Daniel 1:1 During the third year of King Jehoiakim’s reign in Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and surrounded it.
Daniel 1:2 The Lord allowed Nebuchadnezzar to defeat Jehoiakim king of Judah. Nebuchadnezzar took some valuable objects from the house of God and carried them to the land of Shinar. He put those things in the temple of his god.
Daniel 1:3 Aspenas was the manager of the people who worked in King Nebuchadnezzar’s house. The king told Aspenas to bring a few of the young Israelite men to work for him, young men from the family of the king of Israel, and sons of important people.
Daniel 1:4 King Nebuchadnezzar wanted only healthy handsome young boys who did not have any bruises, scars, or anything wrong with their bodies. He wanted them to be wise and knowledgeable in science. Also, he wanted them to be able to learn things quickly and easily to serve in his palace. He told Ashpenaz to teach these young men the language and writings of the Chaldeans.
Daniel 1:5 King Nebuchadnezzar gave the young men a certain amount of food and wine every day. This was the same kind of food that he ate. He wanted them to be trained for three years. After that they would become servants of the king of Babylon.
Daniel 1:6 Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were 4 of these young men who came from the land of Judah.
Daniel 1:7 Ashpenaz gave them Babylonian names. Daniel’s new name was Belteshazzar, Hananiah’s was Shadrach, Mishael’s was Meshach, and Azariah’s was Abednego.
Daniel 1:8 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.
Daniel 1:9 God caused Ashpenaz, the man in charge of the officials, to be kind and loyal to Daniel.
Daniel 1:10 But Ashpenaz told Daniel, I am afraid of my master, the king. He ordered me to give you this food and drink. If you don’t eat this food, you will begin to look weak and sick. You will look worse than other young men your age. The king will see this, and he will become angry with me. He might cut off my head.
Daniel 1:11 Then Daniel talked to the guard who had been put in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
Daniel 1:12 He said, please give us this test for ten days: Don’t give us anything but vegetables to eat and water to drink.
Daniel 1:13 Then after ten days, compare us with the other young men who eat the king’s food. See for yourself who looks healthier, and then decide how you want to treat us, your servants.
Daniel 1:14 He agreed to let them try it for ten days.
Daniel 1:15 After ten days, Daniel and his friends looked healthier than all the young men who ate the king’s food.
Daniel 1:16 So, the guard continued to take away the king’s special food and wine and to give only vegetables to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
Daniel 1:17 God gave these four young men the wisdom and ability to learn many different kinds of writing and science. Daniel could also understand all kinds of visions and dreams.
Daniel 1:18 Now at the end of the three years, Ashpenaz brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel 1:19 The king talked with them all, and Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah impressed him more than any of the others. So, they became members of the king’s court.