And king Astyages was gathered to his fathers, and Cyrus of Persia received his kingdom.
And Daniel conversed with the king and was honored above all his friends.
He answered and said, "Because I may not worship idols made with hands, but only the living God, who has created the heaven and the earth and has sovereignty over all flesh."
Then the king said to him, "Do you not think that Bel is a living God? Do you not see how much he eats and drinks every day?"
Then Daniel smiled and said, "O king, be not deceived; for this is only clay within and brass without, and did never eat or drink anything."
So the king was angry and called for his priests, and said to them, "If you do not tell me who it is that devours these expenses, you shall die!
Now the priests of Bel were seventy, besides their wives and children. And the king went with Daniel into the temple of Bel.
So when they had gone, the king set out the meats before Bel. Now Daniel had commanded his servants to bring ashes, and those they strewed throughout the entire temple in the presence of the king alone; then they went out and shut the door, and sealed it with the king's signet, and so departed.
Now in the night the priests with their wives and children came, as they were accustomed to do, and they ate and drank it all.
In the early morning the king arose, and Daniel with him.
And the king said, "Daniel, are the seals whole?" And he said, "Yes, O king, they are whole."
And as soon as he had opened the door, the king looked upon the table and cried with a loud voice, "Great you are, O Bel, and with you is no deceit at all!"
And the king said, "I see the footsteps of men, women, and children." And then the king was angry,
and he took the priests with their wives and children, who showed him the private doors where they came in and consumed such things as were on the table.
Therefore the king slew them, and delivered Bel into Daniel's power, who destroyed him and his temple.
And in that same place there was a great dragon, which they of Babylon worshipped.
And the king said to Daniel, "Will you also say that this is of brass? Lo, he lives, he eats and drinks; you cannot say that he is no living god; therefore, worship him."
Then Daniel said to the king, "I will worship the Lord my God; for he is the living God.
But give me permission, O king, and I shall slay this dragon without sword or staff." The king said, "I give you permission."
Then Daniel took pitch and fat and hair, and boiled them together, and made lumps thereof; this he put in the dragon's mouth, and so the dragon burst apart; and Daniel said, "Lo, these are the gods you worship."
When they of Babylon heard this, they took great indignation and conspired against the king, saying, "The king has become a Jew and he has destroyed Bel; he has slain the dragon and put the priests to death."
So they came to the king and said, "Deliver Daniel to us or else we will destroy you and your house."
Now when the king saw that they pressed him severely, being constrained, he delivered Daniel to them;
And in the den there were seven lions, and they had given them every day two carcasses and two sheep, which then were not given to them, to the intent that they might devour Daniel.
And Habbakuk said, "Lord, I never saw Babylon; neither do I know where the den is."
Then the angel of the Lord took him by the crown, and carried him by the hair of his head, and through the vehemence of his spirit set him in Babylon over the den.
And Habbakuk cried, saying, "O Daniel, Daniel, take the dinner which God has sent you."
Then the king cried with a loud voice, saying, "Great are you, Lord God of Daniel, and there is no other beside you!"
And he drew him out, and cast those who were the cause of his destruction into the den; and they were devoured in a moment before his face.