Daniel 5: The writing on the wall

Years after Nebuchadnezzar had died, and Babylon had gone through several kings in quick succession, the last king of Babylon, King Belshazzar, was having a party. He thought that the party was lacking something, though, something special. But then he hit on the idea of having cool dishes, so he ordered that the Temple vessels be cleaned up and used to serve his guests.

The party was hoppin’. The music was rockin’. The concubines were laughing and tugging on the beards of officials. The queen was looking tipsy.  But everything screeched to a halt when a giant disembodied hand manifested and wrote MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARIAN. No one knew what it meant. The mood was killed. Unimportant guests quietly slinked out. The concubines buzzed back to the harem.  Continue reading “Daniel 5: The writing on the wall”

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Daniel 4: More bad dreams

Nebuchadnezzar had another bad dream. He dreamed of an enormous tree, full of fruit and sheltering many animals–like the Tree of Souls. But then an angel appeared and ordered, Cut down the tree and bronze the stump! Then the angel looked through Nebuchadnezzar and intoned, Let him swap minds with an animal and live like one for seven years!

No one could interpret the dream but Daniel. But Daniel didn’t want to upset the king. Nebuchadnezzar was all, It’s alright. Just give me the news.

Daniel answered, Um, well. I really wish this dream was about someone else, like the king’s enemies. But here goes. God is mad at you and has decided that you are going to become a crazy homeless man for seven years. But there’s hope! The roots left in the ground means you will be restored.  Continue reading “Daniel 4: More bad dreams”

Daniel 3: The fiery furnace

Some time later, Nebuchadnezzar had a giant golden statue erected on the plain of Dura. At the dedication ceremony, he decreed, Anytime music plays, you will fall on your face and worship the statue. Anyone who fails to do so will be thrown into a furnace! Then he cued the band. Everyone present fell on their faces and worshiped.

But later, some astrologers went to Nebuchadnezzar and were all, Those Jews you put in charge of the province, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? They DO NOT fall on their faces to worship the statue when music plays.

This enraged Nebuchadnezzar, and he had Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego arrested and dragged before him, and was all, Is it true? You do not worship when music plays? If you don’t I will have  you thrown into the palace furnace!

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were all, Whatever. God will protect us.  Continue reading “Daniel 3: The fiery furnace”

Daniel 2: Dream reader

Some time later, Nebuchadnezzar had a bad dream. So he called all of his enchanters, magicians, astrologers, and other psychics to tell him what it meant. They were all, Tell us the dream, o king, and we will interpret it for you.

But Nebuchadnezzar was all, No. You tell me the dream and tell me what it means.

The wise men were all, Surely the king is joking. Tell us the dream, sire, and we will tell its meaning.

Nebuchadnezzar was all, You guys are a bunch of fakes! If you’re really psychic, then you could tell me the dream and its meaning.

The wise men were all, With all due respect, no one can do what you’re asking.

This really pissed Nebuchadnezzar off, so he decreed that all magicians, wizards, astrologers, enchanters or interpreters of dreams should be executed immediately. Continue reading “Daniel 2: Dream reader”

Daniel 1: About those Jewish boys

In 597 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar deposed Jehoiakim, took the Jewish nobility hostage, and looted the Temple.

But Nebuchadnezzar was a generous man and believed that the barbarian Jews might be civilized, so he ordered his chief of staff to select all the likely Jewish lads for a three-year education program in which they would be taught the language and literature of Babylon. He even condescended that these Jewish scholars should be fed with the leftovers from his own royal table.

Among those chose were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, who were renamed Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, respectively. These boys were particularly devout and were revolted at the thought of not keeping kosher meals. So they begged the chief of staff to allow them eat vegetarian. Continue reading “Daniel 1: About those Jewish boys”

Ezekiel 17: An eagle and a cedar, or maybe a vine

God came to me and said, Human, I want you to tell everyone this story, so listen closely so you’ll remember it!

One day this beautiful eagle with rainbow feathers flew to Lebanon and broke off the top of a cedar tree. Then he flew to a prosperous city of merchants and planted that branch in the flood plain, where it grew into a beautiful flourishing grape vine! The eagle was pleased. But then another, bigger, more beautiful eagle came and landed next to the vine, and the fine started growing toward him and giving him all its fruit! So will this vine, torn between the love of two eagles, thrive? Or will it die?

You look confused, human.  Continue reading “Ezekiel 17: An eagle and a cedar, or maybe a vine”

Lamentations 4

Desolation haunts the streets;

Even the wealthy hunger.

Starvation’s haggard visage peeks from every window.

Old people lay in streets dying, children beg;

Ladies cook their babies and feast,

Aspiring to live one more day.

Tragedy consumes the city.

In the palace, the princes weep.

Only God can end the suffering

Nebuchadnezzar causes at Its whim.

Jeremiah 52: Recap

To review, Zedekiah became king when he was 21 years old and ruled for 11 years. He decided to rebel against Nebuchadnezzar in the ninth year of his reign. Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem for the next two years. By the end, people were starving. when the walls were finally breached, Zedekiah and his army tried to feel, but they were captured near Jericho.

Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah watch as all his sons and officials were put to death, then he ordered his eyes put out and to be chained in with the other prisoners to be force marched to Babylon. There Zedekiah rotted in prison for his remaining years. Continue reading “Jeremiah 52: Recap”