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.
10 ἦσαν δὲ τῷ Βὴλ ἱερεῖς ἑβδομήκοντα χωρὶς γυναικῶν καὶ τέκνων. ἤγαγον δὲ τὸν βασιλέα εἰς τὸ εἰδώλιον·
11 καὶ παρετέθη τὰ βρώματα ἐνώπιον τοῦ βασιλέως καὶ τοῦ Δανιήλ, καὶ οἶνος κερασθεὶς εἰσηνέχθη καὶ παρετέθη τῷ Βήλ. καὶ εἶπεν Δανιήλ Σὺ αὐτὸς ὁρᾷς ὅτι κεῖται ταῦτα, βασιλεῦ· σὺ οὖν ἐπισφράγισαι τὰς κλεῖδας τοῦ ναοῦ, ἐπὰν κλεισθῇ. ἤρεσεν δὲ ὁ λόγος τῷ βασιλεῖ.
εἰδωλεῖον, idol’s temple
εἰσφέρω, to bring in
ἐπάν, as soon as
ἐπισφραγίζω, to seal
κεράννυμι, to mix
κλείω, to shut
παρατίθημι, to set before, serve
Translation and Commentary
10 Now there were seventy priests of Bel in addition to women and children. And they brought the king into the idol’s temple.
11 And the food was served in the presence of the king and Daniel, and mixed wine was brought in and set before Bel. And Daniel said, “You yourself, see these things, king; therefore, you must seal the bolts of the temple, as soon as it is shut.
See Matt. 14:21; 15:38 for constructions similar to χωρὶς γυναικῶν καὶ τέκνων. According to Carey, mixed wine could refer to wine diluted with water, but more likely, it refers to wine with added spices to alter its taste or bouquet (136). While κλείς often refers to a key, it can also mean bolt or bar (BrillDAG, 1135).
Want to read more? Continue to Bel and the Dragon Part 7
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