In the third year of the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it.
The Lord delivered King Jehoiakim of Judah into his power, together with some of the vessels of the House of God, and he brought them to the land of Shinar to the house of his god; he deposited the vessels in the treasury of his god.
Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, his chief officer, to bring some Israelites of royal descent and of the nobility—
youths without blemish, handsome, proficient in all wisdom, knowledgeable and intelligent, and capable of serving in the royal palace—and teach them the writings and the language of the Chaldeans.
The king allotted daily rations to them from the king’s food and from the wine he drank. They were to be educated for three years, aOr “and some of them.”at the end of which they-a were to enter the king’s service.
Among them were the Judahites Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
The chief officer gave them new names; he named Daniel Belteshazzar, Hananiah Shadrach, Mishael Meshach, and Azariah Abed-nego.
Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the king’s food or the wine he drank, so he sought permission of the chief officer not to defile himself,
and God disposed the chief officer to be kind and compassionate toward Daniel.
The chief officer said to Daniel, “I fear that my lord the king, who allotted food and drink to you, will notice that you look out of sorts, unlike the other youths of your age—and you will put my lifebLit. “head.” in jeopardy with the king.”
Daniel replied to the guard whom the chief officer had put in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
“Please test your servants for ten days, giving us legumes to eat and water to drink.
Then compare our appearance with that of the youths who eat of the king’s food, and do with your servants as you see fit.”
He agreed to this plan of theirs, and tested them for ten days.
When the ten days were over, they looked better and healthier than all the youths who were eating of the king’s food.
So the guard kept on removing their food, and the wine they were supposed to drink, and gave them legumes.
God made all four of these young men intelligent and proficient in all writings and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding of visions and dreams of all kinds.
When the time the king had set for their presentation had come, the chief officer presented them to Nebuchadnezzar.
The king spoke with them, and of them all none was equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; so these entered the king’s service.
Whenever the king put a question to them requiring wisdom and understanding, he found them to be ten times better than all the magicians and exorcists throughout his realm.
Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus.