, felled towering trees, and parsed Greek verbs.


Brent Niedergall