Tag Archives: Daniel

Expanded Daniel

The Book of Expanded Daniel in the BibleSome versions of the Bible include additional text for the book of Daniel, which isn’t found in most Protestant versions of the Bible. This additional text rounds out the story of Daniel and gives deeper insight into his life and faith.

This complete text of Daniel includes three additional sections inserted into the book:

Prayers in the Fiery Furnace: Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (better known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) are thrown into an inferno after refusing to bow down to the king’s statue. The intent is their execution, but God protects them. Much to the king’s astonishment, they walk around in the furnace, unharmed.

As they do, they sing (or pray). We find their words inserted into the text after Daniel 3:24. First we read Azariah’s confident prayer, followed by a bold refrain from all three. Amazed, the king calls them to come out of the furnace and then, he, too, affirms God, which is tacked on after Daniel 3:30.

Susanna: Listed as Daniel 13, this chapter focuses on the life and trials of the righteous Susanna, wrongly accused of adultery and sentenced to death. The young Daniel plays a pivotal role in her story, which is likely why this account is often included in the book of Daniel.

As the people march Susanna off to her execution, Daniel receives a revelation from God. Then Daniel boldly interrupts the procession and loudly proclaims her innocence. Now having the people’s attention, Daniel then proceeds to discredit the accuracy of the two corrupt judges who gave false testimony against Susanna.

In the end, the men are executed, Susanna is saved, and Daniel is celebrated.

Bel and the Dragon: Listed as Daniel 14, this account takes place much later in Daniel’s life. Having risen to a position of power, and gaining many enemies due to his faith and his success, King Cyrus and Daniel discuss his beliefs.

First the king asserts that Bel is a living god, but Daniel proves this not to be true. This results in the execution of the prophets of Bel, along with their families, and the razing of the temple of Bel.

Then Cyrus shifts attention to a great dragon that the people worship as a living god. Daniel also dismisses the dragon and brings about the dragon’s death.

Incensed, Daniel’s enemies pressure the king to throw Daniel into a pit of lions. This time he stays there for six days. Again God keeps him safe. On the seventh day, the king frees Daniel and executes his detractors.

The expanded version of Daniel is an Apocrypha text and not included in all versions of the Bible. The New Jerusalem Bible, New American Bible (NABRE), Douay-Rheims (DRA), and Eastern Orthodox Bibles all include the expanded version of Daniel. The Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, which was widely used in Jesus’s day, also contains the expanded text of Daniel.

A few versions of the Bible, such as the original Authorized King James Version (KJV), the Revised Standard Version (RSV), Common English Bible (CEB), and the Ethiopian Bible all pull out these three sections and include them as separate one-chapter books: The Song of the Three Holy Children, Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon.

For more information, see why “Christians Should Consider the Entire Bible.”

The Prayer of Azariah (Song of the Three Young Men)

The Book of The Prayer of Azariah (Song of the Three Young Men) in the BibleThe Revised Standard Version (RSV), Ethiopian Bible, and original Authorized King James Version (KJV) all include The Prayer of Azariah, but this book isn’t found in most other versions of the Bible.

Going by different names in various versions, The Prayer of Azariah also goes by Song of the Three Young Men or The Song of the Three Holy Children.

In The Prayer of Azariah, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (better known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) are thrown into an inferno after refusing to bow to the king’s statue. The intent is their execution, but God protects them. Much to the king’s astonishment, they walk around in the furnace, unharmed.

As they do, they sing (or pray). This book records their words. First, we read Azariah’s confident prayer, followed by a bold refrain from all three. Amazed, the king calls them to come out of the furnace, and then he too affirms God.

The Prayer of Azariah is an Apocrypha book and not included in all versions of the Bible. The Revised Standard Version (RSV), Common English Bible (CEB), Wycliffe Bible (WYC), Ethiopian Bible, and the original Authorized King James Version (KJV) all include The Prayer of Azariah. However, The Prayer of Azariah was removed from the KJV almost two centuries after it was first published.

The New Jerusalem Bible, New American Bible (NABRE), and Douay-Rheims (DRA) also include this text, but list it as part of Daniel, specifically as part of Daniel 3. The Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, which was widely used in Jesus’s day, also contains this text, but include it as part of Daniel.

For more information, see why “Christians Should Consider the Entire Bible.”

Susanna

The Book of Susanna in the BibleThe Revised Standard Version (RSV), Ethiopian Bible, and original Authorized King James Version (KJV) all include the book of Susanna, but it isn’t found in most other versions of the Bible.

Susanna focuses on the pious life and crooked trial of the righteous Susanna, wrongly accused of adultery and sentenced to die. A young Daniel plays a pivotal role in her story.

As the people march Susanna off to her execution, Daniel receives a revelation from God. Then Daniel boldly interrupts the procession and loudly proclaims her innocence. Now having the people’s attention, Daniel then proceeds to discredit the accuracy of the two corrupt judges who gave false testimony against Susanna.

In the end, the two men who lied about her are executed, Susanna’s life is spared and her dignity restored, and Daniel is celebrated.

Susanna is an Apocrypha book and not included in all versions of the Bible. The Revised Standard Version (RSV), Common English Bible (CEB), Wycliffe Bible (WYC), Ethiopian Bible, and the original Authorized King James Version (KJV) all include Susanna. However, Susanna was removed from the KJV almost two centuries after it was first published.

The New Jerusalem Bible, New American Bible (NABRE), and Douay-Rheims (DRA) also include this text, but list it as part of Daniel, specifically as Daniel 13. The Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, which was widely used in Jesus’s day, also contains this text, but include it as part of Daniel.

For more information, see why “Christians Should Consider the Entire Bible.”

Bel and the Dragon

The Book of Bel and the Dragon in the BibleThe Revised Standard Version (RSV), Ethiopian Bible, and original Authorized King James Version (KJV) all include the book Bel and the Dragon, but it isn’t found in most other versions of the Bible.

Bel and the Dragon takes place later in Daniel’s life. Having risen to a position of power, and gaining many enemies due to his faith and his success, King Cyrus and Daniel discuss his beliefs.

First, the king asserts that Bel is a living god, but Daniel proves Bel is nothing more than an inert idol. This results in the execution of the prophets of Bel, along with their families, and the razing of the temple of Bel.

Then Cyrus shifts the attention to a great dragon that the people worship as a living god. Daniel also dismisses the dragon and brings about the dragon’s death.

Incensed, Daniel’s enemies pressure the king to throw Daniel into a pit of lions. This time he stays there for six days. During this time, the prophet Habakkuk is carried by an angel from Judea to Daniel with food. Again, God keeps Daniel safe from the hungry lions. On the seventh day, the king frees Daniel and executes his detractors.

Bel and the Dragon is an Apocrypha book and not included in all versions of the Bible. The Revised Standard Version (RSV), Common English Bible (CEB), Wycliffe Bible (WYC), Ethiopian Bible, and the original Authorized King James Version (KJV) all include Bel and the Dragon. However, Bel and the Dragon was removed from the KJV almost two centuries after it was first published.

The New Jerusalem Bible, New American Bible (NABRE), and Douay-Rheims (DRA) also include this text, but list it as part of Daniel, specifically as Daniel 14. The Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, which was widely used in Jesus’s day, also contains this text, but include it as part of Daniel.

For more information, see why “Christians Should Consider the Entire Bible.”

Daniel

The Book of Daniel in the BibleThe book of Daniel begins with six stories about Daniel and his three friends; these are found in the first six chapters of the book. Included in this section is the familiar story of Daniel in the lion’s den.

The last half of the book (chapters 7 to 12) contains four visions from God about the future. Because of this, the book of Daniel, along with the book of Revelation, is sometimes called an apocalyptic book, or book about the end times. These visions are easy to understand on a basic level, but their deeper meaning can be challenging to fully grasp.

In some versions of the Bible (the Apocrypha) there are two additional chapters included in the book of Daniel, giving more accounts of his life and actions.

Four People Stripped of the Name God Gave Them

In my last post, Three People Given a New Name by God, we looked at God renaming people to give them a new identity.

Today we will consider the opposite: people whose names were changed in order to strip away their identity. I’m talking about a young man named Daniel and his three friends. These lads were forcibly relocated after their country was overthrown. They were removed from their families and all they knew in order to be indoctrinated into the king’s service.

In a final act of reprogramming, they were stripped of their Hebrew names and given new identities. This was not to encourage them or elevate the trajectory of their lives as God did with Abraham, Sarah, and Israel, but an attempt to remove every last bit of who they were, including their faith.

Daniel became Belteshazzar, Hananiah became Shadrach, Mishael became Meshach, and Azariah became Abednego.

We live in a world that continually gives us names, names to push us down, names to remove the identity God gave us or how he sees us. Though these may be in the form of nicknames, such as “Shorty,” “Gomer,” or “Blondie,” they are more often labels: loser, worthless, klutz, or stupid.

Daniel and his friends didn’t let others reprogram them from who God made them to be — and neither should we.

[Daniel 1:6-7]

What About Daniel and Esther?

The discussion of the text that is not found in all Bibles concludes by addressing the books of Daniel and Esther.

In some versions of the Bible, the book of Daniel contains 12 chapters, while in others there are 14.  These two chapters are both interesting and insightful.

Daniel 13 is the story of upright Suzanna, who is falsely accused of adultery and sentenced to death.  God intervenes by revealing to a young Daniel the duplicity of her accusers; Daniel is able to expose their false testimony and save Suzanna.

Daniel 14 contains two stories of Daniel later in his life.  First, he shows that the Babylonian god Bel is not living; he then kills Bel’s prophets and destroys the temple.  Second, he proceeds to kill a dragon that the people worship.  His detractors throw him in a pit of lions for a week; God again intervenes to save Daniel.

As far as Esther, the two accounts seem like a condensed version and an unabridged version.  The longer version contains a prelude and a postscript, along with helpful insertions throughout, including the edicts that where issued and the prayers of Mordecai and Esther.  The result is a fuller and more detailed understanding of what took place.

These additional passages are found in The Jerusalem Bible, as well as other versions.

Seeking God’s Favor

There are several places in the Bible that talk about seeking God’s favor.  In reading these sections it becomes clear that when people seek God’s favor, good things result; when they don’t, bad things result.

For example, Hezekiah sought God’s favor and disaster was averted, whereas the Jewish people did not seek God’s favor and spent 70 years in captivity.

What isn’t readily apparent is how one goes about seeking God’s favor, but Daniel provides the answer.  It is simply by stop doing bad things and acknowledging his truth.

Seeking God’s favor isn’t hard, but it’s not often done.

[Jeremiah 26:19, Daniel 9:13]

Don’t Be Afraid – It’s Just an Angel

Our perceptions of angels are likely skewed by paintings we have seen.  While many of these paintings are great works of art, they cannot begin to capture just how breathtaking and astounding angels must be.

Consider Daniel’s angelic encounter: “His body was like [a precious gem], his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.”  I’ve never seen a picture like that!

Now consider Daniel’s reaction to his angelic encounter:

  • no strength, grew deathly pale, very weak (v8)
  • trembling (v10-11)
  • speechless (v15)
  • overcome with anguish; helpless (v16)
  • strength is gone; can hardly breathe (v17)

Plus, this was likely a “junior” angel, as he required help from a more powerful angel just to reach Daniel.  How much more intense would it have been if the “senior” angel showed himself.  It is no surprise then, that one of the first things angels say when they reveal themselves is “don’t be afraid.”

However, if an encounter with an angel produces this sort of intense, overwhelming, heart-stopping reaction, imagine what an encounter with the God who created them would be like.

[Daniel 10:4-17]

Are You High?

Do you ever wonder what God thinks of you?  Unfortunately, I suspect that most people who consider such a question reach the wrong conclusion.

But what if an angel were to show up and provide a supernatural perspective about you?

It’s happened:

An angel tells Daniel that he is “highly esteemed.”  This doesn’t just happen once, but is said three times on two different occasions.  As a result of being highly esteemed, great insight about the future is revealed to Daniel.

A few centuries later, an angel tells a young girl that she is “highly favored”; her name is Mary.  As a result of being highly favored, Jesus is born and the world is forever changed.

Although we can’t earn our salvation, we apparently can be esteemed and favored by God for our actions and dedication; implicitly, the opposite must also be true.

While we may never have an angel visit us to say what God thinks of us, the Bible does reveal this truth.  But to find out, you can’t read it as a legal document or an instruction manual; embrace the Bible as a narrative, God’s narrative to you.

[Daniel 9:23 and 10:11&19, Luke 1:28]