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.
8 καὶ θυμωθεὶς ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐκάλεσε τοὺς προεστηκότας τοῦ ἱεροῦ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Παραδείξατε τὸν ἐσθίοντα τὰ παρασκευαζόμενα τῷ Βήλ· εἰ δὲ μή γε, ἀποθανεῖσθε,
9 ἢ Δανιὴλ ὁ φάσκων μὴ ἐσθίεσθαι αὐτὰ ὑπʼ αὐτοῦ. οἱ δὲ εἶπαν Αὐτὸς ὁ Βήλ ἐστιν ὁ κατεσθίων αὐτά· εἶπε δὲ Δανιὴλ πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα Γινέσθω οὕτως· ἐὰν μὴ παραδείξω ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ Βὴλ ὁ κατεσθίων ταῦτα, ἀποθανοῦμαι καὶ πάντες οἱ παρʼ ἐμοῦ.
θυμόω, to make angry
παραδείκνυμι, to reveal
παρασκευάζω, to prepare
φάσκω, to assert, claim
κατεσθίω, to devour
παραδείκνυμι, to reveal
Translation and Commentary
8 And being angered, the king called those directing the temple. And he said to them, “Reveal the one eating the things being prepared for Bel. But if not, indeed you will die
9 or Daniel, the one claiming these things are not to be eaten by it.” But they said, “It is Bel himself devouring these things.” But Daniel said to the king, “Let it be so. If I do not reveal that Bel is not the one eating these things. I will die, and all the ones from me.”
The break between verse 8 and 9 is awkward since it splits the king’s short speech in half. Daniel’s statement, καὶ πάντες οἱ παρʼ ἐμοῦ, uses παρά in with the genitive ἐμοῦ. In this usage, παρά should be understood as a “marker of one who originates” and can be glossed as from (“all those from me,” referring to Daniel’s progeny) (BDAG, 756). Moore notes that up until this point, the OG and Theodotion approximate each other. After verse nine, the overall difference between the two versions begins to widen (136).
Want to read more? Continue to Bel and the Dragon Part 6
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