Asterius of Amasea: Sermons (1904) pp. 72-110. Sermon 3: Against Covetousness
Texts Quoted by Asterius in the Body of his Discourse
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.----Luke 16: 13.
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God----Eph.5:5.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.----1 Tim. 6 : 10.
And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.----Luke 12: 15-21.
CHRISTIANS and sharers of a heavenly calling,1 you country folk, and all who come from the towns, you who in concord have gathered at the present feast, ----for by a general address I embrace you all,----has each one of you thoughtfully considered and realized why we are assembled? And why are martyrs honored by the construction of notable buildings and by these annual assemblies, and what end did our fathers have in view when they ordained the things we see, and left the established custom to their descendants? Is it not evident to one who concentrates his thought |76 on this subject even for a short time, that these things have been given permanent form to rouse us to pious emulation, and that the feasts constitute public schools for our souls, in order that while we honor the martyrs, we may learn to imitate their sturdy piety; that lending the ear to the gathered teachers, we may learn some useful thing which we did not know before,----either the certainty of some doctrine, or the explanation of some difficult Scripture, ----or may hear some discourse that will improve our morals?
But you seem to me to have abandoned your care for virtue, to have forgotten your zeal on behalf of your souls, and to have devoted all your thought to the rubbish of mammon and the business of the markets; some bargaining yourselves; some greedily haggling with competing dealers in order to reduce their prices. But transfer your |77 love to the church, Abandon the love of money, that mad passion of the market. Turn from it as from a disorderly courtezan who, embellished with foreign stuffs and with the brilliant colors of the apothecary, smiles upon the multitude. Love the church, divine and discreet, modestly attired, with look august and grave. For thus Solomon says in the book of Proverbs, "Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee." 2 Do not pass her by with contempt, nor deem the things that lie near us on this table3 of little worth because it is possible for you to procure them freely. But desire them all the more because we do not sit, as hucksters, with balance and scales; but seek only one gain,----the salvation of the hearer.
There has been read to us from the Acts |78 the speech of Paul to Festus and Agrippa, ----Paul the faithful apostle and wise speaker.4 You doubtless saw, my hearer, if you gave heed, how he boldly declares the truth, but, mingling deference to Agrippa with his boldness, he softens the harsh tribunal to gentleness, subduing them by the manner of his speech, as wild beasts by song. Zechariah, too, has prophesied to-day, opening to us the door of the great mysteries of the Only-begotten, by the stone with the seven quick-glancing eyes, and by the golden candlestick with its seven lamps, and the trunks of the two olive trees.5 There are many kindred Scriptures full of profit for us, into all of which I wished to go that I might show you the abundance of the spiritual feast. But I must fulfil the promise that I made yesterday. For after we had brought many accusations against |79 covetousness, but had scarcely laid bare its vanity, we deferred until to-day the proof of the charges. Listen, therefore, and show yourselves wise judges of the truth; for your decision affects your own salvation, not that of others; and each of you casts his vote of condemnation against his own soul, as though driving it out of house or town.
Covetousness, then, is not simply being mad for money, and other possessions, wishing to add to what you have that to which you have no right, but, to speak more broadly, it is the desire to have in every transaction more than is due or belongs to you. And you know that the devil was the first to have this fault; for he was an archangel, and appointed to the most honorable life and station; but the arrogant creature conceived of absolute rule, and rebellion against God, and was |80 thereafter cast down from heaven, and, falling into this atmosphere of earth, he became your malicious neighbor. So he did not attain the divinity to which he aspired, and he lost the rank which he had enjoyed of being archangel; an unfaithful servant, changed by gradually increasing audacity into a robber;----the dog of the Greek fable, who was both deprived of his meat and failed to grasp the shadow----for how could he grasp an intangible thing?
After him, the first man was beguiled into the love of pleasure, and by eating the forbidden fruit lost immortality,6 as Esau afterward lost his birthright for a dish of pottage.7 And love of more introduced into our life these languages of ours, the many tongues of men.8 For men who through plenty had become wanton, |81 thinking that the heavens were accessible to them, foolishly made a preposterous tower for mounting up to the sky, and so caused mankind, which had been of one language, to speak with different tongues; in seeking more than they had, they themselves were not only confounded but left to mankind the weariness of hearing unintelligible tongues, and of searching for their interpretation.
And what of Pharaoh? How came he to fall into difficulties and to be afflicted with plagues? Was it not through covetousness, through the desire of being lord over a strange people which by no means belonged to his kingdom? And, since he did not let those go who belonged to another, he lost those who were his own; some in the smiting of the first-born and others in the pursuit through the sea. For I do not mention the rivers flowing blood, |82 and the infinite generation of frogs, and the destruction wrought by locusts, and the eruption of boils, and the death of four-footed beasts, and all the evil to which Egypt was condemned on account of her ruler's covetousness. 9
Again, somewhere else I have learned the outcome of this sin, how leprosy in a moment spread over the body of the covetous. Recall with me, if you are historically inclined, and fond of hearing of Elisha's deeds, how Naaman the Syrian bathed in the Jordan, and was healed of his leprosy, and how his malady passed over upon Gehazi, the prophet's servant, a covetous and foolish young man, who received raiment and silver for his master's free act of healing.10 How did Absalom, that fiery and impetuous young man, son of an indulgent father, become a parricide? Was |83 it not by prematurely seeking the inheritance of the kingdom and leaping like a robber upon what Was another's? 11 And Judas, also,----what drove him out from the company of the apostles, and made him a traitor instead of an apostle? Was it not the treasury at first dishonestly administered, and then the getting of the shameful price? 12 Why does the Acts of the Apostles tell in tragic vein of Ananias and Sapphira? Is it not because they were thieves of what was their own, and violators of their own offerings? 13 The day will soon fail me if I try to enumerate the servants of covetousness.
But now, leaving ancient history, let us interrogate the experience of daily life, and learn what sort of a creature it recognizes in covetousness, and how hard it is to get |84 rid of; for whomsoever it seizes, ever waxing but never waning, it grows old with its victims and abides with them to the end.
The lustful and the lover of his body, even if he be for a long time mad in his desires, when he becomes old, or sees the object of his affection, his body, now aged and the bloom departed, finds that there is a limit to his disorder. The glutton himself withdraws from his indulgence when surfeited, or when his digestive organs become weak, and their intense desire for food is gone. The ambitious man after having attained great notoriety ceases to desire to show himself off. But the disease of covetousness is an evil hard to rid one's self of. And just as this ivy, the plant flourishing and ever green, creeping up the trees that grow near, coils tight about the trunks wherever it touches----and even if they suffer harm or wither, it does not |85 die, unless some one with an axe severs its serpent-like coils----so it is not easy to free the soul from covetousness, whether the body be youthful or beginning to grow old, unless some sober consideration enter in and like a knife cut off the disease.
The covetous man is odious to the members of his household, severe to his domestics, useless to his friends, ungracious to strangers, troublesome to his neighbors, a sorry companion to his wife, a penurious rearer of children, a bad master of himself; at night full of anxiety, by day absorbed, talking to himself like one demented; abounding in wealth, yet groaning as though in need; not enjoying what he has, and yet seeking what he has not; not using his own, yet casting avaricious eyes upon the property of others. Such a man has a great flock of sheep that fills the folds in which it is penned, and covers the plains |86 on which it pastures. And if a single sheep belonging to his neighbor appear in good flesh, taking no notice of his own vast flock he lays greedy siege to that one sheep of his neighbor. The same is true in the case of his kine and of his horses; nor is it otherwise in the matter of his land. The house is crowded with everything, but nothing is made any use of. For it is impossible for a greedy person to have any enjoyment, but his house is almost like a grave. For see, graves are often full of silver and gold, but no one uses the riches. The body is not sustained by them; the soul finds no satisfaction in them; for alms are not scattered by the right hand of the dead.
Now let some one who has been seized with this disease of covetousness tell me what is the object of this toil for gain? For I know that many with whom I am |87 acquainted, love money more when they are sick than when they are in health. If the doctor prescribes for their recovery softie inexpensive medicine, such as parsley or thyme or anise, which can be procured without expense, they readily heed his directions. But if he. mentions some drug, the ingredients of which are rich and complex, and they are sent to the apothecary or the perfumer to purchase it, they give up their, lives rather than open their purses. For being earthly-minded they think the possession of earthly things to be life itself. These men are profoundly depressed by general prosperity and delighted by general distress. They pray that intolerable burdens of taxation may be imposed by public proclamation that they may increase their money by usury. They want to see their neighbors throttled by money-lenders, in order that they may secure for |88 themselves their farms, their chattels, or live stock, when through necessity they are thrown on the market at a low price. And they keep continually looking up at the sky, like those philosophers whose work it is to investigate astronomical phenomena, not studying the movement of a star, nor trying to observe what house is occupied by one of the planets,14 but curious about the state of the atmosphere, whether the signs that present themselves promise a downfall of rain or a drought. And if they see any portent of any calamity threatening to fall on the community at large, they rejoice over it. They gather everything into their warehouses, which they closely seal and secure with double bars, while they continually measure and reckon up their stores. And while the covetous man |89 cherishes such expectation and in his mind's eye sees himself rich, if a thick cloud arise, he is frightened as though danger were imminent. If showers besprinkle the earth he begins to weep. And if there comes rain enough to mitigate the drought, it makes him perfectly miserable. Thereafter in all he does he goes about cogitating on the grain, as on a son in peril, thinking by what means, by what device it may be preserved for a long time, and escape danger by insects. But when he sees that the weather is dry, as physicians treat persons wasting away by perspiration, spreading out his grain he stirs and freshens it, toilsomely tends it, devises a shelter against the noonday heat, and strips off the screens at night, that it may be fanned by the night winds.
To him, engaged in this distressful toil, the poor man presents himself, asking for |90 some of the endangered grain, but he does not give it; or, if he gives it, he bestows it parsimoniously, and half-heartedly, parting with it with extreme reluctance. Therefore, I beseech you, if you are such a man, do not undergo these infinite hardships. For the covetous man who lives in luxury is deserving of pity, since he bounds his existence with the belly's enjoyment and other pleasures, regarding this as the goal of humanity. But in the case of the mean and penurious, his wretchedness has no limit, since he receives the goods of many, and does not give even to himself, and so has nothing for his pains. For who does not know that nothing, except the virtues, exists for its own sake, but we do one thing in order that we may accomplish another? No sailor traverses the sea simply for the sake of sailing, and no farmer passes his life in toil simply for the |91 sake of farming; but it is manifest that both persevere amid their hardships that they may secure, the one the increase of the earth, and the other the wealth of maritime trade. But tell me now, O covetous man, what is your goal? To accumulate? And what kind of an object in life is this, to heap up and gloat over unused substance? The very sight, he replies, delights me. Then attack your disorder in another way. For you can allay this longing with what belongs to others. If the glitter of silver delights you, sit beside the silversmiths and gaze steadfastly upon the strong and glittering sheen; or haunt the markets, and enjoy the richly wrought vessels, platters: and pitchers. For the sight of them is free and unhindered. Watch the moneychangers also who are continually reckoning and counting the coin at their tables; but, better yet, yield to good advice and give |92 up this inclination. For amendment is easy, since covetousness is not a necessity of nature, but a direction of choice, and to change it is not difficult for those who consider their own advantage.
Pass over in thought to the time to come, when you shall be no more; when a small plot of earth shall hold your body, insensate, returned to dust, and a little tablet, a few spans in size, shall cover all that remains. Where then will be your wealth and your gathered treasures? Who will be the heir of what you leave behind? For it is by no means certain that it will be he whom you suppose. If you leave children, perhaps they will be beaten, and driven weeping from their ancestral home by some covetous man like you. But if, being childless, you mean to transmit the inheritance to one of your friends, do not regard your will as an immutable law, a thing strong |93 and incapable of being set aside. It will require but little exertion to make the writing invalid. Do you not see those who are constantly contesting wills in the courts, how by all kinds of attacks they wrest them by putting forward as advocates skilful lawyers, invoking the aid of eloquent orators, suborning witnesses, corrupting judges? So from what you see while you are alive, learn what will happen after you are dead. If you have gotten your wealth justly, use it, as did the blessed Job, for needful purposes; if unjustly, restore it to those who have been defrauded of it, as you would a thing captured in war, giving back either just what you took, or that with something added, as did Zacchaeus.15 If you have no wealth, do not get any by wickedness. For as you go the inevitable way, your sin, a bitter portion, will |94 follow you, while the enjoyment of your ill-gotten gains will be left behind for whom you know not. And then you will admire David because he says, "He heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them." 16 And observe also the rich man contrasted with Lazarus, of whom we have just read in the Gospels,----a narrative which is no fable composed to inspire terror, but a true picture transmitted to us of what is to be.
The fine linen perished, the kingdom departed to another, the luxuries passed away; but the sin of them went with him, as a person's shadow follows him when walking. And for this reason, after his extravagant banquets, and his luxurious table, he begs for a drop of water that falls from a leper's finger, and calls to alleviate his punishment the beggar who, perhaps, |95 when he lay at the gate, did not even have hands; for surely if he had had them he would have driven away the dogs that licked his sores. And he desires to join Lazarus, seeing him on the other side, and is hindered by the ditch or gulf between them, which was no hole that had been digged nor artificial ditch like that which one can see between hostile camps in war. But the Scripture, I think, means that his sins were the obstacle that cut off the approach of the condemned to the righteous. And the prophet Isaiah sets his seal to my interpretation, when he sternly rebukes a foolish people and says, "Is the Lord's hand shortened, that it cannot save? Or is his ear heavy, that it cannot hear? But your sins stand between you and God." 17 But if sin is able to separate men from God, nothing can be more sinful than |96 covetousness, which Paul, the herald of the truth, truly calls idolatry, and the root and parent of all evils.
For how are those drawn into the service of demons who were once of the company of Christians and partakers in the mysteries? Is it not by the desire of acquiring great wealth, and of becoming masters of what belongs to others? Upon receiving from godless and impious men promises either of official preferment or of wealth from royal treasuries, they quickly put off their religion as a garment. And such examples occurring in previous times, memory and tradition have preserved and handed down to us. And there are also instances which belong to our own generation, and are within the range of our experience. For when that emperor 18 who all at once cast aside the character of a Christian, and |97 disclosed the farce he had long been acting, himself shamelessly sacrificed to demons, and offered many gifts to those who were willing to do the same, how many left the church and ran to pagan altars! How many, taking the bait of emolument, swallowed with it the hook of apostasy, and branded with disgrace are wandering about among the towns, objects of hatred; pointed at as betrayers of Christ, for the sake of a little money; stricken from the list of Christians, as was Judas from the roll of the apostles; known by the name of apostate, as horses are known by the marks branded upon them; who simply allowed themselves to be drawn into the basest of all sins, and promptly followed the teacher of unhallowed and abominable impiety!
Thus, therefore, as the apostle says, covetousness is idolatry also,19 and is the root |98 of all evils,20 generating untold iniquities. For as those who seek gold in the bowels of the earth say that the goldrbearing rock lies in great quantities at its very source and the place of its origin, and thence in veins, one running this way and another that, extends to a great distance, and is prolonged in many ramifications, somewhat as the roots of trees diverge from the trunk, so here, while I see many offshoots, I find them all bound together in one root, covetousness. Indeed, with no impropriety does a sermon against covetousness draw its illustration from gold. For gold I see the parricide taking violent steps against his father's life, reverencing neither the hoary head, nor the paternal dignity, but vexed at the lengthening life of the old man. For seeing everything abundant at home, yet having no authority over what he sees, he longs |99 to be master of this paternal wealth, and finds his father's authority irksome. At first he keeps silent, and represses the malady of covetousness in the depths of his soul; but after his desire has increased with time, and his soul is filled with it, all at once he lets the wickedness break forth, as waters break through their embankments. And thereafter he behaves insufferably to his father, all but driving him to the grave, while he is still alive and well. If he mounts his horse with agility, the son is astounded; if he eats heartily, his son murmurs. If he early arouses the servants to their duties, the son is grieved by the alertness and vigor of the old man. But if he gives away any of his property, or releases a servant from bondage, then indeed as silly and half-witted and living beyond the proper limits of life, and as a squanderer of what belongs to another, he must listen to every |100 impious reproach, and be blackguarded like a drunkard, and upbraided for not dying soon enough.
This is your fruit, O abominable covetousness! Spurred on by you, the child becomes his parent's enemy. You fill the earth with robbers and murderers, and the sea with pirates, cities with tumult, courts with false witnesses, false accusers, betrayers, advocates, and judges who incline whichever way you draw them. Covetousness is the mother of inequality, unmerciful, hating mankind, most cruel. On account of it, the life of men is full of inequality. Some being surfeited, loathe the abundance of their possessions, as one disgorges food which has been too greedily swallowed; while others are in peril through extreme hunger and want. Some lie down under gilded roofs and live in houses that are like small cities, adorned |101 with sumptuous baths and chambers, and most extensive porches, and every kind of extravagance, while others have not the shelter of two boards. When they cannot live in open air, they either take refuge beside the furnaces of the baths, or, finding the attendants of the baths inhospitable, they dig into the dung like swine, and so contrive to get for themselves the needful warmth. Such is the marked disparity in the conditions of life, between men created equal in worth, and the cause of this disordered and anomalous state of things is nothing else than covetousness. One is put to shame by his naked limbs; the other, beside having almost countless garments, dresses his walls with purple hangings. The poor man has not on his wooden table any bread to break; while the luxurious man sitting at his broad silver stable is delighted with its glitter. How |102 much more just it would be that the poor man should feast to the full on the other's luxury, and that the support of the needy should be the decoration of the rich man's table! One man, aged and unable to walk, or lame by reason of some outrageous mutilation, does not possess the ass that he needs to carry him about, while another does not know his droves of horses for their very multitude. One lacks oil to light his lamps, while another has a fortune simply in lamp-stands. One has only the ground for his bed, while he who is unreasonably rich, is dazzled by the splendor of his couch, with its silver balls and chains instead of cords. These are the results of insatiable covetousness. For had it not introduced inequality into life, these anomalous heights and depths would not have existed, nor would manifold misfortunes have made our life joyless and tearful. |103
On account of covetousness men lose their natural friendship for one another, and whet their swords and array themselves against each other and like wild beasts fight one another with great ferocity. But how can one relate the consequences of these things? Massive walls are thrown down by engines, cities are taken, women led captives, and children enslaved. The land is wasted and ravaged, and the trees are warred against as though they were wrong-doers. There is great slaughter of those who are in the prime of life, and torrents of blood stream from the wretched corpses; and the wealth of the conquered is the victors' prize. There are, moreover, the lamentations of widows, the tears of orphans, who bewail at once both their fathers and their freedom. He who was day before yesterday possessor of great wealth, stretches forth his right hand to beg a bit |104 of bread, and he who had many slaves at the loom, and houses full of garments, now clothed in rags does the work of a slave, forced to carry water and scrape the dung from the stable, and to perform most menial duties. There are besides countless evils which it is impossible to compass all at once. But of all of these, the beginning and cause and root is greed, unrighteous love of the goods that belong to another. And if any one should extirpate this passion from the human heart, profound peace would be inevitably introduced into our life, and wars and tumults would be banished from among men, and all would return to the natural condition of love and friendliness. On this account, our Lord also carefully heals this disease, once declaring in his teachings; "Ye cannot serve God and mammon;" 21 and on another |105 occasion declaring wretched the rich man who was just about to die, even as he was picturing to himself the protracted enjoyment of luxury;22 and elsewhere teaching that that man was perfect who divided all that he had among the needy, and went over to a self-denying life, which is the mother and companion of virtue.23
But I seem to hear, even though they are silent, those who are wont to say such things as these to their teachers: "How shall we continue to live, if we do not care for the getting of money? and how shall we satisfy our needs? How are loans to be repaid, and how shall a gift be bestowed upon him who asks it, if we are all to follow your admonition and be poor?" This is the objection of an unbeliever, the speech of one devoid of understanding, who does not know that God |106 is our Master, the director of our life, and that he himself furnishes the living creature what it needs, the means of getting both necessary food and needful clothing. For the providence of God is over all his works, and the misfortune of poverty never overtakes one who is rich in faith. By presenting one of the divine narratives in proof of what I now affirm I shall, I think, offer sufficient evidence of it. In the history of the kings a widow woman is mentioned who, on account of her solitary condition was greatly oppressed.24 A greedy and churlish creditor pestered her, threatening to take away as pledges for her debts, her sons who were all she had left. And when the crisis in her affairs came and none of the rich had pity on her, she went to him who had humanity and faith. Now this was Elisha the |107 prophet, a man poor in this world's goods, but abounding in immaterial wealth; an unworldly soul from among the plowmen, houseless, homeless, clad with but one garment; who had just had a legacy, and had received as his inheritance a cheap sheepskin and an invisible blessing, which fell from the chariot of fire.25 Yet he did not send away the suppliant disappointed, nor did he despair of helping her because he had not what she asked, nor did he utter any sordid and doubting words, as many would have done, such as, "And where am I to get money to pay your debt?" but, like a most excellent physician when there are no medicines to be had, by an unexpected device he found a remedy for the disease and said, "Woman, what have you in the house?26 Call to mind whether you have anything within, however small. For |108 no one is so poor as to have absolutely nothing." And when she replied that she had a cruse with a little oil remaining in it, he said, "Prepare me a multitude of vessels." So she got them ready and filled them from the cruse. Thus the debt was paid to the money-lender, and the woman departed, having found a way out of her difficulties. For the very little oil which she had told the prophet she possessed, contrary to her expectation gushed forth and filled all the jars she had made ready, and it ceased to flow only when there was not another vessel to receive it. And the gift was commensurate with her need. That was indeed oil which no plant, but the mercies of God, produced. Buy yourselves this knowledge, if you can, you kings, rulers, men of wealth, from the rising to the setting sun. You who are rich |109 in worldly wisdom, get the gift of the plowman prophet, which could not be taken away from him who had received it For the possessions which you so eagerly desire are beset with countless risks; thieves who break into houses, tyrants who confiscate, flatterers who plot, the sea that overwhelms, and the earth that quakes and yawns. Therefore let the right hand of God be the hope and treasury of men,----the hand that led his people out of Egypt,27 and in the desert provided abundance of good things,28 which brought Habakkuk to Daniel,29 and preserved Ishmael when he had been cast down from his mother's arms;30 which provides for those of every generation; and which, finally, multiplied |110 five barley loaves so that they equaled a great harvest, and one loaf supplied a thousand hungry men and filled a basket with fragments besides.31
Now to our God be glory forever and ever. Amen.
[Footnotes renumbered and moved to the end]
1. 1 Hebrews 3:1.
2. 1 Proverbs 4: 6 (Lxx).
3. 2 Probably the Scriptures were on the table.
4. 1 Acts 26.
5. 2 Zechariah 3: 9; 4: 14.
6. 1 Genesis 3:3.
7. 2 Genesis 25: 29-34.
8. 3 Genesis 11: 1-9.
9. 1 Exodus 8-14.
10. 2 2 Kings 5.
11. 1 2 Samuel 15.
12. 2 John 12: 6; Matthew 26: 15.
13. 3 Acts 5: 1-10.
14. 1 They believed that each planet had its own house in the heavens. Cf. Century Dict. "House," sec. 10.
15. 1 Luke 19:8.
16. 1 Psalms 39: 6; 38: 7 (Lxx).
17. 1 Isaiah 59: 1, 2 (Lxx).
18. 1 The Emperor Julian.
19. 1 Ephesians 5:5.
20. 1 1 Timothy 6: 10.
21. 1 Luke 16: 13.
22. 1 Luke 12: 20.
23. 2 Matthew 19: 21.
24. 1 2 Kings 4:1-7.
25. 1 2 Kings 2: 9-13.
26. 2 2 Kings 4: 3.
27. 1 Exodus 14.
28. 2 Exodus 16; Numbers 11.
29. 3 In the history of Bel and the Dragon, Habakkuk is said to have carried food to Daniel in the den of lions at Babylon.
30. 4 Genesis 21: 15-19.
31. 1 John 6: 9-13.
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