Sunday, January 1, 2012

Daniel and the Dragon!

In the Prophet Daniel’s book, we see an amazing story of a dragon or giant serpent!  It is related in Chapter 14, along with the statue of Bel.  The King of Babylon was being deceived by the priests of Bel; they had a statue which would eat the food the worshippers would leave it!   Daniel challenged the idea that Bel’s statue ate food offerings.  So a test was made to find the truth.  Food was placed in the room of the statue, and sealed.  But before the Temple room was sealed, Daniel had ashes spread across the floor.  The next day the room was opened and the food gone.  However, Daniel’s cleverness revealed the secret doors the priests used to enter the room and eat the food.  As they saw the footsteps in the ash, which led to the doors.  Next the king showed off the Dragon he worshiped!

And there was a great dragon in that place, and the Babylonians worshipped him.

And the king said to Daniel: Behold thou canst not say now, that this is not a living god: adore him therefore.

And Daniel said: I adore the Lord my God: for he is the living God: but that is no living god.

But give me leave, O King, and I will kill this dragon without sword or club.  And the king said:  I give thee leave.

Then Daniel took pitch, and fat, and hair, and boiled them together:  and he made lumps, and put them in the dragon’s mouth, and the dragon burst asunder.  And he said:  Behold him whom you worshipped.  (Daniel 14:22 – 26)

Now we are left with a mystery, what was this “dragon”?  Perhaps it was an immensely large crocodile, or a large lizard like the Komodo dragon.  Maybe it was an extinct animal, unknown to us.  Could there have been a surviving dinosaurs living along the Euphrates river?  The size can be guessed by the fact Daniel was able to feed it the tar balls.  It could have been a small dinosaur, or a very large reptile.  At least big enough to impress the Babylonians into worshipping it! 

Now some will object to my citing this story as proof of “dragons” or surviving dinosaurs living in Daniel’s time.  There are a number of additional stories, some consider apocryphal works of the Bible.  These  other stories include “Bel and the Dragon”, “Susanna and the Elders”, and the “Song of the Three Young Men.”  But, what if there was proof Daniel wrote these books?  The historian of the Hebrews, Josephus (37 – 100 A.D.),  in his “The Antiquities of the Jews”; has a passage which reveals the truth!    

“But it is fit to give an account of what this man did, which is most admirable to hear,  for he was so happy as to have strange revelations made to him, and those as to one of the greatest of the prophets, insomuch , that while he was alive he had  the esteem and applause both of kings and of the multitude; and now he is dead , he retains a remembrance that will never fail, for the several books that he wrote and left behind are still read by us till this time; and from them we believe that Daniel conversed with God...”  Antiquities 10.11.7 {267}

So you see that the Prophet Daniel was right all along, he wrote several books.  Thus, we may believe in Dragons!

All quotes used with permission of publishers.
Source:  William Whiston, A.M., The Works of Josephus: New Updated Edition, Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1987)

The Holy Bible: Douay - Rheims (Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1899)

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