1In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
2The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he carried them into the land of Shinar to the house of his god. He brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
3The king spoke to Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring in some of the children of Israel, even of the royal offspring and of the nobles:
4youths in whom was no defect, but well-favoured, skilful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding science, and who had the ability to stand in the king’s palace; and that he should teach them the learning and the language of the Kasdim.
5The king appointed for them a daily portion of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and that they should be nourished three years, that at its end they should stand before the king.
6Now amongst these of the children of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
7The prince of the eunuchs gave names to them: to Daniel he gave the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.
8But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank. Therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
9Now God made Daniel find kindness and compassion in the sight of the prince of the eunuchs.
10The prince of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink. For why should he see your faces worse looking than the youths who are of your own age? Then you would endanger my head with the king.”
11Then Daniel said to the steward whom the prince of the eunuchs had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
12“Test your servants, I beg you, ten days; and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.
13Then let our faces be examined before you, and the face of the youths who eat of the king’s delicacies; and as you see, deal with your servants.”
14So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days.
15At the end of ten days, their faces appeared fairer and they were fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate of the king’s delicacies.
16So the steward took away their delicacies and the wine that they were given to drink, and gave them vegetables.
17Now as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
18At the end of the days which the king had appointed for bringing them in, the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
19The king talked with them; and amongst them all was found no one like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore stood they before the king.
20In every matter of wisdom and understanding concerning which the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters who were in all his realm.
21Daniel continued even to the first year of king Cyrus.