Daniel’s Development in the King’s Court
1In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2And the Lord gave Jehoiakim the king of Judah into his hand and some of#Literally “from the end/extremity/limits” of the utensils of the temple of God,#Hebrew “the God” and he brought them to the land of Shinar to the temple of his gods, and he brought the utensils to the treasury#Literally “the house of the treasury” of his gods.
3And the king ordered#Literally “said to” Ashpenaz, the commander of his court officials, to bring some of the Israelites#Literally “from the sons/children of Israel” from the royal family#Literally “from the seed of the kingship” and from the lords,#Or “nobles” 4youths who have no physical defect,#Literally “there is not in them any physical defect” and who are handsome,#Literally “good/pleasing of appearance” and who are prudent#Or “insightful” in all wisdom and endowed with knowledge,#Literally “who have knowledge of knowledge” and who understand insight, and who have the ability#Literally “strength” in them to serve in the palace of the king. And the king ordered him to teach them the literature and the language of the Chaldeans. 5And the king assigned to them his daily portion#Literally “the portion of the day on its day” from the fine food of the king, and from the wine that he drank,#Literally “the wine of his drink” and instructed that they were to be educated for three years.#Literally “and to be educated them years three” And at the end of their training, they were to be stationed#Literally “they would stand” before#Literally “to the face of” the king. 6Now there was among them from the Judeans,#Literally “from the children of Judah” Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7And the commander of the court officials gave them names, and he called Daniel, Belteshazzar; and Hananiah, Shadrach; and Mishael, Meshach; and Azariah, Abednego.
8Now Daniel resolved#Literally “Daniel placed upon his heart” that he would not defile himself with the fine food of the king, and with the wine that he drank,#Literally “the wine of his drink” and so he requested from the commander of the court officials permission so that he would not defile himself. 9And God#Hebrew “the God” gave Daniel favor and compassion before#Literally “to the face of” the commander of the court officials, 10and the commander of the court officials said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord, the king, who has determined your food and your drink, for why should#Literally “to what would” he see your face having a worse appearance than the young men who are your age?#Literally “like your age”; “your” is plural Then you will endanger my head with the king.” 11Then#Hebrew “And” Daniel asked the guard#Or “overseer” whom the commander of the court officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12“Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us some of the vegetables,#Literally “from the vegetables” and let us eat and let us drink water. 13Then#Hebrew “And” let our appearances and the appearance of the young men who are eating the fine food of the king be compared before you,#Literally “in your presence” and then deal with your servants according to what you see.”#Literally “and according to/that you see” 14So he agreed to this proposal with them, and he tested them for ten days. 15And at the end of ten days their appearances appeared better and they were healthier of body than all the young men who were eating the fine food of the king. 16So#Literally “And it happened” the guard continued to withhold#Literally “he was … withdrawing” their fine food and the wine of their drink, and he gave them#Hebrew “to them” vegetables.
17And as for these four young men,#Literally “And these young men, four of them” God#Hebrew “the God” gave to them knowledge and insight into all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had insight into all visions#Hebrew “vision” and dreams. 18And at the end of the time the king had set to bring them, the commander of the court officials brought them in before#Literally “to the face of” Nebuchadnezzar. 19And the king spoke with them, and among all of them no one was found like#Literally “and he was not found from all of them like” Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; then they stood before#Literally “to the face of” the king. 20And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired from them, he found them ten times better than all of the magicians#Or “soothsayer-priests” and conjurers#Or “enchanters” that were in his entire kingdom.#Literally “in the whole of his kingdom” 21And Daniel was there until the first year of Cyrus the king.