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.
δαπανάω, to spend
βιβρώσκω, to eat
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