Daniel Brought to BabylonIn the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along 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, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his god. 3 Then the king said for Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal seed and of the nobles, 4 youths in whom was no defect, who were good in appearance, showing insight in every branch of wisdom, being thoroughly knowledgeable and discerning knowledge, and who had ability to stand in the king’s palace; and he said for him to teach them the literature and tongue of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to stand before the king. 6 Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7 Then the commander of the officials set names for them; and for Daniel he set the name Belteshazzar, for Hananiah Shadrach, for Mishael Meshach, and for Azariah Abed-nego.
Daniel’s Heart8 But Daniel set in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God granted Daniel lovingkindness and compassion before the commander of the officials, 10 and the commander of the officials said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would make me forfeit my head to the king.” 11 But Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be observed before you and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king’s choice food; and deal with your servants according to what you see.” 14 So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days it was seen that their appearance was better and that they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king’s choice food. 16 So the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables. 17 And as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and insight in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams. 18 Then at the end of the days which the king had spoken of for bringing them in, the commander of the officials brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; so they stood in service before the king. 20 And as for every matter of wisdom in understanding which the king sought from them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his kingdom. 21 And Daniel continued until the first year of Cyrus the king.