The TL:DR Bible: Daniel 4-6


Chapter 4:

Hey, everyone, Nebbi here. I’m writing this to let you all know about God and how great he is.

I had a dream that bothered me again, but no one could help me by telling me what it meant, until Daniel arrived. You’d think by now I would have called him first, but no. Anyway, Danny, I said… “Danny, you’ve got the spirit of the gods in you. You can tell me what it means.”

“Anyway, I had a dream of a great tree and every bird rested in it and every beast ate of its fruit, but then a Watcher came and said to cut it down, but leave the stump and bind it, and let the man’s mind be that of a beast and let him live in a field and be watered with the dew of heaven.”

Danny was quiet for a while.

“Hey, Dude, it’s cool. I’m not going to kill you for a bad interpretation.”

“Oh, King, I wish this was bad news for your enemies. The tree is you. God’s pretty pissed that you’re so proud, and he’s going to cut you down and make you go bonkers for seven seasons until you give him credit for giving you everything. So try to be humble, okay? Maybe God will relent.”

I lasted a year, then I looked at the city of Babylon and said, “Look at this city I have built.”

And God said, “Out you go into the fields.”

So I went bonkers, ate grass, grew out my hair and nails. Then after the appointed time, I came back to myself, lifted up my eyes to heaven and gave God credit for being able to do whatever the hell he wants me to do.

So praise the Lord, I guess.

 

Chapter 5:

Nebuchadnezzar the Second is dead. He was succeeded by Evil-Merodach, who was assassinated after two years by Nergal-shar-usur (Nebbi’s son-in-law) who reigned for four years, who was then succeeded by Labashi-Marduk, who was assassinated for being an incompetent boob, who was then succeeded by Nabonius.

Now Nabonius was out with the army a lot, so he left his son Belshazzar in charge of the city. At the time of Daniel 5, the Persians and the Median Empires were at the gates of Babylon preparing to take the city. So the king decides to throw a party. And he gets the idea that they should break out the dinnerware and cups his ancestor Nebbi took from Yahweh’s temple because giving the finger to Yahweh always ends well, right?

So they have their raucous party. “Sacrilegious wine tastes the best! WOO!”  And a hand shows up and writes something on the wall. But it’s scrambled or the hand has poor penmanship, so no one knows what it means.

“Hey! Why don’t we call Daniel? He used to know stuff back in the day.”

So Danny is called.

Belshazzar: “Hey, dude, interpret this stuff, and I’ll make you the third ruler in the kingdom.”

Danny: “I’m too old for this shit, so don’t worry about it. But I’ll tell you what the writing says. You pissed off Yahweh. You’re fucked. The kingdom belongs now to the Medes and the Persians. You’d think you damn fool kids would have learned from what happened to Nebuchadnezzar.”

Belshazzar: “Uh… okay then. I guess you’re the third ruler in the kingdom now.”

Danny: (Checking his watch) “For about another two or three hours anyway.”

Belshazzar: “What was that?”

Darius and Cyrus: “SURPRISE!”

Belshazzar: “ACK!”

 

Chapter 6:

So Cyrus the Great reigns and starts sending the Jews back home, then his son Cambyses the Second, then Bardiya, then Darius. That covers the span of about 18 years. So Danny, by this time, is a very old man.

Darius runs the place now and appoints 120 officials to help him do it and appoints Danny over them. But politics being what it is, some of those officials would like to kill Danny and take his place as Darius’ right hand man in Babylon.

But they can’t find any fault in his work, so they get an idea to Fiery Furnace the guy.

Officials: Hey, Darius. You’re so great. Wouldn’t it be cool if everyone in the kingdom couldn’t ask any of their gods for anything, but instead had to come to you with their requests?

Darius: No. No, that would suck. I run a damn Empire that stretches from parts of Europe to Africa. Why would I want my day being filled with a bunch of religious people asking me to help them find a damn parking space or their lost keys?

Officials: Come oooooon. Give it a month. All the cool kings are doing it.

Darius: Fine. I guess no one can pray except to me for a month.

Officials: Or they’ll be thrown into a pit with hungry lions.

Darius: Seems excessive, but okay.

Officials: Daniel prays to Yahweh three times a day! Gotcha!

Darius: Why did I listen to you idiots? Sorry, Danny. Hope your God is as powerful as you say.

Surprise. He is.

Darius: You’re still alive!

Danny: Yeah. God, you know.

Darius: I’m so happy. But I feel bad that the lions didn’t get to eat anything. Throw those officials in along with their wives and children. That doesn’t seem harsh, does it?

Danny: I’m cool with it.

God: Me too, surprisingly, because I’m not going to stop the lions from eating the women and children.

So some women and children get mauled and eaten by lions because their dads were assholes and God is kind of a dick. They leave that part out when they tell it in Sunday School.

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