Daniel 1Expanded Bible (EXB)
Daniel Taken to Babylon
1 During the third year that Jehoiakim was king of Judah [C 605 bc], Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon [C ruled 605–562 bc] came to Jerusalem and ·surrounded it with his army [besieged/L pressed it]. 2 The Lord ·allowed Nebuchadnezzar to capture Jehoiakim king of Judah [L gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand; C God was in control, not Nebuchadnezzar]. Nebuchadnezzar also took some of the ·things [articles; utensils; C cups, forks, and other items used in ritual; 5:2–4; Ex. 27:9; 30:27; 31:8–9; Ezra 1:9–11] from the ·Temple [L house] of God, which he carried to ·Babylonia [L the land of Shinar] and put in the ·temple [L house of the treasury] of his ·gods [or god; C probably Marduk, the chief god of Babylon].
3 Then King Nebuchadnezzar ordered Ashpenaz, ·his chief officer [or the chief of his eunuchs], to bring some of the ·men of Judah into his palace. He wanted them to be from important families, including the family of the king of Judah [L …sons of Israel, from the royal family and from the nobility]. 4 King Nebuchadnezzar wanted only ·young Israelite men [L children] who had ·nothing wrong with them [L no blemish; 2 Sam. 14:25; Song 4:4]. They were to be ·handsome [L of good appearance] and ·well educated [L skilled in all wisdom], ·capable of learning [L knowing knowledge] and understanding, and able to ·serve [L stand] in his palace [Gen. 41:33]. Ashpenaz was to teach them the language and ·writings [literature] of the ·Babylonians [L Chaldeans; C probably Akkadian and Aramaic; the literature would include myths and legends as well as divination texts]. 5 The king ·gave the young men [L allotted/assigned to them] ·a certain amount of food and wine every day, just like the food he ate [L a daily ration of the royal food and wine he drank]. The young men were to be ·trained [educated] for three years, and then they would ·become servants of the king of Babylon [L stand before the king]. 6 Among those young men were Daniel [C “God is my judge”], Hananiah [C “The Lord is gracious to me”], Mishael [C “Who is like God”], and Azariah [C “The Lord is my helper”] from the ·people [L sons] of Judah.
7 Ashpenaz, the chief ·officer [or of the eunuchs], gave them names [C Babylonian, that is Akkadian, names]. Daniel’s new name was Belteshazzar, Hananiah’s was Shadrach, Mishael’s was Meshach, and Azariah’s was Abednego [C the new names praised Babylonian gods].
8 Daniel ·decided [L set his heart] not to eat the king’s food or drink his wine because that would ·defile [contaminate] him [C perhaps would make him ritually unclean, but more likely because he depended on God to sustain him]. So he ·asked [sought] ·Ashpenaz [L the chief officer/or of the eunuchs] for permission not to ·defile [contaminate] himself in this way.
9 God made Ashpenaz, the chief ·officer [or of the eunuchs], want to be ·kind [loving] and ·merciful [gracious] to Daniel, 10 but ·Ashpenaz [L the chief officer/or of the eunuchs] said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my master, the king. He ·ordered me to give you this [L allotted/assigned your] food and drink. If you begin to look ·worse [thinner] than other ·young men [children; youth] your age, the king will see this. Then ·he will cut off my head because of you [L you will forfeit my head to the king].”
11 Daniel spoke to the ·guard [or attendant; steward] whom the chief ·officer [or of the eunuchs] had ·appointed [allotted/assigned] over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please give us this test for ten days: Don’t give us anything but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare how we look with how the other ·young men [children; youth] look who eat the king’s ·food [rations]. See for yourself and then decide how you want to treat us, your servants.”
14 So the ·guard [or attendant; steward] ·agreed to test [L listened to them on this matter and tested] them for ten days. 15 After ten days they looked healthier and ·better fed [L their flesh was fatter] than all the ·young men [children; youths] who ate the king’s ·food [rations]. 16 So the ·guard [or attendant; steward] took away the king’s special food and wine, feeding them vegetables instead.
17 God gave these four ·young men [children; youths] ·wisdom [knowledge] and ·the ability to learn many things that people had written and studied [insight into wisdom and literature]. Daniel could also understand visions and dreams.
18 At the end of the ·time [L days] ·set for them by the king [L which the king said to bring them; v. 5], ·Ashpenaz [L the chief officer/or of the eunuchs] brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked to them and found that none of the young men were ·as good as [L like] Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So ·those four young men became the king’s servants [L they stood before the king]. 20 Every time the king ·asked them about [L sought from them] something important, they showed much wisdom and understanding. They were ten times better than all the ·magicians [enchanters] and ·fortune-tellers [diviners] in his kingdom! 21 So Daniel ·continued to be the king’s servant [was there] until the first year Cyrus was king.
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