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 Daniel Chapter One

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Georgie



Posts : 6
Join date : 2011-04-25
Location : Somewhere Over the Rainbow

PostSubject: Daniel Chapter One   Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:54 pm

Prologue

(family eating dinner around table, talking)

ARIEL
You should have heard the girls talking at the well today! Some of them are convinced that the Babylonians are going to invade. Isn’t that ridiculous? I tried to tell them that we’d be safe, what with our powerful army and the great walls around Jerusalem and the other cities.

FATHER
You forget, Ariel, that the walls around the city after which you are named might not always be there. Remember that we are not to trust in chariots, but in the Lord our God. He alone is sovereign and in control.

MOTHER
In control, yes, but I’m afraid that He is no longer with us. Our nation has turned from Him again.

DANIEL
But surely, Mother, He would not permit those wicked Babylonians to conquer Judah.

ARIEL
I’m sure king Jehoiakim can repulse any attack they might bring against us.

FATHER
I don’t know about that…

DANIEL
He’s only been king for, what, 2 years?
MOTHER
This is his third year as king.

ARIEL
What difference does that make?

DANIEL
Well, I heard that…

(interrupted by AZARIAH bursting into the room, breathless)

DANIEL
Azariah, my friend, what’s wrong?

AZARIAH
The Babylonians are invading! Word is that they’ve taken some of the vessels of the house of God!

ALL
(ad-lib) Oh, no; dreadful; What?!

AZARIAH
I’ve heard that they’re going to take the vessels to the treasure house of their heathen god in Shinar.

ARIEL
How can that be?!

AZARIAH
I’ve also heard that the Babylonians are going to carry off the most promising young people. That’s what I’ve come to warn you about.

(SFX - soldiers marching, slowly growing louder)

MOTHER
We must make haste; we must flee!

AZARIAH
I’m afraid it is too late for that now!

FATHER
Ariel, quick, back here! Now don’t make a sound.

ARIEL
But Father...

MOTHER
Do you want to be carried off to Babylon, child? Obey your father!

FATHER
Hurry, boys…

(interrupted by soldiers breaking down doors)

CAPTAIN
Oh, looks like two here. (appraising them) Yes, there two ought to come. Uruk, grab that one.

MOTHER
No, please don’t take my son! Daniel!

DANIEL
Mother!

FATHER
What use will he be to you? An extra mouth to feed? Please, leave us in peace!

CAPTAIN
The king of Babylon has commanded that young, well-favored Hebrew captives be taken. These two seem to fit the bill.

(Mother sobs incoherently and inconsolably in the background)

URUK
Come along, now, and don’t struggle!

AZARIAH
Give my family my love!

FATHER
Daniel, Azariah, stay strong, be brave, and seek to honor God with all that is within you.

(following three or four lines overlap)

DANIEL
I will, Father. I promise!

CAPTAIN
You, restrain the old man. We don’t want him following us to Babylon!

SOLDIER
Yes, sir.

FATHER
Remember, no matter what happens, Daniel, God is sovereign. He is in control. Always trust Him, my son! I love you. May God be with you.

DANIEL
(From the distance, fighting back tears) And also with you, Father!

FATHER
(to himself before returning to house) Oh, Daniel, my son. (to wife and daughter) They’re gone.
ARIEL
How could this happen? How could God let them take away my brother? Why would He?

FATHER
I don’t know why, but we must trust that God has a plan. He is still in control. I just hope Daniel will remember that.

(interlude of epic music?)
________________________________________________________________________






































SCENE 1

ASHPENAZ
You, of the conquered land of Judah, take heed to the word of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, may he live forever. You were chosen from among your brethren because our great king, may he live forever, desired children in whom was no blemish, but well-favored, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom we might teach the learning and the tongue of our great land. The king, may he live forever, has appointed a daily provision of his own meat and wine for your consumption. With food from his own table you will be nourished for three years. At the end of this time, you will be presented to the king, may he live forever. And now, in accordance with the customs of Babylon, our great land, and for the glorification and honor of our gods, we will now bestow upon you names that better befit your new life as humble servants to our great king, Nebuchadnezzar, may he live forever. Stand forth, Daniel. From henceforth, you shall be called “Belteshazzar” which means “Bel will protect.” Stand forth, Hananiah. From henceforth, you shall be called “Shadrach” which means “inspired of Aku.” Stand forth, Mishael. From henceforth, you shall be called “Meshach” which means “belonging to Aku.” Stand forth, Azariah. From henceforth, you shall be called “Abed-nego” which means “servant of Nego.” (continues in similar fashion down line, voice slowly fading)

DANIEL
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not eating the king’s meat or drinking his wine. I made a commitment before I was taken captive that I would not defile myself.

HANANIAH
I don’t want to defile myself either, but what choice do we have?

DANIEL
It would doubtless be healthier to avoid the king’s food. I’m going to ask Ashpenaz.

MISHAEL
Are you sure that’s smart? You could get in trouble.

AZARIAH
He might think that you’re just ungrateful.

DANIEL
I’m trying to do what’s right before God. He is in control, even here in this heathen land. I pray that He will honor my desire to obey Him, and I’ll leave the rest up to Him; but I cannot give in…

AZARIAH
You’re right. May the one, true God, not ‘bel,’ protect you.
(Daniel approaches Ashpenaz, who is about to make another annoucement)

DANIEL
Honored sir, please know that I am grateful for the kindness you have shown us thus far. I have one request, however.

ASHPENAZ
Yes, speak on.
DANIEL
My God has commanded that I should not eat such meat nor drink such wine as are served at the king’s table. I beseech you, honored sir, to allow my friends and I to obey our God.

ASHPENAZ
My dear boy, I am inclined to look favorably upon your request, seeing as it springs from such earnest religious devotion, but I fear the wrath of my lord the king, may he live forever, who has appointed your meat and drink himself. Why should he see your faces looking worse than your brethren? You would cause me to endanger my head, if you know what I mean. You know how kings can be. I am sorry.
MISHAEL
Told you it would never work…

ASHPENAZ
Melzar, come here! Melzar, I hereby give the charge of these men to you. (moves along) Akkad, I hereby give the charge of these men… (Fade)

DANIEL
(to trio as Melzar approaches) I don’t give up that easily. (to Melzar) Honored sir, know that I desire to serve the king to the best of my abilities. In an effort to serve the king even better, would you allow me to make a request?

MELZAR
Of course. Anything to further your abilities to serve our great king.

DANIEL
We have been commanded by our God to avoid such food and drink as are served at the king’s table. Our God, the Creator, knows what food is best for us, and that some foods are not good for us. Those foods and drinks that would harm our heath He has commanded us to avoid. Please, would you allow us to obey our God in this matter, thereby promoting better health, which, in turn, will allow us to serve the king, may he live forever, more effectively.

MELZAR
(uncomfortable) I’d like to honor your request, but I just can’t take a chance on losing my position here. I’m sorry. (turns away)

DANIEL
(Moves to follow him, a note of desperation in his voice) Prove your servants, I beseech you, ten days; let us have pulse to eat and water to drink. After ten days, compare the four of us to our brethren who eat of the portion of the king’s table. Then deal with us as you see fit.

MELZAR
I hesitate to allow you to consume that which the king has not appointed for you, (pause, Daniel’s countenance falls slightly) but experimenting for only ten days couldn’t hurt. We will try your experiment.

DANIEL
(ecstatic) Thank you, gracious sir! (with conviction)You won’t regret this.

MELZAR
I hope not. Follow me; we’ll make the necessary arrangements.



NEXT SCENE - King’s office??

ASHPENAZ
(enters) Oh, King, may you live forever. We have reached the three-year anniversary of our Jewish captives’ arrival here in Babylon. I am ready to bring them before you, as you requested.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
Very good, Ashpenaz. I trust they are well-fed and in good health? But how could they be otherwise after eating from my table for three years?

ASHPENAZ
Actually, sire, we conducted an…experiment. I thought I told you about it. We gave four of the young men nothing but pulse and water for ten days. We then compared these four to those who had consumed the meat and wine from your table.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
These four looked quite scrawny compared to the rest by the end of your “experiment,” I imagine.

ASHPENAZ
Ah, yes, actually the countenances of these four were fairer and better-looking than the rest, so we switched all of them to pulse and denied them meat and wine.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
Oh…yes, that does sound familiar…Perhaps some kind of digestive defect has precluded men of their race from enjoying rich food without ill consequences. How sad; perhaps I should compose a poem….

ASHPENAZ
Of course, your majesty.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR

How grateful I am,
That I can eat meat,
And from a loaded table
I will never retreat.

ASHPENAZ
Of course, your majesty.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
At any rate, I’m glad you’ve figured out the best way to keep these Israelites healthy.

ASHPENAZ
It was Melzar’s doing, my king.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
Melzar, eh? He’s never been much for creative ideas…wonder where he got this one from…

ASHPENAZ
Daniel.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
What?

ASHPENAZ
Uh, Belteshazzar. One of the four young men who, uh, volunteered to help out with the experiment.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
Volunteered?

ASHPENAZ
Yes, O King. They actually requested the experiment be performed.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
Don’t tell me that you let a couple of Hebrew boys boss you around.

ASHPENAZ
No, my lord. They were very respectful, and requested such a reasonable compromise. Melzar saw it best to allow it.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
You and Melzar seem to look favorably upon “these four.” Are they something special?

ASHPENAZ
Yes, my King, “these four” have knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; Belteshazzar even has understanding in all visions and dreams.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
Well, bring them all to the throne room, and I’ll meet you there. I can’t wait to see if ‘these four’ are really as wonderful as you and Melzar seem to consider them.

ASHPENAZ
Yes, Oh King. (bows before exiting in opposite direction from KN)

NEXT SCENE - king’s chamber

YOUNG BELSHAZZAR (SHAZ)
(fighting imaginary enemy with stick) Take that, and that, you cowardly Assyrian!

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
Did you get him, Shaz?
SHAZ
Yes, Father, I ran him through!

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
Very good, my son.

SHAZ
Oh, no! There’s a renegade Hittite sneaking up behind you, Father, but don’t worry. I’ll get him! (swings at imaginary villain, knocks something breakable off of table, causing a loud crash.)

AMYTIS
(from offstage) Belshazzar!!

SHAZ
(immediately subdued, jumps off of couch) Yes, Mother?

AMYTIS
(entering sternly)What, pray tell, was the cause of that crash?

SHAZ
(animated) I was battling a rebellious Hittite, and when I killed him, saving my father from the assassin’s knife, he…fell down dead and knocked the ???? off the table?

AMYTIS
And where is this murderous Hittite rebel now, my son?

SHAZ
Uh, well…

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
Don’t be too hard on the boy, my love. After all, he was only trying to save me.. uh, what was it, Shaz? From the assassin’s knife? Anyway, I’ll buy you a new ????, Amytis.

AMYTIS
Very well. But, Shaz, there will be no more fighting make-believe villains in the house. Is that clear?

SHAZ
Yes, Ma’am.
AMYTIS
Excellent. Why don’t you go get ready for bed? Here’s your nurse now.

SHAZ
Yes, Ma’am. (hesitates) Will you come tuck me in, Father? (whispers) I need you to check my room for Assyrians before I go to sleep.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
Yes, of course. I’ll be along shortly.

SHAZ
Thank you, Father. (exits)

AMYTIS
(sits on sofa) He can be such a handful. I don’t know what to do with him sometimes!

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
Shaz doesn’t mean to break things, Amytis. He just doesn’t think before he swings that stick.

AMYTIS
But that’s the fourth ????? he’s broken this week! And just this morning, he knocked a candlestick over, and caught his mat on fire. But enough about my day; how was yours?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
I met with the Hebrew captives that we brought in three years ago.

AMYTIS
Did any of them show promise?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
Well, four of them really stood out.

AMYTIS
What do you mean, they stood out?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
I had heard good things about them from Ashpenaz, but I wanted to see for myself if they were superior to their peers.

AMYTIS
And how did you do that?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
I inquired of them in matters of wisdom and understanding, and in all matters that I asked them about…

AMYTIS
Yes?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
I found them to be ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers in my entire realm.

AMYTIS
Ten times better than them all?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
Yes. That’s why I’ve decided that I want these men around me. They are wise, they’re skillful, they’re humble and respectful…

SHAZ
Father? Aren’t you coming to tuck me in?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR
Yes, Shaz, I was just coming.

SHAZ
Are you still angry with me, Mother? I’m very sorry about your ?????.

AMYTIS
It’s alright, I suppose.

SHAZ
Hooray! Will you come tuck me in, too?

AMYTIS
Alright.

SHAZ
(walks off hand in hand with parents) Father, I think there is an Assyrian in my room…
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Elric

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Posts : 104
Join date : 2011-04-25
Location : Lorien

Character sheet
Name: Ronam
Race: Tavorian
Job/Class: Precision Bodyguard

PostSubject: Re: Daniel Chapter One   Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:54 pm

That is one long script. Nice.
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