Daniel - Chapter 14
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1 When King Astyages joined his ancestors, Cyrus of Persia succeeded him.
5 'Why do you not worship Bel?' the king asked Daniel. 'I do not worship idols made by human hand,' Daniel replied, 'I worship the living God who made heaven and earth and who is lord over all living creatures.'
11 The priests of Bel said to him, 'We shall now go out, and you, Your Majesty, will lay out the meal and mix the wine and set it out. Then, lock the door and seal it with your personal seal. If, when you return in the morning, you do not find that everything has been eaten by Bel,let us be put to death; otherwise let Daniel, that slanderer!'
14 Daniel made his servants bring ashes and spread them all over the temple floor, with no other witness than the king. They then left the building, shut the door and, sealing it with the king's seal, went away.
16 The king was up very early next morning, and Daniel with him.
19 But Daniel laughed; and, restraining the king from going in any further, he said, 'Look at the floor and take note whose footmarks these are!'
21 and angrily ordered the priests to be arrested, with their wives and children. They then showed him the secret door through which they used to come and take what was on the table.
22 The king had them put to death and handed Bel over to Daniel who destroyed both the idol and its temple.
27 Whereupon, Daniel took some pitch, some fat and some hair and boiled them up together, rolled the mixture into balls and fed them to the dragon; the dragon swallowed them and burst. Daniel said, 'Now look at the sort of thing you worship!'
28 The Babylonians were furious when they heard about this and rose against the king. 'The king has turned Jew,' they said, 'he has allowed Bel to be overthrown, and the dragon to be killed, and he has put the priests to death.'
29 So they went to the king and said, 'Hand Daniel over to us or else we shall kill you and your family.'
30 They pressed him so hard that the king found himself forced to hand Daniel over to them.
31 They threw Daniel into the lion pit, and there he stayed for six days.
38 And Daniel said, 'You have kept me in mind, O God; you have not deserted those who love you.'
42 He then had Daniel released from the pit and the plotters of Daniel's ruin thrown in instead, where they were instantly eaten before his eyes.
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 139:1-3, 13-14, 14-15
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