the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
2And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah
into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his
god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
3And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children
of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;
in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science,
and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the
5And the king appointed them a
daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof
they might stand before the king.
these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
7Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar;
and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
8But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion
of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not
9Now God had brought Daniel
into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why
should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to
11Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom
the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
12Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
13Then let our countenances be looked upon
before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with
14So he consented to them in
this matter, and proved them ten days.
at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion
of the king's meat.
16Thus Melzar took away
the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.
17As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning
and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
18Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the
eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood
they before the king.
20And in all matters
of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers
that were in all his realm.
21And Daniel continued
even unto the first year of king Cyrus.