Giraudon/Art Resource, NY

“Here begins the book…of Daniel: In the third year of the reign of King Joachim…” (Daniel 1:1) reads the Latin inscription on this illumination from a 12th-century Burgundian manuscript. Enthroned and surrounded by seven lions, the Prophet Daniel appears as the apocalyptic visionary who predicted the end of the world. While the Hebrew Bible presents Daniel as a willing sufferer in face of hardship, the Christian Bible, which places the Book of Daniel among the Prophets, emphasizes his role as prophesier of the Second Coming.

This image depicts a scene from Daniel 14:33–39, which appears in Catholic versions of the Old Testament but is not considered canonical by Jews or Protestants. When creating his Latin translation of the Bible in the fourth century C.E., called the Vulgate, Jerome included these verses in his Addenda ad Daniel.

When Daniel was in the lion’s den, this passage records, an angel (shown at upper right) lifted the prophet Habbakuk by his hair and placed him in the den too, so that he could nourish Daniel with bread and stew. In the illumination, Habbakuk bears a jug and several loaves, which Christians understood as prefiguring the bread and wine of the Eucharist.