1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Jerusalem and laid siege against it;
2 and the Lord gave into his hand Jehoiakim king of Judah and a part of the vessels of the house of God, and he brought them into the land of Shinar, into the house of his gods,—and the vessels brought he into the treasure-house of his gods.
3 Then did the king give word to Ashpenaz the chief of his eunuchs,—that he should bring in of the sons of Israel, even of the seed royal and of the nobles
4 youths in whom was no blemish but comely of countenance and skilful in all wisdom and possessed of knowledge and able to impart instruction, and who had vigour in them, to stand in the palace of the king,—and that they should be taught the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
5 And the king appointed them the provision of each day upon its day out of the delicacies of the king and out of the wine which he drank, and so to let them grow three years,—and at the end thereof that they should stand before the king.
6 Now there were among them out of the sons of Judah,—Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah;
7 and the ruler of the eunuchs gave them names,—yea he gave to Daniel the name of Belteshazzar, and to Hananiah of Shadrach, and to Mishael of Meshach, and to Azariah of Abed-nego.
8 But Daniel laid it upon his heart, that he would not defile himself with the delicacies of the king nor with the wine which he drank,—therefore sought he of the ruler of the eunuchs, that he might not defile himself.
9 But although God had brought Daniel into lovingkindness and tender compassion before the ruler of the eunuchs
10 yet said the ruler of the eunuchs unto Daniel, I do fear my lord the king who hath appointed your food and your drink,—for why should he see your faces more sad than those of the youths of your own age? so should ye bring me under the penalty of mine own head unto the king.
11 Then said Daniel unto the overseer whom the ruler of the eunuchs had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah:
12 I pray thee—prove thy servants ten days,—and let them give us vegetable food that we may eat and water that we may drink:
13 then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenances of the youths who have been eating the delicacies of the king,—and as thou shalt see deal thou with thy servants.
14 So then he hearkened unto them according to this word,—and proved them ten days;
15 and at the end of ten days their countenances appeared more comely, and fatter in flesh,—than any of the youths who had been eating the delicacies of the king.
16 Thus it came about that the overseer continued taking away their delicacies, and the wine appointed them to drink,—and kept on giving them vegetable food.
17 And as for these four youths God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom,—and Daniel had discernment, in all visions and dreams.
18 Now at the end of the days after which the king had given word to bring them in then did the ruler of the eunuchs bring them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
19 So then the king spake with them, and there was not found from among them all, one like unto Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah,—therefore stood they before the king;
20 and in any matter of wisdom and discernment as to which the king enquired of them he found them ten times better than all the sacred scribes—the magicians who were in all his realm.
21 Now Daniel continued, until the first year of Cyrus the king.