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Daniel 1 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Choice Young Men

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his [a]god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his [b]god.

Then the king [c]ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his [d]officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the [e]royal family and of the nobles, youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for [f]serving in the king’s [g]court; and he ordered him to teach them the [h]literature and language of the Chaldeans. The king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be [i]educated three years, at the end of which they were to [j]enter the king’s personal service. Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah Shadrach, to Mishael Meshach and to Azariah Abed-nego.

Daniel’s Resolve

But Daniel [k]made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. Now God granted Daniel [l]favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials, 10 and the commander of the officials said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would [m]make me forfeit my head to the king.” 11 But Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be [n]observed in your presence and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king’s choice food; and deal with your servants according to what you see.”

14 So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and [o]they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king’s choice food. 16 So the overseer continued to [p]withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables.

17 As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of [q]literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.

18 Then at the end of the days which the king had [r]specified [s]for presenting them, the commander of the officials [t]presented them before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they [u]entered the king’s personal service. 20 As for every matter of wisdom [v]and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the [w]magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm. 21 And Daniel [x]continued until the first year of Cyrus the king.

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 1:2 Or gods
  2. Daniel 1:2 Or gods
  3. Daniel 1:3 Or said to
  4. Daniel 1:3 Or eunuchs, and so throughout the ch
  5. Daniel 1:3 Lit seed of the
  6. Daniel 1:4 Lit standing
  7. Daniel 1:4 Lit palace
  8. Daniel 1:4 Or writing
  9. Daniel 1:5 Or reared
  10. Daniel 1:5 Lit stand before the king
  11. Daniel 1:8 Lit set upon his heart
  12. Daniel 1:9 Lit lovingkindness
  13. Daniel 1:10 Lit make my head guilty
  14. Daniel 1:13 Lit seen
  15. Daniel 1:15 Lit fat of flesh
  16. Daniel 1:16 Lit take away
  17. Daniel 1:17 Or writing
  18. Daniel 1:18 Lit said
  19. Daniel 1:18 Lit to bring them in
  20. Daniel 1:18 Lit brought in
  21. Daniel 1:19 Lit stood before the king
  22. Daniel 1:20 Lit of
  23. Daniel 1:20 Or soothsayer priests
  24. Daniel 1:21 Lit was until
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Daniel 1 New International Version (NIV)

Daniel’s Training in Babylon

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia[a] and put in the treasure house of his god.

Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.[b] The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.

Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.

18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.

21 And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 1:2 Hebrew Shinar
  2. Daniel 1:4 Or Chaldeans
  3. Daniel 1:10 The Hebrew for your and you in this verse is plural.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Daniel 1 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Daniel and His Friends

In the third year that Jehoiakim was king of Judah,[a] King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia attacked Jerusalem. The Lord let Nebuchadnezzar capture Jehoiakim and take away some of the things used in God’s temple. And when the king returned to Babylonia,[b] he put these things in the temple of his own god.

One day the king ordered Ashpenaz, his highest palace official, to choose some young men from the royal family of Judah and from other leading Jewish families. The king said, “They must be healthy, handsome, smart, wise, educated, and fit to serve in the royal palace. Teach them how to speak and write our language and give them the same food and wine that I am served. Train them for three years, and then they can become court officials.”

Four of the young Jews chosen were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, all from the tribe of Judah. But the king’s chief official gave them Babylonian names: Daniel became Belteshazzar, Hananiah became Shadrach, Mishael became Meshach, and Azariah became Abednego.

Daniel made up his mind to eat and drink only what God had approved for his people to eat. And he asked the king’s chief official for permission not to eat the food and wine served in the royal palace. God had made the official friendly and kind to Daniel. 10 But the man still told him, “The king has decided what you must eat and drink. And I am afraid he will kill me, if you eat something else and end up looking worse than the other young men.”

11 The king’s official had put a guard in charge of Daniel and his three friends. So Daniel said to the guard, 12 “For the next ten days, let us have only vegetables and water at mealtime. 13 When the ten days are up, compare how we look with the other young men, and decide what to do with us.” 14 The guard agreed to do what Daniel had asked.

15 Ten days later, Daniel and his friends looked healthier and better than the young men who had been served food from the royal palace. 16 After this, the guard let them eat vegetables instead of the rich food and wine.

17 God made the four young men smart and wise. They read a lot of books and became well educated. Daniel could also tell the meaning of dreams and visions.

18 At the end of the three-year period set by King Nebuchadnezzar, his chief palace official brought all the young men to him. 19 The king interviewed them and discovered that none of the others were as outstanding as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they were given positions in the royal court. 20 From then on, whenever the king asked for advice, he found their wisdom was ten times better than that of any of his other advisors and magicians. 21 Daniel served there until the first year of King Cyrus.[c]

Footnotes:

  1. 1.1 Jehoiakim. . . king of Judah: Ruled 609-598 B.C.
  2. 1.2 Babylonia: The Hebrew text has “Shinar,” another name for Babylonia.
  3. 1.21 first year of King Cyrus: 539 B.C.

Daniel 1 The Message (MSG)

Daniel Was Gifted by God

1-2 It was the third year of King Jehoiakim’s reign in Judah when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon declared war on Jerusalem and besieged the city. The Master handed King Jehoiakim of Judah over to him, along with some of the furnishings from the Temple of God. Nebuchadnezzar took king and furnishings to the country of Babylon, the ancient Shinar. He put the furnishings in the sacred treasury.

3-5 The king told Ashpenaz, head of the palace staff, to get some Israelites from the royal family and nobility—young men who were healthy and handsome, intelligent and well-educated, good prospects for leadership positions in the government, perfect specimens!—and indoctrinate them in the Babylonian language and the lore of magic and fortunetelling. The king then ordered that they be served from the same menu as the royal table—the best food, the finest wine. After three years of training they would be given positions in the king’s court.

6-7 Four young men from Judah—Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah—were among those selected. The head of the palace staff gave them Babylonian names: Daniel was named Belteshazzar, Hananiah was named Shadrach, Mishael was named Meshach, Azariah was named Abednego.

8-10 But Daniel determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king’s food or drinking his wine, so he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet. The head of the palace staff, by God’s grace, liked Daniel, but he warned him, “I’m afraid of what my master the king will do. He is the one who assigned this diet and if he sees that you are not as healthy as the rest, he’ll have my head!”

11-13 But Daniel appealed to a steward who had been assigned by the head of the palace staff to be in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: “Try us out for ten days on a simple diet of vegetables and water. Then compare us with the young men who eat from the royal menu. Make your decision on the basis of what you see.”

14-16 The steward agreed to do it and fed them vegetables and water for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked better and more robust than all the others who had been eating from the royal menu. So the steward continued to exempt them from the royal menu of food and drink and served them only vegetables.

17-19 God gave these four young men knowledge and skill in both books and life. In addition, Daniel was gifted in understanding all sorts of visions and dreams. At the end of the time set by the king for their training, the head of the royal staff brought them in to Nebuchadnezzar. When the king interviewed them, he found them far superior to all the other young men. None were a match for Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

19-20 And so they took their place in the king’s service. Whenever the king consulted them on anything, on books or on life, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his kingdom put together.

21 Daniel continued in the king’s service until the first year in the reign of King Cyrus.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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